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How much shite is too much shite? Tyred and emotional


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26 minutes ago, cort1977 said:

Do you have a buyer lined up for the 2 post?  Asking for a friend...

Just advertised it on gumtree and facebook at £350. If you want it it can be £300. Really needs a new load nut on one side (I have been told) but as you know it works fine as is.........

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2 hours ago, Saabnut said:

Just advertised it on gumtree and facebook at £350. If you want it it can be £300. Really needs a new load nut on one side (I have been told) but as you know it works fine as is.........

Thanks.  Thinking about it realistically I don't think it would work very well in my garage, could only get the car about 2 feet off the floor.

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2 minutes ago, cort1977 said:

Thanks.  Thinking about it realistically I don't think it would work very well in my garage, could only get the car about 2 feet off the floor.

In a normal garage, I agree. You would be better off with one of those lifts that slide under the sills

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Must have priced the old one right, it is now sold to the first viewer.

No better off though, paid for the new one today (but now have to wait a week for the replacement)  and whilst I was on bought a transmission jack as well. Oh dear, still easy come, easy go :-) 

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Some couriers are ace!

I ordered the new ramp (from Automotech - direct to save them the ebay fees) who were excellent. They promised delivery for Tuesday next. All good. The next day I got an email from Palletline to say it was booked in and would be delivered Monday. Even better. I received a daily email to tell me its status. Excellent.

This morning it was hammering it down with rain, to the extent that the field opposite that floods evey couple of years from the adjacent river had flooded! Unheard of in the summer!



so I decided apart from moving the motorbike to allow better access to the old ramp which is being collected this weekend, it would be a day of hiding inside catching up with paperwork. Of course, the phone rang and I ended up working for most of the day. About 14:45 the phone rang again and this time it was a company called Caledonia Logistics. The guy explained he had a delivery for me, that was not due til Monday, but he had room on the truck and had a delivery 3 miles away. No problem if it was a problem, he would take it back to the depot and bring it back Monday! I told him today would be great so he said he would be here in half an hour!

Mad panic to hitch up my trailer, go up the track, drag my farmer neighbour who had just settled in front of his fire after his 3rd soaking of the day out :-) as I needed him and his tractor to unload it as it weighs 660kg! All went smoothly and it is now resting on my trailer (sheeted over - it is still raining!) until the old ramp goes and I can put it into my shed. Installer is booked for Tuesday afternoon!

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Lift Off and Disco Dancing

The last few days have been a bit manic! Saturday the buyer of my old lift turned up on time with a couple of strong mates, a Transit tipper and a bunch of cash. Twenty minutes later they were away and I had a gap in my shed. Sunday saw the start of the long put off tidy up, but with limited success. I am not good with tidy.

Sunday my friend arrived an the old 2 breaker electric board was changed for a 6 breaker, additional sockets were installed and some of the wiring changed from temporary but fine* to permanent, a job that carried over to Monday.

Yesterday, the ramp installers arrived and did a first class job, at the end of which a sacrificial test weight was required to make sure all was OK that did not really matter if it fell over or was stuck in the air for months. What better than the ungrateful Pug which was sat in the naughty corner waiting for me to get enthusiastic enough to order it new CV joints



All worked perfectly and I am VERY happy with my new lift, especially as it will lift my heavier cars like the Discos and the Chevy day van. This morning I went out to remove the pug, but first I would double check the CV joints before ordering them, where I made an astonishing discovery. the front nearside wheel was rattling around, having lost one bolt and the remaining 3 bolts were on the last few threads. I have no idea how they have worked loose, but checking the other wheels, all 3 were slack. I will have to keep an eye on these, but at least I do not have to buy new CV joints, so counting that as a win.

