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Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - Cadillac Carnage


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The carnage continued today.



I got the idea yesterday night that just ramming a long screwdriver through the heater core should give me a much better grip to pull it out. To my surprise, this slightly barbaric technique actually worked!



Old vs. New



You can see where the old one leaked its coolant at the top.



The workshop manual said to reuse the old foam pads so I quickly glued them on the new heater core.



Also found this old build sheet behind the dash, unfortunately you can barely read any of it anymore.



Turns out a foam seal between the heater core casing and firewall was stopping it from sliding out as the inlet/outlet tubes of the heater core are angled at their ends, however the foam sits at the base of them and wouldn't let the ends slide through its holes. Unfortunately its not removable either which meant that installing the new part wasn't as easy as you'd expect, too. A bit of pushing (with my foot) made it slide in eventually, I just hope I didn't damage/bent the tubes when pushing it in as the whole thing is made from aluminium after all. They looked fine on the engine side though.



I reinstalled all the essentials and plugged all the electrical connectors back into the dash's wiring loom. Since I will need to refill the coolant I'll use the chance to replace the thermostat at the same time next weekend and refill the cooling system. Hopefully nothing will leak and I can reinstall the rest of the interior. I really don't wanna replace that thing a second time.


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Nice - some very inexpensive houses and land in the old East.

Indeed, compared to most places especially here in the UK housing is pretty affordable there. Usually new-builds are a little higher quality as well, at least if I compare my 2008ish built flat with those of my brother or cousin. But don't get me started on that, that would be a whole discussion for another place. :)

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Great write up on the matrix replacement :)


As I look at the interior photos I notice so many Ford family components in your Lincoln ;)


Air Vents,Door Handles,Window and seat switches and even the Steering wheel are all the same as my Mustang just in another colour.


That cabin looks a very nice place to be :)

Haha yeah, it's Ford's typical parts bin approach, however I'm not sure where these bits originally came from, the Mark VIII was build from late '92 on, maybe it is the origin?  :mrgreen:


It certainly is an interesting looking interior. The only downside is that there's no space to keep your phone, so the cupholders have to do. :mrgreen:


That looks like a horrendous task, 43/10 for fearlessness

Yeah, I've waited long enough. No heat in Spring/Autumn sucks, and it's not like I'd have an alternative. :mrgreen: And unless the new heater core leaks as well, the whole job wasn't that bad. I'm genuinely surprise how few bolts are actually holding the dash in place.

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Small update on the S8:


The previous owner told me that the power steering reservoir would empty itself over time, I've already noticed when I bought it that there was a serious leak at one of the outlet tubes of the reservoir where one of the hoses attaches to, but wasn't sure whether the hose was the problem or the reservoir was just cracked. Turns out you could just spin the hose by hand because some cheap bastard reused the old hose clamp. I cannot believe that the previous owner never figured this out. I've also noticed a zip tie on the other end of the second hose that connects to the pump, so I'm not sure what they tried to repair there before. Should be a quick and easy job though, I just hope the power steering pump isn't about to implode as its quite whiny right now. Wouldn't be surprised if the previous owner used the wrong fluid either.



Strange fluid of unknown origins:


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Alrighty, refilled the power steering reservoir today and topped up the oil. Installed a new battery since the old one somehow was completely destroyed during the previous owner's ownership.


And its alive! First time in a long time I have heard the car running, and the best news is, just refilling the power steering reservoir completely cured the noisy power steering pump! I expected it to still be audible since it might still have had some incorrect hydraulic fluid in it, or it got damaged while running on low level, but its actually whisper quiet! I will empty and refill the reservoir again just to make sure there's 100% fresh fluid in it, but I'm relieved that it won't need more than that. Didn't even cost me much apart from the fluid itself!


It also turns out that the AC is still blowing cold! Last time I checked it, it was still a bit cooler outside so it was hard to tell whether it was actually working. Now I know it does, which is a very rare occasion with my cars. :mrgreen:


However, I got reminded again that the aftermarket exhaust noise volume is pretty obnoxious, and the lack of catalytic converters probably doesn't help the exhaust smoke production :mrgreen:(that and the fact that its been parked mostly over the last couple of months). I will try to get an original exhaust for the car at one point, which isn't the easiest thing considering its exclusive to the '01 and '02 S8 (and the few sellers that might have one are to stupid to answer my mails).

