Bongo Clinic Archives
This is where you can find responses to all the enquiries that nurse has received over the years here at the Bongo Clinic. We have broken the information down in to categories.
Please select the category you require.
Q: I've heard it mentioned that after a long punishing uphill run in hot weather, whn you come to a halt, you should not shut the engine down straight away because the engine needs to cool. Is this true? (Peter from Swindon)
A: Twice this summer (2013) we had reported problems from people on European jaunts where this happened. In both instances they turned the engine off prematurely and the temperature gauge, usually steady at 11 o'clock, shot up. It would have been better to let the engine idle for a while.
Q: My V6 engine starts easily and runs well from cold with full power but as soon as it begins to warm up it starts to misfire. The spark plugs seem OK. What else could it be? (Chris from Bristol)
A: If it's not the plugs, then test the HT leads. If it's not them, then check the Distribution Cap for worn contacts. While you are at it, make sure the Rotor Arm is not damaged in any way.
Q: I've just been reading about Throttle Position Sensors. Don't ask, I've got a lot of time on my hands at the moment. Is this the same thing as a Potentionometer? And where can I buy one? (Derek from Fife)
A: Yes, it's the same thing. You can obtain an after-market version from Hampshire based Autolink (website here) or phone them on 01489-877770
Q: I have a 2.5TD 1995 and having trouble diagnosing a fault with our Bongo, it takes a while to start and when it does start it chugs and puffs out white smoke for roughly 15-30 seconds during which the revs are constantly high. After this time, it seems to correct itself and the revs drop and all settles down as it should be. Any idea what causes this? (Paul from Swanage)
A: Pop up the drivers seat when she's stone cold, with the seat up turn the ignition on and you should see the cold start mechanism activate, turn the ignition off, in the end of the c/s mech is an idle adjustment screw held in place with a 10mm nut, slacken off the nut and wind the screw out till there is just a few mm sticking out the business end, before locking the nut turn the ignition back on and wait till you hear the solenoid "click" then fire her up, now adjust the cold start idle screw till she's on 900 rpm and tighten the lock nut, if your bongo is set above 950 rpm on cold start the ECU will prematurley shut the glowplugs off as it thinks it's being driven. (Thanks to Peter Thonhill for this)
Q: I have a year 2000 diesel Bongo and it starts fine. But once the engine is up to temperature, it suffers from a loss of power. My garage have had a look at it and think that it is something to do with the turbo or vacuum electrics. But as the electric circuit diagrams are not available, they are stuck. Have you come across this before? (Stuart from Lincoln)
A: I mentioned this to Ian Taylor, Bongo mechanic extraordinaire, who said it was likely to be a faulty turbo wastegate vacuum pump. He has seen it occur before, when the engine warms up, the valve in the pump sticks open or closed. The pump is situated by the side of the turbo on the chassis leg.
Q: I need to get a new Lambda sensor for my V6 Bongo. The Mazda ones seem incredibly expensive. Are there any alternatives available? (Terry from Essex)
A: There are universal ones at a fraction of the cost available on eBay, called "VOS-2 Oxygen sensors". These will fit OK but you will have to re-splice the connection.
Q: Recently my diesel Bongo has developed a juddering problem. The engine starts first turn as usual but engaging Drive on the auto box leads to unpredictable results. Moving forward initially is fine but then slowing or stopping e.g. at end of road, is a problem. At this point it attempts to surge forward in the 'wrong' gear and stalls when I hit the brake. Restarting is easy enough in Park, but moving to Drive causes another stall. These problems stop once the engine/gearbox warm up a little and then everything is back to normal. I have checked the transmission fluid and all seems fine. (Jon from Doncaster)
A: Northern Bongolow says: " I would check the fan switch on the rear drivers side of the head, check the connections, and replace the switch itself if the end plastic bit is at all wobbly, it breaks off the main brass bit. This bad connection is possibly sending mixed messages to the ECU that the engine is up to temp, then not, then is, etc. This would activate the cold start solenoids then not etc, this also controls the glow plug temp message so they also are confused, hense the problem rearing its head in the now colder weather."
Q: Help! I have turned off the ignition but my engine has kept running. It's been going for over an hour and I'm really worried! (John from Leeds)
A: Your fuel-stop solenoid, which is situated at the top of the fuel injector pump, is probably jammed open. To stop the engine disconnect the solenoid wire.
