The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

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Magic Beans
Posts: 4748
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

Given that people are reading this (which is a refreshing surprise :D ), I guess I should crack on with these updates. Now there's three to update it's feeling like a mountain to climb, or type at least. Let's get up-to-date with Mule X first, before I go down the other rabbit holes...

Since we last spoke I've been busy working on the other projects. Yes, I know I keep dangling them like carrots and I will get round to them next :wink: Being at somewhat of an impasse with the Mk2 I'd been reluctant/unmotivated to crack on with the turbo swap. One thing I did do, which was triggered by some work I was doing on one of the others (there's that carrot again :lol: ), was to freshen up the bracket/holder for the injector resistor and friends. It'd been sat in the open for some time, back before I bought the car, meaning the weather had taken its toll.

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First up was to flap wheel it and get the rust off.

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Then treated and painted and installed back onto the car. Making the resistor pack etc look especially bad :lol:

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Next up was a visit from Pete, for a weekend focused on getting on car finally on the road and fitting the CT20B etc to Mule X (the Mk2). Well, the latter was the plan, which we then changed :whistle:

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After a lot of pondering over recent months, I had decided to swap the GT2860RS out for the stock CT20B I'd bought. That remained the plan right up to the point where I picked up car no.3. After whih it didn't make sense to have two cars running stock turbos (clues...! :wink: ), especially as Mule X has a forged build. So.... what I decided right at the time we were about to do the thing, was that I'd keep the GT2860RS and go with the aftermarket ECU and remap route. I'm sticking with the standard 540cc injectors and just shooting for the 300-320bhp mark. I don't need it to be huge power, I really enjoy an SW around that power level.

Given the car was in bits, along with the fact I'd bought a full turbo gasket set etc (which I no longer need #-o ), we swapped out the exhaust manifold gasket. After removing the old one it was clear it was definitely ready.

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Once swapped we put everything back together, in the process finding and tightening several loose nuts/bolts on and around the turbo/DP. Definitely not helping the performance of the car, along with fuelling/emissions, both of which seemed way off. We then tested the car, which seems really quite happy now.

The last thing I wantd to do before going any further, was to check the compression of the engine. I'd not done it since getting the car and while it felt happy, I wanted peace of mind in knowing the compression was good etc. In typical Mule fashion, after checking cylinders 1 and 2 the car stopped turning over #-o I spent a little bit of time chasing ghosts (again) and eventually got it sorted. I cleaned a removed the connectors on the starter relay, the starter itself and other linked wiring elements. Once doneit was happy again (for now at least) and I could redo the compression test. The results being 160 PSI or thereabouts across the board. I'm not sure what compression the forged pistons are but I'm happy with the results.

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Next up: MOT time, tomorow! Wish me (it) luck! :pray:

Right, now to finish the write-ups about the other two. Sore fingers incoming! :lol:
pistol pete
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by pistol pete »

well.... i think its time you stopped dangling the carrot!! :D
Ben
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Ben »

I've seen enough of his dangly carrot thankyouverymuch
Magic Beans
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

But you both love my carrot :mrgreen:
Magic Beans
Posts: 4748
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:01 pm

Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

Right, onto the next one! I appreciate I kinda left everyone hanging with this, with just a single teaser photo and then months of silence... Let me spend some time going over what it is, why it is, what it is now and what comes next.

Those of you who've been following my little journey for a while will need to cast their minds back to 2014 and the time of Mule V. For those that weren't around then or have brain smoothing (myself included) due to 2 years locked in your homes, Mule V was a certain Mk1 Super Edition that was owned by Ben. Ben and I did a little swap, with keys (if you can call them that :lol:) for Mule III (the Westfield) being exchanged for those of Ben's lovely little Mk1.

The Super Edition was a fabulous car. I should have kept it and feel my decision to sell it was the wrong one. The motivation for doing so was due to a lack of garage space at the time, because Mule IV (The Busa) was hogging the garage. Having such a rare old car living outside, exposed to the weather and slowly perishing, never sat well with me. When I was approached by an interested collector in Germany, it seemed the right time to let it go. Knowing that it would be well cared for, for a long tme to come. It's also probbly worth a small fortune now, but that's how these things go sometimes...

Since selling the SE I'd always had it in mind that one day I'd buy another. Now we have a lot more space for cars (soon to be even more, but that's a story for the future...) and a free space in the garage due to the Mini going back to Mason Manor, it felt the right time to buy another Mk1. I'd been monitoring prices and availability for some time, with the situation being that prices are way up and average car condition being way down. Basically, in-line with the used car market as a whole these days, but more so with older Japanese stuff. I went to see a few cars and was generally unimpressed with what was on offer. Then I stumbled onto an eBay ad for a 1988 Mk1 Supercharger with a tintop, and a lot of rust!

