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Datsuncog's Heaps: 20/07/21 - Torque to me...


Datsuncog
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For the sake of £20 I'd probably buy two and just keep the spare, chances are good you'll need it at some point if you're planning on keeping the car.  If they're easy to get at change both and keep the working one as a spare maybe?

 

Beware ECP pattern parts... I've taken to avoiding them like the plague following several poor experiences (dead on arrival parts which they were unwilling to swap without much hassle over "restock fees" and having to get the branch manager involved).  Their part finder system also seems to be about as much use at allocation of the right parts to the right vehicle as a chocolate teapot.  Motorserv and GSF are my usual choice these days given that the independent parts factor is a swine to get to as there's no parking nearby.

 

Yeah, reckon I'll get a pair and stick them both in, retaining the old one that still seems to be working. Will throw in a new set of plugs and leads, as and when I can find them (ECP don't list leads for this car, and their plugs are wildly out of spec).

 

Seems to be a HAAS unit from ECP - any thoughts on this? I know pattern parts are not that desirable, but not sure where else to go - Renault dealerships over here are all operated through Charles Hurst (to my knowledge), who are a bunch of bandits on a grand scale - they were recently done by the Consumer Council for repeatedly charging customers for work not done and parts not fitted. Trying to rebuild their reputation, they agreed to a local TV show filming a fly-on-the-wall documentary in their showrooms, which only served to vividly demonstrate what utter knobweasels they are. So knowing my luck, trying to go OEM would just mean they'd nip round the corner to ECP, then stick it in a Renault box and charge me £130...

 

My local indie factor is very friendly, but absolutely hopeless at getting the right parts in - best sticking to polish and seat covers. ECP and Halfords are the only bricks and mortar stores going... and even online places tend to charge big money for carriage outside the UK mainland - one place wanted £17.99 postage on a £3 stereo lead that was free p&p for mainland UK. So I'll maybe just have to keep my fingers crossed! I'm no stranger to lively conversations with ECP's branch manager, either...

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Checking valve clearances on this is easy. Setting them you gotta take the cambelt off, camshaft out and only after you've spent a week waiting for the parts to arrive (hoping you did your mathematics correctly).

 

Leave the lid on. It'll only leak oil into the plug wells if you disturb it.

 

Phil

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Yeah but a genuine Renault one would be eleventy trillion quid. The genuine Renault pencil coils used to be sixty quid each from Renault. That’s assuming they stock them, I’d doubt it but you never know. You could always ask, they might let you have it cheap as there’s probably zero chance of them selling it otherwise.

 

I doubt they would either... and the Renault dealers around here do not have a good reputation at all (years of dealing with furious locals who have been inflicted with Laguna II and Megane electrics seem to have hardened them). Still, might not hurt to ask! Might give me a good laugh, if nothing else...

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On 11/12/2017 at 2:16 PM, Zelandeth said:

It is odd that you never got a check engine light, would have expected the lambda sensor to be picking up that something was amiss with the emissions and trigger the light really.

Don't be entirely surprised if you have issues with that or the cat itself in future, they don't tend to take kindly to having loads of unburned fuel dumped down the exhaust.  It's a bit luck-of-the-draw whether you'll have issues there or not in my experience, fingers crossed you've got away with it.

I'm equally surprised - but then the old lad I bought it off seems to be a bit of a bodger (ex-aircraft engineer, and with a double garage kitted out as a full workshop). I knew he'd bypassed the alarm (no bad thing, as the 60-sec auto-arming thing is a pain) but while guddling in the engine bay checking out this particular issue I've found some other rather interesting homebrew repairs... nothing truly sinister, just somewhat Heath-Robinson: bits of looped string tracked under the bumper, so the bonnet can be opened from the outside - that sort of thing. But for all I know, he could have bypassed the sensor or something... MOT Is at the end of the month, so who knows what that'll throw up?

