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Topics - x25xe

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Maintenance Guides / How to change a Track Rod End (Tie Rod)
« on: 17 April 2007, 22:53:21 »
Changing a track rod end

This is not a difficult job to do - I completed the task in around ½ hour.

Featured Car
My 1998 2.5 V6 minifacelift.

Tools and Items Required

19 mm socket (standard)
19 mm socket (deep)
wobbler extension bar for 19 cm socket
18 mm socket
socket ratchet
wire brush
ball joint splitter (available at Machine Mart for about £7.00)
spanner of correct size for ball joint splitter
13 mm socket and 13 mm spanner or two 13 mm spanners
breaker bar or stout screwdriver
Torque wrench

New track rod end.  Official part description - Tie Rod Kit, part number V0009193094, price £62.08 (Ex VAT and Trade Club Price, April 2007)
Dismantling Lubricant (I use Plus Gas)

As ever, do net get under the car if it is only supported by a jack.  Axle stands MUST be in place first.  I also recommend that you wear Latex Gloves (the same that Doctors / Nurses use).  These are available at a reasonable cost at independent car shops.

The track rod end is located between the wheel hub and the central tie rod to which the steering box connects by means of the steering idler.  There is already a guide to changing the steering idler -  Very often the ball joints wear and the MOT tester will fail them as a result.  Replacing the track rod end is very simple.

A few days before doing the work, I recommend that you give the bolts on the side concerned a good soaking with plus gas.  This will make removal of the nuts much easier.

Before starting the job, find a suitable place to park the car, bearing in mind that you will need to jack up the side of the car concerned.  Remove the centre wheel cap if fitted and loosen (but do not remove) the wheel bolts.  Please note that the pictures show my car jacked up on both sides with axle stands in place.  This is because I was changing the exhaust at the same time.  You will only need to jack and support the side of the car concerned.  When jacking the car, use a piece of wood between the jack and the car to protect the chassis.

Removing the old part
Remove the wheel bolts and then the wheel.  To keep the wheel bolts safe, I reinsert them in to the hub having smeared the threads with copper ease.  The track rod will be exposed as the picture below shows.  Whilst I replaced the complete track rod, you can, in fact, replace the ball joints separately.

The old track rod end

Whilst it remains on the car, look at the way the old rod is fitted.  I am replacing the off side (drivers side) arm and there was a letter "R" marked on the outer part of the track rod.  The outer part connects to the wheel hub whilst the inner part connects to the centre tie rod.  The picture below shows where the letter is stamped on the arm.

The "R" mark on the track rod end is arrow (The "R" does not show that well)

With your wire brush, clean up the nuts that secure the track rod in place.  With this done, give them another dose of Plus Gas and set about removing them.  The inner bolt requires a 18mm spanner or socket whilst the outer bolt requires a 19mm spanner or socket.  Why I do not know.  As the outer bolt has a long thread, a standard socket (or at least none of the sockets I had) were deep enough.  Therefore I used a deep socket and wobbler bar to remove this.  The wobbler bar is an extension for a socket and ratchet which allows the ratchet handle to be operated at an angle.  This is necessary to clear the brake disc.  The pictures below show the process:

The inner joint being undone

The outer joint being undone with deep socket and wobbler bar

Now that the bolts are removed, use your ball joint splitter to separate the ball joint from the fixing.  For those of you who have not used a ball joint splitter before, the pictures below show how.  In summary, the fork of the tool slides between the ball joint base and the operating arm makes contact with the ball joint bolt.  The tool is then tightened (the arrow in the picture shows this) which puts a constant and even pressure on the bolt.  Very suddenly, and with a loud crack, the joint will release sending the ball joint splitter crashing to the floor along with the track rod end.

The ball joint splitter in position[/i]

The ball joint splitter being tightened using the arrowed bolt[/i]

Maintenance Guides / Scuttle Drain Cleaning
« on: 31 December 2006, 00:14:42 »
There has been a lot of threads about misting up windscreens / windows, non working heater fans and controls etc of late.  These issues can be caused by the scuttle drains being blocked.  This prompted me to check mine.

The scuttle drains allow water from the roof and windscreen to drain from the enclosed areas under the windscreen.  If left to become blocked, water cannot escape and this causes damp air to be drawn into the cabin.  Not only this, but if left for long enough the scuttle will rot out.  If allowed to accumulate long enough, the electronics that control the heater fan motor will be destroyed.  Therefore, it is essential to keep these draining points open not only on the Omega, but any car.

