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mat_the_cat

What has two seats, a mid-mounted 6 cylinder engine, and a turbo?

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double wishbone independent front suspension was probably quite unusual for a van back in the 700.

The LT40s had a beam axle on leaf springs at the front - obviously heavier duty but seemed a bit of an effort to go to for such a small increase in payload, most of which would be over the back axle anyway.  It did make for a smaller turning circle though.

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The LT40s had a beam axle on leaf springs at the front - obviously heavier duty but seemed a bit of an effort to go to for such a small increase in payload, most of which would be over the back axle anyway.  It did make for a smaller turning circle though.

 

It was the same on the LT45s, 50s and I think there was an LT55 too, so I guess the production costs were shared over all the bigger variants?

 

Mine's just ticked over the quarter-million mile mark:

 

post-5223-0-35640100-1434311776_thumb.jpg

 

Although annoyingly has developed a problem - not with the vehicle but with the fridge. It's not getting very cold when running from gas, and we have 5 days before we go away in it!

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LT55 wasn't sold here in the UK generally, BUT it did form the base of the Optare Citypacer, with a raised driving position. A friend of mine has just bought one to restore, not the fastest or most refined in the world, and few survive

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It can be retrofitted to any diesel, IF you can find one! It takes its signal from the alternator W terminal, and all the wiring is present into the dashboard loom, as it's needed for the unusually complicated oil pressure warning light system. (Basically two sensors, one which is looked at below 2k rpm, and the other above). So pretty much plug 'n play, although the PCB foil is slightly different but easily modified.

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I thought that trick was to sort out any 'settling' in the cooling side of things, and wouldn't that fact it's fine on electricity prove it's OK? Worth a try though - I'm planning to pop it out and have a look at the gas burner anyway.

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Fridge now sorted I think :-) Turned out the burner was partly blocked, so gas was escaping via an easier path down the side of the burner tube, burning off but not heating the heat exchanger. After a good scrub with a toothbrush and a blast of compressed air it seemed to be running well. Left it cooling overnight so will see what temperature it gets down to!

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Well, the fridge is now working perfectly which is just as well given the temperatures we've driven through! 35 °C at the moment with a heatwave forecast to hit on Monday  :shock:

 

 

 

Still, at least we're at the house now; 1200 miles without any real problems. The only issue was on one of the prolonged mountain climbs, the temperature gauge did climb towards the top of the dial and the red light started flashing. Turned the heater on (which was fun in those temperatures!) and it was fine.

 

However I'm not really worried by that, as a month or so ago I replaced the gauge sender/electric water pump switch with a pattern part, and ever since then the needle has both sat higher on the gauge, but also moved around a lot more. Previously it was pretty stable and never budged over half way regardless of ambient temperature or load, but even in the UK the needle was all over the place. So I'm suspecting the thermistor used has a different resistance/temperature curve and gives more of a change in resistance for a given change in temperature.

 

In most cars that wouldn't be a problem and would actually give a truer picture of what the engine is doing, but on the LTs the temperature warning light is driven from the same sender. Might have to bite the bullet and splash out on the OE part...

post-5223-0-46334900-1435478437_thumb.jpg

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Update time - we're going away next week and I've decided to fit an awning. Given the summer we've had (not a single good i.e. hot and dry day so far) it's a lot easier if you can have the door open and not get rain blowing in, plus we can dry the dog under it before she gets in and soaks everything!

 

I know the shiter solution would probably to knock one up from an old tarpaulin, but Mrs_the_cat paid for it so I'm not arguing...

 

post-5223-0-74312700-1440798250_thumb.jpg

 

Not tried opening it yet - it's using Sikaflex and screws to hold it on to the fibreglass roof, so best to wait until it's cured before stressing it I think.

 

Yes, I know it needs a wash!

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We've been away a couple of times this week in the van...finding some great places to camp :-) First of all in the woods around Lake Vrynwy:

 

post-5223-0-41651300-1441568814_thumb.jpg

 

And then on Angelsey overlooking South Stack:

 

post-5223-0-65266500-1441568850_thumb.jpg

 

This was a tad windy, but we dropped off in the end - only to be woken at 2:30 am by some guy asking for jump leads! Dog went crazy thinking we were under attack and the adrenaline surge took hours to die down. Hence very little sleep :-(

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This belongs to my mate's Mrs. LT breadvanshite awaiting restoration. Was new as a badermatic, but at some point a 5 speed manual has been bodged in badly. No handbrake on it, and the front end needs a bit of surgery, plus a big hole where the rear corner bumper should be. Sounded fruity when the exhaust fell off

 

post-5211-0-76693600-1441569536_thumb.jpg

post-5211-0-95298500-1441569559_thumb.jpg

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Sounded fruity when the exhaust fell off

 

Pretty sure I've posted this before, but any excuse :-)

 

 

I've been desperate for a jump start enough times but would draw the line at waking someone up at 2:30am in a remote location.

