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A pair of decrepit 309’s


stevek

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7 hours ago, stevek said:

Hi,

I’ve been aware of the brown forum for many years, but generally hung around on another well known blue hued forum, sort of on and off anyway. Most of my ‘fleet’ (if you can call a collection of long term broken cars that) is probably more at home on here but my most recent car tinkering finally pushed me over the line to sign up on here.

Ya see I’ve been spending a bit of time recently poking and tinkering with the longest standing, many years abandoned, heaps in my collection and I suspect this is the only place I might scrape some interest in what is basically a hopeless cause. Said heaps have been abandoned rotting on my drive for 17 and 19yrs respectively, but the house where they languish is going on the market soon so their existence hangs precariously in the ballence. Friends and family have been telling me to scrap them for about a decade now so their calls are almost deafeningly loud now. It would certainly be the sensible thing to do.

For reasons beyond common sense I want to move them to my current house which means making them mobile again. I mean ‘mobile’ as in I can load them onto a trailer and preferably drive them up my short but annoyingly steep driveway, not as in make them ready for the road. 

Anyway, so what do you make of these two beauties?

6AD18F1B-BFC7-4B14-AA51-30007F42C43D.jpeg.4464f8dcadc26a43d29647d577e58079.jpeg


C9969ACC-F62A-4ADD-8F74-09D054A323B2.jpeg.d92daf4fa263a36bb8f87c557e28e2b0.jpeg

Artefact 1 - The gold one - 1989 1.3 XL special equipment

This was my first car, bought by a much younger self circa 1999. I saved up the £600 by working weekends in Burger King while doing my A levels. It was well used and abused until 2005, but it’s been parked up ever since. It was retired as a fully functional car on 109k miles, I just replaced it (with a 34k miles 1.3 mk6 Escort I bought as Cat D salvage and returned to the roads). It donated its windscreen to the blue one around 2009 after vandalism so it’s been open to the elements for a while too, it’s become home to some ferns growing in the carpet.

Artefact 2 - The blue one - 1987 1.3 GR Profile

This was my mates car for a year but he donated it to me when the MOT ran out, in 2007 according to the MOT history. The original idea was to fix the this one up using the gold one for spares. After a couple of years ignoring it I did drag it to an MOT test in 2010 which it failed due to much more rampant rust than I had given it credit for, it’s sat ever since.

So what ya thinking of doing with them I hear you say! Well, the gold one has probably (though not certainly) had it’s day as a regular 309, but I’m sentimental about it and have a very harebrained idea for it in the back of my mind. It might never happen but I want to hold on to the possibility, so the goal is to just move it and sling a car cover over it. The blue one however is calling out to live once more, I want to get it back on the road. I’m better skilled to weld it back up now than I was back then, and once the old house is gone I should be blessed with more time and lower outgoings which should help progress along. I kinda just fancy fixing it up a bit, I want to feel the mighty power of the Simca rattle box engine and savour the rolly polly handling on skinny tyres once more. But firstly I just need to move it so I can achieve priority no1 which is to get the old house up for sale.

There you go lots of waffle, I’ll post about where I’m up to and what I’ve got stuck on soon, if anyone cares.

-Steve-

Fond memories of ragging a borrowed one of these around the passes of the Alps, Simca rattle and roly poly handling in full effect.

309. The plain but smarter and more interesting sister of the 205.

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<Forum bully enters fray>

Had a GTI in about 98, loved it even if it was a bit flaky. 

<Forum bully thankfully leaves>

Seriously though, if the gold one has been open to the elements is it really worth the bother of carting it to the new house? Could you not strip it then get the scrap man to collect the carcass? 

I realise it's your first car but surely the only way to resurrect it would be complete bare paint resto with all the welding, painting and pain that involves. 

But finally - welcome to your last resting place (AS). You'll never leave. 

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How bad is the gold one? I mean, it was your first car…. If you’re sentimental about it, why not make that one a good runner? You can enjoy it again then. I wish I’d never sold my first car mk3 fiesta to a mate because it never saw the road again and was scrapped.

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Very nice! It’s a shame about the gold one though, must be shit to see something that holds so much sentimental value in that condition. However the others are right. Nearly 20 years it sitting around, 15 of those without a windscreen? it’s way passed it now. Still handy to have though, I’m sure it’s got some good spares to purge off it. 
 

Welcome to the forum :) 

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Ok some interest then, great. I’ll answer some comments soon but first up another round of catch up…

The blue one.

