Volvo 240, Jimny, Corsa: Ever heard of a Toyota Paseo?

  • Thread starter lbpomg95
So, the Combo van has had a facelift today. I got hold of a white facelift front bumper. I got around to fitting it today, however there was more to it than just the bumper.


As expected, I couldn't very well just leave it at that, could I? Having seen a few tutorials on the Corsa forums, I decided I wanted a splitter - from a Seat Leon/Ibiza Cupra R to be exact.


First up was to get this splitter fitted to the bumper, since Seat weren't exactly thinking of ass-biscuits like me using their parts on Opels. So, last week I removed the old two-piece under-guard and got the bumper set up on a platform. In my case, the platform was two 25 litre drums standing on two old steel wheels from a Volvo 240. That old Swedish brick is useful even when it's locked in a garage!


Next was to modify the splitter so that it would fit. The centre slits were belt-sanded down to around 1 cm and a squared-off recess was cut into the beginning of the curved section at either side using a hacksaw and then sandpaper to smooth off the edges. Most of the fixing clips/notches were also cut off.


Onto securing the splitter. It was slotted into the desired place, and two small guide-holes were drilled into the underside of the bumper, between those two centre slits. Large self-tapping screws with washers were then put in to secure the splitter.


From here it was pretty self-explanatory - I simply used 6 more small self-tapping screws, 3 for each side, working my way down to the wheel arch.


It's not unreasonable to say it looks sloppy but there aren't many people who're going to get on their hands and knees to check whether this splitter is meant to be here or not. As you can see the Seats have longer front overhangs than the smaller Corsa/Combo, so the ends had to be cut off and then sanded smooth to line up. Once that was done and the centre grille insert was put back in (fell off during transit), the bumper was ready.

With that done, it was a case of waiting until I had time and space to fit the bumper, which was today. So, here's a reminder of what the old plastic bumper looked like...


I needed very little help to remove it, which is quite frankly shocking given my generally lofty heights of uselessness. Anyway, once it was off, I couldn't help myself and started cleaning the various painted parts of the chassis that were now exposed.






Fitting the new bumper was quite literally a reverse of removing the old one - there wasn't much worth taking photos of. Thanks to a mixture of being alone (imagine that) and my general incompetence, it was a complete pain to get the bumper slotted into place, but after bringing the van indoors to stop myself passing out in the cloudless heat, and some more rage-fueled cursing, the bumper was on. So, all that's left is to show how it looks!


The colour is wrong and there's paint runs everywhere which leads me to believe this isn't a factory paint finish, and that some thieving monkey sprayed it (badly) with a rattle can, falsely advertised it on eBay at a premium price and then I came along, stupid enough to be fooled by it. I bet the smarmy cockwomble is very pleased with himself.

Anyway, it looks a lot more aggressive than before, and I'm mostly happy with it, so it'll have to do for now.
The Combo van got sort-of detailed today...

I shan't bore you all (by which I mean the three people who occasionally read this thread) with the full story, but basically, it was washed, decontaminated, clay-detailed, polished and waxed. And for a van you'd normally see with 'Royal Mail' etched into the faded paintwork with rusty steel wheels and 250,000 miles on the clock, it's not looking bad at all. The engine and interior got a once-over, too.



I've been noticing your posts for a while. It doesn't seem like you're in a happy place. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself or others. You're doing a great job keeping the old 240 alive, you probably have among the 5 cleanest Vauxhall vans of that vintage in the UK and except for the help from your mechanic friend it seems like you are doing all this by your own. Keeping just one car nice is work, just keeping 3 cars just on the road is an achievement alone.

Let more love into your life and respect yourself. I think you deserve it more than you think :)
I've been noticing your posts for a while. It doesn't seem like you're in a happy place. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself or others. You're doing a great job keeping the old 240 alive, you probably have among the 5 cleanest Vauxhall vans of that vintage in the UK and except for the help from your mechanic friend it seems like you are doing all this by your own. Keeping just one car nice is work, just keeping 3 cars just on the road is an achievement alone.

