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Nick Jones

Modern cars and POs

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So, Management has been wanting an Audi TT for some time.  I've been fending it off, hoping the urge would go away.  It didn't.

So, we now own a 2004 Audi TT in coupe, 2WD 180 bhp form.  Two owner car, purchased privately.  PO is an elderly lady who's had the car 10 years.  It's only done 64k.

The car came with a reasonable amount of service history.  Enough to verify the mileage and show that it's been serviced reasonably regularly.

Missing was any indication at all that it had ever had a timing belt done.......  The service book claims a 115k interval, which is barking mad.  This was later revised to 75k with an 8 year time limit or no time limit depending on source.

I thought I'd better do it.  Parts are about £ 150 to do the whole job including water pump, all tensioners etc.  I was quoted about £ 400 by one of the very few garages I'd let touch a car of ours, so I thought I'd do it.....

So having started about 12.30, I sit here now with scarred and bleeding hands and a tired back - with the job about 60% done.  Book says 2.2 hours.....  Presumably that is with the engine removed.  To be fair, the actual belt swap is not that bad, but access - what bleedin' access!

About 2.5 hours in, after removing a huge pile of plastic covers, water lines, fuel lines, boost pipes, part of an engine mount you get a slot about the width of a letter box to work in with part of the engine mount bracket wandering about in it as there is no way to wiggle it out.

Oh, and having got in there it becomes obvious that it has had a timing belt before, and quite recently.  Nothing in the service book, no invoice, no sticker..... bastard! :mad:

 

Nick

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Respect!

Moderns' access to the engine really is minimal, and designedly, I fear, with all the security fasteners etc.

There will be no 'future classics'.

John

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I feel your pain.  I did the timing belt and water pump in Mum and Dad’s Camry at Xmas last year.  Turned into a two day swearathon, mostly trying to get access to oil seals and find ways to undo ungripable bolts.

Timing a cam in a T6 is a doddle in comparison!

C.

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Two day swearathon is right!  Belt and covers now fitted (and the engine still turns!), but the pile of bits is a big as ever......

Alot of it is down to having exactly the right tool.  I wish I had a 3/8" drive set with deep sockets - and short hex/torx drivers.  And where does my bloody 10mm 1/4" drive socket go ffs..... it was giving me the runaround yesterday - today it's completely AWOL - which is very bad as there are lots of 10mm bolts in difficult to reach places..... I swear it nips off to another dimension:mad:

There are bolts you can see but not touch, there are bolts you can touch but not see, there are even some you can't see or touch - all you can  do is poke a socket/spanner in their general direction and hope.  The latter are of course the same ones that you can only swing an 1/8th turn at a time and the same ones that fight to the last.  Now back to trying to re-attach the engine mount bracket - which involves two of the latter.  The designer should be smeared with honey and staked to an ant-heap......

Nick

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It's the garage gremlins, Nick, they infest mine as well!

NOT the awful 1984 film version, but the 1943 Disney one that was never released, based on stories by Roald Dahl, and featuring the RAF!

 

Please ignore the squeaky voiced commentator (surely the love child of the Mouse himself and Cinderella) and enjoy the film clips.

John

 

Edited by JohnD

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Off track.....I really enjoyed the 1984 Gremlins. Greatly appealed to a juvenile 18 year old, especially with a beer and pizza.....A good friend even named his cat "Gizzy"

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I'm replacing the oil pan on a 2007 Dodge Charger.  As it's off I want to inspect the rods and mains but terrified of the modern fasteners.  Torque to twenty foot pounds then 1/4 turn more doesn't sound very precise to me.

 

As an aside, I'm driving the 69 E Type every day now.  Took some mental adjustment at first but now it's a hoot!  And gets a lot of attention ;-)

 

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The idea is that it's more precise as it takes thread friction out of the equation.  The 20lbs is the seating torque, then 90º with a known thread pitch gives a known amount of stretch.....  You need an angle gauge - but I'm sure you know all this already.

Quite often means one-time use bolts, but not always.  Worth checking though.

This bloody TT has angle torques on the engine mount bracket - and some of the bolts on it are "stretch" ones.  Just did them up tight.  No way to get an angle in there anyway.  These guys think they're that smart they should try designing a bit of maintainability in.  The plastic undertray is held on with 16 (sixteen) fasteners......  This has to come off for oil changes...... No wonder they think long-life oil and variable (for variable, read stupidly long and the car decides) service intervals are a good idea.  I disagree.  Fortunately it was only on the variable scheme for the first couple of years.

It's running again.  Found a few more things that need attention but nothing too urgent.  Except tyres - currently running elderly Continentals, three of which have some strange edge wear going on, possibly because they've been run under-inflated or possibly because they're Continentals.  The other is cracked to hell in the base of the tread even though it's the same age...... weird.

