Jump to content

Microwave's Tat Corner

Recommended Posts

Right, smol update for smol car

I'm gonna put this here at the top so there's less chance of it being missed: Does anyone want to buy this car? I'm more than likely gonna put it up for sale very soon, if anyone fancies it let me know, it's near Preston.

Just before lockdown started, I had to move this thing into storage at my work because there was some decorating going on at my parents' house, and it would've been in the way of the guy's van. Unfortunately, lockdown then started and the car ended up being stuck hidden away at work. Didn't see the car for a good 6/7 weeks, so I ended up SORNing it and taking insurance off. Regardless, it's been sat needing brakes, the offside front had been making an absolute racket that had been getting worse and worse, to the point that I deemed it unsafe to drive.

Yesterday, I finally started work on it. I didn't have the brakes so I decided to tackle the alternator instead, which had also been making an annoying fucking noise for ages. Someone identified it as the bearing, so I whipped it off and took it to a local place that does car electric bits or whatever.


Look, no alternator.

First job of the day was to start the brakes. Now, I should add that the last time I touched brakes on a car I was 15 or 16 and I was trying to do the rear brake pads on my 1998 Hyundai Coupe, which is a car that is extremely notorious for shit rear brakes that constantly stick. I made an awful job of that then (because they were stuck), and to be honest I've been scared to do mechanical work on cars since. I almost always pay the mechanic next to my work to do stuff for me, but for once in my life I thought I should just have a pop at it and see what happens. Worst case, I can push the car 30ft to the right and it'll be with the mechanic on a 2 post lift.



THANKFULLY, this job went as smooth as I could ask it to. The caliper, which I had suspected to be sticking, was not. The pads however were so unevenly worn down that the brake disc was free to move in place, which is what I imagine was causing the awful grinding noise it was making (which only really happened at car park speeds, but was still sort of there are higher speeds). Here, have a look:


Got me money's worth I suppose. Highly suspect these might actually be original, though I think at 76k ish miles I might be pushing that. Anyhow, got the new pads and discs on in a pretty ok amount of time. Mid way through that, I got a call to say the alternator was ready so went and picked that up.

I never want to install an alternator ever again.

What an absolute arse of a job, simple in theory but the bottom two ears on the alternator made it fit very tightly, to the point that to adjust its position I had to use a socket extension and a hammer to twat it into place. Simply lining up the bolt holes took about an hour, so by the time I had it all sorted it was about half 2, and my access to the car ends at about 3. However, the engine is absolutely dead silent now, no more annoying whining. Anyway, reversed the car out, hit the brakes and the pedal went straight to the floor which nearly resulted in me twatting a rotten Transit. Rookie error I suppose, but yeah, the brakes ended up working fine. I didn't have time to do both sides today, so the passenger side is gonna be tomorrow's job. After that, I'm gonna take it out on the road proper, drive it home, give it a proper tarting up, take some decent photos then stick it up for sale I think. It's not that I don't like the car, it's more the fact that I've had too much time during lockdown to perv over other shitboxes that I'd rather have, so I've kinda become disinterested in this thing. Regardless, it might not mean a lot to people who work on their cars all the time but I'm quite pleased with myself for actually tackling car jobs on my own for once. It's definitely given me a bit more of the confidence I've been needing.

This is how she currently sits, full of dust from ground down chassis paint off that old wagon next to it.


Sorry if this is hard to read, already had a few 😄

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well shit, stuck it on marketplace yesterday and it went same day to a kid from Carlisle. Even got back more than I paid for it for once! Not bad doing imo. The current plan is to sell all the shite and buy one nice shitbox. Thinking Austin Rover right now, but I’m sure my mind is gonna change.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know how I missed this lovely little Micra. Love the gleaming drivers wing.

Got 2 facelift K11s myself. Well... ones my Sisters currently being used by Mum and the other was my Mums currently awaiting repairs.


Fiesta and camper aren't mine.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

For a while there's been an ST202 Celica convertible that has been stuck in the back of my work. I've finished Uni now, and I've got nothing to do, so I wanted to buy it. Long story short, the owner is being difficult. The car was brought into the country in 2005 and was last on the road in 2007, but she still thinks it's worth a grand minimum. Despite going back and forth with her, I wasn't really getting anywhere.

On 5/14/2020 at 8:10 PM, Microwave said:

Thinking Austin Rover right now, but I’m sure my mind is gonna change.

Now, I said this the other day. I have just put a deposit down on a car that may or may match this description, and it shall arrive Thursday evening. Unfortunately, right as I went to say "yes" to this new car, the owner of the Celica finally got back to me and said she would get back in contact later to discuss selling the car at my desired price. So, in an effort to purchase one summer project, I may have just ended up with two. FML. I seriously hope I don't win that fucking BX roffle now 😆

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

At last, I am back with a bigger post. Bought this last Tuesday and had it delivered last Thursday to the sum of £650. It came with a bunch of spares, including a new wing, front bumper, two seats, loads of complete light units, a full heater, shit loads of trim bits and so on. Overall, not a bad deal in my opinion. I was really after one with an MOT at first, but all of the ones that I had offered to me were up for well in excess of a grand, and to be honest, now that I'm done with uni until September, I need a project. As a sidenote, they really do seem to be appreciating in price somewhat? Not sure if it's just the Coronavirus car market or what.

