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Clayts' Rover rammel and a Honda coupe - A week in the life of... 13Sep19

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No it's not rust trap, there is just a cool little detail on the underside of the spoiler that gets missed by a lot of people.

 

The only mod I made to my car was to fit a Magnafine inline filter to the transmission return line  as Honda buried the ATF filter in the gearbox and you have to split the transmission case to service it, which nobody does.

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I've long been intrigued by these things, especially as Honda still had the Prelude in its lineup when it was for sale (shame the Legend Coupe had shuffled off by then, though). If you wanted something big but with just the two doors, you could either have something pointy and invigorating, or something that totally isolates you from the driving experience. I ran a non-V6 for a few day after taking it in as P/X, and it was a thoroughly soothing sensory deprivation capsule. Rather liked it.

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So the 214 went for its test this PM and as anticipated failed on what I thought it would, bloody CO emissions

fail.thumb.png.7955950c3681ec1b5a4f25701f86ef15.png

 


CO emissions: fast idle 0.48% (max 0.30%), second fast idle 0.52% (max 0.30%), natural idle 1.81% (max 0.75%).

Lambda fine (1.02 on fast idle, 1.00 on second fast idle) GOOD

Hydrocarbons fine (117 ppm, max 200 on fast idle; 74ppm max 200 on second fast idle). GOOD

I suspect the cat is shot and this was what the tester was leaning towards. What do we think ?

I did of course rag it to the testing station, after dropping some Redex in the tank

 

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Elsewhere, the first and easiest service item has been done on the Coupe (after giving it a thorough wash yesterday)

IMG_20190704_122504407_HDR.thumb.jpg.5046c0abae955e5e757524a5ae1026d4.jpg

Also sorted out the sticking bonnet latch with some WD40 and a screwdriver - now not sticking.

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Already got one off eBay a BM Catalysts jobbie, paid about 30 quid for it - as long as it gets through the test that'll do for now. Probably only last about five minutes thereafter.

I don't want to be wasting time fitting a cat if it isn't that, but reading the appropriate Rover TSB that suggests only to replace if there has been a misfire (there was all sorts of misfire action when I first got it), so I suspect the existing one is goosed.

I've bombarded the OC and the R8 Facefart group to garner their opinion.

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Cat fitted on 214 with only two minor injuries and one erroneous part from ECP (that's a hanger not a gasket - able to reuse the one F1 put on last week) but my man wasn't in at F1 to ask about a sneaky re-test this evening before they knocked off.  Probably do it early next week as I need it to have a good long run down the M1 in 3rd for a few miles before presenting it.

Streetwise has new front feet, Sailun Atrezzo Elite FTW (to make a matching quartet). Yes they're Chinese, but no they're not ditchfinders. I've been running two of them on the rears for the last two years and they're quiet, grippy and haven't worn down much. Cheap on Black Circles, fitted at F1.

ECP stuffed me with the wrong oil filter yet again, bizarrely exactly the same wrong filter they gave me for the 620 (I think they must have procured a cheap joblot of Hyundai oil filters), this time for the Coupe. Definitely not the right one, so have ordered an OEM filter off the Bay, and will do it sometime next week.

Hoping Stuart over at the Honda 6 forum will be able to change my cambelt for me - just waiting on a quote and availability - I think he's based in Lancashire somewhere, and he's already said he's got a whole new front wing I could have to replace the dented one.

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HC reading is quite high too (that's essentially unburned fuel or oil in the exhaust gases).  Oil change may well help bring that down, especially if the car's done a lot of short trips...if not though and she's not high on the miles it might be worth making sure the PCV system is healthy...

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My first port of call would be air filter and plugs. (Rotor arm and plug leads if applicable)

High co and hc looks like misfire

Type approved cats are a bit nore expensive but probably worth the extra £20+quid

Or lambda sensor

I just change stuff until it passes or the bridge calls!

 

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Quick fleet update

On Sunday as reported elsewhere this shit happened to my nearside rear Coupe window, day 2 of school hols <sigh>

IMG_20190721_161203731_HDR.jpg

Luckily* it should only cost me 75 quid to get fixed, but Autoglass rang me and said "not got any stock, probably going to have to source one from the US" which means it's off-roaded for now. I've stuck some amazing sticky-back plastic and gone all Blue Peter on the car to at least prevent any fallout, but I daren't drive anywhere in earnest as it's a bit floppy back there....

