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Edinburgh Independant workshop

Discussion in 'SEAT brand general discussion' started by Crossthreaded, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Being Edinburgh based my "go to" independent workshop for all things VAG (and other) is the AVW autocentre on the Gilmerton road. They've done a number of jobs on my older boy's two Skodas over the years and helped me out with, amongst other things, pressing a particularly reluctant front wheel bearing out of - and pressing the new one in again - on my youngest boy's wreck of an Escort. (I took the hub in to them). I can recommend them without reservation.

    The only slightly annoying factor - caused no doubt by their excellent reputation - is that they are very busy and seem to always have a substantial lead time before you can get a car attended to. This of course is not a problem for most people, you just make sure you book your service, or whatever, well in advance.

    I think I mentioned recently - in the Ibiza MK5 section - that my 2016 Ibiza is now out of warranty and I was going to do a "big" service (so all filters, engine oil, check brakes, etc) myself. This should not have presented me with any big problems as I worked, in my younger days, as a mechanic and, to this day, I look after all six cars in our "family fleet". The job went well - wasn't expecting any real problems on a 4 year old motor, with only 18,000 miles on the clock, which had been in religiously every year for it's dealer services. I was most worried that the thread in the ally sump might have been damaged as I've run into this before on even quite new cars. But no, It was absolutely A1!

    So I was surprised to run into a problem with the front brakes. I don't believe the wheels had even been removed at previous services. I think the brake pads were probably checked by looking at them through the alloy wheel spokes. (in all fairness to the dealer I don't think anything more than this is detailed in the schedule) However, as time is irrelevant to me in terms of cost, and as the brakes - pads and caliper holders - were looking pretty crusty albeit only slightly more than half worn, I decided to strip the calipers off the hubs and just give everything a good clean up and grease with Cera Tec. I am in the habit of doing this every "big" service on all the cars anyway. The front wheels were difficult to remove but responded to a good kick. The rears were absolutely solid on the hubs. The problem is that the alloy of the wheel and the steel of the hub react electrolytically and corrode in place. It took a large lump hammer and block of wood (to protect the rims) to get them shifted. A clean up with emery cloth and a light skim of copa slip sorted it. I don't believe the wheels have ever been removed since she rolled off the factory line! This would have been a big problem if I'd had a puncture away from my home workshop.

    So, with wheels now removed and "fettled" the brake job could continue. I tackled the front O/S caliper first and all went well. The two slider pins unscrewed as would be expected and the caliper came away nicely (after I spotted that wee "tooth" that engages with the bottom pad holding rail) Every thing cleaned up well and went back together very smoothly. Now for the N/S. The top slider pin was just a tad tight to unscrew but came out not too bad. The bottom one was immediately felt to be reluctant to turn - Oh dear, I've felt threads like this before and it usually ends in tears! I slaistered copious quantities of Plus Gas over it and worked it back and forwards as I unscrewed it. Looking carefully at it it actually looked very slightly out of square with the hub. Anyway after I'd got out out I could see the threads were a bit damaged and the thread in the pin wasn't perfect either. I think this is the way it must have been assembled by "Fred the robot" at the factory. I'm pretty certain it hadn't been touched by the dealer. Anyway I don't have a M9x1.25mm tap so I just carefully held it dead square and wound it back in the hole on reassembly. Seemed to hold and subsequent checks showed it to be secure. However It's just been niggling away at my conscience and with grandchildren being often collected from school and run to dance classes/brownies/cubs etc, etc I decided I had to fix it properly.

    The trouble is neither I nor SWMBO have been keeping well of late - doing the service knocked me back a bit (I'm 73 now) - and my better half forbade me from working out in the cold again. I gave the lads at AVW a ring but the wait was substantial and we have a busy kids schedule ahead so couldn't really wait.

