Jump to content


Full Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Datsuncog last won the day on May 28

Datsuncog had the most liked content!

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Norn Iron
  • Interests
    Rusty cars; vinyl records; small-batch beers; writing; graphic novels; cats; photography. Amongst other things.


  • Country
    Northern Ireland

Recent Profile Visitors

2879 profile views

Datsuncog's Achievements

Rank: Lancia Gamma

Rank: Lancia Gamma (8/12)



  1. Nice selection there! Quite a few Novacars lurking in those tubs, as well as the Peugeot 605 you picked up. Haven't been to a toyfair or swapmeet since about 2010, I don't think - I was driving my little green Polo breadvan at the time, so it must have been a right while ago. I'd made enquiries with a local model club a few months ago, as I've still a lot of unwanted items crammed into the wardrobe, and the fella who runs it said he'd be sure to message me once the swapmeets were running again. On checking today, it seems that the meets have now resumed, but on scanning down their Facebook page... What the hell's going down in that club?! Have things now taken a much, much darker twist in Norn Iron diecast circles...? Is The Nemesis something to do with it?
  2. Holy moley. Ambitious or deluded? You choose. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jalopy-Magazine-Bundle-Issues-3-29-In-Good-Used-Condition-/265243267545?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
  3. 200 miles since Friday morning; and no sign yet of the EML returning. Promising. Though, in best Cosmic Joker fashion, when I went to plug in my iPod to the mechless Pioneer head unit for some 7am DJ Shadow to soothe the soul, the whole unit stopped working. It still hasn't come back on again. It was fitted correctly using the proper connector looms, rather than a rat's nest of bare wires, sticky tape and chocoblock, so not quite sure what the issue is to cause a total power loss. Fuse is fine, and it has done this intermittently before, but only for a few minutes. Typically, removing the unit to check the power feed etc will require dismantling half the dashboard including the HVAC system... Hey ho.
  4. Procured at target price... pics to follow around lunchtime, hopefully! Didn't get a price from Charity Stall blokey, but I'll see if they're still around next week!
  5. Ok, so it's maybe not quite the cornucopia of mint boxed Spot-Ons I'd been fantasising about for the past hour or so, but Market Blokey was true to his word... Get out of the way, naked ladies - you're obscuring the diecast tat. Budgie, Dinky, Scalextric and no-name Hong Kong plastic were indeed boxed, and were indeed brought out after The Nemesis departed. I'm guessing there's some sorta backstory there, but beyond that is anyone's guess. Scalextric Vanwall looks good and is in the correct box: However, this may fall foul of the usual Scalextric hazard, where touring cars are worth ££££ while the racers go begging. £25 asking on this. EDIT: just as I was leaving, someone bought it. Budgie FX4 taxi is sorrier-looking than its box might suggest: S-reg suggests a fairly late 1977/78 version. There's a fairly hefty £35 asking price on each of these. Scammell Scarab may be a repro - not only does it look very shiny, but the box here says 'collectors item only - not suitable for children', whereas the others have 'Made for H.J. Seener & Co' on them. I know there are repro Budgie VWs available; is this another? Little plastic airport coach is quite sweet, though: But it's dear enough, if it's also £35 (he just waved his hand generally at the whole lot when telling me the price). Last of the line (1979) Dinky Brinks armoured van has a couple of chips to the extremities, but is otherwise pretty decent, with door mirrors still intact: I don't think that 'Made in USA' is quite correct, though? Also, a few other new arrivals had pitched up: Siku Mercedes Unimog is in excellent shape, and a bit unusual: Taxis a bit dusty: (l-r) unbranded Corgi clone FX4, Welly FX4, and the TX1 on the right is a Corgi effort (no opening doors - must try harder) Also, a Corgi Mk3 Transit minibus: So! That's probably about it for today - and I really gotta go, so one more turn round the stalls and I'll be homeward bound - if there's anything you really really want, sing up quick!
