All Corsa Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

Long story short my wife has had the Corsa-C for 3 years now and we've experienced all the quirks of the auto unit, but never something as bad as a complete stop and engine off situation with no restart afterwards after the car had warmed up. Anyway this happened to the missus at the worst possible place and she literally wont go near it now and is going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a VW.

So always up for a challenge, plus I like the car when it works and Im cheap:), have saved it frorm being scrapped and have taken it on as a doer upper and have sworn to myself not to spend much at all on it and instead fix it mostly through sweat and tears

On a side note there may or may not be a head gasket issue. Definitely an electronics problem, which I think is related to the easytronics unit or something else i will get to.

My mechanics skills were pretty much zero up until this car came along and now I naievly feel like I can figure out how to fix whatever comes along due to some lucky fixes, youtube videos and no fear of the easytronic unit and ECUs as one thing I am good with is microelectronics.

So If I have to work on a dodgy board that has shorted then so be it.. Which is good as no mechanic in my county will go near this car. The problem is I have to get to the unit first without damaging anything and that's where I hope to get help from anyone I can plus I have already being delving into the workshop manuals I 'stumbled' across and will either solve it myself, or die trying.

What I want is to help all other drivers who have been so done over by vauxhall and this joke of a unit and hopefully deliver a guide which can be followed by anyone as from what I have seen, there is little on fixing this problem on English forums or You tube videos in English but plenty in other languages. I remember seeing a website over two years ago, made by an American who had already produced a dummies guide with photos to the gear selector box but now I can't find it anywhere.

Anyway, due to the engine running perfectly fine, the car will be used all the time through out this build thread, so I will either have to solve it, or get a new car as I do need reliable transport.

There are plenty of other issues with this car as it was so badly looked after by both the previous owner and my wife that there should be plenty of things to be getting on with.

As a start. I have ordered a basic OBD2 scanner which until last night i knew little about but like electronics Im pretty good with computers and software packages, I think I have already worked out that the one im getting is rubbish:) But maybe it can be just fine if used with better software, which I have aquired.

Also a new battery will come tomorrow, my reasoning later Plus the Oil Pressure Switch which is definitely leaking and is why Im not sure yet about the head gasket issue. Again more about that next time. Im sure I have bored you enough.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Scanner arrived

**I made a complete balls up with copy and paste so if you read the same thing twice soz**

Brief update as I've always failed to keep any sort of blog, diary etc going I will try and post anything relevant until I'm told "Bandwidth is at a premium nowadays. ..so..."

Ok, my OBGII Vauxhall scanner arrived yesterday. I have taken a photo but will have to wait till I'm home I think to upload as my Internet through my phone is awful at work.
In short. For less than £13 I personally think it is looking like the deal of the century. Of course it's a china import but the interface has been configured to work with as many different 'protocols? ' as possible. Also a simple solder job apparently opens up more options but that's getting way ahead of myself I think :)

The software and bits and bobs that were bundled with it are all freeware or demo versions of premium software but they have included a significant selection which reinforced my hunch that this will do more than just read and clear a limited amount of codes.
I only briefly tested it with Easyobdii just to see stuff happening and this was before I had read a lot more on diagnostic software and it appeared to work just fine.

I will only be using it for non invasive uses for the time being but I doubt it will stay that way.

On a more relevant to my skill level topic. I have ordered the workshop manuals and Tech stuff, including TIS 2000 11. On the cheap of course but maybe a Haynes' manual should be on the list somewhere lol

They are attempting to redeliver my battery as no one was in yesterday but my wife has promised to hang around for it and hopefully the oil pressure switch also.

Now I probably (definitely) need to get some advice on tools. There is a shed full of this and that but everything is scattered and it's all my Dad's old stuff so I am going to decide how to proceed with getting my first dedicated car tools kit together. I really have no idea what to do as depending on the problem I might need a random tool right? Well I probably won't have it even if I bought a giant set of tools, and even though these will be used for all future cars, I really want to keep expenditure to a min so I was thinking of getting 'The basics' as in spanner set etc and am going to salvage as much as possible from the shed if it's complete and/or not rusted beyond use.

Hopefully some people will inform me of some really obvious stuff any tinkerers needs and it can go on the eBay list ;)

I know this isn't meant to be a help thread and I will be doing plenty of research I can assure you on what I probably should have no matter what.

As far as the electronics side is concerned I'm good to go tool wise and I do see this ending up with the Easytronic system being subjected to my take no prisoners soldering style..

A bad photo of a 'Vauxhall' adapter

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Scanner arrived

Just travelled the entire country with the missus to pick up her new vw polo. We almost got wiped out on the M6 coming back and were so lucky with traffic afterwards it was surreal. 415 miles from dealer to home. This car better be worth it lol

All bits and pieces have arrived for my Corsa. I took it for a quick spin and it was a bit grumbly and slow on the changes which was no surprise to me. Going to change the oil pressure switch tomorrow but not put the new battery in yet unless the old one is shot as I'm off from work this week and officially shouldn't be driving this car quite yet (won't go into too many details but it's nothing sinister) and don't want the new battery to sit idle. I may need to get a trickle charger as I am going to be testing with my scanner and several different software packages that probably won't work straight off.

