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Mr_Bo11ox

Rupert_Ballsack's predictable CROMER shitbox tale (feat. amateur ham-fisted diagnostics)

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After a lot of umming and ahhing I decided to finally roll the friggin barrel right out and ordered a new timing belt, water pump, complete inlet manifold, EGR restrictor, thermostat , and oil/filter today for this Croma.

Getting on for £300 in parts alone. I figured the cambelt ought to be done as the existing one is over 10yrs old and the diesel pump has to come off to do the inlet manifold anyway. Plan is to install that lot plus clean out the EGR and throttle body, turn off the EML and enjoy rocketship performance from next weekend onwards!!!! I hope!!! Next sunday had better be decent weather wise....

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Hey gang!!! I've been busy with this thing lately, I've had some successes but im not 100% there with it.... heres the story.

So, after a lot of umming and ahhing I SPENT MY WAD on a brand new Pierburg manifold, Dayco belt kit, new water pump, new thermostat, and I decided to change the oil while I was on it. Eventually a couple of weekends ago I waded in (between downpours):

P1090256.jpg

Some flippin job this. The Manifold is buried beneath a million pipes and wires, you have to remove a LOT of shiz to get it out. Start with the airbox!

P1090257.jpg

I wanted to do the thermostat as well, thats on the gearbox end of the engin so had to strip out a load of shiz at that end:

P1090258.jpg

You have to remove the diesel pump to get the manifold off. You can do this without removing the belt if you lock the pulley in position, but that sounded flaky and the belt needed changing anyway so in we went:

P1090260.jpg

 

Stored the critical hight pressure fuel pump and bits of pipe in my clean room area:

P1090261.jpg

Agfter about 4 hours work I had shifted most of the crap down the back of the engine. Theres the diesel pump, alternator, oil separator, loads of coolant pipes, some sort of vacuum control box, manifold actuator and lods of brackets and wires down the back of here. It took a friggin AGE to get it all out as there is only one order you can dismantle it all due to the sheer amount of clutter packed in. Once it was all shifted I managed to finally get the manifold out. Awful!

P1090262.jpg

P1090263.jpg

Old and new:

P1090264.jpg

I was pleased to find the old manifold was really knackered, Not only had the flap operating mechanism fallen apart, but all the spindles on the flaps had worn, so there was play in them all which would defo cause a boost leak (evidenced by the large amount of shit on top of the manifold):

P1090265.jpg

P1090266.jpg

The condition of the manifold was amazing. Check this out for fouling (no.4 main port):

P1090267.jpg

The throttle body area was solid with shit as well:

P1090268.jpg

Whilst I was looking at all this, the heavens opened, and that was it for the rest of the weekend - just a non stop fucking deluge for the next few days.

P1090269.jpg

I didnt wanna leave it like that for too long as i would surely forget how it all went together. So after studying BBC weather I booked the following Weds off work - I'm hourly paid so thats a days wages lost to this friggin job!!!

P1090270.jpg

Lovely day as it turned out!!!

P1090271.jpg

Difficult to tell but the new manifold is on in this pic.

P1090274.jpg

Here I am fiddling about trying to reattach all the brackets and shit down the back of the engine. Must have been on for a good 2 hours getting the brackets and oil separator back together in the right order!

P1090275.jpg

Diesel pump going back on:

P1090272.jpg

New & old thermostats

P1090276.jpg

New stat installed. The car was assembled with single-use hose clips so I went to Toolstation and bought several bags of different sized clips. Must have fitted 20 new hose clips!!

P1090277.jpg

P1090278.jpg

New Dayco belt & waterpump

P1090279.jpg

Bought and fitted this EGR restrictor after finding it was very highly reccomended on various Fiat and Alfa forums:

Last job was an oil change:

P1090282.jpg

P1090281.jpg

Funny set up on these, its not a spin-on filter, it lives in a placca 'cup' that screws on the back of the engine. Its got a handy drain point, but that only drains half the oil in the filter. The rest pours out onto the exhaust as you unscrew it, then runs along the exhaust to just south of your drip tray, then goes all over the fucking drive.

