Tag Archive | "Engines"

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KEEPING IT GREEN AND CLEAN ON THE ENGINE FARM


David Eszenyi shows us around Ivor Searle’s remanufacturing facilities in Soham

Ivor Searle

Ivor Searle’s history began 60 years ago when the eponymous agricultural engineer made his mark on the industry by setting up his engine reconditioning business in the village of Wicken. After Searle’s passing in 1956, sons Colin and Michael eventually joined the business rebranding The Wicken Crankshaft and Bearing Company to Ivor Searle Ltd.

The duo relocated to the 10,000 sq ft. Soham-based facility in 1983 where they went on to sell remanufactured engines across the UK. “Colin decided to learn more about the business and so he carried it on”, said Commercial Director David Eszenyi: “He thought the key is stock availability selling an engine off the shelf rather than waiting for it to come in and fix, which was a bit of a turning point for the company”.

33 years later, Searle’s vision lives on bigger and better than before with an extra factory space operating a stones throw from the main building; specialising in rebuilding engines and cylinder heads back to OE spec. Meanwhile, a 15,000 sq ft. facility was opened in 2012 behind the existing factory for the production of reman gearboxes and turbochargers.

WORKFORCE
With a large space to operate, Eszenyi was bought in as Factory Manager in 2012 due to his knowledge and expertise of the automotive industry, having previously ran manufacturing facilities for the likes of Rolls-Royce and Prodrive. Along with Eszenyi and Colin Searle overseeing the operation, the company employs 100 staff across its three facilities while delivering to over 1,500 automotive distribution outlets. “We run a 50 mile radius where we pick up and have stock delivered by TNT”, said Eszenyi. “They come in every day while we load up the trucks for next day delivery. TNT brings back the old core for us, which is important when the engine is fitted.”

Cylinder head work in progress

Cylinder head work in progress

WEBSITE
With around 2,000 customer accounts on its books, the firm has found the recently installed Ecat trading platform along with a revamped e-commerce website that draws data from Car Web and MAM has helped to generate more business while taking some pressure off sales staff who deal with around 500 calls each day. Eszenyi notes: “By the time you put the phone down, we might get five to six quotes from the same registration numbers from garages of customers ringing around trying to find the best price”.

FACILITY TOUR
Our tour started with the Head Shop, which might sound very new-age, but in fact is concerned with the top end of engines. Eszenyi walked us through the procedure: “We have a stringent process where we strip the unit down. Once it is down to its component parts, they are machine tested, crack checked and put back to OE specification”, he said. “We provide an engine rebuild service where we pick up the engine with a 10 day turn around and deliver it back to reman spec”. He explained that the company could deal with many types of engine, ranging from popular classics to LCV diesel and petrol models up to four litres.

Worn parts are scrapped

Worn parts are scrapped

The Head Shop was coherent in layout with the first room used as a stripping bay to break down the engine components before undergoing a deep steam and clean process. Eszenyi added: “We treat pistons as consumable parts and they all go in the bin along with the gaskets and bearings, before putting new ones in”. There was a lot of rattling and twanging further on as the team re-built and sprayed the engines and cylinder heads in the workshop area. We managed to get a close up view of a reman built V12 classic Jaguar engine before it was packaged and sent out for distribution.

When asked about the training involved, Eszenyi said: “Cambridge has been a predominately growing area in engineering. Here it’s growing so you’ve got no choice but to train everybody properly as long as they’ve got the mechanical knowledge”. The firm has also taken on apprentices from colleges in and around the Cambridgeshire area to provide them with the necessary skills to carry out engineering on reman components.

The final stop was the turbocharger and gearbox factory, which followed the same order, as the parts were broken down, cleaned, rebuilt and re-sprayed before they were boxed and sent off to stockists. Eszenyi wrapped up the tour: “Every garage in the network will know Ivor Searle for engines, but it’s the aftercare where we win a lot of work. When something goes wrong we deal with it. We are like the Waitrose of the aftermarket”. He added: “The warranty staff fix so many problems over the phone thanks to their in-depth experience and the aftercare service we provide”.

