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So today I did this....before...
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After....
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The pics are rubbish..they don't stick out at all...the rears are about flush with the metal...and if anything the fronts could come out more. She looks much better...looks much lower and hunkered down over the wheels...not actually lower of course...just an illusion.

I jet washed under the arches and the back of the wheels while I had the chance.

Then I adjusted the drivers door for easier closing.

Finally I gave her a wash and hoover....

and then, as I moved her on the drive and put the handbrake on...BANG! The right side handbrake cable had snapped about two inches from the caliper. The cable is now on order...only £18 delivered....not going to be fun to fit though. Always something!
 

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Just filled her up with normal Esso derv (Tesco closed for fuel delivery)...…£83.50 !!! It was not even down to the "Restricted Cruising Range" bit. Im off for a little lay down!
 

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As mentioned a few posts back the right side hand brake cable broke the other day. New one rocked up yesterday ....and is now on the car. Well under two hours work....15mins were time wasted trying to find the correct torx socket for the seat hold down bolts....tidy my garage is not!! I looked up on the net just to get an idea...i usually just tear into stuff and find my own way....but I think dealers must have written the "How to" guides with all the unnecessary stuff they say you need to do!!! You do NOT need to remove the front seats (just remove the two bolts at the back of each seat...tipping them forward will give more than enough room). You do NOT need to unplug the seat airbag/heating connectors...plenty of wire to allow a long tilt forward. And therefore you do not need to disconnect the battery. You DONT need to unplug anything from the centre consul or gearshift surround....lots of wire length in there too...enough to lay the consul on the passenger seat. You do NOT need to remove the B pillar lower trim. You also do NOT need to buy new plastic rear seat retaining plugs...as long as you use a thin pry bar right by the connector rather than just heaving at the seat until they break!!

I found a leak under the carpet (i have noticed the occasional damp spot on the right rear carpet after driving her in heavy rain. Turns out the grommet that guides the cable through the floor was not seated at all....a water stain led away from the whole. As its almost certainly the original cable and there was no marks at all on the paint around the cable hole I would suggest that the grommet was never fitted in the hole from build....

Access gained!
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New and old cables...

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Break point was about 3 inches from the caliper...where you would expect.

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I got Tesco fuel (petrol) before - never again.

It may have been a "bad batch" but enough for me to swear off it.
Yep, I've noticed the cheaper brands of fuel in my old Saab do (or don't do) the same job as BP or Shell too. Some friends think I'm nuts, but I reckon their 98 branded fuel is closer to a 95. There's a noticeable difference in performance overall. So much for 'premium'.
 

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Dug these bits out that I've been acquiring as I found them. Next Fridays job...weather permitting. Who knows what all the bits are are what they will be for? There will be pipe work and wiring as well...not pictured!
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Put it on a trickle charger after sitting idle in the garage since a couple days of working home-office.
 

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Trickle charger? Enlighten me, first time I've heard of this - it slowly keeps the electronics charged over time when you're not driving the car for a while? Genius! Where do you get them from? Do they plug into a normal power socket?
 

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Trickle charger? Enlighten me, first time I've heard of this - it slowly keeps the electronics charged over time when you're not driving the car for a while? Genius! Where do you get them from? Do they plug into a normal power socket?
 

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Yes they plug into a normal power socket I have run one ever since I found out that these cars don’t do well sat there not being used, I bought a fairly cheap one called Sreetwise been fine for three years.
I cut the crocodile clips off that connect to the battery and rigged up a typical 12v car plug from the terminals of the battery run it down the side of the engine bay neatly to the front, the other end of the plug to the trickle charger so it makes life easy for me to put it in and off
 

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It was quite quiet at work today...not sure why...must be something on! Anyway it gave me a chance to give the girl a cut and polish...not cut it in the two and a bit years I've owned her. Came up pretty good....pity about the 2 million stone chips...lost the will to live after touching in the biggest 100 or so. Shiniest she's been...until it rains!
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It was quite quiet at work today...not sure why...must be something on! Anyway it gave me a chance to give the girl a cut and polish...not cut it in the two and a bit years I've owned her. Came up pretty good....pity about the 2 million stone chips...lost the will to live after touching in the biggest 100 or so. Shiniest she's been...until it rains!
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What up with the window seal on the driver's door?

Spent today (so far) washing it, chaimmied it dry then waxed it front to back, top to bottom, quick wipe around the engine bay, cleaned and polished the glass, treated all the door seals and rubber and rainexed the glass.

Also seriously pissed off about the thousands of stone chips...

Checked out the window drop with the fob works and then raising with the key blade too.

I'll leave cleaning the interior for another day.
 

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Sad day for mine as she will be laid up for the time being.
I've had a sticky front brake for a few weeks now and finally was able to do something about it today expecting it to be a piston out job since it's not that long ago that I cleaned and greased the pad carriers. Well, the piston eventually came out along with quite an alarming amount of rust and is itself too badly pitted to rescue, so will need to be replaced along with the boot, which seems to have a pinhole along the bottom edge which I'm assuming is where moisture has gotten in to cause the rust. Not looking forward to fitting the new one as they are a proper pain due to the seating ring, the last one I fitted was eventually overcome with a g-clamp, jam jar lid and a lot of swearing.
That's not all though...
I also noticed a broken spring. This will obviously mean I will need two springs. According to the service history there were two springs fitted less than three years ago, but no shock absorbers. In my experience worn shockers will lead to broken springs and the ones on my car look to be original so are thirteen and a half years old with 125000 miles behind them. So that'll be two shock absorbers as well then.
Might as well replace the top mounts since they'll be coming off anyway and are probably original as well. If I don't the top bearings will probably fail shortly and the whole lot will have to come off again
And drop links...
The driver's side upper wishbone is pretty old too...
Ordinarily this would mean I'd run the Merc as my daily until the bits arrive, but it's away for a respray ahead of its thirtieth birthday later this year and will need paying for as a priority, so Alfa parts will have to wait for a wee while...
Luckily, last year I bought a Fiat Qubo in need of tlc for £100 for our eldest to learn to drive in. It's bright orange, has the worst case of laquer peel ever seen and is powered by a 1.3 diesel with 75 lazy horses. It's a hoot to drive, but for different reasons than the other cars!
 
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