P1090283.jpg

About 50% successful at cleaning that up!!

With that I was just about back in the game. I'd spent a full 8 hours putting it all back together!!!

Next day I took it for a spin;

P1090290.jpg

It does drive a lot better - certainly much less asthmatic, pulls more evenly across the rev range, sounds healthy enough. BUT it didnt take long for the fucking EML to pop back up again, chucking us into limp mode. I found that switching it off and back on again got rid of the limp mode but not the EML.

Time to crack out the Delphi dagnistic doofer:

P1090284.jpg

I found that the DPF was throwing up a code and was showing about 93% clogged. I managed to fathom out how to force it to do a regen so did one on the driveway, a slightly alarming process which involved the car sitting there revving away at 3000 rpm for 7 or 8 minutes before slowing itself down and shutting off all by itself. This reduced the cloggage to 70% (still alarmingly high) allowing that fault code to be cleared. Win

The other fault was 'EGR insufficient flow" so I removed the restrictor again and took it out for another blezz.

Much better - the DPF fault didnt come back and it seemed pretty good, but agfter a few miles the EML popped up again like a motherfucker. No limp mode this time.

P1090285.jpg

The fault is this 'EGR Valve check' which seems to be some sort of check of the EGR valve being 'present and correct' rather than operating as commanded. Ive been driving round with the machine plugged in watching whats going on with it.

P1090286.jpg

So the EGR valve works fine, varying its duty cycle between 4% and 96%, responding as you press the accelerator pedal. But after a while it just stops responding and the EGR valve check goes to 'off' and doesnt come back. Sometimes it flicks up the EML and sometimes it doesnt. When it 'goes down', it puts up fault code P0401 'EGR Valve Check - Present'. You then clear the fault and it'll immediatley start working again for anything from 2 minutes to an hour before it goes down again.

I did remove the EGR valve, clean it out and opened the solenoid for inspection/cleaning in line with the many guides online. It seemed OK to me, and I put 12v onto the solenoid terminals - seems to be working spot on on the bench. Nothing boroken and all nice and free-moving inside. Its only a dead basic solenoid valve anyway, theres just 2 pins on the valve's integral connector. Also give the connector a good blast with contact cleaner. None of this has fixed the issue though.

Ive driven it 100 miles to work today and overall it drives well - pulls strongly and fantastic on the dual carriageway in 6th gear. Not seen the EML all day, but the valve has 'gone down' any number of times. I've averaged a slightly disappointing 41mpg so far. DPF cloggage has crept up to 80% but I want to keep watching it and see if I can see it launching a regen. Coolant temp is now spot on unlike before. BUT I can't relax because of this EGR valve bollocks!!!

I could buy a new EGR valve, but I feel like i should be able to prove the old one is faulty before throwing more money at the flippin car. My £400 'bargain' already owes me the thick end of £900 (far more than its worth I think) A genuine Pierburg one is about £75 minimum, (I'm not gonna risk an eBay £25 hoo flung dung job). Any tips to get to the bottom of this intermittent EGR valve operation? I'm thinking of trying to get that 'FiatECUScan' thing on my tablet and see if that has any more functionality for interrogating the EGR valve. I reckon I'd like to see if the continuity or resistance of it is steady or intermittent as I'm driving along.

I want to give you some more driving/ownership impressions but I dont feel like its properly fixed yet!!! I shall carry on using it for work this week though so we'll see how we get on.

 

 

 

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There's a link on my Saab thread about stripping down the solenoid on these EGRs. I did find EGR failure after I'd replaced mine was mainly due to iffy wiring and sloppy fitting connectors.

