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Datsuncog's Heaps: 09/10/18 - L'il Thunder: Bit Of A Bind...


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#1771 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 09:37 AM

Cheers all!

I'm hoping the shiteworthy Avensis ahead of me will act as some sort of good luck talisman...



#1772 OFFLINE   The_Equalizer

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 10:12 AM

Any news?
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#1773 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 11:26 AM

Jaysis, what a muck-about.

Partly my fault, party not.

Firstly, so busy was I making hilarious* posts on everybody's favourite beige-themed motoring forum, that I was unaware I was being called forward ahead of the two cars ahead of me in the queue.

This then caused me to become massively flustered, and I ended up locking the doors, then setting off the alarm while trying to get the window down, dropping my phone under the seat in all the excitement.

The tested also looked exactly like Sammy Wilson, which threw me massively.

(For non-local shiters, the Right Honourable Sammy Wilson, MP for South-East Antrim, is one of our enlightened DUP politicians who once managed to hold the position of Environment Minister while publicly decrying climate change as a hoax, banning ads promoting saving energy for consumers, and wholeheartedly supporting an unlicensed oil drilling exercise by shonky speculators on public forest land right beside a water reservoir, because (and I quote from the letter he sent me) "it's our duty to burn fossil fuels". He also does a nifty sideline in casual homophobia and misogyny, and made the tabloids a few years back being snapped frolicking around a field in the nip. But I digress.)

I'd expected the usual "what's the mileage?" to be the opener, but instead Doppelganger Sammy just said "brake pipes replaced?"

The "Yes" was out of my mouth before my mind had finished processing the final word. Yes, I was here because of brake pipes. But no, they hadn't been replaced.

"Just slide over to the passenger side there..."

I complied, silently wondering what the best way to remedy this situation might be as Doppelganger Sammy gunned the Subaru forward onto the rollers, and elected to say nothing.

Which, as it turned out, was a mistake.

Something also seemed to be up with the brake test rollers, or rather, this car on the rollers. The front n/s seemed to lock up once the roller motors were activated, also the rear o/s. Another inspector was called over; the brakes were plainly fine and not binding on the flat, but seemed to jam shut on alternate sides while under test. There was much banging, stalling and violent jerking of the steering wheel that I did not much care for. No the car doesn't have selectable traction control. Yes it is driving normally. Bang. Thunk. Roar. Stall.

Plus the alarm went off twice more, to everyone's irritation.

Eventually some sort of result was recorded (with the same 30% imbalance at the front as before), and I was ejected to the luxuriously appointed* waiting area while the Sub was lifted on the big hoist - right in front of me, for maximum discomfort.

Doppelganger Sammy then proceeded to have a 5 minute yo-ho type chat with some other lad who seemed to be in having a white Skoda Superb tested, which might give some indication of why they were so far behind.

Eventually he trotted under, flashed the torch around under all the wheel wells, poked a bit, and lowered it down again.

"Why did you lie to me? You said the pipes had been replaced."

"No, well, I took it to a garage and told them..."

"You said they'd been replaced but they haven't. Why did you lie? You could have just told me the truth."

"Yes, but I asked the garage to look at them and replace where needed but they said there was no corrosion - "

"I asked you if the pipes had been replaced and you told me yes. But they haven't."


At this point, it all seemed to be getting a smidge police procedural and I could feel my inner Hulk in the ascendant.

"Look, I got flustered at the start by being pulled out of the line. I know they haven't been replaced; I'd asked for replacement at the garage but was told there was no point as they appear to be completely sound."

"Oh yeah, they're sound alright, they're fine. But if you'd told me you hadn't replaced them, I could have just put it straight up onto the lift without the hassle on the rollers."


Ah right.

So it transpires the pipes are fine, and what's more appear to be the factory originals. They've "cleaned up well ".

I rather peevishly pointed out that Dour Derek in Larne hadn't just said they were dirty or dubious, he'd stated they were "clean rotten" and "could pop at any minute", which was manifestly untrue.

Furthermore, 'cleaning up' the pipes has been limited to lightly running an oily rag over them. They were not clabbered with muck to the extent that their condition could not be adequately assessed, nor needed the wire brush treatment that the Yaris responded to. They were visibly fine when presented at the last test.

I may have ranted more in this vein, involving the time and money element, but I pulled back on outright accusing them of running a racket here.

