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abelw44's Achievements

Rank: Austin Maxi

Rank: Austin Maxi (4/12)



  1. Clearly I must be an utterly soulless person! Each to their own, as they say...
  2. So, a thread resurrection of sorts.... Been meaning to write about this for a while, but back in June I made another ill-advised purchase - a 2001 b5 Audi A4 Avant 1.8 in a very fetching shade of Burgundy! Here she is post car wash on the day of purchase: In true Autoshite style, I put a deposit on a car sight unseen, travelled a long way to buy it and then immediately drove a car I knew nothing about 250 miles home! What could possibly have gone wrong?! As it turns out, absolutely nothing, because on closer inspection it has been fastidiously maintained. I suspect previous giffer ownership, as looking at the service book, they got absolutely rinsed by an Audi dealer for 20 years. It has 21 main dealer service stamps (So many they ran out of space in the book and had to hand write some in!), It's on its third cambelt including the original, has had frequent fluid changes, air con services and so on and so forth. The signs were all there, it was on four Continental tyres when I bought it, along with a full complement of Bosch wipers.... The owner has actually written in the service book beneath each service exactly what they did, down to the brand of oil and parts that were fitted! Though, as you can probably see from the photo, it hasn't survived the last 20 years entirely unscathed - it has had some proper giffer scuff repairs, with apparently zero masking of any kind (The front o/s headlamp has red paint on it, as did the tyre and fog lamp!) Aside from the cosmetics, it has a driveshaft that is tired and knocks quite spectacularly at full lock (because the p/o only got rinsed for a single new driveshaft when one of the CV boots split! Cheapskate...) Aside from these minor foibles, it honestly drives like it's 4 years old, not 20, it's smooth and refined whilst being surprisingly rapid considering it's only a 1.8! The best part was that I only paid 500 squid for it! On the way back from purchase, I brimmed the tank, and based on rough, back of a fag packet, style calculations I reckon she pulled about 40mpg which I think is seriously impressive for an old bus! Since purchase back in June, it has eaten up my daily 100 mile commute without a single fault! During the hot weather, I chucked it into a garage to have the aircon regassed on the off chance it might work - sure enough, pressure tested, it is absolutely spot on, and blows ice cold! Though the air con clutch is definitely on the way out as it makes an incredible grinding noise when in use ( which I only noticed one time when I got out with the engine still running and thought it might be about to explode... a testament to old school VAG sound deadening!) Other work I have done, includes new front brakes: As well as continuing its giffer heritage, by way of applying an old school AA badge to the grille and a NT sticker to the windscreen! I rather like the look of the AA badge on it... Recently, it started running pretty cold, particularly as the weather turned on my morning commute - so I set about making a total hash of what I thought would be the fairly easy job of replacing the thermostat! It's actually relatively simple to do, it can all be done from underneath, all you have to do is remove a small metal support for the engine that impedes access to the thermostat housing. However, naturally, I chose to do the job in the evening, just as the light failed and so I also failed to properly seat the thermostat before doing up the housing. The thermostat is at the bottom of the engine, so I would guess there's about 2-3 litres of coolant that goes in before any reaches it... So there was some swearing and desperate casting about for the bucket to chuck underneath when it inevitably started horsing out of the thermostat housing! And then I got to lie on my back, in the puddle of mercifully warm coolant, with it continuing to drip on my face while I reseated the thermostat and did up the housing again! Though that said, I regard an antifreeze aftershave as something of an Autoshite badge of honour... Since then, I also noticed it felt slightly down on power - /engage car bore mode - these engines have quite an interesting inlet manifold, with a valve on it to allow it to switch between two different lengths, to achieve laminar flow of gases at different engine rpms. However, the valve that controls this, is made of plastic and is on the engine so gets heat cycled frequently causing it to go brittle. So the arm snaps. I have seen pictures on the internet of a nice looking kit to replace it with an upgraded metal version, but I've never been able to actually find somewhere to buy one (If anyone on here knows, I'd be really grateful for a link!). So, for want of a better way, I applied a top quality* bodge: And so far, it has done the trick, for at least 1000 miles now! The other bit of work I have done, that