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I've had various threads on the go for different collections this year, but thought I'd condense my threads into one manageable thread to document my ham-fisted tinkering.

At the turn of the year I was driving a nice, dependable, modern 2011 Peugeot 407 and no other vehicle. It was nice enough, but boring as feck. I'd bought it after a series of disastrous heaps in the awkward age bracket of being new and valuable enough to worry about but old enough to be fucked. The 407 was just too new, too bloated and dull. I had a hankering for old metal, my Mineral Oil withdrawal pangs were strong.

From January I started looking, there were eBay bids, missed reserves, wasted trips from Gumtree and other such nonsense. I happened on an automatic Rover 216 GSI with one giffer owner from a year old. The chap was giving up driving at 93 years old and his grandson was moving it on. I bid, and failed. It was in London though, about 420 miles away so I wasn't all that bothered. Of course when he offered it to me for my losing bid after the winning buyer was a no show I said yes. I was on the Megabus down to that London overnight for about £15. I hung about in Liverpool Street station like a mad shivering jakey until my train out to the suburb for my first sight of the new steed. It was battered outside but had been well looked after. A frankly insulting amount of cash changed hands and I was away up the road.

We had many adventures together, it was dependable and it whet my appetite for interesting old motors again and proved that the very bottom end of the market was navigable if I had the patience to wade through the sea of shit to find the odd pearl.

Rover.jpg

The 407 was still on the fleet at this point but I was covering a lot of miles in the Rover, with a long commute though the fuel economy wasn't ideal. When a friend's mother was looking for a new diesel saloon to replace the faithful old Xsara she had a scheme was concocted. I sold the 407 to her and was on the hunt for an interesting replacement.

When I was growing up my dad had a succession of hopeless shitters, indeed I was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in a brush painted Skoda Super Estelle. The best car he had was a red XUD Peugeot 405 with air conditioning and electric windows. So when I found a 1994 GTXD advertised by someone who could actually compose a car advert in the fashion you would expect of a human being educated to a Primary School level, I pounced.

Of course I couldn't buy a car just down the road so it was on the train to Birmingham. First class no less. I stayed in an absolute flea pit of a hotel and drove up the road the next day. This was a proper bit of nostalgia and a really practical borderline classic car. It had been fastidiously maintained by the previous owner. Apart from there being a hole where there was once a stereo and the lack of working air con it was a pleasant drive home.

Given their relative scarcity and how dependable this one has proven so far, it's a keeper, I'd struggle to part with it.

Peugeot.jpg

Two cars just wasn't enough to worry about, so this Citroen C1 was acquired. Pure Aleppo spec. A camel can go for weeks, or months without stopping at a watering hole, the C1 has a similar thirst for Motor Spirit. Man maths were employed and worked out that it would easily* pay for itself.

20180916-155513.jpg


There have been further movements, I'll recap them shortly. I should probably do some work.

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So the arrival of the C1 brings us up to September.

 

I hadn't bought a car for about two months and had itchy feet. Monsieur Shadow of this parish, man of mystery and purveyor of bargain basement autos posted an advert for a miserly 2003 Suzuki Alto. Now, for some unknown reason this was a vehicle I'd long fancied a shot of. They were bargain basement cheap when new (as the sales invoice from December 2003 for £5095 will attest) and were universally panned by the motoring journos. It probably speaks of wanting to cheer for the underdog. 

 

So, south to Tebay I went as Shadow set off from sunny Bolton for a rendezvous. The Rover headed south with him and I was the proud owner of this;

 

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I spent a bit of time tidying it up and rinsed it back and forth to work for a few weeks. It wasn't a particularly capable car, it wasn't fast, comfortable or refined but it was about as cheap as motoring could get really. It filled the same niche as the C1 though whilst being miles off it in every regard apart from initial purchase price. So it was moved on the day after the latest arrival joined the fleet. 

 

One glorious Wednesday in October there occurred a triple jeopardy roffle bonanza. I had various horses across three races for varyingly quick and sizable cars. All three would have been expensive luxury beasts when they sat on a forecourt in the early 2000's. Two Swedish steeds and a Bavarian coupe. As the balls dropped (fnar fnar) one by one, none of mine came out, my odds were strong as the bonus ball teetered. No dice. However, the seed had been planted and with my history to date comprising mainly PSA and Japanese cars of limited performance the want for something different had long lingered. A Nordic beast could be just the ticket. 

