Vulgalour's Vehicles - 10/03 Ignition Switch Woe

Post pictures and stories about your cars both present and past. Also post up "blogs" on your restoration projects - the more pictures the better! Note: blog-type threads often get few replies, but are often read by many members, and provide interest and motivation to other enthusiasts so don't be disappointed if you don't get many replies.
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kevin
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 7:49 am

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 07/12 Update

#891 Post by kevin » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:02 pm

When's the MOT booked for?

Kev

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 07/12 Update

#892 Post by vulgalour » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:57 pm

I have no date set yet, but soon! Once the last few parts arrive I can work through my final MoT checklist and as soon as I know it's ready we'll see who can get me in quickest. Teensy bit close to the festive period, so cash is a bit tight now.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 07/12 Update

#893 Post by vulgalour » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:18 pm

Bit wet out today so the exhaust is going to have to wait, I'm not rolling around on the floor in this weather. I found the left-over trim clips from putting the sill trims on and found that they're the right size for the side trims which means I could've put those back on ages ago. I had exactly the right amount to refit the lower grille trim too, whose trim clips had rotted away.

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It's not a big update but it is nice to see all the trim back on. Just the exhaust and mudflaps (which need the fixings freeing off or replacing) to sort and then the only things to go back on are the parts I'm waiting for. Der Franzose got back about the fuel sender I ordered incorrectly and the correct one has now been ordered.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 08/12 Waiting...

#894 Post by vulgalour » Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:52 pm

Yesterday I got to drive the Rover home. It's been a long three weeks without it, that's for sure, but with Mike having a lot of other work on and me not being able to help with this particular job I just had to wait. All in, it cost around £250 which is cheap when compared against booking it in at a garage which would have set me back somewhere in the region of £700 locally which I simply couldn't afford (and probably would have made me replace the car, in all honesty).

It wasn't just the head getting done. Shortly before the head gasket let go I had acquired a second-hand metal thermostat housing for very little which I hoped would cure the leaking plastic one the car has been afflicted with all the while I've had it. Mike kindly offered to do this at the same time as the head work. Mike was also generous enough to take some pictures as he went along so I could do this update on the work.

The first job was to dismantle the thermostat housing which was in pretty good shape, thankfully. It was listed as being from a 1.4 K series engine but not which model of vehicle, it looked to have all the holes where I needed them to be so it was deemed better than what was currently on the car.
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Then... there was a problem. So, it turns out there's different fittings for different housings. I did not know this, I had assumed - perhaps foolishly - they were the same across the range.
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The coolant hose on my car is not perfect so I wasn't too alarmed when Mike modified it to make the new housing fit.
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He did a lovely job cleaning the housing up and fitting it with the new thermostat. As you can see, we now have two pipes with flanges that won't fit together.
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Never fear, jubilees and radiator hose is here! You can't see any of this at all when the inlet manifold is fitted and it has proven to be a very successful leak cure as I no longer have any loss of coolant down the back of the engine. Hoorah! In this shot you can also see the block face before anything was cleaned up. With the head and inlet manifold fitted it's much harder to get the thermostat housing in place.
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The head received a 4 thou skim, was pressure tested and had one of the spark plug holes fitted with a helicoil to resolve the missing thread (which is why it spat a plug out back in February). The head and cam carrier both received a thorough clean and the block, before anything was refitted, was also cleaned thoroughly. Then the new MLS gasket and head saver shim along with some Wellseal was all refitted in the order and on the advice of another friend (hi, Adam!) who rebuilds K series for a living. We had thought the dowels were metal but it turns out they were plastic. The metal ones in the kit were fitted in their stead. So this picture, I think, is the head gasket on the block.
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And this would be the lovely clean head fitted to the lovely clean block. In addition to the head gasket and a head-save shim, all the head bolts and camshaft seals were replaced
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Camshafts and cam carrier fitted. There was sign of some oil starvation beginning, I am told, because some of the oil ways were a bit gunged up. This is hardly surprising really, the oil that I only changed last year and about 5,000 miles ago was already coal black when it came out. Hopefully having all this work done will prevent any serious oil starvation issues manifesting.
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Then everything was buttoned up. A new inlet manifold gasket was fitted along with the new alternator belt that we hadn't done when the cambelt was done.
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Happily, once everything was plugged in, the car didn't play silly buggers with the key fob and started with no bother. With that done, oil and coolant were both treated to a flush which the coolant system didn't really need but the oil very definitely did; the flushing oil went in nearly clear and came out jet black. After that, fresh coolant and oil were put in - 2 oil filters used for that, one for the flush, one for the new oil - and a little patience was employed to get a stubborn air lock out of the coolant system again. At one point when the oil was drained it looked just like a brain in the drain pan.
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With everything done that could be I took the car for a short test drive around the block near the unit just to make sure nothing was going to go seriously wrong too far from home or the unit, gave everything a check and then drove it home. The coolant system now reliably pressurises, I get no water vapour or just water out of the back box, the engine is very, very quiet and the car drives much smoother.

