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vulgalour

1980 Austin Princess

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The massive socket I ordered arrived so I could do the balljoint that was advised at MoT.  I re-used the old shim which seemed to be the correct size, fortunately.  I've not done pre-load balljoints like these before so I'm hoping I did it right, time will tell of course if these wear out much sooner than they should.  The passenger side wasn't advised but I wanted to do it anyway, I was thwarted by simply not being strong enough to undo the balljoint that's fitted, even with very long poles.  It could do with being on the workshop lift, but that's been occupied for quite some time by a Rover 75 so I just decided to leave that side alone for now.  Here's new and old parts.  I did have to swap the spring-type o-ring from the old balljoint boot to the new one because the new balljoint boot had a rubber o-ring that wasn't strong enough to hold the boot in place.

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These bastards only concede to high levels of heat and violence.

 

Warm up the housing with a blowtorch until it smells like all the grease inside has melted.

 

Wearing welding gauntlets reach for you biggest stilson wrench.

 

Apply it to the nut or the housing for the rubber grease cap and give it a tug.

 

If it doesnt move, more heat to the housing

 

if it still doesnt move a 2ft extension to the stilson handle.

 

if it still doesnt move more heat

 

It will concede I assure you

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happy to see things are continuing to go relatively well :)

 

on the festoon bulb front, are things melting from poor electrical contact, or from the heat of the bulb?

 

if so it might be worth making sure the festoon bulb you have fitted is not too high a wattage for the application (iv seen Festoon bulbs in everything from 5W to 21W)

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Heat of the bulb.  You can't actually turn the interior light off so if you leave the door open the bulb does get hot enough to melt the plastic of the holder, which is exactly what's happened.  Some sort of heatshield would have fixed it, or the ability to turn the switch to an off position, but I guess BL didn't have that much money available.

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These spiteful feckers

 

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on the throttle butterfly into the inlet manifold.

 

cut the horrible things off and soft solder the disc of the valve to the disc on the throttle butterfly.

 

Lots of plumbers flux, some plumbers solder and a smidge of blowtorch.

 

 

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Right then, the Daily Driver Challenge got derailed somewhat by a BX but that doesn't mean I haven't used the Princess at all.  I'll be collating the info and experiences from the experiment today and will have a write up on that a bit later.  For now, it's alternator time.  Shiter Danthecapriman very kindly sent me his old Capri alternator to use on the Princess.  We were unsure as to whether or not it was correctly handed but knew it was otherwise a suitable swap.  Worst case, we could always use the good bits from one to fix the bad bits on the other.  This was going to be a little How To on doing the repair, my camera had other ideas unfortunately, so you'll have to use your imagination a little bit.

With both alternators on the desk we could see one was left handed, and one was right handed.  This is to do with where the pivot bolt and adjuster bolt holes are on the casing, they're otherwise identical.  Fortunately, if you unscrew the bolts holding the casing together you can dismantle the whole distributor and swap the casings over.  You also have to desolder three wires that connect the regulator to the commutator ring.  The intention was to use all of the internals from the Capri alternator and just the outer casings from the Princess alternator, this changed when we inspected the various components and ended up Frankensteining one alternator out of the two to make the best of the components available.

This is the Princess alternator internals, and you can see at the front the three wires with white-with-green-dots wire that are soldered to the regulator.  On the Princess alternator, most of the componenents were in reasonable condition, but it was the regulator that was shot.  We cleaned up the commutator surfaces, checked the bearings, and decided against splitting the commutator ring from the casing since it was in better shape than the one in the Capri alternator.  The bearings in the Capri alternator weren't quite as good either, though that's not too surprising since the Princess alternator dates from about 2011, where the Capri one is from the mid-80s, so had a fair few more hours clocked on it.

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The Capri regulator design was slightly different.  It was the same where it mattered, it was just the quality of parts of soldering, etc. was better overall and the regulator on the Capri didn't have a condenser added on, presumably because there was no need for it as there was on the newer Princess one.  To make things extra confusing I've made sure that this part is photographed from a completely different angle to the Princess one above.

