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Datsuncog's S1 Laguna - 21/01/18 - Victory, of sorts - blower blowing.


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#271 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 10:57 AM

Well. A cold and frosty Saturday morn dawned, with snow still covering the lawn from Monday's blizzard conditions, and the thermometer showed just above freezing. Perfect weather for a battle of wits between an automotive imbecile and high quality* Renault electrics, you’ll agree. TAZ sat on the drive, softly matte from Jack Frost’s caress, waiting. I’m still not convinced this car doesn’t hate me, just a little.

 

So the condemned man (moi) was dispatched out into the frost with a rapidly cooling mug of Kenco and the highly dubious HBOL (fantasy edition), and of course the obvious happened.

 

I ran away.

 

Well, maybe not quite like that. First, I slipped on the gravel, which had frozen into a solid mass down near the door, slopping coffee all over my rakish Lidl polycotton work jumper. A brief strategic withdrawal to get changed brought a new and tempting thought - perhaps I ought to ease mind and body into a winning frame of mind by first creating a win. You see the logic at work here, yeah? 

 

The Kenwood head unit destined for Mrs DC’s Yaris has been occupying prime hall console real estate since Christmas and anyway, fitting a head unit is a doddle. Usually.

 

20180120_104943.jpg

 

I’d fitted an old Sendai CD/Aux unit to the Yaris back in November, just one of many assorted car stereos that I’d mysteriously ended up with (I believe this one had been fitted to UKZ, the £50 scrap Laguna I bought chiefly for the towbar only to find the mounts had been mashed in a previous rear-end shunt) so that my dear OH could listen to podcasts to and from work rather than Steve Wright’s daily smugathons.

 

20180120_105107.jpg

 

Unfortunately, several years in a damp Lag and then a damper shed may have scrambled the unit’s electronics somewhat, as it’s been glitchy and unreliable from the off. It also had no input for steering wheel controls, and so Santa delivered the above Kenwood CD/USB unit which should remedy these issues.

 

As the factory (shaped) CD unit is now gone – and doing sterling service in another forum chum’s nephew’s Yaris – and necessary fascia plates already in place, it was just a straight swap from old to new, with the steering wheel control plug now finding a home in the new adaptor harness.

 

In theory.

 

So in best January tradition, it was out with the old…

 

20180120_105401.jpg

 

And in with the… hang on. Nope, that ain’t right.

 

20180120_112803.jpg

 

The Yaris’s control plug and the corresponding socket on the new harness are not on speaking terms. While the car’s wiring can accept two small blade terminals, the new harness wants to give three micro terminals instead. Errrr…

 

A quick flick through the paperwork indicates that the eBay vendor has sent me the wrong harness. I’d ordered an adaptor set for a 2001-2005 Yaris but despite what the delivery docket and the sticker on the front of the packaging may state, I appear to have received one for a 2005-2010 Yaris instead.

 

20180120_113009.jpg

 

Back inside, my frozen fingers slowly tapped out a friendly yet firm email to the vendor, with photos and screenshots to show the discrepancy. EBay sent me a helpful automated email to say that I’m outside the return period. Balls.

 

Feeling my car-fixing mojo ebbing away somewhat at this unexpected turn of events, I trundled back out to the arctic circle and finished the Kenwood install using the non-steering wheel control harness bought a matter of weeks ago for the Sendai, reasoning that even if the controls aren’t functional it’s no worse than before.

 

I also realised that, unlike my previous Blaupunkt, JVC and Pioneer head units, this jobber doesn’t have a dedicated socket in the back for the steering wheel controls – instead it just has a fairly half-arsed loop of wire projecting from the cabling, which in turn would necessitate stripping and joining onto the harness somehow, with a spot of guddling in the shed for some suitable connectors thrown in. Perhaps it’s best to leave it for another day…

 

20180120_105917.jpg

 

Looks okay once in, though – and with a much more muted display than the old Sendai’s retina-fizzing LCD panel. A quick blast of DJ Shadow’s ‘Endtroducing’ helped set the levels, and also informed me that there are no speakers in the back of this car; something I’ve utterly failed to notice despite living with it for ten years now.