    Now to the point of this rambling tale. Many years ago I used to frequent Hunters breaker yard at Meadow bank and up in Clockmill lane was Mackinnon and Kostello car sales who also had workshops which majored on VW products. I was down that way the other day for a completely different reason and noticed the Kostello bit of the business (and maybe the car sales) seems to have disappeared but the Mackinnon Motors, as it's now called, seems to be going strong with big Volkswagen Specialist notices very much in evidence. I gave them a ring to see if they could help. Got a very courteous reception. Yes, no problem, can do it day after tomorrow if you like. (Talking about drilling out damaged thread and installing a Helicoil for those of you who are wondering)

    I took the car in at 8 o'clock yesterday and got a call around 11 to say ready for collection. one hour's labour @ £47.00 and £10 parts plus VAT of course. Very reasonable I thought. When I collected the car I was explaining what had happened and the chap in charge (who I think actually did the job?) told me not to feel to bad about it as this is a common problem with this assembly and, in their opinion, the hole in the hub had not been drill at right angles in the first place. Because of this they didn't use a Helicoil but one of these:
    https://www.lasertools.co.uk/product/5037

    Because it removes slightly more metal and so allows them to true up the hole better. He let me have a jolly good look at the kit (I've seen them on eBay but never in the flesh before) and I'm very impressed. For this particular repair I would favour it over a Helicoil! I've subsequently taken the wheel off and had a jolly good look at the pin which is now sitting nicely square to the hole. I'm very pleased indeed with the work they did, the quickness of being able to take the car in, the knowledge and friendliness of the chap I dealt with and the price I was charged. For anyone who has not before done a Helicoil, they can sometimes, especially the smaller sizes, be difficult to insert properly without cross threading the insert itself, This way of doing it completely eliminates this problem.

    So, if you're in the north of the city these people just might be worth a try? Bearing in mind that this is the only job I've had done by them but, on the other hand, they've been around a long time so probably do know what they are doing. Anyone used them and can maybe comment further?
     
    SierraTango likes this.
  2. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    Result there I reckon, I’ve poured boiling water from the kettle onto the wheel/hub faces to help them split in the past when ‘stuck’ together, of course the block of wood and hammer is often the only answer but hot water does help break the seal, when I worked in Edinburgh I delivered parts to the garages you mention, seems a long time ago now.
     
  3. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Thanks for that Martin. It surprises me that I didn't think of the hot water (senility again!) Must write a wee note to self and stick it on the door of my garage manuals cabinet where it can join all the others I ignore!

    Did you work for one of the Factors when you were based here? My favourite was Edinburgh Motor Factors which was owned by a long time friend. Now closed I use SRS and find them very good - although when they first started, quite a few years ago now, some of the stuff they sold had to be looked at very carefully before fitting!
     
  4. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    I worked for Euro car parts for 3 years ish and moved jobs back to Fife nearer home.
     
  5. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Yes, I know of them but don't really use them. They do seem to be "taking over the world" a bit though don't they.
     
  6. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    There is an American company who seem to be buying up any business around, TMS- Livy auto parts- FPS and more and cutting service, all down increased profit.
     
  7. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    @Crossthreaded, that Laser Tools solution, I have taken to be the "donkey's whatsits" - it is so logical the way these inserts have been designed.

    Backing up what that garage said, there does seem to be "quite a bit" of that problem with that age of Polo/Ibiza/Fabia and maybe A1 - and that just is not good enough, VW Group must have found this out when having to replace/fix front brakes by now, but no point in pursuing them for redress, that would just make you very angry! Initially I had considered that this was due to the lower position of that guide bolt so it was getting more crap on the exposed end of the thread, but I seem to have been wrong there! Nice to know there are still independent garages out there that recognise an issue, buy in the suitable tooling to sort it out and so don't end up hitting you with big costs to sort your car.