About a year ago I tickled the engine back into life after it’s 13 yr slumber. This mainly involved chucking a fresh battery on it and sticking the send and return fuel lines into a pop bottle of fuel. First startup video:

https://youtu.be/R-tsokrxPUQ?si=ADZhWxv9PShV9AaS

It started pretty easily considering, mind it sounded dire without an exhaust and the accelerator linkage was stuck so I could only hold it running on the choke, oh and it was pissing fuel from every hose at an alarming rate.

Since then I have:

  • rigged up a temporary fuel tank, just a 5ltr fuel can with two barbs added on. 
  • replaced the fuel hoses
  • unstuck the carb accelerator linkage
  • stuck the exhaust back on
  • cleaned up the rotor and cap contacts. 

…it now starts ok, sounds ok, idles reasonably well, the fan kicks in when it gets hot and it responds to poking the accelerator. Nice.

Next is to set about making it move, I’ve done some work on this front too but have not achieved motion yet. I’ll cover this in another post shortly.

-Steve-

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It seems like a busy forum, cool. Time to answer those comments:

 

@BeEP - It’s nice to find someone on my wavelength.

 

@N Dentressangle - ‘smarter and more interesting’ you say. I think it was more a case of ‘uglier and boring’ to the masses, though I’ve always preferred it myself too.

 

@grogee - I wish they were Gti’s that i’d hoarded but heyho. And yes the gold one is probably a dead car. But my might never happen secret hairbrain plan, that isn’t a resto, wouldn’t care about the rustyness or most of its other problems either. Shame it’s a secret really. Thanks for the welcome.

 

@sutty2006 - ‘how bad is the gold one?’ It’s bad. There is plenty of rust, probably the same amount as the blue one, just distributed differently. But no windscreen has trashed the dashboard, door cards seats and carpet so it can’t easily return to a standard car. Always fond of a mk3 fezzer, my mum had a j-reg one and the first car I welded to get through and mot was my old housemates n-reg.

 

@Hertz - ooh a 1.6 as a first car, swanky, I couldn’t get the insurance!

 

@motorpunk - Sri’s do look good and probably sporty enough for most. Cheers.

 

@SunnySouth - ‘Fascinating tale, love stuff like this!’ Lol. It’s a little peek behind all those decaying cars you see doted around and wonder WHY! Garage wall art, bbq conversion, trailer, many ideas have been bandied around and have not been ruled out.

 

@SEATMad - ‘must be shit to see something that holds so much sentimental value in that condition’ I’ve had almost 20yrs to come to terms with it. Thanks for the welcome.

 

@cort1977 - My mate at school crashed his mk2 Astra 1.3, I didn’t really like his car I’m afraid. But I did admire his three way SQUARE driver parcel shelf speakers.

 

@rob88h - You might need to get your head checked! But I know what you mean. I’ll get some more ‘deterioration’ pics up at some point, get the Kleenex ready.

 

@dozeydustman - I know I derated them earlier as rattly and rolly polly, which I stand by, but yeah they’re still a decent drive. Better than the mk6 escort that followed it for sure.

 

@Tenmil Socket - ‘Why didn't you do this sooner?’ LOL good call. But I actually did, I think it lasted a few years before the UV got it and the wind shredded it. Should have replaced it Doh.

 

-Steve-

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Not to sound like a stalker or owt, but I know those cars are parked... Dun dun duuun!

I used to get my cars MOT'd around the corner. I used to drive about the place before a test to warm the car up and test things if I was early. The MOT station was taken over years ago and haven't been past since. Glad to see the 309s still exist.

By any chance did you have/still have a Porsche 924?

Oh and welcome.

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Welcome.

With enough time / Help / money anything is possible. Save the gold one if you can.

1) It was your 1st car

2) Its a rare beast now being a 3 door

3) Be an instant hero at the local car shows.

4) Seats / Dashboard etc can be got with time from other forums / The blue one.

But honestly - See if you can save it - You may regret letting it get chopped up / Fragged.

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Hi there morrisoxide, yes I still have the 924. I had to take it off the road at the end of last summer to save some pennies but it’s ready to roll when I sort my finances out. Actually that’s a small fib, it needs tyres desperately and a bonnet catch return spring but that’s all. It’s still as rough and ready as ever but it’s a blast.

AB668E57-D51B-4D51-B567-EBCEB4EACCD5.jpeg.6fccc11359ead3e9dd4a1f7a55e32733.jpeg
 

8DD3E5AE-BC62-409F-9036-1AD5557CA111.jpeg.1ff4b1437185517c0d1fc3ee882b6a9b.jpeg

-Steve-

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Any value in tarting up the gold one to a proper ‘rat’ look - not that ridiculous bollox with all sorts of shite glued on, but an ‘unrestored’ look with the bare minimum done to make it safe & legal! I find that idea quite appealling!

