So to start off, the blue Impreza decided to copy the blue MG and have some dodgy battery connections. Also the battery had lost all it's charge, down to 7v.
I jump-started it, popped it on the lift and pulled off the Ispiri reps
Another way the Subaru and MGs are similar is that they have the exact same PCD and centre bore, so those wheels went on to the silver MG for now. I did not realise that the Subaru had spacers on it too. No wonder the bearings are done. I did double check in case they were PCD adapters but no, just spacers. So I could get on with putting some cooler wheels on.
The wheels came with four new (budget of course) 215/35/18s but I don't much like stretch, and I also don't like jarring rides over potholes. So I opted for 225/40/18 on the rears to see how they would look.
This thing has a super-squat-stance now. I love it!
I'll um, get back round to the bearings later, after I roll it outside for a better look at my fat-boy. Well, mainly because my cousins 1 series suspension collapsed and that needed to go up on the lift to be fixed.
Thank you for asking. That's very kind of you. Also I've been wondering over the last few days whether I should update this thread. Certain other things have occupied my time over the last while hence no updates, but now that you've asked, it prompts me to oblige. And, pretty awful, to answer your question. It's been a year of one high point and many lows (non-automotively speaking). I wouldn't call it a complete right-off as some of my chums have, but it's been very hard on the ol' ticker. But I'm far too stubborn to give up
It's been six months (not to the day, but who's counting, eh?) since I last updated. Why? Well, living under a rock, were we? Someone ate a bat and then sneezed and 50% of the world became vampires, or something like that. Since my friend (and employee) Ali was killed in a car accident in Feb 19, we've managed in work with me and two (very dedicated/loyal) workers - just the three of us while the business expanded and grew beyond our capability. One guy came and went in Sept 19, a shame as he was very hard working, just hardly managed to ever show up. Another started in Feb 20 - two weeks before he was told to go into isolation. One of the other guys did the next week after that - and suddenly there was just the two of us, running a business that although mainly a ELV dismantler, also does servicing and repair work. And we were swamped. Nearly all the mechanics near to us closed up, and we have/had regular customers in vital roles including several nurses. So we stayed open and tried to keep up. We REALLY struggled. There were several weeks in April & May where I worked three days in a row without sleep. When either of us did go home to sleep, it was at 3am or later, and back in to open up the next morning. It's still a bit hazy how we got through all of that. It would have been incredibly stressful, other than that neither of us allow it to get to us. All his social stuff was cancelled too so with neither of us really able to go anywhere we just made the best of it and had a good laugh while working at 250% capacity faster and harder than we could really maintain. Many energy drinks were employed in this process.
You'd think that on our day off on Sunday we would go relax and try to take it easy. But what we had at that time was amazing weather, so it was a really good time to work at stuff outside. I pulled out tree stumps for an older friend who's not able to do it himself. Some I dug, some I went at with the chainsaw, and some... some I put my most able vehicle to good use with:
In April over the Easter break I spied an M3 for sale, and with the amazing weather we were having, I thought a cabriolet would be just the ticket. So went and bought an Estoril blue 3.2 Evo. Unfortunately it was not anywhere near as good as expected - it's really a tired one, so this is heading only one way...
After that I also spied another MG for sale, apparently with HGF. I asked the seller only two questions - do the boot electrics all work properly, and are the back lights still secured by their original fixtures and not gaffer tape? With two affirmative replies, I had it collected and delivered. I left it running one day for an hour and it didn't overheat. So, hmm. A great spares source for my blue one anyway.
Speaking of which, one of those nurses I know reversed her BMW straight into my ZTT
while I was chatting to her husband at the other side of their house. We heard the clatter, figured that's what had happened, and talked on. She was pretty mortified but given that their back bumper already needed painted due to previous similar incidents, and that the MG bumper was the only panel on my car that wasn't dented (until now), we figured it was all OK. I did make a point of showing the damage to all our mutual friends though, for purposes of high quality banter.
Well class, it all begins on the last day of term.
I was driving in to work and stopped off at a friends house to help her with her 306. This one:
This low mileage, quite delightful little Cabrio was bought from a forum-ite so she could cruise to the beach with the top down. Being a woman who knows nothing at all about cars and is used to a showroom fresh model every 3-4 years, I've landed the job of maintaining this. In exchange for occasional use of it, of course. Can't miss out on the perks.
I attempted to leave, in my noisy, thirsty Subaru, and it was out of petrol and would not go.
After I got someone on the phone to bring a gallon over, I then got 1/4 mile before it cut out again - battery flat! But it started literally one minute earlier..? So, realising something was badly amiss, I pointed it in the direction of my friendly knows-about-Subarus-mechanic. And got jump leads and a battery brought over from work.
How do you like my Time Machine?
What is actually going on with the car is (was) a failing alternator, probably more than just coincidentally linked to a series of blown fuses, relating to some dodgy wiring behind the dash, resulting in inoperational central locking and electric windows, and eventually the instrument binnacle failed. The brakes still need done as well.
That was fixed and I took it home. On the way home, the binnacle went blank again. The car also went into limp mode and wouldn't rev cleanly. After consulting the same mechanic I bought a new MAF - only £154 (!!!!) from the dealer. Apparently Version 5 MAFs are not only prone to failure but very hard to get. I did track down a s/h one as well, only £60 so a good spare to have I think. I also got an original blob-eye waste-gate as well for the intercooler, as the shiny cheap junk Chinese one on it was not only incorrectly mounted, it was blanked off behind it. Now as far as I can tell, that's done so that the over-boost between gear changes will be forced back through the turbo for reasons of noisy chatter. This thing has a big IHI snail on it that I don't fancy replacing any time soon. Subaru waste-gate re-fitted. After that made it run properly, and not risk melting pistons, I set into the wiring. In the end most of the dash came out, and lots of fuses were blown and multimeter readings taken until it was traced to a heavily corroded drivers door loom plug. This was pulled apart, cleaned, and repaired where possible. Two of the wires just broke clean off, so they were cut back and joined direct externally to the connector - and immediately the E/W were working again.