This is an easy thing to prevent, it certainly was on my minifacelift, and I have detailed the process below.

Featured Car
My 1998 2.5 V6 minifacelift.  The principles apply to any Omega.  Please note that earlier cars have a different arrangement where the near side drain emerges in the wheel arch area.  Later cars (from 1998 onwards) drain into the engine bay.

Tools & Items Required

Length of "ring main twin & earth" electrical cable - about 1 metre
Vacuum cleaner (not the wife’s best one!)
Hose Pipe or jug for water


Preparation - you not the car!
I recommend that you wear old clothes along with an overall of some kind.  If the drain is blocked badly, you will get splashed with dirty and smelly water.

Locating the Drains
There are two drains which are indicated on the picture below.  

Scuttle Drain Points

The one on the drivers side is easy to access.  The second is located at the bottom of the pollen filter compartment and is not so easy to get to.

Cleaning the pollen filter compartment drain
Firstly, remove the rubber seal and lift the pollen filter flap exposing the pollen filter.  Ideally, this should be removed.  If it is old and clogged, this is an ideal time to change it!  There is a plastic clip at the top of the filter on each side.  Carefully undo these and remove the filter.  If reusing it, keep it somewhere safe away from the working area to avoid damage.

Pollen compartment cover

You now have access to the drain point which on my car is right at the bottom of the compartment.  I had a few leaves and other debris in there which I removed by hand.  I had a vacuum cleaner at the ready, but this was not necessary.  I can imagine that in severe cases it would be.  

Using a piece of twin and earth cable (you can get a metre of this from a hardware shop or B&Q, Wickes etc.  Do not buy lighting cable - go for ring main cable as this is thicker).  Feed this into the bottom of the pollen filter compartment and through the black rubber grommet.  The cable should emerge the other side of the compartment.  On my car, it showed on the chassis leg.  

Black Rubber Drain Grommet Location (Arrowed)

Cable through Drain Grommet (Arrowed)

Now that the cable is through the grommet, give it plenty of movement around and around whilst applying water at the same time from, ideally, a hose or a jug.  This will ensure that all the dirt is removed.  The pictures below above show the cable and grommet process.  When clear water comes from the drain point at a nice rate (when the drain is clear, it should pour out) remove the cable.  

If you are able, run your fingers along the seal between the bulkhead and the inner wing.  I found a lot of crud here and removing this further aids the flow of water to the drain.  When all this is done, to reassemble you, as they say, reverse the removal process!

Cleaning the offside drain
This is the easy part.  The drain grommet here can be removed without any tools.  Firstly, ensure that there is no dirt on the black plastic surrounding the drain.  Then, using nothing more than your fingers, you can remove the grommet fairly easily.  When done so, use the cable to poke any dirt through rendering the drain grommet clear.  Then simply press it back into position.  The pictures below show the process.

Drain Grommet Location (round black circle)

Drain Grommet Removed and Cleaned

Replacing Drain Grommet with fingers only

Maintenance Guides / Changing the Oil on a V6
« on: 30 December 2006, 23:01:00 »
Changing the Oil on a V6

Seeing as there is not an oil change guide for the V6 and we have one for the four pot and the diesel, I thought that I would do one for the V6. This covers the metal spin on type filter, though the paper element type is similar...

This is a simple and easy job to do.  It is essential to change the oil around every 3 thousand miles or so.  This will help keep the breathers clear and prolongs the life of the engine.  Without going into too many technicalities, oil does many things for the engine, not just lubricating it.

Featured Car
My 1998 2.5 V6 minifacelift.  The principles apply to any V6 (or any other engine for that matter).  Please note that later engines have the paper element filter not the spin off canister filter as featured here.

Tools & Items Required

5.75 Litres of your favourite oil - I use Vauxhall’s Own
New Oil Filter - again I use the genuine filter
New sump plug washer (not reqd if your car has the newer torx sump plug)
Drain Container
Marker Pen
Good supply of clean tissue paper (the blue stuff that the AA use) or kitchen roll etc.
Latex Gloves

Trolley Jack
Axle Stand
Socket Wrench
T45 Torx Bit for sump plug (older cars use standard bolt)
Oil Filter Removal Tool (optional not required if filter is fitted correctly)

Do not get under the car if it is supported only on a jack.  An Axle Stand MUST be in place first.  I recommend that you wear Latex Gloves (the same that doctors use).  I saw these in Halfords at a huge price of £7.99 - they are available at independent car shops for half this.  Both new and used oil is carcinogenic (causes cancer in large enough quantities) so you do not want it getting on your skin if you can help it.

