Archive | September, 2015



Fiat-Ulysse-2The practical French and Italian second generation Eurovan is next up on our ramp for further investigation.

The Peugeot 807, Citroën C8 and Fiat Ulysse was the replacement for the first generation Ulysse, the 806 and Citroën Synergie.

These vans entered the market in 2003 in an attempt to grab some of the people carrier market from the likes of Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Vauxhall, and even though the Fiat had some small tweaks made compared to their PSA counterparts, the Peugeot and Citroën were fitted with a two petrol engines including a 2.0-, and 2.2-litre, and 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesels, while the Fiat came with a 2.0-litre petrol and the 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesel engines.

The Eurovans came equipped with a host of technology and safety features, and are known to have some electrical gremlins, so this will provide some extra challenges.

Next month we’ll be looking at the fourth gen Ford Transit, so wherever you work in the aftermarket if you have insight to share, we would be delighted to hear from you. To get your advice included contact

Click below to see technical contributions on the Peugeot 807/Citroën C8/Fiat Ulysse from:

Autoelectro – starter motor issues on the trio of Eurovans

Cambiare – various technical faults with the 807/C8/Ulysse

Comma – discusses the importance of servicing the fluids and lubricants on the trio

Dayco – explains about the importance of checking the belt systems on the Eurovans

First Line – a look at the brakes, bearings and turbo hoses on the Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat

Meyle – advises on the trio’s engine mounts and suspension

Motaquip – looks at the 807, C8 and Ulysse’s brakes

Petronas – advises on lubricant formulations for the trio

RMI – looks at a few common faults with the second generation Eurovans

TecRMI – gives technical insight into a suspension faults on the Fiat Ulysse – on a number of issues that plagues the Peugeot 807

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Youngsters give a battered MG Midget a new lease of life

Restoring a classic car can be a challenge too far for even some of the most practical enthusiasts and technicians out there, so when the second Mechanix course announced its plan to revive a tired old MG Midget, it would be an experience they would never forget, which you can see in our gallery here.

Cue Autumn 2015, and the original Mechanix club run by Prospex Youth Club in North London, with the support of Hyde Housing Association, Haynes Manuals and Draper Tools, unveiled their finished article.

The 1969 MG originally arrived in British Racing Green and left the workshop adjoined to Ringcross Community Centre in Islington in Prospex Orange. It was just an inkling of the work, dedication and of course surprises this small sports car held for the seven young people.

J Haynes, Chairman of Haynes Publishing and Patron of the youth club, said: “It is a fabulous achievement and it takes dedication and commitment, and all the participants should be really proud of themselves. Whether or not they go on to be a mechanic or not, the experience, the dedication and the hard work that will stand them in good stead.”

The young people faced a number of challenges including restoring and servicing the engine, removing, welding and fabricating new panels and finishing off with priming and painting the Midget. In return, the youngsters managed to give this classic car a new lease of life and picked up a couple of qualifications in recognition for their endeavours.

The seven participants received a certificate for their personal and social development and an EdExcel BTEC unit for Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Operations, while two more young people undertook a four-week intensive course bringing a R-reg Ford Fiesta up to MOT standard.

Adam Ziani, one of the latest participants, said: “It was a good experience for me as I want to drive a car in the future and if anything was to go wrong I would know how to address that. The first time we saw the car we couldn’t believe it. We were thinking how are we going to finish it, but we said yes we are going to finish this, we have to finish this and see it as a finished product.”

Ubaida Ahmed said that it was a ‘disturbing’ sight seeing the car in the workshop the first time, but actually found the whole process enjoyable, adding:

“It was amazing, working with my friends on a car, and coming two to three times a week was fun. We have nothing to do, so coming to Mechanix was good fun after we got in it.”

When CAT attended the grand unveiling of the MG Midget, there have been several bids for the car at around £2500, with Prospex keen to sell the car to fund future projects and equipment, while charity CEO Richard Frankland explained that the MG Midget had a closer affinity to him and the club than just a classic restoration.

“I was given the Midget by a friend who emigrated to Canada seven or eight years ago and it was sat in somebody’s garage rusting away. After the success of the first project, we thought why don’t we step it up and try something more difficult. We got the car here and it was a challenge, we thought it was never going to happen, especially within the ten weeks, but it offered everything we needed.

