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Saabnuts Assorted Shite Blog - Some Success

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Edited to change from a Bentley only blog to cover all my shite!

 

Because there is not enough Bentley on here! Thought I would help console xtriple by documenting the trials and tribulations of owning a 1978 Bentley T2 Turbo. I am really hoping that this becomes a log of trouble free motoring with minimum expense, but reality is already preparing to give me a kicking!

 

I do not want to dwell on the past as whilst I bought it cheaply, I have spent many times the purchase price and almost as many times its value on it. I am not going to add it up, but suffice to say in the 5 years I have owned it, it has covered 5k miles. It made it to Le Mans 2 years ago (note I did not say Le Mans and back!) but in that 5k miles it has been recovered from Yorkshire (twice) and Folkstone. It made it back on the road June last year after its latest wallet raping surgery and was put away for the winter in September since when it has sat untouched.

 

Yesterday I went into the shed, turned the (standard) battery isolator back on and it started first try! Checked the tyre pressures, cleaned the windscreen and went to see Kinkersaab where it got a wash. Took a picture on the way home, after adding £91 of Tescos finest cheaper fuel.

 

Today, being sunny, I joined Tayside Classic Car Club at the House of Dun. So far, so good, but........

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I love T2s and one with a turbot has got to be the ultimate.

Please tell all, did you do it, is it a turbo plonked on top or a complete mechanical transplant from a 400 Bhp Dollop. Uprated brakes ? Harvey Bailey suspension? Does it have the RR logo on the clocks, or a 'B' ? Not sure if it's just the ones I looked at or all of 'em, shows how unimportant the Bentley brand was pre- Turbo.

 

15 years ago I spent a lot of money on a barely average Turbo R when for half the money I could probably have had one of the best T2s in existence- I've always been a fucking idiot, after the Bentley experience I'm just a poorer one. If I'd bought one of these it'd have made money( wouldn't have stopped the official receivers taking it though)

 

In the summer I've got to take a 1980 Corniche Convertible to the South of France for a client, three weeks ago it had a thorough going over by a local specialist in preparation , including having the last available seat runner extensions from the factory, fitted so I can fit in the fecker. A bill just shy of £7k

Took it for a shakedown to see if it could cope with constant 80 mph cruise....

Looks like the Amoco Cadiz had parked outside, oil pissing out from about 5 different places, back to the specialist next week, " Probably , need the engine out" says he.

Not worried though, we,ll have a towrope in the other car. Should be quite a sight for Johnny Foreigner- a Bentayga towing a Corniche at 120 mph down the Autoroute.

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Guest Hooli

This looks fantastic, I've seen stuff about it on Blatters before & always thought it's completely in the spirit of the Bentley Boys.

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I was on the M6 a couple of weeks ago - nice sunny afternoon. I was minding my own business in my Citroen XM in the inside lane when a bunch of cars passed including a late 1940's bottle green Bentley MK6 doing at least 80 in the outside lane and disappeared down the motorway. Great fun.

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I will try and remember to take a few more pics tomorrow. It is full Mulsanne Turbo running gear, well engine and box, and was the first T2 to have such a transplant, being done in the early 90s. It was then used for circuit racing :shock: for a while, and it appeared in a book (Bentley Specials and Special Bentleys Vol II) showing it on track. In true Bentley fashion, I tracked down a secondhand copy o the book (no longer in print) and the damned book cost over £100. I knew it was in the book as it was mentioned in the many reams of paperwork it came with, so I spent the dosh. The picture is about 2" square.

 

The multi gauge (and pedal rubbers) are RR as they all were, but the speedo is a non standard 180mph job with a B. Since I have had it it has had new sills, arches, quarters and a bottom half respray. It has had all new rear suspension, including spring cups, shocks and height cylinders. It has had the gearbox overhauled, the ignition system inc CPS replaced, new suspension pipes under the bonnet etc etc.

 

It is currently showing just over 209,000 miles recorded, but since the mechanical changes at around 170k the odometer under reads by 30% so true mileage is around 220k miles. I bought it off a friend who owned it for 13 years but rarely used it, some years the only miles were the MOT trip, hence all the problems I had when I started using it. Hopefully they are behind me now (stop laughing at the back - yes, I am looking at you xtriple!) :mrgreen:

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A quick update, although nothing much to add. Nice day here today so went for the usual run over the Cairn o' Mount to see Kinkersaab of this parish, to check on any suitable chod for sale. Being sunny, decided to take the T2. Got to Kinkersaabs place and bravely resisted buying shite, but did drink his coffee and eat his biscuits - somebody has to do it. Left there and as the sun was still shining took the scenic route home. By the time I got home another 120 miles was added and many, many litres of petrol dispatched. The T2 is loving having some exercise and is going better each outing.

