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18 minutes ago, Ghosty said:

Just a PSA, Asda petrol is silly cheap right now. 

 

102.9 here in Manchester.

Waiting to see if Sainsbury's follow on. Got quite a lot of Nectar points to redeem.....

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9 minutes ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

Waiting to see if Sainsbury's follow on. Got quite a lot of Nectar points to redeem.....

Tesco haven't yet, but here's hoping. Asda is always cheapest anyway as a lot of them are self serve only. 

 

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I've been inappropriately fiddling with my Panda's rear end.

ab337dae8379f78303cec3fdd3fd1784--animal-memes-panda-bears.thumb.jpg.b1293d12d6780ac078e5ae510261a634.jpg

The FIAT 169 Panda is an entirely superb little car, except for the rear axle, which isn't. They're galvanised so they don't even rust, except for the rear axle, which isn't and does. Oh, and the rear drums. They do too. Oh, and so does the coolant return pipe. But I think that's it. Which ain't bad now, is it, be fair.

I finally got round to dropping my rear axle today, a job I've been meaning to do for a few months now but, well, it's been a long old winter🙂

I had three jobs I wanted to do down there:

  •     Properly clean and rust-treat the spring pans
  •     Check rear brakes (1 was an MOT advisory for slight binding)
  •     Continue messing about with shim washers to try and correct rear mis-alignment

I was amazed how easy it was to drop the axle and remove the springs🙂 Two bolts, the axle drops down and the springs fall out! Winner!
Thanks due to the most excellent folk of the FIATForum for the detailed guide and advice on using a breaker bar then a drill to run out the lower shocker bolts. The thread is quite long on them.
I soaked them in penetrating fluid a couple of days prior and they both ran out really easily.

I used a range of wire brush attachments on an angle grinder and drill.
And here are my spring pans after wire brushing. Not too bad for 16 years I reckon.
289779776_rearaxle01.thumb.jpg.7e3ee1bc38597b52ce22a52182e39793.jpg227904677_rearaxle04.thumb.jpg.233272b698db72ec8456826e5cd958ca.jpg
I had previously treated them 'in-situ' about a year ago by washing then dousing in GT85, old engine oil then finally thinned chainsaw oil. The main trouble area on mine was the metal to metal spring/pan interface. I also uncovered some 'new' drain holes whilst cleaning, so this is a job well worth doing🙂

I used Fertan to treat the rust. I've had a 1litre bottle for a few years now and it seems to give good results - I haven't had rust come back through after painting over.
Only issue is it recommends 48hours before washing off then painting. It also claims 12months protection without painting, so I've put everything back together unpainted for now.
The Fertan turns all rusty metal black which shows up on the spring pans and brake drums in the rest of the pictures.

After treating the pans I set about attacking rust on the springs, shock absorbers and brake drums.
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I was hoping it was just the rust on the drums causing the binding - the culprit was hard to rotate by hand, sticking on every rotation.

Both drums were a pig to get off due to the lip of rust formed on the inside of the drum. It took a lot of 'ittin'wi't'hammer and prizing to get them off.

I was worried about cracking a drum or damaging the shoe linings - they were a little bit scored by dragging the rusty drum over them, but luckily still attached and a fair bit of meat on them.

No leaks under the wheel cylinder boots, so I just wire-brushed all rusty areas on the drums with the angle grinder, brushed Fertan on and reassembled.
Binding seems to have gone, so fingers crossed...
Rear brake parts are cheap enough, but shoes and cylinders look a right faff to replace.
I still struggle to fathom how the manufacture and especially assembly of drum brakes is cheaper than discs on new cars...

So, on to the rear alignment... I've been messing about trying to correct excessive wear on the left rear tyre outside edge.
This I suspect was caused by too much toe-in on the left rear. 'Feathering' on the outer tread of the tyre typical of too much toe-in can be seen:
485141938_nsrtoe01.thumb.jpg.05642904d8d0c429a5bdda53b69d7385.jpg394295586_nsrtoe02.thumb.jpg.0e6bc28058cdbec560e2a2e2e5397220.jpg
There was evidence in the file that it had been doing this on the same corner for some time before I got the car, so it wasn't just this tyre at fault.
There were tyre condition reports all showing the same wear pattern and a few bills for one new tyre at MOT time... I wonder if this had anything to do with them getting rid of my car...?

My car's steering was also pulling slightly to the left, but it seems most 169 Pandas do this anyway.

The Panda has a simple twist-beam rear axle with no provision for adjusting toe or camber. There's a suspicion on the FIATForum that these pre-2012 non-ARB axles weren't manufactured or installed very accurately, and that a properly-aligned Panda is a rare sight in the wild.

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I'd previously added some 1mm washers to the front two bolts on the left rear hub to bring the front of that wheel outboard a little, and ended up with this:
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So I'd obviously pushed the left rear too far into toe-out territory.
Four wheel alignment also revealed too much toe-in on the right rear. The 169 Panda is (according to this read-out) supposed to have +1.5mm toe-in each side, so overall +3.0mm and of course zero thrust angle. I wonder if any of them do?

