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My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

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damage001.jpg
Hmm most of the impact has been taken by the radiator support and the bumper reinforcing. Both chassis mounts for the bumper reinforcing are twisted toward the passenger side. This was never going to be repaired. Judging by the lack of damage to the plastic on the front, it wasn't a very hard impact.
damage002.jpg
Most of the damaged stuff removed.
The lower part of the driver side bumper support is pushing onto the Air conditioning compressor . Not hard but just lightly pressing.
This a 2005 Mk1 just before they went to the MK2. It has the SAGEM S2000PM2 1.4i engine ecu and the Mk2 turn signal repeaters. The BSM enclosure and wire routing are different.
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Seeing as things are quite on the forum I thought I'd give an update.
Ozvtr wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:27 pm Update:
There is an oil leak from somewhere near the aircon compressor/alternator bracket. Not major but annoying. I can not pin point the source, so the alternator, compressor and bracket might need to come off. There is oil in some very odd places and I don't know how it's getting there.
I also want to investigate the catalytic converter issue. The converter is not OEM and has been replaced at some point!?
I have tried the 'lacquer thinners in the fuel' trick but that didn't work. So while I'm looking at the oil leak I'll remove the exhaust down pipe and have a look at the converter.
I have a new upstream O2 sensor to install but I'm not going to do that until I've investigated the converter.
The oil leak seems to be coming from the shaft seal on the air conditioning compressor. Cant figure it out though. Air con still working and only a small amount of oil. Lack of oil in the system might explain the lack of oil leaking out but I'll need to check the gas situation. Compressor is noisy and that's because of the lack of oil.
Have not replaced the catalytic converter yet that's a relatively big job. Might wait 'till Christmas.
I bet you think I'm making this stuff up?
Engine now has a small surging problem. I think it's related to the cheap Chinese fuel injectors I installed when I found the 'original' ones blocked. It's good I still have my old faithful ford Meteor to get me around!
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Well a closer look shows that the leak seems to be coming from the nose piece gasket.
The compressor splits up into a number of roughly cylindrical segments and each of these segments has a gasket. The material that the gasket is made of can be a number of things, dependent on what part of the compressor we are talking about. For example, sometimes, the piston head areas can have a metal gasket because of the high pressures and heat involved.
In this case we are talking about where the nose piece is connected to the body of the compressor. The nose piece is the bit that supports the input shaft, from the drive belt and pulley. It appears to be just a paper style gasket.
accompressor.jpg
Hmmm. What to do?? I could just try tightening up the bolts? I'll check to see if they are tight.
.
.
OK, now the catalytic converter. Well this is not manufactured very well.
The joint attaching the exit pipe to the bottom of the engine has fractured. When I first got the car running, there was a loud squeaking noise from the area of the sump. My worst fear was big end or crank shaft bearing failure. I have not proven it yet but I believe this is the source of my squeak!
I am quite interested to pull this assembly off and see if there is actually a catalyst substrate inside it!! The exhaust has a decidedly 'tinny' note!!
exhaust.jpg
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Well I have solved one of my problems.
Turned out to be one of the cheap Chinese fuel injectors, as I suspected.
Symptom was misfiring at all rev ranges (missing). LEXIA showed a fault of 'indeterminate misfire'. I must note here that a "misfire" simply means that there was no combustion of the air/fuel mixture on at least on one combustion cycle. Could mean anything, but I have found it is typically related to fuel as the engine ECU can pick up spark faults.
I suspect the coil insulation was faulty. I think a mechanical fault would have resulted in more drastic symptoms. I could feel the misfires but they were slight and random.
When you are pulsing current through a coil (the injector is basically a solenoid) you can get very high voltages called a back EMF(Electro Motive Force). If the insulation in the coils is not up to the task or faulty, you can get arc over and a misfire of the coil(injector).
injector 003.jpg
I have stolen the orings off both ends. They may come in handy.
Hmmm, wonder if any of my other cheap Chinese injectors will clag out? :lol:
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Just a quick update.
For the most part the car is running well.
The squeak of which I spoke is indeed the fractured connection of the down pipe rubbing on the bracket.
I have made an attempt to repair the aircon compressor leak. I have documented that over in the Tips n Tricks area.
I replaced the upstream O2 sensor from my donor car and all those faults have gone away.
The only fault left to repair is the 'aging catalytic converter' fault. I am going to replace the converter from my donor car over Christmas.
Oh I forgot, I also need to fix the sun roof...D'oh!
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Next!

