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Fabergé Greggs: Camper Master Cylinder woes

Fabergé Greggs

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2 hours ago, juular said:

All vans prior to the phase 3 2012 build suffered from a scuttle that leaked onto the head. It was much worse if you had the windscreen replaced as the fitter broke the seal and rarely replaced it.  The fix is as simple as some foil tape or silicone.

The 1.9 and 2.5 while the injectors can get rusty from this it generally doesn't cause a major headache. You can often get them out by loosening the retaining nut and running the engine until it chuffs - bingo injector out. Obviously a very very bad idea and you will die in a fireball etc.

The big problem is on the phase 2 2006 to 2011 2.0 M9R where the head is shaped like a bucket and the injectors literally sit in a swimming pool for years until they break, and then they are completely welded in. They also block the head from coming off so you are looking at major surgery to get them replaced and it's often easier to get a new engine.

The 2012 onwards phase 3 2.0 M9R has a different head, injector cover and injectors, and the scuttle seal was improved. 

My money is on wiring or plugs.

There is a blue plug under the fuse box in the engine bay that sits with the wiring tight at a hard angle and it eventually chafes or works it's way out of the plug. Many people cut the plug off and solder the wires then shrink wrap. Eliminates a LOT of French style electrical randomness.

This is a lot more encouraging than the general doom and gloom on forums. 

It’s too early to say but it does only seem to happen when damp/ raining which would point to something simple and electrical. *crosses fingers*

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Well here we are, the future/dystopian present of being a mechanic.. 



The results are in and they are.. 

Car Scanner ELM OBD2
DTC report
Selected brand: Vauxhall
VIN: W0LF7AJA67V659041

Raw code: 2A00
Status: Pending
OBDII: Heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) 1, bank 1 - circuit range/performance
Vauxhall: HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 Low Temperature; HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 High Temperature
Raw code: 0380
Status: Pending
OBDII: Glow plugs, circuit A - malfunction
Raw code: 2A00
Status: Confirmed
OBDII: Heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) 1, bank 1 - circuit range/performance
Vauxhall: HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 Low Temperature; HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 High Temperature
Raw code: 0380
Status: Confirmed
OBDII: Glow plugs, circuit A - malfunction

I wonder if that’s just the codes for the EML light that’s on all the time or if there’s a stored code for the limp mode under load? I’ll have to take it out when I get a chance to see if anything else comes up when in limp. 

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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: accidental new member

Now where are we with everything? I've done loads of miles in the Vivaro pinging up and down to Devon pursuing surf and bike rides. You can see the appeal of becoming a #vanlife wanker- were it not for impending ULEZ meaning I can only keep this for a couple of years, I'd be tempted to do a very minimal camping fit out in it. It still has it's glow plug light on and occasional limp under labour, but nothing that effects its ability to crunch miles in absolute comfort. Vans are great. 



I even conducted some work meetings from a field next to some sheep in between surfing. The office: 



Some Devon highlights included this ace garage- one for @motorpunk


Anyway, enough lifestyle. I've been using the Sprint Veloce a bit, limited by the cruciform/clutch problem and by the fact that the fork design means there's nowhere to thread my lock though- damn! Not to worry though, the forks on these have a terrible geometry which means they dive like crazy under breaking- it has to be witnessed to be believed- even the smallest touch of the front brake bottoms out the suspension. That's all very amusing when bimbling, but if it's going to remain in the fold for a while it's going to need to be usable in the cut and thrust of London traffic. I've picked up a pair of PKXL forks which supposedly fit in with a little bit of metal work to the mudguard and bump stops. Most importantly they have a vastly improved geometry and should sharpen up the braking and handling no end. 


I secretly know that I need to strip the engine on this but I'm exhausting all of the smaller things that might be causing problems first. Starting with the clutch. I was surprised to see it has an ancient 6 spring one in there as it's a later PX engine. You can see how much bigger the old one from my LML is (7 Spring). My LML has a later still 8 spring one (Cosa type) which brings with it buttery light action. Confused yet? Good good. 