 

20180120_144202.jpg

 

I also ran the cordless vacuum over the Yaris interior, as it was absolutely vile. I always think that I’m astonishingly lax when it comes to in-car hygiene, and then I sit in the Yaris…

 

So. Indoors for another quick jolt of heat, and another coffee that managed to stay in the cup this time. There was no getting away from it – I’d have to test the bastarding combined blower motor and resistor pack for the Lag.

 

With an air of fatalism, I found my Torx socket set and picked up the secondhand part, before setting out into the bitter Co. Antrim tundra. I informed Mrs DC that I may be some time.

 

[TBC]


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#272 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 11:01 AM

May the gods of shite smile upon your holy mission....


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#273 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

He really has been some time. I wonder has he set fire to it in a rage yet?

Weather is absolutely hideous here and I'm barely a couple of miles down the road.....

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#274 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 03:53 PM

Probably still trying to get the matches to light :D


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#275 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 06:27 PM



Full write-up to follow... apologies for sideways video. I iz soshul meejah expurt.


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#276 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 02:36 AM

So, where had we got to? Oh yes. Saturday afternoon, out in the freezing cold, with a box of Lidl tools and what I was beginning to suspect was an utterly superfluous secondhand blower motor.

 

The routine was becoming rather more familiar to me than I'd have liked: passenger door open, mats out, torch on, head jammed awkwardly under the dashboard with a lively wind blowing up my trouser leg. Yup, the blower motor was still there. A few minutes with the Torx T20 screwdriver and it wasn't.

 

20180121_165443.jpg

 

Before disconnecting it, I gave the blower a quick blast just to confirm that it hadn't magically become fixed overnight, in a fortuitous Grimm fairytale update ("The Elves and the Shitemeddler", perhaps?) - and funnily enough, it hadn't. Well, it was a long shot, in fairness. But wow, do those blades go round quickly when the blower's set to Position #4.

 

So I pulled the spade connectors off and connected up the secondhand blower, then balanced it precariously on the socket case in the footwell. And, with the ignition key advanced a notch, I turned the blower switch to position 1 and... nada. Nothing. Rien. Same with two and three.

 

On four however, off it went - quite literally. As the motor burst into life on full power, it toppled off the socket case, bit into the carpet and shot out the open passenger door in a bid for freedom like a demonically possessed hamster wheel.

 

Since it was still attached to the dashboard, it didn't get all that far, but banged around alarmingly on the outer sill until juddering to a halt. Mental note - don't do that again.

 

So, exactly as SiC predicted upthread, my blower woes were indeed nothing to do with the motor itself. And the HBOL assertions that the resistor pack is attached to the top of the motor? Bollocks. Utter falsehoods. I don't know why I should be surprised, as it's not the first time cheery, reassuring Mr Haynes has taken me by the (grimy, oil-stained) hand and led me down the metaphorical garden path. But even so. Bugger, bugger, bugger.

 

Seething with annoyance, but also shivering with cold, I carried out my second strategic withdrawal of the day and returned to the house to thaw out a bit and take out my frustration on half a loaf of wheaten bread. I scrolled morosely through the Renault Forums thread on the Laguna blower fix (yeesh, it's not all that user-friendly - some forums, eh?) and try to formulate some sort of action plan. As ever, this formulation took rather a while and I ended up becoming sidetracked by other domestic matters, before realising that it was now getting quite late.

 

So out once again to the frozen wastes; and once again some troupe of friendly anthropomorphic creatures had unaccountably failed to fix it all in my absence. I'm going to blame a childhood of Ladybird Books for giving me unrealistic expectations of how insurmountable difficulties are overcome by supernatural intervention and everyone lives happily ever after. In the absence of a fairy chodmother, I did the only thing I could. I had another look.

 

So. From my worm's eye view in the footwell, and with the aid of a torch, I could see... all the way up into what I suppose is the heater blower chamber, with all the ducting and whatnot branching off it. I gave a cheery wave to the boggin' pollen filter all the way up at the top. It didn't wave back. There still wasn't very much to see.

