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Fleet Update: Feb ‘21: New Arrival


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Astra went today, had a bit of interest at a couple of hundred quid but I started it up the other day and it was smoking like a bastard for some reason. Couldn’t be bothered to try selling it like that and nobody was rushing to buy it anyway so I scrapped it in the end. The passenger seat lives on as a computer chair though; it’s really comfortable.

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This means the driveway is empty, so we can get the Dolomite back on it and start attempting to fix it (again).

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I wonder if you could use a piece of metal a bit larger than the hole in the hubcap for the valve, with a hole in the centre the diameter of the valve stem, so the valve cap keeps it in place and the hubcap can’t go anywhere. Would need to be knocked up but would be worth it!

Also, already suggested but it is a great idea to write your name and phone number with an ‘if found please return to’ inside the cap with permanent marker, in case the worst happens again!

I seriously love this car, and hope to see it in the flesh soon!

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May as well use this thread for general fleet news I guess... 

I‘ve been meaning to do something about the wheels and tyres on the Mondeo for ages; the whole car is pretty scruffy but the wheels are covered in brake dust which I just can’t get off and it has mismatched budget tyres ranging from “recent part worn” to “lethal”, and they keep deflating over a couple of weeks. I’m wary about spending much on this as I never expect it to live past its next MOT, but it’s been scraping through for 4 years in my ownership now and there’s only so long I can put it off.

The issue is that I’d like to take them off, tidy and paint them and get new tyres on, and doing them all at once isn’t possible without leaving it wheel-less and immobile for a period. 

I set about looking for some temporary wheels but any four wheels that’d fit, with useable tyres, were surprisingly difficult to find for not much money. I eventually got lucky and bought some same-era Mondeo 5-spoke wheels with the same dimensions and old but legal tyres from EBay for £42 (plus a 2-hr round trip to collect).

I think the original Ghia X alloys suit it better, but these look pretty good too...

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The originals are now in the garden and I’ll get on with those when the weather’s better.

 

With the Astra gone, the Dolomite’s back on the drive and motivation has returned somewhat. First job was to sort the clutch, then get back to the running issues.

We’d previously had the clutch slave cylinder apart and changed some seals but it’d made no difference. It was a frustrating job so stripping it down again seemed like too much effort, so I splashed out on a new one. The clutch now works! As well as it ever has anyway, which is okay-ish.

Now I don’t have to push it on and off the drive to get the Ventora out!

A very short test drive revealed the running problem was still as bad as ever though and we didn’t make it much further than the end of the road before losing power and nursing it back home.

As detailed in my previous Dolomite thread, we’d replaced nearly everything already and I was running out of ideas... next to try was an electric fuel pump. So I bought one and we wired that in. Verdict: better for a short while but ultimately no improvement.

At this point I remembered that before the clutch went I thought it might be the fuel cap, and kicking myself for forgetting to actually try running without it. How stupid would I feel if it was just that and I could’ve saved spending a ridiculous amount on new parts! So, tried that, unsure whether I actually wanted it to work or not, and either luckily or unluckily, it didn’t. Next!

Run it from a can. We’d taken the fuel tank out and cleaned it, and replaced every fuel line except the metal one under the car. To eliminate this, we rigged up a line from the fuel filter to a can on the front seat passenger’s lap (don’t try this at home) and took it for another run. The front hinged bonnet and opening quarter lights were quite handy for hose-routing and on this run it was noticeably better. Not fixed, but definitely an improvement. Hmm.

A long bit of rubber fuel line was purchased and run from the tank to the engine bay, bypassing the suspect pipe. Cable tied to various things to secure it, we managed a few miles this time before it started getting a bit unhappy. Made it home after about 20mins of driving without completely breaking down though.

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Left it a couple of days, replaced the fuel filter (again) and gave it another run... this time it seemed fine! I’m very reluctant to declare it fixed but I can confidently say it ran fine when it was parked.

Since I bought the Dolomite it’s had no aerial and a hole where a radio should be. The trim at the back of the front shelf, where the speaker was mounted, dropped, and the whole area is a bit untidy. We got the shelf out, gave it a clean and installed some strategically placed bits of wood to prop the back up, and bought this really cheap Chinese stereo, because it’s actually quite a nice “retro” design, and it was really cheap.

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Will make some sort of surround to hide the mess (most of which was already like that) and maybe give the whole thing a coat of black before reinstalling. It’s mostly hidden anyway. We’ll give it an oil change and get on with tidying the bodywork a bit next. I also need a new wiper stalk if anyone has one lying around.


In Ventora news, I’d been looking for some grey Britax seat belts, as the ones I remember had been replaced with hideous cheap black ‘80s style things “for safety”. They seem to be pretty rare and, as they’re often found in various Jaguars and other expensive stuff,  quite pricey when they turn up. Even the later, more plasticky, ‘70s style ones were usually more than £100 a side...

