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So, I may have acquired another project..... The green ranger is still going strong!


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

bit of a thread revival :-)


the ranger has been performing well, and has done its fair share of trialling and load lugging, with reasonable success on both parts.  there is, however, a problem.....


*advice required*


so, I have a hankering for an enduro type motorbikeshite machine, so that I can go greenlaning with some internet buddies from a different forum 8)


mrs groovy says that can only happen if something makes way for the bike, and seemingly selling her terrano isn't the answer haha!


now, the Ranger sets me back a pretty penny annually for tax, MOT, Insurance, and entry to each trial 3 times a year is about £85 +petrol and one nights accomodation.  I could sell the ranger - value approximately £600 if you price up the engine, box, back axle etc.




I could try to lay it up somewhere for a few years, until it is over 40 (approx 2019), and then either sell it as a tax exempt car, or get back into trialling at a reduced annual fee :mrgreen:


what do you think, oh great wise people of AS?  sell, or store?  (ps, keeping it at home is a non starter)



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mrs groovy says that can only happen if something makes way for the bike, and seemingly selling her terrano isn't the answer haha!




Whilst I've never been known to take the internets advice to "Man Up" or "Grow some balls" when dealing with the Currently Mrs POD, I would respectfully suggest that there is absolutely no need to sell one fishing rod to buy another, or one golf club to buy a tennis racket, or sell a car, to buy a bike, or sell a pair of shoes and a matching handbag, in order to make room in the wardrobe for a new pair of shoes and a matching handbag,


and you therefore should either fudge the issue and pretend you are selling the car, and pretend to fail miserably. Or man up, tell her that you want both in your life, and remind her that it's your money that's paying for it, and IF that fails CRY.

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  • groovylee changed the title to So, I may have acquired another project..... The green ranger is still going strong!

morning all!  not been around here much due to life and stuff, but now i have my shit in order, i think it's time for an update, and i'll try to keep things ticking along in this thread.

in the last 5 years the ranger has been doing sterling service, both in the trials world and in the crap lugging side of things. It hasn't failed to finish an event, and has gained me a few medals, so all is good.

in terms of maintenance / repairs, things haven't been too bad - ive had to rebuild a diff or two (the current 5.3:1 is in getting rebuilt now - i want this one to be top notch), replaced the front shocks with a bit of bodgery, fitted a sump guard using the original fibreglass mould, and general servicing.

being a 1979 registered car means that this is now tax and MOT exempt, so I'm glad i kept hold of it, as it is now a lot easier on the pocket :-)

so, to present day (will get pics etc up at the weekend when i get home).

the Ranger has now been badly roller painted a reasonably lurid shade of green - the original gel coat was shot. it looks great from 20 feet, but not good close up.  the painting was done on a hot day with minimal prep, so it's my own fault really!  but then, it's a trials car :-) the bull bars and roofrack need a coat of black hammerite, and the wheels could do with a bit of rattle can action, but that is about it on the cosmetic front.

current to do list:

fit the new front suspension that has just arrived. new front springs, bilstein shocks, new legs, new steering arms. £££

refurb and fit hubs and new bearings. probably fit new discs. £

purchase and fit new rear leaf springs ( a friend is currently researching some P100 spec, but built to mk2 escort dimensions) ££

remove dead old rear seat that came from the donor escort. modify and fit the metro GTi rear seat in parents loft to match the fronts.

build new front seat subframes and fit. current setup is shite and a bit rickety.

improve front sumpguard (see next point)

remove sump, bash out dent and weld up split caused by not having a good enough sump guard. D'Oh!

sort out interior lighting

fit a better stereo system (needed to stay awake on the longer drives between sections)

fit hydraulic handbrake for restarts on sections.

stop exhaust rattling against chassis. very annoying.


I should probably explain the sudden expenditure on the Ranger, considering it only cost me £200, and the new front suspension is the thick end of a grand..... well... I'd had enough of repairing it when stuff got old / tired / cried "enough", and I was only using the old girl for trials a few times a year, so i wanted to get something that i could use for trials and tool around in for the rest of the year. i also fancied something soft top, and a bit more classic looking.  A plan was hatched, and a Marlin was decided to be the weapon of choice. As luck would have it, an acquaintance in the MCC was selling his 2 litre alfa twincammed Marlin Roadster within my budget, and he was going to be competing in the next trial i had entered. result!  we agreed to meet up so i could take a look at the car, with a view to any mishaps being repaired post trial, and then me purchasing at a time to be agreed. As it happened, we never got to meet up, as the Ranger went better than i could ever have expected, and aside form a short stop to plug a holed sump, we had no issues.  we cleaned every section right up to the last one, where the lack of low geared diff saw me fail the final restart. Still, a silver medal was gained, and I went away happy.  when the final results came out, i noticed that the two ranger son the trial had beaten many of the Marlins and other class 7 cars, so i was in a bit of a quandry - do i get rid of what has turned out to be a pretty competitive car over the last 5 years, or do i keep it?

