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83C's Shite-esque Fleet: VXR8 - the Saga Continues.


83C

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In more MoT season news (they all seem to happen at the same time with me), the Kia Rio outstationed at the inlaw’s has a fresh MoT courtesy of @twosmoke300

9C935F0A-5A78-401F-9E52-2F50252C481C.jpeg.7e8714c51b69ef0e3c69d57897c55e0e.jpeg

It’ll be available for sale quite soon once a replacement is organised - Mother in Law has requested that the next car is an automatic as she finds the ultralight clutch on the Rio difficult to use. 

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  • 83C changed the title to 83C's Shite-esque Fleet: More MoT Season Fun on the Rio (not so) Grande.
On 15/02/2024 at 18:07, 83C said:

In more MoT season news (they all seem to happen at the same time with me), the Kia Rio outstationed at the inlaw’s has a fresh MoT courtesy of @twosmoke300

9C935F0A-5A78-401F-9E52-2F50252C481C.jpeg.7e8714c51b69ef0e3c69d57897c55e0e.jpeg

It’ll be available for sale quite soon once a replacement is organised - Mother in Law has requested that the next car is an automatic as she finds the ultralight clutch on the Rio difficult to use. 

Interesting. Where in the world is this thoroughbred beauty? 

If it's near Lincs I'll alert my friend. 

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8 minutes ago, grogee said:

Interesting. Where in the world is this thoroughbred beauty? 

If it's near Lincs I'll alert my friend. 

It’s in Cornwall right now, but can be in Shropshire once I find a replacement.

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  • 83C changed the title to 83C's Shite-esque Fleet: VXR8 Suspension Overhaul

Finally the weather and free time have aligned to make a start on the VXR8, this was the state of play 5 mins ago in the near side wheel arch :

5A2E380B-A6D5-41A3-8559-ACD9AC4F4D09.jpeg.4d5cd55114962083d311a06458365cf3.jpeg

The track rod and track rod end will also be coming off. The plan is to take the hub and lower arms to the workbench and deal with them there. Whilst they’re off, the alternator will be replaced:

25AF552E-B778-4852-9121-F63092C69AED.jpeg.91b8a1fcc89cf76c5a6cf72df2468cff.jpeg

With the suspension out of the way it’s the easiest access. ARB bushes and steering rack bush will also be replaced, as well as a general clean up in the area.

I might regret typing this but so far everything is coming apart very nicely, despite most of it probably having not been touched since it left Australia in 2007 and having minimal corrosion protection. 

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After tea, more progress.

From this:

36A58C4D-B6B9-426D-ABD0-E571282F8006.jpeg.2a2f92e3819088b7a485c752a34117db.jpeg

To this:

59DEE354-6333-45FB-81E5-7933CCD6D314.jpeg.123e898e0348fc13adf5b82c5c943086.jpeg

Both lower arm ball joints feel like there’s a bit of slack in them, so just as well they’re being replaced. 

Transferring the hub to the bench and being able to knock the arms out directly rather than swinging the hammer at weird angles is a much better way to do things. This however did give me a moment where I had to choose the next move, because as I was giving the hub carrier a wire brushing it occurred to me that having the carriers sandblasted and powdercoated would be good. The problem is that I can’t do it efficiently unless I buy a spare set of carriers and have them all done at the same time, or send each carrier off individually, because I can’t put the whole car in the air at home. 

The thing is, if I go down that route where do I stop? I know I’d be wanting to drop the rear subframe and have that properly cleaned up too. Then there’s some crusty fasteners that I’m measuring up for replacements, the brake backing plates are a bit grim but probably salvageable. 

Realistically I’ve got to know when to stop. Trying to make the underside of the VXR8 like new will only lead to madness and take far longer than I want, so the carriers will be cleaned off, maybe a brush coat of something and that’s it. Bolts aren’t a major thing so I will order some fresh fasteners where I need them, but unless I can find some new backing plates for sensible money  the old ones will get the same treatment as the hub carriers. The arches and liners will be cleaned as much as possible, and any grot treated before it gets any worse.

More tomorrow if the weather holds.

