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8 hours ago, andy29 said:

 

It overestimates how hard things are, right? Right? 😀

It was written based on a six month old car being took to bits in a garage environment, not a 20 year old rusty one took apart at the roadside. Example say the rear lower control arms the springs sit in. Says in the book probably mark and undo the rear camber bolts... yeah good luck with that - those fuckers will have fused to the arm. 

Whatever you do avoid disturbing the rear suspension on these cars, no exaggeration to say you’ll have to cut 75% of the bolts off. 

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I see what you mean. Sure is a 1.8 with the cat vertically right under the manifold. Depends how early they changed, it's from '99 and if the diagram in the Haynes book is right then maybe I'm lucky and there should be a joint there. The guy didn't take the heat shield off so maybe that's why he thought the whole thing should go? I'll have a look, if the heat shield bolts would like to co-operate. Sounds like it's the difference between a gasket + bolts or £500+ worth of cat and manifold which probably equals dead car. Nice.

Fair enough about the book, christ no wonder I was told it was a big job if the rust gets too bad in a place where the rear suspension would need to be dropped down.

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Well... looking from the outside round the heat shield, naturally I can see everywhere but where I want to see. Can't see a mention of a both in one type in my Haynes book (1998 to 2001, S to Y reg) so still hoping to be lucky and I'll see if I can get the shield off when I get a chance.

Any chance of getting a second hand one if I do end up needing the whole thing? Or do breakers just sell them straight to people who want the metals from them? If I could get one for a couple of hundred or something, at least it's a bit more sane.

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As long as I can replace the bolts I suppose but I'll go as carefully as I can for now anyway. Got some PlusGas on em. Can't say any more for tonight but it was definitely somewhere around the cat and the engine itself. At the age the car is I'm expecting everything to look shitty but the leak's getting bigger so hopefully there's some evidence there. No need to go out of your way but any information is very helpful.

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