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Thread: The next WirralSmarts car

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    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; 20-03-2016 at 06:24 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    BRISTOL
    Posts
    2,696
    Looking good

    Keep it up

    JJ

    www.forfour.co.uk - forfour technical forum
    www.evilution.co.uk
    www.quidco.com << CLICK - cash back on car insurance and online purchases

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    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
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    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 2008
    Location
    BRISTOL
    Posts
    2,696
    me likey likey

    JJ

    www.forfour.co.uk - forfour technical forum
    www.evilution.co.uk
    www.quidco.com << CLICK - cash back on car insurance and online purchases

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    Quote Originally Posted by problemchild1976 View Post
    me likey likey

    JJ
    Good good Certainly stands out from the sea of grey going on at the moment.

    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

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    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

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    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

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    BRISTOL
    Posts
    2,696
    Well done - like the wheels and the nuts are on correctly

    JJ

    www.forfour.co.uk - forfour technical forum
    www.evilution.co.uk
    www.quidco.com << CLICK - cash back on car insurance and online purchases

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    Posts
    129
    Day 10
    Apologies for not updating recently, I've been working on a few other things and I need to keep the car running until after the WirralSmarts event on the 18th of June. That means no demolishing the car.

    We went on a trip and picked up a multi-function steering wheel. For 60, it was worth the trip and from reading on the ForFour forum, it should work with the dual display speedometer I have in the car at the moment.



    However, it was missing the paddles (which it should have had) so I spent a bit more getting a salvaged multi-function wheel with them on and then transferred them over. It still needs a bit of treating with leather cleaner and a bit of colour but it can go back into the car as is at the moment. (I promise it is the same wheel!)



    Of course, there is still the issue of attaching it to the car. As I understand it, it is a case of disconnecting the battery, wait 15 mins, undo the airbag, remove the nut, disconnect the clock ring and then repeat in reverse to install the new wheel. Guess there will also be a trip to a STAR machine to get the airbag warning light deactivated if it comes on. I believe that no-one has successfully retrofitted paddles before so that will be interesting... wires on those paddles are hair filament thin!

    The next course of action is to finish the interior stuff with the armrest being the notable thing. Once that is done, the next thing is the exterior which means all the panels are coming off to be painted. While they are off, I'll get the replacement headlamp projectors installed along with the parking sensors et al. August -> November is going to be busy. ^^;

    Also, I've been considering doing something with the engine. I know that remapping would result in fairly minimal changes but the car's list figure BHP is 95 and it bugs me that it is not 100. A little more than 5% difference (which I think is achievable) and do something with the exhaust. I'd appreciate any thoughts on that front.

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

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