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14 hours ago, 83C said:

After tea, more progress.

From this:

36A58C4D-B6B9-426D-ABD0-E571282F8006.jpeg.2a2f92e3819088b7a485c752a34117db.jpeg

To this:

59DEE354-6333-45FB-81E5-7933CCD6D314.jpeg.123e898e0348fc13adf5b82c5c943086.jpeg

Both lower arm ball joints feel like there’s a bit of slack in them, so just as well they’re being replaced. 

Transferring the hub to the bench and being able to knock the arms out directly rather than swinging the hammer at weird angles is a much better way to do things. This however did give me a moment where I had to choose the next move, because as I was giving the hub carrier a wire brushing it occurred to me that having the carriers sandblasted and powdercoated would be good. The problem is that I can’t do it efficiently unless I buy a spare set of carriers and have them all done at the same time, or send each carrier off individually, because I can’t put the whole car in the air at home. 

The thing is, if I go down that route where do I stop? I know I’d be wanting to drop the rear subframe and have that properly cleaned up too. Then there’s some crusty fasteners that I’m measuring up for replacements, the brake backing plates are a bit grim but probably salvageable. 

Realistically I’ve got to know when to stop. Trying to make the underside of the VXR8 like new will only lead to madness and take far longer than I want, so the carriers will be cleaned off, maybe a brush coat of something and that’s it. Bolts aren’t a major thing so I will order some fresh fasteners where I need them, but unless I can find some new backing plates for sensible money  the old ones will get the same treatment as the hub carriers. The arches and liners will be cleaned as much as possible, and any grot treated before it gets any worse.

More tomorrow if the weather holds.

I'd agree regarding the path to madness with replacing all the underside bits and bobs - if its structurally sound then a good wire brushing, some Vactan, zinc primer then underseal would be the way I'd go.

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The morning’s progress:

8321CC10-0AB5-46B6-9780-CEBB109789F9.jpeg.1cec32b2f10ad031e30b6350b196a549.jpeg

The old alternator was here. It moved to here:

13C63B08-EBEF-44C5-AA3D-CA6A9AE9603A.jpeg.c23f74cabfbfeff1a12f27b53bc7d181.jpeg

And was swiftly removed from the cradle. Bearings definitely shot, it was very rough. New one perched just to the left, genuine GM spec (made by Mitsubishi Electric in Japan) from Rock Auto. The pulley is slightly different, I guess it contains some sort of damper or overrun bearing. Same size though, so no point swapping. The alternator cradle did require some attention from a file as the new alternator wasn’t a smooth fit into the casting, and this did cause some swear words to be used as I thought I’d taken enough off and only found it needed a bit more after I’d spent half an hour attempting to fit it. Still, all on now. 

9E485762-21B7-4281-8D18-97BF2FA68437.jpeg.79b78db6bd0d45e6faa6a4cd3af00cf3.jpeg

The next N/S/F Only job is the steering rack bush. The O/S is fixed, this end is supported in a rubber bush. It’s not vital to replace but everything else is being done so I might as well. 

D52D9995-8093-4050-BA9D-7E1F1D51556E.jpeg.9fb5e27edb5df266c1013062ac466336.jpeg

The ARB bush is also off, and it appears someone has already upgraded them to polybushes:

B9950B4C-AEB1-467A-81F9-E927164EDAA2.jpeg.1b1db97c50017c1c8007f9bf3d6a340b.jpeg

Red, so probably a Pedders bush. I could just put it back on, but I have a pair of new Superpro bushes so that’s what is going back on. 

All JGF.

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Final bit of removal for this corner was the old track rod. The track rod ball joint felt alright to be honest but splitting it from the track rod end is never a fun job, so new kit throughout is the way forwards. 

2F8CB3B5-3B1B-40D0-A407-F26D0BAEBCE0.jpeg.43f7e10b41b5caf31f295149bed31277.jpeg

It also allowed easier access to fit these:

725C73D1-07CF-4189-A0B1-F4A5DF9FDE6F.jpeg.b001468afb1c05d81db5165b17e45a6a.jpeg

And then the new track rod and lower arms went on, along with the hub. 

