Frank Oz: Part one

The ‘Massey down under’ adventures continue in 2020, as Frank gets to grip with all the technical challenges Australia can throw at him

By Frank Massey |

Published:  11 June, 2020

If my topics are measured by the readers on variety and technical content, then this month’s offering should not disappoint. As I am writing, I am gazing out from my hotel lobby in central Sydney, yes, the one with the bridge and opera house. This is my second annual tour delivering a series of technical diagnostic subjects to the members of the Australian Aftermarket Service Dealer Network (AASDN). The ASSDN was formed by former members of the Bosch Australian Aftermarket Dealer Network (BASDN), which had dissolved.

ASSDN Membership provides a range of benefits including training, preferential insurance rates, as well as group buying incentives with monthly settlement. This tour, taking place over 32 days started with my arrival in Sydney via Etihad from Manchester. My first adventure consisted of three days VIP entry at the Bathurst 12-hour world series.  Bentley came first with McLaren second. The Germans came in later.

I was then in the hands of my friends at Queanbean Diesel Services. Ros and Derek became friends last year as one of my training venues. Not ignoring the fact that the city was surrounded by wildfires, I enjoyed two days with some hands-on workshop time.

Workshop tasks
Task 1: 4 cyl diesel, no combustion no4, presented with, an exchange engine, and new injectors fitted. A quick current ramp check on all the injector circuits confirmed no current on no4 cyl. Continuity from PCM to injector good, no path to ground, and no short across both circuits. Looks like PCM, but there is no time to consolidate the results.

Task 2: VW Passat 2.0 edc17; Lots of money spent elsewhere, flat performance until 2,000 RPMs then off like a wombat going for lunch. A short test drive with VCDs confirmed that request and actual turbo boost are out of sync. No obvious boost leaks, vane actuator motion looks ok. Diaphragm good. Recommended detachment of actuator rod in order to check free movement of the vane control ring. Suspect turbo a problem. This has just been confirmed.

Task 3: Common rail diesel commercial vehicle, intermittent no start. Test conducted at the rail pressure sensor. It showed no voltage increase when cranking, suggested check priming system, however the hand lift pump did suggest fuel was present. Advised check Drv actuation value for 18%-25%, then look for internal leaks and possible debris contamination in rail.  This was also confirmed a week later, the vehicle had previously been cleared of debris in the tank, further debris was present in the Drv. Now running ok with new actuator. I very much suspect it’s not all been irradiated.

That was a good warm up for my trip back to Sydney and the first event at BWA. Bob Whyms is Mr Porsche in Australia. He comes from my generation, Bosch D Jetronic, KE, K, and all that early fab stuff. He has a superbly equipped shop, full of all sorts; Dyno services, machine shop, Carbon Zapp, diesel and gasoline test bench facilities and much more. The event hosted over 30 of Australia’s leading diagnostic techs and shop owners. Subjects included ignition systems, as well as commonrail diesel and direct gasoline injection. The guys really responded to the Euro 6 emission presentation, and were fascinated by test opportunities using NVH and WPS, especially when demonstrating combustion imbalance using NVH. Torrential rain over four days complimented the event as it did last year. I am now officially ‘The Rainmaker’, move over Matt Damon!

Two final days in Sydney were spent with Mike and Bryce, two shop owners with incredibly different approaches I also had the great pleasure of a private luxury cruise around Sydney harbour, beer and canapés courtesy of Mike, owner of a local garage called 313 Automotive. His business sports a fantastic split-level immaculate workshop. There are cars and lifts at ground level with full engineering services below ground. I didn’t think I would ever meet anyone with my level of passion for a clean shop. I was delighted to be proved wrong!

The second visit, at Rincap Automotive, was of very special interest to me as my opinions on DPF service and recovery have become focused around the need for a precise factory-controlled process. Bryce and his namesake father Frank have been DPF recovery pioneers in Australia with the application of ultrasonic recovery for blocked DPF, charge coolers, and intake systems.
They have just moved into a magnificent new-build shop with the upper floor dedicated to various state of the art ultrasonic processes, with a fully equipped training room providing techs with the systems and skills training essential for durable DPF recovery.
With a two-day free period, I just couldn’t miss a walkabout in Sydney. I also needed a few bits and bobs for the next training venue. We were struggling to connect Sydney with Melbourne, so it was agreed that, although not ideal, we would hold the next AASDN event on a cruise liner four days outbound for Melbourne via Hobart Tasmania. I have struggled over a few venues in my career, so the first-class dining room was something different. I didn’t make a meal of the presentation with subjects from NVH to WPS, Euro 6 proving more than a mouthful.  


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