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How much shite is too much shite? Escort loses weight

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Another one leaves the fleet
  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? All Moderns Are Shite

Well the VW T2 sold to someone local who viewed before bidding! Will be collected in a couple of weeks but deposit paid. As a bonus fetched a lot more than I valued it at but then I don't like them.

To celebrate my new found enthusiasm for reducing numbers, all 3 of my moderns decided to cost me money this week ('96, '97 and '05 are moderns, right?). First the 307 sounded as though the back box had started to blow a little when I started it to go and fetch milk, which made me a little grumpy as the MOT is due in a couple of weeks. By the time I returned home, the exhaust had broken in two in front of the rear axle. Cheapest price on the bay of evil was close to £250 as the intermediate pipe includes a Cat. Being a cheapskate I decided to weld a repair section in, but of course I had no pipe small enough. Phoned my factors to see if they had the right size sections, and in a moment of madness asked them to price the two sections. A muffled "ouch" told me the news was not good. More clicking of his keyboard and he came back to say he could do a repair section post cat and a back box but it would take a couple of days. Ordered for a total cost of less than £60 and it is now in the car waiting to be fitted.

Next the Disco 1 was pressed into service to take my Komat'su mini digger to the borders to help a good friend out.  Whilst it did it fine it was Slooooow and obvious the lack of power had not been resolved. After talking it over with my diesal mechanic, we have decided to admit defeat on the EDC injection pump and get rid of the electronics and fit the pump off a manual Disco. I have the donor car but it will need throttle cable brackets making. Of course, whilst we are in there it would be daft not to replace the timing belt and tensioners, and we will need a crank locking spanner and timing locking pins. All ordered and here, just awaiting my mechanic having time, but another £200+ in parts and tools.

Finally, the Toyota Enema. The last few times I have used it, the front brakes would sometimes bind on, and often badly. I thought it was because it sat for a few weeks buried in snow so the slide pins would need cleaning and greasing. Started on the nearside and sure enough it was all gummed up. Pads were about half worn so back together it went. Onto the offside and this is where it started to go wrong. The pins had to be hammered out, the pads were 90% worn and the calliper itself totally seized, even the heavy vice and a hammer would not move it. Decided that as the car owed me so little, I would sort it once and properley so ordered two callipers, discs and pads. That will be 300 quid please sir!

From here on it fought me all the way! To change the discs, the carriers have to come off, and the top bolt is only accessible by ring spanner. And it was tight! Grabbed a 17mm ring from my "good spanner drawer" and only realised I had chucked one of my cheap disposable spanners  in there when this happened:


Now with a sore hand, I found a good spanner but it would still not shift. Out with the MAPP gas blowtorch and eventually it went. A lot of time was wasted whilst I worked out where all the spring clips went to hold the pads in (which sadist came up with those?) and eventually it went back together, which just left the nearside. Yep, just as big a pain! Eventually it looked like this:


and all I had to do was bleed them. It was now getting dark and my usual brake pedal pusher would have by now wrapped himself around a bottle of red so an alternative was required. Found my eazibleed but of course none of the reservoir caps would fit on this grey import. Then I remembered I had kept my air line operated vacuum bleeder from the workshop and amazingly I found it. 20 minutes later and job done.

Tomorrow I will go for a test run and see if it has done the job.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Things move with an Enima
  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Exhausted Pug

Decided today would be a good day to hide in the shed to avoid the snow. Then decided my mates shed would be better as a) he has a working 2 post lift and b) his good lady would bring me tea and homemade cake. The cake was the decider. Job of the day was the exhaust on the 307 HDi as the parts arrived on Friday. I didn't buy clamps as I know I have a box of them in the shed. I would only need one where I was going to cut the intermediate pipe post cat and I had bought the joining clamp for the back box. Two hours of searching resulted in finding 2 too small and 4 too big, but no box of assorted ones. I really must tidy my shed!

