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Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - Z3 Returnz


Schaefft

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1 hour ago, DVee8 said:

Reading an old copy of Modern Classics.

I turned apon 

 

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Nice, I still got my copy as well. This came to be after an editor asked about anyone owning interesting classics they wanted to get featured in the BMW E39 FB owners group iirc. It took them a few months to publish it, its quite a condensed version of the email I sent originally. Also I dont know why but they completely made up my dreamcar lol.

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Anyway, the Audi A8 of many shiters has now gone to live with @Split_Pin, thanks again for the easy sale! Naturally I only found out today that it was actually financially completely unnecessary for me to sell this car but I've at least shown some goodwill towards my gf and her parents🤷‍♂️ The BMW Z3 has taken its space in my multicar policy so hopefully I can get it out on sunny, salt-free roads soon!

As mentioned above the NEC happened this weekend and I've been there with two mates who haven't been before this year. It was a good show, still a little smaller than pre-Covid but great nevertheless. The ticket prices are rather high though and charging £17.50 for parking for a few hours on top is insane, especially if you have to walk 15mins to get anywhere. Naturally my favorite car of the show was this first generation Mercury Sable thats been living in the UK since 1992. Of course someone had to turn into into a copcar replica at some point, it was still great to see a Sable in person, I don't think I ever have such an early one!

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To get to the NEC the 540i needed a bit of work. As mentioned further above in typical BMW manner it snapped a spring and destroyed a droplink the weekend before, so those needed to get sorted in the short moments of sunlight after work during the week:

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Using everyone's favorite, the dodgy spring compressors, I managed to get it all reassembled, only to realized that I wouldnt be able to get the compressors off the moment the strut would go in the car.

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So out it all came again, spring compressors released and reinstalled the other way around (none of which was easy), only to now see that the strut wouldn't fit underneath the car without losening the lower control arm.

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That fortunately did the trick and revealed that the bushing of one of them must be so knackered that there was very little restriction at all lowering the strut assembly to get it in. Thats of course not good and another thing that needs sorting eventually.

For some reason the ABS sensor managed to remove itself, quite mind boggling considering its held in by a bolt and is usually seized inside the hole it resides in. The bolt decided to just snap at one point so the sensor was just dangling there.

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A bit of superglue made sure that its not going anywhere anytime soon, but only after reseating the sensor a second time as it immediately triggered an ABS light the first time around. Extracting that snapped bolt will be a job for another time.

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All back together, everything seems to work fine. As always, tighten up the control arm bolts with the car on the ground and loaded to avoid tearing up your bushings. This is the sparewheel that came with the car, which happens to be the same wheel design my Z3 was equipped with from new. I'm planning to keep this car as unassuming and stock as a non-sport pre-facelift E39 can look (pre-fl headlights with gingercators coming soon) but this design of alloys is currently at the top of my list for the Touring.

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Which was quickly put into use to deliver the '64 Tbird trunklid I picked up for a mate in Berlin over Christmas. He ended up strapping it to the roof of his Peugeot 106 (only passed its MOT a day before after he had to replace both of his inner front wheel arches) and transported it that way all the way from Shepshed near Loughborough to Norfolk, an easy 140 miles.

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Since I couldn't return to Newcastle empty handed after the NEC I toured pretty much the entirety of the Midlands to pick up a replacement E39 Touring tailgate (wouldn't recommend transporting one with 3 people inside the car) and a replacement rear bumper for the E38 later, something I've been searching for in the right color for ages.

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As you can see, it all fits, just about. Even with this being a fast V8 estate its still earning its keep being a practical parts and scrap hauler. I left around 7am in the morning and got back at midnight, certainly put a few hundred occasionally pretty rough miles on it on that day.

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I didn't have time on the day but had a look into the factory toolkit of the new tailgate yesterday, only to find the fabled original BMW branded blue polishing cloth still in its place. Naturally these are usually long gone and impossible to find nowadays, especially with the logo still in place, making this a very rare and desireable accessory for many BMW botherers. Considering the going rate for them in Germany this made my day as it paid for half the price I paid for the thing. The rest of the toolkit is in excellent shape and worth decent money, too.