in the end, the wife and kids made the decision for me - the ranger is staying, they are coming out on the next trial so we can do it all as a family, and I'm allowed to improve it within the budget i had been allowed to buy the Marlin.  win win.

oh, and the Marlin was a Q plate, so i'd be back to spending £280 a year on tax. not appealing.

thats about up to date for now.  I'll update this thread with the suspension upgrades, lurid paint pics, and a few trials shots as i go.

for now, have a shot courtesy of my mate Duncan from the last trial - the John Aley Memorial.


IMG_20210626_120203 (1).jpg

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1 hour ago, Asimo said:

See @ 19:09 in...


thanks for posting that, i couldn't find it earlier!  that was the 2019 Lands End trial when i still had the 5.3 diff fitted. this time around with the 4.1 i had to stab the clutch a few times just to get up that first part of the section!

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8 minutes ago, Flat4 said:

Forgive my ignorance but what are these events? They look like brilliant fun!

Classic Reliability trials to give them their full name. essentially following a route book from start to finish, with some sections (like the above) in between.  on each section you have to climb from start to finish, non stop (unless they put a nasty restart box in the middle!). it is really good fun, and you dont need a hell of a lot of money to do it.  no 4wd, LSDs or M&S tyres allowed. some mechanical bodgery knowledge is very handy for running repairs though. take my last trial for example - i punctured the sump in a nasty hole, and didn't realise until the queue for the next section.  we had a bout 10 mins to jack the car up, drain the remaining oil into a can, clean the damaged area, fill the hole with chemical metal putty, pack away tools while it was setting, drop the car down, refill with oil, check for leaks, and crack on.  if i didn't manage to repair it that quickly, i was obstructing the other competitors, and i'd have to be towed up the section, ruining my chance of a gold medal.  no pressure!  as it happens, we managed it, and it held for the rest of the trial.  similarly, diff changes at the side of the road (in about 40 mins) are not uncommon, and i always carry a spare diff and associated tools.  i think we carry about 250-300kg of tools and spares in the back - not for ballast over the driven wheels, honest....

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  • 1 month later...

Due to working away, things have been a bit slow here... But last weekend I managed to get busy! 

As can be seen from the pics, the front suspension and crossmember are out. That all happened on Saturday, closely followed by me realising that the engine mounts have had it, I forgot to order a new sump gasket, and I need new steering rack mounts. Off to eBay I go.....





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On sunday, the weather was nice, so after taking little groovy to rugby training i set about removing the sump to repair the hole.

slight problem... the two rear sump bolts are covered by the bell housing. bugger!  oh well, i might as well do the clutch while im there. so, prop shaft off, gearbox off, sump out.

while im there, i may as well drop the diff oil ready to change the diff. diff bolts off. why isnt the diff pulling out more? oh, yeah, halfshafts. oh shit, im parked next to the house....... oops. i'll deal with that later.

so current state of play is that the sump hole is welded up, painted and ready to fit. the crossmember has been welded up in a few places and painted ready to fit, and the steering rack has had a coat of paint.

this weekends activities will hopefully be:

1. refit sump

2. change clutch and refit gearbox

3. refit steering rack with new mount bushes 

4. refit crossmember and bolt engine back to mounts.

5. fit new wheel bearings to hubs and fit to front struts, then refit the front suspension.

6. brakes back on.

7. hopefully pull halfshafts out enough to change rear diff for the 5.3:1 unit thats been rebuilt.

8. Maybe fit new rear springs if they arrive.  if not, thatll be next weekend.





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so, things happened...

his weekends activities will hopefully be:

1. refit sump - DONE

2. change clutch and refit gearbox - DONE

3. refit steering rack with new mount bushes  - DONE

4. refit crossmember and bolt engine back to mounts. - DONE

5. fit new wheel bearings to hubs and fit to front struts, then refit the front suspension. - slight problem there....

6. brakes back on. - see above

7. hopefully pull halfshafts out enough to change rear diff for the 5.3:1 unit thats been rebuilt. - not done

8. Maybe fit new rear springs if they arrive.  if not, thatll be next weekend. - also a problem.....


Problem number one was that I have RS2000 spec new struts, and standard 1600 escort hubs.  yeah, that doesn't work.  so i hit the bay of fleas in hope of finding some RS2000 hubs, which i found, for the princely sum of £102. i hate ford scene tax!  obviously until these are fitted i cant do the brakes.

problem number two was that despite specifying P100 leaf springs built to escort MK2 dimensions, the supplier made them to standard P100 spec. so those have been sent back.

