Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big jobs pt1

The MGF has recently been throwing a load of stuff out of it's pram. It's barely been on the road, and now the water pump is leaking. Could not drive it at all, as topping up with water was a pain in the bum and possibly dangerous for the engine, so a month after it sprung a leak, I held my breath and did the neccessary belt removal to get at it!

These 16v jobs are easy, even in the ridiculously confined spaces of the F's engine bay. However, I managed to 'mess up the easy part' (tm D Blakeborough) and keep the cam locking tool on when trying to remove the crank pulley using the old (and useless) pressing the brake pedal down. The crank pulley moved, but the cams didn't, and it took about 10 teeth off the belt and -possibly- damaged the frickin' valves in the process! I carried on anyway, assuming there was no damage. Put the new pump in, new belt, timed everything up, started her up, and it's not firing on cylinder 4! Belt off again, timed up, and the cylinder is still colder than a Wizard's underpants. "JESUS" I thought, and then put off taking the flipping head off (as part of an UBER service), replacing valves, headgasket, inlet and exhaust gasket.

The 'replacement' valves - these are damaged! I can't tell!

So what was a basic 40 quid waterpump and belt service is not escalated beyond a 200 quid job, with special (and not cheap) tools I'll only ever (hopefully) use once. I checked the gasket, and it's in good shape. The dowels are also steel - they left the factory with plastic ones - a sign it's been replaced! The previous worries about overheating were possibly down to overfilling the the expansion tank. God knows with these cars.

Rewing about a month, the previous radiator had been replaced, as it had no fins left. They had all disappeared, and a trip to the scrap yard uncovered one that had a few more fins on for five quid. However, this one leaked and was falling to bits. I bent off the leaking rims, drove it for a couple of weeks, and thought I'm going to have to do this the proper way. So I put the new one in, and it still overheated (due to the water pump - which I uncovered by having a poke behind the belt cover).

And now we're at the stage where the head is off, I'm afraid to touch it as the valves close and open, but there's a strange white carbon deposit (is this normal?!) on the flat part. A kindly gent gave me his old valves to test in my engine - when I took everything off, I was expecting at least two to be bent over, but there is nothing. Like I'd replace a couple with the replacement ones, I think I'll actually buy a new set and then have someone put them in for me (while taking the tools I bought back to where they belong), and maybe skim the head if it hasn't already. Everything looks fine though. Touch wood, I might actually put the new gasket in, put the head back on, time it up like a pro, etc. I can't see any damage!

The head now sits in a big plastic shopping bag awaiting me to gather up the courage to fix it.

The other car, the Whizzkid has been performing superbly, apart from the ignition coil (original, 28 year old one) packed up. A new one was brought over by a colleague, and he even sorted my points out (shudder), and it's now running about 95%. He rocked the car back and forth while looking at the points in the distributor, which were then adjusted. Aparrently, they were closed when they should've been open. I am told I need a 'dwell meter' to get them 100%. These are ebay rarities, going for a few quid, or a motor factor jobby going for 50 quid. The car will be going away for the winter, and replaced by a rejuvinated black WOBster Astra, which is receiving parts from the red GSi, which I have now deemed 'served it's use' and has sat on my parent's drive for well over 6 months. The starter motor has seized, the wiring is playing up, and it's now time to go! :(

No comments: