Friday, October 06, 2006

OOOppppppss - too long, too long!

OK. Been a little bit busy so nothing for a while ( online anyway ). The Alfa, 2000 and 2500s are all outside my place at this minute. The DS has been moved and welding on the rear rain channels/wing hangers and outer sills has started. This will be a loooong process as god know what I'll find under there.
The Triumphs are looking anything but triumphant. Solenoid and start motor to be ordered ( later today ) for the MK1. Not a happy bunny and letting me know in no uncertain terms it ain't gonna shift unless I show it some luuurrrve......
MK2 2500S - all the goodies are lined up and ready to fit - so over the next few weeks she'll be re-bushed, re-shod and re-engineered altogether. Welding near as dammit finished - took her around the block as she's now a whole car again. Girlfriend jumped in to show moral support ( she loves the cars too ) - second corner and she was almost in the back seat. I'd forgotten to tighten down the seat after replacing the passenger floorpan - she saw th efunny side of it so I survived with minor bruising........
Reminds me of a friend - he works for a major player in suspension and auto acoustics ( sub-contractor for Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Mercedes ) you name 'em they deal with 'em. ANYWAY, they had a new S2000 in for testing, stripped it and measured whatever they measure.... gave it to the local Honda bad-boy garage to put ack together as they were too busy. He drove it back to the workshop via a 'shakedown' - which is what it turned out to be. THe whole car vibrated enough to threaten his fillings....... on return to their ( totally excellent ) workshop and up on their carlift - the whole of the suspension was in danger of dropping clean from the car - local YTS boy hadn't tightened a SINGLE THING!!!! He was lucky the run was so short - or he'd have lost the entire front end in one go....... needles to say one bill not being paid!

I'm off to skim welded panels, rub down surface rust and strip mechanical gubbins....... I love that part!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Actual Contact!

Living at the other side of the city to mycars ( for now ) and not having touched them for a month, I'm ashamed to say I hadn't seen them for a week - until last night.
A large bucket, loads of soapy water and I was searching for the ubiquitous blonde in white t-shirt. Noe being forthcoming I cleaned the 2000 and Alfa myself. I even started the Alfa, so will move her in the next couple of days. The 2000 needs a jump of course, so will sort that and move her too..... Hopefully pick up the 2500 by the end of the week and get som suspension work done. The DS needs moving as the garage is needed, so searching again.
I've been really lazy with the cars, so my own fault when I need to sort things due to my own neglect. A hard winter heading my way car wise......... it just never ends. Good job I'm here for the looooove huh!
I'll obviously keep you posted.
About time I got the damn pics up too. APologies but I'll try harder...........

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Month away - just bad excuses

OK - I can only say in my defence that I've been snowed under with my new business, so in the office all hours god sends - then Einstein ( my Shar-Pei ) needs his evening 2hours in the local forest while I unwind as I stroll, almost at one with nature.... so not much time to get things done. On top of that I've recently spent the evenings explaining ( 100's of times ) to my girlfriend the ins n outs of projectors ( a work project she has to do ) - to no avail of course. We're now in a new flat too...... nuff said.

Now the shocker, I haven't even SAT in ANY of my CARS over the last month. HOW BAD IS THAT?

I have the horrible feeling I'm no going to be welcomed back with open arms either - you know how stroppy females get when you ignore them for any period of time - I'll be creeping up with the auto equivalent of flowers and chocolates ( jump leads, eazistart and fresh oil,plugs etc.... )

SO status at present is:
2500S - still with the garage - ordered inner rear arch that never showed - may pick up and fir plethora of suspension parts etc... I have sitting here. Can always go back and finish welding on that final part right?

2000 - still a leaking radiator - service here in Brussels just doesn't exist. I'll end up killing someone I swear! It deserves a Blog all of it's own..... if I have time then it may even happen!

