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Saabnuts Assorted Shite Blog - Holden Horrors

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A bit easier day today (at least no bloody lifting of rocks!) and a bit of progress.

 

Completed the grading of my track, so at least it has no potholes at the moment, unlike most of the local roads. How long it will last remains to be seen.

 

Another couple of hours fighting with the rusty Saab eventually saw the towbar come off, and my worst fears were confirmed - the top of the box section has completely rotted away. As I need the tow bar for the NEC in a couple of weeks, an appeal was made on UKSaabs and a very nice man has agreed to send me one for the cost of postage. As I cannot risk not having one in time, I am also going to see my local blacksmith to see if he can reuse the plates etc and replace the main box section. Another UKSaabs user emailed me this evening and offered to lend me the one off his car, so that is plan C.

 

The offending item:post-5203-0-71993600-1551822444_thumb.jpg

 

And the rusty bit

 

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And finally, a close up of the invisible* modification made to the boot lid to enable me to open it. My friend and I are considering taking his Stihl saw to the local Tesco car park and offering a key retrieval service as it worked so well...

 

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I cannot believe it has taken a week to do what should have taken half a day at most! The replacement tow bar arrived on Tuesday, and whilst much better than mine, rust had started to take hold. If I had been stuck I would have used it, but whilst waiting its arrival I had my old one repaired by cutting and sleeving it, by a friend who is a pro welder and had the correct size of heavy wall box in stock. It is now far stronger (and heavier!) than it was when new, so should just have been a simple job to fit, but it fought me all the way, bolts were too long, fingers too short etc etc. After lots of sweary hours, I had 3 of the 5 main bolts in, but the other two at the front of the car originally had a plate with captive nuts that had rusted away. I made up a new plate to find getting it in would have needed the fuel tank dropping, which in turn would have meant new tank straps being required - bitter experience said they never come undone.

 

Decided to take a break from the tow bar, and decided to fit the 7 pin electric socket. I have a Haynes manual, a genuine Saab workshop manual, a Bentley manual and an electronic copy of a different factory manual to identify the wire colours to the rear lights. After a full evening of study, I had no less than 9 wiring diagrams with different colours, as mine is of course a change over year. The next day, I discovered that my car is version Ten! So, multi meter and trial and error, coupled in with my hatred of electrics (electrics are powered by smoke, not logic. If you do not believe me, if you release the smoke from anything electrical, it will no longer work. Try it!) meant even that simple task took 4 hours.

 

I spoke to my friend in Perth (75 miles away) who has a) a 2 post lift, B) a welder and c) the skill to use the welder and arranged to visit him today to try and fit the remaining 2 bolts on the towbar or weld the damn thing on. Got up this morning to be met by this:

 

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Got the car in the air and literally 10 minutes later both bolts were in and the towbar installation complete! This after spending all Thursday afternoon lying under the car trying to get the bolts in place. Car down, cup of tea and a sticky bun later and head back home. Car is back in the shed looking like this:

 

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The snow in Perth had started to thaw but it is still snowing here at home, so the same view about half an hour ago looked like this. Fortunately it is not accumulating much and it is supposed to warm up tomorrow, but it is now heavier than ever....

 

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The over riding feeling now is relief that it is done before the deadline. I have also decided that my priority this summer is to buy and install a ramp, something I have been thinking of for a while. This job has proven not am I only too old and fat for lying on the floor, sometimes height is needed to make it possible. I already have my 1933 BSA Coupe on the market (with little interest) but when I return from the NEC I am going to put the Fiat 500 and the Rover 3500 P6 on the market. Which ever sells first will finance a nice new shiny 4 post ramp.

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Regular readers may well remember the Trailer of Many Blowouts from last summer. Since then I have replaced all  tyres with a good used set and all has been fine. Whilst away in France, a friend phoned and asked if he could borrow it, of course I said yes, and by the time I got home it was back in its parking place. A few weeks ago, I noticed one of the tyres had gone flat, and seeing as how it was several months since any air was added, I assumed a slight leak around the rim and told myself I would sort it later.

Today, I decided to blow the tyre up to 40 psi and see how much it dropped over 24 hours, if minimal I would leave it alone, if significant I would have time to reseal it before loading the trailer Tuesday for a run to the NEC on Wednesday. Took out my portable compressor and blew the tyre up. First problem, it would not go above about 10psi and second problem was it was completely flat within 2 seconds! Aaargh. Took the wheel off the trailer and there is a 1 inch long cut right through the sidewall, it looks like when my friend borrowed it he must have hit something substantial. No blame on my friend, he would not have noticed with the trailer empty, but annoying.

