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Fumbler's Crock Passes The MoT


Fumbler

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There's a lot to be said for light weight and good aerodynamics.

I wouldn't worry too much about a little bit of oil weeping from the head, the TU engines do tend to do that, especially from the offside rear corner.  If the engine is behaving otherwise I'd leave it well alone.  Just clean it up before the MOT!

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8 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

There's a lot to be said for light weight and good aerodynamics.

I wouldn't worry too much about a little bit of oil weeping from the head, the TU engines do tend to do that, especially from the offside rear corner.  If the engine is behaving otherwise I'd leave it well alone.  Just clean it up before the MOT!

The amount of oil on the block and the fact it consumes oil to the point of needing to be topped up was a cause for concern. The distributor also leaks, so I should probably fix that at some point considering how easy it is.

I had the car booked in to Chevronics already so they could have a stab at fixing the ride height. They suspect the valvestem seals aren't sealing anymore, which would be a possibility because the cylinder head, oil baffle, cam followers, camshaft and valve assembly are all grimy and original. It'd explain the white smoke, too.

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Update. White smoke has disappeared. The manifold-to-heater pipe has a leak in it which is why I had to refill with coolant- there's plenty of slack in it so there's always room to cut off the bad bit. That being said, running a new section of pipe wouldn't go amiss.

Still loving the extra powah. I had to re-tune the carb because I had the vacuum advance connected to the wrong place. There's a port on the baseplate of the carb on the front, connected to the secondary choke. It operates when at full throttle. I think it was for the throttle pulldown that I removed but pictures online show it being used for many different things. Regardless, I connected the vac advance to the correct opening and blanked the spurious port off. The car ran like shit (because without the port being open it was running super duper rich) so here we go again with fiddling with the idle mixture etc. It took around a lunchtime of work but it's operating goodish, so that makes me happy. I'm ordering a rebuild kit for it because the lid gasket isn't a lid gasket anymore. I'm sure the O rings are shot and the used power valve and accelerator pump could do with renewing.

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I'm seriously considering getting my BX transported to them for an assessment and unless it's totally condemned on other grounds just having them drop the rear subframe and replace any and all hydraulic lines with issues.  Plus anything else they find that's likely to be pushing the limits of a driveway repair between the car and an MOT.

The bill would sting that's for sure (I'd be budgeting somewhere in the region of £750 in my head), but given their experience it should be a hell of a lot quicker a job for them than your average back street garage. 

Just really would be nice to actually make some real progress...and my admittedly so far limited experience with them when I picked some parts up from them a couple of months back just gave the feeling of them being the sort of specialists I'd like to support.

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2 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

I'm seriously considering getting my BX transported to them for an assessment and unless it's totally condemned on other grounds just having them drop the rear subframe and replace any and all hydraulic lines with issues.  Plus anything else they find that's likely to be pushing the limits of a driveway repair between the car and an MOT.

The bill would sting that's for sure (I'd be budgeting somewhere in the region of £750 in my head), but given their experience it should be a hell of a lot quicker a job for them than your average back street garage. 

Just really would be nice to actually make some real progress...and my admittedly so far limited experience with them when I picked some parts up from them a couple of months back just gave the feeling of them being the sort of specialists I'd like to support.

I like your thinking. A lift is a godsend especially with leaky rear pipework. I'm also pretty sure they'd be interested to work on a mk.1 base too (I'm still on the lookout for a rear bumper, I may have found one in Holland).

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The brake pipes aren't all that accessible without removing the exhaust, but, with that removed, all the hydraulic components are easy to access. That area certainly does look like a good place to trap mud and leaves. You can barely see the coiled lines on either end of the axle tube. Every single line on this car, including these, were smothered in grease. I think the original owner knew about Citroen and their steel hydraulic pipes.

On the list for Chevronics at the moment is:

  • Diagnose oil leaks and cause for it consuming 1L of oil every 300 miles
  • Fix dash bulbs
  • Fix suspension ride height selection issue
  • Set correct ride height and make sure all 4 settings work reliably
  • Examine rear spheres
  • Verify hydropneumatic system is working correctly
  • Check coolant system
  • General look-over
  • EDIT add coolant change because the coolant in there is falling out and is a bit too watery.

I'm going to drive it up there and leave it with them. A train ride back isn't expensive at all. The bonus is that I'm in no rush to get it back so they can keep it for as long as they desire*

I'm rather glad that the white smoke has gone, making me suspect the cylinder head needs re-torquing down. It's very wet underneath.