Alfa GTV - haven't had the nerve to investigate if it is in fact the head gasket again - but I'm not holding my breath, been researching supercharging the beast - but have the 2.5V6 sitting there too.....mmmmmmmm

Citroen DS - finally collected all the parts I'll need ( yeah right - like that is ever the case in reality ) so I can crack on. I'll keep you posted as I need to form a queue, after the 2500S

Dolomite Sprint - DO NOT ASK!!!!

Spitfire - still sitting at my sis's - but they move soon so in peril of needing to be driven! Clutch swap imminent ......... week off to go get it done booked.

I really will get something done now - don't expect good news though!


P.S. - Also time in Scotland for my bro getting married........ so not really physically possible to do much for that period.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OK OK - world cup tidings......

I applied - like all other England fans - to see the boys perform ( more like seals I hear? ). Only to be denied by the FA in their worldly wisdom while donating huge amounts of tickets to their corporate sponsors....... oh well -capitalism etc... etc...
I then see the old 'fans stripped off to see game' - dutch fans had to remove their trousers ( Heineken donated dayglo orange pants as freebies ) in order to gain access to a game THEY PAID THEIR OWN HARD EARNED CASH TO SEE!!!! UEFA CAN KISS MY ASS! RETARDS.....
The usual - we don't want a hi-jacking of advertising to spoil(???) the games..... We show up or tune in to see the games you ar*eholes, I don't really spend the 90+ minutes examining every Dutch blokes pants!!!
GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT - THEN SEE YOU ON DEBATE........ Oh right, MONEY! As the football world watches the Italians getting caught, everyone else sits thinking - Where's the evidence for the others then..... You're corporate run, you're humans, you're greedy - no argument someone is fleecing it.
Give football back to the fans, they pay for it and get told to strip off! If sponsors have made the 'stars' so greedy - tough! Your problem you pay up - we have to if we screw up.
To top it all - a friend then emails ( I got it late! ) to say he's won 3 tickets to the EnglandvSweden game - how? - by eating a fat bas*ard McD's!!!! What the hell does a fat bas*ard meal have to do with a sporting event???? England fans - if you read this - go eat other franchised sh*t food and screw the golden arches!
I do want England to do well - they have the potential squad to get there ( would've been better if Sven ' I don't care, I'm out of here anyway' E had taken DeFoe ) but again I've seen players that perform in front of the biggest crowds in the world CHOKE!
I will personally email Walcott if he gets on the pitch and plays well ( yeah right ). He has nothing to lose - so it could be a freeing agent...... but to have him sitting their unable to answer critics ( I'm one - not of him, but of SVen E and the decision to put him in front of DeFoe et al ) must have the lad in tatters. If you get on, best of british ( should that be English? ) fella.
On the car front - not much ( world cup in case you hadn't noticed ) - but the Alfa running like a pig has been troublesome. I spotted a large oil run at the back of the head - so not looking forward to a clean up and check. I spot a head gasket replacement en route again - apparently the only one to fit is the original thicker version - DAMN IT!
2500S - nothing done - sitting at garage. Will pick up tomorrow and get on with bodywork and interior.
2000 - run around - radiator leaking (damn repair service! ) so not far. Bodywork in several shades of sh*t primer, but smoother than the reptile finish it had
DS - still in the garage ( I think! )
Dolly - Have I still got that? Bro's wedding next month - so may visit it..........
Spitfire - Will be a racer in TSSC series eventually, but plans n all that...... you understand.
Will get more done now - dis-illusioned with the world cup bollox, off to hide under an oil leaking wreck until it all goes away.......... until then. COME ON ENGERRRRLLLAAANNNNDDDD

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Still more rust! At least the title is apt.......

Where to start! Actually - been a lazy sod to be honest. A friends stag evening and wedding, final game of the season and league champions, plus other personal catastrophes have added to a distinct lack of progress on cars....... small things done - but weather improving and light until 11ish - so no more excuses.