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Now I have no more alternator rebuild photographs because the camera ate them all.  Essentially, we used the commutator ring, the main spindle, and the metal casings from the Princess alternator, with the regulator, and Lucas branded plastic cap from the Capri alternator.  We also used the best of the various bolts from both units in rebuilding the new Frankenstein.  The net result is that the alternator now works properly, which is what this was all about.  So a bit thank you to Danthecapriman for providing the spares, and to Mike for basically cracking on and doing the magic soldering work.

With the alternator off the car, I could address a couple of jobs I'd wanted to do for a while and hadn't had a good excuse to get done.  First up was the alternator bracket which has always been a bit crusty looking.  Treated it to wire brush and black caliper paint, it should bake well since it does get quite hot being bolted straight to the block.  Cleaned up the bolts for the bracket, and the wiring loom, while I was in there.  I also cleaned down the grease that had been hiding behind the alternator.

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With the wiring loom removed I could unwrap the brittle old electrical tap and use a few cable ties (cheers for that idea, Project Binky!) to keep things where they needed to be for when I re-wrap it.  I also degreased it so the new tape had the best chance of sticking.

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Typically, found another bodge in the form of a half-cut wire under some electrical tape that had been added after the rest of the loom was wrapped.  This is the only bit of the wiring loom I've not had off the car (that I know of), so it's hardly surprising there was yet more damage to it.  Mike splice the wire back together with fresh solder and new heatshrink since we didn't have suitable connectors to remake the whole wire.

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Again, I'd show you progress but the camera ate a bunch of illustrative images.  Fortunately there was exactly the right amount of loom tape in the drawer to wrap this section, and not a millimetre to spare.  I repainted the steel P-clips that hold the loom to the front of the block and we extended the electronic ignition wire with a new piece so that it could be more tidily incorporated into the loom.  The wiring on the front of this engine needs all the help it can get when it comes to being tidy.

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With all that reinstalled, we started the car and tested the alternator to see what it was doing.  We now have a reliable, steady, predictable charge that will keep up with system demands as and when required.  It was good to get everything cleaned up a bit too, removing all the historic grime really helps keep everything look much nicer and means I can see when there's a problem that much easier.  The Lucas branded end cap on the alternator is quite pleasing for reasons I can't explain.

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It's still a very messy face ot the engine, it always will be.  There's some cosmetic improvements I can make, I still haven't colour coded the oil filler tube or starter motor to match the new colour scheme and the purple is just starting to bug me now on those.  At some point soon I'll pop them both off and repaint them, they're very easy jobs to do.

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Didn't have time to crack on with the brakes today.  I'm not in as much of a rush to sort those as I was since the BX can pick up the slack.  Mike and I are hoping next Monday can be brakes day, providing our schedules don't get all clashy.

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Top job fellas! 

Im glad my old alternator came in useful for this, I’m also glad that delightful old Lucas end cap lived to be reused! I don’t know why but I also find things like that nice to keep, it’s a nice little detail that the newer parts lack.

great work on the other bits too, getting things clean & tidy makes all the difference.

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The Daily Driver Challenge - Conclusion.

I decided to end the DDC at the point that it was clear the BX would be distracting me from using the Princess every day because it didn't seem fair to do otherwise.  The DDC took place from late November 2018 until early May 2019, a time of year when most forty year old cars are bundled up safe and warm waiting for the show season to begin again.  It was the least ideal time to be using a classic car and likely to be the most challenging, certainly the best way to get a fair estimation of the car's abilities and reliability over that period of time.

The short version for the 24 weeks of the DDC goes like this:

13 weeks of trouble-free boring motoring

1 failure to proceed: warped brake disc.  AA less than useless and refused recovery because I'd had the temerity to break down on the road outside a garage that was closed.

1 failure to proceed that was repaired at the roadside: carburettor issues

Various servicing and minor repairs.

 

The long version is that overall, a car with a reputation for being incredibly unreliable and being asked to drive in all weathers, at all times of day, including in the snow at night, proved itself capable of getting me where I needed to go whenever I needed to go there.  Had I needed to use the car for long distance commuting, I would have done more to prepare the car for use than I did.  Instead, I was asking the car to do between 50 and 100 miles a week, and to be able to go out whenever I needed it to almost every day.  The majority of the mileage was urban only, though there were some longer distance motorway runs and faster A road trips taken as well.  It was used in rush hour on occasion, late night runs, and got caught up in school traffic several times, all of which it coped with perfectly fine.

