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1 hour ago, paulplom said:

Download the tapatalk app. It makes it very easy.

Please don't, it hosts images horribly and brings in lots of bugs.  The phone version of the forum itself is now very good indeed.

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Good update, MK4s are great and just about the cheapest and most dependable way to get about as you are finding out.

Spare parts are almost a joy to buy because they are so cheap and easily available.

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Huge thank you for all the tech tips even though it does make me feel like a 90yr old that's had to be shown how to use a new toaster 😂😂 

I had tried tapatalk before but didn't get on with it. This mobile version of the site is amazing though. It's so good I've even taken the time to figure out how to pin a link to it on the homepage of my phone 👍.

So here is a pic of this mornings efforts, finishing off repainting the garage walls.


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We're now almost caught up to real time updates.....

One week ago I stuck the battery on charge prior to giving the Astra turn for a once a fortnight run out to the shops. Battery charged and nil, nada, zip, the lights were on but nobody was home. Turned the key but the starter didn't want to play. A bit of investigation revealed that the starter had died peacefully in its sleep and no amount of hitting it with a hammer was going to revive it. Bumhats! The car was pointing downhill on a sloping driveway and the starter can only be accessed from underneath, Bumhats again!

This left me with 3 options

1. Scrap the fucker - I suck at bangernomics, while I'm good at buying end of life tat for £Fuckall I'm to soft to send grandma for a long walk in the snow when the time comes so soldier on we must.

2. Roll out of driveway through 2 junctions blind to approaching traffic and on the wrong side of the road in order to get to a long hill on the main road to bump start the car and drive onto ramps in the street. Having to brake for any other traffic or a failure to start could see me stranded and blocking a main road. Worse than that it would have to then either be recovered to a garage or have the scrap man take dobbin away to the glue factory. A quick check of the nether regions revealed cojones that were big enough to deal with rolling through blind junctions on the wrong side of the road but insufficient to deal with the consequences if things didn't go to plan. 

Having ruled out 1 and 2 were are only left with one option....

3. Figure out a way to jack up the car and gain access to the starter without moving it and (most importantly) without me meeting my maker trying to bench press a rusty old vauxhall on my drive.

Step 1 

Tie the car to a ground anchor concreted into the garage floor to prevent it rolling forward if being in gear with handbrake on wasn't enough. Initially I did this with a combination of trailer straps and old climbing kit but later went to screwfix and upgraded that to a 2.5 ton rated ratchet strap.


Step 2 

Remove front bumper (easy as only held on with cable ties) to get better access to the subframe. Then using a small trolley jack lift the subframe enough to get a high lift under the subframe.


Next jack up up as high as the jack will go and try to ignore the fact that the chassis of the jack is twisting like fuck. If anybody was in need of proof that machine mart tools are just chinese shite with a big price tag then this is it!


Not quite high enough to get the ramp under the wheel so small jack and block of wood deployed under wishbone to compress suspension.


Insert ramp and lower then repeat on the other side.



Now while some of that does look sketchy as fuck I should point out that I did it in a way that if any of the jacks gave way I wouldn't get trapped under the car. As an extra precaution I also lashed the wheels onto the ramps so that even if being in gear, handbrake on and lashed to a concrete ground anchor wasn't enough the car couldn't roll off the ramps.

So now it's finally time to do some repairs..............

Starter out


Tested and most definitely dead. Quality used spare ordered from ebay for £19 delivered. The starter was a bit of an oily mess and investigation revealed that there was some oil seepage from the filter housing/oil cooler that sits above the starter. That lot has been removed (sorry no pics) and cleaned up. Three new o-rings and a dowty washer have been ordered for that from a vauxhall spares seller on the bay again for £19 delivered. 

While removing the filter housing I looked into removing some of the intake piping for better access and discovered the turbo was soldering on in the face of adversity. The v-band clamp to hold the hot housing onto the cartridge was missing all together. The hot housing was held in place by the exhaust manifold and the rest of it was held in place by the oil lines and the cold air pipework but the two halves weren't actually held together! Impossible to take a pic in situ so this is the part I'm on about.


