So the kid complains that the indicator lights on the one side of the Opel / Vauxhall Meriva stays on all the time. This is a well known problem, there’s a dual relay and the contacts burn and stick.

So I open the box up and give her a stick and show her where to beat the relay into submission lightly tap the relay with a stick to make the stuck contact release. Problem being that once that’s done, if you then lock the car the indicators flash and guess what? Yup, bloody thing sticks again.

Google tells me you can get a new one for under 15 Sterling, which at the current exchange rate is around three hundred rands if you hurry (the rand seems to be heading south a bit faster than normal right now). But there’s shipping on top of that and it takes a while so let’s see…

<ring> <ring> “Opel spare parts, how may I help you?”

Me: “Yea hi I need an indicator relay for a Meriva,  part number 09 134 880”

Them: “Yes sir, we have those in stock, one thousand seven hundred and twenty rands”

Me: “You Have Got To Be Shi, I mean, Surely that cannot be the case my good man?”

Them: “Oh yes sorry, my mistake, make that one thousand seven hundred and ten rands”

Me: “Kthanksbyeclick”

Not being a millennial, I do have some tools and spare parts. For VERY large values of “some”. This for example is my box of spare relays.

These ones look like just the thing.

Yup, it works. Cover doesn’t fit back on again, but it will with some surgery if required. I am not too concerned.

The kid’s father is coming down from the UK in two weeks’ time and he’ll bring down the Real Thing but in the mean time this will do. Very Nicely. R1710. Fsck.

 





5
Aug
'19

The intercooler on my Golf 4 has been dripping oil for a while. Lately it also developed a whistling noise. Time to investigate.

The plastic cowl presses against the aluminium intercooler and after about 400 000km, wears right through the aluminium.

Replacing this thing is a bit of a pain in the arse. According to Haynes, the front bumper and right-hand side headlight has to come off, and that’s the way I did it. But I suspect one might be able to do the job by pulling the windscreen washer bottle instead.





CA 992 134. One of ours.





IMG_0910r

I don’t think this part even has a VW part number – ETKA claims that it’s part of  251201166, the breather line. Anyway, it plugs into a grommet on the tank and if it’s in two pieces like this one, you get fuel leaking out when the tank is more than about 3/4 full.

Oh, and superglue is not an answer.

IMG_0911r

This hose repair kit, however, is.

IMG_0914r

Close enough for me. I used smaller pipe clamps than the ones in the kit. And for the record I’m getting pretty good at R&R-ing the tank.





On our recent Kgalagadi trip the water bottle burst because the water level ran low. And the little red light that’s supposed to tell me that the water level was low never came on.

So I took the instrument cluster apart to find the problem

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Here’s the gauge on the bench. Apparently if the light stays on it’s the capacitor and you can replace that without taking things apart. In my case however…

P1150144r

I had to drill out the two rivits holding the face plate on.

P1150149r

Lots of electronics to multiplex the analogue temperature and the low water signal from the relay on one wire. The PCB hangs off the two pins, gauge on the right (also goes to the heating element that moves the needle) and earth at the top. The blue wire from the left carries power (regulated 10V).

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Hmmm. I think I see the problem.





P1150114r

The pump on the right is part number 251 955 651 and it’s made of weapons-grade unobtanium-around-here. It’s also buggered.

The one on the left comes from… well, this one came from a VW Fox, but that’s just a Golf 1, the Golf 2 used the same thing.

P1150115r

The only difference is the connector.

P1150117r

Bit of work with a crimping tool and, as they say, Robert is your mother’s brother.





If you’re re-doing the rear brakes on your T3 Type 2, this picture over at TheSamba will help a lot.

Note the orientation of the springs, the top springs are under the hooks. Note the long end of the adjuster fork on the right goes towards the backing plate, short end to the front. Note the bevelled edge of the left-hand adjuster fork goes to the back. Some people say the long hook on the bottom spring should go on the left so as not to foul the handbrake cable.

Yes, you can put it back the way you found it but don’t discount the existence of a DPO.





4
Oct
'16

If you fill up the tank of a 1.9 TDI VW Golf with unleaded, it will go 10 kilometers before quitting.

(Determined experimentally)





Back in 1935, Charles Garrett built a carburetor that allowed a standard car engine to run on water.

The patents were immediately bought by the fuel companies and put on the shelf next to the Pogue carburetor and the Oglemobile.

I wonder what they’re going to do about these fellows making fuel from water using solar power?





5
Nov
'15

The manual says that you should tighten the oil filter sealing cap to 25 Nm.

But of course the previous fellow who worked on the car was some type of gorilla.

P1220884r

So find an appropriately sized pipe clamp, tighten it around the cap…

P1220885r

And whack the shit (technical term) out of it.

This will hopefully be easier next time, because I’ve taken over servicing Tanya’s Golf.





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