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Fumbler's Crock Passes The MoT


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3 hours ago, Fumbler said:

They fit very well, plus the securing clip does a good job so it doesn't move. Job jobbed!

Good stuff. Was a bit worried about the clip falling about in the packet as it has sharp edges. Also was a bit worries that the mats were a bit flimsy. If I find anything else, like rubber mats I'll let you know.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apart from the front crossmsmber, I haven't done any real underbody inspection towards the front of the car. As Grandmother Fumbler is awaiting a hip replacement and cannot walk, she has to be driven everywhere by Mother Fumbler. Pretty hectic, especially when they were waiting to know when they could go in to investigate Grandmother's heart murmour. Because of this I decided it would be best to get out of the house, so I got up with Father Fumbler and we took the Micra to the the office so I could work on it.

This happened:
Then I took the arch liners off and was greeted with this:

The bottom of the wing was completely gummed up with silt. Blew it out with the airgun and then let it dry. I passed the time by jetwashing the concrete outside the office door. Sparkly clean now.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the arch liner was doing its job and keeping this area nice and dry. Blew the cobwebs out and then smothered everything in Dynax S50 as its a cavity in my mind. No photos because mess. A lot of mess.


After doing that I jetwashed the wheels to see how corroded they were. Turns out that they are so I painted all along the seam with metal primer. Also did the tophat because I was a bit bored. I then went underneath the car to underseal the floor and sills, then drove the car out and cleaned up. There was a lot to clean.

I think now I can declare my car done corrosion wise, I've only got to spray inside the sills now! All that's left is cosmetic stuff like touching up places and cleaning the interior. Rather productive day's work I'd say!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really great Micra thread here...I admire your enthusiasm/attention to detail. I will be keeping an eye on this thread.

Im pretty sure i remember your Micra (before you bought it)  being advertised by a dealer/trader from T/Wells.

I know T/Wells quite well...i worked there for 7 years (back in the 1990's).

Ive been using my Micra Dot, as a daily, for the last 7 months, it never missed a beat.

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1 hour ago, volvoman said:

Really great Micra thread here...I admire your enthusiasm/attention to detail. I will be keeping an eye on this thread.

Im pretty sure i remember your Micra (before you bought it)  being advertised by a dealer/trader from T/Wells.

I know T/Wells quite well...i worked there for 7 years (back in the 1990's).

Ive been using my Micra Dot, as a daily, for the last 7 months, it never missed a beat.

Yeah, I saw the listing on Friday Ad. It was 60 days old at the time so all the other sites Axlr8 (the dealer) listed the car on had terminated the ads. Complete -but fortunate!- accident!

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  • 1 month later...

Changed the alternator belt today. Was a bit of a faff because I didn't heat up the belt in some warm water to make it a bit more pliable but it slipped on without trouble!



The old (and original Nissan fitted) belt seems a little past it.


Next up will be an oil and water pump belt change!

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Just now, Garythesnail said:

That looks easy* to get at.

It was alright, but the alternator side has a larger gap than the engine side and so you have to so some crafty offering and poking with a screwdriver to get it into place. THEN, you have to reach around the bottom* (oo-er) so you can slip the belt onto the crankshaft pulley and then the rest is easy. Waterpump is even more fun than this!

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Car's due for an oil change. Re-tensioned the alternator belt to what the Haynes manual says and looked at the waterpump belt. Interestingly enough it doesn't look that bad so I'll leave it be for now. Nearside front tyre is letting out a lot of air now. I think I'll need a new set soon!

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Well the day started well. I originally intended to change the oil in my car. I then found out I only had 2 litres of oil and no money because Doovla took £34.00 for my provisional licence, and I wasn't near a bank branch to pay in a cheque I received for Christmas. Post office didn't want it either as I had no generic paying-in slips. Still, I had a list of things to do, like inflate the relatively flat tyres, wash the thing, check the air filter and do the general checks one does on this occasion. I also made the decision to ditch the undertrays as they were doing nothing but cause the crossmember to be eaten alive.
So I remove the undertrays...

And uncovered this problem area I mentioned in August. Lots of rusty water dripped off too. I did some tapping around with the screwdriver to make sure the metal was solid. In the video I said it seems to be solid, BUT:

Ha ha nope. It's not solid at all!

And that is how far I got I believe.


