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Dodgy past and current tat (P38 Range Rover back on the road).

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Afternoon all, I am having a lazy Saturday and trying to motivate my self to get on with some out standing jobs. Its not working so I thought as I am new here I would start a thread on my car history instead..

I started driving around 94-95 (properly on the road as opposed to driving my Dad's car around a campsite). First car was a beige 1980 mini 1000HL with added spot lights and a sticker for a front number plate.

Which met its end when I had a slight head on with a Renault Espace!



Next was another mini, same year, actually same model but modified by a previous owner, upgraded to cooper disc brakes, stage one kit on the engine (mainly just manifolds up graded) plus cunningly lowered suspension to hide the fact one of the bottom arms had pretty much seized! Got fed up with this car due to various issues.


At the point I replaced the mini it was mid to late Nineties, pretty much the height of the Max Power craze, so as an act of rebellion I bought a custard yellow 1974 MGBGT. Now although not part of the Max scene I didn't fit in with the genteel MG set either. 


My BGT was rather rough with lots of hidden rust and pretty much driven flat out everywere, it was fun and frustrating (especially when I discovered it was way too cramped to get really  errm intimate with the girl friend, (so that's why the boy racers went for hatch backs with big back seats!) also lots of breakdowns as well as that issue...


I decided on a change from old English cars to something rather different, also I wanted more POWER! Being a glutton for punishment I found a 1990 Alfa Romeo 164 V6 Lusso in the classifieds, it was the 3ltr manual model with about 190bhp, quite a jump from a 90-ish (on a good day) bhp MG. This car was also driven a bit too enthusiastically and after about 3 months I managed to roll it into a field and wrote it off. I was lucky not to have been seriously hurt.


Next car was an Opel Manta GTE hatch, bought cheap it was genuinely rather good fun but sadly the engine started smoking after about 3 months, I didn't have the facilitys or experience at the time to sort the issue, so I changed it for a ropey Sierra.


The Sierra was a mistake, this particular one had been someones pet project and sounded interesting, it had a 2 ltr pinto running a carb, keep fit steering and shiney alloys. What I didn't realise at the time was that there was a good reason Sierras should have  PAS, The manual rack in a Sierra is hopeless, a million turns lock to lock, not much feel and too heavy. The carb'ed Pinto never really ran properly either and the wheels seemed to have an incurable balance issue.


Fortunately another Alfa 164 poped up in the Autotrader classifieds and I was back in a 3ltr Italian barge,  this one seemed quite tired but I kept it for about a year eventually it developed one issue too many and sold it on. 


  To replace the Alfa I decided I needed something that went okay and handled well but was oldish and within my usual lowish budget. I ended up wit a 1985 Porsche 944 Lux. This I ended up keeping for a good 6 years, it was about the same time I discovered the EVO forum (Now gone) and it ended up being driven on Evo meets in Wales and one in Scotland and multiple track days. I slowly modified it during my owner ship, fitting a quicker steering rack, different dampers and anti roll bars.


I eventually sold it when it failed an MOT just at the wrong moment, I had a driving holiday in Cornwall planned with the then girl friend and couldn't afford to fix it so I sold it and bought a crap MK2 VW Golf driver - It was really cheap.

That brings things up to 2005 ish - more to come....




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Part 2. Maybe I am being a bit harsh regarding the Golf but after the Alfas and the Porsche i was slowly, charmless and way too sensible...



So I found a BMW E28 528i in the small ads for £250, it was crusty, the battery wouldn't hold its charge and it leaked coolant but it had soul! I got it home, sorted out a new water pump and battery, she was good to rock.

The Golf was sold on to some real VW enthusiasts I would occasionally see it out and aout looking more "scene " each time, poor thing!



 managed one car meet and a trip to Belgium in it and then the gearbox cried enough. With a bit of help from a BMW form I sourced another gearbox and fitted it. This lasted a while then I was made redundant and the Bemm didn't seem very sensible when trying to save money. So as soon as I got back on my feet, I found a Citroen ZX .9 TD spectrum for a few pennies but this time I kept the previous car and stuck it on a classic policy.



The Citroen was an excellent little car, not too slow, went round corners keenly and the only down sides were electrical gremlins. It had a chaffed wire behind the radio which made it blow tail lights, took a while to figure that one out! The starter and ignition switch failed at one point but it soldiered on gamely until it eventually developed a real death rattle and sadly ended up in the scrap yard. Considering how rare they now seem to be, I feel quite bad about that.

