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Datsuncog

Datsuncog's Heaps: 24/06/19 - An Unexpected Vision of Loveliness...

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Cheers, dude! I'm certainly mildly pleased... one step closer to the road again. This has been a brilliant car to me, and I feel horribly guilty for casting her aside just because TAZ swanked up with all the lah-di-dah airbags, sunroof and high-level stop light...

 

Well, who's laughing now? Tomorrow, the TAZ teardown begins.

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So you went through all the heart ache and stress with TAZ because KAZ died ... died because the distributor cap was knackered? :rolleyes:

 

Congrats on the win though! I still need to dig that technical stuff out for you too.

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Btw I wouldn't worry unduly about the exhaust steam at this stage. As you say, a lot of condensation will likely be hiding in there. I started a car that hadn't been used for a month recently and that gave out quite dense steam which it wouldn't normally. Cleared after being driven a bit.

 

Can you nick the door seals from TAZ or are they different too?

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My brother has one of these,a 96 rn in Spain.Identical trim to yours but with a/c ,as even base models of this size of car had it in Spain by then.It has the multipoint engine, though.(Don't know the cc!).The paintwork is terrible but the underneath is like new.About 250 k Kms now.He has owned it for about 16 years.So nice to drive.The dash adds to the comfort,as it slopes away from the driver and makes the car feel very airy, unlike the German style of making the fascia a black, high, oppressive cliff.

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Cheers for all your kind words and encouragement, folks -  it genuinely does help to feel that the Autoshite Massive are willing this one along!

 

So you went through all the heart ache and stress with TAZ because KAZ died ... died because the distributor cap was knackered? :rolleyes:

Congrats on the win though! I still need to dig that technical stuff out for you too.

 

Ah, well that was the funny thing - KAZ didn't actually die.

 

KAZ was a straight swap with the erstwhile R9UKE of this parish in May 2014 - a scrapper for a scrapper. I got KAZ, hideously battered and dejected-looking but still with a few months MOT, in exchange for a sexy-looking but syphilitic 04-plate Alfa 156 Veloce that I'd grown to hate, and not even the scrapman wanted. I'd never even looked twice at a Laguna, and I saw KAZ very much as disposible stop-gap transport until I'd licked my wounds from the Alfa and stopped fretting over the financial loss.

 

post-17915-0-19034500-1523787103_thumb.jpg

 

And then... I kind of became quite attached to her. The povo-spec bASe nature, the sweet and willing (if slightly agricultural) little engine, the fact that she was, as artdjones points out, a surprisingly pleasant and unstressed drive. I could simply jump into her and tootle down to Dublin in full confidence that we'd make it there and back (something the Alfa had conspicuously failed to manage on more than one occasion).

 

She was surprisingly sound structurally, though even when scrubbed up, all the dents made her look very rough up close.

 

post-17915-0-59566200-1523787183_thumb.jpg

 

Then a Presbyterian minister (of all people) reversed into me at speed in a car park, cracking the number plate and (it later transpired) breaking the headlight beam adjuster blocks and retaining clips on the grille - thus requiring a replacement (stripped from a Fiji Green scrapper) to pass the MOT and giving her an odd racoon-like appearance.

 

post-17915-0-22925800-1523787335_thumb.jpg

 

I really liked her, but after three years of basic maintenance and not much else she was looking very shabby. I made a few half-hearted and unsuccessful attempts to pull the worst of the dents out (apparently the fella R9UKE bought her off had acquired her to learn to drive in, and going by the bashes and scrapes he wasn't exactly doing a top job of it).

 

One day I found myself required to chauffeur three senior executives in my organisation up to a Very Important Meeting at the Northern Ireland Assembly's Parliament Buildings, and I'm ashamed to admit just how embarrassed I was to rock up in such a shabby-looking car - dings, scrapes, different coloured panels, broken door mirror, black gaffer tape over rust holes. There was also a massive purple stain on the back seat where I'd had a bit of an accident with a rhubarb crumble (obvious American Pie-related jokes only, please). I mean, no-one said anything - not the bigwigs, not the security officers at Stormont - but I felt my face burning the whole time anyway. Vanity, eh? Turns out even I have it, deep down.

