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Grogee's spannering (Maestro , Corsa & Avensis). CIDER VISOR


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I've got the week off this week so I'm intending to do something about a couple of issues on my Puma which are bugging me:

1) Front subframe rot. This seems to be quite unusual, they like to rot but most owners I've spoken to haven't had any trouble:

2) Exhaust blowing around manifold. 

Fortunately the exhaust manifold has to come out to get the subframe out (along with other stuff) and I'm very lucky in being able to use my mate Adam's car lift.

In the pics below you'll see a chunk of rust that fell out of the inner subframe behind the offside lower arm. That's why it needs doing - I keep wire-wheeling and painting to fool MoT man but since the rest of the car is nice I should sort this out.

HBoL says you've got to drop steering rack together with subframe, but I've managed to remove it without doing this - it'll be fun getting it back because access is non existent. It would be fine if the steering rack nuts were captive but of course they are not.

I've also discovered a CV boot that has decided to fail, very recently by the looks of it. I've ordered a stretchy one to repair it, in theory it fits but we'll see once it arrives. 

I've had a lot of the front suspension apart not long ago so it all came to bits fairly easily. Likewise the zorst, although my own home-made Meccano lower bracket thing was a bit of a faff.

There's clear evidence where the manifold has been blowing. It's a bit of a shit design because there's only two studs holding the bottom part on. Fine for OEM but not great for my 4-2-1 system. I am going to try a double gasket in the hope that gives enough 'squidge' to seal it. 

Has anyone used fire putty on head/manifold joint or is that asking for trouble?

Anyway after about 5 hours pratting about I got the subframe off. It's replacement is just a stock Fiesta used one that I cleaned up and painted last year, but I've been procrastinating this job.








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Right a bit more progress today. With the subframe off I'm able to inspect the body, which is 95% sound but just the beginning of rust appearing on the frame. Luckily I have the luxury of time so I was able to wire wheel the worst of it and slap some rust remover, then black goop over the top. 

Meanwhile with the zorst off I've applied some heat wrap. This stuff is horribly fibrous, got loads of little splinters off it but I needed bare hands to thread it through the pipes. My theory is that of I keep more temp in the zorst, the cat will start working more quickly. With the added benefit of reduced underbonnet fire risk.

For the manifold gasket I've decided to go for a 'layer cake' approach. Fire putty then gasket then putty then gasket then putty then manifold. Hoping that will cure the leak problem. 

Subframe is back on finger tight now, just need to wrestle with the completely inaccessible steering rack fixings. 

The first pic shows the old subframe where it had actually rusted right through. Definitely needed doing. 

More tomorrow







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10 minutes ago, Mudster said:

Unless I have a ftp or urgent safety issue, I don't plan on going under the car until spring. Working with the car on a lift in a sauna must feel like heaven this time of year.

Not at all jealous. Much!

I'm very lucky that my mate Adam is lending me his lift and garage. It's a wooden built construction which is why it looks like a ski chalet. 

Normally his Quattro sits on the lift, it's outside in the elements while I do this. I'll get a pic tomorrow. 

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Forgot to get a pic of his Quattro. He's being very accommodating letting me use his garage while his Audi gets rained on. 

Managed to get the almost completely inaccessible steering rack fixings on. In the pics they are at the end of the magnet on a stick. Loosening the ARB means you can squeeze your fingers round the back and just manage to thread the nut on. Then tighten to the specified torque* with a flat rachet spanner.

Also, sports anti roll bar bushes gone in. The old ones seemed ok but I don't fancy ever moving this subframe again so best to replace them now. From memory these orange ones weren't expensive. 

I've got Polybush on the rear beam and it's too harsh for me, but at least they will last for ages. I also tried a Polybush in the 'dog bone' torque mount but the engine noise was intolerable so I've gone back to OEM now. But it should be fine on ARB.

It's coming together now but I'm waiting for some magic* sealant for the exhaust manifold. Says it's good for turbos and manifolds so I'm hoping it'll cure the blow. I've changed my mind about the fire putty so it's all come off again today...

