January - December 2022
Early March 2022 and I am reeling from hearing that the ULEZ
will likely be extended to New Malden next year and my ovlovov
bangers will therefore have to be SORN'ed. Still there are
selfish £-signs in my eyes at the thought of not having to tax,
MOT and insure them, on a reduced pension. Just keep them safe
and quiet. Not sure its a good thing though. Anyway, the 360 was
put back into action for a few days earlier in the year but the
water pump started leaking so it's been back in storage again
for repairs during the first few months of 2022.
I'm becoming a fan of cheappie art-shop acrylic paint which I used
to tidy up the glove box repair. I think before and after shows
Now for an epic low-pressure brake hose repair on Rover P5 and a
lesson on the hazards of cats and computing.
Anyway, some pictures of the leaky old 360 water pump and its
Bizarrely, one of the bolts is behind the cam belt cover. However,
as I've not done a water pump before, that might be a completely
normal situation. Anyway, I was advised to give all of the mating
surfaces a super-double clean-up after removing everything and
that is what I aimed to do, but its probably quite shoddy by other
Now into the middle of March 2022 and the passenger side strut is
collapsing on the Blue 1.7. You couldn't make it up. I wondered
why I could smell burnt sausages everywhere I went. Yes, the front
tyre is rubbing on the spring cup and its audible now, so that
one's gone off road, too, and these repairs are being done while
the Hyundai is pressed into action as everyday transport.
I had another round of cleaning up and the new pump seems to fit
OK. Bit of a fiddle due to the new old gasket being very twisted
due to its great age! I used some Hylomar Blue in case it helps.
The nuts and bolts were then torqued up to 6 lbft which is what
the Hades manual says is right for a 1.4. It said that the B19/200
values are the same as the B14 unless stated otherwise below and
that's as good as it gets here, sorry ;-0
Yo! Going back together with radiator in and hoses reconnected.
Just need to pop off the heater tap for a look as its letting hot
water through when it's turned off. I realised the fan mounting
plate had been put on the pulley the wrong way round before. Tee
hee, it wasn't me, even though it was. I like to think I must have
been carefully replicating a mistake made by a previous mechanic.
Beginning of the last week of March 2022 and I finished everything
on the 360 here today, I hope, and checked the heater valve. It
was fine but I reconnected the cable with a hole in the lever
which will give it greater deflection, I hope. New hose clips were
used too as the originals are not-reusable.
I cobbled together a hybrid Poundland-Halfords antifreeze mix
which has a pH around 9 'ish or higher i.e. its alkaline not
acidic despite being OAT (organic acid technology). Therefore, I
am hoping that, despite wise warnings from the forum, this does
not corrode the block. Anyway, I am part-way through removing
the broken passenger-side front strut from Deep Blue - as you
can see below, the caliper is coming off well enough,
Now into early April 2022 and I have completely removed the strut
from Deep Blue. However, not that much is going on right now as I
am having 2.5 weeks of radiotherapy and then I caught covid, both
of which took their toll on my Volvo hours for few weeks. The wear
pattern on the partially collapsed strut cup due to it rubbing
against the tyre is plain for all to see. The spring was also
A bit later on and things are better so we're making
strut-tacular progress here. The mud has been cleaned off,
bellows removed, strut opened and oil drained. Just need to pull
out the shock-absorber paraphernalia inside and then it can go
for repairs. It all came apart by hand this time, i.e. without
recourse to the walking stick for leverage, and was sent off to
the expert strut welder.
Yo again! Just patching up under the wing with some rubbishy
waxoyl type paint and cleaning and repainting a few parts with
Now into early May 2022 and I have been doing a few more jobs
on Deep Blue while the strut is away being welded. The inner
speedometer cable which was giving a very jerky reading on the
dial was removed and found to be coated in very thick sticky
grease which was cleaned off.
The inside of the outer sleeve was flushed through with carbbie
cleaner and compressed air. A great debate began in my shiny
little head about how best to lubricate it (the cable, that is).
