Hal Mercier

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Hal Mercier last won the day on November 21 2019

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About Hal Mercier

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  • Toyota Model
    Aygo Yoshimura TT manual
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    Motorsport & Racing

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  1. Hmmm. Glad mine's the first iteration then.
  2. I don't even understand a lot of the posts on this. On my 2010 Aygo the 'shelf' seems to be black plastic with a felt-covered upper surface. When I open the hatch the thing is swung up with the string, on the left, and often lifts so high that the recess for the 'hinge pin' lifts clean off the pin. Maybe pushing a bit of black rubber pipe in the pin might help? I have noticed that you need to be careful when fitting the little noose onto the 'T' shaped string end holder on the hatch. If you simply hook the noose over the higher part of the T, it will come off all the time, so hook it around BOTH, which stops this happening. I noticed that my shelf is cracked at the rear, left of centre, but as it's below the felt it isn't very noticeable. I will fix it with a strip of fibreglass bonded on the lower side, which will give it some proper structural support....but only when it stops raining. Fibreglassing is a PITA if it's cold and wet.
  3. Often, if the reading is very low, adding just a few litres isn't enough to 'unstick' the arm with the float on it. Take it out and swerve around a bit to cause the level to slop up and down to unstick it. This is normal, happens on all cars I've had anything to do with.
  4. I've finally finished the Special Lockdown Suspension Change, and I can't say I'm not glad. Pity I destroyed a 12 month old shocker in the process, due to brain fade at the end of a long day. Putting the driver's side back together was so easy....specially compared to the first front I did.... All I need now for 100% peace of mind is a new driveshaft nut on the passenger side. I am impressed with Eibach springs since years back, they are OE on most Lotus cars. It now feels perfectly ok to me, and I'm sure the handling is much improved, though I'm intending to widen the track as well....anyone have a set of 20mm spacers? Here it is 500m from its barn, probably38mm lower at the front, and 30mm rear.
  5. A word of caution to do with rebuilding the front units. This stupid story drags on.... On Sunday I had the right side strut back, in the correct position (so 40mm lower, 30mm on the spring, 10mm because the tongue was properly in the slot) All good! So, with my new skills, I started on the left side. Determined to avoid injury, I used the Autodoc vids as guidance....all went well, infinitely easier, so by late afternoon I was ready to put the strut, with Eibach spring, back in position. Then disaster struck...I was at the stage of tightening the rod nut down onto the step in the piston rod. This involves tightening a 17mm nut, then locking it down to 60Nm, using a hex tip which goes in the hole in the threaded tip of the rod. Something odd happened, I don't know exactly what, but I did not hear the click from the torque wrench, operating in anti-clockwise mode, and stupidly, put too much pressure on it, resulting in a broken rod tip! The treads had a crescent shaped crack and were a bit out of alignment....no chance of getting the nut back on. I tidied the threads with a triangular section mini file, so the thread would go on, but took a lot of effort to turn, even with copper grease. As access to the top nut is awkward, and realising if the thing deteriorated in use, or broke, I'd need to undo the nut, difficult if the hole for the Allen key has lost 50% of it's circumference, , I did the only sensible thing, ordered another strut! My favourite site refused to complete the transaction, so I assumed this was a lazy way of saying they were not operating, and ordered it more expensively from another site (after checking actual transport times) So...car still out of action! No idea when the thing will arrive,optimistic ETA is end of next week.... On checking the car's docs, I think the suspension change last Feb was in fact done by the previous owner, who stripped the DS nut and in error set the ride height to normal + 10mm. I could almost certainly have refitted the original strut, probably it'd have been fine, but would have caused big problems if ever it had to be replaced, but I prefer to be 100% confident that all is as it should be mechanically, as i tend to push the car to the limit on windy roads....hence the lowering/widening in the first place. Ho-hum. Patience is a virtue. ...
  6. One final word on this lowering, I realise that whoever changed the shocks on this car a year ago, apart from somehow stripping the threads on the DS nuts, actually raised the front of the car by about 10mm. How? When they replaced the foot of the shock in the hub carrier, they failed to notice that there is a locating tongue on the brake pipe bracket, welded to the strut. This black tongue is supposed to locate in the crack in the socket of the hub carrier. If it's not in the right position, as mine wasn't, the strut will be 10mm too high in the hub carrier. I didn't realise this till just now on checking that first AutoDoc video....it's shown clearly at 9.43. The tongue locates the strut rotationally so brake pipe and ABS wire are in the right position, also serving to limit the pinch on the foot of the strut. I'll go and correct this now, and drop the front end 10mm in the process.
  7. If all Toyota centres are closed for the duration, looks like eBay is your friend. I need some new driveshaft nuts, and it'd be sensible to replace the drop links to the antiroll bar while I'm at it....I imagine ebay prices are way cheaper too.
  8. Left driveshaft nut is now off....but look at the state of it! First pic it looks ok, but turn it over....I wonder how it got into this state? Unfortunately the hub is still attached to the wishbone as the joint splitter actually split!