Q: I own a V6 Bongo. The symptoms are that everything works fine but there is smell of burning. I can smell it after 5 minutes or so and it seems to come and go. I've run the engine with the passenger seat up but I can't see anything or smell it coming from any particular place. Any ideas? (Henry from London)
A: In all likelihood it is leaking oil falling on to your exhaust. It has been reported to us that 10+ year old V6s are prone to a leak on the cam shaft seals. These may need replacing. There is a discussion (with photos) on the Bongo Forum here
Q: What cruise control unit would you recommend and how easy is it to fit to a '96 Bongo ? (Iain from Aviemore)
report that either an Audiovox CCS100 or a Waeco MS50 will do the
Bongo started making a massive racket. I had the valve clearances
checked, but it wasn't that. Is it possible that the bottom crank
pulley (which drives the Waterpump) is faulty? Is it expensive to
replace? (Michael from Chersterfield)
not a common problem, it has happened to some others. The pulley is
a 2 piece design with a heavy iron outer ring (pulley) - the 2 parts
are bonded together with a rubber "sandwich" filling and
the idea is that the pulley acts as a vibration damper - the outer
"oscillates" with the firing pulses and smoothes out crank
vibration. In theory, the outer part of the pulley will have smooth
motion as opposed to the inner part experiencing the crank pulses....
when they start to deteriorate a vibration is felt through the vehicle.
(Thanks to Dandywarhol). You can obtain new ones (about £200)
via the Partfinder Service in the members-area of this website, but
if you phone someone like Bell Hill Garage (01373-834252) or one of
the breakers, they can usually supply a second hand one for about
£65 plus postage. Or ask in the 'Stuff wanted' section here.
anyone please tell me about the clearances? (Muddy from Ipswich)
way I understand it is that lots of poor Scots people were forcibly
ejected from the Highlands to make way for sheep. But I think you
should look this up for yourself.
There must have been something wrong with my keyboard. What I should
have asked is; Could anyone please tell me about the valve clearances
on my 2.5 diesel Bongo? (Muddy from Ipswich)
0.1mm +/- 0.005mm
anybody tell me where to locate the engine temp sensor? (Kev from
engine coolant temperature sensor is on the on the driver's side of
the head, positioned above the starter between cylinders 2 and 3.
tick over on my bongo seems a tad low. I'm sure it should be around
800 rpm. Is it possible to adjust it yourself? (Alf from Bodmin)
idle tickover speed should be between 700-780 and this can be adjusted
via the idle control. On the end of the pump there's a 12m bolt in
the middle of injector pipes, try a 1/4 turn at a time. (Thanks to
'antique'). Also, if the throttle cable has stretched, it can affect
the idle. The linkage for adjusting the cable is at the end of the
cable, under the driver's seat. It's a long threaded bolt with nuts
attached either side. You adjust the nuts a little, but take care
not to over tighten the throttle cable as this will affect the 'lever
stop' (idle control).
time to time, my engine over-revs, as if the gear box is hunting for
the correct gear. This can happen at any time, but always after the
vehicle has been warmed up. I have been told that this may be a problem
with the throttle position sensor, but can you tell me where it is
located, and where I can obtain a new one? (Berkely from Totnes)
sensor is located on top of the fuel pump under the driver's seat.
You can get sensors from various suppliers including Autolink here.
and where are the controls for the scavenger fan? At present it will
not switch off even after the ignition key is removed. (Grant from
sensor for the scavenger fan is by the handbrake. There are wires
going to a little black gadget that protrudes into the engine compartment,
this is the device you are looking for. Disconnect the sensor while
the fan is running... if it stops, you have found the problem.
have just returned from a trip to Germany where our Bongo was on her
best behaviour, but whenever I'm driving I always got the horrible
feeling in my stomach that the engine is running too hot. It doesn't
overheat and the temp gauge doesn't fluctuate at all it just sits
at 11o'clock. But under the bonnet and by the reservoir the coolant
seems to be red hot to touch and we get the occasional smell of something
unpleasant. We check the coolant regularly and it doesn't alter, so
I'm sure there are no leaks. Does it sound like we have a problem
or am I just being paranoid? (John from Harrogate)
temperature gauge rarely moves until there is a more serious over
heating episode, when it can move rapidly to 12o'clock or even higher.
