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Harrison's Garage - 440/A4/Focus/Granada/Mini/MX-5


rob88h

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25 minutes ago, rob88h said:

Ford Focus – WF08 JMV – Taking a beating

A few days after buying the Volvo 480 I broke my foot and ankle falling off a skateboard… So much for: “Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth”. It turns out I’m not made of rubber anymore. This means I’ve done absolutely nothing with the cars for about three weeks now. Having said that, it’s been too hot, and then too wet, so I probably wouldn’t have done anything on them anyway even if I could move!

Things aren’t static though and unfortunately my wife has had an accident in the Focus. She’s fine, but really annoyed at the whole situation. Someone tried going right at a roundabout from the left-hand lane and drove right across the front of her. Sad face. In the stress of the situation she only got a name and number for the driver, so we’re relying on him responding to our phone call. Having double checked the Highway Code and the lane markings/signage at this particular junction on StreetView I’m fairly confident that we’re 100% not at fault.

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The car doesn’t look too bad, but it’s what’s underneath that’s disappointing. The Grill Opening Reinforcement (top plastic cross brace) has snapped and the metal crash structure of the bumper has pushed back on the accident side. It’s hard to see in the picture because the reaction of the metal bending inwards lower down is that the plastic higher up has twisted forward.

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It has also shattered the plastic slam panel, the RHS radiator air deflector, pushed the lock barrel right in, knackered the bumper skin dented and scratched the wing and snapped the headlamp mounts off. Luckily the horns did not hit the condenser and radiator.

Without Insurance involvement: We’re getting it looked at tomorrow for a repair quote from my usual garage to see what this should cost without insurance companies involved. I’m thinking that because it’s not major damage the guy might want to settle outside of insurance if the repair cost is somewhat reasonable. I don’t know his situation though… Or if we’ll even hear from him again.

With the Insurance: I did a Confused.com comparison with and without a no-fault claim and the difference is +£70 per year, and it should be declared for 5 years, so it would cost us only £350 to involve the insurers. I’ve read we can claim our excess back from his insurer too. However, the Focus is so low value that if we have to use his insurance and an “approved” repair shop, I can see this maybe being written off, considering paint repairs etc… In that case, a payout, then buying the car back as a cat-D and doing repairs myself from scrapyard parts (these things are plentifully stocked) could end up with some money in our pocket. Even though we’d fight for 100%-Third-Party-at-fault I fear that some bullshit will go down against us.

Either way, it’s all less than ideal faffage.

Yes less than ideal, but at least no-one was hurt.

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I wouldn’t involve the insurance. As much as it goes against the grain I’d fix it up with scrapyard bits. If it goes through the insurance you’ve the faff of the other party claiming it was your fault. I’d definitely be DIYing it though, bumper, Labour and the paint you are looking thick end of £6-700 plus VAT at a guess. Or £100 with used bits and DIY

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Yeah, everyone is ok which is the main thing. The guy has made contact with us too which is promising. He is also keen to sort this out outside of the insurers, so the next step is to see how much that would cost, hopefully we'll know by the weekend. I'd like to have a go at it myself, but my wife uses this car a lot and as the headlight alignment is pretty far out now we should get this seen to sooner rather than later. With my broken foot I'm not going to be able to do it myself for a good few weeks still, but it looks like the other guy will be paying the bill anyway. Fingers crossed.

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6 minutes ago, rob88h said:

Yeah, everyone is ok which is the main thing. The guy has made contact with us too which is promising. He is also keen to sort this out outside of the insurers, so the next step is to see how much that would cost, hopefully we'll know by the weekend. I'd like to have a go at it myself, but my wife uses this car a lot and as the headlight alignment is pretty far out now we should get this seen to sooner rather than later. With my broken foot I'm not going to be able to do it myself for a good few weeks still, but it looks like the other guy will be paying the bill anyway. Fingers crossed.

Not everyone out there is a selfish barsteward!

Good luck, hope it works out well for you 

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We’re certainly in write-off territory with insurers involved. The repair quote is £1350 and I’ve been watching a Classified add on eBay that is the same year, engine, mileage and trim level that did not sell at £1400...
My wife and I are thinking it will be done much cheaper with breakers parts as we’re not hugely bothered about the finish, We just want to make sure the car is not scrapped. So, the plan is to ask the Third Party if they’re willing and able to go up to the quote amount outside of the insurers as a worst case, but let them know we’re doing it cheaper and that we’ll only be charging what it costs us. That way if there are any surprises once we start taking it apart we have a little headroom with the cost. 
 