Repairs were needed.  Mostly this was simply down to parts wearing out, as parts do.  Before the test, a new main earth wire was fitted along with brand new tyres for reliability and safety.  I also used the DDC to highlight any issues I may have overlooked when the car was being used much less, and that meant quite a few small items were replaced that didn't absolutely have to be, things like the reversing light switch (which collapsed after a handful of miles and saw me refitting the original after cleaning it up), the oil pressure switch to cure a minor oil leak, an in-line fuel filter, a new carburettor gasket, a steering column upper bush, and new CV boots.  More serious items required were a lower ball joint, the front wheel bearings, electronic ignition (failed condenser also saw badly burned points), a brake disc, a rebuilt alternator, and some welding to a rear inner arch.  Other than that, a little oil was required since it consumes a small quantity.

Overall, I don't regard the items replaced as being that out of the ordinary for any car of this age and mileage and most of the items were quite old and had done quite a few miles.  At the close of the DDC, the only outstanding issue is the brake rebuild and the reason that hasn't been done is simply a matter of finding the time to strip down and rebuild everything.  I've never done anything with the front brakes in the seven years I've had the car, other than bleeding them, and I imagine previous owners were much the same, mostly because nothing needed to be done until this year.

Would I recommend using a forty year old car every day?  Generally speaking, no.   The problem with an old car is that it's an old car.  Unless you've gone through the whole thing and replaced every consumable item with good quality new, or as good as new, items, you're going to have a bad time.  Parts wear out and you need to be aware that when you press an older car into service you running a greater risk than usual of cascade failure.  I took the chance with this car because I've owned it for a long time and I thought I'd ironed out all the problems I was likely to face.  Many of the parts I've needed have been awkward to acquire, though rarely expensive, and some of the parts have been incorrectly described.  So if I was relying on the car to get me to work and back every day rather than just run me around on my errands most days, my attitude in closing on this experiment would likely be very different.

That said, if you're of the mentality that you want to experience this sort of thing, then go for it.  Just have contingencies in place.  If you're going to use a classic every day for a protracted period of time, it's wise to have a back-up car or someone with a back-up car, that can help you out if you do get stuck.  Also, approach pressing an older car into service like going into a really slow endurance race.  Replacing things like filters and hoses, ignition components, and making sure all your electrical stuff is in good order is very sensible.  Carrying tools and fluids in the boot is also very sensible and, if you can, having spares such as ignition components and belts, is very sensible.  One thing I've learned is that breakdown cover does not always mean breakdown cover, so you have to give yourself a fighting chance of repairing your car yourself to a standard that will get you home.

One positive of the DDC is how much more aware of other road users it's made me.  When you haven't got the driver aids of blind spot monitors and electronic ignition, parking sensors and ABS, you find your driving changes.  You look for and anticipate behaviour you might not otherwise notice.  It makes the act of driving somewhat more tiring as a result because you're concentrating so much more.  However, there were plenty of times that I found myself able to predict bad behaviour from other road users and prevent myself getting into trouble and those are skills I'll be carrying forwards.  I'm not saying driving a classic car will make you a perfect driver, it won't.  What it will do is make you more aware as a driver.  Older cars are less insulated from the outside world too, so I did find I was much more aware of folks on two wheels, and generally speaking people are nicer and behave respectfully towards you.

Now that I've completed the DDC it has proven that I have absolutely no desire to part with the Princess (not that there was any doubt) and that it is quite capable of doing everything I need it to do.  It's proven that I don't need a newer car, that I don't even need a radio, and that it's an affordable form of transport that makes me happy.  If I had to, I could use the Princess as my only car and this experiment has allowed me to get the car in really very good shape overall.  It's not perfect, it's not about to win any shows, and that's fine.  It's a car I can use and that I enjoy to use, and that's all that really matters.

