1995 Symphony advise

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1995 Symphony advise

Post by Matt Lewis on Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:19 pm

Hi all,
 
I’m hopeful that some of you experiences Autosleeper owners can help me make a decision.
We have a 1995 Boxer Auto Sleeper based on a 2.0L petrol Peugeot Boxer It has 62k mile on and it runs LPG and has been a great van for the last few years. It's in reasonable condition apart from a few issues. The main bodywork one being where the roof meets the body at the front.

 
Last summer whilst at the furthest point from home we’ve ever ventured we realised that we we were getting mayonnaise in the oil and using a lot of coolant (also steam from exhaust) so we were sure the head gasket has failed, but we made it home
 
The van has been stood over the winter and a long-term rust problem (see pic) got significantly worse and has rusted through.
 
There’s a few other things that need doing, mainly both batteries are weak & the rear break adjusters need replacing.
 
Lastly our boy is now 4yrs old and sharing the two berth bed is not something we think will work anymore.
 
I’m looking for information & opinions on the best future for our van, please could any of you help me with the following:
 
-          Does anyone know how I find where the water is getting in to the roof section ?
-          What will be the longer term effect of the rusting ? i.e. will it cause an MOT failure or structural problems ?
-          Does anyone have experience of head gasket changes on these models ? wondering what the estimated cost will be ?
-          Is it easy to do the 2 to 3 birth conversion on these ? Does anyone have any knowledge on doing this ?
 
and the big question: Is it worth putting the money and effort to get this van back working again either to sell or continue to use or should we try and sell as a non-runner and start looking for something new.
 
I really appreciate any input here as I have absolutely no idea which way to go

Thanks
Matt


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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by -mojo- on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:01 pm

It's always sad to see a van that (from the photos) is near immaculate inside but with bodywork issues. I think it's worth saying what you probably already suspect - with serious corrosion in that area, the only proper long-term solution is to take the roof off and replace the corroded section. From the way the paint has flaked it looks likely that the corrosion has been covered over at least once before, rather than being tackled properly.

The parts probably would not be expensive, as there are lots of shunted white vans about that would donate a roof section at very little cost. But the labour cost is likely to be very high - probably exceeding the van's worth unless you DIY or can get mates rates somewhere.

Combined with the cost of a head gasket replacement I'm not sure it's viable to fix economically - though be aware that on some vehicles, water pump failure can produce mayo and coolant loss which can closely resemble head gasket failure - and that should not be too costly a problem to fix.

If you do decide to sell "as is" you will obviously get little for it. It will probably be bought within the trade, bodged over and end up as someone else's problem in a year or two's time - not that that should be any significant factor in your decision whether to sell or keep/fix!
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by busby65 on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:22 pm

Don't think you need a new roof as its plastic..The water is getting into the screen surround where the plastic roof joins the screen. You would need the screen removing and a decent welder could fabricate the surround and the seam between cab and roof would need resealing..Would not think it would be that expensive to have head skimmed and new casket fitted. Think you could still have a good van there with years left in it..Good luck..BUSBY65.
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by boxerman on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:33 pm

'Fraid I can't be of much help, what Mojo has said makes sense. If you know a decent welder and are prepared to do some of the work yourself, then it will be viable to repair.

I had some rust starting where yours is - but nowhere near as bad. Die grinder, Jenolite etc..seems to have cured it. I think the problem was caused by the gutter drainage holes over the windscreen being blocked with leaves.

I replaced the cylinder head gasket myself, so couldn't give you any clue as to what it would cost to have it done professionally. It went in Shetland BTW, but got us home OK.

How do you know that the brake adjusters need replacing? they are not something that wears out, mine's a '95 and still on the same adjusters - its had a couple of shoe changes though.

The overhead locker should not be too difficult to remove, then you need to made some bed-boards - play it by ear.

Basically, it boils down to how much of the work you can do yourself or get done at mates rates.

Frank

PS did you used to have a Trafic?
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Matt Lewis on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:09 pm

Thanks all for the responses:

I will look into the water pump issue and see if I can do a compression test to  confirm it is/isn't the head gasket but there's a huge amount of what I assume to be steam coming out of the exhaust which I don't think you would see if it was the water pump ?

Frank, the rear brakes don't stay adjusted. Basically at each MOT I've had to have the rear brakes adjusted manually to bring the handbrake into an acceptable amount of clicks and to remove a load of play in the footbrake pedal. Over a few drives it works it's way back to where it was before.
No this is our first van Frank so not had a Traffic

thanks
Matt
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by -mojo- on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:51 pm

Matt Lewis wrote:the rear brakes don't stay adjusted.

