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Everything posted by philibusmo

  1. Things have been happening! My last actual update was when there was still a threat of snow, not it is juts raining all the time which is less than excellent when you only have space outside to work on cars, but there is nothing quite like rolling around in a puddle with a cold spanner in your hand and rust flakes falling in your eyes to remind you how nice central heating is. Firstly, I changed the fuel level sensor on the BMW E46 and that got the fuel gauge working. Lovely stuff. Not long after, just as the snow melted I turned out of the end of the road and there was a clunk followed by scraping noises from the centre of the car and clunks from somewhere at the back. The car was still driving fine so as I had to get to work and after a couple of stops to check nothing major was falling off, I decided to turn the radio up. By the weekend the noises had lessened but were still there. Despite the rain coming down and it still being fucking freezing I got underneath and found an exhaust rubber hanging down and the hanger completely missing. I made up a new one out of a U bolt and managed to find a dry 5 minutes to weld it into place with a welder that was (at that point) utterly kippered. This was a very unpleasant day of being very wet and very cold. New bracket in place, I took it for a test run. All bad noises still there. Bollocks. I continued to ignore the noises for some time, mostly because it never seemed to stop raining, and eventually they seemed to disappear. The handbrake had always been a bit crap thanks to the ratchet mechanism having worn down, but getting stuck in traffic on a long, steep, uphill and making repeated hard use of the handbrake turned it from being a bit rubbish to almost pointless. This has one of those handbrake shoes inside the disc setups that never seem to stay adjusted for very long and require seemingly endless fannying around to get functioning properly. It was much easier to get the adjustment nearly right with the disc off and then make the final adjustments with it in place. I stated on the passenger side and it went quite smoothly. When I moved to the drivers side, I found what had been causing all the noise issues of months past. A bit of rust on the backplate had allowed a retaining pin to pull out and all the springs and clips to go rattling around the drum, with one spring getting stuck and scraping against the hub. With a new rebuild kit ordered and a small repair to the back plate, this went back together nicely. With a new handbrake lever added to the mix the handbrake was working better than at any point I'd owned it and all bad noises were gone. The BMW was now really nice to drive, if a smidge dull so it was time to sell. Meanwhile the Fiesta was getting a little love. A sunny weekend gave the opportunity to get some underseal on the underside of the drivers front wing and get it bolted on. With a bit of filler and some paint, this now looks pretty flipping good, much better than in this progress photo. Next up the passenger side wing got a tickling with the (now refurbished) welder. The thin metal and awkward shapes make these difficult to weld but it was very nice doing it with a fully functioning welder that didn't fall apart in your hands as it was running. Once again, a gap in the relentless rain was found to pop it into place, get it bolted up and start on the paint. As can be seen above, it was late in the day and I managed to catch the last layer of primer with my watch as I turned around and put a big scuff in it. No amount of faffing about with filler primer, thinners or anything else was making the mistake less obvious, so I ended up having to wait a day to sand it back and start that area's paint again. This put me back quite a bit as I then didn't have time to polish it back and get the lacquer on before the next seemingly endless band of rain came through. It seemed to take forever to find a gap in the weather to get the top coat on but when it did and the paint was on and dry it was very satisfying to put its face back on for the first time in ages. With a jump from the MR2, it fired up nicely and settled down to a vaguely decent idle, not bad considering how old the fuel is. With a couple of bulbs changed the the fox light emptied of water, it seems basically ready for an MOT. All I need to to stick the front number plate on and find a new passenger door mirror and we should be good to go. I'll also need to make sure that the temperature gauge and fan switch is working. If I remember correctly back in the mists of 2019, the fan wasn't cutting in when it was getting hot. In between fixing the Fiesta, another car based adventure occurred. The Corolla that briefly made an appearance earlier in this thread was for sale, and a deal was done with @yes oui si to take it to Carlisle train station, which I did and then got on a rail replacement bus to Edinburgh and then two more trains to Kingussie where I picked up a new car. This rather lovely E39 530D! Admittedly going from mid-Devon to Inverness and back for a car is a bit of a long way but this is one of the very nicest driving cars I've ever had. Full and very comprehensive service history, barely begins to describe the contents of its history file. It has been exceptionally well looked after, but was being sold as the Scottish weather was getting to it. The most notable rusty spots being the rear jacking points, but we all know I love a spot of welding. Here it