To thank the car for its services it finally received a (used) replacement oem drivers mat, have the mandatory before and after for cleaning them for the first time:

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Could have another go but considering this car is used regularly this should be ok for now. I've also got replacement sill/kickplates for it but didnt take any photos of that. The car will continue to receive regular action but with a house purchased soon locked in I need to get all the broken Mercedeses back on the road soon, more on those soon!

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  • Schaefft changed the title to Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - A8 gone, 540i Update

Almost forgot to post this one, the only moment I had both of them parked next to each other. You'd think that two similar age, segment and origin cars would offer the same ownership experience. In reality these two cars have very different personalities thanks to their design inside and out and driving characteristics.

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Hopefully the much larger drive of the new house will allow me to do these kind of side by side comparisons more often.

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Sorry you didn't need to sell the A8 in the end, you did seem quite sad to see it go yesterday 😕

Rest assured it has gone to a good home. It has been a dream car of mine since the D3 was launched. 

I did a circuit of the nearby streets before meeting you yesterday to warm up (wearing shorts was a bad idea) and I took a tour of your fine collection! 

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1 minute ago, Split_Pin said:

Sorry you didn't need to sell the A8 in the end, you did seem quite sad to see it go yesterday 😕

Rest assured it has gone to a good home. It has been a dream car of mine since the D3 was launched. 

I did a circuit of the nearby streets before meeting you yesterday to warm up (wearing shorts was a bad idea) and I took a tour of your fine collection! 

Knowing its not out of reach certainly makes a difference, hence the decent shiter discounts people usually get on here. I'd definitely have it back in a few months when all the hassle is over!

And well, now that winter is over I can hopefully find the time to properly clean and drive all of them again. 5 months of barely seeing a bucket of water makes the neighborhood look a kinda run down now😂

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First real big trip for the Celsior tomorrow.

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I literally just came back from Birmingham last weekend to pick up some parts for the E38 and E39. Naturally someone posted an LS400 they are breaking on FB just a few days later and it's got both the exterior and interior color of my Celsior, which is a very rare thing to happen nowadays really. And it's in... Birmingham!

I'll probably buy the front seats and rear bumper, plus possibly the bonnet if they are in decent shape. Its impossible to tell from the photos.

Coincidentally I also got a message from Scaryoldcortina yesterday that someone has an abandoned Toyota Celsior (!) they are looking to get offers on, in Gateshead of all places! So naturally I headed over there after work yesterday to have a look.

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Unfortunately it's not in the right colors and too far gone to ever look decent again. It blows my mind that of the handful of 1st gen Celsiors that must be left in this country one is just rotting away minutes from my house. It could be a decent parts donor for some Celsior specific bits but I don't need all that much from a pre-fl car either. Would have been an easy decision if it had the right colors.

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Should anyone be interested in a very rough example of a very cool rare car let me know. The odometer only shows 140k km (definitely more accurate than mine) and being a high spec it comes with the Japanese market electronic suspension (not air suspension) as well. Might even still work!

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  • Schaefft changed the title to Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - Celsior (Parts) Collection
49 minutes ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Good luck on the trip!

Seeing yours looking so good is giving me the enthusiasm I need to persevere with mine! Just hope it gets through next week's MoT OK....

Are they Mk4 wheels on yours?

It looks much better in the photos but hopefully I can fix a few of it's cosmetic flaws with some of the parts I'll get today.

And yes, I got them for free after buying them with a stash of other parts. Even the tires were in good shape. I think they suit it well, just need one more wheel to replace the one that has the paint flaking off of it.

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And we are back! 500 miles and the Celsior took it like a champ! Check engine light now comes on randomly so I'll have to blink out the codes to see what's up. Aside from that it drives very well, with a few known electrical issues and a brake service left to sort out.