Also want to basically give it a full service this week and am not sure about the gear box oil (Not the easytronic ATF) MOT is just two weeks away and just want to get it through with no issues so I can then worry about taking on the auto unit.

Have a ton of uni stuff to do so will update when anything interesting has occurred :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Just lost a massive post so has probably done anyone that reads this a big favour.

So I mentioned before that there could be other issues as well as the auto unit.

Coolant loss, oil completely empty...lots of mayo gunk.......Then again, lots of short journeys, very badly maintained, replacement engine installed when we got the car that ran dry of coolant so many times it’s embarrassing.

The engine appears fine though despite having no oil in it after I recovered it from the garage that the recovery chap took it to. I hadn’t driven it in months and there was something not quite right...It felt ‘Scratchy’ but no loss of power or issues with the auto box. So when three of us started trying to work out how to get the easytronic unit off as I was and am convinced it is the gear selector box running a mock and when no oil and mayo gunk came to light. The scratchyness made sense...But both mechanic and mechanically minded neighbour said “Scrap it”

After doing a lot of reading...The gunk and short journeys are common and we have always lost coolant ever since we got the car which was almost rectified with a new water pump last year.

As for the oil...Well I can’t honestly say when it was last checked, nevermind replaced. But I think it actually had a proper service last year. I will go through the wife’s documents to have a look, but it is always done ‘by a mate’ so not sure if there will be anything helpful other then the MOT certificate.

This was always meant to just be a cheap run around, but it’s only now that it has dawned on me how much abuse this car has taken from us and I am going to keep on top of every car we have from now on.

Now the reason I can’t drive the car yet is due to having to surrender my license for a year due to epilepsy.

I have been cleared to drive but the DVLA have to write to the consultant. Now although they have said it could be 6 weeks, I would expect it to be more like two weeks and can check online...But this is still too long as I need to get a few runs in her before the MOT just to blow out the cobwebs as I don’t think there is much it can fail on other then the brake pads which I don’t really know how to inspect until I get my Haynes manual probably tomorrow. I have done pads many a year ago and remember them being a pain but I doubt I followed anything properly and hoping they will be no big deal. The car is currently on a sloped drive and I am busy for a few more days, but will check them out at the start of next month.

The underside of the car is anybody’s guess at the moment. There is no rust issues touch wood, but I am sure something could crop up and this is why I really want to get some runs in...As if it is anything that may damage the wallet or take up an obscene amount of time for me to rectify then I want to feel confident that the oil incident has not ruined the engine and it is worth it as the plan has always been to not have this turn into a lemon. Not that I would really be able to tell if the engine was about to give out or not, but if it can handle a blast down the motorway with no grumbling then that’s good enough for me and the missus, who is still insured on it has reluctantly said she would take it out with me at night for a drive, but if it breaks down or there is any gear box funny business. I have to bring it back.

My OBD2 interface which I was hoping would work with OP-COM won’t but they are only £20. I don’t need that sort of thing anytime soon and instead want to just get a basic service in before the MOT (Done by me)...Then afterwards, I am going to drain the coolant completely and slowly refill hoping there is an air block...

Oil pressure switch replaced so hopefully this will help with the oil loss and a clean up operation similar in scale to BP's little mishap now needs to be done as pipes and cables are not looking to ***** and span and that could be an MOT fail

:thumbs_up:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well I was right to buy a new battery. Went out to let the engine run for a while as ever since I read about and saw for myself how much condensation collects, I want to see if this can be the source of the gunk and not the coolant and also I can keep a close eye on the coolant. Well when I plugged in Vauxcheck I got an immobiliser and instrument fault. Then went to start and something had clearly triggered the immobiliser which is also what the recovery man had said and another couple of start attempts later and the reason was clear. The battery was dead.

Still no Haynes manual and daylight was running out so made the judgement call that the battery could be removed without removing other parts, which after snapping some plastic here and there that keeps water out or something. I’m not too sure as it was annoying. I thought the new battery had a greater capacity then my old one but it turns out it doesn’t, which I’m not over the moon about as maintaining voltage is what I’m guessing will keep the easytronic unit from throwing 'F's up and would explain why 99% of the issues we have had with it have been in the winter. Lights, fan....<-Volts...F

The instrument panel was what I found out after a quick dash to the computer was a common issue. I had just the warning lights and nothing else working until I gave a little push on the bottom of the instrument housing where this dodgy connector is and everything came back to life...Except the Temp gauge!!!! These cars remind me of HP laptops...fking built like **** Yet you can't help liking the challenge of keeping them going and when they do work, they are great and I do actually like the semi-box and looking forward to thrashing it on my 50 mile each way commute to Uni and 20 each way to work. However, like I said..No throwing money at it and as everything I get is from ebay and cheap. I can't see that being a problem and as soon as it is a garage job, it's a scrap job.
Oh yeah, the temp sensor. I literally just pushed down on the wiring housing on top of the sensor and whether that is what did it or it just decided that now was a good time to show up to the party idk, but it is now working.

Now after I had the engine running for probably 20 mins with some 2500RPMs thrown in to get the temperature up, it appeared to me that the engine was possibly running cooler then it use to..It was bloody cold outside and also it could be the temp sensor but maybe the oil correction (filled from empty) had something to do with it...