I suspect the head had been on the way out for some time because the car had started feeling sluggish. Nothing ever manifested and a compression and gas test revealed nothing amiss, just one of those where you have to keep going until something breaks to show you what the problem is. I'm being very gently-gently this week while I listen for new noises and keep a nose out for any new smells. So far, so good, but it's only been 20 miles. The one thing that is nice is being back behind the wheel of it again, I've missed driving this car very much and I've missed the independence it offers me.

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Toledo Man
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:55 am
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 11/12 Rover Report

#895 Post by Toledo Man » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:34 pm

You've saved the Rover's engine. You done the job properly (I know that it was Mike who did the actual spannering) using the correct gasket set with steel dowels and you've also addressed the thermostat issue which contributes to the head gasket problems. Money well spent. The K series is a good engine spoiled by poor execution by Rover.
Toledo Man

1972 Triumph Dolomite 1850 auto (NYE 751L) - The rolling restoration.
2008 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 2.0 HDi Exclusive (MA08 WCL) - The modern.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 11/12 Rover Report

#896 Post by vulgalour » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:55 pm

All being well, the engine should now outlast the car. Here's hoping! What I thought was a tired gearbox noise has gone and the only annoying noises I have are a squeaky front corner which I'm fairly certain is the shock that I need to replace and a rattle that turned out to be the cassette tape sitting loosely in the tape deck. I'm very happy and feeling optimistic about the long run down south in a few days time.

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Little Renault update. I'm putting the MoT off until January. Reason being, I simply haven't the time between now and Christmas to get the car sorted, mainly because I shall be going away for a couple of weeks over the festive period, leaving Mike to hold the fort in my absence. Not to worry. Let's have a mini update anyway.

Citromatics, the garage around the corner from Mike's garage, can fit and balance the Renault's tyres and wheels because they have the proper dooberry for their machine. I thought I'd get this checked first as I've read quite a few people having problems finding a garage that can deal with solid-centre wheels. My missing dashboard switch arrived from Spain and accounts for all the loose wires (I hope, not tested it yet) that have been flopping around under the dash. It's much shinier than my existing switches so it's probably not from a 6, more likely a higher spec 4 I suppose. Importantly it fits the hole and even if it doesn't work, it's nicer than seeing wires poking out.
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The universal guttering I ordered arrived and today is the first dry day we've had so that I can fit it. This is not a pretty job (what is on this car?) but it's very much a case of function over form right now. They have the stickiest sticky stuff ever on them, I just hope it helps redirect the rainwater away from the door seals so the cabin stays that bit drier. Getting this car watertight is going to be an ongoing battle I think. Whether or not I replace them with more proper metal gutters remains to be seen.
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What else? Oh yes, Mike offered to clean and rebuild the carb for me so I don't have to. I'm capable of doing it myself but I'd far rather someone that actually wants to do the job does it than someone who doesn't, the end result will be better. We got two pairs of CV boots to replace the ones on the car which, while repairable with a bit of superglue, are so cheap to replace it'd be daft not to. Still waiting on the new radiator arriving, though it has left Germany as far as I'm aware so might be here this week.

After that there's not really anything in the way of spending apart from the tyre fitting and legal requirements and very little by way of things to do. I don't particularly want to drive it while the weather is grim and the roads are salty so there's no rush for these last few jobs.

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arceye
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Location: Caithness

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 14/12 Renault

#897 Post by arceye » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:44 pm

Lots of progress lately then :D liking the renault :thumbs: .

3xpendable
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:03 am

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 14/12 Renault

#898 Post by 3xpendable » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:51 am

As always, great reading Vulgalour. The Rover pics take me back, I had 4 of those 414's and I had to do the headgaskets on both of them! The second one, I bought for 100 quid as it was younger, a lot less miles and in nicer condition than mine but it had a head gasket failure (or so I thought). I did the head, drove it for a few days then suddenly No 2 cylinder filled with water, so we did it again, double checking everything and put it back together. All seemed fine until it started randomly overheating with no obvious reason. By that I mean you'd be driving along for 100 miles fine, and in the space of 15 seconds the needle would rocket up to the red!

