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Hello, I would really really appreciate some help with this, I'm a 25 year old woman with very basic mechanical knowledge, generally pretty assertive but feel like I have been screwed over by a garage, I'll outline the background, sorry it's a bit lengthy:

Ok so I've got a vw t4 1.9td in mint condition- my pride and joy, camper conversion, full respray the works. The engine failed in october and I bought a second hand re con engine from a t4 specialist website and sent it all to a local garage for them to fit it.

They fitted it, engine was sweet, all good till the fuel pump starts leaking so they swap the pump for the one that was on my last engine. Then it all goes to pot. It wouldn't start, there was loads of white smoke, no power, and it felt and sounded like a bag of nails and the accelerator pedal vibrated a lot. So I take it back and tell them to sort the problems out they say the timing needs adjusting so they do it and it's still obviously not right.

Ok so this goes on for months, back and forth, until they tell me firmly (felt a bit intimidated as they clearly didn't like me challenging them) that every thing is perfect and there is no problem with the van at all, the timing 'is to the book' and I have just bought a noisy engine (except it was quiet till the fuel pump was changed). I felt that this was them telling me to stop pursuing it. Then 8 days later with no warning the engine seizes solid.

So not wanting to jump to conclusions I get an independent garage to come and diagnose it. They were alarmed to find that the oil pressure sensor and temperature gauge sensor were disconnected and left dangling in the engine bay, meaning no warning lights could have come on to alert me to a problem.

So I've been taking advice from the citizens advice bureau and have written to them out lining the issues and (as advised) asking for the cost of the engine, and the cost of their labor to be refunded to me (£1500). They have responded to my letter saying that they had taken the fuel pump to a local centre to get the timing set up prior to fitting it. They also said that they would have had to have the sensors connected to do the DTI timing on the vans last visit to them. I've spoken to a amateur mechanic who says that that doesn't sound right at all and the timing is set as a whole system once the pump is in the van. They also didn't seem to know what they meant by DTI timing being set and it's relation to the sensors.

I am stuck as I feel like I've been fobbed off a few times by them and I don't want to blindly except what they're telling me as I don't believe them to be trustworthy (I've since heard a few stories in which they don't come out in the best light)

Could anyone explain briefly the process in which a fuel pump is fitted and what performing the DTI timing is? Also what a loom connecter is, they mention this in the letter too but I've not got a clue.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I've ploughed all me earnings and time into this van over the last 2 years and now am totally stuck. Thank you
 

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Just adding something else you may be able to do about the garage, get Trading Standards involved. I am sure someone will be on to help with mechanical advice soon. hope you get a good outcome, don't let them beat you it sounds like they haven't got a clue what they are doing. :ILU:
 

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Also what a loom connecter is, they mention this in the letter too but I've not got a clue.
Hi.

Sorry I cannot help with regards to the mechanical questions, but here's some help with the electrical question :-

A loom connector (or harness connector) is the "plastic block" or "earth point" that is connected to the end of an electrical wire.
In the attached picture you can see a BLUE, YELLOW, RED, GREY connector. The connectors attach to an electrical component or another connector. They come in many colours shapes and sizes.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, citizens advice have said that the next stage is trading standards but to write another letter first.

Thanks for the loom help, not sure why they put this in the letter though, perhaps to blind me with jargon...

cheers
 

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Hi.

The reason they talk about loom connectors in their letter is due to the fact the you mentioned the below statement ;-
They were alarmed to find that the oil pressure sensor and temperature gauge sensor were disconnected and left dangling in the engine bay These would be the connectors in question - that have in your words - not been connected.

.
 

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The 1.9TD is timed manually - a timing mark on the flywheel, a locking bar/tool in the cam shaft and a locking pin in the fuel pump. It is all done manually...

Don't hold me on this, but I thought the temp and oil sensors would only need to be present for timing on a TDi engine. This is because those engines require computerised timing adjustments which have to be done at running temp.
 

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I'll have a word with my local vw dealers. The master tech and service manager are van enthusiasts and are bob on tbh. And see if they can help explain.
 

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Could anyone explain briefly the process in which a fuel pump is fitted and what performing the DTI timing is?
A DTI is a measuring device (Dial Test Indicator or dial gauge), it is inserted into the end of the fuel pump and used to measure the rotation of the rotor in the pump. This is how timing is set on older engines that dont have an ecu controlled pump (like the 1.9td). A DTI looks like this http://www.conrad-uk.com/ce/en/product/821008

Its quite a specialist job setting timing with a dti, so Im no expert, but Im fairly sure it has to be done once the pump is on the engine and the engine is running. There would be no need to have the gauges working to set the timing thou.
 