Firstly, you want to get the oil nice and hot.  To do this, I go on a fast motorway run of around 30 miles.  This brings everything nicely up to temperature and ensures that all the contaminants will be flushed out of the engine with the old oil.  Locate a suitable place to park the car remembering that you will have to jack up the passenger side and that you will require space at the front of the car.

Jack up the front passenger side of the car as shown in the pictures.  I use a piece of wood to protect the chassis as shown in the pictures.

Draining the old oil
Position your drain container on top of old newspaper under the drain plug.  I have a proper drain container which I reuse.  You can use anything, an old washing up bowl, an old oil container with a side cut out etc, but I have found that the proper item is much better.  Using some tissue paper, clean the area surrounding the sump plug (pictured below).  Next, using a socket wrench and a T45 Torx Bit, loosen the drain plug on the sump which is shown in the picture below.  The thread is quite coarse and it feels tight, almost as if it is cross threaded.  Do not worry about this, it does loosen up at the end of the thread.  Making sure that the drain container is positioned under the drain plug and that it’s drain plug is open, loosen the drain plug by hand.  Be prepared for hot oil to come out at quite a rate and try not to drop the drain plug as it does so.  Monitor the oil going into the container for a while to ensure that oil is not being dispensed onto the ground below.  The picture shows the old oil being released from the engine.  Once satisfied, loosen the oil filling cap as this will help increase the flow of old oil into the container below.

The Sump Drain Plug

Old Oil Draining from engine

Whilst you have the cap off, inspect it.  If there is a creamy "mayonnaise" coating on it, take this opportunity to clean it as in the pictures.  At this point, remove the dipstick and clean all the old oil from this both at the bottom and the yellow top where the two black sealing rings are.  Once this is done, replace the cap, but do not do it up.

Cap with Mayonnaise

Cap after cleaning

Omega General Help / I have a feeling....................
« on: 20 May 2007, 21:59:29 »
That my crank sensor is about to die.  Symptoms are as follows:

1.   Took three goes to start the car today.  Subsequent starts (2) were fine
2.   Sometimes the EML extinguishes immediately, on other occasions, like all the starts today, it takes            longer (around 3 - 5 seconds) to go out.

I have not done the paperclip test as yet.

Can anyone comment on my diagnosis please?

Omega General Help / Self Dimming Mirror & Windscreen Change
« on: 08 June 2007, 13:34:14 »
Just had the windscreen changed on the Megga.  Done through the insurance and Autoglass and a very hassle and pain free process!

For the first time last night, I was on the road at night fall.  Now the mirror does not self dim.  It adjusts itself electrically still though.  I spoke to the fitter about the mirror before he started work and he said that it slides off the bracket on the screen and it will hand by the wire.

I reckon that there is a loose connection in there.  Question.  Can you take the mirror apart and does the wiring loom terminate in a connector that plugs into the circuit board in the mirror?  Is there another hidden loom connector above the headlining (I hope not as access will be nigh on impossible)?

Omega General Help / Steering Idler Arm removal - help please!
« on: 22 April 2007, 19:18:30 »
Well, the car is still on the axle stands :(

Yesterday, I made a start on the Steering Idler.  Got the nut undone fine, in spite of the lack of room.  The end that connects to the chassis come off no problem.  Can I get the ball joint end to come off?  No I can't.  I have followed the guide on here and just want to check that I am doing this right.

I have posted a pic or two.

Here is the bar to apply downward force (which is a stout screwdriver):

and here is where I am hammering, upwards:

I started with an ordinary hammer as I did not want to cause damage to the steering tie rods etc.  The joint has not even moved.  Hence the club hammer in the pics.  So, am I doing this right or am I way of track?  Any advice, comments etc. welcome.

Incidentally, I have three ball joint splitters, two of which are the tighten nut type and one is the hammer type.  None fit.  As a last resort, I may be forced to get a centre steering rod from Vaux, another idler for the drivers side and fit the whole lot.