I was doing 120 miles daily to university and back so I needed a more reliable car and hance bought my mum's Fiesta off her. The Rover's are nice cars, but I don't miss it!
Currently classic-less.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 14/12 Renault

#899 Post by vulgalour » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:59 pm

Let's have an update, it's well overdue.

After the Rover's head gasket fix it was pressed into service doing 600 miles of motorway as I was staying Down South for the festive period. It was a little lumpy initially but soon smoothed out and the journey was completed without issue at all. No oil or water consumption but plenty of washer fluid consumption given the state of the roads which were salty and grimy and horrible.
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When the weather had warmed up and dried out I finally got the colour inserts on the rubbing strips refitted on the Rover and they've stayed put.
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Also took the Rover to the first local area meet for the 200/400 club.
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I've been hunting, without success, for a replacement radiator for the Renault. It's an item that is unique to the later model and while plenty of places have it listed, none of them have it in stock. At the time of writing I'm waiting to hear on an order placed with a company in the Netherlands, but at this point I'm seriously considering finding another radiator with the correct dimensions and making it fit. Repairing my existing one is prohibitively expensive (I've had several quotes) and replacement with the same type is proving impossible with most listings for the R6 offering me the earlier 845cc radiator which won't fit at all. Still, I did find the correct air corrector jet to repair the emulsion tube and now have the solder to make this good again so hopefully the carburettor will at least be sorted soon.
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The front section of the Renault's exhaust was fitted properly. Just the backbox to go which needs me to remove the old bobbin hanger so I can get the new one on.
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Then the wheel came off so I could get the new tyres on.
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Rover proved useful for that job.
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One Renault wheel needs some serious derusting so that it can accept a tyre, but four of the five were good enough that the new Kumho Solus tyres, a full set of valves and balancing could be done for less than a tenner a wheel.
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Annoyingly, the Renault's front brakes are stuck on and one of the back drums is too. I haven't had the time to do that or pull the driveshafts so I can fit the new rubber boots. The Renault needs very little for its MoT. I've got the carburettor to rebuild and fit, the fuel tank to flush out, reseal and fit with the brand new sender, the brakes to sort out, the backbox to fit and a radiator to sort out. It should see the road this year.

The Princess too has received some attention, namely a brand new throttle cable.
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I then had some strange issues where it would only run if you held the key. This turned out to be related to the ignition switch which I cleaned and rebuilt today after removing what I hope is the final bit of wiring bodge from the harness.
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The Princess is even closer to an MoT than the Renault. I've got four tyres to fit, the fog lights to connect, the hazard lights to make work (I think this is just bad connections on the switch), and to find the loose bolt or nut that's making a bit of play in the steering rack. There'll be some additional fettling like tuning the carburettor and checking for and resolving any leaks there might be but mostly, the car is nearly ready to get back on the road now which I'm looking forward to.

vulgalour
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Princess, 414, Corsa, 6TL, etc. - 01/02 Fleet Update

#900 Post by vulgalour » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:39 pm

Today I got the Renault's choke cable fitted, finally. It's been a bit of a faff and I've had several attempts at this only to have the cable vanish once it was pushed into the guide in the dashboard. Today, with the help of a knitting needle, I bested it!
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You have to sort of fish around through the flaps in the scuttle section until you hook the cable and then you can feed it through the grommet into the engine bay.
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That's a job off the list. I also did a first-assembly of the carburettor that Mike cleaned up. Final assembly will be done now I know everything is there, this is just to show how nice and shiny it now is so not everything is present in these shots.
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The guttering on one end has twisted and peeled a bit for some reason. I'll likely just glue this back down with some PU adhesive at some point, it can wait for now.
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My thanks to Mr_Bollox for his contribution to the project in the form of this important period accessory.
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Nugget the Corsa is up for grabs because Mike needed a small estate car, which he now has.
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If anyone is interested in getting themselves a solid little Corsa B whose last two MoTs have had no advisories and which has had all the welding and work it's ever likely to need, I'll be happy to pass your details on to Mike. It's been a super little car for the past couple of years and totally dependable, having done several trips from Middlesbrough to London and back without any complaints. It's never broken down while we've owned it and we'll both be a little sad to see it go. We're hoping it finds a new owner that will look after it rather than one that runs it into the ground and it's a shame it has no place in our fleets otherwise I reckon we'd be keeping it.
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