Xantiaman's Blog

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 01 Aug 2010, 12:07

Sod it, i've come back, no other forum has such nice people as this one, so i thought i would do a little update.

With the missus keen to get driving, i decided to get her a car and get the ball rolling.

Not too long ago, i had my old 1.9 TD but this was far too big for her.

The Mondeo is out of the question, i would be an idiot letting her loose on a 240bhp car. I wanted something with a small engine but zippy, economical, cheap to tax and insure. A boot big enough for pushchairs, and a few toys would be nice too.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 522wt_1137

There are a few pictures on my ad, short story long its a lovely car, drives so well but it wasnt 'trendy' enough for her.

And then last week, this turned up at work.


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2002, 75k on the clock, and all the same bits as the other one, meaning a lively 1.4 103bhp engine, 0-60 in 9.8 seconds, 40+mpg, same cheap tax and insurance, but in a slighter more compact and up to date shape.

And i only paid £900 for it, with MOT till next April.

I've started cleaning it up, and its far from perfect but for the money who can complain? And its a hoot to drive! The handling is brilliant for a small car, tons of grip, sharp and precise steering and well controlled body roll.

The missus likes this one! So its a keeper, and thats why the Rover is for sale.

Apart from much car action everything else is good. Vicky is 30 weeks gone, not much longer and we can start to settle down as it feels we are constantly waiting before it all falls in place in the new house. Been very blessed with work, its been consistently busy.

Jack is growing up very fast, total car nut. in fact anything that moves like planes, trains and tractors, he is nutty about them.

And yes, i do miss my Activa!

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren » 01 Aug 2010, 12:32

Welcome back :)
Good to hear things are progressing well for you. That MG 'aint very Gallic but never mind.
My brother had one and loved it until he stared getting loads of 'limp home' episodes that they spent >£3000 trying to fix with no success.
Has a Bavarian wagon now that costs him endless. Can't persuade him to get anything French.

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Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm » 01 Aug 2010, 15:08

nice car Gareth, i have been somewhat taken by rovers lately and been tempted by the ZR's especialy but it would have to be the 160, there was a nice 02 plate one going for salvage £300 as a cat D........i was tempted as parts are so cheap, they feel solid at almost any age and they are easy to work on.
Hope it serves your family well.
Still missing the activa eh................you should of known it would be one of those "i wish i hadnt sold it" cars!

D

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 01 Aug 2010, 15:56

Deanxm wrote:nice car Gareth, i have been somewhat taken by rovers lately and been tempted by the ZR's especialy but it would have to be the 160, there was a nice 02 plate one going for salvage £300 as a cat D........i was tempted as parts are so cheap, they feel solid at almost any age and they are easy to work on.
Hope it serves your family well.
Still missing the activa eh................you should of known it would be one of those "i wish i hadnt sold it" cars!

D


The Activa was the car i didnt want to sell, but had to, as it got older there was more risk of things going wrong, and whilst it was at its prime, it made sense to sell it before i was going to lose its value.

Dont regret the switch to Ford one bit, its an excellent car.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 01 Aug 2010, 19:17

XantiaMan wrote:Sod it, i've come back, no other forum has such nice people as this one, so i thought i would do a little update.


Great to see you back Gareth :D And thanks for the complement on the forum!

Great to hear all is going really well. Let us know when the little 'un arrives won't you....

One day you'll have another Activa :wink:

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 01 Aug 2010, 20:41

CitroJim wrote:
XantiaMan wrote:Sod it, i've come back, no other forum has such nice people as this one, so i thought i would do a little update.


Great to see you back Gareth :D And thanks for the complement on the forum!

Great to hear all is going really well. Let us know when the little 'un arrives won't you....

One day you'll have another Activa :wink:


Maybe one day, but next time, it will have a massive turbo on it!

I've already filled the driveway up here and the van gets parked in the road.

Image

Luckily, the Rover sold within a few hours of being out on ebay and goes tomorrow, so i can get the garden back!

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Citroenmad
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Post by Citroenmad » 02 Aug 2010, 21:32

Good to see you back on the forum Gareth :)

Your MG ZR looks very tidy, they are a good looking car and they do drive well. No dount you have it looking like a new pin too 8-)

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 03 Aug 2010, 10:18

The Rover has gone, nice car it was too, the only thing that let it down was rust scabs on the arches but it was a solid car with a sweet engine.

I love driving the ZR. Its got a light, nimble feel to it that so many newer cars lack, it feels well screwed together despite their reputation, the interior doesnt rattle at all. Its a hoot bombing down a country road at legal speeds and for me, thats what its about, a little bit of fun without breaking the bank.

Vicky loves it too! I can only see that as a good thing. She can now understand my enthusiasm for cars a bit more and should be more willing to allow me time to work on the Maestro.

The colour of the ZR is nice too, and i am putting serious thought into spraying the Maestro this colour. Its similar to the old Activa in that its a dark grey with a blue pearl, this is quite a bit darker though.

