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1987 Citroen BX - The Wafflewagon


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I'll happily give you a hand if you want.  It sounds as though you know the route of the wire (and that's half the battle).  I have the required stuff at work (crimps, soldering iron, tons and tons of wire)

Is the BX mobile?  I can offer the warehouse at the weekend (near the A20 in Orpington) and work on it there.

If not, I can load up the car with required bits and come to you.

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On 18/01/2021 at 10:20, Fumbler said:

I've seen it on YouTube before where people in Canada used this copper conductive paint to re-establish the traces on a HRW. No idea if it's sold in the UK, or even sold at all.

It used to be sold in Halfords although I never had much success repairing my 16's HRW with it - I wonder if the silver-loaded stuff used for flexible PCB repair would do? 

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On 4/5/2021 at 10:13 AM, dozeydustman said:

There was a chap in Gravesend when I lived there - Thomas Auto Electrics who did a great job on my Horizon in 1999, seemed to be quite busy and did on site work and was still going when I moved to sussex in 2015, but I can’t find him doing a google search so may have retired/died/moved away.

Does the car start and run at all? I can recommend a garage in Swanscombe who are chod friendly and probably would relish something simple to work on for once. And they have an automotive sparky.

I can make it start and run but I'd rather not drive it super far to be honest!

On 4/5/2021 at 10:14 AM, CaptainBoom said:

I'll happily give you a hand if you want.  It sounds as though you know the route of the wire (and that's half the battle).  I have the required stuff at work (crimps, soldering iron, tons and tons of wire)

Is the BX mobile?  I can offer the warehouse at the weekend (near the A20 in Orpington) and work on it there.

If not, I can load up the car with required bits and come to you.

Really appreciate that @CaptainBoom. I'm very much a soldering novice and also colour blind so sometimes tracing wires is a bit hard for me! I'll whatsapp you.

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On 4/7/2021 at 4:53 PM, SmokinWaffle said:

I can make it start and run but I'd rather not drive it super far to be honest!

Really appreciate that @CaptainBoom. I'm very much a soldering novice and also colour blind so sometimes tracing wires is a bit hard for me! I'll whatsapp you.

Normally on Citroen of that era each wire has its own number printed all along it, so as long as your close vision is ok colour blindness is not too much of an obstacle.

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2 hours ago, artdjones said:

Normally on Citroen of that era each wire has its own number printed all along it, so as long as your close vision is ok colour blindness is not too much of an obstacle.

I can assure you that my CX has no visible numbering on any of its wiring!

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3 hours ago, artdjones said:

Normally on Citroen of that era each wire has its own number printed all along it, so as long as your close vision is ok colour blindness is not too much of an obstacle.

That would all be well and good - if it hadn't been bodged several million times already it seems! Very little of the bit we worked on was original wire.

2 hours ago, loserone said:

Any news on impending fixage?

 

I appear to be being offered a BX project (not from this forum), is one of these something I need?

Feel free to PM for any advice - they are wonderful cars and very special in my eyes. The suspension, interior, the style - it's all really quite theatrical.

Starting it up to move it backward out of the garage for some room after it's been sitting since....whenever it was laid up - couple months in the cold with no movement or charge? After some wiggling of the wires and a hammer tap of the relay as it was stuck, a double cycle of the plugs it didn't hesitate at all:

Love this thing. Missed it greatly.

For clarity. both me and Captain had COVID tests before this for safety and stayed at a reasonable distance mostly outside/outside area.

 I literally don't have words enough to thanks @CaptainBoom. I replied to his message he sent offering help a day later and at 2AM. He messaged me at 8:30AM this morning and said he could be there at 2. Brought all the wire, tools and skill he could fit in the van - travelling 45 minutes from his place. Taking a good 5 hours out of his own spare time - he helped me identify various wires and did 90% of the work while I watched, learnt and held bits - all just for the love of an old car and helping someone. Easily the kindest, politest human I've met in the past year. Lovely to chat to.

I'd of course met him in the BX Rescue mission we did with a few others - but good to really get to know each other more.

