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garycox

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Everything posted by garycox

  1. Very sad to hear this; Richard was a lovely, kind man. He will be missed.
  2. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Does anyone know which model my 5-spoke Mondeo wheels are from?
  3. garycox

    Fleet Update

    May as well use this thread for general fleet news I guess... I‘ve been meaning to do something about the wheels and tyres on the Mondeo for ages; the whole car is pretty scruffy but the wheels are covered in brake dust which I just can’t get off and it has mismatched budget tyres ranging from “recent part worn” to “lethal”, and they keep deflating over a couple of weeks. I’m wary about spending much on this as I never expect it to live past its next MOT, but it’s been scraping through for 4 years in my ownership now and there’s only so long I can put it off. The issue is that I’d like to take them off, tidy and paint them and get new tyres on, and doing them all at once isn’t possible without leaving it wheel-less and immobile for a period. I set about looking for some temporary wheels but any four wheels that’d fit, with useable tyres, were surprisingly difficult to find for not much money. I eventually got lucky and bought some same-era Mondeo 5-spoke wheels with the same dimensions and old but legal tyres from EBay for £42 (plus a 2-hr round trip to collect). I think the original Ghia X alloys suit it better, but these look pretty good too... The originals are now in the garden and I’ll get on with those when the weather’s better. With the Astra gone, the Dolomite’s back on the drive and motivation has returned somewhat. First job was to sort the clutch, then get back to the running issues. We’d previously had the clutch slave cylinder apart and changed some seals but it’d made no difference. It was a frustrating job so stripping it down again seemed like too much effort, so I splashed out on a new one. The clutch now works! As well as it ever has anyway, which is okay-ish. Now I don’t have to push it on and off the drive to get the Ventora out! A very short test drive revealed the running problem was still as bad as ever though and we didn’t make it much further than the end of the road before losing power and nursing it back home. As detailed in my previous Dolomite thread, we’d replaced nearly everything already and I was running out of ideas... next to try was an electric fuel pump. So I bought one and we wired that in. Verdict: better for a short while but ultimately no improvement. At this point I remembered that before the clutch went I thought it might be the fuel cap, and kicking myself for forgetting to actually try running without it. How stupid would I feel if it was just that and I could’ve saved spending a ridiculous amount on new parts! So, tried that, unsure whether I actually wanted it to work or not, and either luckily or unluckily, it didn’t. Next! Run it from a can. We’d taken the fuel tank out and cleaned it, and replaced every fuel line except the metal one under the car. To eliminate this, we rigged up a line from the fuel filter to a can on the front seat passenger’s lap (don’t try this at home) and took it for another run. The front hinged bonnet and opening quarter lights were quite handy for hose-routing and on this run it was noticeably better. Not fixed, but definitely an improvement. Hmm. A long bit of rubber fuel line was purchased and run from the tank to the engine bay, bypassing the suspect pipe. Cable tied to various things to secure it, we managed a few miles this time before it started getting a bit unhappy. Made it home after about 20mins of driving without completely breaking down though. Left it a couple of days, replaced the fuel filter (again) and gave it another run... this time it seemed fine! I’m very reluctant to declare it fixed but I can confidently say it ran fine when it was parked. Since I bought the Dolomite it’s had no aerial and a hole where a radio should be. The trim at the back of the front shelf, where the speaker was mounted, dropped, and the whole area is a bit untidy. We got the shelf out, gave it a clean and installed some strategically placed bits of wood to prop the back up, and bought this really cheap Chinese stereo, because it’s actually quite a nice “retro” design, and it was really cheap. Will make some sort of surround to hide the mess (most of which was already like that) and maybe give the whole thing a coat of black before reinstalling. It’s mostly hidden anyway. We’ll give it an oil change and get on with tidying the bodywork a bit next. I also need a new wiper stalk if anyone has one lying around. In Ventora news, I’d been looking for some grey Britax seat belts, as the ones I remember had been replaced with hideous cheap black ‘80s style things “for safety”. They seem to be pretty rare and, as they’re often found in various Jaguars and other expensive stuff, quite pricey when they turn up. Even the later, more plasticky, ‘70s style ones were usually more than £100 a side... Via Facebook, I managed to get hold of the interim owner who replaced the belts, and he still had the originals! Even more amazingly, he lived 5 mins from my parents’ house! My Dad was duly despatched and they are soon to be reunited. He also provided a spare wing mirror, which was nice. I hope my luck with this car continues! Elsewhere, the Saab has been quite leaky of late, and now has a badly cracked drivers side headlight, so could do with some attention soon. Then I should get the Simca back, I suppose.
  4. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Astra went today, had a bit of interest at a couple of hundred quid but I started it up the other day and it was smoking like a bastard for some reason. Couldn’t be bothered to try selling it like that and nobody was rushing to buy it anyway so I scrapped it in the end. The passenger seat lives on as a computer chair though; it’s really comfortable. This means the driveway is empty, so we can get the Dolomite back on it and start attempting to fix it (again).
  5. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Also, please still let me know if you come across any others, a spare or two would be handy!
  6. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Hooray! Only minor damage that won’t be very noticeable when it’s back on. Now, how do I secure these so it doesn’t happen again? There are no holes in them for cable ties or similar.
  7. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Contact established - seems like a nice guy, and I’m getting it back 🙂 Thanks again to Greengartside (and Trigger) for spotting this and bringing it to my attention!
  8. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Shit that is mine! I can’t get the link to work though, anyone know his username or have a method of getting in touch? Thanks GG!
  9. garycox

