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Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Maestro headlining excitement, Puma MoT


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More evidence against the DICk: The defendant is asked to explain the presence of wet plugs. 

Either the ECU isn't sending a signal to fire the plugs, all of a sudden, for no reason at all. 

Or, the defendant isn't processing that signal into a coil impulse and a spark. 

@twosmoke300 I took the old one apart; there was no oil in it that I could see. Maybe it's inside the epoxy'd bit?

AA man reckons that injectors wouldn't fire if crank sensor didn't work. I'm with him on this; how does the ECU know when to fire the injectors if it doesn't have a crank position signal? 

Also there's no code for a bad crank sensor. 

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1 hour ago, Cookiesouwest said:

The defendant is guilty and should be shipped to Australia for a period of no less than 20 yrs.

Harsh punishment for anyone. But fair for DICk I'd say. 

When the replacement Chinese DICk I've ordered arrives, it's judgement day. 

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If it pleases the court...

I am getting between 260-280 rpm when I turn the starter which sounds about right. Although the stupid tool won't actually display this until after the event because its refresh rate is too slow. Also the tool shows RPM on a 0-7000rpm Y-axis so 300rpm barely registers. 

And it took a while to get this far because running the tool off car +12v meant the tool died as soon as the starter drew current and dropped voltage. I had to hook up an alternative +12v battery to power the tool. 

Anyway, you're right @twosmoke300 it's better to check and be sure. 


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Met the charming @Ohdearme in the luxurious* surroundings of Sainsbury's Warwick. We did a dodgy deal involving Chevron oil and cash, making me an oil magnate. Master Grogee was on spotter duty. 

It's Costco's finest* 5W30 synthetic and has been used in most of my shiters without any ill effects, so I was glad to get some more at pre-OMGINFLATION price. 

Puma is scheduled for a change so that'll be first in line for the gloop. 

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After last night's glamour outing at Southam Cricket Club's car gathering, today the Puma is under the knife for timing belt change. 

I've got man flu so progress is slow but I've got most of the weekend so no point sweating blood over it. 

Puma forum says there are a couple of ways to lock crank to get pulley off using a 6mm Allen key. The 'proper' way is with the unobtainable special tool. 

The man on the Puma forum wanted £400 deposit (!) for a borrow of the proper tool. I mean, I know he doesn't want to lose it, but that doesn't feel very friendly, and involves too much risk from my side - how can I be sure I'll get my £400 back?

Anyway should be ok especially if the ugga dugga gun gets the bolt out which is apparently done up to eleventy zillion nm according to the forum spods. 

So far I've just got a few bits and bobs out of the way ready for covers-off. More later if I can be arsed. 

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The Chinese DICk arrived this morning so I slapped it on and tried to start the Saab... no dice. Still cranking, still not firing. I'm stumped now so I'm going to call in expert help. My friendly mechanic Shaun has come out to help me before so I'm hoping he'll have some suggestions. But it'll be a while what with the holiday and he'll be booked up etc. 

So while that sits on the drive in disgrace, I moved onto the Puma. Because why have one working car when you can have none?

It's not a nice job, the cambelt. There's barely any access for hand/tools and I've made life harder by placing brace bars top and bottom. 

Ford has made the job unnecessarily scary by fitting floating pulleys everywhere, but in theory if crank is TDC and cams are locked in their TDC position it should* all be good. I just don't see the point in having an extra layer of fuckupery. 

Anyway belt's off now and of course it looks absolutely fine, as does the tensioner. I had to make a special tool to get the aux belt pulley/vibration damper off, using a bit of old Saab window regulator. 

The vibration damper is a bit cracked, I'm wondering if I should replace?

Currently a bit stuck getting the inlet cam pulley off to change the seal. Bolt is off but it seems stuck on. 






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Don't get it @twosmoke300 - what's bullseye?

Any road, took a brave pill and changed the cam seals (easy) and crank seal (also easy but potential for bork).

I think the crank seal was starting to go as there was a thin film of grime in there. All cleaned up now. 

I've got the crank timing pin in place too. It's all a bit hit and miss because I've bought a generic tool with about three different pins, but found one that fit and the crank web knocks onto it at TDC. 

Conventional wisdom says you should change the tensioner (£50 part) but I found just the pulley for £20 and I'll re-use the springy bit because the engineer in me says it's working well inside its yield limit and therefore can't wear out.  Might give it a squirt of grease for fun. 

The other job was to 'fix' (glue) the pulley cover because the previous guy screwed into it trying to get pulley off. I definitely* didn't do the same. 

So next up it's throw it all back together with the new belt. She be reet



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Another lovely day out. No progress until later though because I'm cooking roast lamb for the in laws this lunchtime. 

I really don't have a clue what's up with the Saab and I don't know where to start. In despair I've bought a cheapo crank sensor and an ignition key switch chip reader coil thingy. The Chinese DICk will be going back for a refund. 


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Getting there with the Puma. It's all a bit fraught because the cam tool doesn't really lock convincingly (it's too thick) and the TDC timing pin doesn't lock the crank, it only stops it rotating clockwise past TDC. Even then it doesn't 'stop' with enough oomph to do up the crank pulley stretch bolt to 90deg. If I'd tried I would have surely bent the pin and it'd be stuck in the block. 

So instead I stuffed an Allen key in the flywheel, it wasn't perfect but good enough. I just hope I've not chewed the teeth up. 

Timing seems good though after a couple of rotations, I'm still showing TDC and correct cam postions so can't really ask for more. Belt tension is ok too. 