Mk1 2000 - started flatting back the horrendous paintwork from the myopic loon that sprayed her last...... not a case of orange peel - more like Eczema! She's running sweet after ignition parts, leather interior fed n cleaned up. Got to find someone to repair passenger seat, stitching coming away on squab. Attention grabber over here, not seen another on the road for a long time in Belgium, none in Brussels at all!

MK2 2500S - sitting outside a friends, almost all the welding done but I've not been there for a while (see above ) so stagnant - interior to re-fit after floors treated and all sealed up again. Only a couple of small patches to do..... HAVE YOU SEEN THE COST OF REPLACEMENT INNER ARCHES!!!! DAMN!

BOTH Triumphs - a trader who shall remain nameless ( for now ) was called, requested 2 radiators - second hand but usable so I could get my damaged originals re-cored ( got to find someone to do that here too! ). Waited, .... waited...... waited some more....... they then show up. Opened the box - both useless - need recoring. Phone call of course - "I said they were no good for use" - I argued the point, "Why would I buy another 2!!!! Radiators that are no bloody good - I already have 2! I stated I wanted them usable - so I can get mine re-done. What do you suggest"
Response - "Pity you're over in Brussels eh?" .............. dumbfounded!

Alfa - still sitting there - friends Spitfire fixed ( I got side tracked ) so he can sell it now ( bought a TR6 ). Then I can get into the garage and get the damn brakes done (again!).

DS - haven't even seen it for 3months.

Dolomite - I'm starting to cry now........................

Off to the world cup - don't be surprised if it's silent for 6 weeks and little progress is made.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Back - from along the street......

Apologies for the millions hanging on my every word - starting a new business, cars in bits and girlfriend ( now ex ) moving out, has caused a lot of strife I didn't need. In the midst of this I've been robbed twice, had a friend die and the cars are not co-operating.

Mk1 2000 - my fault, left her standing without so much as a by your leave, so took me AGES to get her running again, she then threw her toys out of the cooling cot and spilled her guts. Order a new radiator from UK and wait.........the MK2 has soldiered on with a patched radiator for 2 years now - so maybe time to buy in bulk!

Mk2 2500S - New front floorpans both sides, lower corners for wings, second hand wing drivers side after locals used her instead of brakes while parking ( a regular occurrence here in Brussels ). New points, plugs etc... chassis arms replaced, inner/mid and outer sills......... the list grows every time I go in the garage. I've also got a sh*tload of parts to go on - so a wee while off the road for her.

Alfa - BRAKES, BRAKES, BRAKES - I'm quickly falling out of love with the stroppy little Italian...... she's also decided the head gasket is not good enough ( maybe helped by my right foot a little ) so I need to replace that too. It'll be the 4th attempt at the rear calipers, they don't last long as a working pair..... she's definitely on the 'to go' list at the minute. No idea what I'll do with the V6 I have sitting waiting for her.........

DS - in a friends lock-up, awaiting me finding major work space and time! NEVER HAPPEN!

Dolomite - I replaced a load of panelwork last time I was in UK - but that'll all have rusted away again by the time I get to visit next time.

Spitfire - She's sitting patiently in my sisters garage, needing a clutch replacement as it started slipping last time I had her out....... whilst the engine is out I do have a spare Dolly Sprint engine sitting there...... mmmmmmmmmmm

At least the weather is improving............!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

finally new vs old points proven........

