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405 wagon rebuild


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9 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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    Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:13 PM

OK, yesterday was quite a productive day. Starting early, Welfare Snr & I headed over to a scrapyard near Reading to pick up a bonnet and front bumper that I had already arranged to be taken off the car.

Guess what? They hadn't bothered. So yours truly had to scrounge tools to remove said items from a 260k N-reg 405 1.8 saloon (hoo sez PSA petrol engines don't last well?) sans wheels (making the bottom bolts difficult to get at) still parked on a flatbed. The bonnet came off easy - 4 10mm bolts - but the bumper was something else. Judicious use of snips and a breaker bar finally freed it, thankfully the nerk I agreed a price with (and who promised to take the parts off the car) wasn't there so I convinced the bloke that he'd agreed a lower price with me. One-all there, then.

My Dad devised a cunning way of mounting the bonnet on the roofrack and apparently has now sold the idea to Ross Brawn - expect to see this new aerodynamic device appearing on the 2009 F1 Fezza. Certainly it didn't blow off down the M4 (whoops).

Then it was off to Croydon to pick up two front wings I was assured were in "VERY GOOD condition" (seller's use of caps). On arrival I was confronted with what looked like Onslow's house in Keeping Up Appearances with a dead 405 taking pride of place under the front window. The nearside wing was a gennerwine Peugeot panel so in excellent order, unfortunately the offside is a pattern part and has suffered with the usual "wazz a couple of topcoats over the factory primer" which is beginning to flake off.

Anyway, after getting home at 4pm I began the task of refitting the bits and bobs aided (and sometimes hindered) by my strange neighbour Drew, who is a good sort but rather like the Geordie fella in I'm Alan Partridge, constantly telling stories of his time in the Marines. Given he's about 5'4" and weighs 20 stone (not to mention the fact he smoked about 40 fags during the fit-up), I am naturally sceptical about his service in HM Forces, still he came in handy in putting the new bonnet back on the hinges.

Anyway, enough of my ramble. You want pictures, don't you. Unfortunately due to a combination of grubby shoes and cream carpets, I was unable to get the camera out last night, but this morning I cleared away the snowdrift in front of the garage to reveal this...

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So I currently have a 405 resembling the Italian flag. The lights and grille are somewhere on a Parcel Force truck between Edinburgh and Newbury at the moment.

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Although it's a pattern part, panel fit of the offside wing is excellent, nice even panel gaps against the bumper, door...

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...and the bonnet, handy as that's as far as the hinges will allow it to go over to the nearside. Peugeot Monza Red is evidently very resistant to fading, they should have sold the formula to VW. Bonnet is in superb condition, no stone chips to talk about. I've managed to strip the sound deadening off (handy as the old bonnet has a separate sort of ducting/indentation for the intercooler assembly), so that can go back on after I've sprayed it.

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Unfortunately there's a massive gap on the nearside, and it's fair to say that wing doesn't fit that well - the passenger door rubs on the back edge when you open it. Not sure why this is, the inner wing doesn't seem distorted at all. Some work with a large pry bar/packing washers may be necessary, although I might well try to put the original wing back on because it's not that damaged, if it's going to be a better fit.

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Another problem is the piece of black plastic above the bumper, which is part of the (fibreglass) slam panel. This took most of the impact and has bent/torn a bit, to the extent that I think the front mounting points for the bumper on the nearside have dropped - there's a gap between the bumper's top edge and the leading edge of the front wing of about an inch that you can see, which closes up near the wheelarch so it looks like the bumper is drooping.

Of course, while I tried to tighten up the side mounting bolt for the bumper it sheared off, so it will have to come off again to drill that out. Doesn't matter as everything needs to come off for paint anyway.

So that's as far as I have got. Plans are to try and lever up that part of the slam panel where the bumper mounts (gennnnntly) with a jack/pry bar or drill new holes to get a better fit. New slam panels are available for about 50 quid but require an inordinate amount of faff to fit, so I'm hoping I don't need to go down that route.

