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Boris the '59 Minor.


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Nice to see this progressing, looking at rusty bits and chopping them out is deeply unpleasant but it is very satisfying getting new tin welded in place. Don't know if it's within your financial or physical situation but I've seen Minors on a car roller so you can do the welding standing up - weren't they originally manufactured like a Mini on a pole that passes through the central speedo hole and rear bulkhead? 

Just a thought

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Great to see this one being saved. A mate of mine used to rebuild/service/buy and sell these. I remember he has a frame that he used to bolt them to in order to be able to rotate them to weld. Boy did some of them need welding! 

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On 08/03/2021 at 01:58, somewhatfoolish said:

Preface; I have never tried to repair the frilly bottom of a door; would joddling the repair panel and spot welding it to door skin have been viable and avoided distortion, or at least reduced it?

The panel did come pre ''joddled'' and i think you're right i could have got away with just spotting it on.

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On 08/03/2021 at 19:53, 2flags said:

Great to see this one being saved. A mate of mine used to rebuild/service/buy and sell these. I remember he has a frame that he used to bolt them to in order to be able to rotate them to weld. Boy did some of them need welding! 

Boris has got a lot of rot in him but at least his front chassis rails are sound.

But i guess he is 62 years old.

The funny thing is his original steel is an absolute delight to weld to,i can really crank up the amps and push the weld into the joins with no blowing holes or spitting back.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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So that'll do for repairing the inner wing and pillar.

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I used the end of the poorly made hinge panel to repair the original one.

I am going to hold fire fitting it and the door untill the sill,floor and spring mounts are welded in.

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I collected these 14" Corsa wheels today as i plan on removing their centres and carefully weld in minor wheel centres instead to create a 5.5J with a more rakish offset.

And the tyres are decent enough and the right size too.

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Time to look at fitting the spring mount/floor section to the chassis leg,unfortunately there's nothing to weld it to as the box section has in places lost its lower inch or so.

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I decided the easiest solution was to cut back to sound metal and use 1.2mm L section steel to rebuild it.

The joy of thick steel is you can really crank up the amps and get some good strength/ penetration into the repair.

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I had to cut away half of this box section to get to the back of the spring hanger and the adjacent rotten floor.

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Once it was repaired i was able to stitch it back in again.

It's looking a bit scruffy and it's still only tacked in in places but it is definitely getting some strength back.

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I took the Moggy and Corsa wheels with me today and "borrowed" a tyre machine to whip the tyres off of them.

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Once back home and after walking the Hounds i popped up the shed to see how difficult it would be to split the centre from the rim.

The twelve rivets drilled out easily enough but i still couldn't separate the two so i cut through the rim which sprang open and the centre came free.

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It was a bit late to start cutting the centre (welded on) of the Vauxhall wheel so i just laid the moggy centre in it to see how it'll look.

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I am well happy with that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am off doing any welding until my eye sorts itself out after a lump of metal was removed from it last weekend (always use well fitting goggles or a face mask kids) so i continued with the idea of re-rimming the moggy centres.

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These Corsa rims are only ten years old and are already devoid of any paint and badly pitted.

I was hoping that the Minor centre would be a nice snug fit bit it will need four 2.5mm shims adding which isn't the end of the world but is a mighty faff x4.

Also as the rim is now reversed the valve hole is on the inside so you have to weld it up and redrill one on the outher side which again is a bit of an arse as the Vauxhall rim hasn't got a deep enough shoulder to take an 11mm valve hole.

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But the idea is a good one (also cheap) and a 5.5J rim looks 'bob on' for clearance at the rear.

Doing some more digging the wheel i require is a four stud Fiesta,KA or Focus jobby as these are a nice tight fit against the Moggy centre and there is just enough room to drill a valve hole on its reverse side.

