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Monday, January 28, 2019

Holden Astra Convertible, Roof Repair, Hydraulic Hose repair, Oil Leak and Roof Latches.

The other day I had a phone call from a woman who owned an Astra Convertible, she explained that  her mechanic had told her to call us as we might be able to fix her hydraulic oil leak on her Astra Convertible and get her roof operating again and to also stop the annoying beeping.
I said to her, "let me guess, your oil leak is at the rear left hand side of the vehicle" she said "how did you know that !" I explained that nearly 95% of the failures are on hose supplying oil to the single cylinder that lifts the rear metal hatch that covers and hides the folded roof. 

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Mobile Hose Fixers and Hydraulics Gold Coast have had many inquiries over the last few years about hydraulic oil leaks and repairs on the roof of 2003, 2004, 2005 and early 2006 Holden (Vauxhall) Astra Convertibles.
We have removed, re manufactured and installed many hoses, cleaned out pumps and tanks, have replaced roof control computers and even fixed and or re manufactured the mechanical locks that hook the front of the roof to the top of the windscreen.

Holden Astra Convertible

Updated Feb 2019.
Way back in 2014 when we initially wrote this blog we struggled to find a way to even open the Astra Convertible roof! and internet searches back then were of little help or were out of date, or had been moved, phone calls to a local Holden dealer although somewhat helpful supplied us details for the wrong model. We were very frustrated. 
Eventually we went back to the Astra owner's manual which provides instructions on how to close the roof in the event of a malfunction but it mentions nothing about how to open it !!! 

We thought we will just do the reverse of what the owners manual says and it should open ...... and it did ....almost ....  but with a little perseverance we eventually got it open, identified the damaged hose, removed it from the vehicle's roof cylinder and the pump manifold. We manufactured a new hose,  installed it back into the Astra, topped up the oil tank with "special oil " and reset the hydraulic system.
Holden used to sell complete hydraulic systems for the Astra for several thousand dollars, but now you can bring it to us for a fraction of the cost, we estimate that we would invoice around $300 in labour plus $150 to $200 for each new hose.  The Good news is that now there are more $ savings to be made on repairs, Please read on.

Typical Astra Convertible Roof Hose, there are 10 hoses in each
vehicle, hose Length varies between 1.8 and 3.6 m.

Never force or lever the roof of the windscreen, you will damage some or all of the locking mechanisms which is very expensive to repair and or replace. Contact us (details below) for advice on this issue.  The roof to windscreen locking latches are a combination of electric motor, flexible drive shafts and an elaborate mechanical linkage system, See more pictures below.
In 2017, in order to save time and reduce costs for the vehicle owners who love this car, we experimented with a new "rough and quick" way to make repairs. This involved repairing the old hose in the car rather than removing, manufacturing and installing a new hose.

Astra Convertible Hydraulic power pack for roof opening and closing, complete with Plastic Tank,
Pump, Motor, Manifold Block with electric solenoids & relays and Top Hose Plate (removed)
This pump is located in the rear right hand boot (trunk) cavity. 

The Good News 
The good news for most Astra convertible owners is, that after repairing so many Astra convertibles we came to realise that 95 % of the time the failure was the same hose. This hose is located at the rear left hand side of the vehicle and it is connected to the bottom of the single hydraulic cylinder that lifts the metal lid (above the boot/trunk) space used to store and hide the folded roof. We have developed a quick repair process that takes about 30 to 45 minutes to repair without having to completely remove the hose from the vehicle.
If your vehicle needs this repair current costs (as at Feb 2019) is around $150 Plus 10% GST
This price includes labour, parts, and up to 200 ml of special oil.

The Secret to Buying an Astra on the Cheap 
An other advantage/opportunity is that if you are looking for a cheap convertible look for an early model Astra Convertible that has a roof that does not work. Chances are pretty good that it is just this hose and the current owners have not found this blog yet.

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Astra Convertible Roof Latches (Left and Right Side) the Claws hook onto the top
 of the windscreen frame and locks the roof down. These latches have been
re manufactured as they were damaged when the roof was forced open.
Mobile Hose Fixers & Hydraulics are located on the Gold Coast,
South East Queensland, Australia. and can be contacted
on  +617 5571 6155 or email sales@mhfgc.com.au

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top 8 Bite Force vs Human vs T Rex vs Crocodile vs Lion vs Great White Shark vs Hydraulic Pulverizer.

What animal has the Strongest Bite Force. 
Interesting facts about the hydraulic Pulveriser's Bite force compared to a few other hungry animals including Humans.
  • Human bite 80 Kg (175 pounds)
  • Lion 270 Kg (600 Pounds)
  • Bear 545 Kg (1200 Pounds
  • Gorilla 590 Kg (1300 Pounds)
  • Hippopotamus 820 Kg (1800 Pounds)
  • Salt water Crocodile 1680 Kg (3700 pounds)
  • Great White Shark "estimated" 1820 (4000 pounds) 
  • Tyrannosaur's Bite force "estimated" at 5800 Kg (12,800 pounds)
  • Hydraulic Pulverizer Bite force 60,000 Kg (130,000 pounds)
click here to watch a Pulverizer in action (Mother T Rex Building Nest)

Measuring an Alligator's Bite Force "Courtesy Nat Geo" 

Our client's calls it the "Pulverizer" and they use it to crush, break up and remove the steel bars from large pieces of concrete removed from building demolition sites  . 

They then break the smaller chunks of concrete down into gravel sized pieces as they pass though a set of reciprocating jaws and a series of sorting screen. The resulting gravel sizes are then discharged into piles and recycled into road base and other useful building materials.

So what kinds of teeth do you need to chew concrete all day ?

Molybdenum alloy steel.

We are currently rebuilding the big jaw muscle (hydraulic cylinder) that generates this supper bite.

Need your leaking Hydraulic Cylinder removed and resealed ?

Next blog on YouTube The Pulverizer eating Action.

I think it looks like the head of  T Rex some say it reminds them of a Turtle or a Lizard
or a Snake or "whatever!" they are all reptiles OK!. 

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