Let more love into your life and respect yourself. I think you deserve it more than you think :)
You're not wrong, it's been a while since I've been happy in life. Thanks for that.

In the meantime, the Combo has had a little work at Shaun's today. For the longest time, the rear doors rubbed at the top causing paint to flake off and rust. Shaun opened the rear door, grabbed a Torx socket, undid the hinge, tilted the door upwards slightly, re-tightened the hinge, and it was sorted in 20 seconds flat. I felt a tad stupid because it was so simple even I could've done it.


So now the doors sit more straight with an equal panel gap all the way down. Next will be to get those two rust spots dealt with - only problem is the bodyshop aren't very keen on doing anything with my van because of the silicon products I use in my work are a paint repellent.


Next up (no photos taken), the gear linkage was making a squeaking noise every time I shift into 5th. It also felt like there was a bit of resistance, too. Shaun used some lubricant on the linkage while I worked the stick (mother of s*** that sounded dirty). That quietened it down nicely and it seems to shift more freely. The tracking was also checked, and is spot on.

So, the main item on the list was the EGR valve. I've mentioned before the van smokes on cold starts for a few seconds. Having replaced the injector seals, I figured I'd try tackling the EGR valve before splashing out on Injectors. A recent customer who happens to do ECU remapping suggested I have the EGR electronically deleted. The way that works is, because the EGR on my can is electronically actuated, you reprogramme it to simply not open the valve. Sounds very simple and easy, so I asked how much that'd be. About £90. Bit much really, so I asked Shaun if he had any alternatives, and thankfully he did.

The EGR is in a silly place on the Fiat engine, so we had to first remove the fuel filter and its housing. Shaun then removed the electronic EGR actuator and cable-tied it onto the intake manifold. You can see it below, underneath the fluted plastic hose.


The idea was that if it was left plugged in, it would still work, thus not throwing up a warning light, but being out of the way, it wouldn't open the valve, which you can just about see below.


I took it for a drive to see if any warning lights flared up, and none did. As for how it drives, I got two different stories on how the EGR works. The man trying to get me to reprogramme it said the the EGR only opens on part-throttle, closing on full-throttle, suggesting that I'd notice no difference, while Shaun said most of the EGRs he's come across basically stay open until about 3000rpm. I spend the bulk of my time driving fairly hard up to 3000 or so (because above that there's no power), but not really full throttle.

So, what I found driving it could be placebo, but it didn't seem to make as much of a tappety noise on part-throttle at lower revs, it seemed to rev more freely and smoothly, and it did feel like it possibly had a bit more response, and a tiny bit more power.

I've also had a stuttering problem for over a year. Bascially when I get stuck behind people doing about 20 or 25mph, either 2nd or 3rd gear, when I start to accelerate again, the van cuts all throttle, and then it comes back in again. Like a hesitation. The fault that came up on the BCM was "accelerator pedal position sensor fault" - we couldn't really diagnose anything more beyond that, but funnily enough it hasn't stuttered once on the journey home, and I even got stuck behind some dozy monkey in a diesel MPV doing well under the speed limit. Fingers crossed that problem might have been sorted by the EGR delete. As for the smoking on startup we'll have to find out in the coming days.

EDIT: One day later, the engine warning light came on for the EGR. Bollocks.
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Not a dumb idea to just remove the actuator and leave it plugged in to avoid fault codes! I am sure you would benefit from a remap anyway though together with intercooler and exhaust :cool: Does wonders for a diesel.

Out of interest, does the ASV still work? One problem with just blanking off the EGR is that the car will start shuddering when you turn it off (the ASV cuts the flow of air). The ASV has another function and that is stopping runaway.
Not a dumb idea to just remove the actuator and leave it plugged in to avoid fault codes! I am sure you would benefit from a remap anyway though together with intercooler and exhaust :cool: Does wonders for a diesel.