  6. Well now, how prescient... this was my view upon arrival this morning. I know, I know. It feels small-minded and petty, but that's kinda where we are these days... I got into the market 15 minutes before the official opening time, and the one-man diecast hoover was still in ahead of me. As it appears, there's been no price drop from last week - bigger Corgi and Dinky are still £10 a throw. Lesney are static at £3. And why would they fall, when The Nemesis continues to buy 'em at that price? Clearly Blokey's managed to shift a goodly amount of them, even at top whack - there wasn't much from the requests above remaining, sadly. One A105 remaining, with the glazing intact, just loose inside the shell. But strong enough money at £10. Some new items seem to have appeared though: Victor FB might scrape a tenner if the bootlid were in place - but it ain't. He's had better Corgi Camaro SS models on the stall for a tenner in the past - though if all it needs is a repro windscreen, this could be worth it. And is anybody salivating over the Gerry Anderson-esque Corgi High Speed Fire Engine? Thought not - though it is very very clean. Pricing squashed tat like this Mini at a tenner is just wasting everyone's time, though. And then I spotted this, off in a display case to the side: Criminey. I knew what it was straight off, too: a Spot On AEC Major flatbed, which has sadly been sloppily repainted (but crucially, not drilled), and missing an axle. Even in this state, I daresay £20 isn't an unreasonable sum. These are pretty rare beasts in anyone's book. While making enquiries about this one, the following curious interchange occurred with Market Blokey: "Are you going to be back round later?" Um, yes, maybe... "Because I've got some boxed stuff here. But I don't want to put it out while he's around" At this, he nodded over towards The Nemesis, still rootling through the Lesneys. "Come back in an hour..." So, intrigued, I decided to do just that. I'm now over at the side with a coffee, waiting for The Gazelled Avenger to piss off. But this is an interesting development in the stallholder-customer dynamic. What is it about The Nemesis that Market Blokey wishes to withhold certain diecast from him...? I thought he'd be his top customer... unless he drives a hard bargain with his bulk-buys, and Blokey just about breaks even on the deal? Most curious. I took a turn round the rest of the market, but there wasn't a great deal to see. The Charity Stall must have offloaded the big Tamiya Renault F2 from last week - sorry @andrew e! I did move a load of 2000AD comics out of the way to find this lot, though: Mostly Tonka alongside some distressed Corgi. The 1990s F1 car at the front is marked Hot Wheels. This small, Japanese made Tonka custom van drew my eye for some reason: Quite smol, for a Tonka. Not sure what's happened to the Corgi Minor, but plainly nothing good. Standard-size Tonka dune buggy a smidge rusty, but intact: No-name Hong Kong pressed steel Porsche(?) not too bad either. EDIT: it's also a Tonka - I couldn't see a name on the surface-corroded base, but I've just zoomed in on the tyrewalls. So that's about that, for now... I'm intrigued about the boxed stuff, though also prepared for it to be either a bit crap (like the badly scratched stuff in repro boxes he had a year or two back) or megabucks, so... we'll see. I'll head back over in 20 mins or so. I did manage to find out that what my Corgi Model Club Porsche Carrera 6 is missing on its curiously blank undercarriage: a great big honkin' Porsche badge. Presumably DMV BlueSky YoYo Brands or whatever they're called couldn't secure the rights from Porsche AG to reproduce this on their remanufactured models, for whatever reason. Okay, well - more to come later, with any luck!
  7. Nope, if previous form is anything to go by, he'll usually price everything higher for the first week, then drop it once the stuff that's genuinely worth it has been sold - and then keep dropping it until it goes. That's why I managed to pick up so much stuff for £2 in April that was priced at £5 in December. Fingers crossed!
  8. Oh, it's been driven plenty over the past four months - and driven pretty hard, mostly at motorway speed, and sometimes at something above motorway speed (hence the unwelcome ANPR tug at the end of June). A quick check suggests it's covered 2,000 miles since returning to the road in mid-March, so I'm not sure the EML's on because of a lack of use - and it was bowling along merrily at 70 at the point the light pinged on. I'd thrown a Redex chaser down the filler neck along with the first few tankfuls once I got the battery issue fixed, just to try and keep things sweet after the months of inactivity, but I'll have a go with the Cataclean stuff too and see if that helps. I'll be taking it out tomorrow morning for a motorway blast along the M5/M2, so we'll see if the light stays off...
  9. Just as a heads-up, I'm going to try for the market tomorrow morning - so, in the off-chance that the remaining older Corgi and Dinky stuff is down to £5 rather than £10, is there anything in particular from last week that anyone covets? Lesney stuff too - £3 asking price last time, and likely to be the same tomorrow. My phone screen's still busted and temperamental, and I'm not sure I'll be able to stay all that long - so a live event involving pics and writeup, then coffee, then a return jaunt to fulfil requests may not be possible... but hey, I'll see what I can swing. If he's still wanting a tenner each though, he can whistle for it.