Some say grease, others graphite and bizarrely someone very
recently gave me some super-black graphite grease.
However, having recently acquired some graphite powder I decided
to mix this with some Tool Station plumber's grease (yes, it's my
fave again) as it was much lighter than the graphite grease I was
very kindly given. Anyway, its all refitted and back together.
Late May 2022 and back on the old Rover on which I am still
trying to sort the brakes. I put everything back together and
bled it through but they still don't work *sob*. My fault, I was
skimping on the checks I should have made and only now have
found that the rear cylinders are seized. Anyway, one of them
has come off for a clean-up and new seals, barring disasters, so
far so good.
The other side has been removed and seal kit that I ordered
arrived in early June but is still to be opened and this Rover job
remains very unfinished. However, on the deep blue 340, here is
the repaired strut which arrived back in the post. The picture
shows how it looks after adding a shock absorber insert and a bit
of paint. That should be more-or-less everything ready to go back
together with the spring compressors and then back on the car.
The strut has been going back together, or, given my slippery
spring compressors, "boing back together" might be a better
phrase. Note: important health and safety issues if, like me, you
try this one at home, or anywhere else for that matter ;-0 ,-0
Almost back together, as in tightened up but not torqued up, bar
the main ball joint crennelated nut which broke. My substitute
nyloc one doesn't seem to have the right thread, but a rummage
through the scrap collection came up with an old used nut that has
the perfect fit. Tons of thread lock applied everywhere.
I noticed that the e-clip which holds the speedo cable bobbin in
the grease cap had unfortunately got lost in transit to the welder
but this item has now been replaced with a substitute from the
local lawn mower repairer. The diameter of the circular slot in
the bobbin is 3/16 of an inch by my non-metric ruler and general
incompetence but the new lawnmower item fits OK, thankfully.
The suspension nuts and bolts were set to 40+ lbft as pacified in
the Hades manual, but I couldn't push that hard, hold the phone
and press the shutter all at the same time, so the piccy doesn't
show quite the right torque. The strut top nuts are set to 16
lbft, too, and, worryingly, I next have to try refitting the
speedometer cable to the hub.
Yes, it was a high-stress day in early June 2022. The speedometer
cable definitely wouldn't go back into its hole despite grease,
graphite dust, using heat to soften the plastic and all the
strength I could gather. So, sadly, a Stanley knife was used to
whittle away at just enough of the plastic cable coating so that
it could, at last, just about be slotted back into the hole,
fairly tightly I should say.
The caliper is back on now and torqued-up. From my photos it seems
that one of the sliding caliper nuts with a rubber boot went
missing before it was posted i.e. I can't blame the postman for
that one. I'm obviously getting to be old and rubbish and losing
everything. Still, must be very careful about this in future.
Anyway, I have plenty of spares to fall back on, which saved the
Yo! It's back together and running. The thin back-plate for the
disk was given a bit of straightening and the wheel refitted. I
remembered to reset the tracking and took it for a quick test run
or two which revealed an annoying knock on slight bumps which
wasn't there before I did this job. It had to happen. Thinking its
a dodgy strut insert which I sourced locally. However, the
speedometer is giving a steadier reading than it did before so the
plumber's grease and graphite dust must be doing something!
Finally, reset the straight-ahead position of the steering wheel
as it was madly badly off and also found the missing caliper nut
slider thing which will go into reserve for future use, no doubt.
Only got to do the rear silencer and then we're back in action,
albeit with a vaguely annoying knock from the newly repaired
strut. It had to happen.
Well, the plan was that I would run the old rear exhaust silencer
for a few more weeks to get every last bit of life out of it but
on actually looking at it and seeing its chronic state, I decided
that it would just be better to fit the new one. I tried to get an
econo-one from ebay, as usual, but couldn't so this one came from
Dafhobby and has some epic ovolovov branding. Does that mean it
was made in week 43 of 1994? If so, I was half way through my
first teaching job and having about 20 nervous breakdowns ;-0 ;-0
Anyway, I really hope it isn't the last one left in the world.