Grabbed the big ones and some jubilee clips (I know, I know) and off I went. Got it in the air and joy of joys, the intermediate pipe was reusable so 20 minutes later the exhaust was fixed, tea drunk and cake eaten!

So that is the Pug ready for a run to Teeside on Friday (allowed, I am working) then an MOT the week after.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Ungrateful Pug testing my patience!

It is a good job I spent money on the ungrateful bar steward otherwise it would now be heading for the bridge! When I got it from my trusted mechanic, he told me the starter motor was getting tired and after sitting for a few days it would require a jump but it would always go. After sitting for a few days before fixing the exhaust yesterday, sure enough it needed a jump, after which it was fine. Today it FTS and again needed a jump, so I concluded a boost to the battery would have it ready to start in the early hours on Friday, my logic being it needed the full oomph to get the tired starter up to speed. Drove it down to the shed and put the battery on charge.

Just went out to see if it seemed faster spinning over to confirm my theory and it let out a whine and the unmistakable smell of fried electrics and resolutely failed to turn over at all. That will have been the starters death throws then when it failed to start this morning!

OK, onto the bay of evil and there are several hundred hits on "307 2.0 HDi Starter motor" so it is obviously a rare* problem. Narrowed it down to two who seemed to be the exact spec, both of which asked for the reg number to confirm, and both were a few pence under 60 quid. Emailed both the reg and both promptly replied. The first said no, but we have the correct one at 90 quid! The second said no, but this one will do it with a link to another ebay listing. Following the link it came up with a starter for an early 90s XM V6 petrol for 76 quid! When quizzed they said check the number with Peugeot!

Remembering the hassle of the exhaust, I phoned my factors. On checking the reg, they said there are 6 options listed and they would need the number off the old one and it would take a couple of days to arrive. The good news is the most expensive is less than 55 quid. So now I have to take the starter off, a nice* simple* job and leave it in bits while I wait for the new one.

Any wonder I hate moderns?

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Pug redeems itself - now worried

Wednesday evening saw the old starter off. Thursday morning phoned the factor with the number and they called at lunchtime to say it was in. On arrival they had ordered two, a cheap one and a Bosch which was roughly 50% dearer. The old starter had 13 teeth, both new ones a slightly smaller cog and 11 teeth. They assured me it would work, but I was not convinced. As the cheap one had a 2 year warranty I took that and fitted it fully expecting it to have to come off again! To my surprise, my factor was right and I was wrong and it works a treat and has cured the sluggish starting.

Friday I went to Teeside and back, covering 525 miles on just over a tank of diesel and never missed a beat. Trouble is I have to book an MOT for this week and my original plan of the bridge if it failed significantly has been complicated by the expenditure this week. Will have to see how it gets on.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Pug fails MOT and Saab leaves the fleet

I have used the same MOT tester for the last 10+ years, but sadly he retired just before Christmas. He was always pragmatic, would fail anything dangerous and tell me what needed fixing when he gave me a pass. I always fixed them, he knew that, so we had a great relationship.

Today I returned to the same garage and met his replacement. First thoughts were good, he is an older man, but that soon changed when he turned out to be a surly git. He went over the pug and failed it on a sidelight bulb (fair enough but it worked last night and these things do happen) binding rear brakes (I watched the dial and the drag barely measured), one headlight too high, one too low (only apparent on a tester, seemed fine on the road so barely out), a track rod end and a ball joint, both of which had minimal wear and most testers would have advised, my old tester would have just told me to "get them done". Basically I will fix it and return it for a retest, but I am looking for another old car friendly tester.

Then, my last Saab 9000 departed. A low mileage CSE last used on a track day and parked ever since following turbo failure at Cadwell. In 2009! It has gone to have its engine sorted and then get it transplanted into a Vauxhall Astra. One more space!




