The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse
Gilbertd's Avatar
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Just took the Ascot for MoT, passed with no advisories. Emissions amazed me and the tester. Running on LPG using a singlepoint system, CO was 0.02% with HC at 6ppm (limits on LPG are 3.5% and 1200ppm HC). With emissions like that it would have flown through the petrol limits even (0.2% CO and 200ppm HC).

Now about to drive mine over to my mates to do a bit of finishing off on our Vogue......

I heard the most sensible thing I think a woman has ever said last night. There was an advert on TV for the new Audi RS e-Tron GT, which we both agreed was a pretty nice looking car but when my missus realised it was an EV her comment was that it was just wrong. Her view is that EV shopping trolleys are a good idea, even smaller family cars used to take the kids to school too but an electric sports car is going to like a man having sex with a plastic doll, it just isn't the real thing. Admittedly she drives a Mercedes SLK280 with a petrol 3.0 litre V6 under the bonnet and wants me to change the exhaust system for one that isn't as quiet......

Do they still exist? Don't recall having seen them for years.

What was the slogan? What has a hazelnut in every bite? Squirrel sh*t......

Far simpler than the 2007 Merc my other half owns which is all Canbus. That has door outstations too (although Merc call them Door Control Modules) but they have to be programmed, like nearly all of the other 20 odd modules, to tell it what engine is fitted, what gearbox is fitted, whether LHD or RHD, etc. Had to change the passenger door outstation only to find that the passenger electric window button on the drivers door wouldn't work but the one on the passenger door worked perfectly. Couldn't find a problem with the switch or wiring only to discover that the outstation comes programmed for a LHD car so was ignoring the input from the drivers door. £60 to Mr Mercedes to plug his computer in and tell it that it's fitted to a RHD car so can expect inputs from two switches.

It's all done to keep down cost and weight. Copper wire is both expensive and heavy so a pair of wires can supply power to the outstation and it can, under control of the BeCM over a data line, supply that power to the door latches, electric windows and mirrors (2 supplies required, one for the side to side motor and one for the up and down motor) rather than using 4 pairs of power wires. That reduces the amount of heavy current wire required, the number of wires needed and the overall weight. On the E32 7 series BMW, which used conventional wiring rather than an outstation controlled system, the wiring loom was the heaviest single component on the whole car, heavier than the bodyshell or engine even.

No, the earth from the microswitches goes to the door outstation to report the status, That then informs, over a data line, the status of the switches to the BeCM. When locking or unlocking is required, the BeCM tells the door outstation to change the state of the locks which applies power to the motors. Or in the case of the rear doors that don't have an outstation, the BeCM powers the motors directly. The ground going to the tailgate switch is the only time it is actually used to pass current, the rest of the time it is merely to signal a low state. Think pulling inputs high or low rather than applying a ground.

No, the French did it about 2 years ago (although using a Russian design) and NASA have recently produced a small prototype with the intention of using it to power deep space missions. It does exist and the sooner it becomes mainstream the better.

One of the offshore windfarms is on Scroby Sands off Great Yarmouth. When it was first proposed to put 24 turbines there all the local fishermen told the developer they will all fall over, Scroby Sands are shifting and move with every tide. The developers claimed that their geologists knew what they were talking about and they would go down as far as the solid ground under the sands to give a firm foundation. Since they were finished there is a dredger constantly running around them all dropping rocks around the base to stop them falling over. If it wasn't for the green grants they would never cover the manufacture, installation and running costs before they get too old to remain serviceable.

The difference between the pre and post 99 latches is the connecting plug. Early ones have two plugs, a 6 way and a two way, where the P38 only uses one wire but the MG uses both, whereas the post 99 has a single 8 way plug. The latches themselves are the same even down to the wire colours so you can chop the two plugs off an early one and fit the plug from a later one. The internals are also identical so the switches and motors can be swapped over too. Pushing the sill locks down while driving locks all the doors, in fact, many modern cars do that automatically once you reach 10 mph. To unlock them, you just pull the button up again when you find that your passenger has accidentally pushed the button down with their elbow and the door won't open. The switch makes the circuit when the doors are unlocked (the same ground through the CDL switch is passed to the tailgate release, ground there and the tailgate can be opened, no ground means the tailgate can't be opened), again a failsafe so a broken latch for whatever reason keeps the doors locked.