 

20180120_160553.jpg

 

Somewhere up there, out of sight, I was dimly aware that there must be more electrical gubbins. It was a very faint thought - rather like how a dog must be dimly aware of the changing phases of the moon - but I followed it anyway. Wiring to and from the ventilation control switches, for one. They must be... somewhere.

 

And then there was the question of the big red and black wires to the blower motor. In my initial ignorance, and encouraged by HBOL, I'd assumed that the current went to the motor and then something happened to alter that current to give me the four different blower speeds. It hadn't really occurred to me that if that were the case, we'd be needing rather more wires than were present. (I'm sorry, I really wasn't being over-modest when I said I was a bit clueless about car electricals. I truly am a dunce.) The cables ran up the way, into the dark. But I couldn't see where they went, and there were no screwheads visible to remove the acres of plastic ventilation housing.

 

20180120_160621.jpg

 

I couldn't see any straightforward way to get the dashboard off, or any part thereof. I flicked through the HBOL just to confirm that it would be a bastard of a job, then rocked back on my heels a bit. Did I really need four blower speeds anyway? Wasn't it just showing off a bit? I could get the windscreen cleared okay with just position 4. It was hardly the end of the world. It just... wouldn't be quite right, that's all.

 

Idly, I poked at the blanking plate at the inner edge of the dash with the aperture to the door vent above, and then unscrewed it.

 

20180120_155621.jpg

 

Then I shone the torch into the gap. Aye aye, what's this?

 

20180120_155745.jpg

 

WIRES. And, more pertinently, wires leading to a blue connector block of a type previously seen in the Renault Forums thread. And aren't those my red and black cables from the blower motor? Suddenly, a new avenue of enquiry opened up. Access. I needed access. Out came the glovebox, and its manky contents. Screws were concealed beneath a sort of carpety bit. Interestingly, I noted that they'd clearly been removed before.  

 

20180121_165135.jpg

 

And behind we have - aha! This looks rather more like it.

 

20180120_161301.jpg

 

Yes. As per Renault Forums - this seemed to be the actual housing for the blower's resistor pack. Haynes is utterly silent about the very existence of this part of the car. I removed the multiplex plugs and gave a hopeful tug at the housing itself. Nothing -though there seemed to be a triangular retaining clip of sorts down by the bottom edge. More scratches to the plastic were noted. My dirty mitts were not the first to have guddled in this department.

 

20180120_161308.jpg

 

I shall draw a veil over the next half hour; all you need to know is it wasn't pretty. There were coarse words, threats, cajolements and tears. I could feel a retaining clip on the other side of the housing, out of sight of man and reach of stabby screwdriver, but I couldn't get the bastard thing to relinquish its death-grip on the housing. My digits were too far numb to feel with any degree of detail, and the light was fading fast. In rage and desperation, I pulled and twisted... there was a bang, and suddenly there it was... the resistor module thing.

 

20180120_164354.jpg

 

Now, the Renault Forums guide had advised that the module must be repaired in situ, as it couldn't be removed - but the only thing holding it to the car now were the cables going down to the blower motor - so I disconnected these and the whole thing came away. With undisguised glee, I bolted back into the warmth of the house and ran my frozen hands under the hot tap, before examining it in greater detail.

 

20180120_173933.jpg

 

I carefully prised the metal cage off using a pair of needle-nose pliers, and inside I could see the three springy things and the source of all my misery - the thermal fuse. I also saw a lot of scratches and the final damning evidence I needed to prove that this was not the first time this car had popped its blower.

 

20180120_164905.jpg

 

20180120_164951.jpg

 

The original idea, as per RF, was to snip the blown fuse out from the PCB, and use two block connectors to patch the new one in using the extant posts. This turned out to not be an option, as the existing fuse was very close to one of the posts. However, it was clear that when the fuse had been replaced previously it had simply been pushed back in and crimped to a join. So I jiggled and pulled the old fuse out from the posts...

