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RichardKs ramblings: MX-5 week, ending, tinkering


RichardK
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13 minutes ago, RichardK said:

No phone - and no space for one? But I have cables for the module in the boot. I didn't know the wheels were wrong! I'm thinking Scorpion ATR or similar as I will be green laning more than motorway munching... Could get a set of correct alloys for some road-biased tyres maybe...

I've a set of Pirelli Scorpions on mine and I've no complaints - it came on a worn set of the same and a replacement set came in at £500 fitted. Yet to tackle anything properly off road though.

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2 hours ago, RichardK said:

No phone - and no space for one?

Bluetooth on these. 

I had an L322 Vogue TDV8 for a weekend last year, as I was sourcing it for someone - black with beige interior, and in remarkable condition with everything working(?!). It was absolute class and I loved every second driving it. 

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10 minutes ago, Ghosty said:

Bluetooth on these. 

I had an L322 Vogue TDV8 for a weekend last year, as I was sourcing it for someone - black with beige interior, and in remarkable condition with everything working(?!). It was absolute class and I loved every second driving it. 

Even on a 2002? TDV8 would be a facelift one surely?

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7 minutes ago, RichardK said:

Even on a 2002? TDV8 would be a facelift one surely?

Good point, that one was an '07. Had a look and facelift ones have BT, on the early ones phone was an option, seems it would go inside the centre armrest. Yours must just not have a phone.

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One of these things is not like the other things...

The rubber hoop for the jack is a pain in the arse to secure, isn't it. Suspect that the secondhand replacement just fitted will break pretty soon 😕 New tailgate struts on though so no more beheading - third party, no damper for full travel, thud when fully open. Stabilus next time.

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5 minutes ago, Ghosty said:

Good point, that one was an '07. Had a look and facelift ones have BT, on the early ones phone was an option, seems it would go inside the centre armrest. Yours must just not have a phone.

Apparently 2002 models had /analogue/ cellphone modules and a wireless handset that worked outside of the car, so a phone module is a total waste of money for mine - I wish the trip computer etc. didn't need that central screen as I'd just upgrade to a CarPlay unit!

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2 minutes ago, RichardK said:

Apparently 2002 models had /analogue/ cellphone modules and a wireless handset that worked outside of the car, so a phone module is a total waste of money for mine - I wish the trip computer etc. didn't need that central screen as I'd just upgrade to a CarPlay unit!

I saw a picture, and it looks like the phone would go here: 

normal_20131022_132459.jpg

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Yep, similar to BMW.

Confusingly my BMW E39 had a GSM handset system with a SIM card in the back and that was a '98ish, so I'm guessing the nonsense in the back of the Range Rover is actually E38 era.

Aha, even weirder. It's digital, but the SIM lives in the handset. I don't have cradle for the handset so I am not sure WTF was fitted to my car!

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This is the phone mine has.

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As much use as a chocolate watch but hey.

Your spare looks like the original alloys mine had. My new ones are actually different from yours I think, they're off a facelift model.

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My spare wheel well is full of LPG tank so no spare wheel straps.

I believe these have a lot of E38 in them, for better or worse

 

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On 12/21/2021 at 12:51 PM, Andyrew said:

Just realised my boss has A1 RTK on his volvo that came on it when he bought it. 

I was wondering why it looked familiar!

Reminded of this and still, potentially, quite interested should it ever be parted with...

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Radio system from hell

Modules are - CD-based navigation, TV tuner, DSP amp module, cables for radio, actual BMW radio unit out of sight under the plastic, and the head unit. The head unit's LCD is damaged and I have two more head units, also with damaged LCDs (but less so), a spare TV tuner, and a spare navigation computer.

The TV unit can be upgraded to display digital channels and also play music from MP3 stick apparently which I would find very useful.

Lack of phone module is annoying, but not as much as the need to spend £300 on a harness and adaptors to the back of the car if you want to fit a double-DIN modern unit which then loses your trip computer display.

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New plates on:

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And new tailgate straps - the old ones had rusted through!

Out it comes:

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And let's get £50 in it...

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Well. That's not going to go far is it...

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Current Range Rover report, then. Got the new boot struts on - easy - got the tailgate straps on - easy, the old ones had rusted through and that's why they broke. Swapped numberplates over, usual self-tappers into bodywork WTFery despaired at.

Decided to investigate that stupid satnav setup. Swap drive. Nowt.
Bypass TV unit - blue plug straight into drive. IT WORKED! OMG!

Tried spare TV unit. IT WORKED! OMG!

Removed old TV unit, put spare in, plugged it in. Nowt.

Connected nav computer. Nowt.

Tried various wires. Nowt.

Gave up, put the nav computer on the direct blue plug and connected the GPS cable, left red connector off, folded up loom and balanced it all in the door. Went for a drive. Radio kept shutting off every few minutes.