Out of interest, does the ASV still work? One problem with just blanking off the EGR is that the car will start shuddering when you turn it off (the ASV cuts the flow of air). The ASV has another function and that is stopping runaway.
I'm tempted to get a remap, but it's still only a 1248cc at the end of the day. It's not fun to drive and though a 25% boost in BHP/torque does sounds handy, it never will be a fun vehicle, so I guess the small voice of reason in my head is telling me not to bother spending the money, and to save it for other things.

Looking up the ASV I can't really find anything on it regarding the multijet engine. I would imagine it's unaffected since I've run it twice since the delete and each time I switched it off there was nothing different to note. I guess the loophole here is that the EGR isn't technically blanked. Functionally everything's as it was, it's just that the electronic actuator that has a small metal rod that pushed the EGR open is now nowhere near the valve itself, so the rod comes out and opens... nothing. :D

I once saw diesel runaway on an Astravan 1.7DI - that was quite a sight (and smell).
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Well, had a bit of a scare yesterday. Wash driving the van along at 55, not paying a huge amount of attention to the surface of the road, when I heard an almighty bang and the steering wrenched to the left and the whole van started to shudder.

I stopped and had a look - I had a tyre blowout. I must've gone through a damn nasty pothole because the alloy is bent too. So the spare wheel is on for the time being.

Fun fun!
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A minor update for both Vauxhalls. The Corsa passed its yearly MOT test a month ago, with a few advisory notices for a worn-out steering rack and a rusty rear axle. While the rear axle only has minor surface corrosion, meaning I can leave it for the time being, I decided to see to the steering rack ASAP. So, I took it to Shaun today to have that replaced.


So, the exhaust and subframe had to be lowered to remove the rack...




Once off, the old vs. new was rather stark...


Thankfully it wasn't too much of an awkward or time-consuming job overall, despite having to lower both the subframe and exhaust. Soon, it was back together and waiting for a new pair of Steering Rack Ends, as I had decided not to use the rusty ones above.



So, next was to tackle a water leak. Not that one, a new one! So, Corsas are common for water leaking through the brake servo seal into the driver's footwell, which mine has. However, there was a new leak in my Corsa, coming into the passenger footwell after every rain shower. A quick google suggested that the BCM cover can leak due to perished rubber seals, so I decided to look at that. Once we got the plastic scuttle panel (with the windscreen wiper assembly) out of the way, we could get to all of the bolts - it was quite a mess under there.


As you can see below, the rubber seal was very heavily perished...


So while I cleaned out the leaves and pine needles, Shaun dug out the perished part of the rubber seal and filled it with some silicone RTV sealant to serve as a temporary seal until I order a new cover.


It's all back together now while I wait for the new cover...

In other news, the Combo van has had a minor update. Since I've had it, I've been wanting to remove the seats in order to clean underneath, but I was always put off because the passenger seat has no bar to move it forwards and backwards, meaning the rear retaining bolts were inaccessible. So, I started with the driver's seat because that would be the easier one to remove.

Very simple, much like the blue Corsa I sold; undo four bolts, unplug wire, remove seat. Done. Once out, it was fairly surprising how much mess I had been unable to get to with the seat still in...

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As for the passenger side, the adjusting brackets were there, but no bar was attached to pull them up, so doing a contortionist act to pull both up, I managed to adjust the seat and get it moved enough to remove the bolts.



Little things!

Something about a seats-removed vacuum clean is very satisfying.
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So, since I've given the Corsa some attention this week, I thought I'd continue with the TLC.

First, I cleaned the engine bay. I unfortunately noticed the next item on my list - an oil leak, appearing to be coming from the rocker cover gasket.



Second, since it's been an age since the Corsa last had any kind of thorough clean, the windows had a fair amount of moss built up. So, I cleaned that, using a toothbrush for the rubber seals, and a standard window cleaner for the windows themselves.