HBoL says you're meant to use a special tool to align the subframe correctly. But I'm not paying for that so I'll just try and replicate the bolt positions using the witness marks on the old subframe as a guide. Not perfect but hopefully ok. 




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20 minutes ago, sierraman said:

You don’t need the ‘alignment’ tool. Line it up with the witness marks on the subframe mounts and leave it at that. The tool is just a set of pins anyway. 

Yeah I couldn't figure out how the alignment pins worked from the pictures I saw.

Slight difficulty is that the 'new' (used but de-rusted and painted) subframe doesn't have any marks but I'll work off the marks left on the old one. 

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Today was faffing about making a half-decent bracket/brace for the lower part of the manifold. The standard exhaust has the cat right next to the block and uses a bracket to hold it to the block. I've tried to recreate that with some stainless steel strips and hole plate. One of those jobs where you need accurate measurements but there's no room to measure. Ended up making templates from strips of card. Twatted myself on the head twice with the back part of the zorst which is hanging down; had to have a sit down after first one, ow.

Also aligned subframe by eye. I didn't realise but the alignment pins actually use bespoke holes in the frame and body. Previously I thought it used some of the six bolt holes for the frame but I RTFM and finally it clicked. It's possible to line these up pretty accurately by eye. Then torqued bolts and paint marked them.

Took the old subframe home ready for a trip to the dump recycling centre. Decided to take the Hammer of Truth to the rusty bit. It's actually pretty bad and I don't think I would have fooled the MoT man next year. I guess it's possible to make a welded repair, but it's double skinned and would be difficult. 

Also, I remembered to take pics of my mates Quattro. 

Today's soundtrack: The Wall.







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The bleddy zorst manifold sealant hasn't arrived despite being promised for today. Conscious of the time I'm hogging on my mate's lift, I've ordered some other stuff from Amazon in the hope it might arrive swiftly. I would just go and buy some but Permatex stuff seems hard to find in UK. Euro Car Prats can get it but they want £35 so fuck em (it was £12 on the bay).

Anyway I was able to put one side of the suspension back together after changing the split CV boot. Those stretchy ones sure make life a lot easier, just grunt and thrust over the Cone of Shame and away you go. Luckily I caught it very early so the joint is still full of lovely black moly grease.

I'm a bit stuck now so I hoovered my mates garage and had a bit of a tidy up in the vain hope I'm not pissing him off too much. Also took some pics of my patented* exhaust brace. The brown bit bolts to the block and is a standard part, the rest of the bits are stainless so hopefully they'll withstand the heat.






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Wrestled with the home-made exhaust brace/bracket for a good hour or so. One of those jobs where you can have two hands AND no sight OR one hand and sight but no purchase OR other hand and drop fixing etc. Anyway it's bloody well on now so it's not coming off again. 

In the meantime I've developed a nasty back twinge probably from all the overhead pratting about I've been doing. Normally not in pain, but if I move a certain way it's like someone has punched me in the kidneys and I double up.

I need to take up yoga.

Need to refit offside lower arm, fill up gearbox, torque hub nuts and it should* be mobile again. Hoping to get to that tomorrow, lame back allowing. 



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Back still twinging. Ibuprofen helps. Anyway it's back together and I got a lift from Mrs Grogee to collect it from mates garage. 

Had a heart in mouth moment as I left his drive, no brakes! But it was only because I'd moved pistons back to slide calipers off. 

Seemed to be ok on the way home. I think the exhaust leak has gone but it's hard to tell as I've now got a 'drying sealant' smell instead. 

Boot still full of tools but that can wait until tomorrow. More stuff to do on Brokus (desperately need to get those new tyres on) but I'm wondering if I should wait and let my back recover a bit. 

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Washed the Puma today. Not dirty in the Autoshite scheme of things, but I don't like putting it in the council garage with muck all over it. Actually it's still on the drive because I can't be arsed to walk the 10 mins back from the garage, but I'll try and do it before rain hits tomorrow. 