5FD90851-531D-435F-87B4-93C3B39D04F4.jpeg.3f5112cd2b95e963f8c7f93eeed81470.jpeg

Once these are tightened up it’ll be the new spring and damper to fit next.

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The brake dust shields look grim, but they’re not rotten, so from this:

B2CC384C-C22D-4D75-92F2-4784ADB199AA.jpeg.d2860e713d50763ae91319be7fd18b8a.jpeg

Via a tickle with a wire wheel and a flap disc to this:

E6CE8748-2188-48A6-8249-942428878DC3.jpeg.d4f527296f8bdfa13ae5c1520361746f.jpeg

And then a coat of dog dick red Hammerite-ish aerosol to this:

4CB33DAE-9176-4D62-B2EE-274FEB628F92.jpeg.b752892608c603355e051069c7d344c2.jpeg

Only the MoT tester will ever see them, so colour-coding the shields is entirely pointless. Much like life itself.

Anyway, once it has dried (the other one will get similar treatment when I do that corner), it can go back on, the brakes can get refitted and that’s everything done on the N/S/F:

3D0440A6-84B9-4F34-AC68-5B17131C0A53.jpeg.a80128088a5e57795efedbdc8203ef88.jpeg

Everything has been tightened up, I’m sure there are torque settings for most of it but the standard FT measurement of tightness as applied by a fat gorilla is more than adequate. That unpainted hub carrier is still niggling me but I’m not falling down that particular rabbit hole, I want to use this car this year. Anything unpainted will get lagged in ACF50 anyway. 

More tomorrow.

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Oh, nearly forgot. A belt conundrum.

Just as I was finishing up fitting the arms I spotted a belt hanging down from the front of the engine, to be honest I’m a bit surprised I didn’t spot it earlier, so I went back through a few pictures and sure enough it’s there in plain view.

See it?

78004B48-9BED-4A65-8F21-7947C08D9270.jpeg.6bcff45d458870df94253bc9d766895d.jpeg

How about now?

F7504C33-DEE0-4DB7-930A-FA4E1B93153B.thumb.jpeg.0ca853ef0bb0377573963c5c38be829e.jpeg

I’ve already recovered a few small parts from various obscure places, so I tried pulling the belt thinking it might be the remains of an old aux belt. It wouldn’t move. Looking from the top of the engine bay I spotted it looping around the back of the main pulley between it and the front of the block, and digging beneath the O/S wing covers I found the A/C pump, sans belt. So that partly explains why the A/C doesn’t work, but not why the belt is off. The A/C pump rotates freely, as does the idler pulley for it, but those and the section of the main pulley for it are all quite rusty suggesting the belt hasn’t been on for some time. I’ve removed the old belt for now, although it sits behind the main aux belt it’s easy to slip that one off when I want to fit a pair of new belts. The A/C can wait for a month or two.

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They say things come in threes, and I dearly hope that is the case. In the last three months I’ve now had three people twat into my cars, first was someone in B&Q car park who scraped his front bumper down the side of the Range Rover, then someone rolled into the back of the same vehicle in traffic, and today some fuckwit in an Audi A3 decided to use the Skoda as an emergency brake on a roundabout:

C0D6A8AA-4EB4-4689-9829-3E4416DE257F.jpeg.07ca4827a8e2e12d783aa36bb4554427.jpeg

Doesn’t look much but it was quite a wallop, luckily the little Skoda is a tough old thing. The other driver was very reluctant to go down the insurance route and was trying to say that it was nothing, doing everything to get away without details. We eventually agreed on a cash settlement but he was insistent on me deleting pics of his car off my phone before handing the cash over, he even tried to grab my phone to make sure I’d deleted them from the ‘Recently Deleted’ section. I really was tempted to phone plod but I doubt they’d have come out to a minor RTA. Eventually he coughed up the figure I named but moaned like fuck that it ‘wasn’t good value’ and that he was being stitched up - obviously him following too close and twatting into my car and it all being his fucking fault was somehow ok by him. He even had the audacity to moan about how he would also have to pay to fix his own car. 

