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Maestro, please. - Double Trouble


vulgalour
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For the write up on this episode I realised I didn't actually take any photos at all, I was more interested in trying to keep the rain out and recording it on video than I was actually taking photos.

The key things were to identify how and where the water was getting in.  As I sealed up various known leaks, other unknown leaks became more apparent.  The front passenger door frame needed bending inwards slightly to make it seal properly against the door seal, when it rained heavily enough the water was just coming in straight past the door seal and that was the main cause of water ingress on the passenger side, perhaps the only cause on that side.  On the driver's side it was coming in through the windscreen seal somewhere, I do want to fit a new windscreen eventually, there's a small chip on the existing screen that while not an MoT issue, would be nice to not have.  So I chucked more Arbomast all around the windscreen seal and that stopped the water coming in at the front.

At the back, I was still getting water coming into the boot.  I knew the rear light cluster was one culprit still as I could see water inside it, an inspection of it revealed that there was quite a large gap between the red and amber lenses on the top edge of the cluster, so I stuck some butyl tape in it.  I also removed half the butyl tape I'd used to seal the unit to the car so it fit better.  Removal of the light cluster highlighted that while the butyl tape is incredibly effective at sealing things up, it's also very difficult to remove the light cluster, so eventually I will likely replace it with some suitable foam or rubber tape instead.

I'd run out of enough Arbomast to seal up the whole of the tailgate screen and some was still appearing on the inside of it so I had my suspicions about that.  However, I also saw that water was getting in past the bumper bolts, so it was more butyl tape for that which highlighted that there were indeed gaps water was getting in and the water isn't getting in now.

Happily, after all that effort and some rain later, the interior of the car was staying dry!  I could finally put it all back together and enjoy not having a damp car.

 

As a little bonus, I can let you know that the previously sticky heater controls that wouldn't move their full travel now do as of today.  It seems that it was simple disuse that had caused them to stick to a reduced range of travel and my using the car regularly has brought them back to life, just like the fresh air vents, so there was no need to start pulling the dashboard apart which is nice.

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  • 1 month later...

In my quest to find the cause of the water leaks I thought I was doing rather well.  The front footwells were finally staying nice and dry and victory seemed assured.

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Then I went and accidentally left a window open all night.  When it was raining.  A lot.  Now the inside of the car was absolutely soaked and the rain wasn't letting up even a little bit and the only way to dry it all out would be to strip out the interior, a job I ended up doing with every car I own and a job I planned to avoid on this one.  OH WELL.  At least the Maestro is easy to take apart.  The front seats are held in with four torx head bolt things that I'm not a fan of, slide the seat back to get to the front ones, and then slide the seat forwards to get to the back ones, lift the seat free and you're done.  There's no cables or seatbelt pretensioners or whatever to deal with on this car.  I used a T30 bit.

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With the front seats removed, the rear seat is even easier.  There's four bolts along the front edge to undo, then you roll the seat forwards and can get to the two hinge bolts underneath the seat.  It then comes out of the car no bother.  The bolts on the outer edges at the front have little metal tabs, the sole purpose of these seems to be to prevent the large plastic sill trim from warping and lifting up.

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In the middle of the car you need to loosen the centre console, there's two screws hidden under the little black tray that pops out at the front of the console, and another two that go into a bracket at the back of the console.  The two screws at the back aren't really necessary to undo if you've remove the front seats since the bracket the screws go into is held down by the seat rail bolts.  With that loosened, you can then undo the seatbelt bolts and remove the carpet.  Unless it's this car in which case the first problem bolt I've so far encountered is for the passenger stalk which will only undo so far before the captive nut is clearly spinning.  Fortunately, the bolt does tighten back down properly.  Had I got a longer console that covers this bit I would have just cut a slot in the carpet to get around the stalks, I don't so I eased the carpet up over the stalk which it will just about do.  That way when the carpet is refitted it won't have a cut visible in it.  The bolt heads for the seatbelt stalks are hidden by push-on plastic covers.