In the 7 months since, the tyre hasn't obviously been wearing out in the same fashion as before.
The pull to the left has also completely gone.
In fact, if left to run straight, she will now very gradually veer off to the right!

Which clearly isn't how it's supposed to be, so I thought I'd try and bring both sides closer to where they should be. I need to adjust the left rear by 2.7mm and the right rear by 1.6mm.
I sourced some shim washers, removed 0.3mm from the left rear hub and added 0.1mm to the right.

Now my rear axle is sporting 0.7mm shims (1x0.5mm, 2x0.1mm) on the left, 0.1mm on the right.
2002345460_rearaxle08a.thumb.jpg.fcc05a4c661660d3a1de34fa2a7aeed4.jpg

Another FIATForum member has advised they used 1mm gasket material to make shims on theirs which squashes down when tightened.  I think they mean the gasket squashes, not the Panda, but who knows?
I'm going to continue to monitor tyre wear and see how she feels on fast straight roads for a while now, then I may get alignment checked again.
As others have pointed out, laser wheel alignment isn't necessarily that accurate.
And anyway, I'm only looking to get rear alignment in the right sort of area so that she runs true and stops scrubbing off tyres.

It's a strange feeling knowing that a car of mine isn't merrily rusting away somewhere. Rather a good feeling too😃
Now just waiting for some warmer weather to paint all the previously rusty bits🙂

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My eldest son has a 2006 Honda Accord diesel, bought about 4 years ago and largely blameless if dull. Since last summer it's been getting harder to start first thing, it was a bit odd because parked warm for 4 hours no problem, re-start seconds after a brief 1st run of the day it needed the same cranking as it had the first time. Engine temperature seemed to be key, not fuel priming etc.

With no fault codes we started with easy basics, genuine £45 fuel filter, tested heater plugs and supply etc, looked good but what else could it be ? Wasted £80 on Bosch heater plugs, no change. I then borrowed a newer scanner than mine which read fuel fail pressure, you could read the pressure rise as it fired.. Ah. 

I bought a nasty Chinese injector leak off tester kit, it measures the amount of fuel passing through the injectors returning to tank so can point to problems

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I used the straight tubes on the right of the box, they go straight into the top of the Bosch injectors looking like this,

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These 2 show just over 1 Chinese whatever units after about 3 secs running

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As does the the one on the right in this pair but one one left is over 10. A problem found! Hope it's the main one. 

Injectors are from £30 Ebay lottery but probably need coding, £100 for the old one one refurbed at a respected local specialist or approx £200 exchange ECP or Motor Factors, also need coding. I went for ours refurbed. 

The injector came out pretty easy other than the clamp bolt, it was proper tight and is supposed to be a one shot yield bolt doesn't look like one to me or the refurbishers so as Honda are shut it lived to fight again...... Torque is 5n/m + 90 degrees, a little puckering going on at 90 degrees. I spent some time making sure the seat was clean , i think some problems with injector sealing may come from this not being easy. 

The result? This morning it started in 1-2 secs instead of the 8 secs and sometimes a lot longer it has done. I would like to swap back for my Merc but that is now 60 miles away so I guess I'm a Honda owner for the foreseeable!

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My assistant for cleaning injector seats with specialist tools,- plastic pipe, long screwdriver and cotton buds. With a smile he'll suck things I won't!

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Once again my ultra cheap (about a tenner a few years ago) code reader proves its worth in gold. Read the codes on the Merc easy was precise (P301 - misfire cylinder 1, coil pack voltage... something something) and saved me faffing around or phoning the AA. I did consider the AA as I pay a fortune for the privelege of their company but... well, it's just not manly now is it? Especially when you can do it yourself, just laziness and a desire to get it back on the road asap without waiting for deliveries from unknown places.

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58 minutes ago, xtriple said:

Once again my ultra cheap (about a tenner a few years ago) code reader proves its worth in gold. Read the codes on the Merc easy was precise (P301 - misfire cylinder 1, coil pack voltage... something something) and saved me faffing around or phoning the AA. I did consider the AA as I pay a fortune for the privelege of their company but... well, it's just not manly now is it? Especially when you can do it yourself, just laziness and a desire to get it back on the road asap without waiting for deliveries from unknown places.

Mine has paid for itself a hundred times over I think!

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Despite its tiny boot, I've spent today doing some apocalypse* prep on the C2. I'll do a proper thread later, and there's more to come. Interesting times to be a delivery driver indeed.

20200325_143320.thumb.jpg.aa24179a5c7f8f454bd09298cdf9d7b6.jpg

This is just stage 1. But I don't believe in leaving something vital in an unready state. The clear tub still has some unnecessary shite in it taking up valuable space. Space certainly is a problem in such a small car, but I'll get onto that in the thread. Lunchtime now!

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4 hours ago, RobT said:

@spike60 Thanks for that run down.  I'm wondering if my 406 problems are due to a leaky injector, so will get one of those leak off tests in due course.