is sat with some of @Petrolize old rammel before I headed home. That was a genuinely lovely journey home. The MOT was short, only a month and a half, but the price was right and the drive good so it was pressed into service as the daily for a while, just before the MOT ran out I decided to get it on stands and attack a jacking point to decide if it was worth taking it for an MOT before I started the bodywork. It was quickly decided that it was not. Some digging around the arch found some more slightly ugly metal work so it was dropped down again and pressed back into service for another week or so before the MOT ran out so I could find a temporary run around. More on that shortly. I took the first couple of days of July off work to crack into the BMW. I have taken a bit more metal off the back end that I really needed to, but this is such a nice car that I'm determined to make a good job of it, even if my paint work leaves a little to be desired. This was the state of play part way through day 1. I had planned to have the new outer panel tacked into place by the end of day 2 and the jacking point mostly repaired. The Mini, however, wasn't getting enough attention and had other ideas. The boyfriend was driving it into work and got stuck in traffic when the coil pack failed. As far a I can tell this caused a load of unburnt fuel to be dumped into the exhaust which ignited and then exploded the exhaust apart on a join in the first catalytic converter. I've never seen this happen before, and may never see it again but when I got to it, it was running really rough and loud. Checking the sparks found them very weak, so a quick trip to the motor factors for a new coil pack cured the rough running, but obviously not the noise. I drove it back, trying to avoid any vaguely hard acceleration to avoid going deaf but admittedly on the motorway it did sound like a spitfire at take off with almost no exhaust and the super charger howl. On getting it back, I jacked it up and the problem was immediately clear. The two catalytic converters, downpipe and manifold are all one piece so had to be dropped to be fixed and new gaskets bought. I made some tippex marks before I started to make sure it lined up right and set to work. While this wasn't the biggest job in the world, with all the driving around in the morning to rescue it, it took most of the day up. Add in that on getting it down, I removed one axel stand no bother and then on lifting it off the second the jack did a wee of hydraulic oil on the floor and then would jack no more. This lead to a seemingly endless amount of fucking about with an old bottle jack, the cars original jack and bits of wood to get it down again. That evening I managed only a tiny bit of welding on the back of the sill of the BMW, but the Mini was fixed. Now onto the temporary cars. The first one was this miserable wee Astra which you may have seen in the for sale section. I bought this mostly as I felt sorry for it, it had been seemingly looked after for most of its life and while the lad who owned it now was keeping it mechanically sorted, the bodywork was going down hill fast and I didn't much care for the 6x9s in the rear shelf. The rear arch and fuel filler area were particularly rough and there was a hole in the sill. After running it around for a few days, a perfect car for my circumstances cropped up very cheap so I put the Astra up for sale. There was little interest so I set about fixing it up, and started with the MOT failure issue, the sill, which welded up quite easily. Then the rear arch and around the filler has new metal let in and a smear of filler. Not the neatest job of all time and the Silver is a Mazda colour I found in the garage so not an amazing match but still an improvement. With the grill re-painted and a clean it sold to @Kiltox after a little while. Finally the new daily. I'm moving house soon, and renting vans is expensive so I've picked this up for £150. Its got 125,000 miles, a leaky injector and is a bit minging inside but there is plenty of room inside with the back seats out to move bit bits of furniture and it still has its folding shopping trolley. I surpringly don't hate this as much as I thought I might. I have had some much more unlikable vehicles in my time, although I know these have been historically hated on here. Anyway, next up the BMW will be mended, the Fiesta will get an MOT and more fun for all the family!
  2. The 156 left my possession quite some time ago, 2013 I think. I'd spent quite a bit of time fixing it up, did a cam belt change and ended up replacing multiple suspension components. It still had an annoying clunk over certain bumps that I couldn't find the cause for, which I now thing was one of the front ARB bushes under the sub frame. Petrol got particularly expensive and so I sold it to buy a 106 diesel. It went to a guy in Exeter, nice enough guy but I don't think the car lasted much longer, I don't think it made it through its next MOT which was a shame as it was an exceedingly nice car.
  3. If the family doesn't take it then can I put my name down for a random please.
  4. Unbelievable gauges self test video that will melt your heart. Warning light number 4 was my favourite.
  5. I think it's mostly that the seats in the Golf were mega comfy, and tartan. This BMW is surprisingly quick (an M47 engine like a Rover 75 and multiple other BMWs) bit not quite as speedy and sure footed as the Golf was, but that was to be expected really. Really the fuel savings should outweigh the speed and seats.
