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Fumbler's Crock Passes The MoT


Fumbler

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So my purchase is here safe and sound. I said the car was from a reliable car maker and it was an obvious choice for a young driver; guesses were made-

On 06/03/2021 at 23:36, High Jetter said:

Aygo?

 

On 06/03/2021 at 22:27, Ghosty said:

eye twitches Civic?

 

On 06/03/2021 at 21:24, Tim_E said:

Yaris.

Or, for the added cool* factor, Starlet. Especially the red version.

All of the Japanese variety. So that's what I bou- oh...

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Oops.


BTW the fluid by the front wheel is washer fluid because the front washer hose fell off the pump. No green blood yet...

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks: 01/04 ~ I bought a Citroen
8 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

Well done! Ideal - uncomplicated, easy to work on, good spares availability - oh hang on...

As hydropneumatic Citroens go, they're not too complicated, or at least I hope they're not. It also helps that the rear of the car was chock full of spares, including several LHM components and other mechanicals.

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Right, let the word barfing begin!

Around January I set about looking for another sensible car to complement the Micra, because why TF not? What a good idea that would be! After posting a thread in the wanted thread, I quickly discovered most cars I was looking with a >1 litre engine was going to cost over £2000 on insurance, so I gave up looking for a while. I then talked with the family about it and my brother piped up saying something along the lines of "why not buy something different and interesting?" Conveniently enough, a red Citroen BX14 with 95000 miles appeared on the eBay thread, so I frantically started looking at the MOT, reading the listing and researching the mechanical nature of the cars. I contacted the seller, who had a slew of these in years gone by, from 19RDs to 16TRSs and a few in between. He does these cars up for a hobby as he cannot drive. This was his last BX before moving onto restoring a DS he just bought.

After talking with him a bit, I discovered that that the car had been stored for around 2 decades*, in which time the engine had seized solid. He fitted new pistons, rings, cylinder liners, a reconditioned head with lapped-in valves, a new camshaft, timing belt, conrods, bearings, seals, distributor, rotor and HT leads, new exhaust front-to-back... you get the general idea. Put basically, the only original parts of the engine are the intake, exhaust manifold, block, crankshaft and sump. He even gave me pictures from his Facebook posts on the engine rebuild! Since rebuilding the engine, its only had 50 miles put on it, MOT included. "Is there a running-in procedure?", I asked. "No there is not.", he replied, "In fact the manufacturers of the parts say that using the car like normal is best: running the engine in is more damaging according to them."
*Footnote, the tax disc on the windscreen shows the tax ran out on 31st March 2003. I reckon it was parked up in a garage in the winter on '02 and forgotten about.

I asked about the problem areas- boot floor, sill seams and ends, inner wings etc. and he reported that they are fine, courtesy oif being stored for a good chunk of its life. I asked about the LHM system and he said that it travels well, the height correctors work although the pipework is on the tired side. However, he has directed me to EuroCareCare in Derby who will bend up whole lengths of nickel-copper pipe for the job, flares and unions included. He recommends them as he regularly bought from them, but he says they are cheaper than Chevronics. Something I'm sure I'll get to test at some point. That being said, the huge wad of invoices I got with the car show that he has refreshed some connections and fittings while the engine was being reconditioned, which is a bonus.

I made him an offer and he accepted, and he said that he would also throw in all the BX spares he still has, as he'll not be working on them again. Insurance stung a bit but hey-ho, that's the reality of being young and at the mercy of insurers. Fast forward to today when the ever-brilliant WorldOfCeri turned up with this on the back!
PXL_20210401_105645714.thumb.jpg.435fe5e7a8cb5e564fe052e4881facfc.jpg
Yes indeed the BX was real and the car that I had bought sight-unseen nearly 1 month ago was outside the house. Exciting! A big thanks to Ceri for his services. Top bloke.

So now I have a lump of half plastic, half steel, red-tinted Turtle Waxed French car in the drive. What to do?

I busied myself with finding out what worked and what didn't inside the car. I marvelled at how good the interior looked under all the dust and car parts. The seats are so, so comfortable, the engine idles well and the suspension moves from lowest to highest smoothly. The height selector is a tad stiff though.

