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Running my little fleet in a burocratic nightmare.


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Evening all

I need to write this as they say it is good to talk and helps relieve stress. 

I have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure, let us see why. 

I will start with the latest addition collection cock up that happened 2 weeks ago. 

I, like many others, spend to much time viewing" subito. It" for local cheap chod knowing full well I can not afford and do not need anything. I spotted an ad. For a Non running 2008 kymco scooter with only 3200kms for 350 euro. Only 11 kms from my house. Deal is done at 280euro, burocracy is dealt with and 185euros paid for admin. 

Sunny Collection day arrives. I am the more sensible side of 50 years old but I forgot, also forgot that I live 600 meters up 6kms of steep hill and a few hairpin bends. 

So I thought I would push it home!! 

It is a 130 kg largish 165cc scooter. 1st 4 kms OK pushing on the flat, arrive at Hill and after less than 50m I, m done. 

But faith in the human race is restored, 2 old blokes in car stop and ask if I need help, 15 mins later they return with a pickup truck, load scooter and me in back and give me a lift home. Me sitting on scooter in the back, all highly illegal. IMG_20190531_112702.thumb.jpg.65a1f98531a12dbc98819e3f8872e7bb.jpg

And then the problems started! 

 

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That is my man bag, very essential in Italy because of all the documents you have to carry around and all the keys I have. 

My wife knew nothing of this purchase, I already have a smaller silver scooter so I thought I could sneak this in the garage and she would never notice if only 1 ever came out. This is the other 1.IMG_20190315_084831.thumb.jpg.df4aa510c8e35b51799ce19713d277b9.jpg

That is my locked front gate to my house in the middle of a forest up the side of a hill. You may or may not know that scooters have lockable underseat storage. 

At some point whilst pushing on that sunny day I put my man bag containing both keys to the scooter, house keys and mobile phone into underseat storage and then sat on it and so locking everything in. 

I discovered this outside my front gate. 

Oh shit. 

I climbed over gate and spent the next few hours gardening. Wife got home from work and I had some explaining to so. 

Once she opened gate, garage and house I was able to dismantle scooter and have a beer. 

To be continued. 

 

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You live in a lovely spot though? Makes up for a lot? 

Yes funny story. When I buy anything I always also get the owner to show me how to get the bonnet open and to open the fuel filler. Been caught out on both of those - at least one vehicle I have bought had no fuel filler key  - bit of problem at the petrol station miles from home! The other pitfall is central locking - new purchase I always take the key out to avoid one of those situations where the locking fires of its own accord locking keys in car on a petrol station forecourt for example.

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superb!  

Especially like your idea of hiding an extra scooter from the wife by buying one that looks similar to your first one.  I wonder how far we could all take that analogy...

Extra scooter

extra car

extra wife???

 

Is it 2 or 4 stroke?  Either way I bet that'll have more poke up the hills.

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  • 1 month later...

Update time

My pre purchase due diligence was not up to scratch. At first viewing I worked out that the kymco fuel pump was dead, new battery needed and then usual good service etc  Quick eBay search produced 50 euros for a pattern pump so I bought the scooter 

On stripping the bike down and removing the fuel tank problems started. Removing the in tank fuel pump revealed a complete mess of rusted pump, holding brackets and ruined fuel level sender. I have never seen in 30 years of mucking about with bikes such a brown rusty mess. Luckily the tank itself is plastic.

A visit to nearest kymco dealer and euro 250 !!!  Later I have a new original pump and sender. Took a week to arrive in dealer .

I fitted it all back together and thank fully it fir d straight away and runs like a dream. The reality of my cheap purchase 

280   scooter

185   admin cost change ownership

250. Fuel pump

50 battery spark plugs oil

65   new mot

Euro 820 on the road plus insurance.

Please do not tell the wife.

I could have bought a running mot'd bike for 700 plus admin fee.

Some views on kymco overall.

The running gear motor and electrics all seem good quality almost to the same level as a Honda.

The body plastics are cheaper and design wise more difficult to strip down and put back together.

The suspension is the problem area, compared to other Japanese scooters I have had/ ridden this kymco is very harsh and a bit shit if I am honest. This is a 2008 scooter, more modern kymcos are much better suspended I believe, here in Italy they are very popular.

As a scooter of 163cc it goes very well, brakes well , cruises at 90kmh all day, tops out at 100 kmh. Goes up steep hills ok.

Does 37 km/ liter approx 100 mpg.

Smooth roads great, bumpy roads harsh.

I quite like it.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Being bored and stuck at home for 7 weeks now and no end in sight i thought it time to update .

As per various threads i started over last 4 months my main car issues.