Europe is the next market

Europe is the next market

EXPANSION
The company has some projects lined up with plans to expand its export business further into Europe by introducing next day delivery to its European customers. Eszenyi explained: “We are going to push further exports into Europe because the market is healthy as there is a lack of reman product”. He continued: “Depending on the courier, it could take four to five days to go there so we want to supply next day delivery as we do in the UK”.

Eszenyi said the reman firm hasn’t ruled out producing alternators, brake calipers and axles further down the line, but for now, it will continue bulking out its fastest selling lines and distribution to the UK and Europe. We look forward to catching up again with the team at Ivor Searle soon.

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HYUNDAI SANTA Fe MkII


Santa_FeNamed after the mountainous New Mexico city, the bold styling of the first generation Hyundai Santa Fe got the model known in a sea of vanilla SUV-crossover models. For the second-gen designers, they decided to play it safe. The styling is so anonymous, you’d probably have to look at the badge to check what it is.

Nonetheless, these capable load-luggers are among the most popular Pacific Rim vehicles in the used car trade thanks to better than average reliability and a (very desirable) option of a third row of seats. While generally reliable, the diesel engines don’t suffer neglect well and manual cars can eat DMFs, due in part to the popularity of this range as a towcar.

IGNITION
Strangely, it seems that the spark plugs fitted at the factory on early cars were prone to breaking on removal. The plugs in question are Motorcraft PZT 2FE featuring an unusual two-piece design. Website aa1car.com explains that the crimped lower electrode shell that becomes coated with carbon, causing it to stick in the cylinder head. Rust and corrosion on the lower plug shell can also cause it to stick. When you attempt to unscrew the plug, the lower shell can twist off and get stuck in the head. If you are going to be looking after a number of these vehicles it might be worthwhile investing in a small tool that has been developed to extract it. Snap-On produce one in the US, if you ask your local rep, they will order it for you. Once you’ve got the OE plugs out, don’t refit like- for-like. Use one piece items (NGK, Denso, Bosch and Champion all produce good quality plugs that won’t break).

ENGINES
Some models had a 2.7 litre petrol engine known as ‘Mu’. This was an all-alloy V6 similar to an earlier DOHC Hyundai design, but with the inclusion of continuous variable valve timing. However, this must be rare as we couldn’t find any for sale and website howmanyleft.co.uk indicates there are only around 300 registered.

Pre-2010 diesel engines were 2.2 litre four-cylinder common-rail units that came fitted with a variable vane turbocharger that has a timing belt that needed replacing every four years or 50,000 miles. This was replaced for the 2010 model year with the more powerful and refined ‘R’ type engine that replaces the timing belt with a chain and features piezo direct injection. As most vehicles in this range are fitted with a common rail diesel engine, it is perhaps unsurprising that most reported problems relate to the usual causes of contaminated fuel and carbon build-up. The Honest John website notes that it is vital to drain oil via the sump plug on this range rather than using a siphon as a tar residue can build up with inevitable consequences. Tec RMI note that Engine 2.2 CDi-R can suffer from non starting with following fault code P0611 (Fuel injector control module) stored. This is symptomatic of a faulty engine control module.

Santa_Fe_Interior

Third row of seats is a desirable extra

GEARCHANGE
Early gearboxes are not the Santa Fe’s strongest suit. At launch, the second-generation car had a choice of four-speed auto on petrol models or a five-speed auto on diesels, or a conventional manual. The automatic gearbox was derided by journalists as being dated (most VMs by this stage offered five- speed ‘boxes). However, the unit itself is relatively trouble free, although care must be taken to ensure the correct SP III ATF fluid is used. The manual ‘box has reports of being low gears being too low – although this is probably down to customers expecting a big SUV to feel the same as a small hatchback.