Total cost so far is £170 (bonnet & bumper £50, wings and bonnet catch £45, lights £40, paint £35), with a new windscreen to add to that - but I'll wait until MOT time in October I think for the latter, as the cracks are on the passenger side near the tax disc and aren't major.

I also need to refit the inner bumper strengthener onto the bumper on the offside as it's popped out of it's mountings (because I had to change the "bumper iron" due to shearing both the mounting bolts on the offside - luckily the one on the old bumper was serviceable), and think about getting a spare side mounting bracket onto that side as well. They are held onto the bumper by plastic lugs that have of course broken, might work with judicious use of a soldering iron.

Then next weekend I will rub down and mask the bumper and probably the offside front wing and paint/lacquer them. The bonnet may or may not be done then, time permitting.

Tips on how to strip back a wing that has started to get surface rust at the edges ready for paint are most welcome!

Oh, and finally, here's a picture taken from my drive (to give an idea of distance) showing the big hole in the brick wall (to the left of the block of garages on the right hand side) approx. 50m away which caused all this damage in the first place...

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2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...


#2 Guest_greenvanman_*

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 06:28 PM

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It's beautiful! Why would you want to paint it?

#3 OFFLINE   Milford Cubicle

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 06:56 PM

Mismatched panels for the win, etc.

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Looks similar to the work I had to do to that Primera after a large deer went on a suicide mission - indicator, headlight, grille, number plate and wing needed replaced. The inner wing and framework that held the radiator and headlights on were never right after, but it all went together OK with a bit of luck and cable ties.

#4 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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    Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:33 AM

Cable ties will probably make an appearance here.I had a sudden bout of common sense last night, which would be to jack up the offending bumper corner BEFORE I tightening the mounting bolts to get it into line. It's solid as a rock at the moment, so jacking it up with the bolts done up did bugger all...

2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...


#5 OFFLINE   bones96

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:49 AM

i used to use ratchet straps to sort that alignment problem out has to be done gently though to avoid warping the panels when all lined up eithervdrill and bolt or if lucky bolt to original holes good luck
old fords never die they end up on ebay

#6 OFFLINE   AnthonyG

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 10:42 AM

Good to hear she's coming back together - well done for turning a negative into a postive RW!I would be tempted to drive it around in all the different colours but I wouldn't use it for work :D I'm in Wokingham on next Sunday eve so can pop round to lend a hand if you need it.

#7 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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    Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 11:51 AM

Tempting - if I get a chance to paint the wings and bumper on Saturday, you're on - as I'll need a hand to take the bonnet off again...

2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...


#8 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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    Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for the tip Bones96, I had a hell of a job this afternoon to get the nearside wing to align. Ended up enlarging some of the mounting holes in the end with the drill, as recommended.Lights have arrived but - arsecakes! - Royal Mail have smashed the driver's side one. So I have to wait a few days for a new glass, and hope that the seller kept his proof of postage so one of us can claim compo. He'd certainly labelled the box well enough ("Fragile, Glass" that kind of thing) so one assumes some sorting office prick used it as a football as a laugh. Great.Bumper is back off ready for rubdown and repaint hopefully Saturday, will try to do the wings at the same time. Can't get the nearside front fog light working which is a bit of an arseache, hopefully it's just a bulb as the units themselves are £40+ even on t'Bay... :roll:

2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...


#9 OFFLINE   MrRegieRitmo

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:39 PM

He'd certainly labelled the box well enough ("Fragile, Glass" that kind of thing) so one assumes some sorting office prick used it as a football as a laugh. Great.

Why do idiots work in responsible jobs like that, treating other peoples things with contempt. 'It's not mine & I don't know what it is so why should I listen to the warning labels?' Perhaps if you write on it 'Unimportant goods, throw around if desired' then they'll not be interested in destroying it! :roll: PS: who's responsible for repairing the wall?

#10 OFFLINE   r.welfare

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    Lee 'Scratch' Perry

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:57 PM

My insurance company. I've notified the council of the claim number and details, they apparently sent a bloke to "measure up" a couple of weeks ago, but f**k all has been done. People are now dumping shit behind it, old fridges and stuff have appeared! Unbelieveable.

2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...





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