Anyway, the car hasn't been MOTd since 2018. Before that, it had only really covered about 100 miles or less each year for quite some time. Because of that, this is an original 34,000 mile car, proven by the fact that the thing is absolutely loaded with Thorn bulbs (with the odd Lucas one here and there), even the H4 headlights are original Thorn stuff. The car came with loads of history, including the original invoice, as well as extensive history for another Maestro, an A-reg, that the original owner part exchanged for this one. Some really interesting stuff among it all.

Over the course of the weekend I made a list of the stuff that it needs doing. Most severely it needs welding on the rear inner sills as well as the brake system sorted. As it stands, it has no service brakes. I've not been able to get it up on the lift yet, but after doing a bit of looking around I suspect the master or servo is kaputt, as opposed to there being a knackered brake line/hose like the seller suggested was possible. Once those two major jobs are sorted, I really don't think it will take much for it to pass an MOT. A set of rear arches and doors would be nice, but from what I've heard the doors are quite expensive and hard to come by, so it might be a while before they get sorted.

So far, I've only done a couple of jobs on it. The engine was refusing to rev properly and would try to cut out under throttle until it was warmed up, had a poke around and it seemed to be missing its advance/retard tube & the dashpot was empty. Sorted those two issues out and it seemed to be a lot better, but once it had chance to cool down again it was more or less back to square one. Still working on this particular issue. Today was my first day of being able to dedicate all of my time to it, so I started off by whipping the bottom hose off to drain the radiator, so I could remove the thermostat without it pissing all over the radiator. I'd noticed that it had been getting a little bit hot when I was reversing it back into the unit, getting well on for 3/4 of the gauge, and while testing it I'd noticed the heater was hardly blowing any warm air through at all. For a couple of reasons, I had a feeling it had no stat in, or the stat in it was knackered. Got it out, and I greeted with this sight:



Bit of scraping pulled up this shite:


I imagine this same tar-like substance is lining absolutely every cavity in this engine, so probably not good for a heater matrix. Judging by the state of it, I don't think this has had real coolant/antifreeze in it for a long, long time - also looks like they used some seriously hard water, whole thing is full of limescale. The housing was held together by a mixture of silicone and newspaper gaskets, which were a right nob to get off the mating surfaces. New thermostat & gasket kit is ordered for tomorrow, where it will get its first of many flushes.

Other thing I wanted to do today was give it a quick jet wash to get rid of the thick layer of dirt on the paintwork, in preparation for a cut & polish at some point. I tried to be as careful as possible, not knowing which seals leak and which don't, but the whole car actually ending up seeming perfectly watertight, to my surprise. Also tried to avoid all of the rot, so as to not make it any worse. The inner wheel arches cleaned up really well, there was obviously years of mud stuck in them, probably trapping moisture and waiting to rust through. Overall, I'm pleased with how it came out. The colour combination (Lepari blue over Hurricane grey) is really growing on me, and I can imagine it will look brilliant when its all been welded, paint matched and machine polished and so on. FWIW, I also have 3 out of 4 original wheel trims waiting to go on after it's had a set of new tyres.

You can't really tell much of a difference here, but for what it's worth:





Next up was the same treatment on the interior. It wasn't as bad as some other stuff I've had, like the red 205, but it still needed about an hour and a half of de-cluttering and hoovering.








Every surface in the car needs a proper wipe down but I didn't have the stuff to do it today, and it's not massively important anyway. I'm really happy with how it's cleaned up so far 🙂

In terms of jobs, that was really all I did today. Did do some fucking about with it though, found out the sunroof works (to some extent, needs proper greasing), checked the plugs weren't showing extreme rich or lean, and most importantly...

Found out the cassette player still works! I was really hoping that this thing would still have its original radio, and I was so glad to see it did when it arrived. My Rick Astley tape sounds a bit shit in this video, but the sound cleaned up nicely after some use. Sounds really good now, but it still has that typical Rover problem of paper speakers that have fallen to bits in the doors, which thankfully isn't that obvious when using FM. Also typical of Rover, for what it's worth, is how obscenely comfortable this car is. It's absolutely unbelievable. Compared to the A35 infront of it, this thing is somehow more comfortable. The drive is also very nice, from what little I've experienced of it. It drives a bit pissed, with the steering a bit cockeyed and the suspension dropping on one side (especially over bumps), but it rides so, so well.

Anyway, that's about all for now. I intend to get some more serious work done on this in the coming days, and I'd reaaally like for it to be MOTd by the end of June. Knowing my luck, that's not going to happen, but we'll have to see! Really pleased with this old thing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Microwave said:

proven by the fact that the thing is absolutely loaded with Thorn bulbs (with the odd Lucas one here and there), even the H4 headlights are original Thorn stuff.

you cant tease me like that and NOT post pictures! LOL :) 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Microwave said:

@LightBulbFun This is the only photo I've got to hand right now, but I'll try and grab some more when I pull the rear light units back out again to re-seal them. Think I've got some Thorn 209s, 380/382s and some 501s.


ohh very interesting! sadly im not sure on its Date of manufacture, the Automotive Thorn lamps are proving tricky to date

where there any other markings on the lamp? :) 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Microwave said:

I'll pull it back out tomorrow and have a gander. Think these old Thorn bulbs were made round the corner in Preston? As a matter of fact, not too sure.

ah Cool thats appreciated, (if turns out to be too much of a faff then dont worry about it I understand!) :)  

indeed thorn had a Factory in Preston http://www.lamptech.co.uk/Documents/Factory - UK - Preston KS.htm

but it did not make automotive halogen lamps, those where made at Leicester http://www.lamptech.co.uk/Documents/Factory - UK - Leicester.htm

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...