  6. For the two or three of you who actually read this, I have another update! The new chain and guides on the Mini worked a treat, the engine is super smooth again, and the new gaskets seem to be keeping the oil in which is a double bonus. With the Mini fixed, my brother took on the Corolla and I took his Demio in part exchange, which some of you may remember was for sale on here. I agreed to fit a new thermostat to the Corolla and aux belts as they were squealing. Both were nice easy jobs, and took an hour and a bit including filling the cooling system with fresh coolant and bleeding it. The Demio didn't take long to sell. It was useful enough and has been around for a good eight years or so but I've just never taken to it. Hopefully the new owner from RetroRides loves it. I took my final weeks holiday in mid December to try and get the last of the work on the Fiesta done. The day before the neighbors daughter appeared with a misfiring 1.4 Mk6 Fiesta which after a little diagnosis the old fashioned way (as my diagnostics laptop has gone and fucking died) I decided the coil pack was shot to pieces as the spark on cylinder 4 was pathetic. A new one was procured and slapped into place and the car was returned for a £10 fee and some beers, ideal. With that done I managed to get one wing nicely welded up, which with a skim of filler should look pretty good I think. It's since been painted to give it some protection, waiting for the better weather to be fitted and painted properly. With one wing done, I'd finished painting them in the morning, was having some lunch when I got a call from the owner of my gym to inform me that someone we know and had been in brief contact with has Covid and we'd need to self isolate for 10 days. As we live with someone who is shielding that pretty much meant hiding in our bedroom for 10 days, pretending not to exist and disinfecting every surface if we did have to leave the room. Amazing bit of holiday that. I went back to work, only missing one day and with nothing else done to the Fiesta. Spiffing. Just as self isolation was ending I got a call from my brother to say the Corolla was in Asda car park and wouldn't turn the starter, so could I go get him. I let home know that I couldn't, tried to get him to hit the starter with the jack (to no avail, as it turns out he was wellying the clutch slave cylinder) and he waiting a few hours for the RAC who diagnosed that there was no power to the starter but couldn't find why and recovered him. The next day I had a look at it. The negative lead had fallen off the starter solenoid, 10 minutes later it was back in place and squeezed on tight. A couple of days later it was Christmas, which meant that the Mini was getting some new shock absorbers. The MOT was due on the 19th January, and the previous MOT had advisories for rusty rear shock casings, and in the adventures taking the front off repeatedly I'd noticed that the left front shock was very wet and manky where all the oil had leaked out of it. I've got no great pictures of the process bit here is all the junk that came off in varying states of disrepair: The top mounts were groaning during low speed manoeuvres so they were changed too. And the drivers side track rod end and lower ball joint had split boots and play in the joints so they were changed too. As predicted all but the drivers front shock was shot, and the new Bilstein B4s are a huge improvement. During removal of the drivers front shock, removing the lower ball joint allowed the shock to push the hub away from the gearbox and pulled the driveshaft out of the stub in the gearbox, ripping the CV boot in the process. As it has already taken itself apart I decided a new proper boot was in order as the cheapo ones that stick together around the drive shaft are DOG WANK. This happened late on the Saturday the 2nd, and nowhere was open, luckily there is a daily competent Euro Car Parts 30 minute away and I was able to do a click and collect for a new one the next morning. We set off and collected the part, easy, but then as we turned off the motorway the Golf (Yes I was still driving the Golf) threw up a low oil pressure warning and said in a very stern German way to stop the engine. I managed to reach a safe spot and the engine had just started to rattle slightly as I turned and pulled in. Bollocks. One car in pieces, another broken and I still had to get to work the next day. My brother was called to rescue us in the Corolla and the VW was left to think about what it had done. Back at the Mini and it all went together smoothly, with just a bit of hassle getting the bearings back onto the gearbox end of the shaft and the circlip back in place. With the tracking put back roughly using a string line we had one car back in action and I called the RAC to pickup the Golf, letting them know that it was 100% not a roadside fix and I was safe and warm and the car was in a safe spot. Five and a half hours later I went out to meet the RAC recovery bloke and 10 minutes later it was uncerimoniously dumped back on the drive. In what was possibly a stroke of luck, in the time the boyfriend got a call from his work to let him know that with Covid being back on the rise the office would remain closed, which meant I could use the Mini to get to work and back. The following day the latest lockdown was announced and he got a second call from his work to let him know he was being let go immediately (having only been in that job for just under 3 months) and then the next day, having signed up with a local agency he suddenly had work again starting Thursday so we had to have two working cars again. Tuesday evening I looked at a Fiat Panda being sold by an eastern European car wash that had a clutch life measurable in meters. Unimpressed with that I went back to Gumtree and found a BMW E46 320td Compact locally which looked like a not too bad bet. A viewing was arranged for 7:30 the next day before work as he wasn't available in the evening. I drove to work on Wednesday in my new BMW. It has its faults, the drivers window wouldn't open, fuel gauge shows empty all the time, rear wiper and parking sensors don't work but its been owned in one family since it was a couple of years old, is clean and tidy all round (only a little rash of small bubbles at the top of the drivers wing) and had MOT until December 2021, result. That weekend I pulled the sump off the Golf to look for anything obviously wrong as I thought it unlikely that the oil pump had broken or its seperate chain drive had snapped. Plenty of oil was in it, and the filter looked clean. With the sump dropped, the issue became clearer, the mesh filter in the pickup was completely blocked with crud. The bottom of the sump had sludge and lumps of burnt oil scattered all through the remaining oil, and lumps of spot stuck above the oil line on the sump. I guess that this is a common fault with this VAG 2.0 FSI engine but was till surprising given the immaculate service history of the car. With it cleaned out and the mating surfaces cleaned of old sealant, new gasket compound was applied and the sump was put back in position and tightened back up in the correct pattern. TOP TIP: if you even have to do one of these, the bolts up next to the gearbox are a fucking pain the ass. Put some bluetack