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RoverFolkUs "Fleet" Thread - MK2 Focus Content .... Focus #2 MOT Pass...


RoverFolkUs

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Hello everyone!

So, I've been lurking for a couple of years now and thought it was about time I sign up. I've never been fond of "expensive" cars and have always found cheapies to be more desirable. Previously departed fleet members, in no particular order, include a Rover 25, 45 (MK2) and 414 (HH-R), Daewoo Tacuma, Sadface fiesta, Nissan Micra K12 (thats a story in itself....) - sadly, none of these steeds appear to be on the road anymore, with most being nuked off the database a short while after departing (assumed neglect). I have, to date, never scrapped a car! The above list should make me fit right in, I think!

I have also signed up to the Ford Owners Club, May live to regret that - as with most owners clubs its full of morons and general dickheads, the Ford one is no different, but I have encountered a few decent people on there so all is well for now.

So that leaves the current fleet members - 2x MK2 Focuses (Foci?!) 

Yes, its only a MK2 Focus, probably classed as modern and boring by many. Well yes they are I suppose, but they're the closest to an "old" feeling car that you're going to get for a mid-late 00's car. 

So why would one need two, you may be wondering?

Well, to be honest I don't need two. But given how hard it is to find a trusted decent car worth having for sub £1000 at the moment, I'm reluctant to let either of them go because they just work (sort of, more on that in a bit...) and provide very little trouble for a "modern" car. So much so, one has been off the road for over 6 months now (will get onto the real reason in a bit) just waiting to be needed. Fortunately I do have the space off road to do this :) 

Part of Focus ownership involves accepting and inevitably encountering their common problems. Unfortunately I seem to have encountered them all LOL. But that does mean I can put a pretty comprehensive writeup out there that may help others searching for similar problems in future. 

Focus #1:

2006 1.6 Ti-VCT Hatchback GHIA. Current issues as follows - Air con inop, Heaters poor and temp gauge erratic, windscreen washers weak, water ingress in boot (fixed), cluster fault (fixed)

Focus #2:

2008 1.6 100hp Hatchback LX. (Late registered pre-facelift) Current issues as follows - Power steering leak, PAS pump noisy, steering knock, gearbox oil leak.

I will give each one their own post below....

So, the reason I have two is because when the cluster packed up on Focus #1, and with its MOT fast approaching, I was left in a bit of a pickle. So took the opportunity to buy Focus #2 as it came up pretty cheap with a new MOT. Focus #1 was parked up and the MOT lapsed. I had considered scrapping it last month as it was just sitting there not doing anything with the cluster fault, but I figured I had nothing to lose by soldering up the instrument cluster to get it to an MOT. Lo and behold, it only bloody passed without a single advisory!! However, with the PAS fault on Focus #2 developing and its MOT fast approaching, until I can get a brand new PAS pump + high pressure pipe for £100, it will be parked up and I'll revert to Focus #1 :)

That's all for now, I think :)  

Cheers!

 

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So, Focus #1 is the one that is off the road at the moment. More on that below

Air con not working - So this is a somewhat interesting one. When pressing the button on the control panel, the light comes on and stays on and the cooling fan switches on low speed, but the compressor clutch does not kick in. Fuse 27 in the engine bay fuse box is fine, relay 11 in the engine bay fuse box is fine but does not click when getting someone to press the air con button. I made sure the relay was fine by swapping it with the horn relay as they were identical. This leads me to believe there is nothing wrong with the aircon clutch or compressor itself as it is simply not being commanded on. My next port of call is to get the refrigerant level checked, but the air con clutch relay not energizing does throw a slight curveball to me.... I am assuming the low pressure switch/sensor could be cutting in if the refrigerant is low? But if it was low refrigerant I would normally expect the compressor to kick in then cut out. Worth mentioning that the car has been sitting for 6 months or so, and air con worked beforehand but must admit it wasn't exactly icy cold. I guess this does point to low refrigerant but if anyone has any other pointers then please be my guest 🙂

Poor heating and erratic temp gauge - I am 99% sure this is the thermostat but that makes it a bit of a pain as its all one housing with an electrical connector on the 1.6 Ti-VCT. If you start the car up and let it idle, the temp gauge will not move off 60. After a few minutes both the upper and lower radiator hoses are equally warm, one is not hotter than the other at all. If you raise the revs from idle to about 2-3k RPM for about a minute, the temp gauge will gradually climb to 75, but if you switch the heaters on max, it gradually drops back down to 60 and the heating becomes warm-ish at best. If you are driving around it never shifts above 60. If you sit in traffic it will often climb to 90 but as soon as you set off it will plummet back to 60 within about a minute and leave you without much heat. It has been like this for a long while now but I had held off as there are plenty of mixed opinions online about fitting OEM vs aftermarket thermostats. Gates ones seem to be around £150 or you can get a cheap one for £30 ish. Anyone have any experience with cheap 'stats on the MK2 Focus? I cant really justify £150 just to get toasty heaters back! @sierraman I believe has recently done a 'stat on his, do you mind me asking which one you went for and if it was any good please?