The Citroen's replacement was a Toyota Celica GT, this was another cheap-ish purchase. The exhaust fell off fairly quickly into my ownership, which wasn't the best start, then one day I decided to change the cambelt. I thought I had it spot on, took it for a test drive and found that it wouldn't idle. I assumed that I had cocked it up so stripped it out and tried again. What a pig of a job! I was never happy with it after that so I sold it on to an enthusiastic mechanic (I did give him chapter and verse about what I  had done). 



I had also been keeping an eye out for another project car (I already had my work cut out with the BMW but never mind!) and had turned up a Reliant Scimitar for a princely £450, it was partly assembled and I got it home on the back of a rented beaver tail. I still have this so I will go ito more detail later..




Next up was a Mazda MX3 1.6 so the little 4 cylinder not the bonkers V6, I never really gelled with this one couldn't really get comfortable in it, which is odd as I am pretty average height and build? One find sunny day I went to replace a worn out front wishbone on it and managed to destroy the thread of a captive nut in the front subframe, I had it towed away for scrap at that point! I cant even find a picture of this one...

At this point I had my fill of unreliable Japanese cars so  went and bought the ropiest saddest Alfa 156 I could find!


That was its best angle, it was scratched and dented to hell and the rear bumper was cable tied together. On the test drive I hadn't noticed the engine rattle (it was a 2 ltr twin spark and shouldn't really rattle!). I think it ha that sad puppy dog thing going on- if I didn't rescue it -it would be put down! Any way I cleaned it up the best I could and even fitted new big ends to it (on my drive with the engine in situ, wasnt going to pay to have that done). It eventually reward me by having its off side rear suspension partially collapse damaging a tyre on the way to work. By this time the engine was rattling again and I had enough - off to the scrappies it went.

More in part 3! 



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Part 3! 

The Alfas demise wasn't great timing as the BMW was struggling or to be more specific its 2nd gearbox was starting to make horrible noises. The flange on the end of the box physically broke, so I replaced that but then the box itself started to fail. At this point I spent a lot of time borrowing my better half's Subaru Forrester. I eventually got fed up with the BMW and ended up selling it to a t/film priduction company who were allegedly going o use it as a static prop. Some mention of it being shot at/possibly blown up ....Gulp! Well I guess its a good send off!

Actually we need to rewind a bit because before the MX3 went (I forgot the timing of this !) I ended up with another project. On Piston Heads there was a post about a MGBGT going for free, it jut needed collecting from an  Airfield were it had been left when by the owner who had gone to live down under. in a nut shell the airfield operators had got fed up with the car taking up a spot they could rent out and had issued an ultimatum to the owner.  Not wanting it scrapped I think the owner initially tried to sell it but then offered it free of charge. I couldn't resist! 




It is a 76 so somebody has coverted it to chrome bumpers having said that they would have been better servered actually rust proofing the thing, lots of rust in the usual and unusual places. This is a very long term occasional project, which I am currently on the drivers side sill and floor pan, projected finish date about 2050! 


Anyway back to daily drivers, next proper car was an MX5 NB 1.8, not bad little car, currently relegated to summer use only as the roof leaks and it likes to grow mould in the winter. Also I stuggle the slight issue that you sit with your head at headlight level so durig thne winter its blinding!



We are nearly up to the present day... In 2018 my better half, got fed up with her Forester mainly because the angle of the clutch pedal really did a number on her leg/ankle. Not wanting to lose access to such a useful motor, I bought it off her. Which saved me running the MX5 in winter making my eye balls a lot happier.

The Forester is a boggo 1998 2 ltr manual but it does have such niceties as heated seats and a cup holder which pops out of the dashboard! Actually another unusual feature it has is that although it lacks serious ground clearance it has a low range box, 



Lastly and most recently I have obtained another free car! The Father in law was getting fed up with his P38 Range Rover, he didn't use it much and it kept imobilsing itself and was problematic so like a gullible idiot I decided to give it a new home. Sight snag the Range Rover was living in Stoke, I live on the Hampshire/ Berkshire border. So did the P38 Make the long drive home, ....kinda... the alternator failed about 70 miles in, foolishly seeing all the waring lights come up including one or the air suspension I stopped at the nearest services and called the AA.

Turns out I probably would have made had I not turned it off and just kept going (the suspension had not dropped). The patrol man stuck a spare battery on it and got it going again so I then limped it home with a yellow van of shame bringing up the rear!



Its now fixed running and Sorn cause I don't really need during the summer especially as I was Furloughed.

Most recently of all not a new car but going back to the Scimitar which was bought about 5 -6 years ago has finally hit the road, mind you briefly, getting it to run correctly and working through its issues is rather time consuming.