So I got everything as it should be and re-built the interior. I moved the car out of the workshop and down the yard, and right before I switched it off, the fuse popped again and the window was stuck half-way. In exasperation I just got out and left it be. Given that was a very dry week it was fine, but about four days passed before I stripped the WHOLE dash out AGAIN and started tracing. I went over the plug but everything was in order. I pulled all the fuses out then, and just started putting one into each slot until I found the specific one that was blowing even when the car was off. I traced this along and I kid you not - this whole stupid thing was caused by a faulty interior light dimmer switch. I unplugged it, fitted all the fuses and everything stayed working. To date, no more blown fuses.
While on this successful turn, I got the back wheels off the ground to look at the spacers and bolts. There was one bolt missing each side. Figuring it was a lock-nut issue, or something, I researched and found out the bolts required, and tracked down replacements to fix the spacers. Unfortunately the bolts didn't matter as the splines were wrecked - there still looked like splines inside the holes, but they were obviously damaged. So I ordered new spacers. And sure, lets have some neo-chrome tuner wheel nuts too while we're at it, why not. And also lets address the shabby rear arch. I tracked down the origins of the wide-body arches - ABW Motorsport - and got in touch about a replacement piece or two. Thankfully they were more than happy just to sell me the bits I needed as a full kit is a fair bit of change, and my front arches are perfect. The rear drivers arch is damaged around the bolt holes but some discreet washers can fix that. The passenger side has been damaged badly, and someone has cut it down and refitted it with screws, leaving it loose, untidy and ugly. I was impatient and dabbled with bolting on some universal arches, but I couldn't get them to sit right with the lines of the car, and ended up screwing them into the rear doors. There's already holes in the rear doors anyway from the previous arch but at least it was two-piece and the doors could still be opened. Doesn't matter. This is one of the reasons I really like having crappy versions of cool cars - I can take a drill to the back doors and screw them shut if I want to. I'm still waiting on the arch pieces to come, then I'll re-tyre the gold wheels, and enjoy some 4wd grip all winter.
Also during summer break I took the MG on holiday to Donegal
And took the E38 hiking
Anyway, that was June. We can just skip July and half of August, because I just wasn't too interested in cars then, other things happening were way more interesting and important.
Car stuff will resume after that, beginning with the emergence from hibernation of the most gorgeous car I have!
On the first of August, after talking about it for several weeks, I finally took the covers off the S110R and started to edge it out.
It was as you can see very tightly tucked away behind the 2-poster, between an M635csi and a 323i. A new lift went in a few months earlier but there was no free room to move around it, and so one car had to leave the workshop permanently, as well as re-arranging several others that remained. Also, it really is time to wheel up the Skoda. Also, I made space for it at home. Also, it's 40 now. although at the time the 40 year MOT exemption clause hadn't been ratified in NI, it has now (October), so this car is fully legal for the road. It's in a completely roadworthy state too and despite being in hibernation for some time, true to form as it so amazing and pretty it just fired straight up, even on old stale petrol, held a perfect idle and drove itself out.
I will have to wash it though!
For a while in the Spring and into Summer my dad's SAAB stayed with me as I figured out battery drain and other various niggly issues with it - issues that meant he was fed up with it, and with being cooped up at home he didn't really need it, so it seemed the time to resolve it all. Eventually I had to strip the whole lower dash out in pursuit of issues.
and I'll not bore you with many pictures, but I found chafed wires, weird boxes and most telling of all, a parrot handsfree module, which once unplugged immediately meant the radio was no longer locked in "telephone" mode and started blaring Radio2 out again. Of course I turned that off in disgust. I don't think you're allowed to listen to it anyway when you don't pay for a TV licence? Not that I want to listen to anything the Beeb puts out. OK back on track, radio fixed, battery drain resolved, engine covers re-affixed, steering aligned, interior cleaned, and for sale and sold quickly (the best way of selling). Goodbye SAAB. Never had a good one yet. Will endeavour to avoid in future.
Next up took some time to replace awful wheels and creaky suspension on the E38 with some lowering stuff I had kicking around (well, removed from another car - one I'd built to sell, then couldn't, because the "trader" before me had told the DVLA the car was scrapped before giving the V5 to me knowing full well I was taking it to restore. Dirtbag.) For wheels I dug the 18"x10j RH Toplines with 275 tyres out of the back of the unit.
Whereupon the engine promptly melted on the way home the next evening, and thus my E38 cruising plan was scuppered before it even began!
However I did still have the MG to fall back on, and as mentioned before I had a donor wagon bought for spare parts that I had been trying to find without much success. I mean, I only needed two good rear lights and a boot handle, but between scarcity, and prices of spares when available, it was more efficient to get the whole spare car. It took some serious persuasion to get the boot handles off them!
But eventually I did, and checked the red handle over on the blue bootlid, which worked, so then I set to swapping the coloured covers over, which took ...hours... And also the rear lights, which are two pop-in pins on the outer side and two screws on the inner side. The plastics were all broken around the screw holes on the blue units, hence being taped in. I removed them, and had to vice-grip the remains of the screws out of the plastic sockets. After that I could remove the light clusters from the red car and slide them in. No more tape! A working rear hatch. The blue ZTT is practically perfect now! For me, that is. None of you normal people would touch it.