Pug repaired* it was chucked outside and the Saab c900 vert put in its place. My friend arrived and the 300tdi Disco was parked in the shed and work started to change the electronic EDC injection pump (only fitted to autos) to a manual pump taken off my donor car. At this point my phone rang and I was back at work as the boat has been brought forward so I am chained to my phone and computer for the next few days. As a result I missed the progress on the Disco but by close of play it looked like this


Looks like I have been lucky as the belt on there is massively overtightened and has worn to about half thickness. The teeth on the belt can be clearly felt from the back. The amount of rubber in the front timing cover tells its own story



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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Disco Dancer

Sadly no more photos of the Disco work as I was stuck inside working and my friend doing the work is a luddite! :-) Old injection pump removed, replacement fitted, new belt and tensioner and all back together. First test run, better pick up but still glacial :-( My friend checked and we were not getting full movement on the throttle cable. Electronics from the pedal removed and some adjustment and test run two. Better, but still not right. My friend opened up the fuel pump (easy to do on a manual, impossible with the EDC) and ..... Third test run and it now goes like I always thought it should. It is not a racing car, nor did I expect it to be, but pulling out at junctions is now safe and possible! Down sides are it will use more fuel :-), I have lost the kickdown as that is cable operated from a bracket that used to fasten on the top of the pump, but the manual pump is completely different on the top so no where to fit it. Will look into that later, in the meantime I can use the selector lever as an over ride if needed. The other fault is the fuel shut off was controlled by the now disconnected ECU so turning the key off has no affect on the running condition of the engine.This means a manual shut off has been fitted (two wires you pull apart and reconnect to run) and when some toggle switches arrive a more permanent system will be installed which will double up as a good anti theft system.

With the Disco sorted I am making arrangements to test it by towing cars all over the UK next weekend when one will be leaving the fleet and another returning after an 12 months away.

That done, it was back to the c900 'vert Saab. What I thought was a sticking calliper now would appear to be a seized handbrake cable, but that can wait until tomorrow for confirmation.


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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? One leaves the fleet

After about 8 or 9 years ownership, one is leaving the fleet this weekend. Whilst a lot of fun when working, on the few occasions it failed to FTP, almost every journey has seen a problem. It even broke at SF18 when out and about. When the new owner visited last year, it FTPed twice on the test run! He still bought it so a true shiter at heart! :-) 

As the Disco needed a proper test to make sure the Injection pump conversion had gone to plan, what better way than sticking the biggest and heaviest trailer I own on the back and travelling 460 miles in really heavy holiday traffic! Glad to say it seems to have worked, fuel consumption is up a tiny bit but it goes up hills now!

Now at a luxury* travelodge for the night at Bicester ready to deliver tomorrow. Don't worry, the trailer will be filled though no new purchases have been made, before heading to Crawley tomorrow. Monday sees me having to take my brothers car in for engine surgery before heading home Tuesday.

Lovely evening at Bicester (and yes, the parking is deliberate as the double spaces are still short enough for me to block the access road....)




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I remember that breaking at SF18... because I was driving it!


First, vapour lock on the hill approaching the end of your track, then once I was within 20 feet of your shed, the clutch cable snapped with a huge audience watching!


Brilliant fun, though.

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

I had planned on updating this as I went along, but life got in the way! Anyway, the Fiat was delivered to its new home near Oxford and this old friend returned to the fleet




What a difference! Handles better, goes MUCH better, still spits flame on over run. What more can you ask for! From Oxford it was down to Crawley where it was unloaded (and these pics taken) and on Sunday a short run out to a biker cafe to have a look at the bikes and give the Cobra a shake down. Very very happy with it now, happily sits at 1100 rpm in 5th yet 110 mph in third (on an overtake on the nearby private test track) is equally effortless.

Once back, my brothers car was loaded on to the trailer and taken to his engine specialist about an hour away where it is going to get a long overdue complete engine rebuild as it has started doing Red Arrows impressions in display mode



After dropping the Cerb off on Monday morning, the Cobra was returned to the trailer for the journey north



There would have been a photo of it back home but it started raining so it was a rush to get it into the shed this morning!

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Something less sporty....

Had my second Vauxhall Astra jab today so a lot of messing was the order of the day as I have just returned from another long weekend away. I had to fetch my digger home, and now that is done I should be home for a few weeks.



The two pallets on the trailer were a gift from my friend, made from 1-1/2" thick boards. One is going to become a height adjustable workbench in my shed (it will go on my 2 post ramp) to enable work on the Kubota, lawn mowers etc and the other is going to be the same for my friend.  The Disco did the 860 mile round trip perfectly, although the fuel injection pump still needs turning up a bit as it slows on hills and would benefit from a bit more coal on the fire!

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Smoking Saab - So Neat

Today after a day and a half of strimming and mowing trying to get the steadings tidied up a bit (a job I have successfully put off for 36 years) I decided it was time to have a look at the 2 stroke Saab Sonett as it has a date at Prescott at the end of next month and has been ignored for the last 2 years.


