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N19's fleet - plodding along


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11 hours ago, Tadhg Tiogar said:

Radio 4 only really comes into its own during the comedy slot - generally 6.30pm to 7pm weekdays, 12.30pm to 1pm Saturday, and 12 noon to 12.30pm Sunday. R4 is the only UK station I listen to nowadays, mostly because it doesn't have much muzak. I used to listen to Classic FM, but that's dropped off now.

If it were possible to pick up some of the Irish stations on the CX's Blaupunkt I would be mostly tuned into Clare FM.

I've always been a radio 4 fan. Nothing more calming than the Shipping Forecast. 

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11 hours ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Who and what ? , I have cassettes to suit most popular and some unpopular genre's.. 




And other jazz, electronic and electro-acoustic.

However, it's all academic as I don't actually have any tape players, I'm all digital, even in the Volvo. 

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Bluebird has been a pleasure to drive for a good week or so. 

However, it's now jumping out of first gear alarmingly. Happened a couple of days ago, then once this morning, then several times at lunchtime. Fingers crossed it'll get home without too much hassle. 

I know nothing about transmission. Absolutely nothing. So this will be fun. 

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Picked up a bottle of gearbox oil on the way home and the box took 750ml of the stuff. Unfortunately still having difficulties. The car is still driveable, just... but I think it may be going to see the inside of the garage for a bit. 

Oh well, if the box has to come out, it'll make replacing the reverse light switch dead easy...

It's only just come out of the garage after being in for a cambelt, then in waiting for a door part... the local friendly place has a jag in the 'long term resident old banger' bay for some anti-tinworm treatment so may wait a little while.

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Bluebird still plodding along so long as you nudge the clutch in the right way. I've topped up the clutch fluid, which was a bit low, does it seem marginally better or am I just feeling hopeful? We'll see...

Capri has been touched up this morning. It'll probably not look great from close up, but my intention is to get the scuttle and A posts welded later in the year anyway, so as long as it looks reasonable for the summer... 


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Bluebird has gone into the garage for them to drop the gearbox and investigate those issues. First gear almost impossible to select now. 

That done it probably needs a couple of hours of tidying up fixings and trim etc, putting right temporary* fixes.

Capri got a nice blast down some local country lanes this lunchtime, blew a few cobwebs off. IMG_20210324_123906.thumb.jpg.7b2533f63c9f3e14007e1cfb30b812c9.jpg

The Mondeo needs a wash and will also need attention to the nsr arch. And the fog lights reinstating. Going to wait until the Bluebird is back together again first though. 

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Taking advantage whilst the garage wait to look at the gearbox, I'm sorting out a few Bluebird odds and ends. This runner had become detached at the bottom which I think is why the window originally went out of alignment. I know epoxy isn't the cure for all evils, but maybe this one... 


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Epoxy seems to have worked, hurrah. Window reassembled and hopefully will stay on the correct plane. 

Bluebird heat shield bolts have sheared off. Dammit. I guess the ordinary ones I used weren't suitable for the heat. Will probably need to pull the manifold to sort it properly... 

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Never one with a great deal of patience, I decided to have a look at the exhaust manifold after tea. 



Liberal soaking in WD40. The nuts going onto the block studs came out quite nicely actually. Nevertheless I think new nuts and a die run down the studs will help for reassembly. 

The lower bolts to the exhaust were more tricky, especially as the access wasn't great. I figured that a go with the blowtorch would help, but the blowtorch is down at the lockup, I pondered whilst holding my can of WD and then had a bright idea... 



No Bluebirds were harmed in the making of this image. 

Got one nut loose, I think the others will have to wait until I can get the breaker bar on them possibly from underneath. 

Tightened things back up and packed up, will have to order up a gasket set as well. 

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Modern portion of the fleet is on coordinated hissyfit at the moment. The Mondeo clutch is slipping, which came on within a few miles - suddenly came on and became pretty much undriveable after about 10 miles. Fortunately it's now home, and will hopefully be changed on Tuesday. 


I may even treat it to the wash it deserves... 

Bluebird still has difficulty getting into first gear, but is providing transport over the weekend. It will, with careful and gentle clutch action, go in. Or start off in second. Whilst this will undoubtedly ultimately knacker the clutch on this too, it'll be getting replacement when the gearbox gets dropped soon. 

Right, where's the overtime sheets... 

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:34 PM, Tadhg Tiogar said:

The weather might be shite tomorrow, so will take the CX for a quickie....

Sleet when I was down in N12 earlier. 