As you can see, a nice amount has been removed. Now, the massive crater I have produced is separated by a piece of steel that separates the bottom of the crossmember from the part that links with the wheelarch. There aren't any holes to let in water down there but I imagine water was seeping in from the top where the radiator is mounted. Fortunately it doesn't seem to arduous to weld and make good again, however the sooner the better. I know a friend of mine is doing well with his welding so I might invite him round or stump up the money to get a professional to make it sound.


The smaller hole is instead an ad hoc drain hole. The reason why its there is because the other drain holes were blocked completely by the factory installed undertrays.


By comparison, the other side shows mere scabbing so I think I got lucky here. Sooner or later I'll strip back the crossmember and paint it and undercoat it properly so I shouldn't need to worry too much until Mr. MoT man tells me about it!


So here's where we stand. As long as the car isn't driven in the salt and is allowed to dry out, I'll do my best to make sure what is there doesn't grow any bigger and hopefully, new metal will be put in soon to replace what the tinworm got rid of!

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have a good look behind the back bumper and the bits behind the back wheels ,

may also be worth taking the wipers off and the scuttle cover and checking along and under the windscreen for rot ...

floor tends to be quite solid apart from the sills below the rear windows


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4 minutes ago, MikeR said:

have a good look behind the back bumper and the bits behind the back wheels ,

may also be worth taking the wipers off and the scuttle cover and checking along and under the windscreen for rot ...

floor tends to be quite solid apart from the sills below the rear windows


Because the rear was very easy to attack I've already taken the bumper off, had a look behind, sanded and painted what was there and so on. The rear and the sills are surprisingly alright, considering the checked history the K11 has with them. Seatbelt mounts (which killed my parents' Micra) are all solid, factory underseal (which is what killed my sister's Micra) is still there and only peeling a bit, every part of the wheelarch is solid and everything up front bar this small area is fine, so I'm confident that I don't have that much else to be chasing after. I'll make reference to this post a year on from now to see how wrong I am!  I'll check the scuttle at a later date when it isn't constantly wet and cold. As ever with these cars and others like it, I have to be ruthless with the brown stuff or it'll take over the rest of the car pretty quickly!

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  • 1 month later...

Right, Brother Fumbler is making the motions to emmegrate to Canada to start afresh. It's safe to say he's getting zero job satisfaction and after going to Canada for his masters degree, he's set his heart on going out there. In a move to get the funds to be eligible for invitation, the Land Cruiser will come up for sale at some point in March/April. There's still some servicing and post winter looking at to do, but that's what the general intention is. In the meantime, the Micra's fresh looking wheels are now bubbling up everywhere with rust, so that'll be a summer project for me to do! Haven't looked at the crossmember anymore, but I will at some point with dread and fear.

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  • 1 month later...

Right so fuck all has happened. Car is pootling along very well. Clutch feels way better than it did when I bought the car 6 months ago. It's now in need of a good cleaning which I hope to do at the weekend. Fitted the correct wipers though! Now I can see where I'm going! Needs a service at some point and some welding, but so far the little thing has been very solid and very kind to my learner driving skills!

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Great thread and car.. 


my Grandad has a green one on a W plate, never changed the oil i think it had around 40k on cheap halfords 15w40 and still ran.. 

Body was destroyed from being driven into a skip "long story" and the rot underneath was not too bad weirdly.. ;) 


'Twas sold on, no idea what happened to it, can't remember the plate :( 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Two weeks ago we ordered service parts for the LC and Micra. ECP said the parts would arrive on Monday. Come Monday, the "parts" did arrive, but it was just the LC's oil filter. Apparently the rest will arrive this Monday... Anyway, that allowed us to do the oil change on the Land Cruiser:

Filled the thing up with 6.7 litres of Tesco 5W40. Ran it around a bit, oil pressure good, all is well. The Dynax undercoat is fairing well too, even after a winter of relentless driving!

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I was holding off from updating the thread because I had a few goals before I posted again. They were:
1: Service Micra
2: Wash Micra because it's got 7 months' worth of grime on it, poor thing.

The weekend was nice and sunny, so this happened
Finally did an oil change in the car, date stamped the filter (although I'm fairly certain the label will melt like last time), and then used the fairly intuitive dipstick to make sure I had enough 5W-40 in the sump. Incidentally, the drain plug was absolutely mashed in there with an impact wrench by that suspicious MoT and service centre the dealer was partnered with.


Today I washed the thing and proceded to get distracted with the rust on the passenger door

The "wastegate" thing (the rigid window beading at the base of the glass aperture) is rubber encased steel and it seems it scratched the paint when it was installed, resulting in a festering wound as such. So off it came and I rubbed the spot down. Quite some serious pitting in places but not anything too concerning. I also filed off the burr which caused the scratch as well so the problem will never happen again.

