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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 03/03 - BX Carb Behaving Properly at Last...

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Quick lunchtime update.


One brake has been reassembled and confirmed to have a moving piston. One down, two to go.


Wasn't that bad really, fiddly as heck, yes.


Order I did it was:


Attach black spring to the right hand shoe.


Put right shoe in place, threading the black spring under the hub past the adjuster.


Attach right shoe to backplate using the pingfuckit clip.


Thread the spring through the hole in the left pad (fiddly) then wrestle the shoe into place.


With your three spare hands, install the pingfuckit to ensure the shoe stays put.


Then install the red spring, which is made FAR easier if you have a sturdy pair of long nosed pliers.


Getting the black spring onto the second shoe is by FAR the hardest bit. It's easy off the car, but as Dollywobbler has discovered, you can't do that as the spring won't fit through the gap between the hub and adjuster, so the second shoe HAS to be attached with the spring already tethered to the opposing shoe on the car.


Let's see if the other two put up more of a fight...

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Well, a little from column A, a little from column B this afternoon.

My local motor factor surprised me by quickly being able to cross-reference the spark plugs and will have a fresh set waiting for me tomorrow morning.

This afternoon I cracked on with the brakes.

Building up the front is actually easier than the rears because you can *just* fit the ruddy awkward black spring between the adjuster and the hub with a suitable persuasion implement (my one of choice being a large, heavily abused orange handled screwdriver) to poke it.


No - I've not cleaned up the backplates, greased the sliding surfaces etc.  I'm fully expecting to have to replace the wheel cylinders so will have everything apart again anyway.  I'm just giving the existing hardware the chance to prove itself good first - though not expecting to be that lucky!

I didn't get much further than this however as no matter how many times I've dug through the boxes and bags of bits, I can only find two and a half sets of brake bits.  I'm short the black shoe spring and both of the shoe retaining clip, spring, pin assemblies.  Got the shoes and the red spring...but missing the rest.  This is highly annoying.

Anyhow, I clamped off that flexi hose, figuring I'd see if the other two would work at least.  I got the rear nearside bled through and working fine, however as soon as I closed its bleed screw and tried to do the front the sound of a rupturing pipe ended play.  The metal line to the nearside rear wheel has blown just before the joint to the flexi hose.  Balls.

Well...guess it's time to figure out where the heck I put that reel of brake pipe and the flaring kit then...

Evening Edit:

Just been out to remove the fuse box for cleaning - that'll be a fail then.  The screw holding it to the bulkhead has an utterly and completely rounded off head.  I'll figure out where it's attached to and if the other side of it is accessible will cut that off.  Otherwise it'll stay where it is and a replacement will be mounted nearby.

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Just been out to remove the fuse box for cleaning - that'll be a fail then.  The screw holding it to the bulkhead has an utterly and completely rounded off head.  I'll figure out where it's attached to and if the other side of it is accessible will cut that off.  Otherwise it'll stay where it is and a replacement will be mounted nearby.


I can confirm that this is a sod. As ever, no bloody captive nuts, so I had to rope in Mrs DW just to hold a ruddy ratchet. At least you haven't got front bodywork, so access is good!


There are two 8mm headed nuts on the outside of the bulkhead. One holds a wire clip in place. 

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So...today I mostly...

[] Wired in the new fuse box.  I had a four position blade type box laying around from some historic project so just roped that in.  It will be bolted to the bulkhead in due course, but is currently just dangling from the wires under the dash...Didn't have the drill with me to drill holes for it, and was feeling far too lazy to walk back inside to get it.

[] Continued reassembling my mutilated excuse for a wiring loom.

Firstly was roping in a few cable ties to convince the wiring to the starter solenoid that rubbing against the offside rear tyre was a bad idea.  Obviously this will be less of an issue once I actually have rear wheel tubs...I really am going to need to start thinking about bodywork soon.


Likewise some of the dangling spaghetti in this corner has now been attached to other bits of previously dangling spaghetti...


I've said it before, but I'll say it again: No, those screw terminals are NOT a permanent fix.  Given the state of the loom though and the fact that several bits do not match the colour key in the wiring diagrams, the ability to quickly connect/disconnect things is essential at this stage.  Everything will be done with proper waterproof crimp connectors in due course.

[] Actually checked how much air was in the tyres.  Rears weren't far off, but it's rather easier to push now there's the required 17psi in the front tyre rather than 3.  Speaking of which...anyone able to translate this into modern tyre measurements?


