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Door removal and glue Page 1 of 9

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Door removal and glue

At some time the doors have been left swinging in the wind or carelessly opened, and I noticed some
cracking of the doors skin at the front, where it has hit the hinge. I thought I'd do something to stop the
cracks spreading. Note, only time will tell if my method is a good cure, but I thought I'd post this
anyway as you can see how the door comes off.

Allow a couple of hours to remove repair and refit a door, including cleaning up the hinges, finding
dropped screws and missing tools etc.


The door electrics need to be unplugged. This model has electric windows and a small light in the
switch. The connector was under the dashboard end:

It looks something like this (the grey stuff is bits of sound insulation stuck to it):

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The cable pulls round the door pillar through a channel near the bottom hinge:

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The door hinges are held together by a small hex set screw. 4mm hex key needed:

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Door removal and glue Page 4 of 9

There isn't much room, I used a balldriver because it can be angled:

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Door removal and glue Page 5 of 9

The doorstop can be sprung out of its holes with some large pliers if you don't mind scratching the paint
off it a bit. I put some wax rustproofer on it afterwards:

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Door removal and glue Page 6 of 9

Wondering why the door opened so wide, I took off the door restrainer, the M6 nuts fell off inside and
were recovered through the door bottom, plenty of holes there. The white lines below show the areas
which had been strained and pulled out. A little treament with a big hammer flattened them back again.

The nuts are not captive, and there is no access since the door panel is glued, so to put the restrainer
back I glued the nuts behind, took me a couple of attempts with a hot glue gun. You can see the right
hand nut is in place:

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Door removal and glue Page 7 of 9

This is the door restrainer, seems in good order:

The hinge pins were dry and rusted a bit, some scraping and a little grease required.

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Door removal and glue Page 8 of 9

Getting the top screw back in was fiddly, I couldn't get enough fingers in place, so I used a magnetic
pickup tool to get it started :o)

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Door removal and glue Page 9 of 9

I've got another page of pictures to post if you're interested in the glue job on the back of the panel, click
below to see them.

I did the driver's side door a little later, the fittings and procedure were exactly the same, though the
hinge was stiff and I used a trolley jack under the door bottom to persuade it off, rocking the door
slightly open and closed to move it. The door hinge doesn't squeak any more which is a bonus! One of
the M6 screws in the door stop wasn't original, being a plain hex set screw and nut instead of the
shouldered & serrated items. I shortened the screw a bit, it was a bit long, and re-used them. I failed to
notice one of the cracks had sprung sideways slightly and now is glued in this position, leaving a slight




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Passenger door part 2 Page 1 of 3

Passenger door part 2 - glue

Well the original motivation for looking at the door was some stress cracking visible near the hinge,
caused by the door skin actually hitting the hinge. Apart from attending to the hinge and door stop, the
cracks needed fixing, or at least arresting.

I decided to reinforce the rear of the plastic with a compatible glue, and got some acrylic 2 part glue
from a model shop. My original stock for model building had gone off after years of storage, but I knew
this kind of material stuck well even to "difficult" plastics and was very strong in itself, so could
reinforce weakened areas. It is also thick enough to make a filler if one uses a former to stop it creeping
away whilst it firms up.. Here is the one I used - it wasn't cheap, over 5 pounds for this amount:

I cleaned and roughened up the back of the plastic to help it stick even better, and also cut some bits of
carbon fibre tow "because I had some" ! A long time ago I made up a matchstick sized stick of carbon
fibre with acrylic glue. When fully hardened I could barely flex it with my fingers, and it was immensely
strong. So - although it made more work to massage the glue fully into the carbon, I feel better about the
belt-and-braces strength added.

Those of you who haven't seen carbon fibre tow, it looks like black baler twine - that hairy string used
on traditional hay bales. Here is what the patch looks like applied inside the door, which I laid flat on a
soft surface to work on:

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Passenger door part 2 Page 2 of 3

You can see the black streaks of the carbon well worked into the resin with a stick. Any fibrous
reinforcing like this MUST be well wetted by the resin or it will be weak and no point in putting it in. If
in doubt of any technique like this, DO A PRACTICE PIECE FIRST. You will get the hang of it, and
see how good / strong the result is, without making a complete pigs ear of the real job.

Now seeing as how the hinge strained the plastic so easily, and as well as tweaking the door stop, I
thought I would increase the clearance between the two parts if possible. Using an abrasive block
(Permagrit tool) I smoothed off a little of the door edge, making a gradual slope so as not to introduce a
stress point. Take off too much and the edge will start to flex excessively - that edge is needed to stiffen
the door. Anyway, here is where I trimmed a little off:

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Passenger door part 2 Page 3 of 3

Anyway, that's it, door re-hung as per the previous page. The driver's side door was attended to some
weeks later when some decent weather turned up.

Back to door page

Back to mechanics


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Door internals page Page 1 of 2

Door internals
The internal door lever ceased to function one day, meaning passengers had to open the window and
reach for the outside handle. It was obvious that something had disconnected, but access was too limited
to reach it through the vent (under the armrest / shelf) or the door handle aperture. I had to take the panel

It was held by the inside glass seal, which just lifted up to remove, by a tab near the mirror, by the door
lock button (just lifts over) and a strip of adhesive around the front, bottom, and rear edges. Also needed
to be removed were the door lever surround (one screw), the mirror adjuster rubber and the electric
window switch (prise up and disconnect). The glue looked like a strip of industrial grade Blu-tack, the
tacky putty stuff to hold notes onto walls? It gave way to some steady pulling and prising and mostly
remained in place ready to stick back again.

You can see the grey goo around the edges, and the disconnected door wire. The end of the wire is a
simple right angle bend. It pushes into a plastic bush which should have a "keeper" clip moulded into it.
Rotating the bush swings the clip over the wire to stop it falling out. The clip on mine had cracked right
through, not much chance of repairing such a thin part properly. A simple repair though was to put a
cable tie around the wire, I don't believe it will slip off.


While I was "in there" I had a look at the window mechanism as well. The passenger side had always
been a bit sluggish to go up and down, I thought it could be dirty contacts or a tired motor. The switch
had a very slightly dull connector but not much. The contacts were cleaned as on the switch page though
they again didn't look bad. I took the motor out to check the brushes and commutator. Hardly worn,

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though I cleaned the comm. anyway. The motor came apart easily, unplug, 2 screws out, and wind the
rotor out as it has a worm gear on it.

(pictures soon)

What DID make a difference was to grease the cable, pulley and slider which lifts the glass, and I also
sprayed some furniture polish into the glass silent channels. When I lifted the glass by hand (no rotor in
the motor) it was clear there was quite a lot of friction in those. I also sprayed the channels on the
driver's door.

Door panel refitting. Most of the original adhesive stayed in place, and where it had stretched into
strings it was squashed back quite neatly. Some areas however had got dirt and water into, leaving the
material hardened and degraded. In others the paint had come away, making it difficult to clean up the
sticky surface. I scraped off the several inches of dead adhesive and just before refitting the panel, put
some dots of polyurethane sealant in the gaps. These should stick well, and I hope will not prevent
removal of the panel should it ever need to come off again.



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Door Mirror Page 1 of 4

Door Mirror
The glass fell out.. on the road of course. I just had a glimpse of a cloud of tiny fragments drifting away
behind me.

I couldn't get to a shop for a few days, and boy how I missed that mirror when moving left or
reversing ;o)

I went to one of our local motor stores and bought a replacement SRG90 glass. It has a white sticky
foam backing to stick it to the old cracked mirror, and this shape is to fit a Fiat Uno. As the glass was
missing, I stuck it to the original plastic panel, after first scraping then wiping off the old foam with
Evo-Stik solvent. I hoped the solvent wouldn't eat the plastic and this seems to work, the old stickum
came completely off clean. The foam had hardened and the glue had dried out. The new mirror was
stuck in after a couple of trial fits and practice - you only get one go and the mirror needs to have
clearance all round if you want the tilt adjustment to work!

As you can see the fit is excellent, and looks just like the driver's side:

Driver's side for comparison:

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The shadows and tilt are deceptive, but the match is pretty good :o)

Only one regret - I found a cheaper place for the same thing later....

UPDATE 2008!

I've been half expecting it. The driver's side mirror fell out :o( After getting hold of a replacement, this
time an SR90, I left it under the passenger seat for weeks, and grumbled at the empty mirror housing
every time I tried to use it. This time I got a picture of the old tape. You can see close up how cracked
and dry the old stuff is, and also the large area where there has been a gap - it's where the bugs got in.

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Here is the replacement glass. It has a large double sided tape on the back, giving at least the glue area
of the original. The funny looking strip is a flexible plastic handle for manipulating the glass, it has its
own sticky pads on it.

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Door Mirror Page 4 of 4

I didn't bother taking a photo of the finished item, it looks exactly the same as the original! The only
difference I can see is the glass is flat. Not a big problem when the mirror is so close.



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Changing the drive belt Page 1 of 10

Changing the drive belt

The belts wear out, I changed my first one after 15000 miles. Official service interval is ?? Cost was £26
plus the VAT; sorry I forgot that earlier :o(

I was told the two plastic washers (£9.50+vat) should be changed at the same time to allow for the wider
new belt.

You are supposed to be able to wangle on a new belt by the roadside in emergency by wedging the rear
pulley apart and riding the belt over the side of the front one. I wouldn't do this except as a get-you-
home, I can't see it doing the belt any good.

