BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

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BGAston87
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Joined: 05 May 2014, 15:53

BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by BGAston87 »

Hi Everyone,

Finally managed to get a free day from work to sit and get my paperwork and tax returns sorted out... Well guess what? I got bored!

As it was suggested that I make a thread in this area about my Talbot Samba Cabrio, I decided to just introduce you to my fleet and a few of their wheelie metal friends that visit from time to time.
I guess that if I introduce myself a little and tell you my car history then you'll get a picture of why, as a 27 year old, I have a Citroen Xantia estate (my 2nd estate) and a Samba...
I first owned a car in 2000 when I was 13 and mad about cars. I'd been buying practical classics for 3 years already and had a friend of the family who is heavily involved in all things Rootes/Chrysler and British Leyland. He had managed to find me a FREE project to play with in the hope I could restore it on a shoestring before my 17th birthday. It was an Imperial Red 1974 Hillman Imp De-Luxe, I adored it and spent all my spare time pulling it to bits, rebuilding it and repeating. Sadly the car around the greasy bits was a little threadbare so in 2002 I sold the good bits and said goodbye. By this time I was only 2 years from driving and the real prospect of having something normal like a Corsa loomed....... Not what I had hoped! I then found a FREE 1973 Hillman Avenger Super(really?), resplendent in H.A.B (Hearing Aid Beige).. Or Safari Beige as Mr Rootes preferred. After some time getting it running mechanically I set about the bodywork and found that a large proportion of the rear end of the car con sited of the Lynn News & Advertiser, September 1990... Oh yeah, and chicken wire, tights (!?), Carling cans and pop rivets all hidden beautifully under a skim of P38 (filler that is, not a Range Rover)..
This car was then sold for parts to a guy making a Tiger replica... Good luck was wished, and a slight wrench felt as the car left me...
Following the sale of the beige beast I became the proud owner of an Italjet Torpedo 2T50 and 1 week later passed my CBT and became a menace to all and sundry on the roads of Norfolk.

When 17 hit I got lessons (in how to pass my test, not driving lol). I worked at the local Ford dealership as a parts apprentice and saw a powder blue 2001 Fiat Seicento 1.1 SX come in as a part-ex. It was mine and after passing my test I began to learn how to drive for real, In a small Italian hatchback with a tiny engine this was immense fun! Valve bounce, under and oversteer, turning it into a bicycle on roundabouts and generally pushing things as hard as I could without ending up in a field (thankfully)! Gladly I have calmed somewhat! So instead of boring you with a story about all my cars I will bullet point them up to the present day :) (see i'm kind now i'm older).

In some kind of order although I can't remember and some overlapped!

-1974 Hillman Imp 875 Deluxe - My first big boys toy.
-1973 Hillman Avenger 1500 Super - Beige Papier Mache, lovely.
-2002 Italjet Torpedo 2T50 - Retro but ultimately s**t with an engine block made from Mozarella
-2001 Fiat Seicento 1.1SX - The 'Gaycento' as my mates told me. Buzzy little roller-skate!
-1995 Ford Fiesta 1.25 Ghia - Lovely car plagued by previous owners mechanical tomfoolery.. Essentially swallowed whole by a drainage ditch :(
-1995 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Expression estate - Awful, basic, rotten, noisy, gutless & white. Did it's job for a little while....
-1996 Daewoo Nexia 1.5GLXi - Mk2 Astra made much worse by a de-stroked ecotec with added rubbishness. Big end went at 60mph... oh well...
-1987 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 SRi130 - My first proper quick car, aged 20 I was like a kid in a sweet shop... Cost me £75 as well :)
-1995 Citroen Xantia Estate 1.8i LX - My introduction to floaty French brilliance. Had it 9 months but it was ultimately pretty gutless and thirsty.. Loved it though!
-1987 Toyota Celica 2.0 GT 16v - 147bhp and popup headlights... Need I say more?
-1991 Rover Maestro Clubman 2.0D - £150, 6 inches of snow, 3 year old diesel and flat tyres.. Started it up and drove it home (1/2 mile) Engine seized after passing MOT so I broke it
-1986 Honda Prelude 2.0ex - Bought with no engine, couldn't get one for love or money (i tried both), sold it to a Honda nutter for a track day car.
-1994 Peugeot 106 1.5XND - Bought for £50 for my uncle who lost enthusiasm so I sold it on to a learner driver... He stacked it a week later!
-2000 Citroen Xantia 2.0 HDi Exclusive Hatch - Easily the best car I have ever owned and I would have loved to have kept it but there seas so much that needed doing and my income didn't permit spending that on the car as it was. Sport suspension button got a hammering in that one!
-2003 Ford Mondeo 2.0TDCi Ghia-X Estate - My second favourite car as it was a rare spec in the colours I had it and it was just so nice. Sadly I had to sell it when I was made redundant but it never matched up to the Exclusive for comfort or smiles per mile...
-1997 Toyota Starlet 1.3S - Brilliant and as fun as the Fiat in many ways. Relived my late teens for a few months until my friend (a Toyota techie and fellow Starlet owner) needed something reliable to replace his other halts religious Corsa.