Thar she blows


That's where your clutch goes. Access is a bit fiddly and would be way easier if I had an impact wrench to take the hub off. 1558966761_IMG_19622.thumb.JPG.1b17c7e5c85a2daf201d9e42a4ee39b3.JPG

Here's your old 6 spring clutch versus a later 7 spring. 


My logic was I'd strip my old 7 spring one, oil it up and stick that in there.. easy peasy. Rebuild: 


And there it is 


Stick the clutch cover back on.. oh wait the clutch cover doesn't fit over the clutch any more. A hitch, but not surprising as I'd read about this somewhere. Luckily I had a clutch cover from my spare LML engine. Smaller vs Bigger: 


But wait, the new clutch cover snagged on a bolt that holds in the transmission primaries. It looked as though it would fit if I roatated the bolt but I didn't know if I could undo that bolt without everything falling to bits at the time, which I do know: it would have been fine. 

You can see they have a little cut out to help clear it-  I even carefully shaved a bit off to help but it still didn't clear.


That meant back on with the old clutch. What made all this exceptionally annoying is the castlated nut holding the clutch which by this point was getting very chewed. People have long given up on them as they're such a pain, but I'd forgotten to get a new collared nut. I have now, and I'll return to the job soon. TLDR: Loads of faff, no progress. 

How's the LML? Good. Always having to tweak the indicator wiring. Bit of a draggy clutch which I'll soon sort. Most pressingly, I think the rear hub seal is leaking- there's an excess of oil everywhere including dribbling down the tire sidewall. I've ordered the bits and it's an easy job ( I hope) with an impact wrench to get the hub off... 


The Saab is currently laid up in my work car park. I should really sell it cos I REALLY need cash but I just love it too much. 



With all this work to do, no time, no cash and too many vehicles, I accidentally ended up with a Yamaha Beluga. Runs like a champ but feels like it wants to go round in left circles. To be investigated..


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On 8/22/2020 at 9:09 AM, strangeangel said:

Nice fleet! If you get a minute sometime I would be very interested in hearing about the electric bike you mentioned a while back. Hope you can get the van sorted fairly painlessly ?


Forgot about this- I punted on that bike but I’ll compile something for this thread so I don’t forget about it forever  

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18 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

Is the Beluga 2-stroke or 4?

Edit: being on a P plate I'd assume it's 4-stroke?

4 Stroke- quite throaty and pulls well with 11hp or so. I wasn't really aware of these until this one, it's like a Spacey's more conservative sister. 

You know them? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Project creep
  • 2 weeks later...

Right then, some progress on the Vespa Sprint. 

Removing the backing plate and the cylinder cooling cowl gets us ready to take the flywheel off. I don't know why but I get crazy satisfaction levels from using tools specific tools for the job- such ease, many joy:


Ooooh look the stator. Very satisfying cracking those little screws with the impact driver. Rotating the stator a bit alters timing so I took care to mark up the timing marks- about 18 degress BTDC is usual for these. This is a 12v CDI job, which is nice. 


With the wiring out the way it's off with the head and cylinder in 20 seconds because two stroke. I think I took this picture because the ring gap looks huge, but then I realised that when you compress them into the cylinder it'd close right up. It's nice to see this kind of thing for yourself. 


Piston and gudeon pin out get's us ready to split the cases


Which went smoothly.. 


Dismantling the gear stack lets us see the fabled shift cross. This is mounted upside down and hence why the shifting felt like shit- the cross is out of alignment with the gears and jumps in out. THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING. I strongly suspected that it was this, and it's nice to have my suspicions confirmed. It also means the previous owner is a wolly and explains why he offered it to me for £CHEAP. 


Here's the stripped axle. You can see that the cross doesn't quite line up with the smooth marks made by the gears. There's also a missing shim which creates loads of slop in the gears. 


So basically I need to order some parts and I also need a special tool for removing the crank- the bearing behind it has split which causes the gearbox oil to get contaminated with petrol mix. I love these little engines- so simple!


