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Fumbler's Crocks- Tank Tribulations


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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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Tank Tribulations

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      On to the cars, the main attraction being my 1976 1850HL "50 Shades of Yellow" that I bought for £850 and is currently my daily driver, here is a picture of it before I sanded off some surface rust and sprayed it badly in the wrong shade of yellow with rattle cans:
       

       
      Within a month of purchase I managed to plant it in to a steel fence backwards after a botched gear change on a wet roundabout and ruined the N/S rear wing, although judging by the other dent that's packed with filler it looks like somebody had already done the same. I also managed to destroy a halfshaft and one of my Sprint alloys (good for an extra 15hp) in the incident, so now it's sitting on it's original steelies but painted black (good for an extra 5hp).
       
      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:
       

       
      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
       
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:
       

       
      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
       
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
       
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
       
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      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 rusty_vw_man
      Been a serial lurker and occasional poster of nonsense, but have never quite got round to posting some pictures and the ongoing tribulations of being a serial VW licker.
      First a disclaimer - I like old VWs, partly as I grew up with them and partly because I understand how the work and I can fix* them. I do not like the 'scene' attached to them, it seems to attract too many of a certain type of person I am often allergic to - they bring me out in a shouty rage. 
      First car was a'69 beetle in red, driven flat out everywhere  until the rust took it. This was followed by a succession of Mk2 golf , vauxhall omega (vauxhall being close to VW in the sales ads)  a free Mk3 golf which was dire and tried to kill me multiple times. I have no photos of any of these as they were pre-camera phone and mostly awful. 
      Then came a T25 camper bought using generous donations from friends and family at our wedding . Bought, and a week later after hovering 15 years of dog hair out of it, we drove it all the way to northern Norway on honeymoon. Used it for a while.
      Bought a vauxhall astra estate (again, it was almost a VW in the sales section). It sucked. It did a year of commuting then it was scrapped. Was gifted a skoda fabia estate by my dad as a sensible run around. 
      During this time my wife wanted a sensible runaround for her and the kids, so we bought a bright orange 1971 beetle (rusty of course) which was excellent fun. People were openly critical of apparent lack of regard for our offsprings safety. I pointed out it had seat belts.
       Due to rusting the T25 was sold as a project, the Skoda was sold for being too dull and a T2 purchased.
      Here is the peak of VW ownership, where the beetle, bay and T25 are all in one place just before sale:

      So now we had two aircooled vehicles, the newest of which was  made in 1973.
      This lasted for exactly 9 months., during which I did lots of this:

      to be repeatedly rewarded with this:
       
      When the breakdown driver asks how the kids are getting on, you know you've seen him too much....
      I also conducted some invisible repairs on the rusty bits of the beetle. I'll point them out if anyone can't see them:

      A promotion and car allowance then allowed me to purchase a C3 Picasso (best not ask, I hate it). Its purple. I feel like a dick when I drive it. 
      Beetle then had to go due to third child and not enough seats, but it had the good engine, the van did not. A swap occurred. My neighbors love* me and find my antics endearing*. I clearly have no need for a drive or garage.

      After 1 too many FTPs, I was told van or family. I chose family and the van left. 
      I then went a looked at another T25 minibus (three kids now) and was in much trouble for even considering another van. 
      Two weeks later, after some small* arguments* we were in total agreement* and the van was purchased. 
      Roughly 18 months ago - note lovely laqueer peel, mismatched rear wing and low level tide mark:

       

      After some light fiddling I have made a very basic day van affair, and we dragged it with camping gear and the three kids all the way up to the arctic circle in Finland last summer (wife has family in that part of the world).
      6 days before departure I noticed the rear suspension had a bit of paint hanging off. I pulled and it showed this below:

       
      Trip to machine mart, a google of "mig wleding for numpties" and a youtube video later and I'd made this:

      and away we went. 
      Here it is in a moody B&W photo  in the land of the midnight sun, which really brings out the high quality paint. the rear suspension is still attached though, so winning. 
       
      That's an epic catch up post really, but will use this space now to document the exciting* repairs and work done on it to keep everything attached .and working.... 
    • By Broadsword
      I think the Broadsword fleet has become sufficiently complicated to merit a combined thread so that gradually all new additions will appear in one place.
       
      As of Sunday 17th March the situation is interesting.
       
      Two Citoren Xantias (remember the white Xantia of Excellence is for sale people!)
      http://autoshite.com/topic/34699-w-reg-citroen-xantia-20-hdi-xantia-of-excellence-%C2%A3999/
      http://autoshite.com/topic/34596-citroen-xantia-double-madness-rust/page-2
       
      A turquoise XJR6 pending overdue-collection (need that gone now!)
      http://autoshite.com/topic/34003-jaguar-xjr6-double-madness-double-sold
       
      An XJS 3.6 manual project which will get in high gear soonish. Wont be a keeper but will be fun getting it back to something presentable. Drivers fantastic!
      http://autoshite.com/topic/34664-jaguar-xjs-36-manual
       
      A Range Rover P38, which is turning out to be really rather good.
       
      And to mix things up even more I'm off on a collection caper today. Had first refusal on it and was expecting it to come around in a year, but things soon changed and no way was I going to pass up on it. It may well render the second Xantia redundant as I've got a really good feeling about this motor.
       
      In the meantime here are some snaps of the Range Rover. As usual it was a car I said I would probably never buy due to their reliability*. I have said the same of Jag XJR, XJS, XK8 and I have had all of those now. Basically the moment I declare buying a particular car is impractical or improbable, I end up buying one.
       
      Things to note on the P38. It's a nice colour with tidy body. The EAS has been removed. It runs and drives lovely and it doesn't have enough electrical problems to hinder progress. The main one is the driver's side window not working, but that should be fixable. I've tried changing the outstation, that didn't fix it. Might be wiring under the seat. Other than that I bought it and took it for an MOT the very next day, and it passed. Since then it had what seemed like a battery drain, but since unplugging the RF thingy for the remote locking and putting on a proper lead-acid battery, which the car can actually charge, unlike the modern lead-calcium batteries, it has been perfect. I will treat it to a full service soon.
       
      Stay tuned for the latest collection later today!



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