 

As luck would have it, SierraMikeHotel of this forum was looking to move his 9-5 on. It was in the best colour, heated seats, 275bhp, more torque than I would know what to do with and being sold by a trusted shiter. What's not to like?

 

Without wishing to reveal my particulars on a public forum I am older than 26 but younger than 28. I thought insurance would be astronomical, so I gazed longingly for a while thinking "maybe one day". Out of interest I phoned the insurer and the hike in premium was less than one months tax for the 405 which I was thinking of SORNing for winter anyway. This was obviously perfect justification and the man maths added up. A PM was sent and days later I was on a flight to Gatwick. 

 

As documented elsewhere the ole' switcheroo took place, I headed back to the frozen North in my new steed and SMH was on a train out of Gatwick. 

 

So the same day the Saab got home, the little Suzuki left the fleet and equilibrium was restored at a fleet of three with one in winter hibernation. That brings us up to the present day. 

 

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I like to think this will represent a settled fleet for quite some time, but I know what I'm like. The cars all fill their niche, sort of....

 

The C1 is the white good, a reliable and efficient workhorse that runs back and forth to work, while my commute is as long as it is, it will probably remain, if I move job and can get public transport or drive a short distance, I reckon it would be surplus.

 

The 405 as mentioned before, it's a good un and also pretty reasonable to run, it's tax band aside. I have complete faith that it will start and drive anywhere at any time. There's emotional attachment there as it was my favourite car of my youth.

 

Time will tell with the Saab. Is it infatuation for something new? Certainly at the moment I can see it being around for a long time. 

 

However, I used to say two cars would be one too many, then that three would be one too many. I say the same about four cars just now, but I have no doubt I'll have an itch to scratch again some day in the not too distant future. This is why I've started a type of blog thread for my various tinkerings as there will certainly be collection capers and the like to come and I'd rather not clutter up the main board each time!

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Like you, I was used to more modern cars up until 2016 when my Corsa became unreliable and I popped my cherry with the Megane. Although I kept if for a year and a half, I am now always looking for the 'next' car!

 

Looks like the 405 is a keeper though :)

I think we're very similar in that regard. There's always cars being shuffled in my head. 

 

I like driving and messing about on different things and get bored quite quickly but I do think the trio at the moment are about as settled as it's been, or likely to be. 

 

I have a wedding to go to in March, it's in some stately home with a gravel driveway. I'm not driving up there in a luminous green/yellow C1 with no wheel trims and the 405 will still be in hibernation so I'll just need to keep the Saab til then I guess? 

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Found a previous ad for the Saab, good to piece a wee bit more of it's history together.

 

http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=186711

 

 

 

Rear rose bushes - replaced with febi bilstein ones, all 4. 4 Wheel Alignment was carried out after.

Subframe bushes - replaced with poly. At the same time the subframe was coated in hammerite. (Wishbones are also Poly)
The 9-5 is fitted with Bilstein Dampers (B8) all round, on H&R springs. 
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Found a previous ad for the Saab, good to piece a wee bit more of it's history together.

 

http://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=186711

Excellent, that's the ad I bought it from. Couldn't find it when I was writing mine and I couldn't remember the specs of the suspension! That fills in some of the gaps, good find.

 

He was right at the time in saying the SID was only missing a few pixels, it got worse very quickly and was basically dead except for the clock when I took it to bits.

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Been driving the Saab almost exclusively since I got it... I really am taken with it. It's crazy that you can buy such a comfortable and capable machine for so little money nowadays. 

 

I came out the house this morning, it was cold and dark and the C1 needed petrol. I of course got in the Saab and drove 40 miles to work. That is something that will have to stop given I'm probably looking at just under 30mpg from this tank. Not too bad given there have been a few childish instances of mashing the loud pedal to the carpet, it's ridiculous but the rush of power is quite addictive. 

 

I've been working on a detailed review of the Citroen C1, I've had a few of them and covered a lot of miles so probably well placed to give a write up on them, will hopefully put it up this evening. They've always had strong second hand values due to the "new driver tax", but they're now falling firmly within banger money. 