If you think you smell something hot, it's possible that you have
a gunged up radiator. When this occurs, the coolant flows poorly,
it won't be cooled properly and the system will work harder to push
it through. If I was you, I would take it to someone familiar with
Bongo coolant systems to get the system pressure tested, flushed through
and refilled. It is also possible that you will need to replace the
radiator. But only an expert will be able to tell.
can I find the engine number for my Bongo? (Snowy from Newport)
engine number is stamped on the front of the engine block, on the
driver's side, just below the cylinder head.
Q: What's this strange button, by the driver's knee? (Stuart from Essex)
are the valve clearance settings on a WL-T engine? (Derek from Caversham)
standard value when cold is IN: 0.1.mm plus/minus 0.05mm, OUT: 0.2mm
My Bongo won't stop! No, it's not the brakes. It's the engine....it
won't stop, even when following the usual drill of turning it off
and removing the key. My mechanic stopped it eventually, but before
doing anything else, wonders if you have any advice. (Neil from Towcester)
is due to a fault with the fuel cut-off solenoid. You need a new solenoid.
SGL5 has a problem with the main engine and/or scavenger fan. When
the revs go over 3000 the glowplug light signal continually flashes
and engine power ebbs. After switching the engine off for 20 minutes
the signal no longer flashes after the engine is running and I carry
on until the engine has to go over 3000 revs. I'd like to know the
cause and possible remedy before handing the vehicle over for a possibly
expensive repair. The 20 minute rest suggests something overheating
or a thermostat problem but I'd like to know if others have experienced
the same. (Mike from Torpoint)
have heard of this happening before. It is probably the thermostatic
switch which controls the main engine fans. It is found under the
drivers seat towards the rear of the engine block and is bolted into
the side of the engine.
beloved bongo 'Keiko' has cracked her cylinder head and I am drastically
trying to find another one for her. Any ideas? (Jamie from Longtown)
have 4 options.
Q: When driving up a steepish hill the engine suddenly loses power and struggles to reach the top, at the same time the glow plug light starts flashing on and off and the engine bay fan can be heard running. There are no indications of overheating and the temp. gauge reads normal. Once these symptoms have started they usually continue to the end of the journey. After leaving the vehicle stationary for an hour or so everything goes back to normal again and the Bongo will have no trouble on the same hills until the fault re-occurs. Any suggestions as to the cause? (Rod from Weymouth)
have seen these symptoms, once when I had a vehicle with a missing
temperature sensor and once with an overheating problem. As you appear
to have ruled out overheating then I would think it's the sensor in
the top of the engine bay or failing that, the ECU.
bloke down the pub told me that on turbo engines you should let the
engine idle for a few moments before switching off. Is this correct?
(Athers from Norfolk)
that's what's recommended. It's to let the turbo cool down. If not,
there's a possibility that the oil can get too hot, carbon-up the
oilways & block the oil feeds to the turbo. Its a judgement call
but maybe if you have done a short run, let it cool down for 30 seconds
or so on tickover, if it's worked hard pulling up a long incline,
let it tick over for a couple of minutes. This is for any turbo, not
Bongo seems a lot noisier on tick over. I've held my hand over exhaust
to check for exhaust leaks but it seems ok, it doesn't seem to lack
power, but it used to be so smooth now it sounds like a bag of nails.
I have changed the filters thinking this might help, but still no
joy. (Nigel from Reading)
you have also changed the oil, this is difficult to diagnose but might
be a stuck hydraulic tappet (if it's a rattle) or maybe a manifold
stud has snapped. You may need to go to a garage for diagnosis.
wish to change the timing belt, and need to know whether the injector
pump is driven from the cam shaft or the crankshaft. We think the
camshaft is chain driven from the crankshaft, but we are not sure
where the injector pump is driven from? (Sheila from Woking)
A: The injector pump is gear driven from the crankshaft and the camshaft is belt driven. The engine is an 'Interference' engine meaning that if the cambelt breaks, the momentum of the crankshaft continues to drive the pistons and damage is likely to occur to the valves. (Update 13/4/04: Further to my emails on this subject. we have now replaced the timing belt on our Bongo. The whole process took 2 hours. The cam shaft is driven from the injector pump which is driven from the crankshaft, making the belt somewhat easier to change. If the cambelt fails not only will the engine stop but you will almost certainly have an expensive coming together of pistons and valves. Not worth taking the risk, replace on schedule. Hope this helps. Philip (Honorary Technical Advisor and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer to Sheila) Further info on cambelts can be found on the members-only area.
