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Ruffgeezer's Repairs... (Tales from an ex-mechanic) 27/1/2023 Focus on the positives: MOT time.


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As some of you may know, I gave up the spanners as a job nearly a year ago now, but that doesn't mean that I have stopped getting my hands dirty.

I shall use this thread here to document the antics of a driveway mechanic, starting with this morning's issue.  After my last of 7 night shifts, I was delighted* to hear a *PING* followed by the tell tale rattle from the rear of the S40 this morning, which I straight away knew was a broken rear shock top mount:



What I hadn't anticipated was the little bleeder had sheered one of the bolts off on it's way out... Fucksticks.



There is no access to the back of this bolt inside the boot, so my only solution was to  remove it from inside the wheel arch, there was approximately 1.5 threads left on the broken bolt which was just enought to snug an M8 nut up to the bodywork.



I broke out my trusty arc welder and on my second attempt; success!




I did not expect it to be that easy!  I'll be straight on the phone to ECP tomorrow to get a replacement top mount.

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I did get this repaired, but time constraints meant no pictures, in typical Haynes stle though, refitting was reversal of removal.

I should not that I had to go through all of the M8 bolts I had to find one of the correct length AND of 10.8 tensile strength to replace the broken one.

Normal service has been resumed, but I really want to replace the S40 with either a V50, Focus estate 2.0d or at a push an A4 Avant.

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On 8/29/2022 at 1:48 PM, Wack said:

How is it going ,enjoying it 



It's certainly different, and not without it's challenges.  It is taking a lot to get used to working shifts, but above all it is ultimately better long term than the gruelling world of mechanics.  That being said, I do still keep a hand in both on my own fleet and the odd job here and there.

I've also have kept on good terms with my previous employer, and I sometimes can be found attending to the "Shit List"  at the garage when time and inclination allows.

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  • ruffgeezer changed the title to Ruffgeezer's Repairs... (Tales from an ex-mechanic)

Yeah, I've started sifting through the shite in the back, it smells in there so I think some diesel has been spilt.  I might sand the floor and give it a lick of paint to seal it.

I've had a swing on the NS suspension and found nothing, so will try the OS and if that fails, get it tested and see what they can find.  It feels like a bent wheel or knackered shift as the van feels to shimmy sideways under rotation. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a nearly new van on the driveway at the moment...


It's a 2014 Peugeot Expert with the 2.0 16v Hdi engine.  Owner states "Drops into limp home mode, *might* need an MOT, needs an engine mount."

Again due to the nature of his company, it is utter, utterly ditched inside.

I've removed the seat covers and the seat doesn't look too bad save for the the wear on the seat base.


The whole inside is covered in "farm dust" which never seems to dry fully and clings onto surfaces and sticks around like your first dump at a new girlfriend's house.


By this point I've spent an hour just rounding all the shit up from the cab and load area.  At least one bin bag of rubbish and several boxes of treasure later, I can begin cleaning.


Who doesnt love a half and half shot?


I borrowed a fairly industrial looking steam cleaner and the passenger door came up pretty well...


Driver's side to do next, and I shall have to do something with that floor covering... ideas on  a postcard?



As an aside, this is the rear garage here,  it is made out of a dlack hand of blocks and a load of shitey old wooden cladding, with some wiggly tin resting across the adjacent sheds.

Plan is to pull the lot down, replace the slate and put a metal shed over the whole lot.

To the right here are the rear of the 2 sheds.


Looking backwards towards the fence "wall" and block work generator shed.


The view from outside, with the slab empty it'd give an approximately 16' x 16' space.


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Sorry for the lack of pictures, but after replacing the NS driveshaft (the one with a load of play in it) the van still had an horrific case of the death wobbles at anything more than 30mph.

It would only misbehave under power,  and there were no strange noises.  I went around and shook all the suspension joints again, and swapped the front wheels around with the spare all to no avail.

So I bit the bullet and replaced the offside driveshaft complete with intermediate bearing.

Bugger me, it's like a different van.  I ran it up to my former employer for tomorrow's mot, but I suspect it may have a binding rear brake as it was a little smelly when I arrived.  No sign of the "running fault" the owner described however. 

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  • ruffgeezer changed the title to Ruffgeezer's Repairs... (Tales from an ex-mechanic) 22.09.22 Industrial Pigeon Shit

So the results from the MOT were reasonable;  a couple of bulbs, a tyre with a lump on it and aome broken exhaust hangers.