Zinc primer and paint applied. Nice drip too.

Lacquer applied and the masking tape peeled off. Looks okay I guess. Could have done better, however its far better than rust being there. I then polished out the lips where the masking tape was, as well as the overspray from the rattle cans. I used a promotional sachet of Meguire's "Ultimate Compound" which claims to be clearcoat safe, however it has the consistecy of watered down T-cut. I've yet more to do but it looks good for now. As the sachet is single-use, I decided to use the rest on the bonnet to get rid of some of the scratches on that. Managed to buff it to a nice shine too!

Washed the door again and waxed everything apart from the door as the lacquer needs to harden for a week. Looks nice and shiny now! Even the wheels are silver... and corroding badly- I need to sort that out.


When I first washed the car at the unit last year, I also undercoated the rear wheelarches, the nearside in Dynax S-50 and the offside in Dynax UB. After washing out the wheelarches today, here are the results:

       NS                                                                                                                OS

So as @Shirley Knott predicted, the S-50 did indeed wash off, albeit more slowly than I thought. I'll try not to use it too much until I can get the compressor out and do it properly.
All in, the oil change took a third or the time to wash the car and clear out the rust! Did me some good I suppose, 6 hours outside definitely helped me make the most of what will be the last of the good weather.

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Weather was absolutely horrible! Fortnately the garage was free so I decided to do some more work to the Micra.

Re-coated the wheelarches with Dynax UB:

Sorry about the shitty camerawork on the offside photo. Camera just wouldn't work properly!

Then addressed the silver brake drums:

Now painted with red oxide primer


Did the same thing with the seams on the insides of the wheels. When I get round to getting new tyres for it, I'll respray all of them so they look silver. I'll do it properly this time too.

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On this day 1 year ago, I bought my Micra.
Still looking just as happy (if not happier) as it did when we came to collect it. Nice.

Things I've still got to do though:
*Weld sill and crossmember this summer
*Get new tyres
*Repaint the repainting that I did at the rear of the roof which is rusting again
*Repaint wheels
*Replace rear screen weatherstripping because it's shrunk
*Get it on a lift so I can wax the floorpan and the insides of the sills fully

Apart from that, it gives me a smile every time I drive it, and I hope I can say the same thing next year!

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Meet Wulf the Ovlov
Father Fumbler's workhorse of 4 years got new oil, filters and spark plugs. Lucky thing. Here you can see Father Fumbler vacuuming out bits of countryside and West London where it once lived.

First, oil:
Both the sump plug and the filter housing were an absolute shitting bastard to remove. We had the same problem last year and asked SE Tyres to do the oil change because the plug was rounding over. Only problem I then discovered was that they also torqued both the housing and plug to 6000Nm each instead of the recommended 30. Anyway, I digress.  Filled back up with some 5W40, engine turned smoothly.

Mess was then disposed of properly*. Oil was a muddy brown and still relatively viscous so nothing abnormal is happening in the bowels of the engine. Always reassuring to know!

Spark plugs next with a lovely new vs. old. The old ones were snazzy twin cathode jobbies too! Replacement was simple enough... 4th cylinder plug decided it liked the coilpack boot so much it stuck itself to it so that was fun to remove. All new plugs fitted and torqued. We kept the old ones in case of failure but I doubt we'll ever need them again.

The cable conduits for the coilpacks had also disintegrated into a powder so more vacuuming was done to make it all nice and clean. A few pieces did get into one of the cylinders but the car started and ran just fine so I can only imagine the piece was smashed and burned to pieces in a few seconds.

Barely run in at 82000 miles. Bought it at 50000 for £400 and the only expensive fault it's ever had was a broken steering rack! Swedish quality at its best.

It'll be coolant time next week so that'll be interesting to do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was invited round to a friend's house to help fix this woefully unhappy '08 Clio 3. It's a bit shit.

I got the car running last Sunday with the help of the equally grimy (but soooo much nicer) i10 that's just behind it but when I started it, it threw a hissy fit, was misfiring, and complained of an injector fault and wouldn't rev above 3000RPM. A quick consultation of the Interweb and it reveals it is wither a fuel pump issue or fault with the spark plug boots not making a good connection.  Needless to say I came back with tools!