Omega General Help / MOT Failure - an update and a question
« on: 08 April 2007, 12:47:17 »
Well, the past two days have seen me under the Omega wrestling with the old exhaust.

I have managed to remove the old system and have pictured the process for a how to on the subject.  Now I am slightly stuck as, in the process of unscrewing the bolts on both exhaust flanges, the bolts have, of course, sheared as can be seen in the picture below:

Question is, how do I get the remains of the bolts out?  I have thought about drilling them out, but bolts are hardened and not easy to drill.  Would a stud extractor or bolt remover work?  I would be grateful for any ideas.

I did think about angle grinding them out which would of course remove the threaded hole on the flange.  If this was replaced with a simple nut and bolt then this would not matter.  However, getting an angle grinder in there could be an issue.  In addition, I am concerned that lots of vibration from a drill or angle grinder would damage the cats.

On a brighter note, I replaced the off side track rod arm yesterday - discounting the fact that the car was already jacked up, the whole process took about ½ hour.  I will do a how to on this a bit later.

I still have the new exhaust to fit and the nearside steering idler.

Hi all

Another thread asks about the engine in a suspected mini facelift car which reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask for some time.  I did not want to hijack that so am asking here.  Hope that is OK!

How do you identify the mini facelifts and what was the list if improvements?

I would like to find out if my car is a mini facelift.

I read elsewhere that one way of identifying them was the solid headrests which my car has.  However, what other items were improved and how can you tell for sure??

Omega General Help / Rear Electric Blind
« on: 31 July 2006, 11:32:33 »
Hi All

Seen this on e-bay:

It is a rear sun blind.  The seller says that the wiring is already present in the Omega and I was thinking of getting it to fit to the CDX.  So, it the wiring already present and it is simply a case of fit the blind and then the switch?

Is it a mod worth doing or is the blink a bit of a gimmick?

Omega General Help / Coolant Change and Flush - Help Please!
« on: 01 August 2006, 15:09:01 »
Hi All,

Yet another question I am afraid.  It seems that coolant changes on the V6 are not the easiest and that you cannot drain the system completely.

Owing to a recent water pump change (by vaux) there is no hardly any antifreeze in the system – the water is only very slightly green and when putting some of the coolant in the freezer, it turned to slush!  Not good me thinks.

Anyway, I now need, obviously, to sort this out.  I have been reading on here and on Voxon about this and it would appear that many people have differing methods of changing the coolant.

Today, I went to Vaux to get some antifreeze but could only buy the longlife stuff which means I have to drain, flush and refill.  I do not really want to flush the block as, on the last car I did this, the HG then went!  Mind you, that was a totally neglected car and the coolant was basically rust!

In the Haynes manual, it states that you have to remove the thermostat to flush the coolant.  This would make sense to me, but in every thread on this subject, I cannot fit anyone removing the thermostat.  The Haynes also talks about pulling the coolant transfer pipe out of the thermostat housing – does this have to be done?  If I have got to get the thermostat out I may as well get a new one – how hard is it to get at?

Sorry to go on about this, but Haynes then says “undo the heater pipe and pour some antifreeze mixture in until it comes out of the pipe – then remake the connection”.  Again, I can find no evidence of anyone on here having done this

I have read about people draining and flushing 10 times to get their systems clean – I can not do this as it takes a day for the engine to become completely cold which would make the process take 10 days!

Finally, I like to use distilled water and it would appear that the system cannot be completely drained.  As I have to flush the old antifreeze (what little is there) it looks like I am reduced to hard tap water.

Does anyone have any step by step advice on the best way to tackle this?

Thanks in advance  [smiley=thumbup.gif]and sorry for the length of the post and for revisiting what is perhaps an old topic.  At least I am not asking about oil or tyres though! ;D

Omega General Help / Jacking up an Omega
« on: 13 July 2006, 22:51:56 »
As I intend to do some work myself (first task the autobox fluid) I would like to jack the car up (obviously).  I have a trolley jack at present which cost some £80 about 8 years ago.  It is labelled "professional" and you lower the vehicle by turning the jack handle not removing it and turning a small screw on the cheap units.  This is begining to fail (the rear wheels have lost some of their bearings through constant wheeling along the road outside my house) and needs replacing.