    I think that the supplier of front brakes on that car will have changed from a traditional European based braking company (ATE or Lucas(TRW)) to Mando who is mainly a Korean originally company that was owned by Hyundai - and maybe they have been tasked with supplying the complete brake/hub carrier combo for ease of assembly at the European car assembly plants. Many many people have been complaining about either sticking front brake pads or noises - ie clattering, from the front pads which can only be resolved by replacing the original pads with European manufactured pads - and then, if necessary, filling them down to fit as intended by the original Lucas/TRW design, which Mando seem to have copied - probably under license from Lucas/TRW - or just without bothering to get a license, VW Group will make a big cost saving and will not be squeamish about the quality or legality of the "rights to product/copy".

    I'd reckon the same will eventually happen with the European manufactured ATE brake offering as well, if it has not already happened! Genuine replacement Lucas/TRW callipers will be available from ECP etc, but in this case, the hub carrier will always need sorting out as well, oh bother! All I can say is, I'm glad that my wife's 2015 6C Polo 1.2TSI 110PS has the bigger and different front brakes and so avoided that issue - though at that time, ie July build 2015, VW Group had not started fitting Mando brake parts to any of these cars.

    Sticking alloys - tut tut, you always, especially up this end of the country, need to get these wheels off when almost new and clean up the faces and apply something - and it seems the better "something" is the aluminium version of copa slip - now this change is convenient for me as I was running very low in supplies of my copaslip furnace bolt anti seize compound bought from that place in Roseburn (next door to SMT!) over 40 years ago!

    Edit:- I tend to use Cera Tec on the wheels of my 2011 S4 - just because it is special! Aluminium loaded anti seize on the other family cars!
     
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  8. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Thanks RUM. As always, what an interesting post.

    Yes, I liked and was very impressed with that thread repair kit. Perhaps an indicator as to how much of a problem this is that there were only two inserts left in his kit! I think also that, should the insert's thread subsequently be damaged in the future, you could, with a bit of care, drift the insert out and install another one?

    I've been thinking about this and your comments implying poor quality really stuck home because I noticed that when reassembling the caliper it's difficult to line up the slider pins with their threads because of the spring clips (which are really powerful) which are riveted to the back of both inner and outer pads. I guess they are there to positively locate the pads but they interfere with the alignment of the caliper body when fitting the slider pins. You have to use considerable force on the caliper body against these springs to get the pins to line up and then it's difficult to feel if the pin is entering the thread properly. Maybe this was a factor when the original assembly took place as that bottom pin would seem to have been cross threaded at that time. I've often seen pads with spring retainers which hold them to the caliper piston with spring "blades" which fit inside the hollow piston - quite a common way of doing it - but I've not seen the outer pad with this same spring clip setup before. Can't see the need for it on the outer pad? I've been looking into whether anyone is selling the thread repair kits more cheaply and there seems to be a plethora of kits available. Here's just one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/1601701613...Q0hJPk_8PeAmH0MEvnPFUTPitHNuQYTcaAmg5EALw_wcB From the number of kits available it looks like there's plenty of demand!

    Just another thing about this new car which disappoints me. By comparison with my old 1999 Cordoba Vario which was really "built". Before buying the Ibiza I was looking at the Civic 1.8 i-VTEC petrol estate. I did a great deal of research into it and liked really everything I looked into. My purchase was thwarted, at the test drive stage, by my wife's shortness of stature (good things come in small packages - or so she frequently reminds me) which meant we couldn't find a satisfactory seating position for her. However I'm now really regretting that we couldn't buy it.

    Aluminium anti seize? Oh yes. I've got a tin of Alumslip somewhere - must have a look for it! Cera tec? I'm just about to finish the first tube I bought years ago when Edinburgh Motor Factors was still on the go. I have a tube of Apec copper free brake grease (looks the same) waiting to be opened which is what my new Factor (SRS) seems to supply.

    Hopefully now that I'm in complete control of the service regime there won't be anymore "nasty" wee surprises.