Whipped* this engine cover off which also contains the air filter element.  Everything is shrouded in plastic or is electronically controlled in this car: electric doorlocks with no manual release, electric boot, electric throttle etc. so when the battery goes flat only the passenger door will open as it can be opened by the key. After finding out that I didn't have a long enough extension for my spark plug socket, I reseated the HT leads at the plugs and at the coil as it was all I could do at the time. Refilled the coolant tank with water as there was nothing in there at all and it was time to jumpstart it again.

Surprise surprise it was happy this time! No misfire, no instrument warning lights (of which there are many) lit and the engine was smoothly idling. Moved it backwards and forwards, the brakes work and the handbrake didn't seize up this time. Win-win! Managed to get it up to operating temperature to open up the thermostat and witnessed the expansion tank burping away, so that was good to see.

It does make this horrendous noise though, I suspect it's either the tensioner pulley or the alternator bearings are going nasty on us. See what you think!

My job on this is to make it saleable. Further jobs to do are:
+ Inflate OSF tyre or replace it with inflated spare;
+ Drive it around the massive garden to charge the battery some more. It cranks over once now and then clicks like crazy so the battery is charging and isn't fully dead... yet;
+ Perform coolant and oil change;
+ Fix the broken boot if I can get it open, that is;
+ Wash it and fix the interior issues;
+ Perhaps fix the heater blower not working on speed 4 and unlock the security coded radio.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was invited to a family friend's private collection. These new additions caught my eye!

Nut-and-bolt locally restored Michelin 1954 2CV van (acadiane?) with suicide doors!11!!!1!!!. 595CC and fun to bomb around in apparently.


Very early suicide door 1964 Fiat 500. Another regularly used classic. Also the youngest thing in the collection!

I think the clock was returned to 0 post restoration.

Edited by Fumbler
Bollocking shitty images wouldn't upload properly
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Been meaning to do this for a while, but had to wait for my angle grinder's replacement handle, leather gauntlets and welding helmet to arrive. Now that they have, I conquered my angle grinder fears and cut up and cleaned some steel I had lying in my scrap pile.
One first-time butt weld for your viewing pleasure. Blew a few holes in it but some patience and careful blips with the sparkly stick had me carrying on down the seam. Spatter because gasless goodness.

Wirebrushed, wirewheeled and finally dressed back. Not as bad as it could have been!

A few pinholes found after grinding- 7 in total which I'll make good tomorrow. Not too shabby for a first attempt!


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4 hours ago, theshadow said:

easier to swap out the crossmember on micra,22.00 to buy new one,remove bumper,6 bolts,drill few spotwelds out,bolt new in place,not a mot failure,have done 6 that way and all passed mot fine..great work.

Fortunately the holes are only on the nearside of the car. Everything else is surprisingly solid and still silver. Because of how little crossmember rust there is and the little time I now have, I've decided to weld the areas which are of issue. That'll be after the MoT though so I'll bung the undertrays back on and forget about it until it's tested the week after next.


I'll probably buy a new crossmember anyway, because I'll be constantly playing catch-up with the raw steel corroding away. That's a long time in the future however, but it's good to at least be prepared!

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Tried my hand at some plug welding

Not too bad. Ignore the seam, that was me playing around with going fast to slow over thin steel reaulting in its punkyness.

Wire wheeled to within an inch of its life again, with welds dressed back. Penetration and heat seems to have worked well this time now that I've picked up on torch speed.

"Pigeon shit" is the word that comes to mind...


At this point I noticed that the "grinding disc" I was using had chunks coming off of it. That being said, I don't know how one can market a 1mm disc as suitable for grinding because it really isn't:
"All rounder" my arse. Uneaven wear pattern too! Okay, it's not the worst but I think I'll use it for cutting and cutting only from now on... that is, if I summon the courage to use it again (bits of disc were going into my face). Anyway, learned my lesson and I've ordered some Abracs flapper and 3mm grinding discs. A tad expensive, but a good investment methinks.

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1 minute ago, dave j said:

That disc is fit for the bin! Would not recommend using that at all as its now weakened. 

Shame that, as it has an expiry of 2022 and was around £2.00. Didn't even specify on Toolstation that it was a 1mm disc so that's annoying. Oh well, when I get back from Wales I'll break it in half and toss it into the bin as its replacements are arriving while I'm away.

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I'm in Cardigan until Monday so I decided to do a bit of spotting. Just down the road from me is this cream inside and out Escort 1.3 L

Speedholes included in the arches. Not a fan of the exhaust but in general the car looks rather unmolested. When I was here 2 years ago, a 740GL saloon also lived by its side but that's gone now. Anyhow, a good start nonetheless!

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

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      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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