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big Al & Flat4 fleet fred--- scoob mot'd


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Spoke too soon - battery has gone flat on the fun bus ? It's not really been used since Al was signed off sick. He was using it for local work runs so hopefully the battery is just a case of lack of use as it's a bloody huge battery to replace and I'd just done one of those on the Beemer before it left.... Will get it going and probably use it for Monday's 100 mile round trip to the exotic vet, see how it responds to a shake down.

I'm gonna have to draw up a rota for what gets used when to stop hissy fits like this. It's mainly been the Volvo lately as it's the cheapest to run, the easiest to get started and surprisingly easy to reverse park! Nice problem to have tho ;)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Who says women can't reverse?!




We now have just about enough space on the drive for 2 cars and Al's caravan. That needs to be shoved back a foot to allow enough length to get the Fozzie on. The Volvo and the fun bus are longer still but it keeps one out of the way of idiot neighbours.

The Almera is laid up for the time being pending exhaust repairs and an MOT. It fired up straight away after not being started for months, once it had enough electricity ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Excellent news on a rare Sunday off - the Fozzie has passed it's first MOT with me, first go with only 2 advisories and it even passed the emissions test TWICE because the tester didn't believe  a Subaru could be so well within the emissions limits lol Getting it back again on my next day off on Tuesday and going for a run :D

I appear to have bought a rather good car/ convertible 4x4 - look at the size of this sun roof! I love it! :D




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  • 2 weeks later...

This time last year, @big_al_granviahad spent 4 hours sanding, re-painting and lacquering these lovely alloys, which have now been on nearly every Scooby I've ever owned.



He was gutted when they wouldn't fit over the huge brakes on the Gen 4 Legacy H6 we had also this time last year. He is delighted we now have something to use them on after all that hard work....


The Fozzie is back home and just about fits on the drive to keep it out of the way of idiot neighbours :D


Next year's summer tyres will take up a bit more of the arches, compared to these but the alloys have a decent set of Cross Climates to wear out before then ;)

In other news, it continues to be a spoilt brat! It behaved fine while resident with tame mechanic and while it was throwing an intermittent code for AFR sensor, the values, inputs and outputs using live diagnostics were normal, so it's a bit of a puzzle. Still misfiring at idle slightly when warm and typically on the drive home from tame mechanic/MOT, my check engine light came back.... Think it may need a 2nd opinion from another Scooby specialist once this pandemic is over. Aside from the slight misfire being hugely annoying, it drives perfectly! Just a shame I can't go any random drives atm to enjoy it :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

The fun bus is back in business :D


Just a trip to Lidl but such a nice day and so glad to have Bash in working order again :)

The culprit -


This is actually the 2nd battery it's gone through in the last 12 months after the alternator died on the way back from it's MOT last year. It was possibly on the way out before then and lack of use finished off the old battery. The latter appears to be the issue with the Varta too as it was going flat within 2 weeks and the repeated jumping to get it going won't have done it any favours.

So thanks to @big_al_granvia doing some spannering, Bash now has this bad boy -


10ah more capacity and 20cca more than the Varta, which has been hooked up to an AA solar charger to hopefully make this one last longer than 12 months!


It didn't do much for the Varta but tbf it was a 2nd hand number thrown on there to get it through MOT and suspect it was quite an old battery.

In other news - our drive atm. Who says women cannae park?! ?


And the rest of the fleet, minus the Legacy GTV which is with tame mechanic and the Bessacarr which is in storage.



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Some fucking wanker has done this to our Volvo :( Bottom of the wing has been caved in and is catching on the driver's door.


So far it looks like just cosmetic damage that a new wing and indicator lens will fix but still haven't driven it yet as the mudflap and part of the arch liner was wedged to wheel. Al has taken those off now so we'll get it on the drive tomorrow when I'm off work and get the wheel off to double check there's no suspension or chassis damage. 

Pissed right off!!!!

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Drove fine on test drive too ;) Okay, a bit more vibration than usual but the wheel will be out of balance at the very least.


Just need to get a new lens cover for the side repeater.


And replace this tyre.


Can't see anything untoward with the wheel off but it will need discs and pads fairly soon and I'd prefer stiffer springs! How does this look to everyone else? Any damage we've missed?






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Miracle of miracles we have found the lock nut! @big_al_granvia had an idea to re-drive the route I took on the test drive and I saw it sitting by the side of the road on the way back! I thought it was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack but I'm bloody glad to be proved wrong for once lol It was looking like an absolute nightmare to get the locked bolts off then find the right size non-locking replacements so massive relief all round!

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So in answer to the What now part of the title -

1. Musical wheels. Get 2 tyres resealed on the Fozzie coz they have slow punctures

2. Swap the 2 old Michelin Latitudes off the Fozzie's old wheels and replace with 2 of it's new Michelin Primacy 3 summer tyres, to at least give me a spare use-able set if needed in a hurry.

3. Get new tyres fitted to the Volvo. Not yet a matching set but after the hit and run it's become a bit more urgent to change them, so it now has a pair of Michelin Cross Climates and a pair of Goodyear Asymmetric 3s, which will be replaced with another pair of Cross Climates before winter arrives.