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With the carpet lifted there was a good amount of water in the driver's side, unsurprisingly, since that's the side I'd left the window open on.  There was also a lot of water under the rear seat bench which I initially put down to rain getting into the car through the window.  The nice thing is the vast majority of the floor is solid, there's a few little scabs here and there, but nothing that needs attention beyond the cosmetic.  What work has been done on the floor looks to have been done to a good standard, apart from the confusing use of masking tape and that old frozen mince packet.

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I couldn't actually figure out how the centre console comes out.  I suspect I have to disconnect the handbrake and stand it up vertically, or remove part of the dashboard, since I can't see any other way of getting the clearance to move it far enough back or forwards to clear the lever.  Simpler to leave it in for now, you can refit the carpet without removing the console fully.  While I had the car empty I could watch for water coming in since there was nothing to obscure the view of it and discovered some leaks I wasn't aware of.  The first was the boot carpet and under the rear seat, which were both very wet.  I could see with the seats and carpet out that there was a trickle of water coming down the rear passenger arch and initially thought this was the window seal at fault.  To find out for definite I unbolted the seatbelt, and removed the trim which is held on with a single push clip.

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This allowed me to see where the water was coming from more clearly.

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I still thought it might be coming from further up, so I removed the parcel shelf support, discovering some broken brackets that I'd need to fix.  The cause of the leak wasn't the window seal, which was something of a relief, it was actually an old weld repair that had a tiny little pinhole in it.  There's no rust staining, it just looks like a tiny little bit hasn't been sealed up, and the repair itself looks to be done to a very good standard.  A bit of sealant both sides will sort this out no doubt.

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The other leak was a bit odd and appears to be a factory one since there's no repairs I could see in the area.  Water was pooling where the boot floor meets the inner arch and at first I thought it was running around from that hole I'd just found.  Turns out there was another tiny pinhole in the factory seam sealer.  Again, no rust to speak of and no rust staining, just a failure of sealant application.  This will also get a bit of sealant both sides and that should stop it.

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A bit like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects where water is going to turn up sometimes.  These two leaks are a bit strange because you don't really think of water running down the inner arch when the car is stood, but we've had so much rain that the water is running down the body and then capillary action is dragging it up into the inner arches, aided by all the mud that's packed into the rear arches, and finding these tiny holes.  Once the water has a path, much like electricity, it takes the route of least resistance and keeps flowing that way until an easier route presents itself.  Without stripping the interior out I probably wouldn't have found these leaks so in a way, by leaving the window open I did myself a favour.

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On 04/03/2021 at 17:32, colc said:

I wonder if you've got a rad from a diesel Maestro in there.............possibly over cooling it......just a thought

nah that rad is teeny tiny to what will fit in the space- early 1.3 had biggerer rad than later ones 1.6 & 2.0 fill the width with no blanking plates at the side

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  • 2 weeks later...

It'll be a couple of weeks until the next Maestro instalment, so this is a request rather than an update.

I've found where the exhaust leak is and am now in need of a downpipe that includes the flexi joint since that's where it's leaking from.  I can find 1.6 and even diesel exhaust parts fairly easily, but 1.3 ones are eluding me at the moment.  If anyone has a 1.3 downpipe, or can point me to where I might get one, please do shout up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Words and pictures time.  The video has slightly different content to the written update this time since I do some talking about projects etc which I've mostly covered on the forums already, but if you've a few minutes to spare it's an easy way to get up to speed on the state of play here at Vulgalour Villas.  One very small job was cleaning the water stains off the parcel shelf supports, this was in part to see if water was coming in here and causing the stains, and partly to see how well they'd come up.  The plastic came up okay, I keep giving it Autoglym vinyl care to 'feed' the plastic and stop it being so dried out, and the water marks are reluctant to return.  As it happens, the water marks seem to be caused by water dripping off the tailgate or rain getting in when the tailgate is open, so nothing to worry about.