Anyway, some other minor fettling ensued :

Coupe - new spark plugs (probably will be a smidgeon of an improvement as the gaps on the old plugs were well out)

620 - new spark plugs

Streetwise - new spark plugs

All went swimmingly until I got to the last Streetwise plug - covered in fresh oil. Arse biscuits. Hoping it's something very simple, but looks like a mini strip down will be in order to sort out that little mess.  Hoping it's just a cam cover gasket needed and nothing more sinister.

Anyway, all running lovely and the 620 and Streetwise got taken for a hooning and both responded well.

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Time for a quick fleet review.

Honda Accord Coupe - partly fucked, commutawagon stats - NONE

Still waiting on Autoglass to source the part, allegedly from Stateside (no great surprise, it was built in the US and sold in much greater numbers over there). Car is driveable thanks to some sticky back plastic shenanigans, but there is now an annoying brake-related scraping noise when driving along and turning into a rattle when slowing down. Cos Honda brakes - dab hand at servicing these now from the 45/600 ownership, so service kit ordered in and may try and sort this weekend. Can't use as a commutawagon however as the area I work is dead rough, and an already smashed window is an open invitation for the scrotes round there.

420 - not fucked, commutawagon stats - twice per week

Just perfect in every way. My favourite car to hoon around in - usually does at least two commutawagon duties per week.

620- not fucked. commutawagon stats - once/twice per week

The plan had been to sell/roffle this on here, as the Coupe does everything this does, with added bells and whistles (leather, cruise control, climate control, the whole shizzle). However, the love and attention it got at FOTU, plus the fact it is the easiest car on my fleet to drive and is also the most comfortable means the executioner's sword has been put back in the cupboard for now. ABS light stayed on during last night's commute but hasn't reappeared since.

214 - fucked, commutawagon stats - fuck all, the arse

The 'Jonah' of the fleet this one. Just noted that I never reported  back on the MoT. New cat got it a pass, with CO emission results of zero ! Cataclean, some V Power, and a good old hoon before lobbing it straight on the emission machine. So street legal until next July, just undriveable right now. As reported elsewhere, the alternator has parted company with the top bracket, resulting in an unholy and probably dangerous racket. Got some replacement bolts only to discover one of the ex-bolts had sheared deep in the hole of the bracket. Plan A had been to get a replacement bracket - fucking unobtainium, although Metroman in Brizzle may be able to help.  However, plan now is to get the bracket out and drill the fucker out.  Did fit the ex-45 JVC stereo in it though. The 214 has been used for one commutawagon journey only. And I've had the car since last October. Heap of shit.

InkedIMG_20190807_190804570_LI.thumb.jpg.31328fcfb610a39b3a2dcac243c2a397.jpg

Streetwise - minor irritants of fuckedness, commutawagon stats - once/twice per week

Eminently driveable but needs a new cam cover gasket (15 min job hopefully) due to discovery of oil in one of the spark plug wells. Also have a new throttle body/cable to unleash biblical amounts of additional horse power....well 19 anyway (84 to 103) which I'll do when I can be arsed.

Medium-term plans

Sort out 214, punt it on
continue umming and aahing about whether to sell/roffle/loan the 620

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Brake fettling on Coupe today, new slider pins and boots, new caliper bolts for the rears. One pin was welded in but came out with some persuasion. 

Also popped some Honda Type R centre caps on the proper Honda wheels  - splash of red in a sea of Retail Silver looks rather good.

Went for a test drive. Rattling/clunking from rear brakes eliminated. Scraping noise still present from front brakes - next weekend for that then. 

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After a bit of faffing around I was able to 'set aside' the 214's alternator (read: wrap in plastic bag and leave in engine bay as it wouldn't quite fit through the narrowest of gaps) . I was then able to coax the bracket away from the block.

See this ? Unobtainium, that is:

IMG_20190811_221139055.thumb.jpg.41fdc4c38fdf2de5680bff35ebd38a5d.jpg

You can see where the bolt that holds one side of the alternator in place has sheared off:

IMG_20190811_221149851.thumb.jpg.a6eaf83daf98a2119bd9649559382496.jpg

Awkward place to get to, need some mega thin pliers

Nothing doing up top, well re-cessed, so plan B will be centre punch, centre drill, left handed drill bit. Soaked in Plusgas, and I'll have a crack tomorrow night when I get in from work

IMG_20190811_221232420.thumb.jpg.76afc5e8b5f35ed3da151626ec8899e5.jpg

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So I have had a week off work which gave me some time to do some little jobs and some bigger jobs.

