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Saabnuts Assorted Shite Blog - Some Success

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This morning I planned on getting under the Disco to give it the once over prior to booking an MOT as yesterday disappeared with a constant stream of visitors. Whilst drinking my coffee my friend who is my MOT tester phoned needing some bits for a camper he was working on, so after a brief discussion I took the bits down and in return he fitted the Disco into his schedule for an MOT despite my not having looked at it.

 

The good news is the underside is rot free, but the bad news is it failed! The full list is:

Major defects:

Brake hose ferrule excessively corroded NS rear - this has almost completely rotted away - 2 new flexis ordered

Rear brake pads worn to wear indicator - new pads and discs ordered

 

Advisories:

Service brakes fluctuating rear - hence the new discs ordered

Brake discs worn - see above

Tyre worn to close to limit 2mm on inner edge - I have spare wheels and tyres so will swap one over

Suspension component damaged, both rear height actuators perished - 2 new ones ordered

Body panels slightly loose, both rear quarter stiffener brackets corroded - 2 new ones to be made and fitted

Various parts of interior eaten by wildlife - git!

 

The gearlever gaiter and the foam beneath have been eaten, either by the Esther Rantzen of the mouse world or a fairly hefty rat. This I knew about :-) and have already ordered replacements. All in all, I am very happy with that.

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The new discs, pads flexi hoses and gaiters arrived this week so took the Disco to a "place of repair" as I wanted a run in it. My friend in Perth has a 5 tonne 2 post lift in a heated shed that I can borrow so that became the designated place of repair, and an open ended MOT re-test arranged to cover the return journey. Obviously I added it to the MID to cover that. Of course the height adjust sensors had not arrived, but figured I could fit those later.

 

The Disco drove down lovely and onto the ramp it went. Found the locking wheel nut key and all indid fine, so off with the back wheels. Lots of copper grease hinted at good maintenance, lots of rust belied that! The car has been "maintained" by a local 4x4 specialist that I stopped using 10 years ago due to their habit of ripping off their customers, and it looks like nothing has changed. The first thing noted was how rusted away the ferrule between the replacement copper brake pipe and the flexi was, but I figured mole grips would work. Next the calliper and slider came off, and again the bleed nipple on the caliper was about half the size it should have been. This threw up a major problem as a sheered bleed nipple coupled with a dodgy joint could easily end up with an unbleedable system and the train home! The mud shield on the brakes was more hole than steel,  so was carefully* removed by touching it!

 

A good clean of the slider resulted in a slightly cleaner slider with much rust that I was far from happy with. I decided that the only safe option was to fit the new disc and pads on that side, put everything back together and drink tea, so that is what I did.  Car drove home fine, and the brakes were better with one side done and i have just ordered new callipers and sliders. ECP wanted £70 each over the phone. Evilbay charged £41.88 for a pair, delivered! Sliders £28ish each (more than a calliper!) but it is not getting new mud shields as the cheapest I can find are just under 60 quid each!

 

So a bit of progress and more bits ordered. Ho hum.

 

Edit: Just after I got home the new sensors arrived, so in time after all

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All the bits for the Disco arrived this week, so I have no excuse to put it off any longer. Before I can start on the Disco again, I need to have a clear up in the shed. This needed doing before Shitefest but I keep putting it off, so today was* the day. Before starting on anything I needed to shift a few* vehicles around. Moved the L200 out of the way, then the Saab 9-3 before going to start the Disco. The Disco was a bit reluctant to start, which is unusual, but it went and I moved it out of the way. Then the Holden had to be moved, as a friend wanted to borrow my trailer to collect a car, and the trailer was behind the Holden. This started first touch, as usual, and was moved just as my friend arrived for the trailer.

 

A short* period of time was lost as we drank tea and put the world to rights. At this point, as is usual, I got a bit distracted and decided now would be a good time to fire up the P38 as iy had not been touched for a few months. Of course, the tyres needed blowing up, the suspension ECU needed resetting and the battery fitting. This done, it started first time, the suspension worked fine and I took it for a run to see what else had gone wrong during its extended lay up. Amazingly, nothing, so decided to take all my tools out, photograph it and put it up for sale (it will be on AS later this evening!). This of course took much longer than planned, but had the bonus affect of preventing me tidying the shed. Once completed, I parked it up and went to fetch the Disco back in from outside the gate.