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The rear bumper wasn't any better than mine so this will need to stay on for now. I took the bonnet though, it'll probably need painting as well but isn't dented and might clean up alright. With both cars having received plenty of poor paintwork before I think getting a perfect match is impossible without an entire respray, something we noticed only after swapping them. The seats look great though and should be a major improvement to mine. I definitely made the most out of the space the car offered 😂 

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Plenty of other small bits in the boot that will hopefully make a difference when I get a chance to fit them, it's crazy how many parts aren't interchangeable between similar year cars despite them looking identical at a first glance. I'll probably end up getting my mirror from Japan...

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Good news! Fairly expected ones to be fair. The ULEZ refugee E38 passed another MOT, same advisories as before and 222 miles later, 6 miles more than the year before... With so many other cars around it doesn't see all that much action, the only long trip its done last year was taking family to Cragside in Summer and it's not seeing the roads outside the estate at all during the salty season (which is basically half a year now it seems). A quick trip into town to have some Chinese dinner (it was great) was enough to confirm everything is still spot on.

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Why do these look so goooood?! I might replace the rear lower control arms eventually to get those two points off the advisory list, no clue where they still found a seeping powersteering hose. With the replacement rear bumper and plenty of other parts for preventative maintanance and cosmetics in the boot I'm hoping to have another wave of improvements done on it over the next few months.

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Some disappointing news on the house side. It was all pretty much set in stone, we were only waiting for a bank statement that would proof we had the deposit in place for the estate agent to agree on the sale. Well, for whatever inexplicable reason my better half and her dad thought it would be a wise idea to have this sent via Post when they sorted it (I thought its easier to just have it all in a single account, hers), before a bank holiday weekend. Naturally the expected happened, Royal mail fucked up and didn't deliver, viewings happened on the long weekend, the previously motivated seller got a significantly better offer and we are out. I intervened and told gf/father in law to call the bank asap when the letter still wasn't here on Tuesday, we promptly got an email copy instead but even that would have cost us tens of thousands (!) of pounds in the end. Just another lesson to be learned, if something is important sort it yourself and never ever rely on anybody else. In 99 out of 100 cases people simply don't think or will fuck it up. Unfortunately a lesson I learn over and over and over again.

I don't think we'll get the opportunity we had there again but maybe the next one will at least offer a little more garage space. I also have more time to revive the other cars that will need to move eventually, so there's that...

Anyway, after picking up the parts for the Celsior last week I managed to make a little progress. I tried to clean the new bonnet but the dirt is so deeply ingrained that I'll have to get the polisher out next. I've also transferred the dual washer pipes exclusive to the Celsior over to the new bonnet, I still don't know why Toyota decided to go with two different setups for something as simple as washer pipes. Many different clips that were previously missing are back on the car and I finally managed to have a look at the lazy blower motor (yes it's somewhere behind all that wiring):

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Fortunately there's just enough space to undo 3 bolts and drop it out from the bottom. At first I thought the transistor controlling the motor (there's also a separate more common resistor) at high speeds would be at fault so I rigged up its replacement. It became increasingly clear that it cannot be the source of the somewhat erratic motor speed though, especially when the motor works differently well depending on its position.

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In the end I think the carbon brushes are just worn out, another indicator that the car will have significantly more miles than indicated. I tried to clean it all with brake cleaner and made an attempt at greasing the bearings. It's not seized up (like the W140 blower motor was) or fouling against anything so it can only really be the contact points of the carbon brushes being close to gone. I can press up on the motor shaft when it's installed and it suddenly goes twice as fast. It just doesn't get the voltage it needs anymore.

Anyhow, another drive into the countryside yesterday. Despite the remaining jobs it really is a great driver now. Here it is assuming it's Street Fighter position:

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Almost. Hopefully a replacement blower motor will sort the airflow, I'll have to reach out to the local old school auto electrician to diagnose the radio and I might have a go at raising the coilovers in the back. Maybe even the A/C system could hold some pressure?

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In the right lighting you could almost forget about it's cosmetic flaws, with some paint this could be a great looking car from any distance!

