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All MX-5s are green. But which green.


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So, I've replaced the front brakes and changed the oil.

On the test drive to check the brakes, the engine was cold and very tappety.

So I dropped the oil and put some 5W30 fully synthetic in. 

Tappety noise has gone. 

Apparently that was the noise. 

I'm not sure when it was last changed. 2 years maybe, but also 10W40 is probably too thick. 

I took one photo. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Mini has now had a wheel bearing. Strange because I've been saying for 7 years it sounds like it needs a wheel bearing but so faint as to be impossible to find. And passed MOT despite me saying, are you sure it doesn't need a wheel bearing. And I couldn't hear it needing one 3 weeks ago. But suddenly last Tuesday it's making an awful noise.  Wife and daughter took it to the closest barely to be trusted garage and they made it go away. 

Daughter is now looking for a replacement.

On the Omega Front, I'm poised to order

2 x 3.0 cats (left and right) and one full Cat back system for the 3.2 

Off eBay. 

Parts including fixing kits comes to £240. 

Just need to convince my lodger to charge me for fitting.  He says I can use one of his ramps, but i can't be arsed with the misery. 



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  • 1 month later...

BINI wasn't due an MOT until May 4th, but given the potential lockdown that's coming And that my daughter is a pharmacist in a large hospital, there was a decision to put off replacing it with something newer, slower and shinier, and get it an MOT asap.

So with a little thought this morning, I went through each and every fuse to find the one that is blown. Plugged some professional kit into the OBD2 port, and turned off the airbag light. Dan my lodger, also erased a load of historical fault codes. 

Then it failed the MOT on rear brake pads, a rusty brake pipe and headlights too low. 

Took it to lodgers garage and he let me use his spare lift. And tools. and got stuck in himself (to be fair he did the brake pipe) and showed me some tricks with the rear pads. 

Then it passed the MOT second time of asking at a place he said "never fails anything" 

There's advisories for rust on the exhaust and an oil leak from the cam cover gasket. 

We agreed MEH 

Anyway shiny pipe pictures.




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  • 3 weeks later...

What a ballocks evening. 

Daughter is on 11 hour shifts in Salford Hospital.  She drives Bini home and there's steam coming out around what I think is the power steering fluid reservoir. 


Obviously I can't go over to Central Manchester to have a quick look. 

So she calls out the RAC who diagnose "probably head gasket failure" 

Like fuck it is...I suspect that a hose and or the coolant reservoir has decided to leak. 

Anyway.  Bini is now on my drive and daughter has no way of getting to work other than the tram. Or a taxi. RAC wouldn't transport her with the car, which is fair enough, but it means we can't lend her a car. 

But she's had enough of the Bini.  And she's enough to replace it this week.  I assume that car dealers have some way of selling cars ? There are 400 advertised in her price range on AutoTrader within 5 miles of central Manchester and at least 7 of them meet the low mileage fiesta or Ka requirement. 

So if anyone wants a Bini that has an MOT, had a gearbox and clutch and thermostat housing. And a list of things......

Apparently I can't have it. 


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5 minutes ago, paulplom said:

What's your best price m9? I've promised to buy the daughter one when she passes her test this month which has just been put back till July.

Dunno.  I'm going to ignore it for a couple of days, then run it up to temperature. I'm pretty sure it won't be the head gasket though. 

It's not been the most reliable car recently. ? and daughter is on call. 

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got around to looking at the head gasket failure / not head gasket failure. 


Runs fine.  Sprays coolant onto back of engine and exhaust.  

Just need a new hose. 

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From my Genuine PDF of the USA manual , its the top one from the thermostat housing marked 2 


Any ideas where the best place to get hose is? 

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1 hour ago, paulplom said:

I wonder how many people would've sacked it off because of the incorrect diagnosis from the rac?

I'm sure that the RAC have the T&Cs sewn up.  Not that anyone reads them.


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  • 3 weeks later...


That hose is hidden.  First job remove battery.20200609_101732.thumb.jpg.07a67fd607a8c0e707f4386411499ebf.jpg

And then. EcU 


And the box it sits in.20200609_101923.thumb.jpg.fc93a80056686892cab5249e271ffb05.jpg

There's the pipe. Little bigger didn't want to come off. I ended up attacking it with Stanley's knife. 20200609_102811.thumb.jpg.e0dd47ab68366964519f3f64f92b6edf.jpg


Here is is next to.the new gates one. 20200609_102955.thumb.jpg.d0378debc808a67bcec7fcf02da90b91.jpg


Stupid design has a larger inside diameter at one end than the other. Why? 

