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Dan302

Dan302's car history

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As I'm quite new to the site I thought I would write a little about my car history in case anyone is interested. I have always loved old chod as growing up we didn't have much cash so dad's cars were always near the end of their life!

When I left school at 16 (1998) I did a few months mechanical apprenticeship at the local Vauxhall dealership in Scunthorpe. While there I bought a MK1 Fiesta that had been traded in. IIRC it was a "Quartz" edition, it was a strange colour sort of metallic dark brown/charcoal grey depending on the light

I paid £100 for it sold the stereo for £30+ another stereo which I then sold for £20, as I hadn't passed my test and had zero cash I sold it on to a mechanic there for £100, I assume is was scrapped not long after :(

My second car (also pre driving test) was a 1980 Triumph Dolomite 1500HL in Green with a beige interior, my dad used this as a daily until the tax ran out, it was left in the garden and ended up with a seized clutch. Lack of skill/money/driving license led to this being scrapped too........gutted. At some point I will dig out some photos of the Dolomite.

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I finally passed my test in 2003 and as I was obsessed with Dolomites I spent a good chunk of my student loan on a 1979 Dolomite Sprint. I'd already bought the car in my head as me and dad headed to a village near Grantham (according to my dad not far from where the Mallard broke the steam speed record) in dad's 1.2 Nova. I paid £1100 for the Sprint which had a rebuilt engine but rough bodywork, shite brakes and dodgy electrics. It was the first car I'd driven since passing my test which led to a nerve wracking drive back to Scunthorpe.

I spent all of my spare cash on parts and labour for that car (no tools/skills to do much of the work myself)

I remember taking it for an MOT and the tester explaining he had listed all the mechanical fails on one sheet and the body fails on another to make it easier! A friend of my dad's did a load of welding on it for beer money and I got most of the other jobs done before taking it to a different MOT centre with an old boy that understood (and was more sympathetic to) older cars.

At the time (2004) I was dating a girl near Huddersfield and needed something cheaper to run and more reliable than the Sprint so I advertised in a classic car mag and sold the car, unseen, to a chap in Ireland that sent a transporter over to collect it. It was heartbreaking watching it being loaded onto the truck and taken away. I really hope it's still on the road in Ireland getting the love it deserved!

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To replace the Sprint I needed something more modern and more economical. I happened to see an M reg 1995 Peugeot 106 diesel for sale. It was a dark blue 3 door "Graduate" up for £695. It came complete with an oil leak and doors that wouldn't lock due to previous break ins (and no stereo) obviously even though it was a bit crap I still bought it. I soon discovered the heater didn't work which was great fun in winter. 

It was mega economical and fun in a small french car way and had zero rust. The only time it failed to start was one winter and a set of new glow plugs soon fixed that. Also the linings came off the rear shoes which was entertaining! 

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While I had the Peugeot I decided I wanted a Skoda Felicia (like you do) and managed to win a bid for one in Scotland for £150. Me and dad travelled up on the train to just over the border (can't remember where) 

I wanted a car with a working heater so obviously the Felicia's heater didn't work, also the linkage was knackered so it wouldn't go into 4th. On the plus side the seller had made me and dad a picnic to enjoy on the way home :)

I listed the car on eBay and sold it to a mechanic that wanted it to get his family down to Cornwall for a holiday. He emailed me a few weeks later to say how chuffed he was with the car, he had put a new linkage on it and it ran perfect on his holiday, quite nice I thought :)

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I ended up selling the Pug to a friend for £100 so she could use it to deliver take aways.

I took out a small loan and bought a Rover 25 with the 1.4 K series, I had it about 5 years, serviced it maybe twice and other than the odd suspension bush etc had no issues (no HGF!) 

Ended up scrapping it when the clutch went.

Next came a stop gap P reg Fiesta with the old OHV engine in it, it tended to lose coolant and get a little warm but I only had a short commute so no problem. It did take me to Scotland and back once though so can't have been that bad!

In 2012 I purchased my only new car. A 3 door base model Vauxhall Corsa in red with the 1.3 CDTI engine. Mega economical and £20 or £30 a year to tax. I changed jobs and took a pay cut so couldn't really afford the finance so decided to hand it back once I reached the finance halfway point.......back to shitters for me!

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As a stop gap after handing the Corsa back I bought a tired phase 2 Saxo VTR for a couple of hundred quid, it had an occasional misfire and needed a couple of part worn tyres which ended up costing extra as I had no locking wheel nut key 😕

The Saxo was a lot of fun even though it was dropping to bits, sold it to some young lads, one of which had an ankle tag, dread to think what they got up to with it!

 

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Next up was a 2001 Fiesta 1.25 bought for £150, had working air con and a heated front screen. Needed a tyre, spring and a little patch for an MOT.

I traded the Fiesta in for another Rover 25, this time a diesel with a permanently unplugged MAF sensor. I quite liked this car and it's grey/beige interior. I brush painted some scabs with silver hammerite and ran it for a year or so.

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Next car was a regrettable purchase (one of a few) a Y reg Corsa C 1.7 D.I I bought it in the dark in the rain/sleet. I paid £550 for it and ended up spending a fortune on it, off the top of my head it had

4x tyres, a patch in the rear arch/end of sill, a couple of springs, cambelt and pump, alternator, a water leak in the bulkhead (twice still wasn't leak free) oil cooler, oil cooler delete (cheap eBay cooler leaked again so filthy oily coolant) eventually the master cylinder seized resulting in a pedal that wouldn't budge coming up to a busy motorway roundabout, managed to stop with gears/handbrake/grass verge. The recovery guy said I just wasn't pressing the pedal with enough force (I was 20st and competing in strongman so I'd imagine I could press the brake even if the servo had gone) the garage that replaced it confirmed it was completely seized. Sold it cheap on Facebook and bought......

