Sometimes light situations might not be to your preference, but on the flip side it can create an interesting mood. In this instance from my perspective the car gives a feel of edging out from the darkness, and into the light…
Full resolution available here: Flickr
Margay eating at Port Lympne Zoo.
Full resolution available on my Flickr page.
Thank you, Kenny.
Here is a recent photo I like, shot with the Pentax MV and Superia X-tra 400.
Hasn’t been a photo on here for a while so I thought I would share this one which made the Flickr “explore” so I’m quite happy for that.
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.
A recent shot of mine for signing off the Summer we’ve just had, hope you all like it 🙂
Have a nice day !
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.
Sorry I haven’t posted any new photos in a while, but here is a recent favorite of mine showing some glowing rusty tracks heading to Dover.
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 !
Out this week with the 35-105 lens, looking across the channel and the clouds were looking pretty amazing. I’m not exactly sure what was going on perhaps a mixture of warm and cold air causing some diversity, and there was a distant storm over France. A good photographic start to 2016 🙂
Here is a photo I took last Friday, Enjoying a late night Red Belly Christmas gig at the Royal Norfolk Hotel 19/12/2015.
Happy Xmas to all the WordPress users !
Apologies for not posting in a while, I’ve been sidetracked on the Flickr hype and it’s taken my time away from posting on here. So the first two months are over and it’s fair to say I’ve got next to nothing. The reason for this is due to staff leaving and being off ill and with the Level 3 group only compromising of a dozen students our lessons got effectively cancelled while things get sorted out. I agreed to a £5421.00 loan so it’s pretty annoying to have classes cancelled and not being able to get on with tasks in the workshop as I’m usually well on with my portfolio by now…
Despite the poor first month back I decided to wait it out and thankfully things are improving as of this week, there was a stupid hole in the workshop (formally the motorcycle brake tester) which has been filled in and we now have some decent screens up on the wall to hook up to laptops and diagnostic equipment which were much needed. The first job that has come up was for our technicians car which has a rear heated window fault which can hopefully be used in my portfolio. I have so far checked the grid, F4 fuse and no.10 relay to find no issues, but with the switches back light not even illuminating I’m pretty sure that is where the fault lies. The damn security forks for releasing OEM sound systems have gone missing so I will carry on with this task next week…
With not much actual work going on the college staged a Tug of war sort of challenge, this involved having to tow a car a whole lap around the campus. It was a successful event and the weather was really good. Somehow out of the 7 or so groups who entered my team set the best time of the day so well done to them, and yes one team managed to crash into a bush, another team took out some cones, and another lot went up the curb nearly crashing into a wall which was pretty hilarious.
Lastly we finally had our first Automotive trip at EKC Dover. I didn’t think it would eventually happen but we headed over to Brooklands and Mercedes Benz World this week to check out some amazing history in automotive and aviation. Both places are free to visit so they are well worth checking out. The staff at Brooklands are extremely passionate and knowledgeable, one guy Peter gave us an in depth tour around the ERA workshop which I was very thankful for.
Mercedes Benz World didn’t kick off as well as I snapped some photos of two cars parked out front (SLR 722 and an SLS AMG GT Black Series) and then outta nowhere this security guy came over telling me off. It turned out Mercedes Benz has some sort of policy where you are not allowed to take photos of customer cars on their property so I respected that and deleted the photos. Moving on though it was really nice inside and more cars to check out…
For all my photos go to: Kenny Freeland Flickr Page
Not sure when the next college post will be, perhaps closer to Christmas when I’m supposed to have my electrical unit finished along with a few essays and online exams so I’ll post on how they went !
Sorry I haven’t done much posting on here I’ve been out too much with the cam of course !
I’m borrowing an old EF28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 USM Lens which is working really nicely on the X4 and is a bit more versatile than the 50mm. I think when I eventually get another it will have to be up to 200mm or something.
Anyway I hope you like this one, it’s not far off the original photo besides me removing a streetlight from the corner junction because it was a bit of a distraction. I do like doing dark photos just for that fact they integrate nicely into the modularity theme which I doubt I’ll ever change it’s nice on the eyes.
I’ve also setup a Flickr after all these years so you can find that running on RSS via the sidebar. Most of my photos will be going onto there first although I will be posting my favorites on word-press still in a timely manner. College related posts in the next few weeks when the half term break comes, thanks 🙂
I took some more sunset shots this week, but one of my favorites turned out to be this random one I did of my bike overlooking the town. I do like it when the photos you don’t think much of turn out to be the ones you like most 🙂
I was tempted to remove the passing planes but the fact there is three of them along with the the gull it leaves four subjects, four directions and the sky is always busier than you think…
Reminds me of those pulsars or a quasars you get in space…
When the light hits the bricks it looses the grubby brown details, and I’m also enjoying the clear sky gradient.
A quick snap before a nights canal fishing 🙂
I got an award for my contribution towards helping the college this year ! I didn’t expect it but it’s great to be recognized by the staff for helping out wherever I can, and over the year I guess it’s added up.
This is the East Kent College student awards which took place at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent.
This is the award nice smooth glass ! It looks great next to the stereo, but I better keep the sound levels down ! I also got a cheque for £50.00 from Ramsgate based company ‘WW Martin’ Construction which was great. My passport expired last month so this can go towards renewing that…
What I need to do now is win another one next year to go on the other side of my stereo, because I’m a bit OCD when it comes to symmetry 😀 I have to mention a big thanks to Barry Turner our Workshop Technician for the Dover campus. He was the one back in September who gave me the opportunity to help out at college during the term breaks, and from this I become more engaged with the rest of the campus in helping out more.
Butterfly was not really bothered with the camera so I got as close as possible without being a nuisance.
Another morning from the pier, and it feels a bit cold until the sun shows up.
A Red Arrows shot from last year, something to match the nice weather that seems to have picked up this weekend 🙂