HiveMotors 2nd Anniversary: Performing A Major Service On My Own Vehicle Because Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Well Hello There Fellow Technicians And Hivers
Before I start off with this lengthy post I want to thank everyone in the #hivemotors community for the continuous support that they have given me over the last six months! Now I might not have been here from the very start of the community and I wish that I was! I wrote my first post on cars a while back and I didn't post it in the #hivemotors community because I had no clue it even existed but I was pointed in the right directions by @erikah and greeted with open arms by many in the community the warmest of welcomes was given by @jesustiano and he sure made me feel at home! BTW I miss you in the community bud! Hope to see you back soon!
The time has come for my Ford Focus to get a proper service! It's well overdue and with that I would like to share how I have learned and adjusted my way of doing things even if it meant putting in a little more effort in by unbolting a few extra bolts here and there along with why prevention is better than cure
There are two things that are in dire need of attention and that is the brakes and the rear main seal also known as the rear crank seal. While I am at it I decided to do a full service as well since I bought the car and it's not been serviced since I got the car. With that said it does have a perfect service history and the kilometer clock is at 77k Km driven and according to Ford's service history it has already gotten it's 80k km service.
I am merely doing this because then I know for a fact everything is in a great condition.
In the photo below you can see a whole bunch of parts still boxed up, let's do a run through of what I have got.
- Air filter
- Fuel filter
- Oil filter
- Cabin filter
- Spark plugs (which almost costs me an arm and a leg.)
- Brakes (Both front and back)
- Read crank main seal
- Both V-belts (The main V-belt and the Aircon V-belt, note that they are not in the picture.)
All of this has to be fitted before my soul would be at peace.
Before setting off on this expedition which would most like take me all day to finish, yes it would probably and in fact I wasn't done that day. It was a Saturday and I wasn't feeling like working the whole day. You see a service is suppose to be a quick thing and yeah it is but with the rear main seal that needs replacing I would need to remove the transmission and these do have some hectic work to remove that puppy!
I decided to start with the hardest work first! So let's start pulling that transmission out and then easing out with the lighter work at the end.
Popping the hood you are left with covers upon covers, I kind of like the look but you see it's all for beauty as it should be. Regarding proper cooling I don't think most of it is really good for heat to escape, so I think I 'll be leaving the covers off until I decide to sell the vehicle in time.
See I told you all there for beauty. But dayum this engine is in need of a proper power wash when I am done with the major service!
The problem is that I have to drive across a stretch of dirt road when going home, not too long but when the rain is pouring the dirt becomes mud!
You can see I removed most of the stuff already, things such as the battery box and air-box but there are still so many things that need removal. It's never the big things that are hard to remove it's those pesky little bolts.
Most of the small pesky stuff is removed by now, but here you can see that there is a cluster of wires and pipes that you have to work around and this is where patience comes in big play, don't pull and tug at the cords to get the tools in, you might end up causing a lot more damage than you realize.
Now what I fancy about this transmission is the fact that you don't have to remove the wiring harness on the transmission self you can unplug it and remove it with the transmission.
Of course the car needs to be jacked up and the wheels removed with both cv's as well.
Yeah I know most people never remove the right hand cv joint, as for myself I prefer to and even more so since I am working on my own vehicle I don't prefer to let them hang and be squeezed in between crannys and crooks when removing the transmission.
I would say that I add a little bit more effort when tearing down vehicles.
Well I have removed most of everything that I needed to at the top side, so now I can revert to the underside.
Dayum can you see how clean that transmission is, well the main reason for that is I bought the car from a client who was fed up after spending tons of money with a problem not yet fixed he even bought a new computer with two new keys for the vehicle.
It turned out that the programming on the computer was wrong and we've told him that we think the problem was programming, you see what Ford does when they install a new computer is they pull all the data from the old one and clone it onto the new computer so what ever programming problem it had was copied over to the new computer, what I've learned from this is that not everything on newer vehicles are always a mechanical problem it can more than often be an electrical problem, so it's best to keep your mind open and start thinking outside of the box.
This is why I have to replace the rear main seal. We installed a new one before we fitted the transmission back in, but it was a after market seal and after a week it started pissing out oil again, we then ordered a new aftermarket seal and installed that one... low and behold after two maybe three weeks that one too started pissing out oil.
Now this is where I learned a very hard lesson and that is that genuine parts may be slightly more expensive than after market parts but they last a hell of a lot longer. I know most people don't always have the funds to be able to fit genuine parts but consider hitting the foot another month longer in order to enjoy the pleasure of driving around for perhaps a year or two longer.
But I know life is a lot more complicated than that.
See all that oil? Not good, NOT GOOD. Okay well that was still the aftermarket seal. After this service I installed the genuine part, and for about two or three weeks it still leaked oil BUT it stopped leaking as it imbedded it self more and more.
The trick with rear main seals are that you have to let them bed first. So if you ever have to change a seal and it still leaks after you've fitted the new one, try giving it some time to set into the crank, before you go ahead and pull out the transmission again to fit a new seal. You might end up going mad because it might still leak... Keep in mind that this is not the case for all vehicles I have found that I replaced a crank seal and it didn't leak another drop. It's a tricky situation for sure.
Just my two cents around crank seals!
You see it's still a colossal mess of shit dangling in the way. At-least with the transmission going out I can clean up a lot of things while it's removed!
Mission partially successfull with the transmission removed I am almost halfway with the work!
Notice all the oil in the bell housing of the transmission, I am super glad it didn't start spilling into the clutch. If so I'd have had one big repair bill as these clutches are NOT cheap!
Again prevention is better than cure.
We've gotten this far we can't give up now! So first the flex plate needs removal!
You see what a hassle it can be just to change one little seal one the motor, well I'm probably over exaggerating a little bit, it's definitely a big seal but still you have to tear down half of the vehicle to replace it. Oh boy and do it wrong then you have to pull it all apart again!
When you get a leak that oil spills in everywhere! Every crook every cranny would be filled with an oily mess. There for cleaning up properly is a big MUST in my books, It's very unpleasant but it has to be done.
Now I know it doesn't look like much of a leak but when it gets hot it leaks out more. See the oil leak can be lived with but the fact that I drive a dusty road and believe me dust does tend to get in everywhere and with oil dust can create a grinding paste and before you know it, it would be grinding away at your crank. Then you'll be in for one hell of a repair job. Of course this wont happen overnight but eventually over time if it's left it can cause major damage and if that's not enough, the clutch is very close to that mess of a grime and with a clutch that costs more than 2k US dollars I don't think that it's something anyone wants to leave.
Just a image of where the seal is removed.
I'm glad I took this photo. I'm a firm believer in buying original parts, mainly because I have learned my lesson over and over and over.
On the left hand side is the original and genuine Ford seal on the right hand is the pirate aftermarket seal.
It's obvious that the difference is MAJOR!
And therefore I believe in buying genuine parts... Are you with me now??
Ahhhhh the feels is amazing! This puppy is ready to be built up again!
I'm going to skip the service part for this post. Although I do think I added the service photos in a different folder so I'll be writing a post on just that later on. (Given if I can find the photos.)
Let me tell you it's a different kind of satisfaction to fix your own stuff and slap it all together again and have it driving like a dream! Especially if the oil leaks has stopped. (Well it was leaking for about a week maybe two weeks after that still but very very little and over the time it started bedding in nicely and eventually stopped.)