in your socket to hold the bolt and stop it falling down inside the bell housing. They're easy to retrieve if you do, but you'll have to pull the sump back of and redo your sump gasket compound like I had to fucking TWICE. I left it overnight to cure, filled it up with oil the next morning and put in a new filter, fired it up and it ran perfectly. Mended. As I'd had to swap the Golf's insurance onto the BMW and the BMW appeared to be doing about 15mpg more than the VW, it was decided to sell the Golf, despite it being the much more fun and likable car. It was gone 25 hours after first being advertised to the general public at full asking price. Bye bye Golf GTI, possibly the nicest car I've ever owned. The Golf sold last Monday evening. On the Wednesday the Mini went for its MOT which it passed - advisories on the front tyres being shit, which must have been close to a fail, new tyres are on the way. This weekend I started on a couple of jobs on the BMW, first the drivers window. On removing the door card it became obvious that a cable had snapped but the motor was still working. I ordered a pattern part which wasn't quite right (because they never fucking are) I think it might be for a left hand drive car, but as the compact has different window regulators to the other E46s and they're a bit few and far between, I made a correct one out of the new one and my broken one. The window now works perfectly making it much easier to buy nuggets from a drive through without having to reverse through. The airbag in the door with TAKARTA written on it made faffing about a bit more exciting, half expecting it to suddenly blow and take my head clean off. Next up, the fuel gauge. A self test of the dial cluster shows the gauge to be operational - I'll upload a video shortly as it's pretty flipping snazzy. This has two fuel level sensors, one on either side and takes the average from both, another self test which shows the amount of fuel it thinks it has in litres on the odometer showed zero, indicating to me that at least one sensor is faulty. I pulled out the back seat squab and checked resistance on the drivers side sensor (attached to the pump) and it gave a reading of 334 ohms which seems pretty healthy to me for what I think should be at least 3/4 of a tank. The other side wouldn't give a reading, showing an open circuit across the two pins. Bingo. I started pulling it out to see if I could clean it or fix it. From what I could see it looked clean enough but there was extra gubbins attached to the fuel return line into the tank which wouldn't let me pull it out entirely. As it was starting to go dark and I need to car for the commute tomorrow morning, I decided to leave it be for the moment and have another go next weekend, but I think I have the culprit. More thrilling* adventures coming soon.
  7. Long time no see 'ey An update; Alfa Romeo is gone, Volkswagen Golf has a new MOT (needed new front flexi hoses and a numberplate) and the Fiesta is still exactly as it was left in the last post. The front wings have been cleaned back a bit but overall very little has occured on that front since the evenings have drawn in and it's gotten cold and wet. So what has been happening then? Well I had a couple of days off this week which was useful as the other halfs Mini had started making the most god-awful racket from the timing chain. We'd changed the auxiliary belt tensioner a while ago as that had failed, making a terrible amount of noise, and when he recently told me that it was making noise again I'd put it down to that having failed again and then proceeded to ignore it because it was dark, cold and I couldn't be bothered. It turned out that the oil had mostly escaped, leaving very little for the timing chain, which appeared to have potentially stretched and mangled the guides. I'd decided to try and fix the chain and the oil leaks at the same time to avoid a reoccurrence. As with almost any job on this car, it started by taking the front off. Then after the intercooler, brackets, coil pack and about a million other things were removed, the rocker cover came off for the gaskets to be changed including the ones around the spark plug wells. To get to the chain, there is a harmonic balancer held on with a 15mm bolt for the aux belt in the way. This caused an issue as I didn't have a 15mm impact socket or a harmonic balancer puller. A new set of impact sockets was purchased to replace the odd few that have been kicking around the garage but the puller was proving somewhat more difficult get in a hurry. We ended up making one which took a little while to measure up and get right but it did a grand job. The timing cover behind this has a big gasket and 2 circular seals on it and a crank seal, none of which are looking too fresh and there is a decent amount of sludge on it, indicating it's already been leaking. Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight to buy these, not realising that they existed before I took it apart. They've now been ordered but won't be here until mid week. Big pile of parts: The chain has one coloured link which lines up with the arrow on the cam sprocket and two coloured links which match up with the two arrows on the crank sprocket. it took a fair few rotations to get these to both match up, but having them match is a sure fire indicator that the timing is correct. With the tensioner off, the crank spocket was unbolted and then removed with the chain. The guides were then replaced. When finding top dead centre part of one of guides fell off and down onto the floor. This seemed to have been extremely close to a huge failure. With new guides, tensioner and chain, I turned it over by hand multiple times to make sure that the coloured links lined up with the arrows again, which they did. Everything was torqued back up properly and mostly reassembled. The sump then came off and contained the remaining parts of the guide: Look a crank and oil pickup! Anyway, the sump and the block have been cleaned up fully and reassembled with a new gasket to the correct torques, quite a satisfying job, if a bit time consuming cleaning it all. This concludes the events of this weekend on this car. It's almost back together, waiting for the last few gaskets to arrive. The aux belt and it's gubbins, the harmonic balancer and the front end all need to be reinstalled. As this isn't finished and we both need a car for work on Monday, this morning I went and bought this: It is a car. 1.3, fairly nippy and on the drive back from Minehead to Tiverton over Exmoor it was surprisingly entertaining to pilot in the way a basic hatchback can be. MOT until August and has clearly been loved and cared for by its previous owners to me who had it for 12 years, not bad value at £350. I've already ruined it's originality by swapping the original steels and trims for some MK1 MR2 teardrop alloys with good quality winter tyres that have been sat in a hedge in the garden for the last 9 months. The original fronts were nearly bald ditch finders so I think its fair swap really, and they'll stay with the car. My brother has already spotted it and has dibs when I'm done with it in a week or two to replace his Mazda Demio, so expect to see that for sale soon, if anyone wants to relive the Sunday Cup from Gran Turismo but for real.
