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


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At least it’s a bolt in sunroof jobbie.

ze German stuff of the same era is bonded to the roof skin and rusts like fuck when it gets going.

3m tape or clear gorilla tape I have used for door mouldings, 3m is definitely better just make sure all dirt etc is cleaned off completely and it stays on for many years…


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  • 4 weeks later...

Got under the Puma today to inspect the underside after a winter of driving through puddles.

I need to wash it a bit better to find out what is mud and what is rust.

It's brutal though, I went under this last summer and absolutely blitzed anything that even looked like it wanted to rust. Underseal, paint, wax, all the good stuff.

Anyway it's been due a service for a couple of months (though only because of time, not mileage) so I dropped the oil and changed the filter. Also gave it a squirt of air con sanitizer stuff as it's been a bit musty.

Mrs Grogee needs to use it tomorrow so the rust proofing/treating will have to wait but at least I know what needs doing. 

It got me thinking - most people don't do this, and then wonder why their cars rust. I don't remember there being much salt on the roads but I guess there must have been at some point. I mean, mine is a special case - old, rust-prone and a Ford. But it's amazing just how corrosive our environment is.

Anyway with the Puma serviced I'm free to get my teeth into the Maestro which has been waiting patiently for a sunroof change and headliner refit. 






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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Puma rust experiment RESULTS IN

Nice day today, and the new house is approaching a semblance of order so I got the Puma on stands to deal with the rot.

I decided that doing this properly would require removal of mudguards and wheel arch liners, so these came off once I remembered where all the fixings live.

Then having removed the liners I thought they needed a pressure wash. They're shit basically - made out of fibre rather than tough plastic. But being a nice day I knew they'd dry out after. 

Once under the car I washed the worst of the shit out with a sponge and car wash stuff. Of course, being upside down, I got soaked and muddy, but I didn't want that silt sitting there.

Weirdly I found the driver's side wing had loads of sandy crud sat behind the liner, almost enough to make a brick. And hardly any on the passenger side, which is where I'd expect the worst of the road mud to sit? 

Let that dry out over lunch, then attacked any suspicious looking bits with the angry wheel. I've now got an Aldi cordless grinder which is great, except the battery only lasts 20-30 mins, and doesn't recharge until it's cooled down. I need to find another battery so I've got a pair but they seem to be unavailable at the moment. 

Unfortunately the wire wheel confirmed my worst fears and there are a few small holes in the floor which will need attention One Day. I think I'm safe from the MoT man though, as they're more than 30cm from seat belt mounts. I've decided the best course of action is to blob some underseal over it and fuggedabbowdit.

I've noticed the floor looking a bit crusty before but I've done my best to slow things down with regular attention. It's not because of the carpet - interior is nice and dry.

I'll need to find a skilled welder who is ok with box sections and stuff; this is quite a tricky section to weld up because of several different profiles meeting up.

Then a slop of rust juice followed by zinc primer. 

To follow: black metal paint in some spots, gloopy underseal in others. Maybe even seam sealer, since I've got some in stores.

Luckily I'm not in need of the car for a while so it can stay on axle stands while I finish.





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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Puma Anti-Winterization

Ok I've slapped on some structural goo so I can forget about the rust for now. Currently in negotiations with Sister Grogee to put it in her garage over winter. It's damp, but still less bad than driving it around in the salt spray. 

Managed to tip a paint can over because of course I did. The drive already looks like the Luftwaffe have carpet bombed it; we've lived here 2 weeks...





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Tonight's job will be to refit those wheelarch liners and mudguards, fiddly but I've done it before so it's doable without too much swearing. Then tomorrow I'm getting the Maestro down for some much needed fettling.

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Maestro machinations.

Managed to fix the handbrake. I'd fitted the wrong cable to the offside, which rubbed on the wheel and cut through the cable. The cable was in a box of bits that came with the car, and although it was longer than the other side, I thought it would be OK because it didn't rub on the wheel with the car raised and suspension at full droop. Ah well, no harm done. 

Then I tackled the sunroof... which turned into a major pain in the ass. 

Firstly, discovered some rust in the frame that I hadn't treated before - so that was a series of treat, paint, dry, paint etc.

Then after all that, found one of the runners was cracked. Not surprised really, it's old plastic and lots of force required to move it forwards and backwards. When I discovered the break yesterday I had to walk away, having spent hours trying to get it ready to fit. Adding insult to injury,  the lube I'd sprayed on the runners leaked out over the new foam I'd fitted, causing it to unstick. Bah.