As well as Redex treatment, I was planning on throwing a bottle of cat cleaner down it at the next service, as I know it's received very little use over the past year or two, but I might bring that forward now. I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't the end of the matter... fingers crossed indeed.

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Halford can't get one until Thursday, but ECP have one?

That's weird, since Halford just use ECP for their parts stock now :-)

Probably the Northern Ireland connection - all four ECP branches in NI say they have the coil packs on the shelf for pick-up tomorrow, but I daresay Halfrauds probably has to order theirs from a central warehouse on the mainland - then get it sent over in their standard delivery. Deliveries used to come in on Wednesday, when I worked* for them.

 

* definition of 'worked' is somewhat loosely applied

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 Seems to be a HAAS unit from ECP - any thoughts on this?

 

I think HAAS is one of the ECP "own brands", i.e. ebay-spec Chinese crap. Trouble is, ebay-spec Chinese crap is what most motorfactors will sell you nowadays, often at ridiculously inflated prices.

 

Ebay itself lists Intermotor coils for just under £20, and Bosch or NGK coils for £40-50. I'd think the latter two are a safer bet, but I would probably end up buying the former (because I'm a cheapskate).

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Halfords, the "automotive specialists" whom last time I went there for more than a tin of paint were unable to supply things as advanced as a length of petrol pipe or heater hose... strangely, they were able to provide a set of points for a 1986 Skoda 120 though...go figure.

For me, Halfords died that day in 2005 when new owners Autobacs made us bin about 85% of the parts stock... in fairness, in all the years I worked there no-one had ever called upon me for the Alfasud sump plugs, FSO head gaskets or Maxi brake shims that were so lovingly filed behind the parts desk, but even so... from there on in, it was never really a car parts store again.

 

I note now that they don't even have a parts desk anymore, and the confusion when I asked for a set of HT leads would have been comical had it not been for the burning shame that I once used to carry out the staff training in that very store...

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I think HAAS is one of the ECP "own brands", i.e. ebay-spec Chinese crap. Trouble is, ebay-spec Chinese crap is what most motorfactors will sell you nowadays, often at ridiculously inflated prices.

 

Ebay itself lists Intermotor coils for just under £20, and Bosch or NGK coils for £40-50. I'd think the latter two are a safer bet, but I would probably end up buying the former (because I'm a cheapskate).

That's good to know - I'll probably take a punt, then. At least they're easily accessible in case of future breakdowns... for something more integral like a clutch, I'd likely pay the extra for OEM quality. Cheers!

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Right so - that's a pair of coil packs ordered up from ECP, collecting tomorrow. Will have to duck out of work at lunchtime and bus it up the Cregagh Rd, as they still don't open evenings... though I may well manage to get them changed over by torchlight tomorrow evening and then see if that's done the trick. And here's hoping that running on three cylinders for 100 miles hasn't destroyed anything else vital... updates to follow.

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Usually a 10 minute job swapping the coils assuming the bolts holding them in aren’t chewed.

The bolts don't look like they've ever been touched, so it should* be a straightforward enough task... gave the fasteners a squirt of penetrating fluid last night, just to ease things along.

 

*'should be straightforward' is not a guarantee of actual straightforwardness. As running a Citroen XM taught me.

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So I trailed all the way up to ECP Cregagh at lunchtime, only to have it smilingly pointed out to me by blokey behind the desk that my printout from the Click & Collect email quite clearly states:

 

"Ready for Collection from 10:00 am Tuesday 14 November 2017"

 

Yet I was bloody certain that when I ordered them up yesterday evening, the coil packs were listed as "In stock - available for collection tomorrow". Hence my delightful journey through East Belfast.

 

So they are not in stock. Because today is not Tuesday. They will not be in stock until Tuesday, no matter how much I scowl and gnash my teeth and brandish my wasted bus ticket. But all I had was a piece of paper that proves that I can neither read nor use a calendar, which admittedly puts me in a somewhat weak position when it comes to taking the moral high ground.

