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Have you ever bought a dud?

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Post by kaspian on Thu May 28, 2020 8:51 pm

Recalled a great story today  which happens to be true.  2 wheel fans , eg Biker Al etc may like/hate  this....... Many years ago a ' friend '  and bike nut  decided to buy a big  old british single cylinder  bike. He got a lift the 15 miles to view the bike and bought it on sight after hearing it run etc. At the time it appeared a  bargain at the price..   He travelled 3 miles before hitting the  main dual carriageway and opened it up, heading home.  Things went well until 4 miles from home  there was a tremendous  bang. He instantly realised his  backside and wedding tackle were on fire! The single big piston had  come up through the cylinder head and ripped the fuel pipe off the carb !  Luckily a  following  van had a big powder extinguisher and saved 'most ' of the bike while he attended to his toasted bits! 

          Next day he came in with the bike on a trailer covered in a crusty oily  powder mix  to strip and find out what happened . Turns out a large part of the piston crown had been repaired using  DEVCON   an industrial  metallic rich epoxy used in industry and a favourite of marine engineers.  It had  held ok until heat and revs and.... it parted company with the rest of the piston . This then smashed the fabricated devcon piston crown through the head taking out the fuel pipe which luckily  folded double and stopped fuel flow or the lot would have  been ashes. One scrap engine later..That and  the state of his toasty leathers led to a ten minute tirade of him doing a sort of tribal war dance with  death threats to the previous owner and he was that type!! We just stood bemused but desperately trying not to laugh....
       Never did find out if 'justice ' was administered as he refused to  'incriminate ' himself  ...... :Whistle1:Buyer beware as they say.
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Post by bikeralw on Thu May 28, 2020 9:44 pm

Great story that Kaspian!
I happen to be no great fan of old Brit bikes, vintage ok, but not into anything built in the 60's 70's or 80's. My passion is mainly anything Italian, wine included..
Myself I've never bought a dud, but my late father-in-law bought a cracker, and once he discovered it he dug himself deeper into the mire.
He bought his dream car, a second hand Triumph Stag. He'd only covered a few hundred miles before ominous noises started to come from under the bonnet.
It turned out a previous owner had filled the engine with the thickest gearbox oil available to try and cover up a totally worn out engine. Apparently this car was renowned for having a fragile engine.
The upshot was he took the selling garage to court, they contested the case, saying they sold it in good faith, my father-in-law re-mortgaged his house when it went to a higher court. 
The case went on literally for years before the selling garage was declared bankrupt and my father-in law was left with costs running into the tens of thousands. 
We're convinced the whole episode contributed to his early death.
Al.
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Post by kaspian on Thu May 28, 2020 9:55 pm

Wow old stags had a reputation for overheating.. I've been tidying out some old photos but could not find the one with Devcon guy in  his German helmet fitted with cow horns    seriously! ....later he matured to land rovers and fitted dual tanks . His mate worked at an airport and occasionally filled his ' real' secret tank with jet 'A ' . He would start it on diesel then throw a switch onto jet a . I dont know how he was  never caught as when he passed by in his landy it smelled suspiciously of jumbo jet !
It's amazing what used to go on with diy car repairs. I remember our boss,  who was not one to  be crossed  was asked to inspect a customers  new mk4 Cortina that he had bought at the local car market . He stood talking to the customer and put his hand down on the wing and promptly went through it lacerating his wrist and arm. The whole wing was made mostly of paper mache with a skim of filler! A cellulose thinner soaked rag wiped quickly over the dulux enamel took the smell of the new cheap paint away for a few hours until sold at market!
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Post by Mrgeoffrey on Thu May 28, 2020 10:29 pm

The Stag story reminds me of a SDI  3.5 Rover I bought as a non runner (also a V8 but a much more robust engine in theory so hoping for nothing too serious) A mate towed me home then I started to investigate so put a battery on her to try to find the problem, long story short the starter was turning over fine along with half of the engine, the front pulley remaining stationery so the easy fix turned out to be a crankshaft broken in half luckily back in those days scrap yards had plenty of P6 3.5 Rovers so after an engine transplant happy day's although not one of my better buys.
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 29, 2020 10:08 am

kaspian wrote:Wow old stags had a reputation for overheating.. I've been tidying out some old photos but could not find the one with Devcon guy in  his German helmet fitted with cow horns    seriously! ....later he matured to land rovers and fitted dual tanks . His mate worked at an airport and occasionally filled his ' real' secret tank with jet 'A ' . He would start it on diesel then throw a switch onto jet a . I dont know how he was  never caught as when he passed by in his landy it smelled suspiciously of jumbo jet !
It's amazing what used to go on with diy car repairs. I remember our boss,  who was not one to  be crossed  was asked to inspect a customers  new mk4 Cortina that he had bought at the local car market . He stood talking to the customer and put his hand down on the wing and promptly went through it lacerating his wrist and arm. The whole wing was made mostly of paper mache with a skim of filler! A cellulose thinner soaked rag wiped quickly over the dulux enamel took the smell of the new cheap paint away for a few hours until sold at market!
The bloke that did that Cortina must have been busy Kaspian.

