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Grogee's spannering (Puma, Maestro, 5er & Corsa). OPERATION CLUTCH


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Idly browsing Maestro bits on the bay, happened across this - the Silver Dream.

It couldn't be any more Eighties. I don't think I've ever seen one though.

Made me wonder though - what happened to the outfit that was modifying them? I notice the address shown is Ampthill, and I remember seeing an advert for a tarted up Chevette from a similar address. My mate had that very Chevette many moons ago, in orange and brown two-tone. I can't remember what it was called?


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That's some achievement, to actually cheapen the look of a Chevette, a car I remember as seeming pretty povvy even when they were new. The way the headlights and tail lights were fitted seemed really 'oh fuck it, that'll do'

Shame really - the Kadett version looks so much better to me, and they're a decent car underneath

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14 hours ago, Forty45 said:

This one?


Visually it was the same as this and pretty sure it had tartan seats inside too, possibly wood trim too. 

But... I don't remember it being called 'LUX'. I'm certain it was called something else with a longer name. I will ask my mate if he remembers.

I do remember it getting stuck in third gear. 

They're massive inside, quite useful cars. I thought they looked quite futuristic with no grille and slanty lights.

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Last night I was at semi-employer's garage having a look at his Mustang, which has shat a rocker again. This time, it was the collar/adjuster that had loosened itself. 

Managed to get myself in a pickle about how to lock these in place, but eventually settled on keeping the hex collar stationary while tightening the Allen grub screw (after setting the gap to something like book value).

He's going to run it at the weekend so hopefully it'll stay attached. It does make a right old racket.





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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Espace FTP again

Joy of joys the Espace has FTP'd again. Battery is fine this time but it just cut out as I was driving along, said 'INJECTION FAULT'.

Of course being in a rush I haven't brought my coat and it's raining. 

Luckily I managed to coast into a layby on this single track road otherwise I'd be blocking it.

Fortunately not far from home, Mrs Grogee will be picking me up shortly. AA are on their way, 11.40 apparently.

Blocked fuel filter? Pump goosed?Seemed quite sudden, no warning. I'm sure HP fuel pumps are really cheap* for these.


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AA man threw in a gallon of diesel just in case it was low, but no dice. He's been fiddling about with a temp bulb pump thing and now has engine cover off, presumably to diagnose HP pump. He's read codes too. So far so logical. 

Pretty much resigned to this getting towed to our tame mechanic Shaun for further £work.


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Blimey. He only got it going. 

Hats off to him though, because Rennow made it as difficult as possible.

With his diagnostic equipment he was able to determine that the HP pump was just ramping up to sufficient pressure as the starter stopped turning. 

It's one of those starter buttons that will crank for a maximum amount of time, then turn off - you don't have control over it like with a traditional key.

So he basically hotwired the starter so that it cranked long enough to get pressure out of the HP pump, then she fired.

Drove straight to the garage for them to have a proper look and check it out, assuming they can do it quickly. Mrs Grogee should be able to borrow a pool car in the meantime. 

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Breakfast this morning was, as Rolls-Royce would put it, "adequate".

Luckily there was a hand car wash place round the corner so after we ate like kings, the Puma was scrubbed back to shiny. Mrs Grogee isn't happy riding in the Puma, it's too bumpy and noisy, plus the heater control valve has gone wrong (TADTS) so sometimes it blows hot when you want cold. Lots of huffing and puffing, then complaining when I'm doing 75 for some reason. 

Got to be up early doors tomorrow to take her to work, then phone garage and see if they can do anything with the Rennow this week. Ideally I'd like it back for the weekend so Mrs Grogee can take me and colleagues to airport for India trip. 

Hoping to see a Nano while I'm over there, I'll maybe start a thread. 



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2 hours ago, Forty45 said:

Isn't relying on it to get you to the airport a bit of a gamble? What could possibly go wrong......