Note the Brokus lurking in the background. 





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If Vital's copper gasket goo you've got is as good as their black RTV I've got in my toolbox, it'll be excellent. Have you tried the bodger's facing tactic of a straight edge and ally paper? The cylinder head face looks quite sooty in the pic, so that might help. Supposing you need to revisit that, which I hope you don't. 

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4 minutes ago, CreepingJesus said:

If Vital's copper gasket goo you've got is as good as their black RTV I've got in my toolbox, it'll be excellent. Have you tried the bodger's facing tactic of a straight edge and ally paper? The cylinder head face looks quite sooty in the pic, so that might help. Supposing you need to revisit that, which I hope you don't. 

Sort of. I used a sanding block and wet & dry; can't remember what grit. It wasn't very messed up so didn't need a lot of work to get shiny again. Pretty sure the double gasket has helped too - that was a gamble but seems to have paid off.

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4 minutes ago, Mudster said:

Looks in really nice clean condition that. Underside looks sound too.

Why thankyou. I am very closely acquainted with its underside, and every time I'm under there I touch it up (not in that way). It's a bit patchwork with matt and gloss black but only I've seen it and it keeps the grot out

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  • 1 month later...

More tinkering, this time with the Saab to investigate warning light(s).

I've got a few error codes to investigate, I think some may be from previous issues and possibly not relevant any more.

P1312 (2) Combustion detection (knock sensor?) 1&2 OC/short

P1334 (4) Combustion detection 3&4 OC/short

P1110 (0) Charge Air Bypass valve

P0340 (0) Cam Position sensor malfunction

Is the knock sensor related to the DIC coil-on-plug thingys?

I managed to get the radio talking to the car, which is nice.

Then tested the battery, which is apparently shite although seems lively enough to me. I'll keep an eye out for bargain replacement.

While the battery tester was out, I tested the Puma battery, and found that was also kaput. Double expenditure, although the Puma can wait until the Spring when it comes out from hibernation.

Collecting tyres tomorrow which definitely* aren't second-hand, then off to Karl @ Noobtune on Saturday morning. 






danda.jfif kandj.jfif

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Today I went to Brum to collect two tyres that definitely aren't* second hand. Actually Pirellis with 6mm so not too shabby. I'll get my tame tyre man to fit them on Friday. 

Before I set out I decided to see if the cup holder would superglue back together. The gods are shining on me today as it's now working perfect, tested with a travel mug of coffee. 

The Saab drives really well. Sure there are a few issues like vibratory brakes and a fairly long brake pedal but I think these can be sorted. 

Best of all I got to enjoy the sound system which is great. I'm always amazed how good those tape adaptors sound; I was playing my iPod on shuffle through it. It chose some belters as well, including 'Grinders' by Judas Priest which I turned up loud. 

@djoptix - I've managed to eject a CD from the sound system which I'll post on, and I won't embarrass you by publically revealing what it is. 

Anyway the car's been so good that I felt sorry for it and decided to start cleaning some of the accumulated grime. Not bad for a couple of hours' work but it'll get more attention next week maybe. 



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Is the brake vibration just though the pedal when coming to halt?  If so it's likely the reluctor rings on the ABS.  I have a couple of spares in the box of bits we spoke about last year, although the two expensive ones I have are ones which need heat to fit

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1 hour ago, wesacosa said:

Is the brake vibration just though the pedal when coming to halt?  If so it's likely the reluctor rings on the ABS.  I have a couple of spares in the box of bits we spoke about last year, although the two expensive ones I have are ones which need heat to fit

Thanks, but no. Feels more like disc thickness variation. @djoptix gave me some used discs to try which I might throw on as a test to see if it's any different. 

If that makes no difference I'll move up the suspension 'tree' and start replacing bits. I've already got my eye on some PU subframe bushes that don't look a total bastard to fit. 

Fluid looks a bit dark too so I'll get in there and bleed out the old stuff. Just generally need to get in and check everything underneath, hopefully next week. 

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