 

Normally I don't care what my car looks like, but that day I really felt horribly self-conscious. All I could think about was Onslow's Cortina in Keeping Up Appearances, and the laughter track that accompanied every scene where it appeared.

 

Not long after that episode I started thinking that although I really did like the Laguna I, maybe I should start looking out for a really nice example - ideally a low-mile, one owner from new car with a few more bells and whistles. Good examples rarely seemed to break the £600 barrier, even for top of the line Monaco/RXE models.

 

Then in June last year, KAZ ftp'd for the first time ever. She was very nice about it - just a total absence of starting, on my MIL's drive. She could have done it earlier that day in a hellhole estate some thirty miles away, but as it was we just had to walk home round the corner.

 

First thing I tested was the battery using my multimeter, and on measuring 12.7v, ruled that out (there was also a little 'battery condition' porthole showing a reassuring green for good, and the receipt I found amongst KAZ's paperwork showed that that it had been replaced just before it came to me). So I hastily ruled that out as the source of the problem, and then spent a further week titting about underneath her with the starter motor and the ignition barrel and various solenoids and relays before, in a state of semi-crazed frustration, hefted the battery out and took it down to the local motor factor. They hooked up their tester and immediately diagnosed a blown cell - £60 later, a new unit fired her up straight away.

 

I felt stupid, and frustrated, and that somehow it was the car's fault (it really wasn't, in fairness). And, because I was now alert to further problems (having only ever blithely turned the stereo up whenever I heard noises I didn't like) I started imagining all sorts of other problems about to manifest... in short, I'd lost confidence. And then a few weeks later, TAZ was flagged to me on Autotrader - one owner from new, RT Sport spec, only down the road - and £350 ono. Slinky Fiji Green too, and those lovely criss-cross alloys. It'd be rude not to, yeah?

 

So TAZ was procured from Mr Bodgit (who at the time I believed to be a master craftsman - although, in fairness to him, he considered the car to be end-of-life and ready for scrapping, but had punted it up on Autotrader just in the off-chance that he'd find some gullible idiot - and, of course, muggins here stumped up).

 

But the gearshift was really stiff and the rear wheel bearings were grumbly, and although the plan had been to find KAZ a new home (I delicately didn't specify whether this home might involve a tall chain-link fence, some forklifts and an awful lot of German Shepherds roaming around) I decided to postpone that decision until TAZ, still an unknown quantity, had proven itself to be reliable transportation.

 

By the time I'd put new wheel bearings etc in TAZ, and realised that it seemed to be otherwise okay, attempts to start KAZ were met with much eager turning-over, but no actual starting. Next-Door commented that it sounded like fuel starvation, so I bought a can of Easy Start... and that was as far as it went, before autumn turned to winter, and TAZ blew a coil pack on the return leg from Galway...

 

And that's where we come in on Page 1 of this thread!

 

But yeah - it seems that the central carbon contact on the distributor cap somehow disintegrated while KAZ was lying idle between August and October, and that was the sole cause of the starting problems.

 

In a way, the ease with which she started up with the new cap on Friday night was kinda heartbreaking. This is such an honest and genuine little car.

 

Btw I wouldn't worry unduly about the exhaust steam at this stage. As you say, a lot of condensation will likely be hiding in there. I started a car that hadn't been used for a month recently and that gave out quite dense steam which it wouldn't normally. Cleared after being driven a bit.

 

Can you nick the door seals from TAZ or are they different too?

 

I started her up again yesterday, and the steam seems to have cleared now - so hopefully no more drama!

 

The poor rear door seals seem to be a known fault, and the cure is to drill them to avoid water ingress. TAZ's owner had done this, so I may either swap them over or drill the existing ones - whichever option works out easier to my lazy arse.

 

Well done DC I'm so glad that something has gone well after spending the last few days mesmerized by all the disasters (how did I miss this thread?).

After the layup I'd be tempted to save the brake calipers from TAZ just in case.

 

Hey, cheers! At the moment I'm tempted to do a full teardown on TAZ and strip as much out as possible before ringing the yard.