That brings us to the present, my 1995 Citroen Xantia 1.9TD LX Estate - The white barge is the daily workhorse which I use for everything from transporting cars about on trailers to pulling tree stumps. It has enabled me to build up my handyman business and I just don't think I could part with it now. Swore i'd never have another white car after my Astra but it was £350 in Croydon (about 120 miles from me). The photo's on eBay showed that she had yachting dog syndrome so I went armed with a trolley jack, cable ties and a dog-bone. The guy selling it said that his mechanic had been under it for 2 days trying to cure the problem and not succeeded... 10 minutes after arriving we regained normal float on the back end and went for a test drive. Black smoke, check. Crunchy 3rd gear, Check. Ailing heater, check..... etc... Got back and offered the guy £200 in light of the foibles. We agreed on £250 and I drove it away. 120 miles and several tea stops later and I had it home. Next day a full valet ensued and the true extent of the cars life was revealed as I pulled wrappers and receipts dating to 2000 from the upholstery and trim. The paint is flat as a pancake but is waiting for my mate to get his arse in gear and machine glaze it to a shine again. So far I have replaced the rear spheres, alternator, rear height corrector, all the brakes, cam belt (after the tensioner let go in a bottom quiveringly noisy way), 1 injector and the heater fan resistor (3 times, don't ask). Also have had to scrape around 5mm of corrosion off the rear caliper faces, they were so pitted I just swapped them from left to right and vice versa. She's currently up on stands awaiting new discs and pads to replace the current crop of furrowed and grooved items.
I am also the proud and maybe slightly smug owner of a 1984 Talbot Samba Cabriolet (Ernie). My cousin has owned him for nearly 20 years and has used parts from over 5 different samba's she has owned to bring him to where he is today. Full bare metal respray in Peugeot Cherry Red has been done although cheaply so my mate (the one with the polisher!) will be repairing some of the less pretty parts of the job. The wheels have been blasted and powder coated (in a kinda haphazard way) and with a bit of tlc will be pretty good. The hood was replaced with the same material used on the Aston Martin DB7 but sadly the machinist hadn't got quite enough material so had to make it a little snug fitting... Ultimately as long as I don't go out in the rain too much it should be ok but I want to get it replaced at some point as it should make the car look complete. I've just been tinkering with him and trying to get all the parts from the boxes and back on the car. It's taking some patience and perseverance as I wasn't there when the bits came off but I hope to have him on the road in a couple of months. I have treated him to a pair of bumpers which were plastic items from the hatchback that we cut down to resemble the metal bumpers that have been discarded at some point .
I guess the only other car I can tell you about is my mum's 1992 Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL-Executive. Bought for £1500 last year in immaculate condition with just 37k on the odometer. I love driving this about as it's just so new for an old car. I know it's a bit boring because it just works but it certainly goes well and it looks kinda sporty for something that looks like a biddy mobile.

I'll come back and update you all when I get a chance and also I will try and work out how to load up some photo's for you to see of the history and current crop. Any assistance on that would be much appreciated. I'm a bit of a luddite for a young'un....

Hope your still awake and have the will to live intact, Cheers for reading hope to hear from anyone who's interested in the ongoing saga.

Ben Aston
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CitroJim
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by CitroJim »

Ben, what a wonderful start to a blog :-D Excellent!

I shall be reading future instalments with great interest and enjoyment :)
Trainman
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by Trainman »

CitroJim wrote:Ben, what a wonderful start to a blog :-D Excellent!

I shall be reading future instalments with great interest and enjoyment :)
Totally agree, kept me quiet for 5 minutes
bxzx16v
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by bxzx16v »

Totally agree, great read and what a varied selection of cars you've had.

