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schnappi

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About schnappi

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    Rank Austin Metro

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    Essex

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    United Kingdom
  1. I'm lucky if "her indoors" gives me a chance to do an oil change! Great work BTW!
  2. Had one similar to this in the family not so long ago. Here it is when I was changing the N/S outer sill in (I think) 2011 :- It was in pretty good condition generally, and drove very well. Also had a genuine 20-something thousand miles on the clock. In the end my parents scrapped it in 2017 because it needed a new water pump and the owner (my brother) couldn't be bothered. Nobody told me until after the deed was done. I really wasn't impressed as I'd put a lot of effort into welding it up and it was a great car that had been in the family for generations. Wouldn't have been as bad if they'd have sold it but scrap it when it had recently had the bodywork sorted?!! It had even had notes left on it by people interested in buying it and they SCRAPPED IT!!!
  3. Those are the ones. In my case it's "try to push for normal self cancelling, only get three flashes, push again for normal self cancelling - now flashing for 1/2 mile up the road (can't see because top of steering wheel hides the idiot lights above the speedometer) eventually realise I'm flashing so panic and push the stalk the other way to cancel the lights. Now flashing constantly the other way so push down, now flashing the other way - everyone around me thinking WT%?". Had this car for 2 years now and still making a mess of indicating. The old Vectra with the mechanical stalks - never had a problem. Guess I'm just old.
  4. Well I'm a Vauxhall fan. We've had plenty in our family and they've all lasted decades. They're well put together, generally easy to work on. Lots of Vauxhall knowledge out there too. Parts aren't too dear. Lots of parts are interchangeable so you can have fun modding or upgrading them. Currently own a Zafira B which I've had a few years and (other than having extremely stupid indicators) am getting along with fine. Also own a 20 year old Vectra B (which I've owned for the last 18 years) with 265k on the clock. It's still running well but failed its MOT because I need to weld up the back end of the outer sills, the sill end plates and the inner wheel arches (usual stuff for a 20 year old car).
  5. Cars like the Vectra B perhaps? Earliest examples are now 23 years old, newest are 16 years old. They were literally everywhere and now you hardly see any (especially prefacelift). They're cheap to run and easy to work on. They lend themselves well to engine conversions (eg. X32SE 3.2 V6 from the Omega or C20LET 2.0 turbo from the Calibra). There were a huge number of trim levels and options available so upgrading was accessible. eg. Cruise control, SRI sports seats, GSI recaros, Irmscher bumpers / skirts, SRI Remus DD backbox, CDX HID headlights, CDX leather interior, factory SatNav, etc., etc.. Done up, they were a bit of a looker with the long bonnet and the faired in wing mirrors so were popular with the "Max Power" modding crowd. Prices have been in the gutter for the last decade so most have likely ended up scrapped. In ten years time I can see them making a bit of a comeback.
  6. schnappi

