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Andy's awful autos: PLAS!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Today see a smidge of tinkering, 2 out of three jobs went well. 


Mates mondeo returned for some new boots, the two year old toyos where at about 2mm all round.  This time hes opted to go for some Kumhos, which may be what i go for next so i await his review of them!  Again, who doesnt love new tyres? 


With the Astra past my usual change interval and rapidly approaching 180k some of the finest 10w40 and a new filter went on. I said to my friend id drop the oil and while thats dripping every last drop out ill change the engine mounts on the VP1300, well. . .


It had at least 3 hours to drip, because though (still not finished) mounts were just a pain in the arse.  And the concerning crusty rad now leaks, bumhats. 


Tuesday a mate pops over and we will try again to wrestle the engine into place, ill drop the rad out and take it to my radiator guy. Its an expense i could have done without but the rad was very very crusty, as was the engine mounts 20240317_162137.jpg.c8435b5f95796ad1338f799fb822a443.jpg


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sexy steels,

Not sure if ive mentioned it before but the scruffy panda of many miles ended up staying with mother rew after it was decided she found it easier to drive than her felicia.  The felicia will live on just parked in my workshop maybe one day it will get a tickle but its low on the list. 

Anyways, after a puncture and chewed up tyre from the tracking being out i picked up another set of part worns from my usual place on ebay and on they went. While the wheels were off the brakes were check after a noise was mentioned. Sure enough a weeping cylinder has made a mess in the drum. New drums, shoes and cylinders go on tomorrow.  I popped the other two tyres off and gave the wheels a quick knotwheeling and went from scuffy black to my favourite simoniz steel wheel paint. All rebalanced and chucked back on.

New number plate on and we are Looking povo spec snazzy


The other side still has the big dent in the door , the bonnet and bumper are showing the miles (133k!) However it seem this shade of silver is different to all the others being broken on ebay. Balls!


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The quick engine mount swap then, firstly what a wanky car this is to work on, Everything just in the way. 

Were we left off the engine wouldnt line back up and the rad broke.

Engine mount being upside didnt help! An Extra hand arrived and we  bolted it back  in. Rad then, simple ill just get a new one from mini spares. Nope 1300 rads bigger. £200 for a recon, luckily i found one for 28 quid that had been removed from a small tractor with a marina engine fitted.  Looks in good shape but untested as of now. 

Few bits picked up from mini spares as i was passing. Key one being an exhaust clamp as i couldnt get the exhaust too seal now the mounts have moved the engine where it should be (it was blowing before)  and a stat gasket. 

New clamp on , Exhaust still blowing. flange is miles off from going on straight and stat housing stuck. Balls. 

With the sun out i stripped out the old rad and numerous bits bolted to the engine. the cacked on oil and grime taken off.  Parts were cleaned up and some cases a quick and dirty paintjob given. 

Back to minispares a few days later. New stabilizer bushes (poly for the lower and rubber on the uppeelr), new stat housing and overflow pipe and a few other bits. 

Wire tidy and the coil got a neat little boot. It didnt need it. I just wanted it!





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Old shite new trick. 

A quick google suggests any A series with this down to manifold flange style struggles to seal. And if it does seal after a while it will blow again as there is no flex to exhaust appart from bending it. 

With new mounts and beefed up stab bar bushes id guess we would probably be okay for longer if i could get it to seal. However the part on the exhaust came in at the wrong angle in my eyes. And was barely sealing one side. Maybe tweaked from the engine moving about alot before.  So bollocks im cutting it. Choppy choppy. 

A snip on the down pipe part and i bolted the flange up as inline as possible. I then cut the first curve off and tweaked that a bit so its pointing in a direction i was happy with. 

As far as im concerned the exhaust would benifit from being isolated from the engine like a more modern motor so having found just one seller on ebay i ordered the smallest flexi ive ever seen at 32mm ID. Also a sleeve so i can make the single piece exhaust into two, so its not a massive arse to move about when fitting. 


It would probably be fine as is but some Additional brackets and mounts will be welded on to the front part of the rear section to  support the exhaust so the flexi isnt under a downward load 

Im told the new exhausts fit well but given this so far has cost only 40 quid in parts and the new systems are very pricey, im Hopeful this will be a reliable cure to a common problem, but we will see. 


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Little more progress 

The part i was dreading, getting the pissing down pipe section on on my own with nobody to hold the pipe up and assemble the clamp.  After droping the  thing or a nut about 40 times i welded the bolts into the clamp. Rather than keep fucking about. Straight on now. I grease the flange as recommended online it can swivel a bit .


Welded on a tab to pick up on the engine support. Just g clamped for now untill ive run the car and know its not blowing from the joint. 


Stub of pipe welding into the flexi, the onto the car and sleeve clamped up. 


Next time ill weld on some support mounts and ill call that done. 


Polybush because racecar. 




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9 hours ago, SiC said:

It looks pretty solid under there! (Just don't go poking any rear subframe mounts)

Its solid enough, lets go with MOT standard. 

The front subframe bulkhead mount welding is some proper bird shite that i may look at. This could be tied in with rebushing the rack and buzzing up the bulkhead wee hole i poked the othet day however Im not sure on how long ill keep it yet. 

Thing is the more i spend the more i want out of it use wise. 

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One of our more recent work fleet purchases. The clutch slave snapped saturday luckily just as it was leaving the shop, I replaced that in the carpark. 

A noise had been occuring from the belt area, i ordered in 2 belts and a tensioner.  Sadly a stretch belt runs the PS pump. Old belt peeled off easily


Tensioner off and sure enough the bearing was pretty toasted. 


Having sold many at work but personally having never fitting a stretch belt i can say fook me that was tight to get on. All back together and no more squeeking. 