you know where I can get a 'print out' of the cambelt timing for the
Ford Freda 1996 2.5 turbo diesel WL engine? (Ron from Holyhead)
far as I can recall, there are marks on the two pinions, with corresponding
marks on the engine block. If these are aligned, the timing is correct.
are the Bongo Power & Torque figures? (Bloke from Durham)
the Bongo have an oil cooler fitted to the gearbox as I want to tow
with it . (Neil from Kent)
it's at the bottom of the radiator.
a little bit concerned about radiator protection. On looking at my
Bongo from the lower front there doesn't seem to be any, has this
ever been brought to your attention and what would you advise? (Pete
from St Helens)
radiator you can see there is for the air conditioning system; the
engine radiator is behind it, safe from anything short of a tactical
nuclear weapon. (Update from Pete: I've fixed some galvanised steel
grilling around the front anyway, just to be on the safe side).
the fuel consumption like? (Various)
a 2 wheel drive 2.5 automatic, about 23 mpg urban, and 29 mpg motorway.
(Update from the Bongomaster 5 September 2003: Recently I did 800
miles in a 2000 low-top SGL5 and averaged, over a mixture of motorway,
B Roads and traffic jam, an average of 32 mpg. In my two wheel drive
96 Freda, I average about 28mpg. I suggest this is because the later
engines are more fuel efficient.)
acceleration is a bit sluggish. What can I do to improve things? (Nigel
it's just sluggish with no accompanying smoke, there are several possible
causes. Check fuel filter, air filter, turbo to intercooler pipes,
inlet manifold studs (these occasionally shear), & put some injector
cleaner through it. Alternatively you could put a horseshoe in your
I changed my oil, I poured the full 5 litres in, but my dipstick still
showed the level to be low. What's going on? (John from Didcot)
because the sump has a 6 litre capacity.
NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. If you are a member, click on the link below to open the pdf file.
Q: The "hold" light is flashing on my dash, but it does not appear to be blinking a sequence. And sometimes it is OK. I am aware that this could indicate a problem with the gearbox, but everything seems fine. Is there anything else my garage should be looking for? (Peter from Redcar)
A: If your speedo has been rechipped to read in MPH rather than Km/h, then the pulse generated may interfeer with the ECU, which sends a message to the hold light. Apparantly.
Q: Is there any way of checking the length of your glowplugs without removing them altogether? (Simon from Newcastle)
A: You dont need to remove them to size them as the difference is all above where the main thread finishes. this thread is visible. Long ones have about 37-8mm above the last thread, short ones have 27-8mm above the last thread to the tip.
Q: I'm about to replace my main starter battery and I'm a bit confused about the types, ampage etc. Do you have a particular make and model that you recommend? (Patrick from Belfast)
A: You could try a Motaquip VBY44, type 249, 90 amp hour. You can get these for about £90.
mechanic is reluctant to fit my new starter motor because he says
that it only has 9 teeth, whereas the one he is removing has 10 teeth.
Are there 2 different types? (Pam from Salisbury)
with cold start packs, like yours, have different starter motors.
But the 9 tooth motors are interchangeable with the 10 tooth motors,
so they will not experience any problems.
idea where I can get a throttle position sensor without going through
Mazda? (Alan from Edinburgh)
are available from many parts suppliers including Autolink for around
£100. Their website is at www.boundville.co.uk or by phone on
my charge light and sediment light are lit very faintly on the dash,
they have been like this for a couple of days. What does this mean?
(Dawn from Stockport)
bet you have a leisure battery installed, because this sounds like
the split charge relay is causing the problem. Some split charge relays
tap directly into the alternator, which causes a slight current draw...it's
this that makes the light(s) glow ever so slightly. It shouldn't cause
any damage though. Or there could be a fault with the Alternator.
(Allans Vehicle Services).
I turn the key to ignition, all I get is a single click and no crank
of the engine. It appears that the electrics and the battery terminals
are OK. (David from Leamington)
will be the starter motor, or possibly the starter solenoid. This
is the small round device attached to the starter motor. On the end
of the solenoid are two terminals one goes to the battery via a heavy
duty cable the other is a short cable that goes to the starter motor.
is the starter motor situated on a V6 Bongo? (Don from Southampton)
is located under the main block of the engine. It is very well shielded
by the plastic undertray. With the tray removed it is easily accessible
rev counter is dropping to zero intermittently. Is there a particular
faulty sensor that would cause this to happen? (Iain from Maidenhead)
replies: I had these symptoms and in my case it was a defective switch
on the cambelt housing which senses the revs, it is a Mazda part,
generator pulse WL0120H10B. Or there could be a loose wire/bad earth
problem, check the connections behind the face, the red wire to the
alternator and the sender unit from the diesel pump. (Allans Vehicle
is the amperage output of the alternator fitted to a 2.5 TD Bongo?
