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Marm's fleet report: Dailying a cheap MGF.


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Caddy has gone to the local VW specialist for a good service (including cam belt and water pump). It deserves it. He's a "fine tooth comb" sort of a guy so I'm relieved that he hasn't found all that much wrong with it, but it's going to be an impressive bill. Fuck it, I'll just have to keep it for a while.

My last mechanic would typically have  changed the oil and filters, checked the pads and fluid levels, and called it a day. If I'd really pushed he'd have a quick look at the cam belt, declare it as looking like "brand new" and send me off on my way.

CR-V is soggy inside and has been for a while. It doesn't get used enough to properly dry out, and it's shaded from the sun  for most of the day outside our house. Thinking about putting an electric heater in it for a day or two, what do you reckon?

 

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Oh well.

While it was away getting ready to cost me money I managed to pretty much dry out the CR-V. Put an electric radiator in it for a couple of days and then drove it to work and back with the heating on full and the aircon on. The internet said this was a good idea. It made my eyes hurt and the aircon was making some funny noises by the time I got home (and even after I had turned it off) but it seemed to work.

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: Damp Honda

The good news is that the Caddy has been improved immeasurably by the spends and TLC. Also I just had a check under the bonnet and there is lots of clean new stuff under there so I didn't only get writing. Tyres and ICE are always money well spent IMO, good audio and rubber is the main thing that you get in a new car and miss in an old one.

Less pleasing but at least not all that unfamiliar is the puddle of rain water that greeted me in the CRV this morning. Having done zero research on the subject my plan is to remove the plastic scuttle cover and check for blocked drain holes. Unless anyone's got any better ideas?

 

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Working from home today - site closed due to high winds. Managed to get the kids back into school this morning (I am a key worker) so it's beautifully peaceful here for a change.

Obviously I want to go and fiddle with the vehicles... but...

...instead what about buying a brand new carburettor for the Nighthawk off eBay?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/122368839386

What do you all reckon? Not sure it's even the right one (I'll have a look in a bit) but I'm itching to get out on two wheels and struggling to find the time and motivation for a carb rebuild. Especially as the existing carb has obviously chewed up screws etc. from the previous owners servicing attempts...

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: new carb for Nighthawk?

response. from russian seller: "this carburetor similar but without acceleretion pump, heating, flange for installing.\
Some customers replace carburetor and happy, but need rubber flange"

I think maybe not a goer given the cost...

Plan b would be to chuck a secondhand one on to buy some time while I overhaul the original. Might end up being more hassle in the long run, but might be useful for spares...?

Not many turn up, this doesn't look brilliant, but...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265059708346

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: the sweet smell of Hammerite again.
On 23/02/2021 at 11:44, marm said:

response. from russian seller: "this carburetor similar but without acceleretion pump, heating, flange for installing.\
Some customers replace carburetor and happy, but need rubber flange"

I think maybe not a goer given the cost...

Plan b would be to chuck a secondhand one on to buy some time while I overhaul the original. Might end up being more hassle in the long run, but might be useful for spares...?

Not many turn up, this doesn't look brilliant, but...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265059708346

Have you tried aliexpress for a Chinese clone? probably not as good as genuine brand new, but also likely to be no more expensive or worn out as a 2nd hand ebay one? Just a thought?

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On 1/24/2021 at 10:07 AM, marm said:

Caddy has gone to the local VW specialist for a good service (including cam belt and water pump). It deserves it. He's a "fine tooth comb" sort of a guy so I'm relieved that he hasn't found all that much wrong with it, but it's going to be an impressive bill. Fuck it, I'll just have to keep it for a while.

My last mechanic would typically have  changed the oil and filters, checked the pads and fluid levels, and called it a day. If I'd really pushed he'd have a quick look at the cam belt, declare it as looking like "brand new" and send me off on my way.

CR-V is soggy inside and has been for a while. It doesn't get used enough to properly dry out, and it's shaded from the sun  for most of the day outside our house. Thinking about putting an electric heater in it for a day or two, what do you reckon?

 

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-accessories/interior-car-accessories/air-dry-classic---car-dehumidifier-170096.html

 

 

Have you considered something like this? I got one from Aldi that I leave in my Boxster and just dry on a radiator every month or so. Seems to work well

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15 minutes ago, Stanky said:

Have you tried aliexpress for a Chinese clone? probably not as good as genuine brand new, but also likely to be no more expensive or worn out as a 2nd hand ebay one? Just a thought?

I like that idea.

eBay has turned up twin carbs for it which could be brilliant or a total pita. I looked into it briefly and I think in some markets (eastern?) they and equivalent bikes (Rebel) had a twin carb setup.