Anyway, to get the variator (front pulley) off, you need access to it. My model has a soft inner wing for
sound muffling, with a circular access panel. A No.2 Philips Screwdriver should get the screws out:

The front pulley is on a taper, held on by a long thin bolt. 13mm head. Since the flywheel behind has
considerable mass, I put a socket on with a long extension, and shocked it round with a mallet to slacken
the bolt:

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The pulley was tight on the taper. I tapped it (GENTLY - IT IS THIN ALLOY!) and no joy. Then I
wedged it off with a couple of large screwdrivers behind the flywheel bolts. NOTE AGAIN - NOT
AGAINST THE PULLEY EDGE! It gave and popped off. See the bolts below. They are close to the
strong pulley boss and I reckoned they would stand this crude treatment.

It is possible there is a better way, looking back there could be threads down the pulley centre for a
puller. If I find out I will amend this page.

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If you want a closer look at the bits which came off click on the thumbnails below.

Once I got the belt off I could compare it with the new one and give it a better inspection. Apart from
wearing narrower, it appeared in good condition, no cracks or frays. The outer is scrubbed a bit by the
bar which keeps the belt off the left inner CV joint. I have not seen another with a corrugated outer face.
Old belt 32.7mm wide, new one 34.3mm wide.

To get the new wear washers in, the variator has to come apart. The large nut is 30mm across and mine
was TIGHT. It had some white stuff on the thread which I took to be a threadlock so I put some of my
own on when I reassembled it. I had to use my adjustable spanner, not having a socket of this size. I

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warmed the nut a little, not wanting to melt the internals and put the pulley down on a rubber mat with
my feet in it, knocked the spanner round with a mallet. It came undone.

It will come in half once the nut and steel cone are off:

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BEWARE! Small washers on the centre, don't lose them they adjust the pulley width. 6 on this one.

Now you need the plastic washers out. They are sprung apart by a big spring inside, which needs
compressing. You could possibly squash this by hand, but then would need more hands to get the circlip
out. I used a big coach bolt and a socket to compress the spring, whereupon the circlip was easily
removed by small screwdriver. The clip looked remarkably like a piston ring! Here is the bolt in place:

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Then the whole sprung assembly can be dropped out and bolt relaxed:

The whole lot drops apart. Watch out for the washers there are more in there. The plastic washers are the
big black ones. See the circlip above the mauve spring.

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I brushed the dust out and reassembled. There is a bearing on the centre spindle. The belt rests on this
when the engine is idling so it doesn't burn out on the pulley bottom. This one rotated smoothly.

Re-assembly, as they say, is the reverse of the above and wasn't any trouble. The only other thing I did
was to replace the wear tips on the rear pulley. One was missing, probably just cracked and fell off. The

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best I can describe them as is a sort of Monopoly bungalow in black plastic. They slide up and down on
the ramps as the rear pulley changes width. Another quite cheap wearing part, I replaced them as a set

Not too bad to change. I put the car in gear, propped a stick on the footbrake, and then turned the pulley
half carrying the tips by hand to pull them off the ramps. They are a simple push fit held by the spring
pressure. You can see by the layer of dust on the lower mount it has been missing for a while. The one
above is cleaner and has been covered up.

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It should look like this: Note this view from top so it looks backwards.

Anyway, I'm happy to say Ickle Car is back on the road, and either due to the belt or 3 wear tips instead
of 2, the take-up from idle is much smoother, it used to judder quite heavily as the car moved off,
smoothing out when the belt was fully engaged. No judder at all now, fingers crossed it remains that

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way :o)



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aixam window switch page Page 1 of 2

Window switches
I have had a couple of instances of sticking electric windows. In the course of investigation I dismantled
a couple of the switches, and cleaned the contacts and connectors. I found them to come apart quite well
so below is a sequence of pictures showing strip-down of a switch. These things are plastic with small
springy bits of metal which will leap off into the darkest recesses of the shed if you let them. Take care
and use a large clean work area, not the lawn.

Below, 2 possible ways to get the contacts out. I preferred the second, lever the spring a bit from behind
and lift the outer with a thumbnail.

With all the contacts out and accessible, I had good results cleaning the blackened bits using an
electrical contact cleaner. I applied it with a stick of balsa which worked well. One of the springs was a
bit soggy and lacking in "snap", it was gently bent down and squashed for more length.

Note the switches are polarised into the connectors, two corners have bevels on them. They will

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aixam window switch page Page 2 of 2

however fit either way into the housings, so try the switch first to get the window going up/down in your
preferred switch direction.



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Temperature sensor Page 1 of 4

Temperature sensor
I had the misfortune to have a punctured radiator on only the second day of ownership, on the way to
work.We limped very slowly to the car park, with the engine hot but still running normally. The garage
had the radiator recored for me, and the engine seems none the worse for getting a bit warm. However,
on the first decent run afterwards, the temp warning light came on again, and stayed on the rest of the
day. The engine wasn't hot - I could put my hand on the top cover, though not for long. Coolant was
present, I stopped after the light came on, waited 5 minutes and risked taking the radiator cap - nothing
happened, it wasn't boiling. Anyway The garage and I concluded the sensor had fried, and they got me a
new one. I volunteered to fit it, meant less messing about booking in the shop. The light came on again
today, so I got home, went upstairs to get my thermometer and new sensor. The temperature of the head
and sensor was only a little over 60 degC. Hardly overheating!

Anyhow, in the (unlikely) event you have to change one - it's easy. Probably the most accessible part on
the engine! Here is the new one. It says on the hexagon section 6G15 D 115.

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You can't see here but the bit in my thumb has a smooth domed end of what looks like solder. You'll
need to pull the connector off the top of the old one and use a 14mm spanner to slacken it. TIP: take the
radiator cap off. This makes sure water comes out of the sensor hole instead of air going in. Put your
finger over the hole while you swap the sensors and you should only lose an eggcup of water.

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See how much room to work?

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New one refitted, tightened and reconnected. Note the solder on the end of the old one looks melted and
is showing a wire-like object. A run out to the coast with the heater fan not running (to keep the engine
hot) failed to light the warning light, which is as it should be. Phew! The old sensor says 8C24 D 115
and I suspect the "115" is 115 degC.



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Exhaust leaks Page 1 of 8

Exhaust leaks
The engine on mine has always sounded like it was blowing from the front exhaust somewhere. I found
the reason for this was... It WAS blowing! Now this had passed a previous MOT but I suspect it should
not have done strictly speaking, anyway I wanted it stopped. The Aixam has a flexible section in the
pipe at the back of the engine bay, and this is known to break sometimes, more on earlier examples
where the flexi pipe was actually on a bend. I pulled the front section to have a look, as one of the
clamps looked hard to get at.

There are 4 nuts on the engine, one bolt on the gearbox, and two clamps on the flexi pipe, of which I left
the front in place. I had replaced the back clamp some weeks ago with a Jubilee type worm clip, as the
original fell to bits, but the Jubilee I suspect couldn't really grip as hard as needed in this application.
The gearbox bolt is hard to reach, you can JUST get a 13mm spanner on the belt end, and a socket
across the gearbox from underneath the car:

Note the above was actually on replacing the pipe. The whole section looks like this (new clamp fitted):

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Why was it leaking? Two reasons. First the design of the joint. It has slots in the pipe end which can not
seal without a sealant compound:

Also the clamp design humps up where the screw compresses it. Now on a thin pipe like the flexi
section, which appears to be double skinned, the pipe itself rucks up in the same place, making a nice

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tunnel for the exhaust to escape! :

I got some ordinary U-bolt clamps, the 29mm size fitted properly. There isn't a lot of spare pipe where
the slots are, so the clamp needs to be positioned very carefully near the end. I also squashed them
slightly narrower. Also to watch out for? Not much room down there, I shortened the ends of the bolts
on the clamps and trial fitted it to see where the nuts could be accessed before applying my chosen

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Slot it all together with sealant and fit nuts and bolts not-quite-tight, then tighten the 4 engine nuts, then
the gearbox bolt, then the flexi pipe clamp. All this is to make sure the exhaust doesn't stress when you
tighten it up. As you can see, not a lot of room past the anti-roll bar, so having the clamp facing the right
way will save lots of trouble.

Well that sorted the front end, the difference in noise was very noticeable :o)

I gave the rest of the system and mountings a good looking at as well, and spotted a tiny soot mark at the
mounting bracket in front of the spare wheel - Uh-oh..... Well if I could see it, an alert MOT tester would
as well. I wire brushed it :

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Out with the welder. Oh, and the mount refused to unscrew, it sheared instead :o(

The mid exhaust joint near the handbrake lever needed to come off, it was very tight (but had a u-bolt). I
gave it a mild crushing with a mole-type grip, and also heated it with a gas torch. It let go.

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I needed a mount in a hurry, and toured the accessory and spares shops. The nearest I could find was a
slightly larger one, with M8 instead of M6 studs. I decided to change the thread in the alloy rivnut in the
chassis and fit the larger one.

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Exhaust leaks Page 7 of 8

Since the exhaust at this point tended to graze the chassis hole it passes through at this point, I also cut
off the original mounting tab and made a new one slightly to the side. I need more welding practice..