    Fleet Update

    I have a lead on a wheel trim via the VX4/90 club - the only one available is scruffy (and quite expensive!) though so I’m still on the lookout for a better one. It wasn’t a cheap car so I’m willing to give fair money for a good one if anyone spies one. In happier news, I finally managed to take my aunt and cousin for a drive in it the other day (before the wheel trim incident). My cousin was about 10 when it was laid up and neither had been in it since about 1975... they loved it despite the weather (and slight reluctance to start!) and hopefully we can go out in it properly somewhere in the summer 🙂
  10. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Dolomite’s still here, awaiting drive space and motivation. Gonna scrap the Astra in the new year and then I can get the Dolomite on the drive. One of the previous owners had Rostyles on the Ventora, and the tyres have been changed at some point, so it’s not been on there the whole time. I laid awake for ages last night stressing about where I’m gonna get another wheel trim from, I feel really bad for losing it... hope one turns up soon!
  11. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Took the Ventora for a drive today and managed to lose a wheel trim ☹️ Really annoyed as it looks shit with one missing - if anyone sees one for sale please let me know! Quite keen to replace it ASAP but I expect I’ll be looking for a while...
  12. garycox

    Fleet Update

    I will if I can find something cheap that looks good, works and will fit (it needs to be quite “short” as there’s not much space behind - hence this is a radio/MP3 only thing as a CD/tape player won’t fit) It does deserve something more period; it’s not top of the list but I’ll keep an eye out.
  13. garycox

    Fleet Update

    Yes an FD/FE shootout would be good! Be great to get them together at some point. That would’ve been my Dad, I would have been there too (aged 11)... Thanks all, the weather was nice today so we took it for a short run. It’s a bit stressful as I’m so protective of it, but it’s a lovely thing.
  14. garycox