If there were more people like him in the world - it'd be a much better place. Big, big respect and admiration as well as endless thanks.

Action shot:

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Not any pictures of the during as it was just tracing wires, labelling, cutting, soldering, heatshrinking and crimping better connectors on. Also tidied up a few other little bits and realised that there was a different relay which the live wire connector was ruined and just falling off. No idea what it does but fixed that. Some of the wiring elsewhere is questionable but at least now I know that the ones that probably carries the most current isn't a hazard. Got rid of some random modular connectors too that served no purpose other than adding a point of potential failure.

We cut the live back down to where it came out of the firewall - behind that it went behind the dash and all sorts so didn't fancy that - and redid it all with new wire and nicely soldered/heatshrunk joins. Split it into the glow plug relay, that other mystery relay and the injection pump - as well as redoing the other wires to the glow plug relay.

We did have a moment when it was back together where we thought it was wired wrong even after our labelling as it didn't seem that the relay was clicking off when the glow plug light went off. After much confusion and wondering what we did wrong - and referring many times to the badly drawn relay diagram I'd sharpied on the garage wall - turns out it actually has some sort of overrun and clicks off 2-4 seconds after the light goes off. Unsure if that's what it's meant to do and can't remember if it did that before - but it clicks off every time and we ran it for a while a few times to check it wasn't staying on and it's reliable. Pretty sure now I think of it I never heard an auditable click when the light went off the same as when it goes on.

Final product is....well just looks like new wire so no pictures really. But neater, healthier and longer. Relay back in place on the wing now it has some slack so it's not pulling everything else about and stretching to it's limits. Will put the bonnet back on tomorrow and secure the battery - then run it next week as my daily and see how it goes!


There was also a pipe that went to the injection pump and slipped over a metal tube. Happened to notice it was super, super, super loose. Pulled it and it came off along with a little diesel. Secured it back on and tight. I assume I might have put some air in the fuel system as it struggled to start the next few times but it seemed to work itself out. Now it starts better - and the stuttering/smoke it used to do when the back rose up seems to be gone. Time will tell!

Huge thanks again to @CaptainBoom. Saviour. 

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The relay clicking off after the glowplug light going out is normal, nothing to worry about.  With the other BX I had, I found it best to wait for the click rather than the light before starting.  Here's hoping this resolves the intermittent running/starting/stalling issue.  A good sparky is worth their weight, they really are, especially since it's a craft that always looks like you've done nothing when you've fixed a problem, even when you've spent hours on it.

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No probs, glad to have helped - I'm often on my own when working on cars, so it's great to have someone to talk to.  Give me a shout if you need anything in the future, especially if you want the relay corner tidied up a bit.  I'm sure that we have some sleeve at work that would neaten it up.

I did get down to Winchester in the end, all was good, and I'm now furnished with a set of Saab 900 bumpers.  Quite where I'm going to hide them, I have no idea.  That's tomorrow's issue.

The BX is a peach, a nice honest car, I really enjoy its idiosyncrasies.  I must resist the urge to look on here and eBay listings for one!

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All seems well. Bonnet back on, there was an earth that fell off of the negative terminal that we replaced yesterday but it was still dicking about as it was an awkward angle. Ended up cleaning up a wing bolt and securing it to that, seems fine and much more secure. Only goes to a relay. 

Carpets in, cleaned out a bit. 

Now the 405 is on the drive awaiting welding, other halves Corsa on the nice bit that doesn't get covered in bird poop - BX blocking them in and something much more appropriately sized in the garage. 

Ooh, I also fixed the steering boot thing that I think was causing some water ingress. I'll update it properly later. 

Happy days. Will go on the first run soon. 

 

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Okay, proper update!

Pic before I put the bonnet back on because why not:

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How the steering rack boot was sitting:

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Which means it was just flopping so this could happen:

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Lots of road under there, so that's a prime candidate for a wet carpet on a wet day.