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I came out the house this morning, it was cold and dark and the C1 needed petrol. I of course got in the Saab and drove 40 miles to work. That is something that will have to stop given I'm probably looking at just under 30mpg from this tank. Not too bad given there have been a few childish instances of mashing the loud pedal to the carpet, it's ridiculous but the rush of power is quite addictive.

 

You've done well to get 30mpg but then I mostly drove it in traffic - hopefully your commute is a little faster than that.

 

I felt exactly the same about all that powaaaaah - like yourself I'm generally a very sensible driver but when the road opens up ahead of you it's a real rush when you bury the loud pedal.  Really, really fun.  Childish, yes, but fun.

 

I opened up the Merc for the first time yesterday and was a bit disappointed that I didn't have to concentrate on physically keeping my head upright.

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Some quality* interior repairs.

 

A bit of the wood trim was artfully held together with sellotape, thusly;

 

20181102-113716.jpg

 

 

I peeled the tape off and it broke into it's constituent parts, I glued them back down leaving this;

 

woodafter1.jpg

 

A colouring in the white glue with a brown pen will leave an invisible* repair.

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The verdict is in on the Saabs fuel economy, 30.8mpgs.

 

That's not too terrible, about half of those miles have been clear motorway, the rest of them mixed across traffic and country roads. I have also booted the arse off it on more than one occasion, including tonight joining the M73, my good lady and I had just been for dinner, she was complaining it made her feel like her belly was in the back seat and she called me a fanny. Fair.

 

A more disciplined tankfull beckons...

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Shite Review - 2007 Citroen C1 1.0 Vibe

Introduction

 

Howdy, I’ve recently acquired my second Citroen C1. I reckon these cars are absolute nailed on future shite, values are now dipping within the shiter’s reach. Against a landscape of vehicles becoming ever more bloated, complex and heavy this car stands out as reliable, clever and very cheap transport and is charming for it.

 

The review will focus on the Citroen C1, but almost everything can be considered identical for the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107.

 

I am blatantly biased and I’m a huge fan of these little cars, but will try to offer a balanced view. My review is based on the car as a 11 year old sub £1000 runaround, not a showroom fresh example.

Overview

 

The Citroen C1 was born out of a joint venture between French automotive monster PSA and Toyota. Christened the “B-Zero” project, the aim was to produce a low cost small city car. Three cars were born, aforementioned C1, the Peugeot 107 and Toyota badged Aygo. All three are identical cars, save for minor cosmetic differences on the exterior and differences in equipment and trim levels.

 

Citroen-C1-Peugeot-107-Toyota-Aygo.png

 

The mainstay powerplant of the trio was the Toyota 1KR-FE engine. It was developed by Toyota subsidiary firm, Daihatsu. This was to be it’s first deployment although it has since appeared in a number of other small vehicles, mainly badged Toyota or Daihatsu. It is a three cylinder petrol unit with four valves per cylinder. Peak power of 67bhp is achieved at 6000rpm with the maximum torque figure of 93N.m being available at 3600rpm.

 

In addition to this, all three models could be had with a 1.4 HDi Diesel engine supplied from the French half of the joint venture. An 8 valve, four cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engine, this was not a strong seller. Both “on paper” and real world performance was behind that of the petrol unit according to early reviews, this along with the petrol engine still offering very strong fuel economy figures and a lower list price meant the DERV option never really took off.

 

A compact car, available in both three and five door configuration. The additional doors do not add anything to the overall dimensions of the car. These similarities between models will become a theme of this review. The car was designed in such a way that the minimum number of unique components were required between RHD and LHD, 3 and 5 door and different trim levels. Driver and passenger seats are the same for instance and the interior was designed so that the minimal number of separate plastic castings were required between RHD and LHD vehicles.

 

Kerbweight of the petrol vehicles is quoted at around 800KG, one of the lightest cars on sale in the UK throughout the entire production run.

Timeline

The triplets went on sale in the UK through their respective dealers in 2005. My car featured in this review wears the first generation face.

 

In 2009, the C1 underwent it’s first facelift. This was minor and featured a restyled front bumper and grille along with changes to trim levels and introduction of a few special edition models.