  8. My workplace has a heap of ISO leads for these in stock that we are never going to sell in case anyone here manages to get their hands one and wants to change the radio.
  9. It turns out I wasn't done, somehow I'd managed to completely ignore a patch of surface rust on each rear arch which when rubbed back left a bit of a mess that needed filler and then paint. Paint is slow, and it's what I've spent most of the past week of warm evenings finishing off after work. This morning it got polished and its is now nearly the same colour as the rest of the car! Huge success. Then I put the rest of the back end together again. The electrics aren't really working properly back here so I guess I've got a load of paint in my earthing points, but that's a problem for another day.
  10. The windscreen is back in! Horrible job, would not recommend, get another person in to do it.
  11. This weekend I finally got round to doing the job I've been putting off for months, taking the screen out and fixing the galloping rot in the scuttle. With some soapy water in a spray bottle and a set of plastic trim tools the screen popped out surprisingly easily. This was nowhere near as frightening as expected. The rot was even worse on the inside of the scuttle than it appeared on top, so the hole ended up being quite large after preparing it for a welded patch. This had been repaired before, the other side had rotted much less but had a hole leading into the scuttle which looked like it was pressed into the sheet metal originally. I think that somehow when water manages to get behind the seal it ends up in these corners, and when repaired the drain hole wasn't reinstated so it sat here and has caused this grief ten years down the line. Other side for reference, post grinding back: Welding has occured on both sides, a tiny amount over here to reinstate the drain hole to roughly it's original size, and a new patch on the bad side. This wasn't my best welding ever, it was windy and the wire speed was a bit high but it did penetrate well so an angle grinder with a flapper disc sorted it out nicely. That was how it was left last night, ready for the last little smidge of welding on the inner edge and grinding back. Temporary windscreen made from plastic sheeting found in the loft to keep the racoons out. After the grinding, last bit of welding and a day of faffing about with filler and rattle cans, this is the finished result. It's not perfect but it's good enough to slap the screen back in I think. For spraying with aerosol cans I highly recommend one of these contraptions, available online fucking everywhere or from Halfords for about six squids. https://www.matt-pack.co.uk/can-gun-1-aerosol-trigger-spray-c2x24593292 It makes spray cans so much easier to use, with a much more even spray pattern which makes it actually quite difficult to get a run in the paint if you're reasonably careful. Well worth a fiver or so. Next up is putting the screen back in. I've got some time tomorrow afternoon to squeeze it back in place but also have a quite boozy lunch lined up so the results might not be exactly ideal. Stay tuned for updates. Just the front wings left to weld now. To update you on the other cars, the VW is still being a quite nice car but has hardly been used recently. The Alfa is still squealing like a stuck pig after changing the aux belt, tensioner and idler. It turns out that the alternator has a pulley with a clutch on it for some mad reason that probably doesn't warrant the extra complexity, so that needs changing. It's not an expensive part but does need a special tool which is a bit pricey so I'm putting that off for the moment. Nice shiney new parts which were no help at all pictures above. We have however, gone camping in Wales in it. Awful photography but with a windscreen cover, cardboard covers on the windows and the load cover pulled back over us, this was a very comfortable night sleep and easily the most stylish camper on site. See you later loosers
  12. Another vote for the cap here, easy and cheap to rule out. I remember you did the timing belt, but wasn't there something weird about the water pump? I had a very slowly leaking water pump on a Mk4 Golf and it took me ages to track it down, slowly leaking away behind the timing belt cover and evaporating before it was visible. It was only after taking the belt cover off and finding the side of the block covered in that crystallized shizzle from evaporated coolant.
  13. This weekend I set to a couple of easy jobs. First was the pollen filter which was genuinely easy and requires no further discussion. Second was the oil change which once I'd got the sump plug undone was also easy, had my perfectly positioned bowl not been actually completely incorrectly positioned so that the oil went all over the drive AGAIN. Third was the upper wishbone on the driver's side which was clonking away merrily over every pump and undulation. I'd read online that this was an easy 30 minute job. I can tell you now that it fucking isn't. Here's the offending article, post change: Initially the ball joint was a faff to unseat, and then the nut wouldn't unscrew without requiring so much force that the alan key slot in the centre of the ball joint wasn't rounding out, so it got acquainted with the angle grinder. Now for the real fun part. Up top are two E18 headed bolts holding in the wishbone. Blocking easy access in the spring and shock absorber. Internet folklore says you can get these out by wiggling around the spring and using the jack under the hub to compress the spring and shift the coils slightly if needed. I'm sure it would be easy if my bolts weren't both seized and already mangled, I suspect by someone trying to do this job before and mushing them up with a 15mm spanner or similar. This meant I couldn't get my E18 socket on without hammering it on, but the spring was in the way, and trying an E20 kept slipping off. After multiple attempts with different bars, ratchets, universal joints and swearing, I finally decided to drop the strut. With the top mount nuts released from the strut tower and the long bolt that holds the lower fork to the lower wishbone removed, I could shift it out the way just enough to get an E20 square on the bolts which then with a breaker bar meant I could get them undone. In an ideal world I would she reassembled with new bolts but as I had to be in work 12 hours after finishing this job on Sunday evening that wasn't going to happen. Sorry to whoever may have to change this wishbone again. Reassembly was much easier than removal. The aux belt is still squealing, and I think it's getting worse, a new on and along with a tensioner and idler should be along tomorrow assuming Hermes haven't lost it which should fix the problem, then the only moderately pressing problem is cleaning up the subframes, painting and changing the bolt.
