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Korean Cortina - now the hottest Stellar in the UK!


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Very different systems I know but in our first house in Qatar we had a problem with the ac not blowing very cold. I knew nothing at the time about hvac but read up on it, then had a look at the system. It turned out that the return air temperature probe had been fitted into the cold air  supply ducting rather than the return, so every time the compressor kicked and the cold air started blowing, the thermostat almost immediately thought that the return air was below the temp set on the room unit and switched the compressor off again.

I’ll never forget the joy of constant 21°C in the days that followed.

It turned out that some of our friends in the same development all had the same issue and could only get cold air if the stat was on its lowest setting all of the time, so must have been a ropy ac contractor that fitted the systems and useless maintenance contractors looking after them. I’d say they must have all been like it for at least 10 years.

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On 8/14/2020 at 4:34 AM, Zelandeth said:

The system on my 107 would do that very briefly when you first turned it on on a really hot day.  The AC in that thing was astonishingly effective for such a basic little car.  I remember in really hot weather that it had a really annoying habit of causing condensation to form on the *outside* of the windscreen when you were sitting in traffic.

This has happened on every Japanese car i’ve owned over here, more pronounced when its very humid. Never on a European or yank though. 

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On 8/14/2020 at 1:34 AM, Zelandeth said:

The system on my 107 would do that very briefly when you first turned it on on a really hot day.  The AC in that thing was astonishingly effective for such a basic little car.  I remember in really hot weather that it had a really annoying habit of causing condensation to form on the *outside* of the windscreen when you were sitting in traffic.

I'm glad that you mentioned the condensation on the outside of the screen. A couple of days ago I was a passenger in my son's V70 on a run after dark. We were both getting irritated by the interior and footwell lights coming on after every slight bump, a tendency which up until recently had been a rare occurrence. The usual cure* of slamming the passenger door again did not work. Shortly afterwards I noticed my side of the screen fogging up. Demist and heater controls were fiddled with to no avail. The fogging continued, directly above the demist vent. With mild frustration and enormous effort I strained forward to manually wipe the screen, only to find that the fogging was on the outside. Weird. When we got home, I felt the outside of the screen and it was extremely cold but only in the fogged up area. The electrical gremlins plus this new unwanted characteristic caused my son to make enquiries about a new car the following day. He will probably go ahead but I'll mention that re: the fogging, TADTS.* 

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On 8/14/2020 at 1:34 AM, Zelandeth said:

The system on my 107 would do that very briefly when you first turned it on on a really hot day.  The AC in that thing was astonishingly effective for such a basic little car.  I remember in really hot weather that it had a really annoying habit of causing condensation to form on the *outside* of the windscreen when you were sitting in traffic.

A BX system will do that if you direct some of the cold air to the windscreen.  They are stunningly powerful.  Never experienced it in anything else, although I have seen a few cars on hot humid days with some condensation just above the windscreen demist air outlet.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been using this through some horrible weather recently, and a few things have become apparent: 

I need to increase the temperature of the evaporator because turning on the AC takes away a sizable chunk of the heater output.

Also the condensation on the outside of the casing drips onto the floor, making me panic and think that the heater tap has failed again (it hasn't, so far...)

ABS would be handy - I wonder if there's a reasonably straightforward way of engineering a system to fit? Note I haven't said that I intend to fit it, just wondering at this stage... (Last thing I want to do is set myself another challenge!)

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Certain types of ABS are sufficiently stand-alone to be able to retro-fit.  I think the biggest issue you'll have is the engineering of fitting reluctor rings and sensors to all 4 wheels.  The actual ABS module and computer can go almost anywhere and just be piped and cabled up.

Late-90's Peugeot systems (eg 405) spring to mind as being completely stand-alone, using a bog-standard master cylinder and an independent computer.   I'm sure there are others too.  You're looking for something pre-canbus, but not so early as being one of the systems that integrated with the master cylinder, and hence need to be plugged in to a (now non-existent) diagnostics computer to be bled properly.

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5 hours ago, Talbot said:

Good lord that's expensive!

Given the safety critical nature of brakes and the possibility of a malfunctioning ABS system resulting in sudden zero braking effort with no warning, not massively surprising really...

Admittedly, I was expecting to see three or four grand... guessing the premium there is just "because motorsport" which seems to usually add a substantial premium to price tags.

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2 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

guessing the premium there is just "because motorsport" which seems to usually add a substantial premium to price tags.

I'm assuming so too, given that you can buy a brand-new car with ABS fitted for not a lot more than the cost of that ABS setup.

