That time of year again

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  1. Yes, it was MoT fun time again today. Failed on 2 points – O/S CV boot had come adrift (sorted with large cable tie) and play in O/S lower ball joint. Which was strange, as the previous owner had renewed them less than 700 miles ago, according to his OCD log. (By the way, OCD should be called CDO, alphabetical, like it ought to be).

    Anyway, when I looked tonight the play was not in the joint itself, but there was a gap of about 1mm between the spring washer and the lower surface of the bottom arm. And the play was the joint pin moving up and down in the arm. I started to tighten it up, and realised it was bloody tight anyway. So I took the nut off – eventually, as the pin was determined to keep rotating, and I had to resort to one of those eccentric stud extractor things to hold the pin while I freed it.

    Examination then revealed a shoulder on the pin, which was obviously small enough to pass through the hole in the bottom arm, but too large to allow the spring washer to pass over it. So the washer was jammed, and all the tightening in the world would not have got the nut anywhere near the bottom arm. New washer, next size up, tighten the nut and all is fine and free-play-less.

    Iâ€'ve never come across this before, and thought it worth passing on. Is it fair to blame the sloppy manufacture of parts these days?

    Also had a first for me, on any car – a ***DANGEROUS*** (sic) advisory – the main cable to the starter solenoid has lost its insulation, and shorted on the exhaust while the tester was rocking it. Wondered whether that ought not to be a fail too? Certainly it is something I will see to.

    Colin.

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