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The Current Driveway... 323 progress(?!) update.


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Well, one job leads to another on the A8... one I knew was coming though...

I investigated my anti-roll bar clunk last weekend and discovered that the starboard end was completely adrift from its droplink.  It hadn't sheared the bolt, the bolt just wasn't there, must've undone itself and fired off into the ether... weird.

Anyway, after fitting up new links and mounts there was much improvement... turn in is now really sharp.  A clunk, however, remained.  Any serial VAG lickers will maybe recognise the following heart-breaking image...


Yes, one of my upper control arm bushes had gone, allowing the side of the arm to contact the mounting frame.  The above picture was taken after a good six hours work removing the pinch bolt of doom.  I was warned, but what an absolute pig of a thing to remove!  Heat was the key, although as the upright is aluminium, it's hard to get just one spot hot enough... Near constant heat was required.

The offending article...


The rubber had split completely, glad to get it before any damage was done.  


I have now replaced the bushes (a '92 Mazda 323 hubnut is exactly the right diameter to 'gently press' out this bush, should you be wondering!), Lemforder's finest no less, only six quid each from Autodoc.

The refit will have to wait til the morn though, I had to escort Mrs Trab to her jab, and the stress of trying to to not shear that bloody bolt has left me broken, mentally and physically!

I was planning to do both sides, but they can definitely wait until they complain... not a fun job.

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Hi all, 

Mazda 323 progress update...

Had the day off today in order to escort junior to his dental appointment in the Highland capital.  It's a beautiful day here today, so a very enjoyable waft up the A9 and back was had.

On our return I decided to push on a bit with the wee Mazda, as it's time as an official (legal) learner car is fast approaching.





Actually a very clean car for its age, the obviously know what they're doing in Hiroshima...  Vactan application...



And after...


I don't like waxoyl much, I think it it too thick and forms a skin before it's had a chance to soak in.  However, I do like it's blackness and see it as a thickener.  These days I heat up a blend of waxoyl, gear oil, old engine oil and dpr (like wd40 but free from work).  This witch's brew seems to flow better, and stays a bit oily forever... kind of like black butter... nice.


Next steps are to re-seal and refit the dried out light clusters, and the bumper can go back on now I've fired plenty of oily goodness down the chassis rails.  The sills are dripping all over my truck bed now as well!

A pal at work scrapped a Focus, and donated quite a fancy big screened stereo to this, so we'll get that squeezed in as well.

We have a full set of servicing bits and bobs in, but as it's running so well I think we'll just keep them in readiness for now.

She's a credit to her former keepers, and my son feels very lucky to have her, which is good to see.



Anyway, cheers all!

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  • TrabbieRonnie changed the title to The Current Driveway... 323 TLC.

Hello all.

Mazda all together again, back on its wheels and (once I've replaced the number plate lamps), ready for the mot...


Junior is quite chuffed with the new plates, the dealer originals are safely stored away.  


We removed all the old sealant from the rear lights, the foam gasket between the clusters and the body had deteriorated, allowing water in.  I've made the gasket water proof again with clear silicone, so now there's no need for a visible run of sealant round the outside.  Thoroughly tested during the celebratory washing, after which some stickers were applied (you only get one first car after all!)...






After all that, we got the Audi Coupe up on the truck for more of the same scrubbing/inspection/protection routine.  Mrs Trab has really taken to it, so it will become her summer car.  It's exhaust looks a bit tired, from the centre section back anyway, there's a recent stainless cat/pipe forward of that by the looks of things.  I have a work contact who tells me he can make up the rest of the system in stainless given the original to copy, so that is the plan there.  The V6 really needs a rorty backbox, which I'm sure my good lady will love...

Checked out Admiral multi-car insurance, and was really impressed.  Of course, I've just renewed the Jeep and big Audi, should have checked Admiral first...  Anyway, the Surf, A8, Coupe and Mazda would have been £588 for the Mrs and I, which I thought was pretty good.  They wanted around £300 quid extra for junior as a provisional driver on the 323, which will be his birthday present this year methinks.  Once passed, they'll want £1800 for his first year, not sure how that compares to elsewhere, but again, doesn't seem too horrific these days? 

Lastly, I even put the battery back in the old Iveco recovery truck, and after about eighteen months sat as an over-engineered work station for old chod, she fired right up!  Who said Ivecos were shite?!!!  Might even pick up a project or two this summer for quick* easy* massive* profit!

*delete as appropriate...