Even though the car was running quite happily as it was I've ordered a replacement clamp for less than a tenner delivered from turbo rebuild ltd.

As I had to drain the coolant to remove the oil cooler the expansion tank was removed for a soak in washing powder, not because it was desperately bad but because I had the time so why not.


Lastly the previously washed gearbox had now revealed that only one of the driveshaft seals was leaking so one of the ramps was swapped for a stand (ramp and wheel shoved under the car as an extra safety) and the driveshaft was pulled and the seal changed.


Pretty sure gearbox oil isn't meant to look like this though...........


This makes me a little nervous, I just hope this isn't one of those times when a car explodes after its first oil change in a decade as all the sludge taking up the massive tolerances has now been removed!

And there we go. That's how the car sits now and everything is waiting on parts. During these times I've found that parts ordering is a lottery. Some things arrive in 2 days as if nothing has changed and others can be 7-10 days. Will probably be a week before everything is here but the car should go back together inside of a day.

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Top work - loving the ratchet strap/ground anchor, jacking cars up gives me the fear. Mine's sitting on axles stands on one side while I fix the sill, luckily my drive only has a slight slope - still managed to let it roll completely over my home-made wooden ramps and off across the road with me trying to stop it the other day. Gravity is a harsh mistress.

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Moar Astra updates.... After a very long wait for parts that was mainly down to Vauxhall Superstore on ebay not dispatching my order rather than Covid reasons eventually everything was on hand to put the car back together.

First up was replacing the missing clamp that should have been holding the hot housing to the core on the turbo. This was a real fun(*) job that had to be done at fingertip only levels of access. It took about an hour to get the clamp on and the bolt in place. This related to picking the dropped clamp up from under the car and starting again about 200 times. Still better than the alternative which was removing the radiator to get better access. One time when under the car trying to find the dropped clamp I found the original one jammed between the cat and the block! Thankfully I didn't have a suitable bolt for the old one so the £9 spent on the new one wasn't wasted money. Looks like the bolt holding the old one on had just rotted out allowing the clamp to fall off.


Next up the used started was bolted into place then the long awaited new oil seals


Were fitted to the oil filter/cooler assembly before going back on the car


After bolting everything back up and refilling the coolant the old girl fired up first turn of the key much to my relief. Minor coolant leak at the oil cooler needed repositioning of a jubilee clip to rectify but that was it. Back on the road in all it's resplendent (lack of) glory.


First couple of drives out produced a flickering EML but no readable codes. After day 3 though that went away never to return. I'm putting that down to probably being boost related and a sticking wastegate. With the hot housing actually clamped to the turbo core for the first time in who knows how long there is every chance that the wastegate may be doing a lot more work than it it's been used to and may have taken a while to work out a sticky spot in it's travel. 

I've just finished doing 2 weeks at work before going back onto furlough so the car has had a chance to rack up 300 trouble free miles. The engine is still dropping the odd spot of oil but not as bad as it once was and the gearbox is staying dry and hasn't exploded after getting an oil change so I'm counting that as a win. 

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23 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

I love updates on this, I'd say with what you spent on parts  you are doing bangernomics very well indeed.

You're most probably 100% right. I tend to pessimistically compare what's being spent to the value of the car. Given that even with a favourable tail wind and a full ticket this car will be £400 at very most almost any spend can seem excessive. The reality is that compared to almost any other vehicle buying parts for this car makes you think you're back in the 1980's! 

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On 5/31/2020 at 10:14 AM, blackboilersuit said:



I'm just looking at that tidy organised garage with envy

Keep up the good work.

The jacking and ramps look perfectly fine to me too but that Clarke jack doesn't inspire confidence.

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The garage is only that well organised because smoll with many contents.The only way to get it all in is to use every last inch of wall and floor space. If I had the space you have in the unit I'm sure I'd manage to turn it into a complete midden within a week!

