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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Hey Everyone,

    A few more things have happened since the last update.

    MOT
    The car went for an MOT a few days back. It failed on two things:
    • Anti roll bar bush had failed, causing excessive play
    • The headlamps were so foggy, they had no beam pattern in them
    They did a polish of it and now it has passed but to be honest, the polish was a bit of a rush I think (the front certainly has not come off) as the main beams hadn't been done. Still, it passed though there is also an advisory for the rear brake pads.

    Before (click on the link):


    After (click on the link):


    Hmm... looks like I'll be doing a more through job later on in the year. Also, the speedometer mileage conundrum has concluded. The mileage is going to stay at 154k as that is what is recorded on the MOT. I might be able to argue with VOSA on that one but it is a lot of hassle for something I am not going to sell for a llllloooonnnggg time yet so what is the point? I know what my car has and has not done.

    One surprising aspect of the MOT was the emission data. For a car that apparently had not been serviced in two years, it seemed to be pretty good from where I was sitting:

    Fast Idle test (2500-3000 rpm):
    Carbon Monoxide: 0.003
    Hydrocarbons: 13
    Lambda: 1.018

    Natural Idle test (anywhere from 450 - 1500):
    Carbon Monoxide: 0.008

    Dashboard
    I've reinstated the radio on the car but left the cowling off for the moment just to make it easy enough to dismantle the centre again when I do get the pods in. Still got to work on that glovebox... :P

    Wheels
    I went and got a set of 14 inch steel wheels for my car and like my last 450, these are going to be sorted out to put on the car. I did consider banding them but a bit too much hassle at the moment plus, the kerbs in my street are relatively uneven. Moondiscs (again, following on from the last 450) are an option but the last set won't fit (one flew off as well ) and I want to avoid going down that route anyway.

    Maybe power-coat them in anthracite grey (to match the Tridion) with polished nuts? Two of the outer rims on the wheels need mending anyway (slightly bent... the woes of second hand parts).

    Servicing the engine this or next weekend, giving the engine bay a damned good clean as I go so when I get to the Ace Cafe, it will look tidier than it is now! If I get time, continue with the dashboard and figure out why my rear interior light is not lighting up.

    Longer term, I've been playing around with colour schemes and this is the one I like at the moment...



    Trouble is, I don't really want to make a CityFlame (451 special edition) copycat... might need to work on it for the moment.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Today was all about a bit of painting. The front wiper arms were pretty rough and the rear wiper was missing the nut cap so I got a new rear wiper arm and painted that gloss black. (All images are clickable).



    I hate this sort of thing... it makes the car look untidy.



    The painted variety looks better than the unpainted variety, doesn't it? So I painted the front wiper arms but I couldn't get them off the spindles so I did them in situ. The key word here was preparation. Anything I thought the spray would reach, I covered with newspaper and/or sticky tape. In the wind tunnel of a street I live in, this was a bit of a trial but I got there.



    After a few tense moments putting on the primer, paint and a coat of lacquer, after about 20 minutes, I took the paper off. Thankfully, none of the paint made it onto the bodywork and now the wiper arms look a lot better. Definitely blends into the scuttle/glass better than before.



    I also did the cover caps and the rear wiper blade itself. The rear blade just looked poor against the now painted arm so I gave that the once over as well.

    Also changed the air filter in the engine. It was pretty filthy and then gave the engine a quick clean up. Looks a lot better now I think.





    However, I looked underneath the car and found that there a some oil dripping. It appears to be collecting on the side of the sump pan which is on the opposite side to where the drain plug is. To be honest, the entire underside looks pretty shiny so I'll have to clean it all up and then run it for a bit to see what is going on. If I had to take a guess, I reckon it is just a seal of some description that has perished.

    Cleaned up my tailpipe as that was looking pretty mucky and had a go at the backbox. The talepipe came up OK for a few minutes rubbing with metal polish and a old sock





    However, whilst doing that, I found that the backbox heatshield is rattling around. Looks like one of the nuts has escaped and the hole where the nut closest to the rear panels has worn enough for it to slip off it.

    I'll be getting a replacement exhaust system at some point (the look under the car shows it is nearing the end of life) so will deal with it then.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 20th March 2016 at 17:24.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Day 5

    Following on from the Ace Cafe, I've decided to backtrack on removing the dashboard completely and fit the dash pods by simply clipping them to the dash though I will get around to learning how to dismantle the dashboard at somepoint. The tricky bit was the routing of the cable from the temperature pod to the clock pod - managed to route it without having to guess where the wire was by pulling the wire through the centre part. Scary as hell though.