2009 Ford focus 2.0 petrol with lpg.

2018 petrol pump changed at € 750 !, in tank ,tank off job to change at official ford garage.

18 months later in october 2019 failed again. Garage and everybody said no chance of warranty claim under guarantee . The problem seems to be petrol here has higher ethanol content and being lpg car using little petrol the petrol goes bad and stuff grows in it.

I insisted that garage ask ford to contribute, in the end i paid "only" labour costs €110. And pump changed and tank cleaned.

I put brand new petrol injectors on , bought of uk ebay for £95 for all 4. 

November 2019 at 10 years old here in italy lpg tank has to be changed and then checked over by official "dvla" bods. The lpg boom started 10 years ago in italy .

I was scared of stories of € 900 quotes for changing tank and burocratic visits, finally in february this year i found a garage talking sense and €479 tank changed, and then probs start.

So lpg boom started 10 years ago, now there is flood of cars needing official "dvla" check after tank change, but these workshops are not geared up for the amount of tests, so i have a booked appointment for april 2021 !!

More than a year away, and in theory i can not use the lpg side of system until official check done and car docs updated, without update in car docs if stopped by carabinieri my car will be impounded.  Only in italy could they cock thus up so well.

After changing lpg tank needed the 2 yearly mot check, here they check both petrol and lpg running, but without lpg dvla documents upto date no mot test on lpg is possible.

I still use lpg and if stopped for check i xhange back to petrol and talk in english. Problem solved.

I boufht this car new in 2009, always been home serviced, after 10 years i had never changed antifreeze. 

What a pleasure to find a plastic drain tap on bottom of radiator. As per photo , old antifreeze looked fine, much better than i expected.

The oil film in container is not from car, is old paraffin container.

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After all this work and expense on a 10 year old 100,000  mile car and now it is just sitting here unused, petrol probably going off again and ruining pump and injectors again.

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My suzuki sj410. 34 years old this year 

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6 years ago i bought new leaf springs and shocks for it, 6 years ago i changed the rears.  Finally 20200408_112006.thumb.jpg.0c5c54ff862d5996f08b3352984cf2a8.jpgLast week after 6 years i got round to changing the front springs .

Only 6 bolts for the leaf springs and 2 for the shocks each side.

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Luckily 7 years ago i put new polyurethane bushes on the springs and greased all the bolts so it was relatively easy to remove bushes after an hour under the sun to warm up. Notice the u bolts warming in sunshine to make it easier to squash them back into holes. Normally the spring to frame bolts can be completely seized in and the bushes need burning out.

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16 nuts in total, 15 easy to undo, the top lock nut on left hand shock just said no.

Difficult to see in pics but curve of inner wing no space for sockets, only spanners

After 34 years it was not moving, in the end a lunch break, oil and sunshine plus stilson wrench on shock body to stop it rotating and it was off.

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Raptor 4x4 ! Oh yeah.

Hopefully this will be a little softer than the ones i took off and the shocks will be better than the 34 year old originals.

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Looking good  shame i can't go anywhere.

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In 2006 i got on my bike and moved to italy.

I rode from basingstoke to almost Genova in 1 day, rucksack strapped on back and tank bag on front. 

On this !

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I think i have written about this before, finally last year after 13 years on uk plates in italy i got round to officially importing it here. After much stress, money, cock ups by italian officials i got it registered here and have an italian reg number. End of last year much tinkering and cleaning ready for this spring and NO.  

It is sitting here in glorious spring weather unavle to go anywhere.

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I love just looking at this bike, only bike i have ever bought brand new in 2004.

Sadly i think this year after all this effort i might have to sell it.

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On 4/12/2020 at 1:24 PM, sierraman said:

Christ your house looks fantastic. In Italy do they have the same easy access to old bangers like we do here? 

Thanks for the compliment, the reality is only the view is fantastic, the house , let me be kind here "is in need of updating".

Old cars, simple answer is no, too much admin and transfer ownership costs make cheap cars not worth the costs.

Is a real shame as otherwise i would have a driveway full of old fiats, lancias and bianchi.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another job i have been putting off for a couple of years.

2009 mk 2.5 focus. Have heard horror stories relating to rear fabric wheel arch liners causing rust. I have been ignoring the issue, ignorance is bliss and all that.

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Photo flatters it, every corner and panel is bent or damaged.

Time to take liners off to have a look.

Very easy to remove liners, about 10 little fixings that screw off by hand.

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Imagine my surprise and happiness when i found this !

Since new this car has only ever been sponge washed twice a year,  before winter sets in and again in spring time.

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BUT every winter from new about once per month i have always given the underside and arches a quick pressure wash, seems to have been a good investment.  

