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RichardKs wanderings: Radio Musicola - Boxster, 208D AliExpress specials


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8 hours ago, AnthonyG said:

I do like this car, green cars are hard to find these days!

What is that strange grey crap in the old mirror? Some sort of glue or expanding foam holding all the bodges together? 

Oxidised aluminium. I bought one replacement mirror and the entire box was full of the stuff, it's horrible.

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Great machine, great thread!

Sunroof on these are an absolute disaster waiting to happen, long term!  All aluminium bodyshell with a steel sunroof cassette bonded to it!  Thank your lucky stars your haven’t got one!

Good luck 👍

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  • 3 weeks later...

Boot trim replaced - now fitted properly and with elastic strap and sound insulation fixed and carpets reglued down. Not perfectly clean but the worst stains tamed a bit...






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23 hours ago, stripped fred said:

What is the cylindrical item in the boot?

Fast & Furious NOS bottle.

(Air suspension system - standard on all X350s, only does rear suspension on the X351, and often - bizarrely - ripped out and replaced with normal dampers on old ones. This one works)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sun shone so I rinsed the “Lincolnshire farm dust” off it and tried claying and waxing an interesting curve.

Of course a tractor went kicking up dust before I could do the bonnet. I need a car-sized marquee/tent to polish it in!





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It’s got a flew blemishes but it’ll come up nice enough for 17 years old. Of course now my spending this month is planned with no radiator - but I have a big pile of eBay things...



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • RichardK changed the title to That's Mister Gammon to you. 2004 XJ6 3.0 SE - A New Arrival
  • 2 weeks later...

Well this is a delightful job. I wish I liked this car more, and I’d be more motivated.

Stopped to work how to get the radiator fan pack out. The oil cooler/sealed transmission/no lift to check and fill is not making me happy, but not as unhappy making as the coolant leak in the first place!





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  • 1 month later...

Work has stalled on this a little bit because mental health issues got to be overwhelming, and after some adjustment it looks like better living through drugs has been achieved.

Also the weather helps.

However, better weather, lifting of lockdown and my usual shenanigans with selling and buying music gear means I'm about to get a car more to my taste, and crucially, working.

No rush to part with the Jaguar, but if anyone has a pressing desire to make an offer for it and fit the new radiator in the hope of securing a bargain, now would be that opportunity!

Work on MOTing the Tavria has also suffered, but it hasn't been forgotten - it has new boot struts and  is getting a few little things sorted. It will attend FOE even if I take it on a trailer!

My long-term test car has changed. It's now an Audi Q2. Don't even go there (but it's a basic one on small wheels so actually quite pleasant).

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46 minutes ago, Minimad5 said:

Hopefully soon your mojo returns, as once you're back behind the wheel you'll love this big cat once again.

I haven't had a chance to love it at all yet - but the good news is that the incoming car's insurance quote came in well under £200, so the Jaguar stays insured and will get the work done. It will feel good to own a working car that won't need a limited mileage policy or anything.

And the lack of pressure means that once I've got the radiator swapped over I may get into replacing the bodges/missing fixtures on the bumper undertray.

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It has been a strange week/10 days or so.

First, I sold one of the synths I didn't use, and got one I wanted to - but the dilemma was 'desktop or keyboard version', which was rapidly solved by finding a desktop one cheap on eBay.
So I made a cheeky offer on a Roland Fantom as I don't have any sample & synth machines anymore, and remarkably it was accepted.
Then I bought a dot matrix printer and ended up with two NorthStar Horizons and another S100 bus computer, which normally I couldn't dream of affording these days. They need work, but 1970 homebrew computer club shenanigans make me happy.

Then I collected said Fantom, and there was a shabby, tired-looking E36 convertible on the drive. I asked about it. It has six cylinders, a manual gearbox, is MOTd and has few advisories, but it's far from mint. The roof /top/ was replaced five years ago, but they didn't do the rest so it only opens with faff and assistance and the headlining looks like Freddie Krueger has been flossing with it.

It is in Solihill.
I am in Boston.
I couldn't stop thinking that someone near Solihull might get it before I'd had a chance to, so after work and painkillers, late-night collection run...


(The collection thread of drama is me getting my Q2 back).

The roof and lights were in distress when he showed it off, but I said I was happy with it for the price (basically the same as non-MOTd projects with better paint, but this has a spare bootlid in the right colour to sort the worst out).

There are many reasons for this car being full circle, not least where it came from, but I have never owned an E36 or even driven one - just E28, E34 and E39 owned and E38 driven.