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Back to the Lincoln. Since I had to partially refill the cooling system because of the new heater core, I thought I might as well change the thermostat at the same time. What sounded like a fairly easy task of course turned out to be a total pita again. The housing for it sits fairly deep down in the engine bay at the front of the engine. If you dont wanna access it from below (because no lift), your only chance to get to it is by removing the battery, powersteering reservoir and unplug all the coolant hoses (4 in total) that connect to it. Of course there's barely any space, and the coolant hoses were not gonna give up without a fight. Got it out in the end, took it apart and cleaned it as much as I could. The thermostat that's been in there still looks fine, so I'm not sure why the engine always seemed to run a bit cooler than needed. Refilled the system, now the problem I got it is that the bleeder cap on the cross-over pipe (highest point in the system) is seized solid, so I will need to figure out what to do about that next. Topped up the coolant as much as I could, and left the engine running for a short while. Looks like there are no leaks and I finally have heat inside the car again. Success!  :mrgreen: I'll reassemble the interior next and probably just get a new cap and let a garage that has better tools and more experience deal with the old one.


Thermostat housing located all the way down there.



Getting this hose off the housing was by far the biggest bs I had to go through. 22 years of grime and corrosion woohoo...



Since I haven't received my replacement front air shocks yet, the car is sitting very low in the front at the moment. To get my low profile jack underneath the car, I actually need to use another smaller jack to lift it up enough to get the proper one underneath it. Because extra work is always fun.



Thermostat housing finally freed from its confinements.



The old thermostat on the right still looks fine to me, I'm not sure if it has been replaced before but it didn't appear to be stuck.


Since it was such a pita to disconnect the hoses, I decided to replace the old springy style hose clamps with more conventional ones that would be easier to get off, should I need to again.


The bleeding cap. Pretty chewed up, no way I'll be able to get that thing off myself.



And thats it for now!

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Finally received my parts for the Lincoln and Oldsmobile today! The airride front shocks will go into my Mark VIII asap so I can finally drive that one again (no more slammed look!). The fuel pump will hopefully be the only thing keeping the Aurora from starting. I'm also collecting the Senator this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to make it back on Monday and have 3 more cars to play with. :mrgreen:



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A thing of beauty, isn't it?


Finally an update on my Senator! After abandoning it in the Italian Alps because of a burst coolant hose and having it transported back to Germany (thanks to the ADAC for not kicking me out of their club yet), I finally have it back. The whole ordeal took a few weeks, but wasn't over before everything really went to shit at the very end of it. :? 


Sorry for the long text, but I really think it is worth the read as you couldn't make up a story like this.


So I've basically booked a flight for last Friday to fly over to Germany and pick up the car from my parent's home where it was stored after getting the hose replaced. I decided against taking the usual ferry trip from Amsterdam to Newcastle (where I live) because DFDS felt like cranking up the prices by at least 100% because holidays yo. So what I did instead was doing the smart* thing and take the ferry from Dunkirk to Dover instead, which was about 900km/8 hours away from my parent's, and drive through most of England from Dover to Newcastle (580km/5.5 hours) right after.


Obviously, since doing this in a 26 year old car that I have driven for a grand total of maybe 4 days over the last 2 months before it broke down wasn't interesting enough, I thought offering people a ride on the hitchhiker app BlaBlaCar would be a good way to get some money back. And while the person that sent a request first was a very pleasant fellow (guy from Gambia living in Antwerp who's exporting cars to his home country for a living, very interesting conversations!), I quickly realized that it would become super close time wise if I wanted to arrive at the Dunkirk ferry terminal in time for the 10pm crossing.


As it turned out, after dropping the guy off, it would take me 15 minutes more from Antwerp to Dunkirk than I had, so flooring it for most of the way (as did many other British on their way there it seems) was the only solution. But that would still be too easy! It also turned out that I had exactly!! the amount of fuel in my tank to make it to the ferry terminal, and not a single kilometer further. Well, as it turns out, the range display of the 1991 Opel Senator was exceedingly accurate... Out of fear of missing the ferry, I decided against filling up the tank, and drove straight to the terminal (not without possibly being caught in a radar trap not far from the ferry...). I didn't make it for the 10pm ferry, but got rebooked for the next one 2 hours later at midnight, something I wasn’t aware was even possible.


Problem solved right? No. The car ran out of fuel literally within the border control checkpoint and wouldn't start anymore. Fun times.


So close, yet so far...


