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Dull thread for idiots: all cars broken all the time.


philibusmo

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10 hours ago, Aston Martin said:

He still has a Y10 that hasn't moved in years. I assume it's the same one.

Wait, he might have 2? ?

There could be hope for it yet!

It was looking like this, last I knew of it after some scrote bent the door back and it was replaced with the white one. Look familiar?

1989 Lancia Y10 GT (Only one left taxed!!)

 

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59 minutes ago, philibusmo said:

There could be hope for it yet!

It was looking like this, last I knew of it after some scrote bent the door back and it was replaced with the white one. Look familiar?

1989 Lancia Y10 GT (Only one left taxed!!)

 

As my name suggests I like em lol. I'm after a y10, or prisma. If anyone can get intouch if it's for sale. Thanks Matt. 

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I miss being furloughed, where is the time going? It's basically August already and I have made precisely zero progress on the Fiesta and am making slow progress on the Alfa Romeo.

I've been nipping about in the Golf and now that it's issues are resolved it's a jolly nice thing to blat about in, fast, comfortable and all the switchgear just feels right. So obviously I'm toying with the idea of selling it, anyone interested?

The Alfa Romeo is being kept for the time being, obviously this is a car where all the switchgear feels almost right, but is quite obviously a bit wrong. I found it's entirely possible to increase the cruise control speed with your left knee if you're not too careful for example.

I've managed to have the time to complete one task on it. The temperature gauge was showing it wasn't getting hot, which I think was also causing it to continually dump all of its boost to avoid killing a cold engine, so I have changed the thermostat.

It's buried down here, on the passenger side of the engine behind various kerjiggers including the inlet pipe. You can just see the green plug for the temp sensor from above.

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It wasn't as bad as it looks to change, two bolts and a rubber seal hold it in place and 4 hose clamps which are easy with the correct pliers. Of course I didn't have my trusty washing up bowl in the right place so coolant poured all over the drive.

It looks a complicated old beast this 20v JTDM lump. (Battery removed for thermostat change purposes)

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I then went to jack it, but the trusty jack that has lifted so many cars on this drive was having none of it. It got it about 2 inches off the ground and then would lift no more. I knew this was a heavy old Hector but I wasn't expecting a 1.5 tonne jack to be so useless when presented with it considering it would lift a 2004 Transit.

I got it up just enough to wedge an axle stand under the drivers subframe mount and it seemed pretty stable so I had a gander underneath. I'd heard about these things rotting out their front subframes and i think I caught this one just in time, all of this could do with a damn good clean up and some paint.

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Gr17 photography skills right there, nice and blurry. 

I went under here to do an oil change but found the sump plug seized solid, as seems to be the norm at the moment. With fuck all space to move and the light fading I left it for the weekend, and then I spotted this. YIKES

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On the other side there are two bolts holding the subframe in place, on the passenger side there is one. I don't know how or where the head of the second bolt went, but I'm very displeased that it's not there.

Plan is to clean up the top and weld a nut to it before taking the remains out, then slapping in a new bolt.

Additionally the aux belt is squealing so a new one, along with a tensioner and idler is on order along with a new drivers side upper wish bone to cure a clonk from that corner.

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7 hours ago, bunglebus said:

That looks deliberate, has someone already had a go at getting a seized bolt out? Good luck removing it (seriously)

I have a feeling it will be a right old war, hopefully the hear of migging on a new bolt head will be enough to break the corrosion that has seized it in place. Even if I just have a new head welded onto the bolt, thats got to be better than nothing for the time being, not that I think the subframe is in any danger of falling off, more that i'm not sure how an MOT tester will feel about it in October. Plus i'd prefer the peace of mind that it's held on by all the bolts it was designed to be held on with.

Unfortunately I also expect I'll have to dig out the inlet manifold at some point. The swirl flaps are meant to be a nuisance on these, along with basically everything else.

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8 hours ago, philibusmo said:

I have a feeling it will be a right old war, hopefully the hear of migging on a new bolt head will be enough to break the corrosion that has seized it in place. Even if I just have a new head welded onto the bolt, thats got to be better than nothing for the time being, not that I think the subframe is in any danger of falling off, more that i'm not sure how an MOT tester will feel about it in October. Plus i'd prefer the peace of mind that it's held on by all the bolts it was designed to be held on with.