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Buy an obscure old heap that most people have forgotten exists, then spend more than its value getting it spot on - 'twas ever the Autoshite way, although the worries used to be tappet clearances and failing condensers rather than DPFs and EGRs.

I am relieved to see that you went for a High Tenacity cambelt though - that's one less thing to worry about.

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How sad am I, I have been looking forward to this update muchly! These engines provide such a decent amount of power (and are so easily able too produce 200bhp and shitloads of torque with a tuning box) I’ve been contemplating a vehicle with such a lump as a future buy.

I’m afraid to say you may have cured me of this particular vehicular desire...

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20 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

I am relieved to see that you went for a High Tenacity cambelt though - that's one less thing to worry about

I think High Tenacity is referring to the utter legend who was fitting it, and that's an understatement!

Amazing work, Bollox! That engine bay looks awfully daunting.

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Does anyone know if you can buy new OEM-type wiring plug connectors anywhere? I wonder if a new plug on the harness would improve the connection onto the EGR valve. I can’t help thinking my problem is a wiring one rather than a duff valve.

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Was going to post something funny which would help contribute to the general humorous spirit of this thread but a) I'm tired and b) I'm not funny anyway. Instead I'll clog the page up with some inane shit about EGRs.

So depending on the type of EGR, some of them have like a resistance wiper that tells the ECU how far open the EGR valve is. After lots of miles and the valve opening and closing many times, it wears out the resistance tracks and the ECU gets false messages back. It then throws up error codes. I think I agree that yours sounds a bit more like a broken connection. Usually if the EGR position is giving a dodgy signal to the ECU, the ECU gets confused about where the EGR is. It keeps telling to change position and it sort of flicks it open and closed which makes the engine buck around when it should be cruising smoothly. If the EGR is closed when you're out on the open road and it should be open, it will affect your fuel consumption. Might be why you're only getting 40mpg. Can you temporarily bodge on some wires / squeeze the terminals / hard wire it?

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Can you solder some flying leads to it and use a generic, waterproof connector instead?

Or is there somewhere else on the car that uses the same connector but hasn’t had such a hard life under the bonnet?  If the seat belt connector is the same it’s easier to pick up a good one from a scrapper 

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1 hour ago, Mr_Bo11ox said:

Does anyone know if you can buy new OEM-type wiring plug connectors anywhere? I wonder if a new plug on the harness would improve the connection onto the EGR valve. I can’t help thinking my problem is a wiring one rather than a duff valve.

Searching Ebay for "egr wiring plug" brings up a few options for new plugs. Clicking on one of them brings up a load of other options for different plugs in the people also searched for/suggested other items list at the bottom of the page. Knowing who made the connector ie Sumitomo would help in the search too.

Awesome work though. Don't think you're too far from the finishing post now so hang on in there.

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You can get the EGR valve mapped out for about £80-100. I wouldn’t spend any more time on the fucker, you’ve seen what it does to the insides of the manifold.

MPGeee wise I never bettered about 45mpg in the 147 I had with this lump, but I clogged it. A lot.

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Some good tips here. The valve is a Pierburg job, with a plug like the one shown on page 3 of this thing:

https://az25411.vo.msecnd.net/pdf/5/pg_si_0085a_en_web.pdf

except that my EGR valve only has 2 pins (pins 1 & 5 on the diagram). The flying lead going to it has 4 wires though for some reason

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Got a scrappy nearby? There will be loads of Vectra C, Astra H, Saab 9-3, etc 1.9 ctdi 16v sitting there that you can chop the connector off.

