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warren t claim

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Everything posted by warren t claim

  1. There's got to be an interesting story behind this. https://www.gumtree.com/p/ford/2000-ford-mondeo-1.8-lx-td-5dr-11500-miles-estate-diesel-mondeo-classic-with/1473877788
  2. I'd forgotten how colour-coordinated the Mk1 was compared to the Mk2. That pic really does illustrate the superior quality of seat fabric the Mk1 had compared to its successor. The coin holder was useful in these. Whenever I was fobbed off with some foreign coins I'd ram them into the coin holder and see how low it took before an opportunistic light fingered punter stole them. Another Warren peculiarity was that I always made sure that I kept a half decent pen in the dedicated pen holder. No half chewed biro for me. Looking at that hardcore, held open, continental strength interior pic reminds me that if you drop anything like money between the front seat and centre console you should consider it lost forever. You will never see it again regardless of how determined you are. Using that space to slide your A to Z in helped stuff from dropping in there though.
  3. MG6 is due its six monthly inspection and will need quite a few jobs sorting. I have this as a loan(?) car for a week or so. 265,000 miles and judging by the Cab Direct number plates, been working as a taxi all of its life. I suppose I should let you all know what my first impressions are. I should start by saying that my opinion so far is based on about thirty miles of gentle shuttling about on my Tradex policy. No combat miles as yet until I can swap my hire and reward insurance over tomorrow morning. I'll start by saying that the seating position is VERY low. I'm sure that there must be the facility to raise the driver's seat but as yet I can't find it. This can be an issue as because I have long legs and therefore in Focus sized cars I like to raise my seat to allow a little more rear legroom. The seat also seems to lack any lumbar support either which means that I've had to position the backrest a little more upright than I'd like. It's not as fast as the MG but has plenty enough power for the job, whilst driving unladen I'm changing up the box at the same speed as in the MG. I've yet to try it with a full compliment of people and luggage. I can't yet gather any MPG figures as it came with a quarter of a tank. The power steering has three assistance levels. 1. Very light. 2. Mk2 Punto with the "girly button" pressed. 3. 1977 XJ6. The turning circle is a hell of a lot better than the MG6. In fact, the MG needs Costa Concordia levels of space to spin around so that's no surprise. Ride quality is leagues ahead of the MG. The Kia rides as well as a modern Focus which is in stark contrast to the MG which absorbs bumps in a way that has me feeling nostalgic for my old XR3is. Internal storage is miles better than the MG. Instead of having one flimsy pop out cupholder that eats into the leg room of a front seat punter the Kia has two sensible centrally mounted holders to not just house a coffee, but also another to accommodate a packet of Hob Nobs to dunk into the aforementioned hot beverage. The Kia also has storage under the armrest that's at least triple the size of that of the MG. It also has a large central cubby, a feature absent on the MG6. The Kia lacks the automatic lights and wipers of the MG6. The leather seat trim of the MG6 is more "punter proof" than the cloth seats of the Kia. The Kia has a DAB radio. The MG6 has an AM/FM unit that doesn't work anyway. This isn't as bad as it sounds as I used a Bluetooth speaker to stream audio because the MGs Bluetooth isn't A2DP and only works for phone calls, not audio streaming. I've yet to check if the Kia is A2DP. The MG has built in sat nav, a feature missing on the Kia. As the MG navigation unit is so awkward to input a destination into as you can't search by postcode, this isn't too much of a loss. Anyway, I'm a taxi driver who should know where he's going anyway! The only useful feature of the MG sat nav was the display automatically told me what road I was currently on. So I suppose it's a case of swings and roundabouts. The next few days will decide which car makes the better taxi.