All Sammy could advise was that it was down to the tester's opinion, and I would have had to take it up with the centre manager on the day if I felt the decision was incorrect.

This neatly sidesteps the issue that I had no definite reason to disbelieve Derek last week; it was only subsequent off-site inspection that showed them to be sound, clean and with no pitting whatsoever.

So. After a little more fruitless argy-bargy with Sammy (who, in fairness, has no real part in my gripe other than to confirm what I and the garage knew), the car was removed from the hoist and taken down the far end. The pass cert was printed and presented, and I moodily stalked off back to the Subaru down at the far end of the hall.

20180929_111615.jpg

Then I had to trot back up the hall again, as it turned out Sammy still had the keys on him, rather undermining the dramatic impact of my moody stalking.

So. A pass. But a Pyrrhic victory, perhaps, as the brakes are indeed unhappy on this and will need work regardless.

But - a pass is a pass. And I will be composing a letter of complaint nonetheless, just to put this on file that some testers appear to be grossly exaggerating problems in cars to justify a fail which, at retest, is proved untrue. As I'd mentioned above, if he'd said "they need cleaning" I'd just have had to assume he has high standards. It was the whole rigmarole of how the pipes were dangerously corroded and were well beyond cleaning that suggests either a personal grudge or a chronic gap in his professional assessment capabilities.

Aaaaaand breathe...


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#1774 OFFLINE   oldcars

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 11:54 AM

Good news on the pass. I thought that four wheel drive cars couldn't be put on the brake rollers?


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#1775 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 12:11 PM

It's a joke. Try taking a motorcycle through. Ive never had a bike fail, last three years:

Mot1 - bald rear tyre. In my defense I had only bought the bike which had sat for years and I wanted to see if it was worth investing in first. "I take it you'll be buying a new tyre this week" erm yes. Thanks for the pass m8

Mot2 - non working tail and brake lights. "you'll get a few bulbs on the way home won't you" erm yes. thanks for the pass m8

Mot3 - rear pads worn to the metal "you might want to replace the rear pads" erm yes. Thanks for the pass m8.

Same testing station failed my mondeo for one of the two rear number plate lights having failed.

Most of the time they are spot on but I've had stuff passed that shouldn't have, and things failed for the most miniscule of things.



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#1776 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 02:42 PM

Good news on the pass. I thought that four wheel drive cars couldn't be put on the brake rollers?

 

Well now... that's a very very good point. An excellent point indeed.

 

It seems that some can be tested on the rollers, while others can't and so require testing outside in the brake test lane with a Tapley meter.

 

I'm really not sure whether the Subaru is one that can be tested in this way, or can't.

 

What I do know is that the rumbling, grumbling 'wob-wob-wob' noise under low-speed braking has suddenly now changed to a permanent grumble rising to an alarming "THUB-THUB-THUB-THUB" pounding noise whenever the brakes are applied at any speed.

 

Have these tubes gone and banjaxed my diff or transfer box or something?

 

I've never presented a 4x4 at an MOT before, but I'd like to think there's enough of them around that the testers would be familiar with the correct process.

 

Most of the time they are spot on but I've had stuff passed that shouldn't have, and things failed for the most miniscule of things.

 

In principle, the MOT set-up should work well over here - and there's always going to be some latitude depending on a tester's own point of view and their assessment of the customer. Sometimes this has stood me in good stead, with borderline cars passed on the understanding that I knew what the issue was and could be trusted to remedy it promptly. I suppose as bikers tend to be much more switched-on about their machines, they mebbe feel that they'll take advice on board more readily.

 

I'm just a bit huffy as that's five tests required in the past lot of weeks for brake components that I felt were rather on the better side of borderline, but the tester's disagreed. The Yaris I can take - better safe than sorry - but this latest episode following hot on its heels, with no sign of degradation to the factory pipes at all but garnering such a hammed-up performance of utter doom, just smells really, really fishy to me.

 

If they've also jiggered something major through conducting an unsuitable brake test then I'll be going through them for a shortcut.


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#1777 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 02:49 PM

Fingers crossed there's nothing serious at play dude. I'm pissed for you tbh

Well now... that's a very very good point. An excellent point indeed.

It seems that some can be tested on the rollers, while others can't and so require testing outside in the brake test lane with a Tapley meter.