With a bit of help I managed to push it through the gate. Fortunately, in cases like this, I was able to rely on my "Plus" membership with the Gelben Engel, who would quickly send me a jerrycan of fuel to get me on my way again. Normally, the story would end here, I would fill up my tank with some sweet sweet petrol, get on the ferry to Dover in time and drive a few hours before I arrive at home. But fate was especially cruel on that day (or I was especially stupid, if the stupidity of the previous hours could be topped).


While being on the phone with the ADAC, one of the border control guards came to me, offering me his help in broken English (English definitely isn’t mandatory for border control in France it seems...). His colleague would show up in a few minutes with a canister of fuel so I could get on the ferry in time and be gone for good. I quickly told the ADAC on the other side of the line that the problem was solved, and that they wouldn't need to worry about me anymore. And indeed, just a few minutes later someone showed up, with a jerrycan full of fresh fuel, and quickly began filling it into my tank (not without pouring half of it on the ground in the process). Once done, I quickly swung myself into the driver seat of my trusty Senator (which made it there without a hitch, I should note here, before running out of fuel) to turn the key and start it up. And so I did, apart from the actual starting part. Which didn't quite work out as I had expected. The car would crank normally, but the engine wouldn't start running. Okay I thought, the fuel lines probably are bone dry and the fuel needs to reach the injectors first so lets try that again. And again, nothing. At that point I slowly started to worry. The border security guard, along with his two buddies (one of which brought me the fuel), were patiently waiting for a sign of life from the car right next to me. So let’s just try that again, this time with some pedal pumping because why not. Again, nothing but an ill-fated attempt at starting the Opel. My worries now really started to grow. Not only was the clock quickly approaching midnight, what would happen if a vital component of the Senator's 26 year old fuel system decided to bite the dust (literally) because a lack of fuel in the tank? Maybe it was just a clogged up fuel filter from any potential sediments that might have been in the tank?


The guards seemed to become a little more worried as well now. Not knowing what might cause the starting problems, they began to search for something in the engine bay (From what I understood, they were looking for some kind of auxiliary fuel pump that would help getting the fuel to the engine...? Hard to tell when you are communicating with basic vocabulary and your hands). We tried starting the car a few more times, without any real success. Realizing that the car wouldn't be running again, I decided to call back the ADAC and tell them what happened. They've sent over a tow truck which showed up about an hour later. One of the remaining guards quickly explained to the driver what happened, and the car was prepared to be loaded onto the truck. It was clear that I wouldn't go anywhere on that night, so I got in the truck and started to organize my stay at a hotel.


This is slowly becoming a tradition


On my way there, the truth was finally being revealed (again, in slightly worse broken English than before). As it turned out, the jerrycan delivered by one of the harbor terminal personnel wasn't containing petrol (at that point, it is worth noting that the Opel Senator B was only offered with petrol engines during its entire production run, one of them being my 3.0 24V). It was in fact 10 liters of Diesel that the guy filled into my car. At no point was the word Diesel mentioned in any of the conversations I had with the terminal staff (a word that has exactly the same meaning in French btw). At the very least, the guy filling the contents of the jerrycan into my car (well, half of it, the rest went onto his hands/the ground) should have noticed the nice, conveniently placed sticker right on the inside of the gas cap only centimeters from his face, stating what type of fuel is supposed to be used in this type of automobile. "95/98" should be enough information for pretty much anyone on the planet to figure it out. But by then it was too late, and the fuel system of the Opel was filled with Diesel. In hindsight, I really should have confirmed first that the fuel he brought me wasn’t Diesel, but you are always smarter afterwards. Fortunately, this meant that there was at least the possibility of getting back on the road again, as pumping the Diesel out of the tank and filling it with petrol would be all that's needed in most such cases. And while we stopped at the next petrol station to at least make an attempt, we couldn't really proceed as French petrol station now mostly seem to be entirely automated, which means you can only pay by card.


This wouldn't be a problem if my German EC card wasn't being rejected by the French fuel pump. At no time in my life have I ever had any trouble of not being able to pay with this card in a foreign country. But on this night, at this petrol station, it would be simply rejected and not work. This basically solidified my fate, I would need to stay in Dunkirk until my car was hopefully fixed on the next day. I was dropped of at a pretty questionable hotel between a motorway and retail park at 2am in the morning. After a few moments of psychological terror from fear of not being able to pay for the room with my German EC card (it worked perfectly fine...), I got my room and went to bed. Maybe I should also mention that I was expected to show up at work at 10 in the UK on the next morning...