 

A second, slightly more extensive facelift was made in 2012, this comprised amongst other updates, daytime running lights, new style steering wheel and another restyled front end. More significantly, the more spartan trim levels disappeared from the range perhaps in an effort to help the car appear more appealing when pitched alongside the rival VAG group UP!, Citigo and Mii range which had been introduced a year previously.

 

In 2014 the car was superseded by a new C1, again sharing it’s platform with it’s Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo siblings.

 

Exterior

The subject of the review is my car, registered in October 2007 it is a base spec petrol C1 “Vibe” in fetching yellow with three doors.

 

DSC-0035.jpg

 

 

The car is short with minimal overhangs and a high roofline. The three door’s doors are reasonably long for the size of car, allowing extremely easy access for front occupants, unless you’re parked tight against anything.

 

At the rear of the car there is no metal hatch, instead only the glass piece opens, meaning the loading aperture is somewhat small and the lip is high.

 

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The front windscreen is large and raked back at a shallow angle. Unusually it has a single 26 inch pantograph wiper. Bulbous headlights are high up on the front of the car and the stubby bonnet allows easy access to the usual under bonnet check items.

 

Interior

 

When entering the interior, the first thing that’s noticeable is the depth of the dash. Unusually for a city car, the dashboard is quite deep, you sit a fair way back from the base of the windscreen which is fairly large and steeply raked back. The A-Pillars do impact on visibility in certain situations due to their shallow angle.

 

The seating position is very neutral, the driver seat does not adjust for height on any model. You do not feel perched up high like in some of it’s rivals. The pedals are nicely spaced out and are not offset. There is plenty of knee and elbow room thanks to the clever central dash stack and the door cards which are deeply cut into the door void. The steering column adjusts for reach and rake, the instrument binnacle is perched on top of this and moves with the steering wheel to maintain visibility. This space for the driver combined with the deep dashboard do give the impression of being seated in a larger car.

 

The dashboard materials are mainly hard plastics.The doors internals have large areas of exposed body coloured metal. The seats are simple affairs with a one piece back, they are trimmed with plain cloth and are quite flat. This Vibe model comes with manual windows and mirrors. This all adds up to a car that feels spartan and it’s quite noticeable when you first sit in it.

 

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With the above said, the areas that you touch are all nicely tactile and ergonomics are excellent. The steering wheel is trimmed in softer, textured material. The air vents are very straightforward spheres which rotate in all directions and can be closed off by rotating them through 180 degrees. The column stalks are chunky items with a very definite click without feeling brittle. Switches are have a reassuring click, the money has been spent on these items you touch and not on soft touch plastics on the dash top.

 

As mentioned, ergonomics are superb. The main controls are centred around the main centre console. The radio is at the top of this pod, it has an 3.5mm auxiliary input and also integrates the clock. It is clear and unfussy. Sound is acceptable, if tinny through the two dash mounted speakers, these can be easily upgraded to any other off the shelf 4 inch speaker. At the bottom of this central area of the dash are the heater controls, the two vertical sliders control heat on the right hand side and direction on the left with a central knob for fan speed. Again, these are simple, fall to hand easily and can be controlled easily taking your eyes from the road for the minimal time required. The pod is nicely lit with a soft orange at night.

 

The main criticism of the interior would be the seats, these are identical for passenger and driver and do not adjust for height. They are flat and have little support, this makes it an easy car to jump in and out of, but they lack support on longer journeys. They also do not have any memory function when letting passengers into the rear quarters which is frustrating.

 

Slim seats and clever packaging mean that rear occupants do have a reasonable amount of room, adults will fit without issue, again the seats are shapeless and spartan in the back, there is a lot of pillar and the windows do not open so they might not want to stay there too long. Even five door models only get 80’s style pop out glass.

 

The boot is accessed through the simple glass hatch. Owing to this the load lip is high. The boot capacity is 134 litres and in the form of a deep well. Split folding rear seats are only standard on higher spec models, the Vibe trim only has a single folding back. There is however a spare wheel and jack instead of the can of silly string included in many of it’s rivals.