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  • RichardK changed the title to Mister Gammon the 2004 XJ6 3.0 SE, and With-nail the floppy-roof 323i

Good morning world!

My collection thread starts with checking the BMW over…


I'll use this post for a rundown.

120,000 mile 323i, built August '99 and registered 3 days before Christmas. Hertz lease for 3 years, then a couple of private owners near Liverpool, then the chap I got it from who paid a frankly impressive £3995 for it in 2010 with about 70K miles on. That sounds like a real bargain for the spec and everything else, even the HPI report valued it at £5K+

History hasn't been trawled through but highlights are a LOT of attention in 2015, including a new Mohair roof and new radiator (thought the radiator looked fresh). New windscreen in 2017.

Got a spare bootlid, one of the original indicators, a replacement heater hedgehog, and a new rear numperplate, but I'm putting a private plate on because I've been hanging onto them on retention for years.

It has a detachable towbar, but I haven't investigated that further (assume it's behind a plate on the bumper).


NSF arch mess.


NSR arch bubbling.

(OSR is the one with the red oxide looking bit)


This is why I thought it might be an unloved project that I could take on...


Headlights don't quite match. Deciding between private places. You can see a crack in the bumper and slightly wobbly grille metal piece, an MX-5 reversed into it.

It also has a little rust on that grille bit, so if I find an Orient Blue one in good condition I will replace it.


Then a trip to Halfords for bulbs


Some rust visible on edge of tonneau cover. Door trims are loose/a bit manky and there's also rust on the lip of the bonnet where you reach through for the bonnet release, so it'll be getting a liberal amount of Kurust or similar.

Then park it up and get a taxi to meet a colleague for a lift to get my Q2. The end.


Driving this with the roof down is awesome. Need to adjust the rod that pushes the rear bow upwards for better clearance but the roof is working well enough.

I also need a nearside rear light as the brake light metal track is corroded, maybe beyond saving (certainly will need to be removed) to fix.

Roof may just need resync, but it also needs the C-Pillar trims fixing as they're hanging off and flapping about.


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4 hours ago, horriblemercedes said:

I do like this car but I also like my S-Type and I'm enjoying having a manual car again. 


Does the air conditioning work? 

On the XJ6? One side of the heater didn’t work and there’s a leak on the A/C condenser visible with UV light, but the compressor cuts in, so I’ll know when I’ve flushed the matrix and fitted the new rad.

The BMW cost very little and so did it’s insurance, so there’s no insane pressure to part with the Jag.

But I’ve already had more joy out of the BMW in a day than the XJ6 has delivered in 6 months.

Tnis evening: Tyres inflated (rears should be 2.9 bar, fronts 2.4 and all tyres had been done to 30psi/2,2 making it fee squashy) then took it for a backroad hoon so more bravery on brakes, revs and corners.

It’s good. Going to resync the roof and fit the  better bootlid.


We have lights!


It has a nearside


It is a great way to get to the co-op listening to Aphex Twin.

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Level of mojo achieved: going out in the dark at night to fit the one orange indicator I got that proved the car had them originally.

Pair of tail lights bought.

Will repair my faulty one and sell the clear lights.

It’s good to be back.

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  • RichardK changed the title to RTK's rambles: X350 Jaguar XJ6 and E36 BMW 323i Convertible - 323i gingerfication
15 hours ago, Six-cylinder said:

Now you are making me feel bad, I have 3 E36s and none have gingercators!

Originality makes me happy - as does keeping  a banger 'bangery' - so knowing this has gingercators originally, and that being the cheaper option for replacing non-original lights, I'll revert it. But if I didn't have a faulty light (though now I've seen more, I think I could repair it) I would leave it clear, and likewise if it was supposed to be clear, I'd probably have saved/waited to get genuine clear (i.e. M3 on eBay) lights.

My preference if I had loads of money to spent would be smoked lights, but they're all third-party, and the one set I saw advertised as genuine BMW were clears with fly-eyes tinting film on. So ginger it is.

No M-Sport, no bodykit, no fakeness - ginger lights, an unmodded 170hp engine and a slow process to replace everything broken on the trim while enjoying a smooth RWD convertible.

Also check out the MOT history... I saw no advisories for rust. And it has four chunky Uniroyal tyres, not ditchfinders that are nearly bald.

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What is wrong with me, of the three E36s I have two are good and the third is a patched up old wreck and which one do I like best!

It is even worse than you think because I have two MOTed and not the one I like best that is still quite capable of getting an MOT.

Maybe I should sell the two good E36s and then I would be forced to drive the one I like best!