I'd love to do a side-by-side comparison between the two one day. The Mk.1's bonkersness fascinates me, as does the engine.

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I've already replaced the brake caliper to centre pipe with the coil on the nearside as I thought that's where the leak was...however turns out it's the main feed to the rear brakes.  It's gone somewhere up above the frame where I can't even *see* it - there's just a fine mist of LHM spraying on the underside of the floor when the brakes are applied.

A fair few lines look past their best in the general vicinity.

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I'm not handing them the car and a blank cheque, but equally I'm going in knowing it's a big job and prepared for that, not going "but it's just a pipe!" and expecting it to be fixed for £50.

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5 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

I've already replaced the brake caliper to centre pipe with the coil on the nearside as I thought that's where the leak was...however turns out it's the main feed to the rear brakes.  It's gone somewhere up above the frame where I can't even *see* it - there's just a fine mist of LHM spraying on the underside of the floor when the brakes are applied.

A fair few lines look past their best in the general vicinity.

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I'm not handing them the car and a blank cheque, but equally I'm going in knowing it's a big job and prepared for that, not going "but it's just a pipe!" and expecting it to be fixed for £50.

Oof the ARB collar for the height corrector looks a little crusty. They'll find the duff pipe- if that's the only leak you've suffered so far you've done quite well. I wonder what the front strut returns look like?

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5 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

 my admittedly so far limited experience with them when I picked some parts up from them a couple of months back just gave the feeling of them being the sort of specialists I'd like to support.

That's my feeling as well, although only with parts purchases. Yes, they are pricey, but they put money back into getting obsolete parts remade. I'd rather they make enough money to stay in business so I can buy that obscure part I may need in a year's time, than stock up on every NOS part I see on eBay just in case I need it!

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10 minutes ago, mat_the_cat said:

That's my feeling as well, although only with parts purchases. Yes, they are pricey, but they put money back into getting obsolete parts remade. I'd rather they make enough money to stay in business so I can buy that obscure part I may need in a year's time, than stock up on every NOS part I see on eBay just in case I need it!

This 100%

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Brakes Again

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Changed the offending caliper. Took all of 15 minutes, making it the quickest maintenance job I've done to date!

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The Ovlov followed me home in case I ended up dying a fiery death thanks to the brakes completely falling apart.

Fortunately, I, including the car, didn't die.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Up In The Air

The BX was driven to the venerable Chevronics. It's in good company:
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26000 miles no less. I spotted this absolute beast at FoTU and didn't think I'd see it again. Same age, same engine, same nearly everything apart from the trim and maybe the gearbox. I forgot to check the centre console sticker.

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15 minutes later and its having its undercarriage inspected by Rob, the owner, and one of the (super duper experienced) mechanics. Off the bat he noticed:

  • Gearbox is separating from the engine 😲
  • Diesel pattern exhaust fitted, which is what I thought it was too. They'll fit the correct backbox to stop the bumper melting
  • Tuning fork bolt on the front suspension linkage is fouling the height corrector- this may be our smoking gun with the weird height problems
  • Subframe caved in (not too badly) because of a trolley jack being used in the past (not by me)
  • Timing belt covers missing
  • Fuel return line corroded but not leaking yet
  • Body-wise, both he and Rob are impressed at how solid it is. They've given me additional places to point the waxy wand once I pull my finger out and get to work rustproofing it.

He's going to give it a thorough inspection and diagnosis of the oil consumption, oil leak, stiff rear end etc. etc. I'm assured there will be a list of stuff he'll find which I then can sit down and see which ones need doing. Hopefully this'll ensure the car is mechanically sound for some time yet.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- MOAR REPAIRAGE

I'm going to break this down into parts, because this went from 'meh' to OMGSOMUCHWORK!!1!!!111!!!!!.

PART ONE:
Here's an invoice of work done to peruse:
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They want it back next year so they can get to the bottom of the oil leak and fix the blown bulb in the binnacle etc. Lots of work was being done on it, but were halted due to Crimbo.

The oil leak wasn't fully sorted as they were relying on getting a new distributor O-ring and then carrying on seeing where the oil was coming from. Despite buying from Citroen and then a third pary, neither arrived. They had the rocker cover back off again, adjusted the tappets, inspected the gasket and fitted the correct type of breather hose. A new leak has opened up by the timing belt cover which makes me wonder if the rocker cover is warped and pissing oil no matter how much I tighten it down.

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For now, they've cleaned the block and told me to occasionally inspect for fresh oil.