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Ok so time to bring the fleet news up to date with a potted history of the Saab from purchase late last year up until the present. For those wow can't be bothered with long updates here's the summary...

9-5 aero, manual, estate, 200k, rough in (many)places, thirsty but fast as fook when you plant the right foot.

So with a little more detail.....

Bought blind from a mate in Edinburgh for cheaps because it needed a gearbox repair and he'd bought a new car. I knew it but actually hadn't seen it in over 18 months so naturally bought it blind on impulse like you do. He'd been quoted £500 for a gearbox rebuild so I agreed purchase and told him to drop it off at garage for repair. I asked them to replace the slave cylinder while it was apart and use their judgement on the clutch as the whole clutch kit is really expensive for these things. Things escalated once apart and it ended up getting a replacement box as the old one was beyond repair. This hiked the bill over £800 as boxes for these are quite rare .....OUCH! Picked it up and first thing I noticed was the clutch bite was very low, immediately got massive buyers remorse about not having driven the car before buying. Checked with mate and found out it's always been like that, never bothered him and he was so used to it didn't even register that he should have mentioned it. Fair play with him but the garage did drive it and should've said something! Giving them the benefit of the doubt though it's an old high mileage and on first impressions totally neglected so they may have just been trying to keep the bill for repairs semi-sane.

TLDR - I paid too much but it's still a fun car to drive and has a years ticket so lets just enjoy it.

My mate has 2 kids, like the outdoors and doesn't like cleaning cars. First thing was a desperately needed hoover and wipe down inside. This and a look around revealed an interesting past life before my mate bought it. The sea of samco hoses under the bonnet and poly bushes on the suspension meant that somebody in the past was really into this car. The damaged/missing trim and paint/silicone sealer inside the boot indicated that it had also been used as a decorators wagon or by somebody doing a house renovation.

First up for tinkering was the boot interior. I ripped most of the trim out for cleaning (inside house because Scottish winter) and set about fixing the tail end neglect.


First up was a complete rewire of the (non functioning) towbar wiring and ripping out and binning the Chinese reversing sensors that were hanging out.


Much better, the holes in the bumper were filled with blanking grommets even though it looks like they aren't in the pic.


High level brake light was glued together from about 15 broken pieces then held in place with bathroom sealant. It decided to make a bid for freedom en-route to scotoshite one winters evening neccesitating an emergency stop to buy parcel tape to keep the boot from flooding. Why people do this amount of effort to repair things badly is beyond me when you can buy a fully functioning part for not much money on ebay. Ebay part fitted and happiness restored.

Talking of the tailgate, it never fitted properly and made all sorts of interesting noises opening and closing. Check this out for a funky level of alignment.


I was fairly certain I knew what the issue was so ordered an set of good used hinges prior to investigations. Sure enough when they were swapped out here's what the old ones looked like.


Only the pressure of the gas struts was stopping the RHS one falling apart on the car. Changing these is a complete pain as it involves dropping the headlining as the gas struts for the tailgate live up inside the roof.

Before refitting the interior only one thing was left to do and that was fit a new sharks-fin aerial.


One of the (many) previous owners had decided that removing the original and  filling the hole left behind with duct tape and bathroom sealant was a GR9 idea. This is a cheapy of ebay and does the job of keeping rain from getting into the car.  Most importantly it was the last thing that needed doing before the interior could go back together.

Next up was to evaluate what could be done with some of the dodgy paintwork. The front bumper and wings had dreadful lacquer peel all over them. A patio cleaning lance on the power washer actually managed to remove all the remaining lacquer in big sheets leaving an even if slightly satin paint finish. A vast improvement although I'm still undecided ast to whether I should try T-cut and polish on whats left or wet sand with 1200 and then hit it with rattle can lacquer. For now doing nothing is the preferred option.

The bonnet is totally farcked paint wise. I did try a little gentle wet sanding in the hope I could cut through the lacquer to decent paint but no chance, nothing short of a respray will sort this.





And so to this week. 