I guess worn-out parts are possible, but in my experience it's more common to find that some previous "expert" has reassembled the self-adjuster with the parts in the wrong places! But it's not then easy to figure out how they ~should~ go together...
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by boxerman on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:52 pm

\"-mojo- wrote:
I guess worn-out parts are possible, but in my experience it's more common to find that some previous "expert" has reassembled the self-adjuster with the parts in the wrong places! But it's not then easy to figure out how they ~should~ go together...

Apologies for the muck, photo taken before work commeced:


The bit that does the adjusting is the triangularish arm with the spring on the bottom. It has little teeth at the end which engage with the pawl on the cross piece.

[and yes - the shockers were replaced too!]

HTH
Frank
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by boxerman on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:05 pm

Matt Lewis wrote:Thanks all for the responses:

I will look into the water pump issue and see if I can do a compression test to  confirm it is/isn't the head gasket but there's a huge amount of what I assume to be steam coming out of the exhaust which I don't think you would see if it was the water pump ?
I think you are probably right, but if you need to take the head off or check the water pump, either of which which involves removing the cambelt, steering pump belt, alternator belt,bottom pulley & belt covers, plus the fact that they are a right little lovechild to get to, you may as well replace it for what they cost.

Frank, the rear brakes don't stay adjusted. Basically at each MOT I've had to have the rear brakes adjusted manually to bring the handbrake into an acceptable amount of clicks and to remove a load of play in the footbrake pedal. Over a few drives it works it's way back to where it was before.
I've posted a photo in reply to Mojo's reply  smile!

No this is our first van Frank so not had a Traffic

thanks
Matt
Your name rang a bell from when I was RTMR memsec. You don't suppose there are two Matt Lewis's do you? smile!

Frank
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Bill Silvester on Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:18 pm

Hi.

The engine on your van is quite easy to work on, there is plenty of space at the timing end to access the pulleys and belts. much higher off the ground than on most passenger cars, so a job that can be done on the ground with a pair of axle stands. That said, as you have heard already, check for compression and have a leak down test done; much more revealing than straight compression value. 

I have a new head and gasket after failure and overheating. remember to fit new head bolts as well.
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Alf on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:12 am

Matt   You do not say if you have a water leak in the van or water on the cab floor if this was a serious leak I would expect water inside the van or door pillar.  
I would remove the Black Trim that covers the join between the van roof and the New Roof on all the similar vans I have had this is a gutter with a drain hole at the front over the windscreen this drain regularly blocks and then the gutter holds water, It can also fill with organic mater and hold water there are some screws to remove and the bottom of the trim is Siliconed to the van body.

Alf
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Bartfarst on Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:50 pm

Just my usual reminder: AS no longer stock replacement gutter mouldings for these hi-tops. Accordingly, great care is required to remove the existing gutters without damaging them.

In this case I would remove all gutters and then reassess the rot on the A-post to determine whether it is structural. I've certainly never encountered one as bad as this but, as aged and leaky as the hi-top to van interface is, I have always cleaned moss etc from the drain holes.

Bartfarst
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Matt Lewis on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:03 pm

Thanks all for the comments, we do get a few drops of water in the cab but only in bad rain and/or when going around big corners!

The guttering all around this van has been filled with silicon, expanding foam and all sorts. Where it's not there's quite a bit of moss! 

Reall appreciate all the messages, having a couple of busy days so will re-read and decide what to do when I have a bit more time.


Matt
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by fenderbender on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:29 am

Hi Matt
If you are getting water dripping at the front corners inside the van, there's a good chance it's coming from a leak at either the top oval windows or the roof opening, water gets past the old dried out seals runs down the inside of the fibreglass roof along the ridge inside and exits from the front corners around where the sun visors are.
Hope this helps.

Dave
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Matt Lewis on Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks Dave, I'll take a look. Will send you a pic of where it drips from also

Matt
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Handbrake adjustment tip

Post by johndean on Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Hi,
Just a small tip on handbrake adjustment on this model
Make sure the adjuster thread is free also the wheel cylinder moves correctly in the back plate
Then when the handbrake lever starts getting long travel, drive the van backwards while pulling the handbrake on hard and releasing and pulling it on again do this as many times as you can, you will find the handbrake travel becomes less and less, worked many times for me while Peugeot consultant engineer for 30 years. May help somebody.
John Dean ( retired now )
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by SadVanLady on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:53 am

Hi there,
I'm new to the forum but have a similar problem with corrosion on an old van (Duetto 1995) - but ours has gone underneath. Matt, Can you let me know whether you found a welder or are you going to do it yourself? Does anyone know of any welders in Nottingham (who will carefully remove the interior furniture first)? We don't have the skills.
SadVanLady
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Paulmold on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:39 pm

Have a read of this thread, you'll find some good advice in it....

http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t14453-mot-failure-help-opinions-needed

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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by SadVanLady on Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:24 pm

Oh it's painful. Thanks so much for this, I had seen the discussion but couldn't find it again. I'm sure it's worth doing but we had one major lot of welding with body work soon after we bought it and then more a couple of years ago. Those terms suspension mounting are what ours has failed on and our list is a bit longer than that. I thought of removing the interior to a newer van but apparently the cost would be prohibitive. It would be useful to find out if Just chilling is still going.