So armed with this info i dropped into Ace car breakers in Swanscombe who are a big yard backing onto the Thames only to be told we don't sell parts anymore,its just an end of life "cube 'em" and ship them out operation now.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Joey spud said:

I am off doing any welding until my eye sorts itself out after a lump of metal was removed from it last weekend (always use well fitting goggles or a face mask kids) so i continued with the idea of re-rimming the moggy centres.

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These Corsa rims are only ten years old and are devoid on any paint and quite well pitted.

I was hoping that the Minor centre would be a nice snug fit bit it will need four 2.5mm shims adding which isn't the end of the world but is a mighty faff x4.

Also as the rim is now reversed the valve hole is on the inside so you have to weld it up and redrill on on the outher side which again is a bit of an arse as the Vauxhall rim hasn't got a deep enough shoulder to take an 11mm valve hole.

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But the idea is a good one (also cheap) and a 5.5J rim looks 'bob on' for clearance at the rear.

Doing some more digging the wheel i require is a four stud Fiesta,KA or Focus jobby as these are a nice tight fit against the Moggy centre and there is just enough room to drill a valve hole on its reverse side.

So armed with this info i dropped into Ace car breakers in Swanscombe who are a big yard backing onto the Thames only to be told we don't sell parts anymore,its just an end of life "cube 'em" and ship them out operation now.

 

 

 

Love that. I ran some sketchy spacers on the back of my 69 years back, but this solution looks way better. I keep on looking at MMs on ebay (amongst many other things I don't have the time or space for) and values seem to be all over the place. I loved my old one and I'm still pleased that I bagged my girlfriend at the time because I was 'the guy with the cool old car'. 

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Lovely work on that spring hanger. It does save many hours of labour being able to buy these repair panels off the shelf, unfortunately, they rarely are available for anything I buy.

I had the grinding sparks in my eye a few years ago (removed at the hospital) and it was a most unpleasant experience. I do sympathise!

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Boris's engine is an Ivor Serle 1275cc Midget unit but he is still running his 1098cc carburettor and exhaust so i have been on the look out something better...

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And this combo turned up on a face book group the other day.

This vision of loveliness is a 1300 Ital manifold and matching down pipe.

The down pipe will need a serious talking to with a cutting disc and the welder to alter it to follow the route of the Minor's system through chassis leg but it'll be worth it.

Then i think 45mm pipework and a cherry bomb silencer (or two) will see it right.

I still need to find a HIF 44mm su carb (at a sensible price) to manage the "fuel in" situation.

 

Today i thought it might be an idea to loosely mount the door hinge panel to the A post with self tappers and hang the door to see how much i have cocked it up.

 

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Something is now different as the door was fouling on the quarter panel before and now there is a generous gap although the door can move further back if need be.

Obviously its no good having the door fitted if its too far forward and is going to rub against the trailing edge of the front wing so i loosely fixed that on too.

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Well it sort of fits ok or it will do with a bit of trimming of its rear fixing flange that i had previously remade but it turns out not very accurately.

All told i am happy enough my aim was never to make the car a trophy winner i just want it to look right and have a door that will close snugly.

I now need to hold the door where i want it and weld the hinge panel and its closing panel in the right place.

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14 hours ago, Angrydicky said:

I had the grinding sparks in my eye a few years ago (removed at the hospital) and it was a most unpleasant experience. I do sympathise!

Alas this wasn't my first Rodeo and i am a bit embarrassed to admit i have been careless/stupid way too many times over the years.

I have a solar powered welding mask but for some reason it no longer seems very reliable when used outside so i thought i had got a bit of a 'flash' as my eyes were stinging and watering that evening and sleeping was a big problem but after five days the left eye wasn't improving so it was more than just Arc Eye.

But the excellent NHS and Maidstone Hospital quickly sorted me out but i have been left with a badly scratched eye ball that doesn't need me trying to 'frazzle it' again just yet.

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Despite my gammy eye i did a bit more Boris fettling today.

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With the door still fitted i welded the hinge panel in place.

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Followed by the hinge closing panel.

