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TrabbieRonnie last won the day on July 23 2022

TrabbieRonnie had the most liked content!

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  1. Well, as the RX8 isn't quite done (bodywork), I thought I'd better pull my finger out... and move on to something else! The old jeep has been left off the road for a while now, but with the looming threat of winter, we want her back. Unfortunately, she has become a bit of a project. We looked under the front plastic wheelarch flares... and there's nothing under there! I need new wings. However, they are out of stock in the usual haunts, second-hand ones are probably pretty knackered too by now, and I can't imagine the price/availability from Toyota would be pleasant! Anyway, I have a welder... we're going to have a go at making them right, if a bit more 'off-road'. This is after picking a line to cut that got all the rust, and bending a 75mm strip of 1mm steel into shape. It will actually be tacked in with more of an down-ward angle on it, it just wouldn't sit that way for a pic. Once attached, we'll trim the edge to a more natural curve too, and remove the excess from inside. Then, we plan to cut and weld on the vertical strip, to finish off the edge, and make it safe. She will end up with bigger wheel arch cut-outs, but that can suit these old things I think. The bottom return edge will incorporate wee brackets to hold the rubber wheelarch liners we're going to fit, cut from some heavy-ish workshop flooring matting I've been keeping. The good thing is that none of the body or mounts will be touched, so if this doesn't work out and we can find pattern wings again, they can just be fitted instead. The project is proving ideal for my youngest to hone some metal-bashing skills anyway, there are plans for a custom bumper for the front too, of his design. Can it be road-legal in time for the snow though? Still have ball-joints and track rod ends to fit also... too many motors, too little time!
  2. Just filled up... Real world mpg's of an old RX8 in the countryside = 17.92 Excellent 👌.
  3. Another wee job ticked off today on the RX8... gearbox oil change. There was (and still is a wee bit) a bit of gearbox whine in this car, and I wasn't sure if tadts or I had a worn one. Anyway, as the car spends most of it life north of 6000 rippums (it really is addictive), and I don't know when it was last changed, it couldn't hurt to change the oil. First up, jack up... Never had a car up on this jack that's lifted it's other front wheel in sympathy, actually if you max out the jack, the rear wheel comes off as well, and you can rock it by hand. I will obviously regret this one day when the jack goes through something, but still, impressively stiff! Check out my new shiny things, cat and starter looking sweet... Anyway, access didn't seem great for squeezing the wee oil bottle's contents in, and so I decided I would top up from above. Some dismantling was required... The above shows the route through to the 'box past the gearshift gaiter. My kit was assembled, and so I drained out the 1 3/4 litres it holds. There was a fair bit of shite on the magplug, and the oil looked a bit grey. Not too sparkly, so hopefully there's some miles left in them thar cogs. At this point, it started raining quite heavily, so my 'top up from up top' plan came into its own. I sat in comfort with my upturned bottle of gl4 in one hand, and this fine forum's content in the other, lovely. Obviously, a test drive was in order, with the car driving much the same as before. The gear whine is quieter, but still there and just part of the experience I think? Other RX8 owners may be able to confirm or deny. It's not unpleasant anyway, and I am slowly getting my head round this quite different car. It comes alive completely when held at a minimum of 6000 rpm... pick up is great from there, and the way it settles into corners (even allowing a bit of tail-wagging!) is summink else. I've discovered the joy of 'turning around in the road' without using reverse... with the traction control off you can just spin her up and round with tyre-shredding fun wet or dry. Excellent. Really should paint it I guess! Cheers all.
  4. Rx8 back, and wow, starting is improved! The new motor (I think they're all the new-style faster rpm jobs now), really gives the engine a rude awakening. Hot and cold starts take the same time too, so I'm properly chuffed. Got Davanti tyres on the rear (mechanic recommended), a size up from standard. Can't feel any difference, but they do look better on the wheels, will go for the same at the front when needed I think. £550 credits of the realm were required in exchange for both jobs, which seems reasonable enough. Adding that to the cost of the car, and the new cat, gives a total of £1300. Not the cheapest I've ever had, but it is very nice. Next job will be tidying up and painting the rest of the bodywork blebs, and then just enjoy for what's left of the no-salt season.
