Something else I needed to fit was a new mid silencer on the Zafira, since the rubbish the garage fitted split along its plated seam after less than a year.
Luckily the new section I have is “rolled” instead of “pressed” meaning it only has one long edge seam instead of two physical sections tacked together. So my plan for this is just to give the product more protection from the elements, it’s mild steel and it will fail eventually but it might help a little…
Versachem is a good product, and it is a strong sealer so I have applied it to all the seam edges on the box, notice how it’s embedded into the small gaps nicely…
Here is another example on the recesses, this only took about five minutes skimming the versachem wearing latex gloves (seriously use gloves as versachem is rather potent stuff).
Spraying is also a rather quick task, since this is matte VHT it tends not to run so bad and even one coat looks rather tidy. Also it can be good to tape the edges to give a cleaner finish (not that anyone will see this work of art lol).
After fifteen minutes I applied another quick coat.
I applied the paint mostly to the ends and on the long seam edge, after five minutes of drying you see it goes to this flat matt colour and does not look too bad at all. To finish I sprayed the hanger sections also just to help protect the welds.
That concludes my little DIY post here on a little rust/corrosion protection for budget exhaust components, have a good day 🙂
In principal this is quite a simple job and you don’t really need to be mechanically minded to do this at all, what makes it a pain is rusty nuts ! Be prepared for those rusty nuts from hell ! In this post I will just outline some tips when it comes to replacing the cat for this specific vehicle as it might come in useful for others out there.
So it’s been fifteen years and 65k miles for my Dad’s Zafira, I guess it’s going through the “bits are wearing out” kinda stage. The vehicle has been flawless but in the last year the following have happened:
Exhaust muffler blow – Replaced
Exhaust mid silencer blow – Replaced
Downpipe flex collapse – Replaced
Primary and Secondary o2 sensor failure – Replaced (use genuine NTK/GM/Bosch/Denso or you might get EML issues!)
And now the latest addition: “P0420 – Catalyst System Low Efficiency” ! Eeekk
So this is the best answer I found to removing all the manifold nuts. This is a tool known as a “nut/bolt extractor” and is essentially a sharp spiral teething socket that grips into rusted nuts or bolts and gets them loose ! The ones I went for are the “Irwin Bolt Grip Expansion Set” which has the correct 10mm fitment for the Zafra/Astra G. I would not of got the job done without these they are perfect for this job. It is possible to do the nuts off with a chisel and a hammer but the “Irwin’s” save loads of time and risk of damaging the stud threads.
Would you like to see what happened to the old catalytic converter ? Well here you are, no wonder it wasn’t do it’s job most of the monolith element was gone ! As you can see it is a really chalky colour which is a sign of fatigue and heat damage, 17 years though cannot complain !
There is not much else to mention apart from some tips regarding the new cat. I purchased an “eBay approved cat” costing £100 but there are some differences to note against the OEM GM cat !
Firstly as you can see in the photograph the bottom down pipe connection has bolt holes instead of integrated studs. This is fine apart from the Screws/Nuts supplied are absolute rubbish ! I don’t know what they are but the nuts have weird dipped threads so when you are putting the nuts on they suddenly go extremely tight, and it’s impossible to do laying under the car using a socket in one hand and a spanner in the other !
My advice is ditch the provided Screws/Nuts and pick up the Halfords M8 assortment pack for £3.48 they are perfect for the job and save a lot of hassle !
Also another mention which is unavoidable really but still a bummer and that’s the manifold casting shape. Basically the new one has slightly shallower header branches, if you look carefully on the photo above you will see the far right branch is a fatter shape and this makes the far right bottom nut really damn hard to fit ! The only way I could get it done was to remove the oil filter, and even after that it took about half an hour to fit the damn nut with an open end spanner !
So just to conclude this task:
- Get nut/bolt extractors to make removal much easier
- If you can pickup a new or very good genuine OEM GM cat it will be easier to fit !
Hope this help anyone out there, leave a comment if you have any questions.