“You can do a complete service on the car, and you can take the whole bonnet off and get a whole group around the car so everyone can see what is going on, so for teaching it was really good.

“The bodywork was not so good, but it taught other skills, so they all had a go at welding and it really inspired them. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on it, even making the cardboard templates and transferring that to the metal for cutting out, they enjoyed all of it. Some of the bits were quite complex, the bits we had to fabricate and weld, but they absolutely loved it. From putting the mask on and going for it and having a go and seeing the end result was fantastic.”

For Lucy Abbott one of the first participants it was an opportunity to mentor the next group, and gain her Peer Mentoring ASDAN qualification, while Frankland is hoping to recruit another mentor from the current crop of trainees as well.

The Mechanix course, originally the brainchild of Haynes, is now entering its third iteration through Prospex, and there are plans to roll out the scheme nationwide with interest from Doncaster, the Midlands and Hampshire.

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The Mechanix getting stuck into the MG Midget

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TRWEU3215 (Neil Fryer new VP TRW Aftermarket)_ImageComponent manufacturer TRW Aftermarket has announced the appointment of Neil Fryer as Vice President, Global Parts & Service. The appointment is effective 1st October 2015.

Fryer has been part of the senior management team at TRW since June 2014 when he joined the company as Director, Marketing & Engineering, Parts and Service.

Prior to joining TRW, Fryer worked at aftermarket consultancy, Management3, in Rome where he was co-founder and Managing Partner. Prior to this he was Vice President of Parts and Service at Fiat Group. Earlier in his career, Neil spent nine years with LucasVarity in business development and commercial roles.

Neil holds an MBA from the University of Warwick, UK, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of London, UK.

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GSF's 62nd branch is located in Middlesbrough

GSF’s 62nd branch is located in Middlesbrough

GSF Car Parts has been acquired by The Parts Alliance in the latest high-profile takeover in the aftermarket.

The addition of GSF’s 75 branches brings the total number in The Parts Alliance network to well over 300, 160 under common ownership, giving the Solihull-based business group increased coverage in the UK and Ireland.

Investment group HgCapital continues to support The Parts Alliance with the acquisition of GSF which will be a wholly-owned business within Group but trade locally under its own brand name.

GSF will continue under the Chairmanship of Stan West and his current management team. Stan West will also join the Board of the Group.

Commenting on the merger, Stan West, Chairman and founder of GSF, said: “This marks a great new chapter in the evolution of the company that I founded in 1977. GSF’s merger with The Parts Alliance and HgCapital’s investment allow us to maintain not only our culture and brand but also helps to create a true market leader.”

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, said: “This is a hugely significant acquisition which strengthens the product choice, service, value and expertise that we offer to our independent and national customers alike.

“GSF is a dynamic and successful business and I’m delighted to welcome Stan West and his 1,000 colleagues to our growing group. It’s a great match.  We share the same values and both believe in building lasting relationships with customers and suppliers.

“This deal gives us unrivalled coverage: ensuring delivery on the ground to national and independent garages and workshops by people who really understand their local market.”

Stan West added: “I am looking forward to working with Peter and the Board to position the group as a class-leading supplier to the automotive aftermarket.”

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Inside Line: TecRMI

Reference number(s): 44 05.08

Fault symptoms:

Noises from the region of the front axle.


Production defect.


Replace bump stop of the front shock absorbers.


Disconnect the battery.
Lift vehicle.
Remove front wheels.

Eurovans_tecrmiUnscrew the coupling rod(s) nut(s) (1)
Remove the coupling rod(s) from the suspension strut. (2)
Unscrew screw(s). (3)
Disconnect brake line(s). (4)
(see figure 1)


Eurovans_tecrmi-2Disconnect the brake lining wear sensor cable(s) from the suspension strut. (1)
Unscrew screw(s). (2)
Demount wheel speed sensor(s). (3)
(see figure 2)






Unscrew spring leg nut(s) at the bottom. (1)
Remove the hex-head screw(s). (2)
Disconnect spring strut from stub axle. (3)(4)
(see figure 3)

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Inside Line: Dayco

Primary (timing) Drive System

Many of the engines used across the Ulysse/C8/807 range are fitted with a Dayco High Tenacity (HT), or ‘white’, timing belt as its original equipment (OE) fitment. Most of the units also feature a water pump that is integrated into the timing drive system and driven by the timing belt.