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Another money pit ☹️

MK4 GT TDI Golf. Looks reasonable enough and drove well. Started losing coolant, head gasket had gone, had it repaired with a new camshaft and followers, belts etc and it repayed me with random intermittent locking faults so the CCM unit was replaced. Developed DMF noise and then both doors on the driver's side deadlocked themselves shut so even though I'd spent a lot on it I sold it on as a project. It looked reasonable in person but awesome in the rain in these pics!

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While the Golf was having its head gasket done I needed a cheap car fast. Looked on gumtree and found a MK4 Astra 1.6 8v in the next village for £250. It had got 4 brand new matching tyres and a few months MOT. It drove really well and I managed to get it for £200. Replaced a wheel bearing and a brake line and gave it an oil and filter and sold it for £300 once I'd got the Golf back.

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Next up was a Mk5 Golf SDI bought from a colleague for £300, it had been written off after a shunt (cracked bumper, dent in boot lid) it had been well looked after, new tyres, cambelt serviced etc, clutch was a little high and the idle a little lumpy but drove well. Gave it a really good valet as it had been used to ferry young kids about so chocolate/drink spill etc.

However when checking the oil I found the level was high and smelt of diesel. I changed the oil a few time but each time the sump would fill with diesel that bit faster.

Changed the vacuum pump and seal but it still leaked so injector seals/ovaled injector bores were diagnosed so it was sold as a project.

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I managed to borrow some cash from a benevolent fund through work and bought my current car. Although I commute nearly 60 miles a day I felt the diesels in my budget were all pretty knackered and more expensive so fix so I bought a 2004 MK1 Focus 1.6 Ghia from a local garage. Had the belt done and new discs and pads and a small patch on the sill. It drives really well and although it's not as economical as a diesel it's being really reliable.

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17 minutes ago, Andyrew said:

This sound like some serial shite buying. 

I look forward to more!

I do love awful cars! I get bored of them quickly too.

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19 minutes ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Nice Focus Dan302, I've got a Mk2 Estate that I paid £490 for last October and I think it's great. I've done nearly 12000 miles since I got it and it hasn't missed a beat. 

I've been following your thread for some time, I fancied a MK2 but couldn't find quite the right one in my budget.

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7 hours ago, Dan302 said:

I've been following your thread for some time, I fancied a MK2 but couldn't find quite the right one in my budget.

I was lucky with min, £500 is bottom money for a Mk2 and it's always a gamble with an old car. How many miles has your Mk1 done? 

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4 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

I was lucky with min, £500 is bottom money for a Mk2 and it's always a gamble with an old car. How many miles has your Mk1 done? 

It had done 98,500 ish when I bought it in February it's now up to about 105,000.

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So parked my car in a roadside bay to take my lad to a hospital appointment and came back to find someone had hit my door mirror, obviously they didn't leave a note 😕

The cover and the remains of the glass were on the side of the road and the cover clipped back on, it's a little scuffed but I'm not too worried about that.

All the wires/connectors for the electric adjustment/heating are still intact.

Having retrieved the glass all the plastic clips etc seem fine it's just the glass itself that's broken so I've ordered a new glass (well second hand from fleabay) which is the correct one (heated). I will clean up the electrical connectors when I refit as they are a bit corroded.

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2 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

It's a shame when some fuckwit hits your car and buggers off, at least it's only the glass that's broken. Hope your lad got on OK with his appointment. 

All is good with him thanks :)

Yeah I was thinking the whole unit wouldn't need to be replaced as I walked up and saw the damage, I assume they are designed to spring a little to absorb some of the force.

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48 minutes ago, stuboy said:

great handling cars, loved mine but just couldnt get comfortable seating position and sold it and bought a mondeo..

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They are so good at just being a car, I really like mine although it doesn't stop me thinking of changing it for something else!

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6 hours ago, Dan302 said:

All is good with him thanks :)

Yeah I was thinking the whole unit wouldn't need to be replaced as I walked up and saw the damage, I assume they are designed to spring a little to absorb some of the force.

Glad his appointment went well. 

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So the new mirror glass arrived today (next day delivery included in the £7.99 purchase price)

According to the listing it was an electric/heated one which wasn't the case when it arrived, not really an issue as the electric adjustment gubbins on mine were somehow undamaged so I swapped them over to the new glass.

The heating element never worked on the old one anyway, I suspect due to corroded and dirty connectors.

Fitting the unit was really simple, just a case of connecting two plugs (both different so they can't be fitted incorrectly)

Pushing the base unit into the 3 clips then attaching the glass which sort of slides into place (loads of how to videos on YouTube)

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Probably should clean the dirty great thumb prints off the glass but I'm a little lazy and was rushing to the gym (having been sat doing bugger all all day).

The electric adjustment works fine so I'm pleased with a job well done.

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Found my old Rover 25 diesel in the scrapyard, looking very sad, I tried really hard to sell it but even at scrap money no one was interested (there wasn't a local we buy any car at the time)

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Suspect I've got a bush or two have gone bad in the rear suspension on the Focus, it's feels like the back end squirms a bit turning into junctions, hope it's nothing too expensive 😕

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