I've started bolting it back up, not a quick job though so I've taken a break and I'll carry on tomorrow morning. 

Note high tech use of wooden skewer to confirm TDC.



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Puma back together. Most of it seemed to go back together without a fight. The PAS pump has to be "asided" for access to belt cover bolts and it's a PITA tucked away at the back of the engine, right near windscreen where the bonnet is very low. 

Most of it is a PITA due to access really. All I would say is - it didn't really need doing. Belt is fine, no cracks. Tensioner idler was also fine. Last done in 2017 so officially 'due' but probably less than 20,000 miles in that time. 

Of course you can't know any of this until the parts are off, by which time you might as well change it anyway. But all of the cam belts and tensioners I've changed on all my cars have all been absolutely fine and nowhere near close to failure. Just in case this gives any comfort to those riding the cambelt roulette. 

Just the rest of the service to finish now - a few filters and check the tyre pressures, that sort of thing. Then probably a blast to Banbury tomorrow. 

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Bit more digging on the Saab. According to the WIS, the resistance of the crank sensor across two of the three pins (can't remember which ones) should be about 900 ohms. But I can't see anything except open circuit across all/any of the pins. 

So it looks like DICk is in the clear and the CPS is now in the dock.

I've taken the old one off and will update once the new one has arrived and is fitted. 

In other news, somebody locally was selling a solar (car) battery charger for £20 which seemed like VALU to me so I've bought it. It seems to have some sort of clever module that regulates the current into the battery. The display shows a higher voltage when it's sunny so that seems to make sense. Anyway it's keeping the Saab battery topped up while it awaits parts. 

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Having been very gentle with the Puma after my cam belt surgery, I still got the feeling it felt livelier. So having completed a few dozen miles without it self-combusting, I felt it was time for a proper test. Gave it some beans earlier this evening. 

Phwoar! There must be twenty extra horses in there now. What a beast! Wants to rev hard, all the time. Previously it was reluctant to rev past 6000rpm.

So, having initially thought it was a bit of a waste of time, it seems I've fixed an underlying issue. Turns out the ape that did it before not only broke the belt cover (now replaced) but also fucked up the timing. 

Another clue was that I sometimes saw a VCT fault on the OBD reader (cam advance mech). In other words the system was trying to advance to X degrees but was unable to. 


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Having gone to Tesco to top up with Momentum 99 in triumph, I've noticed the a/c is a bit limp. Probably not working at all in truth. I had a fiddle under the bonnet and managed to get some R134a substitute in, but since I did that last time I'm suspecting a leak somewhere. 

I did check the pipes to/from the evaporator and there is a decent temp difference, so it's doing something. 

Does anyone know any friendly A/C engineers in the Midlands that are shite-sympathetic? Or maybe I bung in some Stop-Leak (even though the experts hate it).

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Also I washed the fleet today. Mrs Grogee uses the Alfa quite a lot, and parks under trees at work so her Alfa gets really mucky. It's a shame because it's one of those cars that really suits being clean. 

Puma is going to Bicester Scramble on Saturday. They've sniffily insisted that only pre-1990 are 'classic' and thus I'll get herded to the pleb car park, but I thought if it's clean they might have a change of heart. 


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This was outside my office this morning, lovely old thing. There's still a fair amount of cars from Bicester Scramble about the place. I found out this M1 belongs to someone who used to work at my place. 

Anyway closer to Earth and the Saab is showing the Warning Light of Honour; I haven't bothered plugging in yet but it'll be P1110 Bypass Valve Performance Problems. Annoying because I treated it to a new aluminium valve from Neo Bros. Apparently it's possible to bypass the solenoid somehow which I'll do if it's safe. 

It's running fine and today was warm enough to confirm the air con is indeed working, though I'll need a Really Hot Day to find out how well. 

I'm getting 30mpg which is good for a bus this quick. I generally just pootle with occasional blasts of F45T.




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15 hours ago, grogee said:

P1110 Bypass Valve

I guess you will have done this already but just in case....... The vac lines can degrade and cause some issues, I changed mine to (3mm?) Silicone as one in particular was a bit stretched and kept popping off the valve near to the bulkhead.

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8 minutes ago, Wgl2019 said:

I guess you will have done this already but just in case....... The vac lines can degrade and cause some issues, I changed mine to (3mm?) Silicone as one in particular was a bit stretched and kept popping off the valve near to the bulkhead.

Thanks. I thought I'd done them all, but I will check again today, I don't remember doing one to the bulkhead. Got plenty of 3mm vac hose should it be needed.

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Thanks for this @Wgl2019. I had a look and it looks like my vac system is plumbed together wrongly. My solenoid to the bypass valve is connected mainly to fresh air so it can't route vacuum to the valve. 

I need to re-plumb so it all follows your very helpful diagram. 



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Saab in their ongoing efforts to make things more complicated than is strictly necessary did make a few changes over the years to how the lines are routed. 

If you find something that obviously doesn't match that screenshot it may just be one of those things! 

On the plus side if the line to the bypass valve is disconnected you will have a pleasant surprise when it's back on power wise. 

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I've reconnected trying to follow the diagram with the principle that the throttle body is the 'source' of the vacuum, it goes into and out of the bypass valve solenoid, then back to the manifold. That should mean that if and when the solenoid operates, it'll open the valve. 

Need an excuse to drive it now and see if the light goes away. 

More ponies would be lovely, but at some point I'd like to tighten the front end - shocks, bushes etc. Starting with the subframe bushes very kindly donated by @Sh'Eds of this parish. 

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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Maestro headlining excitement, Puma MoT

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