 

Ah well. At least that gives me a whole evening to squirt more PlusGas on the existing bolts, just to make sure they're extra-super-duper-easy to take off tomorrow.

 

Oh, and the prospect of enjoying another two Metrobuses through some of Belfast's more characterful areas. Though from the top deck, I did manage to see into a high-hedged garden with a couple of derelict Sierras in it, which was a slight bonus - even though they did look like Max Power-era Sapphires with unconvincing Cossie replica kit glued on.

 

Hey ho.

 

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Could be worse...Metrobus is several orders of magnitude better than having to endure half an hour in a bloody Optare Solo like we do if the car has to stay at the garage and I can't blag a lift off someone.

 

I lie...once we got a clapped out Dennis Dart, at least its gearbox provided entertainment by making truly absurd noises and doing that indecisive second/third gear juggling half way round roundabouts.  Still quicker than the bloody Solos.  Heck, my Skoda is quicker than them!

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On 11/14/2017 at 12:30 AM, Zelandeth said:

Could be worse...Metrobus is several orders of magnitude better than having to endure half an hour in a bloody Optare Solo like we do if the car has to stay at the garage and I can't blag a lift off someone.

I lie...once we got a clapped out Dennis Dart, at least its gearbox provided entertainment by making truly absurd noises and doing that indecisive second/third gear juggling half way round roundabouts.  Still quicker than the bloody Solos.  Heck, my Skoda is quicker than them!

Well now... it's not so much the buses themselves as my fellow passengers that present the problem...

spides.jpg

Generally, Translink's Metro vehicles aren't that bad - Wrightbus bodied Volvos and Scanias, for the most part. They don't run any Solos, but have a handful of Versas and still a fair few Deltas on park and ride routes. They were still running a fleet of utterly fucked late '70s Alexander bodied Bristol REs right up to the mid-2000s though. This was today's steed, vs what I would have been travelling in twelve years ago.

Metro Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 3 - Volvo B5TL.jpg

Citybus Bristol REs.jpg

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On 11/13/2017 at 9:18 PM, Lacquer Peel said:

I'm glad you're persisting with this, Mk1 Lagunas even phase 2s are a rare sight.

Yeah, I am fond of the early Lagunas, and reckon they're soon going to be like R21s and just... not be there any more. Even in the past year I've seen a real drop in numbers - there used to be about six in use locally, and now I don't see any.

Though the Fiji Green RT Sport isn't the only Phase 1 cluttering up my drive... there's also this. Total poverty spec mingebag 1.8 RN, which did me proud for three years but took a strop when I came home with the green one and now won't start.

DSC00273.JPG

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Right, two new HAAS coil packs are now in my possession - so will throw them in once I get home later on, and see if that does the trick.

 

Also a bottle of something calling itself Cataclean, which will hopefully scrog out the unburnt fuel that got dumped down the exhaust for 100+ miles, and avoid an MOT emissions fail (test booked for the end of the month).

 

Oh, and a can of Easy Start, in my latest attempt to diagnose the non-starting Laguna RN that's been sulking down the side of the house since August. Fuel pump or blocked line are suspects - so if I can get it to fire up on ether, then at least I'll be able to rule out immobiliser or other electrics as its main problem. But that's a whole n'uther problem for another day.

 

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Filter could be your problem.

 

Cataclean is designed moreover for clogged cars, won’t repair a cat that’s had hot spot damage. Can’t do any harm though. Get it nice and hot and thrash the fuck out of it for 20 minutes.

 

Yeah, I was going with the 'can't do any harm' theory - for the sake of a tenner, it might help things a bit if the cat's not yet completely borked. I've put two tankfuls of Redex through it since acquisition, since it's been barely used over the past few years (and not at all since March), but still feel it's not running that smoothly, even before the latest round of issues.