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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Saab resurrection

I am really, really busy at home at the moment as I am getting ready to go offshore next week for a month or so. I spent this morning on paperwork and phone calls, but by after lunch the "sod this" attitude had won through. Now, I have lots of quick jobs to do, the pug needs work for its MOT and I have to clear a path in my shed to get the '34 Royce out to allow access to the Ruston Hornsby 6AP stationary engine that has stood in bits at the back of my shed for over 30 years and whose new owner is collecting it Thursday. So, it being a nice day, I decided to investigate the 2007 Saab 9-3 TiD estate that was parked up almost 3 years ago after the rear brakes went whilst I was in Lemans and the rear silencer fell off on the way back.

I put the battery on charge a couple of days ago more in hope, and sure enough as soon as it was disconnected the ignition lights went out! Took out the battery and put on one I had lying in the shed that almost fitted and hooked up my jump starter. Second try it burst into life, but it would not move due to rear brakes being stuck on plus the car had sunk into the ground. A quick pull with the Disco had it out of the ground and both wheels started turning. This is where it had sat:




Once moving I noticed both rear tyres were flat so to the shed and the compressor. Offside went up but the valve insert stuck. Took it out and cleaned it and sorted. The nearside refused to inflate, so suspecting the bead had become unseated I jacked up the rear as often taking the load off allows the bead to reseat. In this case it failed so raided my stash and got one of my winter wheels out and took off the old one to see what was going on. Aaah, that might* be the problem


With the winter tyre fitted, time for a test. It took a couple of minutes to cancel all the warnings on the dash from low coolant (topped up), both reversing lights failed, one headlight, one sidelight, ABS, TCS and indicator failure. I suspect most of these stem from the dead battery and a session with my Tech II will be required to sort them. Up the track and apart from the grinding from the rear whenever the brakes were touched and the knocking from the front suspension all seemed good. Checked at the top of the track to see if the NSF spring had broken as that is what it sounded like but all seemed good. A run on the tar section reminded me how good this car is, and by the time I got home the knocking had stopped.

I bought this car for £5.5k back when it was just 5 years old and have spent less than £1k on it since. It had just over 80k miles on it then, and over 148k now. It obviously wants to live, so I think I am going to give it the chance. Not the most productive afternoon, but fun an rewarding which is really what I needed.


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Volvo going up in the world

Last year I bought a cheap 2 post lift as it was old and well built (manufactured 1975 so a classic really), single phase, local and cheap. Did I mention it was cheap? I paid £250 for it, but had to dismantle it and collect it which meant I could see it go up and down (empty). The bits were extremely heavy, it took 20 minutes to dismantle and 40 minutes to lift into the trailer as we had to keep stopping for a rest. On collection it was plugged into a standard 13a socket despite it being a 2hp motor. 

After sitting in the barn for a couple of months, a couple of friends, my Kubota and his mini digger saw it installed. Power was supplied by a heavy extension lead with a safety* bolt replacing the 13a fuse from one of my sockets . Initial run failed because my breaker on the board kept tripping. A new more suitable breaker saw a successful first run. Stuck a Yaris on the lift and it lifted fine, but once stopped the motor would not restart upwards under load, so adjustments had to be made by lowering the car to the floor so the load was off to allow the motor to restart upwards, and once you let it stop it was down only unless you repeated the above. Not ideal.

The next test was the Volvo 240 GLE estate. The lift lifted the car but only so the wheels were about 4 inches off the ground where all motion stopped and the motor made humming noises. Repeated attempts met with repeated results. Several people looked at it, and there were 2 opinions. The first being the motor was knackered (this was the preferred option as a Chinesium motor off the bay of evil could be had for a couple of hundred quid and a 3hp upgrade for about 10% extra. The second opinion, and the most common, was that the screwed rods that do the lifting were worn allowing the rods to move and overload the motor.

I know nothing about electrickery but suggested just maybe it was suffering voltage drop along the extension, but as the lead was not getting warm it was rubbished by the experts :-) I got a bit disheartened at this point as I could see me buying a new motor to find out it was the screws and surprisingly no spares are available for a 46 year old commercial lift. Last week I was running some new cables in my shed so decided to run some heavy "arctic" cable to the lift ready for when I bit the bullet and ordered a new motor most probably before buying a new lift.

