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Everything posted by TrabbieRonnie

  1. Hi all, More island travels have been had, this time with work, but enjoyable nonetheless... Lovely place and people, and the road out towards Mull... stunning! Anyway, on my return we fitted 5mm spacers to the Audi Coupe, mainly to impress my boys tbh. They have made a very subtle difference, but the car looks bob on I think... Before... And after. Like I say, subtle but looks great in the real life... The wee car is driving lovely, currently very glad I didn't sell it! We recently bought a box of 80s/90's albums on cassette, as this, the jeep and the 323 are all blessed with a tape deck. I will have the cash one day for a respray, just going to enjoy it's slightly scruffy Audiness till then. Trabbi also buzzing along nicely, having just passed its MOT without advisory. I've started touching up minor bits of body paint, and have redone the wheels, so she's looking pretty smart. I'm considering removing and cleaning out the exhaust (fairly sure we used to fill 'em with caustic soda when I were a lad?), Certainly the tailpipe end is fairly gunked up after the few years it's been on, so god knows how the centre resonator/silencer is inside. Any and all advice on the best way will be appreciated (stainless exhaust btw). Stock photo... Wee Maz racking up the miles with my eldest, and running at just shy of 50 mpg on the new Demio lump. He now wants spacers too! T'other Mazda hasn't had much time spent on it, but I do have a two week break coming up which will remedy that. My youngest has taken on the wheels in the meantime, and we have settled on some Ford bronzey-browny goodness... Nebulous plans to take this thing Autotesting are developing, there is a local club I've found organising such things... As it stands, the engine is starting better hot, and running beautifully during its regular neighbour-annoying (but very motivating) fire-ups! All in all, much enjoyment has been had with the sun shining on the old fleet, thankfully we enjoy the work as much as the driving about in them! Cheers all.
  2. I've never been to Arran, however, can highly recommend an exploration of the Scottish islands... Lewis and Harris, Barra, they have the best beaches I've ever seen! Just found Tolsta beach (not far from Stornoway) this week, stunning and empty!
  3. Long time without an update, must try harder! Currently on the isle of Lewis (outer Hebrides), and finding swooping along in the A8 V8 very agreeable... The roads are a good mix of wide open/see for miles, and twisty single-trackers. I have been here once before, but headed south to Harris, and then to Barra. Some bits here feel like another planet, very beautiful and helped by the glorious weather... The car feels perfect here, and is running well. I got the new exhaust flexi in a wee while back. The rather ample rear took all the luggage (including two guitars, amps etc), easily, and the power available means you just flow up the hills without effort (some effort must be being made somewhere however, as we're currently showing 25.7 mpg's!) Back on the boat at the weekend, the drive across country between Ullapool and Inverness is a good one too. Cheers all.
  4. Ha! I'll show my eldest, he'll be chuffed!
  5. Nice wee car that, after a bit of research we sourced and fitted a 1.3 out of a Demio for my eldest shiter's 323. Dropped straight in, only difference we could find was the rocker arms. Beautifully smooth little engine too. We do have nebulous plans for a mx-5 1.6 lump once he's built up some insurance brownie points, but I'm assuming that will require ignition/ECU/manifold type shenanigans. Apparently will bolt onto the bellhousing no bother though. Good luck with the welding, I'm awaiting better weather before getting stuck in to the RX8's back end, 'proper' Mazda's do seem to get under the skin somewhat! We've definitely got the bug.
