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A pair of decrepit 309’s


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Right, yesterday, the blue one:

With the engine running we have brakes which was a pleasant surprise. Only tested by way of enthusiastic shunting back and forth on the drive but they seem pretty alright too. It would probably benefit a few miles to bed in the new pads and shoes I expect. The handbrake has reasonable effort too. And when you remove the brakes it returns to free rolling so nothing nasty binding on either.

Flushed the coolant a couple of times…


… nothing like as grim as what came out of the gold one. Bit brown yeah, but not that bad really.

The auxiliary belt has started squealing again under load, it didn’t feel that tight and was at max tension adjustment. Fine I’ll nick it off the gold one and order another, but when I did it was all baggy, humm. The gold one is fine with the 10x775 and has the same G1A engine. The old ‘blue’ belt had W1A750 printed on it, so a 750mm belt obviously? Except it measures 8x745 and I don’t think they tend to shrink as they age. I’m pretty sure it will have started as a 10mm wide as that seems most common, which would have it ride higher up on the pulley V circumference, so I’m undecided what length to order. 10x750, 10x745 or 10x740. Maybe any would work but there isn’t much tension adjustment to play with. Roll the dice I guess.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The blue is one:

The eBay aux belt should have arrived on Wednesday but it didn’t even arrive before the Easter break, it finally dropped through the letterbox this morning. I swiftly set about installing it and immediately realised it’s much too small, <sigh> that was well worth the wait! I decided to try and get a 10x750 off the shelf somewhere but the web search for GSF and ECP only search by car so that wasn’t working. Pre-armed with a couple of part numbers I trundled off to GSF where they were able to cross match a belt. They got one branch transferred from Bradford to Leeds in 2hrs which I though was good. Should have done this in the first place.

Belt 1 10x740 - £4.19 inc del. eBay

Belt 2 10x750 - £6.96 GSF 


Even the 2nd belt was tight. No way it was going on by hand but it flicked on with the starter motor trick. No need for additional tensioning!

And with that I declare the blue one ready to be moved.


The Gold one:

As previously covered this one starts and moves but has no brakes. I don’t really fancy loading, unloading and driving up the steep driveway without any so this was the next task. 

Surprisingly I managed to get both front bleed nipples out ok, though they will need replacing down the line as I gave them one hell of a beating. Got one rear out but the other wouldn’t budge. Gave the pedal a pump and it built some pressure, that’s promising. So I started it up and tried shunting it but the pedal went to the floor again. Bummer. Loads of fluid coming out of one drum so that’ll be a popped wheel cylinder. I’m not digging myself a new hole by taking these drums apart, it’s time to engage bodge mode… just snapped the rear brake line and squashed the end over. An initial leak was fixed by getting a bigger hammer and with that the rear brakes are isolated.


Gave it a shunt and yep we have brakes, rubbish brakes, but that’ll do.

Wedged a fuel can in down the back and strapped it so it can’t fall on the exhaust manifold, also threw a strap on the battery. That should suffice.


I declare the Gold one also ready to be moved.


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This thread reminded me of when I was a kid and my parents had a 309 GE. 

I used to have thoughts about how cool it would be to travel in time into the distant past (the 60s) with my dad's 309 so that they could be in awe of its advanced design. 

Stuff like the engine that sounded like some spanners in a dustbin, or the picture of a lion where a rev counter or clock would go on the higher models, or the rough and scratchy hessian seat covers. 

I could sell the patents to such wonders and become rich beyond my wildest dreams. 

I thought that car was the fucking business. The business was probably a hot dog stand outside a vegan convention though. 

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Really enjoying this thread,  we had a 309GLD growing up before it got part ex'd for a scenic in 2001.

We always said GLD stood for Grand Luxury Diesel, safe to say we'd never been in an actual luxury car...

It also had a device, I think called a safety bar fitted in the boot to convert the centre lapbelt to a four point harness, although I've never found any trace of such a device on the Internet.


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2 hours ago, stevek said:

Looks exactly like that, never knew what to search to find one. 3 x 3 point seat belts in the back was a big selling point when we upgraded to the scenic.

Not sure the AI description works for the ebay listing though.

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Sorry been a bit busy to add a proper move update earlier, so…

Moving day went really smoothly! My dad reluctantly agreed to tow with his Freelander so I hired a trailer for the day (£60 Rothwell Trailers). Both 309’s behaved themselves so it was straightforward to load and unload them. We took our time since there was no rush to return the trailer, but we had it back in only 3hrs which I thought was pretty good going.



Feels good to have cleared the drive at my old place so I can progress that towards sale. It does make my current place look a bit scrapyardey but hopefully the neighbours don’t take too much offence. I chose to hide the knackered gold one up the back facing away so as to be the least of an eyesore possible. I’ll get some car covers too.




I’ll be taking a break from these while I prep and arrange the sale of the old house but once done I should be in a better position to tackle some of my car projects in earnest .


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This is brilliant!  I love a 309 and am looking forward to seeing more and more progress on these two.

You know all these people with decrepit cars on their driveways and when anyone asks about them the answer is "I'm gonna get round to doing it up one day"?  Well you, sir, have gone and done it!

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11 hours ago, stevek said:

Bonus trailer loading videos:



P.s. Still kinda amazed they self propelled themselves out of there after all those years!

Is there any better* sound than an old shiter minus exhaust being manoeuvred? Just glorious. 

If there was an AS video calendar, these would be a shoe-in

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