Bluebird still holding out if first gear is treated gently. I'm hoping to take the Mondeo to Yorkshire on Saturday, so need to have a sweet chat with the garage owner tomorrow, as it would happen over a long weekend and when his mechanic has Wednesday off.......

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A new centre cap for the Mondeo arrived yesterday, the previous one plastic clip had gone I think, it went AWOL somewhere along the line. The crud will need grinding back and tidying up at some point. 

No news from the garage. They're understaffed and have various cars in states of disassembly in the workshop at the moment which doesn't help. Until then, the Bluebird is managing reasonably well on daily duties with limited use of first gear. 


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20 hours ago, N19 said:

Mondeo gearbox out. IMG_20210412_152150.thumb.jpg.ffcad1a56e1fd319c42713ebe5f774b9.jpg

Going to order up a new bumper that I can pre fit the fogs to, that'll definitely be easier. 

Also, tax disc fitted thanks to @cort16's snazzy online tool.


Right up to date too. I was considering doing a "tax in post" one.

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Yeah; the others all have old discs in from the 80s/90s (one which was dated the day I was born, just for the heck of it) but thought that the 'modern'/daily could have an up to date disc. Wonder how long it will be until somebody notices the date...?

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One of the jobs I've been meaning to do for ages on the Capri is the front section of fuel hose. This links the nylon that runs under the body with the metal section running around the crossmember. 


The original one, of indeterminate age, I thought should be changed to try and lessen any risk of leaks from perished rubber.

First lesson, hose clips with 40 years of grit and dirt and waxoyl on, only come off one way. 

Second lesson, always have a container ready when doing work on fuel lines. Especially when they're above you. Nobody light a cigarette near me for a while... 

Anyway, replaced. A nice little job off the list. Garage now a bit fumey! 




I followed this with a bit of underseal topping up, currently have the car on axle stands/ramps to do this job and general under body checks. Some surface rust on the exhaust so should ideally pick up some VHT paint. 

That done, back home and the new bumper for the Mondeo arrived. Frustratingly I'd cracked the one I fitted in October soon afterwards, but new pattern ones aren't expensive. I guess they were a consumable with Mondeos of this era. 

This is also an ideal juncture to fit the fog lamps that have been kicking around the flat for god knows how long, so I've got the bumper in the living room and screwing them into position now. Lucky I'm single really... IMG_20210415_205919.thumb.jpg.d4e4cf33f7129d06fe0d7f6431ebccad.jpg

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With lockdown reducing, I took the opportunity to visit my family this weekend. The Mondeo still being in bits, it was time to do a 300 mile round trip in the Bluebird with iffy first gear. 


Which managed admirably and returned a respectable 37.5mpg, compared to the 23-25 it manages around town. 

Back home and I carried on scrabbling underneath the Capri and grinding rust away. Luckily mostly surface rust on the valances - it had attention here a few years ago. I think I'll see about stonechipping the bottom of the valance before I topcoat it to try and get a bit more life out of it. That'll be for evenings this week and then be ready for a couple of outings during my week off work. 


Also took the opportunity to stock up on fuel hose and a few other consumables. I'm pathologically unable to not have a full cupboard, which I know is weird. 

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The Mondeo returns today after the clutch job at the garage. As well as doing said clutch, they also dealt with a few brittle wires and a perished brake servo hose. 


I'd had a new bumper waiting ready to go on sitting on my dining table for a week or so. Fog lights that I never fitted after the last bumper job ready, and this time I hope to get more than 6 weeks before splitting the new bumper. 

In stripping down I managed to knacker the undertray, and a couple of the fixings were a bit fiddly, but got there. 


And the fog lights work... Although the ns headlight doesn't which I only spotted just now. 


That done I embarrassingly realised that the last time it'd had a proper wash was in the care of @garycox when he owned it. And it showed...


One trip down to the jet wash later... Much shinier. It'll never have pristine bodywork and it needs another going over really. 


Whilst passing a mini milestone... 


Then went to the lockup and cut a bit of plastic to screw to the bumper and bridge the missing undertray. And do a bit more underseal on the Capri. The latter is almost done for another year (I do a rolling programme of rust treatment every spring because old Ford). 

Bluebird is now resting for a bit after a very busy month. It needs to get the gearbox refurbed in the near future. I've also got to replace a CV boot and do some rustproofing, and there's an electric window that still isn't exactly right and I darent use... so now the Mondeo is back it'll be getting some attention. 

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  • N19 changed the title to N19's compilation of middle aged tat - Mondeo murmurings
  • N19 changed the title to N19's fleet - plodding along

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