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mat_the_cat

Korean Cortina - it's amazing what difference 10mm can make!

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I got a text a few days off a Korean guy in London asking me if i wanted a Stellar with no engine or box. I don't, and have never met the guy so don't know if he is a mental, but if anyone fancies getting in touch with him, PM me

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I'm half tempted to enquire, but the lack of engine and box means no chance of a one way train ticket to collect...

And trailering it back would be a lot of money when all I really need is a mint boot lid. So I'm out.

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Success! I tried it with the pedal rather than the Easybleed, and with a burp/spurt a load of air came out and the pedal is now firm :-)

 

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Next job was to replace all the ball joint boots on the front suspension. I found a helpful company selling just the boots (www.balljointboots.co.uk) and certainly they feel fine - nice and stretchy. Time will tell whether they last I guess but I figure that somewhere specialising in them is likely to care more about their reputation than the average eBay seller. So I dismantled it all, gave the joints an extra squirt of grease and then put it back together. Quite a satisfying job, although annoying that I have to do it at all!

 

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I'll have to see if anyone is interested in the Cortina handbrake cable - might as well be used by someone rather than cluttering up the place here.

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I got an email yesterday telling me that the handbrake cable I have ob order from Korea will be delivered 3 months early - beginning of March instead of end of May. Oh well, at least I'll have a spare!
 
In my random 'which bit shall I do next?' work methodology I decided to do a little paintwork at the rear. First sanded back to bare metal as much as possible, and treated with phosphoric acid to convert a couple of areas where there was slight pitting.

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Then gave it a few coats of satin black. You may ask why I'm not doing a proper job and removing the rear lights. It's mainly because I was plagued with water leaks from them when I first got the car, and in a fit of youthful inspiration/stupidity I bonded them on with Sikaflex, and I don't have too much confidence that 30 year old brittle plastic is going to come away in one piece! I do have a set of new replacements, but I'm saving those for when I can afford a full respray.

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And here is the finished job! I'm in two minds about the number plate - on one hand the font is 'wrong' for the car but on the other hand I actually quite like the current font! I will probably change it though as I'm not 100% sure it suits the car.

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Guest keepitreal

A friend of mine has an 89 stellar on struts, in the blandish blue ever!! It drives really well and he has had it for nearly 2 years!! He also has replacement engine and gearbox !! Will post photos wen I next see it !!

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Front suspension is now sorted (apart from actually adjusting it) as I've now fitted the bolts I had made to adjust the camber:

 

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I'd previously just assembled it with standard bolts simply to be able to roll it, so it feels like a step closer to being able to drive it.

 

Next step in my plan to avoid Operation Weldathon was sorting out the wiring loom. The existing insulation had gone brittle in the engine bay, and was falling off in places. So I completely stripped it off and replaced with non-adhesive loom tape:

 

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So much easier to put on (and remove if needed!) than self amalgamating tape, which I'd used for patch repairs in the past.

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This week I removed the rust from the slam panel, and gave it a quick coat of silver. Unfortunately you'll have to imagine that! While the paint was drying I thought I'd better clean up the headlights. They came up pretty well after soaking in degreaser then detergent.

 

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The wiring wasn't in great condition, and I'd previously hacked into it for some spotlights so I decided to renew it. Keeping the original loom colours because I'm sad like that :oops:

 

Something which had been bugging me was the number plates - I still prefer the narrower modern font slightly (I think the Ds and Bs look neater for example) but it was annoying me on the car as it just looked plain wrong. So I splashed out £17 on a set of new plates to replace the old 'new' ones I put on a couple of weeks back!

 

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Then I started to put the front end back together. I replaced the old rusty bolts with either stainless or zinc plated depending on what I had, put the headlights and grille back on, and new number plate in place. Bonnet catch still needs adjustment, but I'm waiting for the paint to fully harden before I tighten down the bonnet latch bolts.

 

post-5223-0-36370000-1499630109_thumb.jpg

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These are the ones I went for, same as I put on the BX before the NEC:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/161006768776

 

Decent quality - I've had some that have just been stuck on the outside of the plate and consequently peeled off within a year! DMB seem to get good mentions too.

 

I've just noticed the terrible headlight alignment in the photo! I'll have to sort that when I can get back to it next week.

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Nice plates. That's who I got the old style plates for my Marea from. Did they send a pair of new style plates also. In the same parcel??? They did with mine.