(Tony from Berwick)
alternator returns 40 amps when idle, and 91 amps at 2000 rpm.
would my speedo be behaving erratically? (Alison from Chelsea)
if the speedo is not 'chipped' (speedo reads in kms or miles, odometer
reads in kilometres), this is caused by a bad earth or loose connection,
so check the connections behind the speedo. If there is a chip fitted
(both speedo and odometer read in miles) then the chip is commonly
faulty. You either need to replace it or remove it, reconnect the
cables and change the speedo face again. (Allans Vehicle Services).
key is stuck in the ignition. I've tried wiggling it, woggling it,
putting my foot on the brake and moving through the gears. The steering
wheel lock is not activated. Help! (Neal from Elgin)
to Bell Hill Garage for this):"Take the column cowling off and
you should see a metal cable with a round eye on/in it, if you move
the gear lever in and out of park the end should move!! As you put
it into park see which way its moving and give it a little bit of
gentle persuasion in that direction to see if its a problem with the
cable and not releasing properly so as to let you remove key."
got 2 batteries under the bonnet of my Bongo, but neither is a leisure
battery. What's going on? (David from Northampton)
have 2 vehicle batteries working in parallel. This is to allow cold
starting in particularly cold climates (like northern Japan. Or Leeds).
They both discharge at the same rate. The second battery is surplus
to requirements in Northampton. When fitted in Japn, the 'cold climate'
system includes the twin batteries, and a 'cold start' switch on the
dash which operates a valve in the exhaust, allowing exhaust gases
to re-circulate and heat the engine more quickly.
you use a leisure battery, is it possible to hook up a battery charger
that will not only charge the leisure battery, but run the 12 volt
stuff (fridge, lights, TV etc) inside the van at the same time? (Ian
the leisure battery is being charged from the mains (or by the alternator)
then it will share the charging current with anything that is loading
the leisure battery. If you are taking more out than the charger (or
alternator) is putting in then the battery is not being charged. Waeco
do a battery charger that has a main output for the leisure battery
and a secondary lower current output to keep the engine battery just
trickled charged when connected to the mains. They are called Compact
type of main vehicle battery do I need? (Amanda from Doncaster)
need a minimum of a 95a/h battery. The more the better. There are
3 references you can quote. Either a UK 249 or a Euro 068 or a 335.
give up. Where is the alternator? (Alex from Cheshire)
thinking of installing a second battery. How do I earth it? And should
it run in parallel to the main battery? (Tim from East Yorks)
is OK to earth the battery through the chassis. The earth strap is
best bolted straight to the chassis underneath the coolant expansion
tank. It's best to use a split charging system rather than run in
parallel. If it just connected in parallel, that means it will be
charged by the alternator in parallel and both batteries will be run
down equally by starting the vehicle and also by using power for running
stuff inside whilst parked like lights and TV, so if you've run down
the battery with the telly, you've run down both batteries and it
won't start in the morning.
my Bongo refuses to start and yesterday it would not restart after
a short journey to the supermarket. I have taken readings with a voltmeter
that shows 12.63 volts while off, and 13.91 with the engine running,
but these have fluctuated on different occasions of checking. The
battery is rated at 60amp. Is the battery weak or is it the alternator?
(Dean from Tamworth)
battery isn't man enough for the job. For a single-battery vehicle,
the battery needs to be a 335E, which is a lot more than 60 amps.
Generally I have found that fitting the biggest one you can is cheaper
in the long run. Alternatively a second battery can be fitted, as
in some Bongos.
difficult is it to remove the starter motor so I can clean the contacts?
(Expresso from Southampton)
a breeze. On the right hand side of the engine, at the rear, unship
starter motor (disconnect power cable, solenoid line, earth connections,
then three mounting bolts). Make certain power cable cannot touch
any chassis/engine part (if in doubt, disconnect battery first!) The
starter motor is switched on by a basic cylindrical contactor. It
lives under a roughly rectangular cover plate on the bottom of the
motor body. Remove three screws, remove plate, examine contacts therein.