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Hey gang!!! I've been busy with this thing lately, I've had some successes but im not 100% there with it.... heres the story.
So, after a lot of umming and ahhing I SPENT MY WAD on a brand new Pierburg manifold, Dayco belt kit, new water pump, new thermostat, and I decided to change the oil while I was on it. Eventually a couple of weekends ago I waded in (between downpours):
P1090256.jpg
Some flippin job this. The Manifold is buried beneath a million pipes and wires, you have to remove a LOT of shiz to get it out. Start with the airbox!
P1090257.jpg
I wanted to do the thermostat as well, thats on the gearbox end of the engin so had to strip out a load of shiz at that end:
P1090258.jpg
You have to remove the diesel pump to get the manifold off. You can do this without removing the belt if you lock the pulley in position, but that sounded flaky and the belt needed changing anyway so in we went:
P1090260.jpg
 
Stored the critical hight pressure fuel pump and bits of pipe in my clean room area:
P1090261.jpg
Agfter about 4 hours work I had shifted most of the crap down the back of the engine. Theres the diesel pump, alternator, oil separator, loads of coolant pipes, some sort of vacuum control box, manifold actuator and lods of brackets and wires down the back of here. It took a friggin AGE to get it all out as there is only one order you can dismantle it all due to the sheer amount of clutter packed in. Once it was all shifted I managed to finally get the manifold out. Awful!
P1090262.jpg
P1090263.jpg
Old and new:
P1090264.jpg
I was pleased to find the old manifold was really knackered, Not only had the flap operating mechanism fallen apart, but all the spindles on the flaps had worn, so there was play in them all which would defo cause a boost leak (evidenced by the large amount of shit on top of the manifold):
P1090265.jpg
P1090266.jpg
The condition of the manifold was amazing. Check this out for fouling (no.4 main port):
P1090267.jpg
The throttle body area was solid with shit as well:
P1090268.jpg
Whilst I was looking at all this, the heavens opened, and that was it for the rest of the weekend - just a non stop fucking deluge for the next few days.
P1090269.jpg
I didnt wanna leave it like that for too long as i would surely forget how it all went together. So after studying BBC weather I booked the following Weds off work - I'm hourly paid so thats a days wages lost to this friggin job!!!
P1090270.jpg
Lovely day as it turned out!!!
P1090271.jpg
Difficult to tell but the new manifold is on in this pic.
P1090274.jpg
Here I am fiddling about trying to reattach all the brackets and shit down the back of the engine. Must have been on for a good 2 hours getting the brackets and oil separator back together in the right order!
P1090275.jpg
Diesel pump going back on:
P1090272.jpg
New & old thermostats
P1090276.jpg
New stat installed. The car was assembled with single-use hose clips so I went to Toolstation and bought several bags of different sized clips. Must have fitted 20 new hose clips!!
P1090277.jpg
P1090278.jpg
New Dayco belt & waterpump
P1090279.jpg
Bought and fitted this EGR restrictor after finding it was very highly reccomended on various Fiat and Alfa forums:
Last job was an oil change:
P1090282.jpg
P1090281.jpg
Funny set up on these, its not a spin-on filter, it lives in a placca 'cup' that screws on the back of the engine. Its got a handy drain point, but that only drains half the oil in the filter. The rest pours out onto the exhaust as you unscrew it, then runs along the exhaust to just south of your drip tray, then goes all over the fucking drive.
P1090283.jpg
About 50% successful at cleaning that up!!
With that I was just about back in the game. I'd spent a full 8 hours putting it all back together!!!
Next day I took it for a spin;
P1090290.jpg
It does drive a lot better - certainly much less asthmatic, pulls more evenly across the rev range, sounds healthy enough. BUT it didnt take long for the fucking EML to pop back up again, chucking us into limp mode. I found that switching it off and back on again got rid of the limp mode but not the EML.
Time to crack out the Delphi dagnistic doofer:
P1090284.jpg
I found that the DPF was throwing up a code and was showing about 93% clogged. I managed to fathom out how to force it to do a regen so did one on the driveway, a slightly alarming process which involved the car sitting there revving away at 3000 rpm for 7 or 8 minutes before slowing itself down and shutting off all by itself. This reduced the cloggage to 70% (still alarmingly high) allowing that fault code to be cleared. Win
The other fault was 'EGR insufficient flow" so I removed the restrictor again and took it out for another blezz.
Much better - the DPF fault didnt come back and it seemed pretty good, but agfter a few miles the EML popped up again like a motherfucker. No limp mode this time.
P1090285.jpg
The fault is this 'EGR Valve check' which seems to be some sort of check of the EGR valve being 'present and correct' rather than operating as commanded. Ive been driving round with the machine plugged in watching whats going on with it.
P1090286.jpg
So the EGR valve works fine, varying its duty cycle between 4% and 96%, responding as you press the accelerator pedal. But after a while it just stops responding and the EGR valve check goes to 'off' and doesnt come back. Sometimes it flicks up the EML and sometimes it doesnt. When it 'goes down', it puts up fault code P0401 'EGR Valve Check - Present'. You then clear the fault and it'll immediatley start working again for anything from 2 minutes to an hour before it goes down again.
I did remove the EGR valve, clean it out and opened the solenoid for inspection/cleaning in line with the many guides online. It seemed OK to me, and I put 12v onto the solenoid terminals - seems to be working spot on on the bench. Nothing boroken and all nice and free-moving inside. Its only a dead basic solenoid valve anyway, theres just 2 pins on the valve's integral connector. Also give the connector a good blast with contact cleaner. None of this has fixed the issue though.
Ive driven it 100 miles to work today and overall it drives well - pulls strongly and fantastic on the dual carriageway in 6th gear. Not seen the EML all day, but the valve has 'gone down' any number of times. I've averaged a slightly disappointing 41mpg so far. DPF cloggage has crept up to 80% but I want to keep watching it and see if I can see it launching a regen. Coolant temp is now spot on unlike before. BUT I can't relax because of this EGR valve bollocks!!!
I could buy a new EGR valve, but I feel like i should be able to prove the old one is faulty before throwing more money at the flippin car. My £400 'bargain' already owes me the thick end of £900 (far more than its worth I think) A genuine Pierburg one is about £75 minimum, (I'm not gonna risk an eBay £25 hoo flung dung job). Any tips to get to the bottom of this intermittent EGR valve operation? I'm thinking of trying to get that 'FiatECUScan' thing on my tablet and see if that has any more functionality for interrogating the EGR valve. I reckon I'd like to see if the continuity or resistance of it is steady or intermittent as I'm driving along.
I want to give you some more driving/ownership impressions but I dont feel like its properly fixed yet!!! I shall carry on using it for work this week though so we'll see how we get on.
 