As much as i would of liked to stick to a small french car as it is something they do well, they are massively overpriced. To get an 02 plate 206 with an average spec, you will be paying close to £2k, VFM wise this one is tough to beat.

It sure does need some work to get it to its best. I've replaced the front and rear badges, just £12 off ebay as the originals delaminate. The radiator needs replacing as the bottom part where the fan attaches has rotten off, and its been rubbing on the bottom core, and now has a pinhole.

Ebay price for a brand new one £20!! Brilliant! I've also ordered a new set of Mintex pads and discs, £40. They are solids on the front and wearing thin, not for the keen driver but a new set will make it acceptable in normal driving.

The interior is nearly immaculate, just a small hole in the carpet near the clutch, it was a women driver with heels previously :roll: No matter, a set of nice velour mats on the way to cover that.

Does need a lick of paint. Both bumpers are chipped, scuffed and scratched, typical runaround car. Will keep my eyes peeled for a 2nd hand replacement and paint in my spare time, then fit, as the back needs realigning. Its the same as a Rover 25 bumper at this age, the spoilers just bolt on.

As you can see i am pretty keen on it, i've not driven the Mondeo for a week! Its just nice to go back to basics a bit.

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Deanxm
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Post by Deanxm » 03 Aug 2010, 10:30

i rather liked my little 216, ok it didnt handle that well but it wasnt set up for it, but it felt great fun within the speed limits and it embarassed my brother in his Audi coupe on the straight, not bad for a car that cost me £300 and like you say no rattles or squeeks, it was tight as a drum and felt like a new car and parts were so cheap, unbelievable so, i managed to put a new head set, water pump, stat, cam belt, + a service for under £100 which is damn good really.
there is a lot to be said for a light basic little car.

D

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Aug 2010, 08:42

Done something a bit different today.

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This is a Sierra that my friend bought recently. For a near 20 year old car, its actually pretty good condition. Done 137k, engine runs great, even though its a 1.8 CVH! Its really quiet, pulls fine and sits at motorway speeds brilliantly. The interior is immaculate too.

The paint was variable in places, with some areas painted in the past, these areas had a deeper shine than the original. One of the rear doors was terrible, wrong colour and no shine at all, amazingly it came up and the colour difference was less obvious, we found another door on ebay same colour to replace it, as a previous door skin replacement meant poor rust protection and a huge scab of rust on the bottom corner.

Took 5 hours in total, we still need to do the bonnet and roof when its a bit cooler as the compound does not like the heat.

Even my neighbour who usually just stares at me couldn't stop them selves from saying how nice the old girl looked when they drove past, the attention it got was quite funny!

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red_dwarfers
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Post by red_dwarfers » 04 Aug 2010, 17:09

A smashing looking Sierra :D

Ah, so thats the Audi that shouldn't be there :twisted:

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 04 Aug 2010, 17:16

Thats the one, blocking my drive a bit too. Note the illegal spacing on the number plate. Maybe i should get loads of people to report it on the DVLA site and then they would take notice?

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 15 Aug 2010, 13:40

That Audi is still there! I spoke to them yesterday actually, and found out its using all its coolant within 20 minutes!

The reason i found out, is because they saw me doing a bit of spannering on the MG, and wanted me to fix it. I've put them off for now, but here is a little hint at what i was doing.

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The dreaded head gasket on the K series. Except it had not failed! I spotted some signs of HGF in the header tank, a very very light skin of mayo inside, which wasnt that bad really. Turns out it was a false alarm, but because this engine had neglected oil changes the followers were gunked up, so i stripped the head down.

The oil channels in the cam carrier were blocked in places, preventing clean oil getting to the cams and the followers. It was a right mess. Even the head bolts struggled to pull through because of the gunk.

I replaced the valve stem seals, fitted excellent condition VVC followers donated by a friend, cleaned the head up and it was ready.

Liner heights on the block were a bit low but very even, so i chose the very latest type of elastomeric HG made by Payen.

Image

I cleaned the holes in the block and crank/oil ladder with brake and clutch cleaner and a long brush for cleaning spray guns. It worked perfectly, and once reassembled i drained the oil and put diesel oil in, which with its detergents will do a good job at getting it clean in the long run.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 15 Aug 2010, 18:55

Great stuff Gareth :D Looks like accessibility is quite good in that engine bay.. Still, if the hype about how often they blow gaskets is true then I guess that's a blessing...

That water looked a it manky.. Looks like that was a tad neglected too...

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 15 Aug 2010, 21:22

Looked manky but that was 2 day old OAT Coolant! When i sucked the water from the coolant jacket it was pink in colour, i think the grey of the block made the coolant look dirty, strange.

The original coolant was weak but the colour of it was ok.

Having learnt a bit about these engine, i would say its crucial the coolant is changed regular, even though OAT is long life i would say every year and 2 at the very longest, the condition of the oil too helps, as all the bolt holes are oil drain holes and dirty manky oil sitting on the gasket will start to rot the elastomeric track.

Its a very clever little engine though and despite its reputation its still one of the best engines of its time.

Piece of cake to work on, no air con or pumps in the way, head is off in less than an hour.