    Oh and yes, Rattles! I get rattles from the front end. (and the top mount creaks I've heard others complain of) I at first suspected it to be an anti-roll bar drop link (similar sort of sound) but, despite a very detailed inspection with much tugging, pulling and levering of components, I found nothing. Now I strongly suspect it's related in some way to brake pads and the noise does seem to be somewhat reduced since the thread repair was carried out.
     
  9. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    I just use spray white grease on the hubs, and door hinges, catches etc, etc.
     
  10. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    Initially I believed that Laser Tools designed and got manufactured all or most of their tools they sold, nowadays I've worked out that while that might have been roughly true at the beginning, they are very prone to just buying in from other brands, and selling them at slightly above the original or other suppliers. I discovered that after buying the coil removal tool, which was not the same as shown in their web listing and exactly the same as other selling them for a lot less money, awe well some you win, some you lose!

    My aluminium loaded "grease" was bought from an online seller shortly after someone had pointed out that using copaslip is not the best plan when you already have aluminium alloy and steel in contact.

    I'm guessing that your callipers, while made by Mando and not the original maker, has pads with spring clips on one pad that presses into the hollow piston and the other pad similarly has spring clips that fit into a cut out on the other - fixed side of the calliper. I've always found that once you have fully reseated the one in the piston and the one in the fixed side of the calliper - then easing open (by pressing the piston back) the gap between the pads, that should allow the calliper to be fitted back to the built in carrier and then fit in the guide bolts/pins without any restriction or "annoyance/interference" from the pads or the their spring clips. That small tooth at the bottom can be annoying first time round when you have not spotted it and fitted the top guide bolt/pin in only to discover that there is no way that the calliper come "come in" to allow the fitting of the bottom guide bolt/pin - hands up, I've been there done that - once!

    Other noises:- I am becoming aware of noises with my wife's August 2015 Polo, first time was when after an overnight stop at a hotel in Perth, a very wet journey up the previous afternoon, slightly below zero temperature over night, jumped into the car next morning and lots of silly noises for a while! With her previous Polo, from 2002, I just put up with that but when the weather gets warmer I might get under there and see what the ARB links and ARB mounting rubbers are like and swop if necessary.
     
  11. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    Personally I hate that stuff, probably as I only use it for catches ad hinges so it settles down in the can, then does not quickly get into proper suspension with the propellant so when it comes out beads of liquid propellant spray out covered in grease which splutters everywhere.

    Maybe I need to try another brand of white grease and general grease sprays to avoid that - both the ones I have are different brands so ?
     
  12. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Sorry martin but I loath the stuff. It makes everything look so messy. I just use normal spray grease - https://www.halfords.com/motoring/e...DmM1EUMurFkS00R0tQYZrZ2GrNedIfjgaAl6iEALw_wcB - it's quite runny when sprayed so can be worked into hinges etc if you "work" it immediately after spraying but gets thicker when the propellant evaporates and doesn't leave that unsightly white deposit. Used it for years and it works well.
     
  13. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Having had a close look at some of the offerings I'm sure you are correct about the tools. This ad allows a good close up examination of the kit : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brake-Ca...383894?hash=item3abe92a1d6:g:vVYAAOSwzG1c4pf7 and is actually the brand sold by one of my favoured suppliers for under £30. However I won't be buying one just on spec but if I ever need one it's nice to know I have a number of options.