Anyway, after much grief with a hacksaw trying to remove the old
rear pipe, I finally decided to use the Dremel and that sped
things along epically fast so on a day when I thought everything
was going nowhere, suddenly the job is just done! I hope Mr or Mrs
MOT tester won't mind the jubilee clip and dodgy exhaust hangers,
since renewed ;-0
Today (12 Jun 22), the exhaust was tightened up a bit and the
sills and front wheel arches given a bit of waxoyl. The plan was
then to do an oil change but a look at my notes showed that the
last one was done only 4k miles ago, so that can wait for another
year! However, the distributor cap was removed and given a
clean-up. All the contacts were good and the carbon brush at the
top was still present and bouncing on its spring. I think that one
should all be back together and working. Nice one. I forgot to
tighten the handbrake a bit so that will be done asap. The above
right photo shows the Rover brake cylinders getting a set of new
seals and below shows them starting to be put back onto the car.
A completely automotively mental weekend in mid-late June 22. The
rear brakes on the P5 were reassembled and the blue 1.7 strut nut
tightened (which removed the knocking noise whilst driven), as was
the handbrake cable. A bit more waxoyling done on the latter car,
The next problem was one that had been brewing in my head for the
last few months and was that the P position of the gear selector
on the Rover did not work, i.e. when the car was in P, you could
still turn the rear wheels, sometimes with a pretty horrible
graunching sound. So the plan was to check that the parking pawl
had not been broken by the garage when they were trying to stop
the car, having just broken the hydraulic braking system by
severing the pipe below the reservoir. Now, there is some logic in
this, but being unfamiliar with the workings of a Borg-Warner 35
automatic gearbox, I thought it was better to start by dismantling
my spare gearbox and having a look to see how the parking pawl
works adn where it is.
Having found the pawl, I was so convinced that this was the source
of the noise from my gearbox, I decided to try to remove it from
the spare in case I needed it as a replacement.
OK, so tap, tap, tap with a parallel pin punch and we get the pawl
partially dismantled. However, getting out the lower pivot is a
damned sight harder and I decide to stall the operation at that
point, although the manual suggests that it is easy to check and
remove with the gearbox still on the car!! Pure fantasy, but at
least knowing where it is in relation to the underside of the car
should allow me to eventually check if the pawl on the car is
broken or not.
Right, so we still have the problem that when the car is in P it
is still able to move and makes a grotesque graunching noise. As
draining the gearbox oil and removing the sump is quite a big job,
I am advised to leave that for now and check that the selector
mechanism is working as it should. Still largely in the dark, it
becomes clear that at the base of the gear lever there is a very
dodgy-looking ball-and-socket joint, as has featured, I believe,
on this website in the past.
Everything unbolts and cleans up to reveal a very worn out and
broken spherical bush which is duly laid to rest while a new one
is on order. During the wait, the spare gearbox needs to be put
back together so it gets a bit of a coat of paint on the sump pan
and finally, the new rubber bush arrives.
In the end, everything goes back together with a fair amount of
greasing, as shown above, but there was still no progress in terms
of getting the P brake to work again. What therefore could it be,
bar the pawl? My next target was the faded yellow plastic clamp
(the compensator) at the top of the rod shown on the above left,
and after much struggling it, and the rest of the gear selector
mechanism, was removed and found to be firmly jammed up. Slightly
to the annoyance of the neighbours, a bit of night-time heavy
hammer and chisel work (well, quite a lot, actually) has it all
apart and freed-up for a clean and re-grease, without any apparent
Refitting it to the car, with tons of spray-on grease, and much
effort spent on adjusting the lengths of the three selector rods
gives nicer operation of the gear lever but still does not solve
the problem i.e. we have a parking brake which does not work
reliably, usually allowing the car to roll with a horrible
graunching sound. Nice one, not. Having now decided the pawl thing
broken, the car went back on blocks and I
drained the ATF out to filter and keep for the spare gearbox
(waste not, want not). I then removed the sump and found that the
pawl mechanism was, slightly annoyingly, absolutely fine. What a
relief, though, not least because replacing the pawl would have
meant removing the prop-shaft.