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I'd already identified the key points water is getting in, now to try and seal it up.  First job was to pop the rear wheel off so I could see the other side of the pinholes in the arch that were letting water into the car.  Water takes very strange routes sometimes, you wouldn't expect it to run down the inside of the wheel arch when the car is parked, but it does, and then creeps into the car with the aid of capillary action.  Aside from the usual griminess, the inner arches are in pretty good shape.

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There has been a patch let in very nicely to the strut tower a long time ago, absolutely no reason to revisit it aside from perhaps a splash of red paint and/or fresh underseal.  I have new rear shocks to fit, I've just been waiting on weather and motivation to get on with it since suspension is another of those jobs I dislike doing.  The springs aren't as bad as they look in that shot, a little time with high speed abrasives and squirty paint would see them respectable enough and I may do that when I do the shocks.

Sealing up then.  We did the little bit in the boot where there was a hole in the factory seam sealer.  I honestly couldn't see it on the outside of the car so just made a best guess where there was a bit of loose underseal, the water must have been taking a pretty odd route and none has got into the car through this spot since sealing it up.  I basically looked for where the inner arch was taking the longest to dry out to narrow down where the route might be, combined with some back and forth to figure out where this line is on the inner arch since the boot floor is higher up than the bottom of the rear inner arch.

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The pinholes on the inner skin of the floor under the rear carpet I also put some seam sealer on.  This wasn't letting water in and I can't see this from outside the car, it appears to be double skinned.  So to keep any water from getting stuck in there if the inside of the car gets wet, this seemed a sensible precaution for now.

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Up at the top of the repaired rear strut I sealed up the welding that had a tiny little hole.  No rust, just a small pinhole that had been missed when the repair was done in the past so this was more a case of finishing a job than an actual repair.  This one I could see on the other side of the car when the light was just so and got a blob on the inner arch too.

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I then picked off one small area of loose sealant and, since I was all out of underseal to replace it, I used a little bit of seam sealer as an interim measure.  I do need to replace this arch once I have the welder up and running so  when I do that I'll be tackling the inner arch in full which is why I'm not putting more effort into painting over the seam sealer or dealing with any minor surface rust in here since I'll be doing it later.  For now it was a case of arresting any potential deterioration and getting the car as weather tight as possible in the brief moments between rain.

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After that it was a check of the interior and leaving it overnight to make sure no more rain was coming in.  All of this was done at the end of February and since then I can confirm that the sealed up areas have stayed sealed up, the interior is back in, and it hasn't had any condensation or damp issues since even with all the rain.  I'll go into more detail on that side of things once the videos go up, no point jumping the gun on that one just now.

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Wheel back on and car back on the ground again.  One very clean inner arch showing up all the others.

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I will say one thing for this car, the underside is in surprisingly good shape for a car that's been holding onto water inside.  There's a couple of areas of bodywork that need attention like the scabby door corners and rear arches, all of which I now have repair pieces for, but it's in far better structural condition than reputation and mileage would suggest.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • vulgalour changed the title to Maestro, please. - 180,000 miles achieved!
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I will do words and pictures for the previous video and for this one, just not had time to sit down and do it yet.  Closed Caption will also happen on this video in the next day or three, just need the time.

I need a new tailgate.  For now, this solution will do.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hold onto your hats, it's time for a bumper (not the car part) Maestro words and pictures update!  Try not to get too excited. For your convenience, I'll pop the videos in as well so you don't have to go back a few pages to find them.

I'd got the car all dried out nicely and the rain was staying out with the exception of the tailgate which is rotten (we'll come to that later), so refitting the interior could be chanced. Start off by putting the carpet back in since it was the last thing to come out.

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One thing I did change was to put new insulation pads in the front. The old ones were destroyed by the water ingress and I wasn't about to refit the blue carpet that was in there when I got the car. This stuff is great, it's a sticky-backed felt so you just draw the shape you want on the backing, cut it out, peel off the backing, and stick it on the carpet or the floor.