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Exhaust leaks Page 8 of 8

Here ends the exhaust saga - for now! I can now hear all the other noises I never worried about
before ;o)




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Front wheel bearing page Page 1 of 14

Front wheel bearing

As I wanted to service the caliper and clean up the front disc, I started to try and remove the front wheel
hub. The hub has to come out to get the disc off. It wouldn't come out! I got the big hub nut off by
getting my wife to press the footbrake as I turned the nut. The effort made my eyes stick out a bit, it was
tight. I wasn't altogether happy with what felt like play in the wheel bearing either, so decided to take the
whole thing off. I therefore took the caliper bolts out and the 3 nuts holding the alloy hub carrier.

I used a spring compressor on the strut which makes unhooking the bottom ball joint much easier.

Here is what comes off:

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The inner hub end looked a little scarred and battered. Uh-oh...my familiar "mechanic wiv a big 'ammer"
has been here. I couldn't move it with my own, slightly smaller hammer.

I had to get cunning. There isn't anything to get hold of for a puller. The outside of this assembly is
covered up by the hub itself. I decided to press against the disc itself. NO! Not the thin outer braking

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Front wheel bearing page Page 3 of 14

area which would warp or even break, but the thick central part. By taking the disc screws out (which
were tight and need a good hex key to shift them) I could put bolts through the hub holes, and nuts
behind to push on the hub. The caliper bracket had to come off, and I also took out the ball joint screws
and ball joint. This is the key I used for the disc, actually mounted it upside-down in the bench vice:

With the disc screws out, I put some longer M8 screws into the disc, with nuts as below:

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The nuts wouldn't sit flat, so out they came again, and in (gulp) went a metal cutting disc on the angle
grinder. A risky manoeuvre, copy at your own risk. You can see above, and later, where I "touched" the
hub at the back. Only about 1mm of metal came out, Your hub may be different, or slightly smaller
bolts, washers or nuts may work. Anyway, I started to wind the nuts down:

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It moved, hooray! I kept the nuts even, working my way around, and the disc sat quite firm and square
against the alloy behind it.

Yes, definitely moving :o)

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As the pressure reduced, I could start using only 2 of the nuts.

Out she pops.

Another view of my cutting disc work. Hacking great lumps out would weaken the hub. The large arcs

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Front wheel bearing page Page 7 of 14

are only shallow scratches.

And the outer bearing track, brake disc still sitting around the outside. A light knock and it lifted off.

At the other side, the bearing outer is held by a circlip. The outer refused to budge though.

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I used a plumbing type propane torch to heat the alloy, and a wooden drift to knock the bearing out.

It was a little rough and scabby, a little corrosion had been holding it in.

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I decided to clean up the alloy before fitting the new bearing. The acid rust remover seemed to do a
reasonable job, here is a sample cleaned bit:

I de-greased the whole thing and brushed the fluid around, then rinsed it off. Much cleaner. I also
scraped every trace of oxide out of the bearing hole and cleaned every scratch and burr from the edge.:

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Front wheel bearing page Page 10 of 14

I dreaded fitting the new bearing. What if it jammed? What if I ruined it trying to get it out again? I need
not have worried. With the bearing in its wrapper overnight in the freezer, I clamped a steady on to the
carrier and heated it up again to spit-sizzling heat. A tentative poke into the hole with the bearing, it
seemed slack so I fed it down and dropped it. Clunk! Straight to the bottom of the hole

I wiped a bit of Waxoyl around the edges while the alloy was still hot, so it would soak down the back,
and I relaxed a little:

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Front wheel bearing page Page 11 of 14

Next I had to get the rest of the bearing (inner track) off the hub. There isn't much to get hold of. I
considered grinding and cracking it off. As a last resort I would have done this. However I decided to
buy a proper puller at last. It was a reasonable home mechanic's quality for 31 pounds:

The end of the hub being a big hole, there was nothing for the screw to push against. At first a scrap
metal plate worked, but this wouldn't go far enough in. I used a socket and a Mystery Metal Object from
my toolbox. See the pull sequence below:

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Front wheel bearing page Page 12 of 14

I see my now familiar MWABH has been here too. The second tool in his garage seems to be a
bricklayer's chisel. I cleaned the burrs and sharp edges with a fine file, wet & dry paper and some metal
polish, then gave the muck and rust a cleanup and paint.

I went to a DIY supermarket in town, and came back with a couple of M12 screws, nuts, and several
large washers. Just to try and ease things, I put my nice clean hub in the freezer for a few hours, and the
carrier assembly in front of a fan heater. I had no desire to cook the seals on my new 20 pounds bearing
so the propane torch and heat gun stayed away. If you try this at home, you will need a bolt 100mm (4
inches) or so long.

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Front wheel bearing page Page 13 of 14

The photo above is actually with the hub well into the bearing already. Make sure the bolt sits central
and the hub looks square to its entry hole. The washers and bolt head I believe to help keeping the thing
straight as they are manufactured with square edges. See below the disc was the easiest part to secure in
my bench vice.

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Front wheel bearing page Page 14 of 14

I consider this to be the dodgiest bits of the whole task completed, so I probably won't describe putting
the rest back together. I bought new pins and tubes for the caliper. All of the screws to reassemble were
cleaned and had screw lock compound applied, then a wipe of wax oil where it won't get on the disc or

As yet I don't have a torque figure for the drive shaft end. It will probably influence the end load on the
bearing, and be critical to the free play in the hub. Let me know if you find a proper tightening
procedure for this part, it will be posted here.



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_frontbearing.htm 23/01/2010
aixam gearselector Page 1 of 4

Gear lever/selector
A minor problem of the neutral indicator light not working led me to look at the gear lever. I had
managed Ok without the light, using the feel and position of the gear knob, but it niggled at me and I
thought it would be better for the rare occasions my wife drove the car. First I looked at the instrument
panel via the access panel under the steering wheel. Only 3 screws hold the access anyway so it didn't
take long. I couldn't find any bulbs or access to them, just some immovable square lumps on the display
back. I concluded for now that the lights are LEDs and unlikely to fail. There is no neutral switch on this
model gearbox, so the switching must be on the lever. I pulled out the bottom edge of the rubber gaiter:

The above picture is without the gear lever itself which I had decided to pull out of its socket. You can
see the index slot at the bottom which holds the selector in position - here in neutral of course. The top
of the frame has valleys in it to operate the two switches, like a roller-coaster track. My neutral switch
wire had broken off the connector on the nearer side switch. The wires are flexed and stretched on every
lever movement, and are not soft stretchy ones but stiff and not overly long. One of the wires to the
other switch had cracked insulation, this would be to the reversing light. I cut off the wires and extended
them with new 1/4 spade terminals:

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aixam gearselector Page 2 of 4

At this point I had cleaned some of the old glue out of the socket for the gear lever. I am not certain that
a previous "repair" had been attempted with superglue, or just white debris was in there, but the lever
didn't take much removing. Why did I remove it? Take a look!

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aixam gearselector Page 3 of 4

The rod (actually a hollow tube) was split and splintered. Maybe a former driver with no mechanical
sympathy whatever? If so I'd love to stuff this in their ear. Anyway, I immediately spotted a resemblance
to a spare fibreglass tent pole I had. This was a scavenged one from a rally I went on, but the pole
sections are a common spare from camping shops if you need one. I could have used a metal tube, just
didn't have anything suitable to hand. The pole was black glass or possibly carbon, and if anything a
fraction of a mm narrower. The old section was put in the vice and the knob twisted off. The previous
adhesive looked like black polyurethane sealant or silicon rubber. I had a tube of Tigerseal PU so used

The ends have been degreased and lightly sanded. I glued the knob on one day and glued the other end
the following day. I remembered to thread the gaiter on.... The PU glue dries flexible and will stick to
most things including fingers! To avoid disturbing the bond I left the gaiter unhooked at the bottom for a
further day. The gaiter needed some effort to wrestle it back over the base, the sides are easy to hook
back in place but the ends needed persuading mostly because the carpet got in the way. The carpet
wouldn't lift easily because the seat bolts trap it.

The gearchange will never be firm and slick, the plastic base is bendy, and secured to the flexible alloy
tunnel by only one or two screws. It does feel a good deal better for not having a wobbly stick as
well :o)

Oh yes, and the neutral light works too.

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aixam gearselector Page 4 of 4



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Gearbox filler Page 1 of 1

Gearbox filler
Older versions of the Comex box seem to have a filler cap which vents as much oil as air. This doesn't
do the gearbox bearings much good, or the rear engine mount which goes squashy and falls to bits. In
the case of the Aixam, the recommended oil capacity was increased from 700ml to a full litre. Was this
to make the dribbling oil last longer? I don't know. I measured a recent gear oil change. The extra 300ml
had disappeared in only 3000 miles. The service interval is 6000 miles! Really the oil does much more
good inside the casing, and modifying the filler cap is the answer. A later type cap is available I believe
the part No. is 3AAC12 instead of 3AC12. It has a pipe connection for tube 3AAC61.

I made my own version using a brass tube into a plastic gearbox cap. A hole was drilled to fit the tubing
fairly tight, and after some diligent de-greasing, I secured the tube further with slow setting epoxy. I had
some clear tubing, possibly silicon rubber based, and this was connected after the cap fitted into the
gearbox. The tubing goes up a foot or so behind the dashboard noise insulation, over the wiring loom or
something up there (I haven't seen it for a while!) and dangles back down near the steering rack.