  9. My buddy the mechanic can't come over for several days, but I have just spent a few minutes on the problem and had some success! Removing the driveshaft nut is something that really needs doing with the strut in place, and before doing anything else. It can be done with the wheel on, and wedges, so the car's weight is clamping the wheel in position. I had the wheel off, strut off, and the hub only supported by the lower balljoint and the track arm loosely done up. I stuck an Allen key into the ventilation holes in the disc, via the caliper, to stop the hub rotating, applied lots of heat to the nut (it's tightened to 145Newts, remember,) and with the 30mm deep socket and a breaker bar, with 5' tube, finally cracked it off. Even cracked off it's very stiff to undo. I'll finish this, crack off the balljoint, refit the strut, and do the other side tomorrow as my enthusiasm is a bit less than it needs to be...maybe not unconnected with the pains everywhere? If I was a family pet, I'd have myself put down, I reckon. I hate to see animals suffering needlessly! Covid19 news....my friend's contact who has just died of the plague....turns out to be 51 years old, a very fit Olympic showjumper, so not in the usual window of over 65 with pre-existing conditions.
  10. You mentioned being pumped like Arnie....I was whanging the hell out of the steering knuckle/hub carrier, felt something give in my right arm, bicep area, and yesterday evening noticed a real multicolour bruise coming through, just above the right elbow, to about half way up he bicep.It was like a rainbow, pink, red, purple, indigo blue, green and yellow....most impressive. Plus some liquid gathered under the skin.... Looked like Popeye with a giant love-bite on the bicep, only more so... Before the bike smash last year, I could do sets of 50 pushups without breaking a sweat, so this is lack of fitness due to recuperation time doing nothing much, allied to having massively overloaded all muscles and tendons in both arms, probably torn the left side rotator cuff, during the actual collision, when the handlebars were whipped to the left, with enough force to seriously smash my left wrist while I was still on the moving bike. It had to have 3 long pins to hold it all together. I'm waiting for an MRI to confirm the rotator cuff tear,, as it'll need another operation to fix...Of course all ops other than life or death emergencies are now on hold. So, for a knackered accident victim, the long, less physical method is the only one short of finding someone to pay to do it for me. 1980s Fiestas were nothing like this awkward.... Also, whoever did that second video were in my view 'cheating', as they show the bottom of the strut only about an inch, max, lower than the socket, which I think you would agree IS impossible unless you are jacking the strut, or have removed the spring specially, or are using half a spring.....and they do not seem to be jacking the strut....maybe they removed the anti roll bar?
  11. I did try using a rod to jack up the strut, considered after several attempts that with my existing damaged arms and shoulders it would be too risky to continue....specially on my own and miles from anywhere. The alternative is easy IF you have all the right tools, at the moment it's taken me two hours to 'unstake the effing locking thing on the right side 30mm driveshaft nut.. I need to look at the vids again to see what you do next....is it threaded? Does it just pull off? I would much prefer to pay someone to do this, I've got bored, this must be the 5th day, I can't buy tools, can't get a mechanic out here, total disaster, frankly. Yesterday we had to drive 15km with my wife in the boot of a Kangoo, so I could collect another car from my friendly mechanic, who was hiding indoors due to someone his deputy knows just having died of the plague. She said it was quite comfy, with two pillows and a load of thick bathtowels. What a trooper.... On the tiny country road 2km from here we were flagged down by armed, masked Polizei, my cover story was illogical by his point, though I did have the documents, so I just got away with it. Not the ideal time to have the car on three wheels stuck outside the door. I have just checked, of course you need to unscrew the damned locking nut cover ....which I have tried, but it's impossible as my 30mm socket is too shallow. I didn't realise quite how shallow, used my impact airwrench, and it was just skipping round with no useful result. I'm going to have to scrounge one from someone I know who isn't shivering in a locked room somewhere.
  12. You need to be careful with online 'how to' videos. I saw one about changing an indicator bulb on a 2004 Renault Megane, in which they claimed you need to remove the whole front plastic nose, and then the headlamp unit. I believed the makers of the clip, though thinking Renault designers were out of their minds. I had in fact noticed what looked like a bulb-changing access hole at the front of the wheel arch liner....and checked access, but for some reason it didn't feel possible, all explained when I watched the stupid video. I discovered later you can, of course, do it via the inspection/bulb access trap! Most amusing.....
  13. I don't believe that second video...they appear to do the job with both driveshaft and balljoint done up....which I think is simply impossible. If you try this you would need to remove the antiroll bar, otherwise you can't get the wishbone low enough to get the foot of the strut in the socket....I have tried it, it's impossible. This may explain why Autodoc shot the job again on a Peugeot 107, which seems to be the clearest tutorial so far. The only nutty part in #3, the Peugeot, is that they remove the wiper panels and arm, which #1 shows clearly is not neccessary at all. So ignore that bit!
  14. After resting my damaged arm for today, I will lurch back into action tomorrow. My ex Mil tank mechanic buddy couldn't make it this morning, but meanwhile I saw THIS which, if you cut out the unnecessary waste of time removing those plastic shrouds, which is only done to simplify removing the strut top nuts, is a simpler way to change the KYB struts, as it doesn't involve removing hub from driveshafts., just from the track control arm and the balljoint. So, if I can find a balljoint splitter (in the barn somewhere) I should be able to do this tomorrow, with a bit of rapid overnight healing! Removing the driveshaft presented more of a problem, as the hub is flopping around.
  15. Not my finest day but it helped fill the lockdown time. The antiroll bar has somehow managed to get itself ABOVE the driveshaft, when it's normally below.. Obviously, with the strut removed, the hub rocked forward, and when I moved it back to vertical it got confused... My trusty old Halfords red trolley jack managed to break, too. The stirrup strap thing that pulls the hydraulic ram piston up and down just snapped.. If I ever do this again, which I doubt, it's infinitely easier if you use a balljoint splitter and remove the hub from the wishbone. I had a Nathan-like experience trying to get the foot of the strut back into the hub carrier, but in retrospect this was mostly due to the antiroll bar being in the wrong place. Maddening..