 

I found these fragments on the driveway yesterday morning after Friday's short test run, which may be just disc corrosion coming off but suggest to me that all is not well in the braking department... will investigate this afternoon, if the rain relents.

 

post-17915-0-74617100-1523787040_thumb.jpg

 

I bet the neighbours haven't heard that sound for a good long while.

 

Heh, nope - although since Next-Door's just fitted a full Peco Big-Bore system to his Evo 9, KAZ doesn't stand much chance of coming out on top in a sound-off!

 

Great success but please never buy a decent car, your posts are much to entertaining for them to stop.

 

Dude, no car of mine will ever be decent, you can assure yourself of that... my one attempt at a 'modern' turned out to be worse than nearly all the others put together!

 

I really must get the head down and crack on with my 'Life In Shite' opus, like SierraMikeHotel and SpottedLaurel's fantastic voyages through their motoring past.

 

My brother has one of these,a 96 rn in Spain.Identical trim to yours but with a/c ,as even base models of this size of car had it in Spain by then.It has the multipoint engine, though.(Don't know the cc!).The paintwork is terrible but the underneath is like new.About 250 k Kms now.He has owned it for about 16 years.So nice to drive.The dash adds to the comfort,as it slopes away from the driver and makes the car feel very airy, unlike the German style of making the fascia a black, high, oppressive cliff.

 

They really are lovely cars inside and out, and it's the airiness which makes them so... I was in a friend's new Mercedes C-class a few months back and it felt like being trapped in a very small (if well-appointed) submarine. Hope your brother's continues to thrive!

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Okay, so another very minor update, then:

 

Yesterday was spent on sundry delivery, shopping and household tasks, so not much car work. I popped out before lunch though to make sure KAZ still fires, and I didn't just dream it (yes, and with less smoke/steam this time), and to try a few things with TAZ.

 

I noticed first off that, althought the mould killer spray did a top-notch job on the seats, there's been a bit of a problem with the carpets. It's bleached them, badly. Now agreed, it's hardly the end of the world, but it did puzzle me. They mustn't be colourfast in the same way.

 

post-17915-0-95186500-1523788641_thumb.jpg

 

post-17915-0-66761300-1523788692_thumb.jpg

 

Solution is probably to strip out KAZ's interior, dry the floor out properly (passenger side front and rear footwells are swimming) and get everything drilled, sealed and watertight again, before refitting the dry carpet out of TAZ. I suspect TAZ has more soundproofing too, so will see what's what when everything comes out.

 

TAZ's black velour sports seats are badly split in several places on the driver's side, and Mrs DC finds them awkward to get in and out of anyway, so the original grey seats will be going back in again once they've been thoroughly cleaned up.

 

I procured a jiggle siphon from Halfrauds on my morning rounds, as I've been meaning to get one for years and because TAZ still has 2/3 of a tank of BP unleaded from its final fill, mere hours before its demise.

 

post-17915-0-35767500-1523788829_thumb.jpg

 

Unfortunately, attempts to retrieve the fuel into a 25l drum were unsucessful as although the siphon went all the way to the bottom of the filler neck, there seems to be a wiggly bit before getting into the tank proper - and so I couldn't induce any out, much as I jiggled enthusiastically. Hmm. It may be a job for a drill and a large funnel, unless someone well versed in such deeds (I'm looking in your general direction, Cavcraft...) can offer any pointers.

 

With that job proving wholly unsuccessful, but with only about half an hour before another pressing appointment, I thought I might whip the cam cover off and see whether any damage was visible, to sate my own curiosity and that of others on this thread.

 

post-17915-0-46717500-1523789369_thumb.jpg

 

8mm socket, small ratchet wrench... six nuts. Five came off perfectly easily, although needing a bit of a tug... but then #6, the last one, just immediately rounded on me like it was crafted from Camembert.

 

Imperial sizes, smaller 7mm socket tapped over it... every attempt just rounded it off even more. Until I accepted that it had become so mutilated that it's not coming off anytime soon. Ever. This car seems determined to take its secrets to the grave.

 

post-17915-0-76257600-1523789308_thumb.jpg

 

Even in death, TAZ is proving cunty.