Windscreen washers - annoyingly this has just cropped up recently! When operating them, you get a short burst of normal pressure then it barely trickles out, certainly not enough to reach the screen. Same applies to the back. When doing this the motor gives off a very odd tune, almost like its out of washer fluid, but the fluid level was full as I topped it up thinking that was the problem. I'd assume the motor is on its way out. Only £8 to solve, so not the end of the world.

Boot water ingress - This was an interesting one. Despite how minor the leak turned out to be it was enough to steam up the windows and turn everything mouldy inside! There are many posts online about water getting in the hinge area but not so much on the lamp cluster screw ports. I stripped all the carpets and plastics out the boot to investigate where it was coming in and lo and behold it was from the screw ports where the factory felt "seal" had failed. I could have used a rubber washer but I only had bathroom sealant to hand at the time so tried that. It lasted a month or so then the sealant cracked up, so I scraped it all off and added black RTV gasket. That has well and truly done the trick and its bone dry in there now 🙂 Free fixes for the win!

Instrument cluster failure - On the subject of free fixes... This was a pretty major problem with a ridiculously simple fix. The notorious dry joint issue is well documented online so I needn't go into too much detail but I'll mention a few differences in my case. I had all the usual codes - U0001, U0121, U0155, U1900, U2200. But not all at the same time. Mine was VERY intermittent however. Sometimes it would go days without repeating the fault. A quick tap of the dash would get rid of the warning lights but put it in limp mode. However hitting the dash sometimes would not trigger the fault. So my method of diagnosing it, to save measuring resistance at the OBDII port, was to detach the cluster and physically flex the wiring harness behind it while the car was running. Sure enough, this confirmed it. After having been quoted £400 to have it fixed professionally, I politely declined and took it apart and re-soldered it myself thinking there was nothing to lose by trying as the car was otherwise scrap. The soldering is not for the faint hearted at all as its very intricate, but being a bit of a skinflint I managed with just a bog standard plug in soldering iron without a temperature knob. I just took care not to overheat the board!

So that comes to the end (at this moment.....) of the '06 plate one's main issues.

(Photo is just a similar one grabbed from the internet before I take an up to date picture of mine!)

3345a9d51f1d4f3104a685837d7389f4_520158.jpg

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Now for the '08 reg

 

The 2008 one is a bit interesting. Its an '08 plate but is a pre facelift and LX trim level. As far as I know the LX trim level was canned sometime in 2007 and the facelift MK2.5 was out for the 57 plate. Anyhow I digress!

Power steering leak - For some context, there is history of a recent "fitting of power steering pump supplied by customer" from the previous owner's paperwork. I believe they have committed the cardinal sin of reusing the teflon nut on the high pressure PAS lines, and indeed the lines themselves. Also worth noting the PAS fluid is a murky grey colour, so something is clearly cream-crackered! This should be simple; replace the lines and stick them on the new pump, right? No! See noisy PAS pump....

Noisy PAS pump - So the "new" PAS pump is making a whiney noise as well as a recently developed rattle, quite a soft noise like ball bearings rattling or shaking rice I would say! So that leaves the conundrum of fitting new single use pipes to a noisy pump. I'm not going to chance it. There is a seller on eBay doing a brand new pump + pipes for a snip under £100. Ideal says I, except for the fact they're out of stock. So I'm playing the waiting game. Alternative options are buying them from separate sellers for about £150 in total or an eye-watering £160 for the pipes and £250 for the pump from the local motor factors, so that's not happening either. I'll take the car off the road if it gets bad enough and wait for a cheaper alternative. 

Steering knock - It seems to be well documented that MK2 Focuses tend to suffer from having noisy/knocking racks but no play. It seems to be a trait and nothing much to worry about. However one of the inner tie rods have a bit of play on mine that can only be felt with the weight off the car. So well worth checking before signing it off as needing a rack!