The tube goes upwards to make any oil splash run back into the filler. It goes down again so that dirt
doesn't go in the pipe. Note I had 2 fillers, the one with the ladder type baffles on it still let the oil out.
See the oily muck on the gearbox top?

Does it work? I drained the oil to change the gearbox bearings 2000 miles later:

This was the volume drained. I'll call that a yes.



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Gearbox pulley Page 1 of 3

Gearbox pulley
As I had the gearbox out and needed the pulley off, it seemed silly not to strip it at least for an
inspection. There was some wear at the rear circlip but little else seemed bad. Some form of
compression is needed to take apart and reassemble the unit. I made one from some threaded rod and
bits from under the bench. One does not want the spring flying out under tension! The two pulley halves
are also rotated apart and want to fly back over the cams, they need letting back gently. I used a vice and
a strong grip to unwind and wind them back.

Once this hazardous operation is complete, the compression can be taken completely off. DO NOTE
which holes the spring comes out of! There are several choices giving different tensions to the spring.

The cam, spring and inner pulley half then slid off. Two areas internally showed some wear or light
damage on mine. The large bearing area that takes all the sliding and twisting loads showed wear of the
plated surface. Eventually this may need replacement, as yet I have no wear limit data for the part. I
cleaned the muck and staining off with some chrome cleaner.

Next, the sliding pulley inner face sits up against a circlip and washers when it is closed. The inner face
was scarred a little by the circlip ends. Why? The circlip sits crooked as there is a grub screw adjuster
shoving it across. Check the picture - the shim washers are dented.

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Gearbox pulley Page 2 of 3

What I did with that is turn the circlip around until the flat part was in line with the screw, not the eye
ends. I've no idea if it will stay there but made me feel better at least.

The last part I did something to was the back face of the cam. The main circlip pictured earlier sits under
pressure against the alloy, and eats its way slowly in. If the clip recedes enough, the cam will migrate
towards the gearbox. It may hit a mounting bolt or even fall to bits. At the very least it will let the belt
drop into the pulley more easily, raising the gear ratio.

I decided to fill the recess with a mild steel shim, hand made and glued in place with metal filled epoxy.

Stuck in and clamped, it made a fairly neat job. I used JB-weld. Possibly it could have managed without
glue. Spot the key way? I did in fact file this section out of the shim as well, but the photo wasn't as
good as this one.

All that remained was to reassemble, (don't forget the key) twisting the pulley halves back about 1/3 of a
turn against the spring to re-engage the ramps and then compressing until the circlip could be fitted.

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Gearbox pulley Page 3 of 3

Back on the gearbox (nut tightened against a rope again - torque unknown as I don't have a figure) it
looked like the pulley might need a little adjustment. I got the idea from somewhere (wish I could find
where!) that the pulley at rest should have the belt flush with the pulley top. Mine was down slightly.
Slacken the grub screw to let the pulley close.

And that was it. Running the car afterwards, it is apparent that the engine is revving higher. Whether due
to the new rear engine mount (another page!) or the circlip shim, or me getting the spring not quite right
I don't know yet. Certainly the shim will have moved the cam inward and closed the pulley about 1mm.
The belt adjustment above will ONLY affect the gearing at take-up, first gear if you like. The pulley will
come off the stop almost immediately. The car is actually pleasant to drive like this, as previously it was
dropping the revs against slopes and headwinds, giving a heavy engine vibration coming I suspect
through the dying rear mount. The 180 degree crank engine smoothes out a bit at higher revs. I shall
leave it "as is" for now and see how it runs and what fuel usage is like.



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aixam gearbox Page 1 of 4

The Gearbox
More correctly, reversing box. Can cause much grief in a quad. The uppermost bearings are splash
lubricated from the puddle of oil in the bottom. Sometimes not too well, especially if the oil has escaped
via the older type filler cap. Wrong oil or neglect risks premature failure. A collapsed bearing is very
bad news, and the ball bearings once spat out of the race can jam in the gears, the whole wobbling mess
then breaks the alloy casing. Much expense follows. Aixam raised the recommended refill volume for
their boxes from 0.7L to 1.0L but this means the fill level plug is no longer any use on the older cars,
and also more oil is going to spray out of the top of the filler cap. I checked after 3000 miles last service.
Out of the 1L, there was 0.7L left! It's supposed to go to 6000 miles!

Anyway, with mine having done 40 000 miles, and almost expecting expensive noises any minute, I
decided to pull the box out and fit new bearings. A lot cheaper than a new box. I had to do something
with the rear mounting anyway, it had gone frayed and squashy probably from the aforementioned
escaping gearbox oil. I have a cure for the Houdini oil, by the way. See here I drained the oil after 2000
miles and none had gone missing. Fit a later type filler cap with a fitting for a vent pipe. Connect this to
a breather pipe led upwards for a bit to let oil run back in, then down to stop muck falling in.

Down to the dirty bits - First I raised the car at the front. NOT ON WHEEL RAMPS as you need the
drive shafts popped off the gearbox. This will entail splitting the ball joints or removing the wishbones
so you can't leave the weight on the wheels! I used a pair of substantial axle stands under the corner/sill
jacking areas. The crossmember there will take a trolley jack slightly further in so I could get the stand
in. NOTE THE REAR WHEEL MAY LIFT ALSO so don't rely on wheel chocks this side. On your
head (literally) be it if you do.

Undertray off . I left the drive belt on. Drained gearbox oil. Unhooked the gearchange cable from the
operating arm on the gearbox then unwound the nut from the cable end so the cable would come off.
Tucked it out of the way somewhere. Unscrewed the speedo cable (mechanical speedo). It's a knurled
end and required finger force only. There were no other wires (neutral light?) to undo. The drive shafts
need to be able to move outwards, so either the wishbones need taking off the inner bolts (2 each side)
or the suspension balljoints undoing. If the balljoints, then the suspension needs compressing slightly to
lift the joints out. The drive shafts can be hammered off the gearbox, they have spring clips inside which
will let go given enough force. I confess to levering them off against the gearbox casing.

With the gearbox mount removed the engine is held by the front mounts only, so needed supporting to
prevent it sagging and straining backwards. I used a wooden prop next to the sump, cut to length and
wedged in until the weight came off the rear mount. The exhaust bolt had to come off the gearbox, and
the two big bolts holding the box to the engine. With hindsight I would have done better to remove the
exhaust front section, I took it off later anyway for better access. I couldn't get the through bolt out of
the rear mount, so as the mount was dead anyway I got a padsaw and junior hacksaw onto it and cut it
apart. The mount is likely to have a hex screw (6mm key) underneath and a nut on top and hard to get to
because of the roll bar. The other 2 hex screws in the mount can be extracted instead.

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aixam gearbox Page 2 of 4

The gearbox and pulley weren't too bad to lift out, leaving the drive belt in place, it weighed 24 lbs.

I cleaned the box, it was filthy black from belt dust and leaked oil, removed the plastic speedo drive and
vented filler plug to protect them then had to get the pulley off. Locking the pulley was easy with a rope,
and the nut came off. Could I get the pulley off? Could I heck! Heat, levering, improvised puller,
hammer; it wouldn't budge. Not having an extractor I took it over to Rossefields in Bradford, where I
bought the bearings and went for lunch across the street while they removed the pulley for a (small ) fee:

As you can see they also had some difficulty persuading it off ! The extractor tool AND a big hammer
were required. I suspect a little rust was to blame, maybe the shaft key was wedged to the end as well?
Before splitting the case I cleaned the drive shaft splines and wrapped some masking tape on them to
protect the oil seals, also a smear of grease. The case had M6 screws around the centre join and mine
parted easily, I left all the shafts in the gear selector half. Note the gear selector detent ball simply rolled
off the selector and fell out. The bolt and spring could be removed first, it needs to come out before
reassembling the box anyway.

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aixam gearbox Page 3 of 4

The gears can now be seen. All the forward gears in this box are helical cut, and all the reverse gears are
straight cut. There is one selector which slides along the second shaft, engaging either large dogs for
forwards or smaller splines and teeth for reverse. Having seen that smaller gears and PLAIN bearings
are used for reverse, I shall be more careful not to abuse that transmission direction...

I unhooked the spring which let the little reversing shaft come out with a "plop" from its socket
complete with gear. The other shafts will then come out, unhooking the selector as they come.

I had to get creative (abusive) with the bearings as I didn't have a proper clamp type bearing extractor,
just a simple gear puller. However, I wasn't worried about damaging the old races so felt Ok to pull at
the outers, and occasionally wedge or lever them until I could get the puller on:

This was the end of the mystery tour, I chilled the shafts in the freezer a while, warmed the new bearings
(gently) with a hot air gun and had little difficulty refitting them, nor reversing the above steps to put the
box back together. It was a little fiddly putting all the shafts back in the case but not too bad. I reused the

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aixam gearbox Page 4 of 4

paper gasket as it was undamaged, but would have made or bought a new one had it nicked or torn.
Used a screwlock compound on the speedo screws, they are small and holding onto plastic. I don't have
a torque figure for the M6 centre bolts, so used discretion and screwlock on them instead.