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All I can say is the missus and I lost out on our ‘ideal’ home a few years ago which changed our plans and now sees us in a house we are far far happier about.  It’ll all work out in the end (like missing out on the ideal bargain motor, another one always comes along). Incidentally when we sold our house (to a pal as it turned out) the move was set for the Tuesday and we got it moved on the Friday; they declined the £60 quid fee for the faster payment and we had to wait three extra days. For sixty fucking quid.

And that Celsior is 🔥

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1 hour ago, loserone said:

oh man, I'm sorry to hear about being gazumped.  Hope it's not cost too much so far and that you find somewhere with an attached garage / forecourt etc.

 

59 minutes ago, Dabooka said:

All I can say is the missus and I lost out on our ‘ideal’ home a few years ago which changed our plans and now sees us in a house we are far far happier about.  It’ll all work out in the end (like missing out on the ideal bargain motor, another one always comes along). Incidentally when we sold our house (to a pal as it turned out) the move was set fore the Tuesday and we got it moved on the Friday; they declined the £60 quid fee for the faster payment and we had to wait three extra days. For sixty fucking quid.

And that Celsior is 🔥

Thanks guys, I'm hoping for the next one to come around eventually. The letter hasn't arrived to this day, very unusual for Royal Mail but maybe a sign why it wasn't meant to be. It's a huge bummer right now but might be for the better long term as long as we aren't overpaying for whatever comes next. Thats not easy in this market despite everything currently going on.

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That's awful @Schaefft, but as you said there are other houses with differing potential despite the weird market.

This place has been up for a couple of months now. Nice wee bungalow, Ulgham ('Uffim' if you aren't local) is a great little village about 3 miles from the a1 just north of Morpeth, big parcel of land as well. 

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/66750133/

The map is wrong on the listing, it's actually the house in the middle here:

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So that paddock has access from the lane behind, huge potential for a nice workshop and plenty of parking. 

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7 hours ago, yes oui si said:

That's awful @Schaefft, but as you said there are other houses with differing potential despite the weird market.

This place has been up for a couple of months now. Nice wee bungalow, Ulgham ('Uffim' if you aren't local) is a great little village about 3 miles from the a1 just north of Morpeth, big parcel of land as well. 

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/66750133/

The map is wrong on the listing, it's actually the house in the middle here:

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So that paddock has access from the lane behind, huge potential for a nice workshop and plenty of parking. 

That's actually not too far from a house in Longhirst we were looking at in July last year. That was the only other place where I felt like you were getting a decent house, outside space and location for a fair asking price. Naturally people went mental and outbid each other so far beyond the original asking price that we gave up eventually. On a house that probably needed 50k of renovations soon. There's still too many people with too much money to burn and overpay. If I compare prices of what is supposed to be one of the cheapest areas of the country with those of other comparable houses anywhere around the world I'm just shaking my head. We are quickly approaching 700-800k USD and this is not London, Tokyo or Toronto. The value just isn't there.

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10 minutes ago, Schaefft said:

That's actually not too far from a house in Longhirst we were looking at in July last year. That was the only other place where I felt like you were getting a decent house, outside space and location for a fair asking price. Naturally people went mental and outbid each other so far beyond the original asking price that we gave up eventually. On a house that probably needed 50k of renovations soon. There's still too many people with too much money to burn and overpay. If I compare prices of what is supposed to be one of the cheapest areas of the country with those of other comparable houses anywhere around the world I'm just shaking my head. We are quickly approaching 700-800k USD and this is not London, Tokyo or Toronto. The value just isn't there.

Anything commutable to Newcastle is ridiculous money unfortunately 😕

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A bit further afield but I don't think gazumping is possible with the way things work in Scotland? 

My friend Michael stayed in the Borders for a while before moving to Wooler and its lovely there. I don't know what prices are like though and that might all be too far away anyway.

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5 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

A bit further afield but I don't think gazumping is possible with the way things work in Scotland? 

My friend Michael stayed in the Borders for a while before moving to Wooler and its lovely there. I don't know what prices are like though and that might all be too far away anyway.

Does he like banjos? 