Anyway, today I took the original one apart in an attempt to understand the mech and see if it could be transposed to the 'good' frame. 

Sadly not, because the way it's manufactured means the plastic runners are bonded onto the cables after they're passed through a very small gap in the frame. 

I think I've succeeded in creating something that will hold the glass and keep water out, perhaps even tilt on a sunny day - but the slide back bit is too much strain on the broken runner. 

I'll need a 2nd pair of hands to refit so hopefully @Cluffy is available soon. 

Investigated the exhaust leaks as well. I knew it was leaking at join from downpipe to system, but there's not much I can do other than stuff in some putty and hope for the best. 

The more worrying one was a leak around  manifold. I managed to find a sooty stain under the manifold, and all I've done is tighten up the nuts and bolts. I did torque them to spec but that didn't feel very tight so hopefully this should provide more clamping force. 

Next up I shall attempt to secure the offside front bumper which is hanging down a bit by the wheel, hopefully it'll respond to a bit of cable tie engineering. 




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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Maestro sunroof hell
5 hours ago, Matty said:

Looking good. Will you get some use out of it before this winter or is that a step too far?

Ha! I'm trying to get sorted for July 9th Maestro 40th Birthday at Gaydon. Not sure how it'll go though, progress is so slow.

It's partly because I don't want to just throw it together and partly because I'm out of practice!

Eg today I thought I'd give myself a morale boost by fitting the alloy wheels... but I need different wheel nuts. Which I've ordered, but it'll probably be next week by the time they arrive. 

I need to write a proper To Do list which prioritises everything for a) MoT and b) show. There are other Nice to Haves like a new clutch but that can wait. 

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Cleaned the living daylights out of the Puma today. Things sort of snowballed after washing it - the headlamps had gone all milky so I gave them some Meiguars or whatever it is then @Cluffy gave me some of his sealer stuff.

Having done that I couldn't leave the paintwork so I gave it some wax too. 

Then @Cluffy and I went to the local car show at the cricket club. Really nice evening, chatted to a fellow shite owner (Allegro, R8) and had a burger and a pint. 

I didn't take ANY pictures but there was an Alfa Montreal, SD1 Vitesse and a giant land yacht (Coupe De Ville?) that I got to sit in. Think I might be getting the Yank Tank bug in the near future. 

Headlamps before and after elbow grease. 



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XJCs are just... something else. I said to @grogeetonight that I’d love for no new cars to ever be built. It would mean all those gems would have to be pulled from barns and be fixed etc. It would also mean I’d be out of a job but still, it’s a sacrifice for the greater good...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did battle with the Maestro today. With added jeopardy too, as the forecast said rain was coming. 

Like some kind of crazy madman, I even put our washing on the line - tempting and goading the weather gods. 

They backed down, which was good because @Cluffy had a window in his schedule to help fit my sky window. 

All the hard work is done on the cassette - slathered in paint and grease with a dash of epoxy where its rotted through. Even harder was going to the arse end of Preston to get it. 

It was listed for a Montego so I asked the nerd forum if they knew whether they were compatible. 'Yes, but the glass is different' was their sage advice. 

Turns out that's bollocks. The frame is very slightly different - there were a couple of prongs on the frame (presumably to help Len and Baz at the factory) so I ground out the welds and removed them. The glass is identical, which I thought it would be - the BL bean counters would have demanded £investment and tooling costs to be shared across LC8 and LC10. 

Anyway, with the frame in place and suitably sealed with much squidgy adhesive foam, I fiddled about getting the glass panel in. It's in although I need to fine-tune the fit. Main thing is that it's now weatherproof for the first time in years. 

Flushed with success*, I moved on to tackle the fluttery running I noticed when giving it some beans the other week. I'd bought a full complement of Lucas electrics: dizzy cap, rotor arm and HT leads. Partly because I'd read about @Wack 's trouble with caps and rotors, and partly because they were very cheap. I think Lucas is now a zombie brand and just a label on no-name parts, although the logo is pleasingly retro. 

However, like an ape I levered off the rotor arm not realising it's held to the shaft with a cap head bolt. That meant the shaft (or part of it) came with it. To be honest I would have struggled as it was seized on there pretty good and needed a tickle with the hammer to get off. But the weird thing is the shaft is just an interference fit inside the camshaft - there's no key, although there is a mark which is hard to align to. 