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Lovely blueish grey interior. It suits this car so well. Has leccy windows at the front and an electric sunroof - paid for options apparently - although the passenger side window was a bit reluctant to move and the rear windows were equally as bad. Time hasn't been too kind to the thing in that regard. Sitting in the car is just wonderful. It has this peculiar smell of cheap air freshener and polish. Opening up the ashtray confirmed why this was the case, I suspect the original owner smoked in it a fair few times. After opening all the windows for a while, the smell got a lot better. The doors all give a reassuring *clunk* when you close them, and an even more reassuring *THUNK* when you engage the central locking. Fridge magnet test indicated that the sills are fully metallic under the tired looking stonechip, an added bonus.

But what's this I see here?
PXL_20210401_133204033.thumb.jpg.867afe3270228f534140a98ad56d021e.jpgPXL_20210401_133305784.thumb.jpg.03c07f46a854f0f509d4ca82ea9bbfbb.jpg
Hmmmm. Some quick and dirty research shows it's a professionally fitted alarm/immobiliser combo from the 80s/90s. According to an old forum post, BMW dealers used them, but I have no idea if that's true. Makes a change from the self-fit bobbins anyhow, so cleanly installed. It's got all the bells and whistles- ultrasonic sensors, immbiliser telltale in the steering column, bonnet switch, headlamp flasher and siren, the lot. However, there's no keyfob for it! Luckily this needn't matter;it appears the thing has been cut off and bypassed anyway. The bonnet switch is disconnected, the car starts and drives and the immobiliser telltale doesn't flash at all. There's also a new battery fitted, which suggests that it never gave any trouble at that time, either. These systems apparently lock all the doors when the battery is tampered with and as there's no evidence of any manic hacking away at the cables, I don't think it's functioning. It hasn't given the seller any issues, and it hasn't presented anyone else with any issues that I know of, so it's most likely dead but I'm keeping it in there as these can very well be a tin of worms when someone inexperienced (like me) attempts to remove them.

Anyway, let's look at the spares. The rear seats had two spare tyres from this car and one from the 1990s, a spoiler someone fitted to it which he removed, another spoiler in packaging and some bags. The boot, however, rendered me with these-
PXL_20210401_161613059.thumb.jpg.d0b05b94d9515fb24b2989734308ae72.jpgPXL_20210401_161649820.thumb.jpg.a5723caf9df7c49ac8607f3216a600bc.jpgPXL_20210401_161626051.thumb.jpg.bb12480cda9d05cff453f77e49a4d482.jpgPXL_20210401_161644412.thumb.jpg.e74c1a4b12b5b97e0ae35e96e9274512.jpg
Oh yes. Off the top of my head, the car contained the following:

  • Parcel shelf
  • One halfshaft
  • Cylinder head, valves, valve springs and camshaft
  • Coolant reservoir
  • LHM reservoir, filled 1/8th
  • LHM flexi hoses
  • Blaupunkt radio which was originally fitted (a panasonic resids there currently)
  • Air intake, Looks like a diesel one but I need to refer to the owner manual drawings for what mine should look like
  • Diesel grille and intercooler intake
  • Air hoses
  • Front suspension strut and gaiter
  • Gear lever
  • Washer fluid bottle
  • Two indicator units
  • One singular headlamp
  • Carburettor heater shroud for this engine
  • A very clean looking octopus/spider pressure manifold. Access to these on a 1.4 is good I am told, not that the one fitted is failing, however
  • Functioning boot strut, singular
  • A lot of good condition door trim, uncluding a window switch and speaker grilles
  • Some window seals, used
  • Binnacle switches, both column stalks and relay modules
  • Dash lighting rheostat
  • Engine mounts
  • New-in-box bushes for an anti-roll bar
  • New set of brake pads, cannot remember if they're for the front or rear
  • Absolutely shagged window runner. Scrap metal at this point
  • Several door mirrors, all in good to excellent condition
  • A whole bag of sealed goodies I haven't yet looked at
  • Genuine Citroen parts throttle cable
  • Vacuum hoses
  • Two halogen bulbs
  • New-in-box steering rack gaitor
  • Engine splashguards
  • Crumbling reel of BX carpet
  • Probably some stuff I've forgotten.

