After a year of ownership i finally bit the bullet and decided to replace the entire suspension.
I bought Koni FSD Dampers, Eibach Pro Springs, Eibach Sports Stabilizer Anti-Roll Bars. Ive also powerflexed everything front and rear. Peak Alfa did the work and did a very good job (took over a week to complete)
All work & parts came to a total of £2000.
Ive been tootling about in the car for the past few weeks and have been very impressed with it, i wanted to get the work done before a holiday trip to Scotland.
Was driving up north from Derby this morning and i remember thinking to myself that the cars driving better than ever - perefect handling, better ride comfort on the motorway (ive got 18" wheels and it now feels better than stock suspension with 16" 's). Performance was good and was giving saab turbo sportwagons a run for their money. I wasnt driving it hard it at all for most of the 150 miles into the journey. I noticed my girlfriend listening confused which is when i noticed the ticking sound for myself. There was a strong wind so we thought it was that and i slowed down from 75 to about 65 but it carried on.
I didnt know if it was a wheel or the engine so i dropped it down a gear to 4th which is when the ticking noise turned into a loud clunking so i immediately slowed down and just as was pulling onto the hard shoulder doing about 50 the engine just went bang and plumes off smoke pured out of the front, bits of metal were flying everywhere tapping the bodywork etc. I slammed the brakes as hard as i could which is when a ball of flames shot out of the sides of the bonnet and accross under the windscreen. I just pulled the handbrake and told my girlfriend to get the f' out. We just got out as quickly as we could and ran up the embankment. The car was on fire for about 10 seconds but it put itself out and then was just smoking.
The car had dumped all
of its oil all over the M6.
Called the fire brigade but by the time they arrived it was already out; felt a bit bad for wasting their time but i suppose it was best to make sure it was out.
Had to pay £300 to get it back to derby even though i had breakdown cover (thanks tesco) - only covers you for 10 miles!
Took the wheels off and jacked it up earlier; removed the plastic undertray and found loads of pieces of metal on it. Had a look round underneith and found a gaping hole with what looks like a bent con rod sticking though. Looks like something out of Alien!
It is completely loose but i couldnt pull it out, everthing is mangled in there shining my torch through the hole. The force of it has even blown an engine mount off.
It looks like the fire was caused by oil spraying onto the exhaust manifold igniting it.
Does anyone know what could have caused this? My first thought was timing belt but i only had this (and tentioners etc) replaced 4,000 miles ago. Ive tried to take the cover off for the cam belt but i dont know how to get the auxilery belt off in front of it (does anyone know?) Also does the big pulley need removing that is on and looks like it goes though the cam belt cover?
Ive undone enough bolts to bend the cover back and the cam belt is not snapped and seems quite tight, i take it this was not the cause?
I now need a new engine, does anyone reccomend where i can get one supplied and fitted. Ive looked at the ones on eBay - £1250 fitted (but will probably be more as my engine has been shot gunned)
Ive still not been put off from this car, i bought it knowing things like this happen. Hopefully i can get it back on the road soon. I havent told the insurance company as they would write it off straight away (ive put too much work into this car)