 

20180120_171704.jpg

 

...and pushed the new one into place, crimping the posts with a pair of side cutters. It seems to be making good contact, despite the hacked-about condition of the posts..

 

20180120_171918.jpg

 

After that, it was just a matter of refitting the protective cage with a few strategic plier tweaks..

 

20180120_174007.jpg

 

And there we have it. All this grief and rage over a 99p thermal fuse.

 

Now, with the penultimate stage of this total spunktrumpet of a repair seemingly done, I was keen to go out there and bang it all back in place, so desperate for a win was I. And I might have done, too, were it not for the fact that:

  1. we were due to meet up with a friend in Belfast for a birthday meal in 45 minutes' time, and I was still dressed like Crook-Finger'd Jack from an am-dram production of The Beggar's Opera with added bits of foam in my hair for good measure;
  2. assuming that the PCB repair would be as long and arduous as the rest of the operation, I had been uncharacteristically diligent in screwing the glovebox and blower back into place, and tidying all the tools away for the night. (I'll never make that mistake again.)

And so, experiencing mixed emotions of accomplishment and frustration, I put the component down and sloped off to wipe the tearstains from my grimy face, in the hope that the blower would run tomorrow, and I would by then have regained some feeling in my extremities...

 

[TBC]


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#277 OFFLINE   Hooli

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 12:12 PM

Hurrah for frog electrics, or something :D

 

You have to love the haynes bol, it's a lovely work of fiction.


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#278 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 03:12 PM

[The blower saga continues - and concludes]

 

The early hours of Sunday morning brought Biblical proportions of rain and wind, hammering against the windows from stupid o'clock. By the time the grey light began to slither through the blinds, the garden was already semi-submerged, and I was mildly surprised to find a large heron perched on the house opposite's roof, clearly anticipating the formation of a new fish-filled stream where once was road.

 

I dealt with the yowly cats, made myself some coffee and a plate of waffles, found the laptop charger and returned to the comparative warmth of the bed for some ponderous one-finger tapping of the first instalment of this weekend's spannering (because one simply has to keep one's legions* of screaming fans* happy, dahling). Any attempts to refit the resistor pack and fan would clearly have to wait until the elements abated, as the one thing I faintly comprehend about electricity is that it tends to mix poorly with water.

 

With the ripping yarn of The Yaris With The Wrong Stereo Leads safely preserved for posterity (the movie rights for which are already the subject of a heated bidding war from several major film studios), it was still pissing down rightly so other domestic matters were attended to (fitting dimmer switches and draught excluders to the upstairs bedrooms). Then, once again, I noticed it was late and I'd done bollock-all to TAZ. The rain had finally eased off, so with the air temperature measuring a whopping 8 degrees Celsius, I scampered out to deal with the resistor pack.

 

Removing the glove box and blower again as per Saturday was straightforward enough, bringing me back here again:

 

20180121_164223.jpg

 

20180121_164512.jpg

 

In with the resistor pack and – ah. It would appear that the loud ‘bang’ during the brute force+ignorance removal stage was, in fact, the clip on the far side breaking off. In fairness, it was an incredibly stupid design – a sort of plastic shield hid the clip for no reason whatsoever, and it was this shield rather than the clip itself that I was pawing at, sight unseen, the previous day. There was no similar set-up on the front-facing clip, and now the resistor pack (which presumably needs to be moderately air-tight in order to work) was jutting up at the back, with a fair old gap around it. So I needed something strong and yet flexible to secure the pack down to the plastic ducting…

 

20180121_164836.jpg

 

Let he who has not bodged cast the first stone. Come on, it's duct tape - this is literally what it's for, taping up ducting.

