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N19's fleet - plodding along


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I'm back darn sarf now after a nice few days in Edinburgh. I have the utmost respect for people who drive professionally over long distances - it takes it out of you! I set off from Edinburgh at 6am and got into London just after 2. Stopped a couple of times for rest and food. 40.5mpg.

Yesterday I managed to spray paint the inside of the Mondeo's back window...


On 4/22/2022 at 5:18 PM, N19 said:

PSA: do not throw a can of white paint into the boot as it is coming down.

This is post much frantic clean up. I also have white streaks in my hair.





the worst is now off with a bit of acetone and much polishing, although the back bumper now looks a bit like a decorator's stereotypical estate. A bit more clean up should see to that.

I borrowed a friend's trailer to try out my towing skills in controlled conditions. Didn't do too badly, although it was quite surreal as someone who's never towed before!





then after a long journey home and an afternoon nap I promptly pranged the rear bumper on a bollard, which means the Mondeo can regain the OEM gaffer tape.




meanwhile the Capri has had an oil change - not through distance but age, it's done about 2,000 miles since the one last May? so new oil and filter. Hopefully take it for a spin tomorrow before back to werk on Monday.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - Alternating

Not too much been happening recently - I've been very busy with other stuff.

The Bluebird has seen quite a bit of use. Insurance and tax are up at the end of next month and it'll be getting another year, but after that it'll be ULEZ... I think it heard me talking, because the drivers window has decided to do the favourite thing of the moment and drop down, mangling another regulator. FFS.  Really don't have time now as I'm away for a few days soon, so I've parked it up with a G-clamp holding the window up (on the regulator rail rather than the glass...)

There had been some rattles coming from the Capri last time I used it. On inspection, the alternator pulley was eccentric and when disassembling it seemed to have lost a spacer/woodruff key type part to hold it dead centre. Fantastic*. Luckily, I had another alternator lying around, but it was the wrong handing...


Fortunately a memory of a discussion in a motorfactors about how easy these are to change the handing on helped and everything went back together.

Visited the Enfield Pageant, parked up to this appropriately AS-esque mini:



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  • 2 weeks later...

After a couple of very busy weeks away, some time to do a bit of tinkering today.

The bluebird window I've held up with a nut and bolt on the regulator for now. Can't be arsed doing anything more at the moment!


I'll probably wait till the Capri takes up root at the garage for bodywork, then the Bluebird can sit in the lockup for a bit and I can sort some of these things out properly.

There was a note when I got back saying "DO NOT PARK HERE!" on the windscreen. I'm not really sure why, the car had been sitting in the car park behind my flat for nearly 2 weeks but I purposefully chose the most secluded spot in the car park and went right up to the wall to try and be considerate. Hrrmph.

Mondeo needed a new tyre and also the rear washer has never worked in my ownership. Whilst the garage were replacing the tyre I borrowed their airline and did a bit of faffing around. Ultimately found a join undone under the bonnet which meant the screenwash was simply peeing out down the inner wing. A nice easy fix.


The Mondeo was also due oil and plugs, I found where the missing rubber insert for my plug socket was...


... Perhaps a bit rich?

Also discovered a mangled HT lead with a connector twisted. A new one on order, in the meantime a spare bluebird plug lead does the job...

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  • 2 weeks later...

New HT leads ordered up and fitted, all prettily done. Another one came apart when removing, not a good sign.



Time then for the Bluebird to have a wash and a proper vacuum out and internal clean, which it seldom gets.


Got a little list for this car. When the Capri goes into the garage for bodywork in October (hopefully), this will go into my lockup and I am hoping to deal with a lot of the worn out bits here and there. The exhaust manifold needs sorting once and for all, there's trim clips and nuts and bolts missing everywhere, rubber seals and so on perished, the drivers door window needs sorting out properly, central locking has never worked, the rear bumper could do with a repaint and I'm sure there's more.


Sadly despite a nice vacuum and clean the mats are a bit dead, think a trip to costco is in order!