So this is probably the last college related post, three years of studying and eight individual courses passed…
I’ll start off with the recent exam stuff, and LV13 which is all about transmissions and related components in the drive line. The good news is I passed the test easily with 93%, but then again I was not very happy about the exam highlighting nothing whatsoever on DSG gearboxes. I thought this was extremely odd since their presence in the industry is borderline mainstream now, and my test highlighted mostly on diaphragm clutches and epicyclic gears which is relevant but rather old. Luckily our lecturer highlighted on DSG systems through the IMI ATT presentation software. I’m thankful we at least had some class time to cover the principles of DSG in layout and operation.
If you haven’t done your LV13K exam here are some pointers:
Forget revising the new stuff like DSG it’s not in the exams: I can only speak for 2016, maybe 2017+ they will start doing questions on DSG/ Dual Mass/ Multi plate Systems and Mechatronics. Do not revise too heavily on new systems and concentrate on regular systems.
Revise symptoms to problems for example: Broken detent springs, worn engine mounts, bent drive shafts, clutch slip, engaging gears, worn syncromesh baulk springs, worn crown wheel and pinion teeth, worn friction linings etc…
Gearbox Diagrams: Look at the ones in Hillier’s and what is on the two IMI LV13K practice exams, typically it will ask you to identify a specific gears through choosing two letters corresponding to the diagram. So if both 5th speed gears off the primary and lay shaft are are denoted as I , K on the diagram then you choose that. Remember you can always rule out reverse quite easily as the gears will be straight cut !
CVT Boxes: You only need to touch on the basics for this, for example the fact a CVT has an infinite number of gear ratios, and that the belt is inextensible and transmits drive by thrust.
Torque Converters: Once again you just need to scratch the surface, the main 3 components (Impellar/Stator/Turbine) and how they interact for example “the turbine and impellar rotating at the same speed”.
Refer to the Assessment Requirements: I found this online, and it’s fairly useful in terms of picking apart what I needed to revise. Yes it’s dated 2010 but as far as I’m aware it’s still on the IMI site so must be legitimate for now…
So this is what my E-Portfolio now displays: 100% !
So everything is done, and honestly it wasn’t that hard. The AE06 electrical exam way back around December was probably the hardest section since the questioning is extremely vast. My result of 65% was way below average for me but still anything over 60% is a pass, and even if you get 100% it’s still just classed as just a pass (don’t ask me why).
I believe my E-Portfolio will still need to be checked through by an alternative member of staff just like my paper based portfolios of previous years, then I get my certificate ?
As you can see from above the last few practicals have been quite fun, my lecturer allowed me to do some side jobs for staff at the college. First up was a window which would not operate on a 2006 Golf, on inspection it soon turned out to be the regulator cables that had corroded and snapped. £25 off eBay for the new regulator and fitted by myself and Ariel in about 40 minutes.
East Kent College FIA/FIM Santa Pod Trip
I will do a more in depth post in the coming weeks on this event, but damn it was a good day ! I only took 327 photos so I did well to control myself, and I got some amazing results with the retro EF 35-105mm lens. Many thanks to the IMI for linking up with SP to provide the excellent paddock tours.
For full event photos see here: Santa Pod FIA FIM Test and Qualify Day
East Kent College MCM Comic Con Trip
So the next day I was up again for more coach journeys from hell (I’m kidding it wasn’t so bad) but luckily not so far to go this time, It’s the London ExCel for the MCM Comic Con 2016 ! I didn’t take many photos at the event but it was good fun. I must admit I wish I come up with a costume for the event but since I was half dead from SP the day before I was not too bothered. As you can see I asked for photos with the Stormtroopers which went down well !
MCM Comic Con London Photos Here: Comic Con 2016 Photos
Throwback Photo: Level 2 crew Curtis, Sam and Ariel removing and replacing the hand brake assembly on the Ford Mondeo.
So what were my best experiences from college ?
My first year was the most enjoyable, since I learned a huge amount in the workshop thanks to Dennis and Barry. I had a great tutor Nathan, who helped me pass the LV2 Functional Skills Maths, English and PSD easily.
The second year was by far the hardest with having to do my GCSE’s again after 10 years. I thought it was impossible thinking I would struggle, but it turned out English was rewarding and genuinely interesting. The class was a good laugh and our teacher structured the course really well, maths on the other hand was a nightmare… Time went on and I didn’t know what was going on, or who was teaching so it become a worry. After four months of little progress a new Maths teacher showed up, and I had around three months left before the exam so it seemed rather hopeless. Despite this I somehow got my C in the end thanks to Phil and his excellent teaching, coupled with the extra workshop lessons and everything he put onto the Moodle platform for revision.
