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Saabnut last won the day on October 12 2022

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Rank: Renault 16

Rank: Renault 16 (7/12)



  1. After a morning (well a couple of hours) spent dismantling the rear brakes on the Range Roveur some friends stopped by to take me out for lunch. 4 of us, two not driving. Good lunch, many litres of house red. Friend and I have a debate about "just one more carafe" and we both decide to be sensible and not do it. The cafe owner had obviously been listening and arrived with another carafe - un cadeau (present) from him. Think I will spend the afternoon on the sofa with crap TV (and maybe another bottle!)
  2. I am more than happy to provide a loving* and caring* home to waif and stray euros, and will not even charge for the service I have the usual GBP accounts as well as a NOK account and of course a French Euro account to provide a caring home!
  3. If you dercide to move the 305 on, can I have first refusal please
  4. Back in La Belle France where typically it is considerably colder than Aberdeenshire, so the shorts and T-shirts are not required! I had some bulky items to bring down with me this time, including a recon burner for the central heating boiler that packed up last time I was down, and two 18 inch alloy wheels and tyres for the French Range Rover. After several attempts to fit them in the Saab 'vert I gave up and folded the rear seats of the Vauxhall Disastra and everything fitted in fine. The Disastra came for the princely sum of 300 quid as an insurance write off, after being driven with little of no maintenance by an elderly lady from new, and it was replaced by a newer auto porridgemobile. I drove the Disastra home, fitted a new timing belt and leant it to a friend whose own car had been written off by a hit and run. Turned out her insurance provided a loan car so it was not needed, so it sat around for a month before I got around to getting it back, so it was basically untested by me. It is a 1.6 SXi and the onboard computer had not been reset for 15k miles and the average fuel consumption over that period was 38.2 mpg, ans as she lived in the Gatwick area suggested it had been driven carefully* for the 92k miles she had done in it. I did an oil and filter change before leaving home, and the driving style changed a little*. It is a competent if boring car to drive, the main impressions being it is very undergeared (I kept trying to find a 6th gear), it is noisy, and twitchy! But it still averaged 35.8mpg on the trip down. Overall I would say it is boring, but OK. Everything gives the impression of being OK but with a little more effort/cash could have been good. My brother summed it up well, it is the automotive equivalent of a washing up bowl. Does the job well, but hard to get excited about it. TL/DR Not quite shite but ask me again if it fails to get me home!
  5. I was planning on doing this update whilst wrapping myself around a bottle of red in France, but the weather has decided otherwise so while I am trapped at home I might as well do it now. A few days ago we had a light snow fall of about 4" which caused no problems, but since then the temperatures have remained well below zero, so it has packed down into ice. Temperatures have risen to zero plus or minus a bit so of course it is now wet ice, renowned for its excellent* grip. Yesterday I went to the shops and took the Range Rover, which went up the hill fine but really struggled for grip coming back down. Today I had planned on heading to West Sussex as it is my brothers birthday on Monday, then head on to France on Tuesday. The transport of choice this time is the Vauxhall Disastra, as I have two Range Rover wheels and tyres to return to France which will not fit in the Saab 'vert with all the other stuff I need to take. Left the house and a temperature of 2c boded ill, as it meant the top of the ice would be moist, but decided to have a go. Those who have been to my place will know I live in a valley, which of course means going up a hill to get out. Made it to the bottom of the hill, and the sun had cleared the corner so full of confidence, I went for it. All was good for about 30 yards before I lost traction and slowly came to a halt. I applied the brakes and slowly set off backwards, despite all 4 wheels being locked, and the car pirouetted nicely before dropping the front into the drainage dich facing back down hill. Bugger. My brilliant neighbour said he would help, but the ice was so slippy he had to drive on the verge which is narrow and drops off a cliff. His 120hp 4 wheel drive tractor managed to pull it out of the ditch facing back towards home, but as soon as the verge ran out, so did his forward progress. Gave up on that, Dave went back to feeding his animals (without the Disastra he only just managed to get out) and I headed home. I then walked about a mile across the other neighbours field to see if it was possible to take the secondary route out, and as the field was frozen, decided to chance it. Got across the field but the final section of the hill had the same frozen surface and again defeated me. Came back home having given up for the day and put the kettle on. The last few days I have been rehoming the old Iveco van, which I am sure will please @Cavcraft as this is the new home: First the doors came off Then the roof This resulted in a lightweight racing Iveco The aforementioned ice has resulted in a lack of traction so progress has halted, but it is getting there at last. I have learnt that Iveco vans are heavily reinforced and this is the first and last time I decapitate one!