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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - Bluebird gets some attention
1 minute ago, N19 said:

It's still performing sterling service! I have the parts to get the original stereo working if I can find the time and remember how it went back together...

Glad to hear it! Honestly it's quite a decent replacement if you can't get the original working or back together.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Bluebird has a slightly binding n/s/f brake, so I whipped the caliper off. Hrmm, the lack of dust seal and this piston would explain it...




I'm hopeful that a seal kit and a new piston, now on order, will sort it.

Obligatory Capri pic. Hopefully getting a nice few long runs over the summer months.


I noticed that the middle of the '9' had fallen out. Pressed plate which has done 5 odd years and 20,000 miles I think we'll let it off. Luckily I had a bit of masking tape to improvise...


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  • 2 weeks later...

I was back Up North last weekend, spent a bit of time noseying around parts of Doncaster and seeing what's changed. Came across this abandoned garage,



which included taking the Mondeo around some rather odd country lanes


as usual, it copes with everything thrown at it! Journey back at 8am on a Sunday was a dream, a/c has been wonderful in this heat.

Some love will be required before the next MoT, as this is definitely within a prescribed area...


I've got a couple of weeks off work now before I start a new job. Number one impact on the fleet is that the mileage required will reduce significantly, as I won't be driving to/from work anymore. This does make the Bluebird's position questionable, although it's just had another years insurance and is about to be taxed. Given the ULEZ will change things further next year, I'm still planning on keeping it until next summer, as that'll essentially be the end of late 80s motoring in London...

Jobs on the list are to get the welding patches done on both 'moderns', Capri needs a look over prior to FOTU, the alternator bracket lost a bolt the other day and I'm not convinced if it's exactly how it should be - going to consult the Haynes. Bluebird still has a sticky caliper that I have the part for now (hopefully). Garage could do with a tidy, I've repurposed a pallet and some carpet tiles to create a little standing step, either so I can sit on a stool to work at the bench or access higher up shelves.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a nice day enjoying some country lanes and accidentally passing through a show at Croxley Green. Then on the way home noticed a bit more skidding than usual on roundabouts, then someone flashed me from behind...


Changed to the spare (itself a perfectly capable pirelli of exactly the same size). Feels like the bead has gone on this tyre, holds pressure ok but a hand in the right place lets air out.

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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - feeling tyred
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Tom, just caught up on your thread! Great stuff. Didnt know you had a Bluebird! You didnt buy it off a guy called Umesh at Halfords did you? ( i know you said local motorfactors) I popped into the one near Muswell Hill and he let me have a drive of his C reg Bluebird. Lovely Car and I think he had a few of them. 

I had to do that scuttle panel patch on my Capri and its coming back again now. You still have less rust than mine i think haha. 

Good to know your a fan of cassettes too. I've got a bit "spice rack" looking thing full of them and used to carry this around in the Escort till recently. Went for DAB for the summer which is pretty crap so will definitely be going back to MW  radio and Cassette.


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Bluebird excitement continues at the garage. Welding completed to the rear arch, but they've found a rotten fuel pipe which is going to be replaced. I then have a nice list to get through...

Capri will need stripping with lots of parts removing. I'm going to need a proper filing system... Probably beginning of October, interior out (save the clocks and bare minimum driver's seat), then glass out, bumpers off when it's in the garage. The small bits and pieces, I can work on in my lockup. Already have quite a few parts ready. 

Better sign up for overtime at work...

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Popped in to see how they're getting on with the Bluebird. Progress. Once it's painted over and the trim is back you'd not know it's been replaced  IMG_20220819_111828_6.thumb.jpg.dbd2d84b673ba7ca16c39df986b22a44.jpg


Capri meet at the Ace this weekend just gone. 




Ah, the empty engine bay of a pinto.The latter picture doesn't show it perhaps, but the tops of the wings are definitely frilly.

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B&%$rd parts. Can't find a brake hose for the bluebird anywhere - the o/s/f is correct, but the n/s/f hose that everywhere seems to list is the wrong one. Motor factors, who have the proper old books etc, couldn't get the part. Sigh. Don't want to fanny around taking a punt on things that 'might be ok' off ebay based on a picture...

