Archive for the car repair Category

Fix of water leak into boot on Corsa C

Posted in car repair, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 23, 2012 by gtouser

Water had been leaking into the boot on our Corsa for a while so I finally decided to repair it as a musty smell had started to develop because of the dampness.

First step was to remove the black plastic trim , all carpets, and so on, on the left hand side of the boot as this was the area where the water seemed to be coming in. I then went into the back of the car and observed while my wife played a hose on the back of the car. Before long water was pouring down the inside wall of the outer skin of the nearside wing. It was building up between two skins below the lights and flowing into the boot through a hole there.

When I got out and looked around it was soon obvious why it was happening.

When the car was built a bead of sealant is applied along some of the seams but on our car a bit had been missed. Surprisingly it has taken many years to show as a problem. I sorted it by putting some silicone sealant into the gap and then tapping the metal shut with a cold chisel and hammer and then putting more sealant over the top. The photos show it more clearly.

There is a rubber plug in the boot which I removed some time ago to let the worst of the water out. Corrosion had started to develop around the plug so I angle grinded the rusty paint away and put some under-seal over that, see photos.


The problem area stripped of paint


silicone rubber applied, excess will be trimmed of later


zoomed out view so you can see where we are on the car


View of the rusty bung hole in the boot, it didn’t look as bad in real life


Area cleaned with angle grinder ready for under-sealing


Zoomed out view showing trim removed and the rusty bung hole on boot floor.


How to remove a stripped anti theft wheel bolt or stud

Posted in car repair with tags , , on September 25, 2011 by gtouser

Yesterday I went to remove the front wheel on my car which is a saab 9-3.

This car has alloy wheels and one bolt on each wheel does not have a standard hex head but has three holes set in a strange pattern. The car is supplied with a matching nut which has pins that match the pattern. When you want to remove the wheel you plug the special nut into the bolt on the wheel and unscrew it in the usual way.

When I got the special nut or key out of the spare wheel well I noticed that the pins were at a slight angle as though the key had been over tightened by an over enthusiastic tyre fitter.

With a sense of foreboding I inserted the device in the bolt on the wheel, applied pressure to my strong bar and socket  to un-slaken it and sure enough it jumped out causing damage to the bolt.

Several more attempts made the damage worse and the bolt would not budge.

Eventually I came up with an idea which worked.

Look at the pictures to see what I did.

Basically I placed the special nut on the wheel bolt along with a 17mm socket and a Britool short extension which has a hole through it. I then got a large flat spanner and chained it to the alloy wheel. The large spanner was placed across the socket extension and then a G-cramp was used to pull the spanner down onto the wheel. The idea was that the special key would not then be able to jump out of the holes in the bolt. The pictures explain it better.

You will see the  rod with a tube over the end (jack handle) ready to unslacken the wheel bolt. As the bold unscrews it increases the pressure exerted by the spanner by the action of it coming out. You will need to release the pressure on the G-cramp a little as you unscrew it, but not too quickly!

When you get the damaged bolt out you can weld a nut to the special face to repair it.

By the way a traditional method for sorting this problem is to weld a nut on the bolt end but on the saab there is no access because the bolts are set deep in the alloy wheel and it is hard to weld in there.

Here is a zoomed in picture of the setup : –


How to change the headlight bulbs on a Mitsubishi GTO or 3000GT

Posted in car repair, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 21, 2008 by gtouser

This explains how to change the headlight bulbs on a Mitsubishi GTO also known as the 3000GT and Dodge Stealth S3

First switch on the headlights so they pop up.

Next disconnect the negative battery lead so that they stay up and the power is dead.

First drop the top bezel by removing the self tapping screws shown in picture


Next remove the top cover by removing four screws


Now remove the lower bezel as shown in picture


You can now see  the  headlight with only a sheet metal bracket holding it in position, remove the four screws. Soak the screws in Plus Gas or similar anti seize fluid and make sure the philips scredriver is a good fit as they are likely to be very tight and you don’t want to get them chewed. If it does happen you might be able to clamp a mole wrench or wrench with self locking jaws on the screw and turn it that way. Replace the screw with a stainless socket head screw  if this happens and put copper grease on it for the next time. It would probably make sense to change them all for this type in any case.



Here’s another close up of the  headlight



Here is a view of the connector on the  back of the headlight


Pull the connector off  and remove the headlight from the front and you are nearly done.

I fitted Philips X-Treme Power H4 bulbs to my Misubishi GTO as the  light from the headlights seemed weak. These replacement bulbs claim to give 80% more light than standard but are legal in the UK at least. This may be because the wattage is the same and the law is drafted like that but they are more efficient at converting Amperes into Candellas.

When you handle the bulbs be careful not to touch the glass as the grease from your hand would cause a local hotspot and premature failure. If it does happen you should clean the glass with methylated spirit or alcohol and kitchen paper to remove the grease.

Take the oportunity to lubricate all the moving parts in the pop up mechanism while they are accessible. I used ROCOL copper grease normally used on disk brake calipers partly because it doesn’t wash off so readily and partly because I have some.

If you have any silicone grease put it in the connector contacts before pushing it on the bulb and it will be less susceptible to corrosion caused by water ingress. If you don’t have any use WD40 it will be better than nothing. 

Once the bulbs are fitted reassembly  is the opposite sequence to dissasembly but should be quicker if you have greased everything.