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Austin Montego Poverty Estate - 100 miles without incident!


Tommyboy12

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My dad had two montegos.

B33COX replaced his series 1 2300 rover. Rust and a propensity to drop onto five cylinders ( one plug kept oiling up) meant it had to go.

The montego was a 1.6 L estate in moonraker blue. It was nippy and good on fuel but he didn't have it long - interest rates were creeping up (1989) and various issues meant it got punted on.

D597RMA was a vanden plas efi. Resprayed before it's 7th birthday rot sealed its fate - the metal around the rear struts went. Even the windscreen came out.

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Excellent purchase!

There was never a factory built 1.3 estate, the 1.3 engine was only ever available in the base saloon.  5 speed gearbox was an optional extra on the 1.3 and 1.6 base saloons and 1.6 base estates, so the gearbox could be original to the car or have been transplanted along with the engine.  Either way, this is probably the only Montego 1.3 estate in existence.

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16 minutes ago, bezzabsa said:

so you polished it yet??????

 

Take a polishing mop to those arches and I think it'll look like Swiss cheese afterwards.

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Just now, Fumbler said:

Take a polishing mop to those arches and I think it'll look like Swiss cheese afterwards.

naw, be pure unadulterated Brummie metal under that LOL....or 4 tins of Isopon P38

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Just now, bezzabsa said:

naw, be pure unadulterated Brummie metal under that LOL....or 4 tins of Isopon P38

montego 12.jpg
Hmm I wonder. It still has shape to it so I can't imagine it's all that bad as Maestrontegos(TM) go.

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Where did the 4 speed come from for these? The 5 speed was a VAG thing of vagueness and a linkage comprising self-ejecting plastic balljoints which waited until you were at traffic lights then sprang off.

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20 minutes ago, somewhatfoolish said:

Where did the 4 speed come from for these? The 5 speed was a VAG thing of vagueness and a linkage comprising self-ejecting plastic balljoints which waited until you were at traffic lights then sprang off.

Both are VAG units I gather. This 5 speed seems to be very firm and tight but finding first was a pig because if I went for where 1st should be I got reverse. 1st seems to be more like it's between 1st and 3rd. Maybe a hangover of an engine change?

As promised some videos! Heavily compressed so apologies if they're a bit rubbish. This was genuinely the second attempt at starting with no aids whatsoever. I had easi start and tools at the ready and didn't need them!

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Well in.

That econometer reminds me of my early days of DJing - we had a set of lightboxes that looked like that!

I'm sorry I won't be at FotU to meet you and shake you by the hand.  This is a preposterous car and I think it's awesome.  Hopefully it'll make the July photo for the AS 2022 calendar.

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itf its same as the mk1 golf unit then itll need the bushes doing, my mk1 shat its gearchange at the lights i had to pop it back on and drive home in what ever gear i found first!

2 hours ago, Tommyboy12 said:

Both are VAG units I gather. This 5 speed seems to be very firm and tight but finding first was a pig because if I went for where 1st should be I got reverse. 1st seems to be more like it's between 1st and 3rd. Maybe a hangover of an engine change?

As promised some videos! Heavily compressed so apologies if they're a bit rubbish. This was genuinely the second attempt at starting with no aids whatsoever. I had easi start and tools at the ready and didn't need them!


 

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On the Mk2 golf, you adjust the linkage with a plate fitted, that locks the car in a gear, and then you do up the linkage clamp. Going into reverse instead of first a common symptom. No idea if these are the same, but I’m pretty sure it’s a similar gearbox.

My dad had a C plate estate many years ago. C608 YWK if I remember right. 1.6 engine but not high spec. He always wanted a countryman but wouldn’t have diesel, as many seemed to be. Great find, and must be impossibly rare now. 

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Treated the old girl to some of the finest Landsail tyres! Fitted on my driveway too.

While the tyres fitted are 165R13 the Montego & Maestro owners club states that the 1.3L was fitted with 155 tyres and the 1.6L with 165 tyres. As such I have decided to go with the slightly skinnier tyre which might help a bit with rolling resistance and the low power on offer!

image.png.a6f7673a7a3e97cb74809f0eaf7e263f.png

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2 minutes ago, Tommyboy12 said:

Treated the old girl to some of the finest Landsail tyres! Fitted on my driveway too.