 
 


My 25 quid shite one still working after 10 months. Although I have noticed mpgs have dropped recently but that’s because Mrs B can’t seem to use a gear beyond 3rd and managed to use 5th once when it wouldn’t go fast enough in 3rd on the motorway. At least it gets the cobwebs blown out.

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Can only add my awe that you took this job on!

Side point: Modern* dizzles are going to disappear with a massive attrition rate because how many people are going to get into these shenanigans? 

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Driving home in this today with the computer on, I noticed on the A5O that the DPF temperature was climbing up beyond the 250ish deg that it gets to in normal use. It went up to 675deg! It's only doing a flippin regeneration innit. Stayed at 650+ for about 10 miles then dropped back to 250. When it finished, the cloggage level had dropped from 92% to 8%.

That means the regen function is working spot on and the DPF must be in reasonable health. Flippin WIN. It dropped my average MPG by 0.6 mpg though, that's an average calculated over 200 miles so it must fairly chew through some diesel when it's regenning! It's all in the name of the environment innit.

I'm loving this diagnostic computer BTW, be ready for more useless statistics and engine data as I learn more about what's going on.

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You deserve some kind of award Bo11. Pulling all that stuff off can't have been fun, although I guess the end result is satisfying. It amazes me too how quickly 'modern' tech like live diagnostics have filtered down to the DIYer.

Your prose makes for excellent reading, it's great to have your antics back.

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