  14. I have a feeling it will be a right old war, hopefully the hear of migging on a new bolt head will be enough to break the corrosion that has seized it in place. Even if I just have a new head welded onto the bolt, thats got to be better than nothing for the time being, not that I think the subframe is in any danger of falling off, more that i'm not sure how an MOT tester will feel about it in October. Plus i'd prefer the peace of mind that it's held on by all the bolts it was designed to be held on with. Unfortunately I also expect I'll have to dig out the inlet manifold at some point. The swirl flaps are meant to be a nuisance on these, along with basically everything else.
  15. I miss being furloughed, where is the time going? It's basically August already and I have made precisely zero progress on the Fiesta and am making slow progress on the Alfa Romeo. I've been nipping about in the Golf and now that it's issues are resolved it's a jolly nice thing to blat about in, fast, comfortable and all the switchgear just feels right. So obviously I'm toying with the idea of selling it, anyone interested? The Alfa Romeo is being kept for the time being, obviously this is a car where all the switchgear feels almost right, but is quite obviously a bit wrong. I found it's entirely possible to increase the cruise control speed with your left knee if you're not too careful for example. I've managed to have the time to complete one task on it. The temperature gauge was showing it wasn't getting hot, which I think was also causing it to continually dump all of its boost to avoid killing a cold engine, so I have changed the thermostat. It's buried down here, on the passenger side of the engine behind various kerjiggers including the inlet pipe. You can just see the green plug for the temp sensor from above. It wasn't as bad as it looks to change, two bolts and a rubber seal hold it in place and 4 hose clamps which are easy with the correct pliers. Of course I didn't have my trusty washing up bowl in the right place so coolant poured all over the drive. It looks a complicated old beast this 20v JTDM lump. (Battery removed for thermostat change purposes) I then went to jack it, but the trusty jack that has lifted so many cars on this drive was having none of it. It got it about 2 inches off the ground and then would lift no more. I knew this was a heavy old Hector but I wasn't expecting a 1.5 tonne jack to be so useless when presented with it considering it would lift a 2004 Transit. I got it up just enough to wedge an axle stand under the drivers subframe mount and it seemed pretty stable so I had a gander underneath. I'd heard about these things rotting out their front subframes and i think I caught this one just in time, all of this could do with a damn good clean up and some paint. Gr17 photography skills right there, nice and blurry. I went under here to do an oil change but found the sump plug seized solid, as seems to be the norm at the moment. With fuck all space to move and the light fading I left it for the weekend, and then I spotted this. YIKES On the other side there are two bolts holding the subframe in place, on the passenger side there is one. I don't know how or where the head of the second bolt went, but I'm very displeased that it's not there. Plan is to clean up the top and weld a nut to it before taking the remains out, then slapping in a new bolt. Additionally the aux belt is squealing so a new one, along with a tensioner and idler is on order along with a new drivers side upper wish bone to cure a clonk from that corner.
  16. There could be hope for it yet! It was looking like this, last I knew of it after some scrote bent the door back and it was replaced with the white one. Look familiar?
  17. I do suspect it will be snug, we've previously slept in the back of a 96 and a 99 Subaru Legacy wagon without any major complaints and this feels about the same size. If this really doesn't work then I might just have to go back to my number one choice of estate car: a Saab 9-5 Aero, and just grin and bear the extra fuel consumption. This was just the closest I could find in overall character with acceptable fuel slurping.
  18. Sadly not, the Y10 got sold along with all the spares when it seemed that I wouldn't be returning from New Zealand. It was sold to For Fiats Sake on these brown pages, but he hasn't been on since September 19 and I don't know what happened to it after that. It hasn't had an MOT since 2017 so it's not looking hopeful that it's still with us sadly. That is unless anyone else knows any better of the whereabouts of G250BVT
  19. Mini is fixed. It was the aux belt tensioner, which was a bit of a fiddle to remove. The other half set to pulling the front clip into the service position to make it a bit easier to remove. A bit of juggling the engine and struggling with a crap eBay detensioning tool which didn't work and it was off. The new one turned up today, bolted in place and it's back to being fairly quiet again. It seems like a stupidly over complicated piece of design to me but there we go. While he was taking it apart, I set to the whipping off the Golfs rear bumper and changing the parking sensor. Easy job really as it simply unclipped and a new one clipped in its place and the bumper was not more than a few torx screws, with only a couple of awkward ones in the rear arches. Apart from the air con needing a possible regas, this is now basically a fully functioning car which means I'm mostly bored of it and it might be for sale soon. Additionally there has been a new arrival in the form of an Alfa Romeo 159 2.4 JTDM Sportwagon. OMFG it's a modern! Ban him! Move it to the moderns section! Bitch about him on that other forum! But seriously, don't. More hot Fiesta action will be along soon, plus this isn't exactly a factory fresh example. We're hoping it's big enough in the back to sleep in so we can go on a couple of exceedingly cheap holidays around the country this summer, but in Italian style. I think the rear bumper is a slightly different shade to the rest of it and there is an annoying rust blister on the leading edge of the bonnet, but on the plus side it pulls well, is very comfy and the air con works very nicely. The interior isn't a bad place to be either, although it could do with a clean. A few pieces of random plastic already found floating around the footwells. It's getting a new thermostat and a service this weekend, and hopefully we'll fit because if not then it maybe up for sale again a little sooner than planned. Although it is still a good looking and useful sized car which is easily managing 40+ mpg on a speedy motorway run. Anyway, back to the old stuff shortly.