Unfortunately I also expect I'll have to dig out the inlet manifold at some point. The swirl flaps are meant to be a nuisance on these, along with basically everything else.

You know I’m never that sure that these swirl flap issues aren’t over-hyped problems spread on owner’s forums. The smaller 1.9 engine is meant to have ‘omfg will explode’ swirl flaps, but when I took mine to my usual mechanic for his opinion (30 odd years in the game) he said he’d never seen one fail on that engine and hadn’t heard of it being a particular issue with it. This was almost echoed by a well known Alfa specialist I took it to, who, in not so many words, basically said it’s put about on Alfa forums by another well known Alfa specialist to generate work. The flaps can stick and give problems, but in the 15 + years they’d been out, he’d only seen one failure and it was clogged with shite from an equally choked EGR valve.

* I accept no responsibility for your grenading flaps 

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This weekend I set to a couple of easy jobs.

First was the pollen filter which was genuinely easy and requires no further discussion.

Second was the oil change which once I'd got the sump plug undone was also easy, had my perfectly positioned bowl not been actually completely incorrectly positioned so that the oil went all over the drive AGAIN.

Third was the upper wishbone on the driver's side which was clonking away merrily over every pump and undulation. I'd read online that this was an easy 30 minute job. I can tell you now that it fucking isn't.

Here's the offending article, post change: IMG_20200802_193745.thumb.jpg.b91ea4887261d705638e40b1825bb956.jpg

Initially the ball joint was a faff to unseat, and then the nut wouldn't unscrew without requiring so much force that the alan key slot in the centre of the ball joint wasn't rounding out, so it  got acquainted with the angle grinder.

Now for the real fun part. Up top are two E18 headed bolts holding in the wishbone. Blocking easy access in the spring and shock absorber. Internet folklore says you can get these out by wiggling around the spring and using the jack under the hub to compress the spring and shift the coils slightly if needed. I'm sure it would be easy if my bolts weren't both seized and already mangled, I suspect by someone trying to do this job before and mushing them up with a 15mm spanner or similar.

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This meant I couldn't get my E18 socket on without hammering it on, but the spring was in the way, and trying an E20 kept slipping off. After multiple attempts with different bars, ratchets, universal joints and swearing, I finally decided to drop the strut. With the top mount nuts released from the strut tower and the long bolt that holds the lower fork to the lower wishbone removed, I could shift it out the way just enough to get an E20 square on the bolts which then with a breaker bar meant I could get them undone. In an ideal world I would she reassembled with new bolts but as I had to be in work 12 hours after finishing this job on Sunday evening that wasn't going to happen. Sorry to whoever may have to change this wishbone again. Reassembly was much easier than removal. 

The aux belt is still squealing, and I think it's getting worse, a new on and along with a tensioner and idler should be along tomorrow assuming Hermes haven't lost it which should fix the problem, then the only moderately pressing problem is cleaning up the subframes, painting and changing the bolt. 

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It’s really similar on 147/156s - easier to just drop the whole strut if it’s being a pain, but you know now ?

Im not sure if the Brera has the same hex headed pinch bolt setup at the bottom of the shock absorber, but if it has just pray you never need to undo the fucker. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

This weekend I finally got round to doing the job I've been putting off for months, taking the screen out and fixing the galloping rot in the scuttle.

With some soapy water in a spray bottle and a set of plastic trim tools the screen popped out surprisingly easily. This was nowhere near as frightening as expected.

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The rot was even worse on the inside of the scuttle than it appeared on top, so the hole ended up being quite large after preparing it for a welded patch.

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This had been repaired before, the other side had rotted much less but had a hole leading into the scuttle which looked like it was pressed into the sheet metal originally. I think that somehow when water manages to get behind the seal it ends up in these corners, and when repaired the drain hole wasn't reinstated so it sat here and has caused this grief ten years down the line. Other side for reference, post grinding back:

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Welding has occured on both sides, a tiny amount over here to reinstate the drain hole to roughly it's original size, and  a new patch on the bad side. This wasn't my best welding ever, it was windy and the wire speed was a bit high but it did penetrate well so an angle grinder with a flapper disc sorted it out nicely.