Driving round in a '69 E-type........ :cool:

 

Nick

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Driving around an Audi TT......

 

I read long ago that the angle method was preferred in shipbuilding and locomotives and extremely accurate,  Do worry about the one time usage as well but have seen no mention of it yet.  I have to do it though.  Can't put the new pan on without a looksee!

 

 

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We do have some angle torques onboard, however all the major torques for main engine/generator (cylinder heads, Conrods, bearings etc etc) are actually all done by hydraulic pressure. Wind the nut down, slide a collar over it then screw a jack on top and pump.

Mind you, some of our tightening torques measure in the thousands of bar pressure range, I dread to think how long a bar and how many people it would take to tighten that by hand :blink::blink:

 

I envy you for attempting maintenance on modern cars, I have given up on my 14 plate Ranger, it simply goes to a garage now. And that has comparatively excellent room compared to most!!

 

Phil

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10 hours ago, GT6Steve said:

Driving around an Audi TT......

 

It's hers........! 

It's a bit like driving a small armoured vehicle, albeit quite fast one.  The 225 Quattros must be proper quick.  Still look girly though!

What is this "envy" Phil?  You are obviously the smarter one here!  If we keep it long enough to need another it's going to the garage!  I already use them for the A6 cambelt as I did it once and that was a two day swearathon too.  The crank pulley bolt on that  is 200Nm + 270º.  That is approaching marine standard.  I could only manage 180º but it held for 75K until the next one!

 

Pics of keyhole surgery

From above

P1160881s.jpg

below

P1160882s.jpg

 

7 year old Continental

P1160892s.jpg

Nick

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7 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

 

What is this "envy" Phil?  You are obviously the smarter one here!

Yeah, but at least you guys had the errrmmm, courage to try, I didn't even bother trying lol.

Which has its downsides, my last bill came in nearly into 4 figures due to a broken rear leaf spring lol.

Phil

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On ‎13‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 11:02 PM, Nick Jones said:

The plastic undertray is held on with 16 (sixteen) fasteners......  This has to come off for oil changes...... No wonder they think long-life oil and variable (for variable, read stupidly long and the car decides) service intervals are a good idea.  I disagree.  Fortunately it was only on the variable scheme for the first couple of years.

Hi Nick,

Same deal on my wife's Freelander. Not quite so many fasteners but still a pain.  I cut a triangular hole in the tray below the sump plug so that I don't need to remove it any more.  Why triangular? To allow for the trajectory of the oil when it first shoots out.  Wonder how I worked that out!!!

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I know exactly how you worked that out!  Good idea though.  The Vitesse drain plug is very close to the chassis rail and if you don't have something handy to deflect the oil it hits the flange on the chassis and runs back down the car, all the way to the diff if you let it.  Makes an unholy mess...... I only did it once!

Still have to change the oil filter in the TT as I couldn't get it off before.  Couldn't get more than a couple of fingers on it and absolutely no chance of a chain/strap wrench going on there.  I've bought a tool that I hope will do it.  Filter hadn't done that many miles so not a huge panic.

Nick

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On 10/14/2017 at 6:36 PM, thebrookster said:

Yeah, but at least you guys had the errrmmm, courage to try, I didn't even bother trying lol.

Which has its downsides, my last bill came in nearly into 4 figures due to a broken rear leaf spring lol.

Phil

Courage indeed.  I took the moulded cover off the 3.0tdi in my previous A5 once.  Once was enough.  I was debating whether to have a go at fitting an aftermarket dipstick oh-so-necessary when the MMI fails to register an oil change, but the compactness reminded me of a tin of sardines.  The blanking plate was invisible in the gloom and I took the coward's option of handing the part over to the main dealer at the next service.

Then one sunny day, a truck in front of me courteously shed a house brick, which I couldn't avoid.  With Barnes Wallis accuracy, it hit the road just as I went over it, so no panel damage, but it ripped off the plastic drip tray (which engaged the car behind in an amusing jig) and, when the car went up on the ramp the following day, I discovered that a considerable amount of the front-rear structural cabling is routed outside of the body shell, tied to the floorpan adjacent to the prop shaft.  It had taken a direct hit from the brick but, remarkably, not been punctured.  So for all of the fantastic origami under the bonnet, the exposed bits under the floorpan are a bit Heath Robinson.