I'm really not sure whether the Subaru is one that can be tested in this way, or can't.

What I do know is that the rumbling, grumbling 'wob-wob-wob' noise under low-speed braking has suddenly now changed to a permanent grumble rising to an alarming "THUB-THUB-THUB-THUB" pounding noise whenever the brakes are applied at any speed.

Have these tubes gone and banjaxed my diff or transfer box or something?

I've never presented a 4x4 at an MOT before, but I'd like to think there's enough of them around that the testers would be familiar with the correct process.


In principle, the MOT set-up should work well over here - and there's always going to be some latitude depending on a tester's own point of view and their assessment of the customer. Sometimes this has stood me in good stead, with borderline cars passed on the understanding that I knew what the issue was and could be trusted to remedy it promptly. I suppose as bikers tend to be much more switched-on about their machines, they mebbe feel that they'll take advice on board more readily.

I'm just a bit huffy as that's five tests required in the past lot of weeks for brake components that I felt were rather on the better side of borderline, but the tester's disagreed. The Yaris I can take - better safe than sorry - but this latest episode following hot on its heels, with no sign of degradation to the factory pipes at all but garnering such a hammed-up performance of utter doom, just smells really, really fishy to me.

If they've also jiggered something major through conducting an unsuitable brake test then I'll be going through them for a shortcut.


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#1778 OFFLINE   artdjones

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 03:40 PM

Rollers are not to be used on cars with permanent 4wd or an lsd according to the manual.
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#1779 OFFLINE   hairnet

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:45 PM

"Oh yeah, they're sound alright, they're fine. But if you'd told me you hadn't replaced them, I could have just put it straight up onto the lift without the hassle on the rollers."


So it transpires the pipes are fine,

 

what a cock - hes there to check stuff not ask you whats been fixed - it isnt there to be fixed

 

didnt need to know if theyd been replaced why did he ask as when he checked them anyway - theyre ok - the whole fucking point

 

next time yer here on holiday get a mot here :D



#1780 OFFLINE   Snipes

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 08:07 PM

Rollers are not to be used on cars with permanent 4wd or an lsd according to the manual.


Pretty sure just about all Subaru's are permanent 50/50 split 4WD.....
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#1781 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:46 PM

Harrumph. Right. Well, not much has happened in the past week, other than putting in a formal written complaint to DVA about their testing process, the communication of supposed faults and the generally aggressive attitude from examiners who, it should be remembered, are employed as civil servants and will have had plenty of customer service training. I don't particularly relish repeatedly being called a liar and shaken down for forty quid, for no reason. We'll see what, if anything, comes back.

 

I took the Subaru up to Ballymena last Monday and noted that the THUBTHUBTHUBTHUBTHUB noise whenever I hit the brake pedal is still very much present. Otherwise it seems to be driving well enough - so I'm not quite sure what the issue is.

 

I'm thinking that maybe the MOT testing hasn't caused it, since the noise through the brakes first appeared after picking the Forester up from its new back box fitting, which also caused a bit of head scratching. I know for a fact the mileage was the same when I picked it up than when I left it, so I don't think it was taken out of the yard to be ragged or anything whilst in the care of the exhaust place. It manifested as a kind of wub-wub-wub noise when braking down from about 10mph to a standstill on the way home that afternoon, but this became SUBSTANTIALLY worse following Saturday's MOT re-test.

 

Wondering whether perhaps a blob of weld or spiral of swarf had managed to find its way down between the pad and disc, all the stomping and stalling at the re-test only making matters worse, I set about investigating it on my return from Ballymena. The front n/s disc seemed noticeably hotter than the other three, so it seemed as good a place to start as any.

 

Raising the car up to remove the wheel (no mean feat, as the scissor jack will no longer locate onto the sills due to damaged seams and sill covers) revealed quite a lot of scoring to the surface of the disc... remember that the seller's advert stated the car had recently had new discs and brakes all round...

 

20181001_180324.jpg

 

Hmm. Really.

 

It's not the easiest to check what state the pads are in: I really can't quite tell how much meat is on them. Are the damn things just down to the metal?

 

20181001_180532.jpg

 

There doesn't seem to be an obvious way to pop the pads out, either. I spent a while crouched under the wheelarch trying to find a suitable YouTube video showing brake pad removal on one of these, but they were all spectacularly useless. Come back HBOL, all is forgiven (almost).