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That was how it was left last night, ready for the last little smidge of welding on the inner edge and grinding back. Temporary windscreen made from plastic sheeting found in the loft to keep the racoons out.

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After the grinding, last bit of welding and a day of faffing about with filler and rattle cans, this is the finished result.

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It's not perfect but it's good enough to slap the screen back in I think.

For spraying with aerosol cans I highly recommend one of these contraptions, available online fucking everywhere or from Halfords for about six squids.

https://www.matt-pack.co.uk/can-gun-1-aerosol-trigger-spray-c2x24593292

It makes spray cans so much easier to use, with a much more even spray pattern which makes it actually quite difficult to get a run in the paint if you're reasonably careful. Well worth a fiver or so.

Next up is putting the screen back in. I've got some time tomorrow afternoon to squeeze it back in place but also have a quite boozy lunch lined up so the results might not be exactly ideal. Stay tuned for updates.

Just the front wings left to weld now.

To update you on the other cars, the VW is still being a quite nice car but has hardly been used recently. The Alfa is still squealing like a stuck pig after changing the aux belt, tensioner and idler. It turns out that the alternator has a pulley with a clutch on it for some mad reason that probably doesn't warrant the extra complexity, so that needs changing. It's not an expensive part but does need a special tool which is a bit pricey so I'm putting that off for the moment.

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Nice shiney new parts which were no help at all pictures above.

We have however, gone camping in Wales in it. Awful photography but with a windscreen cover, cardboard covers on the windows and the load cover pulled back over us, this was a very comfortable night sleep and easily the most stylish camper on site.

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See you later loosers

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I tip my hat to you, Sir. I only tried to replace the old fashioned windshield (attached to the body by the rubber sealing and not polyurethane/MS glue) once, on one of my my late Unos. It was, indeed, a Sysiphean task. I still remember that when the bloody glass was perfectly aligned on one side/corner, it was sticking out from the rubber on the other. Still gives me creeps.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It turns out I wasn't done, somehow I'd managed to completely ignore a patch of surface rust on each rear arch which when rubbed back left a bit of a mess that needed filler and then paint. Paint is slow, and it's what I've spent most of the past week of warm evenings finishing off after work.

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This morning it got polished and its is now nearly the same colour as the rest  of the car! Huge success.

Then I put the rest of the back end together again. The electrics aren't really working properly back here so I guess I've got a load of paint in my earthing points, but that's a problem for another day.

IMG_20200920_145835.thumb.jpg.990145debf147d9ccd39d1b27fefa5f7.jpg

 

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  • 2 months later...

Long time no see 'ey

An update; Alfa Romeo is gone, Volkswagen Golf has a new MOT (needed new front flexi hoses and a numberplate) and the Fiesta is still exactly as it was left in the last post. 

The front wings have been cleaned back a bit but overall very little has occured on that front since the evenings have drawn in and it's gotten cold and wet.

So what has been happening then? Well I had a couple of days off this week which was useful as the other halfs Mini had started making the most god-awful racket from the timing chain. We'd changed the auxiliary belt tensioner a while ago as that had failed, making a terrible amount of noise, and when he recently told me that it was making noise again I'd put it down to that having failed again and then proceeded to ignore it because it was dark, cold and I couldn't be bothered. It turned out that the oil had mostly escaped, leaving very little for the timing chain, which appeared to have potentially stretched and mangled the guides.

I'd decided to try and fix the chain and the oil leaks at the same time to avoid a reoccurrence. As with almost any job on this car, it started by taking the front off.

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Then after the intercooler, brackets, coil pack and about a million other things were removed, the rocker cover came off for the gaskets to be changed including the ones around the spark plug wells.

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To get to the chain, there is a harmonic balancer held on with a 15mm bolt for the aux belt in the way. This caused an issue as I didn't have a 15mm impact socket or a harmonic balancer puller. A new set of impact sockets was purchased to replace the odd few that have been kicking around the garage but the puller was proving somewhat more difficult get in a hurry. We ended up making one which took a little while to measure up and get right but it did a grand job.

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The timing cover behind this has a big gasket and 2 circular seals on it and a crank seal, none of which are looking too fresh and there is a decent amount of sludge on it, indicating it's already been leaking. Unfortunately I didn't have the foresight to buy these, not realising that they existed before I took it apart. They've now been ordered but won't be here until mid week.