Bad sign..I had persistent water vapour from exhaust. This was definitely not happening a week ago because as I mentioned before, we checked this out when I got the car back from the garage. Now this was starting to get on my **** as it was now looking more and more like it was the Head gasket.

With it being so cold and the car not been used properly for a while, it needed a quick blast to get the temps up to check this exhaust business out better. Which it got..Not off me though

By all accounts there was no noticeable vapour/smoke in the rear view mirror after the odd flooring and on return (which was only like 5 mins but on 40s and 60s) the exhaust was emitting very little vapour which was encouraging...but the mission now will be to get as much water out of the oil/engine by running it for as long as possible in the drive whilst maybe leaving the oil filler cap off??? Seems like a good idea to me but if it's crazy talk then please let me know.....

The really annoying thing at the time was I had just ordered a service kit off the bay and in the space of 20 mins it looked like both that and the new batt were for the tip...

I have recovered a pretty good collection of tools from the shed, but have just a couple of sizes of deep sockets so not sure yet if I am going to do the spark plugs or bother with the pollen filter till after the MOT is done. If I do and it's all straight forward then I will...

I'm also going to be a bit controversial after reading all the for and against arguments and have decided that due to the need for reg oil changes, not just now but due to the mileage I will put on it if all is ok for the next 9 months or so..I'm going to use an oil extractor!!!! Plus I would be lying if I said it wasn't due to just needing to stick a tube down to the sump and turning on

So plans for the weekend are:
1) To run the engine as much as possible to examine exhaust for HG symptoms and to dry out the oil as much as/if possible.
2) Monitor coolant levels and hope the drops aren't as bad as I thought they were.
3) Visit Halfords and get some decent coolant as it is just water in there at the moment I reckon!!! If they sell distilled water I will get a ton of that as well as I live in a hard water area and the insides of the system must be mostly chalk by now.
I will be interested to see if there is any noticeable temp or exhaust changes after adding coolant...

Next week if I have time. I really want to flush the coolant system as blockages are another thing that I want to eliminate from the list as well as it being necessary to replace what is currently mostly water with the proper stuff.

Do an oil/filter change at the least and hopefully fuel/plugs/air/pollen as well....
I would also like to think I will know a bit more one way or the other if I am dealing with a HG..We'll see...still got plenty more crap parts installed that might somehow not be connected to this issue at all but still decide to die for the fun of it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I am going to keep these posts a bit more to the point. For my sake as well as....Just me then :) Amd I will also get some pics up so you know this corsa isnt just in my head

To start with I have certainly not forgotten what the name of the thread is. It’s just my Haynes manual turned up yesterday and I started doing the basic checks whilst running on idle with higher rpm thrown in as mentioned previously, I want to try and gauge how much water is in the system by utilising the technique of..”Get engine hot, see how much steam comes out the oil filler. “ With the task being to obsessively watch the coolant expansion box for the slightest drop in level, and this car is now proving to be a very bad joke.

The best thing that happened to my wife was this abrupt stopping by the auto unit as I’m pretty sure.. If she had kept hold of it for much longer it would have turned out to be the biggest lemon ever, but what makes this car special is no one, especially not Vauxhall, really know what the heck is going on with regards to some of the faults.. .

But I gave my wife £200 for this as that is what I would probably get for scrap, and I am going to get my monies worth in thrashings, I hope, however to prevent the lemon transformation occurring, this car needs to do a few things for me as after yesterday, it became clear, that there are some potentially serious issues going on and they are partly to do with bad design. They are also down to unbelievably poor maintenance as thanks to my new Corsa bible, I now know where all the fluids can be checked. Even more interesting is that the brake fluid and Clutch fluid come from the same reservoir..Which at present Is empty!!! I think some bulbs on the dash need replacing....
Also, this is where a manual that you can trust is unbeatable. There are by my calculations two reservoirs for the hydraulic clutch fluid. One on the actuator itself? If I was to try and understand the setup from forums, due to a lot of people clipping on their expert for the day badges I wouldnt of been convinced that was the case, or even that the same fluid can be used for both brakes and clutches

Well I ran out of light and is also started snowing as I desperately attempted to check as many fluids as possible..I didn’t get very far...Today I will know where I stand on that front and have already checked ebay, Halfords, amazon for all the spec replacement... It seems Lucas is the only transmission oil I could find with an official thumbs up from GM....
Anyway, before I spend the money on a ton of products I had never heard before but now know i must have. ..The car really is going to have to gently convince me that its head gasket or cylinder hasn’t gone because how this engine didn’t seize I have no idea as not only was there no oil in it one week ago there is clearly a massive amount of water in the oil. So I can see nothing good coming from this continued attempt at drying it out and instead will do an oil flush with Wyns and I think it probably best after seeing the state of the dipstick that the oil was drained instead of the planned extraction....I’m going to throw the last couple of litres of 10/40 I am using presently in as thats what i bought for my old car and make sure all the craps is out. Replace filter when it arrives maybe Tuesday. Then going to fill it with what looks a friggin bargain currently on ebay, proper GM 5w30 long life oil £18 for 5L!!