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My everyday mota is a Merc E350 and when I went to purchase the said beast I naturally wanted to look under the bonnet.  Having lifted the lid you are confronted with a huge vanity panel that covers the engine and the only thing you can do yourself is to top up the windscreen washer bottle. you could add some oil if you were really keen on DIY but as there isn't even a dip stick on the b'thing how you would assess how much it needs is beyond me.  Modern cars?  Well they might be more reliable and have lots of nice toys to play with but long term ownership is going to be a no no.  I will stick to my Triumphs thank you.  Half a dozen spanners, a couple of screwdrivers  a box of sockets and some electrical tester and you can fix it.

hoges.

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Modern car reliability......?  No one here had a VAG 2.0 TDI with oil pump drive failure?  Or a VAG 2.0 TFSI that uses a litre of oil every 300 miles?  Or a BMW diesel that's eaten it's timing chain (and sprockets).  Or selected Vauxhall /Volvo models that give themselves a viking funeral?

I think the golden age of reliabilty was from the early 90s to the early '00s, before things got daft complicated.  I've been hanging on to my '96 Audi A6 daily driver for waaay too long because I've got no idea what to replace it with.  Most of the oily bits are still original at 307k and it's still presentable at 10 yards in spite of living outdoors for it's whole 21 years, but it won't last for ever.

Agree with the sentiments on old car (Triumph) fixability - even if I do need a laptop to tune mine!

Nick

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Nick, your list seems like a list of my previous cars :P

Maybe i have been lucky but i cannot fault the new BMWs i have owned, they take a punishment and rarely need anything done other than a service.

I don't envy you on that work though, many moons ago i replaced a timing tensioner in my Audi 1.8T in situe, it was a PITA!

However, nothing, nothing beats the Megane Sport for absolutely ludicrous inner workings, i had to replace a fuse once for a rear light cluster, that involved removing the battery and strut brace and a lot of plastic! for a fuse!

This, is how you change the light bulb in a Megane! yes a lightbulb! The owners manual starts with "Remove Drivers Side Wheel..." ehhh! Easier to remove the bumper believe it or not!

1509161_10151828493066003_1709601213_n.jpg.306b63f807b155c58c8b1d09d36b5ee2.jpg

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The same goes for my not so old jag XF sport brake.  Both headlights went and I had call Jaguar Assistance out to change a bl**dy bulb because you need a special tool to do it!  And you have to take the wheels off too in order to get access to the lamps. How crazy is that!

hoges.

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Stuff like that is completely inexcusable.  As is needing to plug the car in to manufacturers software to "reset" the system and turn the new bulb on.

As for the trend of supplying without any spare wheel at all...... there should be a law against it.  I believe there used to be in fact - don't know when it went away?

Nick

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My technical skills are limited, but at least I can have a go at the more basic jobs on the TR. For my sins, I also have a Land Rover Disco 3 HSE (diesel).  I've had it 8 years now and I do like it, but I won't even consider working on it. Over the last couple of months, when the temperature goes below freezing, it has become increasingly difficult to start. As soon as the weather warms up it is fine, so I'm thinking it may be the glow plugs failing. If it is, then I'm worried, because it looks a nightmare job to change them, especially as I've heard tales of them snapping and needing to be drilled out ... at considerable cost. 

I do have a local 4x4 specialist firm that has always done a good job for me, so I think I'll soon be having a chat with them about it. 

Cheers, Darren

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Darren, top tip for starting your diesel in the colder weather is to count another 10 seconds after the glow plug light has gone out.  The plugs continue to warm after the glow plug light has gone out, so waiting 10 secs helps. 

Vicky xx

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Gulp......

However, worth doing some checks first.

1.  How quickly does the engine turn over on the starter.  Slow cranking affects starting.  Weak battery (they don't like the cold either) and/or slightly grubby connections on any of the "big" wiring (including earth path) can be factors.  Having the right oil in there makes a difference too.

2. Does it start up like a Triumph PI - ie one cylinder kicking first with others gradually joining in?  That's a sign that you've got just one or two glow plugs left alive.

3.  Vicky's advice is good.  You could also try double or triple cycling the ignition key to get more heat in there - but obv. won't work if the plugs are dead.

4. If you have a multimeter it's worth checking that there is power getting to the plugs when there should be (glow plug relays can fail - they switch high currents) and also checking the resistance of each plug (you need to remove the feed wire to do this) which the internet says should be between 7 - 10 ohms.

4. Suspect these are common rail but if they still have an injector pump, pumping timing can be a factor.  Retarded timing slows starting and much worse when cold.

5.  Whiff of Easy Start (or similar) works wonders.  Suggest emergency use only - some say they get addicted!

The plugs should be fairly long lasting (100 - 120k ish) but they are a service item.  Pity access is so awful and they like to snap off!  Not a problem confined to the LR engine though - most modern diesels are similarly afflicted.

Nick

 

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