 

citroen_c1_2005-(107).jpg

 

Driving

 

Behind the wheel the engine is the start of the show. A turn of the key and the three pot in the engine room thrums into life. Some three cylinder roughness can be detected at idle. When underway however, the engine loves to be revved, it pulls smoothly up to the higher reaches of it’s rev range and never gives you a sense that you are overworking it. The accessible rev range and low kerbweight means that the real world performance of this car is much better than the figures would suggest, you can certainly keep up with the flow of traffic on all types of road. The standard exhaust has a pleasing rasp to it when pressing on, like half a Porsche!

 

Gearing is well matched to the engine, the fifth gear is tall for the size of car and on A and B roads, you may find yourself in fourth for the bulk of the time with fifth being reserved for motorway work. This adds up to a car that doesn’t feel as stressed as city cars of yore on the motorway and it will happily cruise at the speed limit.

 

As much as the drivetrain is excellent, this is ultimately a small, lightweight and cheap car so it does have its limitations. Around town the steering is light and perfectly suited to urban driving and navigating tight car parks. At speed, it remains light and lacks feel. Crosswinds can also be keenly felt due to the flat sides and low weight. The small 155 section tyres can follow ruts in the road.

 

The ride is firm but is only really unsettled by larger potholes. The lightweight construction does mean there is a reasonable amount of noise at motorway speeds. Interior rattles are common and disrupt the calm, mainly from the passenger seat and trims around doors.

 

Even with the mentioned limitations, it still adds up to a characterful driving experience. The car feels taut and remains fun on a twisting section of road, it certainly can be pressed on and raise more of a smile than the sum of its parts should allow!

 

Equipment

 

In “Vibe” spec, the C1 is an extremely basic car. There is no central locking, windows are wind down, there is no rev counter and even the recirculating air option is deleted. On cars without central locking, the bootlid can only be released with the key.

 

Even the most basic model comes with a CD player with 3.5mm auxiliary input though, which is always a nice feature to have these days. Driver and passenger airbags are also standard.

 

As you step up through the trim levels equipment is a bit more generous, with electric windows, Air Conditioning, rear headrests, split folding rear bench, rev counter, alloy wheels and plusher seat fabrics. The Aygo was available with an inbuilt sat nav system, it is basically a portable unit though and feels like a bit of an afterthought.

 

It is worth noting that the car is very modular in design, items such as the rev counter can easily be added to a base model car with minimal fuss.

 

5099638895-d5d8ebf097-b.jpg

Costs

 

Almost everyone who buys one of these cars will be doing so with an eye on costs.

 

The cars have enjoyed strong residuals, probably due to the demand from new and young drivers. At the bottom end of the market early cars with short test still command around £700+ but there are plenty of tidy examples sub £1000.

 

After the purchase price, your ongoing costs will be about as low as you’ll find anywhere. The road tax from release was £20 P/A and then free of charge on later cars as they dipped below the 100g/km CO2 threshold. Regardless of trim the cars all sit in the very lowest of insurance groups.

 

In terms of fuel economy, petrol variants were quoted at 61mpg. You will do well to get below 50mpg regardless of conditions if driving half considerately. In ideal conditions it’s possible to exceed the manufacturers figures and I’ve seen as much as 68mpg over a tankful of regular unleaded.

 

Problem Areas

 

Clutches were modified in the 2010 model year after high levels of premature failure. Check for slippage. Noisy release bearings are commonplace but don’t seem to be a particular indicator of imminent problems with the clutch function. Replacement kits are available from the C1 Owners Club Shop for around £70 and fitting time is around two to three hours for a garage. The clutch is cable operated and sensitive to correct adjustment.

 

Water pumps can be weak, but are an easy DIY swap, many were done under warranty.

 

Water ingress into the boot can occur from vents beneath the plastic rear bumper and the lights.

 

There don’t seem to be any particular corrosion issues.

 

Very sensitive to tyre choice, probably due to small contact area, look for good rubber.

 

TL;DR - Nice wee motor, would buy again.

 

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Excellent, very detailed post. Great job. These are very good cars. Definitely worth getting one just below £1000 instead of a total dog of one for only slightly less. Had two of these, a 107 and a C1. Did the water pump on the 107 in like 30 mins in the dark, whilst raining on a driveway. Very, very easy to work on, which is what we like!