P1360606 broad.jpg

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I've always been happier with the patched up old wreck over the pristine & valuable classic fighting entropy... unless I space and money to make a wreck into a nicer classic (which may well happen with this - @Andyrewmight be getting a question about the costs of high-quality repairs to those rear arches. Imagine if you knew then what E30s would do in terms of collector value/prices and how many could have been saved. I can see the E36 following in three or four years).

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So, light evenings, motivation… *twirls spanner*







Tying looms and pulling through:




Check fit:


Much better…


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So apart from swapping the bootlid, I've learned a bit more about the roof, and am fitting a new lifter strut and new tonneau cover struts - as it's all synchronised now. I think the battery is too short - it doesn't meet the clamps - and there's a slight noise from the front at idle which looks like play in the viscous fan clutch.

Which seems like an opportune moment to replace the water pump and VC fan, as 120,000 miles is about right. BMW parts are more expensive than Mercedes, so this won't get as many genuine new parts as the SLK used to.

Silly small jobs include replacement of the antenna grommet (cheap enough), replacement of a broken roof emergency release cover (annoyingly expensive at £22 - will see if I can find it cheaper) and obtaining a proper jack. Have verified the existence of towbar and electrics (I've got the demountable ball) behind the bumper panel, so it'll presumably be quite a handy thing with a trailer tent or similar.

After the lights, new hedgehog. Amazon had some interesting finds in the auto section - a new ABS sensor for £2.51, a new hedgehog for £11 (though I have one already). Sadly no bargain radiators, alternators or similar things, but it suggests it's still worth raking though the Prime car parts on occasion for Febi or Valeo bits.

Amazon Prime parts so far:

Nearside front lower arm:  £8.06 (should be £70-85) - Febi - I got the last one at that price
Passenger compartment fan regulator (Hedgehog): Now £9.63, it was £10 when I bought it, it should be £41. Behr-Hella - https://amzn.to/2TdUS0m
Coolant level sensor: £3 (should be £10.24) - Febi - https://amzn.to/2TfnaHP
ABS sensor, front: £2.51 (should be £26) - Febi - https://amzn.to/3gqJCWK (11 left in stock, I bought two obviously - handy spares IMO and if for some reason they don't fit I won't lose money!)

eBay parts so far:

Febi water pump - plastic impeller - £28 (I considered the cheap metal impeller ones but no)
Missing boot toolkit pliers - £8
Antenna grommet, genuine new - £16 (the one one crumbled away and was letting water in the boot, I'd rather pay £16 now than £160 in welding)
Side repeaters in orange, used and I think genuine - not DEPO anyway - £8.50
NSR orange light - used - £20
OSR orange light - NOS - £23

Other parts:

Bulbs from Halfords - too bloody expensive even with a trade card, but I needed them.
Root gas strut - £28 but it's Autodoc and I've never used them before so I am suspicious.


OSF orange indicator, genuine
Tonneau cover and boot lid gas struts - found, but will run to £100 and I'm hoping I can do without
That annoying plastic clip for the emergency roof release - £22
C-pillar trim repair kit - about £60 and some skills; will attend to once the roof opens & closes without hitting the tonneau


Secondhand CD changer compartment, about £40 (it has the mounts and cables so I will get one over time)
Matched pair of Bosch headlights without damage - who knows
New boot plastic for battery/jack holder (clips broken off)
Clean and working proper E36 jack (£20-30)

Consumables - rust convertor needed, some nice wax and a good polish.

Next steps: Replace the heater hedgehog, K666 RTK is going on it, trying the Westfalia demountable towing kit and electrics.

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Looks clean!


Maybe the years are showing…


Seeing the light!


The old light was corroded and manky and the pins pulled the wires - shame as the lens and reflector are good. It is repairable with metal wires from another light but the improvement in light brightness and having full brake lights is absolutely needed so I don’t feel I wasted money.

More expenses - small ones - as I’ve ordered a preventative maintenance water pump and the gas lifter for the roof.

I like this car. A lot. Spending £160 or so now on parts will save a lot of misery later.

I need the boot plastic that holds the wheelbrace, and I need a proper jack, also the white screw on piece from the spare holder. Spare is alloy and good, and it has the storage bin that goes with the demountable towbar.

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  • RichardK changed the title to Topless for a grand: E36 323i Cabriolet - running up those bills (Page 4). Also an X350 XJ6. Latest: Amazon bargain parts

Just the little things:




This makes me very happy. One of those things that tidies it up /and/ helps prevent rust.


Decided on the plate.

Checked the lights at night and I have maybe the only E36 I’ve seen in years with four equally-bright and shiny tail lights…

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