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Buying advice on a 1993 Robin Hood 2B - oil leak and dash not working

Martin Kol

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Hi Folks, im new to the world of 7 type car ownership. Having spent many fun hours as a teenager fiddling with late 70s Minis im now in my mid 40s and am excited to get back to getting my hands greasy.

Im after a bit of advice, im looking to buy a Robin Hood as these seem to fit my budget and i dont want to spend too much as its my first 7 type. 

I went to see a 1993 2B running a 2l Pinto with single carb this morning that was reasonably local to me, the young lad selling it had acquired it from a family member and wasnt particularly knowledgeable, (like me!) the timing belt had a cover over it so i wasnt able to inspect the condition.

the main visible issues the car had was none of the gauges worked or the indicators, he said this was a recent thing and it has an MOT until march next year. 

there was also a smallish oil leak from somewhere.

he was asking £3000.

other than fuses can anyone suggest any other reason why the whole dash would stop working? 

It all appears to be registered correctly etc.

any thoughts or comments welcome, its all new to me.


Many thanks!


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Hi. Welcome to our world. It's quite tricky to advise too much on the issues. Every car will have been built differently so diagnosis of the guages is difficult. To lose all of them implies a fuse. Then you have to find out why it blew.  Are they all separate or an all in one display of some sort? Indicators as well is slightly strange as they shouldn't be connected. Possibly an earth issue. 

Oil leaks are not uncommon on old pintos but should be sorted anyway. Usual culprits are rocker cover gasket or sump gasket ,crank seals. Can you see the rough area where it is coming from?

I can't be much more help. I'm sure someone will be along with more help maybe. Good luck.

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You want thoughts or comments, well, before you get involved with a Robin Hood sevenesque vehicle you will have to forget about "conformity", each car has been assembled from a kit of parts that required a great deal of fettling by the builder. These cars were not bolted together over a few weekends from carefully crafted parts that were guaranteed to fit with each other, like you might expect from Westfield or Caterham, but then they did not cost anywhere as much as a "top end" kit either. Even in your old days with Minis, the design, and fit of bits and pieces was guaranteed off the shelf and there was a Haynes manual for reference. With a Robin Hood you will enter a new world of engineering challenges. At least by buying an already assembled example which has an MOT etc you will save much toil. This is balanced by little knowledge of how well the builder managed to overcome the assembly challeges. So my thought is, think about this before you invest hard earned cash, owning a Robin Hood is a challenge that many find very rewarding, including myself, I also like Marmite.

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Hi Martin,

As above, there is no "standard" 2B and the quality of the build is down to the workmanship of whoever built it.  The Pinto engine is pretty tough and if it runs OK I wouldn't worry about it, oil leaks are common and usually easy to fix.  On a standard pinto valves and pistons don't kiss if the cambelt snaps so that's not a major worry.  The wiring could be simple or a nightmare, depending on how well it was built. What documentation is there is from the builder ?  Are there any photos from the build, wiring diagrams or other such useful stuff ?  I would recommend that you take a close look at how it is put together and finished off - does it look like someone has taken care building it ? If it looks like it was just thrown together I would walk away.  And finally, where about are you - there may well be a club member near you who could be persuaded to have a look at it with you (chocolate biscuits may be required as a bribe though!).



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Thoughtful and helpful comments guys thanks, i knew id come to the right place! ive pretty much decided to pass on the car i saw yesterday and having seen some of the cars advertised in the for sale section of this site i know realise there are much better examples out there for not a lot more money. ive done my research on RH cars and so am becoming familiar with the degree to which they need to be massaged during the build to get everything to come together!

Automotive electrics are definitely a week spot in my knowledge and experience so another reason to give this car a miss as my introduction to the world of 7s i think.

thanks for the thoughts.


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