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35th time lucky: Sod's law


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10 hours ago, cort16 said:

....you  used to be able to pick up those turbine wheels and tyres for 80 quid a set as no one wanted them.

Quite a few sets of those ended up on E24s as a stop-gap measure when the metrics were due for replacement......

Weird thing with E39 wheels of any type is that the hub diameter is something like 74.1mm, compared with other BMWs which were 72.4mm or so. You can fit E39 wheels to other BMWs (offsets permitting) with the help of hubcentric converter rings, but not the other way round. I ran on E39 Style 31s in winter, with hub rings:

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3 hours ago, barrett said:

MoT cost a bit more than £50 (needed some headlamp adjustment and a bulb) so current total is £255.53. Winning?

I'd say so, considering it cost me over £300 to get the free Fiesta through a test...was worth it though.

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5 hours ago, barrett said:

Also went to check on Pal progress this morning. They reckon the buffing will be finished this week, and then paint next week!

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Almost seems a shame to paint over that...

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13 hours ago, colino said:

If both rears are wearing, probably time to replace the ball joints. Can't remember what they're called, but dial your chassis number into real oem for hours of fun. 

Rear rose bush, just replaced mine recently. You'll definitely need the removal tool to get them out and back in again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can't tax the BMW until I get a new V5, so I still haven't really driven it but my one journey so far was pretty good tbh. I'm not sure it's a keeper, but I appreciated the effortlessness of it all so I'm sure I'll enjoy blezzing round in it for a bit.

It's quite frustrating having a new toy and not being able to play with it, though. Luckily, I have a plan - I've booked an MoT for this thing on monday!

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What a little beauty, eh?

Long story short - I picked this up on behalf of the Brammzmeister last year during the first lockdown (I think, I lose track of time easily) and I made some pretty bold promises about putting a test on it for him, which I then really didn't have the time or energy to do. After a while, he basically gave it to me because he's a lovely young man. So in the odd spare hour I've been getting it into shape for (I hope) a pass. Just fitted a set of wheels with nearly-new Firestones to replace all the cracked rubber, and lots of other little bits and bobs. I'm hoping this will scratch my 'I wanna new carrrrr' itch. I do have some cosmetic plans for it, but if it passes a test I will introduce it properly and just drive it for a bit I reckon.

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  • barrett changed the title to 32nd time lucky: small gold shed
  • barrett changed the title to 33rd time lucky: small gold shed has a ticket!

Okay, a proper introduction to the second-newest member of the fleet. Sam bought this thing ages ago and it was local to me so I collected it and stashed it on my drive. Eventually, he offered it to me for a knock-down price which I couldn't refuse. The last MoT fail was pretty minor stuff, so I figured it would be an easy little project. First I needed a new battery as the one on the car was goosed, but even then it wouldn't start. There didn't seem to be any fuel getting to the carb so I luzzed the lift pump off, gave it a good squeeze to blow out any gunk and put it back on which seemed to do the trick. A nice easy fix! Then I noticed the tyres all looked pretty terrible, but I spotted a set of wheels, tyres and hubcaps in Brighton for £100. The tyres are virtually new Firestones, the guy just put GTi pepperpots on his car and these were taking up space. So that was an easy fix, although I don't have the correct wheel nuts to hold the hubcaps on - I actually quite like how it looks on these basic early steels so I can live with that for the time being. I have a set of XS steels to go on, but they need a refurb and new tyres so that won't be for a while yet.

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It turned out to need quite a bit of brake work for a ticket, which I was a bit miffed about because if I hadn't let it sit for so long I'm sure it would have been fine. Anyway, I took a deep breath and paid up for the garage to just do everything it needed but I wasn't feeling great about it this morning. Then I drove up to the office, and then back again this evening and FUCKING HELL it's well worth it! What a brilliant little car. I've never driven a 205 before so wasn't really sure what to expect, but I'm absolutely converted. A revvy little engine, mega-sharp steering and perfectly balanced handling - I honestly can't think of anything better. It's the same engine in my red BX, but in the little 205 it's so much more spritely and willing and the car begs to be thrashed. I was taking it easy this morning, just getting a feel for the car, but on my way back I went on a massive detour down the lanes because I was having so much fun. I don't know where the limits are, but I know I wasn't anywhere close to finding them.