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@Billy - Medhurst - I see your thinking but I don’t think I want to put that much time and money into it for it just to be ‘another’ 309. As you can probably tell I’m not one to just frag it, I want to hang onto it but not start a project on it now.

 

@JMotor - ahem 309 wheels you mean! Yeah I think they suite it well. It was a bit of a bugger to fit them despite the pcd and offset being correct, needed to convert the Peugeot m12 flat seat bolt fixings to standard conical seats to use m14 bolts into the Porsche hubs.

 

@SunnySouth - I’m not against that vision, 100% no stick on tat bollox. Or sanded paint either, ew. Blue one first though.

-Steve-

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Let’s complete the catchup session on the blue one.

 

To make it less grim to work on I jet washed the engine bay and undercarriage to remove the cobwebs and greasy rusty detritus. Controversially I’ve also done the outside too, removing the moss and green slime. I was particularly impressed with the lichen growing on the windscreen and bonnet. Anyway it’s all gone now but don’t worry it still looks like shite, the paint is rough as.

 

I’ve jiggled/cleaned various contacts to wake things up. The lights were horribly dim but there is now a full compliment of adequately bright lights after swapping out a few dead bulbs. I know this was off task but it was easy and pleased me so yeah whatever.

FFE48F18-2669-494C-86C1-2E7D4825CEA5.jpeg.ac584e65f19bacadcc0b5520b7d6fcef.jpeg

D9943602-7253-4F54-BFED-03E040B77B4C.jpeg.c06ab723b83d28120d3bbf5d97dbc614.jpeg

Back to the important stuff… mobility. Starting with the front end, so far I have:

 

  • Put the front end on axel stands. Selected 1st and made the wheels grind round somewhat.
  • Pulled the discs off, tickled them with the grinder knot wheel.
  • Crowbarred the caliber pistons back in. That was a fight!
  • Dropped new £5 pads in.
  • Pumped up the tyres. Yay go me!

So the front is hopefully good and ready but due to the dismantled rear drums I haven’t been able to test the brakes so who knows if the callipers will drag or stick but I’m hopeful that the front is all good.

02A00D0B-EAB1-4959-903C-AF611316D663.jpeg.3f4c651f607655fea51bfcb42f4b5e6c.jpeg

9A355152-D22D-41F1-8F17-35AAEEAED0CE.jpeg.73dee4618dfd6be2b4d882cd453584c0.jpeg

The quest for motion is slightly inconvenienced at the back end as it was left up on axel stands with the drums removed and the fuel tank off for the last 14 yrs! All because the inner sill by the tank needed welding (along with all 4 sill corners) and I didn’t feel confident to tackle it back then. Interestingly a previous ‘repair’ here turned out to be a slip of metal posted up the side of the tank and only welded along the bottom edge where an MOT tester would see, just flapping in the breeze everywhere else!

 

At the back end, so far:

 

  • Found the drums in the garage, de-rusted then with the knot wheel.
  • Pulled the remains of the rusty brake shoes with no friction material off.
  • Cleaned the rust off stub axle.
  • Walloped the wheel cylinders to unstick them.
  • Tried to un-seize the hand brake cable
  • Bought some £7.50 shoes but found the hand brake mech couldn’t transfer.
  • Bought some £9 shoes with handbrake mech already attached.

 

So first I reassembled the right hand drum but the hub nut didn’t feel like it was going on right. After a few attempts backing it off and trying again I thought I’d got it to thread ok but unfortunately it stripped when torqued up. Annoying but doubly so because I’m now struggling to get the drum off again to check the thread so I don’t just chew up the next nut. At £4.98 a piece (ECP) that could get real expensive quickly.

 

Moving on to the left side I had to fight the drum back on over the new shoes and it’s all just binding up massively. Not really sure why as yet and I just know it’s going to be a real fight to get it off again to look.

 

I have decided to replace the handbrake cables when I manage to get back into the drums, they were ordered today. £5.50 left side, £8.99 for the right, (eBay inc. delivery) this car is going to bankrupt me! (I struggled to get one side for the 924 a couple of years ago and ended up forking out something like £160 for that one cable! Typically the side I didn’t need was only £15 and widely available)

 

Right your all up to date on the blue one.

 

-Steve-

 

ps. Who else loves old school packaging designs? 