I still chuckle looking at the gearbox problem-
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The rest of the work included replacing the rotten fuel return hardline with the big job being fixing the suspension goofyiness once and for all.
I now haz new grenadez-
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The dark patch on the fuel filler hose suggests the old spheres were blown like I suspected. It now feels so good to drive, like, no longer stiff and weird-feeling, which is nice 😉
They also removed the centre console, cleaned and lubricated the ride height lever linkages, set the ride height and fixed the clunk-no-full-height-for-you issue I had. Even intermittent intermediate height now works! Nice.

The drive home was absolutely horrible, though. No fault of the car -it was great!- it was the Christmas traffic. On the A1(M), we were bombarded with arsehole van men doing racing lane changes and making everyone else panic and brake, then on the M25 we had foreign HGVs using every lane slowing everyone down. The sheer weight of traffic wasn't great either. Certainly wasn't the nicest drive I've had.

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I think it deserves a wash now.

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The mighty BX soldiers on. 

£800 might sting a bit at first but everything on that list looks like money wisely spent, to me. 

Given these are a bit "specialist" these days, £48 quid per sphere strikes me as being a very reasonable price for such a significant component. Even compared against mass-produced coil springs.

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11 minutes ago, Crackers said:

The mighty BX soldiers on. 

£800 might sting a bit at first but everything on that list looks like money wisely spent, to me. 

Given these are a bit "specialist" these days, £48 quid per sphere strikes me as being a very reasonable price for such a significant component. Even compared against mass-produced coil springs.

Indeed. Unlike last time, I decided to save up so it's not hurt as bad. It's still money well spent in my book.

 

Stay choond for tomorrow when I write up the saga that is when Lucas (and their fucking horrible vintage reconditioned parts) tried making PSA bits.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Trust* Lucas

Part Two

I arrived home at 15:15, weary but pleased I got back. So naturally I then embarked on changing the alternator. Easy job..... right?!

It all started so well... I firstly went about loosening the wrong tensioner bolt
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...this one's the locking bolt for the hydraulic pump. I found out after I tried to push the altenator down and off for 5 minutes.

So that was a good start. Then, when I took the old alternator out of the vehicle, I discovered it was absolutely pooched.
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So that's not going back in again. The rear bearing was dry as a bone. The front bearings on these are sealed but the rears are just normal unsealed ball bearings with a plastic grease cap over them. As you can see, this one had the cap busted off.  I wonder if  the bearing started rumbling or something and someone attempted to repack it with perhaps the wrong grease. This was futile as A. the grease would have been flung out owing to a lack of grease cap and B. this side is right next to the hot exhaust manifold, so the grease would have evaporated if it were the wrong type.

By this time it was 15:50 thereabouts and light was fading fast. "Better get the fresh new alternator in!"

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Oh. I can't. Alright then, Lucas, you win for a second time.

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This is on the fecking compatability label on the damn box.

Does it fit? Does it fuck.

Here's the issue. The alternator I've got will fit on a Suitcase engine, but, for some strange reason, they also claim it'll fit on a TU... either that or Lucas engineers thought the 1.4 BX used the Suitcase engine throughout its production run. I didn't take a side-by-side picture of the two (and I wish I did but oh well) but not only is the hole for the hinge bolt lacking in width (so it flaps around when bolted in), the hinge bolt hole is on the opposite side to the old alternator, so it won't fit in the first place! What a fantastic waste of my time.

Unlike the starter motor, which was cheaper and had no hopes of ever fitting, I noticed the actual alternator portions of both were the same, with both being made in France. So, instead of throwing in the towel, buying another (but correct!) alternator and living in misery, I threw caution to the wind and made a modernist art installation.
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I crown thee: "Trust* Lucas"
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Violence was used to get the front cover off the old alternator
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Which involved cutting the alternator shaft, using a puller and other violent instruments. This part alone took about 1 hour. In just getting to this stage, I was whacking the thing, I sheared one of the bolts tieing the the alternator parts together... Basically it was a fight.

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I then tried to remove the NOS bearing, firstly by hijacking the cooker so I could heat up the cover and not the bearing. This ultimately failed.

By contrast, I stripped down the new alternator in a fraction of the time. I then retreated into the warmth* of the porch which had a little more light than the Anglepoise lamp I was using:
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The good news was that the innards were well and truly identical, so that's a win. I cleaned up the alternator front plate and rotated the bearing a bit to see if it was as ruined at the rear one was. The good news is that it isn't, although there's radial play and it feels slightly gritty. I can try to replace it but I doubt there's much chance of it failing anytime soon. I iused an improvised parts heater to expand things a little, and the thing slid onto the new alternator like butter*. Well, more like a block of lard you've just taken out of the fridge.