Next I gave the exhaust tip and silencer a clean with the old faithful Autosol.



Not exactly a transformation happening to this car but it's nice to improve a few things here and there, even if they're only minor.
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So, last time I posted, I mentioned that I noticed a slight oil leak around the front of the engine on my Corsa. More often than not, it's caused by the rocker cover gasket, so I figured I'd just buy one and fit it. Having a vague idea of what to do, I decided to try my hand at doing this job by myself. I took it to Shaun's just in case I messed up (this is me after all...), and once the engine had cooled down a little, I made a start. First up, I removed the coil cover and unplugged the ignition coil.


After unscrewing and removing the coil, it was literally a case of undoing the bolts all around the perimeter of the plastic rocker cover. Once they were undone, I unclipped the two rubber breather hoses on the top right of the cover and used a flat head screwdriver to pry the rocker cover upwards. The rocker cover gasket itself slots into the cover, as opposed to some designs where the gasket sits on top of the engine head.


The new gasket was easy enough to insert, slotting into place nicely.

As for the head...


... you can clearly see some deposits built up, so, having forgotten my razor blade, I borrowed Shaun's scraper tool...


With the head cleaned, refitting the rocker cover with its new gasket was very simple.


Unfortunately the rocker cover needs another clean now!

So, all in, the gasket itself cost me £12, and the labour cost me the princely sum of nothing. I've only done one journey since so it's hard to tell if the leak is fixed. I was fairly surprised I managed it by myself without any hitches...
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The Corsa project continues...

I previously mentioned a second water leak from the BCM (body control module) cover's perished rubber seals. Shaun the mechanic used RTV silicon sealant as a temporary measure while I waited for a new cover to arrive, and recently that cover arrived. It took some not-so-gentle persuasion to remove the old cover, what with the RTV sealant gripping very tightly... but eventually I loosened it, and moved the battery to leave space to remove it.


You can see the state of the rubber gasket below, with the RTV as well...



The new cover looked much cleaner (imagine that...) and as an added bonus, came with new screws!



I first used my knife to cut away the excess sealant, and after a little screwing, the new cover was on.


Onto part two of this week's projects. For a while now, the Corsa has had no stereo. You (well, all three of the people who follow this thread at least) might recall photos from earlier posts there's a gaping hole full of wires in the dashboard. Well, after a couple of years, I finally got around to doing something about it.

I don't drive the car enough to be particularly bothered about having a stereo in the car, and I figured leaving it without one would be in-keeping with the whole stripped-out bare-bones theme of the old bag of nails. So, I decided to fit some kind of blanking plate, so there wasn't a massive stereo-shaped hole in the middle of the car.

First, I ordered a fascia panel to fit in the gap.


This is designed to house a double-din stereo system (usually with an in-built sat-nav system), as opposed to the thinner single-din CD players you'd normally find in an old bucket like this. Try as I might, I couldn't find any kind of insert to fit inside the panel, other than an actual stereo system. So, I thought I'd try and make my own blanking panel.

I found a website that supplies perspex sheets made to your specifications. So, I ordered a gloss black sheet, 111mm by 189mm. Took a while to arrive, but it came eventually.


To fit the fascia panel, I had to sand the corners to make them rounded, using 150 grit, followed by 3000 grit.


Once sanded, the perspex sheet actually fit so snugly inside the fascia panel that I didn't need to use any glue.


Possibly the most satisfying part was peeling off the protection...


So, with the blanking panel fitted, I needed something to decorate it, as it looked a little plain. What I chose is a long story - originally this car had steel wheels and plastic wheel covers/hub caps. Those covers had little chrome badges in the centre, that were secured with clips. So before throwing those covers away, I took the badges off. Seeing I could use one of them here, I snapped the retaining clips off ready to glue it to the perspex sheet. I stole my dad's "no more nails" adhesive, placed a small dollop on the back of the badge in the centre.