  10. Ohhh, there's ample performance alright. My PSNI Road Safety letter 'inviting' me to attend a Drivetech speed awareness course arrived a few weeks back... 😕
  11. That's very handy to know, thanks! Sensors and fault codes push me into uncomfortable territory, in terms of 'not what things were when I were a lad' (i.e. merely cramming tub after tub of Isopon into a shagged £80 Cortina and then fitting a crap Pye radio/cassette player whilst fondly thinking of myself as an AUTOMOTIVE GOD), but it's one of those things I know I'm gonna have to learn to live with... As a semi-professional catastrophist, the previous sight of some warning lights while cruisin' on the motorway has seldom had a happy resolution, but it's reassuring to hear that it doesn't automatically spell certain doom. Thanks also for the reminder on the Cataclean - looking waaay back, I did buy a bottle of that stuff after I had to limp one of the Lagunas back from Dublin on three cylinders, so it might be no bad thing to see if it helps matters in this instance. Certainly much cheaper than a new catalytic converter... Glad to hear the Merc's still behaving itself, mostly! Heh, cheers dude! Yeah, the old Pepys story seemed to develop a life of its own - I've had a few folks tell me they enjoyed it to an unfeasible degree. I haven't done much writing for a while now, but mebbe I should go back and pull out the other Pepys stories I started but gave up on, and see if there's anything salvageable. I like the idea of turning the EML off for special occasions... and that's a handy way to think of it! As someone who's relatively new to the joys of Subaru ownership, it's encouraging to learn that 'it's just one of those things' that they do - kind of like the age-related alarm issues mentioned upthread. I've had a few compliments from bystanders on it since I took it on - seems to be one of those cars which either gets totally ignored, or people really dig them. Even though it's the 2.0 rather than the 2.5 XT, it can certainly get a move on... The brand loyalty for Subaru is encouraging; I'd deffo consider a Legacy or an Outback in future...
  12. Not all that much... probably about 5mm above the 'max' mark, or thereabouts. Maybe less, as our driveway slopes down and the dipstick tube's on the lower side of the engine block. I'm probably panicking over nothing again, though the oil could do with a change, for sure. Because it's had phases where it's gone nowhere for months at a stretch in the past year and a half, I've been even less fastidious than usual about oil changes - but there's probably about 12,000 miles covered since I last gave it a good sluice. I checked the air filter while I had the bonnet up, and it still looks pretty clean - the fault code can apparently indicate a clogged air filter, but after having a poke around the air box, I don't think it's that. Whenever I bought the Forester, I went nuts in ECP and bought a new fuel filter along with all the other service stuff, which I still haven't fitted as it all looked a bit... involved. But I really ought to bite the bullet and fit that too; its failure is another potential reason for the EML. Assuming of course that it's not actually a coil for an Alfasud or something like that in the box, knowing how ECP operates more like some kind of surrealist car parts tombola than as a shop... 'Any part for any car', they say? Yes, it very probably could be.
  13. Nope, not that early - my Polo's box says 'Mettoy 1979' and I'm fine with that. The one I previously owned and sold also had the later cast-in grille and lights, rather than the sticker at the front, so I'm happy enough with a like-for-like replacement. I'm still not quite sure when Corgi changed the Polo's tooling to a cast-in and painted front end, rather than applying a sticker to the flat front panel - the catalogues of the era always seem to show it from behind, to emphasise the opening hatch, so it's hard to know when the switchover happened. At a guess, the sticker was a cheaper, more cost-effective way to add detail rather than having to spray-mask the front end twice, once for black and then once again for silver. I suppose it sped up production to cut out yet another painting and drying step - the model's shell already needed silver spray for the bumpers and red for the rear lights to give the shell a bit more detail. Possibly a newer process was later devised to speed up the painting process, or maybe someone senior commented unfavourably on the stickered front end and asked for it to be changed, despite the added hassle. There's no clue in The Great Book of Corgi, and since ol' Marcel's long gone to the Great Toyshop In The Sky, I guess now we'll never know why. Just to ruminate further, spray-masking's one of those things