On another note, mk2 Focus’ are bargains right now!

On a final note, I hate how the system is designed to bin and replace things like perfectly good* cars with pretty minor damage (actually it’s a complicated relationship in my head, I get certain economic stimulation points and as I work for a car company it helps keeping me employed, but ethically at an on-my-driveway level it seems wrong)

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Volvo 480 - M270 AAF – Conjunctivitis

Moral is pretty low in my car life right now, everything needs something repairing (some more than others…) and having been off my feet for three weeks I’ve been lacking the psyche boosts of small improvements. We all question our lifestyle choices every now and again (?) and contemplate the mental freedom of an-car on finance, which can be given back at the mere hint of an issue so you can focus your energies on more important things in life. Having said that, what’s more important than passion, and mine’s inadvertently currently invested in 400-series Volvo’s! Crisis averted.

Now I can hobble I decided it was time I got the eyes opened on the Volvo 480 and started topping up my enthusiasm the only way pop-up headlights know how. The manual wind up mechanism was super ceased and pretty inaccessible, so I temporarily relocated the brake reservoir, coolant reservoir and the screen wash bottle so I could get some penetrating oils to the motor and mechanisms. After a day or so of soak, I got the mole grips involved with a cloth to protect the splines for the wind-up knob and gave it a turn. One large bang and it was then finger tight. At first I thought I’d broken it, but now it can be wound up and down at will. I put all the various reservoirs back and tried testing the motor (fingers crossed). Still dead.

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There’s a new* motor in the post, which has taken about a month to source, so the intention is to get them going up and down on command once that arrives. It’s up for now so I can at least use the car at night! Some other rare goodies are in the post for the 480 as well as discs and pads for both Volvo’s, much to the confusion of EuroCarParts who have contacted me twice checking I meant to order that many brake parts for Volvo 400’s… They have yet to be delivered.

 

Side Note: Focus WF08 JMV update – I bought a used Grille Opening Reinforcement for £35 including delivery! I know what I’m doing next weekend. I’ve also found a potential donor in the right colour on FaceBook Marketplace, with engine faults, that is cheaper than the panels I need from a breaker. I’m trying to establish if it drives so I can get it to mine. It’s a good excuse to buy another car ?

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Austin Mini – A654 WOV - Brakes

The Mini is back on it’s wheels! Briefly… I replaced the leaking front wheel cylinder and all the other front cylinders, shoes and springs. With it all beld, the pedal was nice and firm so I consider it a complete fix, yay!

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However, I didn’t get the adjustment quite right and they’re binding too much. Damn. I did a couple of miles hoping they’d bed-in because when assembled they were loose enough to just turn the drums by hand and I was able to slide the drums on ok, but after a drive they were pretty hot and binding still. I’ll have to jack it up the front again and back off the adjuster, which is annoying having just got it back on it’s wheels. I also have the rear drums to do so I then have to get the back up. I hate jacking up the Mini, I never know if it’s going to survive such an ordeal.

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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - Impromptu Collection!

Harrison's History - #46 Ford Focus RO08 WLK

Well @sierraman, I too am now in the Mk2-Focus-breakers club, but thanks for the offer. It was kind of an accidental purchase. One appeared locally for breaking that was in the right colour and I asked after the bumper and lights. He wanted a very reasonable £100. Then I asked for a wing. Another £50. Then I asked if his HVAC fan speed switch worked in all four positions and he just said why don’t I have the whole car for £300..! He’d only just listed it so it was still 100% complete and running and driving.

An impromptu collection later saw this car on my drive in less than 24 hours!

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RO08 is almost a natural private plate for me (the only kind I agree with) and I almost went down the rabbit hole of thinking perhaps it’s too good to break. It started up ok and seemed pretty smooth for a diesel, but after a little drive around I noted the brakes were warped, the suspension was full of knocks and creaks and the steering vibrated quite badly – all repairable, but not really worth it and a whole list of things I don’t want to deal with. It then sealed its fate by refusing to start once I’d switched it off, a final frustration in a morning of car shuffling hell.

