Rather than starting a topic for every car I reckoned it might be better if I just dumped my motory musings in here.
The fleet is rather unexciting these days, currently consisting of the camperised ex-roofer's van Hiace and the ex-Cavcraft/dieselnutjob Rover 420.
First off, the Hiace, it's absorbed a fair amount of my life (and income) in the last few months. I've managed to turn it from a tatty, scruffy old roofer's van to a slightly less tatty basic camper van.
It had a thread here:
Which I had completely forgotten about. It started out like this...
And now looks like this...
Radical difference, I know. Two proper windows professionally installed and a set of hubcaps plus a new towbar socket and a bit of cleaning. Most of the changes are on the inside, I will eventually gather all my photos together for the work done to line and insulate it and do a proper post if anyone's interested.
So, the Rover - bought with suspected HGF due to a problem with coolant bursting out of the header tank every time it warmed up, no wipers and a broken door handle, it has been perfectly reliable since after replacing the ill-fitting aftermarket header tank lid with a proper one and changing the knackered wiper mechanism. It has a brief thread here...
Mostly all I have done is make it dirty and add over 800 miles to it. Finally, this weekend it was time for some maintenance. First off, a trip to the local tyre centre and the slow puncture was repaired by re-sealing the wheel.
Investigation underneath showed nice newish brake pads and discs on the front and very little rust underneath. They confirmed that the noisy, rattly exhaust is down to a blowing manifold gasket and broken up rear silencer and cat insides. Most of the noise can be reduced with a new gasket and back box so I'll get around to that eventually, it's not bad enough to be a real problem yet.
I had a spare hour so started to get servicing bits sorted, it hasn't had one since 2014 so it's long overdue.
New spark plugs and air filter...
Plugs didn't look too bad but shiny new ones are an improvement. Next up, cam cover gasket which seems to be the source of most of the oil caked onto the block.
Finally, the thermostat needs changing as it never gets above 1/3 on the gauge and takes a long time to get there. This is where things went wrong. I took the housing pipework off and was greeted by this...
There is a thermostat wedged tightly into the rubber pipe, causing it to bulge, and nothing in the housing. It doesn't look right to me and the 'stat is properly wedged in there, I couldn't get it out. I think I'm going to have to replace the pipe in its entirety which is annoying, unless I'm barking up the wrong tree here. More annoyingly, I removed the plastic bleed screw on top of the pipe to see if it would help in pushing out the stat but it didn't and now the screw won't go back in - it seems to have been threaded onto a nut inside which has now dropped into the pipe. Bugger.
This is the new thermostat I have, which I now think is wrong for this model (it is the same one as correctly fitted the older 220SLi).
I suspect I need this one...
Any thoughts on that? Anyway, with the screw not going back in, it's stranded on the driveway for now until I can sort that particular little issue out.
To finish the job, it needs an oil and filter change plus a full coolant flush as the stuff in it now seems to be mostly brown water. The lumpy idle hasn't been fixed by the new plugs so I'll also change the ignition leads as they're possibly the originals and are caked in oil where they're attached to the ignition module. Removing and cleaning them seemed to improve matters slightly but it still sounds crap. That said, it revs cleanly and pulls very well, with plenty of power and smooth delivery so it drives extremely well despite this.
As some of you may have already seen over on the For Sale forum, somehow I managed to win @barefoot's Renault Vel Satis. This is a remarkable outcome, seeing as I didn't actually buy any tickets for it. @loserone clearly identified how much these things terrify me, and bought me two randoms. Normally, at this juncture, I'd be overwhelmed with gratitude. After all, it's a free car. But it's also a remarkably fragile french land whale, constructed almost entirely from unobtainium, which answers a question that nobody asked. I have five cars here, one out on long term loan and two jobs. I got the mother of all bollockings from Mrs Identity; unjustly seeing as I didn't participate in the raffle and I need this like a married man needs a second cock.
Oh, and I've just realised the road tax is a kidney per year.
Notwithstanding, I intend to run the car until the precise moment something breaks - at which stage I will raffle it off for charity.