I have temporarily added cruise control. Why only temporary? Well the (cruise control) steering wheel is in not-so-good condition. The photo, below, makes it look not-so-bad but its a bit tired when you see it in person. Just after Christmas I have a long drive and cruise control would be nice.
I am planing to get the steering wheel fixed up so I have put things together only enough to make things serviceable. Actually it's only the switches that aren't in all the way, the steering wheel and airbag are installed correctly.
Cruise control wasn't an option on early Australian C3's. Don't ask me why. Just to go down to the shops for milk requires me to go on a highway at 100KPH for half an hour (that's a joke, don't take me seriously). However we do have to cover some long distances a high speed just to get around.
Anyway, I have bought the bits n pieces over time from Ebay in the UK and had them sent out here. I wanted to get the steering wheel fixed up before installing it...but...sh!t happens. Another job for after Christmas.
I am putting together a how-to for the tips and tricks section, soon.
cruise control 040.jpg
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Once again a never ending update. :lol:

Hmm what will Arfur do if I ever get all the bugs ironed out of my little car?

OK time to look at the catalytic converter.
If you haven't been keeping up with current events I've had a check engine light on for most of the time I've had the car. I've whittled all the faults down to just one. An "aging catalyst" error.
Viewing the data shows there is no difference between the output of the upstream and downstream oxygen sensors. If the catalytic converter is working OK the upstream O2 sensor oscillates between 0 volts and 1 volt (approximately). The downstream O2 sensor (or post-cat sensor) should stay steady at about 0.5 of a volt. The downstream O2 sensor is oscillating the same as the upstream sensor. Cat not doing its job.
So I take off the catalytic converter down pipe and this is what I find.
cat 020.jpg
CALLED IT!!!!!!!!! YEAH!! Crowd goes wild!! Um...OK moving right along...

Yes, I suspected there was no substrate (element) in there as the exhaust had a decidedly "tinny" sound and the two O2 sensors output almost identical patterns.
But WTF happened? Well I can only speculate. The only facts I have are that this is not an OEM cat and it has no element in it. So I would assume the original cat was replaced (with this one) for some reason and then the element in the new one was removed (because it was of poor quality and shattered?). It shows that who ever removed the element didn't know what they were doing. If they did, they would have "sleeved" the downstream O2 sensor and that would have stopped the engine light. ER...I'm not going to go into cheating the engine light here but it can be done in this case.
Luckily, I happen to have a wrecker C3 for eventualities just as this. I will be putting the good OEM cat on soon. I will do a "how to" to document what I did.
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

OK it's quiet on the forum again so time for an endless update!
The update isn't endless just the number of. :D

Still having problems with the air conditioning loosing refrigerant.
I couldn't find any traces of oil or leaks. Frustrating! Going back in time, I thought it might be the schrader valves then the compressor, but still leaking.
I then had an idea. There are a lot of flammable gas detectors on the market and by design they are very sensitive. The other thing is that propane is used as a refrigerant and is compatible with all oils and components used in automotive air conditioning! There are a lot of pros for using hydrocarbons in refrigeration systems but only one big disadvantage. If you are interested there is a lot of info on the 'net, make up your own mind.
Anyway I digress. I decided to use propane as a gas in the system and use a cheap gas detector to find the leak. I found adapters to allow me to use cheap camping gas in the aircon system.
I then started researching flammable gas detectors. The gas detectors ranged from pounds to thousands of pounds! well I wasn't going to waste thousands on this small project. A quick bit of research showed that a cheap detector for about 15 pound was quite good, well that's what they were saying!?
I found this on Ebay and it was available "locally" (from Australia).
aircon 002.jpg
I put enough propane into the system to pressurize it and hopefully...leak. Don't worry, the leak would only be very small as the refrigerant didn't leak out very quickly and I didn't completely fill the system.
Going over most of the lines showed nothing. I started at the firewall and moved down the lines towards the compressor, nothing! When I got to the flexible lines going to and from the compressor I started getting some thing. It turned out to be a false positive from the rubber in the flexible lines. HOWEVER! When I got to the point where the flexible hose is crimped onto the compressor inlet line...the detector went off the chart! Continued with the other line, nothing. checked all the crimped flexible joints nothing, except that one joint. Continued to check the condenser and compressor, nothing.

Removing the line required removing the wheel arch liner, the wheel, the expansion tank and the windscreen washer bottle and the air filter box. It was tight getting it over the top of throttle body and inlet manifold. I would recommend loosening the inlet manifold nuts and let it droop a bit. The fuel line and brake booster line needed to be removed from one end too.
aircon 001.jpg
I replaced the line in total from my good 'ol wrecker C3. It's really beginning to pay for itself!
Re-gassed the system and checked it over again. Couldn't detect leaks. Checked the clutch end of the compressor too (where I had an oil leak).

