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Tales of eccentrism motoring 2012 onwards ,rag tag engineering


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On 12/13/2020 at 11:22 AM, Tickman said:

I've just been through the 8 months of your thread and there are far too few replies to such excellent content which must be why I hadn't seen all the progress this year had brought.

Hopefully the weather won't deter you too much.

Agreed. Great reading all in. Not sure how I missed so much of this to be honest.

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  • 2 months later...

So just before becoming seriously ill with Covid I spent a wad on a hopeless case car which turned up the day before I went rapidly downhill.


I used the proton  as a winch anchor and it wasn't as grounded as the skoda untill the hedge started getting involved.

So its a 1982 skoda 120LSE 'top of the range!' It came with  4 siezed wheels, engine,loads of rust and a smashed windscreen which I suspect was a garage roof coming down on it. 



Easy job to take the screen out and clean up the glass.


Loads of vacuuming later improved matters a tad.


Not the original 120 high compression engine, ti's a s110r engine which is a 1.1 but 60bhp instead of 58

It turned after some judicious force.


30years sat still, straight in the scrap pile.


I had to strip the shoes and brake pads out to free off the wheels, amazingly the calipers aren't siezed.20210205_135559.thumb.jpg.f4def625d49d155c1eec533cc6539b0e.jpg20210205_175720.thumb.jpg.83b8b2dd8db0b7d742d5fbfe1deb061f.jpg

There is shit loads of work in this but I reckon a good honest no frills weld up and recommision will see it grace the black top once more.


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How on earth have i only just found this gem of a thread?

I am in awe of the awesomeness of what has been going on over the years in your garden.

Long may it continue ,the use of great skills lavished on forgotten heaps


I just wish i had 1% of the drive/skill and numption to play this game

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  • 1 month later...


This all happened inbetween being too rough to crack on, decided to get the engine to run, 30years meant the valves were siezed so the head had to come off. IMG-20210222-WA0006.thumb.jpeg.14b7e9231730f5dc2a83fc785a0c51a1.jpeg

Nice easy job to free them off and clean it all up, double valve springs for high performance! Well not quite as all versions had them lol.20210225_181037.thumb.jpg.3638ebce6d694879420ca7045ce73928.jpg

Hammerite thyme got a workout again.


I cheated here because I had a previously rebuilt carb to just fit without any hassle.20210228_115634.thumb.jpg.f84c693c74643bdf342d48b350e0bb1b.jpg

So next up the starter motor was fully siezed up so was a nice quick job to remove, erm no as corrosion had set in big style.20210226_201910.thumb.jpg.2959c6dfeddc7e347aa81f22830321e1.jpg

eventually it came off but the replacement I had was a bloody FWD unit with a smaller pinion matched to its motor shaft, so had to fit the rwd innards to the fwd body.20210227_123856.thumb.jpg.83eba014cbe686d2833dd1ec5aca2f33.jpg

Connecting a battery saw it fire up instantly for the first time since 1991.20210228_113333.thumb.jpg.f68afa717dd075c2035861b750ec34d3.jpg

Also the alternator was rust siezed so that had to be hammered apart 



Just wanted a quick clean and it worked amazingly! 

Also up every door was siezed shut and had broken rods etc.20210228_152150.thumb.jpg.eaadc041037bcf70a9ddaa00e0c59d98.jpg

Fixed up all 4 doors and lubricated them so they now work nicely.

Looking ahead to panels it will eventually need I bought this and @worldofceri brought it to my door, a true professional and an excellent price!



I stripped it of as much reusable parts and the front end for the lse.

The neighbours were understanding...20210319_162055.thumb.jpg.c2b8de02493149e4b8411189481c8b6c.jpg

And the understanding continued a smidge....20210322_144126.thumb.jpg.8c99a126e45cea662a04538404f5b989.jpg

My neighbours are awesome ( I didn't make hardly any noise though) just now need to regain sustained health if possible.



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In a fit of needing to be productive , a carport was deemed necessary to be able to function in the rain, so good old facebook market place came up trumps with some massively overkill 6x4 timber for pocket money and 4x2 3m length rafters.

First job was to move the proton out the way which wasn't too impossible of a task once filled with fuel, and a decent battery.


2 cars very similar in ethos but so very different under the skin. 


First up I made some wall mount blocks for the joist rail and bothered to get the router out to tart it up.


I had to dig some time team trenches to middle the bricks and expose them for the masonry through bolts.


Wall mounts could then tighten up and I found the aggregate dug into and locked the timber to the wall!


Then the joist rail could secure into place and the 2 upright post holes were dug, and leveled concrete pads poured at the desired level. 


Upright to cross bar fitted with M8 stud bar intersecting 20mm rod.


Needless stiffening!


And it's up there! 

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1 hour ago, spartacus said:

Wow, that's looking great, birdsmouth joints and everything.

Impressive, I'll be taking a slow drive-by next week to check it out!

Social distanced visitors are always welcome as I'm outside as much as the weather allows, which is partly the reason for the carport haha! 