 

Good thing: the CV boot looks quite new.

 

20181001_180515.jpg

 

Bad thing: should a drop link be that shape?

 

20181001_180453.jpg

 

Then it started to rain, so I put the wheel back on and scuttled into the house.

 

 

In the week since, the braking noise seems to have become less awful - but I'm concerned that I'm merely becoming accustomed to it... I have form in that area.

 

The fuel consumption also seems to be getting steadily worse, so I'm not sure whether this is a symptom of brake binding or just that I've been using it more for urban use of late.

 

Ah now. Cars, hey?



#1782 ONLINE   sierraman

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:50 PM

Seized calipers rarely free off very well. Swapping with a good recon one is a good plan, the fact it’s getting hot is a big giveaway.
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#1783 OFFLINE   oldcars

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:57 PM

I agree, i had one free'd off then it was back to its old ways in about 100 miles.


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#1784 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:13 PM

Mmm, that would certainly seem to fit the symptoms, true - CarParts4Less has new (well, probably recon) calipers for about the £95 mark, less whatever discount they're bandying about today.

 

I'd guess I'd be better off changing both front calipers together - since not long after getting the car MrsDC advised the front o/s disc seemed to be radiating heat after a run, so neither's probably up to much.

 

I don't know why a job like this fills me with such trepidation, as I helped a chum fit a new set of calipers only a few months back so I know I'm capable of doing it.


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#1785 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:57 PM

In slightly better news, the pair of tailgate struts I ordered for the Yaris arrived on Saturday, and were possibly the easiest replacement job I've ever done on a car, ever.

 

A tiny bit of prising with a screwdriver and the old ones just dropped off, while the new ones snicked into place after a quick wipe down and re-grease of the ball joints.

 

Twenty quid well spent, as now I no longer nut the tailgate leading edge while loading it up.

 

Struts came from StrutsDepot , who got a brief mention in Tamworthbay's Volvo thread.

 

So far, recommended - I'd looked into getting a new set a few years back, and couldn't find anything for less than £100. We'll see how they perform over time.


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#1786 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 04:08 PM

....plenty of customer service training...


Presumably at the Arlene Foster School of Diplomacy, on a confidence and supply basis.
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#1787 OFFLINE   Dave_Q

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 06:21 PM

When I had an Impreza I redid the seals on the front calipers using genuine parts from these chaps:

https://www.importca...539&var=26&dc=y

Way cheaper than a recon caliper, I am slightly suspicious that a recon will have been rebuilt* using a silver rattle can and "I can't believe its not rubber" sub-ebay grade seals.

On mine I also ended up replacing one piston as it was a bit rusty in a seal contacting area but realistically it would have been fine with a clean up with some wet and dry.
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#1788 OFFLINE   The_Equalizer

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:49 PM

I don't know why a job like this fills me with such trepidation, as I helped a chum fit a new set of calipers only a few months back so I know I'm capable of doing it.

 

Because it involves rusty nuts and flexi hoses the undoing of which is never quite as straight forward as one hopes for? Perhaps the liberal use of PlusGas (or similar) well before time might just pay dividends?


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#1789 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:14 PM

Because it involves rusty nuts and flexi hoses the undoing of which is never quite as straight forward as one hopes for? Perhaps the liberal use of PlusGas (or similar) well before time might just pay dividends?

Agreed, for me caliper replacement ALWAYS ends up including new Flexi pipes. Maybe I'm just unlucky!

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#1790 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:22 PM

Should be easy enough - just make absolutely sure you have enough pipe and fittings on hand to replace every bit of brake pipe from the wheel back to the master cylinder.

That way you know everything will come apart perfectly.
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#1791 ONLINE   sierraman

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:25 PM

Most of the time with those type calipers the actual plating on the piston has flaked away, fucked up the seals and then it’s pissing fluid out.

Rebuilding sounds a great idea until you start trying to take the fucker apart. Chances are you may need to force the piston completely out with air. Then find piston/bore scored etc.

You can reduce the chances of bolloxing the flex by slackening the union before you start undoing the calipers mounts, then spin it off after you’ve took the mounts off. I realise this might sound obvious but the amount of people I’ve seen with calipers in hand trying to undoing the flex...
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#1792 ONLINE   Exiled_Tat_Gatherer

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:29 AM

If replacing the callipers - swap out eh flexes anyway - it isn't much more pennies wise and you know it's all good. 