Fast forward a few more minutes and there's this:
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Good, good. Now, onto the slight* problem of fans and pulleys. Because I managed to cuntfuckulate the old one and couldn't reuse it. Yep, I bent one of the pulley sheeves and fucked the fan up completely. This is wonderful, because the new fan and pulley don't exactly work with the engine, either. Of course not, because fitting perfectly would be silly.

The old alternator fan and pulley arrangement consisted of washers, a spacer between the fan and pulley sheeves, and the sheeves themselves. Once you undo the bolt that secures everything in place, they all fall off the shaft in a confusing arrangement to ensure you'll never be able to reassemble them again. The pulley was seriously, seriously worn anyway, so even if I did use it, It'd still be having problems in the future. I discovered that the fan on the new alternator was plastic and the pulley was metal, so I inserted a screwdriver and *pop* they separated and flew across the room. Once I retrieved them, I then used a combination of old and new parts to get it roughly similar to the old one:
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And a test fit on the car proved this would work. By this time it was well and truly dark and around 20:45. Oops. Now all would be well and good, but the shaft on the new alternator is shorter than the old one, and as it happens I've destroyed the old one and canae use it. Because of the new spacer, the pulley was resting on the threads instead of the shaft, so it was able to wiggle side to side. Bad. Very bad. So I did the right thing and made a shim out of a coke can I cound in the bin:

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And after 3* attempts (well, maybe 5 but I've forgotten) it was just about ready to put on the car. I tightened down the pulley bolt and washer, made sure everything still spins correctly, and bunged it in the car.
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...with the usual tensioning nightmares because the belt is the wrong size. Even though it looks old it isn't cracking and isn't too glazed, so I left it be. I do have a replacement in my parts stash. The glazing may disappear now that a new pulley is being used.

With fingers and toes crossed, I started the car, put the headlamps on and held the revs at 3000-

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We has an victoree.

That was at 21:19 for crying out loud. I still don't know how I did it, but I did. Today I woke up super early to take my brother back from getting jabbed, in pain and stiff as a board from yesterday's palava. At least nothing fell off/exploded/caught fire on my journey.

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Yesterday's surgery.

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Work included:

  • Replace split and broken lid gasket
  • Replace idle jet O ring
  • Replace power valve diaphragm and spring
  • Replace accelerator pump diaphragm
  • Replace needle valve and washer
  • Replace the carb-manifold gasket

I've still yet to find where the choke pulldown diaphragm connects to. The vacuum port to the rear does the vacuum advance on the distributor. The port on the front is blanked off at the mo because its opening is directly below the second barrel's butterfly. I've found few images of this carburettor with the same arrangement, and Weber state it's an emmissions thing on their versions, so it has me stumped. When I had the vac advance connected there, it did nothing and the car ran really lean. I may leave it blanked and tee into the vacuum advance line instead.

Functionally the car works fine with the pulldown disconnected, but it means I can't use anything more than half choke so I have to leave the car to warm up a bit before I drive. Any ideas on how I should get it reconnected? I can't find a diagram for it anywhere either, which is annoying.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Pre-MoT Checking/Bodging/Panicking

As the BX's MoT on Wednesday slowly creeps on me, I ventured up to the unit to do some things. So far I have:

  • Replaced a dodgy boot strut
  • Fixed the choke pulldown and the car is happier for it
  • Filled with £15 worth of petrol
  • Checked lights
  • Found there is indeed no exhaust leak. Instead it's condensation boiling off the manifold
  • Found the spare key does start the car- it's just the barrel is a bit stiff with the spare.

All-in-all, a good hour's work done. Here's hoping it doesn't fail (too badly)!

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crock Passes The MoT

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Woot woot

I need to look at a few things:

  • See why the rack gaiters are perishing despite only being installed for a year
  • Tension the handbrake and probably replace the nearside cable as it's done a TADTS and sprung out into the path of the wheel
  • Look at the brake flexis

Emissions was a worry but apparently they don't need to keep a record of it so, apart from the above, it sailed through without a struggle. I'm well pleased.

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2 hours ago, Fumbler said:

 

  • See why the rack gaiters are perishing despite only being installed for a year

 

A lot of aftermarket gaiters are made from some kind of material which seems to degrade quickly. They tend to look like a shiny soft plastic as opposed to a dull rubber.