I do have all the fluids the car is missing, just not too confident they are fit for purpose anymore, and as I am trying to rule out a lot of stuff, everything that goes into the car from now on fluid wise is going to be spec..Or ebay spec...Once that is done, Im going to flush the coolant, again using the bargain that is Wyns before refilling with Halfords Own Coolant that use to be the advanced.
I also need to get a shit load of grease off as there is still a lot of what looks like fresh oil on the right armature which is probably from the old pressure switch but it seems silly not clean as much of the really bad grot up so I will know pretty quickly if anything is leaking...
It will get a proper road test all being well next week and if it is still holding itself together I am going to replace all the other fluids except all the clutch fluid due to not being able to bleed the clutch at the moment but will give it a good refill, order the transmission fluid and not just change whatever oil is left but I am going to add a ton of quality grease. This is finally due to the easytronic unit and how I think I can band aid the problems, for the next few months at least.
Last post I said Vauxcom instead of vauxcheck by mistake..A slight difference there, but there are a couple of what looks like decent OP-COM packages available and as soon as I have commited to keeping this car I will be wanting access to the clutch actuator’s control module as well as have a look at how many other parts aren’t functioning currently as my current OBD2 stuff is rather limited.

Possible issues that came to light but could still go either way...Piston wear or some kind of valve wear or anything else which wasnt present before but now it has oil its made itself known.. The rattling is only present whilst the engine heats up and the cylinder expands Im guessing..Not too concerned about that....

More head gasket alarm signs with the entire sump one big mayo factory..At first this really did get to me but then it simply dawned that there was so much crap in there and now the top of the engine is mayo free, the obvious place for it is in the sump..Hence why it's getting emptied before I run the engine.. I might even do it before the filter gets here as I just want this watery mess out!

The next one will be a shorter post
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)


Finally got to put the car in the garage where I live to work on it. It is normally kept on a neighbours driveway which makes it awkward to do any work on. Especially if there is potential for hot oil being sprayed.



I went to Halfords yesterday where there was one guy on the till some plonker in the car park whilst it was snowing trying to get people to let him near their car and two ladies just generally pissing around whilst a queue formed, and got long and longer...

Not fun with this lot and halfords no trolley policy. I forgot to put the oil, filter, coolant and another bottle of D20 in the pic lol



The plan was to do an Oil flush and change plus swap out the filter. Followed by a coolant flush and refill. Things took slightly longer then expected but it was time well spent. Sort of. I Had the oil out in two mins after performing a flush with Wynns Engine Flush and thought I would share a pic of what came out of the sump first.



mmmmmmm tasty!!

Despite being in the garage and the pics looking like there is plenty of ligh. tThere wasn't. So most stuff required a torch which was fine for this I guess and unless the weather goes bad, the oil change is really the only things I really needed to do in a garage as all the driveways here are on quite steep sloper, making Oil checks anyones guess...
Now before doing the filter, which I fully expected to be a two min operation I tried to clean out the breather tubes coming out from the rocker cover.. The thick tube was packed with mayo and so was the air intake it was connected too... The thinner hose was also blocked solid but I could unattach it from (Is it the throttle assembly) that it goes into.. I was completely unfamiliar with how it was being held and was nervous about ripping the hose as it would set me back... So some advice would be appreciated. I cleared out as much as possible but i couldnt blow through it still but thought that may have been because it was closed by whatever it goes into (Which I will find out tonight lol

Just two pics. One shows oil which I am really hoping is from the old oil pressure switch episode despite it looking fresh as I have now stared into that bay for what must be 10 hours and can find no leak.

The other one is just a pic of under the bonnet and its not to show how greasy, rusty everything is, but if you really zoom in to right hand side if you are facing the car. There is a yellow filler cap under the two hydraulic lines going off to somewhere, but they have a cap on saying 'Brake Fluid only!' Is this the power steering with the wrong labelled cap on as it isnt brake fluid in there its ATF so Im thinking Power Steering.





Also whilst we are talking about fluid confusion and Im going to bleed the brakes tomorrow as the master cylinder reservoir is empty which holds both clutch and brake fluid. But the easytronic unit has its own reservoir?? So totally confused and Haynes makes no mention of it nor can I find an explanation on the net.

Yeah so the filter. Couldn't friggin open it. Didn't have a socket or spanner that big. No way was I going to pay for a filter removal tool. It was proper dark by this point so the shed search will start tomorrow for a 36mm socket or spanner. Failing that i'm going to try and wrap a belt round it. My neighbour will have one but I don't want him to know what i am up to as the last time we spoke was when me him and ourmechanic friend were trying to diagnose the car and they were certain it was a Head Gasket and should be scrapped..and Im looking forward to seeing their faces when I book the MOT with him.. 9 days to go and I have to do some exhaust repairs but know exactly what im going to do i think as I had to repair my old motorbike for ages before getting a new exaust but until i get it up on ramps I won't know how bad it is but I can now hear something blowing..

I should say that after the flush, refill and drive. I don't know what to say.. There is a difference, not sure if it's a good difference as when I throttle it there is a delay which sounds like air is being sucked in and then the power comes...This is more noticeable reving when stationary as the road test only brought about one nervous incident (It wasnt me driving so not positive what happened) But it was a common easytronic glitch which I hope to resolve eventually some how. Nothing serious and the car drives great. It really does.