Learning aside there have been some great social experiences as well, the SU always provided good debates for the students (and free sandwiches). The trips that I’ve been on with the college this year have been inspiring such as Brooklands / Mercedes Benz World, which was an awesome course relevant outing thanks to Stuart. Go-Ape and the more recent Comic Con were really fun thanks to Ana and the staff over at the Student Centre.
What happens Next ?
I’ll keep the blog site going, probably from a photographic perspective and perhaps personal hobbies/interests. If your visiting this in the year 3000 or something looking for “Vintage College Stuff” just use the East Kent College menu to view the academic related posts…
Thanks to all the WordPress users who have checked out my blog, it’s been great to have an audience of followers and interested readers.
The year seems to be going super fast, and finally the weather in the UK is getting better. I’ve mainly been out cycling which has felt somewhat beneficial, and over the break we had an awesome trip at the Go Ape course near Leeds Castle. I’ll be honest I was a little nervous at first since I had no real idea what to do, but after working out the equipment it was really amazing. I want to do a similar course perhaps bigger and more dangerous, probably have to go half way round the world for that !
Here is one of the Folkestone students that was in my group, the zip lines are pretty big, around 250m long and guessing probably around 100ft high.
I tried to use my camera on the big zip line and get a 1/15th shot to show the speed of motion, but I Kinda ended up in a spin… I was holding the cam with two hands and using the viewfinder when I’m supposed to be holding onto the safety harness ! Why did I not use live view you might well ask ? I use the view finder so damn much I forgot about it to be honest. Basically it didn’t work out but I still like the effect…
Like I said with cycling I’ve been doing a lot of that, and the Hope Pro 2 hub I’ve fitted to the bike has really improved the drive pickup, though I’m still getting used to the sound ! Here I’ve parked up at Sandy Lanes just checking it out, a couple of bricks and sticks to move otherwise some of trails seem okay. I want to rebuild the front wheel as well now it seems too weak in comparison. After 16 years I decided to renew the bottom bracket also, it didn’t need one but they are not expensive so I’ve fitted an UN55 in place of the UN52 and it seems good.
In the workshop I’ve completed a few more tasks and only have one left to do now ! Recent ones have been diagnosing a turbo charger pressure fault, audio equipment fault, and a steering related fault. I got to do some kind of pre-MOT inspection so I’m not sure when that is happening because it will have to be done in the other workshop, using the necessary testing facilities like the brake roller.
Here is an example of the evidence I have to submit with diagnosing audio equipment. Although the problem was damage to the component speaker wiring in the door I still have to show a methodical approach, so going to the stereo fuse first, then moving on to checking the output from the head unit amplifier etc. until getting to the component speaker in the door and no signal after entering the door indicates a wiring damage/high resistance.
I got my LV07 assignment passed a few weeks back which is good. This assignment is about describing an electronic fuel injection system and outlining an in depth diagnosis of a specific problem that can occur on the system. I did my investigation about solder breaks on the PCB for a Fuel Pump Relay. I have Mark Lamond with his great website to thank for the in depth look at the Honda CRX.
With this I was able to base my own essay off the scenario and pin it onto a newer vehicle. This fault is only common on 80’s / 90’s era cars but it still poses some relativity with vehicles that often cross climates from cold winters to hot summers.
LV07 engine and LV08 chassis exams have both been passed first time as usual. I was not totally impressed with the engine LV07 exam, getting questions about variable valve timing and just generally old stuff really. There was nothing on electric cars, hybrids, common rail diesel, direct injection, variable turbo geometry etc… I was not really expecting these things to come up, but I think the exams should focus on much newer tech because it gets quite boring covering stuff I learned in my first year.
I end the post on a rather tragic note, and that was the team I participated with did not win the skills competition over at the Broadstairs campus, we came second by half a point ! Well done to EKC Broadstairs for getting 1st place and to the other colleges that took part in the event, it was a good laugh and I leaned a fair bit on the day.
This has to be my favorite road going Skyline. I’ve always been a big fan of the silver R33GTLM road version, but the closest I will ever get to that is the time I unlocked it in Gran Turismo 2. I still love the R33 GTR in standard form (this one has RPF1’s fitted but I’ll let that slip) and it has to be in the stunning midnight purple which I think is a great colour.