  5. Rosie the Trabbi has outdone herself today, completing the Tour of Speyside rally in fine style. Here's us at the start... We headed off at 10:00am, my youngest in charge of navigating using the provided map and rally style pictograms. He was an absolute natural and kept us right for the 147 miles. I've lived here for years, but still encountered roads I'd never been down before. Great stuff. Check out the metal crammed into the Carrbridge hotel's car park, the halfway/lunch stop... Checked and topped up fuel at this point (11 litres used, very hilly route though). All other systems checked out fine too, the exhaust repair was holding strong. Had a good chat with the owner of a Gilbern Invader, who had been surprised by the Trabbi's turn of speed on the narrow twisties. He found it especially hard to believe upon seeing the wee beastie's powerplant! To give a flavour of the relaxing* ambience you could experience during a highland tour in a Trabant, see this video of us hassling some old Escorts and a Lotus around Lochindorb... All in all, a really enjoyable day, I hadn't done the rally thing before, but it definitely adds some excitement to the drive, having to follow the directions and keeping ahead of your rivals. The craic was good, we got a mug each for our efforts, and everyone there was an actual car person, perfect. Would do again, 11/10. In other news, my RX8 is not home... the starter motor did not come in on time, I am assured it will ready on Monday. Good job I had an actual rally car to play with today! Cheers all.
  6. Thankfully, even with the RX8 away in dry dock, Rosie the Trabbi was around to provide mechanical tinkering time today. Coming home in said vehicle last weekend, the heat exchanger/expansion chamber section of the exhaust split neatly in two, right at the engine manifold joint. This occurred at full chat, flying up the hill at 60mph. Without any noticeable drop in performance, my wee 600cc machine gave a passable impression of a Lancaster Bomber on final approach to the village. Sub optimal, as we are entered into a 145 mile rally around these parts on Saturday, amongst some fine old cars from the local car club. They have us starting fifth, with all the wee Austin's etc, obviously they are labouring under the false impression that a Trabant is a slow vehicle! It is my mission that the hordes of MK2 Escorts and Lotus Elans will be left in our smoky wake, aghast at the speed of the DDR's finest! Hence, repairs were needed... My youngest shiter has today dismantled the exhaust, and stick-welded it back together beautifully. It's a stainless system that has been on for a few years now, and the heat cycles combined with the somewhat intense vibrations must've done for it. My work van provided some stainless rods so it should last a while. We managed to get a more natural fit under the car this time, all the hangers are attached, and none seem to be under duress. A quick rattle around the local hills has proven the effectiveness of the repair, so a quick wash and scrub up tomorrow and she'll be ready. I've never done one of these rallies before, it was the promise of a wee rally plate to stick on the front that clinched it! Next update should be on Friday, with the RX8 hopefully home and happy again. Cheers all.
  7. Old RX8 in FTP shocker...! Suppose it had to happen, and it could have been worse. Been properly out and about in the car today, out to Inverness and back, and then out to the coast at Roseisle. A good hundred and fifty or so miles of enjoyable motoring was had. I decided to stop in at the garage on the way home to check if my new tyres were going to be in tomorrow. On leaving, the car just went 'click' instead of 'vroom'... bugger. Starter or its solenoid seems to be the culprit, everything lights up as normal, just no crank. Gave the offending article a good whack with the persuader, rocked her back and forth, but to no avail. Couldn't have happened in a better place at least, I must have started the car a dozen times today without issue, weird. Two days and £170 for the starter, £160 in tyres too, so the cheap rotary experiment is getting less cheap I guess... not too bad though. Fuel costs... Before all this, all these miles meant that another fill up was on the cards today also, and with the maths done, the mpg figure is... 20.2 (218 miles for 49 litres/10.7-ish gallons). Not exactly sipping the old go-juice there! However, for the first quarter of that tank, the rear brake was stuck on, so I should see a slightly better figure for the next one. I think that figure is about par for the course with these things though... doesn't have to be my daily thankfully!