After a few hours, it eventually dried, so it was ready for the moment of truth! So, here we see an unsightly mess of wires...



It fit nice and snugly for a very pleasing result!


I'm really happy with how this project turned out - wish I'd done it sooner!
Another week, another big pile of **** all. I brought the Volvo out for a small local classic car show this week.

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The show came and went. I didn't really take many photos as spent most of the day just chatting to the guys in the Volvo club that turned up while basically ignoring the usual Fords and Triumphs that made up most of the rest of the show. Other than that, it was... well, just another day really. Christ, life really has become empty.

Haven't seen this thread before, now I'm in love with your Volvo.
That blanking plate is actually really neat.
It is! I keep looking at it! Kind of a shame because it sort of makes the rest of the interior look a bit crap :D
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It does! I keep looking at it! Kind of a shame because it sort of makes the rest of the interior look a bit crap :D

Only one way to fix that! Could be a good incentive to give you motivation when you don't feel the greatest. At least for me - if I want to feel encouragement for wanting to exist, having an optimistic - but perfectly doable - goal of a project gets me really encouraged.
A few minor changes to the Combo this week...

So the LED interior bulbs began to flicker and stop working after 2 years of use, so I guess they lasted longer than cheap Chinese LEDs usually do. The white light wasn't particularly nice being honest, leaving a very cold, sterile look, so I found some french-style selective yellow halogen bulbs to replace them. The yellow gives a much warmer glow in my opinion - little things.


In other news, someone on a Facebook group was selling a set of GM sport pedals from a Corsa SRi for £20, so I decided to go for them to tart up my van a little. The original pedal rubbers were starting to wear smooth as well so that was my justification...


The clutch and brake rubbers were easy enough to remove, being simple wraparound items, though the replacements ended up being quite awkward to fit.


The accelerator pedal was different, and the whole pedal assembly had to be removed for easier access...


The plastic pedal face was held onto the assembly by this plastic clip. Once freed off, the pedal face slides off to the side.


The new one, naturally, was just as simple to fit.


Once all bolted back in, the new pedals lifted the interior's appearance nicely.


I also gave it a good vacuum clean but didn't bother with the photos of that...

In other news, I used my new-ish camera to finally get some decent photos of the halo-ring headlights on my Corsa...

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Minor modification this week...

While I'm not a stance-bro, I can definitely get on board with the idea of making a car look less cluttered. So, much the same as my Corsa, I decided to remove the bump strips on the Combo. I mean, they're hardly functional are they? The Corsa picked up its fair share of dents over the years and those bump strips did nothing! So, somewhat crudely, I used a nylon pry tool to get the peeling started, before slowly pulling the strips off the rest of the way by hand.



With the strips off, some moss buildup and glue residue was leftover, so I soaked it all with tar remover, gently wiping away any loose dirt.


With the remaining glue residue I repeatedly soaked it before scraping off another layer with a nylon razor, repeating until a cloth and the tar remover could wipe away the rest.


I plan on giving the van a wash this weekend, so hopefully will have some better photos then!
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Is the paint discoloured (hence the ease at seeing where the rubbing strips were) or is that just a thin layer of muck yellowing the paint?
Is the paint discoloured (hence the ease at seeing where the rubbing strips were) or is that just a thin layer of muck yellowing the paint?
It is slightly yellowed which you can only just make out on the camera assuming you meant that, I couldn't even see it in the photo until you pointed it out, main reason that stands out is because I only cleaned the bodywork where the bump strips had been, and ignored the rest of the van.
Very minor update on the Corsa - as long as I've had the old bag of nails, the bonnet prop holder has been broken. Finally decided to replace it!



Now, the interesting bit - the Combo. So, I had a tyre blowout in July and then procrastinated. I spent four months rolling around on the horrid-looking spare wheel.