However fiddling about suggested that the gear lever isn't
engaging the pawl well enough and this causes the ratcheting
sound. OK, so I spent some time trying to put the compensator
lever on at a different angle via its serrated teeth but that made
it impossible to get all the gears and P was in the wrong place.
Hence I set it back to the original angle and have decided to
shorten the small selector rod as that will achieve the desired
effect, I hope. I am led to believe that because the garage had
previously made it a couple of cm shorter than it should be but I
read that it was critical to have the correct length and had set
them all to the right length while refurbishing the compensator
(see above). Evidently, that's not the case for an old box since,
with the shorter length, it works perfectly, at long last.
The underside of the gearbox was given a gentle clean-up with
tissues and the floating magnet was replaced. Then the flange was
cleaned fairly throughly and the same for the sump pan prior to
application of silicone sealant. Eventually the pan was refitted
correctly and the bolts done up hand tight so that the gloop can
partially set overnight prior to final tightening to the right
torque. After a day or so allowing the sealant to set, the gearbox
is refilled with ATF and all the levers were given another dose of
grease where needed and the car taken off blocks for a test run.
The gear lever had been getting progressively better as the work
had moved on from one thing to another. My final inkling to
concentrate on adjusting the selector levers, etc, did eventually
prove to be successful, i.e. we now have a working parking brake
and the inhibitor switch finally seems to be behaving correctly,
All back together again, working and MOT acquired. All it needed
was rear brake adjustment and a new windscreen washer motor which
the garage asked me to do because they were too busy and they
can't order bits for severiously old cars or bodge modern parts to
fit old motors. Nice one, top one, sorted. Still the garage wanted
£300 pounds. Hmmmm, are they charging me for my own work ;-? ;-?
By now we're into August 2022 and its time to patch up a bit of
the Rover's rusty paintwork, so away we go with tons of naval
jelly and scratching away at the dried residue left behind by the
half-dissolved rust ;-0 ;-0
Many applications of naval jelly and scratching with a screw
driver, etc, followed by zinc primer and then knifing compound
gives, after a rub-down with wet'n'dry, a reasonable surface. A
bit of a Ford colour is used to reasonably good effect, after
several coats and the car gets an MOT. Trying to get this ready
for a local show but I heard it might be cancelled as animal
rights protestors are threatening action in town. Bumbu sauce.
Talk about the cancel culture. The show's off, and it's not for
animal rights protestors, it's for none other than our very own
and noble queen (no, Elton's still around AFAIK). Mais c'est pour
la republique! Well, I'll have you know I'm currently organising
my own mother's funeral which is shortly after the date of the
same said and now non-happening show. I could see the funeral
being cancelled at this point.... but it wasn't.
Meanwhile, the 360 has some work done to fix the broken rear
driver side door restraint.
Hah! Sunday 2nd October and its the V3M trip to the Haynes museum
in Sparkford, Wilts. I spent the night before at the Travelodge in
Wincanton and opened the curtains to see a very wet Deep Blue.
Good job I polished it, once for my mother's funeral and once
again for the show!
Now into October 2022 and I am having some trouble with the
Hyundai which keeps stalling. The first thing perhaps foolishly,
was to check the EGR valve in case it was blocked or broken, but
removing it for a clean out and test showed it was working fine.