    Anyway, dash pods are in and they look awesome, really completes the look of the dash despite the clock pod being a bit redundant.



    Next port of call is to get the steel wheels ready to put on the car. That means a trip of the wheel refurbishers as at least two have bent outer rims and the tyres do need changing on all four of them. I also need to replace the high level brake lights as quite a few of them are out, making the car look a bit uncouth. With that being said, the centre dash is a mess at the moment with it looking like it has collapsed!

    I've shelled out a bit to get a original Navigator unit. I know originally I was going to fit a Radio 6 but the offer came up and I took advantage of it. I had one in the original 454 and it was a useful piece of kit, filled the centre nicely as well. Just need to rebuild that steering wheel now...

    Below is the overall plan for what I want to do. This list will probably mutate over time to include other things (engine dressing very probably) but for the moment, it will do as a work schedule.

    • Fit Dash Pods (DONE)
    • Fit Armrest
    • Fit Navigator
    • Fix high level brake lights bulbs
    • WirralSmarts event
    • Refurbish + fit Steel Wheels
    • Fit parking sensors
    • Gaydon
    • Paint panels
    • Fit Headlamp projector units
    • Beaulieu / Ace Cafe

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Day 6

    Over the free time I had this week, I received the Navigator unit along with a ISO to Quadlock unit though it still needed a bit of rewiring to make it work. However, once all in, plugged it into the car and it starts but then switches off. Seems that the MOST input/output needs wiring as well, so I've ordered a loop and will see if that makes it work. Really hope so.

    Anyway, a picture!



    The big thing today was the steel wheels. I know that is jumping the gun a little in terms of the order of the list but hey, it was never concrete. Took my wheels down to a wheel restorer hoping to get them painted in the colour of the Tridion but the guy who I talked to explained that you couldn't powdercoat them as they were steels and that for show standard, I really needed new wheels (the ones I have look decidedly second hand). They seemed willing to paint them but that would have come to ~340 and for that money on these wheels specifically, I'd rather save up to either get some Grandline/Cruiselines or a brand new set of steels and then get them painted.

    With that in mind, I still want to use these set of steels as runaround wheels. So I broke out a can do attitude and set about painting them myself. Since the car panels are not painted yet, I figured I'd take an idea from my old 450 and paint them copper.











    They are not perfect - the can decided it was going to dribble so there are a few splodges on there but at speed, no one is going to see them, are they. For the record, 2 layers of etch primer, 2/3 coats of enamel paint and 2 layers of lacquer were used. Rather than speed through all 4 of them today, I'll be doing them one at a time over the next 3 weeks in time for the WirralSmarts event in June and Gaydon in July.

    If I get time, I'll fix my high level brake lights with LEDs this weekend otherwise it will be next weekend.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Day 7

    All the steel wheels are now painted in the Copper colour and will be fitted before the WirralSmarts event in June. As runabout wheels, they look the part I think but they do need new tyres before they go on the road.

    The Navigator is in and now works properly! After a bit of a scare with the GPS aerial (I thought it might have been a dud), all is well. I've fitted up a aux in line and will figure out a reverse camera before refitting the centre console fascia. Gives me a fantastic excuse to get the headlining down and fix my roof blinds, which have come off the runners and gotten a bit tangled up. Also, one of the heater control lights have failed.

    The rear light assembly now has LEDs in it instead of standard bulbs. It was a bit of a mission as the LEDs I had were marginally too wide for the hole they should feed into, so I unclipped the red surround, put the reflector assembly back in the base and then installed the LEDs through the holes. All works now so I am glad I don't have to fiddle with that any more.

    Next job is the armrest. I've had to glue some of the tangs back in place from one of the side covers but I should be able to attempt this fairly soon.

    Apologies for no pictures, I will try and get some up soon.