The pulley assembly is the subject of a separate page, but I did clean and de-rust the pulley shaft and
centre bore before refitting it. The shaft key was tacked into the shaft groove with a bearing retainer
compound to prevent it sliding inward and wedging, and a smear of copper grease applied to the shaft.
New nylock nut and washer as the original washer was chewed up somewhat. I used the rope trick again
to lock the pulley. As soon as I get a torque figure for the nut I'll post it here - I did the nut up to "tight"



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_gearbox.htm 23/01/2010
Heater Controls Page 1 of 6

Heater Controls
I had known there was a problem with the heater controls, however as long as the windscreen demisted
( it did, but not with any enthusiasm) and I didn't get frostbite while driving, I left it alone. The fan speed
control worked fine. Anyway at about 25500 miles I delved into the dark recesses of the dashboard and
before I knew it, had pulled the heater panel out.

I found, as I suspected, the temperature control springing uselessly back and forth, and the air control
system broken, and reckoned I could restore them to life.

First, how do you get at them? The panel is held by 6 self tapping screws with T-20 size Torx heads, all
accessed from behind. Two can be got at through the radio aperture - you'll need the radio out anyway to
disconnect the wires. You can see the 6 screw holes in the picture below.

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Heater Controls Page 2 of 6

Space is limited in some areas, I had to cut my driver handle down, giving an overall length of 135mm.
It was quite a reach to the lower 4 screws from the bottom of the dashboard, and required me to lay
uncomfortably across the seats.

There are 3 obvious electric cables; hazard, fan and cigarette lighter. The two control wires have a thick
ferrule on the outer tube which clicks into a holder on the back of the knob assembly. These need to be
popped out carefully as the plastic part can break, like mine did (oops..). The ferrule was a little
corroded and didn't want to come out. The wires have "Z" bends and the ends just unhook. See below.
The picture actually shows the repaired & straightened parts, but is the best view I had of these.

Here are some views of the temperature lever, and the original shape of the wire:

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Heater Controls Page 3 of 6

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Heater Controls Page 4 of 6

I also shortened the wire about half an inch, bending a new "Z" with some narrow nosed pliers. I
couldn't see where the other end of the wire was to adjust it there instead, the cable disappears into the
sound insulation somewhere.

Note the control knobs weren't very well lined up with the pictures on the panel. They can be moved by
levering the arm off inside and moving it around on its splines, it looks like this:

I superglued the cracked cable holder arm. This won't be enough to hold against the operating forces on
the cable, so I roughened the plastic and splinted across the joint with bits of carbon fibre and

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Heater Controls Page 5 of 6

I don't have a good photo but I then filled it out a bit with microballoons and thin superglue. Apparently
baking powder and superglue make a good strong filler also, and you may find it a bit easier to source
than microballoons (tiny glass spheres).

One last thing on the levers - the "fixed" part of the mechanism, seen above, is prevented from rotating
by castellations (square bumps) underneath, which can break. I understand later models have stronger
ones. Sure enough, one of mine was bust, allowing the fixed arm to swivel around:

Since I don't need the arm to be adjustable to other angles, I sorted this one with superglue, which
locked the whole thing solid. It also removes some play in the control so I did the other one as well. For
some reason the design doesn't use multiple teeth to lock it in place, just one tooth which you can just
see at the top of the right hand arrow.

Before proceeding to the other part of the repair, I dribbled first a little penetrating oil into the control
cables, and then some thicker gear oil.

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Heater Controls Page 6 of 6

PAGE 2 - AIR CONTROL FLAP - click here for more,

I've split the page here to keep the load time down



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Air control flap Page 1 of 7

Air control flap

Continuing the heater saga - the other control wire was Ok, just not doing anything in the ducting. The
arm on the outside of the heater was moving but broken from the inside.

Here is a view down the heater duct. Click for a full size image. The broken flap normally sits in the
bottom. It was easy to get out as the left end was broken off. The arm which turns the flap was still
glued to the outside and I risked prising it off, it cracked off quite cleanly but I reckoned I could have
made another if it had broken up. The pivot holes are grommets, and have a smear of grease on them.

The flap itself is in 3 parts, 2 plastic panels clip together with a foam rubber seal trapped between them.
Here is the top broken bit. The bracket in the middle has to be levered carefully off the link rod you can
see in the first picture. The rod opens and closes the demister flap at the top of the system.

Here are the busted bits, and the lever which I forced off the end:

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Air control flap Page 2 of 7

Superglue seems to stick this plastic quite well - I degreased the broken areas well with detergent in the
sink and dried them. I tacked the parts together with the superglue, and then added a fillet of superglue
and microballoons (a lightweight glass bubble filler powder) as used on the previous page:

Whatever is used, it needs to be strong and reinforce the thin joint. The buildup of filler means that the
other plastic part won't sit down flat, so needs a bit filing out:

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Air control flap Page 3 of 7

Here is what it looked like before:

Now to refit the lever. I didn't fancy glueing the thing back on entirely by feel, so decided to fit a screw.
Drilling the shaft out was done very slowly and carefully, to suit a self tapping screw from the screw

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Air control flap Page 4 of 7

OOPS.. I tried to bend the flap, just this one piece, to spring it back into place, but it snapped.
Remember it is now longer than the space it came from. I said a rude word and went to plan B - stick it
back together in place in the duct.

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Air control flap Page 5 of 7

I temporarily assembled the flap parts to keep the holes lined up, and drilled a hole through the whole
thing to suit more screws from the screw bin. NOTE - enlarged the holes in the bottom part so the 2
halves would tighten up as the screws are turned.

Put a small trace of silicone grease on the pivots (it doesn't attack plastics) and put the top part back in
place. Fit the sponge seal and the bottom part, and screws. It should look like this:

Rather than rely on just the screws to hold the whole thing together, I put a dab of epoxy glue alongside
the top bracket, and a patch of epoxy and fibreglass on the open area. I locked the screws with a smear
of contact glue (Evo-stik) on the threads.

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Air control flap Page 6 of 7

The last hard bit here was putting the arm/lever back on. Remembering to hook the control wire back on
first, I slotted the arm back on and checked the wire travel looked about right because the hex shaped
shaft could fit in more than one position. THEN I found I couldn't get a screwdriver in! The glovebox is
too close :o( Retires, muttering, to shed, and rummages in the toolbox. Eventually I unearthed a curious
tool - the right angled obstruction screwdriver. Bought about 30 years ago and unused since. I just knew
one day it would come in handy ;o)

The last part here was to apply more contact glue to the foam sealing strip which was falling off the
front of the duct - easy job, just DON'T spill the glue in the car. You can see the strip dangling at the top
of the previous page.

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Air control flap Page 7 of 7

The heater panel could now be put back, reconnecting the electrical cables (some are not very long) and
the two control wires, then the six mounting screws.

Hey believe it or not it all worked!

I did some work on the radio mounting whilst it was out. The "universal mounting sleeve" for the radio,
which clips onto the front panel, wasn't very good. It didn't mount very firmly, and the radio didn't lock
into it properly, no holes for the radio's latches. Back to the store, and a cheap but better fitting mount.
Trial fit it to the radio and tweak the locking bits. TIP: Black permanent marker on the front of the radio
mount makes it almost invisible behind the radio top edge. Before refitting the radio, I considered the
banging and rattling from the radio when the engine ticked over. The whole dash vibrates, and the radio
bounces noisily up and down. I glued some stout foam pads onto the heater duct under the radio. They
are about an inch tall. I also glued some thicker pads above the radio, inside the dashboard top. These
would be about 1.5 inches tall. The idea was that the radio would just squeeze between them. Anyway, a
BIG improvement, and the radio now sits up to the panel instead of hanging a quarter of an inch out. I
no longer sit with one hand on the radio at traffic lights, or with a death grip on the steering wheel trying
to damp down the vibration and prevent the radio from self destructing.



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aixam heater demist Page 1 of 6

Windscreen demist ducting

I probably mentioned before the slow demist and de-ice airflow to the screen. Although the little heater
matrix warms up very fast, and the fan blows quite vigorously, when I closed the dashboard vents and
the (repaired) lower outlet door, there seemed to be a real lack of air coming up under the glass. Could
hardly feel it in fact.

I'd been told the air could be escaping underneath the top of the dash, where the heater duct points
upward into it. I investigated this from inside the engine bay, where I could just reach the front side. I
could also get a finger or two UP the duct from inside the car when I took the dash off to repair the
wiring. The top flap was opening properly, so it wasn't that. The heater fitted into the under-dash fairly
well, though not exactly airtight. I pushed the surrounding plastic down as best I could from inside and
smeared some sealant on the join where I could get to , which wasn't a lot.

Then I looked at the heater control panel on the dashboard, since the foam plastic I re-glued last time
didn't look to be a good fit. In fact it was a very bad fit!

The heater front outlet is rectangular. The panel and flap are rounded, smaller, and angled so there is
quite a gap at the bottom. I stuck in some thicker foam to make up the gap:

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aixam heater demist Page 2 of 6

You can see how much thinner the original foam was.

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aixam heater demist Page 3 of 6

Look at the hit-and-miss fit...

Anyway, I could see the flap would hit the new foam, took 2 tries to get it right:

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aixam heater demist Page 4 of 6

With the dash off I could refit nearly all of the panel (and those T20 screws) :

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aixam heater demist Page 5 of 6

The only real fiddly bit I found was clipping the control wires back mostly by feel - these little things:

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aixam heater demist Page 6 of 6

One other job I did was put some more glue on the cracked castellated bit of the temperature knob. It
was slightly loose as I was cautious with the superglue last time.