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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by harry h on Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:56 pm

It goes to prove that wax oil does seem to work and worth applying after repair work. Our MK5 Transit had been wax oiled from new. The front member that corrodes beneath radiator still has original white paint on it. I still spray underside once a year with oil mixture. If you do go ahead and repair it is worth doing.
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by carrie vib on Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:17 pm

We has a similar dilemma although water coming in around our window but no rust showing. Also couldn't get it in 2nd gear plus head gasket went . We paid £900 for head gasket and new water pump £1,400 for recon gear box/clutch - local motorhome service guy said he doesn't do body work but suggested we go to a local window replacing company who he knew had done some bits of welding around the window. They advised us to carefully point a water hose at different sections of the roof and windows first to see where the water was going in by one of us sitting in van and noticing where the hose was when drips came in. That is how we discovered in our case it was the front window - not the join between the plastic top and window. (yours looks like it must be higher up from where your rust is - we just had drips coming inside front window in heavy rain.) They took out our window and found holes and then they filled those and put in a new window. I can't remember how much it was but a lot less than if we had had all the plastic removed etc. We now have no water coming in. We have also had to pay for a section of the sill to be cut away due to rust and found a hole in one of the hoses from the water in fill so that got repaired and then the sill section replaced. We have spent about £5000 in all - we tried to legally fight the garage we got it from as it was described as excellent condition for both engine and body. I will never buy again without paying for a check first. However it would have worked out very expensive legally if we had lost so we gave up and managed to claim the head gasket from the 1 year warranty. Nothing else was covered. We paid a lot higher than if it had been a private sale price due to buying from a garage. (thinking we would get better protection if something went wrong). But even with £5000 (which we could not afford )- we couldn't afford another campervan as this was at the top of our budget plus if we tried to sell we would get very little. so £5000 while making me cry - is less then buying again. We hope its all repaired now (underneath as much rust taken off as poss and wax coated) and that we can now use if for a long time. We love it and have enjoyed it so much. In retrospect we could have got a much newer model for the total outlay but hind sight is a wonderful thing. Lesson learned for the future!
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Matt Lewis on Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:32 pm

thanks all for the messages,

sorry to hear of others having issues with their vans. I guess ours are getting old and need a bit more TLC these days.

I decided our van was part of the family and should be treated with due respect so it's in for the head gasket. 

While it's stood I plan to remove the gutters (carefully) and find the cause of the leak, clean it all out and refit.

I'll take a look at the brakes and consider the advise provided here, thanks all.

The seal that goes on the top of the windscreen is no longer usable and could be part of the problem. Has anyone previously sourced a suitable replacement ?

thanks
Matt
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by boxerman on Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:48 pm

Matt Lewis wrote:
The seal that goes on the top of the windscreen is no longer usable and could be part of the problem. Has anyone previously sourced a suitable replacement ?

thanks
Matt
Try seeing if these people have anything suitable:

http://www.sealsdirect.co.uk/

I believe that they will send samples if you ask nicely.

Frank
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by Bartfarst on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:17 am

Frank, thanks for the link.

Looks interesting, particularly as I also need to change the same seal on my Harmony.

However in thinking about this task, my mind keeps returning to the issue of how one gains access to this area. I don't want to stand on the bonnet, though I could take the bonnet off and construct a platform which locates within the engine compartment. I'm currently favouring building two timber towers either side of the front of the van then spanning them with a platform and working off that.

Anyone got any other ideas?

Bartfarst
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by boxerman on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:04 am

Bartfarst wrote: I'm currently favouring building two timber towers either side of the front of the van then spanning them with a platform and working off that.

Anyone got any other ideas?

Bartfarst
Actually, I've had the same idea, great minds think alike eh! hugegrins
Mine's looking a bit crusty and I can't get a good look at it.

Frank
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Re: 1995 Symphony advise

Post by peugeotboxer on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:17 am

These people have a commercial section (lorries/buses etc) and use tressles to access.
Could be worth a phone call regarding the seals?

PB
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