Gearbox oil leak - Pretty simple, but worth a mention. One of the diff seals weep and leave drips of oil. The leak looks really bad as it inevitably sprays everywhere but hardly affects the level. Simple diagnosis and simple to fix, but I mentioned it anyway 🙂 

(Photo is from the internet, its not mine. Just noticed that the LX normally has plastic door handles, mine are actually body coloured! :) I do have aftermarket wheel trims on mine from the previous owner, which are godawful I do admit!) 

Inkedfsc_31-ford-focus-lx-5-door-hatchback_xl_LI.jpg

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10 minutes ago, fatharris said:

All mine have left me now - all scrapped, a ZT, a 75 and a 220Di, fantastic cars all.

Any photos of your fleet?

So have mine :(  They aren't really suitable as daily drivers any more simply because so many parts are getting hard to get hold of the same day if needed

I do not have photos handy, and they are both filthy at the moment! I will post a couple of internet images of similar ones until I get a chance to take some :) 

Might give them a wash tomorrow, its meant to be sunny :) 

EDIT - Generic photos now added for now!

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So, first rambling in my own thread. 

Living in a small(ish) village, I'm surrounded by godawful SUVs and Cr*ssovers, but there is still shite aplenty here. Still see plenty of the likes of MK1 Focuses, MK2 Clios, MK2 Mondeos, Corsa B's etc

Examples of regular particularly interesting sights include - a WOODEN Ford Cortina, a WOODEN Morris Minor (as if rot couldn't get bad enough with just metal!, I digress..) a beautifully clean V-Reg Rover 75, a Volvo 740 Estate, MK1 Fiat Panda.

Bear in mind this is all within about a mile radius from me, so very refreshing to see all of these still in use almost on a daily basis 

Expanding that radius slightly, there's quite a few 5 Door MK6 (?) Civics - (The ones that look like Rover 400s) which is interesting because I'm led to believe they're pretty rare now!

Pappage will occur in due course when I can get a photo of these steeds :) 

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10 hours ago, RoverFolkUs said:

So, Focus #1 is the one that is off the road at the moment. More on that below

Air con not working - So this is a somewhat interesting one. When pressing the button on the control panel, the light comes on and stays on and the cooling fan switches on low speed, but the compressor clutch does not kick in. Fuse 27 in the engine bay fuse box is fine, relay 11 in the engine bay fuse box is fine but does not click when getting someone to press the air con button. I made sure the relay was fine by swapping it with the horn relay as they were identical. This leads me to believe there is nothing wrong with the aircon clutch or compressor itself as it is simply not being commanded on. My next port of call is to get the refrigerant level checked, but the air con clutch relay not energizing does throw a slight curveball to me.... I am assuming the low pressure switch/sensor could be cutting in if the refrigerant is low? But if it was low refrigerant I would normally expect the compressor to kick in then cut out. Worth mentioning that the car has been sitting for 6 months or so, and air con worked beforehand but must admit it wasn't exactly icy cold. I guess this does point to low refrigerant but if anyone has any other pointers then please be my guest 🙂

Poor heating and erratic temp gauge - I am 99% sure this is the thermostat but that makes it a bit of a pain as its all one housing with an electrical connector on the 1.6 Ti-VCT. If you start the car up and let it idle, the temp gauge will not move off 60. After a few minutes both the upper and lower radiator hoses are equally warm, one is not hotter than the other at all. If you raise the revs from idle to about 2-3k RPM for about a minute, the temp gauge will gradually climb to 75, but if you switch the heaters on max, it gradually drops back down to 60 and the heating becomes warm-ish at best. If you are driving around it never shifts above 60. If you sit in traffic it will often climb to 90 but as soon as you set off it will plummet back to 60 within about a minute and leave you without much heat. It has been like this for a long while now but I had held off as there are plenty of mixed opinions online about fitting OEM vs aftermarket thermostats. Gates ones seem to be around £150 or you can get a cheap one for £30 ish. Anyone have any experience with cheap 'stats on the MK2 Focus? I cant really justify £150 just to get toasty heaters back! @sierraman I believe has recently done a 'stat on his, do you mind me asking which one you went for and if it was any good please?

Windscreen washers - annoyingly this has just cropped up recently! When operating them, you get a short burst of normal pressure then it barely trickles out, certainly not enough to reach the screen. Same applies to the back. When doing this the motor gives off a very odd tune, almost like its out of washer fluid, but the fluid level was full as I topped it up thinking that was the problem. I'd assume the motor is on its way out. Only £8 to solve, so not the end of the world.