Lots more air comes out of the windscreen slots now

Though as it has been an unusually dry and warm September I can't see how effective it all is.



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_heater%20demist.htm 23/01/2010
Radiator bracket Page 1 of 3

Radiator top bracket

Just by accident I found the steady bracket from the top of the engine to the top of the radiator had
broken. The radiator wasn't falling out, the hoses and remaining part of the bracket held it quite well, but
you never know what may happen in these cases, so I attempted a repair.

This bolt is on the thermostat housing, it wept a little coolant when I took the bolt out. The other bolt is
behind the engine, take off the air filter housing to find it. the radiator top part is just hooked on, no
fixings to remove.

The tubing is very thin and amazingly light, I doubted my welding skills on this but had a go anyway. It

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Radiator bracket Page 2 of 3

Some filing and paint later, and we were ready to refit:

I know it looks close but the hose clip doesn't actually touch when the bolt is refitted.


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Radiator bracket Page 3 of 3



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/radiator_bracket.htm 23/01/2010
Rear brake Page 1 of 4

Rear brake
Driving into town I noticed an unusual lack of "go" which could not be accounted for by a headwind. I
stopped to investigate, and smelled hot brakes. Careful searching for the hot wheel identified the offside
rear hot with a trace of smoke from the grease on the backplate - bother! I let it cool a bit and drove
slowly, the wheel cooled off and did not overheat again, but something was obviously wrong.

At home I chocked the front wheels (ESSENTIAL!) and jacked the rear corner, careful to get the jack
under the crossmember not the floor. The wheel dragged when spun by hand, handbrake off. Here's what
I did and found, with thanks to Paul Humphreys for his description of the operation earlier on the Yahoo
group mailing list.

First, slacken wheel nuts slightly with tyre on the ground or handbrake applied, if working.. The nuts are
19mm, I used a telescopic wheel wrench. I was fortunate that a previous mechanic has greased the studs
and nuts, they removed easily after jacking the car back up. Wheel off - it is pleasantly and surprisingly
light weight. Once the drum is exposed the axle nut can be seen - 18mm again. this has to come off as it
not only retains the bearings but the drum, which unusually carries the bearings, and the shock absorber
bottom. You need to get round the back and hold the nut on the other end of the stud. If you haven't got
two 18mm sockets a 3/8 Whitworth fits nicely. Here are some pictures -

BTW - don't forget to back up your jack with an axle stand or similar sturdy solid support. Axle
stands are cheap and avoid getting you squashed flat in a stupid accident. We've had our stands for
years, bought from a motor accessory shop and will hold far more weight than an Aixam can bring
down.. Unlike your arm, head, leg etc.

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Rear brake Page 2 of 4

Here I've already got the drum off, courtesy of a rubber mallet and some wriggling with the other hand.
Taking out the split pin and clevis pin from the handbrake lever should give more slack in the shoes and
easier removal. You'll want the pin out eventually anyway, to remove the brake lever. I had to hammer
the brake lever back a bit on mine, it was stiff.

Sorry about the manky picture, forgot the macro button on the camera. The spring will normally press
the brake lever to the left - mine was stuck.

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Rear brake Page 3 of 4

A couple of pictures of the drum, removed. Don't inhale the dust!

Here is a pic of the shoes etc. all in place. Note how the springs and clips are fitted, you'll need to put
them back. I worked the tops of the shoes out a bit until they would come off the wheel cylinder, then I
"folded" the shoes toward me. The friction washer bit sits on a pin, you can see the end peeping out.
Once the shoes were off I could get out the offending brake lever, seen below.

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Rear brake Page 4 of 4

I wiped the grease off, wire brushed some of the rust, then gave it a good talking to with a bench vice,
hammer and penetrating oil. The pivot then would move freely, so I wiped the rusty oil out and smeared
a trace of Copaslip assembly grease in instead.

Reassembly, as they say, was the reverse of the above procedure. The brake shoes won't be centred until
the footbrake has been applied, so may catch slightly when the drum is refitted. Make sure the wheel
nuts are lightly greased - the copper assembly grease is ideal for this. Re-grease the brake clevis, I
brushed on ordinary lithium bearing grease for that.

I'll have a look at the other side brake, weather permitting, as soon as I get the chance*. Or sooner, if I
get a mysterious lack of speed and a hot wheel again. Also, ideally the Nylock stiff nut on the axle stud
should be replaced by a new one if it is removed. I got some from a local nut and bolt specialist, they
have a different outer size and fit a 19mm socket. Buy some spares, they are cheap!

* Done!

Back to mechanics page

Back to brake backplates

Back to brake drums


http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/rear_brake.htm 23/01/2010
Backplate Page 1 of 5

Brake cylinders/backplate
I had a little problem with a weepy rear brake cylinder, and decided it would be a good time to tidy up
the whole rear brake. I discovered both sides were affected, and bought a pair from Rossefields at a
reasonable £12 each. I got new shoes as well as I was worried about fluid contamination, they were a
dearer £16 a side. The rear shoes hardly wear at all and are not a common replacement item.

Anyway, to get into the rear brakes, proceed as for rear drum removal here.

Either clamp off the flexible brake hose or work out a plug for the brake union, or it will give you a
puddle of brake fluid on the floor. Remove the bolt holding the union together at the back of the brake
cylinder (14mm ring spanner) keeping track of the 2 copper washers.

If you are just replacing the cylinder in situ you will need out the 2 M6 screws on the cylinder, and I'm
reasonably sure you'll need the brake shoes off as before, though possibly wedging the shoes apart
would do the trick. 10mm spanner or socket if you have room. One of them holds the handbrake lever

If you want the whole thing off, pull the hub bolt all the way out so you can swing the hub and
suspension unit around, it gives better access to the bolts. The 4 bolts need a 6mm hex key, I don't know
how I would manage without my ball driver set! You can see how much surface rust is on this metal. It
was originally cadmium plated I think, not much remains after some damp and road salt for a few years.
Here is the inside:

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Backplate Page 2 of 5

Doesn't look too leaky? Look closer:

I had a look in the cylinder - not too good for a fairly young car:

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Backplate Page 3 of 5

Anyway, with some cleaning up in mind, I degreased the backplate and dried it:

After this it was given a SEVERE talking to with a rotary wire brush, the 11000 rpm angle grinder
twisted type, then a light coat of zinc primer and some fairly hard wearing polyurethane paint. At this
point I was working against the clock a little, so I haven't any photos of the finished bare plate. It looked
a LOT better :o) I also cleaned up the springs and shoe steady pins with an acid type rust remover and
wire brush. Here it is back in place - actually a couple of weeks later and with a little road dirt on it:

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Backplate Page 4 of 5

You can see the four mounting screws near the centre. Reassembly was straightforward - I used some
thread locking compound on the mounting screws, again after wire brushing the old stuff off the threads.
Couple up the hydraulic line again and bleed the brake. Grease the handbrake pivot generously but don't
force any through the backplate, there isn't a seal where the lever goes in. I had changed the brake fluid
in the rear pipes earlier. This is what came out. Indicates how the brakes had been neglected in the past
perhaps? It should be clear and honey-coloured:

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Backplate Page 5 of 5

This resembled VERY dirty pondwater, totally opaque and much sediment in it. YUCK!

I like Waxoyl rustproofer, so used some of this on the OUTSIDE of the backplate, nuts and cylinder.
Don't get any on the drums or shoes, it will melt when it heats up and the brakes will slip if it gets on the

The handbrake will need adjusting, in fact with new shoes you may need to slack the main adjuster off
just to link up the arms again.

Back to mechanics


http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_backplate.htm 23/01/2010
Brakedrum Page 1 of 2

Brake drums
Although the handbrake on my car is quite effective, and rarely needs adjustment, it had always been
uneven. I assumed the lightweight alloy drums had suffered heat or pressure distortion. With an eye to
the next MOT test, I took a closer look. Footbrake performance isn't affected a great deal by the rear
wheels, the system is biased hugely to the front disc brakes. There was a slight tremor through the pedal
when braking, but when I tested the handbrake on the move, the whole car back end rose and fell like a
circus clown's car !

Removing the drums as for the hand brake lever access or wheel bearings and taking a closer peer at the
brake surface showed it distorted and rippled.

I was told the drums tend to corrode between the alloy casting and the ferrous liner, causing an uneven
surface. This qualifies as uneven I think!

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Brakedrum Page 2 of 2

Anyway, I bought new ones from Rossefields (£37 each) and transferred the recently fitted bearings,
using heat on the drums to slacken the bearings. I also painted the drum outsides, paying particular
attention to the edges where I think moisture might be getting in. When I take the drums off they will be
put carefully stud side down to avoid scratching of this area.

The effect of fitting a new drum was dramatic :oD not only did all the uneven braking disappear, but the
handbrake was even more effective and can lock the back wheels on the move if pulled firmly.
Releasing the handbrake also lets the wheel turn very freely, with no annoying drag - drag - drag effect.

Back to mechanics


http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_brakedrums.htm 23/01/2010
Rear wheel bearings Page 1 of 6

Rear wheel bearings

Well I can't leave anything alone can I - checking over my car prior to MOT testing, I thought there was
a little play in the back wheels. The bearings are ballraces and not adjustable, I had seen them when
getting at the brakes. I decided to replace the bearings, starting with the nearside which I had not seen
yet and seemed to have the most free play. I had to remove a bearing, measure it and put it back as the
bearing factor is 15 miles away and I hadn't time to cycle into town.