  So that's my car history it gets convoluted at times. I trust you have been taking notes because I will be setting a quiz later! 



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I am feeling bad that I posted about the actually quite rare MX3 and couldn't find a picture, well after doing some digging and finding my old photobucket account... behold the hateful 3 in all its coupe glory!







Never did get to try  V6 model the MX3 was an odd car, quite attractive but not comfy, drove reasonably well the little 1.6 four cylinder was similar to the unit in the MX5 and rev'ed freely even if it didn,t make much power.

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Welcome aboard.  That's a true Shite history there.  Your E28 looks just like the one I had (briefly) in 2002.  I couldn't get on with it, it didn't have anywhere near enough character.  I replaced it with a 1978 Daimler Sovereign...

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Thanks for he welcome. 

I thought I would try and do a potted history of my Scimitar Project, I purchased the car in 2013 as a nearly complete vehicle, body was attached to chassis, drive train was in place, doors off, coolant system apart, seats loose. It didn't look to complicated. I thought I would have it together and on the road in a few months!

Funky dashboard!



Once I got it home and started prodding, managed to fire up the engine fairly soon after, felt like I was progressing! Then I made some interesting discoveries, t the mounting points for front seat belts were rotten.


These basically join the chassis to the steel roll over loop in the body (behind the front seats}. After investigating the options and discovering more chassis rot. I decided to lift the body off. Which is a ad involved, not elped y the fact that a Scimitars fibreglass body is far from light weight.

I bought a secondhand MIG welder and made up some framework to support the car, spent what felt like weeks finding all the crusty old body bolts and cutting them out. Eventually with the use of n engine hoist and a friend got the body off .




This obviously slowed things down a lot. I found  other issues one of the tubular exhaust manifolds had snapped off at a join, On unbolting the manifold a bolt snapped in one of the heads. So after trying to drill out the bolt and failing I  ended up taking the head off and getting a specialist to drill it out. Things started to snowball, I had issue with the front ad rear hub studs which span when you tried to tighten wheel bolts. Repairing the front hub one was easy, the rear hub not so much!

I decided to completely strip  of drive line parts the chassis for ease of cleaning and welding.  Eventually I started getting it put back together, chassis first then dug my frame work out and re fitted the body.





Then I gained a pop up garage! This made working on the thing much more pleasant. As I put more of  it back together it became apparent that  mould had really take a hold the headlining and carpets, so much so I gave up ceaning it off and binned them.. (It still doesn't have either and is a tad noisey!! Also it became obvious that it wasn't quite complete, i had to replace various missing bits like headlamp bowls cooling system parts etc. At times it felt like a massive jigsaw puzzle, my Scimitar manual was vaguely helpful but more often than not advice for the Scimitar owners forum proved invaluable.

Lat last year it really started to come back together and finally over the lockdown period this year I finally got it on the road, rather taking advantage of the 40 year MOT exemption and free tax thing! I do intend to get it MOT'ed.

Currently its back off the road, I tried to adjust the distributor and set the timing with a strobe only to find the dizzy has seized in place and wont budge, so it will be off with the sump again (I replaced the oil pump two weeks ago due to low pressure at warm idle!) and tap it out from below, oh joy!



Cant believe its taken the best part of seven years to get it sort of on the road!



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Thanks Eyersey, the Scoob is a great all rounder, I like it a lot.

This morning I tackled the first part of the job to remove the stuck dizzy on the Scimitar.

I spent quite a while looking at the underneath of the car this morning, thought I would share!  



Once I had unbolted and removed the oil pump I could then tap out the distributor using a rod I had cobbled together and a large hammer to motivate things..

It came out fairly easily, looks a tad manky..


Just a case of cleaning everything up and re fitting, then finally re setting the timing properly, hopefully get that done tomorrow if the new sump gasket arrives.

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Bit of a Scim up date. The distributor cleaned up and was re fitted, timing now set reasonably well. After a bit more running I decided to get the car back in the air to check for a check and a prod.

Slight disaster I lifted the rear by jacking on the diff, I didn't appreciate how oily the diff had become ....... Crunch!

The car fell off the jack and landed on one of the axle stands which helpfully demonstrated how breakable fiberglass can be.....


Well bollocks! I didn't really want additional speed holes in the sill. So thats another job to do, I don't really enjoy glass fiber repairing.

Anyway the main reason I was getting the car off the ground was to check the  oil level in the diff, sort out an oil leak on the sump and try and find were the drivers side manifold is blowing. Well predictably the diff's oil level was low and its clearly leaking and its rather loud on the move. Above 60mph its horrible. Looks like an axle rebuild will be on the cards in the near future, oh joy!