Got to get the filter out ASAP as running behind. Then hoping to solve the brake fluid confusion and do a complete change and bleed. The actual Brakes themselves I will put off until last I think incase i run out of time as the exhaust and some other stuff are more important I think according to the MOT checklist. Such as clean the sodding thing as its disgusting and find out what is the best thing to do about exposed cables? Can I just tape them with electrical tape? I should add that my brakes work just fine ot the moment but obviously need to check and maybe donate more money to halfords and get some cleaner

Oh Yeah.. At the front of the engine is two horizontal threads going straight into the block as you face it ..With no bolts in!!! Normal or should i be terrified:thumbs_up:

Fingers crossed I get my OPCOM and Oil tomorrow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Ramblings of a Lemon with honours PartI

A brief update as it's been a while and I have some 'things' to report.

First a quick catch up:
I was unable to remove the oil filter cap due to either someone confusing the torque settings for my oil filter cap with the cap that goes on a leaking deep sea oil field pipe. Or just a **** taking the micky during the last changeout.

I was so close to making the walk of shame from Halfords with one of them fking ridiculous contraptions (Think string stuck to a stick with blue tac.) That is meant to be able to remove something superman would have sweated for a bit doing. Of course I could have also paid £10 for a 32mm socket, but as it would have left me with PTSD after feeling as if Halfords personifed itself had taken me out the back where their staff (who are taking it in turns with the mirror to extract oil from their own supply located in numerous dwellings on their face and had used several metric tons of 'Shock and Unlock' before I had been subjected to the things that only kids that went to Sunday school or were treated by Jimmy Saville when he was moon lighting as a Doctor..'Yeah, you're on TV, takes as long as you like performing completely unqualified tests on my son's a***." Could understand

I decided to bring out the biggest and oldest wrench man will ever see and with the loss of just a bit of paint, wiring, the odd engine component etc, I got that housing off and switched out that filter quicker then a lady of the night can switch out a rubber contraceptive device.

Plus Im pretty sure the socket would have simply sliced the rubber 32mm fitting off like a butter knife heated by the fires of mordor itself would have gone through butter.

If anyone else suffers the same problem with a corsa who's value fluctuates daily with the price of used lead acid batteries then its a swan neck wrench you want, which I didnt have, or just a huge normal wrench.

Now for ther latest

Had to SORN the car as my medical license is taking far longer then anticipated and couldnt renew the tax as MOT would run out, apparently before the new tax started!! No it fking wouldnt DVLA as you have changed the whole tax system where the car is sold without tax and the new tax would have started the moment I wanted it and BEFORE my MOT expired!!

So car is still luckily being allowed to stay under shelter but has not been forgotten. So much so that A new exhaust centre section arrived today, have done two complete engine oil replacements and flushes, complete coolant system flush and renew. Played extensively with OPCOM and have recalibrated the EZtronic clutch and gearbox, but chickened out of the fluid bleed.
If anyone doesn't have TIS 2000 documentation, you really want it, even if it's just to laugh at the manual which pretty much goes as far as to prompt the mechanic/semi-trained monkey with issues; with what to say to the letter to the poor sucker who brought their car to them given any possible situation. It is also amazing, but not a substitute for haynes unless you have a lot more experience (which you will have) with mechanics then me. But they very much complement one and other but Haynes is sooo good how it addresses certain aspects..."Work should usually only be taken out by a vauxhall garage who have this special top secret tool, which I have found works almost identically to a flat headed screw driver, so here's how to rebuild the top end":thumbs_up: Seriously though the best £13 I have spent.

I do have something serious to ask about, and it is with regards to the dreaded head gasket which I will include photos obtained when changing out the spark plugs. For people in the know I hope the photos will make a quick diagnosis possible..Basically, looking down on the plugs cylinder 1&4 are spotless and 2&3 are reasonably dirty and the entire top of the head that can be seen with the cam cover on is equally filthy regardless of cylinder position.

Im still not too concerned, just wish I hadnt been an idiot and done the plugs before ordering an exhaust lol.. The engine wasn't giving me much of a reason to, but with hindsight... ...Nope. Still would have ordered the exhaust:) There are a plethora of things I will still do that might have caused it as they need doing anyway..e.g Cam detail and gasket renewal, breather pipes (which arrived today) renewal. Throttle body hose down with Carb cleaner, injector clean and replace seals..and whatever else..

This car will still go for its MOT as soon as my license gets here regardless as apart from minor issues (bulbs, beam alignment) I think it has a great shot at passing, and I seriously want to get it taxed simply so I can move it around even if I dont think it is read to be fully let loose on the roads.... The brakes could be a problem, this is due to the fact if either disks or shoes need doing, because the car cant be road driven till MOT I can't run them in a dont want to fail the brake test for having too new brakes lol

Lemon<------------
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
These are the photos taken looking down at the plugs. As you can see, Plugs one and Four are spotless.. Two and Three not so much and crap from what i assume originated from under the cover which is equally spread all over the parts not hidden by the rocker cover

You can diagnose anything you like.. Just not head gasket:thumbs_up:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I will take some decent pics showing the condition of the plugs removed and from which cylinder.