Mine were very dirty. Clean them up with fine abrasive paper and a
little methylated spirits on a rag to remove the dust. Don't forget
the copper washer on the moving part of the solenoid, and stick it
all back together. The only loose part is the return spring on the
inside of the solenoid-and there's a gasket on the cover plate which
will probably stay in place. When removing/replacing the starter motor,
take care not to damage the injector fuel feed pipes which are located
just forward of it-there's just enough room for easy manoeuvre
rev counter sometimes returns to 0 revs and flicks back to the correct
reading whilst bowling down the road. I suspect there is a duff connection.
Do you know which connectors to check and where they are located?
(Tom from Edinburgh)
I'm having starting problems. When I turn the key it will just go
"click" with no attempt to start or nothing, then after
a few attempts or a few hundred depending how many cars I'm holding
up she'll start just like that. I've been told it's my solenoid and
it's quite simple to replace or clean the contacts but where is it
and what does it look like? (Jason from Norfolk)
the lump on the side of the starter motor... once the starter motor
is removed, it comes apart quite easily but you have to be careful
bits don't spring out and get lost or damaged. There's also a possibility
the starter motor brushes are worn down and aren't making good contact
with the commutator.
Glow Plug coil light keeps flashing on and off. I changed the plugs
not so long ago, so I don't think it's that. (John from Dorset)
sounds like the temperature sensor that lives under the centre console.
I know this causes the glow-plug light to flash if there's something
wrong with it. In fact it's not unknown for this to be missing entirely.
If that area has recently been disturbed, the sensor may have been
knocked, so check it for a tight connection.
temperature gauge doesn't work - it's permanently stuck on just below
halfway. Any ideas on how to fix this? Is it easy to fix? (Paul from
sounds like the sender is faulty. To prove this you need to earth
the lead from the sender unit (located left side of cylinder head),
with the ignition on. If the gauge goes to hot it means the sender
is faulty, if not it suggests the gauge is faulty.
fuel gauge has stopped working. What's wrong? How can it be repaired?
(Anna Rexic from Nuneaton)
Les Walshe says "I had the same problem. I took it into the dealer
and this is how the mechanic fixed it. On most vehicles the fuel tank
has to be dropped, but not on Bongos. In the rear between the 2nd
and 3rd row of seats on the drivers side there is a plate in the floor
under the carpet. (See photo). There are 3 phillips screws that secure
it to the floor. Undo them, remove the plate and there is the sender
unit. Apparently the electrical connections (I assume they are spade
connectors) on the wires leading from the gauge to the sender unit
are not very good at all. He cut them off and put on new connectors
that were better fitting and that sorted the problem out, it's working
fine now. The mechanic does suggest that the rear seats are taken
out first as it was a bit of a squeeze trying to do the work in between
the poor starting is accompanied by white smoke, you need some new
Glowplugs. These little devices sit in the cylinder head and super-heat
to 800 degrees centigrade to aid the ignition sequence. Unfortunately,
it is a fact that many Bongos are not used to cold weather, and therefore
original glow plugs will loose their capabilities in the English winter.
Glow Plugs are now stocked by the Owners Club and are available on
the Merchandise page.
tried all that, but I still get a problem. Any other advice you can
give me? (Olly from Bath)
there are 2 further considerations. Firstly the plugs must be charged
to 10 volts, or they will not reach the required temperature on ignition.
And secondly, you may wish to ensure that an anti-seize compound (such
as Coppaslip) is used on installation. If that doesn't help, check
the glow plug fusible link,
is that strange looking button to the right of the steering wheel
do, the one with a picture of an engine and a heater on it? (Mark
a switch for the 'cold climate' system. It helps the engine to reach
operating temperature more quickly. (Member Martyn May offers this
observation) In cold weather once the engine is started you flick
the switch and it will help heat up the engine quicker. But having
suffered replacing the glow plugs on my vehicle twice in the short
time I have had the vehicle I do not recommend this process without
further investigation, as I suspect that this keeps the glow plugs
glowing for longer than normal, and I already know that the glow plugs
can function up to 5 to10 full minutes after starting the engine in
cold weather to help with the emissions. Now when I start my vehicle
I maintain the revs at over 1,200 rpm which keeps (we think) the glow
plugs from glowing too long, after about 5 minutes I let the engine
settle down to it's normal tickover speed and it would appear that
the glow plugs do not kick in again, and since I have started this
process I have not had any trouble starting the van in these cold
mornings....roll on Summer.
NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. If you are a member, click on the link below to open the pdf file.
Q: I went to the local car wash and the reversing mirror lens broke....thankfully not the housing. I've ordered a new lens but the question is; does it just snap into place and do I need to remove the housing first? (John from Bridlington)
A: Break the old mirror glass to remove it. Heat up the plastic surround until it expands - a hairdryer is probably safest. Once expanded the new glass will drop into place. Don't turn it upside down until it's cool or the glass will drop out!
Q: We have just failed the MOT because the headlights are not bright enough. It appears the plastic lenses are too yellow. Will they have to be replaced? (Jenny from Harbury)
A: Replacing the full units could be costly, around £200 per unit. It's possible that there the original Japanese owner inserted a yellow film on the inside of the lens to aid city centre driving in smoggy conditions. If he has, peel it off. Alternatively they may need a good clean. Try Auto Glymm.
do you remove the chrome mirror covers? My mirror has failed, I have
got hold of a mirror but want to put my mirror cover on my new mirror.
(matt from Truro)
chrome covers are difficult to remove but it can be done if you're
careful. There is a siticky pad about 4 inches square between the
chrome cover and the plastic mirror housing. You then need a heat
shrink gun and constantly move it over the whole chrome area until
you can hardly bear to touch the surface, then immediately grip the
top and bottom edges of the chrome cover and pull as hard as you can.
have failed my MOT due to yellow stains on my front headlamp lenses.
Any idea how to clean them? (Pete from Falmouth)
some people have reported that nail varnish remover will do the trick,
this is not to be recommended as most of them have plastic dissolving
solvent in them. Instead, we recommend using Metallic T-Cut.
you know where I can replacement decals for the side of my Bongo?
(George from St Ives)
have 4 choices.
recently got my bongo and the headlights do not illuminate the road
in front at all well, either on main beam or dipped beam. Looking
at the lights from the front of the vehicle they seem to be at a normal
brightness. Has anyone else had this problem? (Dave from Sheffield)
spring clip that holds the headlight bulb in place is barely up to
the task on a bongo. It sounds like your headlight bulbs aren't sitting
flush in the headlight aperture. If this is the case, the light can
bounce off the bottom of the reflector, then bounce upwards, causing
a lot of light refraction that obliterates the defined beam. Before
you splash out on new bulbs, it may be worth checking that they are
indeed sat properly in the headlight unit.
got an aerial attached to the roof gutter near the tail gate that
has a long wire through the back with a small jack plug at the end.
the wire is almost 8 feet long. Does anyone know what this could be
for? (Paulo from Cheshire)
have inherited a very rare item, the Japanese electronic clothes line.
The inventor of the Mazda Bongo, Takeashita Inamoto, originally designed
the Bongo so that Japanese travelling salesmen would be able to save
money on hotel charges. But following the initial prototypes, feedback
was received that businessmen had a) nowhere to watch pornographic
TV channels, and b) nowhere to dry-clean and press their business
suits (there is no such thing as the Corby Trouser Press in the Far
East). Although the TV side of things was quickly rectified, the issue
of where to hang your suit has still not been fully addressed. The
wire (and jack) to which you refer was one of a number of doomed attempts
to address this problem in the early part of 1995.
quite like my tits, but I am worried about the legality of them. What
is the law? (Tina from Turnham Green)
long as you keep them covered in public, I think you should be OK.
about that. Sometimes I type too fast. What I should have asked is
this. I quite like my tints, but I am worried about the legality of
them. What is the law? (Tina from Turnham Green)
The front windscreen and side front windows must allow at least 70%
of any light to be transmitted through the glass. There are no restrictions
on other windows. Note that it is also an offence to try and sell
a vehicle with excessively tinted front windows.
note from elsewhere on this site that you can get windscreens from
Autoglass & National Windscreens. But do you know where I can
obtain side windows and quarter-light windows? (Ted from Malton)
Away (Wokingham) stock these. You can contact them on 01784-482158.
Their website can be found here: http://www.321away.com/parts_service.html
Or try one of the breakers on the Bongo Fury website.