The coating of dust gives the game away. Got it started fairly easily, much to the annoyance of the wasps in my shed, and I still smell of 2 stroke despite just coming out of the shower. The timing was miles out, so after i had RTFM I connected up the new strobe light (the last one was decidedly less strong than my Disco wheel) to cylinder number two. In true Saab (we can be different so we will be) mode, number 3 cylinder is at the front, number 1 at the bulkhead and the centre cylinder is used to set the timing. After much trying I had it better but not right.

Setting the timing is difficult on your own, as one hand has to hold the strobe, one has to turn the distributor and, being a 2 stroke it has no vacuum advance just the mechanical in the distributer, but it has to be set at 3000 rpm so a spare hand is required to hold the revs up.


After an hour of trying bodges involving brooms, screwdrivers, a passing bunny rabbit etc I gave up for the day, despite access being good.


I will have to wait until a friend visits and can provide a 3rd hand.

As I know* you are all* wondering, the Saab Sonett is not a miss spelling of sonnet despite many publications mistakenly correcting it, but so nett is the Swedish for "so neat", the comment of one senior manager at Saab on seeing the initial prototype which was actually a convertible. It took nearly 5 years for the production version which was pushed on to compete in an American race series. It was so successful in its first series, the Americans changed the rules to ban it in true sporting fashion :-) After the ban, there was no need to keep the 2 stroke engine so the Sonett 2 V4 was launched after only 258 two strokes were made. Mine is number 151.

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

I think I am getting the hang of clickbait titles :-)

As my third hand (still attached to my friend I hope) had something crop up, no progress on the Sonett today, so it was another day gardening. Main task was a patch of grass that I have always cut with the mower on high due to some large stones hiding at the surface awaiting the chance to attack the mower blades. Plan was strim the grass down with the wheeled strimmer to find the rocks, dig them out and then a test mow with the blades in the normal position. First get the equipment out


All went to plan with three digger buckets of stones removed and the mower tested fine. Decided the next bit to do would be the area behing the wrecked caravan, which meant moving it forward a couple of feet. To do that, I needed to move the Escort van, which is slowly sinking into the ground. When it was moved to its current location about 7 or 8 years ago, every point I attached a rope to pulled out, so I ended up putting a rope around the engine which almost help, enough to move the van butthe engine remains in entirely due to driveshafts and gravity!

As I only need to move it a few feet,  and remembering it has a tow bar, I decided the best way was to hook the tow ball with the digger bucket and gently pull it back. This worked perfectly*, I managed to hook the towball second time (it was buried in grass and lower than I expected due to the van sinking into the ground) and with a gentle pull, the entire tow bar, rear valence and part of the floor was neatly removed!



The only way this van is moving again will be to run a strap through the doors and pulling on that, but rain stopped play. Maybe tomorrow.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Saab Braking Bad
Posted (edited)

Got bored cutting grass and a friend was over so time to get back to the Sonett.  Timing still all over according to my cheap timing light but I have been advised that cheap ones can do this with these engines. Took off the dizzy cap for a look, and it has electronic pointless ignition but the rotor arm is seized on the shaft. Rather than risk breaking it and being left stranded, I decided to order new cap/leads and rotor arm. Foolish me.

Only one supplier in the UK. Cap - £56 but out of stock. Ignition leads £32 (there are only 4) and rotor arm £26.40. Have ordered the rotor arm and leads, when they arrive I will go back to it.

In order to get the Sonett down to Prescott, so thought I had better get on with my c900 'vert towcar. About 7 years ago, it failed an MOT on a sticking handbrake so I ordered a new calliper but whilst waiting for it to arrive I stripped and cleaned the old one enough to pass the MOT so the new one was put on the shelf A year or two later I had to fit new flexis to the back axle. so fitted braided SS ones, and the remainder were also put on the shelf.

This year, well actually last year, the handbrake again stopped working so thought I would just fit the new calliper. Of course, the callipers are handed and it was the other one this time, but it failed to respond to treatment and the handbrake cables also seemed to have seized. New calliper ordered, and I decided to sort the brakes once and for all by fitting both callipers, new handbrake cables and the other braided hoses and today was the day to start.