Mark
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by lexi »

Nice read Ben. I have had Avenger 1600 and a few of your other cars.
BGAston87
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by BGAston87 »

Cheers for the feedback everyone. It's nice to find some like minded people :) I had hoped that in the coming years I might amass some collection of vague ramblings to keep people entertained and show possible offspring what a complete car bore I am now :)

Well just to keep you bang up to date I should add another chunk to it all... Came home from a job out today and waiting for me in the shed (courtesy of my wonderful and understanding other half Victoria) was a battered old lucas box.. Not promising but it had my new rear discs inside so I excitedly broke out the sockets!
As I said in the last post, I have sorted the colossal calliper mank out and got it all sorted. Ready for the old discs to come off and then replace all the frictiony bits.. "And.... Thats easy!" You may say.. I took the little bolt out of the passenger disc, tapped it with my fist and it fell off :) happy days. Liberal copper grease usage and the new disc was on, cleaned and bolted up. When I unbolted the other side I hit it, also with my fist. I wish that had worked but I thought that a normal claw hammer would probably knock it off...... No, so i got the ball joint hammer out and was sure that this might persuade it to let go... Some expletives later and a serious amount of penetrating oil, blow lamp and the judicial use of a large club hammer i was no further... Managed to almost cut it in half carefully with the grinder and a 1.5mm disc... several more blows later and a skinned knuckle or 2 i managed to prise the disc off the hub. It looks like whoever put it on there decided to loctite the threads liberally for some reason, completely welding the disc onto the hub... There was lots and lots and lots of weight saving material (rust, ferrous oxide, rot.. call it what you will but i'm optimistic!) falling out as the disc came off too.
Happily the hub is ok after a little wire wheeling and cleaning up. I even managed not to cut any of the hub face when i took the disc off.. Which was nice!
I thought that was it and I could get it sorted, back together and drive to Peterborough to see friends tonight... Well I could have, If I had checked the box of brake pads that i'd got in store from the last estate I had.... I was sure they'd be right because i remembered them being the big ones. Clearly not, I had the small ones. All the factors were closed and the old pads, well they were totally ruined.
I have a reprieve from work tomorrow so I will cycle (again), but hopefully not in the rain (again), to town and go pick a set of the right ones up. Cuppa and a bun at Sainsburgs sounds like a plan too.. Then come back and get the old girl back on her wheels and in a less unladylike position!

By the way.. Just for reference, if you split a Xantia rear calliper in half, will it balls it up? I've not done it but the 2 halves have shifted fractionally... Are they only in halves because it's easier to cast and machine ?

Ta Muchly, watch this spaceship!
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Hell Razor5543
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

BGAston87 wrote:By the way.. Just for reference, if you split a Xantia rear calliper in half, will it balls it up? I've not done it but the 2 halves have shifted fractionally... Are they only in halves because it's easier to cast and machine ?
I would check that the brakes bleed properly, and that the pistons move properly. There is a small, square section 'O' ring between the two halves. Provided this has not dropped out (and, going by what you have said, it shouldn't have) you should have a good seal between the two halves.

By the way, how do the callipers appear when looked at from above the disk? There is a weird corrosion that builds up between the calliper and the trailing arm, and it pushes the calliper off alignment. This does cause the brakes to lose efficiency. The following link should help;

http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... =3&t=38467" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
BGAston87
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by BGAston87 »

Nice one, I've just sorted the corrosion out, there was 4-5mm of it pushing the callipers to a pretty scary angle. All back together now, just got to get the right pads and bleed her up now and should be floating along again.
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Hell Razor5543
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

If the callipers have taken damage from the corrosion you can swap then between wheels. As you already have spotted, the halves are mirror images. I would also suggest putting some normal grease (not copper slip) between the callipers and the trailing arms, or some thin gasket material, to prevent a repeat of the corrosion.
BGAston87
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by BGAston87 »

Hell Razor5543 wrote: I would also suggest putting some normal grease (not copper slip) between the callipers and the trailing arms
Just out of interest, why not copper grease particularly? Forgive me if this is ignorant...
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Hell Razor5543
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Re: BGAston87's Fleet and a few extras.....!

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

The corrosion is due to dis-similar metal effects (steel from the trailing arm, alloy of the calliper), so introducing a third metal (copper, which does exist in the copper slip grease) could only complicate things.

By the way, be VERY careful when bleeding the brakes. The bleed nipples are no longer available (NFP in Citroen terminology), which could be a problem. The best way to free them off (if they need to be) is a daily dose of Plus Gas for a week prior to any work being carried out. Plus Gas is described as dismantling fluid, and it does work.