Santa Fe’s have always been popular for towing (many were bought specifically for this purpose due to winning numerous towcar awards) DMFs do wear out and the master cylinder is known to give up the ghost occasionally, so bear this in mind if you are taking one in part exchange. Later models had a five-speed automatic and from 2010, a six-speed which was noted in contemporary reports for a harsh change.

The manual gearbox has always been noted for a notchy change, but if this is overly pronounced it is due to a production defect on the shroud of the gearchange mechanism, according to TecAlliance. The only solution is to detach the linkage from the gearbox and replace the shroud.

Another well-known drive train issue on manual cars is the cruise control. When these cars were still under warranty Hyundai attempted to repair it by replacing the module, but the problem seems to stem from the clock spring.

RECALLS
Only one DVSA-led recall affects UK-registered Santa Fe’s and it relates to an issue where the bonnet could chafe a fuel hose. The answer is a simple securing clip and it applies only to early facelift (2010) models. In the U.S the model didn’t fare so well as it had no fewer than ten safety recalls, mostly related to unexpected stalling.

Hyundai itself recalled a number of Santa Fe’s where brake switches may fail according to The Car Buying Group. This could result in brake lights not illuminating & cruise control not disengaging under braking.

SUSPENSION
It’s a heavy vehicle, so perhaps it is no surprise that front suspension arm bushes are prone to wear, as are other parts of the set-up. Other than this, we have no particular problems to report. However, if you take one in part exchange and the tyres are shot, be warned that the 235/60 R18s it requires will set you back £90-£100 per corner.

Tec RMI say that if ABS / ESP warning lights are illuminated and C1260 fault code is stored, then incorrect calibration of steering angle sensor might be at fault.

INTERIOR
The OE head unit isn’t the best, particularly on the earlier models. There’s no RDS and reception is poor. A third row of seats (to make a seven-seater) was a £1000 option when new and is desirable to find today. The spare wheel is underslung under the vehicle. We’ve heard a couple of accounts of the spare being nicked and a replacements being difficult to source, so check it is in situ before doing anything to a customer’s vehicle.

TecAlliance explain that another problem is moisture in the passenger compartment, which is caused by the condensation water drain hose from the interior ventilation system, becoming twisted and not allowing the water to escape. Generally, slackening the clamps and running the drain hose smoothly, before retightening the clamps can easily overcome this problem. Dealer Chain The Car Buying Group report that sun visor mechanisms in earlier models could wear out prematurely, causing the visor to drop under it’s own weight and that the fuel gauge sometimes sticks, requiring a replacement tank float.

TOWBARS
As mentioned, this range is popular with families that require a heavy towcar and any vehicles that pass through your care will very likely have a towbar fitted. Even the oldest first-generation Santa Fe is required to only be fitted with E-marked units (the ruling applies to cars built from 1998 and the Santa Fe was introduced in 1999). Don’t forget that correctly functioning towing electrics are also now part of the MOT.

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COLD COMFORT FOR EURO 5 DIESELS


Euro 5 diesels could be operating with ‘pollution controls partly turned off’

Scrappage SchemePollution from many popular diesel vehicles gets much worse in cold weather, according to a report.

Information compiled by test data firm Emissions Analytics suggests that Euro 5 vehicles are the most affected.

Tests were done on 213 models across 31 manufacturers and the findings indicate that vehicles could be operating for much of the time with their pollution controls partly turned off. There is a suggestion on the BBC website that VMs are taking advantage of the rule to switch things off, even in mild weather, because it improves the consumption of the car.

“I would say from the Euro 5 generation of cars, it’s very widespread, from our data. Below that 18 degrees [Celsius], many have higher emissions… the suspicion is, to give the car better fuel economy”; Emissions Analytics CEO Nick Molden told the BBC.

“If we were talking about higher emissions below zero, that would be more understandable and there are reasons why the engine needs to be protected. But what we’ve got is this odd situation where the [temperature] threshold has been set far too high, and that is a surprise”.

The firm also recently tested a number of current Euro 6 engines and found in real-world applications all of the four-cylinder engines on test produced more NOx than the largest V12 petrol motors fitted to super-luxury cars.

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