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I doff my hat to you Mr V. Having dailied a couple of Scimitars a few years back it was a challenge in the mid-noughties using a then 30 year old car, though I suspect parts availability for the Scim is [marginally] better than the Princess. At least what you have struggled with has been mainly service items which can go on a car of any age.

It's also good that it hasn't had a bad effect on you and that you don't want to part with the car. I think keeping it as a plaything and continuing your sterling efforts making her better and more useable for modern modern motoring is only a good thing.

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On 4/28/2019 at 6:24 PM, vulgalour said:

Heat of the bulb.  You can't actually turn the interior light off so if you leave the door open the bulb does get hot enough to melt the plastic of the holder, which is exactly what's happened.  Some sort of heatshield would have fixed it, or the ability to turn the switch to an off position, but I guess BL didn't have that much money available.

the original interior light on the Mini 1000 has the same issue, the heat from the filament bulb melting the (very thin) plastic cover thing, though the mini bulb holder does come with a sort of switch thing that means it can be turned off!

 

top idea on changing the bulb to an LED thing, may i ask where you got the  LED from?

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Ended up having to order it from the local motorfactor.  Trying to find a warm LED bulb in an actual shop was quite difficult and I didn't trust trying to get one online.

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Right then, these brakes.  Princess started no bother as has become the norm, and we trundled over to the unit.  Dismantling everything was actually surprisingly easy, in large part because Mike did that instead of me, but also because things weren't all rusted solid which made a very pleasant change.  The old brake pads still have loads of meat left on them and aren't particularly badly damaged really.  Even the pins and anti rattle/squeal plate things looked like they could be reused (they won't be).  Before disconnecting the hoses to the calipers, Mike stuck a bit of wood in them while I operated the pedal and most of the pistons popped free.

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Annoyingly, 2 of the 8 pots are stuck, so Mike did battle with those on the bench while I dealt with that bit of flaking paint around the side repeater.  It is not my finest painting hour, I must say, at least the rust and bare metal are dealt with and that's all that matters at this point.

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Removing the old discs was delightfully easy.  In fact, none of this brake job has been a war especially, which Mike and I were both surprised about.  To remove the discs you have to remove the split pin and hub nut, then clamp the disc in the vise to unbolt the outer hub part from the disc itself.  I haven't yet torqued up the hub nuts or refitted the split pin, the new discs are just in place until we're ready to put the calipers back on.

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One of the brake caliper piston seals and retaining ring fell off which demonstrated the need for a rebuild (I have the kits, it's a job that will be done before reassembly) and the passenger side disc has started to warp with a very similar section of damage on the surface to what the driver's side had.  Both calipers are ready for a rebuild, perhaps past ready, and while they don't leak and the brakes do meet the legal requirement, it's clear they've not been working as well as they should for quite some time.  At least now we can fix that.  There wasn't enough time to finish faffing with the calipers today and Mike's said he'll get the sticky pistons unstuck this week so that everything can go back together.  The hoses and hard lines all look in good shape, which was nice to see, and while the calipers are scruffy they're certainly not in need of massive amounts of remedial work, just a quick tidy and new seals really.

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The Princess can enjoy a little indoor break for the time being.

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Steve: “Dave, I’ve just gone to fetch that GT6 inside to have a tinker with it. You see it anywhere?”

Dave: “Yeah mate, it’s hanging on the wall over there, near the consumer unit. “

 

Great to see the old diva isn’t particularly being an old diva. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 7:31 PM, vulgalour said:

The Daily Driver Challenge - Conclusion.

I decided to end the DDC at the point that it was clear the BX would be distracting me from using the Princess every day because it didn't seem fair to do otherwise.  The DDC took place from late November 2018 until early May 2019, a time of year when most forty year old cars are bundled up safe and warm waiting for the show season to begin again.  It was the least ideal time to be using a classic car and likely to be the most challenging, certainly the best way to get a fair estimation of the car's abilities and reliability over that period of time.

The short version for the 24 weeks of the DDC goes like this:

13 weeks of trouble-free boring motoring

1 failure to proceed: warped brake disc.  AA less than useless and refused recovery because I'd had the temerity to break down on the road outside a garage that was closed.