It was owned by a guy who had a garage and had bought it as a side project during those wonderful months when we were confined to our homes (good times...). He'd done a chunk of work on it, such as replacing the sills, rear rears, driver's side floor (not quite finished), sourcing new parts and repair pieces etc. The world had then returned to whatever normal is now and the time he'd intended to spend working on it had evaporated.

At this point, the sensible thing to have done would have been to walk away and keep looking, so I bought it! :clown: . A few days later a lowloader turned up and dropped off this.

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A little side-by-side of the two cars that were/are to give me hours of work and very little reward. For now at least :lol:

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At this point you're probably wondering why the hell I've bought a rotten old Mk1 in that condition?! Well, you'll be pleased to know that's arguably the best it's going to look for the rest of this post 8-[ Well, technically that's not correct, as in the folders that came with the car was a copy of retro Rides from 2012. In that magazine was an article about a white '88 Mk1 SC. Which if you squint, or just focus on the reg plate, you'll see was this car in a former life! :o

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It was an absolute stunner! The list of mods is also pretty impressive, especially the engine! It was clearly cherished, so to know it had been loved and then left to go to absolute ruin is a crime! :( From what I can gather, it had been sold by the guy in the article (anyone know him?), passing through the hands of two more people, before ending up with the guy I'd bought it from. A sad decline but I can mark the start of its return to glory.

Now we know something about what it was and how it came to be, let's take a look at what I'm going to be working wth over the coming months/years. First up I delved into the cabin, boot, engine bay and the pile of parts it came with. I found a Unichip piggyback ECU and an HKS ignition thing (yet to read up on it), which according to the article, were combined with a smaller SC pulley to yield 200bhp. Whether or not that's true and whether or not it can still do that remains to be seen of course...

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A lot of parts! Including a brand new, still in bubble wrap, front crash bar. I believe the former owner paid somewhere between £500-£1000 for this!

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I decided to catalogue what I had and then store it away. I did the same for all the other bits I removed as I progressed. Well, until I put it somewhat all back together, but we'll get to that :lol:

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I then started the lovely process of checking over the actual condition of the car, detailing the good bits and the much longer list of things that needed rectifying. Each panel removed revealing endless treats and reminders of how people can neglect cars :(

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The NS headlight and the chassis area it mounts to were toast!

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Not pleasant viewing and as you can imagine, not one of those nuts, bolts and parts came off without a massive fight! Also, look at the state of the crash bar! It's completely disolved in some places!

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Now the bar is off I could see what lies underneath. That being more rust and some pretty rotten box section :(

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This extended into the Frunk area too. Which I discovered after pulling the very clean liner, spare wheel and tool kit out of the way.

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Cut to some time and several buckets of rust of removed rust later and we'd got to what you'd consider the low point in a build. The car was in hundreds of pieces, looked much worse than when it arrived and was that dawning of realisation of the size of the task I'd taken on. I continued to move forwards in bits, treating the rust areas I found and at least halting its attack on the car. Progress was slow though, I'd lost that initial momentum :( Having it sat there, representing a mountain of work I still need to do, alongside the Mk2 which continued to fight me every step of the way, became somewhat of a mental burden :( I'd lost all motivation to work on either of them, whilst spending every moment longing for the day they were finished (driveable at least).

I didn't really know what to do to fire up my own engine of willingness to work on them. My goal was to have something I could drive this summer, which neither of the cars were currently looking likely of doing. So I decided to do another sensible thing and buy yet another car :lol: The idea being that using it would then drive the desire to progress, while satisfying the need to actually be able to use one of them and ot just spend my time at the grindstone (we'll see how that went...). The SC could go and be dry stored at the family farm, until a point in the future where I have the drive to want to tackle welding and paint.

I eventually found something, with the help of Pete. Who I think secretly enjoys planting bad (and sometimes good) ideas in my head :lol: . The deal done, I had to reolcate the Mk1 and in order to achieve that. I hastingly threw the car back together with the help of a lot of cable ties and as many bits crammed into the car as possible. There was still plenty left to ship but they could go up as/when we visited.

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In is new home, where it sat looking sorry for itself :(

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Cut to several weeks later, a new car and new problems (you'll love the next update :lol: ), we needed to relocate the SC from one barn to another. It's new home is a space I'm going to convert into a proper garage space, with a lift and all the bits I really needed to work on these cars properly.