A very original R33 GTR for sale, yours for 159 9 ? g ? I don’t know it’s definitely for sale though 🙂
If you haven’t noticed I’ve decided to space the “The College Blog” posts out a bit more and basically round things up on the term breaks, reason being there’s not a whole lot to post about over these cold winter months…
January, and coming back from Christmas it was a great surprise to have one of the new lifts ready to install. It was a tricky job getting the lift and the car in the perfect place, due to the overhead power outlets and other obstacles but as you can see it’s finally all sorted.
One of the lecturers had a Mini Cooper in for a check engine light, so it was onto the Snap-On Verdict to see what we could find…
E-OBD under the drivers foot well at a very steep angle, I had to bend my neck quite a lot in order to see it !
The convenience of wireless on the Verdict diagnostics is obvious, I just plug this wireless module into the car whilst another student can begin scanning and looking into the data trouble code(s)…
Well we have a code, just the one specifying P1118. A quick look around online pointed to the code being related to the Mass Air Flow sensor, which is pretty tricky to gain access to on this 2007 1.6 engine, so we did not have time to get to this. Me and Alex removed the air intake system and cleaned everything, and it appeared the intake box was not properly seated (so potentially air getting in after the filter). After refitting the intake my lecturer has reported the engine light has now gone away, so an easy fix this time !
I’ve been pushing on with the level 3 assignments, since I find them quite straight forward once I’ve found a good information source. Transmissions will be my last assignment so I chose a very mainstream gearbox to write up about: AL4 Autobox.
This transmission in fitted to literally anything French and automatic since 1998 to around 2007, so there are plenty of models to choose from. I picked the Renault Modus initially based around what electronic faults I found on the forums but eventually worked off a Citroen technical training manual, which answered a lot of the questions I needed:
If you have yet to do your transmission assignment essay this is a good place to start. I personally chose the ECU fault and explained the procedure or replacement and programming as the rectification.
I’ve recently sat my LV07 and LV08 exams…. or actually no. I should have done them by now but the exam dates have been put on hold for now so I have no tests to reflect on this time. I will include exams in my next post so stay tuned for all that madness.
Another week, another car this time a Seat called Ibiza !
I don’t know much about Seat models at all but it’s a really cool colour. So This was another staff vehicle who wanted advice regarding the condition of the rear brakes…
The confirmation soon became obvious the rear disc rotors were no more and very corroded, these need to go ASAP ! Notice how the wheel has turned brown with all the runoff.
Bonus problem with this one was the check engine light being on, and since I was working on a different task this was left with the apprentices. He owns a Seat so he checked out what the code was…
P1180 relates to the o2 sensor, we didn’t have time to sort this out but the information was passed on. In most cases if an o2 sensor code is present and the car still appears to run normal it will normally be the secondary sensor (post cat).
I haven’t really done my job cards in a fashionable order this year but more or less just done whatever seems appropriate on the day:
|AE06S – Task 4||Practical||Diagnose and rectify heated screen fault||19-Nov-2015|
|AE06S – Task 5||Practical||Diagnose and rectify electric mirror fault||09-Feb-2016|
|LV07S – Task 2||Practical||Engine management||28-Jan-2016|
|LV07S – Task 4||Practical||Exhaust Emissions Reduction System||26-Jan-2016|
|LV08S – Task 2||Practical||Braking System||09-Feb-2016|
So these are what I’ve done so far, but still plenty of tasks to do in the coming months and I’ll feature those as I get them done…
Onto the more relaxed side of college life, I went with the college on a trip to the Dover Transport Museum. This a special open day for the students to see what kind of work experience opportunities are available. It was more designed at the Level 1 and 2 students, but I met a guy called Brenden who is currently restoring a 1928 Guy Motors B series truck for the London to Brighton event in May.
Students checking out the B series truck.
Some interesting photos from the past…
I ended up spending the afternoon doing some sanding on the metal and woodwork areas, and I’ll hopefully be putting in some time over the half term break to help. I took the Camera with me to get some photos of course, they came out alright.
Thanks for stopping by !
Happy New Year !