 

In a way, this is almost why I'm hesitant to do all that much parts swapping - ridiculous as it sounds, the difference in personality between these two Lagunas makes me reluctant to put much of TAZ into KAZ. It's like I don't want to infect KAZ with bad juju. I need new front panels, but I'm thinking that I'd sooner trawl scrappies for silver ones and pay for them, than keep these for free and just get them painted.

 

Yes, I'm nuts...

 

More updates if the rain stops.

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Given the engine's destined for the scrap heap, just zap that nut with an angle grinder?

 

As for getting the fuel out, sticking a hose down the filler neck is unlikely to work as many cars by this point had security measures in the neck to prevent exactly that happening.

 

Disconnect the fuel line up front, stick it in a can and apply 12V to the fuel pump is by far the easiest solution.

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Thanks for the update, so glad that KAZ decided you were due a break and sprang into life.

I've owned cars like TAZ, no matter what you done for them it was returned by more hassle and total unreliability.

The one I was thinking about was a red Allegro three door estate, bought because someone had demolished my 1500 Special Allegro by crashing into it.

 

I thought I'd use the original car for spares, but like your two similar cars everything mechanical was rather different, I mean everything.

Nothing would swap.

I got out of Allegro ownership and ran a few Mini's (stop laughing at the back!)

I could write a book on those too.

 

By the way, your writing style is excellent.

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make sure you tie some string to each of the wiring routes before taking the tailgate off KAZ so that rerouting the wires through TAZ's tailgate is easier= u kan haz high level brake light

 

fog lights in base bumper FTW

bonnet, wings doors?

then add a bit of orange for a slightly off irish flag colour scheme lol

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Given the engine's destined for the scrap heap, just zap that nut with an angle grinder?

 

As for getting the fuel out, sticking a hose down the filler neck is unlikely to work as many cars by this point had security measures in the neck to prevent exactly that happening.

 

Disconnect the fuel line up front, stick it in a can and apply 12V to the fuel pump is by far the easiest solution.

 

If I had an angle grinder, I may well have done so... but I don't at the minute! Stupidly lent it to my cousin, who returned it with the collar jammed and threaded and the cable nearly severed at the grinder body, with a smashed disc stuck in it. Cheers cuz.

 

I suspected that there may be some sort of sneaky anti-siphon device, so may well try the fuel pump trick instead... thanks for that!

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For getting the fuel out is there an access panel on the boot floor or under the back seat where the fuel sender is? If there is then you should be able to remove that to siphon it out

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I've owned cars like TAZ, no matter what you done for them it was returned by more hassle and total unreliability.

The one I was thinking about was a red Allegro three door estate, bought because someone had demolished my 1500 Special Allegro by crashing into it.

 

I thought I'd use the original car for spares, but like your two similar cars everything mechanical was rather different, I mean everything.

Nothing would swap.

I got out of Allegro ownership and ran a few Mini's (stop laughing at the back!)

I could write a book on those too.

 

By the way, your writing style is excellent.

 

Yup, I think that's the heart of it - for whatever reason, some cars just don't thrive and take every opportunity to frustrate and annoy. As well as the edited highlights in this thread, TAZ has just been endlessly blowing dashboard lights and having bits of undertray come adrift and start rubbing, plus other little niggles and annoyances (the steering column feeling weirdly 'loose' at speed though tight enough when stationary is just one example).

 

It appears the ever-cooling heater may have been down to a bodged/bad matrix connector (which I now can't seal up again) but still... I'm normally quite tolerant of old cars, but this one has just pissed me off now. Annoying that very little can be re-used to assist in KAZ's regeneration, but I may strip and sell some bits to cut my losses (the front splitter, for one). I've also listed the registration number on a few sites, as apparently TAZ is moderately sought-after as a personalised plate.

 

Would be interested in hearing more about your Allegros and Minis! If ever a tale were to be told, this forum is the place to tell it...

 

And cheers for the kind words!