After much much sodding about (it was so fiddly as it's a perfect fit) I got the groove in the plastic into the metal bit and it's very secure and sealed;

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Feet are warmer now too. Happy days.

Carpets put back in after that which is always nice.

Had a trip out to my dads to transform the top of an office desk into a more reasonably sized Puzzle board for my other half:

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Some time later:

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Lovely. Just have to felt it.

Anyhow - it performed faultlessly, didn't struggle when the back rose up like it usually does (maybe it was that loose fuel pipe!), started on the button and no inconsistency in the glow plug relay (so far - touch wood!) - and it's the absolute best feeling being back driving the thing again. Even got a thumbs up from a chap on the way there who seemed to love the car - I've missed that. And oh my god it's so comfy. So so comfy.

Aaand back home:

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Needs a wash. As always. Looking forward to going to work tomorrow just so I can drive it again.

It's kind of annoying as where it was sitting in the garage and I have some big life changes coming up - I'd almost resigned myself to selling it. As soon as I got in it and started it up - even moving it backwards to fix it in the garage - immediate love - rare to feel that way about a car. Probably worth taking care of. :-)

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Drove it for a couple days - all good! A lot for work and all is well. Happy days.

Although - drove home for lunch yesterday and started to smell a big whiff of diesel....opened the bonnet and that pesky fuel line has come loose on the injector pump again and put diesel all down the front of the engine. Tightened it, put a rag there and left it as I had to get going. Assume I just need to screw it tighter - might replace it with a proper jubilee clip so it's less likely to loosen!

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"I've got an air leak but you'll never find it, teehee!"  ffffffff...  yes, use those kinds of clamps, they're much better if you can get them to fit in, which you can't always because of the crazy octopus approach to pipes.  Good to know the big water ingress problem was a straightforward fix.

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Okay....interesting week.

Tightened the clamp up as much as I dared - didn't want to kink the metal pipe. Tight enough to just start to visibly squeeze the pipe which is pretty darn tight, ran it for the rest of the week and all seems happy so far.

Was driving home and I'd noticed the brakes feeling a bit weird and some hesitation/flat spots every now and then, then I had the stop light flicker on just as I came around the corner to my house on Friday.

I'd neglected to check the LHM for a while and it was low. Put it on high and and set about filling it up, ended up putting about 1.5L in (I had some LHM spare that the owners of house we looked with the derelict BX gave me!). Did it carefully with a bucket in the overflow when I'd done it - then I put it on low and awaited the sea of green because I'd overfilled or misunderstood the marker on top of the tank....but all was well. Zero spillage whatsoever!

Then I put the bottle on the ground and kicked it as I turned around. 

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Of course. Bollocks. Cleared up well with some paper towel and dirt. LHM is crazy green though.

I did notice that although the glow plug relay was reliable and worked in the week - there was an increasingly large delay from the ignition going on to the glow plug light going on....got to 2-2.5 seconds or so by the end of the week. Just after I'd filled the LHM above and was talking to a friend about how glad I am to have it back and it's been behaving - I went to move it onto the drive annnnndddd.....no glow plug light.

Tried again, flicker. Again, nothing. Nothing. Nothing again. Nowt. Weird.

Checked all the wiring to it - all seemed as perfect as it was since it was done  by the wonderful @CaptainBoom - who then briefly arrived around to pickup something and  helped me test the voltage on the live to the relay - it was low. 

Weird. Then I noticed that the positive for the relay went into a junction box before it went to the + battery....

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Lets bust it open.

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They look dirty. Maybe it's a resistance/dirty connector issue. Cleaned them all up with some sandpaper on both ends. Much better.

Also saw that the positive terminal on the battery was very dirty, so I sandpapered that and it came up nicely - same with the connector. Put it all back together aaaaanddddd....consistent immediate glow plug relay light. Works rock solid (touch wood) every time, zero hesitation, no flickering, no messing around, just works every time. Took it out a few times - still performed as expected. Chuffed - hopefully that puts the matter to bed! Really shows how you should check the simple things first!