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Hi all,

Some work has occurred...


Been doing little bits at a time after work, as it's now still light and warm enough when I get home. 

First step was the jacking/supporting.  Again, the truck bed height is ideal for this sort of rust prevention work.  

Wheel arch liners out next, tbh was expecting some grot on the old girl, she's covered 210,000 miles in her 28 years, but...


... apparently Audi 80's don't really do that sort of thing!  Very clean under the road dirt, if I kept scrubbing I could just have her body coloured under there, which would be a first for me!  Still deciding, but will probably coat it all for protection.


Nicely built old car, no real water traps or exposed seams, shows what they could achieve if they wanted to...  The discs have rusted with sitting over winter, but they're working fine without dragging so I think they'll come good with more miles.

Next, we removed the centre and rear boxes, they are solid, but not great looking.  I have cleaned them up with the wire wheel, and will look for new, but they'll go back on for the test this time I think.  I've a week off after next week, during which I'd like to get this and the 323 road legal, so time is of the essence...


Bandaged up a wee pinhole towards the rear.  I've some high temp paint in the shed, considering some vactan and black topcoat on it, show a bit of willing for the mot man?  Wouldn't expect it to last forever, but couldn't hurt.  

The boys insisted on hearing it run without the boxes on, I wish we'd filmed it...  It was ear-spliitingly loud when revved up, most impressive!  I'm sure that's what the neighbours were thinking anyway?!

Bit of sun has really got the car mojo back on, can't wait to hit up the car's and coffee mornings again! 

Cheers all.

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I've always quite liked the look of that era Audi coupe. They were current at the same time as the Corrado and they remind me a little of one, in a curvier sort of way. Yours looks especially good in white.

Do they feel like heavy lumps to drive, or are they reasonably agile? 

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Very solid I would say, there's plenty of oomph in this one (2.6), so doesn't really feel 'heavy' as such.  Apparently 150bhp, but feels like more.

Certainly a very well planted car, not as fluid or flicky as my old Celica.  The engine is a masterpiece... it revs and revs, and is turbine-smooth.  The steering is meaty, probably a bit heavy at parking speeds compared to moderns, but again, perfectly stable at speed.  

Even turn-in is good, might be the tyres, but I wasn't expecting the car to dart into corners given its Audi nose-heaviness.  Seems to sit a wee bit lower than most, the shocks are KYB jobs, I wonder if they're standard.

One of the best things about the driving experience (apart from the glorious noise), is the visibility... the cabin is so light and airy, you sit higher up against the window line than you'd expect.

I like the Corrado too, but prefer the Coupe if I'm honest, and yes, I've never liked white cars but this one suits it, I agree!

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Hmm. Shame you're nowhere near Cornwall- it would be interesting to have a drive of one. Sounds quite addictive! I loved the 2.8 VR6 in my old mk2 Golf. It was fairly anti-social though. I've only ever owned 16v Corrados but remember looking at Audi coupes out of the corner of my eye at the time. Much like Corrados, they've aged really damn well. 

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  • TrabbieRonnie changed the title to The Current Driveway... Audi Coupe MOT Prep.

Agree on all of the above, particularly the rust resistance — my 80 saloon is the same, as is my old Golf Cabrio from the same era (now @320touring’s missus’s).

They were hot dip galvanised and Audi/VW put a proper amount of zinc on them. Completely corrosion-proof unless damaged and repaired.

Very underrated and undervalued cars compared with contemporary competitors I think — though that’s good news for us.

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Oily now... 







And, as previously mentioned, I have bodged up/smartened up the exhaust... looks a lot better and will do until my mate gets his act together and makes me a stainless jobby (his wife has just had a nipper, so I'll let him off for a bit!).



Plan to get the liners back in and fit the rear wheels tomorrow, then jack up the front for more of the same.  This and the wee Mazz can both then be booked in for a test and fun times can commence!  Risked a trip to Halfrauds today for number plate light bulbs, which as far as I know, was the last job required.

We're allowed out for non-essential journeys now, only within the county border though... thankfully the fair county of Moray has some awesome driving roads and scenery.

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Slightly better weather today (freezing but only snowed for a bit in the morning), so washing was achieved...  not looking bad for an old'un!







Needs a respray to be perfect, but being white hides a lot of the lack of shine.  Really need to find (or get made?) the missing two wheel centres, and get the wheels refurbed.  Anyway, that's it until Thursday morning, when I am planning a cobweb-clearing out, two -hour long drive to my mot man, who is about twenty minutes away...