If rebuilding - I usually sacrifice the brake fluid and get the callipers off and supported then use the pedal to push them out - pads already removed - and they'll be either almost there or already on the floor.... If one side is sticking - clamp the good* side so the sticky fucker is forced out..... 

It's a messy and pain in the arse job with guaranteed rusty rounded off bits...... but if you're in there you may as well do the whole lot.

 

Good luck either way fella..... 


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#1793 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:27 AM

Cheers all for the advice and encouragement here!

 

Yeah, it looks like a rebuild/replacement of both front calipers is going to be necessary. It would, of course, make sense to replace the flexi hoses etc at the same time to keep everything fresh, and not skimp pointlessly.

 

EuroCarPrats offer a pair of Pagid twin-piston calipers and Eicher "premium" pads for a little over £200 once discount codes and returns surcharges are factored in (assuming that mine uses the Tokico rather than the Akebono type caliper, which appears to be the case from pics).

 

13380065J Pagid Tokico Front Brake Caliper.jpg

 

The same basket again from CarParts4Less comes to about £14 cheaper at the checkout (cheaper 'normal' price, but less code discount), but requires £6 in postage and I then can't go and get shouty at a physical desk if they manage to stuff the order up.

 

Neither of them seem able to supply me with front flexis, though.

 

I'd love to go to my local independent motor factor, but previous experience of their parts-matching expertise indicates an odds-on likelihood of receiving 15kg of chopped pig liver and a pair of ladies' bowling shoes.

 

I also checked on SubaruBits.com, as per the lairy stickers down the side when I first bought the Forester, but it appears their specialism is rally decals, windscreen strips and other stick-on shit - but it did give me a giggle that someone in the car's past wasted £13 on this piece of sub-market stall knock-off tat.

 

Scooby Badge.png

 

Which, as you may recall, I binned off immediately.

 

20180429_182436.jpg

 

BiggRed offer a reconditioning service for an estimated £125 (standard finish), but all the faff of removing them, posting them out and waiting around for them to come back will probably take at least a week, maybe longer.

 

While I'm not that bothered about the time taken in and of itself, I wouldn't be happy about leaving it up on axle stands with the flexis clamped for that length of time.

 

I could, of course, buy a secondhand set of calipers from Ebay and punt those off for reconditioning before swapping them over, but there we have yet more expense and faffage.

 

Four new pistons plus a pair of fitting kits from BiggRed would total around £100 anyway - plus I would then get to crouch on the driveway in the bracing October rain while dropping critical brake parts down onto the gravel surface. Hmm.

 

 

I think the Laguna brake disasters from April are still weighing on me, rather - the fact that KAZ expired in a fountain of DOT4 and rounded-off bleed nipples is making me somewhat skittish about going all-in with this one. With the Renner, there was a certain gung-ho attitude that I couldn't make it any deader - but I can't really say that about the Subaru. I need it to work.

 

The ABS gubbins is also something that scares me a smidge, and while I do want to learn how to do this kind of job better (I helped fit some uprated calipers and vented discs to AdamMcC's Mk3 Cortina back in the spring, and AFAIK it's been grand since), I'm concerned this job is beyond me. My usual whinges of no garage or covered area, limited tools, and limited talent also apply. I know, I know. It's not the Autoshite Way.

 

 

So I think I might head back down to the Mechanic of Choice and run the problem by him to see what sort of money we'd be talking to rectify all this. It's going to be a minimum of £120 even if I go down the complete DIY refurb route, so it's not going to be a pocket money fix regardless. £120 for a world of pain and misery, or £300-odd to just drop the big silver lump off and pick it up later, fixed, bled and warranted. Tricky one.

 

 

My head's also a bit turned as I've kind of accidentally agreed to completely re-do the bathroom and, while I originally thought I was agreeing in principle to the concept of bathroom improvements, it seems that an entire strip-out, reorganisation of plumbing and soil stack, re-tile and refit is now on the cards in the coming weeks.

 

It'll be cheaper to get a professional to do the car brakes while I'm up to my oxters in water trap gunk and adhesive, rather than get a pro in to fit the bathroom while I'm dicking around outside in the twilight with that bloody Gunsons EazyBleed kit...


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