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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Stripping the Vespa engine

The Vivaro is off to a new happy owner (not on here but a lad who plans to #vanlife). I stuck it on gumtree and the phone was 🔥. I loved using it for a summer of fun, and would definitely have kept it were it not for ULEZ. 

That means dusting off the Saab which has been laid up since July. After checking all the fluids and tire pressures it started right up. I straightened out the dent as much as I could with my feeble hands so that the indicator ain’t hanging off. God damn it’s good to be back! 

Less than a months MOT on it, but we could be entering into another extension  I guess... 





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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Look who’s back
5 minutes ago, Jerzy Woking said:

Glad that you enjoyed the Vivaro, as it was a great driver most of the time. I would have kept it had I not moved.

But at least you have the Saab that you really like to drive, and to get back into to regular use.

Loved it- wish I could keep ‘em all 👍

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1 hour ago, holbeck said:

Every time I see the Saab,  I regret selling it. 

(Although technically I didn't sell, I swapped it for a BX, which was also great)

I know I'll deeply regret selling it too which is why several of its "replacements" have come and gone... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been making (slow) progress with the engine for the Vespa Sprint Veloce.

With a new shift cross fitted and the gearbox reassembled, the feeler gauges deliver the news that this is a sloppy gearbox. 


Gearbox shim measures 2mm or thereabouts.


We need to get our tolerance down to 0.2-0.4mm. I had a bit of a hunt around for a 2.3mm shim, but they're out of stock most places and only really manufactured by one of the German scooter tuning companies (BGM in this case- there's a couple that are making loads of useful bits for tuning and general maintenance). A call to Retrospectove scooters who are 15 mins up the road from me revealed that they had one in stock, and although they are more focused on selling restored Vespas for £6k to hipsters than selling parts, the friendly mechanic agreed to sell it to me for a barg price. Buy local! 

New shim on and feeler gauges say happy gearbox! 


New crank seal in place, ready to pull the crank in. This is a major seal and is the only thing stopping the engine sucking gearbox oil and the gearbox being lubricated with petrol. I dunno why but I love seating a fresh seal.


Popped in a new flywheel side seal too- not quite so prone these ones, and also replaceable from the outside with the engine in situ, but seemed like a good idea to renew it anyway for £3 or whatnot. 


Engine halves ready to go back together with some tasty gaskets also made by BGM- they're thick and come with a pre-installed bead of silicone sealant that magically leaves no residue. Joy! These case halves clamp with something like 10 lb ft on the torque wrench- feels barely hand tight. 



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Cases back together and the piston in place


It was at this point that I noticed that the spark plug was stuck in the head. I left it soaking with some plusgas and it came right out with an impact driver. Notice how black it is having been burning gearbox oil. I also had a look through my spares and pulled out another head, weirdly alloy and disappointingly shit. IMG_2383.thumb.JPG.effc70cb7ddce0ac75dc214b0bbec924.JPG

Clutch back on, clutch cover on and after a bit of a fiddle with the piston rings, the cylinder and head are back on. Starting to look like and engine again now innit. 


Back over to the flywheel side...


Stator and flywheel on 


Sealing surface for the carb box cleaned up. Through the hole you can see the crank web which determines the inlet duration- here it's closed. 


Carb box on


Gettin bizzy with the carburatori


And back together with the carb box, CDI unit, backplate with new seals and new brake shoes. 


And then in simpler news the Saab passed its MOT.  WIN. 


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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Vespa fixing and Saab MOT verdict.
  • 4 weeks later...

I put some new discs and pads on the back of the Saab the other day as the sometimes sticky handbrake has caused one set of pads to be low.. It all seemed pretty free to be honest, including the cables and the handbrake lever on the calipers, so that'll just have to be monitored.

Euro Car Parts in correct bits SHOCKER! 



All went to plan other than I knocked this bumpstop which promptly fell off- must have been ready to go. I'm thinking of just gluing it back on to the base which is still attached.. 


Looks pretty BADASS on black steels and winter tires doesn't it? 