    Fleet Update

    I’ve not been on here much lately; I’ve moved house, gained a dog, have a longer commute to work and life’s sort of got in the way. Good to be back though! At the start of the year I had my trusty Mondeo, the Mk3 Astra convertible that came to SF18, my Mini that’s still asleep in my parents’ garage and the Simca, which is stored at a friend’s and I haven’t seen for ages. I moved house in April (after already moving in January 🙄) and needed a sensible commuting car, as we need two working cars between us and a garage quoted silly money to weld the Astra. So I bought Sigmund Fraud’s Dolomite 1300. That was great for 3 months and 2,000 miles but has developed annoying issues as detailed elsewhere. [I was going to insert an image here, but I have absolutely no idea how to do it on this new mobile site - so seemingly they’ll have to come at the end!] The arrival of two more cars means I now have five at home and I feel bad about taking up all of the parking outside the house. I also need money to repay the price of my latest arrival so it’s for sale, along with the Astra and, once they’ve gone, the Simca. With the Dolomite out of action, despite my best efforts, another daily was needed. My friend has always wanted a Saab, and last week I spotted a 900 convertible on Gumtree. It was very cheap, because the roof doesn’t work. Still useable as a coupe though, it had a new MOT and had been quite well looked after. It’s only a 2.0 NA “S”, so is quite a low spec, but still has leather (but not heated) and a trip computery thing etc. We bought it from the quite elderly second owner, who’d done only about 2,000 miles in the 8 years he’d had it. We had to change the starter motor immediately, due to user error (not by me!) - the spring in the ignition barrel has gone so you need to turn it back from ‘Start’ to ‘On’ once started or the motor runs continually. After being driven home with the starter on most of the way, it was dead. Replacement wasn’t as difficult as expected though. Other than that, we’ve given it a clean (the roof was horrible!), replaced the broken stereo, and repainted the screen surround and wheel trims. Just needs new badges and it’ll look quite smart! May attempt to fix the roof (or at least try to get rid of the CHECK LATCHES warning from the dashboard) at some point. Now, I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my ultimate “first thing I’d buy if I had some money” car is an FD Ventora that used to be my dad’s. A history lesson: In March 1972, my uncle (Dad’s brother-in-law) bought WPA 506G, a 4-year old Vauxhall Ventora. He had a company car so only used it for family holidays and was keeping it nice for his retirement, which would be about 20 years later. He stopped using it at all in 1976, but kept under dust sheets in his garage. He died in 1989, before retirement and in 1992 my Dad bought the car from his sister. It had 18,000 miles at the time. I was 6 then, and we had it until I was 13. I loved being driven about in it, it was super cool and nobody else had one. I was devastated when it was sold, because we were moving house and would no longer have the garage. Since then I’ve attempted to keep an eye out for it and vowed to get it back one day. I last saw it in about 2008 though and, other than periodically checking it was still “taxed” etc, I’ve had no idea if its whereabouts. About six weeks ago, a picture of it cropped up on a Facebook group, still looking great. From there I got in touch with the current owner and arranged to meet him at a show so I could take some pictures and have a sit in it, but that, disappointingly, got cancelled. A couple of weeks later, he messaged me to say he fancied something else and was thinking of selling. My heart sank. I didn’t want anyone else to have it, but I have no money at all and the asking price was way out of reach. All I could do was politely decline and ask him to pass my details to the new owner. It was advertised within FD circles but, quite unsurprisingly, most either didn’t have the money or already had one. But he did receive one offer of the full asking price. He’d sold this guy a very nice original Victor 3.3 estate previously and was saddened when he put a V8 in and messed about with it. He’d been circling for a while and said he “already had an engine to go in the white one”. He didn’t want to sell it to him. I didn’t want him to either. But it would be a quick easy sale and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. He even offered me it for £1,000 less, but that’s not much help when you have very little. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to save it. After explaining the situation to family, I was offered a loan for the reduced asking price. Should I? Of course I should. So, after modifying the shelving in my rented garage that I’m not allowed to modify, I collected it today. I still can’t believe it’s mine. It’s had about 4 owners since my Dad, and the mileage has doubled, to 45,000. It’s still 95% original but now has an upgraded water pump and radiator and a better carburettor (that cost nearly £500). A stainless exhaust and new tyres too, and it’s been meticulously maintained. The guy I bought it from absolutely loved it and his enthusiasm was very reassuring. The receipts prove he’s not making money on the car. Faults are limited to a stuck fuel sender making the gauge always read full, and I’d put the ugly cheapo seatbelts in that category too as they’ve inexplicably replaced the nice light grey Britax originals, that weren’t passed on a couple of owners ago. Replacements need to be sourced. Considering its age and originality, and that it’s been through a few owners since I lost touch with it, the condition is still fantastic. A small amount of barely noticeable lacquer peel in one area is about the only deterioration I can find, apart from what was already there 20 years ago. Yes, it uses a ridiculous amount of fuel. Yes, it handles like a cruise ship. Yes, I’ll be scared to use it or leave it anywhere out of sight. But I don’t care. It’s mine. And I’m keeping it.
  15. We fitted a heat shield as suggested by a couple of other Dolomite 1300 owners, and simultaneously the clutch decided to go on strike, so now that needs fixing before it can be test driven 🙄 Frankly, I’ve lost patience with this now. I’ve spent a load in train fares because we need more than one working car, and yesterday I bought a Saab. Another imminent purchase means I need money and space, so this, the Astra and the Simca need to go. I’d like to fix this so it goes in a driveable state but motivation is pretty low right now so, if anyone fancies it as-is, let me know.
  16. Not much, there was some “stuff” in there but less than expected. Anyway, all refitted with a new rubber pipe and it’s EXACTY THE BASTARD SAME. in addition, the clutch is now playing up again and it’s near impossible to get in any gear when stationary. AARGH This car is costing me an awful lot in train fares.
  17. We changed the condenser and it made no difference. Crap in the tank is the next thing to eliminate, so the tank’s out and currently drying in the garden after being flushed out as best I could. The short bit of rubber pipe joining the tank to the main metal pipe was knackered so that can’t have been helping. Question: when I removed (cut in half) that pipe, should fuel have freely flowed out of the tank or does it have some sort of thing that makes it not do that? Because it didn’t.
  18. Long shot, but we’re pretty desperate... We’ve been let down at the last minute by someone who was supposed to be doing the work my Mondeo needs for an MOT this weekend - sill welding and airbag light on. So with the Dolomite out of action too we now have zero vehicles that are working and road legal, and can’t get to work! Needs to be done ASAP, we’re in Hayward’s Heath. Any help or suggestions appreciated!
  19. There’s a new clear in-line filter before the pump which is full and clear, and the pump is new. I’m convinced it fuelling related rather than electrical but most people are more knowledgeable than me so open to any suggestions! It must be something relatively minor but it’s doing my head in (and has already cost a days pay so far through being unable to get to work!)
  20. FUUUUCK So, we’ve now changed all of the above plus the condenser, rotor arm and plugs. Seemed like it was working but has got as far as Cuckfield (from Hayward’s Heath) and has died again. Exactly the same problem. It’s now being towed home by a friendly man who was passing on a tractor. AAARGH!!
  21. Might have to make do with whatever I can find locally tomorrow - but then will track down a decent one ASAP.
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