A couple of days later I was at my friends borrowing his 2 post lift to change the starter and exhaust on the pug and I was moaning about my ramp not working and I had wasted enough time and was going to order a new motor to find out one way or another. My friend is electrically competent so today he came down and connected up the ramp motor to my breaker board (he used my big compressor breaker as I had no spares) just to rule out my own theory regarding voltage drop (which I had obviously not given up on) and I could order a new motor.

Decided to go for broke for the test and stuck the Volvo on as a suitable load


Not only did it lift it nae bother, but it restarted and lifted it again under load after I had stopped it for a photo! I am now going to order a 6 breaker board (my current board only has 2 breakers) so we can do a permanent installation with compressor etc. To say I am very happy is an understatement!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Just returned home after a three and a half week trip away. Two bits of news to come home to. First my friend fitted the new track rod end and ball joint to the Pug and managed to get it back in time for a free retest so the 307 lives for another year. He also delivered the VW camper to the ebay winner who paid up for it plus delivery  so another ebay hassle free sale. I have been lucky so far. Just before I went away, the aforementioned stationary engine was also collected so I have a tiny bit of room in my shed!

After a period away, and having a working lift, my mojo has returned but I have to decide which one is first, but today is a trip to the butchers to stock up with pies!


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Back in the shed

Pies purchased, I delivered most of them to my friend when I collected my Enema as it had been parked at his whilst I was away. This morning a fellow shiter arrived with cakes to have a look at one of my c900 convertibles. First time I had looked at it so put it on the lift and gave it the once over and it is in much better condition than I had been led to believe  by the previous owner.

After he left I cut the grass as it had grown a bit whilst I was away. Then whilst the mojo was high I brought the other convertible into the shed and on to the lift.  First thing was to identify where the  exhaust is blowing from, easily sourced to the large hole in the middle silencer and the rear silencer and tailpipe is nearing the end. I was pleased to see the fence wire exhaust hangar I installed (and forgot about) as a temporary* get me home measure when the rubber hangar failed at Lemans 4 years ago has held up well.

Next the wheels came off and a liberal dose of hammer was applied to the brake callipers to remove the build up of rust from sitting for the last 18 months followed by lots of WD40 to the handbrake mechanisms. These have been left overnight, will see if anything has been achieved tomorrow.



I remembered at the last MOT  the tester mentioned some corrosion on an inner wheel arch. Soon found it and I don't think it is any worse but think I will sort it whilst it is on the ramp


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Expensive weekend

Not a lot achieved this weekend, but I suspect it is going to cost me dear.  Yesterday I went to visit a friend and took the 307 with its fresh MOT. Two miles into the journey I aborted and went back for the enema as the CV joints, which in fairness have been ticking since before I got it, decided that 167k miles is enough. Apart from sounding like the transmission was trying to leave the car, the shaking of the steering when anything but straight gave the game away. On the plus side, the ticking has gone.....

Put the Pug in the naughty corner whilst deciding if I can be bothered fixing it or bridging it. If it wasn't for the new exhaust, starter and MOT it would be an easy decision, or indeed if I liked it, but we will see.

Into the shed and back to the Saab. Now getting some movement on the seized handbrake bit of the rear calliper, but still stiff so more WD applied. Left that soaking and, just to be different I decided to look at the Chevrolet Astra. Realised the first job on that is to make an exhaust for it which will involve a lot of lying on my back with it on ramps with shite falling in my eyes. Having just come out from underneath the Saab on the ramp, my thoughts turned to the weight of the van (about 2.5 tonnes) and the capacity of my lift (2 tonnes).  My eyes then drifted to the two Discoverys waiting on work and a (probably stupid) decision was made.

The two post lift is going and tomorrow I am going to order a 4 tonne capacity replacement. It is only money and I have somebody coming to view the BMW motorbike on Wednesday evening, so if that sells it will pay for the new ramp. Man maths!

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Escort loses weight

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