Without a latch in bits in front of me, I'm not 100% on whether the pip is pushed in or open to close the circuit but I'm fairly certain the CDL switch needs to be pushed in to close the contacts. If you look at the way the switches are arranged, you'll see that they can be either, and two of them work one way round while the third works the other way.

Rather than try to build up the plastic, one option that I did on one latch (where I broke the pip off completely) was to add a metal wiper strip as used on some other microswitches and bent it so the switch was operated with only a very small amount of movement.

Like I said, secondhand is a gamble. Buy it, test it and find it is fine but how close is it to being worn out and putting you back at square one?

It's not bloody renewable electricity, electricity from renewable sources maybe, but you don't renew the electricity, once you've used it it's gone. At least one of the energy companies include nuclear as a green source of power so it's about time they built a few more. Then maybe they'll stop cluttering the countryside with windfarms with a design life of 20 years even though it takes the first 18 to get back the production and installation costs

All that will happen is when you unplug the latch, all the other doors will lock as the ground will be removed from the Green/Red wire. To the outstation it will appear that you've pushed the sill locking button down. Just ground the Green/Red to cause them all to unlock again.

Door latch for an MG TF is the same as the pre-99 latch and is a direct swap although there are two versions, one with key locking only and one with key and central locking, it is the latter you need. I've bought a couple of secondhand MG latches in the past but you've no way of knowing if the switches are good or on their last legs and about to fail. One I bought failed within weeks of fitting it.

JeremyAldermartenQC wrote:

There must be an easier way!

There is, but you won't like the price, https://www.island-4x4.co.uk/front-door-latch-assy-9499-fqj103220-p-1772.html for up to 99 or https://www.island-4x4.co.uk/front-door-latch-assy-9902-genuine-fqj103260-p-1774.html for 99 onwards. It is Marty who does refurbished door latches (www.p38webshop.co.uk) but he is currently in NZ so not able to supply at the moment. The main problem with changing the switches is that while they are the same size as standard microswitches, the mounting pins do not line up with the mounting holes on a standard microswitch.

You've got it right, when unlocked the CDL switch is closed so the pip is pushed in but with wear it doesn't get pushed in far enough for the contacts to make (ignore the self proclaimed experts on Youtube as most of them seem to have got it completely wrong). It's a failsafe, if the connection is lost, the doors will lock. Assuming you've got it right and it is the Red wire (it's the one that connects to the Green/Red in the loom to the outstation), grounding that will cause all the doors to unlock, except the drivers door as that is the one supplying the ground therefore it must be unlocked already. However, putting a manually operated switch in there is almost certainly going to cause you problems. If the switch is left closed (so the doors are unlocked) and you try to lock the car with the fob, the outstation will pass a message to the BeCM that the drivers door isn't locking (as the ground won't be removed), so you will at best, get a mislock, at worst, it will lock then immediately unlock all the doors. If the switch is left open, and the microswitch has failed completely (or has decided at that particular moment to be permanently open), it won't try to lock the drivers door as it is already locked. If you try to lock with the key, it will probably set off the alarm and/or trigger the immobiliser as they will be a pulse from the keyswitch but not a change of state from the CDL switch.

You could, as a temporary measure, fit an external switch that is operated by the movement of the rod or linkage from the sill locking button, so when the button is up (i.e. door unlocked) the switch is closed and when the button is down (locked) the switch is open.

Halfords HSBxxx, Halfords Starter Battery type number, Yuasa YBX5xxx, Yuasa Battery X5 type number.......

Drove it and called in at my local Flogas depot to fill the LPG tank, but have been having a play with the Ascot. Had to take a friends car in for MoT this morning and, as the ticket on the Ascot ran out a couple of weeks ago, booked it in for Friday morning. Figured it might be worth nipping into the village and treating it to a Romanian wash as it's been parked under a tree for the last year and what bits weren't covering in pigeon crap had started to go green. Having got it washed and looking pretty respectable, took it to Flogas (twice in an hour) and filled the LPG tank on that one too. Then on the way home the dash beeped at me and it came up with Airbag Fault and the SRS light came on. Not going to pass the MoT with that on, so plugged the Nano in and it came up with Driver Airbag Open Circuit. That'll be that damned plug under the dash, so out with the wire cutters, heatshrink and soldering iron. Reset it and the bugger came straight back again.