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8 hours ago, yes oui si said:

Anything commutable to Newcastle is ridiculous money unfortunately 😕

Ahem.  

 

I'm staying quiet.  As Paddy MacAloon says, county Durham is horrible, don't visit, don't move here.

 

(Unless you're having kids, the schools could do with the numbers)

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9 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

A bit further afield but I don't think gazumping is possible with the way things work in Scotland? 

My friend Michael stayed in the Borders for a while before moving to Wooler and its lovely there. I don't know what prices are like though and that might all be too far away anyway.

Borders is just a little too remote although prices are a little more sensible there for sure! Don't really wanna live across the border either since income tax would go up significantly with the slightly different tax bands.

Took the Celsior to Alnwick today. Leaving the car park an elderly man approached me, he seemed quite happy to see the car. Waiting at the exit he came over to my window, quite enthusiastically claiming that I drive one of the best built cars to have ever existed. Hearing this of course made my day, it's not a given that the Celsior/LS400 is being recognized by anybody really, especially someone who would have any kind of real enthusiasm for it. I've let him know that the car only recently returned to the road after over 10 years which seemed to make his day in return. He quickly mentioned that his dad once bought a Bentley when he was 35 and continued to own it for 30 years. I sure hope he didn't confuse mine with one!😂

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I had the chance to blink out the CEL codes as well. Results are both upstream o2 sensors and knock sensor #2... O2 sensors wouldn't surprise meas they are probably ancient, however the knock sensors were replaced when I changed the starter and I really don't want to take that intake manifold off again only to find it's perfectly fine. The real trouble is that some people got O2 sensor codes due to faulty ECU capacitors as well. I had mine already replaced but there's no guarantee that it all just worked. With the CEL light coming on relatively randomly, although usually under hard acceleration (it's usually gone when the ignition is turned off but can come back relatively quickly sometimes), it's not all that easy to find out what exactly could trigger it either. I've replaced the MAF just to see if it makes any difference at all and will try to read the resistance of the o2 sensors when I get a chance. That still leaves the knock sensor code though. The engine runs perfectly and I'm using E5 so I don't think there's actually a problem, it's more likely the non-OEM sensor is junk. Good thing I kept the originals, bad thing I'd only know if things are good or bad with everything reassembled...

I also started working on the bonnet paint after getting back home. With so many scratches on it it needs some serious wet sanding. Fortunately the ingrained dirt comes off very easily as a side effect. Here's what it looked like before:

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I took some 600 grid and worked the worst scratches by hand. I need some new 1500/3000 grid sanding pads for my DA polisher though so this is what the bonnet will look like for a few days 😂

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On 07/04/2024 at 13:01, Split_Pin said:

A bit further afield but I don't think gazumping is possible with the way things work in Scotland? 

I was gazumped in Scotland a few weeks before the agreed move in date and after we had signed the missives for selling our old place. Came close to leaving us homeless. 

It's shit but something @Schaefft and Mrs Schaefft loves will come along eventually. £50k's worth of work to get the gaff up to scratch sounds like a headache nicely avoided.

Cracking read catching up on your fleet Schaefft.  Celsior/LS400s seem to attract a lot of retired Alan Partridge types who talk bollocks. My favourite comment so far has been 'nice Mercedes!'

I have the exact same set of error codes on my LS and have been driving in limp mode for a long time, I'm fairly convinced it's a leak on the exhaust/cats. The flanges where they join love a bit of rust.

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56 minutes ago, sdkrc said:

I was gazumped in Scotland a few weeks before the agreed move in date and after we had signed the missives for selling our old place. Came close to leaving us homeless. 

It's shit but something @Schaefft and Mrs Schaefft loves will come along eventually. £50k's worth of work to get the gaff up to scratch sounds like a headache nicely avoided.

Cracking read catching up on your fleet Schaefft.  Celsior/LS400s seem to attract a lot of retired Alan Partridge types who talk bollocks. My favourite comment so far has been 'nice Mercedes!'

