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rusty_vw_man

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  1. Thanks for that - I lurk on most of them so I’ll go and have a squint….
  2. Been trying to get an MOT booked, but all the local garages are quoting weeks for an appointment. Took a punt on an MOT only place a bit further afield. I hate MOTs. I maintain my vehicles well, but the MOT just gives me the fear, they always have. I think it’s the apparent arbitrary nature of what each tester views as a pass or fail. Anyway, after a buttock clenching 45 minutes I have not even an advisory. I am a very happy man!! Might treat it to some new shocks now, using them money I had mentally set aside for MOT repairs (man maths…).
  3. Yep, all driven by younger people - that Volvo would have fitted right in. Also a lot of American chod - again mostly driven by younger people. Seemed to be a 50/50 split of men/women driving them as well.
  4. So made it - 3180 miles by van, 1182 miles by ferry. Issues with the van were limited to a split in the seat that rapidly unravelled, which I expertly* repaired And the bastard exhaust gaskets again. @cobblers had suggested before that these are subject to erosion of the head when the gaskets leak, which appears to be the issue. So a quick fix was required, featuring expory metal putty, oil and a new gasket - smear of oil on gasket, little roll of expoxy metal on head, bolt it up and it seems to have filled the holes. May or may not be a long term solution, but it did 1000 miles just fine so far. Work area for the repairs was basic, but worked well (and was the right way up in real life, won’t turn round for some reason!) Plus a bit of oil use, traces to a leaking gasket on the mechanical fuel pump, which was sorted and oil use returned to more acceptable levels. Driving wise, Finland is a joy - this is the main road or motorway* north and this is the same road 2 hours later Finland is still the home of old chod, although I was mostly driving so photo ops were limited, these are typical style (lowered, big modern alloys and very variable body work) and this old Scania turned into a camper It never got dark - here we are at 02:00 camped up (excuse the circus tent!) and here we are at the wife’s family home went to the local diy type shop to get supplies for a couple of projects - never seen so many car tools in one place - brake cylinder reamer anyone? also welding gas, car puncture repair kits, valve compressors and all sorts of other special internet stuff. I pointed this out, but apparently everybody needs such tools….. given the darkness this is the biggest car mod I saw (apart from the electric plug in engine heaters on all cars) this chap appears to have just self tapered some home made mounts to the front of his car, which was a common approach even in new cars! I have a pez shot at this station - on the arctic circle, but it won’t upload, so have one without the van in When camping we do have the most autoshite of cookers - you fill it with unleaded, pump it up and after a few seconds of uncontrolled fire it starts to vapourise and settles into a roaring blue flame - it’s terrifying and efficient in equal measures Did 6 ferries - most had a cut off height of 2.4m for cheaper tickets. I measured the van with top box at 2.4m ish so took a punt - it was quite tight, especially as the car deck flexed as you drove on it… the return was much the same, with the exception of this rather fetching AX in a German services so back now, looking at a few improvements including new more comfy seats, and possibly a wash:
  5. The long trip north has commenced - around 1000 miles in now. Stats so far: MPGeees - 21 - at average £2.10/L. Whelp. Countries - 4 Oil use - Exon Valdez quantities. I’m like the Hansel and grettal story, but with oil drops rather than breadcrumbs. Old chod spotted - 4 hill man imps on the ferry from Hull, nothing at all since. The Dutch, Germans, Danish and Swedes all drive new (mainly Germanic or Volvo) vehicles….. Heading into Finland next, where in the past old chod ruled, let’s see what it’s like now.
  6. Right, everything fixable I know about is fixed, the rest of the family have packed. I have euro breakdown, a credit card and a covid pass. Its therefore time to get ready for the off for this little trip in it - a mere 3700 mile trip to the arctic circle...... lets see how this goes.
  7. So next up is tyres. I was aware that the MOT man wasn’t overjoyed by the age of my tyres, so after a bit of good luck I scored a 10 mile set of tyres on decent wheels for less than a set of tyres would have cost. Result. Having inspected the old ones closer I had two firestones, a continental and a Yokohama, with between 4 and 8 ply construction and varying amounts of tread. The firestones look surprisingly good: tread - 6mm, uniform wear side walls not particularly perished: but the date code is a shocker: they are a week off being 25 years old. Think me and the last two owners got good value out of these! The other two were virtually new in comparison, being only 18 and 20 years old . The actual wheels are off a Brazilian Bay from 1998, so are in much better condition (and newer than my old tyres!) The old wheels had a worrying amount of rust where the centre is welded to the rim, so we’ll pleased to be rid of them!