I did my best to line it up and sure enough it fired up fine, but I'm now suspicious the spark timing is not correct thanks to my ham-fisted mechanicing. Luckily I have a strobe so I'm able to check it at some point. But not sure how to adjust short of wrenching the inner shaft in the cam. (there is no adjustment on the dizzy). I may resort to the HBoL. 



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Moar progress. A bits and bobs day today. Eg fitted the mudflaps (my girl's got 'em). Which wasn't as straightforward as you'd think. The front ones are new with an MG decal on, but they had no metal frame, so I bodged in the old metal frame from the broken ones. That sort of shit takes ages: drilling, finding the right bolts, fiddling around fitting them etc. I can't seem to get them to hang straight, then again it's BL so we'll call that within tolerance. 

Then the ever helpful @Cluffycame to help me shuffle the headliner in at last. I've got most of the fixings in although I seem to be missing a few, I will need to raid the trim fixings box tomorrow.

Unfortunately I missed my 4pm teams call all about setting targets for annual review... Whoops. God I hate that shit. 

On the plus side I got the interior lights working, bonus. BL did their best to build in obsolescence by making the contacts out of mild steel but I soon cleaned them up. 

I had another think about the ignition timing. My theory is now that the timing is electronically set so that as long as the rotor passes the contact at roughly the right time, the ECU can send a signal to the coil to fire. There's a fairly wide dwell as the rotor passes the contacts so it shouldn't matter where the rotor arm sits within a few degrees. That would explain why it fired up happily after my fiddling. 

I will double check the timing but now I think maybe the vacuum feed to ECU (yes there is one) may be leaky, which might explain the reluctance to rev. 

Another win is that I checked the central locking, and it nearly works. Offside rear door needs a tickle - it's moving a bit but not enough. Hopefully a bit of link bending will have her right. 

First pic is the rotten bit of roof that the body man fixed, shown next to the roof channel trim I managed to refit today. 

She's coming together! 





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  • grogee changed the title to Grogee's spannering (Puma & MG Maestro). Maestro coming together

these and nomtegos can suffer bounce on the boot locking motor where the motor operates too fast and bounces open when locking

the fix is to wrap some wire or i supose a cable tie around the narrow part where the plunger omes out and just tighten the casing a smidge


drivers door is an actuator not a motor so you can't just splice a remote locking system in without another motor

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3 hours ago, Noel Tidybeard said:

these and nomtegos can suffer bounce on the boot locking motor where the motor operates too fast and bounces open when locking

the fix is to wrap some wire or i supose a cable tie around the narrow part where the plunger omes out and just tighten the casing a smidge


drivers door is an actuator not a motor so you can't just splice a remote locking system in without another motor

I do have a spare motor but not sure if I'll bother with remote locking. Key in door is all part of the experience. 

I'm not sure mine has a tailgate lock motor. It doesn't lock with the key in driver door anyway. 

What it does have is a comedy rear wiper. There's something very weird going on with the limit switch so it jerks and stops seemingly at random. I kind of like it though, it's very BL. I did take it apart, clean and re-grease but to no avail. 

Also the tailgate is full of rust. There was a 2nd hand one for sale but a) it was in Liverpool and b) it had no glass in it. I am hoping I will bump into a BL hoarder at the Maestro day who has seven NOS tailgates in his barn. 

Today's job was to sort out the lights ready for MoT. The lights have delightful* built-in obsolescence as the circuit tracks are mild steel butted up to brass contacts. Then overmoulded with plastic. The steel rusts then there is little or no conductance. I did try to solder it together but the solder wouldn't 'take' so that didn't work. 

I have seen a pair of NOS lights on the bay for £75 which I'm tempted by as mine are being proper temperamental. 

The only other job I did today was fit a new rear number plate. Not trivial as the old sticky tape residue was very persistent. A combination of paraffin, wd40 and alcohol shifted it in the end. Then, careful measuring to get it central and aligned. 



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8 minutes ago, grogee said:

I have seen a pair of NOS lights on the bay for £75 which I'm tempted by as mine are being proper temperamental. 

I'd say they're worth having for spares anyway. Or an investment if you move the car on.

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18 minutes ago, Noel Tidybeard said:

ah we "deliver" there at work 🤣

i may live in Solihull but work out of Walsgrave

might save postage/risk of damage and actually come and see the EFi personally

You'd be more than welcome. Kettle in fine working order and not manufactured by Lucas. 

Sadly no mot yet but you can sit in it and press the buttons while on the drive

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

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