 

At this point, I Discovered (sorry) why it was reluctant to start this morning. Turns out the fuel gauge being just above empty and the light being on for about 10 miles DOES mean it is time to refuel! Fortunately, I had 3 gallons of diesel in the shed, and once they were in,  normal service was returned. At this point, my friend arrived back with the trailer, so more tea was drunk, more wrongs with the world righted and it got dark, so that was it for today. Tomorrow is the UKSaabs Christmas Lunch gathering, so the great shed tidy up will definitely might happen on Monday!

 

 

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Well, today was a bit of a waste. This morning was spent chasing people for work, but after the recent oil price crash as expected without any success, but you have to try. About lunchtime I went into the shed to start the tidy up, but got distracted and wasted another hour or so setting up my recently (about 2 years) acquired MIG welder, justifying it with "something might need welding" and completely ignoring the fact I have not picked up a welding torch in over 15 years! That done, I resisted the urge to "just try it out" as I know nothing else would be achieved if I did. Might as well have played with the welder.....

 

So, started clearing up and as soon as I had a space big enough for the Disco, decided I was bored with that so stuck the heating on (yes, just to cheer you up, my shed has a 37kw oil fired blown air heating system, and it is great!) and put the Disco in to defrost as it was obvious the frost today was not going to lift.

 

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Once in I slackened off the wheel nuts, jacked up the nearside and removed the wheel. That is the first time the phone rang. The rest of the day was spent getting on the floor and getting back up again to answer the phone, then walk over to the house as the signal to the shed is a bit flakey. The rest of the day went the same, with call after call and the odd visitor to drink tea with.Suffice to say, I probably only achieved about 20 minutes productive work on the Discovery, although out of the blue a possible new business opportunity may have arisen, which could solve a lot of problems, so fingers crossed/

 

So, back to the Disco. Managed to get the nearside caliper off, and I have new callipers and sliders, new flexis, new pads and new ride height sensors to go on. Looking at the state of the old slider, I think I have done the right thing.

 

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As to the old pads, I think my MOT man was being over zealous failing these...

 

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This evening I got a bit of time to myself, so stuck the heating on and decided to remove the slider on that side. Nothing would shift the bolts so I soaked everything in WD40 equivalent (no idea what it is, it is a tin I found when clearing up and it is so old the label has faded so I cannot read it, but it smells right!) and whilst that was working jacked up the offside and removed the wheel and the recently installed caliper and carrier. Decided to separate the brake pipe from the flexi, and the union crumbled at the first touch of the spanner. Deciding that was as far as I was going with that so back to the nearside.

 

The WD had not had any effect, so running out of patience, it was time to fire up Mr Angle Grinder! Two minutes later, job done. This begs the question, why did I not do that 2 hours ago? Carrier off, disc off, and sure enough another corroded brake pipe fitting, so again another brick wall. Ever wish you had not started a job? Heater and lights off, and in for a beer.

 

A quick call to a friend and he is bringing his brake pipe flaring tool over on Sunday so tomorrow I have to get some new bolts then clean up everything ready for Sunday.

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You've just reminded me that I need to order a bunch of brake pipe fittings so I can finish tidying up the rear brakes on the Invacar...I have a sneaking suspicion a couple are going to round off when I disturb them...

 

Have the pipe, have the tool...has anywhere around here got imperial fittings? Nope!

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The sad thing is it was "specialist" maintained, with no expense spared. For its last MOT it had all new front brakes, but obviously the rears were not touched and at his years MOT everything was working fine so nothing was seized. It had covered less than 1200 miles between tests! The specialist involved ripped me off about 10 years ago so I have never used them since, and it would appear they have not changed their ways.

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No time for the shed today, but picked up some new bolts for mounting the calliper sliders to the axle (specials) and removed the 2 gear lever gaiters and the handbrake gaiters as they had been moused. Spent the evening fitting new italian leather ones (thats what the ebay advert said!) and they look good. Will fit them to the truck tomorrow, and that will be the wildlife advisory sorted!