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Excellent, very detailed post. Great job. These are very good cars. Definitely worth getting one just below £1000 instead of a total dog of one for only slightly less. Had two of these, a 107 and a C1. Did the water pump on the 107 in like 30 mins in the dark, whilst raining on a driveway. Very, very easy to work on, which is what we like!

Cheers Sir. 

 

Yeah, they're dead easy to work on, can tell there was some thought went into the design. Some good videos on YouTube as well for most jobs.

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Have to confess I'm very partial to the "angry" front end of the newer Aygo.

 

Good review, very thorough, wd recommend 11/10

 

attachicon.giftoyota-aygo-359-235.jpg

Me too, they have been christened the X-Aygo.

 

I wonder if their seats fit in the first gen C1, the high spec Aygos come with some nifty looking heated leather articles. I've seen a few for breaking on eBay as well

 

The Aygo X-Clusive starts at an eye watering £13,880.

post-25772-0-74040300-1541698929_thumb.jpg

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Good write-up dhh, I'd agree with pretty much all of that. Mrs Spart has one and rags it to death, it's done about 160,000 miles and the management light is a permanent feature but it's ace, parts are cheap, it's easy to work on and there's not much to go wrong. I'm told that the high 5th gear means that 80mph is a more comfortable cruising speed than 70mph, but I wouldn't know myself.

14.6/10 would read again.

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Good writeup!

 

We had one of these at my old work for delivering and collecting bikes. It was a 107 XSi so sporty*

 

Here it is with a random starting problem getting rescued by my old XJ40. I forget what the issue was, possibly battery

 

post-7629-0-05173200-1541705806_thumb.jpg

 

Was a cool wee thing to drive and took the abuse of ham fisted delivery drivers very well. It was interesting driving it loaded with 4 bikes on a windy day though!

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...my good lady and I had just been for dinner, she was complaining it made her feel like her belly was in the back seat and she called me a fanny. Fair.

Just showed this to Mrs H because the familiarity amused me and she said, "I think I called you a wanker, didn't I?"

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  • davehedgehog31 changed the title to Hedgehog Motors - New smoll DERV arrival.

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      The back wheels moved eventually. Judicious use the big hammer, two wheel bolts reinserted and a breaker bar as a lever got the back wheels turning. While the wheels were off I thought I'd see if they held air.
        
      All 4 tyres held 35psi. None of them appear to be cracked and the rubber is still "soft" to the scrape of a finger nail. Lack of sunlight attacking them I suppose but it'll get 4 new ones if it becomes roadworthy.
      After doing the back wheels, the front wheels quickly proved they could be a major problem. I took the calipers, pads and discs completely off the car and even with 2 wheel studs inserted and using the 3/4 drive breaker bar with an extra foot of length over the 1/2 bar, neither wheel / shaft would turn. So either the bearings had seized, the CV joints in the driveshafts had seized or something very sinister was happening inside the gearbox. By this time it was getting dark and cold so time to put it all away for another day.
      Another day - 24th January:
      Various discussions were had on the Scotoshite WhatsApp chat and the end result being Mr 320Touring of this parish agreed to come round for a shufty. He was wanting to check up on another car in a lockup only a mile or so away so it was a no brainer.
      As before, front wheels off, bar on the wheel bolts... nothing. What to do next? We need to use the car's own power to try to free off whatever is seized on the front wheels but the car is nose in to the lockup so we can't get jump leads to it. We need to drag it out but we don't have a tow rope however we manage to find what appears to be a self tightening dog collar / leash in the car and decide to cue MAXIMUM SKETCHINESS!!!

      A gentle tug from the ML of doom proved the NSF wheel is tight but not seized however the OSF is not moving. Fuck it... drag it while pushing from the front. If we need to shove it back in there's an old tyre in a pile of rubbish waiting to get uplifted by the council that can act as a cushion and the ML will do the job no bother. We also took the front brake discs off to minimise any drag from those.

      We decided to drag it out just enough to get my jump leads on to the battery. We had already taken the battery out to try it on the leads outside the car. Surprise surprise* it was so dead it had gone open circuit so there was absolutely no magic pixies flowing in to it. Luckily I had an old battery from the 740 that was the same size so that was obtained, inserted and then put to work. Time to leave it to charge for a wee bit.