 

make sure you tie some string to each of the wiring routes before taking the tailgate off KAZ so that rerouting the wires through TAZ's tailgate is easier= u kan haz high level brake light

 

fog lights in base bumper FTW

bonnet, wings doors?

then add a bit of orange for a slightly off irish flag colour scheme lol

 

Yeah, I was wondering whether the tailgate would be possible as a swap, based on the high-level brake light - my concern was that if KAZ has no wiring for the high-level LED strip from TAZ, would it be an automatic MOT fail as a non-working brake light? But maybe not if it's already wired for it... that's a handy tip though, thanks!

 

I prefer the non-spoiler look of the bASe RN model's tailgate, but the metal around KAZ's rear wiper spline has been completely eaten away and would be a tricky repair (bubbled all underneath the glass rubbers, too). Might make more sense to plug the spoiler mounts when spraying the lot.

 

I stripped the fogs from another scrap Laguna last year, but neglected to retain to the column stalk with the fogs switch. Durr. These ones also look in better nick, so I think I may grab them, and as much wiring as I can trace back.

 

I rather fear that adding a dash of orange to the mismatched green panels, in this particular town, would be an open invitation to torch the car (and possibly the house alongside it)... t'would appear that some of the neighbours round here have *ahem* robust and traditional political viewpoints when it comes to the question of sovereignty in Northern Ireland. Our MP's the most senior DUP gobshite propping up the Tories at the minute... lovely* chap.

 

Would a nut splitter work? Less unwieldy than a whole angle grinder.

 

Might do - it's a very small and deeply flanged nut (and recessed a bit in the cam cover casting) but it could possibly be induced to come off with a nut splitter.

 

If I had one of those, either.

 

Actually, there might be one in my dad's garage...

 

If the but is at the extreme one end, get a lever in under the far end and brute force? The cam cover is just an ally casting, doubt it'll be massively strong...

 

Yep, I very nearly did this on Saturday (there was a fair amount of lift at the far end, more than enough to get a jemmy bar under) - it seems somewhat drastic (and terminal) but I'm tempted... I might leave it until the scrap lorry's definitely on its way though, as TAZ is still running (just) and I'm concerned if I render it immobile now, I'll suddenly find myself needing to move it for some urgent reason...

 

For getting the fuel out is there an access panel on the boot floor or under the back seat where the fuel sender is? If there is then you should be able to remove that to siphon it out

 

The best advice re getting the fuel out is above; but Renault's of that age have an anti siphon device which can be bursted out with violence and a pry bar of that's your wont

 

From hoking underneath, there seems to some sort of drain cap on the base of the tank so I may try that first... but if not, it may take more violent and irreversible means to extract the remaining go juice. As with the cam cover, if a gentle solution can't be found then I'll wreck it at the last minute.

 

 

Not so much to report over the last few days - had hoped to change the brake fluid and swap the wheels over last night, but intermittent rain and high winds put paid to that (plus providing nursemaid duties to an ill Mrs DC). I'm out tonight, so it'll be Wednesday before that can happen. Annoyingly, the MOT centre up the road has a raft of available slots tomorrow morning, but then none until 2 May... although I'm tempted to just stick her in and see what the fails are, right now I'm not convinced there's much in the way of brakes, and the bootlid won't close - so I think I'll cool my jets and leave it until later in the week, in case there's any more 'next day' slots available once I've done some of the minor jobs.

 

Compiling a list at the moment...

 

Essential:

  • swap wheels between cars
  • assess KAZ brake condition & order parts as necessary
  • brake fluid change and test
  • reattach front number plate
  • sort leak from PAS pipe
  • fix non-functional boot catch on KAZ
  • new wipers on
  • check all bulbs/horn/etc
  • book MOT

Desirable:

  • swap batteries
  • oil, filter and coolant change
  • remove and refit stereo and dashcam into KAZ
  • swap carpets and insulation (once KAZ is dried out)
  • give KAZ a jolly good scrub inside and out
  • swap squab hinge on rear seat
  • spray replacement grille silver
  • dent pulling
  • drain TAZ fuel tank (approx. 30 litres)

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Well, there's certainly a springlike lilt to the air in the past day or two - so much so that I was able to get out last night and continue my Sisyphean exercise in futility that is trying to smoosh two shit and broken Renners together to make one marginally less shit and less broken Renner.