Many moons ago it was pointed out that one of the PCV lines was loose where it connected into the turbo outlet pipe and would have been a cause of a boost leak. Further inspection revealed most of the PCV pipework was a bit of a home brewed mess.

There have been so many versions of the PCV system on this engine the easiest thing to do was but the whole "final version" kit from the aptly named Parts for Saabs. £65 gets you the complete system which I think is pretty good value for 3 hard lines with valves and quick connects, 2 rubber hoses, 4 hose clips and a new seperator tank.



As the back of the engine was very oily and it used a lot of oil when thrashed I'm hoping this will take care of a few issues. First things first, get it up on the ramps for the first time in almost 9 months of ownership.


A very long low nose necessitated the use of many blocks to help clear onto the ramps.


Made it with just enough room under the car to work in. Second ramp put under the sill just to make sure I don't get squished if something went wrong.


I was really hoping to get away without changing the catch tank as its a real pain to get to but alas no. Looks like I had the second to last version of that part. Side by side you can see that the top right fitting has changed from barbed to quick connect.

Viewed from underneath here it is in situ underneath the inlet manifold between the starter and alternator.


Up top all the clips for holding the pipework in place were long gone. There are however three very useful alloy tabs on the rocker cover. Drilling a 5mm hole in each of these gave good anchor points for a slightly complicated cable tie setup that holds everything in place but also prevents anything from rubbing when the engine is running.


While it was up in the air I took the opportunity to change the oil and filter before going for a test drive.

In a sort of back to front update here's a pez station shot from the test drive


Nothing fell off, nothing leaked out and the idle that used to hunt around a bit is now nice and stable so I'm calling that a win.

While it's not a forever car I have learned to really love it for what it is. A fast old luxury bus with heated leather and working air-con. Just like my mate don't even notice the clutch bite point now and simply enjoy driving it around. While he didn't care for car cleaning much my mate was particular about tyres and the car has 4 matched conti sports that suit it really well and offer brilliant grip when "exploring boost" on rural roads.

Phew, both cars  are now up to date. I promise to make future updates a bit more timely and concise!

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that update almost makes me want to change the fucked rad on ours to see what a semi-auto with flappy paddles is like,,, but with a manual scooby fozzy turbo to play with and now the type s i cannae be arsed

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1 hour ago, big_al_granvia said:

that update almost makes me want to change the fucked rad on ours to see what a semi-auto with flappy paddles is like,,, but with a manual scooby fozzy turbo to play with and now the type s i cannae be arsed

Neither of them have a Swedish leather armchair for a drivers seat though. The Saab offers the best car seating ever so get it fixed. Radiator doesn't look to bad a thing to change. If you think it looks bad then take a look at the alternator and that'll make you feel a whole lot better about the radiator access 😂

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8 minutes ago, blackboilersuit said:

Neither of them have a Swedish leather armchair for a drivers seat though. The Saab offers the best car seating ever so get it fixed. Radiator doesn't look to bad a thing to change. If you think it looks bad then take a look at the alternator and that'll make you feel a whole lot better about the radiator access 😂

i am missing the v70 as a daily waft bigtime mate but she is progressing, just need the boss to decide whether to get a used 2nd hand self leveller at 200, convert to air 250 or shove on ordinary dampers 120

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4 minutes ago, 320touring said:

I recall said Saab passing my brother and I like we were standing on a snowy M8 at Harthill.

Winter tyres and a well placed boot certainly made for swift, safe progress.

I think between the toledo and the TDI polo we had approx 120bhp less than the Saab.

They might not have been winter tyres! As I recall once warp speed had accidentally been achieved I felt it was safer not to try and retard progress or change lane until I was clear of any other traffic and had both lanes clear to myself. 

Perhaps I should stick to the astra in winter conditions.........

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More Saab loving today, wheels off at the front to take a look at MOT advisories from before I bought the car. Front discs scored and greased brake pipes.


Yes indeed scored discs and I'll bet this was rubbed down and greased for the last ticket.