His car does come up on AskMid as insured, and it’s taxed and tested. I probably should have gone the ‘proper’ route as my back is now a bit sore, but I’m sure he’d have just done one if I’d pushed for details. 

Luckily I still have the photo of his car and the reg, just in case.

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4 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

I'd guess he probably doesn't have any.

That’s what I suspect, even though the vehicle is insured.

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1 hour ago, 83C said:

They say things come in threes, and I dearly hope that is the case. In the last three months I’ve now had three people twat into my cars, first was someone in B&Q car park who scraped his front bumper down the side of the Range Rover, then someone rolled into the back of the same vehicle in traffic, and today some fuckwit in an Audi A3 decided to use the Skoda as an emergency brake on a roundabout:

C0D6A8AA-4EB4-4689-9829-3E4416DE257F.jpeg.07ca4827a8e2e12d783aa36bb4554427.jpeg

Doesn’t look much but it was quite a wallop, luckily the little Skoda is a tough old thing. The other driver was very reluctant to go down the insurance route and was trying to say that it was nothing, doing everything to get away without details. We eventually agreed on a cash settlement but he was insistent on me deleting pics of his car off my phone before handing the cash over, he even tried to grab my phone to make sure I’d deleted them from the ‘Recently Deleted’ section. I really was tempted to phone plod but I doubt they’d have come out to a minor RTA. Eventually he coughed up the figure I named but moaned like fuck that it ‘wasn’t good value’ and that he was being stitched up - obviously him following too close and twatting into my car and it all being his fucking fault was somehow ok by him. He even had the audacity to moan about how he would also have to pay to fix his own car. 

His car does come up on AskMid as insured, and it’s taxed and tested. I probably should have gone the ‘proper’ route as my back is now a bit sore, but I’m sure he’d have just done one if I’d pushed for details. 

Luckily I still have the photo of his car and the reg, just in case.

I know police don't always turn out to these things but he might not have a licence / be banned etc.

How can he be sure you do not back your pics up? You can still get pics out of the recycle bin.

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51 minutes ago, Bren said:

I know police don't always turn out to these things but he might not have a licence / be banned etc.

How can he be sure you do not back your pics up? You can still get pics out of the recycle bin.

He was demanding to see I’d deleted them not just from Photos, but also from the recycle bin (Recently Deleted folder), and as he left he made a point of saying he didn’t want ‘anyone’ turning up at his house, which I take to mean the authorities. The whole time we were there trying to sort it out he was shifty, evasive and tried blaming me for being there - ‘why you stop??’ - because if I hadn’t, I’d  have rear-ended the car in front of me. We “agreed” a figure as compensation and for the whole time he was counting it out of a roll of notes he moaned and bitched that the figure I’d insisted on was ‘not good value for him’. Well if he wanted to save his money, not twatting into the car in front might be a good start, and then not pissing the owner of said car off by being a shifty cunt would also be a good idea. 

Anyway, anyone got a rear bumper for a Mk.1 Fabia?

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Today I got the O/S/F back together, and started on the O/S/R. Now the original plan was to do as I've done with the front, all new suspension bits throughout. However, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Upon jacking the rear end up, it became obvious that although solid the rear frame was a bit crustier than the front, and access to some of the bolts would be a proper nightmare without dropping the subframe, something I have no facility to do. I did toy with getting some longer bolts with the correct thread so I could just lower the frame a few inches, but rather helpfully a local specialist breaker has a subframe in stock, so I'm collecting that early next week. The new plan is that the dampers and springs are being fitted because they're needed to match the front, but everything else is going to wait - the back end isn't as rattly as the front anyway. The new subframe will be stripped, blasted and powder coated, and then built up with all new components and bushes ready to accept the current diff, driveshafts and hubs, and then I'll try and organise with the garage that does my MoTs for them to do the swap. They've had some oddball stuff in before (including a very tidy E28 M535i) so a simple subframe swap (especially one ready built) shouldn't faze them.

