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


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good news the saab of many shiters has passed its mot, coming home on 1st feb to get the most out o the tax, volvo taking its place at tame mechanic's shed... so yestrday i thought it would be a good idea to prep it for the 50 mile drive, battery had no volts, couldnt get into boot where it lives, so get spare battery with volts to operate central locking thus opening tailgate.... supposed to be a point to attach a jump lead but couldnt find it, okay attach to positive alternator terminal, couldnt reach due to coolant hoses etc, so clip spanner to jump lead and gravity took spanner, found magnetic pick up tool, rescued spanner and used a 12" extension bar, central lockin worked, got battery out o boot and charged... sorted

merc, the windscreen washers  hadnt worked since arrival so got prepped with sparky tools, meter etc, hmm that wiring plug just clicked when i pushed it, press stalk wifey.... 3 jets of water, job done... happy days

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What you actually mean is, the bloke who's supposed to be reading the Volvo's codes lost the charger for his laptop that has VIDA installed, therefore I can't go take it for that en route to MOT until his new one arrives. Hence, may as well wait another week for swappage so I'm not paying £30 to drive the Saab for 10 days....

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  • 3 weeks later...

And then there were 3, again.


A different 3 this time but these are all road legal and working :D


Altho one of the Saab's replacement tyres is refusing to hold air and the others don't seem to have sealed properly. Al will be cleaning up the alloys and attempting to re-seat them. The brake and running lights on the tow bar electrics have also failed which has pissed me right off as it stopped me going to collect a near perfect caravan, that was too heavy for the Fozzie. I'm still gutted over it but the wiring is a priority in case of any more bargains. It was bought as a back up tow car so it needs to be fit for purpose.

New suspension for the Granvia should be here next week and it'll be moving to a new storage facility which has level ground and power, to make if easier to work on.

Hoping the Volvo may be back from MOT the following week. Codes from VIDA revealed no current running issues. Random codes because some one has chopped out the in-car phone without telling the car about it and some issue with a sunroof sensor. Relieved nothing's pinged up for the gear box but let's see if any come back once it's in traffic again.

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  • 4 months later...

long overdue fleet update, so in no particular order

fozzy, running well but mot due, needs coil packs, front brakes

saab, drinking fuel but good to drive, still scabby as fuck

volvo, has mot but no 2nd gear, have to use geartronic and put into 3rd

newbie paddy the corolla, fuck we bought a car that works, needs a stereo and good polish

bus, in storage, have all bits to rebuild suspension and a new rad, 

almera, full of caravan bits, think a young shiter wants it, will get running and see whatswhat

focus, full of bits, if immobiliser is fucked then its razor blades or if any shiter wants it then take it away

leggy, tame mechanic has removed shagged engine, might be progressing

merc, sold to yesoui of the parish 

civic, sold to local dealer, has been mot'd

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  • big_al_granvia changed the title to big Al & Flat4 fleet fred--- status report 7/6/22
  • 2 weeks later...

Today the incoming Big Blue Bastard was introduced to the outgoing Silver Bullshit, and the rest of the fleet - these are the 4 road legal ones.


The Fozzie is just out of MOT and will be heading to tame mechanic shortly, followed by the Granvia and then the Almera.

The plan for today was merely to swap the silver wheels on the front of the silver one on to the back of the blue one, for obvious reasons....


This would also have the added benefit of rotating the tyres, once the black wheels on the back of the silver one have been painted silver too.

What actually happened was, the lock nut for the silver one got chewed to fuck trying to remove a very stuck nut and we had at it with the ugga dugga, not realising we were actually just spinning the locking key and not turning the nut with it :/ So the silver wheel on the passenger side is stuck until we can take both up to tame mechanic and swap the remaining wheel there. In the mean time, I've chucked a black one on the back because, of course, we'd already changed the passenger side rear before the calamity with the lock nut....


Can I call this a fashion statement and be done with it? 😆

Anyway, the Big Blue Bastard now has a matching pair of Crossclimates on the rear, replacing a Triangle and a Goodyear Eagle F1, which has a 2018 date code so I reckon I'll keep that for my spare.

The front tyres are Event Roadx which are apparently okay in the dry but have a distinct lack of grip in the wet! Glad it's summer...which also means paint should dry quickly!

It also needs a pair of discs and pads on the rear.


Which I kinda suspected when I test drove it as the handbrake points at the sky and discovered today when trying to replace the wheel on the driver's side that it isn't holding at all on that side :o I did manage to get £150 off the screen price even tho the dealer said it was a fixed price, mainly because of that and the odd wheels, so the deal ended up being good enough to sort out these little niggles ;)

Not sure atm if it's worth swapping the relatively fresh discs and pads off the silver one, which also arrived with a similar handbrake pointing at the sky, or just shelling out for new. It depends really, whether we scrap or sell the silver one. We're going to swap it's Xenons and the dog guard on to the blue one, but if it goes for scrap then I may pinch the rear calipers as well, as I believe these are a weak point on V70s.