Tangent: I wanted to put this car on the drive round the back of the house so that dismantling it wasn’t so unsightly to the neighbours, but the 480 was parked back there. The 480 has an electrical drain so always requires jump starting if not driven every day. My trust mobile jump-starter has just about had it and from fully charged only turns the Volvo over two or three times which is not quite enough. So, I used the old Focus to jump the 480, stalled the 480 setting off then had to re-jump start the 480 with the old Focus. These Focus’ are terrible jump start cars because you need the key to open the bonnet, with each jump consisting of positioning the car, turning it off, getting out, opening the bonnet and then going back in to start it up again! Now I’d moved the Volvo and made space at the rear drive for the new Focus. That would not bloody start, symptomatic of an immobiliser problem because there was enough power for the windows, but no starter motor engagement. Just in case, I brought the old Focus back round to the new Focus at the front of the house to see if jump starting would help. Still nothing. I disconnected the battery and had lunch in a grump.

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After lunch I reconnected the battery on the new Focus and was greeted with starting but only three-cylinder running. It will be scrapped. At least I got it parked up round the back eventually.

So in summary, if anyone needs any good parts, let @sierraman know! Although, parts are available from RO08 WLK until I scrap the bastard.

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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - Impromptu Collection! - Some pun about seeing double and Focus

Ford Focus – WF08 JMV – New… Oil

The obvious next post would be what a good job I’ve done replacing the front end with that from the donor Focus, but I only got that earlier today  and I'm good at putting things off. A more pressing job was the oil. I change the oil every 10,000 miles and towards the end of each interval the Focus always requires a bit of a top up to stop the warning light coming on during heavy cornering. With the 140k milestone tipped and the warning light coming on again during cornering it was time to change the oil and filter rather just another top up. I should probably do it every 8k or something now, but I don’t like my eight times tables. Even more importantly, I should probably be looking at the dipstick more frequently, dipstick, rather than waiting for the car to ask for it.

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Simple stuff, but of note is my new cat litter approach to draining the old filter before binning it. I have so much used brake fluid from the last few years and recent Mini work that I needed a solution to getting rid of it. I read that putting brake fluid through cat litter and letting it evaporate is a safe way to dispose of it – and it also works on the slow dregs of an oil filter apparently. I’ve never had cats, so I bought this eco wood pellet stuff without realising – I hope it works the same, it’s not what I was expecting.

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While I was under the car I noticed a spray of grease from the inboard drivers-side driveshaft joint. I couldn’t find a tear in the boot, but I assume there is one – so one job down, another one found, yay. I wonder if the driveshaft from the 1.8L 5-speed Diesel will fit the 1.8L 5-speed Petrol? Or if the spares one I’ve got is even worth using over a new one. The donor car did come into its own though and gave up an undertray bolt to the general improvement of WF08 JMV. So far it's £300 for that one bolt, haha!

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Ford Focus – WF08 JMV (& RO08 WLK) – Accident damage repairs

The plan: Remove the front of RO08 to work out how it’s put together, remove the front of WF08, put the front of RO08 on WF08 and then go inside happy having done a good job.

Part one occurred over Thursday and Friday evening, save a few odd and ends. The only issue was some degrading of the plastic nuts where the wings and bumper are held together. The rest of the parts were in nice condition.

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Part two was a bit more difficult because of the damage, but eventually I got all the bits off (not pictured: the passenger wing came off shortly after).

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Below are a couple of before and after photos of the crash beam and front cross brace on WF08. It’s interesting to see how much damage occurs underneath the bumper when things can look unscathed from the outside.

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Putting it back together on the same day as taking it apart was pretty pleasing, what with still being able to find everything and remember where everything goes. The only bodge was that one of the three ECU mounting points had snapped in the crash and zipties came to my rescue. To offset the bodge karma I refitted the bumper with new stainless nuts and bolts rather than the naff plastic ones that had almost all disintegrated on both cars.

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After much faffing with the final trim clips and them plastic-screw-push-pin things of doom it was done! New* bumper beam, bumper skin, front top cross member, lights, radiator carrier, bumper skin, grille, air intake duct and passenger wing successfully swapped. What I did forget was which side I took a photo of for the before and after shots! Full disclosure: the geekier amongst you may notice that I'm now rocking a Titanium front end although the car was originally a Style. Let's face it, this may be the only forum where that that is considered a downgrade betraying my bASe spec credentials - and it may be the only place on the internet where someone might have noticed ?

Before:

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After:

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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - Focus reborn

Ford Focus – WF08 JMV – HVAC fan.

On this car, I think since we got it, we’ve not had fan speed 1 or 2. It’s annoying but it’s never been annoying enough to start digging into the dashboard because there’s always speed 3 and 4 that work just fine. Also, after some light Googleing and eBaying it didn’t look like the cheapest thing to fix. However, if you have a spare car sitting in your garden that is waiting on scrap collection, then it suddenly becomes more worth it. So, with the momentum of having buttoned up the frontend repairs nicely, I set about fixing the fan control.