  20. Bit of an update, the Golfs wheels have been refurbed and now it looks much snazzier if you don't look at them too hard and see that my efforts at 'diamond cutting' them look more like they have been attacked with a very sharp cheese grater. Oh well, my work mate who knows fuck all about cars commented that they look much better completely unprompted when I turned up at work on Monday, so they must be better than before. I've also fixed the cruise control by changing the indicator stalk - which also houses all the switches for the cruise control. This involved taking the air bag off, and the steering wheel and then the cruise control/airbag control module and the steering angle sensor and finally the stalk itself. There was a couple of hidden clips which I had to look up to find, one of which required a very thing and long alan key to remove which a faff and overall it was a bit of a rush job as I was doing it mostly in between the three qualifying sessions of the formula 1 on Saturday. Didn't George Russel do well? Anyway, it works now which has made my commute slightly more relaxing. What isn't relaxing is that the Mini Cooper S (R53) has started having an alarming rattle which sounds like its coming from the timing chain side of the engine. The optimistic side of me says that it is just the serpentine belt tensioner as they apparently do die regularly and while we changed the belt, we didn't do the tensioner or idler when we were servicing the supercharger. I've sorted out the purchase of a backup car next Monday, in case it is the timing chain or its tensioner or guides that is causing the racket and hopefully I'll get to have a play with it and find out at the weekend. The oil and filter was changed about 1000 miles ago and still looks at the right level and clean so I don't see why it would be the timing chain causing issues as they're not known for it, unlike later models.
  21. Since the last update, nothing has happened to the Fiesta other than its had it's wheel put back on and it's been pushed to the side of the driveway, waiting for me to have a smidge more time for it because I'm back at work. However, the Volvo has sold, and the Golf has been pressed into daily duties after a last bit of fettling. Firstly the rear brake shield had broken free on the drivers side and was clattering around like a right noisy bastard. I'm pretty certain it does mostly nothing and replacing it properly would require taking off the wheel bearing and hub, so fuck that for a laugh. A combination of tin snips and a junior hacksaw, followed by some brute force had it removed quick enough. Driving it around revealed that the power steering was heavy and grabby and the traction control would seemingly sometimes kick in without warning or on light braking the ABS would cut in. This made for an entertaining* driving experience. Plugging in a laptop with VCDS and measuring the readings from the ABS sensors showed that the rear left was reading all over the show, spiking from the same as the others to twice the speed repeatedly. On the rear, the ABS ring is built into the back of the wheel bearing. As it was still chucking out a reading that was within the realms of possibility I decided it was unlikely to be the sensor and so set about changing the ring. First problem was that it was held on with a fancy splined bolt. Similar to a torx bolt, but with many more points. These are all over more modern VAG cars and aren't a bad fitting really but I didn't have a set of bits in this country so I had to buy some.bew ones. Second problem is that VW made these with two different sizes of wheel bearings 30mm and 32mm inner diameter, with no easy way of finding out without taking the old one off, so I had to order both. It turned out to be the 30mm. It all came apart reasonably easily, the bolts holding the caliper carrier in place we're a bit seized and awkward, but the biggest hassle was the torque on the hub bolt. It's a stretch bolt and really really fucking tight. Putting my big breaker bar on it, then standing on the bar and bouncing up and down did eventually get it loosened off. An impact gun would have been spiffing but once again, wrong hemisphere for my impact gun. The brake back plate on this side was frisbeed into the bin asap as it was also looking like it was ready to make a bid for freedom. Getting it back on was even more fun, the torque setting is 132 lb ft of torque and then another 180 degrees. This is many many torques, 132 is slightly more than my old torque wrench would measure for starters so it got everything, the torque wrench had, plus a smidge and then 180 degrees. I got within a gnats bollocks of 180 degrees when on my final effort to get the extra few degrees, my brand new spline bit broke under the force, which made me decide it was probably just about tight enough. Hopefully I can return them... The old ABS ring has some very small cracks in its coating, which I guess was the cause of the problem. Anyway, with it all back together I reset the ABS light and once I'd set off and gone 50 meters, the other lights on the dash, apart from the steering light had gone out. The other faults stored were to do with the calibration of the steering angle sensor not being calibrated properly. This was easy enough to remedy. Turn the engine on, hold the wheel dead ahead for 10 seconds, then all the way left for 10, then all the way right for 10 and then back to the middle for 10 before turning off the engine, waiting a bit and starting it up again and going for a test run. The light didn't go off for me until I'd driven down to Tesco, gone to the back of the car park and done 3 circles on full lock left and 3 all the way right. On returning to the straight ahead position the light went out and the power steering started functioning properly. Sorted. I had tried this out before fixing the ABS but it wouldn't work. I assume that if there is other issues in the drivetrain