I also spotted that there was a bullet connector that went to another relay which had become fucked. No reason for it to be a bullet connector so cut it out, and tried my hand at some soldering (barely done any really):

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Not pretty - but strong and better than twisting and taping for sure.

I gave it a pretty jacket:

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Happy days. No idea what it does - but now it does whatever that is better I suppose.

On the high of figuring out things and fixing it myself I was feeling good. Driving around all smug.

Sadly - the BX has a built in smugness sensor in the base of the drivers seat - on my way back from the Chinese on Saturday night I was (again) just about to pull onto my drive and it coughed. Weird. Then coughed again and died......okay.

Start it back up, ran for a bit as I turned it around in the road (I'd parked weird on the drive with my other cars so no room sadly) and it stalled again. Nice. Started it up again, drove down the road and it was running rough. Wouldn't accellerate, stuttering, bit of exhaust smoke and then just nothing. Didn't start again - just turned over. Fuck. Coasted it about a ft from the kerb at an angle and apologised to the person who's house I was outside of.

After I'd spilled house special curry in footwell (thank god I put the mat in the other day) and ran the chinese into the house I popped back. Couldn't see anything obvious in the bay. Very odd.

Then I thought maybe it was the injection pump, primed it, still nothing. Then I wondered if the pump was getting power, so I poked the live to it aaand:

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Well played BX, well played.

Cba so I left it overnight, stripped it and popped it tightly under the bolt this morning to get it back to the drive (driving very carefully) - last time it came off it shorted on the metal and burnt some of the loom. This wire was what my mechanic at the time did - it's a little thin and a little tight so I figure it's just fatigued with the movement of the engine.

Going to get some thicker gauge wire and another o-ring, cut that live out and make it a bit longer and more protected then we should be back in business.

I do love this car so much - but it's really trying my patience recently. Builds character though. He's an old lad just trying his best - I'll give him a break. :-)

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Wiring done with the help of one of my long time best friends and fellow shite lover (but fresh AS member) @Moldymort. I say with the help of, he basically soldered it for me and I watched, then gave him some cans of beer afterwards while we chatted. Unoldered and resoldered it from the live splice and replaced it with some lovely new, thick wire with a nice bit of slack and O ring connector thing - job's a good'un:

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Also need to look at the engine mounts sometime soon as it does have a bit of movement in it.

While we were there - shoved some solder on one of the dodgy coolant sensor wires that's been an issue in the past - it's always been telling me it has low coolant when it doesn't and flicking on and off.- didn't want to take it apart / redo as didn't have any new crimp/connector bits to go on. When I started it - the light wasn't on - but we will see! Almost odd not seeing it on - like losing a trusty companion....anyhow, be good to drive it daily again.

Does make me laugh how it looks when you leave it sitting for a bit and the back sinks down but the front stays up. Like a dog dragging it's butt on the ground.

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It's the little things. :-)

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1 minute ago, SmokinWaffle said:

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It's the little things. :-)

They just look so silly when parked, but so charming at the same time! I always get a kick out of seeing mine in the carpark sitting so squat compared to all the other cars either side of it.

Delighted to see that you're conquering the troubles on this car.

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Oh, oh you thought you'd fixed that did you?  Well, we'll see about that!  I'm going on strike.  No, I don't have to tell you why, I just am.  It's Wednesday.  I always do this on Wednesday.  No, that's just how it is, now go home or I will taunt you a second time.

- the next day -

Bonjour!  Did you miss me?  Let's go out and do something fun!  What problem?  No, I have no idea what you were talking about, everything is fine, it's always been fine, you silly English person, you.

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11 hours ago, Fumbler said:

They just look so silly when parked, but so charming at the same time! I always get a kick out of seeing mine in the carpark sitting so squat compared to all the other cars either side of it.

Delighted to see that you're conquering the troubles on this car.

Likewise! It's so weird, I love it. Thanks for the comments.

11 hours ago, yes oui si said:

I got a few looks reaching down and rapidly trying to pull the release whilst sat in the driver's seat... 

I can relate to that more than most..