My God, what a list. Hopefully I didn't put you all to sleep while reading this. Some may notice the fact that a lot have the car-side connectors fitted with the cables cut off- I suspect this is a collection of parts raided from cars being broken for spares. Nevertheless, removing the cut off connector and plugging it into the vehicle is all it takes to make them functioning units again. There's stuff that I don't need in this pile, namely the diesel front grilles and air hoses, as well as both spoilers. Once I organise parts, I'll offer them for sale.
I'm impressed with how much of this car is in good shape. The seats aren't worn nearly as much as a 95000 mile vehicle should have. All the lock solenoids work, as does the switchgear. So far I've already fixed the disconnected front washer hose and rear ashtray flaps that were jammed and/or the wrong way round or just laying there. The general quality of the interior is outstanding for a car this age.

There are some things I want to get done ASAP. Firstly, the front tyres are so cracked that the sidewalls are beginning to look like crazy paving. The rears aren't so bad. The two spares I have are original Michelins however, while currently deflated, they're 1000% better than the front tyres so I'll make sure to fit them soon. While the interior is looking very nice, it's covered in muck, ash and dust. Basically, it needs a good valeting which is always an enjoyable task. The passenger side light doesn't work- I have a feeling it's the switch on the 'off' position, but the plastic bit to move it has disappeared. More playing with that shall happen shortly. The rear end of the car was sat on its bumpstops a few hours after the engine was stopped. I'm wondering if the spheres are tired and need replacement, if the heavily laden boot was causing this or if it is a combination of both. Time will tell and I can afford spheres at the mo. Finally, the blower motor only works on low when the knob is at 8 o'clock. The contacts on the switch are not enjoying life right now so it'll be interesting to try and get it fixed. I'm fairly sure the heater controls were common in Peugeots at the time, a fix is probably easy to search up and execute... hopefully.

As for the Micra, It needs its NSF caliper looking at. It's seizing on quite frequently now with further investigation required. Either it's not happy that the BX has arrived or it's because of the little use it ever got before I bought it.
So, what does the future hold for this beast? Well, I'm definitely keeping it for a year or two and it'll hopefully be a good mechanical learning curve for myself and anyone I trick into working with me on it.  As the world recovers from sickness, mechanicing should get a lot easier and I can be more free to do more things with it in the future. This should be fun, I think.

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30 minutes ago, Fumbler said:

The rear end of the car was sat on its bumpstops a few hours after the engine was stopped. I'm wondering if the spheres are tired and need replacement, if the heavily laden boot was causing this or if it is a combination of both. 

Lovely looking car. He made the right choice removing the spoiler, they look a bit 'heavy' on what is a fairly delicate looking car. 

Isn't this normal for a BX? I seem to remember my dad's sinking fairly quickly (definitely all the way overnight), but a quick Google suggests tired LHM doesn't help; presumably a change is on the cards anyway given how long it's been sitting. 

Nice interior too. Looks to be in good condition. 

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1 minute ago, robinmasters said:

Lovely looking car. He made the right choice removing the spoiler, they look a bit 'heavy' on what is a fairly delicate looking car. 

Isn't this normal for a BX? I seem to remember my dad's sinking fairly quickly (definitely all the way overnight), but a quick Google suggests tired LHM doesn't help; presumably a change is on the cards anyway given how long it's been sitting. 

Nice interior too. Looks to be in good condition. 

That's reassuring. Once I unload and sort all the stuff (and lift the boot carpet for a peek) I'll have another look to see what's going on. If this is normal behaviour then that's fine, will be good to know.

I asked specifically if the spoiler was still fitted when I was enquiring about the car. Like you I tthink they stick out a bit too much on this design of car. I'm still surprised with how well the interior has held up. Dry undercover storage and good care is definitely a contributing factor. A wipe-down and vacuum will tart things up no end.

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Just now, High Jetter said:

You did well. It needs excercise, drive it!