Firstly, does anyone fancy bringing this down from the land of 'cobs' and 'ducks' to my place in Cambridge? @Ohdearme did come up with a scheme, but I'm not sure if timings will work out (perhaps they will). I'm happy to go myself - but if someone wants a day out with it then I can cover expenses (my train and petrol would be about £50) and run you back to the station in a Ford Sierra bASe.
Don't worry if it doesn't work out. I'm just keen to get it out of Barefoot's way, and start the adventure nightmare of VEL SHARTis ownership tenancy.
NB: It's Castle Donnington to Cambridge, effectively.
(Reposted in the right forum - duh!)
Being two of the resident American-auto lickers on here, danthecapriman and I have been having some PM chatter about possibly going abroad and bringing one back. Here's one that we fancied quite strongly until Dan realised his passport had expired...
So you see the sort of thing we like!
Well... then this one appeared in the ebay thread...
Dan and I discussed it at length (when was the last time you had a PM conversation run to 8 pages?) and decided I should bid on it. We set a ceiling, because neither of us wanted to be involved in a bidding war even though we would be watching when it ended.
And we were outbid. Fair enough.
Then I got a Second Chance Offer. Winning bidder turned up, declared it wasn't for him, and scarpered. The seller liked the car so much he almost didn't send me the Offer, and when it took me a while to reply (consulting with Dan) he almost wanted me to turn it down so he could keep it. But I didn't. Consultation showed that we both still thought it was a good buy, so I accepted. Arrangements had to be made, money drawn, directions printed, etc etc.
So yesterday my friend Roger arrived, a mere three hours later than we had arranged. Immediately he declared his 2006 Fabia wasn't well and he didn't fancy it all the way to Derby and, crucially, back. So ok, we went in my Saab. He liked that, a lot. Derby is almost 200 miles from Barrow, in case you wanted to know. You know what my Saab looks like so you don't need pics of that stage of the trip.
So, here we are at the seller's farm.
Let's take a minute to explore some of his other toys...
...and believe me, these are only highlights!
So, now let's look at the Cadillac in a bit more detail...
Don't worry, I do have the bonnet mascot! Seller removed it at my suggestion, because the car will live outside on the street. I don't want to lose the ornament!
So, we set off to drive home, after one of the compulsory-element pics...
Seller directed us to a gas station and a chippy...
(I might cross-post that one to Cars AndGirls...) The girl in the white shirt is one of the chippy staff, she just couldn't get enough of the car! I took a load of pics on her phone of her sitting in it, admiring it from outside... then finally we could have our tea and get back on the road. We stopped at a couple of services, not least because driving at night with no instrument lighting is pretty stressful! Especially when you have motorway roadworks for mile after mile, with a 50 limit and cameras.
So we finally arrived in Barrow at 1.00am, having listened to Ken Bruce covering the Eurovision most of the way up. Yes, the Cadillac has its original factory AM/FM radio, and it works!
This morning I thought I'd better do something about the lack of door-locking, that the seller pointed out to me. The car has 4 keys, all slightly different! One for trunk, one for ignition... er...
A little consultation with Dan brought forth the suggestion that the power-lock actuators might be at fault, and upon dismantling the driver's door, this was indeed the case.
I disconnected the actuator from the lock and all was well. One of the "other" keys was found to fit the doors, so now I can lock and unlock them manually. Good enough. When I took my dog out, I couldn't resist grabbing this shot...
And then I decided it needed a clean, so I swept it out, found a carpet offcut for the trunk, and washed the thing. It does look better.
Several of my neighbours have come to have a look, and gone away impressed.
What happens now? Well the immediate plan is just that I should (and will!) drive it, as much as possible given that I don't have anywhere off-road to keep it. This is at least partly why we went for a mechanically-sound car (which it certainly seems to be) with cosmetic issues. One worries less about a fresh ding, you know.... To this end I'll be going to work in it tomorrow, and stopping at the Post Office on the way home to get the tax in my name. This car is the right side of 40 years old, so I get free tax. Lovely!
What happens in the further-distance remains to be seen.