  4. I often wonder how different my life would have turned out if I'd have got badged at 21.
  5. I had an ex cab as a pizza delivery car back in the day but they were too old to be plated here when I started.
  6. Another pretender to the crown that the taxi brokers tried to punt out was the Skoda Octavia. Not just any Octavia, but the non turbo SDI. Rather like Gareth Gates and Daniel Beddingfield, these heaps had their 15 minutes of fame back in 2003 before buyer's remorse hit in. They were cheap, very cheap for a new car at about £75 a week but that was about it. These things took close to twenty seconds to hit sixty with just the driver aboard. Throw a quartet of Birkenhead's chunkiest munters on board and I dread to think how slow they'd be. I remember driver's defending them saying that the Octavia is no slower than the old and missed Bluebird diesel but at least the Bluebird had toys to compensate. The SDI was equipped with keep fit windows and the only creature comfort was central locking. When someone phoned me asking to rent a Mondeo from me and the only one I had available was an Aspen base my reply would start with telling the driver that although I do have a Mondeo for rent I'm afraid it's only a base and doesn't have front electric windows but I'll put them top of the list when a higher spec car becomes available. The last thing I wanted was to prep a car only to have the driver fuck it off due to the DHSS spec! But at least the Mondeo Aspen came with a turbo! Anyway, those Mk1 Octavias soon fell out of favour. It's no good having a huge boot if it struggles to cope fully laden on an airport run but their biggest fault was the gearbox and its fondness for shitting itself. Without exception, every SDI suffered gearbox failure which Skoda/Taxi Dealer wasn't too keen to fix under warranty. Plenty were laid up at under two years old while the owner tried to source a good used box.
  7. Gentlemen that reminds me. Taxi brokers and the local popularity of the 406. In the early 2000s the good people of Merseyside decided to wholeheartedly embrace the latest craze for putting in a personal injury claim in for just about anything. This caused taxi insurance to rocket from £33 to £91 a week. About this time a taxi broker in Scotland called Cab Direct decided to offer for sale brand new 406s for a reasonable amount that included free insurance. Plenty of local drivers took them up on their offer meaning that plenty of shiny new 406 HDi 90s appeared on our streets. This was probably the first time that local lads had sampled the common rail Pug lump and word soon went round telling tales of 55 mpg around the doors which only fuelled more sales. When the 406 was replaced with the 407 the driver rumour mill again went into overdrive but this time it was about the 407 needing to be main agent serviced and if it wasn't it'd go into limp mode 1000 miles after a service was due.
  8. I know that it seems strange today in an era when any scruffy driver/petty criminal can waltz into a specialist taxi broker holding a sizeable deposit and walk out with a Hyundai Ioniq on finance, but twenty odd years ago getting a main dealer to flog a new car for taxi use on finance was unheard of. It's not that taxi drivers are a massive financial risk, plenty of us have mortgages through high street lenders. The main sticking point to the main agent lenders is the fact that if the car ever had to be snatched back the residual value would be even worse than normal. Lada would take a chance if a driver signed on the line for a new Riva but their lenders would NEVER repo a car anyway. They knew that they were worth fuck all used so preferred to make a deal with the buyer. Back in my reposession agent days I was not once asked to seize a Lada! That's not to say that nobody ever bought a new car to work as a taxi. The early to mid 2000s saw a surge in property prices meaning that quite a few drivers added the cost of a new Mondeo onto their mortgage. The knock on effect of restricted finance opportunities meant that mass market family saloons like the Mondeo took about three years to filter down to us taxi drivers. These cars were sourced either through lenders like Welcome Finance with the help of forged payslips and a dealer happy to look the other way or like yours truly, via salvage auctions and pulled straight. The Mk1/2 Mondeo was the perfect car to source as salvage due to their then huge sales volumes sold to fleets and ergo plentiful number meeting their demise on our extensive motorway network after the rep behind the wheel suffered a carb coma after spunking his Luncheon Vouchers on one too many Little Chef Olympic breakfasts. As a salvage buyer, a major Mondeo plus point compared to say the equivalent Vauxhalls or Rovers (believe it or not, the 400 was briefly popular as a taxi here at one point) is that the Mondeo can take a pretty big shunt without deploying its airbag. They also had the ability to be pulled straight without the need for a jib, a simple Porta Power would usually suffice although sometimes it was just easier to buy a new rear panel from Ford to save hours of labour. Although most of my Mondeo's were rebuilt write offs I can honestly say that not one of them was a cut and shut. I left that for the lads punting on 406s. In fact it wasn't unusual to see a couple of lads pushing the back end of a 406 down the back streets of Birkenhead like Smithfield Market barrow boys. One particular 2.0LX I had turned out to have the last owner live in my area despite me having to have the car transported from the salvage yard in the Midlands. I remember this Pepper Red (I must've had at least four Mk2s in that colour) example because the previous owner had fitted a nice set of Focus alloys.. Once repaired and back on the road I decided to knock on the previous owner's door. He couldn't believe that it was back on the road after it was hit from behind in standstill M56 traffic by a BMW which launched him into theTransit in front. If seeing his old car again made him happy that was nothing compared to his delight when I handed him his Shania Twain CD that was in the CD player when I got the car! It's funny that the only privately owned salvage Mondeo I bought was a local car. Every other car had the name of a leasing company as the previous owner with the exception of two that had been owned by Trinity Mirror.