  6. Hi all. Well, Big Audi refuses to speak to the new level sensor I fitted... not sure if it's because it's a non-genuine part, or I have buggered up the wiring of the fiddly wee pins in the multiplug. Further investigation required, however, the car is behaving a lot better. All suspension heights are selectable, it's just that the headlights stay set too low. It has also developed an exhaust leak at the flexi I damaged a while back (gave that job to the garage to sort, will have a look myself this time). It sounds amazing (think American V8 burble), but is a bit anti-social. It's all stainless, so hopefully the flexi bit has just come loose or something. Would have had a look today, but it snowed overnight... Mazda 323 has had more stickerage applied, and therefore an extra 5hp at least... We're thinking of getting a wee boot spoiler for it too, like the GTR version. The wheels and sunstrip are giving it quite a sporty vibe, which I think suits it... Had a wee taz round the local area this morning, below was a refuel stop for the Trabi, hence the bonnet up... (Trabants, as we know, never FTP). I fill my jerry can (in the boot) at the petrol station, and then mix in the 2 stroke oil in that before filling the car's tank. This ensures a good mix of the right proportions. Also saves funny looks on the forecourt as you lift the bonnet to fill her up! Really looking forward to the summer now, should be fun with the RX8 if I can get it sorted too. Cheers now.
  7. A couple of little'uns from our fleet pictured below... I suppose the 323 is a natural Fiesta alternative, the Trabi... erm, a Mini in communist flavour maybe? In all seriousness though, the wee Mazda is a very comfortable and capable car, feels bigger than it is. Retro af too, apparently.
  8. Hi all... Seasonal greetings etc. Surf plodding through the weather beautifully, here's me and it attending to a neighbour's stricken XC70, the gearbox of which has decided to lose the plot exactly when it's AWD qualities would have been handy... She should have bought a Toyota, I know... Been out for a run in the Trabi today, as for some reason I keep forgetting to SORN it. Thought I may as well enjoy this month's £21, so went to the beach for a refreshing stroll. Mazda came too... Both are running well, Mazda is faster on the straights but not through the bends! We replaced the dizzy cap/rotor arm/leads on the 323 a few weeks back, after the slight 2500 rpm flat spot she'd always had when cold became permanent, and accompanied by longer start times. Both problems have vanished, and the new-to-us motor is silky smooth once more. Rosie the Trabi just buzzes along like always to be honest. So little to go wrong. Washer jets (manually operated) were a wee bit pathetic, so that's something to tweak I guess... 'Big Car' has just done a Trabant history on the 'tube, which was nice. Big Audi has borked, losing a suspension level sensor to corrosion in the connector plug. This after having just passed the mot lovely as well. At first I only suspected the sensor itself, and so bought a set off eBay. However, on removal half the rotten pins remained in the car's half of the plug... bugger. Someone had replaced this before, the wiring has been spliced (nicely, tbf), using a plug off another model with different wire colours. Anyway, I have ordered a repair kit consisting of new plugs and the wee pins, enough for both sides. Despatched apparently, see if they get here while I'm still off work... On their arrival, I'll fix that and service the big lump, as it has started shouting about that also. It seems happier with the plug disconnected altogether, the air suspension was NOT happy with the weird readings it was recieving when the sensor failed. Of course, it happened when my wife was driving home, at night, in a blizzard. The front end was bouncing up and down "like one of those Mexican cars" apparently, with the fancy xenons doing their best to alternately blind all oncoming traffic, or illuminate a patch of road about six feet off the front bumper. Vorsprung Durch Technic indeed. Had Christmas up at the outlaw's place, so spent the meal looking longingly out the window at the Audi Coupe currently stashed there. Must sell it or something else back here at the ranch to make room. New year's resolution maybe...?
  9. Taking the oddities out of the equation (Trabants, basically), I've always liked and been drawn back to the Japanese cars for quality/reliability, but my fleet is so old now I don't know about anything even vaguely current. I've always preferred older petrols, 15 year old diesels just seem a bloody nightmare world of failed/failing sensors, dpf's etc. Properly old school dizzlers are ok though, but then there will be rust. The 2003 Audi is a strange mix of old (engine/box) and new (canbus/space station wiring), so I can imagine a less complex one from the same era like an A4 or something would be a good bet? I have come to the conclusion with cars that you either spend time or money... you might as well just have one you really like. Fuck all use that I know, good luck with the search though! PS, father-in-law had a ZX estate that literally would not die, was comfy and good on diesel, are there any of them left?