I drove to work today with no low coolant light!

for 10 minutes then it came back on

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Ooooh he's a shiny boy. First wash since it was laid up in January. £5 at the nearest generic place with a pressure washer to my work - he did a rubbish job on the windows but I did those when I got home with some glass cleaner and a microfiber. Much nicer. Would normally do it myself, but my pressure washer broke the other week.

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So, so pretty. Sometimes I just walk away and stare at it for a bit.

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  • 1 month later...

Totally filled the BX full of the expensive / breakable stuff for the move (mainly Lava lamps and computer stuff). And I mean - filled to the brim

If you opened any door apart from the driver's door, stuff would fall out. 

Had a hell of a lot of weight in it. Rose up and drove 220 miles to my new place at 70MPH without issue. 

I did leave it on at the services for some odd reason when I went in (my other half was with it in her car) just as I had some weird paranoia of it not coming back on if I turned it off and didn't want to be stranded as we had a moving company / landlord ect all on a schedule. Came back and the temp warning light was on. 

Switched it off, let it cool down and off we went again all good. Not hugely surprising as it was carrying a lot of weight, hammered at 70MPH for an hour and a half then came to a dead stop. 

Seems fine though. 

I swear it gets comfier the more is in it - it was so comfy and all the stuff felt so safe / had no movement in it. Amazes me that such an old car is miles more comfy than any modern I've driven. 

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On 1/18/2021 at 10:20 AM, Fumbler said:

I've seen it on YouTube before where people in Canada used this copper conductive paint to re-establish the traces on a HRW. No idea if it's sold in the UK, or even sold at all.

I think a friend of my mum procured some recently for a Fiesta we service for him - he's a dab hand with aesthetics but doesn't have a mechanical mind (I service his bikes sometimes). I shall have to enquire if it's still of interest. 

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All the valves will thank you for such a laden trip! (I had the rear height corrector go sticky on my Xantia estate from driving it round empty and it wasn't fun. Plusgas and a week of commuting with loads of weight in the back fixed* it) 

 

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      Replace Central Electronics Module (CEM) which (hopefully) is the cause of the indicators not working and the headlights doing this (at least I know the motors work!). I've managed to track one of these down for £80.

      VID_20210618_150013_01_01[1].mp4 These are getting to be rare cars now and although they share a lot of parts with the other 400 series cars the bits that are unique to the 480 are getting harder to find and consequently more expensive. The irony is that over time I'll probably end up spending more than I would have on the shiny red one. I won't have had the satisfaction of doing myself though and isn't that a large part of what our hobby is about? Built not bought. Other than my BX which I bought off here this is the first time I've bought a vehicle without taking it for a test drive. The biggest gamble is that the electrical issues aren't sorted by a new battery and CEM. But hey, what's life without taking a few risks?

      I take delivery Monday, can't wait!
    • 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 Peter C
      Woke up this morning, had a little time before I had to leave the house for work, had a quick look at what’s new for sale on Retro Rides and saw an ad for a W124 200E manual, located 15 miles from home. I had no intention of buying a car today but I had to have it! I called the seller and arranged a viewing.
       
      Faults:
       
      2 x rusty front wings (TADTS)
      1 x rusty rear arch
      Needs a polish
      Tracking is out because new track rod end was fitted for MoT
      Engine has oil leak/s
       
      Good points:
       
      It’s a W124 200E!
      5 speed manual transmission
      New clutch
      Brand new MoT
      Superb MoT history
      4 x as new Continental tyres
      Last owner for 15 years, her husband before that for 4 years
      Very tidy MB-Tex interior
      Drives well
      All electrics work
       
      The dealer kindly delivered the car to my house but I managed a pez station shot on route:
       

       
      Plans:
       
      Remove front wings, cut away rust and apply plenty of wob.
      In-situ similar repair for rear arch
      Clean and polish
      Service engine
      Adjust tracking
      Leave patina and enjoy the car as it is
       
      I will update this thread once progress is made.
       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
      Hopefully these two will become good friends.
       

    • 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...
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