  9. I had two fail although I suppose my use case was pretty severe.
  10. Yes they did seem to love a car without power steering. If they wanted a Triumph fitted with PAS they'd have bought a 2500, not a GT6.
  11. Now and again a punter shows such breathtaking stupidity and ineptitude that even I, after well over two decades in the job have to question whether this has happened or not. Today such an occurrence happened. I know that I've told the tale before about the lad who did a runner into his own house and then opened his front door on the chain to tell me that his failure to pay was a civil matter forcing me to pop the chain by using a spade conveniently left in his front garden but this "lady" earlier in today went one better. Not only did she do a runner into her own house before darting upstairs and shouting down out of an open window that she'll have to phone the office to pay, she also managed to do all of this whilst leaving her front door key in the lock! If it'd been a bloke doing this I'd have just let myself in and walked off with his telly but as I was dealing with what could loosely be termed a female I had to try another tactic. As her front door didn't have a Yale type lock being fitted with one of those either locked or unlocked types, I decided in the interests of her own home security I'd lock her in and launch the key onto her porch roof. I left a message with the operator to tell her where the key is when she doubtlessly remembers that paying for her taxi is something that slipped her mind and she phones up to pay by card.
  12. Does it work well enough to make it to the nearest WBAC?
  13. Just after someone tagged me in this post my MG6 decided to develop a similar fault. I first noticed that the indicators and hazards along with the central locking wouldn't work. It was only when I was driving to a place of safety and got stuck behind a white van I noticed the reflection of the hazard lights on the back of the van. Thinking that this might be game over for my MG6 I decided that if this fault includes the central locking I might as well hop out and use the fob to lock and unlock it. To my surprise this worked and normal service was restored.
  14. The Mk3 was more of a revolution than an evolution which scared us off at the time.
  15. I've often been described as a "fucking clown" so I'm sure we'd get on famously!
  16. Although my stint as a fleet owner did stray into the Mk3 era I was put off getting any due to the the higher cost of not just the car in Cat D/C state, but also the parts cost of pulling them straight was double that of a Mk2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a statement that I can't back up anywhere else. This is just my opinion based on experience. There was a definite dip in quality during the production run of the Mk2 Mondeo. It was easy to tell if the Mk2 you were buying came from the inferior era and that was by looking at the grille surround. If it was chrome it came from the time when they were screwed together properly but if it was body coloured then expect niggles. Mostly these issues were stuff like ABS and airbag sensors along with niggly trim rattles but I did have W and X plate cars that suffered with gearboxes that suffered the occasional crunch changing into third. Another would refuse to let the driver open the rear hatch maybe twice a week. External rear door handles would stick in the up position which is a pain in the arse in taxi use. One had a front passenger electric window that would only work if the door was open. That same car had an intermittent fault with the electric height adjustment on the driver's seat. Although these faults never took a car out of service, even the crunchy gearbox cars never got any worse, IMHO Mk2 quality did dip during production.
  17. Things I've never done. Been to a circus. Seen The Wizard Of Oz. Owned, or at least worked a Mk3 Mondeo. Off the top of my head I can only think of two Mk3s I've driven although there must be more. Both were plated PH cars of 2.0 LX diesel spec. The first was one Mutha_Claim had for a week and the other was an example Fat Bob wanted to sell me. Both had issues. To put that into perspective, I've driven as many Ferraris and Honda NSXs as I have Mk3 Mondeos. There is a logical reason for this. Back in 2007 I was forced to walk away from the taxi trade due to my ex missus and her paranoia that I might carry a female passenger and I didn't return until 2014 meaning that I missed out on the Mk3 era.
  18. Although we have this thread along with this... There's no thread on ASA dedicated to the Mk3 Mondeo. Even if we had I fear that I'd have very little to contribute to it as this may come as a surprise for you to learn but I've never owned or worked a Mk3. In fact, the number of them I've driven can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
  19. I can't believe that I've not talked about clutch changes yet. From the factory the standard Mk1/2 Mondeo clutch was a pretty long lasting unit. Yes they were a twat to replace but due to their popularity in the Merseyside taxi trade we had a pretty competitive market in replacements meaning as long as the car could move under its own power all was not lost. The internal clutch bellows/cylinder was another story though. I think I had three of those fucking things die on me.
  20. You've left off scrapped due to the clutch change cost.
  21. Other than the 2.0Si, the only Mondeo's that died in service on my fleet met their end due to accidents.
  22. I think I was lucky because I've heard of them failing at a young age.
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