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The feed the carpet from the passenger side through behind the dashboard to the driver's side and after some contortionism and minor swearing, it's all in.

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After that, it's the plastic trims. These have to go in before the seats since the seats and seatbelts hold them in place for the most part.

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Then to the back of the car where it's the lower C pillar trim first, which is held in with a hidden push fit clip and the door seal and probably something else (I forgot, check out the video for full instructions).

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After that it's the seat side trim which is held in with one self tapping screw, the door seal, the inner sill trim and one of the rear seat bolts that has a little shaped bracket on it.

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Then take a moment to marvel at the effort that went into the little bracket that held the broken pieces of the parcel shelf together. I replaced this by simply gluing the clean break of the bracket back together, a break so clean you couldn't even see the seam once glued.

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There's three (I think) screws under the parcel shelf trim, and one on the rear of the parcel shelf trim above the rear light. It's a bit fiddly and was difficult to record since you generally can't really see what you're doing as you do it.

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Last bit back here is the seat belt trim. This is supposed to be split, I later learned, so that it can slide onto the seatbelt. It then clips into the hole in the trim.

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Spend some time fighting with the seats on camera. Give up and do it off camera at which point the bolts for the seats drop straight in.

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Finally, inspect why the rear speakers aren't working too well and learn that they're the original paper cone types fitted by BL back in '88. Also learn one is repaired with a huge amount of glue which, amazingly, works. I have new speakers to go in, I didn't do it in this video.

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Completely fail to take any shots of the final job.

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With the interior in, the last job to do was try and seal up the tailgate. The reason it's letting water in is the frame has rotted out around the bottom edge of the glass. It's not enough that you can see the rust outside the car, just enough that when you remove the inner trim/seal, there's a fair chunk of metal that is air now. First of all, fit the replacement trim clips for the interior bits that you didn't have. I had about 3 that were any good and needed about a dozen. Turns out Fiat Doblo generic trim clips are just about right, a tiny bit smaller but close enough to work.

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Next, remove as much of the inner seal on the tailgate as you need to so that you can get to the problem rust.

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Spend some time (carefully) with a wire brush to get as much loose stuff off as you can. Even though it's been a while since any water went on the car, also discover that this seam/area is holding on to quite a bit of water anyway. What's happening is the water is getting in past the seal and then not being able to drain out, causing the metal to rot away. Where it's really bad, the water is draining straight through inside the tailgate and finding the easiest route out is through the vents in the tailgate trim panel rather than through the drain holes in the tailgate. The drain holes in the tailgate aren't blocked.

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Once it's all cleaned and dry, hit it with copious amounts of Kurust. This stuff is really thin so it'll follow the same route as the water and, hopefully, seal and convert all the rust so if water does get in it's not going to rot as quickly as it was. Not a permanent solution, that involves removing the bonded rear screen and getting the welder to work (which was out of action when I recorded this) and is going to be a job for the future given the scarcity of Maestro tailgates.

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When the Kurust has cured, hit the area with copious quantities of Arbomast sealant. I've already done the outside, so this on the inside should pretty much stop the water getting in. I expect a tiny dribble will get through anyway because of the rust situation, it just won't be the pond (and indeed hasn't been since doing this) that it had been.

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Then smooth out the sealant so it looks nice and fills the gap. It took a LOT of sealant to actually plug the gap, especially where the worst of the rust was.

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Job jobbed. One watertight Maestro. Or at least, one Maestro as watertight as they ever really get, it's never going to be sealed up well enough to be amphibious.

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A little bit of everything. While doing bigger jobs I'm usually also doing little jobs. It's nice to have easy wins when you're trying to deal with something as frustrating as water ingress. I mentioned I'd repaired the parcel shelf support and hadn't mentioned what I'd used to do it; Citadel plastic glue. Great stuff, very effective, melts the plastic together so it's bonded.