The sump leak turned out to be that the sump plug just wasn't tight enough - nice easy fix.

The exhaust is another matter. The manifold is leaking were the pipes from the three branches join but its some were in the middle,



See the dirty patch between the branches



I am going to have to quiz some people I know to find out if this is fixable. Finding another 3 branch manifold that fits an SE6 isn't that easy as its not standard fit. 

All in all not great but at least the list of required repairs is short-ish. 


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4 hours ago, Marina door handles said:

Thanks for the welcome, does your MX5 have the optional rain holes in the roof like mine does?!

Haha!! If it does, they’ve been well hidden. I did buy a hard top not long after picking it up just to be on the safe side though

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Decided to repair the damage I had caused.


Firstly clean the area..



Then attempt to repair with structural  tracing paper!


Had an attack of common sense and realised that tracing paper probably wont survive  speeds of over 10 mph


So bit the bullet and dug out the smelly glass fibre kit. This is only a first layer, not the easiest thing to do as gravity is not on your side. I had to pin it in place with some cardboard wrapped in cling film.

This was both taped in place and jammed against the car with a large box. Later today I will probably do a bit more weather permitting.



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Yesterday I got the manifold back, it looks better....



Sadly after fitting it and firing the car up, the exhaust leak is still there ....Bugger!

Looks like I will have to ring the usual suspects and try and get a replacement.

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After Saturdays disapointment, I decided to have another look at the offending manifold. Were its blowing from is still obvious yet a bit inaccessible but I thought what if you dribbled a sticky substance into the crack (oooh errr) and fill it in?

Yes I decided to bodge it with gun gum, I took the manifold back off, and carefully drizzled the cowboy mechanics favourite sauce into the afflicted area. Then I made the gun gum set using my blow torch (didnt want it dribbling back out before fitting to the car).

Once re fitted, I tested the exhaust, no leaks! I even took it for a bit of a run and all seems good. 


Does anyone want to draw lots on how long this fix will last?! 

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Nice introductory thread. You've had some cool stuff - particularly like the big Alfas - but mainly, I love your house! Let's see some more of that, if that doesn't sound too creepy. Is it an old farmhouse?

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Nah not creepy at all really !The house is a mill house, its attached to a derelict water mill. The mill building was built in the early 1800s and is a replacement for an earlier mill. The house was  an add on built later in about 1850, so its a classic or possibly veteran building! 


I will pop some pictures up later when I have got my lap top charged up.

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A little house porn, here's a side view with some rotary  washing line action ...


The mill was converted to run on a steam engine in the early 1900s and went from flour production to grinding animal feed, Eventually going out of use in the Fifties. Behold the might chimney of diss-use...


The house and mill are grade 2 listed, so it has single glazed sash windows that are properly drafty, no two internal doors are the same size. The up stairs floor is a little wonky particularly noticeable on the landing.

It comes with free range mice, we have a cat but she is no match for their cunning. We like to tell the locals its haunted to keep them away!


We only rent the place,  I doubt the Landlord will ever sell it but in the next few months it may be back on the rental market as my better half has landed herself a rather decent new job in the Warrington area so we are currently house hunting, trying to find places with space for  6 cars and a small motorbike is proving tricky. We have lived here since 2011 I will miss it!


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Nice tat history there. I had to take both my scimitars off the road for same reason as yours; only discovered the first one was like it after a british gas van ploughed into the back of it and took it off road to restore or break. Broke it, bought another which turned out to be worse!

Nice pad as well!

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Today I are be mostly tinkering with the Range Rover! I have re taxed it after a 3 month lay up as it just seemed a shame having it sat there looking all forlorn.

Firstly checked under the bonnet in case the engine had gone walkies...


What a surprise it still in their.......

Then I decided to change the axle/diff oils as I had no idea when they had last been changed. The front diff put up a fight, I just could not get the drain plug out. Having nearly fallen at the first hurdle my better half pointed out that I should just use the massive syringe that I had bought (for filling the diff) to suck out the old oil. Why hadn't I thought of that? Any way its messy but it works...


Thankfully the rear axle was a it more straight forward, apart from finding my 4 litre bottle of oil was slightly border line for completely filling two axles which only have a combined capacity of 3.8 litres? 

After that I took it for a test drive, all seems well, I do like a high driving position, its so nice to be able to nose over peoples hedges and checkout the size of their trampolines! 


Look some bastards put the wheel upside down ..Arrrrgh! 

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