..... as we all know - old cars are easier to fix ( as long as the part is to hand ) than their newer brethren.
I've repeatedly extolled this virtue to those around me in my social and working life to the usual snorts and derision, 'My car never breaks down - it's new - etc.....' and other not so nice arguments for the plastic mobiles the planet is cursed with now.
Don't get me wrong - the engineering advances and engine technological improvements are astounding and I applaud those involved ( I have to, a couple of friends work for car design and engineering companies ) BUT - without the custom software or a plethora of small computers to switch in and out by the roadside you're easily stranded.
This point was driven home recently and again tonight...... a friend called - could I look at his car as it was stalling and wouldn't run properly over 2000 revs. It's less than a year old, just came back from a bodyshop and full service.......blah, blah, blah. I went over in the 2500 ( started first time after over a week AS USUAL ) and the car ran fine - he went home. Called again in the morning to complain whatever I'd done ( NOTHING TOUCHED! ) meant the car wouldn't start at all now. After I pointed out all I did was get in and start the car after it had sat for a while so couldn't have 'done' anything he got on to the garage it came out of recently. They've obviously now charged him a fortune for recovery and another look at the car - to find the recent 'service' technician ( read snot nosed punk on training ) had blown a module of the engine management by dropping some metal item across two of the contacts and shorting the chip inside. A long legal battle looms for him as he now tries to recoup his expenditure on hire car etc...... ( wife pregnant and hospital visits on cards ).
Tonight it was the girlfriends turn - she of the 'your old cars are nothing but trouble - you're always having to do something to them' etc... etc... ranting, called to ask assistance as her 'modern funky little box that was such a great deal' ( owned since new, less than 3 yrs old - fully serviced ) wouldn't start. I show ed up in the 2500 ( surprise surprise! ) and 'japcrap' as I call it - started immediately. I followed her home and it ground to a halt 200m from the front door - it'll start but immediately stalls again - so impossible to drive. After it cools I'll be able to move it ( auto ) but not far until I figure out what it is - or send it to the local jap specialist and see how many zeros this bill will end up with!
I'm off to cruise around in my 'old junk' and sort out some electronic ignition for the MK1. The MK2 is fine - the Alfa is also OK for now ( brakes will be done AGAIN soon ) and the DS awaits my tender angle grinder and a large amount of welding to previous sh*t repairs.
The preventitive servicing and standard checks have kept the fleet relatively reliable - although this argument is a major sour point at the moment........ but that's an entry for the other BLOG.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Two weeks - nothing major done

A couple of weeks setting up a businees - paperwork, phone lines, software etc... so not much time for cars. So of course they screwed me over.....

The Alfa decided that the re-con caliper I fitted was sh*te so locked it and I ground to a halt at the football match we were playing. I sorted the team, stood at the pitch ( suspended of course ) and was notified by a passer-by that the damn rear end was on fire! I put that out - and limped the car home, I haven't looked at it properly yet ( lack of garage! ) but am dreading what I'll find now....... must do it so I can return the duff caliper. BOLLOX!

The major hassle being moving the DS. Courtesy of the f*ckheads here in Brussels D*C*R ( easy enough to find out who they are then! ) I was offered the service ( all 20Km ) for €211 - so accepted and agreed a time of 5pm(ish). They then called Mon morning and stated that as the time had been changed ( not by me you understand ) the price was now €317!!!! Unable to find another company at such short notice I was screwed so swallowed the bitter pill and agreed. Typical of the f*cking useless ar*eholes here in Belgium. Customer service does't exist - they're doing you a favour taking your money whilst wasting your time and sometimes not even showing up.


Driver calls 6.45pm - LOST! I go find him and he follows me to the car, then f*cks the front panel as he can't be bothered looking for a secure towing point - it was wet on the floor from raining so he was in no way getting down to look!

I sort that - and car is loaded. He then follows me to new place ( temp ) and proceeds to unload, the lip on the garage is too high so the car grounds. He offers advice on raising the car as he sorts the lorry - I again look under for a jacking point so I can raise the front end - I stand up to see the lorry disappearing in the distance. The car blocking the road 400yds from the main train station for Brussels! I proceeded to swear and stomp while sorting the car - bloody heavy on your own......

The b*stard recovery co. then call two days later "we've got the invoice in our truck - where do we post it?" to the response " You're f*cking joking pal, your ar*ehole driver f*cked off leaving me with the car dumped. I'll be in to see you manager - a refund will be demanded and I'll be taking it out on your truck and cars' paintwork if none is forthcoming" - I'm heading over tomorrow so I'll let you know........