    • Fit Dash Pods (DONE)
    • Fit Armrest
    • Fit Navigator (DONE)
    • Fix high level brake lights bulbs (DONE)
    • Replace heater bulb light
    • Refit glovebox
    • WirralSmarts event
    • Refurbish + fit Steel Wheels (DONE)
    • Fit parking sensors
    • Gaydon
    • Paint panels
    • Fit Headlamp projector units
    • Install rear facing camera
    • Fix roof blinds
    • Beaulieu

  6. #16

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Hi Ocracoke,
    A quick question about the dash pods, you mentioned screwing them in, does this mean that factory fitted ones are screwed in from underneath? I'm trying to find a set from a car being broken but if they are screwed in then its likely they will be damaged when removed by the breakers.
    Regards,
    Kev.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueskev View Post
    Hi Ocracoke,
    A quick question about the dash pods, you mentioned screwing them in, does this mean that factory fitted ones are screwed in from underneath? I'm trying to find a set from a car being broken but if they are screwed in then its likely they will be damaged when removed by the breakers.
    Regards,
    Kev.
    If they were installed from the factory, then yes, they are screwed underneath. However, they screw into the dashboard so as long as they remove the dashboard first (which in itself is a mission, believe me I've tried), it should be fairly trivial to remove them. Just takes a bit of patience is all.

    The key issue is the wiring. If they damage the wiring (which is CAN-Bus stuff I believe), then the pods would be useless. I originally bought a set of from eBay where the white plug leading to the temperature gauge was cut off. I guess they can be repaired looking briefly at Google but I couldn't comment.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 28th April 2016 at 09:34.

  8. #18

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocracoke View Post

    The key issue is the wiring. If they damage the wiring (which is CAN-Bus stuff I believe), then the pods would be useless. I originally bought a set of from eBay where the white plug leading to the temperature gauge was cut off. I guess they can be repaired looking briefly at Google but I couldn't comment.
    Yes, I figured they must be canbus with only three wires, with a wiring diagram it would be easy enough, but Im not sure Im brave enough to try lol

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Day 8

    The last few days have been about removing the throttle body from the engine. Me and my wife went out for ice cream and when we came back and started the car, it was in limp mode and refused to go anywhere very quickly at all so I decided that when it got warmer, I would fix the throttle body.

    I'll be honest, it was a nightmare to remove from the car. The T30 bolts came off easily enough, as did the air intake pipe but then the coolant hoses decided to be very, very fiddly. A bit of swearing, some more swearing and a pair of nose pilers later, I got one off cleanly, the other I destroyed in getting it off. As an aside, why on earth does it need a coolant feed? The 450/452 throttle body doesn't have one as far as I know.

    Anyway, the throttle body is now off and sitting on my desk awaiting cleaning. It looks awful (along with the brackets and bolts), definitely needs cleaning.





    However, the LED high level brake lights are working fine. Looks a hell of a lot better than before



    • Fit Dash Pods - DONE
    • Refurbish throttle valve
    • Fit Armrest
    • Fit Navigator - DONE
    • Fix high level brake lights bulbs - DONE
    • Replace heater bulb light
    • Refit glovebox
    • WirralSmarts event
    • Refurbish + fit Steel Wheels - IN PROGRESS
    • Fit parking sensors
    • Gaydon
    • Paint panels
    • Fit Headlamp projector units
    • Install rear facing camera
    • Fix roof blinds
    • Beaulieu

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: The next WirralSmarts car

    Day 9
    The throttle body has been cleaned. To say it was filthy is an understatement, but it is now clean and back in the car after being sprayed a fetching copper colour. I originally started spraying it black but I ran out of paint, so the copper came into the gap. The bracket was also sprayed but the bolts remained as they were, it stands out against the copper colour.



    Speaking of copper coloured stuff, as putting the throttle body back in the car was much quicker than I thought, I took the 14 inch steel wheels to get some new tyres on them. They are now on the car and... damn... they cool.



    After being fitted, I went out for a drive around town on the way to do the shopping and you could see a few people turning heads. On my travels, I saw a silver Vauxhall Corsa with Kawasaki green steel wheels... nah... mine are better.

    As an aside, I had the wheels fitted at the place where I had the tyres fitted (with tracking) and I gave them the correct nuts but are they on the right way around? It just looks a bit... wrong the way they are at the moment...



    • Fit Dash Pods - DONE
    • Refurbish throttle valve - DONE
    • Fit Armrest
    • Fit Navigator - DONE
    • Fix high level brake lights bulbs - DONE
    • Replace heater bulb light
    • Refit glovebox
    • WirralSmarts event
    • Refurbish + fit Steel Wheels - DONE
    • Fit parking sensors
    • Gaydon
    • Paint panels
    • Fit Headlamp projector units
    • Install rear facing camera
    • Fix roof blinds
    • Beaulieu

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