Here is a personal fave that I took a week or so ago. This is a four image merge into HDR which has ended up looking some ND filter due to the soft wave overlaps. I’ve submitted it into the Flickr ‘your best shot 2015’ pool and it’s proven to be very popular, so I hope you all like it also.
Back to college next week and I’ve just been sorting out my LV08 chassis assignment this evening. Hopefully I can get that marked off then it will be more workshop related tasks in the new year which I can share on the blog.
2015 for the college blog has been pretty steady, nearly 200 genuine followers and regular commenters must mean I’m doing something right. It’s clear the site has moved over into more of a photo hobbyist gallery, but since college will finish around June 2016 I will probably carry this on as a photography blog primarily.
I would like to note a few of my favorite blogs this year:
Jazz You Too This has been a great source for alternative listening and generally chilled out tracks.
Ray Laskowitz The Storyteller, a great variety of photos from Ray, many thanks.
Drakes Doodles This site is really interesting, simple doodles of art it’s really worth following !
Playing With My First DSLR Camera Well known blog for macro and close up photography, great for ideas yet I just need to get a better close up lens now !
Colline’s Blog I’ve really enjoyed this blog about the perspectives of teaching, with it’s challenges and rewards it’s been great to follow this year.
Tim Scribbles A car show blog from the US that I enjoy very much.
THE MAD MOVIE RANTER Useful site for knowing what films to check out and the ones to avoid. It’s really that simple !
Forgotten NZ Abandoned places in New Zealand and around the world, I’ve been following this site since I started my own blog and it’s really cool.
Marc Aerophoto Marc will always be joking to me about something on my blog, but you just cannot beat taking photos from the sky ! Marc has been helpful with what to get for my camera so a special thanks to him !
There are many more blogs I can think to include but I need to carry on with my assignment, and why are people doing fireworks already it’s only 21:00PM !
Just a quick post here, Ariel a good friend of mine on the course stumbled across some good online practice test links:
I found these useful for my first AE06 electrical exam so hopefully this will serve as a good source to do a little extra revision. You got the style of the multiple choice platform, so it’s not far off doing the real thing.
Yes it’s finally happened I made it on TV (it was only a matter of time lol)
Basically it was about presenting a simple overview of some of the new facilities at the college which really need to be shown off to the public. They didn’t really feature much of the new equipment for the automotive department but still I cannot complain.
I also found out I was in the Kent news online and Dover Express paper ? This shot is from the Employers fair a couple of weeks ago when my lecturer (Ian) was demonstrating some key features of the fault finding auto-rig with the Verdict OBD kit hooked up. I’ll report anymore famous moments though this will probably be it for now 🙂
This unit was pretty simple. I’m basically re-submitting my drill gauge from last year because that is one of the tasks again. Pretty glad I don’t have to make another one because there are obviously better things to do than make these !
I addition to this I had to do a key fob which took me 5 minutes to sort out. Oh yeah I passed my first English exam so that’s cool, but now I got another one coming up next week ! Pretty much non stop at the moment, and I still got the first automotive online exam coming up next week as well (I think)…..
I’ve been really annoyed with the locker / changing room at college pretty much since 2013 because they really are crap, so I’m putting together a detailed plan of what I want done to it. Some examples are extending the entrance and having one of those integrated carpet floor mats, because in winter people come in with boots covered in mud and rain water so the floor is just filthy. Also there is nowhere really to hang coats up, plus there is a water leak running down one of the walls which is actually getting into people lockers and making their overalls/boots wet ! Hopefully the college will listen to my demands lol !
Over the first year at college I always kept looking out for any videos online that can help me with specific jobs in the workshop. So far my video list is at 87 but will continue to increase. Please be sure to check it out as there are some pretty good videos saved so far.
What I will do is post the playlist up every couple of months as it increases with more videos. I also noticed a while back youtube no longer has it’s 200 video playlist limit, so who knows what I will get to on this one !
Got two important tests this week:
Automotive Phase Test.
The funny thing is I still have not had 100% confirmation on what the phase test is going to be focused on. It is supposed to be LV6 Transmissions, but there was talks of getting it changed to LV5 engines as we have just covered this in the workshop. So i’ve decided to focus on engines and have a quick look over anything gearbox related on the virtual site LJ Create.
For the english test i am not worried. I passed my english GCSE’s on the higher tier back in the day so i should pass this okay.