There is an extremely good chance that the plugs have never been changed in 75,000 Miles! They certainly haven't in the last 25,000.

Until the exhaust started blowing. There was no drop in performace whatsoever and i can't say even with the blowing there is much drop,. No smoke, but since I have been observing it there is not too surprisingly, significant amounts of water vapour but the car hasnt had a proper commute in months if that would change things. If I don't get my license through in the next week then it will be at least three weeks before it does as Im being dragged away to the slums of dubai..:)

There is no way that emulsion comes from just condensation in the air. IMO It's all coming from either the burnt or unburnt products/reactants of combustion. Which makes me think that an automatic mod for every Corsa C owner is not just new breather pipes that involve the canister design but New Gaskets on the cam cover, The rottle body, exhaust manifolds and A careful look at the EGR valve which I am unable to do due to it being awol lol, but im thinking it may have been removed to benefit the setup. I wouldnt mind getting hold of one if it was going cheap as i like the idea behind it, but without seals guranteed not to be dodgy the whole system could be more of a nightmare then a blessing..

At this point I'd rather just be locked in a garage with a proper set of tools (I finally ordered my first dedicated socket set so no more pissing around with a bag of odds and sods that due to an unfortuante attempt to cross Africa in a Toyota Hilux which ended in a burnt out car in the middle of botswanna national park, contains not a single useful sized socket or bit whatsoever despite having a huge shed full of tools which it turns out are all completely useless.. Anyway i expect the quality will be shit but as it has all the socket sizes that you actually need for all them Corsa related tasks that Halfords would prefer you pay a tenner a pop for..As there £300 kit isnt good enough to even do an oil and filter change on my corsa and what is it with there fondness of 10mm Spark plug sockets??

Now there is just one major piece of equipment I need or want but still can't bring myself to pull the trigger. What sort of brake/clutch bleeder to go for as I am going to use it at some point with the easytronic clutch which despite vauxhall saying needs to be a pressure bleeder it can be anything, and OPCOM makes it possible to use the old school method but instead of getting a mate to apply the non-existent clutch you can simply click "Clutch open" Clutch Close" on OPCOM and go wild with your reliable old spanner and random container:) However someone said they snapped off the bleed valve using their bleeder bute I think they said it was more to do with them personally screwing up and not the unit. I love the idea of a vacuum bleeder as assuming it has enough connectors/adaptors it seems like it would cause the least issues with contamination of the brake/clutch lines with air or old fluid and can be used for a whole host of hydraulic systems. Plus they're so cheap on ebay..:) I can't see how it couldnt work equally effective on the EZ unit///There you go sorted. A handheld vacuum bleeder it is... Im planning on just using a clamp when i do brakes and being careful..I really wish their were disks and not shoes at the back. Not because they arent the best at stopping a car as all back brakes do pretty much nothing..It's just I can't face all them springs and findling around. If the current ones can get through the next MOT then after I will replace the entire drum with the intention of never needing to replace a pad/shoe on them ever again and might ask and maybe even pay a mate to do it. I will try not to and Mr clutch can go do one wanting £160 not just for drums shoe replacing but to change pads on disk brakes as well!!!!! WTF I could be tempted in the drums im ashamed to say but disks are a ten minute job.
I will clean the drums all up during my total underbody detail in the hope that the MOT tester will be so impressed that he can see his reflection in the drums he will totally turn a blind eye to not being able to see brake pad material in their.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sheep meet Wolves. Wolves meet Sheep

No point beating around the bush:shocked:

The mechanic neighbour who looked to have emigrated with family in tow poked his head over the wall whilst Im there in my overalls and my new tool kit (as ebay came friggin good as wasn't expecting it for another couple of days)

He looked at the car, and just as im expecting him to look back at me like an insane man, as last time we spoke the car was destined to the big scrap yard in the sky. Instead he says, "I spoke to someone about this car (Meaning with the shitty gear box) and he said to make sure you pull up at lights in neutral."

"Way ahead of you buddy" I briefly summarise that whilst he has been swimming with turtles, I got myself a Haynes and a nothing to lose attitude and inform him of my MOTless predicement. He says no problems, whenever it's ready. In which I reply "It's good to go. His response was epic. "What. It's running?"

Now at this point it had started raining. This was not the first water though to have made it under the bonnet today. Some had arrived earlier, via a pressure washer. I took precautions that I argued were suitablee for the status of the vehicle and swiftly removed the Battery and coils. Decorated the odd electrical component with duct tape and fk me them cleaning devices don't mess around. Prime example.. That EGR valve that I didn't have last night. Is now right here baby. The easytronic unit seem to have removed it's coating of 75,000 miles of grease to reveal it is start bollock Grey!! It actually looks really cool now. Not sure how many layers of epoxy that colour was hiding under but I like it.

Now I had pretty much just booked myself in for an immediate MOT and when I go to put the coils back.. The 2 cylinders that were sparklying clean yesterday are now spark plug deep in water, their companions however, were displaying the 'spot the seal, ain't fking got one' dry as a whistle look..

