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Wibble’s Wittering - Cortina & Senator ramblings


Wibble
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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone, thought it was about time for an update. 
Parked up the Skoda on Christmas Eve after work and decided I’d use the Senator over the break. None of it’s exiting issues have been resolved yet though, so ABS light still on and no audio. First trip out and returned to find all the windows steamed up, yep, fucksticks, the heater matrix has sprung a leak ☹️Not surprised as it did this 20 years ago and I just added Radweld back then😁.

New matrix has been bought but water pump also grumbling so it’s off the road again for now but looks like I can get the matrix out through footwell and not have to remove the dash🤞

As for the Cortina, it’s still hibernating but I’ll let you all into a secret. I love this car…… but it is shit to drive! I knew when I bought it but it was too rare to not buy. It needs a mighty amount of force to stop it, the clutch is ridiculously heavy and so is the steering.

Parts have been accumulated to try to resolve these issues, such as steering knuckle (which was seized), clutch cable and ball joints, but I suspect the servo isn’t servoing! And you can’t get them.

As I pondered all this, I realised on my recent birthday, that 30 years ago I was also working on a blue Cortina:22FC7A1B-2A69-4E82-BB87-DE7E635D896E.thumb.jpeg.c4d5504643f7d9691586fbd941440c42.jpeg

Started off with a quick spruce up but soon found serious rot in A post, inner and outer sills, inner wing etc, so:DB1A24BF-E351-4CC1-8926-6F2836C8FD74.thumb.jpeg.23e0ab0284291ed9ff029ba94c063821.jpeg Much welding commenced, carried out by a mate. I then realised the doors were too far gone, so found a set of 4, painted them by rattle can( check out the Mink Grey (beige!) Cavalier in the background)4785E40F-58B2-413C-BCA8-0C998F3E66BF.thumb.jpeg.ce70910fa6716dc9f145b7a49741b911.jpeg94296125-FA42-4B92-A8B6-643CB87F28A7.thumb.jpeg.723b246ab00ef7022991803846cb8bcf.jpeg889507C2-6801-4AFD-A36F-7F7484C6B1A0.thumb.jpeg.ee28618524539cf48f1e7412f84d483d.jpegThe finished result was good and even then got me lots of thumbs up but I didn’t take proper after photos unfortunately, just this oneE963E5A8-6D4B-4E99-93D6-CA0BCE23E911.thumb.jpeg.959733192f3cd2a8cd0e339e0b5d32af.jpegSorry for long post!

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Anyway, back to present day and the Mk4. I really fancied some tunes but wanted to leave the original radio in place. Also, there is no aerial as no one’s been brave enough to drill the replacement wings which have been fitted some time in the past.

so, I thought I’d install a CD radio in the glovebox.  Bought a NOS unit and a subtle self adhesive internal aerial which I stuck to inside of windscreen and fed through the dentist vent.

I didn’t want to cut the door cards or drill the parcel shelf so mounted small speakers under the dash. Drilled a hole through the back of the glove box and wired it all up, using power feed from original radio, which did power up. Long story short, it doesn’t fucking work! Wiring checked and triple checked, the stereo is a duffer. What a fucking waste of time😡

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I was lucky enough to drive a Cortina from Ford's heritage collection a while back. It was a silver Crusader 1.6 saloon. 

I don't remember it being hard to drive, apart from unassisted steering at parking speeds. 

Although it was among the least interesting of the collection, it was a realization of a dream in that I always wanted to drive my Dad's 1.6L estate aged 5-8.

The one thing that stood out to me was how the car would let you know it was unhappy, eg if you tried to labour it in too high a gear the whole cabin would shake and grumble. Modernz mask this much better but maybe this leads to "bad" (mechanically unsympathetic) driving as a result. 

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Lucky you @grogee! I drove plenty of cortina’s back in the day and they were all light and easy to drive, so I know mine has issues but they will be resolved!

Agree 100% about unsympathetic driving techniques. I often cringe when people are labouring in too high a gear but the car doesn’t protest enough for them to notice.

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6 hours ago, Wibble said:

Lucky you @grogee! I drove plenty of cortina’s back in the day and they were all light and easy to drive, so I know mine has issues but they will be resolved!

Agree 100% about unsympathetic driving techniques. I often cringe when people are labouring in too high a gear but the car doesn’t protest enough for them to notice.

Compared to todays cars , Cortinas would seem heavy to drive. Non power steering , although RWD and 165 tyres did help . My Dad had a MkIII 2.0 XL and the clutch was very heavy compared to the Datsun my brother had. My Mum didn’t like it and the MKIV ( 2.0GL) and MKV (2.3 GL) we’re both autos.

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My senator had inoperative heater controls - it was one of the first cars to have that kind of set up - it blew hot air all the time - no good in July - a long trip meant you were down to sbout 6 stone. It was cured with a plumbing valve fitted to the hoses in the engine bay. I summer you just closed the valve. What a result.

Cortinas are not noted for being sharp - it really is part of the attraction. I like the endless third gear, the rear seat that always seems to collapse when you sat on them. I do not recall the clutch being unduly heavy however brakes are poor and at low speed the steering is heavy.

A 2.0 or 2.3 S please.