This month, I finally got it fixed! I had taken it to one alloy wheel refurbishment company who claimed it was too far gone. I wasn't keen on taking it back to Aerocoat after the substandard job they had done of powder coating them in the first place. So, that left one more small business that was fairly local. I took it to them and a week later it was fixed! So, at the end of last week I took the Combo, the wheel and my new tyre to Shaun's to get it all fitted.



With the alloy back on, I unceremoniously shoved the spare in its rusty cage where it belongs.


I then took the van out for a drive to check for noise and vibrations, and thankfully it was all okay! That's a bit of a relief seeing as I'm about to drive this little bus from Suffolk to Devon!

Next, I rewarded the wagon with a wash. First I tackled the door shuts since they hadn't been done for an age.




The rear doors had about two years buildup of moss and pine needles, so it was much needed. I used a little hand-pumped pressure sprayer bottle as a miniature hose to rinse inside the shuts, before agitating with some APC and a detailing brush. Next I used a wash mitten and soapy water to get what the brush missed. I also did this in the door hinges before drying with a large microfibre towel.







With the shuts and hinges cleaner than they've ever been, I then washed the exterior - it took about two hours and thanks to the van being white, the photos show next to no difference!



In person, the difference was much more stark. Next, I polished the fake exhaust tip.



With it finished, I took some final photos...



I'm happy to finally have the dirty diesel box looking decent once again, ready for me to take on a 600 mile round trip and ruin it!
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Some photos of the Volvo from the last few months.

From August just before the first motor show.




Motor show 1;


Motor Show 2;


The die cast model of my car I bought at show 2;


And for the first time ever, I used to Volvo to carry something last week!

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The Next Addition to the Fleet

It's been a while. The Volvo is still sitting in a garage, the Corsa is still full of water and the van is very muddy after a trip to Devon. The reason for that trip was to pick up my other half; we've been in a long-distance relationship for around 6 months, and she bravely decided to take the plunge and move in with me, so we now have a place together, and I'm truly happy for the first time in my life.

So, with her moving 300 miles away and having given back a 2018 Yaris Hybrid that was on PCP, we needed to find her a new car. An automatic car. Now, in the UK, the market for used automatic cars is absurd. Our budget was £2000. Around 25% of all the listings were Mercedes-Benz, or Volvo. Big cars. Katherine wanted a small car. The prices for those were plain silly.

The first car we viewed was a 2006 Volkswagen Polo with 132,000 miles on it. It had dents in every panel, missing paint on the bumpers, cracked number plates, chipped windscreen, kerbed alloys, missing interior parts, a blowing exhaust, and rust starting on one of the sills. None of this was photographed, and the dealer was asking £1600 for it. So we said no, naturally.

That was rather annoying. So I kept on looking and found a different car for £995. 2001, No rust, 74,000 miles, 1.4 litre. Offered £875 and got the car. So, what was it?

A Renault Clio II. Never thought I'd have a French car to my name, but here it is.


Honestly not a bad looking little car. Wish it weren't silver or a 5-door but looking for automatic hatchbacks I couldn't exactly be choosy.

So, good points are low mileage, decent bodywork, no rust and clean interior. Bad points are squeaky drive belt, patchy service history, what sounds like a noisy wheel bearing and the fact that it's French. Given my OCD, my first job was cleaning the interior...







As you can see it wasn't exactly disgusting to start with. The rear seats in a second-gen Clio are very easy to remove, so of course I took them straight out...



The fuel tank cover could also be removed, so I decided to see what I could clean underneath.



Moving onto the boot, I removed the carpet to shampoo...



The spare wheel then came out...





With daylight fading, I moved onto the door shuts...




With the interior clean I made the first change - removing the rear headrests.


As this car is for my other half and she's a little nervous when it comes to driving, I figured taking the headrests out might make for some improved rear visibility. I've also stuffed the spare wheel well full of soundproofing to make it a little quieter too. It feels weird - making a car better for a change.
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I quite like this generation of Clio. One of the better looking cars in its class in that era, among the better driving ones, and of course it spawned some of the best hot hatchbacks ever (and, very loosely, one of the maddest in the Clio V6).