Triumph-ville all quiet - but that'll change I'm sure.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Another day aother problem.

Spent most of the other night out in the freezing cold trying to get the MK1 to play the game. I'd left it untouched for a while so my own fault I suppose, but an hour of fiddling, cleaning contacts, checking sparks and fuel supply and a major jump lead session had the old girl running. I then discovered the choke was siezed so the lump was determined to self destruct. To help it along - the radiator I fitted recently ( and was fine ) decided I didn't have enough on my plate and dropped it's coolant guts all over the floor. Another two required now as the Mk2 has always lost a miniscule amount since I repaired it 3 years ago.

The Alfa has been acting up in the handbrake dept. so I need to get under it again soon. I picked up the transaxle i stole from E-b*y and will be getting it built up and ready to go on asap.

Most worrying is the loss of my garage, a friend going back to blighty in 5 days - I sorted another place out but have learned in the last 24hours that I can't take over until Feb. There's no way I can leave the DS outside so I'm desperately overcoming the language barrier and hunting for another place. Fat chance!

MK2 had been left a while too, I returned the other day to find a flat - but this was vandalism. Swapped with the spare, eventually - the nightmare of location, street construction here and lack of ground clearance when sitting on the rim had me scratching my head a little. ( I've now discovered has a slow puncture! ) BUT - it just keeps going and going.........

Off to find a barn or something...........back soon.


Saturday, December 31, 2005

Into 2006.... like inanimate objects give a damn.

as the heading says - we of flesh and blood have survived the Xmas trimmings and family get togethers to head out to the garage again and start early on our New Year resolutions ( get that screen seal swapped and re-fitted etc... ). You know how keen you are to get in there and put right the wrongs in that small world known as your work-space, until you realise how damn cold it is in there! A heater was purchased and excuses vanished.

The metal objects of my desire had other ideas....... the Triumph2500 decided I'd left the sidelights on so was deader than a dead thing, with a flat tyre - just to help things along. The 2000 turned over gamely - again and again, but wouldn't start - I'll fit the electronic ignition and try again later ( when the penguins have stopped using it as a windbreak ). So Alfa it was - tried the drivers door - key solid, the lock wouldn't turn ( frozen I hear? ) - Nope, no idea why but the lock is stuffed. Round to the passenger side and opened up - opened drivers door from inside and off with the pooch to countryside - en route to Citroen DS.

A couple of hours in the snow covered grounds around the African museum and forest of Tervuren had me bright eyed - frozen stiff - but relaxed and looking forward to getting on with it.... until I got to the car, both doors refusing to open this time. Repeated attempts failing, leaving me beating the doors, praying to the god of automobiles to give me a break. He obviously has a sense of humour and the break appeared in the form of the local gendarme, who insisted on documents and a passport check etc... Of course I couldn't until I 'broke' into my own car via the boot - much to their amusement.

To top it all the dog then decided to throw up all over the back seat as we left, so home to clean that lot up........ fate sealing 2005 with a fatal kiss. Next year can't get any worse surely!

Hope you lot had a better return to all things automotive than I did!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Hello drain - here's some cash.........

And so the joy ( !!! ) continues as I head into the season of goodwill. The amount of panels purchased in Dusseldorf for the DS, the electronic ignition kits for both big sixes and the purchase of a new mig welder (got sick of looking at second hand units that looked like they'd been found in the aftermath of an Afghan quake) means someone somewhere owes me a lot of goodwill along the line......

Sat 17th -Football club Xmas party - I strayed from the path and imbibed, imbibed as a newt if I remember correctly ( difficult but there are blurrs ). So this weekend was another non-event garage wise.

Week previously:

Cleaned up the DS drivers side - will cut out the old outer sill and prep for welding this week. May even get around to the other side depending on time ....... but not hopeful.