Of course you start with the simple stuff first, only it's not just a bulb.  Some sausage fingered ape child has been in there before and pulled half of the wiring out of one of the terminals.

Wire shortened and a new terminal soldered on and it's away.

The tyre issue was due to me trying to identify the vibrations, the spare wheel ended up fitted to the NSF, and I didn't notice the tyre was kippered.

Now as almost anyone who has been under a post 2002 Citroën or Peugeot will tell you,  it was around that time that they just clean forgot how to attach exhausts to cars.  Gone were the sturdy bars of old,  and in came the shitty pressed tin ones that fell off, usually whilst the vehicle was still under warranty.   The van has 2 such mounts that were no longer er... ...mounted.


the metal at the curve is incredibly thin, to attempt a weld here is to blow holes.

Also my mig welder is enjoying a holiday with @RichardK so another plan was hatched.

Best clean up the old munt with a flap disc first though...


One of the things I miss about being in a garage daily is access to good bits of scrap, and do today's repair includes parts of a broken lazy-tong rivet gun that I dismantled around 12 years ago.


Cut, bent and clamped into position. 

Now I did mention industrial pigeon shit...  it appears here courtesy of this incredibly heavy but reliable buzz meister...


Turned down low, it managed to stick a fairly thick bit of steel to the tinfoil bracket, well enough that a localised hammer attack failed to dislodge it, however rough it may look...


this is repeated both sides of the bracket,  and the resultant mess is then sparkled in the general direction of the exhaust;


It looks crappy, but it is solid and the exhaust is no longer resting on the rear suspension. 

Retest is next week, so a bit of breathing space to do some more cleaning and a few 'tidyup" repairs.

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1 hour ago, sierraman said:

I’ll own up to once wrapping an old pair of my pants round a Mondeo diesel exhaust to stop it banging on humps before I sold it. That’s mingebaggery at its best. 

Certainly a different way of leaving skidmarks!

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This morning, I gave the rear brakes a service and ground the lips off of the discs,  finishing up with a quick pass with the flap wheel to remove any rust from where it has been stood.

The glove box handle has been repaired with araldite as I wasn't about to pay over a hundred quid for a second hand one, or a monkey for a new one. 

The interior looks far better but will get another pass with the wetvac...


Its also had a new aerial, new pedal rubber and a plan is in place for the floor.

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So the plan for the floor...

A lot of the foam padding from under the carpet had been eroded by big boots and heavy soiling from aggregates and farm dirt.


In places this was over an inch thick, more than is usually available from carpet shops, but they do keep a rather dense foam underlay...


a bit more excavation of the old underlay and a bit of cutting down gets the first layer in;


The top coat of the old floor has cratered up where it has worn through, so next was to trim the edges back and start building the various profiles found here originally. 


I think there are about 4 layers in places stuck together with carpet glue and to their surroundings (and my hands, the pedals, the scissors and anywhere else that a wonky nozzle could conceivably squirt)

Lastly, a layer of this incredibly sticky, thick black tape that I happen to have. A whole roll was used here, the plan was never to hide the repair (obviously) but to remove the horrible void feeling under the pedals that even the thickest mat wouldn't hide.


Lastly, I rescued these from the scrappy yesterday amongst other small items, which once spruced up will finish the job nicely.


So not far from @paulplomand @beko1987's suggestions, and still cheaper than replacing the whole floor.

The Eagle eyed of you might spot the door mirror control switch has reappeared, one of those definitely didn't pop off of a full switch pack and fall into my bag of bits.  Certainly not. Fitted nicely too.

That's all of the MOT fails fixed and all of the advisories bar the slight play in the steering UJ.

Re-test by the end of the week.



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  • 2 weeks later...

So compare and contrast...

When I first got the van:



Most of the debris hoovered out:


I managed to snag a Bissell spot cleaner, which is ace,  one pass on the seats has them looking like this;



Still another clean of the hard surfaces required, but definitely more presentable.  Now taxed and tested, just need to track down the p0089 code which may be a leaky fuel filter seal.

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  • ruffgeezer changed the title to Ruffgeezer's Repairs... (Tales from an ex-mechanic) 27/1/2023 Focus on the positives: MOT time.

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