The wheels on yours actually look quite similar to the Speedlines on the first Clio 172, though they might be an inch smaller - I seem to recall Renault offered the ones above as a dealer-fit option on regular Clios.
I quite like this generation of Clio. One of the better looking cars in its class in that era, among the better driving ones, and of course it spawned some of the best hot hatchbacks ever (and, very loosely, one of the maddest in the Clio V6).

The wheels on yours actually look quite similar to the Speedlines on the first Clio 172, though they might be an inch smaller - I seem to recall Renault offered the ones above as a dealer-fit option on regular Clios.
I do quite like how the phase I looks - definitely better than the facelift model to me. Funnily enough I posted a picture on the Clio Mk2 owners group on facebook and someone said exactly the same thing. When I first saw them I figured they were aftermarket because of the lack of Renault badges and the double-fit stud patterns but they're filled in.

Though, I still wish it was a 3-door... and not silver. Still with automatics there wasn't a lot of choice.
The Combo November 2019 - January 2020

November 2019; Journey to the West Country

So, as previously mentioned, I drove the Combo van to Devon to pick up my other half. On the way, the right-hand rear brake caliper seized, and started to scream at me. I stopped, hammered it free and finished the last 70 miles of my 300 miles journey. Whilst in Devon, I took the van to a workshop that my new mother-in-law told me to go to; she was friends with the owner. They told me the caliper was completely seized and needed replacing, so I had them do it. They also told me that the rear brake pads were low (around 1000 miles of life left), so I should get them replaced as well, also suggesting I have the discs replaced at the same time. I said no, preferring for Shaun to do it when I got back to Suffolk.

So, the rear caliper was replaced, costing me £125. About £40 too much for my liking... Oh well, not much could be done about that, and at the end of the day, getting Katherine back to Suffolk safely was the priority.

December 2019; MORE AIRFLOW!

With some time on my hands and Katherine interested in learning a little about working on cars, we made a small modification to the van in December. The factory airbox on the Vauxhall Corsa/Combo has a small piece of cowling inside which supposedly restricts some of the airflow.

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Using a cordless drill, I drilled through the plastic rivets holding the cowling in place to remove it.

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The idea of this is that it increases airflow, and by that I mean noise, without compromising any reliability by drilling holes in the airbox or putting a cone filter on. Yep, pointless I know, but it killed half an hour so why not? When it was all back together I took it for a quick test drive, and it does have a slightly more throaty noise under heavy acceleration. Power? Maybe a fractional increase, but it could just be a placebo effect.

January 2020; Almost Ripped Off

Back in Devon, I was told the rear discs and pads needed replacing, and yesterday, Shaun finally had a slot to do just that. I got some rear discs, pads and a caliper for the other side, figuring if one caliper seized, the other wouldn't be very far behind. Once Shaun took the wheels off, however, he had a closer look at the brakes, finding that the pads were barely even half-worn. So, the garage in Devon had tried to sell me parts that I didn't need. I feel a bit stupid for taking them on their word and not checking the brakes myself, but when it comes to pad thickness, I'm not really sure what I'm looking at. Well, I am now. After Shaun had saved me a good £60, he fitted just the caliper. I didn't bother with photos.

Next, I had a few interior upgrades to fit. The steering wheel was a standard plastic/foam material, which thanks to 10 years of exposure, was starting to deteriorate. Having found a leather steering wheel on eBay for a decent price, I figured I'd go for an upgrade!


The steering wheel controls don't work, and I can't really say I care all that much. Next, the door handles. They were a horrid textured black plastic. I found some silver replacements and got Shaun to fit them, lifting the interior a little more...




Next, I went on Wish to buy some tatty sh**e. For £2.70, I found a chrome gear knob for a higher trim Vauxhall Corsa, and decided to buy it, along with some Vauxhall-branded tyre valves.