Big pile of parts:

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The chain has one coloured link which lines up with the arrow on the cam sprocket and two coloured links which match up with the two arrows on the crank sprocket.

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it took a fair few rotations to get these to both match up, but having them match is a sure fire indicator that the timing is correct. With the tensioner off, the crank spocket was unbolted and then removed with the chain. The guides were then replaced.

When finding top dead centre part of one of guides fell off and down onto the floor. This seemed to have been extremely close to a huge failure.

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With new guides, tensioner and chain, I turned it over by hand multiple times to make sure that the coloured links lined up with the arrows again, which they did. Everything was torqued back up properly and mostly reassembled.

The sump then came off and contained the remaining parts of the guide:

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Look a crank and oil pickup!

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Anyway, the sump and the block have been cleaned up fully and reassembled with a new gasket to the correct torques, quite a satisfying job, if a bit time consuming cleaning it all.

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This concludes the events of this weekend on this car. It's almost back together, waiting for the last few gaskets to arrive. The aux belt and it's gubbins, the harmonic balancer and the front end all need to be reinstalled.

As this isn't finished and we both need a car for work on Monday, this morning I went and bought this:

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It is a car. 

1.3, fairly nippy and on the drive back from Minehead to Tiverton over Exmoor it was surprisingly entertaining to pilot in the way a basic hatchback can be.

MOT until August and has clearly been loved and cared for by its previous owners to me who had it for 12 years, not bad value at £350.

I've already ruined it's originality by swapping the original steels and trims for some MK1 MR2 teardrop alloys with good quality winter tyres that have been sat in a hedge in the garden for the last 9 months. The original fronts were nearly bald ditch finders  so I think its fair swap really, and they'll stay with the car.

My brother has already spotted it and has dibs when I'm done with it in a week or two to replace his Mazda Demio, so expect to see that for sale soon, if anyone wants to relive the Sunday Cup from Gran Turismo but for real.

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Corolla looks GR9. Was going to say "dibs" but seeing as I've been beaten to it then maybe the Demio? If not for me then I know someone else whose Honda Jazz has just blown up so it might suit...

I keep seeing a suspiciously familiar looking black Alfa estate around Cowley Moor... was wondering if it was your other half driving it... maybe not if you've sold it.

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  • philibusmo changed the title to Dull thread for idiots, plus various motoring antics. - Mini timing chain
  • 1 month later...

For the two or three of you who actually read this, I have another update!

The new chain and guides on the Mini worked a treat, the engine is super smooth again, and the new gaskets seem to be keeping the oil in which is a double bonus.

With the Mini fixed, my brother took on the Corolla and I took his Demio in part exchange, which some of you may remember was for sale on here.  I agreed to fit a new thermostat to the Corolla and aux belts as they were squealing. Both were nice easy jobs, and took an hour and a bit including filling the cooling system with fresh coolant and bleeding it.

The Demio didn't take long to sell. It was useful enough and has been around for a good eight years or so but I've just never taken to it. Hopefully the new owner from RetroRides loves it.

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I took my final weeks holiday in mid December to try and get the last of the work on the Fiesta done. 

The day before the neighbors daughter appeared with a misfiring 1.4 Mk6 Fiesta which after a little diagnosis the old fashioned way (as my diagnostics laptop has gone and fucking died) I decided the coil pack was shot to pieces as the spark on cylinder 4 was pathetic. A new one was procured and slapped into place and the car was returned for a £10 fee and some beers, ideal.

With that done I managed to get one wing nicely welded up, which with a skim of filler should look pretty good I think.  It's since been painted to give it some protection, waiting for the better weather to be fitted and painted properly.

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With one wing done, I'd finished painting them in the morning, was having some lunch when I got a call from the owner of my gym to inform me that someone we know and had been in brief contact with has Covid and we'd need to self isolate for 10 days.  As we live with someone who is shielding that pretty much meant hiding in our bedroom for 10 days, pretending not to exist and disinfecting every surface if we did have to leave the room. Amazing bit of holiday that. I went back to work, only missing one day and with nothing else done to the Fiesta. Spiffing.

