Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Protec Shocks - What Nice People

 As I may have said, the car is all done except for one front shock "clicking". I had previously looked at the website & seen that Protec would strip - clean - re-fill & re-build shocks for a very reasonable price, so decided to post the front pair off to them.

But in the mean time two things had happened:-

Thing one was I'd gone on the Protec website again to find that the service package wasn't there (it was, I just couldn't find it on my phone).

Thing two, a parcel containing my Grandson's Christmas present (two toy diggers - what three year old boy could want for more?) had been sent on 48 hr postage & taken 10 days to arrive.

To ask about Thing one, I called Protec & they confirmed that they do indeed still re-build their shocks & it only takes 1/2 an hour or so, so I decided to drive the shocks there myself.

On arrival I explained the problem to be investigated & went in search of coffee & cake, what I found was that Melksham (where they are based) has fuel at least 10p / litre less than at home, so I filled the Cactus' tank, boot & two of the footwells, and found cake before returning.

True to their word, the shocks had been stripped, checked, re-filled, re-built & re-appeared from the workshop as I arrived. I even got a small discount as I was there in person so they didn't need to post them back to me.

There was no obvious source of the clicking, but one valve looked a little suspect & the valves were swapped for their latest spec ones. They are already re-built with the springs & bushes & I just need to adjust the springs pans back to where they were set & they can go back on the car.

Lovely to be able to report excellent service.



Thursday, 1 December 2022

It's Done (ish)


With a couple of evenings in the garage I've finished all the jobs that needed doing over the winter, except for sending the front shocks off for refurb. the last things were to swap the rock hard bushes in the rear lower arms for softer ones & work out why thehandbrake was PANTS & with that done I can relax. The handbrake was (I think) a combination of a badly engineered cable system & the arms on the calipers being sticky, so while I've freed them off, I may need to remove them from the car & give them a proper going over.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

More Progress - And a DELIVERY!

 Yes the exhaust has arrived - ordered 24 days ago on a two day delivery, it was eventually listed as "missing" an a new one sent. In the mean time I've very nearly finished the Stylus.

Can you tell that no women live in my house?

The weekend saw the new polybushed ends put on the rear suspension upper links & panhard rod, then the lower arms were removed, the nasty blue paint removed & replaced with etch primer & matt black (the can be seen from the side of the car, so need to be camouflaged), the new poly bushes are in one & it's re-fitted, just waiting on the pain drying on the second & that will go on, the car will be dropped onto it's wheels while I change the exhaust on my daughter's car & then it's just get the front shocks refurbed & it's all done ready for the spring - maybe late winter.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Progress

Today the Stylus has mostly been a foot up in the air.

The reason for it's elevation was the handbrake - I needed to get into the transmission tunnel to take it off the car & re-drill the cable pull point closer to the pivot so the handbrake works a little better. It was a struggle, but it's done now & I think it's worked, but until I get it out on the road it's hard to tell.

I also trimmed the throttle pedal - odd you might think, but the brake & clutch pedals are alloy, the throttle was black powder coated steel & a couple of times I'd caught it with my foot on its way to the brake. With a lot of power & little weight, the car shoots forward in an alarming way - only for an instant, but still not good, I cut the sides off the pedal & added an aluminium pad, so it's a little lighter, narrower & matches the other two.

After that I took one of the lower rear suspension arms off the car to confirm the size of the polybushes & get some softer ones on order. I've now spent around £400 on new bushes, so I'm really hoping they do what I want them to do. They could arrive mid week, in which case I'll fit them before the weekend. If not I'll have to drop the car onto its wheels & drive it out so I can get my daughter's car in, then do it all again.

BUT, the car is very nearly done. a little paint on the suspension, new bushes, get the front shocks refurbed & it's ready for the new season.

Saturday, 19 November 2022

And Still Waiting ..........

 But I may have made a little progress. I put in a new complaint to Ford Spares who responded (again) that my daughter's exhaust had been delivered, I responded (again) that it hadn't & a while later the said they'd contacted the courier who'd admitted it was "missing" (I knew this). So it may arrive next week.

In the mean time, I've been into Margnor the superb bolt emporium & bought the bolts to make up the polybushed ends for the rear suspension control rods. I wasn't going to do the welding for this myself, but my brother volunteered & after a little cleaning up & paint, they went rather well.

Today I've assembled them onto the panhard rod & the two upper control rods (one on each), I need to get some more bushes to replace the ones on the lower suspension arms, but this is the job I've been waiting to do all year & it's done.


The panhard rod has gone from this.............








......to this.

Also on the agenda today was checking the gearbox oil through the hole in the trans tunnel & changing some of the enormous nyloc nuts on the suspension for small half nuts - they're in shear, so the nut does nothing except stop the bolts falling out & it may only be a few grams per nut, but it's unsprung weight & that's always worth saving.

But this week's big news is that the first of next year's road trips is booked, ten Rogues in eight cars doing a three day tour of north Devon in April.
Hurrah! 😁😁😁



Sunday, 13 November 2022

Still Waiting

 I contacted Fords about he exhaust I ordered for my daughter's car, apparently it was "delivered" some days ago, but obviously not to me. (sigh)

So I was left with a dilemma, to wait for the delivery & delay immobilising the Stylus until after I'd repaired my daughter's car, or just get on with it. I decided on the latter.

Having jacked the car up as high as I dared I removed the tank & found I could reach everywhere I needed to get to without removing the axle - this was "A good thing"


 

Panhard rod needed some paint


I cleaned up the axle control rods & gave them a nice coat of matt black, & added a new bracket the the fuel tank to support a filter.








Then I cleaned the rust off the chassis - in fact there was just about none, what there was, was only on the fuel tank support angles, so a good wire-brushing & a coat of POR15, followed by CBS' "Wunderseal & I was ready to put it back together.

So now the pump & filter are tank mounted, the hoses & wiring are all clipped away from the axle travel & the car is back mobile (though everything is only loosely bolted together) should the exhaust arrive. The next job is to get the polybushed ends for the control rods made up. Then it's just a refurb of the lower control arms & I'm about done.

Sunday, 6 November 2022

Hurry Up & Wait

 I serviced my daughter's car last weekend, the centre exhaust needs to be changed because the flexi section has broken up. Euro car parts haven't had any in stock for months, (it says "any part for any car" - it doesn't say they can sell you one) but I found just the thing on the Ford spares site & ordered it. After three days of silence I e-mailed to ask when it would arrive & got a reply saying I'd get an e-mail when it was going to arrive - followed an hour later by an e-mail saying it had been dispatched - they hadn't forgotten it then?

Three days on & there's still no sign of it & this has had repercussions. Because I now can't do the exhaust until next weekend, I can't put the Stylus on stands & get on with that, so I have nothing to do this weekend & it's been raining constantly .... & I'm bored .....& ..... &

On the up side, I did get something useful done in the garage, I found the source of a light "clunk" in the front suspension, one of the pro-tec shocks make a noise when the shaft changes direction so there's something loose in there, so (again) when it goes up on stands, I'll send the shocks off to Pro-tec for a re-build.