[] Noticed something potentially in need of remedial work with regards to my transmission...

It appears that what I assume is a cooling fan on the back of one of the pulleys has come apart in places.  It's a light pressing by the looks of it, and it's not stood the test of time.  I'm sure the lack of wheel tubs leading to this area seeing more of the elements than the designer intended hasn't helped.


Anyone who knows these things better than I do have any idea whether this is actually likely to be a problem in the real world, or whether I shouldn't bother worrying about it?

[] Gave it a good run up to temperature (having a slightly sticky twist grip is handy for this as I can effectively just use it like a hand throttle in a tractor - dial in the engine speed I'm looking for then leave it, and then did another oil & filter change as there are a couple of hours on the first lot of oil now.  While nowhere near as bad as what was originally in there, it did come out pretty black.

[] I'd intended to look at moving the indicator etc assembly over to the handlebar assembly in the car, however have been foiled by yet another screw with a totally knackered head.  Oh...and found that's just been chopped off the loom too.  Yay, more wires!

Will have another look at that tomorrow and decide whether it will be easier to actually just swap the handlebar assemblies over entirely than trying to get the indicator assembly off the spare one...

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Interesting. Why is the voltage regulator on that side? On both mine, it's right next to the battery, which seems more sensible.


Hadn't realised there was a cooling fan built into that pulley. Something else for me to check...


No idea...Looks original though judging from the fastenings...Possible AC/Invacar difference?


Also, I thought the battery lived down by the driver's right foot in the cabin...There's the remains of a clamp in that corner and it's where the (original looking) earth strap goes in mine!  No sign of anything substantial electrical on the nearside of my engine bay...


Seriously starting to think the assembly line engineers did this sort of thing just to confuse us 40 years down the line!

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IF my memory serves me correctly, the correct size replacement for a 5.20x10 crossply (for that is wot you got :-) ) is a radial 145x10 although a 155x10 would also be fine.

Cheers for that. Hadn't even spotted it was a cross-ply until you mentioned it. Gets points for longevity that one... it's a bit perished, but hasn't shown any signs of failure like most of the others.


What profile should that be? Sadly most websites insist on a value there. Standard profile is 80 if I remember rightly isn't it? So it should be 145x80 R10?


Had this game with the Skoda when I got it...it was wearing tyres simply labelled 155SR13...rather confused the 17 year old at the till in our local tyre fitter.


Cost a fortune as well, ended up having to get them shipped in from Germany apparently!

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Only had an hour today so there wasn't time for anything too in depth.

Firstly I wanted to investigate the battery location.  It being on the nearside ahead of the coil definitely seems to make sense based on the length of the positive lead from the starter solenoid, which indeed seems to fit perfectly.


This I am guessing is the mark that has been left by the battery bracket that at some point lived here.


However this is the only thing relating to battery retaining that I appear to have.


Any chance you could snap me a photo of the battery tray in one of yours, DW so I know what I'm looking for?

I then had a shot at starting to get the rigid brake lines off - before immediately running into trouble as they're of course an imperial size that I don't have.  That can wait till next week.

In the spirit of getting at least something done every day however, I went about reattaching this - after I spent about half an hour wrestling the front of it off the spare dashboard...


Needless detail at this point, but the hole in the dash was making my teeth itch.

Some further standing on my head (note to self, if you take it off again, reattach the pipes to the pump BEFORE attaching it to the dash) had it doing this as designed.


Small details, but in the grand scheme of things - it needs to work when I get to the MOT station!

...Granted, so does the wiper itself, and about 50 other things that currently don't...

Atast I don't have an empty space on the dashboard any more though.

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Couple of things done today.

Firstly, got the drill out and drilled the stripped out head of the screw holding the indicator stalk onto the spare handlebars.

This then allowed me to get probably my most heavily abused tool out to unscrew the remains of it.


This thing is going to need some remedial work before I can fit it as a couple of wires have snapped off - I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a pain to sort.  Anyone know what this stalk assembly is shared with?  If so tracking down another good used one *may* be an easier option.

Next up I moved on to the brakes.  Wanted to get all of the rigid lines off so that I could remake them.  I was expecting this to be an absolute swine of a job based on my prior experience on other cars - however every single fastening came undone without protest beyond them just being tight (which you'd expect!).


