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Dodgy past and current tat (Scimitar, Forrester, P38 etc)

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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!

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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  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.

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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...

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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!

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 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.

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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). 

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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..

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Next up was a Mazda MX3 1.6 so the little  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!

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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! 

 

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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!

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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, 

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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!

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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.

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  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!

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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!

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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.

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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 .

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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!  

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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..

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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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