      Now that we've got some electricity going from the ML in to the 205 it's time to see what will happen. Thanks to Mr Touring for providing the videos...
       
       
       
       
      At one point we were vexed by the daft French screw on battery terminals
      We were getting a bit desperate by this point. We used quite a lot of "easy start" and the amount of electricity was causing problems.
      We took a break at this point for 10 mins or so. Mainly to make sure we didn't get too frustrated but also to make sure the maximum possible amount of electricity was in the actual battery so that the leads were just there as a boost. This was clearly a good idea...
      Learning from all the antics of the last 15 mins or so we left it for another 5 mins. Using a clamp meter we let it get to the point that almost no electricity was flowing in the leads and therefore an almost complete charge and spraying the "easy start" ahead of time, results were finally had...
      YAY! MUCH ELATION! Oh and that old diesel stinks. Time to get the leads off, move the ML and let the 205 tick over for a few minutes to let the engine settle. Next we found out why the front wheels were not for turning...
      So yeah. All the CV Joints were completely solid. But anyways it was mission accomplished for the day. We got it moving and a general once over suggests that it should be easily salvageable therefore if auntie wants the space in the lockup, it's going to have to go somewhere. Time to put it back in and wrap up for the day.

      Thanks to 320 Touring in assistance. The list of work is substantial but not insurmountable. It needs - a battery, front discs, front pads, front calipers, front lower arms, front driveshafts, possibly bearings, rear drums, rear shoes, rear fitting kit, probably handbrake cables, flexi hoses all round, 4 new tyres, 3 of the 4 doors don't work properly, a water leak at the water pump but that can get done with a new cam belt, probably a thermostat, engine oil, filters all round, fresh fuel, a good clean, handbrake light, oil pressure light and a rear screenwash leak inside the tailgate.
      Oh and a sidelight bulb...

      Interim time:
      Lockup secured in Cumbernauld.
      Car transporter trailer booked for Wed 12th Feb to move it. The V70 will do the honours.
      Another bit of tinkering - 4th February
      So it has been agreed the V5 will be transferred in to my name. With an impending trailer move, I thought I'd go back and have another look at things and reassemble the front brakes. I've already installed a new battery so it can be started without the need for leads and it does so quite happily even though the fuel coming from the tank smells like paint. I drove it about in circles for 5 - 10 mins to free up the CV joints and scrape the rust off the brake discs. I also did some straight line tests pulling away in 2nd which seemed to free up the turbo actuator.
      I also found the radio code so I got that working but you'll have to take my word on it 'cos YouTube will just give me a copyright flag.
      I shall leave this one here just now. Not much will happen for a while. There will of course be the drama of the trailer move but once it's in the lockup a plan of action will need to be drawn up. A sensible first course will be, I think, to find someone who will give it a once over for MoT viability before any new parts are obtained. All the obvious stuff should be easily DIYable but I don't know what lurks underneath. Some things like the timing belt and water pump will be paid for but the rest will just get picked away at in due course.
      I also found some period souvenir parking tickets...

      ---ENDS---

    • By Fumbler
      To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-


      It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
      This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.

      As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
      All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
    • By dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.



      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
    • By 320touring
      Been far too long* since I have done one of these..
       
      Last night, I spent some time ( and not an inconsiderable number of £) ordering up parts to fix 4 of the fleet. Additionally, the Audi goes in on Monday for two front tyres.
       
      By midnight I was cash poor and not yet part rich, so I downed the laptop and turned to idly browsing my phone..
       
      Staying strong through the sea of " for sale" tags here, I upped the ante and broke out TEH DADDY!
       
      Gumtree.
       
      Up in these parts, the bargains are oft far flung - population density and geography conspiring against the local bargain hunter.
       
      Due to this, my default search includes a radius of 150 miles - annoyingly flagging up NI cars not worth the extortionate repatriation costs.
       
      However, it also reaches into the far flung Ecosse.. catching exotic locations such as Duns and Huntly.
       
      But not so this time, for lo, the tree did bear fruit and it doth fall not far from my abode.
       
      This is the collection leg of the adventure, a TTT/ Split_Pin co-produced Caper.
       
      My lift arrives at 8.
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