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Topics - Kevin Wood

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General Car Chat / MOVED: US Election
« on: 21 September 2020, 20:22:21 »

General Car Chat / Anyone know about Zafira gearbox issues?
« on: 17 May 2020, 22:45:31 »
My brother has a Zafira 1.4 Turbo on which the gearbox has started whining quite badly - at about 40k miles. :o

One garage did the <suck through teeth> "New gearbox, mate. 2k" routine.

Another has offered to replace some bearings for 600.

ISTR some discussion about Vauxhall FWD gearbox failures here in the past. Anyone know what the issue is with them?



General Car Chat / Omega replacement...
« on: 03 August 2019, 21:45:43 »
... was collected today. :D

Albs was right on the money, it turns out. You've all met the Big Black Pussy, so allow me to introduce the Little Blue Pussy. ;)

Apologies for the nasty phone picture, that doesn't really do it justice. I'll take a nicer one when I get a chance.

It's a 2017 MY XE 25t Portfolio.

I was after something with a bit more usable boot space than the Omega, and started off looking at large hatchbacks. Was very tempted by the Mondeo. Huge amounts of space (more than I needed, TBH) but found it a rather uninvolved drive. Plenty of power and performance from the 2.0t petrol models but it felt a bit wasted on a FWD platform where you can't put much of it down on the road and can't really even tell when you're shredding the front tyres, I found. :-[

Decided I'd have to compromise a little on space and go for another RWD saloon.  :y

Drove the XE and was immediately sold. You can throw it around like Mrs KW's MX5 and it handles beautifully, yet it's also refined, very quick and absorbs the bumps and potholes well.

With modern petrols now economical enough not to have to worry about LPG, the boot space is just about acceptable with the rear seats folded down. Thereby the snag. Folding rear seats were a 400+ option on the XE and they are a bit sparse on the used market, and not normally listed in the adverts. I ended up travelling to Brentwood to see this one (only to discover that it spent its previous life just up the road from me in Basingstoke). ::)

Anyway, back up there on the train today and took it for a little jaunt around Essex before traipsing around the M25 and back home. I love it. :D With 240 PS, an 8 speed auto box and 200 kg less weight than the MV6 it feels effortlessly quick in comparison. There is some turbo lag which can catch you out at times, and the auto box is rather eager to romp down the gears in the response to the loud pedal to try and get the turbo on song. Until you've got used to this, rapid progress can be a little uncouth but if you're a little more careful with the loud pedal it's very smooth.

Seats are very adjustable with memories, you can wind the seat down low in the chassis, which adds to the handling. I never feel happy "pressing on" in anything too "sit up and beg". The interior is black leather and very comfy. It's going to be another effortless mile muncher like the Omega, I'm sure.

Toys. It's got them. Loads of them in menus everywhere. No idea where to find most of the features yet. ;D Did manage to get the Meridian audio system working on the way home, and that sounds pretty decent.

It claimed an average of 38 MPG for today's jaunt which included a mixture of hooning around and pottering along in M25 traffic, so that looks promising.

You don't get the V6 sound track of the Omega but the 4 pot is pretty quiet and doesn't intrude much. For the performance and economy over the Omega I can live with that.

I suppose it doesn't really do bangernomics in the way that an Omega does, but then I failed to find any worthy replacement for the Omega that's newish (3-4 years old) that does. If this lasts me as long as the Omega has, then it'll have been a bargain. ;D

My LPG'd 3.2 MV6 will soon be looking for a new home.... :'(

General Discussion Area / Nice Jolly..
« on: 25 June 2019, 20:30:28 »
Just been for a ride in this:  8)

Answers on a PM please. My brother has locked the keys in his!

I'm looking for a late Elite style 6 spoke 17" alloy relatively close to Alton, Hampshire, ideally.

Would take a pair if available.



General Car Chat / Zafira 1.4 Turbo petrol - Shed or not?
« on: 21 May 2018, 22:47:10 »
My brother is considering buying one. 2015 model with 30k on the clock IIRC.

Any horror stories? Anything to look out for?

It's got climate control, so hopefully not fitted with the incendiary fan resistor.