Just as self isolation was ending I got a call from my brother to say the Corolla was in Asda car park and wouldn't turn the starter, so could I go get him. I let home know that I couldn't, tried to get him to hit the starter with the jack (to no avail, as it turns out he was wellying the clutch slave cylinder) and he waiting a few hours for the RAC who diagnosed that there was no power to the starter but couldn't find why and recovered him. The next day I had a look at it. The negative lead had fallen off the starter solenoid, 10 minutes later it was back in place and squeezed on tight.

A couple of days later it was Christmas, which meant that the Mini was getting some new shock absorbers. The MOT was due on the 19th January, and the previous MOT had advisories for rusty rear shock casings, and in the adventures taking the front off repeatedly I'd noticed that the left front shock was very wet and manky where all the oil had leaked out of it.

I've got no great pictures of the process bit here is all the junk that came off in varying states of disrepair:

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The top mounts were groaning during low speed manoeuvres so they were changed too. And the drivers side track rod end and lower ball joint had split boots and play in the joints so they were changed too. As predicted all but the drivers front shock was shot, and the new Bilstein B4s are a huge improvement.

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During removal of the drivers front shock, removing the lower ball joint allowed the shock to push the hub away from the gearbox and pulled the driveshaft out of the stub in the gearbox, ripping the CV boot in the process. As it has already taken itself apart I decided a new proper boot was in order as the cheapo ones that stick together around the drive shaft are DOG WANK. This happened late on the Saturday the 2nd, and nowhere was open, luckily there is a daily competent Euro Car Parts 30 minute away and I was able to do a click and collect for a new one the next morning.  We set off and collected the part, easy, but then as we turned off the motorway the Golf (Yes I was still driving the Golf) threw up a low oil pressure warning and said in a very stern German way to stop the engine. I managed to reach a safe spot and the engine had just started to rattle slightly as I turned and pulled in. Bollocks. One car in pieces, another broken and I still had to get to work the next day.

My brother was called to rescue us in the Corolla and the VW was left to think about what it had done.

Back at the Mini and it all went together smoothly, with just a bit of hassle getting the bearings back onto the gearbox end of the shaft and the circlip back in place.

With the tracking put back roughly using a string line we had one car back in action and I called the RAC to pickup the Golf, letting them know that it was 100% not a roadside fix and I was safe and warm and the car was in a safe spot. Five and a half hours later I went out to meet the RAC recovery bloke and 10 minutes later it was uncerimoniously  dumped back on the drive.

In what was possibly a stroke of luck, in the time the boyfriend got a call from his work to let him know that with Covid being back on the rise the office would remain closed, which meant I could use the Mini to get to work and back. The following day the latest lockdown was announced and he got a second call from his work to let him know he was being let go immediately (having only been in that job for just under 3 months) and then the next day, having signed up with a local agency he suddenly had work again starting Thursday so we had to have two working cars again.

Tuesday evening I looked at a Fiat Panda being sold by an eastern European car wash that had a clutch life measurable in meters. Unimpressed with that I went back to Gumtree and found a BMW E46 320td Compact locally which looked like a not too bad bet. A viewing was arranged for 7:30 the next day before work as he wasn't available in the evening.

I drove to work on Wednesday in my new BMW.

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It has its faults, the drivers window wouldn't open, fuel gauge shows empty all the time, rear wiper and parking sensors don't work but its been owned in one family since it was a couple of years old, is clean and tidy all round (only a little rash of small bubbles at the top of the drivers wing) and had MOT until December 2021, result.

That weekend I pulled the sump off the Golf to look for anything obviously wrong as I thought it unlikely that the oil pump had broken or its seperate chain drive had snapped. Plenty of oil was in it, and the filter looked clean. With the sump dropped, the issue became clearer, the mesh filter in the pickup was completely blocked with crud.

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The bottom of the sump had sludge and lumps of burnt oil scattered all through the remaining oil, and lumps of spot stuck above the oil line on the sump. I guess that this is a common fault with this VAG 2.0 FSI engine but was till surprising given the immaculate service history of the car.

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With it cleaned out and the mating surfaces cleaned of old sealant, new gasket compound was applied and the sump was put back in position and tightened back up in the correct pattern. 