The last item on the list was one of two water leaks. For once, it wasn't the brake servo seal, like so many Corsas and Combos. The one I have hopefully fixed is the radio antennae. The rubber base had perished and was letting in rain water. With Katherine's help, I replaced it with a rubber eBay special, because Vauxhall don't sell them!

2019-12-20 15.18.21.jpg


So, lots of little changes lately, and I'm happy with all of them! This old tractor is slowly getting a little more me with every change. Here's a little before and after, showing the new wheel, gearknob, door handles and pedals from last year.



Next on the list will be the other water leak - the body control module cover.
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If those valve caps are metal, I'd lube up the threads on them. Metal valve caps always corrode and seize on to the valves, and then you'll have a nightmare trying to get them off to adjust the tyre pressures, often ending up in having to cut the valve off completely. I've experienced them one too many times!
The Clio; February 2020 - April 2020


So, once I had bought the Clio, the first thing was to get it checked over, and remedy any issues. So, we knew about the squeaky belt, which turned out to be brand new, but covered in grease, causing the noise, but not accessible enough to clean, so we left it. The wheel bearing was indeed worn, so we got it replaced, along with a broken coil spring and an idle speed sensor which was causing the car to stall when cold. Next came an ABS fault which was a rear ABS sensor, and then the auto selector stopped working, turning out to be the linkage came apart. With all that done we've spent about £200 and got the car to a pretty good standard. I then finally got around to giving the engine bay a good clean...


We also found the number plate light was yellow and bodged, so we found an eBay replacement for that too.




Despite having spent a decent amount of time on the interior already, I found more to do. Under the passenger seat is a piece of plastic trim, apparently to put bottles in... I guess the French like their wine so much they need a place to safely store it in their car. Held in by one bolt, I removed it and cleaned underneath.


The plastic trim surrounding the handbrake could also be removed easily, revealing a few years of Staffordshire bull terrier fur.


After cleaning those, the interior got another once over to remove any last stray hairs from the previous owners.



Next, I cleaned the door shuts...





With the interior clean, we wanted to do something to brighten up the overall grey, dull look, so we found some cheap tatty pinstriping trim on Wish and fitted it around the interior light and the door pullers.



It's not much but it livens it up a little at least. Last for the interior, it's not the quietest car once at speed, and the spare wheel would rattle around over bumps. So, I stuffed a pile of that foam-wrapping stuff you only ever get in Amazon parcels underneath the spare and around the jacking kit, I put a thick carpet cut to size over the top, under the boot floor, and for the dog, we put a blue tarp down to keep it tidy, and some fancy dog bed down to keep our little waste of space comfortable.


Next will be finally giving the exterior a good once-over.
The Clio; April 2020


With the interior at its cleanest in years, the exterior was next. While not filthy, the silver paint was hiding a fair bit of dirt built up over several months.





First, Katherine and I cleaned the wheels, soaking the tyres with TFR, pressure-washing, then scrubbing the tyres with APC and a brush, before tackling the alloys with a few different brushes and two wheel cleaners. The tyres were later coated with Meguiar's Tyre Gel



Next, we used some more APC and a small brush to dislodge the greenery stuck in the seams.


With that loosened, I soaked the bottom-half in TFR, pressure-washed, coated the car with TFR and began the contact wash. It was then rinsed, treated with tar remover, re-rinsed, clay decontaminated and rinsed again, before being dried and polished by hand.

The end result was not bad at all for a 19-year-old runaround.





I've also made two small changes to the exterior; the first (before the wash) was a cheap chrome exhaust tip which is probably completely tasteless but I thought it added a little something to the look.


The other change was the front bumper lip - the original was warped and not secured all the way around, so I ripped it off and fitted a cheap Wish stick-on lip.





Personally I think it really improved the look.

Speaking of tatty stick-on plastic, the Combo has a new spoiler!