 

The MOT's booked for 27th Nov, so may as well put it through and see. The pinholes opening up in the exhaust centre section indicate that it's gonna need some work soon, anyway - so if it does need a new cat, I'll probably just get the whole system replaced. Fella nearby fabricates stainless jobs for really not that much, so I might ask him to quote me and call it Christmas presents...

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Right then. It's a dark, wet, mid-November evening. It's after ten o'clock. The bulb's gone on my fluoro tube worklight, and so I'm about to start taking out the very small, fine Torx bolts for the coil packs on a sloping gravel driveway using the torch on my phone. WCPGW?

20171114_205823.jpg

These are the buggers that stand accused of causing all this grief. 

post-17915-0-57886900-1510487790.jpg

And here's the replacements. Two of ECP's finest, no doubt sourced from that mecca of quality car components, the People's Republic of China. The box, tellingly, doesn't state a place of manufacture. At £22 each, I'm in no doubt that I'm about to get exactly the quality I've paid for.

post-17915-0-49123500-1510700590.jpg

Always reassuring to find that the inner bag marked "not returnable if bag is opened" has already been opened, no doubt for my convenience. That's the kind of thoughtful retail experience I really value. If I'm especially lucky, they'll have pre-broken it for me too, to save all that tiresome fitting and then having to take it off again next week when it goes pop. I'm all for cutting out the middleman, me.

post-17915-0-57896900-1510700645.jpg

So. Torx 20 socket out. The lack of chewing to the bolt heads suggests that these are indeed the original unchanged coil packs, with 120k on them. The releasing fluid has done its job and these come off like a dream. Well, one of my dreams, anyway.

post-17915-0-12161700-1510700705.jpg

The whole assembly drops off nicely once the bolts are out. The LT connector is hideously filthy round the outside - no doubt caused by the previous giffer owner's annual treatment of spraying the underside with a mix of old engine oil and diesel - but comes away fine. The HT leads give the most grief, surprisingly, needing a lot of persuasion to relinquish their grip on the old coil pack

post-17915-0-33755900-1510701101.jpg

This is a handy thing to have - a magnetic dish. You were waiting for the part where I dropped all the bolts onto the gravel drive in the dark, weren't you? Thanks to Lidl's fine range of low-cost garage accessories, I didn't. (This time. I still haven't lost hope that one day I'll find the Yaris door trim fastener that I dropped in 2011.)

post-17915-0-13401300-1510701157.jpg

Two new coil packs installed and reconnected. The Fear is building. What if it is a bastarding valve guide after all, or the common-rail's gone and shat itself? What if this is all a total waste of time and effort?

post-17915-0-22439600-1510701230.jpg

Plus... old cars are never happy with just one new shiny thing under the bonnet. Oh no. Experience has taught me that. They want ALL the shiny things.

You might also remember I'd mentioned that said giffer had come up with one or two interesting mods... here's one: the external bonnet release catch, operated by wires and string. Novel.

post-17915-0-31765100-1510701292.jpg

Right, well. Everything's back in and connected up. Only one thing left to do... make a video of it firing up, and hope it's not going to be used at my coroner's inquest should the damn thing grenade on me...

And then compare that to how it was sounding on Sunday afternoon, prior to creating this thread.

So yeah. It lives!

EDIT: video links now FIXD - apologies for leaving folks in a terrible, terrible state of suspense.

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Well, it's running properly again. It was indeed the coil pack.

And with a set of less manky plugs, it feels a lot livelier than before.

Apologies, didn't mean to leave anyone on the edge of their seat... I thought I would put the YouTube video in for maximum suspense, but managed to bugger up the links. So here it is again: 

[EDIT: now gone back and fixed it on the earlier post]

Firing up: 

Comparison with Sunday's popping and blowing: 

Cheers for all the sage advice and encouragement, folks! Next job is to run the Cataclean through it and hope that no permanent damage has been done.

I am rather fond of the old thing.

20171115_073909.jpg

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  • Datsuncog changed the title to Datsuncog's Heaps: 20/07/21 - Torque to me...

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