Put £50 in. 1/3rd of a tank of E5. Jesus wept, this is going to be expensive to fill up if I ever trust it that much.

Drive. A bit faster. 6000rpm gearshift. That V8 sounds nice. Refined but also obviously V8.

Brakes SQUEAL. SQUEAL. SQUEAL. Change pad warning (well 'c a ge a k a s') on the LCD. Few more miles, less squeal. Calipers need servicing and so forth, fair enough. They work okay. Poor thing has barely been used and that's not likely to change much.

Climate - works ish. WIndows - all work smoothly. Sunroof. Works.

Radio suddenly decides it's going to display again! Trip computer returns! No more sound off/on!

Cruise control works. Heated wheel works I think - too warm to tell.

Overall... I am utterly terrified of the many and varied ways it might break if I do trust it, but it seems okay.

That black painted grille is going in the bin (on eBay) ASAP and I'm putting a nice silver grey Vogue one on.

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Had similar issues with my old E38 with the same satnav system.
Screen would always work, but whether you got sound was up to the BMW gods.
Never got to the bottom of it, just added a bluetooth speaker as a back up for tunes from phone.

Its looking good already though...

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8 minutes ago, N Dentressangle said:

Looks good - must be one of the first on that 52 plate, no?

It seems like the ICE in these is a real PITA. Like it was one thing they forgot to make it over-complex and shit in the P38 and decided to fix that in the 322. Joy.

It's the first year, but I think they'd chucked out a fair few by the time it was made - registered 1st September and they went on sale in February 2002. It's around 15,000th off the line.

The ICE is BMW E39. With the exception of the phone module which is 'WTF' - unless I was weirdly lucky with my E39's 'SIM in the boot' module and E39s are also usually this batshit.

VIN suggests it originally had telephone, which explains the loom in the boot. I wonder if it sulks because it no longer has the telephone module... or the speech recognition module that goes with it.

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I have similar on my oil filter housing, i need to replace the bobbins.

If the worst comes to the worst brake wise 4 new calipers will only cost you £200. I've replaced 2 on mine so far and it's fairly easy-they use banjo bolts on the caliper which is nice. 

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Must admit the spares situation seems pretty good - eBay is full of breakers with reasonable parts prices, though what I'd really like to do is feel it's worthwhile ponying up a few hundred to replace the damaged lights and light fittings that seem inevitable.

Missing front tow cover everyone is asking £25 for on eBay is £11 from a LR parts specialist, new. Hopeful I'll get £20 back for my black painted grille when I get the silver grey one.

Light guards are expensive though :(

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Don't throw anything out if in doubt:

When emptying the Range Rover's spare wheel I found the usual rubbish. But a plastic clip thing that looked like a tag from clothing seemed... odd.

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So I saved it.

Then I noticed on the annoyingly short rubber strap for the spare wheel, a corresponding shape...

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From this:

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To this:

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1 hour ago, Fat_Pirate said:

Am enjoying these updates... I drive so few miles now I've started considering one of these, even though a friend of mine has had one for 10 years, and it's been functional for maybe 2 of those years.  And then there are all the tales from @Barry Cade.

Spend more than I did, I think. Maybe. I'm not sure. I see ones for around £3K and wonder if they are better or just optimistic - they all seem to have broken sides to the seat plastics, damaged radio LCDs etc... and I bet their bushes clonk and brakes need refurbing too...

Starting to understand it more - drive slow, chill, it's nice. Handles almost exactly like the current Defender on air, for better or worse. New tyres might make it better, these are not healthy ones, but I think I'd like to swap the wheels for four of the original six-spoke style before buying new tyres.

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10 hours ago, Fat_Pirate said:

Am enjoying these updates... I drive so few miles now I've started considering one of these, even though a friend of mine has had one for 10 years, and it's been functional for maybe 2 of those years.  And then there are all the tales from @Barry Cade.

The  l322 was by far the most uncommon on my truck. Even I have had that fleeting moment of wood if I see a nice original V8.. then I remember my mates 5 figure repair bill for 2 years of ownership with his and I give myself a slap.

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So - hot idling after a run, how does it sound? Any opinions?

Trying to decide if I spend or run - the tyres are grim,  and the brakes definitely need some love, but I do rather like this beast to drive.

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I mean look at it...

Things tested: low-range, hill descent and discovering that the button on the suspension height control makes it handle rather better in twisty bits. Low range engages and disengages properly, hill descent doesn't seem to have a warning light but when switched on too fast the LCD panel displays a load of gibberish so I think it's saying I'm going too fast, and it definitely applies the brakes when downhill at low speed and selected.

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: Boris the Spyder goes (PT) Cruising...

If anyone ever wonders what ADHD/anxiety and random mental quirks can do to your rational decision making processes, may I present:

Boris.