Anyway, it rewarded me by not starting today. It has previously been taken a while to catch in the cold/wet, but it's never not started. Until now. 

  • It seems to catch a tiny bit sometimes once I release the key.. does that point to it getting some extra volts for a moment when the starter disengages? 
  • The rotor arm/cap have a bit of deposit on the contacts but seem dry inside, maybe a clean up with fine sandpaper? 
  • The idle wanders ever-so-slightly these days and seems a tiny bit rougher than it was- should I clean up the idle air valve or something (disclosure, I only know how carbs work and I don't actually know what that is) 
  • It cranks like a champ. 
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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Saab FTP

Whilst in my ownership it had a non start which turned out to be damp plug leads etc,while we were in there we cleaned the rotor arm and distributor cap and all was fine after that. It's nice to see it still going well.  New bump stop here--https://www.saabits.com/suspension-and-steering/saab-90-99-900-rear-bump-stop

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Saab starting issues have been sorted with a new cap and rotor arm and its running as sweetly as ever. Here it is next to my workshop neighbours 900- he's spent £30,000 on backdating it to a flat front and transplanting a turbo engine into it to use as a forever daily.  It's undeniably minty but mines nicer ;).  Understandably he's pretty miffed about ULEZ. 


I took a small break from vehicle fixing to press some new bearings into our food processor- made a huge difference to noise levels and made me feel like a very useful sort of a person. They were FUCKED. Reccomended for anyone with a Nutri Bullet. 


Stainless hmmm they pretty. 


Other minor diversions including a foray into wood working to hack together this for a Christmas present- infinitely more satisfying to make stuff rather than buying but it does eat into chod time. 



Annnnyway.. back to the main project in hand, the Vespa. 

Let's remember that I bough this very cheaply needing "the clutch adjusted". That turned into a complete engine rebuild, now complete. Resisting jamming the engine in, I though this would be a good time to take the forks out and adjust the steering stop which has been damaged, causing the forks to turn too far meaning the handlebars hit and damage the frame. 


You can see the steering stops here- one side (at the top in this photo) is a bit malformed. 


To rectify this, which unusually for a Vespa is made of pretty tough metal, I had to make a tool to lever it back into shape. This required buying an angle grinder to cut a slot in a cold chisel. Making tools with big noisy tools- I was feeling like a CHOD WARRIOR  at this point. 


Whilst I had the frame upside down I thought it would be nice to clean up the floor boards and stand. Remarkably solid aren't they? 


Oh what's that though?  A tiny crack? 


Let's investigate with a wire brush 


Oh. I should know better than to go looking. 


Channeling all my primary education I did a finger rubbing


And bought some tin snaps and found some scrap metal. 


This is all very new territory for me.. It's welder that we need now isn't it? Well thanks to @TalbotI have one! He kindly donated me this cosmetically challenged Clarke Pro 90 rescued from a scrap pile. 


I set about trying to get it to work. Nothing happens when you pull the trigger. Hmmm. I started a "help me" thread on mig-welding.co.uk and the good folks there guided me through some tests involving measuring voltages etc which feels pretty scary on something that literally melts metal. Somehow instead of a welder I ended up with ANOTHER PROJECT. 

Some digging revealed a cable had been cut- where the work return meets the inductor (I know about welders now!) and had been cut so close as to make a repair difficult. Not to worry- I was offered a second hand inductor. 


Still no voltage though. 

Oh cool- more severed cables on the main transformer. 


It was later discovered to have a blown wire feed motor circuit. In short- its Totally fucking fucked mate, big time. 

Not to worry, I learnt loads and a kind soul on the welding forum offered me a refurbed Clarke 110e in lovely condition with a new torch, metal liner etc for a fair price if I traded in mine. It turned out he was 10 mins down the road so a deal was done. He loves a challenge and the last I heard he's making a franken welder from it with Sealey bits from the Pro 90. Legend. 

I'm now some wire, gloves, helmet and gas away from a sweet welding setup and Vespa progress. 

Which reminds me, I need  money to but this stuff- please help by buying my beluga please and thank you. 


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