Not a shocker after discovering the crap above SP 2 and 3 and at least i know seal are pretty good for half my cyclinders :)

I have no more free time after tonight due to Uni, Work and holiday. So I'm planning on pulling an all nighter in the garage. Found me two decent lights which will be more then adequate. The missus has donated a hair dryer, yep , i am seriously going to be using that on select components and am planning on papertoweling anything and everything that has puddles..and then Im just gonna bite the bullet and connect the battery and pray to whatever god has a corsa fetich before turning the key.

This has to be rushed as my neighbour doesnt hang around and will probably pick up my keys tomorrow morning and have it off for its grilling, and I still havent put the new centre exhaust on, which also will need the rear box to be patched up as it has a slight leak, but im packing all kinds of magic puttys so im confident on a air tight seal and an encouraging structuralyl sound appearance.

So what am I worried about for the MOT.

I simply do not know enough about CV joints and roll bars etc.. and I also havent looked but i promise i would have given more time and will quickly run through the Haynes MOT check list simply to prepare myself for what may be some required work but at least i know who is doing it and mates rates prevent a ridculous quote ever occuring. Tyres will pass, I will know tonight if the brakes are likely to pass as will actually measure if i can the pad material and make sure nothing sinister going on with the disks.. I might just clean the shoes as I can't be ******ed with them and at this point kind of want him to do them even if it was at full cost

So lets hope I haven't fried the ciruits with my Prison style cold water shower exploits on the mighty 1.2XE. Or fuked off the gearbox unit even more than it usually is and the night gets off to a starter.

Just gonna enjoy a few more mins in the bath;) And then it Ramping and pampering time.

I'll keep you updated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
****MOT Update***

I know you have all been biting at the bit for the rather late update.

Car went for MOT on Friday. Failed! But only needed:

Dimmer bulb
c-clip for an outer CV booty
The battery fastener needs moving a bit lol

Total expenditure not including the exhaust that I had already bought........

£3.99!!!!!!! Yeah I treated myself to a brand new bootie and grease to go with them C-clips!!!

I had the bulbs...Partial retest will be Thursday or Friday and isn't costing anything.....

Thank jeebus for that....Now I just have to get the last friggin screw of the cat to frontpipe that has completely rounded, but the threads looks fine.. My tool kit wasn't quite as awesome as i was hoping as that single nut has taken out two extension bars already :thumbs_up:

No more messing around. First thing tomorrow im either going to hack saw it or drill it..Only the nut I should add....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I am going to upload some photos that I said I would do a last week showing the removed spark plugs and their condition in cylinder order. Just to recap. 1&4 had immaculately clean barrels and 2&3 were suggestive of wear and tear, possible union failure in the head gasket or many other things.

I now know that everything downward of the cat had serious leaks but passed emissions somehow. I wasn't fully aware of the state of the rear box when i ordered the centre exhaust and have now got a new rear box that turned up today, which looks great as i was expecting the exact same one, instead I got a varient with a nice wider, chrome tale pipe. Its just for show i guess and won't do anything to performance as it is simply attached to a reducing pipe/ Nor do I want anything that affects performance as my rather sad little aim is to have in the end. A rebuilt, completley standard Corsa C, but one that works as I am sure Vauxhall originally intended. Just never gave us.

The photos of the garage environement are how not to do things regarding lifting and supporting as the floor is completely unstable...I had no choice as MOT was next day and I have no where flat to use.. I had been using the inclined drive which i am comfortable with when dry, but it has been pissing down for two days straight and that made it unsafe even by my standards and the same has happened yesterday and today....So it's another night in the garage before the retest, which really has to be tomorrow Im told and I still havent fully removed that exhaust gasket nut due to it being made from depleted uranium it seems..I wish i had seen the youtube vids before I started that I have since seen.. Would have made the 10 hours i have probably spent on it into 20 mins....The thread still looks good though....

For MOT

Centre and rear exhaust (Doing tonight hopefully) (Can't damage the Lambda as have no time to replace and will be using the only grinder i could find to cut off the exhaust and I can barely hold it its that big. Will try the hack saw, but my patience has abandoned me.
O/S CV bootie securing (Once the wheel bolts are off...which i couldnt do last time lol..its a quick job... Will replace the booties after the mot and just clip them today)
Two lights (Done)
Battery securing (I better do that first or I will forget like an idiot)

If anything goes really wrong. It will simply have to go for a new Full MOT after I get back from holiday which I really dont want.

I will stick all the photos on the next two posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The reason for the delay in posting was my holiday. Which was lovely thanks
I will admit to not being able to get the car in for what should have been the easiest MOT retest in the history of the corsa because of one nut! Yes one nut. If you have never changed the front pipe of an exhaust here is some advise you might want to listen to as it took me about 20 hours of pain staking surgery to remove the final nut without damaging the thread from the bolt originating from the cat.
New MOT is booked for tomorrow but if a slot comes up today it will go then.
It will pass as it now drives better than I could have ever imagined possible. And yes I have been driving it as my license came through and I am allowed I think if it is going to a garage (maybe) and the MOT was booked (in two days) you get my drift, Anyway this is how it should behave out of a Vauxhall garage.
Back to removing the front pipe nuts