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Aye i can't go anywhere now there are facebook groups for old car spotting,  i get alot of screen shots sent to me after every trip further afield!

First task today was to joint the crossbar sections properly, 2 M8 studs into 20mm bar and really thick washers did the  trick although as seen I didn't line up the side hole properly on the first go, middled it on the second though , the gap is there purely as the timber wants that angle and even 1600kg of M8 compression won't persuade it! 20210402_190732.thumb.jpg.acbec3db56ea6c2be79330e495344fcb.jpg


I felt the need to run the router around to give a slither of sophistication and class to go with the sort of motor that will be caressed beneath it.20210402_195129.thumb.jpg.c0724f4ec9f972714afae3a68755ac58.jpg

So now that the tedious shit is out of the way i can think about what roof material to try and get for pittance and how to sort the 'work/terrace' area

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Just a small update, I was scanning around for bargains to complete this and eventually found 8x4 OSB sheet to go up and then subsequently a garage roof that had recently been removed so all in I'm about £230 into it which will go up a smidge due to guttering ,strip light and outdoor socket.


Always a fan of the tiny wheel flatbed20210407_192034.thumb.jpg.cd6bf072477bf2f4bf1f642bb67ff09a.jpg

It snowed heavily whilst I slapped on the preservative but I persevered due to just wanting it done!20210408_172818.thumb.jpg.3c85015a8c864dbc8f18f0f88480f86b.jpg20210408_172840.thumb.jpg.aa860334f4886200f998dc15e2bb1d09.jpg

The osb flew up no bother and similarly the underlay and steel was no issue to shorten a smidge and the stiffness of the metal made it feel very firm underfoot , next up will be to excavate and flag the area under it, by hand in the main! 


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I pulled the hulk into the work arena and was straight away distracted by picking off the vinyl roof and rubbing shitty old glue off the pillars etc, ideally it wants a roof skin but it looks like the one it had will do for now.


The car is the wrong way round really as the front is looking terrible compared to the back so ideally hiding that would have been preferable


So with this I want to fly through the core of the shell before dealing with the usual accessible outer rot so the interior was first to be evicted.20210410_210239.thumb.jpg.4c361b17706b6c9a4436afc05c4afe67.jpg

along with the soaking wet sound mat and bitumen coating.


The floor is finally dried out and I'm leaving the sill repair till after the floor is sorted as they do retain a decent level of strength till I mercilessly chop them off!


Next up, to remove the axle I removed the brake line, anti roll bar, dampers and undid the 8 bolts and nuts holding it in.


Was 17mm, now rusted down to a perfect 16mm 


I forgot the steering column so tried to spread the splined clamp and heat it up but it wasn't having any of it.


So it just had to thread through the bulkhead with a level of ignorance and lacking in grace. 

Getting the axle off allowed the water pipes to drop off also improving access to the metal work.20210414_225705.thumb.jpg.a9124640c73609db4cc2d61f538af357.jpg

Next up welding prep!

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  • 3 weeks later...

As the buggy is basically unsaleable and worthless I thought I might aswell tinker on with it as and when, the steering was thought to be a massively faff but actually the saxo rack and quadrants etc all play nicely with each other. The quadrant is a brake pedal as it has a nice pivot point.


the rack mount was welded to the chassis rails to initially position the rack with a view that the drag link follows the average arc of the suspension links.20210424_190329.thumb.jpg.a4fc8312cb525d5f9912b9ce5e87a426.jpg

Steering column is the saxo up joint, a piece of lawnmower and a m12 bolt with a flange welded on.20210424_184321.thumb.jpg.7341e8954b070bd1352b89d26e305277.jpg

The steering quadrant pivot got a decent beef up as I predict the thing is likely to be getting its face smashed in rather than a quiet bimble although thinking further a bump stop would be helpful as bottoming the dampers would strain the arms a fair bit.20210426_120541.thumb.jpg.c749e4b0aa7f2b302ccfc73d882efaf4.jpg

I knocked up a front bumper as it wants a decent location for some D shackles, basically because why not!20210426_173840.thumb.jpg.020c93f7921fe6adca863764220ecfd0.jpg

So as the HDPE 1000litre containers worked out so well previously I picked up 2 inner bottles locally for a tenner, as can be seen when you saw them into a net they are a good 7m² of decent 3mm sheet which cut and shape very easily, I would have used then on a shed roof zero bother! 20210428_140733.thumb.jpg.13c9d1b280fc5e01ac75631f68d56570.jpg20210428_161032.thumb.jpg.cdf8326c5592ea2b54032c562a21ad90.jpg

With the front getting resolved I wanted to sort the unfinished rear so back out with the pipe bender and bandsaw to make a bumper and wheel slider rails.20210430_212110.thumb.jpg.f17f3f8df36310e08a097875cb3be360.jpg


Next up will be a roll over cage! 

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  • 2 months later...

