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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I viewed a 1.9 jtdm GT today, which drove well, no issues I could see with engine and mechanicals, interior was fine, paint in general was ok, with a few scuffs and scratches that could be improved with the polishing mop and made more presentable, but would require bodyshop and paint to be properly removed.

The issues I found and seek advice on are:
1. Passenger seat release cable has snapped and will need replaced.
2. 3 of the sill corners are crushed with the OSF being the worst with a hole the size of a 10p behind the sill.

From research - 1. the seat release cable looks to be a right PITA from the you tube videos on how to replace the cable, its either give it a go and practically dismantle the seat to component level, or pay a specialist >£100

For 2. from looking on here (albeit some fairly old threads), its mostly a cosmetic issue as long as the metal is intact, and approx £250 a side for a bodyshop to repair. The hol on the OSF behind the sill has been an advisory for the last 2 years.
There are some rust bubbles on the outside of the lower OSF sill where it meets the front wing.
I would guess the rust around the hole needs cut out, and patched before the next MOT.
I havent discounted the car, but wanted to take some time to think about and seek advice from collective expertise on here ;-)

Apologies if the above is longwinded, just trying to give as much background info as poss ahead of my questions:

- If the sill has been holed for >2 years - how much rot is likely to be lurking out of sight inside the sill?
- would 3 crushed sills and the requirement for welding make this a no go car? If not what sort of course of action on repairs would you suggest?

what bargaining on price could be had when considering the seat cable repair and crushed sill and required welding? FYI - Asking price is circa £2k


thanks in advance!
 

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£2k is a lot to pay for a car with possibly rotten sills. I'd be taking no chances. A good press with fingers should detect any springiness (before fingers go right through). Tapping with a hard plastic screwdriver handle or similar should make a metallic ting, not a dull thud.

Failing that, I'd take my Aldi special endoscope along and have a look inside the sill. Endoscopes and apps are readily available for SMART phones.

The trouble with GT sills are they are visible bodywork so costly to replace. If not terribly rusted, the damage can be cut out and new metal welded in then painted and protected from inside. The issue is, that type of repair needs to be largely restoration quality so needs a skilled fabricator. That means a specialist. There are still some around who do tidy, thorough and conscientious work for not terrible prices. Given all that needs to be done properly though (cutting, fabricating, welding, priming, painting, undersealing, cavity protection), even a single repair will eat £200. Multiple repairs on the same car work out more economical per repair but possibly £300-500 total. Skilled people can do this stuff much faster than I can but MOT standard plating and black death is a waste of time and money.

I've done seat cables on a Seat before. Funny that. Actually, it wasn't but easier than repairing lumbar support on Volvo seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
thanks Fruity for your insight. The sills on both sides seem pretty solid despite crushed ends albeit they are cosmetic with no soft spots that I could find, apart from small hole on the OSF.

OSF hole and rust is behind the outer sill at the edge of the floor pan, not on the outer sill, although there is some bubbling on the paint so concerned it could be rusting out from the inside.
The surrounding area felt solid enough but I dont whats lurking beneath.
I'm sure cutting out a small section, protect and welding a small plate would be fine for the MOT given its been an advisory for 2 years as its non structural, but I guess the gamble is if it comes back and how bad.

I guess I could go with the approach of looking at whats immediate and short term in need of repair and spend, and whats going to be a long term spend, if the asking price can be adjusted suitably (£1500 might be arguable and achievable, £1000 would be preferred given the potential send required, but I doubt the seller will drop to half his asking price).

short term costs:
* repair & plate the OSF hole
* Timing belt & water pump
* Passenger seat release cable
guesstimating this lot will cost £500 - £600

Longterm costs
* crushed sills cosmetically repaired
* 2 rear tyres
* paintwork for rear bumper and OSR arch scuffs/light damage
* refurb wheels - all 4 have kerbing marks on the edge of the rims
Guesstimating this will cost £500 - >£1K


I guess there is also Plan B - a 159 Sportwagon, but thats in a different price range entirely!
 

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For 2. from looking on here (albeit some fairly old threads), its mostly a cosmetic issue as long as the metal is intact, and approx £250 a side for a bodyshop to repair. The hol on the OSF behind the sill has been an advisory for the last 2 years.
There are some rust bubbles on the outside of the lower OSF sill where it meets the front wing.
I would guess the rust around the hole needs cut out, and patched before the next MOT.
I havent discounted the car, but wanted to take some time to think about and seek advice from collective expertise on here ;-)
From experience, the rust is generally much worse then you will see with a cursory look-over. I had some minor bubbles on one sill and nothing else was really visible. Got it back from the MOT with on 3 of the four corners, holes almost large enough to put your fist through, and when fixing it, every corner got at least a 4x8 inch strip of new metal to take care of all the rot. Garage quoted me ~600 euros for the job, ended up doing it myself with help from my father in law, which took roughly a days work (still have to paint it properly)

Honestly though, given the sill-structure of the GT, id be surprised if many cars exist where there isnt at least one crushed sill-corner, and these cars are getting on in years, so expect welding to be needed on any car you buy, within the first two years. If it doesnt need to be done you got a lucky break.

If you can bargain it down to 1.5K (try for lower if you can) and have the car sorted for 2K total, that doesnt sound like a terrible deal though, GTs are nice cars, if it werent for the horrible fuel usage of my JTS doing 90% short trips, id struggle to name anything i dont like about it.
 

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You may be lucky with the seat cable. On my 147 the cable was fine, but the nipple housing in the plastic release lever was wrecked. A new lever and unnecessary cable cost £30 (they come together) from Shop4parts. It was then just a bit of fiddle with long nose pliers to hook the existing cable into the new release lever & housing. It's been fine for >3 years, although I always ask passengers to be gentle instead of hamfisted. It's a less than wonderful bit of engineering, although moving the seat back a little to take tension off the mechanism would make it last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its definately the cable thats snapped.

Anyway looks like this is a nonstarter now.

There is no evidence of the car ever having a timing belet and waterpump change, with the potential rot lurking inside OSF and front wing, I'll have to pass as thats going to need at least £500+ spending immediately. I dont mind a bit of fettling and maintenance on a car, but I think this could easily end up being more of project car than daily driver / weekend toy.

the hunt goes on....
 

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Hi mate, I had issues with sills on my 3.2 GT, managed to repair one side as it wasn't too bad but the other "looked" fine, but it was rotten to the bone, I ended up getting a very skilled fabricator to cut the whole thing out and fabricate a new one on, but it then needed painting and blending in to the side of the car as the new sill was in eyes view. Cost me about 700 quid all in including the painting. I have a thread on here about it with some pics
 

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Just backing up what everyone's said about the sills, Recardo. Mine didn't look too bad but once you started poking around it was horrendous. Both sides. Some skilled fabrication to repair and north of £500 a couple of years ago.
 
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