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Honestly, there were so many picturesque spots I could have chosen to pull over and take some photos, but I was having so much fun I didn't want to stop. These are a bit blurry because the sun was setting by the time I actualy stopped. I can definitely feel the advisories for the steering when turning the wheel at certain angles, so god knows how tight this will be with new track rods and shiz. Honestly, it's fucking brilliant to drive.

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It does get a bit squiffy at the front, sadly. It's had a knock or two and both wings are dented, the bumper is completely fucked and everything is sitting at a slightly odd angle. I have a new bumper ready to fit but I'm not sure there's much point until I can replace the wings. This morning I was definitely in two minds about whether I'd even bother, but apart from this it's such a tidy little car I'm convinced it's worth getting sorted out properly. If somebody buys by BX I'll probably splash out and get a body shop to go to town on this. For now, I'll enjoy the BROWN interior and continue thrashing the life out of it. I need a stereo/speaker upgrade asap though, if anyone has any tips.

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Verdict: 205 is good car. 205 will be thrashed. 205 will be enjoyed.

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I'd never driven a 205 until I accidentally* bought mine a couple of years ago but I had read good things about them. Even with a 1.1 'suitcase' engine and 50hp it's still fun throwing it down a twisty A or B road although with only 4 speeds it does get a bit noisy at speed.

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If i want a similar experience with 5 speeds I just take the Saxo out.  

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Slightly out of order, time-wise, but in entirely uncharacteristic fashion I decided to give the underbonnet area a cursory clean (!)

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I even did the inside of the bonnet! It's not Pebble Beach standard but it's much better than it was

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I've also sourced a good n/os passenger wing to replce the crinkled original, and have found but not yet bought a driver's side wing too

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Today it rewarded me with the driver's window winder deciding it didn't want to wind any more. Little bitch!

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When you're looking for the limits, if you go past the lift off oversteer, you've gone just a bit too far.  What a little gem that looks to be now you've scrubbed it up a bit.  One of the best proportioned four door small hatchbacks ever made really.

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Since selling the Sceptre and then failing to buy a Standard Ensign, I have seriously been pining for some grey porridge in my life. Possibly this is just a general need to be driving an old car, which I've not done for ages. The R16 has been off the road for like a year (starter gave out and I can't move the thing to get it to a garage) and my only working old cars are Vintage, and not really suitable for just blezzing about in every day. I just want the option of getting in something obsolete to potter to work or the shops or whatever.

So, I've been looking at this thing at least four times a day since I spotted it on ebay

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194128142566

I just like the combination of the nice old reg number and the general shabbiness of it. Just looks like An Car rather than a show piece, and these things always look better with a bit of wear and tear I reckon. It's an A50, so it has the 1500cc B-series, but an earlyish one with the 'short boot' which I genuinely think is a really pretty bit of vernacular design. I love the little vestigial fins and the circular rear lamps. I fuggin' want it!

Now, I know it'll be rubbish, I've driven a wide enough variety of old cars of all ages to know that this is gonna be a pretty miserable old lump, but I don't care. Obviously it needs those nasty little radials sacking off for some proper tyres, but that should be easy to sort with zero money spent (I know a guy, so I never pay for tyres). Bodily it looks okay, and the main selling point is the brakes have all been done as that's something I really don't wanna get involved in as it never goes well for me. Bloke says it needs the tank cleaned out, and I'd probably just fit new fuel lines too, which is just about within my capabilities. If it's not rotten underneath it's probably not outrageously priced, although more than I'd be willing to pay. My main worry is that nasty fucking wiring underbonnet. It just looks like the sort of thing that's gonna develop a load of mysterious maladies that can't be traced or solved and I'm pleased to say I've not had, or needed, breakdown cover for two years now and I really don't want to have to start relying on the fucking AA to get me home everytime this thing fizzles out on the side of a motorway in the middle of the night.

It's like a four-hour round trip to go and see it, though. I'm not exactly well-off, but I can take some money out of my savings and then pay it back at £100 p/m and - in my twisted melon - that's just like having a free car. Better than borrowing from the bank, right, with 0% interest and no hassle if I miss a payment?

So what's the Autoshite hive mind opinion? I don't want to get a reputation as somebody who buys cars, half-fixes them and then flogs them on for no reason which I'm definitely in danger of doing thanks to my last two old British cars which were bought in similar fugue states of unconditional longing. But I also really want it. HALP

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  • barrett changed the title to 33rd time lucky: should I buy this shitheap?
  • barrett changed the title to 35th time lucky: Sod's law

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