Proton OTR

So the Proton became a full blown proper load of excessive work and I trapped myself into a cycle of obsession with battling against severe fatigue to get it done whilst everything hangs in the balance,,for all those who are healthy and procrastinating,,life's bloody unpredictable and short! , there is a level of reward reaped in that despite now slowly recovering some semblance of function again,,ie walking more than 10m at a time the thing has come back onto the road and the entire family love the thing including me inexplicably, it drives like an 80s mitsubishi with competent smoothness and the typical feather weight precise controls these cars have, the engine is ultra smooth and the response is very lively with the 140bhp unit, even the homebrew driveshafts are happy conduits of torque.

Ultimately it has to stay.


Genuine clean pass, no advisories as I went through the entire car!


This took an inordinate amount of time as I would make up a patch meticulously fit it till it was butted flush and carefully weld it,,then just snooze on the mat for abit. And to think it looked OK initially


Sump was loose,,easy fix there really,,just clean it and use sump sealant


As the sun sets here,,it could well be the last hurrah,,,but also there may be a recovery too so one way or the other really!



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It's become something more than just a crap old proton, people's reaction to it out and about is very positive unexpectedly.

I guess mainly as its incredibly unlikely of a car to be invested in including modified, additionally when I took it to a local meet earlier in the week, the very same chap who attempted to MOT the car at kwikfit in 2013 was there too, he was shocked but wholey pleased to see it had survived against the odds and had been through alot of life changes in 8 years! 

It's a shit old proton,,but to us lot it's our shit old proton! 

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  • 1 year later...
5 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

Just wondering if there's been any progress with the Super Estelle project - or indeed any of your others? Wasn't there an Ital in the mix, or did I just imagine that?

Always enjoy looking back over this thread, some top work going on!

Yeah there's been a fair bit over the last year but it's all been complicated by health maladies so I didn't really post much, but I'll do a summary shortly !

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So a year or so passes by and plenty has gone on for better and worse.

Proton:  10,000 miles this year!


The driveshaft seemed to be out of balance so I added some jubilee weights ,,however since balancing the wheels there is some residual minor vibration at 70 odd mph (knackered cv boot noted)


I made a cheeky towbar of which I should have just bought one than mess about adapting one that looked about right


Bonnet catch failed at high enough speed to snap one hinge and wrap the bonnet around the passenger A pillar,,all OK except the windscreen which was subsequently replaced


The engine was feeling abit off so I found the engine light feed and wired it into the dash , but that was revealing nowt!


I reckoned the fuel pump was struggling to feed the bigger engine, so swapped that for the gti unit however that didn't help either, and similarly the fuel regulator was passing at expected pressure so by then I was abit stumped 


So checked the cam timing which revealed almost a tooth out, but oddly not a whole tooth.


So a loose crank bolt allowed the keyway to fret away the key, ended up welding it and filing it back into shape, fixed!


next up was the rather long ignored cv and rack boot, only took about 20mins or so for a change 


brake pipes were looking incredibly poor so they got replaced, it involved a whole host of tools, strong language and a 3m length of 5mm bore clear poly pipe.


I noticed instantly when this blew out all its oil as the car felt skittish when cornering to the right, so I phoned about for new ones but most places claimed their suppliers didn't have them, yet one tried KYB directly who had stock of them, so swapped both sides as the better of the 2 dampers was in poor condition also


the window wouldn't wind on either side due to the tabs rotting off the glass grab thing so just tacked them back together , makes a big difference being able to open windows without them falling out of the runners


The next engine,,at some stage anon, plenty to plan to get that in given its a VW engine

That's a sort of abridged year behind d the wheel of that car, it's basically been a decent all round thing, enjoyable and easy to drive with reasonable reliability all in.

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So the Skoda has been a slow burner but again this has been spread over the whole year roughly 


As can be noted the front end was a total mess, it just fell to bits without any disassembly , a few kicks saw it all fall out.


And indeed the metal just kept being cut away


till it was looking completely bollocked 


the donor floor needed some work after it was blasted 


The boot floor and rails fitted OK due to coming from a similar year car, the press tools where changed a fair bit as the steel thickness and pressings were continuously updated through the estelle production run particularly the mk1 and super estelles


surprisingly that was a straight forward task 20220524_210901.thumb.jpg.e36dc174fd4f5b2b8b9660654302e24e.jpg

and getting it in wasn't all that bad 


By this stage the technique was in place,  yes there's no ribs but no shits were given due to cost considerations , flat sheet is cheap!


I used a copious amount of Zinga zinc coating , bloody expensive given it was 53quid for 750ml 20220710_164827.thumb.jpg.4b664b108ba5157328cc68770dfe2ad7.jpg

All that rammel needs copied/repaired and fitted back in, but need to build up enthusiasm again really


the questionable 80s bumper was in bits so I thought I'd see if fibre glass was a worthy option


and it is , if you buy the correct resin for the catalyst, I had to redo the whole deal but got there the 2nd time!

So that's roughly up to date, 12months condensed down as per the proton


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