Sub Par Cars

Talk about your cars etc here. Keep it sort of sensible and on topic please.
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Sub Par Cars

Post by SubPar »

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On the left, a 1992 Saab 9000 CS 2.0 16v. No turbo.

On the right, a 1995 BMW 316i.

We'll start with the BMW 316i. This was originally purchased in the summer of 2016 when I spotted it on ebay. It was badly listed, and had no reserve. I say badly listed as it just said BMW 316i and didn't feature any of the "not M3 328i M5" etc. bollocks.

The winning bid? £191, and it had a few months MOT on it! We just needed to collect it from Bathgate, west of Edinburgh. Me and my mate originally went halves on it as we both lived near each other and both had other cars anyway.

When purchased:
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The more astute may notice it has alloys in that photo. However it came with the original steel wheels in the back, with a full set of Toyo Proxes on them!

I can't overstate how much of a fucking bargain this car was. The alloys and their weird mix of 4 brands of tyres including one winter tyre got promptly punted onto gumtree.

It needed work, though.

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After sorting it out it bounced between me and my mate. Mate then bought his own house in 2017 about 15 miles away. Not the end of the world, but inconvenient. The 316 ended up being 100% his for a bit. In May 2019 he ended up with too many cars and needed rid of one. I was offered the 316 for £200, so of fucking course I took it on!

When I took full ownership of it, the driver's window had come off the runners, the rear shocks were tired and it had a rough idle. Within the first week of my ownership I'd sorted all of those. Since then it's been providing sterling (and great fun) service.

October 2019 saw a new radiator, September 2020 saw its second ECP cheapy back box. Hey, the first one lasted over 3 years and only cost £30! So I whacked another one for its MOT...

Just the other week it ended up getting the rear brakes rebuilt after a wheel cylinder shat the bed. Yes, it has rear drums. Base model yo!

The day after I replaced the radiator in October 2019 I drove it down to the Scottish borders. I'm in Aberdeen.
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Overall, I bloody love this car. It's only a 1.6 8 valve making just a smidge under 100hp but it also weighs fuck-all. It's not fast, but it's so responsive and the driving position and all the controls feel just right.

It's also very rare in that it's an E36 that hasn't been completely fucking monged. Hell, the ebay seller actually admitted he was about to lower it and put it on deep-dish BBS alloys before a change of plan! It was saved from that fate by pure chance.

I'll write about the Saab in the next post.
Last edited by SubPar on Sun Mar 20, 2022 6:18 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by SubPar »

The Saab, then.

In summer 2020, I was bored. I also realised I could easily afford to run a second car.

Now, I barely need one car. At the time I was working for a certain large telecomms company and walked to the local yard then drove a company van every day. Right now I really don't need a car because I'm studying a postgrad!

Since when did that stop anybody though?

I spotted a Saab 9000 on gumtree nearby, listed for £400. It had been off the road for a bit. The last MOT was from 2016.

However, just look at it.
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I spent 20 minutes prodding it and trying all the electrics, then the seller offered me it for £300.

I drove it to a pre-booked MOT and didn't see it for a fortnight due to the garage being utterly mental and I made the fatal mistake of saying "no rush mate"

Anyway, £550 later it had a fresh MOT and pretty much an entire new braking system.

I felt pissed off until I realised I had a reasonable condition Saab 9000 with an MOT on it for under a grand.

I then got a set of tyres on it, so that was another couple of hundred...

Overall I'm still not that deep into this, though. Just over a grand.

Issues with the car? Well, the odometer doesn't work. It stopped sometime just after its 2016 MOT (or was it between the 2015 and 2016 ones, can't remember). It's stuck on 111669 miles. So even if it's done 120-130k as a worst-case estimate it's still not that high. I don't really give a flying fuck, though.

The driver's side headlight wiper doesn't work. I once connected it back up and instead of moving it just made horrible noises. It also has an intermittent ABS warning that has no rhyme nor reason to it, and comes and goes as it pleases. It stays off a lot more than on, so I'll ignore it.