  10. I neglected to summarise the big Audi's condition, the A8 for sale thread reminded me though... For a wee while now, it has been telling me that the battery level is low. It communicates such things to you via the screen in the dash, and the binnacle. If you ignore these warnings, it starts to turn things off, in my case the central locking. Annoying, but not urgent as I've hardly used it anyway since starting the new job. So, a trip to Halfords ensued this weekend past to purchase the biggest battery I ever have, a 900 CCA monster! Sticker price of £142 came down to £115 with the old Trade Card, but still ouched. I intend to fit it this weekend. It of course requires VCDS-ing, to tell the car exactly what type and size has been installed, and a slave battery must be connected first, so that it is never without at least some amps. Fun. Second job (been bugging me for a while), was the serpentine belt. The old one... Yeah, not good. And yes, I should have splurged on new tensioners/idlers I know, but didn't ok?! I have just fitted the new gates jobbie tonight... Tensioners felt fine 🤞 My arms are scraped raw, my patience has left the building, but it is on. They will tell you the front of the car needs to come off for this one, but no, it can be done without. The belt is, 2.5 metres long, and truly serpent-like, 'orrible.
  11. Hi all... Hope all's well out in the shiteyverse, I haven't been on much, and there's not much to report from Trabi Towers either. As I mentioned, I have changed jobs (back on the tools installing grain handling equipment (distillery and malting gear as befits the local industry)), which has left me with more time, less stress, but more physically knackered! As such, the cars have been neglected a wee bit. A small coolant leak appeared from a porous radiator hose on the 323, now replaced with universal wire-wound stuff. Apart from that, it's cruising along beautifully. The jeep is also rolling along fine on its new wheel bearings. We even found a wee abandoned quarry up in the woods to test on the old girl... And yes, she now requires a new rear fog light... she did get up that hill though, in fact it was even easier the second time once I remembered I had low range to play with. Ballpoint rubbers look past their best, so will get them done before the test methinks. The RX8 is still in the 'thinking about it' category; after the initial bit of welding she now just gets run up every few weekends to annoy the neighbours check the engine still braaps... It seems to be ok. Junior is prepping the wheels for paint, going for gold again (I want to keep the gold stripe down the side too). I'm in no rush with this one though, as long as I can hit the NC500 in it next summer I'll be happy! The Coupe has been temporarily moved to my in-laws, the new job comes with a mahoosive van (very handily stacked with gear, and someone else pays for the motion lotion too), meaning I have officially run out of room. It will be sold when I can get around to it, my hand is definitely being forced now! That's it I think, cheers all!
  12. Hi all, I have been lurking and not posting for a wee while (new job keeping me busy), but further work on the jeep has happened... Once back on the road, some clicking from the rear wheels could be heard. This quickly developed into a rumble at speed... With all new rear brakes fitted recently, the wheel bearings were suspected, and yeah... our winter drifting shenanigans may have taken their toll...! VID-20221002-WA0005~2.mp4 Pretty fubarred. A mere 70 gbp's were required for a set of FAG's finest from Roughtrax, and this weekend saw the fitment commence. Phase one is the removal of the four nuts that hold the hub into the axle end, the damper needed to be disconnected at the bottom to allow access. These four 14mm nuts were now identifying as 13.3mm thanks to 30 years of rusty time, and so much hammering and swearing was required to free them. However, freed they were, and with the brake line and handbrake cable out the way, out comes the halfshaft/hub assembly... VID-20221002-WA0006.mp4 Good times. I do not have a press at home, and did not fancy the 'bush mechanic' method of swinging the whole thing around like Thor's hammer into a block of wood to shock the bearing out. I therefore employed the method I use at work, grinding a slot into the inner race, splitting this with a cold cut, and breaking the bearing up somehow. Not pretty, but it worked... VID-20221002-WA0004~2.mp4 We were videoing/photographing all this for my youngest's benefit btw, he is on his first year of a mechanical engineering course at college and wants to document all these missions now. Refitting was simply tapping in the new bearings and seals and putting it all back together. The brake lines were buggered in the disconnecting (they never just undo, do they?!), and so I broke out the flaring kit and made up some new ones... Included was a replacement Flexi and hard line to the bias valve at the top, VERY satisfying. To celebrate, we threw the bikes in the back and headed for the trails. Job jobbed. Hopefully we are now done for the winter (mot is in January), wanted all the underside work complete before the weather comes in. Cheers all.