 

Plugs were re-plugged, everything seemed tight enough up top – so on went the glove box (loosely), giving me some room to get at the blower again. Two screws went on fine, but the third (the one at the very back, the one awkwardly right up against the bulkhead) dropped – down the back of the peeled-forward carpet and underfelt. I rummaged, I tugged, I got my finger to it only to feel it drop further down out of reach… ballsacks. Short of removing the entire carpet, it wasn’t coming out. I swiped one of the screws from the glovebox (six screws seems overkill, no?) and tried to use that. It got halfway in, and then the poor angle for working and what turned out to be a slightly wider shaft diameter resulted in slippage and the Torx head ringing… Eventually, I got them all on tightly. It is not pretty, and I pray I never have cause to remove it. (Probably jinxed it right there.)

 

And there it was… I put the mats back, the last couple of screws around the glovebox (one of which fell down inside the void, so there’s only four screws holding it in now). So the only thing left was to try it out.

 

https://www.youtube....eature=youtu.be

 

(apologies for shit footage, and also the spoiler-tastic earlier post of same – I will try to hold the phone the right way round in future).

 

Yup – it works! The blower turns merrily on all four speeds now, for both fresh and recirc modes. Case closed. Job jobbed. Melodrama… drama’d. I packed up and sloped back inside again, muttering to myself as ever. I don’t like these kind of jobs; they take up such a lot of time for a very small component, and when the weather is not kind they make me very grumpy. But at least we have a functioning blower again, and I suppose I’ve learnt a few things.

 

Learning points:

  • I am pretty thick when it comes to car electrics. This is the primary reason why I’ve generally avoided cars made after 1996, as this seems to be the outer edge of my comfort zone. I look at posts about fault codes and OBD2readers, and tidy-looking 2000-ish VAG shite going into the fragger due to dodgy sensors shitting everything up, and I want no part of it. Limp-home mode? Fuck that, I managed to wring 1500 miles out of a Viva HC with a blown head gasket and shot crank bearings over two weeks of continental motorway driving (though I wouldn’t necessarily want to do it again, thanks). That said, as the years march on, more and more shite will require a more-than-basic knowledge of this sort of thing to keep them on the road, so I really ought to apply myself here.
  • The design and execution of French electrics are a bit pants. Especially true for that shielded clip on the far side of the resistor pack.
  • I shouldn’t have just gone online and ordered up the first blower motor I found, without consulting with the learned AS hivemind… I’ll have to check the vendor’s returns policy. I really don’t want to have spent £30 on a doorstop. Mind you, as soon as I return it, you can guess what will blow next…
  • If Haynes manuals contained an exploded diagram of the relevant system at the beginning of each chapter, like they used to, then their ambiguous language would be less of a problem. And I appreciate that there are many different Laguna 1 models with different innards, but there is no question whether the resistor pack is “part of the blower motor”. It just isn’t. What didn’t help was a series of components on top of the motor that looked a little bit like what I’d expected to find. Red herrings and all that… but this is one thing I can’t really help. Learn, fix, move on. It’s not called the Haynes Book Of Lies for nothing.
  • This place is amazing (I kind of already knew that, but it’s good to have it reconfirmed).

 

So. Next job will be happening at the end of the month when I finally get paid; full service including coolant, to see if that helps cure the intermittently lukewarm heater, and hardwiring in the dashcam using one of those piggyback fuse things so I can close the ashtray because it annoys me to see it open get my 12v socket back.

 

But yes. I think we can tentatively call this a win.

 

Unless the car has other ideas…

 

20180116_185545.jpg


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#279 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 11:02 AM

You may as well buy this one as well, saying as its sort of local 

 

https://www.gumtree....5.18/1283755178


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#280 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 11:22 AM

^^ Cor - fairly late Phase 2 RT Sport with the 16v 1.6 unit - same spec as the one my dad had, only his was Venetian Red. They do look good in this metallic blue though, with connotations of Renaultsport and Alpine cars - in all honesty, I would have slightly preferred if TAZ sported this shade instead of Fiji Green. Trés francaise, non?

 

Renault Laguna Ph2 1.6 RT Sport.jpg

 

£400, MOT to May... looks reasonable (bar the floppy back box), though no interior pics. I daresay he'd take a little under that, as it's seemingly been sitting without tax (not SORN) since October...

 

No. I can't. I mustn't.