General Car Chat / Troublesome Volvo V50 Tractor
« on: 08 January 2018, 16:24:16 »
As I mentioned a few weeks back, my brother has a V50 2.0D which is giving him some issues.

I had a look over the weekend. Unfortunately, it's been "Motor Traded" to the tune of about 2k before I got a look in, so no doubt that has caused some issues which need to be corrected before the real diagnosis begins. ::)

Symptoms are that it "surges" a bit under light load around the "normal" driving speed range (1.5k - 2.5k RPM). Often it will slip into limp-home with very poor performance (i.e. no boost) until restarted, whereby it recovers.. for a while.

It starts and idles perfectly fine. On full-bore acceleration the performance is probably about right and it pulls smoothly. No nasty noises, smells or smoke over and above the usual.

On taking a look at it, I discovered the following:

Intake air temperature sensor trouble code, and reads constant-30 Deg. C on live data. This is the post-turbo sensor in the intake manifold. Looks like a little bead thermistor that's completely open circuit.  Would have been eliminated by now if the muppets had sold me the right part. ::)

Apart from the above, ECU is happy.

Couple of connectors left off, Breather pipe disconnected from crankcase, some signs of bodging of the wiring around the DPF pressure sensor, which looks new. Yep, it's been in the hands of some muppets. None of this appears to be causing any issues, and didn't help once corrected.

Oil level is about 20-25mm above the max mark on the dipstick. I suspect some fuel has got in there! :o

I can imagine the limp-home issues might be to do with the temperature sensor, in that the ECU gets nervous when it's been on boost for a little while without induction temperature feedback and stops play, but it really doesn't seem to be the whole story.

I can't help thinking the surging under light load might be a fuel or boost pressure control issue. I've heard that fuel pump issues on these can cause the oil in the sump problem, and might cause fuel pressure fluctuations. On the other hand, fuel in the sump has also been blamed on failed DPF regenerations, and the latter has, apparently, been recently replaced (although god knows why they didn't sort out the oil level issue).

Surging manifests itself as a regular about 1 Hz cycling of torque output. If you hold it at about 2.5 K RPM fast idle, you can also see and hear the revs fluctuating +/- 200 RPM or so about once a second. You can hear the turbo whine cycling up and down in pitch a little at this rate too. Sticky wastegate / vane actuator perhaps? :-\

IAT sensor will be replaced ASAP, along with an oil change and correction of level. Any further ideas?

General Car Chat / More caravanists
« on: 15 December 2017, 14:17:07 »

Hotel rooms also available.  ::)

General Discussion Area / My first attempt at making a video
« on: 02 November 2017, 16:53:38 »
.. and not that kind, before you reach for the "Report to Moderator" button.

I got myself a GoPro before heading to the highlands this year on my usual gliding pilgrimage.

I've never shot any video before, less still attempted to edit it into something anyone would want to watch, but the blank looks from family and friends when I tell them about bore them with my gliding exploits prompted me to try and help them "get" it.

Anyway, I ended up filming a flight that turned out to be my best yet in terms of altitude reached, so here it is, with the boring bits speeded up.

I was working up the courage to sucker the camera to a wing, and would have tried it on my final day there, but the weather didn't cooperate, sadly.

General Discussion Area / Camping Gaz shocker
« on: 16 September 2017, 11:12:11 »
Without mentioning the "event", suffice it to say that we are well appraised of the potential dangers of this product.

I have just tidied up my camping cupboard and found 6 C206 gas cylinders which I'd forgotten about, one of which was installed in a camping lantern.

Following aforementioned "event" I decided to remove such items to the shed just in case, but clearly overlooked these.

I know for a fact that the cylinder in the lantern was not empty last time it was used. The other 5 cylinders were new and unused, easily verified because installation in an appliance causes the top of these cylinders to be punctured to let the gas out.

The cylinder in the lantern has no gas in it. :o

One of the brand new unused cylinders has no gas in it. :o

I could sort of understand the cylinder in the lantern being empty, given that the valve on the lantern might not have been properly closed, or been knocked slightly open since. But.. for a new unused cylinder to have lost its gas is unforgivable!

So, a reminder, in case you have any of these items lying around. Keep them somewhere that isn't going to upset or harm you if it gets converted into a smouldering crater. Better still, just avoid them. >:(

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