    Mr Clutch

    Never had any complaints about Mr. Clutch in Chelmsford. I've always found them to be honest. The last clutch I had done there was over 20 years ago, so a lot could have changed. Way I see it, they're not a "fast fit" place as such - more like a place that specialises primarily in clutches. Therefore the mechanics don't need a broad range of skills and have probably seen every type of clutch related problem and can do them with their eyes closed. When needing a "big job" it often pays to seek out a garage that specialises in that particular type of work. For example, I once needed a steering rack done on a Vectra which is a bit of a hassle as it's mounted above the subframe so the subframe needs to be lowered to get it out. Got quotes from various places locally and they were quite expensive. Found a steering specialist that was about an hour's drive away and they did a great job in half the time and were about 30% cheaper than the cheapest local garage. The reason? Steering racks is pretty much all they do. If I'd asked them to do a clutch they'd probably quote a high figure as it's just not their thing.
  7. Nice looking car. I remember trying to persuade my dad to buy an Austin Princess. I was about 10 years old and "Back to the Future" was a thing. Through my youthful eyes, the wedgey shape of the Austin Princess beared a passing resemblance to the DeLorean DMC-12. Fortunately my dad had more sense and ended up with a Mk2 Cavalier SRi.
  8. I'm Chelmsford born and raised. Work in Basildon. I had the base model but I remember that it drove very nicely and the cabin was a nice place to be. Nice comfortable dark blue velour seats, a dark blue deep pile carpet - a proper carpet not the grey scotchbrite carpets you get nowadays. Thick rubber factory mats. Upholstered door cards, etc.. That said, they rust is like nothing else you've ever seen and the S series engine had some strange design flaws like no gasket between the camshaft carrier and the head. It also had really poor gaskets between the rocker covers and the camshaft carrier. It is impossible to stop it from leaking oil. It also had a very peculiar carb (SU HIF44E) setup with lots of overcomplication. An overrun fuel cut off ORFCO valve, and a stepper motor driven enrichment and idle valve. All this was driven by some flaky Lucas ECU. All of these (then) advanced features were problematic as the ORFCO was prone to sticking and the vacuum switch that controlled the auto choke was troublesome. Even the stepper motor was fitted with O-rings that perished if you ran unleaded petrol. So all in all it wasn't Rover's finest hour. The corrosion was definitely the biggest issue though. If I had whole weekends to myself I'd probably get it done fairly quickly. A wife and three small children mean I get very little (if any) time to myself these days. To be honest, even though I often long for the days when I would spend all weekend in the garage I doubt I'll look back 10 or 20 years from now and go "I wish I'd spent less time with the kids and more time with that useless old Rover". Hopefully one day I'll have enough time to try and resurrect it. Who knows, maybe my children will take an interest when they're a bit older and it could be something we work on together? The Montego didn't suffer anywhere near as much. The SD3 has / had to be seen to be believed. I remember changing the clutch on mine back in the day and a few months later it had gone again. The reason was because the bulkhead had rusted so badly the clutch cable outer had pulled through the bulkhead so the clutch was not fully disengaged. It rusted literally *everywhere* and badly (holes, frilly edges, etc.).
  9. Went armed with a camera to where I'm storing my 1985 Rover 216S. Bit miffed to find the garage has started leaking which hasn't done the boot lid much good! Water must surely have found it's way into the boot so I expect it's a horror story in there. It was a bit Indiana Jones, cobwebs and dead spiders everywhere. The car is a lot worse since I last checked on it (probably 5 years ago). Still looks fixable but certainly not one for the faint hearted. From the rear, the leaking garage has left a puddle on the boot lid. Of course the Rover has responded in the only way it knows - to rust vigorously! Pressing the tops of the rear wings creates nice crusty sounds so the boot gutters are likely shot... Stupid leaky roof, even the compressor tank at the bottom left of the picture is rusting badly! The boot lid is in a sorry state... Good luck finding a replacement for a pre-facelift Mk1 Rover 200! Let's face it - whatever I do it's never going to be a looker so the boot lid is the least of my worries. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if that corner detaches itself when I open the boot. So having seen what the water has done up top, let's have a peek underneath. Not great! I've dealt with worse though. Note the nice shiny new exhaust it was treated to just before it was laid up in 2000 (right waste of money that was LOL!). Here's the offside viewed from the back of the car. These two doors were off a G registration facelift moel - hence the chrome trim. The originals rusted to the consistency of a digestive biscuit back in 1995! Here's the nearside viewed from the rear. The doors are the originals (black trim). The lower half of the door skins (out of view) are both pretty rusty. These doors can probably be saved but would need some repairs to the bottoms and the outer skin would need sections cut out and patches fabricated and butt welded in. It'll look abysmal but with these cars it's a question of anything is better than nothing... Here's the offside viewed from the front. Notice the dead spiders photo bombing the shot! The roof aerial rusted out about twenty years ago so I cut out the rot and patched the roof doing away with the aerial altogether. Unfortunately the repair looks to have started rusting again, possibly even perforated where the roof meets the driver's door. I mean, what car rusts on its roof when stored in a garage?! Look around the rust on the roof, there is dust everywhere - it's dry!!! These cars really are special! Finally, the shot I was dreading - the sills. When I took this I was pretty horrified at first. It's certainly not great but most of the sill is still strong and the rust is on the surface due to the matt stone chip paint being slightly porous. The bottom edge looks dreadful and will definitely need replacing. Hopefully I'll be able to get away with replacing just the lower half of the outer sill. The question is, what state are the floor and inner sill in? Even if they're corroded I can still sort it. Where I'd be out of my depth is if the suspension mounts are heavily corroded. Perfectly happy cutting, fabricating and welding panels (eg. inner / outer sills, floors, etc.) - other stuff is too scary. Couldn't get far enough in front of the car to take a picture of it head on but the front end is in remarkably good condition (not that it counts for much when attached to the mess above!). So there's my car! As you can see, yours was a real stunner by comparison and certainly looked a better starting point for a bodywork restoration. That said, there are areas yours was rusty where mine is still solid and because I can weld it won't cost me more than sheet steel and MIG wire to fix up. For me the problem is a total lack of time. 3 kids and a wife that doesn't get the "old car" thing, an endless list of home DIY jobs and a newer car (1997 Vauxhall Vectra - that needs some welding) are standing in the way. I live in hope that one day I'll get to at least try to resuscitate it! To be honest, I'm in total amazement that any of these cars are still on the road even though I saw one on the A127 a couple of years ago and then there's that ratty grey one that still has an MOT that was pictured earlier in this thread! How do the owners keep these cars from rusting themselves into oblivion? These are, without doubt, one of the most rust prone cars ever built!!!
  10. My parents had a Renault 21 Savanna. They bought it new in 1988 and scrapped it in 2010 as a runner with MOT still on it. It was a good car, took as all around Europe as kids and proved a reliable workhorse in later life. My dad retired and my parents decided they didn't need the expense of running 2 cars so the Savanna got scrapped (nice way to treat a car that's been good to you for 22 years!). Anyway, the biggest problem I remember was the usual one of thin French steel rusting here there and everywhere underneath. You could always patch it up and get it an MOT but next year you knew you'd be doing more of the same. Whatever you did, you could never halt the corrosion so ultimately it was only going to end one way. Being the type of car the Renault 21 Savanna is, they're never going to be treated to a full restoration and live a cosseted existence which is a pity.
  11. I'm new on here but joined because of this thread. A real pity to see this project grind to a halt. I own a 1985 Rover 216S (Hyacinth Bucket light metallic blue colour). It's been garaged the last 18 years and when put away it was a runner with MOT still on it. It was by far the rustiest car I've ever seen. During the time I was driving it, both sills were replaced, both rear arches, large sections of all four floor pans, large areas of the bulkhead, smaller sections of the boot floor. I replaced both offside doors. The nearside doors have rotten skins. I even had to patch up a 4 inch square hole in the roof where the aerial was. It even had rust starting in the middle of the roof! All the spot welded panel joins under the door seals (roof, A post and C post) were rusty. The area around the boot lid seal rusted... It rusted everywhere! That said, even though it's like a patchwork blanket I still have hopes of driving it again one day. It doesn't seem to have deteriorated much (from a bodywork perspective) since I put it away. It will never be anywhere approaching a decent looking car as too much has been cut out and welded but as an extremely rare care with sentimental value I can't part with it and I live in hope that I'll get a chance to drive it again. Perhaps when it's 40 and MOT & tax exempt I'll be able to plead my case with the wife! Anyway, I just hope that when that day comes I'm not faced with the situation you've come up against with your car. I'm fairly handy with a MIG welder and am used to welding cars but when it comes to suspension mounts etc., it starts getting scary. The worrying thing is that your car looked like a much better starting point than mine! I'm now quite worried about what horrors may lie in store! I'm actually shocked there are any of these still on the road!
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