The bad news: The compressor has been noisy and when I pulled the line out, the lubricating oil in the system was grey! It should be clear. Both of those mean the compressor is stuffed or at least on its way out. Bugger! The oil was OK when I pulled the compressor apart to fix the oil leak. Did I stuff something up? The compressor was noisy before but the oil was OK. Oh well.
The next step is to run the system to see if it still leaks. If that proves to be OK I'll remove the compressor, get the system flushed and replace the compressor from the wrecker C3. I know that's OK.

*Sigh*
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Well, still no luck on the aircon front. This is the worst case I have ever come across. Not worse in a catastrophic way, just so hard to track down the leak!!!
I tracked down and fixed the leak in the other C3 in a few days!
Replacing the low pressure line slowed the leak by about half but there is still a leak! Hard to say but the aircon becomes useless in about 4 weeks after a full charge.
My next suspect is the compressor. I fixed the oil leak but the internal corrosion on the aluminium castings makes me suspect some other point may have failed.
The leak is slow enough to be difficult to find but too fast to make the system practical.
The leak seems to be small enough that the gas detector cant find it either.
I have another compressor from the wrecker C3 but the oil in the current system is contaminated. The old compressor seems to be failing internally and turning the oil grey. The system should be flushed before I replace the compressor but I don't have the facilities to do that.
So That means I have to remove the old compressor, remove the bumper and grill to remove the old receiver/dryer filter, block the pipes, put the bumper and grill back on, take it to an aircon place, get them to flush the system, bring it back, remove the bumper and grill to fit a new filter and fit the 'new' compressor. What a pain!
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Moderator
Posts: 954
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 255 times

Post

Well I guess you guys will think I'm crazy but I'm going to pull my car apart...again!
You are probably thinking it's time for me to sell it?
Well...I'm not! :lol:
Some people might live with the foibles of my car but not me, no sir! I am going to fix them! LOL!
Ok, so why?


First up the dash. The dash has some scrapes and abuse including a makeshift mobile phone mount glued to the top of the dash. I removed the mount and most of the glue but I have reason to remove the whole dash anyway, which I will get to in a minute. The dash from the black car is in excellent condition. Actually the black car is going to come in very handy. :-)
I have already removed the dash out of the black car (sort of a practice run?). The biggest pain is chasing and undoing the the wiring loom Christmas tree clips!!!
repaires 002.jpg
repaires 003.jpg
Hmm looks worst in person.
repaires 001.jpg
repaires 006.jpg
This the interior and dash of the "black" car. The donor. I used to have a great time going to the wreckers (breakers) and poke about for bits for my cars. Now I have my own private wreckers. LOL!


The air conditioning. You will have seen my feeble attempts to track down the faults in the air conditioning. I believe the problem is in the compressor. I believe the main seal is leaking but after pulling the compressor apart I was less than impressed with it's condition. The internals showed signs of corrosion. This would have been from moisture getting into the system and reacting with the refrigerant. R134a forms acids when exposed to moisture. This indicates the system was abused both by not being repaired when it needed to be then repaired incorrectly! Tisk!
I plan to remove the whole system and replace it with the one from the black car.


The next reason is the air distribution box. The auto aircon panel will not select "face level" air. I have poked around the levers and have found that the air selector lever sticks. It stops short of moving all the way. All up the lever should move a little under 180 degrees but it only moves a little over 90! I believe we had a member with the same symptoms? Hopefully I will have an answer for that one.
repaires 004.jpg
repaires 007.jpg

Into the engine bay! The head gasket is leaking oil. There is oil running down behind the alternator bracket and under the engine. Fortunately removing all the bits to get to the cylinder head is not that hard. It's a laborious job, but not hard.
repaires 008.jpg
repaires 009.jpg


The torque converter lock up valve and main pressure modulator valves. These are the main culprits in failures of the AL4 auto gearbox. The gearbox is actually not running too badly, however the torque converter "lock up" action is a bit hows-your-father. I will have most of the front of the car off to replace the aircon condenser and compressor anyway. The valve body that those valves sit in is on the front of the gearbox behind the radiator.


Well that should keep me busy for a while. I have started removing the dash, so I'm on my way!
dash 001.jpg
OH! After this I am going to attempt to have a look at fixing the sun roof. Its stuck! but that's a BIG JOB!