  13. Bit more work done on the jeep. New thermostat fitted (tested in kitchen first!), and after a bit of faff bleeding the system, running lovely. I'm going to run it for a week and then drop the coolant again. Parts of the system were a bit crusty for my liking, so I'm treating this as a flush. We then set to the re-oiling of the underside. Not a nice job, but kind of vital in this neck of the woods. My youngest and I spent the day blinking out/spitting out rust, but got the bottom wirebrushed nicely... It was nowhere near as bad a job as the big de-rust a couple of years ago (documented on this very thread), but still took the two of us a good few hours. Cooked up an oily brew this morning, and am just back in... Much better. It's a very oily mix this time, probably one litre of waxoyl to two of used engine and gearbox oil. It stinks, but creeps well if applied hot, and never dries out. I'll have to do it every summer from now on, not leave it too long. Interior still looking good on its years too... Just the sills/bumpers to paint up, then she can battle through another salty Moray winter.
  14. All scrubbed, which has served to show the rampant corrosion quite well! Nothing chassis-wise, but the body is starting to show its age. This back door skin is the worst bit, so I have 'repaired' it whilst I start the search for a better door... Not good I know, but at least there's no jagged edges now. The white staining on the sills is from the ally chequerplate on the doors corroding. A rub down and repaint of the black bits is in order. Apart from that though, running great and the same comfy old thing it always was.
  15. All buttoned up and running well... No leaks thus far, and real pulling power... it's been a while but I'm sure it's getting up to speed easier. Maybe the pump had been struggling for a while. We're running without a stat just now (old one fitted but non-functioning innards removed), eBay assures me the new one is on the way. No discernible difference in operation tbh... She's absolutely filthy, full of cobwebs, so tomorrow will see a good scrub, and a grease of all the various nipples. We couldn't resist a wee run out though... I just refitted the old radiator, it's a bit crusty but whole, and flushed out lovely. I'll acquire an ally one I think after payday, and maybe a separate gearbox oil cooler too. Feel a bit more ready for winter now, rain was pretty biblical yesterday too. Anyway, cheers all.
  16. Couldn't upload the first start vid yesterday (too big...), so youtubed it up this morning... not too shabby Toyota. As Colin would say, 'tis a GD CONKA. I however, am very shabby today, so mechanicing is off the table. I'm off next week so will endeavour to complete the mission then. Cheers all.
  17. Great success! Today saw the refit of the fuel pump, and changing of the cambelt... All marked up and 'bolted' in position. Fuel pump pulley went back on fine, and torqued up pretty tight with just the cambelt pulley held. Witness line on the nut will allow a final check following a good run. Roughtrax kit bought many moons ago, required retrieval from the loft (my'garage' stock is slowly spreading everywhere!)... The belt is a Gates item, the other bits are no brand I recognise, but the same as the last ones which show no discernible wear... Old gear... Belt looks new! Anyway, that's it for another 100kms hopefully, I've still to build up the cooling system (new thermostat on order, as I couldn't get the old one to open in a pan, she's never even got close to overheating afaik, perhaps it seized up with sitting? Anyway, close call!). I couldn't therefore run her for long, but she started and died, then started and ran as usual, with good throttle response and no leaks as yet! I pumped the filter primer for a minute before trying, but never actually bled the lines or anything, bloody great engines these. I've oiled the engine bay up so another session of spannering should see us back on 't road again. I'd carry on now, but am off to the pub! Cheers all.