as yet remains unfinished, involves the suspension. I invested in a Febi Bilstein kit with all of the suspension linkages and replacement fittings/fixings as they are all 20 years and 170k miles old, so could do with a refresh. The only ones I have done so far are the lower arms and drop links on both sides. It's all relatively easy to do, it just takes time, which I don't have a great deal of! The only bit that scares me is the dreaded pinch bolt for the top arms, which took me forever to sort out on my first A4! Though this time I may just take the hub knuckle to a garage with an oxyacetelene torch to heat it up and drift the pinch bolt out, as I have replacement top arms so it doesn't matter if the boots on the old ones get knackered in the process. (I'm not a photographer, in case you hadn't guessed!) Disaster struck one morning, when I came out to find a huge screw in one of the tyres, which meant it was flat as a pancake - but thankfully slight hoarding tendencies saved me. From the old A4 I have had a spare wheel in the shed/garage for years (Despite multiple "why the hell have you still got that? It's just taking up space and you will never use it" type comments..) which had a brand new tyre on it that had never seen the road - so that was pressed into service and I was back on my way! The only time in living memory that putting a part like that away for the future has actually payed off, so I may have been a little smug about it... I have also given it an oil and filter change, having done a bit of research, people online seem to think that Shell Helix Ultra 10w-40 is the dogs for this engine, though I'm open to suggestions if anyone on here knows different! On that note, does anyone have any thoughts/experience with snake oil type oil additives? I've been umming and arring over the Liqui Moly Ceratec additive, as reviews suggest that it makes a noticable difference. It's just ticked over 180k miles in my ownership, and it's been so well looked after that I would like to continue that and keep it going as long as I can! That's all for the time being, but in the not too distant future, it needs a cambelt. I would like to replace the air con clutch at the same time, and it also seems sensible to put on the brand new radiator I have still in its box in the garage that I bought for the last one... I'll leave you with a couple more beauty shots, for those of you who don't harbour quite so much VAG hatred! Thanks, abelw44
  3. Realise I'm late to the party, but I only just caught up on the post about the alarm on the Forester, which had me convulsing with silent mirth like and absolute lunatic in a coffee shop - absolutely brilliantly written! Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  4. Check the rear brake lines - they have a coating to stop then rusting that stops about an inch before the union in the rear wheel arch. This inch of unprotected line gets covered in all the shite coming off the wheels, and subsequently rusts! Pretty easy to replace though, and they are fantastic little cars to hoon about in! Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  5. Are there any still available? I'd take a couple if there are! Thank you
  6. Seems a little bit pricey at 2 bags, buy my word do I want one! https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1319696 edit: Just noticed it's a slush box as well! For maximum shite points. That must make it thunderously shite. My Dad had one in the early 2000s and that was bloody awful!
  7. What an awesome thread! Loving the progress so far and very entertaining to read. What a beast that C6 is! Hats off to you, I would never have the steely nerves required to buy one!
  8. The Herald is looking fantastic! An awesome little thing. Sorry to hear the fleet has got to be thinned... Particularly that beast of an XJR6! Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  9. Discovered this recently, just up the road from me: It's delightfully shabby, complete with heavily worn leather interior and tasteful* rug on the parcel shelf... Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  10. I'm afraid I haven't off the top of my head, sorry... I know I ran my red ignition live down to the cigarette lighter socket, but I suspect that's not much good to you. Sorry I can't be any use! abelw44
  11. I have, yeah, nice and easy to do - why? Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  12. And now it all makes sense! ? Thank you very much! High praise!
  13. That's cos they are! New inner and outer track rod ends, new lower suspension arms, new drop links, new driveshafts and so on and so forth.... Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  14. Thank you! Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
  15. It certainly is! Featuring all sorts of decadency, such as air condition, electric heated mirrors, and rear window wiper and so on and so forth! Magic is certainly one word for it.... Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
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