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Mats Fleet review

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Fleet Review 2018


Has been a while since I posted on these pages, so for any one whos is interested here is my current fleet.


1972 Triumph Toledo, just gone over 50k. Owned since 2005 painted in 2014. Lives in my parents garage, doesn't get used enough! MOted and on the road



1979 Toyota Hiace Rio grande camper van. 2.0litre 1.8r petrol engine, probably 245k could be 145k, its a bit scruffy and a bit rusty but I love it to bits. Owned since 2008. moted currently on sorn for the winter. Will probably tax it next month as I need to move an engine crane!



1980 Toyota Hiace Devon 1.6 12r engine, I known about this van for years, its been slowly deteriorating under a tarp a few miles from my parents house. Finally last year the owner decided to sell. Completely rotten but a very useful source of spares for the white van, any thing I dont need has been going on ebay.



1986 Saab 900, 150k. Has been my daily driver since 2010 until this winter. Probably the best car i've owned. 2.0 with single stromberg carb.

I've taken it off the road this winter for a general catch up on maintenance, welding to the n/s drive shaft tunnel and replacing the increasingly noisey gearbox that I have been ignoring for the last 20kmiles.


currently looks like;



which leaves me to my new daily driver purchased last year, 1999 Polo SDI estate. Fairly dismal probably the shitest car i;ve owned. But economical and parts are cheap. 150k previously owned by some old couple. Piles of service history which i've never had before. Chucked a cambelt kit on it when I first got it and a clutch cable and gave it a bit of a service. Used to lug tools and bits of car about. Ditched the plastic wheel trims and bunged on a set of trim rings I had for my camper which improved the looks a bit in my eyes.


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  • 4 months later...

update from the last few months, Polo deciced to have FTP at work, next to a rotten Silver Cloud III. Since driving through snow drifts during the snow chaos the Polo has developed issues starting. The starter motor has been getting slower and slower untill the inevitable happend.


Using my work colegues Martins mazda 323 (shite collector extraordinaire owns over 100 cars at least 10 are 323Fs) as boster pack and a copper hammer to hit the starter! After 5mins the polo just caught and fired up.


Time to pull of the starter and investage


Starter was full of water presumably from the snow. As brushes were well knackerd. I#d planned to use the spare starter from the works Skoda 1.9 d pick up. Which turned out to be different to the 1.9SDI. For what ever reason the SDI starter forms part of the engine mount whereas the 1.9D one doesnt. So I robbed the guts out of one to make a good one out of the 2.


The o/s cv joint also decided to disintergrate with lots of interesting clanking noises. I filled it with more grease but still it complained. Now renewed with a ebay bargain joint.


Back in action. I've also fitted a set of front shocks listed for a 1.6 Vento.(autojumble) After the ride got a bit too bouncy.


Took the engine out of the saab


Ready to be fitted to the new gearbox. Ive reaplaced various seals gaskets, o-rings and other things that can be done when the engine is out. Also cleaned up the engine bay and dealt with any rust. Painted the engine block etc. Saabits.com Has been very usefull for sourcing bits and bobs




I've woken theCamper from its winter slumber, mostly just to return the borrowed engine crane. Also just because I like driving it about, coloumn shift FTW


Finally, I;ve been trying to use and enjoy the Toledo as much as possible. rather than gather cobwebs in my parents garage


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Though I should update this thread a bit as work has been progressing on the Saab, slowly!

I put the engine and gearbox back in the Saab Jan 19. Drove it around the farm a couple of times then drove back in the work shop and pulled it apart again. Interior came out, fuel tank drained and removed.
First the rear o/s arch area, some bubbles had appeared from behind the mudflap. Mud flap removed and a quick wire brush revealed this:

This area had been patched before a few times before my ownership, sadly it looks like it was done straight over corrosion.
started chopping out the grot
 I Started putting some metal back in, the boot floor lip.
I;ve got a srinker and stretcher which ive never played with much, so its a nice learning curve. Making up these bits.
I've used the Saabits supplied, drag link repair panel. Its nice and thick metal, after alot of chopping and measuring to check the bolt hole for the suspension arm was still in the right place! I've got to this stage:
I've started filling in the gaps, Its a really tricky area of the car I'd like it to look as original as possible.

In good company

more tidying and adding metal

inside of the boot corner looks like this,
a considerable improvement to earlier up the page!

next job a random rust hole near the seat belt mounting

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more progress, making up the inner arch

which ive used with the Saab bits inner arch repair panel
this seems like a huge step forward

I haven't managed to get to the work shop for a good few weeks but managed to make some good progress today. I've got a wheel arch back again!
i've used some 'cold front' glop to reduce panel warpage

helped by this ancient spot welder I've borrowed from work, which made the arch lip neater


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thanks I'm please with how it turned out, helped alot that some of that panels are availible


Rear shock mount was made up of patches, so I chopped it out

added some metal

chopped up and welding in a Saabits repair panel

front of the inner wheel arch was a bit ropey too
chopped out and new bits welded in. Note previous repair at the bottom of the photo!

and it continues! More rust to cut out
More repairs, I used a section from the arch repair panel
closing panel


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A few more small repairs to do and scrape of the rest of the underseal. But with the n/s mostly done I decided to have a look at what the o/s rear arch had to hide:
A previous repair by me probably 10 years ago! I'm not sure why I didn't cut a bit more arch out at the time. I remember the inner arch being a bit patchy years ago!
So I've been cutting it all out (Déjà vu!!) which brings this up to date! I'm really looking forward to getting this old bus back on the road I miss driving it.

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