  18. Hi all... Got the jeep's fuel pump out and resealed today, what a handy, maintenance-friendly design that is! Pics... With the last of the umbilicals disconnected, I set about the pulley on the other side of the front cover... It actually came off pretty easy, I tightened some bolts through the pulley up against the engine (did the same on the cam pulley), which held everything enough to undo the above nut. Then, after an awful lot of wiggling/swearing out it popped... These are the plates (one each side) that are leaking... They are covers for some shaft/spring arrangement, the o-rings within were hard and well flattened... That's the old next to the new, not the best but after 30 years what can you expect?! Anyway, it's back under the bonnet for the night, I'm knackered. My plan is to refit the pump, replace the cambelt and then start oiling up the knooks and crannies of the bay while I can get to them. Tomorrow. Be good to have the old girl back, and in fine fettle for the winter. She's really getting on now I suppose, but we still love her! Been using the Coupe every day for work, so treated it to a spruce up... as shiny as it's gonna get! Cheers all.
  19. This is hard... I have learned already that wherever you think the rust stops and good metal begins, it's actually another inch or so until the metal isn't porous/unable to take a weld. The boot floor edge (closest to camera) needs to be cut further back, what I thought was surface rust isn't. My plan is to liberate some more steel from work tomorrow, I'm basically out just now. I think I've got a Dremel thing in the garage somewhere, that'll let me get a neater finish in the hard to reach corners, as the welds aren't gonna be good enough to leave eau naturale for a while yet!!! What is welded is strong though, with decent penetration to the other side... Rome wasn't built in a day etc...
  20. Progress...??? Back to good metal, scary though. My repair piece doesn't fit too badly, will take a bit of fettling as I start tacking in. I've cleaned up the edges a bit since taking the pics, but that'll do for today. My Mig seems to be working nicely, fresh gas acquired today. Always good to see fresh metal going into a car, and I'm learning as I go already. It's a bit hard getting the hole cut right to accept the 3d shapes I'd tacked up. Might try tacking them in separate bits on the other side, got a way to go yet... This is the bit I cut out... T'was only £400 remember!
  21. Will the cat not eat the dog food, just for one night?! 🙀😅
  22. I've had a few ftp's this last few years... Seems to me however, that the old stuff at least gives you a bit more warning, and/or retains at least some function once broken. Two of them were 'teething issues' too, there will always be something when putting an old car back into regular use after time off the road. Trabi blew an (ancient looking) coil halfway to work, turned for home and got there on the single remaining one... 300cc's of pure power! Audi Coupe blew the power steering/brake booster pump seals. Was getting cocky as it'd been going well (I got it with this as a known issue, but had only changed the easy to get to ones), and the red arrow-style trail of thick white smoke it left at 90mph was very dramatic! Limped to a stop, put new o-rings in again, topped her up and carried on home more sedately than before. The price of these pumps is truly outrageous btw, but it literally cost me a quid for the oil seal it actually needed, I pressed out the shaft and put it back together on the bench at work. Pump internals were absolutely spotless after 200k too... Jeep was the most recent, and tried a few things before realising that the fuel pump was leaking... Now, at last getting round to sorting it, but again, she limped home under her own power in the end. I have recently purchased a £400 RX8 however, so may yet see the back of a recovery truck!
  23. Hi all, This weekend's car work has consisted of... Stripping down various components in the old jeep's engine bay, to access the leaky fuel pump and put in it's new cambelt... Funny to see my own marks from last time, doesn't seem that long ago! Bit more to come out on the nearside, and then I'll be at the pump. Radiator (replaced about five years ago by me), is in a terrible state... you could blow the fins out they're that brittle. £160 will be required for an all-aluminium eBay replacement. Coolant was ok though, and she didn't have any symptoms, so hopefully caught in time. Couldn't help myself then, and turned my attention to the RX8. I am at the cardboard-aided-design stage... I want to make up the pieces whole, and weld them in as a oner, avoiding any upside-down welding if I can! Also, I'd like them to look pretty much the same both sides, so might just make up another one of the above but opposite hand. Not much achieved I suppose, but it is baking hot, and being on-call for work doesn't help. Cheers all.
  24. Smol update for smol Mazda... Toyo Celsius all-weathers on the freshly painted rimz... 323 Rallye? We likey, feels better on the road too. Cheers all.
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