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Andy's awful autos: Shitter shuffle


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When the Ug-Pug was purchased it had vauxhall wheel bolts fitted as it came with a set of corsa c wheels. 15 bolts 19mm, 1 bolt 17mm. Thread pitch and taper were the same but with febi making the correct bolts at just 85p + vat each i chucked 16 new ones on. 


Torqued up, the car given a quick hose down and hoover, we hit the road. 

It drives okay, nippier than i expected, will ask @Six-cylinder to drive it again to see if the sound deadner has made much of a difference to the noise.

Only issues to report are, smell of fags when heater on, no cabin filter so this would need a strip and clean. 

And a slight skitty feel at the front wheels under hard accelleration. Steering feels heavier than i would expect these to be. Maybe the bump knocked the tracking a smidge.

@Zelandeth i believe you had one of these when they were new, is this a TADTS or somethings up?

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Longer drive and some motorway travel tonday. The people are correct, these are not shit!

Drives fine, quiet on the motorway, tho obviously ive added sound deadener to this one and the additional door seals that are ment to stop wind noise. 

Surprisingly long gearing. Nice and torquey, steerings a bit numb but it is electric assisted. 

Been a long time since ive given a little 3 pot some welly. 

Stereo sounds shite, a quick nosey today and our supplier stocks the same kit the citybugstore sells so cable adapters and jvc speaker upgrade for these.  Do like some reasonable tuneage, so ive ordered them up.  

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8 minutes ago, AnthonyG said:

Can the lady with the dying Corsa afford the step up to the UgPug? It sort of seems ideal for her.

Of course, this is after the Corsa engine finally gives up, we need to see how long it lasts for objective scientific* reasons.

The Pug is for my other half to try,  without having to flog her current motor first that shes attached too. If we like the pug we will keep it, its got dibs from a scotto shiter if its a no go for my good lady.


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Not perfect but better, 

The pug has an aux input on the front of the headunit, handy as i hate listening to the radio, crappy as you have a jack lead dangling down infront of the heater controls etc etc. 

1 screw behind the fan speed knob removed and then the panel pulls off. 7 clips and one screw in total, i wanted to put a hole into the panel and it was exactly where one of the clips was so that was removed. A wee hole and grommet then took its place and the cable feed through the hole the clip used to slot into. With the panel out i could drill a hole from above for the other end of the cable.

Found a tracker too! That was binned.


Back in


Other end comes out in the little cubby underneath out the way. Not dangling infront of the heater etc etc, its cheap and Works for me. 


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The stock speakers are bloody awful.  

Sorry I missed the query regarding steering earlier.  Mine definitely never felt skittish, not more than you'd expect from a car that light with pretty firm suspension anyway.  My biggest complaint about the steering was that it really never had any real feel to it, made judging grip (especially in really poor weather like snow) hard.  At parking speeds it should be really light.

Cracking little cars for what they are though.  Feel like a bit of an also-ran compared to things like the Up these days, but the packaging was really clever when they were launched.  Still astonishes me how much air they managed to fit into the cabin.  While it looks cramped and is a bit cave-like with the tiny windows, even sitting in the back as a reasonably tall adult is fine.  I did a run as a passenger most of the way from Aberdeen to Milton Keynes in mine (took over driving an hour or so before we got here) and while I wouldn't say it was the most comfortable trip I've ever done, it certainly wasn't anywhere near as bad as you'd think to look at it from the outside.

Gripes I came up with after nine years:

[] Sodding windscreen pillars which you could lose a small country behind.  I never did get used to that, even though I do realise it's just a modern-car thing.  I never did have any even vague idea where the front of the car was when parking either...so usually ended up parked about ten feet away from whatever I was trying to pull up next to.

[] ABS was always hugely over enthusiastic on mine and would trigger at nearly the slightest provocation.  Meant driving on slushy roads was downright dangerous unless you pulled the ABS fuse as you would just randomly find you had absolutely nothing in the way of brakes.

[] Windscreen wiper was bloody awful until I fitted an aero wiper (which became standard fitment in 2010 I think).