Of which I shall tomorrow. It's in desperate need of some petrol and perhaps something like Seafoam or Redex in the tank. Something that'll help clean up things on the inside.

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Fan-bloody-tastic!!!

The reveal was a great surprise, I hadn’t guessed BX even from the thread title!

There really have been some excellent additions to the collective Autoshite garage in the last few weeks, and this one is well up there!

eleventy/10 would like to see more of pleeeeez! 

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13 hours ago, brownnova said:

Fan-bloody-tastic!!!

The reveal was a great surprise, I hadn’t guessed BX even from the thread title!

There really have been some excellent additions to the collective Autoshite garage in the last few weeks, and this one is well up there!

eleventy/10 would like to see more of pleeeeez! 

Thanks! I'm sure I'll rustle up more content for here in no time. There's plenty to be getting on with.

1 hour ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

The blower motor might have a faulty/failed transistor. They are relatively easy to replace if the heatsink and PCB contacts are still good - the transistor (MJ 11033G, I think?) costs maybe a tenner and won't take long to solder in.

Good advice. I'm alright at soldering so it's another path I might take when I dig into diagnosing the fault. Right now it looks like the contacts within in the switch aren't in the best of shape owing to the fact that the fan only works in one obscure position. I'll know more once I take the switch plate apart.

Small edit- the car is sitting low on all four corners this morning which makes me feel better about the overall condition of the hydraulics.

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54 minutes ago, Fumbler said:

...- the car is sitting low on all four corners this morning which makes me feel better about the overall condition of the hydraulics.

A relatively fresh system will tend to stay up for hours. I find the back end always sinks first before the front does.

You can always depressurise the car manually via the switch. 

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29 minutes ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

A relatively fresh system will tend to stay up for hours. I find the back end always sinks first before the front does.

You can always depressurise the car manually via the switch. 

Indeed, this is what has happened. It doesn't help there is quite a lot of parts in the back but I'll fix that soon.

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Took the BX out on its first drive. It goes super, super well. I was massively impressed with the amount of 'get up and go' it has. I do need to get the carb heater ducting fitted though just to help things along, I'm having to let the engine warm up a fair bit before I set off to remove the choke completely.  Filled the tank to just over half, started it up and *broom* off it went. No trouble hot starting. When changing gear, you know you've selected the gear but it's rather vague. Might the linkages be a bit tired?

What isn't so good are the front tyres. I'm replacing them tomorrow with the Michelin spares I have in the back. Going to get them all replaced in the next fortnight or so because they're just o-l-d. The exhaust is hitting the rear bumper which is what I think I can hear while going over bumps. Reproduction exhaust isn't fitting too well on the car so I'll need to look at that.

My brother got the sunroof to work though! It seriously needs re-greasing to work properly. No telling if the seals are in good shape either. Washer fluid pump for the front is still dumping its contents into the scuttle so I'm wondering if there's a blockage in the pipe, causing it to be blown off the pump outlet.

The ride is just so comfortable. I love it, I just need to get used to it and I'll be fine. After all, this is the second car I've ever driven 😮

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks: 02/04 ~ BX Test Drive

Looks a great car, hope it brings you much pleasure.

This might help if it is the blower resistor. bxclub.co.uk/forum has a good technical section but the search function is quite clunky and it's not very active these days as most of the traffic is now in the bx club facebook group where people are generally very helpful.

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14 minutes ago, Sunny Jim said:

Looks a great car, hope it brings you much pleasure.

This might help if it is the blower resistor. bxclub.co.uk/forum has a good technical section but the search function is quite clunky and it's not very active these days as most of the traffic is now in the bx club facebook group where people are generally very helpful.

AH! I have one of those in the bootful of spares. Interestingly enough, the final third of the switch now operates the blower after I twiddled it from off to full a couple of times. I think dirty contacts are still a culprit, but I'll not rule one of these out yet. Tried the heater out too, blows nice and hot air. No matrix cleaning required so I can strike that off the list.

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Wooley gear change? They all do that, sir. You might be able to remove a little slack, but it's never gonna be super-precise. 