Streetwise - more pow-ah

As reported in News24, I now have a 103bhp beastie, following a swap out of the throttle body.  Cleverly, MGR used the same throttle body but with different shaped arms which open/close the butterfly valve (not my pic):

throtbod.thumb.png.a8b63d08351a4b788a2504ad4e44fbff.png

The left hand one is the restricted 84bhp version (which drops those so fitted by one insurance group), the right one the derestricted (and the one now fitted on the Streetwise).

Very simple to do, mainly as the Rover 200 Owners Club member I'd bought the body from (for just 20 quid) had handily included the cable and the breather hoses already helpfully fitted. Didn't even need to adjust the throttle cable.

It's certainly a bit torquier than before, and revs a lot more eagerly. Still sits at 3500K at 75 on the Motorway, but as it's really my city car, it's improved massively. Cheap upgrade.

In more routine servicing news, changed the air filter today. I'll be changing the coolant and the oil over the weekend, and also replacing the cam cover gasket if oil is still present in one of the spark plug chambers.

214 - Bad vibes

I am playing the world's longest game of Parts Darts in a bid to get rid of the fearsome vibration which afflicts the cabin.

Most recently, half of the exhaust had been replaced to get it through the MoT, so I bit the bullet and bought replacement middle and back sections.  I thought I'd try the simple version, so replaced the backbox yesterday. No difference.

So today, rather than drive over to Skeggy as had been my aim due to a chronic oversleep, I decided to fit the middle section. Thankfully it wasn't too bad, as most of the bolts were pretty new. Got it all back together, lined up perfectly, gaskets where needed,  turned key. Cabin still vibrating. FFS. 

Having said that it's nowhere near as bad as it was,  but everything still just rattles - windows in frames, the dashboard.  I think it's just a 'character' thing. I might try some of that sound-deadening stuff, see if that will quieten things down a bit.

Car seems a bit perkier, so no downside to swapping the rest of the exhaust out

Couple of other issues - power steering pump gets a bit noisy when on full lock so that looks like it'll need replacing, and a clicking when cornering which is either CV joint or brakes due to non-use, clutch biting point is also quite high. The alternator  bracket referred to above failed to release the sheared screw, but luckily an owners club member had one for a tenner, which I snapped their hand off for, and that's all fitted and working perfectly.  I also replaced the door courtesy light switch which I'd nicked for the 420, so now the 214 courtesy light goes out properly again. 

Still undecided on the future of this one - it is 'first name on the list' if one has to go, but I really want to make this car run properly before shifting it on.

420 - Rattle

I bought one of these as it's always handy to have one, esp for someone with no friends locally who like getting down and dirty with vehicles. It's a pedal depressor which hooks onto the steering wheel. I will have a few uses for this with the 420 - one job done today, the other (timing belt change, needs full force on the brakes):

depresser.thumb.png.56615e5e5385ec88eafa995e73d19e88.png

 

 

The job today was to find out just what the rattle was at 1750rpm which afflicts the car. I suspected the integrated heat shield on  top of the cat. With my Magic Pole of Luckiness I discovered I was right. The top section is supposed to be spot welded on all four corners, but is only held on at two corners, hence the rattle at a specific resonance.  Purely aesthetic, but a new cat would cost me 40 quid. At least it's nowt serious, I'll just live with it.

620 - Toons

A few weeks back I fitted the Rover R960 head unit which also doubles as a CD controller. The CD changer is installed under the pass seat and they work perfectly. However, on a long journey to my folks and back the 6x9 speakers on the parcel shelf sounded truly woeful. Further investigation found them to be made by Currys-Dixons-PC World brand of shame, Goodmans. Bought some basic Pioneers from Halfords and am now in the process of wrecking all the brittle plastic trim to get the old ones out and the new ones in. Job ongoing.

Accord Coupe - Shattered

Serviced the brakes on all four corners, still a scraping noise but I think it's probably one of the back shields. Still running about with a smashed nearside rear window, but Autoglass rang me on Tuesday to let me know the pane should arrive 30 September - they'd ordered it 8 weeks ago and the first order went missing in transit.  I do tend to use it on journeys where there's no close parking manoeuvres involved, but I am seriously compromised in my all round vision by not being able to see out that window. Still haven't really driven it in anger anywhere, but I might just do the next NE meet with this one.

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