Is the 406 common rail?  The Honda is so one injector returning too much fuel was bringing the whole system pressure down hence the delay in starting while pressure builds. If it's non common rail I would expect the  cylinder to miss but the others to be unaffected, assuming one weak injector.  If not common rail you may still be able to get useful information with it though, it's the first time I've used a leak off kit  for diagnosis.  I paid £21.99 for the kit from a UK seller last week, they were £18.99 from China but I wanted prompt delivery. 

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Well Chester has thoroughly enjoyed his day in 'lockdown' he has sat by the gate all day, sun shining on his fat head waiting for some unsuspecting soul to walk by, then he leaps to attention and tells them, in no uncertain terms, all about Corvid-19 and how they should be at home, not walking by our house.

Unless they would like to take him with them, when dispensations will be arranged for a small fee (a Jumbone).

Phoebe, not so much, she really wanted to go out and lay in a hedge and destroy it. Maybe tomorrow...

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No further updates on my adventures as when I sat down to write a proper post I got a call from another driver at work telling me she had a puncture. As soon as I arrived I could tell all I was able to do was wait for the big yellow taxi with her and figure out how to stop it ruining her night any more than it already had. As it is that meant going to the shop and covering the rest of her shift. That's 2.5 hours of paid work today between that and my stock run. Not bad indeed.

As an aside, does anyone in the Fife area have a spare for a Corsa D lying around spare? Hers doesn't have one and I'm sure we'd both be more comfortable if she did, as it would at least mean being able to continue her shift if she gets future flats. Even if I or someone else has to go and help her change it.

About to drive home, I've about 10 miles to go, hopefully my half arsed work uniform stops any bother. Literally just chucked on a jacket and hat when I left this afternoon, I'm still dressed like a scruffy bastard beneath it, as evidenced by the manky jeans. I've never seen town so empty. Not even during snowmageddon.

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Bosch coils arrived this morning as the Post office said they would by text and e-mail several times yesterday! Being in some doubt about which cylinder is number 1 (who really is a 'free man!')I Googled again. The confusion arises from the fact most reference sites are bloody American and so passenger side is wrong. I am so glad I double checked as I thought it was the right hand bank by the radiator, it's the LEFT bank by the rad...

Been out and done it. I get really annoyed: I do not have the bloody strength to turn the star drives out with a screwdriver, had to come inside and find a socket set to move one 'star' as I was just hurting myself but getting nowhere. Even this which is the simplist chore becomes a nightmare when you are a cripple; can't get into the correct position to put the airbox back properly, no strength and a baaaaad attitude.

Seems to be running smoothly again, cleared the codes and all is currently fine. Watch out for the update that says I can't count and don't know cylinder one from cylinder six ( or four, two...) and it's broken down and waiting for the AA!

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36 minutes ago, dollywobbler said:

One week since I last went for a drive. The G fired up straight away once the fuel got through. Sadly not a very long drive, but staves off the madness for a little longer.

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Supplies and a Post Office visit. Roads largely, but not completely deserted. 

I lived in Newquay when I was a kid and the bloke that owned the chip shop behind where you’re parked , always used to park his cars and vans on the pavement at the end of the wall , that is on the top of a small cliff that would get spray on it at the slightest swell at high tide.

So naturally he always had Fiats, a succession of 900Ts and then Fioranos, at least one of which turned itself into a pickup and a fisherman used it on the quay for moving nets and stuff around, presumably until it dissolved. He also had 131 and 132s, I doubt any ever made it to their first MOT.  All bought from the Fiat dealer on the coast road nearLlanrhysted  ( ironically pronounced Llan  rusted!)

 

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I did my first drive in a week too, 2 miles to Sainsbury and back. Mazda didn't grumble. 10 min queue to get in, and then  the shelves were reasonably stocked enough to hopefully avoid significant exposure for another week. Certainly impossible to do the 2 metre thing through an entire shop though!

I think the balance is - it's quieter in the afternoons and evenings, but in the mornings they have most stock. 

Expensive though, you take whatever's there, there's no offers of course, and branded goods rather than own brand etc, soon stack up. 

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3 minutes ago, egg said:

I did my first drive in a week too, 2 miles to Sainsbury and back.....

....think the balance is - it's quieter in the afternoons and evenings, but in the mornings they have most stock...

The Sainsbury's I sometimes go to is near the yard, so after doing the horse's feeds and the evening stables routine, I'd go there in the last hour before closing time because that's when they're replenishing the shelves. Unfortunately it looks like they've cottoned onto my buying tactics, as opening hours now finish at 8pm instead of 11pm.

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I think they're also trying to stagger the stock during the day - they were putting things like biscuits out while I was there. 

It's an interesting thing to contemplate that apparently a large proportion of the UK's food intake is normally consumed outside the home - so in some ways this shift to 100% at home is of course leading to a large jump in demand. 

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Mate has just texted me to say that the police hae now said 'no driving to anywhere to walk your dog'

This is what's known as a bugger as Phoebe can't walk and just loves laying in a hedge, destroying it.

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