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mrbenn

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  1. Had an interesting couple of weeks looking at cars. Found two or three nice Astras and a mk2 Focus but the sellers (all independant garages) were either difficult to deal with or simply didn't answer/call back. Was on the verge of giving up when I found a mk2 Focus being sold privately. I sent a few questions to the seller, not actually expecting a reply, but she replied quickly and clearly had a decent grasp of the English language. I got a good feeling about her so bought it, and it's now here. I'm really chuffed with it, and the seller was lovely. Really easy to deal with. Late 2009 1.6 Zetec, 108k miles, recent cambelt. Short MOT so fingers crossed on that. So far, so good.
  2. Focus passed the MOT, no advisories. 10th time in a row. Very pleased with that. Less pleased that, despite not having any cold temperatures yet, the council decided to "test" their gritters recently and spread corrosive shite all over the roads. I don't understand why they couldn't just have run them around the car park but there you go. I need to step up my search for a winter car.
  3. Thanks for this. Looks a lovely example but more than I'm hoping to pay for a winter car tbh. Cheers though!
  4. Vulnerable. Thats a good way of putting it.
  5. Yeah that sounds a bit miserable!
  6. Good call. This one has had the welding done on both sides so is ok in that area. I'd really like to keep hold of this and can't stomach the salt! Particularly wet salted roads. I did have it Krown treated a while back but could do with topping it up. Exactly this. I've been fortunate to be able to rent a decent dry garage. The Focus spent last winter in there and seemed quite happy. If it were outside I'd have to keep using it I think as the damp would likely get to it. Hmmmm. Looks a nice one. I'd be interested to hear a price and location, though I suspect it would be out of my winter car budget at that mileage! Thats the thing isn't it. It's just so damp here. Dry salted roads aren't so much the issue but when its damp or raining, which it basically is from September to April as you say, it's not good.
  7. Though I hope we have a few more weeks of reasonable weather, winter will be here soon enough. I don't particuarly mind winter as such, though the incessant grey dreary days we seem to get here in the North West almost finished me off last year and central heating gives me a headache. No, what really upsets me is road salt. As one or two know I have a mk1 Focus. Owned it for over 10 years now and, touch wood, its been brilliant with only one blot on the copy book. I'd wanted a Focus for ages before I got this one so have no plans to part with it, nor get it covered in corrosive shit. Last winter I did what I said I'd do for years and got a winter car in the form of a Smart. Bought from a friend which was great as I'd driven the car before, worked on it and knew it was a good one. In the end I just didn't gel with it as a daily driver so sold it on in March with the worst of the salt gone. The Focus is going in for its mot in a couple of weeks then, pass hopefully forthcoming, it'll potentially come off the road again shortly after until spring. I realise the irony of keeping what most would see as a cheap banger out of the bad weather while subjecting a newer, more valuable car to same but there we are. If anyone has a late-ish Astra H 1.6 or maybe 1.8 they wish to rid themselves of then do speak up. Anyone else's thoughts turning to a WBOD?
  8. What a great little car. I'd be interested to know a price if/when you offer it up here.
  9. We've had ours for about 20 years now. We don't use it as a daily car but every one of the previous owners did. The last of those used it as her only car for 5 years and she was not mechanically minded in the least. It did very well though did need a fair bit of work when it came to us. Despite not getting as much use nowadays as it perhaps used to it has done all sorts of journeys from a short local trip to 100 miles on the motorway. It doesn't complain and is actually very competent. Light controls, good visibility and a willing drivetrain all help here. Though we don't use it in winter it has previously been out in all conditions. The narrow tyres are actually quite good in the snow and the heater is fierce so demisting was not an issue. The front quarterlights can be opened slightly to assist with air flow. The engine in our car is a 1275cc. I understand the 1098cc is perfectly fine for daily use, and due to the longer stroke (?) actually turns over slightly slower at speed. We've never done anything to the valves in our engine. It used to run on standard unleaded with a shot of Castrol Valvemaster. We now run it on E5 "super" unleaded, still with Valvemaster added. The parts supply is brilliant as you know. If we need anything we use ESM as it tends to land on the door mat next day. In our limited experience (sample size of one) they're very cheap to run, assuming you can do the majority of the work yourself. Mechanically speaking, they're simple. I've done the clutch in ours, had the engine out, head off, refurbed the suspension all round plus back axle, brake rebuild etc... if I can do it then you certainly can. Interior wise I've put Ford Ka seats in ours. The standard items were ok but tended to cause back ache on anything over 40 miles. Personal preference, of course. Rust is the main issue, as you know. Ours has had a few bits of welding done in our ownership, mainly in the early days, but living in a garage and keeping out of bad weather means it stays in good shape. As others have said, pay particular attention to the spring hangers - front and rear, cross member and chassis legs. Be wary of anything covered in underseal. They're brilliant cars!
  10. Congrats on the MOT pass! Looks like an ace little car. Re the water leak it might be worth having a look at this, chap here had a very similar issue:
  11. Zetec wheels but with colour coded door handles and rubbing strips 🧐
  12. Sorry if I've missed it on the thread but have you checked the alternator spins freely? They can seize up very easily on these, even after standing for a short time. This results in a slow/no crank. A spanner or socket on the pulley nut and some WD40 or similar will hopefully get it turning again.
  13. Couldn't agree more. Some years ago I commuted into Manchester by train for a short time. It was generally accepted that you ideally had to get the service before the one you actually needed if timely arrival was important, as one was likely to be late or cancelled. Always packed to the rafters unless travelling after 9:30-ish, which wasn't an option for most. Regular price increases, along with worsening service. It was not unusal for me to return to the ticket desk and get a refund on a ticket I'd just bought due to non-arrival. It forces people into their cars, which means fewer people on public transport, which means less investment in the network. A vicious cycle. Years of underinvestment and, as you rightly say, public transport just isn't up to what will be required of it.
  14. Action is needed re pollution in Manchester, and other cities, but like others I'm surprised the zone is going to be so large. I thought covering the area within the M60 was the plan, and would have been entirely reasonable. I live 15 miles from the centre of Manchester. Travelling approx 2 miles up the road would see me entering the the zone. Looking to the North sees the zone include Littleborough, for example. This had always struck me as being a fairly rural small town. Located approx 17 miles from the centre of Manchester (Piccadilly station, for reference) and found close to the Pennines. The zone extends to the Peak District to the East, and almost as far as St Helens to the West. Though private cars are not yet included, I think it would be naive to imagine they won't be added to the list in due course. For those not living in the North West, don't think for a second this just covers the City of Manchester. The scope is huge.
  15. Thanks Dez, much appreciated! Hope all is good with you
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