I also noticed when I did the front that what I thought was standard kit coming off is actually at least aftermarket springs, as they are the same overall length as the new dampers and springs going on:

64129756-AFF5-4A26-8BFA-478E8034C891.jpeg.9c1e560de887bf1b989d5f6ad44c6a96.jpeg

Not a bad thing in itself as at least the car won't ride any lower.

I've also known the car has a blow from the exhaust at the rear ever since I bough it, so today was the first chance to get a good look at the problem:

75A19208-3412-4B89-87B0-EB06DE2758F7.jpeg.926d73ce48cee5cbfd789e628291e9dc.jpeg

95C9F93E-2B4F-4C26-BCC6-3584C8F97C7B.jpeg.467ec45afe41086d9a4e89232d0ca561.jpeg

I've seen some shit bodges but these are really rather special. The backboxes are proper Walkinshaw stainless steel jobs, but they've been bodged to a pair of straight through pipes of a different diameter. Luckily last week I collected a secondhand Walkinshaw cat-back system because I already knew thanks to the previous owner that the exhaust fitted wasn't particularly great - I just didn't realise how 'not great' until today :lol: There also isn't any form of crossover pipe between the two banks, usually there is an X or H pipe (as there is with the new system) but these just have two straight runs of pipe back to the mess behind the rear wheels. Can't wait to get this car back on the road though, it should drive and sound so much better.

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Not much progress today, but I did get the rear damper/spring/topmount assembly apart, with the topmount cleaned up and painted:

B87C7AE4-8E3E-4B62-A5E9-47AF1D71D60B.jpeg.99453fe18ba63d86a939a189b4efe052.jpeg

3866684C-3816-4370-B98C-224686D9453B.jpeg.1bead3aa354b0316e6c446b2e54a86fc.jpeg

439C5C60-0CAB-4D4F-AE35-DC9B66E8AD52.jpeg.04f56958c453447b6b84b51954509917.jpeg

Yes, the paint has a case of the runs. It’s protective only, not decorative.

Tomorrow I’ll get the strut back together with the new damper and spring, and then I’ve got some added fun* to attend to.

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Added fun, part one:

B6FD208C-55AB-4C45-B0A7-9CBB02D497F3.jpeg.e1c2a14ef53747dde5cfd991413b2537.jpeg

This may look like a pile of rust, but it’s exactly what I need for building up a refurbished rear subframe assembly for the VXR8. All the arms and wiring will come off, bushes will all be pressed out, and the bare frame will go for sandblasting and powder coating. Then it’ll have all new bushes and arms, and finally it’ll get swapped into the ‘R8 sometime later this year. It’ll be an as-and-when project, as I don’t currently own a press (10t press recommendations welcome, currently looking at one from SGS), but it’ll keep the car usable and stop me using up so much of my swear allowance trying to fit the new arms and bushes in situ to the current rear subframe.

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On 23/02/2024 at 18:28, 83C said:

They say things come in threes, and I dearly hope that is the case. In the last three months I’ve now had three people twat into my cars, first was someone in B&Q car park who scraped his front bumper down the side of the Range Rover, then someone rolled into the back of the same vehicle in traffic, and today some fuckwit in an Audi A3 decided to use the Skoda as an emergency brake on a roundabout:

C0D6A8AA-4EB4-4689-9829-3E4416DE257F.jpeg.07ca4827a8e2e12d783aa36bb4554427.jpeg

Doesn’t look much but it was quite a wallop, luckily the little Skoda is a tough old thing. The other driver was very reluctant to go down the insurance route and was trying to say that it was nothing, doing everything to get away without details. We eventually agreed on a cash settlement but he was insistent on me deleting pics of his car off my phone before handing the cash over, he even tried to grab my phone to make sure I’d deleted them from the ‘Recently Deleted’ section. I really was tempted to phone plod but I doubt they’d have come out to a minor RTA. Eventually he coughed up the figure I named but moaned like fuck that it ‘wasn’t good value’ and that he was being stitched up - obviously him following too close and twatting into my car and it all being his fucking fault was somehow ok by him. He even had the audacity to moan about how he would also have to pay to fix his own car. 

