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Saabnuts Assorted Shite Blog - Holden Horrors

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Having left warm and sunny France, I am back home in cold and often damp Scotland as I have a pressing need to get some transport sorted out for the summer. The Cobra clutch farce continues, so realistically that is going to miss this summer. Now have to remove the clutch again and this time the new flywheel also has to come off so we can send the lot back to the supplier for them to sort out the crap quality parts they keep sending. Despite being sourced from the states, I am convinced the US supplier has outsourced manufacture and are using finest Chinesium.

So, as it has been 2 years since Jaggy McJaaaagface has tirned a wheel, attention switched to that. Typically it will not start and it appears the fuel pump is getting no power. I have just ordered a new tester which should arrive tomorrow, so until it arrives, that is as far as I can go with that one. I have also ordered 2 new rear wheel cylinders for the Holden, also due tomorrow, so I can get that sorted and back on the market.

I have a load of scrap vehicles ready for the yard, but to do anything there I need a tow car, and since the sale of the L200 that means the Discovery of Doom. Having thrown money at a specialist, we think we have cured the FTP habit, but before I could give it a proper test, the rear air suspension decided it no longer wants to operate, so fed up with it, I have bought a rear spring conversion kit, so today decided to at least start on it. Into the shed and back end up

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This is what I started with

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According to everybody* it is a simple job to remove the airbags, but they have obviously not done it on a rusty shite example. According to the sages, the airpipe just pops out of a fitting, but neither of mine wanted to play ball, so I removed the cover from the compressor and released the lines at that end, and so released the pressure. The top of the airbags are located with two spring clips, like swire clips, but mine were 90% rust, so the remains had to be chiselled off a bit at a time. Eventually they were off and a BFO crowbar had them out of the housing, where the reason the pipes would not spring off became clear. One side was held in by a threaded end, which soon undid and the other side was a moulded fitting, so the hacksaw soon sorted that.

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The airbags are supposed to twist through 90 degrees to release the base, but rust had taken hold. It took about an hour and a half on each side with a large hammer and chisel to rotate each bag a few degrees, then back a few degrees plus one etc before I had it turned through 90 degrees. The aforementioned crowbar then lifted them out. At least once they were removed, I was pleased to see the underseal on the chassis behind them looked to be in good, undisturbed condition. Just to be certain I gave it a scrape with a screwdriver, where upon it all fell off revealing lots of surface rust behind! I have treated it all with Kurust (all I had to hand) and have left it drying overnight so will continue tomorrow.

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The air bags themselves are still fine, either the compressor or more likely something in the control system has failed. It is only the 7 seater that has rear air, the 5 seater was always on springs and about 95% of the time I am on my own and have never had more than 5 people in any of my cars, so springs will be fine with the benefit of being cheaper as well.

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Well a better day today, got loads done. My friend who I had borrowed the spring compressors from volunteered to come and give me a hand.  Having two of us soon had the spring base plates in, springs squished and located, mostly hassle free. And just to prove it, have a photo

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As it was still early, and as I am loathe to waste a volunteer, we decided to sort the flapping rear wings and the associated wonky mud flaps. This had been caused by the support brackets rotting away, and whilst I had priced up replacements, I am too tight to pay 60+ quid a side. We found a bit of nice thick steel of the scrap Iveco van, cut it into two and bent them to form brackets which were welded onto the chassis. The scrap pile was visited again and a couple of lengths of flat bar were liberated from an old rear seat assembly and two brackets fabricated. The back end is now all firmly attached, which will get rid of one of the advisories from the last MOT. As it was now 1830 I reluctantly took my friend back home, but the Disco is back on its wheels. Tomorrow I need to torque up the wheel nuts and replace the cover on the old air suspension compressor, which has obviously failed as it remains silent despite disconnected pipes. The good news is there are no warning lights (yet). Maybe tomorrow I might take a bravery pill and take it for a run, and see if I can complete it without the use of the big yellow taxi!