TOP TIP: if you even have to do one of these, the bolts up next to the gearbox are a fucking pain the ass. Put some bluetack in your socket to hold the bolt and stop it falling down inside the bell housing. They're easy to retrieve if you do, but you'll have to pull the sump back of and redo your sump gasket compound like I had to fucking TWICE.

I left it overnight to cure, filled it up with oil the next morning and put in a new filter, fired it up and it ran perfectly. Mended.

As I'd had to swap the Golf's insurance onto the BMW and the BMW appeared to be doing about 15mpg more than the VW, it was decided to sell the Golf, despite it being the much more fun and likable car. It was gone 25 hours after first being advertised to the general public at full asking price. Bye bye Golf GTI, possibly the nicest car I've ever owned.

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The Golf sold last Monday evening. On the Wednesday the Mini went for its MOT which it passed - advisories on the front tyres being shit, which must have been close to a fail, new tyres are on the way.

This weekend I started on a couple of jobs on the BMW, first the drivers window. On removing the door card it became obvious that a cable had snapped but the motor was still working. I ordered a pattern part which wasn't quite right (because they never fucking are) I think it might be for a left hand drive car, but as the compact has different window regulators to the other E46s and they're a bit few and far between, I made a correct one out of the new one and my broken one. The window now works perfectly making it much easier to buy nuggets from a drive through without having to reverse through.

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The airbag in the door with TAKARTA written on it made faffing about a bit more exciting, half expecting it to suddenly blow and take my head clean off. 

IMG_20210116_132110468.thumb.jpg.85bab8d5ff0d5f0e2ffa10a18a661616.jpg

Next up, the fuel gauge.

A self test of the dial cluster shows the gauge to be operational - I'll upload a video shortly as it's pretty flipping snazzy.

This has two fuel level sensors, one on either side and takes the average from both, another self test which shows the amount of fuel it thinks it has in litres on the odometer showed zero, indicating to me that at least one sensor is faulty.

I pulled out the back seat squab and checked resistance on the drivers side sensor (attached to the pump) and it gave a reading of 334 ohms which seems pretty healthy to me for what I think should be at least 3/4 of a tank.

IMG_20210117_141944147.thumb.jpg.1e4adb2465f7193bd79ef9a41f8d825c.jpg

IMG_20210117_141950835_MP.thumb.jpg.569af25bb08bacea287ab98d0f186be4.jpg

The other side wouldn't give a reading, showing an open circuit across the two pins. Bingo.

I started pulling it out to see if I could clean it or fix it. From what I could see it looked clean enough but there was extra gubbins attached to the fuel return line into the tank which wouldn't let me pull it out entirely. As it was starting to go dark and I need to car for the commute tomorrow morning, I decided to leave it be for the moment and have another go next weekend, but I think I have the culprit.

More thrilling* adventures coming soon.

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  • philibusmo changed the title to Dull thread for idiots: all cars broken all the time.

busy busy busy... I like the Compact. Slightly surprised you found the Golf more likeable. Saying that my Mk 4 GTI was also the nicest car I've ever owned... and similarly more likeable than some nice old beemers that preceded it.

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6 minutes ago, marm said:

busy busy busy... I like the Compact. Slightly surprised you found the Golf more likeable. Saying that my Mk 4 GTI was also the nicest car I've ever owned... and similarly more likeable than some nice old beemers that preceded it.

I think it's mostly that the seats in the Golf were mega comfy, and tartan. This BMW is surprisingly quick (an M47 engine like a Rover 75 and multiple other BMWs) bit not quite as speedy and sure footed as the Golf was, but that was to be expected really.

Really the fuel savings should outweigh the speed and seats.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/3/2021 at 10:49 AM, Charlie Norton said:

@philibusmothat exact 156 was my dads old one. Any clue where it has gone or any more photos? Thanks 

The 156 left my possession quite some time ago, 2013 I think. I'd spent quite a bit of time fixing it up, did a cam belt change and ended up replacing multiple suspension components. It still had an annoying clunk over certain bumps that I couldn't find the cause for, which I now thing was one of the front ARB bushes under the sub frame.

Petrol got particularly expensive and so I sold it to buy a 106 diesel. It went to a guy in Exeter, nice enough guy but I don't think the car lasted much longer, I don't think it made it through its next MOT which was a shame as it was an exceedingly nice car.