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Easy job, just takes a little while for the glue to cure. Providing it's the right sort of plastic, this works just fine. Some hard plastics are good, some aren't, best to try it and see what happens. I find if the Citadel doesn't work, Gorilla epoxy always works. Next, spruce up the gear knob. Originally it seems the gear knob never had the numbers painted on this car, it's just a nice detail to have and an easy one to do. More Citadel paint for this one since it's really well suited to the task. Once you've cleaned up the part, just blob the paint into the recesses you want it in and then buff lightly with a paper towel before the paint has fully dried. Apply 3+ coats of whatever colour you're using and you're done. If it wears off or you want to change it in the future, simply repeat. Takes no time at all and makes a big visual difference.

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I then had a look at repairing the LCD clock. Unfortunately it wasn't repairable (see video for full details on that) because the two pieces of glass that make up the display had become unbonded. So I bought a new one. Works a treat and is actually a lot brighter than the old one. Simply a case of unplugging the old one and plugging the new one in, super easy.

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I also attempted to repair the broken column shroud. Ended up getting lucky on eBay again finding another NOS part in the correct trim colour for £notalot. New button head screws of suitable length to fit it and no more jabby bits of metal attacking my knees.

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Interior is coming along very nicely now.

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Last bit of the bumper Maestro update is the washing it video. I actually had to make two attempts at this because of the rain. First attempt was in December and the second in April. So much rain! Anyway, the whole point to the washing video was to demonstrate you don't need fancy stuff to wash a car and to give the body a closer inspection. I found some things I didn't want to but overall was actually quite happy with how solid the Maestro was. Rot was localised and could be maintained while I dealt with other jobs. All a case of picking my battles with this one, welder still wasn't ready so I couldn't pick the scabs I wanted to and instead just had to leave them be and hope for the best.

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Check out the video for full details on cleaning products etc. It's easier than me going into it here and if you've ever washed a car in the 90s then it's almost exactly the same method as you would have used then except that I don't use a sponge or a brush and instead use cotton flannels.

The inner arches had a lot of mud in them. Not the worst I've ever done, that particular award goes to my old Renault 6TL. I do wonder if it ever made it to roadworthy status. It was the car that convinced me I hate working on engines. Anyway, I digress.

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After cleaning the mud out of the arches and the dirt off everywhere else, I could see a couple of bodywork issues that had got worse in the first few months of ownership. Namely, the cracks that had been opening up on the rear arches, particularly the driver's side. Back in April I decided to leave this be, the welder still wasn't set up and I didn't have all the materials I needed to repair it, hopefully it would hang on until I was ready to do the repair.

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While I remember, here's a before and after of the worst of the inner arches, the driver's side rear. Knowing what I know now, I suspect this was deliberately left muddy so it couldn't be poked at MoT and it was quite a build up of mud in there.

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I did knock a bit of underseal off and discovered a hole. A hole I did not poke because I could see it was going to become A Hole if I did. More on this anon.

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The important thing was that the car took a moderate shine, the Targa Red paint was fairly forgiving of the defects, and it now just looked like a careworn Maestro rather than an abused Maestro. Flame Red would have hidden more sins.

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Worth mentioning the Quality Product I used on the wheel trims which is probably older than I am.

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So, we are now up to date on the words and pictures. Please do go and watch the videos and do the likey, commenty, subscribey stuff. I really do appreciate it, let's me know I'm doing the Good Work. As a little treat, here's a sneak peek at future video content. I've been trickling this out over on Twitter too (angylroper for those that don't know me on there, might as well link it up proper now I guess) because sometimes events are too good not to share in the moment.

Specifically, the last time I washed the car earlier this month, with a hose and bucket just like in the video, I washed the rear driver's arch clean off. Literally.202108-04.thumb.jpg.99f9eeee79125ae1fa60af2f81e3b953.jpg

That was less than ideal. I'd actually ordered a new grinder and welding gas and it was due to arrive a couple of days after this happened but I still needed to pick the grinder etc. up and run a few errands so an emergency repair with NASA tape was employed for the interim.