So I put it all back together. 





And put the dead battery on charge. 

So I've been up and down the cul de sac. Had it up to temp, left it idling for 35 mins, saw the fan come on and go off a few times.  Does not overheat. Does not use or loose coolant. 

Drove it up the road again, and parked it on the front.  

I took the coolant reservoir off and gave it a clean inside.  

I'm 99% sure it hasn't got head gasket failure.  

So this will now be for sale. Social distancing for any test drive is possible if you are a regular.  I think possible roffle? 

I'll start a new post. 

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  • 2 months later...

So an update, 

Last week, the omega wouldn't start after 4 months. Battery dead, and when jumped from another car, it just turned over.  Omegod to the rescue with a crank sensor.  Started first time of asking. 

I've been in touch with various people, and I have a pair of good secondhand genuine 3.2 Cats (4 cats to be accurate) on their way, and a full Cat back Jetex system, I need to pick up from  the wirral. 

A bloke not far from me, is fitting the exhaust and changing the gearbox oil and gearbox filter at the same time. 

The battery seems to be holding it's charge.  Hopefully it might have survived ? maybe. 

And then i will be pressing it into use.  I wish there was a way I could get my wife to drive it, but apparently it's "too big" 


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Wooohooooo.  MOT PASSED !!! 

SOME interesting but nor scary advisories.  I shall get them sorted in due cause. 

231700 miles. 






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  • 3 months later...

Yesterday, I put on 2 pairs of clothing and serviced the Astra.  It was cold. I warmed up the engine, so the oil was hot. 

I took 2 pictures. 

One of the old air and new air filters. 

That needed doing. 20210102_122523.thumb.jpg.6f53a505fdee0080915baba0f3ecf2c5.jpg

And one of the coil pack.  

Which had me scratching my head. I couldn't get it off.  The cam cover is plastic and I didn't want to put a screw driver on it to act as a lever.  Just trying to pull it out wasn't enough.  Eventually I managed, but that rubber is tight. Oh er madam. 


Then I plugged in my OBD2 reader.  No faults found. 

Then I had to read the owners manual, to find out how to reset the service light. Code 82.  

Oil change was the easiest I've ever done.   The filter is easy to get to, with a big hex on the top of the housing. 

Anyway today (maybe)  and oil change on the omega.  


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  • 4 weeks later...
On 03/01/2021 at 16:21, yes oui si said:

Omegas really are handsome old barges. 

Any video of it with the new exhaust? 

I should have recorded it last night when the thing was running on 5. It did sound shit.  Code reader said 6.  Which is the hardest plug to get to. Ovs 

I spent my lunch 2 hours today taking the 2,4,6 coil pack off, swapping spark plugs, cleaning the plug wells and noticed a spring between the coil pack and the plug had become dislodged. 

Put it all back how it should be, took it for a drive and then washed my battered hands.  I wore rubber gloves. They fell apart. 




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  • 2 months later...

Changed oil and filters at the weekend. Drove to Uttoxeter last night. When I pulled up I could hear some sort of squeaking noise from the front pully area, that increased with engine revs


It would appear that the auxiliary tensioner has seized.  

Dan. My old lodger.  Runs a repair garage around the corner. He is putting it right (or setting fire to it) 



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Tensioner replaced. At a cost from GM of 72 quid. Belt 28 squid labour 50 squids. 150 total. 

Engine sounds uneringly quiet now. 

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When mine went the pulley disintegrated and so did the belt after tangling itself around it. So no drive to water pump / alternator / pas/ a/c.

One of two occasions  ive ever been left stranded in an Omega in 15 years of driving them. The other being crank sensor failure. An excuse to use my Autoaid membership both times.

The Aux. belt disaster was a previous Omega. The Crank sensor, just after I bought my current one. Original sensor had lasted 170k miles, so had done well.

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  • 4 months later...
  • New POD changed the title to All vax'al's are (appliance) w(s)hite? The White Knight revealed on page 4.

1st Drive out in Sir LAstralot.  125 miles average speed 68.7 mph average fuel use 39.7 mpg 

This is a view of Snowdon from Ynys Mon


Looks like a fridge from the front.


Appears to have a big arse.




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  • 1 month later...
On 04/09/2021 at 19:11, tobyd said:

I'm deeply sad but, the way lines flow around the door handle and carries on backwards pleases my peepers.

It's like the designer(s) used the same 3D model for the "tick" on the door, borrowed from the rear door of the 5 door. 



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