Via Facebook, I managed to get hold of the interim owner who replaced the belts, and he still had the originals! Even more amazingly, he lived 5 mins from my parents’ house! My Dad was duly despatched and they are soon to be reunited. He also provided a spare wing mirror, which was nice. I hope my luck with this car continues!

Elsewhere, the Saab has been quite leaky of late, and now has a badly cracked drivers side headlight, so could do with some attention soon. Then I should get the Simca back, I suppose.9D0FD808-2ABF-4285-9DC6-E4815719D734.thumb.jpeg.ef39ce3ed4c1085762a6cdc75f2320cc.jpeg

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  • 3 months later...

Been busy on the Dolomite recently... the aim was to tidy up the bodywork a bit and get rid of the patches of primer and rust. We attacked the surface rust with a sander and rust converter and filled a few small bits. The expensive paint we got was a rubbish match and unavailable during lockdown so when we ran out quite quickly we decided just to do the whole lot in a brighter white. The old paint wasn’t the original anyway and wasn’t a great job 20-odd years ago. 
It looks quite shit still, but okay from a few feet away and it’s all pretty much one colour at least.

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Wasn’t a fan of the MGF steels so I bought it some new wheels... the arch gaps are a bit ridiculous though so maybe it needs to come down a bit.

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Need to fix the choke so we can take it for a test run. It’s only driven a few feet since we fitted electronic ignition so it’d be good to see how that’s getting on.

 

The Saab’s clutch went when Josh was driving back from work one day and with its other issues we decided it wasn’t worth repairing. We sold it to someone for parts, I have the money and ownership transferred, but all they’ve done is move it from our drive to over the road and left it there. Weird. Anyway, that was replaced with Kiltox‘s Golf TDI. It’s ratty as hell but does exactly what we needed - go places cheaply.

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I now have too many cars. I need to get down to about 5 at the most, ideally 4 though. So I’ve been looking for a diesel estate to replace both the Mondeo and the Golf. A perfect candidate would be auto with leather (easier to clean dog mud off), and AC would be nice. 
 

So I bought a Volvo 340 1.4 manual. 
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It’s a bit rougher than it looks, there’s a bit of rust and quite a few shallow dents etc. It wasn’t even mega-cheap so I don’t know why I got it really. It’s not a bad car and quite fun to have around for a bit but I doubt it’ll stay long as it doesn’t have a use to justify its place.

Also my Dad was going through the photo album for some reason and found some Ventora pics

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That’s not been out as it’s been blocked in by the dead Saab on the drive. Think I should have a drive in it soon. I’ll be looking to get some minor localised bits of bodywork on it done when I can find a suitable place for a decent job.

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1 hour ago, garycox said:

Been busy on the Dolomite recently... the aim was to tidy up the bodywork a bit and get rid of the patches of primer and rust. We attacked the surface rust with a sander and rust converter and filled a few small bits. The expensive paint we got was a rubbish match and unavailable during lockdown so when we ran out quite quickly we decided just to do the whole lot in a brighter white. The old paint wasn’t the original anyway and wasn’t a great job 20-odd years ago. 
It looks quite shit still, but okay from a few feet away and it’s all pretty much one colour at least.

932DF2E1-C27B-4EB4-BC3F-601EAF5A72C5.thumb.jpeg.f07c2ddf32d32e23dc42b5a4d2d2c1ea.jpegB4373694-9B09-475E-B0E8-11524405ADB4.thumb.jpeg.d556c5b7a7a36890284534c47e83db43.jpeg73745B8A-319E-47A8-A533-BBF3D953F89E.thumb.jpeg.f6cc4211b7679def3366b81a9680ab1f.jpegD715F7A8-E02F-4A24-A16C-0FA05906CE49.thumb.jpeg.4410c4ff7f9fa26f26c47fa11cbea59f.jpeg2E69684F-7104-420A-869F-A80865704760.thumb.jpeg.2d0fd63c91b39ad3424164be84e5adf5.jpeg
 

Wasn’t a fan of the MGF steels so I bought it some new wheels... the arch gaps are a bit ridiculous though so maybe it needs to come down a bit.

D1F050F2-BDDA-4B62-8E56-2C4E2F08FC44.thumb.jpeg.22b8ea65f63b8fd0f72cffaa6eb4be76.jpeg119875C6-4C7A-4F6A-9875-8D45AAE193E3.thumb.jpeg.29aedd531c0c591e18db26941c2fef89.jpegA552EA43-8640-4358-B9B0-D5AD8CABCA4B.thumb.jpeg.ad2bea6d629b11ba886b5a7e47295191.jpeg

Need to fix the choke so we can take it for a test run. It’s only driven a few feet since we fitted electronic ignition so it’d be good to see how that’s getting on.