    I first became really aware of this globalization of tool manufacture when I came across the Gearwrench pass thru socket sets in a hardware store in Maryland US. Far to heavy to bring home with me so when I got home I started looking for them over here and guess what? Draper and Halfords both seemed to sell the basic kits (Vortex) I bought the Halfords branded ones. Subsequent enquiries and on line searching uncovered that they are all made by the Apex Tool Group. Who, according to our good friends here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_Tool_Group seem to also make some very well thought of brands. ie, Gearwrench to name but one. The point being that the Gearwrench branded ones cost much more than my Halfords ones (especially with my Trade Card)

    Regarding the calipers. Yes I didn't notice that little "tooth" when dismantling. Thank goodness I didn't get "rough" with it before realizing the top has to be tilted forward to release "the tooth". As the pistons in my calipers were really easy to push back and showed no signs of binding at all I only pushed them back far enough to allow the pads to clear the very small lip on the outer edge of the discs and so the caliper to be withdrawn from the hub. (I'm also aware that some say you shouldn't force too much brake fluid back into the system for fear of contaminants blocking up the ABS unit - although I've done it often enough and never had a problem I do try not to cause more fluid transfer than I have to). I can see what you're saying about retracting the piston further though which would give more "wiggle room" when lining up the pins. Thanks for that, I'll do it next time.
     
  14. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    The pressing back of pistons, I'm the same never noticed any problems, another thing/reason to push these pistons well back, might be to clean up their faces, though maybe not the best plan to use the calliper seals to do that.

    Draper Vortex, yes another birthday/Christmas treat I gave myself - that kit comes in handy now and again, I've no regrets in buying it!
     
  15. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    I purchased both sets:
    https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand...ric-vortex-socket-set-1/4in-3/8in-217695.html
    and
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Halfords...l-Socket-Set-1-2-Drive-Tool-Kit-/201296071725
    I felt a little guilty about it because they were quite expensive - but I had "Christmas money" to spend. It was a few years ago now so the price was, I seem to remember, a bit less than now and, being Halfords branded I got a hefty discount with my trade card. Still felt guilty and thought I probably wouldn't use them all that much (but when you need a "go thru" you really need it). However I find I use them quite a lot for two main reasons - maybe 40/60% when compared to my older sockets - The biggest advantage is that the total depth of the assembled socket and ratchet is only about 75% of the depth of a conventional socket and ratchet so it's very handy for getting into tight situations (undoing the O/S engine mount on our Panda - which is very tight to the inner wing - comes to mind). The extension pieces are a bit bulky so I would use a conventional socket/deep socket if the "go thru" function wasn't needed, but the ratchet action is particularly fine so again very handy in tight corners. The sets don't include any sort of "T" handle, only the ratchet handle, and I was worried about tackling very tight fixings, but so far the ratchets have stood up to a fair amount of abuse without breaking. The only detrimental thing I've noticed so far is that when I was trying to undo a quite ridiculously tight/seized nut and really leaning hard on the ratchet, after the bolt actually snapped off I noticed the internal faces of the socket were very slightly marked/deformed which might imply that they are a wee bit on the soft side when compared, for instance, to my good old Britool stuff. A good purchase though which I don't for one minute regret.

    By the way the Halfords Vortex kit interchanges with the GearWrench (by which I mean the splines are the same) That's useful to know because the Vortex kits I have seem to be the sum total of what's available in those brand names. The Gearwrench brand markets a vastly expanded range of other "add ons" like hex bit drivers, better articulated ratchet handles, etc etc. Worth an internet search just as a matter of interest if nothing else. The Gearwrench stuff is very affordable over in the US, and the stores often do promotions, but seems quite pricey over here so I think I would have to explore getting my sister (who lives over there) or my son in law (aircraft engineer who's over there a lot) to bring stuff over for me if I decided to expand my kits.
     
  16. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    The only part of my large Vortex 1/2" + 3/8" with 1/4" adaptor I am worried about breaking is like you, the ratchets - but as you say they seem to be extremely strong.

    Maybe I'm frightened to look at GearWrench - probably not, I can always justify tool buying (to myself) - I have a cousin married living in the Tampa area who frequently comes across either her UK relations and friends - or to Oz to do similar!

    Edit:- I think this year's "holiday abroad to escape from horrible weather and hurricanes" for them has been cancelled, that means that the heat is off for us to organise a few days for all of us in Orkney!
     
    #16 RUM4MO, Mar 19, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020

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