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No real progress to report, just faffing with the gearbox crossmember and rubber mounts. But this arrived in the post today!

.

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You may be wondering why on earth I chose such a vehicle for my first car, so I'll explain. Back in the late 90s, those of my mates who had cars went for stuff like Novas, Fiesta Mk2s and the like. Ideally I was after a bigger car, and not being one to follow what was fashionable I decided I wanted something different to the norm. Top of my list was a BX, as my Dad was a keen Citroen fan and most of my late childhood had been spent in the back of one. (When I say most of my childhood, I mean that which was spent in the car...I wasn't locked up in it 24/7 or anything).

But Mk2 BXs were out of my price range, so I sadly ruled those out. Being a fan of French cars I wondered about a 205 (nobody I knew had one), but nothing suitable came forward and I would have to scratch that particular itch later in life.

Then I passed my test and the need for a set of wheels became frantic. As chance would have it, an advert for a Stellar caught my eye. I probably wouldn't have even noticed or considered it, but the family had owned one for a couple of years and while not exactly exciting, not much actually went wrong with it. Plus my Dad, being a hoarder, had quite a collection of spare parts he hadn't got round to clearing out. Insurance was surprising affordable for the size of car, as I suspect they had little data to build a young driver risk assessment on.

So, two days after passing my test I went and bought it - the rest is history!

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Gearbox mounting now sorted, so I turned my attention to the fun stuff - wiring. I'd rather be doing that than any other job on the car, although a lot of people don't seem to like it. Several of the relays had suffered in storage, so I decided to replace the lot for (hopefully!) reliability.

 

I prefer clear ones as then you can see the contacts working, and these handily come with an LED inside so you can tell if the coil trigger circuit is working correctly. Makes side of the road fault finding a lot easier.

 

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(It looks as though I am powering this solely from my fingers, but there is actually a 9 V battery underneath for the photo!)

 

I put them in...

 

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...and we have light!

 

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Bugger. I couldn't put off tackling the sills any longer, and got stuck in today.

 

Front inner wing/footwell

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Rear wheel arch

 

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Sill cut off

 

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I've cut off the whole sill as I've got sections from a donor car, but I'll have to do a lot more fabrication and patching than I first thought. The centre section was pretty good though, so in hindsight I might have been better leaving that in place and just welding in smaller sections. Still, what's done is done!

 

I've got tomorrow off work to try and make some progress so will hopefully have some photos of new metal going in.

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Just stopped for lunch - here are a few photos of the morning's work.

 

This is what happens if you don't cut out the old rust before patching (not by me!), although to be fair to the garage, it lasted more than the expected life of the car.

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Almost finished cutting out

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New metal in

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Back home now, and only a couple of photos to show for the afternoon's efforts. A few setbacks - the wire kept sticking on the roll and my spare bottle of gas which I bought last week turned out to be empty! So the best part of an hour was wasted going to fetch that, from the same place I'd gone to this morning to stock up on cutting discs :-(

 

But I welded in repair patches to the rear end of the inner sill, and eventually put the outer sill on. It's only welded along the top edge for now, so tomorrow will be welding it all the way round and hopefully the closing panel in the rear wheel arch.

 

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Cheers for those Trigger :-) Just what I need to improve my mood...that and a large glass of wine.

 

After only waiting an hour at the second hospital they got the speck out with very little drama. How it got in there is a mystery, as I wore well-fiitting goggles at all times, with no vent holes. And kept my eyes closed as much as possible, being paranoid after it happening twice before! The speck had left a bit of rust staining on my eyeball which will hopefully go in time. It's ironic though, I work damned hard to try and eradicate rust on my vehicles and I end up with my own bloody eyes going rusty!

 

Anyway, I managed to get back to it and cut a patch for the end of the sill in the rear wheel arch. I've done it in several pieces to try and tie it into the existing panels for strength.

 

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Then gave it all a quick coat of Zinga, and came home. Tidying up tools can wait until next week!

 

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Oops...this is what the passenger seatbelt looks like now. Will have to see what I can fit in the recess, unless it happens to be shared with more common cars. Seatbelt buckles have a Ford stamp in the mouldings, so hopefully it's a standardish Ford seatbelt.

 

post-5223-0-07619100-1499631512_thumb.jpg

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