 

The Saab’s clutch went when Josh was driving back from work one day and with its other issues we decided it wasn’t worth repairing. We sold it to someone for parts, I have the money and ownership transferred, but all they’ve done is move it from our drive to over the road and left it there. Weird. Anyway, that was replaced with Kiltox‘s Golf TDI. It’s ratty as hell but does exactly what we needed - go places cheaply.

301E8CB9-853D-486A-87A4-95F3A4E1414D.thumb.jpeg.3446acec77f89708ab79a69ecdc8754b.jpeg
 

I now have too many cars. I need to get down to about 5 at the most, ideally 4 though. So I’ve been looking for a diesel estate to replace both the Mondeo and the Golf. A perfect candidate would be auto with leather (easier to clean dog mud off), and AC would be nice. 
 

So I bought a Volvo 340 1.4 manual. 
BBEFD1ED-8DFF-422D-9A80-B9B7314E4F3B.thumb.jpeg.760fb0d06c76306e5a637e9049816d1d.jpeg9537377A-F44B-467C-AEEC-C09CE262F030.thumb.jpeg.1edde4765d989d5d5a5d74a945d72b19.jpeg
 

It’s a bit rougher than it looks, there’s a bit of rust and quite a few shallow dents etc. It wasn’t even mega-cheap so I don’t know why I got it really. It’s not a bad car and quite fun to have around for a bit but I doubt it’ll stay long as it doesn’t have a use to justify its place.

Also my Dad was going through the photo album for some reason and found some Ventora pics

C210DB4A-7CCA-4A20-A61C-066A2C61A7AA.thumb.jpeg.2a228b5580b8097ab081c3057db21a69.jpeg

That’s not been out as it’s been blocked in by the dead Saab on the drive. Think I should have a drive in it soon. I’ll be looking to get some minor localised bits of bodywork on it done when I can find a suitable place for a decent job.

Thanks for making my day! So pleased to see my old Dolly getting some love! It has genuinely made me smile seeing those pics. When I bought it it was going to be scrapped and I spent 6 months getting it road worthy. 

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100% yes to those slots. Quick, get it a bit low before anyone objects. No idea how you lower double wishbones though ( @seth ?).

My guys in Lewes could sort the Ventora stuff without any bother, but it depends on how much paint it will need as I know they're not mega keen on doing paintwork (although they can do it, and have painted a few complete cars to a high standard). Not mega cheap, but good value, if you know what I mean. £300 per day, but it's a full day's work.

I'm weirdly tempted to make you an offer for the Simca despite knowing what state its in. Sod MoT and all that. Presumably it has no brakes any more, and the gearchange is still... weird?

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@hairnet I’ve not used the USB function but I imagine so, it’s a pretty simple unit. Not the best quality obviously but works alright. We’ve a more modern unit in the Golf that seems to use the same software.

@barrett it’s mainly paint really (but just a few chips and a flaking bit on the front wing) plus a couple of tiny dents on the bonnet and a very small bit of rust on a couple of door corners. I’d entertain offers for the Simca as is, or I’ll get it home and assess it at some point soonish. Think they’re reasonably keen for it to be moved.

@wuvvum The photos definitely flatter it ?

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  • 4 months later...

We bought this Accord to replace the Mondeo, seemed perfect being a diesel with leather and cruise control. Quick-ish and economical, WCPGW?

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It started going into a sort of limp mode where the accelerator pedal just stopped responding. Throttle position sensor seemed the obvious thing to try, so that was replaced but it made no difference. The Accord FB group suggested the fuel filter, which it a canister type thing that’s not very accessible or easy to change. Was a real bastard but seemed to do the trick.

The MOT revealed a couple of ball joints and tyres were needed, so it got those, and then started leaking PAS fluid. A new pipe was pretty cheap, of course fitting it was as difficult as possible.

Next, it started throwing up a cam position error or something. Fearing timing chain issues (it is a bit rattly and they’re known for it), we just decided to bail and cut our losses. Sold for the same amount we bought it for; must have lost quite a bit on that thing. Not one of my better purchases.

No more moderns!

The Volvo also went around this time as it wasn’t needed and there were too many of my cars strewn around the close.

So, with just the Ventora, Dolomite and Golf on the road, and the Dolomite needing some minor bits, a second commuting car was needed. Enter the 306:

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A 1.9 D L; I really wanted a 3-door TD but the only ones in budget were wrecks. This is pretty leisurely but not as slow as expected. Sort of Volvo 340 1.4 slow.

It was absolutely disgusting when collected, the interior full of dog hair and fag ends, and the back seats down with the entire rear filled with empty cardboard boxes and other shit. The exterior wasn’t much better.