I’d read that the problem I was having was symptomatic of a potential switch failure for the HVAC fan control. The most common problem people were having was that only speed 4 would work, and because speed 3 and 4 work it was suggested that it’d be more likely the switch rather than a resistor problem. No worries I have one.

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Hmm. Still no luck. The “lite” Googleing became a bit deeper and I uncovered that I had been an idiot. I was reading up on the Mk1 Focus. The resistor staging is different on the mk2 Focus and so I was suffering from a broken resistor after all. No worries I have one.

This thing was annoying to change. The picture is taken from inside where the glove box lives once you’ve removed it in its entirety. The resistor is round to the right under the HVAC blower motor round the back of the centre consol.

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Having change that over, it worked, all fan speeds available for the first time in years! A true five-minute novelty. Nice and satisfying.

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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - minus one
  • 2 weeks later...

Ford Focus – WF08 JMV – the last of the attention before another 10k miles of neglect.

This last page has pretty much been dedicated to the Focus, arguably the least interesting of my collection, but it was recently deserving of a little care (and repair!). With the scrap car gone, there were still a few more jobs to complete on WF08 JMV from some bits I’d scavenged before the scraper was picked up.

Mirrors

The passenger mirror electric motor would adjust left and right but not up and down. Solution swap whole wingmirror unit. Easy. While at it I stowed away the body coloured mirror trims so I have spares should they ever get broken.

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Screen Wash

My wife reported the screen wash was not working – usually meaning it’s out of juice – but with her expert diagnostics she told me it wasn’t even making a noise. No problem I thought, I’ll swap the pump. Some jobs go to plan, some don’t. This one did not! First, I had to get the pump off the scrap car, which I left until the days before it was being picked up. To get to the screen wash bottle the wheel arch liner needs to come out and to get the wheel arch liner out the wheel has to come off. Normally not a problem, but this one had a lock nut on and despite finding the key in the glovebox I could not get it to grip. It was too worn. YouTube told me to smash a socket on, so I did, but this didn’t work as the lock nut had a collar… YouTube then told me to die grind off the collar then smash a socket on with many entertaining comments from frustrated people who had taken the 1st found advice and now had a socket stuck over the collar of the lock nut. Like me… I tried all sorts of levers, prybars, mole grips, yells and tears, but in the end I drilled into the socket so I could put a bar in for better purchase for levering it off. 24mm socket - still usable, but a little battle damaged.

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Now I could die grind the collar off and smash on another socket

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Success. It took half a day, but I got a wheel off! Now I could start the job I’d intended to start hours before. Swapping the pump was easy in itself, especially in that I did zero diagnostic work and just hoped for the best. Thankfully it all worked.

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Heat Shields

While under the car I noticed a couple of the heatshields were dropping. It looked like galvanic corrosion had dissolved the heatshield within the dimensions of the old washers. A couple of mahoosive washers sorted that out.

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Sparkplugs

Finally, having already done the rest of the 10k mile service a few weeks ago, I got around to changing the spark plugs for something new. It only took two attempts as Halfords sold me spark plugs ~10mm longer than what was currently in the engine. I didn’t trust that. Unsurprisingly, the diesel donor car offered no help on my spark plug conundrum, so I went and got a third set from EuroCarParts which were thankfully the same length as the old ones. I fitted them.

 

The Focus is now in fine fettle. I couldn’t quite be bothered to wash or hoover it, even after all of the recent work on it – or maybe it’s because of all the recent work on it. It’s now set for another 10,000 miles of neglect.

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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage
  • 3 weeks later...

Volvo 480 – M270 AAF – Brakes break

The 480 has been my “main Volvo” since I got it, on account of the MOT only lasting until October and the fact that welding (among other things) is needed to keep it on the road. Knowing my experience with it will be limited for a while I wanted to get all the miles in I could. 0 miles according to the broken ODO… but in reality, probably not that many more on account of having nowhere to go in this stupid year.

 The 18 month MOT has now expired and there are a few jobs for me to do before the welding and the new MOT. Hopefully I can get everything done before December in time for a short driving holiday (all things going to plan).