I buy one of those splendid looking Fiamma roll-out awning things,
which fixing kit should I use? (David from Wakefield)
need a VW T3 2 piece awning adapter kit. No drilling necessary! It
simply clamps onto your gutter rail with 2 brackets, and each bracket
is bolted to the back of the awning box. If you need to remove the
awning it is a simple case of undoing the clamps.
bought an awning through the club shop, and although it is excellent
in all respects, I find that when I attach it to my Bongo there is
a distinct flapping noise at night, and, far worse, a gap of about
3cm where the awning adjoins the passenger door. There is also a through
draft from underneath the Bongo, and the groundsheet is not an exact
fit. I have only used the awning about 4 times (not including when
the kids put it up in the back garden) and I was wondering if I can
send it back? (Ruth from Windsor)
a drive away awning for f*** sake, not a ******* house! Of course
it has some gaps and a draft! You are meant to be camping and experiencing
the great outdoors! If you don't like the fresh air, stay at home!
No, you can't send it back!
size are the number plates on a Bongo? (Dave from Heysham)
x 178 mm front & rear.
it lawful to have bull bars on the front of your Bongo? I read somewhere
that it is legal on a 4x4, but illegal on a two wheel drive. (Bill
have been misinformed. There is no law against bull bars at all. You
can fit them on a Smart Car if you wish.
there being a distinct demarcation between the road and the pavement,
children at my local school, aided and abetted by a suspicious looking
character in a green vest and carrying a lollipop, have an annoying
habit of running out in front of me when I am rushing to work. Not
only is this dangerous (for me), but there is a very real possibility
that my Bongo might get scratched by a buckle on a satchel. I have
therefore decided to buy some bull bars, but can you please advise
how I fit them? (Richard from Dunstable)
bullbars are not standard Mazda fittings then there are no standard
fittings available to my knowledge. But any good metal fabricator
should be able to knock you some up fairly cheaply. Pajero and Land
Rover owners do this all the time.
have bought a ski rack, but in order to fit it I need to remove one
of the rear door handles. But I can't seem to find a way of doing
this. What is the secret? (Stephen from Blackheath)
A: Bob from Imperial Cars (a man of few words) responds:
have a fresh water tank suspended underneath the Bongo. Should I drain
this out over winter? (Lee from Dave on Solent)
should drain the water tank at any time of the year if you are not
using it. This is a sensible health precaution. But during the winter
months, special care should be taken because freezing water can split
the tank and pipes. If you are doing any winter camping, you may wish
to consider purchasing a small 12v immersion thermostatically controlled
water heater to ensure that it does not drop below freezing. But if
you have cabin heating in the rear, you do not have any cause for
currently in the process of fitting a f45i roll out awning to my van.
I have seen a set of brackets for £60 to fit the awning. Can
you tell me how these brackets fit to the van as I'm a bit reluctant
to use them if it requires drilling holes and thus not being able
to remove them at later date It looks to me that some sort of bracket
could be made to clamp on to the gutter rail , I think this is what
they do on VW T3. (Jon from Hertfordshire)
Fiama roll-out awning you refer to is very heavy, and requires a special
type of bracket which are available from AVA. The sills on the SGL
will not take the weight, so there is no option other than to drill
in to the van.
over-zealous valeter has high pressure-hosed the transfers away from
the side of my van. Is it possible to get any more? (Ron from Newquay)
If you supply a photo and the chassis number to AVA Leisure, they
should be able to help you out.
other half had a jousting match with a Transit on Thursday and lost
a wing mirror glass in the process, any ideas on whether this is a
part used on any other vehicles? (Gary from Caterham)
it's not. You can either get a new one from AVA Leisure, or, according
to member Graeme McMurchie, what you can do is....... I tried this
once when I had an old Alfa and couldn't find a mirror glass the right
size and it worked really well. Use the exisiting mirror as a template.
Trace it through onto a piece of paper. Take it along to your friendly
glazing shop and ask him (Tell him what it's for) to cut a piece of
mirror for you. A couple of spots of mirror glue stick it onto the
backplate. At the very least it gets you by until a replacement can
be found. Mirror glass is also readily available from parts suppliers
on the main website.
much would it cost to fit a roller-blind to my Bongo? And which one
do you recommend? (Sarah from Stratford Place)
NB: Fact sheets on the following related subjects are available in the members-only area of the site. If you are a member, click on the link below to open the pdf file.
Easycamp (How to erect one of these awnings)
Roof Rack System (fitting instructions)
Wheel Arch Trim (fitting instructions)
Bongo Fury © 2003 to 2014