It cleaned up really nicely though, apart from staining on the roof and bonnet from the various droppings of birds and trees being left to bake in. Only 93k on the clock and seems to have been really well looked after until recently, dealer plates and everything.

There are a couple of very small dents including an annoying one on the rear quarter, but I can’t find a speck of rust on it, the sills and underside seem pretty much perfect. I haven’t had a look at the dreaded C-pillar area yet though.

Only thing this has needed so far is a wheel bearing, which we did ourselves in the usual ham-fisted manner. Could do with a new gear knob though if a non-broken one comes up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been looking for something to replace the Accord and have discovered that decent 1990s diesel cars are not as plentiful or cheap as I hoped they would still be.

Scrolling through Gumtree, this slightly manky looking 75 popped up. It’s another modern-ish diesel, and probably isn’t much fun to work on if anything needs fixing, but was pretty cheap and local. 
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I have driven one 75 before (@RobT‘s  I think) and I really disliked the driving position. On the test drive I didn’t much like this one either. After making the seat much lower, I think I can get used to it.

It has a few minor issues but seems like a good one. Originally bought as a company car, then purchased at retirement. At some point it was given to the original owner’s daughter, who I bought it from. 89k on the clock and a year’s MOT with no advisories.

There’s some annoying scratches on the bonnet but it cleaned up alright...

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Since purchase I’ve glued the shift pattern diagram bit back on the gear knob, fixed the buttons on one of the keys and bought a spare wheel, jack, wheel brace and the foamy bit they go in, as it inexplicably just had the massive bit of polystyrene with a can of tyre goo wedged in.

There were two main reasons why it was quite cheap. Firstly, they’d mislaid most of the paperwork somewhere in house-move boxes so could provide no proof of the alleged full service history.

Also, this damage

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The tail light had been replaced but the edge of the wing is pretty bent. Looks like it’d be quite tricky to repair but it is starting to rust a little so that needs some attention at least. The rest of the car is remarkably rust-free.

The damage is also letting water into the boot. Previous owner had attempted to fill the gap with silicone sealant but this seemed to do nothing other than make a mess. Other than putting a shitload more sealant all over the place, I’m not sure how to deal with that. The metal’s too curved and creased to bash back into shape easily (I tried briefly).

I’ll get a big plate for the back when the V5 arrives.

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  • garycox changed the title to Fleet Update: 306 + 75

Vehicle Information

   
vin RJZLHC4D296691
vin_sequence 296691
off_assembly_date Thursday, 19th June 2003 @ 12:34:17
model 75
variant CDT Connoisseur SE
num_doors 4
paint_code HFF
brochure_model_desc R75 C3 Saloon 2.0 M47 Diesel (116)
sales_model_derivative RJWLH
sales_model_derivative_desc Rover 75 2.0CDT Connoisseur SE 4dr
home_export HOME
country GREAT BRITAIN
exterior_paint British Racing Green Pearlescent
interior_trim Deep Sea Green / Sandstone
engine 2000 Diesel 116Bhp
trimlevel Connoisseur SE
bodytype 4DR
manual_auto M
hand_of_drive RHD
model_year 2004
sold_date Unknown

General Information

  • This vehicle was the 75,375th 75 to run off the production line, out of 112,381
  • This vehicle was the 3,463rd 75 CDT Connoisseur SE to be made out of 3,775
  • This vehicle was the 3,931st 75 in British Racing Green Pearlescent (code: HFF) to be made out of 5,464 British Racing Green Pearlescent 75s

Also born on this day...

  • 117 75s
  • 38 75 Tourers
  • 1 MG Express
  • 95 MG TFs
  • 184 ZRs
  • 29 ZSs
  • 37 ZTs
  • 12 ZT-Ts
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If I was confronted with that dent, I reckon I'd weld a couple of squares of thickish steel edgeways onto that creased vertical edge, maybe 3" squares of 3mm steel or whatever (each with a hole in), then use a hook through those with a winch/block and tackle/big ass ratchet strap to pull the dent out against a tree or whatever. I reckon with that and a hammer and dolly to stress-relieve it while its under tension you could 90% get rid of the damage, obv you'd need to then chop the squares off and do a bit of paintwork etc but I think you could keep it pretty localised.

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On 1/8/2020 at 9:37 PM, garycox said:

3ACEA907-0E15-4805-AA27-5C75DF628A4A.thumb.jpeg.05457fcd00021b0d4effcc2bf738ece1.jpeg

Hooray!

Only minor damage that won’t be very noticeable when it’s back on.

Now, how do I secure these so it doesn’t happen again? There are no holes in them for cable ties or similar.

Glue some magnets on the back.......?

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  • garycox changed the title to Fleet Update: Feb ‘21: New Arrival

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