First up, the advisories from 2019! Front and rear pads. Still being available from EuroCarParts, I should have probably done these a few months ago… they were really bad, I’m a bit ashamed. While at it I changed the discs too, they were cheap and made the job 1000% more visually satisfying. Pagid everythings. Below is some before and after shots of front and rear:

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As ever, the right tools made this job ok: an impact driver for removing the rotor retaining screws and a piston wind-back tool for resetting the callipers. The only mistake was not understanding how the handbrake adjustment worked. I’d disconnected the cable pull from the calliper thinking all would be good, but did not adjust back the handbrake adjustment screw in the calliper. This meant the piston wound back ok to start with, then seemed to jam before being fully re-seated. My cheap wind back too started to bend surprisingly easily so I didn’t force it. Instead I took the piston fully out, cleaned it up with wire wool and tried re-seating it again only to get to the same point. The internet finally solved my conundrum and made me feel like a bit of an idiot. All back together now and looking resplendent.

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On 06/09/2020 at 20:56, rob88h said:

Ford Focus – WF08 JMV – HVAC fan.

On this car, I think since we got it, we’ve not had fan speed 1 or 2. It’s annoying but it’s never been annoying enough to start digging into the dashboard because there’s always speed 3 and 4 that work just fine. Also, after some light Googleing and eBaying it didn’t look like the cheapest thing to fix. However, if you have a spare car sitting in your garden that is waiting on scrap collection, then it suddenly becomes more worth it. So, with the momentum of having buttoned up the frontend repairs nicely, I set about fixing the fan control.

I’d read that the problem I was having was symptomatic of a potential switch failure for the HVAC fan control. The most common problem people were having was that only speed 4 would work, and because speed 3 and 4 work it was suggested that it’d be more likely the switch rather than a resistor problem. No worries I have one.

639484416_2020-09-06(13).thumb.jpg.e079880c4f71170582a27048a3b69be9.jpg

Hmm. Still no luck. The “lite” Googleing became a bit deeper and I uncovered that I had been an idiot. I was reading up on the Mk1 Focus. The resistor staging is different on the mk2 Focus and so I was suffering from a broken resistor after all. No worries I have one.

This thing was annoying to change. The picture is taken from inside where the glove box lives once you’ve removed it in its entirety. The resistor is round to the right under the HVAC blower motor round the back of the centre consol.

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Having change that over, it worked, all fan speeds available for the first time in years! A true five-minute novelty. Nice and satisfying.

I had less than all speeds on ToMM© when I got it..... Duff resistor.

Toyyo prices (across the WondrousWeb) bounced around £25 +

I did what anyone with photshop skillz might.... Compared all the bits that have to be there with others, looking similar, but a different casing profile/clip in or slot in.

Honda/Rover200 = perfect [just cut a large slice off the edge] £5 ish.

Impressed with the whole 'salvage auction utoob' swapperama happening here..... Bigg U Up  ;)

 

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Volvo 480 – M270 AAF – ODO oh no.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained right? I’m learning (the hard way) that Volvo 480 electrics are fractious at best, and a true car mojo destroyer at worst. I decided to have a go at reviving the failed odometer and "Info Centre”. On the Info Centre, Temps and the Fuel Gauge worked, but anything that uses mileage to calculate an average was not working. A quick look at the history I got with the car shows that it’s been on at least three different clocks. 0 to 70,000 between 1994 and 2006, 0 to 33,000 between 2006 and 2016 and 119,000 to 121,000 between 2016 and now. So, the real mileage could be around 105,000 miles. Wow, that was boring, even to type, sorry.

The dash had four surviving fixings, so taking that off was a doddle. The 480 forum had a handy tutorial to help me strip things carefully down to the failed odometer cog. The only off-piste section was that in a previous life someone had soldered the Info Centre and Tacho dials to the PCB rather than standard pin connectors, so rather than simply removing, I had to painstakingly de-solder them.

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Bingo, the old cog (green) had turned to wax and lost teeth. Apparently, the replacement one “shouldn’t” do that. I decided not to clock it or anything daft at this point and added on some token mileage to move it on a bit.

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When re-assembling, I re-soldered the Info Centre and Tacho to the PCB (and made some general PCB joint and track repairs while in there), then put everything back together.

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One test mile later and the Odometer is alive! and importantly, most (but not all) things still work.

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Cluster Situation Report

Things that didn’t work that now do:

  • Odometer 
  • Trip meter 
  • Average Fuel Consumption 
  • Average Speed 
  • Distance left in tank

Things that DID work that now don’t:

  • Indicators 😭 (hazards do work, including telltale) 
  • Info Centre illumination/LCD contrast is now really awful. Possibly a result of the heat from the soldering iron? Pretty bummed.
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  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - 440/A4/Focus/Granada/Mini/MX-5
  • rob88h changed the title to Harrison's Garage - 440/Focus/Granada/Mini/MX-5

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