My humble accommodation for the night


The next morning, I called both the Garage that would fix my car and the ADAC to figure out what to do next (thank god roaming costs for mobile plans in the EU were abandoned in June...). The mechanic would look at the car trying to figure out what to do next, and I would later get a call telling me whether they were successful or not. Of course I would not hear back from them before I had to check out of the hotel, so I spent roughly 5 hours in the run down mall next door (with only a single working toilette), trying to come up with a plan how to get from Dunkirk back into the UK without having a car. At that point, I was fairly sure that the car would not be fixed by simply replacing the fuel in the tank. After several attempts of starting the engine, the combustion chambers must have been flooded with Diesel, and I cannot imagine the filter or injectors not being completely clogged up by the time the car was towed out of the terminal.


Well, as it turned out, the garage did manage to get the car running again! God was I glad to hear this! I would be able to drive the car back to the UK and not have to abandon it again in another country, without a plan for how to get it and the parts for my other cars inside where they needed to be, or myself back to work. I quickly went back to the hotel I stayed in the night before, asked them to order a taxi for me, and got to the garage as fast as I could (as I only got the confirmation after 5pm, and the garage closed at 6 - but hey, 2 hour lunch breaks on every weekday, why not?...)


The Senator finally ready to escape from Dunkirk


I picked up the car (still stuttering noticeably under 2000rpm) and got back to the ferry terminal where I quickly bought another ticket which of course was almost twice as expensive as my previous one as it was booked on the day of traveling. Nothing quite like ripping people in need off wherever you can.


Made on the ferry after only failing once!


I got on the ferry by 8pm, arrived in Dover at 9pm (local time), drove to the next petrol station to fill up the tank, and got on my way back to Newcastle. Since I didn't sleep much on the night before, I was pretty tired and decided to stay at a Cambridge service station and take a 2.5 hour nap (free parking only for 3 hours). I got up at about 2.45pm and drove 225 miles back to Newcastle where I arrived at 6.30am in the morning. Surprisingly, I felt less tired as soon as the sun came up, otherwise I would have needed to make another stop and have another short nap before finishing my highly disturbing road trip.


The Senator finally arriving at the sanctuary


And that was it! Easy, wasn't it? I didn't wanna go into much more details about various other problems I had encountered during this odyssey as the post is filling several books already. But I thought it would be worth sharing my experiences over the last couple of days. Interestingly enough, through all this crap, the Senator never showed a sign of weakness (even after being run out of petrol and filled up with Diesel...). At least, this story proves that old cheap cars can be reliable transportation if you don't make borderline retarded decisions, and that it's not worth rushing to catch an appointment as you risk a lot more than being too late for a ferry (or whatever you are rushing to).


I used this trip to transport back the parts that I need to bring the Lincoln back on the road, and hopefully fix up the Aurora enough to make it mobile again. As always, I will keep this thread updated with the latest developments. Thanks for reading!

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That is tough but good on you for perseverance.   I won't like that post but always interested in automotive misadventures so thanks for posting.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

So somehow the Audi has fixed itself! When I bought it a while ago the seller told me the car wouldn't make it above 30mph because of it being in failsafe mode, something I later confirmed. I reinstalled the battery today after it was drained over the last 3 weeks, and suddenly the car drives like normal again (and its one seriously fast car I realized). I couldn't hear or feel anything at all that would indicate that there is an issue with the gearbox. The problem that could cause failsafe mode to be triggered might reappear after longer trips, and I will need to get the codes read at one point (anyone in the Newcastle area who could do that on a 2002 S8 in exchange for a few beverages? :-) ). But right now I am really happy that I can test drive the car at higher than inner city speeds to figure out what else it might need.

I have a mate that works for a indi German car specialist on a weekend in South Shields,he may be able to read the codes. Saturday afternoon only,garage work in the morning own jobs on the afternoon.Let me know if any good to you.

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I have a mate that works for a indi German car specialist on a weekend in South Shields,he may be able to read the codes. Saturday afternoon only,garage work in the morning own jobs on the afternoon.Let me know if any good to you.

That would be great. The problem is that the car is not MOT'd yet, I would need to get the codes read first to know what needs doing. I'd love to get the car over to him, but he might need to come over here to Gateshead (I'm happy to drive him as well!).

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Ah, I know this place, a mate recommended them a while ago, I wanted to bring my BMW there but it was just a little too far away. Please ask him, even if he can't help with the Audi, I'd love him to have a look over the Bimmer at one point maybe (that I can actually drive there).