A real fall from grace for a once loved car. Braided hoses connected to rotten hard lines. It was obviously someones pride and joy at one time.

Caliper sliders and pistons were nice and free which made getting these sad looking pads up nice and easy.


A quick trip to ECP in Glasgow got a set of Eicher pads from stock for £16 with the usual DFS sale must end soon sale code.

Carrier bolts were a pain with no access for the dugga dugga gun unless I dismantled half the suspension so a trolley jack was deployed to add some leverage to the ratchet to break them loose.


Carrier off and the knot wheel was deployed to turn this


Into this


Those of a nervous disposition should probably look away now...........

Disc off and time for some redneck disk skimming. 


After knocking the flakes off with a hammer a 40 grit flap wheel will take all the loose flakey ridges back to an even surface. The flap disc is rough enough to take the flakes off but not tough enough to dig into good metal. Not quite as good as new but 100% better.


And still plenty thick enough


With disc and caliper back on it was time to cut the rot out the brake line and splice in a repair section.

First cut back to solid and use a glove finger and cable tie to stop fluid leaking everywhere.


Why anybody would risk damaging a rubber flexi with a line clamp when this is just as effective is a mystery to me.

Next deploy the worlds best flaring tool, without which this job would be a nightmare. Equally at home flaring steel as well as copper and can fit into relatively tight spaces on the car.


End result after trimming back the arch liner a bit so I could pop rivet a p-clip on to secure the joiner to the inner wing. Really makes that "look I really care Mr MOT tester" statement!


Both sides done and brakes bled then off for a test drive. No judder and the car brakes in a straight line so its so far so good for the hillbilly machining. Only time will tell if the pads bed into the refurbished discs, if they don't I'll chuck discs and better quality pass on but if they do then winner winner chicken dinner. Full front brake overhaul for £16 plus consumables. Either way its now a lot safer than it was before.

Next up is a look at the rear brakes in search of more line grot.

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So on Thursday I took a look at the rear brakes. Discs, calipers, pads and O/S line all ok. 

N/S line oh dear..........


This is a stinker as the rot extends right up to the point the line dissapears on it's journey over the top of the fuel tank! It's going to be a swine to replace as I'll meed to re-route across the subframe so there'll be lots of drilling holes and pop riveting on p-clips. Job put off as I've had to order another roll of line from ebay as nobody local had Kunifer line in  stock and I prefer that to copper. 

While we have the rear wheels off, whats this........?


Can't beet a bit of galloping rot around the subframe mounts to cheer up your day! In a "death or glory" moment of clarity I thought that if there's holes there I'm fucked if I'm welding them so I'll frag the old heap come MOT time. If that's the case I won't have to bother doing that brake line.

Having now convinced myself I was actually in a win-win situation I broke out the heavy artiliary and shouting Banzai, pulled the trigger on the needle gun and thrust it towards the rot for all I was worth.


While totally failing to capture the result on camera I did manage to create a huge pile of rust without making any holes. A quick shot of stone chip to protect whats left and the area is now up to facing any inspection at the end of the MOT testers toffee hammer.

Still slightly sulking slightly that I was now going to have to replace "that fucking pipe" I turned my attention to fitting a couple of small parts at the front of the car.


Exhaust mount to replace the misding one on the downpipe and two universal cotton reel mounts to replace the snapped ones on the power steering cooler.


This made me question my own levels of OCD. I'm not sure what annoyed me more. The fact that somebody couldn't be bothered to buy a pair of £5 mounts to do the job properly or the fact that when they tied it all back together with a dozen cable ties they couldn't even be arsed to cut the tails off the ties!

Now waiting on delivery of new line before the final push towards the end of MOT prep on the old barge.

Also been busy thinning out the bike collection but I'll make those updates on the bikeshite thread. Fleet plan going forward is to empty my lockup of bikes I don't use so I can store one Cool classic car under cover when not in use then go down from 2 to 1 "modern" for daily use. Nothing firm yet but will keep you all updated with developments when they happen.