  8. Well today went well. I’d just finished adjusting the handbrake, having finished rebuilding the rear brakes, when I used the sill to slide myself out from under the van. Except rather than metal, it was a bit like sticking my hand in a bag of mccoys crisps. Crunchy. It started as a hand sized hole, but then I picked it….. its very subtle, so like the MOT man I’ve added yellow marks! A quick tickle with the knotted brush in the angry grinder and it was soon approximately leg length. Really I need a new sill, but only have 10 days until I go away in it, so it was out with the 3mm sheet, and a rough but very robust repair was fashioned. No photos, as my phone had gone flat after using it as a torch!! Got it all plated up, zinc primed, painted and under sealed, which is handy as I have a trip out tomorrow to pick up new (to me at least!) wheels and tyres for it.
  9. So the rear brakes have started pulsing, and the hand brake has gone all shite - it’s either dragging slightly or doing nothing. EBay came up trumps for a complete set of drums, shoes, fitting kit, cylinders and handbrake cables. Surely everything* a man can need, right? First, find picture of where all the springs go, like this. The blue ones are savage. old drum it’s all scuffed inside, missing a few chunks and is beyond the maximum diameter. It’s had it’s day. someone has fitted new shoes though not all that long ago (must be PO). Leaky cylinder. 11mm magic spanner, little twist on the brake union and balls. My complete set of parts looks less complete now!! Fitted the rest of the bits on both sides anyway, will fit new line when the postman brings it… I also noticed a crack in the badly repaired front wing, so gave it a poke: hmmm, time for a new one, but not until after my holiday now (no time) so I’ll just use a smear* of filler to make good for now.
  10. Been nothing much doing, just been driving around in it. However, we’re off on a 4000 mile road trip to see family in Finland in it, so some prep required. First, heat as it’s chilly in Finland, and the sprogs whinge it’s cold in the back. So there are petrol heaters that would work nicely: how much? Ex vat? You taking the piss? Right to eBay - no petrol ones, but diesel ones for a much more shitter friendly price, which looks very very similar, almost like the webasto patent had just expired it turned up looking looking suitably Chinese. The manual is hilarious. the fuel filter was possibly the ropiest item, and will need replacing I have a raised area in the rear above the engine bay, which was full of tools and my special things (like rusty old nuts and bolts) so a quick clear out, a play with 127mm hole saw and it’s in: heat out goes through the cavity and pops out into a little box I knocked up at floor level I then converted a 5l Jerry van into a fuel tank - popped a tank pick up in, modified with a second pick up to act as a breather. Breather (the green hose) vents up through the rear pillar to the engine vent, clear hose goes to a pulse fuel pump behind the panel. It now sits in a neat cut out, easy to fill. just need some diesel, but had just stuck a replacement solar panel to the roof so couldn’t move it as the adhesive was still wet. Next up was the poxy exhaust leak. Been plagued by exhaust leaks at the head to exhaust joint since I fitted a stainless system a while back. One joint had been fine, but that started blowing. Hoiked it out I see the problem, the middle has gone, and the metal bits also in poor shape. New gasket in, of a different type, let’s see how long that lasts. Next up is rear brakes, service, tyres and a quick bit of fibre glass action to ‘repair’ a split in the front wheel arch….. 6 weeks to holiday, not too stressed yet….