I am just quickly coating everything in a thick layer of zinc rich paint as i go and will seam seal everything prior to top coating much later.

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The sill and stiffener panel was loosely tacked in next using the door as an aid to where exactly it went.

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Then there are two panels that bridge between the sill to the floor pans to form a full box section and also join up with the spring hanger.

I wasn't happy with the alignment of the forward edge if the hanger panel so have trimmed it off to remount a bit squarer later.

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Boggy the Dog came up the garden  to check on progress too.

Annoyingly my usually trouble free welder is having a hissy fit with its the feed liner.

Unless it is straight and with no curves in the lead it is snagging up and making welding near imposible and the gusting wind was blowing the shielding gas away too.

So game over till next week end.

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My Sealey welder is nearly twenty years old and has started to complain.

Rather than just change the nylon liner again i went in big and purchased a complete torch assembly for £28 instead.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/14AK-MB15-MIG-WELDING-TORCH-REPLACEMENT-GAS-GASLESS-FIXED-WIRE-3M-CABLE-w-TIPS/282801135461?var=582116662555

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This one is three metres long instead of the old ones two and the liner is much more robust being made of steel.

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Now i can lay a tidy weld again without it "coughing and snotting' everywhere.

My mask is even older than my welder and hasn't been great for a while so i spent £36 on a SIP one from Toolstation.

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Much recommended too.

If it don't snow tomorrow i should get a bit more of Boris done. 

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The right kit makes life so much easier. I bought an auto-dimming mask a while back and it's so much easier now, just put it on and crack on with the job, spent far too many years trying to hold the torch in the right place before flipping the mask/visor down and missing the mark.

I never got my SIP welder to behave unless the lead was in a dead straight run from the welder, and that was bought new. Now I have an ancient Clarke that's less powerful but just works every time.

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This was my old one made by Hobart in America back in the late nineties and i remember it was over £140 back then.

It's solar powered with a built in battery but the battery has just about died and it was slow to darken and fogetting to clear again unless i looked up at the sky.

I tried a cheap Chinese replacement lens that looked the same but was pants.

The new SIP one is also solar powered but has two easily replaceable batteries,bigger viewing area and it has four light sensors whereas my old Hobart only had the one.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SIP-Meteor-2300-Automatic-Welding-Helmet/293297578344?epid=812084916&hash=item4449e5e168:g:F1AAAOSwGyZd92Ys

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have revisited the wide wheel idea again.

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I used a vauxhall wheel first time but it was going to need four 2.5mm shims adding to take the slack out which i'm sure would lead to much cussing getting it all perfectly aligned.

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Step forward a Focus 5.5j wheel that once carefully dissected was offered up to the Morris centre.

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That's much better,it's now a nice snug fit.

I am going to enlarge the rivet holes somewhat so i can use them to puddle weld the two parts together and also add a couple of strong weld runs on the edge of the Moggy centre and the Ford rim.

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And the design of the Ford rim has a bigger shoulder on its reverse for easier fitting of the valve.

I now need to work out the simplest way of getting both parts perfectly square before welding them together.

And i need to decide on a suitable colour to paint them,i want to save as much of the cars original grey paint as possible and the wheels will be painted the same colour as the grill slats and a thin pin stripe down it flank.

Currently it's going to be either Post Office red or Kawasaki green.

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While i had a couple of hours i did a bit more reassembly of the drivers door.

Luckily Boris came with a full set of new window rubbers including the quarter light ones.

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These with the aid of a bit of liquid soap fitted very nicely.

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I fitted the frame to the door and everything still opens and shuts ok but the frame is quite close to the top edge of the B post,maybe i can tweak it better when the car is back on its wheels.

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One thing that i have noticed is the door skin repair panel i slaved over fitting is a bit pants in the squareness department.

Its rear edge wasn't folded square when it was formed and now the door is on the car it is quite obvious as the lower rear edge of the repair panel starts to taper away from the B post by about 8mm at its bottom corner so that'll have to be rectified at a later date too.