[] Gear change was a bit notchy and always felt like the cheapest part of the whole car.

[] Air con condensers seem to dissolve after about 3-4 years and are annoyingly expensive.

[] Changing radiator requires the front crossmember to be dropped as it's sandwiched between that and the slam panel rather than bolted on.  The bolts holding the cross member on are made of cheese and most will snap when you go to undo them.  Cue a 45 minute job turning into a multi-hour slog while you drill all the buggers out.

[] Headlight bulb change is ridiculously fiddly (especially if you have AC as the lines are right in the way on the nearside).  Until you snap the plastic fastener that goes down behind the bumper off...at which point removing the headlight whole then becomes a 30 second job requiring you to take two 10mm bolts out.  Lights were still perfectly solidly secured afterwards too, by the way.

[] Mine always had a slight but noticeable flat spot around 4000rpm flat out.  Which given that the engine is one that thrives on revs was always irritating.  2nd gear is good for 65...

[] Ignore the claimed economy figures.  I averaged 45mpg over 9 years and 65K miles.  I think the later cars are slightly better.

[] Seats aren't great...but it's a cheap car.

The range had a big facelift in 2012 I think it was, and I had an Aygo from that generation as a rental for a week or so in 2014 and it really felt like they had made it a far more grown up car.  Economy seemed better, they'd sorted the annoying flat spot, seats were better, gear change was a million times better and it was a lot quieter.

Despite this poking holes in it, I still *really* rate the 107 etc, and if I was looking for a simple small runaround tomorrow I wouldn't be looking any further than one.  Great fun little things.

I do miss mine.


I've heard a lot of people mention them having a thirst for oil - mine never used a drop. Though I *did* change it every six months which may have helped the long term health of the engine in that respect.

I like the opinion of my old MOT tester who spent a lot of time working on farm machinery, "They're tough little shits" - which from him should be considered high praise!

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Just spent the last half hour catching up, there's some great work going on here!

The slave cylinders on the Mazda's go all the time as you've mentioned. Aftermarket ones seem to last a year or two, whereas genuine seem to do 5 years plus IME.- In the long run it's still cheaper to go aftermarket such is the price of genuine Mazda parts.

We had a little C1 on fleet last year (Essential the same car as the 107 as I'm sure you're aware) It was fun and very simple to work on but just a bit too small for what we needed. It also looked worryingly rusty underneath so it had to go. Ours used a litre of oil every 2000 miles, but a lot of them do I hear. Keep an eye on the water pump, they're a service item but aux driven so not hard to change. Top tip- The small rubber bungs that run along the bottom of the sills just pull out, allowing one to inject copious amounts of the wax of your choice before popping them back in to trap it all in there.

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Well then does my good lady approve of the little pug? 

Appart from feeling a little low down seating wise compared with the loved jimny of hers she is loving the fuel economy and the more relaxed drive on the motorway as the pugs better geared.

Does she want to switch or is the jimny still no1 and worth the extra money on fuel? 

Well. . To be honest my friend/ MOT tester made that decision today for her.


Oh dear, 




Sad times, doesnt look bad but that will be a much bigger repair that it looks, i knew it was getting soft in the usual jimny spots a year or two ago so this is no surprise, a new boot floor was on the cards in the future but given its thirst being an issue, the clutch appears to be slipping and many other little issues it wants some decent time and money spending on it. At the moment justifying the expense isnt high on our priority list so its being retired. 


We bought this i believe 7 years ago, i won it for something like £2163.27 iirc. I had test drove it 30mins before the auction on ebay ended, to the end of the street and back, i decided that 2k was the limit for a "punt" as it has bad paint and many dents it was also a bit scabby in areas even then.

£3-4k was the normal rate for one at the time, so i said 2k bid limit would be wise as it was worth that in parts. When we viewed my good lady loved it and hadnt even driven it yet! We sat up the road from the owners house and i bid on my phone, 2k came and we got outbid.  Good lady now looked deflated and sad, we talked about other jimnys for sale online.  She didnt know i was still bidding random numbers on the auction. Fuck it why not eh?