1 failure to proceed that was repaired at the roadside: carburettor issues

Various servicing and minor repairs.

 

The long version is that overall, a car with a reputation for being incredibly unreliable and being asked to drive in all weathers, at all times of day, including in the snow at night, proved itself capable of getting me where I needed to go whenever I needed to go there.  Had I needed to use the car for long distance commuting, I would have done more to prepare the car for use than I did.  Instead, I was asking the car to do between 50 and 100 miles a week, and to be able to go out whenever I needed it to almost every day.  The majority of the mileage was urban only, though there were some longer distance motorway runs and faster A road trips taken as well.  It was used in rush hour on occasion, late night runs, and got caught up in school traffic several times, all of which it coped with perfectly fine.

Repairs were needed.  Mostly this was simply down to parts wearing out, as parts do.  Before the test, a new main earth wire was fitted along with brand new tyres for reliability and safety.  I also used the DDC to highlight any issues I may have overlooked when the car was being used much less, and that meant quite a few small items were replaced that didn't absolutely have to be, things like the reversing light switch (which collapsed after a handful of miles and saw me refitting the original after cleaning it up), the oil pressure switch to cure a minor oil leak, an in-line fuel filter, a new carburettor gasket, a steering column upper bush, and new CV boots.  More serious items required were a lower ball joint, the front wheel bearings, electronic ignition (failed condenser also saw badly burned points), a brake disc, a rebuilt alternator, and some welding to a rear inner arch.  Other than that, a little oil was required since it consumes a small quantity.

Overall, I don't regard the items replaced as being that out of the ordinary for any car of this age and mileage and most of the items were quite old and had done quite a few miles.  At the close of the DDC, the only outstanding issue is the brake rebuild and the reason that hasn't been done is simply a matter of finding the time to strip down and rebuild everything.  I've never done anything with the front brakes in the seven years I've had the car, other than bleeding them, and I imagine previous owners were much the same, mostly because nothing needed to be done until this year.

Would I recommend using a forty year old car every day?  Generally speaking, no.   The problem with an old car is that it's an old car.  Unless you've gone through the whole thing and replaced every consumable item with good quality new, or as good as new, items, you're going to have a bad time.  Parts wear out and you need to be aware that when you press an older car into service you running a greater risk than usual of cascade failure.  I took the chance with this car because I've owned it for a long time and I thought I'd ironed out all the problems I was likely to face.  Many of the parts I've needed have been awkward to acquire, though rarely expensive, and some of the parts have been incorrectly described.  So if I was relying on the car to get me to work and back every day rather than just run me around on my errands most days, my attitude in closing on this experiment would likely be very different.

That said, if you're of the mentality that you want to experience this sort of thing, then go for it.  Just have contingencies in place.  If you're going to use a classic every day for a protracted period of time, it's wise to have a back-up car or someone with a back-up car, that can help you out if you do get stuck.  Also, approach pressing an older car into service like going into a really slow endurance race.  Replacing things like filters and hoses, ignition components, and making sure all your electrical stuff is in good order is very sensible.  Carrying tools and fluids in the boot is also very sensible and, if you can, having spares such as ignition components and belts, is very sensible.  One thing I've learned is that breakdown cover does not always mean breakdown cover, so you have to give yourself a fighting chance of repairing your car yourself to a standard that will get you home.

One positive of the DDC is how much more aware of other road users it's made me.  When you haven't got the driver aids of blind spot monitors and electronic ignition, parking sensors and ABS, you find your driving changes.  You look for and anticipate behaviour you might not otherwise notice.  It makes the act of driving somewhat more tiring as a result because you're concentrating so much more.  However, there were plenty of times that I found myself able to predict bad behaviour from other road users and prevent myself getting into trouble and those are skills I'll be carrying forwards.  I'm not saying driving a classic car will make you a perfect driver, it won't.  What it will do is make you more aware as a driver.  Older cars are less insulated from the outside world too, so I did find I was much more aware of folks on two wheels, and generally speaking people are nicer and behave respectfully towards you.