The only ones I've not taken off are the one from the master cylinder to the first union and the two from the rear flexis to the wheel cylinders as they look absolutely fine.  The one to the front flexi would have also been fine if some idiot (that would be me...) hadn't nicked it with the grinder when cutting the knackered bolts off the old master cylinder.

The general quality of the fixtures and fittings on this car are so much better than I'm used to...I'd expected this to be a task involving no end of fasteners that would turn circular the moment you applied any force to them, but they all just came undone as they should. 

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Made a run back over to the seller of the AC today.  Main thing I was there for was the door window glass.  We couldn't find a safe way to transport them along with the car when we brought it over. 

Also picked up the missing brake springs and clips so I've got all the bits to reassemble the remaining drum.

Now have a fuel tank as well.  It's not actually the correct one, but we should be able to make it work until an actual Invacar/AC one turns up.  Better than a can with hose stuffed in it anyway!

Final items were a number plate light and the AC badge for the bonnet - once I have one anyway.


Will be playing taxi all day tomorrow so probably won't have a chance to do anything on the car.

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possibly a olli one



Couple of things done today.


Firstly, got the drill out and drilled the stripped out head of the screw holding the indicator stalk onto the spare handlebars.


This then allowed me to get probably my most heavily abused tool out to unscrew the remains of it.




This thing is going to need some remedial work before I can fit it as a couple of wires have snapped off - I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a pain to sort.  Anyone know what this stalk assembly is shared with?  If so tracking down another good used one *may* be an easier option.



prolly a olli one


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Just a couple of things done today.

Firstly hit things with a hammer! Have successfully managed to free off the handbrake mechanism, so happy about that as it's one less thing I need to totally take to bits.

Also cleaned up the indicator stalk and reattached the wires to it. So hopefully should be able to reunite it with the loom tomorrow.


Thanks for the tip on which stalk it is - definitely looks like that one, and 119 SA is one of the numbers stamped on it.

The fuel tank I've got is full of sludgy gunk, so sure that will be "fun" to clean I'm sure.

Noticed something today which definitely has pushed me a little more towards preferring to find a donor for the rear body moulding if I can. The offside of the moulding around the trailing edge of the door looks to be paper thin in places due to I assume a manufacturing defect. There are quite a few pin holes as a result.

Not too hard to shore up with some additional resin and matting, but it's just one more thing that needs sorting on the body...and given the degree of reconstructive surgery already needed, really looks like sorting a scruffy but at least *mostly* complete body section would be the most sensible approach. So...um...if anyone knows of a potential source of such a thing, I'm all ears. I'll be lucky if I find one I reckon.

At the same time, I'm not looking to make a concourse car and don't mind doing repairs. I also don't care about and of the trim bits, glass or roof as I've got all that lot...don't know if that might help or not.

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Okay, first task for today was to reassemble the one remaining wheel as I now had the full compliment of clips etc.

Jack it up, wheel off, drum off...


...This one hasn't been dismantled.

Cueh swearing as I'd been sitting around waiting for a week to get bits that it turned out I didn't need. Have also confirmed that the handbrake is working on this one too. It will happily hold the car sufficiently well that I can't push it, the cable is still binding quite a bit though - will give it a thorough greasing as soon as my grease gun appears (there's a grease nipple on the cable at the mid-point).

Fine...Stuffed that wheel back on (with a full compliment of four wheel nuts rather than the two it came with) and turned my attention to the rest of the brakes. I knew I had quite a few bits of NOS braking kit floating around, so decided to do a bit of a stock take.

First up was a new full front-rear section, still in its massive cardboard sleeve. That was immediately dug out and I set about installing it. I was definitely right to do this before putting the floor in, as threading it through the cutouts in the chassis would have been quite fiddly from underneath.

I needed a bit more height to get at the union between the two sections at the front (which is helpfully under the bit where the floor and body overlap, so there's no access from above!)...however was able to do something you just can't do with normal cars.


Now this doesn't look too unusual...what's unusual is that I was able to simply pick up the front wheel by hand and plonk it down on that wheel rim. I should have used a couple really, but one actually gave me ample space to work. Rear wheels were of course chocked so it couldn't fall off.

You can't really see much difference here - but there's now a nice new brake hydraulic line running from the front distribution T right back to the identical one which splits the feed to the rear wheels just ahead of the rear axle.


Even successfully managed to get it back into all the original clips. I'll probably cut a bit of rubber pipe and put it in where the pipe goes past the upright and vanishes under the body - I don't like the idea of the pipe rubbing on that unfinished metal edge.