The trailer is fitted with 155/70 x 13 tyres (actually off a K11 Micra I scrapped) which once upon a time were the most common tyre size. I have just spent the last hour checking, and I have good tyres with 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 inch diameters. Yes, you can see what is missing! I have just phoned my local Kwik Fit and ordered the last one within the company in Scotland, should be here tomorrow or Tuesday morning. Nice and cheap (just over 30 quid) and if the worst comes to the worst I can take one off my other trailer (different PCD) so no panic, but typical of the way this week has gone. I do have a spare for the trailer with an older tyre on, but want to carry a spare.

I need a job that will go OK now, so I am going to go and check the fluids on the Saab towcar. WCPGW?

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Sort of 50/50 joking but possibly serious question...The P6. What state is it in, and what would you be looking for for it? Feel free to drop me a PM if you'd rather keep it off an open forum.

 

I've wanted one for years, and while there's really no room at the inn at the moment (especially until someone buys the damned Lada), the potential to be able to source one from someone I trust means it's enough to make me sit up and pay attention.

 

Bit silly to be thinking about buying one when I've never even driven one...but I've never driven a BMC car I didn't like to be honest so I've little worry about liking it. Really fancy an MGB one day too...

 

It's an utterly daft idea really, but I felt I'd kick myself if I didn't ask.

 

I'm not letting myself ask the same question about the Astro...I was lucky to get one van past management, if I turned up with a second I suspect I'd wind up living in one of them.

 

I did wonder about turning up with a coach outside one day just to see what would happen...I did that to my parents once though...

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while we are asking questions bout the fleet if you dont mind :)

 

whats the story behind the FX4? :)

 

(iv seen it in a few pictures now and as a FX4 fan im curious bout it, tho not looking to buy it, not yet anyway :mrgreen: )

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First, to answer the questions. Zel - not really sure, I have not checked prices for a couple of years and I need to get it out from the corner it is in to make sure all is OK. Once I get time, I will do the research and let you know before it goes on the market. LBF - the FX4 is a 2.7 Nissan Derv one with auto. I am hoping to get a chance to have a look at it this year, but said that last year....

 

A bit of progress on the NEC preparations today. Firstly Kwik Fit phoned me to let me know my tyre had arrived, so went and collected it and fitted the wheel to my trailer. Hitched the trailer to the Saab 900 (the first time anything has been hitched to that car) and readied it for loading. Todays conundrum was how to load a non running car onto a trailer with no winch when you are on your own? The answer, like most things in the awkward things to move world was a long rope and a Kubota!

 

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Fortunately the later light evenings gave me a chance to load the trailer today so I am slightly ahead of schedule for the first time on this project. Tomorrow I need to attach the last 2 straps and then load the car with all the bits I need for the show. Slowly starting to relax and look forward to the show......

 

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Time for an update as there have been a few changes.

 

Firstly, the Saab 900 vert did the job beautifully, towing the Sonett to the NEC and back without missing a beat. We managed to get the Sonett running again, although the timing still needs a bit of fine tuning to get it running properly.

 

As fleet reduction is now a priority, I have added a few and got rid of none. It is going well*.

 

Last weekend I collected a little AX in which I am enjoying back to basics motoring. Next weekend I collect what I hope will be the last addition for a while, but I have said that before. In a nod to actually getting rid of some, as the Discovery of Disappointment has returned, I have put the Mitsubishi L200 up for sale in the new fangled forum.

 

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FFS another of those days!

 

First thing was a trip to Aberdoom to my regular MOT man to have another go with the Holden. Last time about 75% of the test was completed when the high pressure fuel pipe decided it had had enough, so end of test. Got it home, replaced the rusty fuel line and fixed the intermediate bonnet release. Quick check last night revealed a failed rear tail light, so out with the unit and....... it is a special bulb! A good look at the filament showed it appeared intact, so a clean of the contacts and full lighting restored. So, off to ABZ this morning.

 

The new bypass meant I arrived 45 minutes early, and luckily the previous test had failed to show, so straight on the ramp. Test progresses fine, and the tester mentioned how much he hated the American spiral wound brake pipes, as they prevented seeing what state the actual pipes are in, but MOT  regs mean he cannot fail, just pass and advise. I had the same type of pipes on my Chevrolet Dayvan and the tester suggested I replace those at its last test, so I did and the old ones were near failure point, so now I dislike them as well.