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Then the choppy-choppy began when I was in a position to do so and there were MORE surprises. Namely, a sock. Remember the hole in the inner arch I didn't investigate further? This sock was in it and then fillered over crudely. An impressive bit of bodgery.

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Repair panels for this side arch are difficult to come by (though I do have a lead from a fellow Maestro botherer...) and inner arch panels are non-existent so this is going to be a challenging repair. Happily, you can use a front wing from the opposite side to repair this and that's exactly what I'll be doing as a friend donated one to the cause that as in worse condition than the one on the car.

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I'm also right on the verge of welding fresh steel in now that I've got all the rot chopped out and given a splash of zinc primer. Even though the repair is limited pretty much entirely to the arch itself, it's still going to be an awful lot of welding. This is hopefully the worst bit on the car, the passenger side doesn't seem anywhere near as bad, so I'm going to do this bit, clean up the sill on the side to eliminate the scabs, and then wash the passenger rear arch off and do it all again. At least I have a proper repair panel for the passenger side so that will make things a bit easier.

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On 11/28/2020 at 2:17 PM, vulgalour said:

Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen.  I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.

hahaha.  Ha.

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  • vulgalour changed the title to Maestro, please. - Bumper Fun Words And Pictures Update!
20 minutes ago, vulgalour said:

Hold onto your hats, it's time for a bumper (not the car part) Maestro words and pictures update!  Try not to get too excited. For your convenience, I'll pop the videos in as well so you don't have to go back a few pages to find them.

I'd got the car all dried out nicely and the rain was staying out with the exception of the tailgate which is rotten (we'll come to that later), so refitting the interior could be chanced. Start off by putting the carpet back in since it was the last thing to come out.

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One thing I did change was to put new insulation pads in the front. The old ones were destroyed by the water ingress and I wasn't about to refit the blue carpet that was in there when I got the car. This stuff is great, it's a sticky-backed felt so you just draw the shape you want on the backing, cut it out, peel off the backing, and stick it on the carpet or the floor.

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The feed the carpet from the passenger side through behind the dashboard to the driver's side and after some contortionism and minor swearing, it's all in.

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After that, it's the plastic trims. These have to go in before the seats since the seats and seatbelts hold them in place for the most part.

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Then to the back of the car where it's the lower C pillar trim first, which is held in with a hidden push fit clip and the door seal and probably something else (I forgot, check out the video for full instructions).

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After that it's the seat side trim which is held in with one self tapping screw, the door seal, the inner sill trim and one of the rear seat bolts that has a little shaped bracket on it.

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Then take a moment to marvel at the effort that went into the little bracket that held the broken pieces of the parcel shelf together. I replaced this by simply gluing the clean break of the bracket back together, a break so clean you couldn't even see the seam once glued.

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There's three (I think) screws under the parcel shelf trim, and one on the rear of the parcel shelf trim above the rear light. It's a bit fiddly and was difficult to record since you generally can't really see what you're doing as you do it.

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Last bit back here is the seat belt trim. This is supposed to be split, I later learned, so that it can slide onto the seatbelt. It then clips into the hole in the trim.

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Spend some time fighting with the seats on camera. Give up and do it off camera at which point the bolts for the seats drop straight in.

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Finally, inspect why the rear speakers aren't working too well and learn that they're the original paper cone types fitted by BL back in '88. Also learn one is repaired with a huge amount of glue which, amazingly, works. I have new speakers to go in, I didn't do it in this video.

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Completely fail to take any shots of the final job.

Top carpet-fitting attire there, right down to the cuff-links!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • vulgalour changed the title to Maestro, please. - Parts Haul
  • vulgalour changed the title to Maestro, please. - Double Trouble

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