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The bluebird returned yesterday after spending quite a while in the garage. 




Rear arches welded up, looking nice, with the trim refitted you'd not know they'd been done. 


Whilst it was in, a few other jobs were completed, namely replacement of a bloody brake hose to sort a binding caliper (which took several attempts to get hold of!) and fresh fuel line, stonechipping of the fuel tank. 

Now back in service and nice to be driving it again. £70 to fill up from almost empty. 

Next up, sort out the drivers electric window and the central locking. 


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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - welding done, what next
  • 3 weeks later...
  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - Capri prep starts
45 minutes ago, N19 said:

Mondeo passed the MoT yesterday, phew. 

Capri had a nice little jaunt out to Cambridge today. On return I started the initial stripout for the upcoming welding excitement. Lots of labelling and trying to be organised. Seats and carpets out, temporary seat to go in.



Haha!! I saw you. 1145 on Trumpington Road! Looking good - recognised the car instantly. 

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Carpet all in one piece. There'll be plenty of time to clean it up, I think a good vacuum and then shampooing... Maybe even take it down a jet wash?

There was a leakage of some sort of oil in the rear os footwell, so that part is stained. IMG_20220929_150707_2.thumb.jpg.7d13b16532c56c68d611871bd7e7bf40.jpg

I'm pondering other bits and pieces that need replacing whilst I'm at it, the under-dash 'kick plate' is pretty knackered and CCI do new ones. 

Also some fraying to the edges of the seatbelts.



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21 hours ago, danthecapriman said:

Doesn’t look all that bad under the carpet etc, certainly in a better way than mine was!

Iid definitely try to save the original carpet, most of the new replacement ones are two part and the fit is shit. One of the regrets I’ve got with mine.

No, it's not too bad there. Main issues are the sills, plus the A posts. However, I want to go through and do any other bits and pieces at the same time if appropriate. And any other niggles. 

I think the original carpet will be fine, even if there discolouration remaining, it's mostly under the seat. There'll be plenty of time when it's being welded to give it a proper shampoo, scrub and wetvac.

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Capri door card off,  but can't work out how to get the remote mirror wire out in one piece. Will leave that till the weekend when I can do it in the day. I'll also take the car for a spin, as nothing I've taken off so far stops it from being roadworthy or legal. 

Bluebird returned to the garage to be used as an example of their welding work for a customer wanting some arches done on a BMW! They tend to have 1-2 slots for old interesting shite that is being worked on between other jobs, which is why I like them.

Mondeo glovebox catch snapped off the other day. On inspection, a plastic arm inside. Replacement MK2 ones unobtanium, MK3 one dimensions identical?


Except the handle positioning, fudge. Luckily, a minor modification (filing a plastic edge down slightly) has worked, it'll do nicely. 


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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - it'll never catch on...

Bottom of the dash and the door cards all now out. Tomorrow's plan, get the rest of the dash out, leaving just the clocks so it can be driven. Then empty the assorted junk and bits from the boot, rear bumper off.

Also quite a bit of sticky insulation being removed, I'm binning it and scrubbing the metal down so it's hopefully easier to work on.


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Off with the bumpers, well the back one anyway.


Interior now almost gone, just the dash to remove, but I wanted to wait till I had a bit more time to go through it methodically. I can probably do it one evening after work, as it can be done from inside the garage without any time pressure or real setup/pack away needed.


Although my workbench is pretty full at the moment with parts stored. Once the car has gone away for the weldathon there'll be space hopefully. I do want to get the Bluebird into my lockup for a few jobs on that, but I'll work around it. Not pictured is the interior seats, carpets, door cards etc which are all in my bedroom at home!



Meanwhile, the Bluebird is due an oil change and some new spark plugs. The engine is easy enough to work on, except one of the plugs - to gain proper access you need to remove a fuel line! Old plugs look rich to me?


Followed by a quick spin around and then popping home.


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  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - plodding along

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