Dayco recommend technicians follow industry best practice and ensure that they replace the water pump when the timing belt is being replaced and vice versa. Both of these components cover the same mileages, so replacing both at the same time is the most cost effective option in the long-term and provides motorists with much needed peace of mind following a vehicle repair.

FEAD (front end auxiliary drive) System

Despite being subject to inevitable wear and tear during the lifespan of the engine, the FEAD system has not traditionally been subject to any particular maintenance or replacement schedule. However, Dayco believe it is important for technicians to regularly examine all the components within the FEAD system.

Although it may not directly be a safety critical component, the auxiliary belt in these vehicles drives so many vital components – alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor etc. – and even if its failure does not directly stop the vehicle, it could certainly leave the driver without power to some parts of the vehicle that could make it in effect, un-driveable.

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Inside Line: First Line

Turbo Hoses

It is not uncommon for the turbo outlet hose in these vehicles to split or crack and allow unregulated air into the system, which reduces boost pressure to the turbo and causes a drop in power. The turbo hoses can also clog up with soot and oil from the turbo, which could be early signs of the turbocharger beginning to fail. First Line turbo outlet hose FTH1058 is the replacement component for all variants.

Wheel Bearings

Care must be taken when replacing the front wheel bearings as they are fitted with an ABS sensor ring, which can often get damaged during the fitment process. This damage will cause the ABS dashboard warning light to come on, as well as possibly making the speedo unresponsive as there is also a speed sensor built into it. In the worst case, it could also cause the ABS/ASB system to function incorrectly, which could mean the brakes wouldn’t work to their full potential.

Unfortunately, it’s also quite common for the bearing to be fitted the wrong way round, which can also cause the aforementioned problems.


There have been cases where the heat shield, which protects the exhaust system, has come into contact with one of the rear brake hoses. In extreme cases, this may cause leakage within the brake circuit, which would be recognised by extended brake pedal travel. 
As a result, these vehicles should be checked for heat shield to brake hose contact and, if necessary, the heat shield should be adjusted and the brake hose replaced.

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Inside Line: Cambiare

Cambiare says that the brake light switches on these models can be problematic; the failure of the switch is obviously highlighted when both the brake lights fail to illuminate on the application of the foot brakes.

Cambiare further states that engine management temperature sensor problems, usually the result of poor hot or cold starting, high fuel consumption, hesitation, or increase in engine emissions, is often flagged by a series of trouble codes, namely:

  • P0115: Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit
  • P0116: Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Range/Performance
  • P0117: Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Low Input
  • P0118: Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit High Input
  • P0119: Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Intermittent

Technicians should check system wiring, actual engine temperature as well as the function of the sensor as part of their diagnostic routine, recommends Cambiare.

Cambiare further states that what appears to be an oil pressure switch related problem, bringing up a ‘low oil pressure’ warning, could actually be related to the fitting of an incorrect specification oil filter. The change in oil pressure and flow created by such a filter results in the ECU making readings outside the expected limits, which in turn triggers the warning. Changing the oil pressure switch in this instance will have no effect as the fault lies elsewhere.

Mass air flow (MAF) sensors are a popular Cambiare part for these vehicles. However, technicians should be aware that fault codes: P0100, P0101, P0102, P0103 or P0104, could be the result of an air leak within the intake air system, placed after the MAF sensor, triggering an ‘out of range warning’. Cambiare therefore recommends that technicians should check the integrity of the system, including any vacuum hoses etc. before replacing the MAF sensor.

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Inside Line: RMI

All engine types, banging or clonking noise when manoeuvring/parking – front hub bearing outer case loose in the hub, replace with modified parts only.

All diesel engines fitted with DPF system – constant aborted DPF regeneration cycles will ultimately dilute the engine oil with diesel, if this goes unnoticed and the level continues to rise the engine will self-ingest the oil and could cause the engine to run flat out and self-destruct.

2.2 HDi engine premature cam belt failure – this can be caused by a slight coolant leak from the cooling system header tank going into the timing belt cover.

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