I have the exact same set of error codes on my LS and have been driving in limp mode for a long time, I'm fairly convinced it's a leak on the exhaust/cats. The flanges where they join love a bit of rust.

The last one actually didn't seem to need any work at all (didn't get to the point where we'd schedule a proper survey) but pretty much everything else we viewed in the 12 months before did, if not signifcantly more. It's as if people only see the general location and plot size and go wild, ignoring everything else (or maybe they try to haggle the price down long after the seller agreed to an offer).

Do you get a code for a knock sensor? My exhaust just got welded but still seems to have a tiny leak through one of the post-cat temperature sensors. The first gen JDM Celsiors never had O2 sensors after the cat so I don't think it would affect the upstream ones, no cat temp warning either. Always a possibility of an exhaust manifold gasket giving up but I'd be somewhat surprised by that.

Quick bit of after-work progress then. The driver lower sill covers were scratched up beyond saving so I used the chance a week ago to pick up up a pair for 30 quid. The new ones aren't perfect either but can at least be polished to look decent again:

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This also gave me a chance to inspect the welding work done on the sill in the back, it all looks nice and solid now:

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Unfortunately they didn't actually drill the holes needed to reattach the sills again properly... In general the way they reattached it all was a bit of a mess. Naturally most of the clips were broken/missing, often unavoidable but something I would have gladly dealt with myself if needed without having them flap around underneath the car.

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I found a bunch of Toyota clips that were perfect for what was needed. I'm actually not too keen on drilling holes into my freshly welded sills so I might go the double sided tape route on the back. Few more scuffs to polish out on that side but another job crossed off the list.

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My memory is a little hazy, they're not the same error codes as yours. I do have knock sensor codes though, Juular had some good input on my thread though:

21 - main oxygen sensor left bank

52 - #1 knock sensor signal

55 - #2 knock sensor signal

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35 minutes ago, sdkrc said:

My memory is a little hazy, they're not the same error codes as yours. I do have knock sensor codes though, Juular had some good input on my thread though:

21 - main oxygen sensor left bank

52 - #1 knock sensor signal

55 - #2 knock sensor signal

Ok, mine are 21, 28 (upstream o2 sensors left/right) and 55 knock sensor 2. I'll have a look, thanks!

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Quick use of the few rays of sunshine tonight. I've already installed the replacement passenger seat shortly after I picked them up a week ago. The driver seat was next today. LS400 seats seem to have a common failure point where the axle that connects both backrest hinges slides out of the spline shaft on the center console facing side, mine had the same problem. It was also pretty worn from what is definitely not 128k km or miles so out it went:

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As usually now was the time to clean up all the filth you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise:

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Much better. Here's the before and after for the seat:

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Also much better! Both replacement seats come with the added bonus of being heated, something that was a common option in the UK (front and back!) but one my Celsior never had. I already replaced the backseat with a heated one previously and happen to have a spare center console ashtray that also has the heated seat buttons integrated. The whole wiring loom for them isn't pre-installed from the factory though and I doubt that I'll ever get the chance to retrofit it, remembering the ordeal on the E39 years back its not gonna happen anytime soon. Nice to know I got the option now though.

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If anyone needs the old driver seat or actually rather decent old passenger seat, let me know. Might be a nice office chair for someone!

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Shaefft - loving the thread and very sorry about the house..................but as others have said, it's happened for a reason ...............and keep in touch with that agent.  just because they've had a better offer doesn't mean it'll exchange necessarily.  You can ask them if the other buyers need a mortgage/survey etc etc and keep on at them (if the house means that much).  It doesn't mean anything until they actually exchange contracts..............right up until that point it can go pear-shaped.  By chasing it up too you show the vendors you're motivated (and the agent too).  

Moider away - the agent might actually pick the phone up to you if he remembers your keen and continued interest in the house.  You never know.  

And keep looking.............also - ask agents if they have any houses that are coming up for sale (particulars being prepared) and if they have anything that they know of that might be for sale but isn't yet.   You never know what'll come out of the conversation.

And ring agents regularly (don't email) - things change week to week.  

Good luck

 

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