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I have been a bit distracted of late so not updated for a while. The Disco is still not finished, I am typing this whilst awaiting my friend and his brake pipe flaring tool. The new rear discs and sliders are fitted both sides, but I cannot get the unions from the copper pipes to the rear flexis undone. Yesterday I applied heat, got the union glowing and managed to reshape the union! When my friend arrives, old friend Mr Angle Grinder comes out, cut off the end of the pipe, fit new unions and reflare, then fit the new flexis and callipers.

 

Todays distraction was a phone call from my tame masochist who is fitting the new clutch and flywheel to the Cobra, asking me to take it for a test drive to see what I thought. He was not happy with how heavy the clutch pedal was but remembered my saying how heavy it has always been, perhaps it was just his memory that was at fault. We are still looking for a replacement Marina clutch pedal return spring, but he has managed to modify a Golf one for now.

 

Got there with the sun shining, and tried the pedal, and he was relieved when I said it felt a tad lighter than it was. So, test run it was! Sun shining but greasy roads meant a bit of care was required, but for the first time since I have had the car, no hint of slip even under heavy acceleration, uphill in fith. The greasy private road meant I had to keep it down to low three figure speeds :-) but the change was not good, with the clutch feeling it was dragging. Turning round confirmed reverse selection required the engine shutting off, so something is far from right.

 

The Cob was returned to the workshop for more fettling and head scratching sadly, but that run just confirmed how much I love that car!

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Your Cobra is seven litres right? How many horses do you think it has?

 

According to the history I got with the car, it has never been successfully tested on a rolling road as the rear tyres kept lighting up, but the original spec listed for an "estimated 550bhp". I think it is a bit less at the moment, although I have never thought to myself "I could do with a bit more power" as I think the carb needs a tweak. Once the clutch is sorted it is going on holiday to Oxfordshire where an ex-Cosworth F1 engineer (still an F1 engineer but cannot say which one) where it is going for a tweak. My friend says he can borrow the rolling road at work which obviously has super sticky rollers so we may find out later in the year!

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Bloody hell, two updates in two days! Still, there is a reason for the burst of activity, I am heading to Worksop early tomorrow until after the new year where I will have very limited net access. Then to that there Larndan for a few days then off to France, so I will be going quiet for a while.

 

Spoke to a friend who came up with some ideas regarding the Cobra clutch.  Discussed them with my mechanic, and he thinks we may be on the right track. If we are the bloody lot has to come out again, so he will try all other options before that.

 

As for the Discovery, at last we have beaten the bugger into submission. What should have been a straightforward brake swap turned into a nightmare as it fought us every inch of the way. Last night my friend arrived, Mr Angle Grinder was fired up and we cut the union off. A new union was fitted, the pipe re-flared and all was good. Or not. The nut holding the flexi mounting plate to the body was also badly corroded, but an Irwin helical socket got it moving, for about 3 turns before the weld to rivet on the flexi mount broke free, meaning the nut now just spun the stud. The fuel filyer on one side and the chassis on the other prevented access.

 

My friend was eying up my angle grinder, my chassis and my welder when I had a brain wave, something of a rarity! I fitted a new disc to Mr Grinder and it just reached the rivet. New stuff took minutes to fit, then a repeat performance on the other side, although access was better.

 

Still, it all went back together easy enough, and we managed to bleed the system easily, so now it is ready for an MOT on my return from France. Just remains to wish you all a Happy New Year, but I will be back!

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Time for an update, not on the Disco but on the stuff I have in France. Sadly none of it is French, unusual for this site!

 

After the transcontinental collection last week, and my singing the praises of my Saab Diseasal estate, it rewarded me by starting to make grinding noises from the rear brakes. At least it waited until we were nearly home before starting, and I suspect the autobahn run did not help! A quick check showed the OSR pads to be down to metal, so ordered a new set on Saturday from Saabits in Devon. Dispatched Monday morning via Parcelforce Worldwide, they arrived here at 0930 this morning. Fantastic service by all involved.

 

So, into the garage to fit them, having forgotten to bring a trolley jack with me for the first time. Fortunately the standard scissor jack works fine, and it was soon up in the air. Of course, depite lots of grease on the hub last time I swapped wheels, the wheel was well and truly stuck. Not having a decent hammer here, a wander round the shed found the old spring removed from the rear of my friends Spitfire, which stood in for a sledge hammer and freed the wheel. Calliper off, pads out to show one pad less than half worn, one down to the metal, not looking good. SUre enough, the calliper has seized and there was no way I could wind it back in, especially without a wind back tool here. I am really missing my shed and tools!

