The bare wires shouldn't be hanging out of the back of the crimp terminals like that. That's a short-cut to future wiring failure. The crimps should be crimped on both the wire AND the insulator. Otherwise there is excess stress on the wire and it breaks. Keep it up, nearly MOT time!
Today marks the end of my journey with this little car properly because it sold. Perhaps the easiest sale I've had and to someone who really got what this car is. He was quite excited by the whole thing, and who can blame him? It's an exciting car I feel comfortable it's gone to the right person, he gave the impression of understanding the shortcomings on the car and recognising the work already done and didn't feel particularly daunted by it. The right questions were asked about various parts of the car and I just got a generally good vibe. Hopefully, this little car will go on to bigger and better things still with the new owner and I'll be pointing him at the various threads and forums I've used to record the adventures and troubles with it over the past few years.
The overwhelming feeling really is one of relief tinged with a little regret. I can now do things like get a new catalytic converter for the Rover, some nicer tyres, and makes sure there's some funds available to fix anything the Princess might need after the MoT. I feel like I made the right decision and at the moment, I feel like the Renault has gone to the right person.
I don't think he's on here, I suspect he's more of a Facebook sort. hurlabigblock on Twitter, though there's been no Renault updates there (mind you, he's only had it five minutes and he's a very busy bloke).
When the car was collected, the spare doors were left behind by accident because we both completely forgot about them. Also, part of the payment for the Renault was a new fuel pump and sender for the Princess which he could get cheaper thanks to a trade account. Normally, this would be annoying, but the first pump ordered got lost in the post and the replacement only arrived yesterday. That means I can pick up the new pump and deliver the doors at the same time and I might even get to see the Renault again, which I hadn't expected happening! Oh, and this is no cost to me other than time. Sometimes you get the feeling you can trust a person right from the get go so pretty much from the first message sent I felt sure he was going to be the one to buy the car and wouldn't mess me about. Nice stress-free transaction, which is not how selling cars is usually reported.
In small Princess news, the coolant has been flushed, much needed as the system had a lot of orangey silt in it. The carburettor has been tuned and it is running quite nicely now. In protest, the thermo switch for the fan decided to stop working and the new replacement I got also isn't working. There is an over-ride switch fitted by a previous owner that does work so I shan't cook the car, I just need to figure out why the thermo-switches have failed. Since the working over-ride switch piggy-backs the original wiring to the thermo-switch, there's no relay fitted (from factory, at that) and no fuses have blown, it can really only be the thermo-switch at fault. Not MoT vital, just a nuisance as it means the fan needs to pretty much be on all the time rather than only when needed. At least the temperature gauge works.
Two big jobs to do are bleeding the brakes and applying fresh underseal at this point. Everything else is as fixed as it can be. Mike is going away for a few days before the MoT so we've got to get everything done Monday/Tuesday as I won't have help with any jobs until he gets back on the 2nd of April (MoT on the 3rd of April). The brakes and undersealing are going to be quicker and easier with two of us doing it than if I try and do it on my own so we're going to do our best to find the time to make that happen. I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to the undersealing work at all, it's going to be a horrible, messy job.
Thanks to scaryoldcortina I'm a LOT less anxious about the upcoming MoT. I have issues with anxiety and trust, so MoT time can be pretty stressful for me. The Princess is even scarier because hardly anyone under the age of 40 knows what to do with it, let alone what it even is. I could save myself a bit of money and get any of my cars tested very locally and slightly cheaper than Scary *but* I don't trust them in the same way. A++++ mechanic, will use again.
So much for the MoT on the 3rd of April. Shortage of time rather than money so I don't have the second pair of hands I need for the last few niggles like the brakes and underseal and I'm not comfortable taking it for the MoT with the front brakes as they currently are. A nuisance but hopefully not a major set back. Shan't be able to work on it again until at least the 3rd of April and I really want to make Pride of Longbridge on the 15th of April so I just have to hope I still have enough time to get it finished, booked in and an MoT passed by then.
I'm not particularly hopeful at this stage. Every year I've tried to make PoL the Princess has been broken or otherwise off the road so this year would be no different.
That's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing this on the road. I guess I can wait a little longer.
If... A, I knew where you were and B, I had any time myself I'd offer to come and help.
But since I don't know where you are and I've got no time myself I'm afraid you are on your own. Sorry old chap! Well, you didn't want my help anyway. I'd just spend days polishing your lower double flange sprocket or some other junk you'll never see.
Oh don't worry, James, if you were available for even a few minutes I'd find a job for you to do. I'm never short of jobs that need doing. As it happens, I'm up Middlesbrough way but used to live near your part of the world.
Since the MoT I thought I might be bored of the Rover. I'm not, as it happens, I'm just not used to this level of reliability. I've got the exhaust parts I need on order and they should be arriving sometime this month, I hope, and I hope they're the right parts too. That'll get rid of the irritating exhaust buzz and should mean the emissions are easier to pass next MoT.