Ditto for dodgy heater controls, but that's probably more easily solvable.

I must say, looks like you've got a good'un. A sorted BX is as good as it gets, really, so be prepared to fall in love

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1 minute ago, barrett said:

Wooley gear change? They all do that, sir. You might be able to remove a little slack, but it's never gonna be super-precise.

Excellent. I'll leave that well alone. I've been spoiled with low-mileage Japanese mechanicals.

6 minutes ago, barrett said:

Ditto for dodgy heater controls, but that's probably more easily solvable.

I must say, looks like you've got a good'un. A sorted BX is as good as it gets, really, so be prepared to fall in love

Nice.  I'll see if the controls liven up some more... all a consequence of sitting for so long I should think. I think I'll enjoy this car for sure.

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4 hours ago, Fumbler said:

When changing gear, you know you've selected the gear but it's rather vague. Might the linkages be a bit tired?

standard PSA gearbox behaviour, if you think you got it you did. If not you'll get a big bouncy feeling through the lever.

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2 minutes ago, Ghosty said:

standard PSA gearbox behaviour, if you think you got it you did. If not you'll get a big bouncy feeling through the lever.

Good, good. Reassuring stuff.

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Bit picture heavy, you've been warned.

Had a jolly jaunt to the unit so I could store and separate parts. Father's MR2's battery boiled over yesterday and is now dead, so a replacement was ordered at the local Halfords. They said it would be ready in an hour, so we actually cleaned the interior. Lovely!

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Mmmmm... much better. We even had a listen to the radio. Interestingly enough, it's not controlled by the ignition. If I can be bothered, I'll hook up the Blaupunkt radio that I have to see if it's working.

We did uncover some history about the car too. I folded up the rear seat and found glass shards everywhere on the offside
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Further investigation shows that this rear quarterlight doesn't have the registration engraved in it unlike all the other glass. I reckon it's been broken into, which could be a reason why the alarm was fitted to it.

 

I originally planned to fit the two spare wheels I had to the front, as this is what the front tyres look like right now-
PXL_20210403_142131241.thumb.jpg.5bc8c41a951c68f36b5708abd253dacf.jpgPXL_20210403_142135266.thumb.jpg.6c77745227c4a3086b06a0ac1a72cfa4.jpg
I love me some ancient Kingpin remoulds on the driven axles. The rear Michelins aren't bad at all. In fact, neighter are the spare wheels, apart from the one from this car

PXL_20210403_141907870.thumb.jpg.6d1a6e6d30ec408908949a854a149393.jpgPXL_20210403_141935447.thumb.jpg.4b01dd39918c7675a68ddefda456f995.jpg
This is after a vigorous wire brushing which produced a nice pile of bran flakes and dust in the carpark. There's some detailed looks at the interior of the wheel

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The actual rim of the wheel was crumbling away in my hands. I'd say it's ever-so-slightly fucked myself. Shame. The other wheel has been coated with shit tons of oil on the inside and is near pristine. Annoying! They both hold air with no leaks whatsoever, but I'm not happy fitting a nasty looking wheel to the car and be expected to drive on the motorway in it. I've decided the best course of action is to have two part-worns or some nasty ditchfinders fitted to the front as money isn't really allowing for having a new set fitted yet. Come payday I'll order some crossclimates as soon as the money appears in my account. It's only 2 weeks away...

 

PXL_20210403_135503241.thumb.jpg.c67373a1b06fae65154b9f3e0360af33.jpgPXL_20210403_135501365.thumb.jpg.85428edee57164cb9894dd26047fdd09.jpg
Here's the date code (I think) and below that is some justification to get the nearside wing off for repair. I'm not surprised in the least that there's a small rusty mess here... I'd be pretty surprised if the inner wings were pristine. I'll bust the welder out as soon as I can.