 

So, what to do? Being a tight git, I refuse to pay (French) garage rates so the options were order a new calliper, which would mean disc and flexi to be on the safe side or an AS style bodge. As going for the first option would have risked me stranding myself in France, the bodge it was. I removed the anti rattle spring of the one pad, and refitted the old pads with the shagged one on the oposite side, and the part worn one where the shagged one had been. This seems to have worked, as a test run after re-assembly showed I still have brakes and they are very much quieter. Should get me home, after all who needs brakes? :-)

 

With that out of the way, I decided to have a look at my friends 1966 Spitfire Mk2 that is currently living here whilst he is back home putting a new engine in his sailing boat in the Bahamas. Last time out it was miss firing at low reves and lacking power. A test run to warm it up showed the symptoms had not changed. A couple of hours of fiddling with the carbs had it running well and the missfire cured - it was running far too rich. I am not 100% happy with it yet, but next trip will see me bring new plugs and air filters, after which I can set the carbs correctly. It is certainly far, far better than it was, to the extent I think it will be pressed into service for the remainder of this trip to save the brakes on the Saab

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Guest Hooli

I've never used a wind back tool yet, lots of swearing & thin nose pilers does it for me.

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Back in Scotland for a couple of weeks, and time for an update on the sorry state of my fleet. Firstly the L200, the starter on this is still knackered, I cannot order a new one until I have the old one off to get the part number (two non interchangeable ones are fitted to this model, that look identical) but cannot take it off the road as it the only working 4x4 I have as the Holden is out on loan. It has had to be pressed into service a couple of times due to the snow, but I have to park it on a hill.

 

The Saab made it back home with the bodged brakes but they were getting noisy again. Due to the paucity of working vehicles, I was still using it locally, but the sagging suspension and consequent lack of ground clearance made negotiating the snow and ice challenging. This was fine until a lump of ice fell off a passing truck which I hit and promptly removed half the front splitter and the fastenings on one side of the under tray. Tie wraps and gaffer tape got me home, but the decision was made to SORN the Saab and await better weather to replace the suspension and brakes.

 

So, that left the Disco that has starred in this thread repeatedly for being a shite! All done, so back to the MOT station for a pass. Driving lovely, flew through the test with clean emissions and excellent brakes. Happy. Of course, on the way home the ungrateful bastard FTPed and ended up on the back of an AA recovery truck to my mechanic with a best guess of a failed in tank fuel pump. A new one was ordered and fitted yesterday, but it remains dead and further investigation is ongoing.

 

This meant that excluding the classics that I will not use over the winter because SALT I was down to exactly NO working/legal vehicles. Thankfully my mechanic came to the resue and has loaned me a Hyundai Coupe, so looking forward to getting one of my cars back! As the weather over the last couple of days had been nice, yesterday I booked my 1990 Saab convertible in for an MOT for today. I have owned this car for years, and it is going to the NEC next month for the Practical Classics Restoration show. Keeping my run of luck going, the Saab failed. New flexis required at the back due to corroded ferrules and a lower ball joint. When I got the car about 10 years ago (and about 6 or 7k miles ago) I had to replace a lower ball joint, and you have guessed, the one that failed is the one I replaced - more Chinesium I am afraid. New parts ordered and next weeks fun* organised.

 

I am still looking for a cheap small runabout as per my wanted advert, a couple of replies I have responded to but heard nothing back so the hunt continues, although having the Hyundai has taken some of the urgency away.

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A further update on the ungrateful Solihull bastard! Took the wiring connectors from head to ECU off as suggested. Some traces of oil, but nothing significant, cleaned them to death and re-attached. Still dead! Got my friend with his electronic box of magic up, plugged it in, and it is showing no faults, despite which it refuses to start! Have now obtained a new CPS, will try that and if that does not sort it, I will have to call in my local LR specialist.

 

My liking for the Hyundai is not improving, it is a gutsy we thing returning mid 20s mpg at best. Looks and sounds the part, drives like a mid 90s Japanese saloon with the springs removed! I am grateful for the loan, but will be happy to hand it back!

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