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Another mixed day at Chez Saabnut! Firstly the  weather was lovely so as I had to go and see a man about some possible work (not holding my breath on that) I decided to take the Saab as the chances for roof down motoring  with a T-Shirt on and not freezing in Scotland are few and far between. First it needed petrol, an all too common occurence here, so filled up and the Saab behaved perfectly. It was nice to have a bit of performance despite it being non turbot after running around in the Honda. The clutch pedal feels like there is air in the system and has done for the last couple of years, it does not seem to get worse, but something I need to have a look at. Back home:

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As the Cobra is not going to be out and about this summer, I need transport for Shitefest and LeMans so decided it was time to get Jaggy McJaagface out of hibernation. Tried to start it a couple of days ago and it appeared to be getting no fuel. My new tester arrived this morning so went to investigate. After about 3 hours and trying ever more desperate fixes, I have come to the conclusion the fuel pump has failed. Replacements are 400 quid plus, and according to the internet removing the tank carries a very high risk of damaging the pipes, replacements for which are well into 4 figures. It was with great sadness that I came to the conclusion that Jaggy has reached the end of the road

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Depressed, I decided to go and see my friend and get back my eazi-bleed I had loaned him so tomorrow I can try bleeding the Saab clutch, it needs a pressure bleed and now looks like it may be the steed for SF19 and LM24. Could not put it off any longer, time to test the Discovery of Doom. Surprisingly, it behaved perfectly on a 30 mile round trip and the ride seems improved over the old air system so very happy with that. Just need to see if it is going to reliable now! Whilst at my friends we were discussing Jaggy and he asked if there was a hatch to get to the in tank fuel pump, and I explained the problem and the risk of fractured pipes. We decided that the pump has probably just stuck after 2 years lay up, and then we both had a lightbulb moment and - I have an angle grinder! Tomorrow I am going to see if it is feasable to cut out a section of the rear parcel shelf to get to the pump. I have nothing to lose, and it might just work! May not get it done for this years trips, but at least JmcJ may yet live on.

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4 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

any plans to recommission the FX4? :)

or the green godess! turn up to AS19 in that and win the show :mrgreen:

Id love to see the fx drive! Always wanted one as an car although I was much younger then and have read much on how crap they are to use as a daily driver, but the want is still there slightly! 

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Just now, beko1987 said:

Id love to see the fx drive! Always wanted one as an car although I was much younger then and have read much on how crap they are to use as a daily driver, but the want is still there slightly! 

Ditto Id love to own one some day, they pretty high up on the want list,

I fondly remember them from my childhood, we never really could afford taxis but when the need did arise I always tried to make mum flag down an FX4 rather then any other modern thing

(to the point where i dont think I have ever actually been in a metrocab)

I knew em back then as "suicide taxies" (because of the suicide doors) which must of sounded very weird to a passerby :mrgreen:

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I'm certain I've seen your Jag going down the M1 in Northamptonshire a few years back. Kind of hard to forget with the sign writing on it. I guess you must have been going to leMans

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For the saving of £400 and if plan B is just to frag it anyway I'd be trying all sorts of free ways to get the pump moving! Otherwise you could make yourself an excellent workshop sofa/chair out of the interior and some square section and still pass go and collect £200

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can you go all Cuba on it and bodge in a Lada engine a different fuel pump or something?

might also be worth checking if the fuel pump is shared with something else under another part number or name? might be much cheaper that way as you might be paying for Jag tax otherwise

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Another busy day at Chez Saabnut - making the most of the great weather! Started off by mowing the grass to make it look less a hay paddock, then a friend arrived to rob bits off the Iveco van for his A series transporter engine swap project. I took the opportunity to see if it was as bad as I expected rust wise (I had been half heartedly planning on welding it up and returning it to the road as it only has 113k miles on the clock and a superb interior) but it is far worse than I thought so its fate was sealed. The required parts have been removed (mostly hoses and the air filter assembly) the rest will be briefly advertised as spares before it gets carted to the bridge.