that Corgi continued with for much longer than other manufacturers, possibly because it was how the Swansea factory was already set up and there wasn't the money to change the production lines. It was a messy and time-consuming process though, with a cut-away mould needing to be pressed close against the part-finished model before spraying with the contrast colour. The mould needed to be washed after every five or six uses, so it was a bit of a faff for the painters. It was also very easy to smudge or otherwise damage the paint during the process, and paint blemishes became the most common reason for models failing quality control. One side of the two-tone Toyota Supra I bought a few years back is terrible (and, of course, the eBay vendor was careful not to show that side in the pics). Originally waterslide transfers were used to provide lettering or rally-style decals, but these were notoriously messy to apply at production line speeds, and seem to have been phased out in the early 1970s in favour of paper-backed stickers. Corgi persisted with these well into to 1980s, by which time Mattel and Lesney had switched to tampo-printing processes for model decoration. Paper stickers didn't bode well should the toys get wet - although others in the range such as the AMC Pacer X did come with slightly hardier translucent plastic stickers, as did the Motorway Maintenance Mazda B1600, and the Ford Capri 3.0S. As far as I can see, Corgi's first mainstream tampo-print model didn't appear until January 1981, when the Rover SD1 appeared in Triplex touring car livery, combining spray-masking with tampo-print for the sponsor logos. Other models followed, often with eyecatching rally or racing logos such as the Datapost Metro and BASF BMW M1, although the yellow and black first version of the Renault 5 Turbo still wore paper decals. The automation of the decoration process did away with what Van Cleemput called the 'armies of girls' previously employed in the Swansea factory to apply stickers, and by the time of the management buy-out in 1985 - and the advent of models like the fantastic Kremer Racing Mercedes van above - sticker decorations were becoming a thing of the past.
  14. So the Forester's alarm issue seems to have been mostly solved by the complex and ingenious method of NOT LETTING THE BATTERY GO FLAT, which will no doubt come as a relief to all and sundry. I say 'mostly' as it's gone off a couple of times since the last updates - generally because the suction cup thing that holds the dash cam on to the windscreen has an annoying tendency to unstick itself when the weather gets hot, then swing around merrily at the end of its power cable, tripping the interior sensor things as it does so. You may* have noticed that it's been a smidge warm of late. But that's not really all that much of an issue, and since it hasn't reoccurred at 4am I'm significantly more relaxed about it. I was so chuffed, I even washed it. The rebuild of the ignition key by the fella from Peterborough has proved a satisfactory move, as it continues to lock and unlock on demand with a single squeeze of the button, rather than two dozen frantic pummelings while my fingers turn white as I try not to drop seven bags of shopping in Tesco carpark. I guess this was a blessing in disguise, as it was highly unlikely I would have bothered my lazy arse to get the failing microswitches fixed otherwise - preferring instead to continue taking no action while complaining vociferously about it at every opportunity to MrsDC, who just loves* my charming* tendency to do this. Naturally, I've done nowt with the rusted out tailgate yet. Unable to find any Araldite locally, and reluctant to breach the 'stay at home' order in place at the time for what amounted to cosmetic automotive reasons, I bought some cheap Poundland two-pack epoxy and then got no further with it. I'm now kinda used to the jaunty little angle of the rear plate, though I know I'll need to do summat before MOT time in October. But you'll be well aware that I don't tend to come back and write on this page because everything's hunky-dory. Oh no. Since starting to use the Forester again in April, once things started to open up again, I'd noticed a curious thing; the fuel consumption has improved a fair bit. Generally, over three years of Forestering I've come to expect about 300 miles out of a full tank, the last thirty miles of which would be accompanied by the fuel light (the downside to a turbocharged 2.0 flat-four - but also in fairness it only has a fairly piddly fifty litre tank). But since things started opening up again at the end of April, I've noticed that 330 to 340 miles can go under the tyres before the fuel light puts in an appearance. Hmmm. Maybe I'm doing fewer short-distance journeys these days; maybe my driving style has become more relaxed (unlikely). But I'll set that aside for a second. Last