After that, it'll be a pair of tyres, I've just not decided which ones to go for yet and I've used the car so little this month, the Fate-O hasn't tried to kill me or anything so that can wait. I'd also like to get the wheels refurbished this year, something I could do myself since the alloys don't have any corrosion of note, they're just quite scruffy. I need to decide if I'm painting (cheap) or powder coating (expensive) them and if I'm going silver, gold or copper, I can't make up my mind and mocking up photographs hasn't helped me decide.
I've got the rear arch to repair when we've got some welding gas and workshop space and then I need to seriously think about paint. Colour choice isn't a problem there really, I just need to get some quotes because I'd actually rather someone else did it. I hesitate to say I want a "quick blowover" but that's kinda what the car needs because of the remaining lacquer damage, the dings in the doors and the little bits of rust that need attending to on the doors. I've been keeping an eye out for a set of decent red doors, but can't find any better than what's on the car.
There's nothing I really want to do to the car that I haven't done already now. I'd still like to install the Concerto rear lights at some point, I've just been holding out for a Concerto tailgate or bootlid and the trim pieces that go under the rear lights to make the whole job easier. The Concertos I have found always seem to have had those specific parts sold by the time I ask, which is annoying.
So yeah. Essentially it's still being a great little car and ideal for what I need most of the time. Occasionally I still wish it was an estate car or even a hatchback purely for the sake of practicality but... it's fine. It's just really good at being a car.
Since selling the Renault I've had a bit of cash to go and make yet another ill-advised purchase and while I've been looking nothing has actually grabbed me strongly enough to go for it. That's not to say I've seen nothing of interest, it's just that the things that have interested me have spiralled out of budget fairly rapidly. Really, buying another car would be silly and I don't want a third car so much as the excitement of a new toy so I put my sensible pants on and bought parts for the Rover and Princess instead. Because sometimes I can adult, and both cars do deserve investment from me.
That little lot is for the Rover. New catalytic convertor, backbox, suspension bushes x4, special nuts and bolts x4 and some gaskets for the exhaust. About £100 for that lot, which seemed very reasonable. I'm down to tyres and bodywork on the Rover now, just a shame paint requires so much labour and is therefore very expensive really, takes a while to save up for. The triangular gasket I ordered for the cat is the wrong kind, it's a sort of stretched triangle where mine is a regular triangle and the listings I've found all have the stretched type. I need one that fits this shape.
Help appreciated on finding one of those.
Next up is the Princess. As of today it's as ready for MoT as it can be, I just need to book a date. There's a chance it'll be ready for Pride of Longbridge on the 15th if it passes the MoT first go. A friend sent me some individualisers for the displacers, I've got two correct schrader valves ordered, when they're available I'll order another two. Individualised suspension is normally an MGF thing, but there's no reason to believe it won't work on the Princess too and it means I can do away with the troublesome steel Hydragas pipes and should another displacer fail, only one corner fails rather than one whole side of the car. Easy to fit since they just screw on and off the original fittings, just slightly more awkward to pump up at the rear since you have to jack up the car to connect and disconnect rather than filling from the engine bay.
The fuel pump is an SD1 item, I'm advised it's identical to the one fitted to the Princess, and was part payment for the Renault. The rubber gasket and metal ring are the fuel sender gasket and sealing ring, an MGB/Mini item as it happens. It was recommended that I replace this seal when disturbing the sender as they almost always leak if you don't.
Today Mike and I bled the brakes. They weren't too bad, fortunately, just a little air in the calipers and old fluid to flush through. At the front there's 3 bleed nipples on each caliper, one is hidden here, you have to take the wheel off to get to it.
At the rear, there's just one bleed nipple per side.
We discovered there's absolutely nothing wrong with the seals in the system at least when Mike nearly got a face full of brake fluid on the first press of the pedal. You can just make out the line of brake fluid the car shot out of the nipple across the full width of the car.
I gave the brake fluid bottle cap a clean while it was off the car, getting rid of the black chewing gum type gunk on it. A little job and meaningless really, but a start on the engine bay cleaning which needs doing.
Dealt with the exhaust tip, removing a hand's width from the tailpipe so it clears the fog light now. I'll be finishing this off with a chromed down-turn pipe.
Tackled the undersealing too. About half the underseal was still really good and didn't want to come off, while half of it flaked off for the most part. It was a much quicker job than anticipated as most of the areas that might have needed attention are where new metal was let in. Looks lots better under there now it's all nicely uniform in colour.
I'm excited about the MoT for the Princess, I've fixed more than was highlighted at the last MoT and with the exception of some minor oil leaks that were present but not noted at the last MoT, there shouldn't be anything it can fail on.