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Note the jolly farmer and Mrs Beans :mrgreen:

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All the various bits stored away in a big pile, which will continue to grow over the coming months

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That's how things stand rght now. It's dry, protected and sat waiting for the day the Eye of Sauron turns towards it. Which for a while was unknown, as I wasn't overly sure what to do with it. However, since getting the new one it's massively increased my desire to the see SC built and back on the road. As such I've green-lit the build for next year, once Mule X is done (I have news on that!) and we've relocated to Yorkshire.

That's all for now. Just another few hours of typing done, with the same needed to write-up the next one!

Toodle pip
Magic Beans
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

Some good news for the day :cheers:

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The drive over was excellent and the car is feeling great right now. I do love driving an SW, they just feel like home :hug:

To say it's been a journey to get to this point is a huge understatement! There's a few bits I've added to the "to do" list. I'll get to those in future updates...
pistol pete
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by pistol pete »

Looks great on the ramp there, We got there Whoop Whoop!!!

I still glad i convinced you to keep them wheels

as good as a mk2 is, i still prefer the SC and your other project :). But we have yet to strip down my NEX, so too how bad that is! gotta finish that mini :)

Look forward to next up date.. I still need to update mine
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wilkie senior
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by wilkie senior »

Great story, dam wish i had your garage!!!!

Anyway Welcome to gods county when you are here, the air is better here you know!!!! fact :wink:

Regards Brian
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That's a negative, Jim. I do not have the measles.
Hail Cosmos Eagle Rev 5, 1998 -
RIP White Eagle Rev 1, 1991 - 2016
Magic Beans
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

pistol pete wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 6:24 am
I still need to update mine


Yes, yes you do :mrgreen:

wilkie senior wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:59 pm
Great story, dam wish i had your garage!!!!

Anyway Welcome to gods county when you are here, the air is better here you know!!!! fact :wink:

Regards Brian


Thanks, Brian :)

Very much looking forward to the move. Still some things to work out to get us the first step. Then the big step happens, which might well be the house build I've been waiting to do my whole life! Depends if we find the right land, get the consents etc. If we find a suitable house to see us through the next decade we might go that route, we'll see...
Magic Beans
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

A small update on X, while I continue to do the write-up of XIII.

One of the things that's been bugging me since is geeting the car is the now very tired tint on the driver and passenger windows. At one point I'm sure it looked great but time and wear have definitely taken their toll. The tint now being full of stress and rub marks, as well as being pitted by the elements. Rather than replace it I decided to remove it, see what the glass is like and then decide if I want to replace it in the future.

It's not easy to capture tint film on camera but here's something of an example of what it looked like. Keeping in mind that it's been cleaned!

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The method I chose was to use a heat gun to remove it, which actually worked well.

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Although, one side came off quite cleanly, the other left its entire gluey guts #-o This shot was after about 90 minutes of effort and multiple removal products having been tried.

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Cut to about 4 hours later, removal of both doors cards and a lot of elbow grease, we have this. You also get to see the very tired wing mirror lacquer up close 8-[

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Note: Carb cleaner turned out to be very effective to break down the glue, then glass cleaner finished the job.

Another thing I really wanted to sort was replacing the license plates. The front was illegal and the rear wasn't tue JDM sized and formatted. I also didn't like the visible bolts on the rear so decided to solve that at the same time.

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The replacements

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Replacing the front was fairly routine. I carefully unstuck the plate, cleaned off the residual foam pads, wiped down the whole area, applied plate tape, aligned things and stuck it on.

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The rear was a little more involved. After removing the old plate I decided to go with a similar approach to how I attached the rear plate on Mule I. That being to used a plastic backing piece, countersink the bolt holes, attach it and then tape the new plate over the top.

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In this instance I decided to use the old plate as the mount. Cutting it down at each side, due to the old plate being about 5mm wider on each side.

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I then sourced some countersunk bolts from the massive spare bolt collection, which we all have because of years of cars :roll: These were then cut down (wonkily, as always #-o ) and the ends cleaned up.

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Plate flipped, countersunk holes drilled, tape was applied and the new plate attached. After far too much time spent making sure it was centred and level :mrgreen:

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Again, two minor jobs in terms of scale (but not time!), that all add to the overall vision for where the car is going. The next thing that's coming is a bigger step; I've ordered an ECU...
Magic Beans
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Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by Magic Beans »

Oh, I forgot to mention I'd removed the engine bay stickers! #-o :lol:

We all know I'm not a fan of stickers and I'm especially not a fan of Tein, after they recently quoted me £300 per shock, plus any extras, to service them!

Before:

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After:

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Ok, definitely done now.
pistol pete
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:47 pm

Re: The journey of one man and his Mule(s)

Post by pistol pete »

looking nice and clean there bud :clap: :clap:
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