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Boris is not QUITE as random as he seems, as I've looked longingly/curiously at PT Cruiser Convertibles for the past decade and often pondered the cheap ones that pass by. My logic on any cheap car is 'it's either broken or about to break' and so I tend to buy carelessly, and Boris is no different, because I saw him pop up on eBay in the evening, and arranged to drive up and look the next morning, taking my BMW up there with the plan of leaving it if the Cruiser was any good.

The rational: I've got surgery coming up which will wipe out my ankle for summer. I want a convertible - the BMW was already on the chopping block because I'd bought the MX-5 and then got the Range Rover as my 4x4 to have '4x4 and convertible', but the Range Rover just isn't good enough to be relied on, it's a fun diversion but it's really quite shabby elsewhere.

The PT Cruiser ticks some boxes that are relevant: high seats (easy for hopping into), big footwells (left foot driving), simple roof, simple old-school autobox (VAG ones of this age/era scare the crap out of me, likewise anything Volvo/SAAB 'sealed for life), it even has a dipstick for ATF. Good enough looking, big enough boot, and cheap. Not to tax or fuel, but to buy. Insurance may be a horror yet to be unearthed.

Initially I was going to swap the MX-5 for a BMW 645ci, but I did some research, and not only is it pig ugly even with 16 years on from the challenging looks, that M62 engine sounds like a world of pain despite rock-solid engineering for the most part. Shame. So I poked Facebook for an automatic convertible, and was reminded, again, of PT Cruisers.

Most of the ones I see are silver. Ugh. This is a car that's ALLLLL about the looks (it has few other redeeming features). But Boris? Boris is BLACK. That's worth at least £500 more to me than a silver one - it looks good on the Cruiser, it suits my style, and it'll look fantastic with 666 plates and a few bats stuck on it. Though, I am missing Whitby, just a week too late to take it up there.

The irrational:

Dealer is selling it, usual banter/etc. - I get £100 off and the usual 'no warranty' (if I wanted to be an arse I could), and he genuinely fields a load of calls about it while I'm there; black ones are rare. He locks the BMW in his garage (I leave paperwork and keys and say 'if anyone wants it, you know what I want - anything over that, well done') and I drive off. Cruiser cruises well, a bit vague - needs all the front suspension sorting really, bushes and tracking and the lot, but with the roof down it is really nice and open feeling and also huge inside, it'll be perfect for the broken ankle.

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Of course an ABS light comes on when I've parked at Starbucks. Hey ho. Won't cause a fuss, it did 40 miles and three restarts during a test drive without it so I'm calling it sod's law and I'll see which reluctor ring fell off later (or if it's a plug).

I've popped the 666 plate on retention from the BMW so that can go on Boris at the beginning of May when I insure/tax etc. it and have had the V5 back,

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The sad:

To be fair I really like the BMW and the drive up to get Boris was lovely - winding roads around Worksop, roof down, a chance to open it up a bit and take some fast bends and just enjoy how it drives. I worry a lot about it sitting outside with a plastic rear window with all the farm muck and just not being used, and I'm glad I've had one. But I have no idea what is going to happen to my ankle - maybe the metal will come out and it'll miraculously heal in six weeks and be pain free, or maybe they will want to re-break and re-set or the metal will shatter more bone. Either outcome is possible and I have being unprepared or the idea of having to deal with all this when my ankle is healing.

Next steps:

So a PT Cruiser Convertible isn't a bad thing, but it's not a perfect thing, and this isn't a perfect PT Cruiser. It needs alignment, and bushes, and a timing belt which is a proper horrorshow job. It needs sunvisors because the mirror flaps have broken off both, and it doesn't have a cover for the folded roof.

However, roof down you look through a hoop of a windscreen so it feels very open, the spoke steering wheel is a change from walls of airbag, the gearlever is cute AND I got autostick to work, having wondered if it even had it at first, and the boot is easier to get into than a New Beetle. In fact, I like it more than a New Beetle in almost every way except VED, as my New Beetle was awful on fuel too. It seems that there are good club/specialist options to support it, and it's quite a rare car now so probably more worthy of maintenance and preservation than expected.

To my mind I paid a bit too much in some ways, in that the BMW needs to get back as much as possible and I could maybe have haggled harder, but at the same time the last one I looked at an ad for was £1000 with no MOT and shabbier looks, and not black. This one has had the same owner for 13 years and a service receipt for every year from a local garage, the engine and ATF fluids were clean and fresh, and alignment/ABS light aside, it drove smoothly and quietly. Hence not being overly fussed about it being from a dealer - his forecourt was £30,000 Mustangs and £40,000 Porsches, not £2K bangers.

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Well bought!

They're definitely marmite. As documented elsewhere on here though, I like them. I borrowed one for a few days in 2005ish and aside from a sqeaking bearing from somewhere up front, I liked its quirkiness. The interior in the tintop also felt light and airy. 

Numbers must be starting to dwindle now I reckon. Look after it! 

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardKs ramblings: MX-5 week, ending, tinkering

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