His car does come up on AskMid as insured, and it’s taxed and tested. I probably should have gone the ‘proper’ route as my back is now a bit sore, but I’m sure he’d have just done one if I’d pushed for details. 

Luckily I still have the photo of his car and the reg, just in case.

My guess is there's "some substances" in both their car and their property that they don't want the authorities to know about.

Fact they had a roll of cash on them in this day and age only furthers that suspicion.  Prior to that being noticed I'd have just thought it may well wasn't their car and they didn't want to have to explain that they're not properly insured.

If they're that determined to not be recorderd there's a bloody good reason for it, and all the more reason to ensure it IS documented.

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Added fun* part 2.

One of the jobs on the list was replacing the O/S/R ABS sensor. The ABS has been faulty since I got the car, and a bit of work with the diagnostics revealed no signal from that corner, and completely open circuit. Chances are then that it’s the sensor at fault. I undid the bolt holding it in, went to ease the old sensor out, and the head of it fell off, leaving the sensor body in the hub. Hmm, there’s been previous fuckery here methinks. Next step was to drill the remnants out, which went alright until the fresh out of the box new 10mm bit snapped its tip off halfway down the hole. 

Fuck.

I then undid the hub from everything securing it, and rotated it hoping the bit would fall out - no such luck. So next step was to remove the whole hub and driveshaft, to go to the bench. 

This was the moment I realised the whole job was fucked. 

The bearings hadn’t made any noise previously but rotating the shaft revealed a distinct roughness, and then I took a closer look at the thread on the outer end of the driveshaft. It’s fucked. Again, signs of previous attention by a chimp. So back to the breakers it was for the complete driveshaft and hub assembly off the breaker that has already given up its rear subframe, exhaust and a few other bits, leaving a gaping hole:

9DB1FCC3-F8F3-4AF7-BB4C-41ED95B1315B.jpeg.dd883a75cef8c73e27a73b0c54d616fb.jpeg

I didn’t take many photos as I was trying to make progress between rain showers, but one job I did manage was assembling the new strut:

290712CC-CF3F-490C-B79B-DF3AC37AAF7D.jpeg.0ad846f69b7561ccec4b0621b520d7a3.jpeg

Last bit of progress today was to get everything loosely assembled, so the next job is to waggle and jiggle everything into shape and bolt it all back together. I can’t complete the job until Thursday as I’m awaiting a small package of parts from Walkinshaw Performance, consisting of some shiny trinkets and more importantly, a new driveshaft nut (missing on the new shaft).

Hopefully the other side (which is a straightforward strut/spring replacement) will be less of an epic.

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A small daydreaming diversion.

The other day I saw a very neatly kept VW Mk.2 Golf GTI, in full early 2000's Max Power spec - smoothed, lowered, single headlamps conversion, 18s, smoked rear lights, all the usual bits. Now as a 15/16/17 year old I consumed modified car culture for breakfast, lunch, tea and supper, it was the hot topic in my circle of friends. We daydreamed about what we'd get when we were 17, what we'd do to them (regardless of being utterly skint), how we'd get mag featured etc. Smoothed Euro cars, lairy Japanese drift monsters,  even old skool US rods and customs, we all loved it. When we hit 17/18, we all had the usual selection of crap motors though none of us went full BarryBoys with crap mods. My mate Rich did have a very tidy black E36 318i that was slightly lowered, had 18" E46 M3 reps, a twin 3" stainless slash-cut exhaust and clear rear lights, another friend had a Mk.3 Golf (lowered and loud exhaust), and I had a Mk.3 Cavalier where I didn't bother with much in the way of external mods (aside from debadging and a set of 15s) but I did make sure it had a reasonable stereo setup - a basic Sony Xplod CD head unit and amp powering JBL 6x9s and door speakers. Couldn't afford a decent sub though.