In other news, my Mark VIII is finally fixed!! I've replace the front drivers side air shock today which was a major pita (partly due to me not realizing I could lift it out a certain way without removing any control arms). I took it for a drive and it has that incredibly smooth ride that I haven't experienced in a long time again. It will probably need tracking sorted out at one point, and I am still waiting for a new bleeder cap for the cooling system. But it's pretty much done now, and I cannot wait to drive it again (for the rest of the season anyway).



Dirty but finally riding at the right height again.

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In other other news, some dickhead actually drove into the Senator while it was parked yesterday night and damaged the frontbumper (further), it was a silver B6 Passat taxi/uber but I couldn't read the plate fast enough before he took off. I have little hope but maybe police will be able to check the CCTV on the junction just outside the exit of the estate and find him. Would be great to have someone pay for a replacement bumper as that was on the list anyway.



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Ah, I know this place, a mate recommended them a while ago, I wanted to bring my BMW there but it was just a little too far away. Please ask him, even if he can't help with the Audi, I'd love him to have a look over the Bimmer at one point maybe (that I can actually drive there).



I called in today,as i was over that way.He will look at it but you would need to take the car to them.The diagnostic equipment can't be removed from the garage.You could book the Audi in for a MOT there and drive it over.

Let me know i'll get the BMW looked at,he will be there late next Saturday.

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It has finally happened! After looking for a suitable car for a little while, I have finally found a V6 Phase1 Renault Safrane, this example being being a late 1993 I believe. At this point I want to thank the Ebay tat thread in which someone posted a screenshot of the original ad on facebook about half a month ago, I would never have found it otherwise.


The car is located in south Wales, so I actually haven't had the chance to see the car before buying it. At the low low price of £300, it was very hard to resist though. A very big thanks to Mr. Squirrel2 who was willing to help me with the purchasing procedure and taking these great photos for the post, and for the patience that was needed to get the car transported to his yard a few minutes down the road where it is now safely resting until I can arrange transport back to Newcastle.




The car itself is in decent condition (for the price), apparently without rust or any major damage apart from a dent in one of the doors and a scrape on the front bumper. For some reason, the seller seems to have decided to keep the indicator lenses for himself. :?




Mechanically, there are a few things that will need attention, the most important one being the electric fans not coming on when they are needed (causing the engine to get hot). I was told a ball joint will need replacing, the ABS system might need a new sensor, there seems to be a minor leak coming from a washer of the refurbished power steering pump, and who knows what surprises the Renault-designed 4-speed automatic gearbox will hold :mrgreen:




The good thing is, apart from leather and a sunroof, this example of fine French engineering seems to be pretty loaded! I didn't even know it had electric memory seats before Mr. Squirrel mentioned it to me! :mrgreen: And just look at the technological marvel that is this car phone!




Even came with the official books!




All in all, I'm quite happy with how it looks in the pictures, cannot wait to see it person. :mrgreen:

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Right,now I,ve stopped working on my V6 I can enjoy looking at yours!

So just to start with a few facts,when the Safrane was U.K launched on the 5th Feb 1993 you could only get the V6 RXE version,but Renault decided to release the lower spec V6 RT in March 93 as listed in the April 93 sales brochure,the car wasn,t a success same as the RXE and only lasted around a year until it got axed.It cost around £23,000 in 93 compared with the RXE price of around £28,000 with options.

Your car has a sunroof!

Your car appears to have had the options list ticked what with metallic paint,climate control and electric/heated seats it certainly has a few goodies fitted also has a heated windscreen,all I,am not sure is if it has the double DIN 80w stereo as the flap is closed in all the pics I have of the car.

I can help with your parts I think but you need to draw up a list of what you need and I can go on a Safrane V6 parts hunt in my storage in one go.

It was supplied by Roundabout garages who had branches in Chelsea and Chiswick,and its nice to see it has its window sticker and plates still attached.

The MOT history makes very easy reading aswell with no issues noted which is great,look forward to updates on this and feel it should have a thread of its own really,well saved.

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The dealer sticker is that of 'Roundabout Garage Neyland' (and the number plates bear their name too). This is now a Nissan dealership locally and presumably they sold this car used as it does not carry a locally (Pembrokeshire) issued registration mark.


It is in amazing condition for twenty-four years old with clean paintwork and upholstery (no nasty smells either!) - probably spent a lot of time garaged out of the sun and weather.


Well-worth saving and preserving!



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