While the tyres fitted are 165R13 the Montego & Maestro owners club states that the 1.3L was fitted with 155 tyres and the 1.6L with 165 tyres. As such I have decided to go with the slightly skinnier tyre which might help a bit with rolling resistance and the low power on offer!

image.png.a6f7673a7a3e97cb74809f0eaf7e263f.png

I hope it doesn't handle like a TV stand.

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Okay, I have questions.  Seeing as how British Leyland/Austin Rover almost completely ignored the American market, my only exposure to the Maestro & Montego came from old copies of CAR, beginning in the late 1980s (all of which I still have) and the interwebs, of course.  I must have been the only kid in all of North America to have lusted after an MG Maestro Turbo!

First, I have to say that Montego estate is a magnificent looking machine!  What I really want to know is was it really worth the savings in tax to downgrade from the original 1.6 S series to a 1.3 litre A+ series?  Am I wrong in thinking the engine from a BMC Mini dragging a Monty estate body behind it must have been the slowest thing on Earth?  Did the A+ series still have the gearbox inside the sump, like the Minis?  Will you be keeping the 1.3 or do you have plans to refit an original spec 1.6 S series and it's corresponding VW gearbox?

I can't wait to see this car restored to it's former glory!

 

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Saves quite a bit on the VED, the monty is pretty light for its size so unless you're carrying a full load of lead ingots the performance will be adequate. The 4 speed will be a pain on M-ways and other fast roads though.

  

5 hours ago, rickvw72 said:

On the Mk2 golf, you adjust the linkage with a plate fitted, that locks the car in a gear, and then you do up the linkage clamp. Going into reverse instead of first a common symptom. No idea if these are the same, but I’m pretty sure it’s a similar gearbox.

My dad had a C plate estate many years ago. C608 YWK if I remember right. 1.6 engine but not high spec. He always wanted a countryman but wouldn’t have diesel, as many seemed to be. Great find, and must be impossibly rare now. 

From what I can remember of ours(F plate 1.6L) there wasn't any adjustment, the rods with the balljoints just popped onto(and off again at the next lights) the bellcranks; we put up with it until the new part arrived and I got quite adept at jumping out, raising the bonnet and reaching down to the linkage and reconnecting it. IIRC it sat in the 2nd-3rd plane so you could still drive with not much clutch abuse.

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1 hour ago, Madman Of The People said:

Okay, I have questions.  Seeing as how British Leyland/Austin Rover almost completely ignored the American market, my only exposure to the Maestro & Montego came from old copies of CAR, beginning in the late 1980s (all of which I still have) and the interwebs, of course.  I must have been the only kid in all of North America to have lusted after an MG Maestro Turbo!

First, I have to say that Montego estate is a magnificent looking machine!  What I really want to know is was it really worth the savings in tax to downgrade from the original 1.6 S series to a 1.3 litre A+ series?  Am I wrong in thinking the engine from a BMC Mini dragging a Monty estate body behind it must have been the slowest thing on Earth?  Did the A+ series still have the gearbox inside the sump, like the Minis?  Will you be keeping the 1.3 or do you have plans to refit an original spec 1.6 S series and it's corresponding VW gearbox?

I can't wait to see this car restored to it's former glory!

 

No, the engine is a conventional end-on gearbox layout using the A-Series as featured in the Marina and Ital, but mounted transversely. With 70bhp and good torque characteristics, they're nowhere near as sluggish as you might expect.

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That 'econometer' more than makes up for lack of tachometer on the main cluster.

I am more impressed that item works over the stereo. 

Can't see this old wardrobe being any slower than the low pressure tdi astra I had tbh. Should be more than pleasant enough on most roads unless at full load capacity.

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5 hours ago, Tommyboy12 said:

...The Montego & Maestro owners club states that the 1.3L was fitted with 155 tyres and the 1.6L with 165 tyres.

