Ive been waiting to run a project thread, but as it seems i do so many projects at once picking one is a night mare, plus my plans change faster than the wind, i thought id create a random project thread and id just update it with whatever i was working on at the time. The current list of candidates is as follows....
Vanden Plas 1300 - parked
1993 Mini SPI - finish stripping engine for MG 1300
MGF 75th Edition - NEW - SCRAPPED
Rover 75 - SCRAPPED
Ausitn 1300 GT - SOLD
Purple Morris 1100 - NEXT! - SOLD
Blue MG 1300 - scrapped
Red 1985 mini - engine rebuilt
Green 1971 mini - winter hibernation
White MG 1300 repaint and rebuild
Blue mk1 Ausitn 1100 welding and paint
Blue mk1 wolesley - decide on future
Baby Blue mk2 morris 1300 - SCRAPPED
Clubman estate - a one day project - SOLD
Magenta kit car x3 ....1 one road, one painted red, one waiting to be scrapped - 1 scrapped, 1 sold
White Vanden Plas 1300 - SCRAPPED
Ford KA X1 - SCRAPPED
Volvo v70 - SOLD
Golf GTE - SOLD
Mg 1100 - 1963 - With little garage classics being rebuilt.
Mg 1100 - 1965 - SOLD
MGF x1 - one scrapped one now on the road.
Reliant Robin x2 - one scrapped one now on the road - SOLD
1983 MG Metro - in temp storage
1967 Austin 1100 estate - SOLD
New cars to fleet:
2000 Mondeo TD Estate
Edit: This is longer than initially anticipated.
As some will have noticed, Mr cms206 of this parish reckons the death knell for the SVM is close with his recent purchase of a Saab. Going with the fact I still have a 100% Volvo fleet, as does Mr rml2345 of this parish I would personally say it's just diversification. Especially considering the amount of non Volvos cms206 has had these days.
This aforementioned diversification continues a pace. Although the paperwork still needs to be done, I have some non Volvo incoming.
My aunt got the above pictured 205 back in about 2002 and ran it for about 3 years. By her accounts she put it in the lockup, got a Nissan Almera for whatever reason and basically put the 205 in to the long term deal with pile. It was initially SORN on the blue log book. Back when there was a theft of blue V5s at Swansea and everyone in the country got sent one of the new red ones, one never arrived for the 205 and after that it was properly forgetten about. Well she did. I've been keeping it in my mind every day since then. During a discussion over my birthday dinner a few weeks ago, she mentioned that she was going to pay the gardener she gets in to trim the trees to break in to the lockup because the padlock had rusted solid and she was desperate to use the space in the lockup. I said I'd do it free if I could assess the car. If it was completely fucked, it would have to get dragged out and put on a truck to go to the scrap heap. If I could get it moving, I would make it a project.
Next day - 18th January:
Time to break open the padlock then. Big screwdriver through the hasp and burst it within 3 seconds. Now to have a look at the car. It's dirty, 3 tyres are flat, one of them creased and the 4th is still at about 10psi. After FIFTEEN YEARS! A gentle rock confirms suspicions that all the wheels are locked so time to get all the wheels off and set about the brakes with a big swing press.
The back wheels moved eventually. Judicious use the big hammer, two wheel bolts reinserted and a breaker bar as a lever got the back wheels turning. While the wheels were off I thought I'd see if they held air.
All 4 tyres held 35psi. None of them appear to be cracked and the rubber is still "soft" to the scrape of a finger nail. Lack of sunlight attacking them I suppose but it'll get 4 new ones if it becomes roadworthy.
After doing the back wheels, the front wheels quickly proved they could be a major problem. I took the calipers, pads and discs completely off the car and even with 2 wheel studs inserted and using the 3/4 drive breaker bar with an extra foot of length over the 1/2 bar, neither wheel / shaft would turn. So either the bearings had seized, the CV joints in the driveshafts had seized or something very sinister was happening inside the gearbox. By this time it was getting dark and cold so time to put it all away for another day.
Another day - 24th January:
Various discussions were had on the Scotoshite WhatsApp chat and the end result being Mr 320Touring of this parish agreed to come round for a shufty. He was wanting to check up on another car in a lockup only a mile or so away so it was a no brainer.
As before, front wheels off, bar on the wheel bolts... nothing. What to do next? We need to use the car's own power to try to free off whatever is seized on the front wheels but the car is nose in to the lockup so we can't get jump leads to it. We need to drag it out but we don't have a tow rope however we manage to find what appears to be a self tightening dog collar / leash in the car and decide to cue MAXIMUM SKETCHINESS!!!
A gentle tug from the ML of doom proved the NSF wheel is tight but not seized however the OSF is not moving. Fuck it... drag it while pushing from the front. If we need to shove it back in there's an old tyre in a pile of rubbish waiting to get uplifted by the council that can act as a cushion and the ML will do the job no bother. We also took the front brake discs off to minimise any drag from those.
We decided to drag it out just enough to get my jump leads on to the battery. We had already taken the battery out to try it on the leads outside the car. Surprise surprise* it was so dead it had gone open circuit so there was absolutely no magic pixies flowing in to it. Luckily I had an old battery from the 740 that was the same size so that was obtained, inserted and then put to work. Time to leave it to charge for a wee bit.
Now that we've got some electricity going from the ML in to the 205 it's time to see what will happen. Thanks to Mr Touring for providing the videos...