The listing ended and i showed her what it sold for. " who the hell bids like that on a car?"


Que One very happy lady.

With that to be honest the car owes us nothing. Its been uber reliable and it will go into storage at the workshop for a while and she can choose what to do with it in a few months time. I have zero issues with fixing it but its up to her.


Right then, safrane and silver Astra, 



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  • Andyrew changed the title to Andy's awful autos: Shitter shuffle
  • 2 weeks later...

How did it come to this, two dizzler eco4s on the road at the same time!

Over the past few years since buying the silver Astra. Ive had two shitters on the road, a trusty cheap to run daily then something slightly less practical like the disco and Mx5. 

So we could trial run the puglet i had stuck it on the policy that the mx5 was on, mx5 was offered out on loan so it wasnt just kicking around in the workshop instead of being thrashed and enjoyed , it is currently with mr Alan green of this forum.

With the puglet experiment being quickly ended and the pug now being my better halfs daily, log book in her name, insurance swapped over etc etc.

That ment the insurance i had needed a shed to go onto. Enter the stage again silver steed!


I was driving this untill the black Astra came up for sale and i swapped insurance to get that home and the idea was for my other half to try an Astra. This was an instant no go, to big and poor visability is seems.  So ive just been running the Black Astra around and its been cracking with around 6-7k since purchasing no issues, It is however a 130k mile car and the suspension is getting a bit loosey goosey. 

Way back in this thread we can see id spent a good chuck of time and money on putting all new stuff on the silver car and to me it makes more sense to swapped back to that and park the black car up for future use. 

While the silver car drives better, the engine pulls better and ive got more memories with it. It sadly has one big issue.

RUST,  sad times.

Not confined to one area either. I feel the car spent time in a more damp muddy climate and this took its toll. Each joint, subframe mount etc etc has signs of corrosion. No massive holes and mot fail stuff but its there and its everywhere which the black car just doesnt have.  So im going to MOT it and look at this as its last year, maybe 2 if im lucky, Then it will be stripped for parts all the suspension swapped over and leaving tons of spares to keep the black car running for a good few years.


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As seen in this pic the cheapo rattle can paint job has dicoloured and flaked off on the bumper. A quick knock back and badly done repaint was in order to brighten the front up as quick and cheap as possible. Painted at night when it was 2° with a heatgun in hand. the paint is good enough for me. A quick flat back and polish gets it to a presentable state. Headlights also got a polish.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Astra is now ready to go for an MOT, just time to go is the issue. My new job roll and a lack of staff makes getting time off a bit difficult at the moment. Sadly My day off is the same day as my main MOT man! 

Unfortunately my friend john who lobs my tyres on isnt too well at the moment so the Astra is parked staring at its new boots ( falken sinceras) Theres no rush and i hope he gets better soon as hes a top chap. 

John also takes cars for MOTs so i may just ask him to take it away and chuck it in for a test too.


Last weekend the young ladies corsa returned and the horrifically noisey rear wheel bearing was changed for the grand total of £9! Being a Corsa c the handbrake was shite. While the car was in the air we pulled of the drums and check all the cables were moving freely. One of the nearside brake shoes was actually dislodged and wedged rubbing against the drum and not touching the piston on the cylinder!  Shoe back in place, and now the pedal doesnt go so close to the floor , with it adjusted and cleaned up handbrake now works too.


Still using oil but 10w40 slowed the rate down.  I was given a 25ltr barrel of old but unopened 10w30 truck/tractor engine oil, not much use to me so i donated that to her and filled up some of the empty containers she had in the boot. Should keep her going for while.

Between safrane tinkering the farmers mazda (not ranger m8) wagon is in as it has split a brake line on the back axle by the looks of things. The pedal went to the floor and he managed to just limp it back to the farm.


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Farmer wagon, a mazda that rusts. Shocker!

Just looks like a leak thats trickling down the axle case. Back of the drums a bit damp too but not by the cylinder??. I get it out the grass and onto the concrete. Should have enough brakes with a wee leak like that. A little pump and it feels like it should be fine*

The workshops sideways on a hill. . 