So it wasn't the plug, it's either the rotary coupler or the connection to the airbag itself. As the radio controls and the horn all work, unlikely to be the rotary coupler, so must be the airbag connection. Out with that, squirt of contact cleaner in the plug, plugged it in, ignition on, reset the fault and success, it didn't come back.

Then I had an idea as I was this far in. The steering wheel is black leather and has all the buttons for the stereo and cruise control but the legends have worn off so none of the buttons are labelled. But I also have an identical looking black leather steering wheel with buttons that still have the legends on them which was given to me (thanks Tom) when it was swapped for one with the coloured leather and wood. Fitted that and just before bolting the airbag back in,thought it might be a good idea to check that all the switches worked. They do but I found an interesting incompatibility. The Ascot, being a 96 model, has the Clarion system but the wheel I had been given was from a later car with the Alpine. Checking it I found that the down volume button worked as expected but the up volume button cause it to step through the radio station memories. In fact, the volume down button was the only one that did what the legend said it did, so I gave up and swapped them back. It may not have a legend on the buttons but they at least do what you expect them to do.

Sounds like it has jammed so it is not quite in high or low, but with the teeth just touching and causing the grinding noise. They should be able to take the motor off and turn the triangular spindle one way or the other. It turns though about 300 degrees to go from high fully engaged to low fully engaged.

They aren't in the centre but they are further from the battery edge than others. I fitted one to a 99 DSE and don't recall any problems. On my car (98 4.0 litre petrol) the existing leads fitted fine but on the Ascot (96 4.6 petrol), the positive was just that little bit too short so had to be re-routed and fed over the ECU box rather than behind it.

When I picked my bottom end up, along with a set of studs, from V8 Developments, I asked what I should torque them to and was told 80-85 Nm. That meant nothing to me until I converted it to lb/ft (being an old bugger) and it seemed a bit on the low side. Hence setting on 65lb/ft (88 Nm) as that was the same as I'd used on similar alloy engines. With the stretch bolts it is like attaching the heads with a big spring, the bolts are always under tension hence the difficulty in getting them out.

RH side will most likely be the output shaft seal on the gearbox. Fairly easy to change with the transfer box off and that is a job that is either fairly straightforward or a real pain. Definitely a two man job though, it's heavy.

From your description I can't quite work out where it is dripping from. The Tee in the exhaust is further back, nearer the front of the rear prop. Is it coming from the front of the transfer case/rear of the gearbox or is it from one of the output flanges? In any case it isn't a gearbox out job, transfer case off maybe but if from an output flange the seals can be changed with the T case in place.

After all that work it seems a shame not to get some use out of it but, with an offer like that, only an idiot would refuse. Interesting that the same dealer has a 2001 Vogue up for £24k, despite it having the book showing on the HEVAC.......

Pink should have power on it to the solenoid, Green/Red has a ground from the RH door latch which goes to one side of the pushbutton, the other side of the pushbutton goes to the solenoid. Tailgate will only open when the RH front door is unlocked as that supplies the ground. There's no way to get the solenoid to operate from outside as the wiring goes via the pushbutton which you can't get to. Usual problem is the pushbutton spring rusts which prevents you from being able to push it in far enough to operate the switch, which would explain the intermittent operating. Jabbing on it with your finger can often move it far enough for it to open.

If you can't do it that way, get in the boot, pull the flap down at the bottom so you can get at the 3 quarter turn screws that hold the inner panel on the lower tailgate. Pull that out (you'll need to bend it to get it out but it is possible), then you can manually operate the solenoid and, once open, you can take the pushbutton out and take it apart. If the spring has rusted it's pretty obvious.

Sorting out the Vogue I half own had a similar leak. Took the throttle body heater off and it all appeared fine but resealed it anyway. Put it back together and the leak was worse. The ends of the hose had started to perish so the constant tension clips were no longer doing anything. Trimmed the ends off the pipes and refitted, leak sorted.