  6. Yes. I was told that Lucas does not exist anymore as a manufacturing company. Apparently the licence to use the Lucas name for a 5 year period is auctioned off every 5 years to the highest bidder. The winner is invariably a chinese company making the cheapest tat so they can recover the cost of the licence. My source was not an official one, but have no reason to doubt. I have stopped buying anything new labelled Lucas after many failures.
  7. Top tip boys and girls. When you do an oil change on your Komatsu minidigger, and leave it inside overnight because a) you want to check the oil level again in the morning and b) you have had enough for the night, after you have confirmed the oil level the next day and are driving it out, do remember to open the roller shutter door the extra foot the digger takes over the normal height for the Kubota. This will save you several hours trying to straighten the door and having to grind a section off the door itself so you can get it to move again! Still, it is the first time I have hit it hard enough to do damage in over 20 years, which is approximately 20 years longer than expected. Some more fine tuning with heat, the sledge hammer and the welder tomorrow should see it indistinguishable* from a new door!
  8. Good luck with the CBT and when you do the run if assistance is required.... I am a fair bit off the direct route but a lot closer to JOG than Ludlow is!
  9. This is a very grey area. Commercials pre 1960 are exempt from plating (MOT). All vehicles over 40 years are Historic Tax class, so free though not strictly exempt. Buses as you say above. But here is the big BUT.... There is a long standing and little known classification of a "Heavy Motor Car" that has a minimum weight. So, if using a commercial vehicle (be that goods or people) as a motor car, it should be classified as such and hence be exempt from MOT. Test this out at your own risk, I am not an expert in anything, never mind traffic law.
  10. Today two more left the fleet for the car park in the sky. The Saab 9-5 had a lot of good parts but being an early one a limited market. Despite offering anything free to collect, there were no takers. In addition the Disco of Doom left, don't think I have ever been happy to scrap a car before, but today was a first! Not 2 weeks into the new year and 3 down. Going well so far.....
  11. A good start to the new year, an actual reduction on the fleet! After advertising the two Disco 2s on facebook, I had the usual flurry of idiots asking questions to which the answer was then ignored. Another made an offer for both, which was accepted, arrangements made fo collection followed by radio silemce. Two people came to look but they wanted new ones for less than a grand. Eventually, yesterday a sensible bloke made contact, turned up when he said he would, looked the blue one over and gave me some cash. i lost a fortune on it but at least it has gone!
  12. Try Bill at Saabits. If he has them they will be despatched the same day
  13. I went out this morning to unload the fergie off the trailer, let it warm up properly and take it for a run up and back down my drive. It rained a bit* last night after raining heavily for 95% of the journey home. A quick check showed the wind this morning had dried everything off, so full of confidence went to start it. Dead. Turned over fine but not a sign of life. After all the carb problems, I tried some brake cleaner but it remained dead. Removed the dizzy cap and could see no spark, a quick clean of the points and a spark returned, refitted the cap and it started first go. Unloaded it, let it warm up and took it for a run. Happy to report it ran fine, so it was returned to the barn. The first picture shows the pick up hitch arrangement and the others show it in its natural environment.