I would like to get a jack which is instant lift i.e. the head makes immediate contact with the jacking point and would like one with a rubber pad on the head in order to prevent damage.  Does anyone know where such a jack can be purchased?  I am sure that machine mart used to do them, but not accoring to their latest catalogue.  As it will get a lot of use on the transits that I own / look after cost is not too much of an issue - anything up to about £100 - £130.

Does anyone have any recomendations about how to jack the car up and where to site the axle stands.  It seems rather precarious to jack each corner up at a time in the case of an auto fluid change.  Has anyone carried this out and how did you jack and support the car?

Sorry for the amount of questions in one post and it's length.


Omega General Help / Keeping the Omega
« on: 11 July 2006, 22:20:25 »
I would to say once again how glad I am to see the old names that were on VxOn!!

Well, some of you may know that I have a Cavalier CDX along with an Omega CDX.  The Cavalier I have had for 9 years and cannot bear to part with it.  It is very tidy so will be keeping as my daily vehicle (in addition to my Transit van which is used when it rains as do not like getting my cars wet!! ;D)

Right, on to the Omega.  This I purchased in December last year for the sum of £1500.  It is a 2.5 CDX, with Electric Pack and Leather so is virtually an Elite bar things like the boot spoiler, rear blind, rear door pockets etc.  As the fuel economy was not good (and I felt guilty about the Cav) I took it off the road with the intention of selling.  About a month past with no progress on selling (I lead a VERY busy life) and I reinsured it for 2 weeks in order to change the oil and clean it for sale.  It went on ebay with a reserve of £1000 but did not sell - the highest bid was £800.  Decided not to sell and try again later.  

Another month went past and I have now decided to keep both cars.  An insurance certificate arrived today so the following jobs are required:

1.   Tax - currently it is SORN so I hope all will be well at the Post Office tomorrow
2.   Timing Belt, Tensioners and Water Pump to be changed - in all probability by the Vaux garage up the road.  I have done the belts on the transit vans that I look after but this business of locking / timing kits worries me somewhat.  I know what most of you think about Vaux garages, but I have my Cav services there and have never had any issues.  They quoted £371 for this.
3.   Breather Clean - making use of the excellent How To
(****EDIT**** submitted post prior to finishing!)
4.   Through Valet inside and out including leater treatment
5.   Replace the standard ICE
6.   Have the A/C Condensor replaced
7.   Replace rear doors as they have the usual rusting issue - anyone know of a good scrap yard to obtain doors?
8.   Deal with badly touched in scab on the leading edge of the bonnet
9.   New tyre to replace punctured item - builders screws >:(

Basically, it is a sound car and everything (apart from the A/C and a tempremental standard fit Autochanger) works - incuding the heated seats!  It is a March 1998 car which I believe is a "minifacelift" can anyone confirm?

Sorry for the length of the post - a few tasks to be carried out but I hope to return this car to a high standard.

Will keep you updated although progress will be slow.

General Discussion Area / Video of Breather Cleaning
« on: 31 December 2006, 00:25:42 »
Further to the success of the Cam Belt DVD, who would fancy a DVD of breather cleaning?  I have a car that could be used and I also have a camera and the necessary software to edit and make the DVD.  Obviously, I can't do both though.

What do people reckon?  Is it worth it?

General Discussion Area / Been Mugged Tonight
« on: 15 December 2007, 22:05:42 »
On my way back from B&Q.  Put up a good fight and managed to prevent them getting anything for about 10 minutes.  The stole the mobile and wallet having demanded the pin number.  Of course, I gave them the wrong one.

I was attacked by 4 men, who held me to the ground kicking and punching me and kicking my head into the kerb.  If a passer by had not come along, I do not know what would have happened.

The police were excellent, took a detailed statement and we drove round for some 30 minutes checking the area out.  Car was a 5 series BM but the officer preferred his old Omega!  Told him about this site and he said he would have a look.

Apparently, I will have a black eye tomorrow and a few large bruises.  Still, it could have been worse I suppose.

Does anyone know what to do about a stolen photo card driving license?

General Discussion Area / Out in the Omega tonight and.....
« on: 06 October 2007, 20:44:32 »
some brainless tw*ts decided to pelt my car with eggs.  It sounded like boulders were being thrown at the car.  As I was on the way to fill up I used the hose to wash the worst off.

It just amazes me how brainless some people are these days.

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