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
I had to pull over and snap this very vibrant morning sky taken with my trusty Huawei EVA-L09. This is from Sandgate looking across the Channel sea.
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.
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 lookout point seems to be worth the hike…
This was from a while back but I had to share it here A few different types of clouds such as Cirrus, Alto-stratus, Cumulus etc. and the hazy colour gradient up to the moon. I still haven’t tested that old-school 35-105 lens since I’ve been annoyingly ill this past week, but I’ve got a 4 point star effect burst filter ordered which should make some Christmas lighting photos come out pretty nice, well we’ll see !
Had a day off today so I decided to check out sandy lanes with the drift cam. Annoyingly the rain started just after I got there but I managed to get a run in. Eventually I will record every run and jump there is because there are quite a few at the moment….
A bit muddy this time round down Little Switzerland due to the rain a couple of days ago. There was hardly any grip in some places especially on the chalk cliff sections. Cut this one down to some of my favorite sections because uploading onto youtube takes ages on 100k upload.
My first attempt with the helmet cam has gone pretty well. It was a really hot day which slowed me down a bit and I think the camera angle needs to point down a little more so you can see the front of the bike better. I’ve already changed the visor position for another run sometime and I need to get some nice decals/sticker design going on for the helmet. Rained a lot today so will have to wait a while otherwise Little Swizerland will be extremely muddy !