 

Since TAZ was fitted with a new pair of Riken Allstars up front in November, and KAZ's Avons are both worn to the point of legality on the outside shoulder and cracking quite alarmingly around the sidewall, the decision was made carry out a swap.

 

It's a plus that I do quite like these rims.

 

post-17915-0-96528200-1524135878_thumb.jpg

 

What is stupider is that I somehow feel guilty for compromising KAZ's essential bASe-ness by taking her off the original steels, even though both these cars are going in the fragger if I can't achieve roadworthiness. I know, I need to get over myself. So broken mismatched wheeltrims off...

 

post-17915-0-48731300-1524133798_thumb.jpg

 

And alloy on. Doesn't look bad. Needs a thorough clean, mind, but these will be coming off again at the weekend when I do the brake fluid change.

 

post-17915-0-90237500-1524133924_thumb.jpg

 

Visual check of the brake system confirms there's not much difference between the two cars, in terms of condition. I'd hoofed the pedal a fair few times on Friday night to free everything up, and although there's some sponginess apparent I can't see any leaks or weeping anywhere. Handbrake seems to work okay on both sides; pads aren't that meaty, but definitely not down to the metal yet.

 

My priority is to get an MOT pass with minimum expenditure, so I'd sooner not waste time and money putting new pads/shoes on only for it to fail terminally on some other fault. The brakes were always very positive on this car and the flexi hoses were replaced in 2016, so I'm hoping that a fluid change will restore feel all round. If it passes, I'll throw on a new set of pads in due course.

 

post-17915-0-04743100-1524134058_thumb.jpg

 

There's some crust round KAZ's vented disc, but that's probably to be expected as it last turned a wheel last July. A quick scrub with a wire brush takes the loose stuff off. I give the bleed nipples a good dousing in Plusgas, just to ease the weekend's work. Fading light means piccies is rubbish.

 

post-17915-0-78071700-1524134076_thumb.jpg

 

STANCE YO.

 

post-17915-0-83843100-1524134946_thumb.jpg

 

Since I'm using the keep-fit emergency jack on KAZ because TAZ is using the trolley jack, and keep dropping wheelnuts on the gravel in the gathering gloom, the job takes a wee while and by the time I'm done and both cars have their nuts tightened, it's a bit dark to do much else.

 

I fire KAZ up just to make sure all's still okay (it is), and let her idle for a bit as I tidy up. I've had the windows down today to try to dry out the interior, but it's still a bit soggy. The mould killer doesn't really seem to have evaporated (the dashboard is still wet from spraying it two weeks ago) and sure enough, on re-reading the bottle the instructions reveal that it all needs to be wiped down and dried after use. I might use a vac-off upholstery cleaner to dilute and then suck away any residue; either that or get a seat cover...

 

I also drown the bootlid catch in penetrating fluid, as the catch mechanism will seemingly pivot round the hasp okay on closing, but doesn't actually hold... it just pivots back again and releases when the bootlid's tugged upwards. It may be some spring or other stuck inside due to disuse, or it may be that the taped hole around the rear wiper has allowed water in to do something funny... At worst, I should be able to swap the catches over for the one off TAZ. We'll see.

 

post-17915-0-97353300-1524135487_thumb.jpg

 

Okay. Getting somewhere. More tonight, hopefully.

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Also - while jacking TAZ up I had cause to notice that there is A LOT of bubbling/splitting around the arch lips and inner wings. Much, much worse than on KAZ. It's been a terrible winter for salty roads, and it appears that TAZ would soon have been needing some remedial tickling with the sparkly stick to remain safe 'n' legal.

 

post-17915-0-79113000-1525623729_thumb.jpg

 

post-17915-0-34127100-1525623800_thumb.jpg

 

This is, of course, a feeble attempt to assuage my conscience and justify euthanizing a Phase 1 Laguna that still looks pretty clean at a distance.

 

Yes, apparently I have already forgotten that it's pissed out all its oil and water and the cam header is full of metal lumps that oughtn't be there.

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Great progress on this!

 

I share your unease at inflicting alloys on a base, but it has to be done.

 

If you play your cards right, you could end up with a Harlequin Laguna here. Renault missed a trick when VW were doing it!

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