  8. Second tank of fuel has gone in, teething troubles so far... Coolant... Not really a trouble as such. Coolant level sensors are a notorious fail on these apparently. It comes on at randomn intervals for the first few miles of a journey, and then again when parking up. Of course I topped it up a couple of times, leading to it burping it out the overflow on shutdown. It doesn't help that the 'max' level is very low down on the header tank, it must expand more in this than other cars. Getting used to it. Brakes... Rear left was binding, wheel was hot, covered in dust and started squealing. Just in from cleaning it all up and pumping some fluid through. All better, the car actually feels freer so hopefully the fuel economy will be amazing* now! Zeroed the trip on fill up, so will have an accurate measure next time. I think the handbrake mechanism might have been seizing up a bit/not quite releasing, as it was all quite rusty looking. And that's it for now. I am still getting a feel for the car, using the full performance needs a good empty road, but it is a very enjoyable and great handling car at any speed. New rear tyres on Wednesday I think, which will inspire more confidence also. Found a fwend at Halfords while in getting gearbox and diff oil...
  9. The noise gets addictive... So far so good 🤞😅
  10. It's only gone and passed!!! Advisory for the rear tyres as expected, emissions didn't look great at first, but fell into line great after a wee rev up... result. He was more than happy with the underside, and did have a good old prod, so I have full confidence now. Tyres should be in for the middle of next week, better burn these ones up in the meantime I suppose! Spends so far on this one aren't bad, I think I'll be up to the grand mark with the tyres and mot. Cheers all.
  11. Countdown commenced... Test booked for Friday afternoon 🤞. It's £30 for a days insurance, or £200ish for the year. Probably going to just pay for the day in case it fails, and swap it for the jeep on the multicar policy if it passes. Very excited here at Trabbi Towers, the wee thing is as polished up as a rusty old Mazda can be. It is driving beautifully up the lane, I can't wait to head out on the open road. It's the sportiest car I've had I think, the speed and way it pulls from second into third gear is just... wow! Still pretty loud even with the cat fitted, but deeper and not at all unpleasant. The interior has come up nice, and everything works. Tried the in-dash cd changer this morning, the stereo system is Bose, and almost as good as the A8's. So I'm basically like a kid waiting for Christmas, I hope the old car gods are kind.
  12. Well, had a weekend back on the RX8 after a fortnight away with work (replacing two grain elevators at the picturesque* Strathclyde Distillery in downtown The Gorbals)... We have replaced the fake cat with a real one, which has instantly improved the smell... It was quite eye-watering before, and now isn't. The right hand sill has been gently wire-brushed and re-coated, and the final hole has been cut to allow the rear abs sensor wire through into the boot. Reconnected, and the abs and traction control warning lights have gone out. Next came the oil. The sump plug was the tightest I have ever known, as was the oil filter. It's removal left us both a bit worse for wear... T'was an absolute bastard. Anyway, a few litres of Halfords finest resulted in instant oil pressure on startup, and very smooth running. Methinks it may have been overdue a change, so I'll probably do it again pretty soon. The next step in the plan is to subject the nearside sill to the same treatment, another good wash and interior clean, and then book her in for the test. If she passes, then her reward will be a new set of tyres for the rear, and either a good used set of front wings or yet more lashings of filler in these ones. All in all, I'm at the stage I really love when bringing back an old car, when they start to feel a bit more up together, and a bit more 'mine'. Every time I take it up the lane for a spin, it feels smoother, with brilliant brakes too. Fingers crossed she gets back on the road this week!
  13. You have saved a great car there, the good times are well deserved! I totally get what you're saying, it's a great feeling bringing a good car back to where it should be. I'm sure it'll hold out for a while (maybe keep a belt in the boot, just in case!), you enjoy it. We're all enjoying the updates too fella, cheers!
  14. Washed up a bit, and a clandestine run to start running the fresh fuel through. Will do so every night this week, and then fit the new cat and change the oil at the weekend I think... It's funny, there's about seven different shades (and textures!) of blue paint on this car, blebs and wee dents everywhere you look, but somehow it still looks the part! Starting to feel more like one of the fleet now, running and driving well. Need to get under the front-to-mid section of the floorpan, to see what else is lurking under the underseal. The best paint on it... Checked the lights (it has very aggressive headlight washers also!) and found a new problem. The reverse lamps are permanently on. Switch problems quite common apparently, will have a look in there when next underneath. Need to get a wriggle on, home this week then away for two with work, followed by two weeks off. I would very much like some highland road blasts during my time off! My neighbour rather unkindly proclaimed this as my mid-life crisis car... he's right I think!
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