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hi
sounds like your pump problem has diluted the oil
(possible as over fueling by the pump and getting past the piston rings and dropping into were oil is kept)
if you have to go trading standards you might have to get a oil sample and send it away for contamination check
this would confirm that the pump was either defective or not set correct the latter being the case
reason say that is because of the white smoke you mentioned
you could have to be sure the pump was ok when you give it to them, as they may just say"it must have been faulty when you give it to them"
you are in a grey area with local garages as they dont have the backing as dealerships do,so they will try to get out of it because of the cost of repair
sorry to say but in this day and age there is still the attitude when a lady brings a vehicle to a garage hat does she know
which is were you are at now
i work for m-benz ask technician will have to ask were you stand with this situation
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all this, feeling more informed. Think tomorrow I will phone citizens advice again and maybe my local vw garage and see if they can help too...
 

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I feel your pain and sorry your going though this but as the wires were disconnected sure the oil light and temp gauge were not working you would have noticed this weeks ago
 

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You mention their response as saying they "sent the pump away to a local centre to get the timing done prior to fitting"

I'm not a mechanic, but the pump timing is regulated by the camblet, which is fitted to the engine. In basic terms, the cambelt turns the valves and the fuel pump so that fuel is provided and valves opened when the engine is in the optimum position to receive the fuel. Poor timing will result in poor performance or worse. I know this from experience having had a catalytic converter blocked with unburnt diesel through poor timing which caused a breakdown after a couple of miles.

I might be wrong, but I'm sure it's impossible to do the pump timing without the pump being connected to the engine. If they have put this answer in writing, I would question it.

All the best, Al.
 

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I'm pretty unknowledgeable about mechanical stuff but don't get how a pump can be sent away to get the timing fixed independently of the rest of the engine?? How are you getting on with this?
 

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I had a 1.9 lock on me last summer.....it turned out to be the lock bolt for the vaccum had come loose! This resulted in the vac pump not turning thus not turning the oil pump! Get someone to check this, its only a 2 second job and could give you more answers :)
 

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I feel your pain, nowadays i only expect that a job will be done to 60-80% of being right, it avoids being dissapointed, Ive found this out the hard way a few time, it ducking sucks and really i should kick up more of a fuss but generally i jsut go yeah cheers!..and then never go back to them, having said that the mechanic i use ive been using for about 5 - 6yrs and has been generally cheap and cheerful, last time he fitted me a new fuel tank on my mk2 polo but didnt bother putting the rubber back arround the cap so i had to do it, but he only charged me £100 which is no to bad. Hope you get sorted out and dont let up on the swines!, nice to her of a girl who spends money on modding a van too ;)
 

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A DTI is a measuring device (Dial Test Indicator or dial gauge), it is inserted into the end of the fuel pump and used to measure the rotation of the rotor in the pump. This is how timing is set on older engines that dont have an ecu controlled pump (like the 1.9td). A DTI looks like this http://www.conrad-uk.com/ce/en/product/821008

Its quite a specialist job setting timing with a dti, so Im no expert, but Im fairly sure it has to be done once the pump is on the engine and the engine is running. There would be no need to have the gauges working to set the timing thou.
Spot on, timing is done using a DTI and is done with the pump on the engine. It is set with the engine not running and involves setting the engine to TDC then rotating the pump to get the correct reading on the DTI then locking it in place by tightening the bolts.

They have responded to my letter saying that they had taken the fuel pump to a local centre to get the timing set up prior to fitting it. They also said that they would have had to have the sensors connected to do the DTI timing on the vans last visit to them. I've spoken to a amateur mechanic who says that that doesn't sound right at all and the timing is set as a whole system once the pump is in the van. They also didn't seem to know what they meant by DTI timing being set and it's relation to the sensors.
This doesn't make sense, I am a mechanic and have changed and timed up 1.9 TD pumps no problem, it isn't that hard so for a mechanic so I wonder if there was a problem with the pump prior to fitting - sometimes the insides of the pumps can dry up if left disconnected from the engine too long. The sensors make no difference at all aside from the timing must be done with the engine cold but you don't need the sensor to tell you that!


With regard to the temperature sensor and oil sensor did you not notice that the temp gauge and oil light were not working?

As someone who's family have owned a garage for 40 years I think you may struggle to get anything back as all the parts have been supplied by you and have all been second hand so you have no way of verifying the condition of the parts they fitted, they will most probably say they did everything by the book and the fuel pump must have been faulty.
 
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