Well this is a little embarrassing… I was supposed to update this blog regularly but it seems other life-y type things got in the way; like being made redundant at the end of last year and also redecorating my house. So, enough of that and on with the update.
Glow plugs – Replacement
As the weather got colder the truck became more and more difficult to start when the engine was cold, on removing them I found the glow plugs were badly worn/coked-up/broken (not sure of the correct adjective). Turns out replacing them is a dead easy job, the difficult bit is finding a ‘extra-deep’ socket which is deep enough (3 trips to various tool stores…).
(From memory) it’s just a case of disconnect the battery, engine cover off, intercooler off (with a faff with a couple of hoses), remove the nuts on top of each glow plug and the bus bar underneath. Next unscrew the 4 black plastic caps, its a good idea to spray inside these with WD40 a day or so beforehand to help release the threads. Once the caps are off the plugs can be unscrewed with the extra-deep socket and removed from the engine. Assembly is the reverse of removal, making sure the plugs are tightened to the correct torque.
Alternator – Replacement
The alternator decided to give up a few weeks after as well. The battery warning light stayed on permanently, and checking the alternator with a multimeter showed no output. Again this is a fairly straightforward job, if a little time consuming, but shouldn’t cause any major trouble… if you don’t balls it up that is.
Access is needed from underneath to get to the tensioner pully, I already had the splash guards under the engine removed so not sure if this is a required step, after that i took off the fan cowling – the lower section just unclips, the main part has a few tricky bolts in place. Next put a 19mm socket on the tensioner pulley and rotate anti-clockwise to take off the tension from the alternator belt allowing it to slip off one of the pulleys. The alternator live and earth cables can be disconnected and the 3 retaining bolts which hold it in place removed, it should then slide out forwards with a bit of twisting and turning. Once again, assembly is the revers of removal.
*Pro-tip 1: Don’t round off the tensioner pully hex head when reassembling, this prevents you being able to get the alternator belt back on. If you have ignored this pro-tip, you can quickly order some bolt grippers/removers which will rip the hex head to shreds but allow you to get some purchase on it in order to release the tension from the pully and get the belt back on.
*Pro-tip 2: In a moment of complete muppetry, don’t forget to transfer the plastic isolating cap from the old alternator to the new (reconditioned) one you (I) have just fitted. If you do forget, and instead connect the positive lead so that it is in direct contact with the alternator casing, as soon as you have everything back together and connect the battery the main 100amp fuse blows. If you have ignored this pro-tip, start again at the very beginning with step one and and repeat everything you just did (including mangling the hex nut again to get the belt off) until you have the alternator out again. This time fit the isolator and reassemble, making sure you mangle the hex nut for a third time whilst getting the belt back on. I really need to get a new pulley tensioner now.
*Pro-tip 3: Don’t buy cheap crappy Chinese 100amp fuses off ebay to replace the one you just blew, they will melt within minutes of current being passed through them. If you have ignored this pro-tip, spend hours looking for faulty earths, dirty connections or burn’t cables with no success, finally give in and proceed to a knowledgeable auto-electrician, show him your melted fuses, and wait while he tells you not to be a muppet by buying cheap crappy Chinese fuses off ebay and instead fit a genuine one from a dealer.
*Pro-tip 3(a): Get replacement fuses from a scrapyard, its much cheaper. And you can get several incase one is dodgy. Note, these type of fuses only seem to be fitted to Japanese vehicles.
Rim seal – Piss poor customer service at Derby Alloys
Since I had the wheels refurbed any tyres fitted one of them wasn’t holding pressure, dropping about 15psi within a couple of weeks. It seems the rim lip was corroded and needed cleaning up so that the tyre would seal properly against the rim, (aka a rim seal).
Taking it back to the company which did the refurb it turns out I had to pay for the rim seal! Apparently I “only” paid for a full-face refurb and tyre fitment. Despite spending nearly £300 with them a couple of months earlier for the refub, it seems they either couldn’t be arsed to check the rims for corrosion, or worse they saw it was corroded and chose to ignore it and fit the tyres anyway knowing full well they’d leak and I’d have to come back. For the sake of spending a couple of extra minutes grinding the corrosion off whilst the rims were being prepared, why wouldn’t they do this to ensure a quality job?!?
Would they have fitted the tyres if there was a six inch nail sticking out of one of them as well? Who knows…
Spintires – Gaming
Having been quite a PC gamer in the late mid-90’s to early 2000’s (Day of the Tentacle, Half-Life, TOCA, GTA, Colin McRae etc) and then losing interest, I though I might see what was around now, especially as I had a bit of free time on my hands.
I came across Spintires, an off road driving sim with the goal of loading up and delivering logs across difficult terrain using old Russian trucks. There is a growing modding scene as well which has some rather neat addon trucks, including a 80 Land Cruiser and a Troll!
Snow – Messing about
We had snow! I went for a little play in the truck, unfortunately I forgot to take many photos though so you’ll have to make do with this one of some trees.
Cornwall – Holiday
Not exactly truck related, but I spent New Years in Cornwall. Again. Stunning place, and it gives me an excuse to post a photo.