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  • 4 months later...
On 5/14/2020 at 10:48 PM, philibusmo said:

Now how does it stack up against its rivals in the 90s low to mid ranking reps saloon or estate car  (that I happen to have had at some point) showdown?

Audi A4 1.8 20v

This one was an Auto so it was slow, but having also had a manual 1.8t quattro and a 1.9TDI along with an auto V6 I can confirm that I like these. The suspension is a pain to work on but they feel solid, handle very predictably, easy to drive and the interiors are just nice places to be. A step above the Laguna when new and feels it.

IMG_20181031_105341.thumb.jpg.532e1c8ee4e0001be9ca9318e9ac4db2.jpg

Vauxhall/Holden Vectra 2.2

Miserable. Not nice to drive, and felt cheaply made and designed in all the ways that makes driving a car every day unpleasant. The auto box wasn't bad and it drove for 3 hours with a leaking coolant pipe fixed* with eggs and pepper but that does not excuse it.

IMG_20181126_162944108_HDR.thumb.jpg.d703d5856b65bd17c972d9fc7e6eb6a5.jpg

Mitsubishi Legnum 1.8 GDI

Looked pretty good, awful in every other way. In my experience the GDI engine is an absolute dog and Mitsubishis in general have all of the dullness of other Japanese makes with none of the reliability. The auto box was the most hopeless I've ever encountered.

IMG_20181015_092424.thumb.jpg.126bafed1aabaccbfeae1a832c4a8c05.jpg

Nissan Primera 2.0 Hyper CVT

Once you get over the weird CVT box, a Primera is an entertaining steer. Seem to be well made and even though the interior is dull, it is comfy. Recommended, although I did not enjoy fitting a lower suspension arm.IMG_20181005_151008.thumb.jpg.a7e02dc193a573bc9b84c98c79f3aa6c.jpg

Volvo S40 1.8

Comfy, quite quick and an overall pleasant car which I can remember very little about.

IMG_20170405_125900245.thumb.jpg.87e9e77a0505173961a9547c51c698f0.jpg

Ford Mondeo 2.0 Zetec

A good example could be very nice. This was not a good example. The fuel gauge read backwards and I ran out of fuel on the petrol station forecourt when I realised what was going on. Despite its state it felt like it had the bones of a good car. A nice one is probably a better car than a Laguna.IMG_20161029_083919320.thumb.jpg.7485ce566efee4b9ec6ebafefafde637.jpg

Toyota Caldina 1.8GT

I'm pretty sure a duller version was the Avensis estate in the UK. Dependable and not a bad steer but quite uninspiring to drive. If they come with the JDM mats then they are very plush with all sorts of fun patterns.

IMG_20160908_065804280.thumb.jpg.5104573084200952419de128f0f8b40f.jpg

Alfa Romeo 156 2.0TS

My pick of the bunch, I know it's a bit newer, more expensive when new and has a well known selection of foibles but this is easily the car that gave me the most enjoyment and I bonded with most of the group. Get a good well serviced one with quiet suspension and you're a winner.  I prefered the 2.0 to the V6, it felt overall the nicer car to drive, plus the oil filter was much easier to change.

FB_IMG_1577870257665.thumb.jpg.e823d9b42e83e59aae1f99387051cc72.jpg

I'm sure I've had other potential Laguna rivals, but quite frankly I can't be arsed to think of what they are and find photos right now.

So to sum up, buy an Alfa Romeo 156, unless I come to sell my Laguna in which case it's a superb car in every way and you should definitely buy 

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On 3/9/2021 at 7:27 AM, philibusmo said:

The 156 left my possession quite some time ago, 2013 I think. I'd spent quite a bit of time fixing it up, did a cam belt change and ended up replacing multiple suspension components. It still had an annoying clunk over certain bumps that I couldn't find the cause for, which I now thing was one of the front ARB bushes under the sub frame.

Petrol got particularly expensive and so I sold it to buy a 106 diesel. It went to a guy in Exeter, nice enough guy but I don't think the car lasted much longer, I don't think it made it through its next MOT which was a shame as it was an exceedingly nice car.

Thanks, a shame lots of these cars got scrapped as they were very good cars once certain things were sorted on them. This one started the family Alfa bug leading to a 159, giulia and by next year stelvio & mito too. Cheers for the help 

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