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I agree about the rear seat on mk4’s, I do enjoy sitting in them though on the very rare occasions I get to sit in the back, I am mostly in the driving seat for the past 35 years. I find the brakes adequate when well maintained, far better than an XJ6 which would not slow down anywhere near as well. I took the power steering off my 1982 2.3 Ghia estate when I was using it everyday as I thought it would improve the feel and not sap power.  The mk4 Ghia estate I have has power steering but I would not say it is any better than those without, it is not necessary on such a light car with 185 tyres, I even had 205’s on my 2.3 estate for a while. I always preferred the GL model to the S but the S does have some appeal now and we have one in the fleet:

image.thumb.jpeg.ddc7ffb30dec7afb33e06d8813567d04.jpeg

 

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Love the S @Shite Ron and yes, rear seat is soft as! I never had issues with poor brakes or heavy steering/clutch back in the day. I remember sitting on my dad’s lap steering his Mk4 when I was about 7. Steering wasn’t difficult for me then! I know these aspects of my car are not right but, as said before, I will get to the bottom of it.

Glad to say @Bren, heater controls work fine on my Senator. Blows hot or cold, now just with added steam when on hot🙁

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I had the master cylinder resleeved at PastParts in my Mk4 Cortina and the brakes are really good. So as you say I'm sure it just wear and tear in your braking and steering to blame for the issues you describe. Mechanics are a breeze on Cortinas, its the dreaded tinworn that killed most of them

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5 hours ago, cbowditch said:

I had the master cylinder resleeved at PastParts in my Mk4 Cortina and the brakes are really good. So as you say I'm sure it just wear and tear in your braking and steering to blame for the issues you describe. Mechanics are a breeze on Cortinas, its the dreaded tinworn that killed most of them

Yep, wear and tear/age is what I think. Lower ball joints still look original riveted ones, haven’t looked at uppers. Got nearly all the bits I need and with lighter evenings on the horizon, I hope to get stuck back into it soon.

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On 1/30/2022 at 8:20 PM, grogee said:

I was lucky enough to drive a Cortina from Ford's heritage collection a while back. It was a silver Crusader 1.6 saloon. 8.

 

blimey how did you manage that. I've worked there for almost 20 years and they barely let us even see them

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8 minutes ago, wesacosa said:

blimey how did you manage that. I've worked there for almost 20 years and they barely let us even see them

I was a muttering rotter (motoring writer) for Which? Magazine. We did a piece comparing Cortina V to Mondeo IV, and compared running costs using independent fuel economy tests, inflation information, average wage etc to compare Then and Now (well, 2010) running costs. 

I took the Cortina from Dagenham to Brooklands for a photo shoot, then took it back again. 

At Dagenham plant I was really impressed with the collection and sat in an RS200, desperately trying to think of a legitimate reason why I needed that car for a week...

Previous to that I worked in Dunton as an engineer and as you rightly say - the grunts get FA in terms of perks. 

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3 minutes ago, grogee said:

I was a muttering rotter (motoring writer) for Which? Magazine. We did a piece comparing Cortina V to Mondeo IV, and compared running costs using independent fuel economy tests, inflation information, average wage etc to compare Then and Now (well, 2010) running costs. 

I took the Cortina from Dagenham to Brooklands for a photo shoot, then took it back again. 

At Dagenham plant I was really impressed with the collection and sat in an RS200, desperately trying to think of a legitimate reason why I needed that car for a week...

Previous to that I worked in Dunton as an engineer and as you rightly say - the grunts get FA in terms of perks. 

ah cool. I worked between Dunton and Dagenham (currently at Dunton)

When I was at Dagenham we had one open day in the heritage center where we could have a nosy but they never did it again

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2 minutes ago, Wibble said:

Bloody hell @grogee I’m so jealous and you @wesacosa! I’d love to have a drive in another Cortina, just to reaffirm mine is as bad as I’m sure it is!

Well likewise, I wish there was a Cortina on my drive! Yours doesn't look at all bad and they're pretty simple things so a few new balljoints and bushes will have her running like clockwork I'm sure. 

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I had this one in 2003 I think.  Cardinal red over Stratos silver Crusader Auto.  Identical to one my friends mum had when I was a kid.  It was for sale recently for a rather large sum of money ( I sold it in 2005 for £375, which was actually a small profit)

Screenshot_20220206-202431_Chrome.thumb.jpg.9f0779b931cb7936935ad252bdefffda.jpg

Here it is from a for sale thread last year

Screenshot_20220206-202857_Chrome.thumb.jpg.72e307e963c33dbd3670f6791a1a4d7c.jpg

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18 minutes ago, grogee said:

Well likewise, I wish there was a Cortina on my drive! Yours doesn't look at all bad and they're pretty simple things so a few new balljoints and bushes will have her running like clockwork I'm sure. 

Thank you, I know mine is pretty good really and I will sort it’s issues soon👍

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14 minutes ago, wesacosa said:

I had this one in 2003 I think.  Cardinal red over Stratos silver Crusader Auto.  Identical to one my friends mum had when I was a kid.  It was for sale recently for a rather large sum of money ( I sold it in 2005 for £375, which was actually a small profit)

Screenshot_20220206-202431_Chrome.thumb.jpg.9f0779b931cb7936935ad252bdefffda.jpg

Here it is from a for sale thread last year

Screenshot_20220206-202857_Chrome.thumb.jpg.72e307e963c33dbd3670f6791a1a4d7c.jpg

Prices are mad now, local classic dealer to me is asking just shy of £15k for a Ghia at the moment 😧

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5 hours ago, Datsuncog said:

My 2.0 estate remains the only car MrsDC really hated driving.  I didn't think it was that bad; she reckoned the clutch and steering were dreadful.

1981 Ford Cortina 2.0 GL.jpg

I thought I did quite well getting £675 for it when I sold it in 2010.

If only I'd had a garage to push it into...

I love an estate. Dad had a 1980 Mk5 1.6 auto base new back in the day. Many happy memories of that car. Wish I could get that for £675 now!

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