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3 minutes ago, Andyrew said:

This could be tied in with rebushing the rack and buzzing up the bulkhead wee hole i poked the othet day

@Slowsilver  (or might have been someone else and I can't remember who) iirc has a source of better bushes for the Maxi rack that has the same problem as these. The replacement bush is plastic and often fails, while a brass type bush has been manufactured that I believe sorts this issue. 

Careful poking that bulkhead! Behind there is a well known rot point from where the rain water sits for the heater and ends up rotting through. For best access to do that repair, you have to effectively cut open heart surgery style into that area to gain access. It can be a right mess...



I believe there is some info in the link I sent you the other day on the best way to tackle that. I did it on my purple one and I know my blue one had similar work as they put silver soundproofing foam over the top to hide the welds. Tbh virtually every ADO16 is likely has had it done at least once.

I'm giving this warning as it might snowball into a bigger project if you poke too much. I've learnt that the hard way too many times. Definitely get as much fun out of the car first. Don't be like me and the weld-fest-mess I've got myself into several times. 😅


15 minutes ago, Andyrew said:

however Im not sure on how long ill keep it yet


Please do let me know if/when you decide to move it on! I haven't had a ADO16 for a while and having a urge to have one again. 🙃

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2 fiat fondle.


On the last look over id noted a duff wheel cylinder, the drums are original and pretty well worn now given the cars miles.  new drums, shoes and cylinders ordered in, forgot a fitting kit tho. 

Bosch are actually cheapest for these as they are the OEM manufacturer.


The back plates were very crusty so i unbolted the wheel bearing, and the back plates got taken off and hit with the knot wheel. The axle was given a quick go over with the  needle scaler and then wire brush before a splash of shultz. Im not a fan of this stuff but it has a place.


Having done the KA2 previously in this thread id already experienced the seized union on the brake pipe so just went straight to making two new pipes and cut the old ones off. Id like to have done a neater job but i was getting pushed for time today after doing the doblo and VP this morning.


Back plates bolted on and pipe installed.


Shoes and adjusters fitted. 


New drums on and a tweakof the  handbrake. All seems okay, ill paint the drums next time ive got the car on the lift. Finished around 10pm and dropped the car back. 



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12 hours ago, SiC said:

@Slowsilver  (or might have been someone else and I can't remember who) iirc has a source of better bushes for the Maxi rack that has the same problem as these. The replacement bush is plastic and often fails, while a brass type bush has been manufactured that I believe sorts this issue. 

Yes, it was me. At the time the only replacements that I could find were plastic, and the Maxi Owners' Club spares guy told me that he had been forced to stop selling reconditioned racks from his supplier because these bushes only lasted a few months and they were all being returned under warranty. The original bush in my rack was of a peculiar construction which appeared to be a shallow U-shaped steel outer ring with what looked like pumice stone inside it. This stuff appeared to have completely broken up and was doing nothing at all. I bought a used rack from the Maxi Club Spares supplier, stripped it down and it had exactly the same bush problem so I took the rack and the outer casing to a local engineering place that I knew of and he turned up a phosphor bronze bush for me which was a shrink fit into the casing and a nice tight sliding fit to the rack rod. I rebuilt the spare rack using this, fitted it and it was great. No play at all. I then stripped the original rack and got a bush turned for that too. So I now have a spare rebuilt rack as well. Unfortunately my local engineering man has retired and I have been unable to find anyone else locally who is prepared to take on these little custom jobs. I was not aware that someone was now producing brass bushes, but hopefully they should last longer than the plastic ones. I wonder how well they fit as the tolerances are quite tight and mine were custom turned and reamed to fit my particular rack and casing.

13 hours ago, Andyrew said:

Having sold many at work but personally having never fitting a stretch belt i can say fook me that was tight to get on. All back together and no more squeeking. 

I did my first stretch belt change on my daughter's Hyundai i10 recently. Apparently it can be done with a screwdriver or a lever but there is a risk of damaging the new belt, so I bought these:


Less than a fiver and made removing and refitting the belt a piece of cake. Just clip the appropriate tool between the crank pulley and the belt then rotate the crank pulley using a spanner on the bolt. You can get metal ones which are more expensive but probably better if you are going to be changing lots of belts. But these hard plastics ones are OK for occasional use and are worth the money even if you only use the once.

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Steady now. 

Today see the last (for now) of dicking with the exhaust. The mount picks up on two existing bung holes. A simple bit of box section with an exhaust clamp  zapped to it. I want to weld the sleeve to the front section of exhaust to loose that clamp as its persistant on leaking. No exhaust paste used on anything yet untill i a few miles proves its working.  May try and make the gap between the hydo lines and the exhaust larger too. 


Time to get a few miles under its belt then. *Turns wheel while cars on lift* Ohh is that a stuck caliper? Guess im going to be visiting minspares again for brakes.

Ohh what the fuck is this design all about.


The swinging caliper design it seems of which EBC are the only people that make the correct wedge pads at £57 and Bigg Red  make a rebuild kit for £60, ouch.


For now tho. Slung back together while i wait for all the brake parts to arrive as im bored of this thing being on the lift.



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4 hours ago, SiC said:

Yeah the MK2 onwards have the swing calipers that were only ever used on the ADO16. I think the MK1 was MG Midget calipers. 

Longbridge Motor Spares do rebuilt calipers too. 

I was expecting the earlier cars to have been mostly mini but after offering a caliper up found this not to be. 

Also noted the brake hoses are like this at the front and looking like originals at the back. I think mini at the rear will do and ive got some for another bit of BL tat which should work but just a smidge longer, while complete Ado16 set are avalible on ebay the 50 quid price had me hunting for alternatives via work coming in around half that. 


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