I also had a look at what things are missing from the car. What's missing, so far, is the spare wheel carrier and the crank handle for the carrier release and the wheel bolts, shown here
PXL_20210403_135311165.thumb.jpg.289f398fddd85b754292cf5088dd6722.jpgPXL_20210403_135328970.thumb.jpg.7800bb7e31014fa15da49889ea098296.jpg
Also shown is the lovely new exhaust which was hitting the bumper and melting it. I've fixed that by kicking it a bit: it now rests fine, I had a look under both wheelarches and the boot floor seam which appears sound. Makes me happy. It does need a jetwashing underneath, though, but in general it looks good. I'll need to spritz some Dynax or chainsaw chain oil under here to keep it fresh and structurally sound.

 

Had a gander around the engine bay with the mission to refit the carburettor heater shroud thing It looks pretty tidy. I don't think I've shown the engine yet so here it is:
PXL_20210403_135422420.thumb.jpg.213e38cfa69a735c0060bab7e1806f8f.jpg

There's a mystery connector floating by the radiator which I have no clue as to its use. The rocker cover gasket is splitting and there's an oil leak somewhere, ot, at least, there was as there's no fresh oil seeping out that I can see.
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Some M5 screws and a liberal dose of copper grease to the screws, mating surface, threads (basically everywhere including on my coat. Grr...) and it's now secured. The centre bolt has sheared off within the manifold but I'm in no rush to fix it. When I get the hose to connect it up to the intake, I'll give it a clean and some paint. Might make it look a bit nicer I should think.

 

PXL_20210403_151734452.thumb.jpg.a88d6e80b2d2e45b65347c65f6abef1b.jpg
I also used some Cif and hot water on the bumper to shift this red Turtlewax that has been smeared all over it. The bumper is textured so the wax has made it look pastier than it actually is. The front bumper has been painted in some areas so it's always going to look patchy. I've also just noticed some rust bubbling up on the rear arch... I'll rub that down and attempt to fix it with some rust converter and red enamel I've just bought. Are these sections removable? It would make the job a whole lot easier if they are.

My driving experiences so far are really good. It's amazingly nimble and surprisingly easy to park. I'm mightily impressed with how good it drives. The tracking is bob-on too and it handles like a dream in spite of the tyres it's wearing. Trim rattles from the binnacle and within the dash galore. What's even better is the car is riding correctly and is sitting correctly now that all the weight has been removed from the back. It's not sinking anywhere near as quickly when sitting which makes me very, very happy.

However, there's quite a large elephant in the room: it won't idle! I have a sneaking suspicion that the fuel volume control is out of wack, as it requires choke to idle without cutting out, meaning it's running to lean at idle. I'm trying to find out what make and model of carburettor this car has. Is it a Solex single barrel perchance? Is there a specific model for it that I can obtain a manual for? It'll help me to (hopefully) adjust and tune it tomorrow.

TL;DR, this is what's happened today:

  • Cleaned interior and marvelled at all the oily gunk on the interior surfaces
  • Discovered that a window was broken at one time in its life
  • Discovered that one spare wheel with a good tyre on it is shagged beyond repair
  • Removed and documented all the spares in the car
  • The blower controls now work!
  • Refilled screenwash bottles. I need to empty the one for the rear as it's filled with mucky stagnent water
  • Fixed exhaust
  • Fitted carburettor air heater shroud thingie
  • Discovered a rusty spot to weld up
  • Stripped the caked-on wax off some of the bumper
  • Discovered it won't idle properly without choke. Help please!

 

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- BX Fettling (with added idle woes)
  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crock Passes The MoT

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      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      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 dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.



      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
    • By SiC
      So to recap. After a painfully long time (well a month) I finally bought a MGB GT.
       








       
      I've always fancied one and after seeing one at a local garage (which turned out to be a bit shit) the urge sprang up again. Anyway after a lot of searching I ended up with this. Seems pretty straight and underneath don't appear to not been welded too much. Worst point that I've found in the leaf spring mount. I'm not going to cover all the different things and stuff just yet as its already in the thread, so I shouldn't make this too long!
       
      I've not owned a car this old and never something with a carburettor. So I don't quite know what I'm doing with a lot of this, and will have plenty of questions! Part of the reason why I bought it was so I had something that I could fiddle with and learn on. As the other thread got a bit long, I thought it would be a better idea to split and start here.
    • 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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