Seeing the Golf the other day got me thinking about reliving my yoof a bit, and building my dream early 2000's car. I'd probably like something like my mate's E36, or a Mk.3 Golf (because they're not stupid money like a Mk.2), something like that. Subtle OEM+ styling (I was never over keen on piling tons of fibreglass tat on), make it go, handle and stop a bit better, make the engine bay look good, sort the interior, and finally, the point of all this rambling, the ICE build I always wanted. I'm not on about some mega SPL setup with eleventymillion subs and a stack of amps, just a good quality setup with decent bass, and the cherry on top, the head unit I aspired to owning but as a skint 17 year old could never afford. Many people wanted the Pioneer unit with the leaping dolphins display, like this:

did-anybody-have-the-pixelated-dolphin-pioneer-in-their-v0-hiw4n1o2tgpb1.jpg.thumb.webp.07982786fc6bd8fa35655ac241648fa2.webp

But for me, it was all about this:

x158CDXM670DMT.jpeg.7652c9e16194ad59071b03b74927f824.jpeg

The Sony CDX M6-series flip front/mask head units, remote controlled or used with the optional steering column controls.

So yes, I'm contemplating buying and modifying a car purely so I have something worthy of fitting an old single-DIN stereo to. It won't happen quickly, but I think parts may start to accumulate. 

And now, back to wrestling rusty suspension on the Australian Immigrant.

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  • 83C changed the title to 83C's Shite-esque Fleet: Retro Musings
On 19/02/2024 at 18:37, 83C said:

I might regret typing this but so far everything is coming apart very nicely, despite most of it probably having not been touched since it left Australia in 2007 and having minimal corrosion protection. 

Yeah, about that…

The back end has been much more of a fight than the front, despite there being less work to do. The rear anti-roll bar links are ok but not ideal, so I’d left them alone rather than trying to undo them. Instead I had to undo the rear ARB mount to allow the rear lower arm to drop low enough to release the damper. Reassembly however, is very much not the reverse of removal, because the lower end of the ARB mount clips into the subframe rather than being bolted:

9643FF48-B278-4C58-B92F-8CBA4A4E6532.jpeg.ca8e0ba554aa5daf0444be9df30588ea.jpeg

To get it located and in position for the top bolt to go in, the droplink must come off.

Bollocks.

And then:

0CFC7DFF-7507-4256-A542-7724FF908BC5.jpeg.ae172dc78904786b918e2820edefd195.jpeg

Double bollocks.

So off they came with the angry grinder, and new ones are in the post because somehow I forgot to order any when I did the massive suspension bit order from Rock Auto.

The rear brake shields are well past saving but new ones are hard to get and require removal of the hub to replace them, so the worst bits have been cut off and then the edge tidied with a flap disc:

ED45A16F-AC76-4C67-AAD8-F30EAC330A67.jpeg.4ada1b804b0e93a7589b1ab3d1a1340b.jpeg

And finally, the majority of the reassembly is done this side, it just needs a droplink and a driveshaft nut.

3E96FE5A-12DC-40F7-84EE-34585D20CC26.jpeg.3b547da6390638b97d6e0e0ba78a1240.jpeg

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  • 83C changed the title to 83C's Shite-esque Fleet: VXR8 Suspension - Oh for f…

More VXR8 progress:

08519324-CB1E-415C-8D35-9EA1C9195E72.jpeg.c01cdd725232263be48533c95af495bb.jpeg

O/S/R back together (and caliper fitted after this photo). 

I’ve ordered a set of braided brake lines as the fittings on the OE ones don’t look too clever:

5940FA8D-ECB2-4B73-A24A-820AD9E54BAB.jpeg.d87218dab1ea71318a3f63cacaa9ba9a.jpeg

So, onwards to the N/S/R, and… wait a minute, what the actual fucking fuck of fuckerydoo?

0CA2D36F-F62E-45F4-9010-6D02450BD80B.jpeg.508dce3ff9b51f669f41793a33dc2e05.jpeg

There’s a rather vital piece of kit missing - the whole handbrake mechanism. This car is really beginning to try my patience with the chimpery I’ve uncovered so far. 

Handbrake cable was secured like this:

3AAC1A1C-4BDF-43C7-A9D0-F2C9AAE07037.jpeg.e3f6558b5bb286ef661900e717b0ae53.jpeg

With a hook bent around the edge of the trailing arm so the cable went taut as it should when the handbrake was applied.