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Just now, dozeydustman said:

A lot of aftermarket gaiters are made from some kind of material which seems to degrade quickly. They tend to look like a shiny soft plastic as opposed to a dull rubber.

A-ha! I think that's where I've gone wrong as they're both shiny plastic looking things. I threw away the packaging months ago but the nearside was fitted this time last year by the previous owner, and I fitted the other one over the summer when the offside split open. I'm a bit annoyed that they're already dying as fitting the gaiters on this car is a monumentally painful and harrowing experience.

Anyone got a recommended brand they use/have used in the past?

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It’s sometimes difficult to say what is a good brand and what isn’t - I’ve had cheap good stuff and expensive crap from the same make in the past (Quinton Hazell!).

Might be better off swallowing a bill of £30-40 from somewhere like chevronics (who’ll more than likely supply you with OEM quality) and the bellows last 10 years than replace each side every year or so for £5-10 a time from Amazon. GSF & ECP don’t even list them for a BX any more. Changing a rack bellows on a normal car isn’t too much of a ballache if the track rod ends aren’t seized! Other Citroën specialist are available!

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      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By BorniteIdentity
      This week, for the first time ever, I felt old. I have sciatica which swaps from one side to the other, arthritis in one hand and what I think is the beginnings of IBS. On top of that it took me 2 weeks to remember a registration number that once would take me 2 seconds, and I forgot my parent's wedding anniversary.

      I'm only 32.

      Shit. No I'm not. I'm 33. I forgot that too. (Genuinely)

      So, it's about time I committed some of my tales to paper. Well, a shonky server... but that's the best you can do in 2016.

      First up, a list of the cars I've owned (as best as I can remember) in chronological order.

      Main Cars
      1985 VW Polo Formel E. C158 TRT. This was given to me even before I passed my test.

      1991 Rover Metro S. J801 TAC. Bought about 3 months after I passed my test as I was convinced the Polo was about to shit its gearbox.

      1987 Volvo 360 GLT. D899 CBJ ___ Managed three months in a Metro before the small car and smaller petrol tank became a bore.



      Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic Coupe by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Ford Mondeo Zetec. V384 DBJ. Still the most I've ever spent on a car. It was 3 years old and cost, from memory, about £8,000. Just think of the Rover R8s you could buy with that now!

      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI D79 CVV. I very nearly bought a MK1 Golf 1.1 but was persuaded, by my father amusingly, to buy this one from a different friend. From memory I gave about £500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about £300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for £530.

      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX. V781 GDP. By far the best car I've ever had. Bought in 2002 for £5300, it had previously been a company car at British Telecom. I ran it from 62,000 to 174,000 before it became surplus to requirements. A German chap bought it on ebay for about £500 and drove over to collect it. Hero.

      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec. Y821 EEB. I should have loved this car. I gave £500 for it in 2008 which was stupidly cheap by anybody's standards. It needed 4 tyres (which actually was nice to pick good ones for once) and a coil spring. Sadly, it was just bill after bill after bill. I sold it and promised to never own another Ford. I nearly succeeded.

      1998 Nissan Almera by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1998 Nissan Almera GX Auto. S58 NLO. My late Grandfather's car and, upon reflection, my first proper attempt at bangernomics. I bought it for £500 in 2008 from the estate and ran it for well over a year and 30,000 miles. It was also my first automatic which, whilst a bit dumb, did lock up into overdrive and give a good 36 mpg no matter how it was driven.

      2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX and 2006 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Ford Fiesta Zetec. AG53 BWL. My wife's car which I ran for a couple of years when I bought her a Focus as a wedding gift.

      2003 Rover 75 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2003 Rover 75 Club SE. AX53 BFA. This is where my career as a serial car buyer really began. Ignoring all of the warning signs I decided to press a K Series into a daily 100 mile commute, which it did with aplomb. This wasn't actually the car I set out to buy, the one I'd agreed to buy OVERHEATED ON THE FORECOURT whilst I was doing the paperwork. Consequently I couldn't leave fast enough and bought a different car later that day.

      2004 Toyota Avensis T30-X by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Toyota Avensis T3-X. KT53 DWZ. Sensible head back on, I decided to get back into something I trusted when my 3rd son was born. This was a lovely car, but not without its problems. The VVTi oil burning issues are well documented and do frequently occur. Ironically, this was less reliable than the Rover it replaced! Despite fearing the worst and 3 months off the road, the new owner has just MOTd it.

