I started working on the brakes yesterday with a friend and only got the front ones done when the usual Melbourne weather turned dark and rainy. It makes it much easier and faster when there is an extra pair of hands working with you as things just seem to get done faster. Changing the front brake rotors and pads was pretty straight forward, only hitch was having the right size allen key to loosen the bolts holding the caliper to the rotor – so off to supercheap auto we went – this is a given when I work on cars, there is always a last minute stop to an auto shop to buy something, today we got a set of allen keys, some brake anti squeal compound and got back to work. I fitted some RDA slotted rotors to replace the OEM ones which came with the car when I bought it, I doubt if they had ever been changed as the bolts holding the calipers in place were so tight we almost used a full can of WD 40 just to loosen the bolts.
Today we started working on the rear brakes, again the bolts were so tight but with a bit of WD 40 and perseverance we got the bolts off, nothing a bit of brute force and leverage can’t overcome. Once the bolts were off everything was easy to put back together until it was time to push the piston back in so that we could get it over the new brake pads (which were twice the size of the old ones) – no amount of force on the G-clamp seemed to work so I went onto www.opelaus.com to search for an answer – needless to say you needed a special rewind tool to wind back the piston while pushing it back in – SO AGAIN off the supercheap we went – the tool was relatively cheap at $15.95 and much needed for this particular job.
It was a strange little thing – you fixed it onto an extension and then onto a rachet which made the rewinding so so easy – seriously I cannot recommend this tool enough if you are going to do your own brakes, especially the rear brakes. We got it all done today so now with the bedding in.
Well I got most of the priority work done so this week I may visit some wreckers to see what other bits and pieces I can get for the car, I have spotted an Astra turbo in a wreckers recently so I may go out and check if the leather seats and door trims are still there, if I can pick them up for cheap I may have yet another project to do. I also bought a set of headlights on Ebay, the Audi style ones with the DRL strip on the bottom, I will be waiting eagerly for these to arrive.
this is the way I use the spanners to loosen really tight bolts
I have not had any time up until now to do things to my car – so with the 2 weeks of holiday time I have I am going to try and do as much to the car as possible. There’s a big list of things to do which hopefully should not take more than a few days. Today I am going to change the rocker cover gasket, change the rad pipes to the silicone ones I bought months ago and re-fit my air intake pipe with a new bellows I bought (which should make it sit better).
The first thing I did today was the rocker cover gasket, after removing the engine cover I unplugged the coilpack and removed it. It was then an easy process of removing all the pipes and screws that held the rocker in place.
That was the easy part – the hard part was actually prying the rocker cover loose, it felt like it had been welded on, I sprayed some WD 40 on the seal and then tried to cut the seal with a blade, after some effort I got the cover off, needless to say that took a good 30 minutes trying to get the rocker off. So then I proceeded to give the cover a good degrease and clean.
After the clean I decided to re-spray the cover just because I had some left over high heat spray, so bang it was done.
While the cover was drying I thought I would do the rad hoses as well as the new bellows I got for the air intake feed, I drained the rad and ripped out the bottom and top hoses, the top hose was no problem but the bottom hose was a bit tricky as there is not much space to work with. I had to cut the old rubber hose as it was well and truly stuck to the pipe and then proceeded with replacing the hoses with silicone ones. I think it looks quite good.
I then placed the new gasket into the rocker cover with some silicone sealant and waited for it to dry. In the meantime I started working on the air intake bellows, no pictures of that as it wasn’t that interesting. Anyways I let about an hour go by before I placed the rocker cover back in place and bolted it all down. Hopefully this will stop the engine from leaking oil onto my spark plugs.
For anyone attempting to change their own rocker cover gasket I would suggest that you try and use a blade to cut the seal away before carefully lifting the cover off. It may take a while but it can be done if you persevere. Also give the cover a good clean with degreaser especially around where the gasket sits. Clean all the oil out and put a small amount of gasket sealer around there so that it will hold the new gasket in place while you are trying to mount it back on the engine block. It’s all pretty straightforward stuff but if you do the simple things it will save you a headache in the long run. Changing the rad hoses was easy but make sure you drain the rad first or else you will have coolant all over the car. Also remove the bottom hose first because if there is any leftover fluid it is better it come out from the bottom rather than the top hose where it will go all over the engine. All very common sense stuff really.
Tomorrow I will be doing the brakes and if time permits putting on the strut bar I bought ages ago – stay tuned for more pictures.