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 Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?

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Purple

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PostSubject: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:57 am

Can anyone recommend a garage in the Aylesbury area conversant with the peculiarities of a Brazzer?

Been and struggling with running issues since I bought my 03 air cooled bus. Checked and re-checked the obvious things and now sick and tired of getting neck ache from crawling under it on the drive and don't fancy it in the current weather. Its been to a few local garages but they all assume it be the same as a conventional bay and are puzzled by all the sensors, ECU, lambda etc.

Really want to avoid having it recovered to Danbury or Brazilian campers as both are about a 200 miles round trip.


Cheers

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Scooby

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:17 am

Hi Purple
A lot of us on here use Paul Brand of Brand Auoto's in Hampshire.
He knows a lot about Brazi Bays and can doo virtually anything on them (in our opinion)
We would suggest it would be not too much of a stretch to try and use him
Hope you get your problems resolved soon

Link: Brand Autos

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Purple

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:10 pm

@Scooby wrote:
Hi Purple
A lot of us on here use Paul Brand of Brand Auoto's in Hampshire.
He knows a lot about Brazi Bays and can doo virtually anything on them (in our opinion)
We would suggest it would be not too much of a stretch to try and use him
Hope you get your problems resolved soon

Link: Brand Autos


Thanks - I've already thought about them as I've seen several recommendations - but still a 75 mile recovery. I might give them a call to discuss it - what I want to avoid is the risk of getting it re-recovered if the faults can't be found/fixed.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:38 pm

What are the symptoms please?

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Purple

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:10 pm

Hello Tim

I bought the van in November 2016 - it ran well along a fast dual carriageway and I was pleasantly surprised how it pulled up hills and sat at 60mph over the 15 mile journey home.  Soon after it had a flat battery that had to be booster started and eventually had to come out of the van for a full recharge.  

I keep thinking back to what I might have done to alter a van that was running well - other than the flat battery problem, the first issue was straight after putting some standard 95RON unleaded in it, soon after which I pulled out of a junction and it hesitated badly and wouldn't throttle at all, leaving me stranded across a junction.

I initially thought it was bad fuel, then started to do the basic checks, looking for loose leads, dirty air filters etc. but from memory I did notice that the vac pipe from fuel pressure regulator was not attached, so I reconnected it and I also cleaned the distributor, the cap and rotor with WD40  

It went down hill from there.  

Changed plugs, leads, distributor cap and rotor, lambda sensor, tried numerous times to set tappets, which I know is the Achilles heal - but I would have expected it to run badly from day one.


The engine would start well without throttle, ticks over ok, and runs ok, but when out on the road it starts to hesitate within a half mile of running, the hesitation seems to be when needing heavy throttle - pulling out from roundabouts and pulling up hills.  Not really noticed at what point in the throttle action it starts, but I have noticed that if I lift off the throttle, the hesitation stops, the van picks up power and pulls away, but hesitates again as soon I try to apply more than a little throttle. Eventually the van wont pick up any speed and has to be pulled over.  Once cooled down the whole cycle starts again.

Ive checked and double checked vacuum pipes and connections, although seeing the small bore vac hoses without any hose clips seems odd to me as they are easy to pull off.

Ive had lots of help from Sparky Steve and bought a basic code reader and checked the fault codes again - initially none at cold, prior to start, and then after a run generally the same two codes 00561 and 00537 reappear. According to the fault code lists that came with the reader, 00561 is the Mixture adjustment control and 00537 is the Oxygen sensor control, but whenever you disconnect a sensor whilst doing any diagnostics you effectively introduce another fault code, so fault code reading can get misleading, even after clearing them.

Its currently hesitating/holding back after a few minutes running, probably not even getting to being warmed up now.  I think fuel consumption is poor and at one point in a 25 mile journey it would just about tick over, no pulling power whatsoever and left me effectively stranded.  Turns over and starts first time when tried cold the next day, but then reverts to hesitating etc.  Other than an occasional run up and down the driveway it hasn't been on the road since the MOT ran out in September.

It's only done 39k kms which matches up with the MOT history so I'm assuming its been laid up for a few years at some point.


I noticed someone mentioned recently about putting a straight edge across each bank with the rocker cover off to see if the three open valves are aligned – is this a basic way of identifying sticky valves?
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 pm

Do you think when you initially disconnected the battery, that you accidentally touched the ecu with a spanner on the positive terminal? This sounds like potential ecu damage to me. Contact Paul Brand. He has my spare ecu. Maybe worth trying another unit to rule it out.

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Purple

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:06 pm

@TimV wrote:
Do you think when you initially disconnected the battery, that you accidentally touched the ecu with a spanner on the positive terminal? This sounds like potential ecu damage to me. Contact Paul Brand. He has my spare ecu. Maybe worth trying another unit to rule it out.

I'm an electrician by trade so always careful of shorting out terminals, and the battery was dead, so probably not that likely - but thanks for the offer.

I did contact a air-cooled race engine specialist who offered to take a look at the ECU, but he wanted the code that came with the van so that he could re-programme it if necessary. I have all the original documentation but no code is listed - was an ECU code supplied with new Brazzers?

I've had a suggestion of a possible sticky exhaust valve - I did note a slight leak of oil from one of the push rode tubes and another has been replaced at some point with one of the retro-fit sprung type.

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:12 pm

@Purple wrote:

Ive checked and double checked vacuum pipes and connections, although seeing the small bore vac hoses without any hose clips seems odd to me as they are easy to pull off.

Please don't worry about how easy they are to pull off as they are under vacuum so they will be "pulled on" during running.

However please check that they are not broken as the fabric coated rubber hose are easily broken or cracked.