The car is australasian spec i.e. it doesn't have cruise control
which the UK models had as standard. The latter had an electric
motor which rotated the throttle vane whereas my car has a good
old fashioned bicycle brake cable doing the job instead. I took
the opportunity to tweak the cable tension via the adjustment
plate shown below and replace one of the thin EGR hoses which was
I then got some MAF cleaner for the mass air flow sensor which is
the big thing hanging loose on the below left, but that didn't
make any difference and in the chaos I actually broke the fuel
vapour recovery solenoid which is shown below right. However, that
was eventually repaired, I think, with a generous dose of
superglue ;-0 ;-0 This has been broken (by me, I assume) at least
once in the past already so there's a second-hand spare coming in
I then thought it might be the throttle position sensor which is
indicated by the arrow below. It can also be seen better in the
first Hyundai photo above. Anyway it all seemed to be spot on
after a bit of adjustment. Ok, coolio Joe, but no progress to
show, so far anyway. I then thought it might be the idle air
control (IAC) solenoid, which is shown in the picture below right
(note the epic Mitsubishi logo, bottom row arrowed) because the
mixture on idle is incredibly chokingly rich. *cough*
This beastie sits in the hole below the throttle which is shown
below. Said hole was, despite appearances, cleaned out with
copious amounts of carb cleaner, etc.
The IAC valve itself was opened and given a clean-out and and
oil-up. The resistance of the coil is about 40 Ohms while it
should be 30 Ohms, but I have no idea if that's a problem. Anyway,
there's a cheappie spare from China coming in the post in case its
the issue, given that the original item dates almost from the Ming
Dynasty ;-0 ;-0
As indicated by the red arrows above, the curious pointed
protrusion moves in and out to open and close the air channel
which bypasses the throttle. The movement is driven by a screw
device which itself is driven by the core that rotates in the
field of the solenoid (as shown). If this sounds barmy, it
certainly is, as this ( warning: * LOUD * ) video
shows. I love the rattle it makes when the protrusion pulls itself
in ;-0 ;-0 I don't know, but it seems to be doing its thing (??),
so I am thinking it is probably working OK, but a test run shows
that the car still stalls when its warm on idle. Answers on a
A little but of progress by late Oct 22. Hidden behind a little
blanking plug, as well as the befuddling veil of all the high-tech
paraphernalia, was a little old fashioned idle adjustment screw
and a tiddle of it today seems to have the idling in a much better
state. This screw simply acts as a stop for the throttle cable
pulley which can be seen above it. Bah humbug, a bit more testing
over a couple of days or so shows that it still stalls. Getting
too close to Christmas.
Early Nov 2022 and its sorted. It was the mass airflow (MAF)
sensor. A replacement at £66 seems to be a complete cure so now,
after an MOT, I am able to get back to the Volvos. A trip to
Pompey secures a new set of mark 2 seats and door cards,
potentially for Deep Blue. These are given a clean up and a bit of
repair work done where needed.
The old vinyl is patched-up and papier mache with some follow-up
acrylic paint and Captain Tolley's used to reasonably good effect,
The rust on the seat rails was wire-brushed off carefully and
treated with naval jelly prior to a coat of black paint. The seats
and door cards are pretty-much ready to fit bar the speakers and
rear door grabs which are still a work in progress.
Now into Dec 2022, and its decisions, decisions time and, not
hiding the truth, at almost 60 with 6 jalopies to support and the
ULEZ expansion coming sooner or later, the old Rover (which I have
owned for half my life) is getting to be too much for me, so I get
together a quickie web page with all the info about it to try to
pass it off onto an unsuspecting P5 specialist. It's here
ticks by and we're actually into the first 2 weeks or so of 2023
and after about 10 days of solid preparation for the run up to
Ipswich (note severe, chronic wishful thinking here) it's not
looking too good, not to mention the inhibitor switch has stopped
working again. That doesn't matter too much but I take her on a
test run and she dies after a quarter of a mile, so driving to
Suffolk is looking like it's well off the cards. The AA man who
came couldn't fix her despite swapping coils and condensers, etc,
so she was towed back to the garage and pushed in. Another 3 days
of trying to make her run for longer than about 2 minutes, before
stalling and refusing to start, were not productive. So it's a
case of calling in the transport professionals, at cost, for the
100 or so miles to Ipswich and, after successfully driving onto
the ramp, off she goes!!
Did I shed a tear as she was driven away? Answers on a postcard
;-0 ;-0. We must move on: here