 

Yeah, think I would just call the AA or a mate. Annoyingly my brain was trying to think of ways to help him even after he'd gone - I could have taken out one of the leisure batteries and a bit of wiring, but would have taken a while and not exactly a life and death situation! I don't bother with jump leads in the van, as I could jump start myself if needed just by closing the main split charge relay contacts.

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Buggeration. 300 miles this weekend and 5 litres of coolant :-( No visible sign of loss, but the oil is very watery. No emulsion (yet) but I expect it will as things cool.

 

The question is, what has failed and how can I prove it? There is a slim chance the oil/water heat exchanger is leaking, but I really can't see how that would allow coolant into the oil but not the other way round. So that to me suggests coolant leaking into an area of oil at low pressure, such as a return oilway in the HG.

 

I can bypass the heat exchanger coolant pipes, to see if the loss stops, however I can't really see it being that. But the question remains that if I take the head off and no gasket failure is obvious, can I prove the head is OK? Would getting it pressure tested only check the combustion chambers? I'm confident there's no leakage in this respect - no pressurisation when I undo the cap.

 

Around 8 years ago I was losing maybe a litre every 1000 miles, and I put in K Seal as a short term 'fix' as I was short on cash...wondering if it's the same failure again. No visible loss then either! Back then I'd read that the heads are prone to cracking, so feared the worst.

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Never enough, but I think the 6 pot suits the character of the van well. There's just something about the sound of it, especially at idle, that just sounds so 'right'. Anyway, I've (eventually) made the decision to pop the head off and take a look. It'll get whatever it needs, which I won't know until it's in bits.

 

I bypassed the oil cooler at the weekend, wondering if by some chance the lower pressure but thinner coolant was making its way into the oil system, but no improvement. So started a stripdown only to realise I need a triple square driver for the head bolts. No rush I suppose, I'm still waiting for a genuine VW HG from Germany...might be quicker to buy one while I am over there in 10 days time!

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No problems so far, apart from finding someone who knew what a triple square it actually was. "Do you mean a Torx bit?" "You must mean a spline drive, see, this fits". Yes, a spline drive will fit but probably round off when I am heaving on it.

 

Anyway, got one in the end although I've not removed the belts yet, so the head is still on. Couple of photos below:

 

post-5223-0-01169100-1444479379_thumb.jpg

Plenty of room to work in!

 

post-5223-0-90696900-1444479427_thumb.jpg

I was a bit concerned about the manifold nuts after seeing them, but all cracked off beautifully :-)

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Well, the head is now off!

 

post-5223-0-60703700-1444852139_thumb.jpg

 

At first I couldn't see anything wrong, but there are the initial signs of HG failure on pots 5 and 6. Plus there's a bit of a ridge around where the fire ring was on all cylinders. Also the surface is generally a bit pitted so needs a skim, but it's very flat so probably only a few thou. BUT, the valve guides a bit worn, so how far do I go...? New guides plus fitting are going to be getting on for £200...they're not massively worn but there is detectable play in the valves when you pull them out. Don't really have much of a feel for what is OK, however gut feeling says that I'd better do it than not.

 

Lastly, there are cracks in the head - which sounds terminal but apparently 'normal' and only a cause for concern if they're over 0.5 mm. Mine aren't, but even so don't exactly give me a nice warm feeling!

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mat_the_cat, on 14 Oct 2015 - 8:55 PM, said:mat_the_cat, on 14 Oct 2015 - 8:55 PM, said:

Well, the head is now off!

 

attachicon.gifDSC_60441.JPG

 

At first I couldn't see anything wrong, but there are the initial signs of HG failure on pots 5 and 6. Plus there's a bit of a ridge around where the fire ring was on all cylinders. Also the surface is generally a bit pitted so needs a skim, but it's very flat so probably only a few thou. BUT, the valve guides a bit worn, so how far do I go...? New guides plus fitting are going to be getting on for £200...they're not massively worn but there is detectable play in the valves when you pull them out. Don't really have much of a feel for what is OK, however gut feeling says that I'd better do it than not.

 

Lastly, there are cracks in the head - which sounds terminal but apparently 'normal' and only a cause for concern if they're over 0.5 mm. Mine aren't, but even so don't exactly give me a nice warm feeling!

 

What's the option for getting a donor engine from a Volvo?

 

(apart from the very real risk of being beaten to death by enraged sctsh ppl, of course)

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Well, I'm already down £150 on gaskets etc, and I would prefer to repair rather than replace. Just that it might turn out to be more pricey than first thought!

 

The volvo version has different ancillaries but easily swapped over though.

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