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Yesterday I had a spare afternoon so decided to stick the newly aquired towbar on the astra.

First of all was the hardest part of the whole job, getting the bumper off. Some of the rusty 16 year old fasteners put up a bit of a fight. DSC_9453.thumb.JPG.f5bf46cb93971219c091ab3d193ced70.JPG

Closing panel was a bit crispy but after cleaning up that and the back end of the chassis legs with the needle scaler to allow the towbar to sit flat there was still enough metal there to satisfy an MOT tester so it was left as is.


Holes were drilled in the boot floor and then the bar was bolted up into position.


Before the garage collection of assorted self tappers and trim clips was raided to assist to secure the bumper back in place.


Just the wiring to do but I'm waiting on an indicator buzzer to be delivered before I can do that. 

One last job for the day was to get the power washer out to clean this little lot off the drive!


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Bit of work on the Saab again yesterday. Clearance at the back is a bit better than the front and a ramp will fit under the back bumper with 1/4" clearance which avoids the need to build a ramp extension out of wood to get the car in the air. Not much clearance underneath but enough to get the job done.


First order of the day was to replace the NSR brake line. Closer inspection revealed that the line didn't run above the fuel tank but above the subframe. This made it a whole lot easier than expected to get the new pipe in place. Cut back the line and spliced into good steel line here...


Then round the top of the subframe following the old line to here...


The old line was left in place but the ends trimmed back which allowed me to cable tie the new line to the old to keep it secure where access was really bad above the subframe. Bled that corner and we're good to go again.

While under the car I had a look at another item off the last MOT advisory list, minor leak from exhaust. 


Sure enough, pin holes in the welded join in the home made exhaust. It's structurally solid but the welding looks like somebody has launched pigeon shit at the general area with a catapult. The thought of lying on my back trying to seal up that mess 6" from my face with the welder didn't have my heart racing with anticipation if I'm honest. Instead I forked out £2.99 on a product I've not used in about 25 years. 


One exhaust bandage later and we're good to go. 

I did find one other exhaust mounting rubber that was perished and will be replaced when the £2.50 replacement arrives in the post but generally that concludes the cars pre MOT once over. 

Don't hold your breath though it's 10 weeks till the due date so it'll likely be 6 weeks before it gets done at the start of the 13 month window. 

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3 hours ago, dome said:

Good progress. Hope this car sees a few more MOTs. I think rot killed my old one in the end😔

I could see that being the case. As well as the crispy bits shown above the back end of both sills are really thick with surface rust even though other parts of the underside are pristine. I'm pretty certain everything is solid but I'm leaving things as is for now just in case the tester spots something that I've missed. It's unlikely but I'd rather not be scraping off fresh stonechip in 6 weeks time just to weld on a small patch!

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    • By vulgalour
      As tradition dictates, an thread.
      It all kicked off here: http://autoshite.com/topic/34152-citroen-bx-17rd-for-sale-sale-on-hold-as-its-done-a-citroen-the-little-bastard/
      Lorry is booked for collection tomorrow and a 340ish mile round trip awaits.  It will be a long, but rewarding, day.  No live collection updates because I live in the olden times and even if I didn't, I'm not sure I could be entirely arsed.

      I am looking forward to meeting Dean-numbers, his collection of wobbly French cars and, of course, Bleriot the BX.  It will probably be too dark to do anything when we get back on Friday so I suspect Saturday I'll be up bright and early to get stuck in and see just what I've let myself in for.
    • By scdan4
      That bit hiding up behind the air filter and infront of the turret

      made a prolonged, loud, farty vibratey noise (loud enough to be clearly audible in the cabin with the radio on) twice today, both times it did it the nose was pointing down a steep hill and we had just parked and turned off the engine.

      It goes on for best part of a minute, so managed to track it down. Initial impressions are fuck knows what it is but it's clearly been bodged in the past. The yellow hose has clearly been disconnected sometime, by someone, for some reason, somewhere.

      Thats the blighter.

      Does someone want to tell me why it's blowing raspberries at me?

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