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222228042740

I think you can get the manifolds etc. too, but I don't know whether e.g. throttle cable is the same. Did find some mention of them on youtube vids but if memory serves mainly people who had decided against them.

 

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Spent the morning fiddling with the CB while the painted tank dries in the sun. It's odd that although the previous owner had recently had a fairly major engine work (a "valve job") done, and apparently stripped the carb to cure a running issue he seems to have scrimped on basic servicing.

I think it deserves a new air filter...

Hopefully I can get it running reliably with some basic TLC. Would be nice to commute on it this spring/summer.

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Got a bit distracted...

Plugs turned out to be predictably black (it's been running on choke most of the time etc.) but surprisingly new-looking compared to the air filter.

Ebay purchase rear rack almost fits but is about an inch too wide each side at the back end. Hmmm... I reckon with some long long bolts and spacers I could probably make it fit. Where to find 'em?

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: CB Two Fifty in pieces

Made a good start at dismantling the carb. There was some crap in the bowl and the accelerator pump shaft is corroded/gummed up at one end so was likely sticking. The float valve (described as needle valve in HBOL) itself seems ok so that's an odd one...

I'm taking a break at this stage because I'm partially stuck - would welcome some advice here. As far as I can tell there's no needle jet in the carb. Am I being daft, is the haynes wrong, or is it possible that it's just missing?

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: CB Two Fifty needle jet mystery teabreak

The more I look at it the less convinced I am about the missing needle jet. I don't really see where it would fit anyway as the jet needle was pulled out of the other side (shown in pics below). Diagram shown (key at https://www.fowlersparts.co.uk/parts/4762509/cb250w-1998-e-mph/carburetor) hasn't shed any light on it for me... In any case I've got a repair kit on it's way which apparently includes needle jet and jet needle so I should hopefully be able to work it out.

I've done some digging in the garden and had a decent lunch so I think I'll have that cuppa and continue stripping it down this afternoon.

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: fleet expansion

Now I've had a cup of tea I'd like to thank @djoptixfor being a top shiter, especially in view of his adventures* last night. He was charming and helpful and went above and beyond to get the car ready for me.

The journey home was fun. I got hailed on in Bristol with the roof down, stopped on the hard shoulder to put it up and the sun came out immediately.

So the MGF is not a Triumph Herald but that's probably a good thing... I have to say that so far I'm really impressed with how it drives. Not sure why I've tended to overlook/dismiss these in the past - it feels lovely and personally I'd rather have one than an MX5 based on my limited experience of driving one.

So what's wrong with it? Not much afaik, and I'll ignore cosmetics because meh but here goes:

  • Front wheels rub arches close to full lock.
  • Wiper motor hilariously loud.
  • Smells a bit of oily.

I think I can live with most of that.

 

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I love it!

Had a good B road blast, scared Mrs M. on a roundabout (quite cross with me for going too fast but surprisingly she likes the car otherwise).

I'm really impressed with the handling and performance. Probably the best car I've had in that respect - it really is a proper sports car. The engine is great and it corners so flat and balanced, tons of grip.

Seats are good. I like the speakers behind the seats too. Intelligible Radio 4 at 90 mph with the roof down is very civilised.

Not crazy about the clutch. A bit heavy and a funny pivot angle. Pretty minor quibble.

Need to get some mats.

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: (O)MGF!

I've been uneventfully, mindlessly, enjoying the MGF during easter break (I work in a school) and today decided to check the fluids as I had planned to drive it to work tomorrow.

Got into a panic as there is some mayo on the end of the dipstick and OMGMGFHGF. Not loads but some.

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Water is clean, oil filler cap also clean and most of the oil on the dipstick looks OK.

I have been doing a few short trips in it so I'm hoping it's just a bit of condensation. No issues with the cooling system - all seems fine.

Water level is a teensy bit low (maybe 8mm below the mark?) also noticed a bit of water appears to have leaked out of the expansion tank from the cap. It might just have been a bit loose but I've ordered a spare to be safe... will replace and keep an eye on it.

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Shall I drive it to work tomorrow? Weather forecast says "yes".

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  • marm changed the title to failing to fix things... this week: MGF mayo panic

I was always worried about the headgasket on mine but in the end it was fine. I would be surprised at the age of the car that it didn't already have a multilayer in there. I know what your going through. Their reputation makes you overly cautious.

On a side note, I can't remember where the marker is on that dipstick. Is the level supposed to be between the two dots? Is your level really high?

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  • marm changed the title to Marm's fleet report: Dailying a cheap MGF.

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