wow: I didn't realise it had been so long. I've been back for a few months now, albeit just lurking, so it's probably time I update this thread with what's been going on.
Firstly, the MX5;
I've had it 3 years now, and it's still yet to let me down. Last summer noticed it was starting to get pretty close to overheating when I was stuck in traffic, so I've replaced the radiator with a new one. I forgot to take a picture of the old one, but it was well past it's best and had a crack forming along the top, so I was lucky to catch it when I did. This was a nice easy job that I don't think took me more than an hour to do, and now the temp is much cooler. Almost too cool, to the point where getting it properly warmed up seems to take ages. I think that the thermostat may need looking at too.
It's also had a set of new tyres, along with other little bits and bobs here and there, but on the whole, its wanted almost nothing but petrol. it's due an MOT in a few months time, and last year it got some advisories for rust (somehow the first ones its ever had I think), I've been keeping it clean and doing what I can to slow the rot down, so hopefully I won't have to worry about it just yet...
and the Mini:
Not long after my last post, I put down a deposit to finally sort out the bodywork and get it solid again. The garage had a bit of a waiting list, so I wouldn't be able to drop it off until June, which gave me a bit of time to sort a few little things out, and sporadically use it in the meantime, or so I thought.
I had the old pepperpot wheels professionally refurbished and some new tyres put on, which honestly worked wonders. No idea why I hadn't just done that in the first place.
I also decided that it was finally time to do the London to Brighton run, something that nearly all Mini owners seem to do at some point, but despite owning mine since 2016, I've never bothered with. I think the distance between me and London has always put me off. Unfortunately, I never made it. About halfway down the M1 it just cut out and wouldn't start back up again.
The AA towed me to the services and neither they nor me could work out what had caused it. Their best guess was an ECU issue, which they wouldn't be able to solve there, and as it was fairly late into Saturday afternoon by this point, nowhere that could fix it was open, so all they could do was tow me back home. I then arranged to have it taken to a Mini specialist with a MEMS tool to work out what was wrong with it. turns out that missing engine mount bolt from the last post was one of two that were missing, so the engine was just being slammed against the bulkhead, basically destroying all of the ancillaries on the back of the engine. As far as I can tell, in doing this, it had sliced through part of the wiring loom, and just shut it down completely. All in, it's cost me about £1,700 to put right, and left an awful taste in my mouth. It runs much better now, but I've lost most of my faith in it, especially for longer journeys.
right after it was sorted, it was dropped off for the restoration work in about Juneish. The guys doing the work have made a few Youtube videos with it in, which are just below if anyone's interested.
It's had some more work done since them videos, including new door skins and a few other repair panels put in, but I don't think that they're finished with it just yet. There's been a fair few delays since I dropped it off, so for now I'm just sitting tight and waiting to get it back.
So the plan going forward? I the short/medium term, I'd like to get the Mini back, keep it for a few months and then sell it on before the summers over. I've had it for 7 years now and while it's been away I just haven't missed driving it all, so I think the time is right to say goodbye. once it's gone, the MX5 will probably take its place as the 'fun' project car, and I'll find some ULEZ compliant porridge with a bit more space inside to take over daily duties.
In the longer term, I'd quite like another classic. I was lucky enough to have a test drive of a 2CV recently, and absolutely loved it. But with the Mini still being away, I wasn't able to get the money together for it in time before it sold. I've still got my eyes out for another though, so hopefully this can happen eventually.