If anyone is interested in an AWD D5 auto with a missing 2nd gear, 177,000 miles and MOT till next March, feel free to give me a nudge. I'll take scrap price from a Shiter if anyone wants to attempt to fix, replace or manual swap the box. It's been a great car but just not financially viable for us to fix.

Very much looking forward to getting to know the Big Blue Bastard, and hope it behaves itself! Thus far, it's started both times we've moved it again with no need to prime the fuel pump but we'll see once it's in regular use if it keeps going and hope it doesn't cut out again!


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

wee update

saab is away to roffle winner colin

scooby has mot after replacing front pads and number plate

volvo no longer has locking wheel nuts as we didnt want a repeat of the issues on the silver bullshit

paddy has a working radio, actually did some work on my daily today, we bought a kenwood cd radio years ago from a shiter for the civic, i found a loom adaptor in paddy's box of parts, plugged in and i have a working radio.. happy days

3 of the fleet saw work in 1 day, thats unusual

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  • 8 months later...

Today has been a good day! Finally got this handsome beast out of storage and back on the road, albeit temporarily. Started 2nd turn of the key, after priming the fuel filter, after sitting for months. Taking it up to tame mechanic for some long-overdue fettling and TLC. Only drama on the way there was a slightly low oil level, which is coming from a slight weap on a turbo return pipe, which was bodged until we could order in a new replacement part from Toyota. Apart from that, it ran perfectly! (The 2nd hand one I purchased was cracked in the same place and difficult to spot unless you know to look for it.)




Part duly sourced, this is the list of jobs I left him with....

New radiator
Change front wing
New turbo oil return pipe
Change oil and filter
Replace bulbs in dash display

Fit new rear fog light (that I smashed off reversing on to a grass verge that I didn't see in the dark!)
Change shocks and springs all round
Front torsion bars may need wound down to match the rear
Check wheel bearings and diffs for play
Fit straight pipe of some sort to rear section of exhaust
Fit new wipers
Fit kill switch for battery
Swap wheels front to rear and vice versa
Fit tow bar

I may also replace the tyres as while they have decent tread and look in good condition, they are 8 years old now and Michelin have started making Cross Climates in commercial sizes, so that's a no brainer. Hopefully nothing else crops up while it's being worked on! Like an alternator dying on the way to the last MOT....

Then it's a case if trying to tackle/improve the body work damage caused by the previous owner, which will likely involve copious amounts of filler, front wheel arch extensions and decals/vinyl of some sort on the rear to cover said filler. And to make it look more like a camper than a tradesman's van....

I had forgotten how nice it is to drive! For a van, it's quite civilised but I'd also forgotten how fucking thirsty it is! 2 tonnes and 4WD will do that but thankfully it will drink waste veg oil ;) Practical, economical, reliable, buckets of torque...really looking forward to getting back on the road with this, properly, this summer :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fleet update - I am scared for my bank balance atm.

Outback is still with my trusted Subaru specialist, likely generating me a fairly hefty bill in diagnostics with no guarantee it can be fixed economically after that.

Granvia is with tame mechanic and may need some welding - I'm too scared to phone and find out!

Paddy the Corolla is going for his first MOT with us today. Not expecting any issues given how well he's been looked after and coz Toyota but yeah. Holding my breath until after 2.30.

V70, touch wood, continues to be as reliable and dependable as ever. Even when *some one* left the side lights on for 6 hours, it still started up fine the next day. Due a service - it's oil is expensive and needs a lot of it!

The other Subaru (Forester) is also due a service and cam belt change but first we need to sort the brakes out. Front pads arrived, rear discs ordered, hopefully get both jobs done before I'm back at work on Wednesday.

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All is not well in our motoring world today :(

Paddy the Corolla didn't even get tested because the bonnet catch failed/stuck and the tester noticed the dip stick is showing a bit over the full line, so wouldn't run it for the emissions. Didn't realise checking oil was part of the test but either was, test aborted and we'll try again when we've sucked out some oil and cleaned up the bonnet catch. Least he doesn't have a fail recorded against him this way.

Outback is finally home and the news is not good - loss of compression on cylinder 5 :( The other 2 in the bank were a solid 220psi each, cyl 5 down to 140-150 :( Most likely the valves but to confirm it absolutely would require stripping the engine, and I ain't going there....Despite that it can still be driven if you keep the revs up and I thoroughly enjoyed an unexpected detour (thanks Google Maps) down Glenniffer Braes on the way home. I now have a really difficult choice of do I run it til the engine gives up and then sell it on, or do I cut my losses now and see what I can recover while it still runs? 

Shout out to Craig at Seedhill Services in Paisley tho - he's had the car for the best part of 2 days because he knew there was a lot riding on his diagnosis and he wanted to be sure of the problem before he gave me it back, but he's only charged me 2 hours labour! I think he's also waived the standard flat fee for plugging it in too.

I have yet to phone tame mechanic about the Granvia because they say bad luck comes in 3s....

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Also, does it give anyone else major anxiety when out of a fleet of, say, 4, one spits the dummy, one has dodgy brakes and 1 may not be road legal for much longer??? What did we do when we only ever had 1 car each?!

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