Or maybe it was only mk 1s and mk2s prone to rusting.i thought a mk2.5 was a mk2 with fancy eyebrows.

Either way I am happy.

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On 4/14/2020 at 9:04 PM, sierraman said:

What happens to them all? Do they just get kept forever? 

Yes, the norm is that even 10/15 year old cars for sale normally are on original owner. Most 30 year old cars are 1 owner from new.

It is unheard of to see a 5 previous owner car, each change of ownership the government charges a min of 400 euros.! Admin.

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For similar reasons I had a look behind the fabric arch-liner on my Transit Connect and found that they were doing a similarly good job here in salt & rust land.

I didn't realise those clip things unscrewed however. I removed them with force and had to eBay a bag full of new ones and wacked them on with a hammer and a bit of copper pipe!

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2 hours ago, Sir Chocolate Teapot said:

Yes, the norm is that even 10/15 year old cars for sale normally are on original owner. Most 30 year old cars are 1 owner from new.

It is unheard of to see a 5 previous owner car, each change of ownership the government charges a min of 400 euros.! Admin.

I don't think anywhere is as easy to buy any older car as it is in the UK. As for buying a van in Spain, I've no chance.

Resigned myself to buying 3 or 4 year old little shitbox of a car when I get to Spain, and keeping it for good. Probably killed my interest in running an old shiter once I'm there.

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2 hours ago, Sir Chocolate Teapot said:

Yes, the norm is that even 10/15 year old cars for sale normally are on original owner. Most 30 year old cars are 1 owner from new.

It is unheard of to see a 5 previous owner car, each change of ownership the government charges a min of 400 euros.! Admin.

 

Do you have an idea how many new cars are sold each year in Italy?

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7 hours ago, Tayne said:

Do you have an idea how many new cars are sold each year in Italy?

Apparently ~2 million! According to Car magazine, about 375k less than the UK in 2019.

https://www.marklines.com/en/statistics/flash_sales/salesfig_italy_2019

When i’ve been out to the Panda bash near Milano, there’s a big percentage of older cars in first ownership. 

I like the look of that Suzuki in the background. Any chance of some more info on it?

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On 4/12/2020 at 11:36 AM, Sir Chocolate Teapot said:

problem seems to be petrol here has higher ethanol content and being lpg car using little petrol the petrol goes bad and stuff grows in it.

all that work and expense on a 10 year old 100,000  mile car and now it is just sitting here unused, petrol probably going off again and ruining pump and injectors again.

 

Would draining the fuel tank while it's off the road help any?

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Modern petrol really has at most around 6 months life tops before it starts to go off. You can get fuel life extender liquid designed for the marine environment as the problem is even more severe there. 

Or just use the tank up every 3 months and put a fresh lot in. Would be cheaper doing that than a tank pump replacement every two years. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time to check valve clearances on ford 2.0 duratec.

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Spark plugs out, drinking straw and spanner turning cam shaft to get tdc on each cylinder.

This car has run lpg from new, almost 100,000 milea now. The exhaust valves gap have closed up but all are still just within specs thank god. Inlet gaps all still well within specs.

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Bit annoying that first time ever i broke a spark plug insulation. Annoying because these plugs have only done 10k miles. Normally i buy plugs when back in uk as here in italy they cost loads. Will probably be €18 for 1 plug, if there are any parts shops open as i think they are all still shut.

Good job i kept old ones, for now put 1 old one back in.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Revisione ( mot) day for suzuki sj.

Thought some may be interested how it works here in italy.

Every 2 years.

No booking required.

Costs € 67.

The scary part follows.

I will start with what they check.

In italy tou always have to carry in your car the libretto with all car tech specs.

They check frame number and tyre size agrees with manufactures specs

Tyre tread depth.

Headlight dip and main beam pattern.

Front and rear brake performance.

Emissions on newer cars.

Stop!

 

That is it.

No up on ramp to check corrosion,  brake pipes etc.

No suspension checks.

No other lights. 

Seat belts , no.

Windscreen wipers no.

No horn check..

So a 34 year old suzuki sj known to be rust buckets and not even a glance at the underside to see how things are. ( mine is fine)

This was not a 1 off,  i have been here 13 years and all cars are treated the same,  i have a 3/4 car bike fleet so have spent some time hanging around test centres , i have never seen a fail or any question raised. 

The moral of this situation really is that the 2 yearly test here is no indication whatsoever of the condition of a car / bike.

I have sold a few cars and bikes here, people ask if it has its mot, no one has ever looked under any cars i have sold òr shaken any wheels to check for play etc..

I guess the statistics must show that as long as a cars brakes work and emissions are ok for european legislation everthing is fine..

No suprise, my suzuki passed.

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