  11. Using a ‘classic’ as a daily driver is a constant uphill slog - I have tried a variety of 30+ year old VW tat to commute in, including Chester to Warrington daily. I also lived and worked in South East London for 10 years so have experience of looking after cars in the street not a million miles from you. Your car will need constant fixing - even with a bit of effort now, it won’t be fixed and usuable, it’ll just be 50 miles away from the next issue. It was bad enough doing this with cars with readily available parts, let alone with something more obscure. Working on cars on the street is shit. It’s cold, wet and dirty, and occasionally genuinely dangerous. The weirdos all come out to see you (or they do me at least). It also often physically demanding. You also have the disadvantage that your car is a little unconventional looking, and for all those that look with interest others will see it as a fun target, and it’s light enough to move around (I won’t say how I know!) From what you have said, you are not likely to be able to exert the sort of effort required to work on the car on the street, and also don’t have the wherewithal to be able to find or pay a garage. To me you have a couple of realistic options, and I’ve had to go through the pain of this myself and tried all 3 - none are great: 1) decide its more important to save the car and sell it to a suitable person. Save the memories of having had one. Buy a shite old modern. 2) find somewhere safe to stash it until you have a sustainable way of caring for it. 3) limp it along, patching the bits you can and slowly watching it deteriorate further until it becomes (even more?) unusable. Be realistic, however much it hurts now. I let the type of car I had define me to a certain extent and it drove me genuinely loopy. More pressingly though, Would it pass an MOT (regardless of whether it needs one) and if not don’t drive it until it’s fixed as you’re potentially looking at a whole world of pain if one of the many local police either have a poke or you have even a minor prang…. I suspect you’ll have good arguments as to why I’m talking bollocks, but really I’m just trying to share my real life experience and pain so hopefully you don’t end up in quite such a shit place I did. Good luck whatever you decide, there is no easy way out of this for you I’m afraid.
  12. Been pottering around locally, DIY supplies, the tip, that sort of thing and it’s been fine. Middle sprog’s birthday treat was pepper pig world at Paultons park, a mere 480 mile round trip. Van was selected over the modern due to more space, more fridge and “a run will do it good”….. It did very well, except the brakes developed a bit of an issue. From cold they work fine - inch or so of pedal movement before nice firm progressive braking. After about 90-120 minutes driving the amount of movement increased to quite a few inches, much less progressive pedal, quite a wooden feeing, and slight* feeling of unease. However at this stage a second application returned a very firm and progressive pedal. Checked for leaks and fluid level, all fine. Stopped for lunch, all cooled down and they were like new again. Pattern repeated all weekend. No fluid lost. No worse on long descents. No smells, hot wheels or signs of dragging. No idea what’s wrong, but figured duration must equal heat, lack of performance due to heat must be boiling fluid, so must have a bit of old fluid somewhere that needs seeing out - thought I did this when I changed the master cylinder, but may be not…. As above it’s got new master cylinder and calipers, plus new flexi hoses so there is a limit to what can be wrong. Otherwise it used 500ml oil, did 22mpeegees and achieved a top speed of 71 mph (briefly!) Nothing at Paultons Park was quite as exciting as the first time the pedal dropped a bit further than I was expecting whilst doing 60mph towards the rear of an Aldi lorry stopped at some traffic lights……
  13. I find this thread and your persistence with getting the gearbox to work inspiring - I’d have launched the whole lot across the garage in frustration by now. Also fascinating to see how an automatic gearbox works, I’d just assumed it was voodoo and black magic, but your explanations actually make it sounds reasonably simple*…. Hope that when you split the modulator valve there is something obviously fixable!
  14. So the brakes were sorted on the van and it’s been doing builder merchant duty for some diy for the last week, but today was a trip out - 80 mile round trip to see friends for a walk in the forest near Dolgellau. Drive there fine, but on the way back a tapping started - gentle at first, but progressively more aggressive. Matched road speed not engine speed, so started thinking CV joints, those newly replaced front wheel bearings or possibly a calliper coming astray. Quick stop in a lay-by, scruffy clothes on (always carry scruffy clothes!) and a quick poke round. Culprit was finally located - wheel nuts on back wheel were a little* loose, looks like my tactic of never putting the hubcaps back on without a final tweak to check had failed me. Nuts done up we were away again, tapping all gone. Near home my wife congratulated me on all the work done, the quick fix and how well it was running and how good it felt to be using it again, but then spoilt it all by asking me what I thought would break next…..
  15. That’s lovely, makes me miss mine! I had a 1969 1200 which was similarly spartan, then a 1971 1300 which came with all the luxuries like two sun visors and a wing mirror on both sides! Bad news on the clutch cable, they are cheap and theoretically easy but can be a bit of a fiddle, although yours looks in generally better condition so maybe the conduit won’t be full of rust!!
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