The Big Rebuild Part 1

So the car has run like a bag of spanners since the day I bought it. Now there was a thought process when I bought the car, prior to my purchase the car had an engine rebuild, like in the last few thousand miles. The outriggers had been done in the past and the roof had been replaced along with a minor interior retrim, so while rough around the edges a lot of the big ticket items had been done.

The running of the engine had been suspect from the first test drive, where I was told to “keep the revs high, that’s how these old engines run properly”. This is obviously BS so tongue bitten car inspected and as I was happy enough with everything else I saw and it got bought.

Now be under no illusion, if I remember right I am owner number 10, so needless to say this has been owned by DIY mechanics bodgering whatever they think they can take on themselves. As these cars have entered banger sports car money, the lower priced examples are going to be, like mine, rough with bodgery to be found behind every panel. I had planned to use the car, not have it sat in my garage gleaming and shining with nobody ever allowed to touch it, so looking perfect wasn’t a concern. Things are for using, if you only want to look at stuff take yourself to a museum where you can look all you like for a nominal entry fee and save yourself buying one to display yourself.

The other downside of high owner cars is that a large majority of these owners will have stretched themselves to own the car and will have very little money left for routine maintenance and repairs. Understandably when you rely on mechanics and garages to keep your car going you can expect the mechanics to want to make a living. This means little repairs quickly add up when change one item turns into change twenty items and the price of what you budgeted is suddenly out of reach at the garage so things don’t get done or get attempted DIY. Thankfully I have access to an amazing mechanic and a garage, a luxury many do not have.

So the biggest problem when the car had the rebuilt engine fitted was that nothing else was replaced, literally nothing at all. I am guessing that is because the £10 distributor cap with fitting becomes £35 and so on for every other worn out part and everyone has to cut their cloth somewhere, I get it.

Here is the rub, everything else under the bonnet engine excluded is buggered, everything. The radiator is leaking, hoses are like jelly, thermostat is stuck open, alternator bearings shot, idler pulley the same, the injectors are leaking, the plugs are fouled up as a result, the temperature sensors don’t work properly. Someone has put OAT antifreeze in the cooling system instead of glycol, the vacuum advance on the distributor is perforated, someone has replaced some vacuum hoses with washer tubing that has gone brittle and fallen off whatever it was connected to. Someone has clearly been playing with the throttle body and it needs setting up properly, coolant pipes are kinked, the maf sensor is only just about working, one of the cooling fans doesn’t work. The air intake pipe is perforated, the air filter blocked and crumbling, the fan belt is cracked, the radiator mounts are snapped off or missing, the fuel pump isn’t working right, the coolant cap is leaking, the oil filler cap is cracked, the bonnet insulation hanging off and without doubt some other nasties that are waiting for me to find them.

I am going to address everything, anything that is broken, worn out, missing or not working properly is getting fixed, here are a few pics of what I am up against. Fingers crossed, parts are ordered, I am going in, wish me luck.