As i roll straight past where i wanted to park outside the workshop. Foot now pumping away and heading towards the lower part of the yard at a slightly concerning speed i start to reconsider my decision and really hope that my friend doesnt come around the blind bend in his mondeo at the same time i need to roll round there clenching not just my fists.

Handbrake firmly pulled i gently come to a halt on the good side of the hedges. 

I reverse up the hill and park it up. 

The brake line to the load valve at the rear has completely dissolved. Spraying downwards onto the drum backing plate and a bit of the axle tube. 

Its the pipe that goes all the way to the front, and its been undersealed over in the past.

Ill change both pipes as im there and sure the other will be just as shagged. 







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Brake in the weather

With the weather having been a bit shite visits to the workshop have been minimal. Today i popped down and the cars were swapped around leaving the Jimny and the Astra outside and the rather long mazda back in with the safrane back on the lift so i can yank the steering tank thing off. 


The leak then, tucked up behind the spare wheel is the load valve and the pipe had rotted out near the union. Id contemplated purchasing another flare tool so i could just join the repair section to the 90% good line but the access was awkward and the biggest issue is that its been schutz'd in the past. I may have mentioned in the past but



It just drys out,  cracks and fucks everything. Horrible stuff. So i busted out the impact gun and removed the unit. Thankfully the bolts came out. I undone the flexi line to the axle from the axle end, and just cut the lines near the unions. With those cut and the unit down it revealed the little line was also fairly gone.




Needle scaler out and i started to clean it up a bit.



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Hide the nuns and kittens!

With the unions wire brushed and  each one given a few firm wacks i then tapped on a good six sided socket and just went straight for the impact gun which thankfully rattled the buggers out. 

Given the load valves location it has a bleed nipple on it. I ponder for a moment , Do i risk it? Will the air just come out like id hope if i leave it?

Ah fuck it, ugger dugger time!


Stupid face pulled, but sucess!


I decided id get the valve off and give everything a clean up. Battery impact was a bit low so out came the big boy air gun, with the half inch impact socket being to thick walled to get on the bolt head i opted for a 1/2 to 3/8 step down with a 3/8 to 1/4 for the socket!


Many rattles and some forwards and backwards turns got the bolts out. 

Needle scaled and wire brushed. Both bits recieved some black stonechip and left to dry on the proffesional paint drying rack.


While they dried That was it for the mazda today.

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A beautiful sunny day. The renna has its own thread about its tinkering. Today The silver Astra received a new caliper under warranty after the dust boot crumbled away.  Fitted by my mate and his son. 


With the sun shining i spent A large portion of the afternoon laying on a cold floor getting showered in flaky schutz and mud. Booo!

This means It was time to carry on with the farmers wagon.  

The brake lines go up beside the fuel tank then between the chassis and body. They would have been fitted before the body went on so its very mazdaish, being Just shite to work on. 

I chopped the old lines off and made the new lines in two halfs with a join in the centre



The lines underneath the schitez were heavily correded in a few areas.

Busted out the posh stuff this time. Im giving curpo nickel line a go.  Never had any issues with copper but fancied trying this stuff. 




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Load valve thingy put back together.


Fitted back on the truck, was seal sprayed on area before it was bolted up. Copperslip used on all bolts.


Front to rear lines all fitted up. Would have liked to make the lines neater but meh.

Now its time to bleed the brakes, will the bleed nipples free off? Or will they just snap off and ruin the rest of my day. 

I just need a little faith . . .


Not too shabby.

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Exhausted ignis

MOT time again for the little zook. 

Trim had parted was from the screen so this was cleaned and poly bonded back again


The main issue for today was to look at the exhaust hanger that had seen better days. 


Im Not paying out for another exhaust just for this wee bracket. This meant im needed a new hanger. 

Remember the damaged exhaust from one of the knackered corsas we replaced?  Choppy choppy!


Zappy zappy, grindy grindy.


Chucked back on. Sorted.


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