Tomorrow I shall go to the breakers and collect the N/S/R hub and driveshaft that they have on the shelf from the same VXR8 that has so far donated an exhaust, subframe, headlights and O/S/R hub and driveshaft. 

Tonight you’ll find me at the top of the nearest hill howling swear words at the moon.

Deep breath…

FUUUUUUUUU…

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Finally some VXR8 progress. And a step backwards, again. 

Progress has been a bit slow due to weather and other commitments, but this morning I finally got the old N/S/R strut apart to retrieve the topmount and dust cover. More wirebrushing and flap disc action, as well as a coat of silver complete with runs means it’ll be ready tomorrow morning to reassemble with the new damper and spring:

1DE057D4-4D2C-4EE2-962D-2E785E13B550.jpeg.39c5a7dc80f6850cdcecfe212c132c02.jpeg

The rear ARB hasn’t escaped the protective paint treatment, once the old droplinks were cut off. Out came the dog dick red paint for this:

00748AD3-696D-4999-9BBB-AD63625F2CBB.jpeg.54a2d6bfedb8978cd08026d9c607aa1c.jpeg

Just the ARB clamps to clean up and that’ll be ready to go again. 

The MoT was booked for Wednesday but I’ve had to cancel it. I’m awaiting a few parts thanks to uncovering the handbrake fuckwittery so hopefully I’ll have it ready for next week instead. New handbrake cables have been ordered as the old ones are a bit grim, so I’ll have more fun* replacing them.

 

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  • 83C changed the title to 83C's Shite-esque Fleet: Things that go crunch in the night.

VXR8 - now ready for MoT. I pinned down the ABS fault to a weak wire (not fully broken) with the aid of this:

E2CB93F5-D23B-4932-8ED7-A86499260A00.jpeg.81d6e7a64c0a074bf5a30ff59ab323f3.jpeg

One of the old hubs, the spare wiring harness, a couple of spare ABS sensors and the diagnostics box plugged in and giving live data. 

All dashboard lights off, so it’s booked in to be taken to the garage on Tuesday next week for exhaust fitment, braided brake line fitment, tracking and MoT. 

The Bentley came out of hibernation too once the VXR8 had moved out of the way, needs a damn good clean but otherwise ready for test.

All these good moments can’t go unpunished of course, so last night as I got home I heard a scraping noise from under the Fabia:

9380A920-386F-47DD-8F82-CFB8BFB6E879.jpeg.fd43eb57345764eb95e137a2ee6f26f5.jpeg

Bollocks and arse.

I was supposed to be meeting @Marshall2810 to collect some alloys today but that plan has had to be shelved as I don’t even have the L322 to hand until Thursday at the earliest. If anyone is passing his way (Chesterfield/Mansfield area) and could bring a set of alloys closer to Shropshire I’d be very appreciative.

Looking again in the daylight and it hasn’t got any better:

ACAD53B5-467E-4AFF-BDAC-06703D26BB84.jpeg.8ff4c07a8db692679de126d1fd1f88b2.jpeg

That’s the fuel cooler which normally bolts to the underside of a Fabia. Except thanks to a spot of alloy on steel action, it now doesnt:

71AFF1DA-8DFD-4B20-9415-372E42F7F74C.jpeg.1c2adbfe5af0661400596ddecbec846d.jpeg

274376ED-B9F2-4569-A81A-950E83EC55B2.jpeg.9a200502adb687b12f1805327bc125ab.jpeg

So the only thing left for it is to move the Fabia to the naughty side of the driveway with the cooler secured like so:

F07BF9D4-D95F-40C5-9B45-B11689437EB9.jpeg.7755c8fb937af34b324eb3e4b2c9c621.jpeg

And get the push-iron out for the trip to work.

Bugger.

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I always have a healthy selection of bungee cords, ratchet straps and cable ties in the shed, essential parts of the toolkit.

@horriblemercedes that would be mega, I’m in no rush other than not wanting to keep @Marshall2810 waiting, the wheels are for the Fabia anyway. 

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