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5 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

Cadence braking not good enough? I found it's a skill I polished quite nicely while owning hydraulic Citroens, such is the braking power. I'm not denying the benefits of ABS, but retro-fitting doesn't seem the easiest proposition.

Definitely wouldn't be easy, but where's the fun in the easy option? ;-)

I've inadvertently locked up in the wet twice so far, and both times fortunately my instinct has been to cadence brake and recover the situation. But I worry whether that will always be the case - would there be some situations where I just panic brake? Plus it's not a nice feeling to start speeding up with your foot hard on the brake! Both times however have been with the last set of tyres, and certainly cornering wise, the current set feel vastly more grippy so it may be I'm worrying unnecessarily. I'd like to find a large unused car park aka skid pan, to try and find out the limits; both the car's and mine!

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  • 1 month later...

Now that winter is here, I've taken this off the road for now, and time for a bit of tinkering. Main job is the gearbox leak, but I also need to replace the fuel hoses!


That's after 18 months of use :-o I've gone for Gates Barricade hose this time as, like the name suggests, it has a liner which is resistant to the ethanol content in modern petrol.

I also needed to replace the fuel filter, but instead of replacing with the same straight through type, I reckoned a right angled filter would look neater, as well as routing the outlet hose slightly further away from the exhaust manifold.


Inlinefilters.co.uk (unsurprisingly) have a large range, so I picked out one of similar dimensions so it would fit my existing clip, and with an 8mm inlet & outlet. It was ironic that after I bought it, I saw the list of vehicle applications!


It was then the simple job of plumbing it all together - that's better :-)


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  • 2 months later...

Winter is nearly over and I STILL haven't got round to taking the gearbox out! Trouble is, I'm missing driving it a lot now, especially this sunny afternoon, so I' m hardly motivated to start dismantling it! I'm currently tempted to tax it for March, and worry about the leak later...

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14 minutes ago, mat_the_cat said:

Winter is nearly over and I STILL haven't got round to taking the gearbox out! Trouble is, I'm missing driving it a lot now, especially this sunny afternoon, so I' m hardly motivated to start dismantling it! I'm currently tempted to tax it for March, and worry about the leak later...

Top up the oil and make the repair top of next winter’s to do list!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First drive for months today, and it put a big grin on my face taking it to work :-) For a Friday 'treat' I stopped off at a McDonalds drive through on the way back, and at the payment window the young lad was quite interested in it.

"That's an old car, have you had it long?"
"Oh, about 25 years!"

I may or may not have given the throttle a little blip as I was pulling forwards to the collection window... 8)

...where the girl serving me was equally curious:

"I saw it coming into the car park and thought it looked like an old Ford, but didn't recognise the badge. What car IS it?"
Hopefully she wasn't too disappointed that it was just an old Hyundai.

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  • 1 month later...

I parked up for a run in the wilds of Snowdonia on Friday afternoon, not worrying about leaving the car in a quiet layby. One of the things about owning a rare car though, is that people notice it. Within a couple of hours I'd had two messages on Facebook, telling me I'd been spotted! Including a photo of a giant penis my mate had drawn in the dust on the rear window...


Never did I think that owning a bland Korean car would make me conspicuous!

All seems reasonably ok, although I had to top up with coolant on Friday, and I'm sure the AC isn't as cool as it used to be. Still enjoying it though :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, this had the ignominity of a FTP yesterday, on my way home from work. Just driving along, and ground to a halt :-(

First thought was running out of fuel, as the gauge was fairly low. But looking at the fuel filter, there was still some present in it, so moved on to the ignition side. No tools or multimeter, but I managed to establish that there was voltage at the coil using a random spare warning light I found and some wire.

At this point a work mate came past, and he helped by checking the HT lead for a spark while I cranked it over. Spark was there, but I noticed the fuel pump noise wasn't...

Fuse and relay were ok, and the latter swapped just in case, so I was halfway through rigging up a temporary supply to the pump when I suddenly remembered the pothole I'd just driven over, after seeing it late. (I was taking a different route home to usual).

With much annoyance I pressed the inertia switch, and the pump sprung into life! I'd never come across that before, but I guess it was a big hole! 


Ironically I'd taken the Stellar as the Mondeo was in the garage (another story) and so I was on my way to collect it. That had to wait until today, when the garage owner informed me that he too had spotted me parked up in the spot above, a couple of weeks previously! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

As anyone following the Shiteisteddfod thread may know, my water pump developed a catastrophic leak on the way home, and it's been parked in the workshop ever since my steamy return.