      1999 Toyota Avensis SR by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis SR. V263 GDP. Back into bangernomics territory again. The last MK1 Avensis I had was the best car I'd ever had, so I hoped to replicate it with another T22 Avensis. This one came up for sale in my favourite (and rare) colour with a numberplate sequential to my previous car - so it was meant to be. I still have this now, and tomorrow it will tick around to 185,000 miles having been bought by me at 100,500.

      Side Bitches

      1974 Morris Mini 1000 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1974 Morris Mini 1000. GEL 517N. Well, I always wanted one - and was young, free, single and well off at the time (2003). A memorable trip to buy it when I called my new girlfriend by my ex girlfriend's name 20 miles into a 200 mile weekend away. She's never forgiven or forgotten but we're still friends. Oh - and married.

      1977 Ford Capri II GL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1977 Ford Capri II 1600 GL. SMY 675R. I can't remember why I bought this, other than I thought it'd be amusing. It was bought from Norwich for £350 and was perfectly well behaved for the 8 months that I had it (other than a flasher unit expiring). I remember being shocked just how much the windscreen would ice up inside, and duly sold it in November to a guy who was going to drive it daily! It's still alive and now, apparently, black! (Update - it's now silver!!!)

      1989 Volvo 340 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1989 Volvo 340 DL. G67 AVN. I bought this for £80. Unbelievable. It was utterly bloody perfect. I wanted to do a banger rally which is why the guy gave it to me so cheap. I'm still yet to do that rally, but no longer have the car. I sold it for about £300 to a family who were clearly down on their luck who, I hope, still have the car.

      1996 Toyota Granvia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1996 Toyota Granvia. N775 JEV. My wife and I decided to increase our numbers further and, with our 4th son on the way, larger transport was required. We quickly realised you can either have 4 children and no apparel, or apparel and no children. After trying a very tired Mercedes Viano, the Granvia was found for 1/4 of the price and it's still here 2 years later. I can safely say that we'll never sell it - it really is another member of the family.

      1993 Mercedes 190e by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1993 Mercedes 190e. L795 COJ. I've admired these cars since I was a child. In fact, one of the very few toy cars I still have from my childhood is a Mercedes 190e. Regular readers of "Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder" will know what a PITA this car has been since day 1, but I get the feeling it's a keeper. We'll see!

      1983 Ford Sierra Base 1.6 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1983 Ford Sierra Base. GVG 510Y. Not explicitly my car, but it should be documented here for reference. Oh - and the V5 is in my name. The story is online for all to read as to how five of us acquired what is believed to be the only remaining Ford Sierra Base. Make a brew and read it, it's a fantastic story.

      1982 Ford Sierra L by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1982 Ford Sierra L. LCR 503Y. I accidentally won this on ebay for £520. Upon reflection, I shouldn't have sold it - but short stop of saying I regret it. I could never get truly comfortable driving it and, in fairness, I could scratch my Sierra itch with the base if I wanted. Sold it at a stupid profit of £1250. It is believed to be the oldest remaining Ford Sierra in the UK.

      1979 Volvo 343 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1979 Volvo 343 DL. DBY 466T As you'll see above, I'd had a 360GLT as a younger lad and fancied one of these earlier cars. The variomatic is, frankly, terrible but amusing. This car has just 8000 miles on the clock and inside was absolutely timewarp. Sadly, the huge bill for the Mercedes 190e cylinder head rebuild meant I had to sell this car shortly after acquiring it. Since then I've had a bit of money luck, and now realise I didn't need to sell it after all. Typical.

      I think that's it. My arthritis is playing up even more now. I've left out a few cars that were actually my wife's, but if I find pictures will add them in at a later date. I'll run this as an ongoing thread on cars and what's happening.

      Current SitRep:

      Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable.

      Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake.

      Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock.

      Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.
    • By rickvw72
      Hi all, I’m going to try to keep this updated as a diary of work done on my old Fourtrak. 
      I bought this a few years ago but have only recently got going on it properly, with several other projects on the go, times been scarce.
      Ill start with the main job, the rear crossmember. When I bought the truck this tube had snapped on the drivers side. This ruptured the brake pipes, and ruined all the already tired suspension bushes.
      So, out with the crossmember...
      The original is round tube, the new 3mm wall box section, it actually holds the anti tramp bars. 
      Yes the Fourtrak has a 5 linked rear suspension, and an LSD. Because race car!
      I didn’t take many pics at this time, so I’m trying to improve this and maybe a thread will motivate me to document it. 
       



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