 

The test continued with all good, so on to the emissions test. First run showed a fail, but after a chat my tester gave it a high speed run for a minute or so, as it is high geared and he suspected the Cat does not get hot enough in normal use. A re run on the emission tester showed a very good pass, one of the many reasons I travel to use my MOT man. (He is used as holiday/illness/trouble shooting cover so his base moves around).

 

Finally, on to the rolling road for the brake test, and I relaxed as I knew the brakes are excellent. Front brakes superb, but then disaster! One of the aforementioned bastard spiral wound pipes failed under the extreme load, proving perfectly his point!

 

I have now got it back home and it is now sitting outside my shed awaiting Sunday to investigate, as tomorrow is a collection day!

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FFS another of those days!

 

First thing was a trip to Aberdoom to my regular MOT man to have another go with the Holden. Last time about 75% of the test was completed when the high pressure fuel pipe decided it had had enough, so end of test. Got it home, replaced the rusty fuel line and fixed the intermediate bonnet release. Quick check last night revealed a failed rear tail light, so out with the unit and....... it is a special bulb! A good look at the filament showed it appeared intact, so a clean of the contacts and full lighting restored. So, off to ABZ this morning.

 

The new bypass meant I arrived 45 minutes early, and luckily the previous test had failed to show, so straight on the ramp. Test progresses fine, and the tester mentioned how much he hated the American spiral wound brake pipes, as they prevented seeing what state the actual pipes are in, but MOT  regs mean he cannot fail, just pass and advise. I had the same type of pipes on my Chevrolet Dayvan and the tester suggested I replace those at its last test, so I did and the old ones were near failure point, so now I dislike them as well.

 

The test continued with all good, so on to the emissions test. First run showed a fail, but after a chat my tester gave it a high speed run for a minute or so, as it is high geared and he suspected the Cat does not get hot enough in normal use. A re run on the emission tester showed a very good pass, one of the many reasons I travel to use my MOT man. (He is used as holiday/illness/trouble shooting cover so his base moves around).

 

Finally, on to the rolling road for the brake test, and I relaxed as I knew the brakes are excellent. Front brakes superb, but then disaster! One of the aforementioned bastard spiral wound pipes failed under the extreme load, proving perfectly his point!

 

I have now got it back home and it is now sitting outside my shed awaiting Sunday to investigate, as tomorrow is a collection day!

That's a bugger Saabnut...next time man, next time!

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A quick update, having failed to collect the Volvo on Sunday, I did manage to collect a Honda Jazz on Monday. The Honda appears to be boring, characterless but cheap and practical so it can stay for a while.

 

Today I made and fitted a new brake pipe to the Holden so it is now road legal again. Time for it to go methinks.

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Well, that was an odd weekend!

 

Started the week by picking this up from Kinkersaab of this parish

 

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which is now providing transport locally and today I will be loading it up and tomorrow I shall be heading to France in it, WCPGW?

 

Back at the beginning of the year I advertised the Holden for sale on carandclassic and had a lot of interest. One guy in Oxford was particularly keen, and a deal was done subject to a new MOT which of course took much longer than expected. Since then he emailed me at least once, sometimes 5 or 6 times a week to check on progress. This week an MOT was achieved, and he booked a train up on Friday. I picked him up at the station at lunch time and the enthusiasm continued. He confirmed my suspicions as one of the first things he told me was he was autistic, but he was a really nice bloke and I have no problems with that, so I made a point of telling him he was not committed to the purchase unless he was 100% happy with it.

 

The first sign of doom was as we approached my house, he commented that it was bigger than he expected, and I had to tell him he was looking at the Mitsubishi L200, not the Holden! There followed 2 hours whilst he went over it with a fine tooth comb, during which he found more and more insignificant things, most of which were design features, and I got the distinct impression he was looking for excuses not to buy. Eventually I said take it for a test drive, and as we went up the track I got the impression he was not happy. Once we got to the road, after about a mile he pulled over and asked me to take it back - it was too big! Turns out it was much bigger than he was expecting and the width was frightening him!

 

I dropped him off at the train station and we parted on amicable terms, indeed I have had 2 emails from him since where he has expressed non-buyers remorse! :-) Personally I would rather not sell it than sell to someone who is not 100% happy so when I get back from France I will re-advertise it and start again.

 

After dropping him off, I continued over to Kinkersaabs and picked this up havingno idea what I wanted it for!