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A quick look at the remains of the other Iveco van to see if anything else was wanted (this has provided its mechanicals to convert a Ford Day Van from a 6.3 V8) and it was concluded this one is also reay for the bridge

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The clutch pedal on the 900i was very spongy and only just cleared, with the bite very near the floor. This happened after a year or so off the road, but never got any worse over the next couple of years and never slipped, even when towing the Sonett to the NEC. I had decided that it was the slave cylinder failing, and as I am planning on taking it to Le Mans this year decided I would pull the clutch and replace the lot whilst in there. Drove it in to the shed, and before starting, decided to try a pressure bleed in case of any air, though really I was clutching at straws. The nipple freed off and fluid came out straight away, no air noticed but the fluid was very black. Let the fluid run until it was clear, but with very little (read none!) hope of success I tried it and Lo! A perfect clutch pedal 8) Test drive showed it is fine, very happy with that!

Next onto Jaggy McJaaaagface. As reported yesterday I was suspecting the fuel pump, so I tried briefly reversing the polarity to it as kindly suggested. The pump gave a single tick so I swapped the wires back for another single tick. Repeated swapping gave a single tick for 4 or 5 attempts before it stopped altogether. A try at starting it resulted in an instant start followed by an almost instant stop as it used the fuel it had pumped.  This has proved that the pump is indeed dead, and not just stuck as I had hoped. A look at the rear parcel shelf to consider a hatch there shows that for it to work I would need to remove the rear screen. Sad as it is, it has reached the end with me, but the bodywork is so good in the usual places, it has an excellent interior and a low mileage (c90k IIRC) so I will advertise it for sale as a project. Failing that, the bridge will call.

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Lastly for today I have decided that the Honda has done everything I bought it for, and I have the AX and the Yaris so I am not going to spend time or money putting it through another test. It needs a small patch welding on the rear chassis leg and the EML turning off, but otherwise should test OK. It really is too good to scrap, but if it does not sell, it will join the queue to the bridge.

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I will stick an advert for the Honda and the Jag on here for a day or two before resorting to the general public.

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An easier day today, well I did less as I had a visitor drinking my tea this morning! After he had gone, I decided to do a job I have been putting off for over a year. I have the remains of a LHD Saab 9000 that has been comprehensively stripped of parts that is ready to go to the yard, but before it can go I have to remove an LPG tank that is fitted. Today was the day to remove it, so eventually I got the tailgate open and wedged up on a fence post. Removed the top cover and the first surprise was the pressure gauge was showing full which triggered a memory of the PO saying it had recently been filled with gas.  It is an old system so no solenoid valve  and I did not want to undo the pipes to release 60l of LPG. Phoned my friend Simon at Angus Autogas and sent him pictures. He told me it was a VERY old system (the 9000 was Latvian registered) but told me to shut the two manual valves and all would be OK and he was right! Pipes and retaining bolts all came undone, but as the tank is full and a spare wheel well type, I could not lift it out on my own due to weight. I will need to put a strop on it and use the forklift, sdo rather than fire up the forklift for a few minutes I will lift it out when I put the remains on the trailer for the bridge run.

That highlightrd that I really need to have a reliable tow car, and the Discovery of Doom should be fixed so only one way to find out. Went out with it tonight to fill it with diesel and took the long wasy back. Covered 70 miles and for the first time, completed an extended journey without using a big yellow taxi to get it home! If it is still working by Sunday, I will go and get my big trailer back (out on loan) and there could be a few scrap runs next week!

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What are you going to do with the tank once removed? Surely you're still going to need to depressurise it still? 

Not sure I'd want to be (re)moving or touching a very old cylinder that is full of flammable gas! Pressure vessels scare me. 

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9 minutes ago, SiC said:

What are you going to do with the tank once removed? Surely you're still going to need to depressurise it still? 

Not sure I'd want to be (re)moving or touching a very old cylinder that is full of flammable gas! Pressure vessels scare me. 

A pressure vessel is tested at far in excess of its working pressure.  Nick could likely lift it out, throw it on the ground and drive over it and all would be fine.
Nick, don't do that just in case!

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