Boot water ingress - This was an interesting one. Despite how minor the leak turned out to be it was enough to steam up the windows and turn everything mouldy inside! There are many posts online about water getting in the hinge area but not so much on the lamp cluster screw ports. I stripped all the carpets and plastics out the boot to investigate where it was coming in and lo and behold it was from the screw ports where the factory felt "seal" had failed. I could have used a rubber washer but I only had bathroom sealant to hand at the time so tried that. It lasted a month or so then the sealant cracked up, so I scraped it all off and added black RTV gasket. That has well and truly done the trick and its bone dry in there now 🙂 Free fixes for the win!

Instrument cluster failure - On the subject of free fixes... This was a pretty major problem with a ridiculously simple fix. The notorious dry joint issue is well documented online so I needn't go into too much detail but I'll mention a few differences in my case. I had all the usual codes - U0001, U0121, U0155, U1900, U2200. But not all at the same time. Mine was VERY intermittent however. Sometimes it would go days without repeating the fault. A quick tap of the dash would get rid of the warning lights but put it in limp mode. However hitting the dash sometimes would not trigger the fault. So my method of diagnosing it, to save measuring resistance at the OBDII port, was to detach the cluster and physically flex the wiring harness behind it while the car was running. Sure enough, this confirmed it. After having been quoted £400 to have it fixed professionally, I politely declined and took it apart and re-soldered it myself thinking there was nothing to lose by trying as the car was otherwise scrap. The soldering is not for the faint hearted at all as its very intricate, but being a bit of a skinflint I managed with just a bog standard plug in soldering iron without a temperature knob. I just took care not to overheat the board!

So that comes to the end (at this moment.....) of the '06 plate one's main issues.

(Photo is just a similar one grabbed from the internet before I take an up to date picture of mine!)

3345a9d51f1d4f3104a685837d7389f4_520158.jpg

I replaced the stat a few weeks ago, I removed the auxiliary belt but in hindsight I wouldn’t do it that way again, take the headlight out and maybe drop the radiator and the fan. Getting the belt back on a double pulley is a real fucker. Be careful with the electrical stats, there’s two types, one has a thicker stat which won’t fit in the port, in the end I went with a Circoli one, £60 from ECP, take the old one with you as they were adamant the no ti-Vct one would fit. It won’t. 

Another practical bit of advice is a cable clamp tool so you can pull the clamps remotely.

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3 hours ago, sierraman said:

I replaced the stat a few weeks ago, I removed the auxiliary belt but in hindsight I wouldn’t do it that way again, take the headlight out and maybe drop the radiator and the fan. Getting the belt back on a double pulley is a real fucker. Be careful with the electrical stats, there’s two types, one has a thicker stat which won’t fit in the port, in the end I went with a Circoli one, £60 from ECP, take the old one with you as they were adamant the no ti-Vct one would fit. It won’t. 

Another practical bit of advice is a cable clamp tool so you can pull the clamps remotely.

Cheers for that. Are you saying there's two electrical types? 

I'll keep your offer in mind thanks for that 👍

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39 minutes ago, RoverFolkUs said:

Thank you I didn't know that 👍

I might well just order both and return the wrong one (ECP trade perks there) 

Cheers for the help

In ECP it sometimes brings up a non electric stat. Ideally take it out and compare it carefully at the counter, but if you can avoid disturbing the belt unless you have the right tool, a bit spinner makes it easier to feed the nuts in. 

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38 minutes ago, sierraman said:

In ECP it sometimes brings up a non electric stat. Ideally take it out and compare it carefully at the counter, but if you can avoid disturbing the belt unless you have the right tool, a bit spinner makes it easier to feed the nuts in. 

Thank you, I'll update when I make some progress. Might well leave it till next winter now unless the fecker starts leaking as they love to do 😂

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4 minutes ago, RoverFolkUs said:

Thank you, I'll update when I make some progress. Might well leave it till next winter now unless the fecker starts leaking as they love to do 😂

I wouldn’t personally. The housing usually collapses due the constant thermal cycling, on the ti-VCt it’s designed for quick heat up for the emissions so a number of variables feed into the control of the stat. A very similar system is used on the 1.8/2.0.