 

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On Wednesday evening I decided that it was long enough after my last Gumtree experience for the memory to have faded, so I advertised my L200 and awaited the inevitable flow of shit enquiries. After 48 hours there had been silence! However, Friday evening after returning from Kinkersaabs, the phone rang with an enquiry. The guy sounded genuine and interested, but he lived in Livingstone and worked 7 days at the moment. To help out with viewing, I mentioned I was visiting a friend in Perth on Sunday, if that would be easier for viewing. That worked and we agreed to meet around mid-day on Sunday at my friends. I was not really expecting him to arrive and never hear from him again as per usual with Gumtree, but at 1130 he arrived. A good look over, a quick test drive and he handed over cash and drove it away

 

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This of course meant I was now 70 miles from home without a car, so I enjoyed* the pleasure* of public transport and took a train back near home and had a friend give me a lift home. On the train I received a text from the L200 buyer saying he was home and very happy with the truck.I had just settled down with a cup of tea when the phone went with a friend asking for advice as he was struggling with a fault on his wifes' Hummer H2 and he needed it fixed for this morning as she needed to get to work. Of course, I have zero knowledge of modern electrics, so I took the cowards way out and lent him a car, so the Yaris is back in use!

 

 

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Autistic or not I would have been friggin fuming at yer Holden ‘buyer’. I would have expected him to know by heart the exact dimensions of the flipping thing never mind this ‘its much bigger than I thought’ stuff. Still you can’t force someone to buy something can you, so no point trying I guess. At least there’s the consolation of knowing that buying a walk-on train ticket to get home again probably cost him £200+. Every cloud and all that!

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Fair play to you for being so good with the Holden chap, very decent of you.

 

I recently went to look at a car with a relative who is on the autistic spectrum. Lovely little car, exactly what he wanted (and had done for years), brilliant spec and condition. I thought he was going to buy it, think the seller thought he was going to buy it. After an extended test drive he decided against it as it "didn't feel right". Nothing wrong with the car, just something in the air I guess.

 

The seller was an absolute gent about it which I think lessened my relative's feelings of guilt, and he did ring the guy to apologise later on. Your attitude will have done this chap a big kindness.

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The return ticket cost him £190. I am never happy selling a car if the buyer is not 100% happy with the deal. This guy obviously wasn't so that was that. Not a problem, I had to go past the train station anyway to collect a battery for a friends 2CV in France, and I dropped him at the other local station as I had to pass that to collect the Yaris, so just the time he was looking at it wasted.

 

Had to move the Holden today so took it around the block as I could. I was less than happy with the brakes, no air in the system symptoms and no leaks, but they did not feel right. On the gravel track back home I gave them a proper test. ABS on the front worked fine, and it pulled up straight. Got out to look at the gravel, and it is obvious the rear brakes are doing not a lot, so I have ordered a pair of new wheel cylinders and when I get back from France I will change them and the one remaining steel brake pipe. At least then I will know the brakes are all good, but another job I could do without.

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As I am away in France I am away from my shite collection (I am planning on bringing something down to work on when I am here, but that will mean investing in a duplicate tool kit) and a friend with a 2CV dropped it off with me on Saturday as the specialist who was working on it for here died before completing the work. Most of the important stuff had been done, but it had no handbrake.

 

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I have never worked on one of these before, despite owning one briefly in the late 90s, so it was going to be a learning curve. The owner dropped off a HBOL with it and it mentions special tools, but some info from here hinted it should be possible to get around it. So into the shed and lets see what we have

 

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and those will be the brakes

 

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Fortunately I found a good (french) video on youtube and the car itself came apart easily. I cleaned and greased all the components of the handbrake mechanism, but the handbrake pads are not in their prime. However I managed to adjust the pads and managed without the special tool, with a large pair of chickenleg pliers. I think if 2CV fettling is going to be a regular thing, I will invest the 12 quid for a new proper tool, it will make things easier. A test of the car showed it now has a handbreak, and the brakes are not binding and getting hot, so will count that as a win.

 

I checked the car over (oil etc) and it would appear that most of the work it was in for was completed. The owner did say that a bit had fallen off when she went to the shops, and was in the boot. I had a look and found this:

 

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It is covered in old engine oil, so was obviously low down in the engine compartment, and is obviously for ducting air, but I cannot see where it has come from. Anybody recognise it and can tell me where it goes please? The HBOL is typically useless.

 

 

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