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Rather than have separate blogs for all my shite, hopefully all of which will read "went for a run, all good, nothing broke" I will keep this blog as a record of what I have achieved or broken on all my shite.

 

Today started of pissing down, exactly as forecast. It was said it would last all day, so decided that I would spend the day getting the Cobra ready for an outing to Le Mans for the 24hr next month. I had put it away about 18 months ago when the throttle cable snapped, planning on finding what was fitted and fixing it. Of course, this did not happen, and now the Le Mans trip is less than a month away, it is time I got on with it. First I removed the old cable, to find it was a custom made one, and the throttle pedal had to come out as well. There is not a lot of room in the footwell of a Cobra, and I am not of a delicate build, so that was fun.

 

Eventually, and incorporating no bodges* whatsoever, I now have a new throttle cable that runs smoother than the original and might* incorporate a push bike brake cable! With it up and running, my thoughts turned to the appearance. Sitting in my barn, it had accumulated a thick coating of dust, so that was washed off, and the rest of the day was spent polishing the car and cleaning the chrome. Of course, the rain stopped and the sun came out so I could have done other useful work outside, but at least the Cobra is shiny now. Will get an MOT test booked this week.

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Well, yesterday I managed to dispose of quite a large volume of petrol! Went out to the shed and added 15litres of fuel to the Cobra to freshen what was in the tank in the hope of getting rid of the persistant missfire. Deciding it needed a run and as the sun was shining, I phoned my MOT man who had a slot at 1300, so I had an excuse. I took the back road to enable an Italian Tune-Up as the dual carriageway now has average speed cameras. The first part of the journey was fun* as the car would go from approximately 50 bhp to its normal 550bhp depending on how many cylinders decided they wanted to play, but slowly it cleared. By the time I reached half way and the petrol station to fill up, it was back to running at its sublime best.

 

Eventually I arrived at the MOT station where a W reg Citroen campervan had just failed on rust and a very very tidy 52 plate Seat Leon Turbot was under test. Eventually the Seat passed with a few advisories (my MOT man is tough but fair, which is why I use him) and the Cobra was run into the bay. Fifty minutes later, it emerged with a pass but advisories for oil misting on the shock absorbers.. To celebrate I took the long way home, and covered about 45 miles since filling with petrol. The sun is shining again today, so think I will go for a run, but will need to re fill with petrol again as I have used three quarters of the 10 gallon tank! The only downside of taking the Cobra for a play is the 6mpg, the best I have ever done on a run to Le Mans was 17mpg.

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Well, with both Le Mans cars MOTed and Taxed (the Cobra is going to the 24hr and the Bentley to the Classic), it is time to move on to the next project. Strangely, I have plenty to chose from, but I have been meaning to sort the 1930 Morris Cowley Speedster for years. I am now planning to take this car to live in France for the Croissant run, so time to do it.

 

Just after I bought the car in 2004 the dynastart chain fell off, meaning it did not charge and it was the starting handle only to start it, which was not a problem, as I rarely used  it at night. However, I am getting older, and swinging the engine every time has lost its fun factor, so time to refit it.The dynastart is mounted behind the clutch in the gearbox (the clutch comes off with the gearbox on these) so the obvious answer is to remove the engine and gearbox as a unit, and see how to get to the chain when I can see what I am doing.

 

The last time the engine and box came out of this car was in the 60s, so I have drained the cooling system, removed the bonnet and the floorboard (they are literally floor boards in this car) and then sprayed every connection with liberal quantities of penetrating oil. Having learned the hard way the cost of impatience with penetrating oil and the fact it is not instantaneous, that is as far as I have gone so far, leaving it to soak overnight. Maybe get back to it tomorrow.....

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On your AC, the MOT history gives:

?!

 

Yes, that was a couple of years ago, before DVSA clamped down on "comedy advisories". My MOT man has a sense of humour, after testing a car where he found a birds nest under the bonnet, he gave an advisory of "Birds nest not compulsory but if fitted must not contain eggs". He is not allowed to do it now.

 

The advisory was quite correct, it was filthy, so this year I polished it prior to test!

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Another day in the shed, and a bit more progress. First, the new number pales for the Cobra arrived, my MOT man had given the front one a good looking at as it was a bit bent and starting to come apart. I had promised to replace it, and that is now done.

 

Next onto the Cowley. The penetrating fluid had worked pretty well, so off came the radiator and cowl, carburettor etc and everything else on the engine side is now disconnected. All that is left to undo are the cables to the dynastart, the handbrake lever (It is mounted on the gearbox), the torque tube and the 4 engine/box mounts. All the remaining stuff needs to be done from underneath, so I left that to go and put my overalls on, working Tee shirt not ideal for underneath work.