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On 3/27/2021 at 10:10 PM, Skizzer said:

Agree on all of the above, particularly the rust resistance — my 80 saloon is the same, as is my old Golf Cabrio from the same era (now @320touring’s missus’s).

They were hot dip galvanised and Audi/VW put a proper amount of zinc on them. Completely corrosion-proof unless damaged and repaired.

Very underrated and undervalued cars compared with contemporary competitors I think — though that’s good news for us.

Gotta agree on all counts, my 100 is remarkably protected under the arches. 

80/90/100s are hidden gems. Well engineered, well constructed and compared to their contemporaries, they've held up really well. My 32 year old Audi 100 must be a 40 year old design at this point. And having driven contemporary Sierras and Opels, it's aged far better. 

And they've seemingly escaped the glare of the VW fettish crowd. Which like you say is a good thing for us... 

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6 hours ago, Spurious said:

Nice one, MOT passes are always nice. 

Just had a quick catch up on your thread, well done on yours too btw.  There's a quattro version of your car quietly rusting away just off the high street in a nearby village, the want is strong!  

I would be far from the first to try and pry it out of its resting place apparently, and have often thought of stopping and leaving a note, in the Coupe to show my credentials of course!

Yours is a beaut, happy travels, cheers just now.

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Just now, TrabbieRonnie said:

Just had a quick catch up on your thread, well done on yours too btw.  There's a quattro version of your car quietly rusting away just off the high street in a nearby village, the want is strong!  

I would be far from the first to try and pry it out of its resting place apparently, and have often thought of stopping and leaving a note, in the Coupe to show my credentials of course!

Yours is a beaut, happy travels, cheers just now.

We can have a little retro Audi corner at the next Shitefest and be smug that we can't hear the cars rusting away 😁

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Just dropped this wee thing off for its test tomorrow morning...


Feels like leaving your dog at the pound. 😞😅

Rowdy Audi is providing many smiles per mile charging about the Highlands, forgot what great fun it was.  Mrs Trab is loving it too!  And as any shiter knows, that is a gooooood thing.

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Hi all,

Next to be refreshed for summer duties is Rosie... my beloved VEB Sachsenring Trabant 601s.


The weather is bloomin' beautiful up here just now (I am actually sunburnt after yesterday's efforts!), so the old car mojo remains high.

A trip to work first off as it's my weekend on call, to which the 323 provided transportation.  This ensured I was accompanied by my eldest, who enjoyed a drive around the site following the completion of my duties.  Home then, to wash and an attempt to polish the Coupe... the paint has faded badly over the winter.  It's now quite matt in places (roof and bonnet) but does come back a bit more with every sesh.  Considering a machine cut/polish by a professional, but think I'd rather spend the money on a new exhaust... anyway, I digress.

Rosie the Trabant has been sat in her corner, awaiting her turn, and in protest at this neglect, had stuck her brakes on.  Trabant brakes famously don't like being left for long periods, the cylinders corrode pretty easily, and so (although freed off now), this will probably mean replacement of some/all.  

However, the mighty two-stroke did not fail us... as a precaution, my youngest 'shiter removed the plugs and poured a small amount of oil down each cylinder, before turning the engine over by hand.  I had charged up the old Campervan's battery overnight in readiness, so this was installed.  I say installed, it is about twice the size required, so laid diagonally across the 'powerbarn' with the leads only just reaching is what it did.

Fuel tap on, choke out and bang, she was on.  The big battery gave the starter the rudest possible awakening, she spun up and started really quickly... smoke and noise and just, trabbiness really!  These wee things really get under your skin, and I think it starts with the engine's character, like anything two-stroke, they just feel alive.


A quick wash, and the removal of the interior bar the front seats followed (mice check, none found although my demister pad has been nibbled).  I then proceeded to spin her round, and line her up for a ascent of the Iveco's ramps. 

This was dramatic.  The truck's bed has been quite well coated in waxy oil over the past few months, as regular readers will know, it has been my old car work bench for a while.  Poor old Rosie struggled for traction, smoking her tyres the whole way up!  Three attempts, the third with quite a run-up, got us there, but the tyre screeching/engine screaming/smoke billowing attracted quite an audience by the end!  


Safely ensconced now, a quick peek underneath shows no dramas, but further scrubbing and re-coating will be documented here as she gets test ready once again.


Cheers all.

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  • TrabbieRonnie changed the title to The Current Driveway... 323 progress(?!) update.

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