D002CD69-D57B-4396-A57A-C5A22A5DDB76.jpeg.8be9b12049206958f04bbcdaeebb76b4.jpeg

 

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@morrisoxide Ah yes that was a few years back, only convoyed there that one time but it added to the entertainment. Trying to remember what was in the mix. Erm, Fiat 126BIS, big obscure yank tank, Volvo turbo brick, some 70s Vauxhall possibly a royale, montego estate. Don’t tell me I’ve missed whatever you were in!

 

 

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9 hours ago, stevek said:

Let’s complete the catchup session on the blue one.

 

To make it less grim to work on I jet washed the engine bay and undercarriage to remove the cobwebs and greasy rusty detritus. Controversially I’ve also done the outside too, removing the moss and green slime. I was particularly impressed with the lichen growing on the windscreen and bonnet. Anyway it’s all gone now but don’t worry it still looks like shite, the paint is rough as.

 

I’ve jiggled/cleaned various contacts to wake things up. The lights were horribly dim but there is now a full compliment of adequately bright lights after swapping out a few dead bulbs. I know this was off task but it was easy and pleased me so yeah whatever.

FFE48F18-2669-494C-86C1-2E7D4825CEA5.jpeg.ac584e65f19bacadcc0b5520b7d6fcef.jpeg

D9943602-7253-4F54-BFED-03E040B77B4C.jpeg.c06ab723b83d28120d3bbf5d97dbc614.jpeg

Back to the important stuff… mobility. Starting with the front end, so far I have:

 

  • Put the front end on axel stands. Selected 1st and made the wheels grind round somewhat.
  • Pulled the discs off, tickled them with the grinder knot wheel.
  • Crowbarred the caliber pistons back in. That was a fight!
  • Dropped new £5 pads in.
  • Pumped up the tyres. Yay go me!

So the front is hopefully good and ready but due to the dismantled rear drums I haven’t been able to test the brakes so who knows if the callipers will drag or stick but I’m hopeful that the front is all good.

02A00D0B-EAB1-4959-903C-AF611316D663.jpeg.3f4c651f607655fea51bfcb42f4b5e6c.jpeg

9A355152-D22D-41F1-8F17-35AAEEAED0CE.jpeg.73dee4618dfd6be2b4d882cd453584c0.jpeg

The quest for motion is slightly inconvenienced at the back end as it was left up on axel stands with the drums removed and the fuel tank off for the last 14 yrs! All because the inner sill by the tank needed welding (along with all 4 sill corners) and I didn’t feel confident to tackle it back then. Interestingly a previous ‘repair’ here turned out to be a slip of metal posted up the side of the tank and only welded along the bottom edge where an MOT tester would see, just flapping in the breeze everywhere else!

 

At the back end, so far:

 

  • Found the drums in the garage, de-rusted then with the knot wheel.
  • Pulled the remains of the rusty brake shoes with no friction material off.
  • Cleaned the rust off stub axle.
  • Walloped the wheel cylinders to unstick them.
  • Tried to un-seize the hand brake cable
  • Bought some £7.50 shoes but found the hand brake mech couldn’t transfer.
  • Bought some £9 shoes with handbrake mech already attached.

 

So first I reassembled the right hand drum but the hub nut didn’t feel like it was going on right. After a few attempts backing it off and trying again I thought I’d got it to thread ok but unfortunately it stripped when torqued up. Annoying but doubly so because I’m now struggling to get the drum off again to check the thread so I don’t just chew up the next nut. At £4.98 a piece (ECP) that could get real expensive quickly.

 

Moving on to the left side I had to fight the drum back on over the new shoes and it’s all just binding up massively. Not really sure why as yet and I just know it’s going to be a real fight to get it off again to look.

 

I have decided to replace the handbrake cables when I manage to get back into the drums, they were ordered today. £5.50 left side, £8.99 for the right, (eBay inc. delivery) this car is going to bankrupt me! (I struggled to get one side for the 924 a couple of years ago and ended up forking out something like £160 for that one cable! Typically the side I didn’t need was only £15 and widely available)

 

Right your all up to date on the blue one.

 

-Steve-

 

ps. Who else loves old school packaging designs? 

D002CD69-D57B-4396-A57A-C5A22A5DDB76.jpeg.8be9b12049206958f04bbcdaeebb76b4.jpeg

 

Great work, shame the moss had to go. 

As an aside, I challenge you to restore this only using parts that cost less than £10ea. You're already well on the way with pads, shoes, cables. 

Re the rear wheel hub nut - I did some research to find cheaper alternatives for some car or other, loads of cars use same thread and nut so I bet you can improve on ECP prices. 

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Great effort so far! Coming along nicely!
 

How is it looking in terms of rot though? I’m guessing it still needs the sills welding from all those years ago? How’s the rest of it looking after years of idleness? 

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