I did manage to get the legs fitted anyway, pic to follow.

further updates next weekend :-)


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well, i popped home yesterday to check on delivery of packages, just so if anything was wrong, i could rectify it asap so my weekend wasn't wasted.

I'm happy to report that the new used hubs are the correct ones and the bearings will fit.  also the new Track rod ends have the correct taper, and appear to have the correct thread, this will be confirmed tomorrow.

so the next steps are:

1. fit new wheel bearings to hubs

2. fit discs to hubs

3. fit hubs to legs

4. fit brake calipers

5. refit anti roll bar

6.  fit new track rod ends and connect up

7. modify / improve sump guard

8. change diff.

i think that'll do for this weekend. after that I only have one more weekend to play with, so i need ot make sure that everything is working and loaded up ready for the trial.  further improvements will have to wait until next time.




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much *fun was had yesterday.....

so, to the list:

1. fit new wheel bearings to hubs - done with no dramas

2. fit discs to hubs - done, but only after a trip to th elocal fastener place, as the new hubs needed 3/8 UNC instead of M10x1.5s. Grrr.

3. fit hubs to legs - done with no dramas

4. fit brake calipers - yeah.... it turns out the imperial fixings theme is a recurring one... new bolts on order.

5. refit anti roll bar - done, with much grunting, swearing and ratchet strap action.

6.  fit new track rod ends and connect up - about that.....

7. modify / improve sump guard - not got around to this yet.

8. change diff. - done. wohoo.

so, every time i come across a fixing for the new legs / hubs, i hit the brick wall of the original (metric) fixings not fitting. why oh why did they use imperial stuff on newly manufactured parts?!  anyway, all required fixings now ordered. i hope to god they all arrive before the next (and final) weekend fixing session before the trial!

the steering arms proved mighty annoying also.  it seems they are handed, and it took me trying every different orientation of the damn things before i finally got them fitted the correct way and looking normal.  in the meantime i managed to strip the threads on two of the steering arm bolts (being impatient and grumpy), so new ones are on the way.

whilst changing the diff, i noticed one of the rear bump stops was on the piss, so i set about loosening off the rear axle U bolts. SNAP! new U bolts on order now too.  every turn this thing tries to fight me!

so i wrapped it up for the day, made sure i had ordered all the bits i need, and wrote the final list out for next weekend. whilst doing that, my mate who is organising the new rear springs tells me they will be here early this week. now, do i change them? or will something else break while im doing it? lol.

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so, on to next weekends list:

1. remove nearside wheel, hub, steering arm. refit new steering arm bolts, torque up wheel bearing, refit wheel.

2. refit brake calipers with new bolts

3. minimum - replace broken U bolt. Maybe replace rear springs while im at it. maybe.

4. adjust clutch cable

5. extend and refit sump guard

6. check all fluid levels and make sure nothing is leaking.

7. hoover all the spiders out of the interior, or eldest minigroovy wont even get in!

that should be it. i hope.

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well, the front is now done, calipers fitted, clutch adjusted, sump guard fitted and wheels painted (badly, but hey, its a trials car!)

i fitted the rear springs.... the front mounting bolt in the offside spring was seized solid, so out came the angry grinder. dismantled everything and replaced the rear shocks. then found that the rear mounting bushes are a bigger diameter than the originals, so need the pin drifting out of the shackles, the holes drilling out from 10mm to 12mm, and new bolts putting in.  new bolts on order, but i have a temp plan in place. pics to follow later today :-)


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Bad news from the weekend I'm afraid :-(

we set off from home at 20:45 on Friday night for the Edinburgh trial, we managed to get about 100 miles towards the start, but I noticed the charging light was on intermittently... Stopped at a Macdonald's and had a look. Ah, no dramas, just a loose alternator plug. Quick squirt with WD-40 and a quick pinch of the spades and it was charging fine again. Happy days!

wait a minute, what's all that oil on the floor?!

ah. Looks like we have a major oil leak into the bell housing. I bet it's that bloody sump gasket not sealed properly....

so we fashioned a nappy from a spill kit pad, and limped back home, having lost a litre of oil over 100 miles.

off to bed at 01:20.....


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so the new plan of attack is to work away this week, then on saturday, drop the prop and gearbox off again, pull the flywheel, and take a look at sorting out the sump gasket, hopefully in time for a 1 day trial on sunday.... nothing like a challenging time frame!

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