It's also been a bit giffered on the front left. I think it was caught reversing out of a garage. The wing has been pushed in behind the indicator and thus that end of the bumper doesn't fit properly. No paint damage though. The rest of the car has various scratches and blemishes anyway. I think it looks cool as fuck as it is.

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For obvious reasons, I'm yet to do any properly long journeys in this.
However, I'm really looking forward to be able to.

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It drives how you'd expect. It's not fast but has more grunt than the BMW 316i (that's not exactly difficult though). It wallows along but still handles surprisingly well. It's also very comfortable and generally feels like it's made of solid granite. Example; when I replaced the speakers in the top of the dashboard the speaker grilles were held in with brass screws. Over-engineered? Just a bit.

Hmm, stupidly I don't have any decent photos of it on its current wheel trims. I bought them back in December to replace the god-awful GM-era Saab 900 trims on it.
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The next post will be about a vehicle I don't own, but I help work on when I can.
Last edited by SubPar on Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by SubPar »

Come on, then! Out you come. You've only been sitting there since 1991!
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Yes. That's a 1958 Series 1 Land Rover. It belongs to my parents.

It got pushed into the other barn and we started tearing it apart.
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Eventually we ended up with this:
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That Peugeot 306 in the background? That was my first car. It got scrapped in August 2013.

That's how long this project has been going. It's still not finished.

As per the usual situation with old Land Rovers, the chassis had rotted.

Cue a lovely new galvanised chassis.
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Oh, my dad also reckoned the bulkhead was beyond saving. He found a company in Fraserburgh that laser welds brand new ones though!
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I'm going to have zero inheritance at this rate...

"One of the exhaust valves was burning a bit of oil when I took it off the road, best have a look at that.."
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The engine got completely reduced to its component parts. NOS pistons went in. Those alone cost more than what I spend on a whole car, on average. Admittedly most people spend more on their weekly shop than I do on a whole car.
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There's a reason the engine is that duck-egg green. That's the colour the armed forces painted their engines after they'd been refurbed.

Oh. Yes, this is an ex-RAF vehicle. My parents bought it in the 1970s as a farm workhorse. The shade of blue in the first photos was an ill-advised "mod". Well, not entirely. At one point it ended up parked upside down on the railway tracks at Inverurie thanks to some snow so got replacement body panels from a post office Land Rover. It all needed painted one colour...

There's far too much to catch up, so let's jump forwards a bit.

Several years worth of nut and bolt restoration later, and it looked like this in July 2020:
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We'd dragged it out of the shed to give it a 'dry run' behind the tractor. Pulled it along slowly in gear to circulate oil round the engine and check it all rotated freely.

The next photo was taken on the 31st of December 2020, and that was also the last time I set foot on the parents' farm, as it's over a local authority boundary.

I hope to get back to it soon.
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We still haven't even started the rest of the bodywork. Lots of bi-metallic corrosion to get stuck into there.

Admittedly, there are other horsepower related reasons I like going to the farm too.
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Say hello to Kyrie, one of the residents there. Careful, she'll dribble on you.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by fried onions »

Kyrie will be the most reliable transport.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by Hooli »

Now that's a proper LR.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by bub2006 »

Great to see you here. Love the saab too
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by LynehamHerc »

As Hooli says that's a proper LR not a Chelsea tractor.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by Broccoli »

Loving the LR.
The BM sounds tidy too. Light weight low power cars are always good fun.
Foot flat to the floor, driving the pish out of them and just keeping up with traffic and not appearing to be thrashing the heart out to anyone outside.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by The Reverend Bluejeans »

If the 316i has got wind up front windows, it's an ULTRA RARE 316e. A load of them, all white, got diverted from Southern Oireland and BMW fired them out as a cheapy bAsE model.
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Re: Sub Par Cars

Post by SubPar »

Yeah, I remember seeing something about the 316e somewhere.

This is a 316i, complete with electric front windows.
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