Anyway, getting the drum off involves removing the wheel, then the centre stud, as per brake access.
The drum proved MOST reluctant to come off, the usual slack handbrake and rubber mallet barely
moved it - drat! I had to make a puller, see below:

The lump of 1/4inch steel was under the bench, an old welding practice piece. A hex screw about 6mm
thread went in the centre hole, nut in the back, and the wheelnuts held it in place. Of course it had to
press against something, a short bolt from the toolbox bottom:

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Rear wheel bearings Page 2 of 6

Now why wouldn't it come out earlier? Answer, someone had been doing maintenance "wiv a big
'ammer" at some time. The outer bearing was sticking on this gall in the stub axle, I had to clean it up
before the inner bearing would come off!

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Rear wheel bearings Page 3 of 6

The above photo shows it AFTER treatment with a fine file and abrasive paper. Well at least it got out
the back bearing for me :o\

Getting bearings out of an alloy hub is easy. Use a heat spanner. If you don't want the roast dinner
flavoured with lithium grease, then avoid the kitchen oven, and use a hot air gun. With the drum heated
to the point where spit will sizzle, the bearings should either drop out or come out with the lightest of
persuasion from a hammer and drift. Remember banging away at the inner part of the bearing isn't good
for it if the outer is the tight fitted part, it bangs the balls into the track - go easy if you want to use the
ballraces again. Oh yeah, and DON'T pick up any of the parts barehanded like I do. Well once is Ok.
Just to check they are too hot to hold.

Not only were the old bearings somewhat dry (they rattled easily) but the rubber seals were in a sorry
state, oddly enough just the inner seals - weird:

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Rear wheel bearings Page 4 of 6

You can also see that the bearing numbers were illegible :o( this was the clearest one. Anyway, I
measured them at 25 x 47 x 12mm, and got some more (10 pounds each) from a local bearing factor.
They are nice shiny NSK 6005DDU sealed ballraces.

Before fitting them, I had a thought as to why the inner seals looked so bad. Could it be the bearing
spacer, which is the only thing touching the inner face? The thrust face of this spacer is somewhat wider

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Rear wheel bearings Page 5 of 6

than the inner race, and could be dragging on it. Well, wouldn't hurt to alter them a bit. Here is the
spacer as it was, and after a few minutes hand filing the outer bevel a bit bigger:

I hope this is enough. If I ever take them out again, I'll let you know!

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Refitting the bearings means warming the drum back up, they should go in easily if straight. Support the
first bearing on something when you turn the drum over or it may fall out again as you put in the spacer
and second bearing.

I was a little alarmed at how easily the first inner bearing came out when cold, so used some bearing fit
Loctite on the outer metal. There were some score marks on the alloy of this hub, more past scars from
the mechanic wiv der big 'ammer I think.

The offside drum came off with no trouble and bearing swap was a repeat of the above. Both wheels
show a "just feelable" play and the nearside is definitely less than it was.

One last thing - I replaced the axle nuts with new Nyloc nuts from a bolt and nut specialist. Oddly
enough I need a 19mm socket for the new nut instead of 18mm.



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aixam template page Page 1 of 11

Scuttle (rain channel) cracks

The rain gutter in front of the windscreen is another vacuum form in plastic. Exposure to weather, and
the weight of the wiper motor mounted on it take their toll, resulting in cracks. This is not a rare
problem, though I can't say if later models are better in this respect. A crack isn't necessarily the end of
the world, it will let water through into the engine bay, if there is noise padding like mine, it will go onto
the shiny inside surface and down between it and the plastic bulkhead. It may drip onto the wiper motor
and some electrics.

By the time I looked seriously into mine there was a hole and big cracks around a wiper motor bolt, and
cracks around the wiper shaft extending up under the windscreen rubber trim. I think if left long enough
the wiper motor would have eventually fallen out. I did find the whole job easier after removing the
bonnet and the soundproofing in this area. The soundproofing was secured by self tapping screws at the
top edge and could possibly be just detached there and stuffed back out of the way. There were 2 more
screws down the bulkhead, only one of which I could reach, above the gearbox/belt. I pulled crudely at
the other until it gave way, reasoning that it was well trapped by the engine etc at that side.

Anyway, here is what you could see of the damage before I started:

Note the long crack just peeping to the left along the bottom of the gutter. There were four button head
socket screws holding the bonnet. That balldriver to the fore again! See below:

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aixam template page Page 2 of 11

The screws go into plates under the wing. A little fiddly to refit with the wheel still in place, those with
short fat arms will struggle:

I made a crude screwdriver for the horrible roofing bolts securing the wiper motor. It didn't shift them,
too stiff. I loosened them with the mole grips:

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aixam template page Page 3 of 11

You can see below the motor bolt holes and the white plug to be pulled out.

Click here and here if you want to see more pictures of the motor and gearbox.

With that out of the way I could start on the cracks. I made sure the plastic was clean and dry, and ran an

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aixam template page Page 4 of 11

abrasive between the surfaces to remove any mouldy surface deposits. The glue I used this time was a
quick setting acrylic 2 part from Deluxe Materials. It is called Super Crylic and is a strong resin which
bonds most plastics and also wood, metal. On this reasonably mild day outdoors it set quick enough for
me to hold the parts together while it hardened enough to stay put. It can be chilled to slow it down.

Further crack repair and the plastic is now getting back into the proper shape. Note the windscreen
rubber has been lifted with masking tape. The rubber does not hold the glass in, it is a trim strip slotted
around the screen edge:

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aixam template page Page 5 of 11

The closed cracks were cut into "V" grooves rather than trying to open them up and persuade glue in. I
used a burr bit in a rotary tool (Dremel):

More acrylic followed, 2 coats where the grooves were deep to avoid dribbles. While the first coat set I
put masking tape under the hole:

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aixam template page Page 6 of 11

To support an infill. It may not look too strong but this material is surprisingly tough when set:

I decided to try and stiffen this area of the plastic a bit, so while the last acrylic hardened I made a paper
template of the wiper motor region:

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aixam template page Page 7 of 11

And cut out some woven glass cloth layers to match. I believe this is 200 gram cloth used in my other
hobbies. It is very thin and strong and though one could use coarser cloth, or chopped strand mat (a little
messy), this is what I had to hand and is quite tidy:

I did some trials with my other glues and decided none of them were compatible both with the matting

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aixam template page Page 8 of 11

and the quite large area, as well as the plastic to be stuck on. I settled on polyester resin, that's the
traditional stinky fibreglassing resin. I scrubbed thoroughly under the scuttle area with abrasive paper,
and then wet the glass out with resin on top of a sheet of polythene. I wet it more than usual to glue it in
place and lifted the whole lot, polythene and all, under the repair area. I could rub it around to bed the
resin without getting it dripping off, though I wore gloves anyway. The polyester tends to warp the
polythene so it curls up, so I had more masking tape standing by and taped the edges up a little. After the
resin has gone off, the polythene peels off easily. The holes were of course bridged over, but they were
readily cut and filed back out:

A spray from an aerosol paint and what an improvement :o) I did mask the washer pipe outlet and screen
edge first!

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aixam template page Page 9 of 11

Refitting the motor wasn't too hard. there are sealing rubbers over all three holes. I put some steel
washers under the two screw holes to spread the load a little as well. The motor and gearbox got a coat
of Waxoyl. I tend to put this on any corrodable metal parts when I refit them.

An M6 stainless hex set screw replaced the naff roof bolt:

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aixam template page Page 10 of 11

Now that's better! The repair has held for the last few weeks at least. Any further repairs or problems
will find their way here in due course.

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aixam template page Page 11 of 11



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_scuttle.htm 23/01/2010
aixam speedometer page Page 1 of 10

Speedometer strip-down
Another job I've been meaning to do. The speedometer didn't like the cold! In warmer weather or after
the interior had warmed up a bit, no problem. The speedo had been reluctant to climb off zero otherwise.
Now the trip and odometer worked fine, so the cable was still rotating the instrument properly. I
suspected oil or grease inside, from the cable, thickening up with low temperature.

While I had the dash off for wiring repairs, I disconnected the instrument pod (easy) and demounted it.
There were just two screws, the speedo cable and the four multi-way connectors to the back edge. The
connectors have a simple plastic clip to push off the back and then they pull off.

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aixam speedometer page Page 4 of 10

Note above, the stain around the two grommets, which again made me think the problem was going to
be an oily cleanup to do.

Here's how it came apart:

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Getting the actual speedo bit out was easy, just a couple of screws. The clock face had to come off so
did the needle. I was concerned about getting the needle back in the same place. If I just pulled it off, the
return spring would wind back past the bottom stop to who knows where? So. I lifted the needle
carefully over the stop. It could then show me where ;o) It came to rest further down the dial and I
marked the spot with a small pen mark. The needle then could be pulled off and the face removed;
another pair of screws.

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aixam speedometer page Page 7 of 10

I made a careful note of the digit positions and put the bits down in a line with "which bit faced where"
preserved. The number wheels and little gears stayed on their shafts! I also took these photos to help me
reassemble the thing later.