Now that I've completed the DDC it has proven that I have absolutely no desire to part with the Princess (not that there was any doubt) and that it is quite capable of doing everything I need it to do.  It's proven that I don't need a newer car, that I don't even need a radio, and that it's an affordable form of transport that makes me happy.  If I had to, I could use the Princess as my only car and this experiment has allowed me to get the car in really very good shape overall.  It's not perfect, it's not about to win any shows, and that's fine.  It's a car I can use and that I enjoy to use, and that's all that really matters.

Your comments about 40 year old running gear are spot on. If you think back to when the Princess was new, and then go back another 40 years, the difference in technology between the two eras was even more pronounced. The fact that the Princess is capable of being a daily driver is testament to your perseverance, but it's one of the reasons why I replaced all of the 403's running gear with modern stuff.......I do want to use it as an everyday car, and 50 year old oily bits weren't going to make that either reliable or pleasant.

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Those calipers look massively over powered for the car?! I mean four pots and two brake lines!

The disc setup looks very much like my MGBs. I'm not looking forward to trying to remove the hub and disc combo.

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2 minutes ago, SiC said:

Those calipers look massively over powered for the car?! I mean four pots and two brake lines!
 

Really good brakes on these cars: two circuits, both circuits work both front wheels. Princess calipers were the brake mod for fast Fords for years.

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I agree, the brakes are massively over-engineered for the car and it's not hard to see why they continue to be one of the most valuable items on even a scrap car, as Asimo says, they were a cheap and effective performance upgrade on Fords for a very long time, and standard fare for many a kit car.  Realistically it doesn't need the brakes its got and most Princesses seem to have survived without ever needing to have the front discs or pads replaced from new, it's entirely plausible that the ones on my car are the originals from 1980.  What's going to be interesting is how good the brakes will be when we're done, they've never been particularly lacking until the warped disc incident so I imagine they could even compare favourably to the BX brakes.

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Those pads look glazed tae fook. Rest of it looks in good shape though.

 

Renault pads looked like that, put new ones in and the difference even on old discs was startling.

 

--Phil

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      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...














    • By Fat_Pirate
      I thought I'd start a thread on this.  I presently love this car but history has proven me fickle aand easily distracted, so I expect I'll want to move it on at some point.  Doing it this way also ensures no comeback from future owners when they find out I've attached the wheels with silicon sealer, etc.

      Lot of flash for a grand, I think you'll agree.  I picked it up from the pleasant Mr Xtriple last Tuesday, and have already put a thousand miles on it (including 500 in Norfolk at the weekend, and 200-odd around Gloucester yesterday).  As you'd imagine, wafting about in a convertible with a whispering V6 up front is absolutely awful,.  I did get a light metallic scraping noise from the NSR wheel for a bit, but the caliper wasn't sticking and it went after a while so meh.
      There are a few issues to fix.  Most pressing was the passenger door, which wouldn't shut without a heavy slam.  I found the door glass was rising to high, and interfering with the A-pillar seal.  

      There's quite a lot of scope for things to get out of kilter on the windows and hood on these things, but thankfully it's all adjustable.  The stops for the window are adjusted by winding down the window, then removing 3 bungs on the underside of the door.  This exposes bolts to adjust the position of the front and rear stops, with the middle one adjusting the angle of the glass against the seal.  Getting it right is trial and error, it's not quite right but does now shut correctly.  There's also a fault with the rear window, a clip that stops it rising too high has broken so it can collide with the front window if you're not careful.  Not sorted that yet.

      The hood often needs a helping hand to retract it (and to prevent it slamming down on the windscreen frame when closing it).  The issue appears to be the tension cables on the front folded section - these are supposed to hold it in a raised position, to allow it to fold up.  This doesn't always work so the pump runs but is unable to draw the hood back.  The tension on these cables can be adjusted, and it's pretty straightforward job, but it does mean taking the roof down for a couple of hours and I've not been able to trust the weather recently.  If there's no adjustment left on the cables it's not too difficult to replace them, but they cost £80 each (and there are 2).

      The roof release handle is a bit broken too, this is a common problem.  Xtriple's mechanic has made a temporary repair but I may revisit it, there is a DIY fix using a C-clip apparently - else it's £700 for a new roof rail.

