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shoddybanger's Achievements

Rank: Austin Maxi

Rank: Austin Maxi (4/12)



  1. Berlingo the abused donkey has been washed and taken to rest in the stable. It has crossed roads with a good samaritan!
  2. Woah. If the pictures don't lie, that is in exceptionally good shape. Certainly worth the trouble and expense to maintain and preserve. May it serve you well!
  3. Very classy! From France, you say? With mileometer? Is it a US import?
  4. Thanks, theshadow. That air con condenser replacement doesn't sound too awful of a job.. at least compared to a heater core. I'm dreading the day when a heater core lets go in any of my cars, as an inop heater is just not an option here. Good luck with the Hyundai!
  5. Well, I thought I'd do a small update, as the Astra and Volvo both failed their yearly inspections and needed some work. First up, Fehita the Astra. We've very much enjoyed Fehita - there's a certain willingness and effortlessness to it, so we tend to prioritize it over the Volvo, unless it's very hot (Volvo has A/C) or the whole family is going (Volvo has more room and more doors). The Astra has been providing adequate service, but the parking brake cable seized before summer, and the exhaust hangers for the rear muffler failed. I substituted the broken exhaust hangers with some wire, but didn't bother with the handbrake up until last month, what with the inspection looming. A cable change shouldn't be too hard, I assumed, but the Astra has cable brackets in the rear axle, that are held on by three small bolts each, and they of course proceeded to snap in their holes upon offering a spanner. I didn't fancy mucking about with extracting the screws, so I welded the brackets back on and called it a day. While under the car, I found a gaping hole in the back of the left sill, but I decided to leave it up to the inspector to decide. Unsurprisingly, the car got failed due the grot, so I had to weld on a couple of patches. An hole. I peeled back some of the factory rust protection goop to reveal perfectly fine metal beneath. I cut out the bad part and proceeded to make a patch. Not very elegant, but it works. . I patched up another hole I found in the outer sill, too. Afterwards I sprayed on some primer and paint, attached the sill moldings and called it done. The inspector was now happy. . The Volvo failed with a loose tie rod end, and upon fixing it I found that the wheel bearing was absolutely shot, so I proceeded to replace it as well... after faffing about with a broken bolt for half an hour. The CV axle thread was nearly buggered, so I didn't look forward to torquing the axle nut after installing the new bearing. Luckily the thread held up and I was able to torque the axle nut to proper spec and degree. In other news, the Mazda E2200 has been very useful for many a haulage. Here we are using it to take the ATV with trailer from the cottage back to the farm. (And yes, the cargo was strapped down properly for the trip after taking this shot, so no worries there.)
  6. Soo, it's been ages since my last update. Much has happened - we have moved to the countryside and have taken up farming. There is so much to do and so little time.. Anyhoo, purchase of said farm included, among other things, a Mazda E2200 flatbed. This was decommissioned for a couple of years due to a ruptured clutch line, which was subsequently fixed, and I finally found the time to take it for a roadworthiness inspection. It passed with compliments from the tester. A couple of advisories, though: there's a bit of grot in the exhaust pipe, a crack in the windshield and the license plate lights were inop, but otherwise she's quite sound for her age. We're looking forward to using her for farm equipment hauling duties in her in the near future. Here's a pez shot after passing the inspection. It's probably five years or so since she was last on the road.
  7. I doff my hat to you, good sir. This is the true spirit of autoshiteing right here. Classy work indeed. And what a great piece of automotive produce to be receiving it!
  8. As a former Daewoo Nubira owner, I nod in approval, tip my hat and wish for many happy returns!
  9. Fehita the Astra has proven to be mostly sound, so some fettling is in order. I did an oil + filter change a couple of weeks ago, and today it was time for new spark plugs and an air filter. The old plugs proved to be on there quite tight, but number 2 felt like it absolutely wouldn't budge at all, so I changed the other plugs and stopped for a minute to weigh my options. I knew that if number 2 would take the threads with it, it would essentially render the car useless. The X16SZR engine in Fehita is relatively easy to take head off of for a rethread/helicoil, but it wasn't something I'd necessarily want to do right now. I then remembered that there's a sweet 1990 Honda Accord for sale locally for 300 euro, so that would be my backup plan if it all went to sh*t, so I pressed on. The plug fought me pretty much all the way out, but luckily it didn't kill the threads. It looks like everyone before me wasn't as brave (or stupid?), as the no. 2 plug was indeed an OEM GM plug while the others were Champions. Makes me wonder whether this plug has ever been changed. Can plugs last 250k km? Anyway, I threw in some Denso K20TT's. I changed the air filter and proceeded to open the valve cover to change the seal I assumed to be leaking oil. However, once I had everything open I realized that the seal I had bought was a cork-type, while the OEM seal is a rubber one, so I buttoned everything back after taking a gander at the camshaft. There's a certain beauty in a simple, single-camshaft, single-point injection engine. Now that I'm writing this I'm thinking that the cork seal might have in fact worked fine, as it's the right size. Hmm.
  10. Agree with garethj. And it does sound like you need a break, really. Maybe try not to overthink it - just walk into a dealer's and drive out with a fairly new car that you happen to fancy as pure transportation. There will always be shite available, when you feel the need to delve in again.
  11. And that is the honest truth. Times are grim and we cockroachers are doomed.
  12. On Mazdas: a mate has a fairly recent Mazda 5 with 112k miles on the clock, and it just shat its engine. I think it had something to do with the DPF tossing all its post-regeneration gunk into the oil circulation, unfiltered bits getting into bearings and destroying the engine. He was not very happy. I think that's just shocking. Edit: Barry Cade, I understand where you're coming from. Sorry to see you've had bad luck.. sometimes you just get lemon after lemon. I just don't know if newer is better, to be honest. I just hate the financial risk, as I've had an expensive lesson once.
  13. I've had good luck with cheap shite that does fulfil the requirement of reliable transportation. They also have the advantage of not holding you hostage (see: sunk cost fallacy). When they eventually break beyond an easy fix, despite proper maintenance, replace with another cheap runner, rinse & repeat. I loathe throwing big bucks at a motor and then continue throwing big bucks at it to keep it running.
  14. My friend's father owned a construction company, so I learned to drive in some rather unexpected vehicles: a second generation Isuzu KB (a Bedford KB in the UK?), a first generation Volkswagen LT Doppelkabine and an Isuzu Campo. I also practiced driving in my mother's 1982 rwd Corolla and my father's 1971 beetle. This was in 1994 or thereabouts. Good times. The car I took driving lessons and took my test in was a Volvo 440 1.8 pez. This was in 1998.
  15. Maybe consider a... Suzuki Grand Vitara Kia Sportage Hyundai Santa Fe / Terracan Nissan X-Trail Honda CR-V Edit: or a Mitsubishi Outlander even..
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