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1 hour ago, sierraman said:

I wouldn’t personally. The housing usually collapses due the constant thermal cycling, on the ti-VCt it’s designed for quick heat up for the emissions so a number of variables feed into the control of the stat. A very similar system is used on the 1.8/2.0.

Knew I could trust an expert, having lurked for ages I know you know your Fords well 😁

Sounds like good advise, thanks again. I won't ignore it in that case!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/27/2022 at 6:20 PM, sierraman said:

See the area shown with the micrometer, could be that I was supplied with a Mk3 part but either way something to be aware of. Second picture depicts where the bolts go... much easier than working blind!!

image.jpg

image.jpg

My goodness I don't know how I missed your reply, sorry and thanks so much 👍

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I’ve got another thermostat possibly to tackle, I had a trial go trying to undo the bolts with the alternator still in place, could probably get them off but positioning them back looked nigh on impossible so I’d suggest dropping the radiator to do it that way, probably another 20 minutes work but easier than fucking about with the belt plus gives you opportunity to inspect the radiator, which is difficult otherwise to check in situ.

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2 hours ago, sierraman said:

I’ve got another thermostat possibly to tackle, I had a trial go trying to undo the bolts with the alternator still in place, could probably get them off but positioning them back looked nigh on impossible so I’d suggest dropping the radiator to do it that way, probably another 20 minutes work but easier than fucking about with the belt plus gives you opportunity to inspect the radiator, which is difficult otherwise to check in situ.

Thanks, I do have access to a 2 post lift when doing it so hopefully it should all be easier. I was thinking of basing how I do it based on the condition of the belt, I think it might be original so if it looks naff on close inspection I'll probably just chop it off and fit a new one. If it's ok I'll try the method you suggest 

Thanks again

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So... About yesterday's minor FTP

An FTP I was somewhat prepared for but not expecting to happen last night

For context, Focus #2 has had a small PAS leak for a little while now and the PAS pump has exhibited a light rattle when warm just recently.

My suspicions were raised when I started it up, I heard a "honk" sort of grinding noise, like starter overrun so I thought not much of it. Got about 50 meters down the road when it started making an absolutely horrendous grinding noise continuously from under the bonnet. 

Ah balls, that sounds like low PAS fluid I thought. 

And I was correct. Reservoir completely empty. Bollox :(

So my minor leak got quite a bit worse all of a sudden 

Topped it up, continued my journey, and it's depleted about 1/3 of the reservoir already. 

So that's going to need sorting.

Focus #1 - out you come from your 8 month slumber..... 

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  • RoverFolkUs changed the title to RoverFolkUs "Fleet" Thread - MK2 Focus Content .... MG/Rover Ramblings likely. General motor trade nonsense also likely... **FOCUS FTP** :(

I am sensing impending doom in Focus #2 :(

Partly because it's about to have a mileometer moment of 140,000. In my experience this means something is about to shit itself 😂 (Focus #1's cluster packed up at 100,200 miles and my old Rover 45's alternator packed up at 81,234 miles)

A few issues are starting to mount up which are getting me increasingly twitchy about dumping any more money into it.

Since the recent mini-FTP, it is emptying the PAS reservoir every 300-400 miles

The rack is becoming quite knocky, but there's no free play. I'm thinking some preload adjustment may be required, @sierraman do you know if this is possible on one of these please? I haven't paid attention to it when underneath previously and from reading online apparently it can't be adjusted (!) But I'm not convinced 🤔

The AUX belt is starting to look very naff and is freying and cracking up. I don't think this is helped by the dodgy PAS pump rattling as I think the pulley is shimmying slightly and putting it under undue stress.

Just recently in the last week or so a resonating thump/rattle has started to present itself from the rear suspension. I'm thinking (and hoping) it's anti-roll bar related. Focus #2 has a bush type ARB linkage setup like the MK1 Focus, but Focus #1 has ball joint type drop links on the rear, which I find strange!

I think that's it for now. MOT is up in July too, so not very long on that front. 

Might hot-swap to Focus #1 so that I can properly go through Focus #2 

I need to keep out of the eBay tat thread before I do a buy and regret selling this to make way! 😂

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If the engine isn’t using oil it’s probably worth mending. The knock on the back might be the drop links but equally it could be the trailing arms which are a bit of a bitch to sort out. The rack can knock a bit on those but show no play, might run like that for ages yet, there’s no adjustment that I know of. Worth checking the inner tie rods if they are knocking.