I've also swapped out the front flexi for a NOS one. The rubber on the one that was there actually looked fine externally (no visible perishing, and it was definitely still flexible, not having turned to plastic like a lot do), but the ferrules were quite badly rusted. The new one aside from being a bit dusty looks and feels like it just came off the production line.

There are a few other bits of rigid line that I just need to figure out the correct location of. Think I should have everything I need save for maybe the line from the front union to the flexi for the front and the offside rear...So that's definitely saved me some work!


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Reunited the indicator stalk assembly with the car today - unsurprisingly didn't make any odds to anything, what with none of the systems having their components attached to them.  However I do have a meter...and confirmed no power getting to indicators or headlights.


Not really surprising when attacking the stalk assembly with said meter proved no continuity where there should be.  It's just too corroded internally.  Time to find a new one.  Also no sign of the flasher unit...time to get one ordered.


Going to poke the switches with the meter as well before getting stuff ordered as I have my suspicions about their electrical integrity.  Not messing about with them if playing up, it's just not worth it!  One of my spares decided to disintegrate and fling the cap of the switch across the room when testing it.

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So, what did I get done today?

...Other than knocking a whole heap of stuff over in the back of the garage when I drove back in there. I was expecting the usual battle to get over the threshold, but today the AC decided to take it in its stride, and propel me straight into the stuff piled at the back of the garage. At all of about 2mph, so no harm done! I really do need to finish the brakes though! On the other hand, it really does show how much better it's actually running.

Based on the level of zippiness that was available when I was backing out of the garage (willing to be a bit more circumspect there as it's uphill), this thing really isn't going to hang about.

Having established that I could intermittently get continuity through the indicator stalk by hitting it (a new one is on the way), I decided that it was time to make sense of the spaghetti on the front bulkhead. 

Did what I really should have done ages ago, and sat down (well, crouched on the nearside chassis outrigger...) with the wiring diagram and labelled everything. Couple of differences to the stock wiring diagram, but it's easy enough to figure out by process of elimination after a while. The sidelight circuit is red with a green trace (diagram says solid red), and the brake light switch supply is white with a light green trace (diagram says solid green). The fact that red, brown and purple traces on green wires have all faded to white also means you need to dig back into the loom tape in a few places to determine what colour it's actually trying to be.

This is starting to look a bit less electrically intimidating now...


Ten minutes later we had insulated spade terminals on all the hot feeds, and then this happened...


That's a working side (intermittently as the dash switch is unsurprisingly a bit dodgy), dip and main beam circuit. 

Plus the dimmest main beam indicator on the dash that I think I've ever come across.


Astonished that the light in the fuel gauge works, unfortunately the same can't be said of the gauge itself which is knackered.  No light in the speedo yet as someone's nicked the lamp out of it.  Astonishingly they've actually just removed the lamp rather than hack the wires off as they had with just about everything else!

I've got continuity through from the indicator stalk through to the wires outside as well, hoping that with the fitting of a front lampholder and reuniting the flasher unit (which I found this evening after wondering all day what I'd done with it) with the car I'll be able to test that tomorrow.

Would you believe that this thing works?


I'd have said it was scrap at a glance.  It's sat quite happily for half an hour though click-pinging away switching a 55W headlamp from the bench power supply, so seems to be good.  I'll give the terminals a quick sand before putting it back in the car.  The nut is never going to come off the bracket though - nor is the bracket going to come off, so it will get cable-tied to the dash support bar I reckon.

Hopefully will be able to get some life out of the indicators tomorrow.

Next up will be seeing if I can get any life whatsoever out of the lights at the rear of the car - I've a sneaking suspicion that I'm missing quite a large chunk of loom for that however so that might be more of a challenge.

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If the worst comes to the worst, WL15 dashboard indicators are less than a tenner new at least.  I know that any failed lamps here are going to need the lights replaced.  The lampholders have all corroded and have effectively swollen up to the extent they will snap the housing in half rather than come out.  As happened when I tried to get into the ignition light.

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Okay...The lighting for the speedometer is in fact *not* a Ba7s lamp as I thought it was...Annoying. I'll investigate further tomorrow to see if I can work out what it is.

Have successfully had life out of the indicator circuits now - especially having worked out which terminals to short out on the stalk (which is *utterly* knackered) so I can actually get life out of both the dash lamp and the exterior ones. Looking at it more carefully I think there's actually an entire part of the assembly outright missing.