it stops a calibration being performed. After a couple of days driving I found a couple more minor issues. The cruise control doesn't work and usually on reversing the parking sensors will just do one long bleep, no matter if anything is behind you. VCDS came out again, diagnosing intermittent implausible signals from one of the parking sensors, so a replacement is on the way and a faulty on/off switch on the cruise control. I took it apart and tried cleaning it to no avail so I'm replacing the stalk. A new one arrived today, and hopefully that will resolve it. Finally, the wheels are looking a bit sad. They are the more desirable 18" Monza alloys which were originally diamond cut. This being the least durable finish of anything other than maybe a montego dashboard, they now look a right state. All are in basically the same shape but it did come with a spare alloy so I thought I'd have a practice on that. A quick going over with the polycarbonate wheel (usually for removing paint) on the angle grinder quickly got rid of the old lacquer and corrosion, followed by sanding down with 320 and 500 grit sandpaper to get rid of any big scratches the grinder left behind and finally a polish up with some 2400 grit wet and dry I have hanging around for some reason covered in some CRC cutting compound - magical stuff in a yellow tin. This polished it up quite nicely overall, but possibly did tarnish the surface of the alloy slightly. Anyway, who gives a fuck when with a hose off, scrub down and a layer of lacquer it looks a million times better, and took just over 30 minutes and basically zero cost. The metallic grey between the spokes wasn't too bad on this one but will be a bit more of a faff to sort on a that have a bit of kerbing, there is an aerosol can of some sort of BMW graphite in the garage which might do the job if it's a reasonable match. This bus is quite a nice drive but does suffer from being too competent. I'm finding that the speed needs to be very illegal before it feels fast enough to put a grin on my face, and I'm not sure my license can withstand that long term.
  22. I'm back to work on Monday, which is a shame. I think I could retire now at the ripe old age of 28 and just see out my days pottering about mending crap old cars. But alas, the world's economy doesn't run on mending worthless old tat, so I must go back to grafting. As such I've been doing jobs to finish up decent sections of the cars so that they can all be mobile and shifted about while I'm not at home with moderate ease. Firstly, the Volvo has been employed to take a heap of stuff to the tip, including a big oven which it swallowed with ease, I've also taken the plate off of it, which will hopefully be sold to @95 quid Peugeot shortly so it's new registration is R116 XFJ which while possibly interesting to an owner of multiple Jaguars, is far less exciting. To say sorry for steeling the registration I've refitted the drivers footwell carpet, filled it with proper OAT antifreeze and cleaned it out. Time for it to be moved on I think, it's nice enough but it really doesn't suit my more spirited driving style. I'm expecting a copy of VCDS in the next couple of days, so the insurance will be shifting from the Volvo to the VW at the end of the month and I'll get it back on the road when I know what sensor is playing up. More to follow. Finally the Fiesta is at a point where only the front wings and the scuttle panel under the screen need repairing. Technically if I bolted everything back on and put some tape over a couple of holes, I think it would get an MOT now. I've been mostly seam sealing and painting my repairs, the last few days to make sure that they last. I also took the front shocks and springs off. Despite being fancy Spax shocks, they went really rusty, very quickly, so they've been cleaned up, rust converted and painted with a can of silver hammerite I found lurking at the back of the garage. While I was at it, I masked off the good paintwork and sprayed some snazzy Dinitrol stone chips underseal into the inner front wings. It went on really easily, looks good and hopefully will keep the rust at bay for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell, but it does now look quite good I think. Next up I'll be repairing the front wings, which I think might be quite hard to get right and look good, and assuming the good weather hasn't ended for this year, I'm hoping to get the screen, the scuttle repaired and back in again once I've built up the courage to do so. Any tips for this? I really would prefer to not have a Bo11ox style multiple screen smashing extravaganza - especially as I have a slightly more sought after version with a bluish top tint.
  23. I made a good amount of money selling to backpackers in Auckland between September and January. Buy any old wagon, lob a mattress in the back, if the WOF isn't recent then slap a new one on and double your purchase price, then find a German. Job done.
  24. Thanks for the offer, but on looking into it a bit further, it looks like VIDA doesn't work although and older VADIS might work. One that should definitely work is VOL-FCR from this company https://www.ilexa.co.uk/shop/VOL-FCR but it's £126 plus a cable which is about £126 plus a cable more than I want to spend on fixing this issue. don't have a hankering for another Volvo after this one, so spending out on Volvo specific software and cables seems like a bit of a waste. However, it seems that a generic code reader like Bo11ox was on about has a half decent chance of reading the SRS codes and being able to reset it, but it depends on the exact reader and I can't seem to find which ones exactly do the job. If anyone knows then give me a shout as I'm definitely in the market for a good generic reader as well as VCDS for my various Volkswagen exploits.
  25. I can attest that there is much less of a Gove resemblance in the flesh.
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