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aixam speedometer page Page 8 of 10

So it wasn't oil contamination after all! The stains on the rear of the pod would have been from the black
rubber. The brake cleaner spray I used to clean the assembly actually chilled it and demonstrated the
problem rather well. Dismantling this part was scary. It was riveted shut using alloy stubs, part of the
main casting. There was no way to pull it apart without drilling these off. Oh Boy was I careful...

Pressing down the top of the can gave the needle shaft a touch of end float which it did not have before.
Next out came the careful drill again, and made a screw hole through the casting. There was a handy
dent in the back of the casting to start my operation off. I tightened the screws and made sure the needle
was still free, then undid them, applied threadlock compound and refitted the nuts..

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The famous "reverse of the above" then followed. Getting the wheels and tumblers back in line took a
couple of tries though..

One useful thing I found out, was how the bulbs are fitted. They are tiny wedge type and could likely be
replaced via the steering column access panel under the wheel.

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aixam speedometer page Page 10 of 10

As an aside - new camera last January :o) it has a good close-up feature.

JUST after I put all of this back in its proper place, the weather turned much colder, a chilly 10 degC
drop. No sign of sticking yet



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/aixam_speedometer.htm 23/01/2010
Changing the drive belt Page 1 of 5

Changing a steering rack gaiter

Gaiters split over time and wear. One of mine, the offside, split very early on and was swapped by the
dealer. While poking under the bonnet for the drive belt change, and the MOT test imminent, I checked
the drive shaft rubbers and steering rack. Turn the steering to stretch the gaiters. This one didn't look
damaged until you look close:

With the steering on right lock though, that little mark becomes:

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Changing the drive belt Page 2 of 5

Ok, I needed a gaiter quick and it is already Saturday afternoon. I check with a local motor spacialist and
they have a "universal" one which looks about right. It's a type with stepped ends, you cut the ends off
until you come to a big enough hole. The one I got (£9 a pair) had a cunning funnel shaped tube to put
over the track rod end so the gaiter could be pulled over the whole lot. Since I was using the smallest
end hole I didn't fancy the huge stretch involved, and elected to unscrew the end instead. I got a shock
when I found the locking nut only finger tight ! I moved the nut exactly 2 full turns so I could find the
adjustment again later and started to undo the rod. Fortunately a little corrosion inside the rod had been
keeping the screw threads from moving. It turns freely at the rack end on its ball joint.

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Changing the drive belt Page 3 of 5

It made unscrewing it tedious though, as easing oil was going the "wrong way" always uselessly away
from the inside threads. I used an adjustable spanner on the hexagonal (crimped?) section at the other

As you can see the rack end was clean and unmarked, obviously the rubber can't have been split much or
for long.

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Changing the drive belt Page 4 of 5

The parts are a bit rough and rusty, so I cleaned up the threads and rod with a wire brush, keeping the
muck off the rack end. Pulling the gaiter over a dirty rod would scratch the rubber and likely put all the
rust and dust inside just where it must not be.

A dab of copper grease on the cleaned threads, and a light wipe of bearing grease on the rod and the ball

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Changing the drive belt Page 5 of 5

joint, and the rubber slid on easily enough. The rod was screwed back onto the track rod end, using the
nut position as a marker. Secure gaiter with the supplied cable ties.

I will be keeping an eye on this non standard part you can be sure, it can touch the anti-roll bar (just),
and is of unknown quality though it feels stretchy and the moulding looks tidy. The originals don't seem
to last long.



http://homepages.enterprise.net/jayjay/steering_gaiter.htm 23/01/2010
Engine model Z442 (E), Z482 (E)

valve Inlet Exhaust

Piston 1 at top Cylinder 1 O O
compression Cylinder 2 O
Piston 1 at top Cylinder 1
overlap Cylinder 2 O

Note cylinder 1 at radiator end.

Clearances cold 5.7 to 7.3 thou, 0.145 to 0.185 mm

Wipers Page 1 of 3

Here's the first thing I've done which might be useful; wiper blades. I replace mine every year, try it if
you don't, if you have got used to smeary half-cleaning wipers the difference will surprise you. I
chugged on down to Halfords as usual, measured the front wiper (22.5 inches long, and the hook on the
end of the arm about 9mm inside the gap) and browsed the wipers. There is plenty of unwiped glass
around the swept screen area, so I picked out a Bosch 23 inch, no spoiler fitted, price10 pounds 99. It
comes with an adapter already fitted at the centre, allegedly suitable for 9mm hook. I bought after
unsealing the box to look at the fitting. I've used Bosch before, always to good result.

To fit or remove the blade, the windscreen washer jet which rides on the wiper arm needs unclipping, a
simple job just be careful not to strain the plastic and note it has a hole which lines up on a pip on the
arm. It was a simple matter to unhook the old wiper, check it against the new (both were 22.5 inches!
I've been cheated of half an inch..) and hook the new one in, perfect fit :o) But wait, after refitting the
washer jet, the new wiper frame touches the washer jet mount, preventing the outer end of the wiper
from sitting on the glass. Not to worry, looks simple to fettle and I took it home.

A very quick few strokes of the file, shown above, gives clearance for the washer jet, see below:

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Wipers Page 2 of 3

A dab of black enamel paint and the blade is refitted.

NOTE I did have to file a bit more out than the picture shows, as the wiper pivots on the arm a bit more
at the top of the screen.

I haven't checked the other wiper available there, Halfords own brand, for fit, nor tried to match up a
wiper refill rubber - if you do, then let me know the result and we can all benefit. It could be a while
until I'm back at the shop. Who knows, it may fit better?

Of further interest, the wiper sat at a very bad angle to the screen, the upstroke digging into the glass at a
steep and juddery 25 degrees estimated. It should sit square to the glass so that it trails the rubber
equally wiping in both directions. Adjustment is by twisting the wiper arm, not the blade. I use a pair of
adjustable spanners, both adjusted down to a thin slot to fit the arm. Use one near the base of the arm so
that you don't strain the wiper mounting, and twist the end of the arm near the blade using the other
spanner. It will need quite a brutal twist as it tends to spring back to its former shape.Check the new
angle on the screen by eyeing it up from the passenger side. It is this bad angling which causes the
juddery wiping which you've all seen at one time or another. You know, when instead of going swish -
swish - swish, it goes "swish - SQUAWK - swish - SQUAWK"!

I also discovered the washer pipe which had been flapping disgracefully in the breeze had a clip on it to
attach to the wiper arm. Reclipped it in what seems to be the right place on the front of the arm about
half way up. If it comes off, some (black) cable ties will be applied.

The tailgate wiper started to split, so I replaced the rubber. The rubber replacement kits in the shop
looked a complex plastic strip thing, so I spent a fiver on an 11 inch wiper blade, uncrimped the blade

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Wipers Page 3 of 3

holder at the end and slid the rubber out - fitted perfectly.



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Wiring loom incident Page 1 of 19

Wiring loom incident

I was driving home from town, and as I turned a roundabout, smoke started to come up around the
steering wheel! It was unmistakably electrical, and nowhere to stop. I cancelled the indicators in case
they were the source, came out of the roundabout and swerved onto the verge to park. The smoke had
stopped, and I dropped the steering access panel off to look. A wire had melted badly to one of the
ignition switch connectors so I unplugged it. As far as I could see this was the one which had shorted to
earth somewhere on or near the steering. The only thing not working was the radio, and I (nervously)
carried on home, ready to shut her down and bail out if need be.

Ah well, I had intended looking at the speedo, which got erratic in the cold, and the demist system
which was pretty feeble, very little air coming up. I took out the glove box, radio and steering column (5
screws and the stalk plugs) and then the two dash screws near the door hinges. I had to pull out the dash
bottom near the driver's lower door hinge as it wouldn't lift over the instruments otherwise. It has a slot
in the edge just popped over a bobbin on the door pillar. Pull towards the rear of the car. I couldn't get
the dash totally out as the bonnet release seems permanently crimped to the cable and I didn't fancy
unthreading it all. If you DO disconnect it, make sure you disable the bonnet catch or there is no way to
open the bonnet again....

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Some cables will need disconnecting as the dash comes away, mine were things like heater controls,
door switches and the little switch panel for the foglights, demist and the alarm LED. The dash was also
glued centre top with what looked like half a bottle of superglue which had dribbled down the heater
casing as well. I put my hand in the radio slot and was able to prise this off without damage to the

Here is what I found in the loom:

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I couldn't find the other end of this wire, so started dismembering the loom and unwrapped the black

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There was a momentary panic as I pulled on the wiring and started off another smoke incident When
my barbecued fingers had cooled I took the hint and disconnected the battery, which of course I should
have done hours ago - DOH!

Anyway, I soon found the red wires are unfused at this point, and most go to a single thick wire straight
to the battery. Inside the loom. Which is why I couldn't find the other end. The only badly damaged
wires looked to be the original red one, plus a short section of black 0v ground wire. The black wires do
the same splitting trick inside the loom.

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Wiring loom incident Page 10 of 19

I did the same with the damaged red wire, which was much longer, and the frayed bit of the radio wire. I
also put an inline fuse at that end for the radio feed!

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When it came to securing the loom again, I didn't like what it was resting against:

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This completed the loom repair, though I did spend time on other jobs, like this little one -

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Plus the demist mystery and the shaky speedometer, but they are another story, and another page.

The loom repair was successful, everything works, no smoke



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