  14. I was planning on going to France for Christmas and returning to Worksop for New Year but work got in the way and France was cancelled. Whilst talking to my friend in Worksop to arrange New Year, he asked if I had sourced a carb for the fergie, as he had found one in his stash. Dave is an agricultural engineer and has had his own business for about 40 years, having served his apprenticeship with a Massey Ferguson dealership, and is my go to expert on anything tractor or mower. As a result, when I went down for New Year, I hooked on the trailer and took the fergie with me! After sitting since May, it started remarkably easily but was still rough and smokey, but at least it drove onto the trailer. Eight hours and 400 miles later it was wheeled into Daves shed Here it was in good company with a 135 that Dave has been restoring and is now nearing completion Along with a 1953 David Brown 30C that was purchased new by his father in law and was laid up in the early 1970s when the block cracked due to a lack of draining or anti-freeze After years of searching Dave tracked down a crack free block (rare for these, they crack easily) and the engine has been rebuilt with new liners, pistons etc. Most of the holiday weekend we spent rebuilding it and on NYE we fired it up for the first time in over 50 years. When I left, the raadiator governor etc was on, and soon it will be ready for its first proper run. First we had a look at my fergie. The carb was removed, Dave took the top off and burst out laughing. One jet was completely missing! A lot of the rest of the carb was badly worn, so with mine and the one from Daves' stash, a good one was assembled. It instantly fired up and ran smoothly. Once warm, the smoke stopped and it ran like a sewing machine. We now think the engine was rebuilt but never run due to the previously mentioned distributor problems, and the excess smoke was just whilst the rings bedded in. With that done, the pick up hitch was fitted, the lift arms freed off and adjusted, the new grill fitted, new fan belt, footboards fitted as it only had the ankle breaker studs, a wing off a red 35 was painted grey and fitted and the bonnet properly secured. Brakes were stripped, cleaned and adjusted and the job declared a good one. I will take some better pictures in the morning. Now to source a decent tipping trailer......
  15. Back in April of '22 I decided I needed* a small tractor for moving road materials along my drive to repair potholes since the LDV tipper is very dead and it is a long way with a bucket load on the Kubota. This decision might* have been influenced when I was offered a non running grey fergie for a fair price. When collected it looked like this: Apart from being a non runner, one rear wing and the grill were missing, the rear lift arms seized and the original petrol/TVO tank rotted beyond repair. On the plus side, it supposedly had a rebuilt engine ("the timing slipped and stopped it starting"), 4 new tyres and a homemade petrol tank that would not look out of place on the Titanic! The petrol tank is staying as it will never work hard enough to build up enough heat to run well on TVO, but it is not possible for the timing to "slip" on a fergie as the distributor is driven by a dog onto the camshaft, so if the distributor itself is tight the timing once set is either right or 180 degrees out. An intial look showed the timing well out, so I set it using a pin into the flywheel for 6 degrees btdc or whatever it is. The engine refused to start! In desperation I tried a sniff of brake cleaner, and it remained dead. Time for a cup of tea. The next day, I went back to it and started again. A check of the timing again showed it to be miles out! A lot of investigation (OK I pulled the distributor) showed the distributor had not been seated into the dog so was operating only on friction. Once reset, I was confident and of course it remained dead! A sniff of brake cleaner however saw it burst into life and promptly filled my shed with smoke! I began to doubt the rebuilt engine story, but it had come with a box that contained a set of used pistons, so the jury was out! I was encouraged enough to order a few bits, including service items, a new grill and a pick up hitch for the rear. A strip and clean of the carb was called for, and never having worked on this type of Zenith I was carefull and took loads of pictures. Several hours later, it was all back together, and joy of joys, it ran on petrol, if dog rough and smokey. Convinced I had missed something, off came the carb again and everything cleaned again, apart from one jet which somebody had tried removing and chewed it up. I checked it was actually clear so could see no reason for it to affect running. The next day it was refitted to the tractor and whilst improved it was still not running well. Being a follower of Mustie1 on youtube, I decided an ultrasonic cleaner was required so one was ordered. A week or so later it arrived, so the carb was again removed, stripped and put in the cleaner. A remarkable amount of dirt from what I thought was a clean item came off the carb, and once done it was re-assembled and refitted to the tractor. This certainly improved things, and it became possible to take my first drive up the track, but constant fiddling with the throttle and choke was required and it was still very rough. Enthusiasm for the job was beginning to evaporate, I was convinced the carb was still at fault but could not for the life of me figure out exactly what. New ones were listed at around 300 quid but were out of stock. I could not find a secondhand one for sale anywhere, so I did what I usually do in these situations and put it back in the barn until a suitable carb became available. To be continued.........
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