Saturday, on a mission to Dromore to look at sofas (rock 'n' roll, kids), we had achieved a pleasant cruising speed on the M2 when I casually glanced down at the clocks to find the EML glowing away with its evil yellow gleam. You don't have to go very far back on this thread to find out why this put the shits right up me; even though everything else was showing as A-OK in terms of temperature, oil etc. So I steered off onto the hard shoulder near the Fortwilliam junction and brought it to a halt. There were no odd noises beyond the rattling exhaust heatshield that always vibrates at idle - I went back twice to get the exhaust fitters to fix it and apparently they couldn't - and when I popped the bonnet release (still working well after its strip-down), there appeared nothing untoward in terms of noises or leaks under the bonnet. Admittedly it was hard to tell, with five lanes of traffic thundering past me, but it seemed ok - none of the smoking, steaming ruins as per the Green Gooner's histrionics. Now, the Forester does burn a bit of oil now and again, and as far as I can tell it's not an uncommon habit for this particular hi-powah engineering gem - so I keep a litre of 5w/30 part-synthetic in the boot for the odd top-up. I'd thrown a glug down the filler neck no more than three weeks previously cos it looked a little low on the dipstick, so I didn't think it was an oil issue, but in a fit of paranoia I cut the engine and began frantically checking the dipstick. After a few minutes of hard shoulder hypertension, I managed to convince myself that the oil level was indeed low, and with few other options apparently open to me, poured in a goodly slug of the ol' motion lotion - only to note with rising panic that a bit more must have returned to the sump while I was busy guddling in the boot, since the oil level was now reading above the dipstick's upper indicator. Well, fuckaroonie. Out of options, I had to sheepishly explain the situation to MrsDC, before exiting the M2 at the next junction and slowly crawling homewards on 30mph roads, then jumping into the 'orribly abused but ever-faithful Yaris to get to Dromore before the shop shut. I then ignored everything for a week, in very best DC tradition, before eventually digging out my cheapo no-name eBay special OBD2 Bluetooth reader and starting to faff about trying to find out if the EML had thrown up a corresponding fault code. I'll draw a veil over my cack-handed technophobic fumblings, but ultimately it turned out that the freebie Torque Lite app doesn't work too well with the most recent versions of Android, and that's why I couldn't get the damn thing to pair. Because I'm a packrat hoarder who never ever chucks stuff, a superannuated Samsung with impaired memory and only 13% battery life rode to the rescue, and suddenly we had an idea what the issue is: Hmmm. Code P0420; catalyst system efficiency below threshold (bank 1), which some light Google-fu suggests is linked to an oxygen sensor detecting that something isn't right somewhere. This seems to cover a vast variety of maladies and potential expense, from a fucked catalyst to a grotty fuel filter, or an exhaust leak, or crappy fuel, or a banjaxed sensor somewhere in the system. And, just to refer back to what I was blathering about earlier, is a sensor issue perhaps altering the car's ECU to run a little more lean, hence the recent improvement in fuel consumption? So, I'm not really much the wiser (when am I ever?), but I am at least reassured that it's probably not something that's going to explode messily everywhere - Subaru forums seem to broadly agree that a P0420 fault code can sometimes be a temporary blip with no real cause, and there's nothing wrong with simply clearing the code and waiting to see if it returns. So that's what I did. I also checked for historic fault codes, but there weren't any. Either this old thing is fairly well-behaved, or a previous owner has plugged in and cleared them already. Obviously, even with the EML now off I still haven't driven it anywhere, as there's waaay too much oil in the sump and I really ought to drop that and change the filters too... The most complex part of the whole operation was removing the OBD2 widget, which was now sitting tight and flush in a recess under the steering column, and seemingly impossible to retrieve. I mean, I would have left it - only I know it puts a drain on the battery, and... well, we don't want to go there again, do we? Eventually, I prised it out using a combination of scissors, keys and needle-nose pliers, with only some light scuffing to all parties (including myself). So there we have it. Fun fun fun? I think I'll wait for the weather to cool down a bit before doing anything more involved...
  15. That grille looks way better - nice choice. Reminds me of a bigger version of the P70 Starlet a friend from school used to drive.
  • Create New...