      Steering wheel is quite worn, and off-centre.  I find that very annoying and will get the alignment fixed soon.  Dunno what to do about the wheel, upholsterer perhaps?  The driver's seat bolster is also coming apart at the edge, again they all do this so finding a good used one is pretty much impossible.

      I was unimpressed by the factory audio, despite it having a fancy remote control.  Putting in my kit was easy though, standard ISO harness so took about 5 mins!  

      Unfortunately the speakers are shot, ruining Stuff Like That.  The forum bike Jag had the same issue, just age I suppose.  I've got speaker adaptors on order so I can fit some decent ones.

      This is the car's best feature, this engine is superb.  It absolutely makes just the noise you'd expect, a gentle whine yet gives brisk performance and an average of 29mpg.  It does leak a little oil though, enough to mark the drive but hasn't required a top up.  Will investigate.

      Pirate HQ is now well furnished with CLKs.  My wife has had this facelift one for a couple of years and I've always admired it, but not the raucous 2.3 supercharged motor.  It's slightly slower and slightly better on fuel  than the V6 but above 3000rpm it's horrible - it sounds like the CVH from a '80s Escort and ruins the whole experience.  Most of them seem to be blighted with that motor though, perhaps the cost difference was large when new.  Mrs Pirate now wants the wheels and engine transplanted into hers.
      Final problem is the ABS/ASR/BAS light coming on at random.  Others have suggested this is the battery getting weak, which is a bit of a worry - I'm leaving it in an airport car park for a week tomorrow.
    • By JoeyEunos
      Greetings all.
       
      After lurking here for a short while, frankly liking what I see and enjoying the various shite, the site has well and truly struck a chord with me. I'm a serial buyer of ropey sub £1k vehicles, don't have to but genuinely enjoy it.
       
      I feel like I might (Just might) have found my 'spiritual' home here
       
      I've been posting across the web on owner specific forums (Usually using either my JoeyEunos or RandomPrecion handles) for a while now, but from here-on-in I will pull my threads together and merge them here into one ghastly topic.
       
      My current steeds...
       
      Lupo 1.7 SDI
       
      SAM_5560 by
       
      and the work/story so far...http://forums.clublupo.co.uk/index.php?/topic/102863-joeyeunoss-sdi-beater/
       
      Golf Mk4 SDI
       
       
      SAM_5531 by
       
      and the thread.... http://uk-mkivs.net/topic/597074-project-slow/
       
      Early (1989) Mk1 Eunos (This one was recently sold)
       
      SAM_4656 by
       
      the thread...http://www.mx5nutz.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=213274
       
      Other shite I've owned and moved on in the last year include this ropey Passat...
       
      SAM_6011 by
       
      and this legendary £300 Fiesta Finesse...
       
      Festa by
       
      Cars I'd like to own/actively looking for in the forthcoming weeks/months/years...
       
      Rover 75 (Dizzler)
      Peugeot 405 (XUD)
      Mk1 Octavia (Estate/dizzler, pre pd or SDI)
      Honda CRV (Gen1)
      Volvo 240/850
    • By danthecapriman
      Thought I'd start a thread about my old Capri since it's now reached it's turn in the que to receive a bit of attention.
       
      I've actually had this since 2001, it's an early mk2, on an M reg 1974. Being an early car it's still got mk1 rear axle and single acting type rear brake set up aswell as a few other minor differences from later cars just to use up remaining mk1 parts.
      It started life here in the Portsmouth area and doesn't seem to have ventured far since.
      Originally a stardust silver 1.6 L poverty model, which means virtually sod all regarding luxuries. Basic 2 pod dash with black 'crackle' finish facia, no radio, no sun roof or vinyl roof, not even a centre console!
      When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in.
       
      Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated.
      The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places.
      It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day.
      It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things.
       
      Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!).
       
      1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing!
      IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done.
       
      It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch.
      I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote.
      Today I heard back from them.
      Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there.
      The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc.
      The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises!
      There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far.
      This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them!
       
       
      The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car.
      Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that.
      The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed.
      The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions?
       
      This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction!
      For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid £100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now.
      I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!
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