Early Maestros came with two designs of 13" wheel rim. Oblong holes for 155 section and round holes for 165 section tyres.

Montego 1.3/1.6 Base came with 165 section tyres and thus round hole 13" rims only. Unless of course you specified the optional metric sized TD rim and tyres, in which case you got an enlarged version of the typical Metro wheel of the time with a snazzy squared off centre cap rather than a full wheel cover. These were unbelievably rare, as at launch the Montego 1.3/1.6 Base was the only model in the range to come with conventional imperial wheels and tyres and not the snazzy metric TD stuff as featured on every other model in the range.

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14 hours ago, Madman Of The People said:

Okay, I have questions.  Seeing as how British Leyland/Austin Rover almost completely ignored the American market, my only exposure to the Maestro & Montego came from old copies of CAR, beginning in the late 1980s (all of which I still have) and the interwebs, of course.  I must have been the only kid in all of North America to have lusted after an MG Maestro Turbo!

First, I have to say that Montego estate is a magnificent looking machine!  What I really want to know is was it really worth the savings in tax to downgrade from the original 1.6 S series to a 1.3 litre A+ series?  Am I wrong in thinking the engine from a BMC Mini dragging a Monty estate body behind it must have been the slowest thing on Earth?  Did the A+ series still have the gearbox inside the sump, like the Minis?  Will you be keeping the 1.3 or do you have plans to refit an original spec 1.6 S series and it's corresponding VW gearbox?

I can't wait to see this car restored to it's former glory!

 

The engine will stay yeah. Sourcing a 1.6L would be pretty difficult unless I find a breaker car and in reality you're only gaining a few hp (86hp vs. 68hp). The 1.6 estate is 1015kg Vs. 940kg for the 1.3 saloon so it's effectively like carrying a passenger at all times in a 1.3 Saloon. I'm not worried about performance as I'm racing a 1L Citreon AX!

Gearbox wise my understanding is they are the same between the 1.3 and 1.6 but the 1.6 had 5 speeds were as that was optional on the 1.3. They actually used the inline version of the A-series to make the end-on gearbox FWD setup. So no gearbox in the sump.

The road tax is £100 a year cheaper on the 1.3 too!

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5 minutes ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Why is the road tax cheaper on the 1.3?  

Apparently the Welsh have a real soft spot for an A Series 1275 lump and like to show this by rewarding owners with discounted RFL. Apparently anyone considering dropping one of those heavy-breathing Rover V8s into a Montego engine bay are charged heavily and told to 'GTF boyo' if asking for cheap rates. 

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38 minutes ago, Eyersey1234 said:

Why is the road tax cheaper on the 1.3?  

Pre-2001 cars the road tax was done on engine size and there were two bands. A low one for engines below 1549cc (£170pa) and a high one for about 1549cc (£280pa). Obviously this engine swap switches the capacity and reclassifies the tax band.

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Wasn’t there also a company car tax thing going on at the time? Which favoured smaller engined cars.

I’ve read somewhere that Volvo sold significantly more 2.0 700 series cars at that time because of this, the only marginally bigger 2.3 engines were in a higher bracket so were a bit less popular for fleet buyers.

 

Cracking car btw, great to see it saved! For one of these the rust doesn’t look too bad at all, especially considering the outstanding mileage on it.

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23 minutes ago, Tommyboy12 said:

Pre-2001 cars the road tax was done on engine size and there were two bands. A low one for engines below 1549cc (£170pa) and a high one for about 1549cc (£280pa). Obviously this engine swap switches the capacity and reclassifies the tax band.

Thanks I had forgotten it was done on engine size

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20 minutes ago, danthecapriman said:

Wasn’t there also a company car tax thing going on at the time? Which favoured smaller engined cars.

I’ve read somewhere that Volvo sold significantly more 2.0 700 series cars at that time because of this, the only marginally bigger 2.3 engines were in a higher bracket so were a bit less popular for fleet buyers.

 

Cracking car btw, great to see it saved! For one of these the rust doesn’t look too bad at all, especially considering the outstanding mileage on it.

2.0 litres was a line for benefit in kind, allowed mileage and tax values of company cars for many years.

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