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1 hour ago, Joey spud said:

I now need to work out the simplest way of getting both parts perfectly square before welding them together.

Can you sit the rim on a bench and the centre on a flat block of steel or wood, and carefully measure the height all round from the centre to the rim?

48 minutes ago, Joey spud said:

 the lower rear edge of the repair panel starts to taper away from the B post by about 8mm at its bottom corner so that'll have to be rectified at a later date too.

I've seen this fixed by welding steel rod to the edge then grinding back to get an even gap. Will need a skim of filler obvs

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In between rain showers i got around to joining the Ford and Morris bits together.

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Using the dial gauge i was able to quickly true up the rim before adding four tack welds.

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Once again i rechecked the run out and it had remained at about 0.25mm.

I wasn't sure what was acceptable so i measured a couple of standard Morris wheels and their run out was near 1.5mm so i think i will be ok.

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I plug welded the old rivet holes and also fully welded the edge of the hub to the rim.

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And once again checked it was still true.

I am confident enough that my welds are strong and have good penetration so am happy to continue making another three wheels also they're being fitted to a Morris Minor that's going to mostly trundle around locally and not tramp around the M25 everyday.

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Two coats of my favourite zinc primer have been applied and i am now ready to top coat with some post office red enamel using a decent paint brush.

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My enamel paint arrived on thursday. 

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I brushed on a fairly thick first coat,the instructions advised a second coat was possible after two hours otherwise wait six days to avoid the possibility of wrinkling.

So i bunged another coat the same evening and left it alone till the morning.

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I am really pleased with how it came out the shine is impressive and the paint has flowed out nicely with just a couple of shallow runs that aren't really visible.

Flushed with success i knocked up another wheel earlier.

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On 5/22/2021 at 6:22 PM, Joey spud said:

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My enamel paint arrived on thursday. 

20210520_183502.thumb.jpg.1b25e2f40f9e2922bc69b13815bfb759.jpg

I brushed on a fairly thick first coat,the instructions advised a second coat was possible after two hours otherwise wait six days to avoid the possibility of wrinkling.

So i bunged another coat the same evening and left it alone till the morning.

20210522_173645.thumb.jpg.c1a5f5933da235a5bbe974f8edc9aa7a.jpg

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I am really pleased with how it came out the shine is impressive and the paint has flowed out nicely with just a couple of shallow runs that aren't really visible.

Flushed with success i knocked up another wheel earlier.

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Great work. Boris won't know himself on those flashy banded steels. 

One thing though, are you going to knock the house down to reverse the old boy back onto the road eventually, what with the width being greater now? 😅

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      When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in.
       
      Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated.
      The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places.
      It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day.
      It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things.
       
      Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!).
       
      1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing!
      IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done.
       
      It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch.
      I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote.
      Today I heard back from them.
      Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there.
      The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc.
      The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises!
      There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far.
      This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them!
       
       
      The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car.
      Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that.
      The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed.
      The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions?
       
      This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction!
      For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid £100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now.
      I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!
    • By Fumbler
      To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-


      It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
      This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.

      As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
      All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
    • By rickvw72
      Hi all, I’m going to try to keep this updated as a diary of work done on my old Fourtrak. 
      I bought this a few years ago but have only recently got going on it properly, with several other projects on the go, times been scarce.
      Ill start with the main job, the rear crossmember. When I bought the truck this tube had snapped on the drivers side. This ruptured the brake pipes, and ruined all the already tired suspension bushes.
      So, out with the crossmember...
      The original is round tube, the new 3mm wall box section, it actually holds the anti tramp bars. 
      Yes the Fourtrak has a 5 linked rear suspension, and an LSD. Because race car!
      I didn’t take many pics at this time, so I’m trying to improve this and maybe a thread will motivate me to document it. 
       



    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
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