1) Obviously if soaking with WD40 on and off with small anti-clockwise/clockwise rotations is enough to free your nut then superb,
2) If you have had no luck with the above and have also tried get some rust remover inside the thread and have given up around a day of your life and still had no luck. Then do the following.
3) REMEMBER don’t thread the bolt....I repeat...Doesn’t thread the bolt....**** the nut up as much as you like, just make sure when you do finally get the depleted uranium nut off, the thread from the bolt need to take a new one. They are M8s and I have load spare if anyone needs a couple lol
4) these methods are probably pretty interchangeable. But if you are not confident with a blow torch then put that method further down the list.
5) I actually got mine off by using a grinding attachment for a drill and this was not what I should have done, but it was already too late by then as my nut was now 1/3 the original size and the correct method would no longer have worked.
6) YOU SHOULD HACKSAW HALF THE NUT. End off. Forget drilling. The nut will simply laugh at your £20 drill bit made from elements yet to be named on the periodic table and then snap it before a scratch has even been made.

There is an amazing YouTube video of an aussie or kiwi with the exact same dilemma and they demonstrate what to do perfectly.
Saw the nut vertically making sure to avoid damage to the bolt thread and then hopefully you can still use a socket on the other half.

If you are thinking off keeping your Corsa and are going to do the exhaust yourself at some point. Go out there now and bathe them bolts in lubricants and rust remover and in two years time you will thank me, as they are hardcore..

My mate from kwik fit says he simply heats them. So if you are good with a torch then that is probably the quickest way.. You can’t go wrong with the hacksaw method if you have time.

What I have learned about this car and what I have learned about how little real mechanics actually know about this car.

If anyone ever tells you it’s the head gasket. It’s not
If anyone ever tells you that Corsas ‘just run hot.’ They don’t, or at least don’t like to. The temp gauge should not be stuck at 90oC+
If you are going to get the head done as you are so friggin sure it is the head and not a cracked cylinder or a million more likely things..Then get the mechanic to swear in his own blood that he knows what caused the head gasket failure and that a machine shop or someone qualified has fixed it....It will not be the head gasket. If you don't see white/blue smoke and not simply vapour it is not your head gasket.

I will do one final post after the MOT pass with a video showing how great the engine sounds and then we can bring this 'thread' to a close.

In short. I am so happy I took the risk with this car as I love the engine and the gearbox and don't mind getting my hands dirty. If you don't have a Haynes manual. Why not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just under 4 hours now until MOT Part Deux:D

I remembered just as I was falling asleep that I'm pretty sure I never clipped the O2 sensor's harnass in its track/runners.. I also think I may have a minor leak in the exhaust somewhere, probably where the sensor is as Im not getting super fast alternating lean/rich and I think the voltage maybe a bit on the low side. But my neighbours have had enough of seeing a strange man covered in oil lift a poor corsa elegance over and over again and as the second sensor is more a long term thing and my previous emissions test passed without one viable exhaust component. I am going to let it ride.

Just going to thrash it for 10 mins before it goes and fingers crossed.

If it fails.. Its is going to the kwik fit next to my work today and I will bung the guy a £20;) Joke Joke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
It passed. It passed. Ended up finding the 02 sensor post cat not even remotely screwed in. Thank fk i got the balls together to look a twat in front of the neighbours again :)

Driving to work today felt too good for words and tomorrow/today it's doing the 50 mile each way uni run..without breakdown cover!!

Ive got one of them jump start/compressor etcs from aldis which was a cracking buy as I found a ciggie socket with an almost identical connection and particulars that charge my quadcopter gear so even if I break down, Im still going to have some fun :) Im going to carry a real tyre and not some half size or worse tyre in a can thing with some tools.. So im thinking if i can't get it going with all that and opcom then for the time being im not paying for roadside recovery as the only option i really want is to be taken to my destination of choosing which would be uni incase it happened during exams, but that came to over a £100 and my insurance is only £220!!

I think it only right that I say a few words on what was meant to be a major part of this project. The easytronic gearbox. The main reason why it has featured so little is quite simple It never messed me around after I took ownership and immedietly replaced the battery, changed the clutch fluid and remained on my toes with regards to voltage sag..Drive it in semi-auto like you stole it, with lots of high revs as you dive down the gears under braking and leave auto for town driving. Or just get a real auto as this will be wasted on the moaners :D soz.t
t Im going to build a rather amateurish micro jump starter which will be more a cross between a trickle charger, a reasonably powerful charger and a jump starter if needed and will weight less then a kilo utilising the same 5amp Lithiums that I use in my quad, connected to one of them ciggie to ciggie jump starters you can get on ebay for £15. It will work no problem and will save me carrying the aldi kit around all the time. For me this will only be needed incase i do something daft like leave something on that drains the battery as my commutes will keep the Volts nicely at 12.6....I will get a bigger battery next time.

I know full well I have little mechanical knowledge to offer, other then what I parrott from Haynes but if anyone has any questions before I let this thread dissapear into the nether then go for it and thanks to all the people who contribute to this place. Without your expertise this project would have seemed an even bigger joke to my wife and family then it already did.. Now they can't believe I got the car two mechanics said was fked and should be scraped, not just through its MOT but at least to me it feels incredible and at 32 I have driven the odd good car :)

Take Care all
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top