So onto the ramp


Wheels off


Old calliper off


Old flexis off


New flexis on


New callipers going on


And done


All going well, so over a cup of tea, a look through the HBOL to see about changing the cables. Aaah, an easy* job where most of the interior including rear seats and carpets have to come out! Decided that I would give the cables a dose of looking at now I had better access and half an hour later, plenty of WD40 and some brute force and both cables are working freely again. I now have a pair of handbrake cables on the shelf where the calliper used to live :-) 

I also need a new silencer and tail pipe, but again, these are not available at the moment, so it looks like a patch will have to be welded onto the silencer until new stock comes in from Finland. New rear brake pads are also on back order so the old pads went back in, but they are less than 40% worn so that is not a problem. I was also going to replace the cross axle brake pipe, as the originals are still fitted after 31 years and 156k miles, but they are absolutely fine so no point in that. I think I will change the front flexis to braided, despite there being nothing wrong with the ones fitted.

Whilst underneath, I noticed the small hole in the rear inner wing I have been ignoring for the last few years seems to have got a bit larger so whilst the welder is coming out I think I will fix that as well. Tomorrows job.

I have to say that brakes have always been a job I hate, but having the 2 post lift and working on a car where every single fixing came undone as it should made it a pleasure and I really enjoyed my day in the shed.

Edited to say I know the spring clip on that calliper/pads is fitted wrong, but it is how they were fitted on both sides. After fitting it I realised my error and they are now correct.

Edited by Saabnut
Added about pad retaining springs
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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Saab Braking Bad & now broken

Well, I jinxed myself! The Saab is currently broken.....

First job was to see if I could get the handbrake working properley, on these the centre console has to come out to allow access to the cable adjusters, a fiddly job but all went well. The left hand cable (the one with the sticky calliper) was wound all the way in, so backed it right off and equalised the two cables. Feels fine but will not really know until it is back on its wheels. 

Next job was the front flexis, worth changing?


Nothing wrong with the hoses but the ferrules had a bit of surface rust. Decided that as the rest of the system was done, might as well.


And the other side


Again all went well.

Next job, have a look at the rust. The nearside appeared worst


but a poke at the offside showed a similar problem


Out with the wire brush in the grinder, and lets see how bad it really is. This is the only rust on the car, but it is 30 years old



So not bad at all. Last job for the day, bleed the brakes. Out with the eezibleed and slacken the bleed nipples ready. Obviously the rears were no problem being new, but I was a bit worried about the fronts as they are the original callipers and new ones are not currently available. Offside was a bit dodgy but plenty of WD and gentle working and it came undone. Phew. The nearside however snapped clean off as soon as any pressure at all was applied. Looking at the fracture, it is obvious that it was damaged historically as there was rust on part of it so not entirely my fault, honest.

My friend is going to try and get the remains out, but I have found a source of reconditioned ones as a back up so all is not lost.

Back to the grass cutting whilst I await the return of the calliper.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Welder Borked

Decided I would have a weekend off away from grass cutting and car fixing.

Saturday, spent a few hours watching you tube until I got bored. Switched the telly on. I hate watching sport. Choice of tennis, tennis, horse racing, rugby or repeats.

Spent the rest of the day cutting grass :-) 

This morning a friend came round and lots of shite was talked. Once he left I decided to put a bit of weld on an old sign frame that had cracked. My welder had other ideas. Powers up, fan runs, but nothing happens when the trigger is pulled (it is a SWP 220 MIG). It did this about a year ago but then fixed itself. Lots of prodding and poking but nothing. Suspecting the microswitch in the torch, I made up a jumper wire and shorted across the connections in the welder, but still nothing. This would seem to show it is not the torch, but that is as far as my electrical knowledge goes so will have to try and find someone local who will look at it without sucking their teeth and saying its FFM, big style.

My friend who is sorting my calliper (with luck) had also volunteered to weld up the Saab for me. As the weather was crap and the Enima has not had a run for a while, decided to take it for a run and ask my mate to bring his welder when he comes over. Enima ran fine and my mate is happy to bring his welder over. As a bonus he gave me this back


Yes, my brake calliper with a nut welded onto the sheared bleed nipple that is now loose! Top result, tomorrow it is refit and bleed the brakes.

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  • Saabnut changed the title to How much shite is too much shite? Tyred and emotional

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