Both Triumphs were not starting - stole the coil from the Mk1 and the Mk2 showed it's gratitude. So one good from both at present. No clue with the Mk1 as it has fuel, spark and was working fine - just not anymore. I'll investigate further and whine online about it when I can.

Alfa brakes done - no mean feat as anyone wrestling with the transaxled behemoth will tell you. I do have another transaxle sitting in UK that I'll fit new discs to then have a mammoth swapping of the two units - but the other cars are on death beds so they come first. The Alfa just starts - goes (sideways if you're not careful ) and stops with that heart conquering burble I keep falling in love with every time I drive her. A friend ground 1st gear into non-existance recently whilst grasping for 3rd at stupid KMH ( euro! ) so he's panicking as I didn't tell him I found the transaxle on eb*y for £40 ( with a V6 engine thrown in! ).

Off to drive home ( the long way ) and walk the dog, sort out web service, design and set-up a web-site and try and get over to the garage....... guess which one will probably get dropped!
..........I love old on eb*y
..........I love old on eb*y
..........I love old on eb*y


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Weekend wasted

In both senses of the word! The ritual football session was frustrating, when you play 3 at the back and 2 slip over at the same time you know you're in trouble...... but we fought back and are still top o' the league by a 4 point margin. Only one more team to play to half-way through the season and still unbeaten so mustn't grumble.
In a fit of pique a while back I said I wouldn't have a Sat night in until we lost a game ( oh the pressure of sticking to your word! ).
Unfortunately I haven't stuck to my word with regards the cars, one reason or another ( mainly my girlfriends hangover today ) has led me to be tied up with 'home' things. Did purrrr-chase a few odds n sods on good ol' e-bay. The account is taking a serious hammering via the on-line money pit. Resorting to the female argument of 'it'll only cost more elsewhere' so resting easy.
Stripped spare wing for the 2500, started cleaning the inner wings on the DS - only to be silenced by an irate Belgian neighbour that power tools are not to be used at all Sundays - a local by-law! I KID YOU NOT! Not even allowed to get the lawn done or anything........
Sorted out some new bolts and made the housing for the nuts so they're home made captives, fit 'em later....... started the Alfa for the first time in ags, and of course it ran like a pig, so got to look at that too. No time but gotta make it now - getting desperate. Long nights ahead! Off out to fit the captives and maybe even sort out the rough running on the Alfa. Dark n cold....... we must be mental to be honest!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another day another wad goes......

Welcome and apologies, most of this will be the disappointing side of old car ownership as I'm currently enslaved by a Dolly Sprint, 2500S MK2, 2000 MK1 auto, 78 Alfa GTV and a 73 DS 23 Pallas........ the following entries will encourage anyone thinking of old car ownership - to go out and shoot themselves now, saving the heartache and pain in the meantime.

Currently under the knife are the following -
GTV - rear caliper popped - new one obtained but of course the darling allen bolts holding the drive shaft to the disc refuse to budge - more later. Wing top repairs await fitment ( join the queue! )
2500S - daily driver - ran flawlessly for ages - brakes went extremely soft overnight yesterday so hunting the leak after I'd prised my fingers from around the steering wheel! Screen leaks now too.
2000Mk1 - Just swapped the water pump and radiator, of course captive nuts no longer captive so will sort that this evening and finish flush n refill with correct anti-freeze etc... Screen ALWAYS leaked - new seal ordered.
DS23 Pallas - Not to be outdone - just finished re-doing suspension as part of total rebuild and started engine to check it raised OK, you guessed it - water pump threw detritus all over the newly cleaned engine bay...... OH - and the exhaust decided one tail pipe was enough TA - so new pump and exhaust rear half on order.
Thankfully the Dolly is in my parents back-yard but god knows the sate that'll be in when I finally get over there. I dread to think.

Just to cap it all - I can't find a garage large enough ( that won't mean me selling my soul to pay for it ) anywhere...... despite all the unused and empty buildings around my locale. The hunt is on.