 

Whilst sorting out the ovies, I stopped for a cup of tea and the phone rang. One of our Le Mans Classic party is having trouble getting bits for his Austin Gypsy and is getting worried it may not be finished in time. He also knows that modern cars are not allowed on the Classic run, so he was wondering if I had a spare he could borrow. First thought was my 1968 Rover P5b Saloon, as it has done the Le Mans run twice without problems, but it has not been started since being laid up in 2014. So, any excuse for avoiding lying under cars, the Cowley was left and the rest of the afternoon/evening was spent on the Rover.

 

By end of play it is running well, and moveing and the brakes seem fine. Tomorrow I will get some fresh fuel in her and then get her outside for a clean and check over. Sunday, under the new rules, she can be taxed and a run considered. Unless the forecast nice weather arrives tomorrow, in which case a few more miles will be added to the Cobra and work can wait!

 

Progress on the Cowley:

 

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That Cowley looks like a huge amount of fun...Still look forward to getting a chance to drive something from that sort of era properly one day.  Well...car wise anyway, I've driven two buses from that sort of era (1929 and 1932 I believe), but never a car.

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Well a different sort of day today. Started off with a trip to the local tyre fitters to get 4 new tyre valves fitted to the Cobra, as the ones fitted are made of finest Chinesium and are starting to split. Unfortunately the fitter was called away, so have re-arranged for Saturday, but was a nice trip out in the Cobra, and by the time I got home, the sun was out so decided to forego the shed and have a sort out in the garden and create a bit more camping space. I have already sorted out overspill camping ground for Shitefest if required, but it will be better if we are all in the same area. This requires a couple of boats to be moved, which in turn requires a scrap mini, the LDV tipper and the Alfa Spider to be moved. So far, so good....

 

Trouble is the Alfa has not been started or moved for a couple of years and the LDV for at least 2 years longer, and both need to be moved before I can drag the mini out. First job was to take the modern Saab alongside and get the jump leads onto the Alfa on which the battery was dead when laid up. Got ignition lights, so to check cable connections turned the key to start to see if it would turn over. It did, and turned over twice before starting! Removed the jump leads, and it drove out as though I had parked it up last night Result. So, on to the LDV. I had nicked the battery off it when it was parked up, so fitted one I had lying around, and gave it a try. Unbelievably, it started first try, and it too drove out fine. I need to give it a proper check over, but the reason for stopping using it was a rusty cab floor and step, and from what I can see, that is all that is still wrong with it. If the check over does not show up anything else major, I might just use this to get back into welding. I recently bought a new MIG welder, but have not held a torch for 20+ years, so it could be ideal!

 

With the two what I thought would be problem vehicles out of the way, I should now say the mini was moved and the boats, but my friend arrived at this point so the Cobra and Kubota were put away and a bottle of red opened. We will see what tomorrow brings....

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An update here is long overdue. Firtly the boats have been parked up behind the shed so the extra camping space for Shitefest is now available. The new valves are fitted on the Cobra ready for the Le Mans run next week, and nothing whatsoever has happened to the Cowley as the weather has been superb and being stuck in the shed has been a low priority.

 

Today the 1971 Fiat 500 went for MOT and passed with an advisory for slight play in the kingpins. Happy with that. I know the Fiat is technically MOT exempt now, but as I have covered less than 1000km with it in the 5 or 6 years I have owned it I really think I should find it a new home. Being located so far from the bulk of civilisation, I figured a fresh MOT will give prospective purchasers confidence to at least think about travelling to view it.

 

Anyway, a picture of it post MOT test, but decidedly dusty!

 

 

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Not much has happened with the fleet for a while now, my time was taken up with preparing for Shitefest, then Shitefest itself. Over the weekend, the clutch cable snapped on the Fiat 500 (about 5 years and 900km old - cheap Chinesium no doubt - a replacement is less than a tenner so should not be surprised) but the Shitefest massive got the Bedford RHLZ, or Green Goddess, running for the first time in over 9 years. Thanks guys.

 

Today the Bentley T2 Turbo passed what may well be its last MOT with a couple of advisories (slight cracking to front tyres and slight brake fluctuation at the rear) and a minor fault (would have been an advisory before) for a chip in the windscreen that has been there longer than I have owned it. Once back home I have packed the Cobra ready for leaving for Le Mans 24hour tomorrow.

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Guest Hooli

I hoped you packed the midge to leave over there, the frogs deserve them!

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An update from Le Mans! Cobra did over 650 miles on Tuesday from Aberdeen to Crawley and then down to Le Mans for a total distance of 1035 miles at approx 15 to the gallon. Of course all good things come to an end and I am now over 1000 miles from home and the clutch has gone! Slipping badly with even a hint of throttle. I do have breakdown cover but it will be much more fun and a challenge to see if I can get it back under its own power. Tomorrow will tell!

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carefill you don't introduce heat surface cracks on the flywheel. These rip apart a new clutch in next to no time. Sometimes a flywheel skim will remove any trace, but even if it does it is still an extension to the clutch change task.

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