The flash rate is a little higher than I'd usually like, but I think it'll be perfectly fine for a vehicle of this age. If anything else, the pattern being different to you'd expect from a modern car is a good thing as it makes it more visible, and with a car this small you want every bit of visibility you can get.

The more exciting part of this for me though is this...


Which confirms to me that the front-rear lighting loom is in fact intact.

...Even if the fact that it the brake light that started flashing did initially confuse me. The previous owner has managed to put the backplate on upside down. The indicator is actually meant to be at the top, I'll turn it around tomorrow. Now I better understand the lighting loom, running the missing section from left to right shouldn't be too hard. Just three wires. With a bit of luck, tomorrow I'll have fully functioning rear light clusters.

That's quite a bit boost to me as I was worried that was going to be a lot of extra work.

Another boost was that in having sorted out a number of dodgy grounds etc and such like was that this happened too.


Yep, the windscreen wiper is now working just fine too. Self parking is a bit touchy, but that's entirely due to the rocker switches which we've already mentioned. I note that the Lucas replacement for the wiper one is actually a "two speed" version, so if I do fit that later I may well stuff a timer unit in there to give me an intermittent option, as that's actually a nice thing to have.

The list of vehicle systems needing to be brought back to life is actually shrinking quite a bit now.

May well look at getting the floor sorted out this coming week. The main brake line (which was the thing that was going to be the most awkward) has been replaced now and I've ascertained that the wiring loom under the floor is in perfect order, so no reason not to really. Be nice to actually have a floor and a seat in it!

In case you wondered, seating is going to be provided by the driver's seat from my old Xantia. I was originally planning to use this for an office chair, but this is a more immediate need. Yes it's a bit of a departure from originality and all that, but my spine will thank me for it.

Need to get myself a set of number plates made up for it as well. Will be in the correct typeface of course...modern ones would just look daft on this.

Have just had a bit of a realisation: The only system on the car that's outright not working now is the hydraulic service brake... because half the pipework is currently missing. Far cry from the lifeless hulk it was a few weeks ago.

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Same light fitted to my old man's Sprite for fog lights and it's equally dim.



Could suggest one good use of modern ultra bright blue LED's would be for that.


The bulb holder is only a push fit so you could get a bright blue spade terminal T10 LED (Halfords crap ideal), push it in, unfold the wires and just solder to them. Nice thing there is they already have a resistor for 12V operation.



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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 03/03 - BX Carb Behaving Properly at Last...

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      I was hoping the Dolomite would be drivable by now but that's not looking likely. So I'll have to either do the work on this on the drive, cart the Dolomite down to storage over spring/summer or send this off to a professional for it to be sorted. It'll need an MOT anyway, but I'd like to get some of the key things sorted before then.
      Main issues for the MOT:
      Dash clocks don't work. Battery has leaked in the original board and damaged the traces. Have another set of dash clocks here and I hope to make a good one out of the two. Something I'll definitely have to do as most mechanics won't want to touch soldering up PCBs. Brake pedal doesn't fully go to the top of its travel, unless you assist it by pulling it up. I believe the Rev mentioned corrosion at the top of the pedal or something that just needs cleaning odd. Cambelt. This one scares me everytime the engine is started. Label under the bonnet says last changed in 1998 and that's almost certainly true. Steve has done a few hundred miles on it two years ago, but I don't have the guts or will to do a cambelt roulette myself on it. Plus I don't believe they're that difficult to change. Possibly needs some welding on the NSF. I'll clean the area up and if it's small I may do it myself. Alternatively let my local garage pickup on it at MOT time and let them sort it if it's a problem. So hopefully a quick project to get back on the road. That's the intention anyway as I don't have time for too much more, given the Dolomite is taking my time up and the others need fettling too (1100 front calipers and also selling it, MGB service). Likely scenario is getting the above list done so I can drive it to the MOT station and let them sort anything else out needed for that if anything other comes up.

    • By captain_70s
      I'm a masochist from Leeds who is running two rusty, worn out Triumph Dolomites as my only transport in rural Aberdeenshire. You might recognise me from various other forums and Facebook groups. Realistically I need to buy a modern car of some sort, but instead I find myself looking at £300 Citroen BXs and Triumph Acclaims on Gumtree and thinking "yeah, that'd fit right in with the rest of the broken cars I can't afford".
      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:

      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:

      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:

      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
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