Yes. We may well end up using Mrs Grogee's worx pool car. Unfortunately it's three burly blokes, Master Grogee and her so a bit of a squeeze in a non-French wheeled palace.

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Wheeled out the Maestro today for its journey across the border into Northants. Long-distance Ceri @worldofceri had already done a Sussex stint in the morning but still had time to deliver the White Wonder to the Northants garage.

The boot is full of spares: 2 doors, a pair of sills that were £expensive made to order, 1 rear arch panel, 2 front wings in lieu of other rear arch panel.

Hopeful that 'Kevin' can perform wonders with tin snips, a MIG gun and a light wipe of wob. Followed by a dusting of BL appliance white.

Ably assisted by master Grogee who was glad of Ceri's trailer as a climbing frame. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

The Maestro might be absent, but that doesn't stop me hoarding tat for it. Today I drove ~180 miles for a bonnet, which was £20 off the Bay in Newcastle (the other one).

I drove the Espace, which is a useful shape for transporting body parts. Mrs Grogee now has zero confidence in the Espace since it FTP'd on me even though the tame garage has pronounced it fit ("no fault found"). That's despite me asking him to check the level sensor, because I didn't have a low fuel warning yet all the symptoms were 'ran out of fuel'. Guess I'll just have to do it myself at some point, but in the meantime I've explained to Mrs Grogee that she must fill up when it shows two blobs on the fuel gauge. Which goes against her nature.

Meanwhile, she's piloting a 2020 Focus and is absolutely smitten with it, which would be fine if we could afford one. Which I don't think we can.

Anyway, the Espace was absolutely fine and averaged 46mpg over the trip which is impressive for a tallboi. I wasn't going quickly, but then there were quite a few 50/60 limits in place on the M6 which would have helped. 

Said bonnet is serviceable. I don't necessarily need it, but the one that's on there is a bit scabby on the underside. So is this one, but at least while it's off the car, I can wire-wheel it and spray some primer then Diamond White or whatever it's called.

Waiting for me when I got back is a (possibly) genuine AR radiator. Again, I don't need a radiator (yet) but it's a British car, so it's just a matter of time really. Sold as NOS, it looks like it's been festering in a warehouse somewhere for many years and the fins are a bit bashed up, but "she'll do".

Basically my strategy has been to buy bits as and when they become available, based on the fact that spares are mainly unobtainable now. Rimmer Bros has a smattering of bits but it's certainly not comprehensive.






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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Espace running as Maestro parts mule
  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got round to making a start on the Maestro headliner today, ably assisted by @Cluffy

"Kevin" the bodywork man has gone onto radio silence; we've exchanged a few calls and messages but he hasn't responded to my "how's it going" that I sent on Thursday. So he's probably not even started, or potentially it's caught fire and is now ashes.

Anyway that's fine, no rush as I've still got nowhere to work on cars. 

Step 1 for the headliner was a good hoover to get rid of the dessicated orange grot that used to be glue. Step 2 was to glue the broken bits back on.

Unlike other headliner backings I've come across, this one is expanded polystyrene. This makes it fairly brittle and delicate, so we were being fairly careful not to make it worse.

My theory is that by plastering it with PVA, I should end up with a smooth surface that will be happier with the trim adhesive and fabric. We weren't able to completely remove the orangey grot but I'm hoping if it's encased in PVA, that shouldn't matter.

Next up will be fabric glueing, always a bit scary. 

In other fleet news - the Puma has gone for MoT. I told our 'friendly' tester that I thought the headlights were too high, and the handbrake was a bit shit. Sure enough, that's what it failed on. He's going to have a go at adjusting the handbrake on Monday; luckily I don't really need it in the meantime. Pretty sure it had new shoes not long ago so hopefully it'll be salvageable without major surgery. 




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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Maestro headlining excitement, Puma MoT

Oh, and in other BL parts hoarding news - I got a pair of rear damper "bushes" (really the seat that goes between damper and body).