At one point we were vexed by the daft French screw on battery terminals
We were getting a bit desperate by this point. We used quite a lot of "easy start" and the amount of electricity was causing problems.
We took a break at this point for 10 mins or so. Mainly to make sure we didn't get too frustrated but also to make sure the maximum possible amount of electricity was in the actual battery so that the leads were just there as a boost. This was clearly a good idea...
Learning from all the antics of the last 15 mins or so we left it for another 5 mins. Using a clamp meter we let it get to the point that almost no electricity was flowing in the leads and therefore an almost complete charge and spraying the "easy start" ahead of time, results were finally had...
YAY! MUCH ELATION! Oh and that old diesel stinks. Time to get the leads off, move the ML and let the 205 tick over for a few minutes to let the engine settle. Next we found out why the front wheels were not for turning...
So yeah. All the CV Joints were completely solid. But anyways it was mission accomplished for the day. We got it moving and a general once over suggests that it should be easily salvageable therefore if auntie wants the space in the lockup, it's going to have to go somewhere. Time to put it back in and wrap up for the day.
Thanks to 320 Touring in assistance. The list of work is substantial but not insurmountable. It needs - a battery, front discs, front pads, front calipers, front lower arms, front driveshafts, possibly bearings, rear drums, rear shoes, rear fitting kit, probably handbrake cables, flexi hoses all round, 4 new tyres, 3 of the 4 doors don't work properly, a water leak at the water pump but that can get done with a new cam belt, probably a thermostat, engine oil, filters all round, fresh fuel, a good clean, handbrake light, oil pressure light and a rear screenwash leak inside the tailgate.
Oh and a sidelight bulb...
Lockup secured in Cumbernauld.
Car transporter trailer booked for Wed 12th Feb to move it. The V70 will do the honours.
Another bit of tinkering - 4th February
So it has been agreed the V5 will be transferred in to my name. With an impending trailer move, I thought I'd go back and have another look at things and reassemble the front brakes. I've already installed a new battery so it can be started without the need for leads and it does so quite happily even though the fuel coming from the tank smells like paint. I drove it about in circles for 5 - 10 mins to free up the CV joints and scrape the rust off the brake discs. I also did some straight line tests pulling away in 2nd which seemed to free up the turbo actuator.
I also found the radio code so I got that working but you'll have to take my word on it 'cos YouTube will just give me a copyright flag.
I shall leave this one here just now. Not much will happen for a while. There will of course be the drama of the trailer move but once it's in the lockup a plan of action will need to be drawn up. A sensible first course will be, I think, to find someone who will give it a once over for MoT viability before any new parts are obtained. All the obvious stuff should be easily DIYable but I don't know what lurks underneath. Some things like the timing belt and water pump will be paid for but the rest will just get picked away at in due course.
I also found some period souvenir parking tickets...
To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-
It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.
As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
Been far too long* since I have done one of these..
Last night, I spent some time ( and not an inconsiderable number of £) ordering up parts to fix 4 of the fleet. Additionally, the Audi goes in on Monday for two front tyres.
By midnight I was cash poor and not yet part rich, so I downed the laptop and turned to idly browsing my phone..
Staying strong through the sea of " for sale" tags here, I upped the ante and broke out TEH DADDY!
Up in these parts, the bargains are oft far flung - population density and geography conspiring against the local bargain hunter.
Due to this, my default search includes a radius of 150 miles - annoyingly flagging up NI cars not worth the extortionate repatriation costs.
However, it also reaches into the far flung Ecosse.. catching exotic locations such as Duns and Huntly.
But not so this time, for lo, the tree did bear fruit and it doth fall not far from my abode.
This is the collection leg of the adventure, a TTT/ Split_Pin co-produced Caper.
My lift arrives at 8.
I think the Broadsword fleet has become sufficiently complicated to merit a combined thread so that gradually all new additions will appear in one place.
As of Sunday 17th March the situation is interesting.
Two Citoren Xantias (remember the white Xantia of Excellence is for sale people!)
A turquoise XJR6 pending overdue-collection (need that gone now!)
An XJS 3.6 manual project which will get in high gear soonish. Wont be a keeper but will be fun getting it back to something presentable. Drivers fantastic!
A Range Rover P38, which is turning out to be really rather good.
And to mix things up even more I'm off on a collection caper today. Had first refusal on it and was expecting it to come around in a year, but things soon changed and no way was I going to pass up on it. It may well render the second Xantia redundant as I've got a really good feeling about this motor.
In the meantime here are some snaps of the Range Rover. As usual it was a car I said I would probably never buy due to their reliability*. I have said the same of Jag XJR, XJS, XK8 and I have had all of those now. Basically the moment I declare buying a particular car is impractical or improbable, I end up buying one.
Things to note on the P38. It's a nice colour with tidy body. The EAS has been removed. It runs and drives lovely and it doesn't have enough electrical problems to hinder progress. The main one is the driver's side window not working, but that should be fixable. I've tried changing the outstation, that didn't fix it. Might be wiring under the seat. Other than that I bought it and took it for an MOT the very next day, and it passed. Since then it had what seemed like a battery drain, but since unplugging the RF thingy for the remote locking and putting on a proper lead-acid battery, which the car can actually charge, unlike the modern lead-calcium batteries, it has been perfect. I will treat it to a full service soon.
Stay tuned for the latest collection later today!