The belt, double pulley, Laser do a tool to fit it for £50, you could loop it round the pulleys with the alternator loose on its bottom pivot bolt then pry the alternator against the inner wing toward to engine, I would have done this on mine but I was working alone so i was missing an extra pair of hands to put the bolts in whilst I held it. The bits of tin you get with the belt are worse than useless, it just falls off the water pump pulley, the proper kit has a clamp that holds it on the pulley and it’s made of much thicker metal that doesn’t bend. 

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12 hours ago, RoverFolkUs said:

I am sensing impending doom in Focus #2 :(

Partly because it's about to have a mileometer moment of 140,000. In my experience this means something is about to shit itself 😂 (Focus #1's cluster packed up at 100,200 miles and my old Rover 45's alternator packed up at 81,234 miles)

A few issues are starting to mount up which are getting me increasingly twitchy about dumping any more money into it.

Since the recent mini-FTP, it is emptying the PAS reservoir every 300-400 miles

The rack is becoming quite knocky, but there's no free play. I'm thinking some preload adjustment may be required, @sierraman do you know if this is possible on one of these please? I haven't paid attention to it when underneath previously and from reading online apparently it can't be adjusted (!) But I'm not convinced 🤔

The AUX belt is starting to look very naff and is freying and cracking up. I don't think this is helped by the dodgy PAS pump rattling as I think the pulley is shimmying slightly and putting it under undue stress.

Just recently in the last week or so a resonating thump/rattle has started to present itself from the rear suspension. I'm thinking (and hoping) it's anti-roll bar related. Focus #2 has a bush type ARB linkage setup like the MK1 Focus, but Focus #1 has ball joint type drop links on the rear, which I find strange!

I think that's it for now. MOT is up in July too, so not very long on that front. 

Might hot-swap to Focus #1 so that I can properly go through Focus #2 

I need to keep out of the eBay tat thread before I do a buy and regret selling this to make way! 😂

my MK1 1.6  has just shafted itself at 150K with the clutch slipping , it will be baked bean fodder soon once the petrol tank contebts are burnt off .

so things that can be posted can be claimed , but the car needs to be mobile for disposal ..

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9 hours ago, MikeR said:

my MK1 1.6  has just shafted itself at 150K with the clutch slipping , it will be baked bean fodder soon once the petrol tank contebts are burnt off .

so things that can be posted can be claimed , but the car needs to be mobile for disposal ..

I don't think there's (m)any interchangable parts between the MK1 and my MK2 Focus but thank you for the offer 🙂

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10 hours ago, sierraman said:

If the engine isn’t using oil it’s probably worth mending. The knock on the back might be the drop links but equally it could be the trailing arms which are a bit of a bitch to sort out. The rack can knock a bit on those but show no play, might run like that for ages yet, there’s no adjustment that I know of. Worth checking the inner tie rods if they are knocking.

The belt, double pulley, Laser do a tool to fit it for £50, you could loop it round the pulleys with the alternator loose on its bottom pivot bolt then pry the alternator against the inner wing toward to engine, I would have done this on mine but I was working alone so i was missing an extra pair of hands to put the bolts in whilst I held it. The bits of tin you get with the belt are worse than useless, it just falls off the water pump pulley, the proper kit has a clamp that holds it on the pulley and it’s made of much thicker metal that doesn’t bend. 

Thanks once again

I serviced it at 136k miles, in that time I've had to top the oil up from min-max once, it's sitting halfway now at 140k so by my calculations that's 500ml every 3k miles which seems reasonable for a high-ish mileage petrol engine.

Regarding the rear end knock I did note some minor splitting on the control arm bushes and perishing on the trailing arm bushes, but no free play when I serviced it. That was only 4 months and 4k miles but of course anything can happen in that time. Best thing I can do is get it up in the air and pry at things I guess

The rack knock is a weird one, I have seen others complaining about but coming to no resolution and as I said there's no free play. But it makes quite a lot of noise. 

In fact I'll try to take and upload a video which will be so much easier than trying to explain it

There was some very slight play in the NSF inner track rod joint so I'm going to swap that (might well do both and the track rod ends as well while I'm at it) to eliminate everything there. 

The only thing that is concerning me is the tightness and thumping in the steering when first setting off. I'm thinking and hoping it's just one of the UJs in the column that wants a bit of grease

Since I'm going to replace the PAS pump and pipes I'll just cut the old belt off, then try the alternator method as I will have a second person to assist. I'm glad it's not just me that thought the cheap belt tools look too flimsy to be upto the job

I really do appreciate the help cheers 👍👍

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