Like many of the Maestro bits these are NLA, however one of the forum nerds (Bill) was able to get a batch made up for the forum people who wanted them, about 10 pairs at a guess. They were £30 odd but will come in handy when I change rear dampers to the Spax adjustables I've got waiting.


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37 minutes ago, Wibble said:

Watching your headliner work with interest as the Senator’s is pinned up at the back for now.

If you go back through this thread you'll see the one I did for a Saab 9000. Which, hopefully, is still in place @Soundwave?

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5 minutes ago, grogee said:

If you go back through this thread you'll see the one I did for a Saab 9000. Which, hopefully, is still in place @Soundwave?

Yep, still in place and still a constant reminder that I need to do something with the C-pillar trims, which look inadequate in comparison,

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1 minute ago, Soundwave said:

Yep, still in place and still a constant reminder that I need to do something with the C-pillar trims, which look inadequate in comparison,

Ah yes, I didn't get that far... Rested on the laurels of my success with the headliner I'm afraid. I've probably accumulated enough off-cuts for you to do them by now, or I will have after the Maestro job - you're welcome to them. 

@Wibble if you're alright taking the pillar trims off then it's not too bad. Can be awkward with a saloon, so taking the passenger seat and possibly passenger door trim out can help. Don't do as I did and wait until the HOTTEST DAYS OF THE YEAR to bleddy do it or you'll burn your fingers on the roof.

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Thanks, I’ve seen the Saab one just watching as many as possible to build up the courage!😁 The front pillar trims were removed for the screen being replaced and the fitter was surprised to find them held by metal clips rather than plastic, so fingers crossed. If I get brave enough it will be on my thread at some point but I really appreciate the tips👍

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More hoarding. This time, 4x Bridgestones for the alloys. Bloke selling them 45 mins drive from here and I bagged them for £60. By the time I add up the wheels, tyres & fitting costs it'll be around £300 all in. 

They're a bit muddy though. Any tips on cleaning? I was going to try soapy water & scrubbing brush.

Also got two Conti 175 65 14 for the steel wheels. The car currently has two Chinese ditchfinders on (but they are at least in date) and two ancient 80s tyres which scare me. 

My thinking is, the Bridgestones and alloys will be the summer use set, then when it's stored in winter it can sit on the steels. Inevitably there will be some driving on the steels, so I need them to be safe/serviceable as well.

I also bagged some NOS wheel trims (for the steelies) for £30 posted. I did have plans to spray my set but there seems no need now. (Someone on the bay is trying to sell a set for £150...)

Basically just twiddling my thumbs now until it gets back from body repair. 





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9 hours ago, High Jetter said:

No rain on the forecast?

It's sort of 'ground in' dirt. We get lots around here being rural, some from the farmers and some from the HS2 construction.

I know it sounds fussy but after having the body repaired/painted and some nice wheels, muddy tyres would look out of place. Although, possibly easier to clean once mounted on the rims.

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The Puma is back in business. My MoT man claims to have 'fixed' the headlights and handbrake but...

- Headlights were adjusted with the level adjuster set to '3'. So if I put it back to '0' they'll be too high again. I can see myself fixing this in the summer.

- Handbrake was allegedly 'adjusted' but it feels exactly the same. I suspect he's just tightened the adjuster behind the handbrake lever rather than taken drums off and clicked self-adjusters out a few clicks. Again, I'll see to it in the summer.

The good news is that it only came to £80, IE £30+MoT cost.

Thing is about that tester, he is pretty sympathetic to the old shite I bring in, so the Maestro will be going there as soon as it's back from bodywork and I've sorted out the handbrake. And hazards. And fog lights. And exhaust...


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My bodywork man has finally got the Maestro on the ramp, and found this advanced grot hidden behind rear plastic bumper.

I wonder if it's possible to fabricobble a right-angled piece to replace the rust? Anyone got an opinion on how bad/saveable this is? @junkyarddog this looks like your specialist subject...



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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma, Maestro, 5er & Corsa). OPERATION CLUTCH

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