 

Gnnnng...

 

Seriously though, these cars really do represent cracking value. Many of them had issues, true, but the lemons were all cubed a decade ago (probably like my dad's, with its shonky overshimmed gearbox - p/x'd in 2001 and with no record of tax or MOT since 2005) and the survivors tend to just keep going.

 

And, as observed elsewhere, they've kinda done a R21 in that they've gone from being common street furniture to quite uncommon in a very short space of time (about 18 months) - seems Laguna 1s are now at that critical stage of having zero image and being worth bugger-all, so even solid examples have ended up getting weighed in over something as trivial as a blown exhaust or needing a set of tyres and pads, since a crusty £200 Focus can be obtained for the same outlay.

 

I'm really tempted, but am in too deep with the various foibles of TAZ at the moment to take on another unknown quantity. And I'm on a self-imposed deadline to get KAZ up and running again, otherwise McKinty's Yard beckons... 



#281 ONLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:53 AM

In the words of Victor Kiam...

'I liked the speed controller so much I said "FCKU!..how much?" and made one' ;)

38584419261_e9bfa494be_c.jpg

You done a grand job m8


TS
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Wallsend?.....it's not the End of the Walled ;<)

35942490325_3f0da8b633_m.jpgSUCKS


#282 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:50 PM

Ahem...

https://www.gumtree....port/1286820044
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#283 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 10:45 PM

DAAAH!!!

Another one! And it's cheap! And a dizzler too... hmmm. Some crustiness, and both wings somewhat dinged although the same colour as KAZ and the bonnet and bootlid do look straight... I may need to give this some thought... cheers for the tip-off!

 

 1999 Renault Laguna RT Sport 1.9DTi.JPG


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#284 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:04 PM

DAAAH!!!

Another one! And it's cheap! And a dizzler too... hmmm. I may need to give this some thought... cheers for the tip-off!


Don't say I'm not good to you...

Goddam Gumtree app lets you set a search radius, rather than the old 'type in location' gig.

This means I end up with a 200 mile radius circle that takes in Manchester and hunners o Ireland/N Ireland

I therefore feel obligated to share the joy* with all and sundry:)
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#285 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:32 PM

Heh, that used to bug me about eBay... "Oh wow, a Cortina that's only 30 miles away! Oh wait... it's in Stranraer."

Verdict: GR8 4 Crows


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#286 OFFLINE   Lacquer Peel

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:44 PM

The 1.9 DTi is supposed to be gr8 4 veg. Would!
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#287 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:46 PM

The 1.9 DTi is supposed to be gr8 4 veg. Would!


That's the highest of praise!!

Get it bort Mr Nissangear
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#288 ONLINE   Datsuncog

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:03 PM

Okay, so I actually buckled and rang about this yoke at lunchtime, despite having received a warning eyebrow last night from Mrs DC when I raised the matter, and having no idea when I could possibly retrieve it from Fintona.

 

Turns out it already sold yesterday afternoon, and blokey hadn't got round to pulling the ad yet.

 

Laguna Diesel screenshot.png

 

I'm now a curious mix of exceedingly deflated and substantially relieved

 

At that price, I'm not overly surprised - two years ago someone down the road from me had a diesel estate with the 7-seater package and a full year's MOT up for £200. It sold in about 20 minutes. S1 Lags are a weird mix of totally worthless yet still kinda sought-after. A lotta car for the money, I guess, though the danger is that even small repairs land them in the scrappie.

 

That said, another silver Phase 2 that was local to me and I tried unsuccessfully to buy back in 2016 has, apparently, resurfaced after a gap of a year - so that's some good news.

 

I really, really need to get KAZ running again, though. I fear any further purchasing would just be a distraction from this task. And TAZ needs a jolly good service - the feckin' splitter at the front means I can't get it onto my Paddy Hopberk ramps, so something will need cobbled together there. If it'd just stop with the bastarding snowing every weekend...



#289 ONLINE   320touring

320touring

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:35 PM

Ah, at least you tried.

And you'll no be as slow next time;)
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