I've not had the chance to work on it until today (long story) but have made a start tonight. Any guesses on what exactly has happened? The radiator hose failure a short while beforehand may be a clue...


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8 hours ago, mat_the_cat said:

The radiator hose failure a short while beforehand may be a clue...

Rad hose failure followed by water pump failure.  Dependent on the mode of failure, that could point to coolant pressurising

Or it could just be a co-incidence.

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3 hours ago, Talbot said:

Rad hose failure followed by water pump failure.  Dependent on the mode of failure, that could point to coolant pressurising.

That was my first thought too, and I've yet to rule it out. But the pump seal failure was definitely not due to pressure!


Yes, that's a spring in there! What I believe has happened on both top and bottom hoses is that the springs (designed to stop the universal corrugated hoses from collapsing) have moved. In doing so damaged a hose, before wrecking the water pump. It was a pinhole rather than a rupture in the hose.


Of course, I only realised this after I'd bought a pair of new hoses...

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  • mat_the_cat changed the title to Korean Cortina - now the hottest Stellar in the UK!

So, I'm not keen to build in a potential failure mode, and I've also never been overjoyed with the obvious non-OE appearance of the coolant hoses.


Trouble is, nowhere lists an option for a V8 converted Hyundai Stellar for some reason. So I've been thinking about alternatives. I'm really not keen on the typical 'dressed up' engine bay...


So plain old black silicone hoses were ordered, and cut up to suit.


I'm pretty pleased with the way this is looking now, although I've always worried about how close the alternator fan runs to the hose!


I don't want the hose joins to be covered with a collection of messy looking hose clips (not very OE) but I think I have a cunning plan for that...

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Onto the water pump replacement then, and having worked in their manufacture, I'm well aware of the quality of some of the pattern parts out there. So splashed out on an OEM pump from a well known supplier - at £60 twice the price of a cheapie, although a fifth of a genuine LR pump. First impressions were not great.


Still, I figured it would seal ok, so set about modifying it to suit. To give enough clearance for the radiator, I have to shorten the nose of the pump, which involves pressing the pulley hub on 11mm further. I took it to my local garage, and they let me borrow their press to do the job.


The threaded part was previously in line with the shaft. Now, if I use a Rover SD1 pulley instead of the Land Rover original, this puts the belt nicely in line. Luckily the fixing PCD is the same.

Excess trimmed off and tidied up (pre-paint):


It was at this point I noticed the next problem.


The holes were so badly finished that the bolts would not even pass through! Hardly difficult to drill out, but worrying it's got to me like that. At least the bearing is a decent quality brand, and hopefully the seal too.

A lick of paint and all back together, apart from the hoses as I'm still awaiting a delivery. Looks like I managed to press it on the correct distance, which I was slightly concerned about :-)


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On 6/5/2021 at 8:00 PM, mat_the_cat said:

I don't want the hose joins to be covered with a collection of messy looking hose clips (not very OE) but I think I have a cunning plan for that...

So what is my plan then? I'd considered Ligerex clips, and black coated jubilee clips, but discounted them in favour of heat shrink tubing. Before you think I've gone mad, hear me out!

They're actually made for the job, and are marketed as giving a more consistent clamp over a wider temperature range.


It took a while to find a UK supplier, but I did in the end, and have also used them to disguise the join between different hose sections.


I must admit to being slightly sceptical, but they seem to get good reviews and have been around for several years. I could have used them for the ends of the hose, but I'm old enough to realise this won't be the last time I remove the hose, and I'm not rich enough to use a single use only clamp on something I know I'll be removing!

As an added bonus there is less chance of snagging my arm on them, and once I've scuffed them up a bit to remove the writing I think it'll look to the casual observer just like a one-piece hose.

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      I had plenty of fun with the scooter, and even made it to the Isle of Wight rally on it (I’ve done this a few times on previous scooters). However, as with many of us, life and house got in the way, and it’s sat in the garage under a cover for way too long.
      I hadn’t fired it up for well over 12 months, so decided to drag the old dear out into the sunshine, fire her up, and give her a blast around the estate. I did a quick video of getting the scooter started - no sound because time lapse - startup was a bitch as the fuel was really stale, half evaporated and leaving the oil/ratio mix completely oil heavy. You can make out when it eventually fires up in the video - wait for the smoke around the back end!
      I’ll end by adding the startup video. I’ve got a load more photos somewhere on the external HDD, including some of my previous Lambrettas. I'll have to dig them out when I get chance.
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