Well after four years of Ill health and poverty I decided It was time to get the Hood back on the road in time for Stoneleigh.
Took a new battery £60 (ouch, they've gone up A LOT) over to the lock-up where it was languishing (Rusting), connected it up with 2 Gallons of Tesco's finest in the tank, cranked it over. It cranked for a few seconds then gave up. Plenty of volts on the battery, so checked all the connections, no problem. Further testing, armed with my trusty meter, pointed towards the starter. Took it out, stripped it down, cleaned it and fitted some new brushes (yes I had a spare set). Still nothing!! Ordered a new one online, 24hr delivery, £75, (OUCH!!) Still cheaper and quicker than the local motor factors though.
Whilst waiting for that to arrive time to do a few other jobs, hopefully cheaper ones!! The last time it was MOT'd they didn't like my loose seats or springs. Those of you with series 1 cars will remeber the RS 'blue rope' well I never fitted it. Soon rectified and the seats, progress at last. Then I noticed a chipped front headlight, I've got Cibies on mine, so another £35!! Test all the other lights, no rear fog, corroded switch cleaned. No number plate light, corroded bulb. One sidelight out, Ditto. Indicators intermittent, relay contacts corroded. No horn, Faulty Earth. Getting the picture about my lock-up, would be just as well off outside!!
New starter arrives, on fitting that I find the heated manifold flange disintegrates!! Homebase do a nice range of plumbing fittings, so that's sorted. (The Hoodie inventivness returns!!) Starter on, Turn Key, Fires
Well numerous more tinkerings and it's off for an MOT. Never taken the Hood to this place before, but they were fair with my Golf...
A Bloke that looks like Ewan from the garage attemps to shoehorn himself into my Cobra 7's and drives it onto the ramp, doesn't say a word and looks like a right miserable ####. Oh well I'll go home now then shall I. He winds the ramp up, gets his torch out and wanders up and down a couple of times, looking very intently at all the questionable areas on an S1. Then wanders over to me (still looking miserable). He's not jacked it up or taken the bonnet off at this time, boy I would'nt play poker with this bloke, his face is giving nothing away, except maybe a 'no chance of this passing in a hundred years...'
Well I just need to do the brakes and the emissions now. (What..... ) But I can't fit in that seat, so I'll have to wait for someone. (he's still giving no clues here). I say "I'll sit in, I usually do, even did in my Golf this year." " Ok" he says, "will it go on these rollers?" "Should do" I says, "it's been on others before". So we do the brakes, I can't see the screen from where I was sitting, so still no clues. Then the emissions, I remind him 'visible smoke' He says well we'll test it anyway, it's easier if it passes, bypassing these machines is a pain. He sticks the probe in, "oooh err misses" I've never had that done before, even I can read 6 point something on the screen!!!! , He leaves it for a while as the screen counts down, then about 10 secs befor the end of the test he whips the probe out. Ahh Now I see, its SO bad he's just going through the motions to get me out ASAP, probably going to declare it 'Unsafe'. So I tentativly ask, How was that? I helped it along a bit he says. If you Just like to go to reception and pay I'll bring your certificate out. (What... ) Is he sure?? A few minuets later it hits me, that's the easiest MOT I've had in 30 years of motoring!! So I thank him and drive home with a big cheesy grin.
So a Hundred quid to the Asylum seekers and off for some very PC 4 star!! £1.56 a litre (YIKES!!!!) Those Asylum seekers will be on steak and oyster tonight.
See You Sunday