@Purple wrote:

Ive had lots of help from Sparky Steve and bought a basic code reader and checked the fault codes again - initially none at cold, prior to start, and then after a run generally the same two codes 00561 and 00537 reappear. According to the fault code lists that came with the reader, 00561 is the Mixture adjustment control and 00537 is the Oxygen sensor control, but whenever you disconnect a sensor whilst doing any diagnostics you effectively introduce another fault code, so fault code reading can get misleading, even after clearing them.

So as discussed in my diagnostic guide on my blog are the reasons for both of these codes. They are very closely related to the Lambda (Basically the ECU is struggling to control the Ideal Lambda of 1 (A/F of 14.7:1)
I have put these in order of easy and simple and to check first

Possible Causes for 00537 & 00561

Fuel Tank empty - Simple to check
Leaks in Exhaust System - Hard to measure BUT easy to check externally for no holes in exhaust or blowing parts.
Lambda Control/Sensor(s) faulty - you have replaced this so unlikely to be another faulty Sensor
Wiring and/or Connector(s) from/to Lambda Sensor(s) faulty - Please check the connections. There are 4 - +12V heater, 0V Heater, Output Signal, Signal 0v. You can check with the engine running or check continuity when off.
Activated Charcoal Filter Solenoid Valve 1 (N80) leaking/sticking - This can checked by removing and blocking hoses from the Valve (This prevents the vapour and valve from being introduced back in to the engine) This should only open and close after the engine has warmed up but if its faulty it could cause issues from cold.
Vacuum/air leaks - This could be the issue but Vacuum leaks in the majority of cases cause poor or lumpy idle not running issues
Fuel Pressure Regulator faulty - Simple check is to remove the vacuum pipe and check for any fuel in the pipe as this indicates a FPR diaphragm leak This you can check as you can measure fuel pressure (see guide) and also try running with the vacuum pipe disconnected (Make sure you block / seal the end of the pipe)
Fuel Pump faulty - This you can check by measuring fuel pressure.
Injector(s) faulty/blocked - Difficult to check. There is a ECU code for disconnected or poor signal. You have to strip off the injectors and fuel rails. Replacements are impossible to find.



@Purple wrote:

I noticed someone mentioned recently about putting a straight edge across each bank with the rocker cover off to see if the three open valves are aligned – is this a basic way of identifying sticky valves?

Yes it could be an issue with the valves - Air-cooled engines valves take a real pounding as the higher temperatures due to air cooling cause issues with valves and that’s why tappet adjustment is vital in these engines. In my experience on working with air-cooled engines this is the MOST common issue I see. The ECU does not have any control or measure of this mechanical aspect and would only raise a mixture issue.

Yes you can check for valve seat wear or sticking by removing rocker cover AND the rocker assembly and checking the straight edge alignment across ALL 4 valves. BUT this requires you to take off the rocker assembly (Not hard check 2 nuts) BUT it will ONLY show you a damaged seat or stretched valve steam (has to be quite bad) You can set the tappet gaps and after a few 100 or 1000 miles check again and see if any valve has gone tight or loose (This is hard to do if you can't drive but that’s why I always record my tappet gaps over time in a note book along with the mileage to see if things are wearing.

The other way and "proper" method is to do a compression test - This involves removing the sparkplugs & disabling the ignition (removing Coil HT lead & ECU fuse) & opening the throttle and inserting the compression tester into each plug. Turning the engine over on the starter motor (>4 revolutions) and recording the pressure. Repeat for all 4 and see if one is lower and if they are all of a good level (100 to 130 psi).

The compression test is the best first measure of an engine’s mechanical state and is quite easy and cheap to do. No point servicing fuel injection parts if the mechanics are poor.

Hope that help and I am always available to help.

Steve

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:58 pm

We had to take our Bay to get checked for a fuel leak, as we were a little startled by the occasional petrol fumes and could not put a finger on when they appeared. We called the guys at Brazilian Kampers who said to not panic, probably a breathing tube, but we should get it check as fuel leaks are potentially bad news.

Anyway, we called our local garage, who we have been very happy with our 'normal' cars, and although they were initially a little blase when we arrived it was great. We left the van for the morning and were greeted with enthusiasm with "what a great job had been done with the engine and brakes". Apparently one of the guys there used to work on the original T2s, as well as refurbishments, so knew the original parts but was very positive about all the 'upgrades'.

So for a more local solution you could try - Andy Oils - 2 Barton Rd, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 3JE, 01908 378008.

We should put the qualifier of we have not had our van for long, we do not intend to do any servicing ourselves, and all they had to do was a visual check for petrol leaks.
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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:01 pm

Have a look at the thread about filler pipes. Tim
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Purple

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PostSubject: Re: Servicing and diagnostics in Bucks?   Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks again to Steve for the updates to my posts

A quick update - I decided to put it through an MOT to at least progress any issues from a testing perspective. In preparation I removed and refitted all leads, Distributor cap and rotor and reset the tappets and did a few cold starts and left it to fully warm up on the drive before doing a few short runs up and down the drive. Bearing in mind it hadn't been out on the road for over six months, it ran rough for the first mile or so, especially up hill, but then cleared and ran well up to the garage about two miles away. I could hear it running rough and struggling to tick over during the test and was expecting it to fail the emissions tests, but it passed with no advisories!!!

Its great to have it back on the road, (even though it now costs as much to tax than the 3.4L 911 I had) but it ran lumpy again on the way home, hesitating under heavy throttle, but clearing and running well provided throttling is gradual.

I'm going to take it out and do a few test runs in the hope that the ECU will do a full 'learn' routine and hopefully start to run smoothly.



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