4. Change the front discs and pads on Volvo. NOS Pagid pads ordered for £15, waiting for Euro to do another 50% off day so I can get matching Pagid discs for £35 ;) Amazing that such a well built car is so cheap to fix!

5. Fit new side repeater lens when it arrives to complete the wing repair. 

6. Get the Saab in to garage next week for a quote to replace the radiator so we can actually use the fucking thing.

7. Start repairing the rusty/dented bits on the fun bus once the matched paint arrives.

8. Order and fit tow bar to the Fozzie, which looks like a total piece of piss!

9. Order a radiator and exhaust for the fun bus.

10. Start ordering uprated/heavy duty shocks for the fun bus. This evening, after a tip off from a fellow Granvia owner and much digging around the interweb, I have managed to find part numbers and suppliers for Sachs shocks, which have been fitted as an upgrade to a fair few Granvias now. I'm just hoping that they will fit mine as it's 4x4 but the part numbers do correspond to AWD vehicles and even tho motor factors will tell you otherwise, RWD Hiace shocks do fit in practice so hopefully the same applies to these uprated ones. And hopefully it cuts down a bit on the damn body roll!

I was in 2 minds about whether to keep going with the current Granvia or replace it because of the body roll. It's also done over 250,000 miles now and the list of stuff it needs is pretty long atm - 4 shocks, exhaust, rad, oil return pipe in the engine, get new wing fitted, source a new rear light that the previous owner smashed (currently running one from a Hiace which isn't correct), rear glass needs tinted again after a smashed screen (previous owner again!) was replaced, could do with curtains, usual oil filter and 2 gallons of oil, it may be due a fuel filter, in 2 years time it'll need a new set of expensive mammoth sized tyres and it needs LOTS of body work. On the plus side, I've already done the cam belt on it, replaced the tyres with really good Hankooks which made a huge difference to the handling, it's white which not alot of them are, it has a moon roof which not many do,  the jack points have been welded which are another common fail point and despite looking shabby as fuck, it's taken me all over the UK and even with a stone through the radiator, it still got me home again! I've kinda bonded with it, if I can say that on such a forum ;) Also, the majority of stuff on the list it's either been needing since I bought it (new wing, rear light, window tint) or is a common fail point (shocks, oil return pipe). Plus, I don't actually know what could replace it as for me it'd need to be another AWD day van in a light colour, with a big sun/moon roof or a pop top and preferably that does more than 30mpg. Does such a thing actually exist??

It's actually getting difficult to buy Granvias in the UK now and Alphards are still over budget for me. I'd like a Mitsubishi Delica but those are narrower, rarely come in light colours, are apparently more prone to rust and are a bit more fussy when it comes to servicing. I am tempted by an Elgrand as they have shocks and springs all round, so they should handle much better than a Granvia and if I can get a petrol engine with LPG then in theory it would be quicker with the same/better MPG but again they seem much more prone to rust, not quite as well built and I think it would be hard to find a good one on my budget. AWD VW Transporters I believe do exist but I don't know enough about them and I suspect they will suffer from scene tax. Mazda Bongo is out because Al won't fit in one and doesn't want anything mid-engined.

Or do I just shell out the £400-ish needed for bits to make the fun bus almost perfect??? I think it might be a case of better the devil you know.....


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Parts buying has begun, and not all of it on the list, surprise, surprise lol

Got some black T-Cut to do the Fozzie, see if the paint can be brought back any or if I'm going to wrap it white...

Also got white T-Cut to do the top half of the fun bus before I start painting. Nail varnish has arrived for the bottom half lol



Bought this as a tester pot and so far it looks like quite a good match. It is technically gold on the log book and there does appear to be gold flecks in it but to look at the bus you'd say it was silver. I have a tester pot of white coming as well and will buy rattles cans if I need them, assuming the match is correct.

Still haven't ordered discs for the Volvo yet but I have bought it a present ;)


They were being sold locally for scrap value so we jumped 10 mins down the road, test fit to make sure they were indeed correct for our car and took em home :D

They're in reasonably good condition save some kerbing on the rims but they were too good a deal to pass up and Al wants to paint the alloys anyway. I think they look better than the originals and even Al who says he doesn't like multi spokes prefers them ;) Result!


Now, any suggestions where to get spray paint suitable for wheels that isn't silver, grey, white or black?

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Today's fun - we have a fairly lengthy road trip to do tomorrow so went to change one of the wheels on the Volvo with one of the new alloys, to replace the damaged tyre that had been clouted by the hit and run, to make the car a bit safer to use until tame mechanic gets his compressor fixed and we can swap on the new rubber. Ended up having to change 3 because the back tyre on the same side looks like it may have been scuffed as well, or possibly just perished as the tread was getting very low despite being only 3 years old. Do V70s eat tyres or something?!

Anyway, the rear tyre on the opposite side had to be moved to the front to make sure we had matching sets on each axle. And of course, the last wheel we changed was a complete bastard and corroded to the fucking car! 8lb lump hammer and smashed a bit of wood that we used to protect the alloy before the damn thing would shift! Still, glad we found that out now, rather than having to change a puncture or something at the side of the road, with less tools available!

Have a horrible feeling this rear shock is leaking tho :( Doesn't look right to me, or am I seeing something that isn't there?



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • big_al_granvia changed the title to big Al & Flat4 fleet fred--- scoob mot'd

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