Walked in to a car auction and saw a Datsun 120Y just going under the hammer, wow that looked immaculate and was cheap so just stuck my hand up without really looking at it and bought it. Took it for an MOT and my friend said you had better come over. The Scottish Daily News was the newspaper of choice to create new front wings and build up the chassis. Someone spent hours making those wings and did a great job with a skim of filler. NEW front wings cost just £12 each so why the hell they went to all that bother, chassis was welded for a hundred pounds or so, it then had a new MOT, but I am now losing money! tap_fingers

At the same time I lent a work colleague my Lancia HPE volumex whilst his was being serviced. He crashed it. Whilst being repaired the insurance company agreed to a hire car, guess what he ended up hiring and driving whilst I drove HIS Lancia! Suddenly I am in profit again!

Sold it when a Japalinee man arrived with pound notes, just jumped in the car and drove it way without even looking at it, even though by now it was perfect and actually a rather nice little driver for its day.
So someone in Scotland clearly has a thriving paper and filler car creation industry!
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Post by modelman on Fri May 29, 2020 10:29 am


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Post by Heanorboy on Fri May 29, 2020 10:40 am

Sorry to say that mine was the Autosleeper Dorset the story of which was fully told on here rainyday so angry err sorry

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Post by kaspian on Fri May 29, 2020 12:02 pm

Go on heanorboy remind us!   I'm just surprised no old engineers on here remember DEVCON  ,  that epoxy putty could be used for almost anything excluding pistons...


Last edited by kaspian on Fri May 29, 2020 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Heanorboy on Fri May 29, 2020 12:17 pm

kaspian wrote:Go on heanorboy remind us!
Are you sure you are ready for this, make yourself comfi

https://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t25203-loads-of-warning-lights

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Post by Greyhound on Fri May 29, 2020 3:09 pm

kaspian wrote:DEVCON  ,  that epoxy putty could be used for almost anything excluding pistons...

Well, you'd think so, but JB Weld is pretty much the same and here it is  smile!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Wp-7kqEKI
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Post by kaspian on Fri May 29, 2020 3:21 pm

Greyhound,  Do not try this at home,  it will not end well! I can testify to that . Anyway Devcon was the professionals choice! JB is only for amateur piston manufacture!   Whistle1
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Post by Greyhound on Fri May 29, 2020 4:02 pm

It's great stuff, but must admit even I know when not to push it ;)
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Post by Askit on Fri May 29, 2020 4:02 pm

Wasn't the aforementioned Triumph known as the Triumph Snag?

My first car, an Austin A35 (mentioned elsewhere) was a howler. I came into some money (legally your honour  snigger) at the age of 17 and of course I knew it all. Bought a course of driving lessons, passed my test and bought the first car that I saw in a private sale . The steering was very light, mainly down to the overinflated bald tyres. The gearbox failed within a week and the porridge in the radiator leaked out a few weeks after that. The first time I tried to jack it up to fix a puncture the sills collapsed. I tried to adjust one of the headlights because it was in danger of blinding the pilots of passing aircraft and discovered there was virtually no metal in the wings. I gave up an scrapped it  shrugg

I wish I had kept the reg no though, NRG 590, it would probably worth a few bob now  look here

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Post by burlingtonboaby on Fri May 29, 2020 4:57 pm

L reg Fiat128 estate, wings , inner wings,sills all rusted within 3 years, picked up another in Kinross Auction,this time a saloon, turned out to be another bucket ,cost £30, wife wrote it of in the snow and claimed £300 back, no bad eh!
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:55 pm

I bought a Volvo and wondered why the mileage on the new MOT didn't correspond with the mileage on the speedo. Never mind, a mate wanted a car collecting from 50 miles away. He hired a car trailer and we hitched it to my Volvo-with-a-towbar. Driving along the road I thought the trailer (without a car on it) seemed to be giving the car rear wheel steering. Sure enough, the third bend we came to ended with my Volvo in the ditch and the trailer at a funny angle. We decided we would not collect his car that day after all, got my Volvo out of the ditch, reconnected the trailer and drove sedately home. The Volvo had trailing link suspension and the links had rusted away completely, which obviously didn't matter so far as the MOT was concerned, but the effect was that the only things holding the rear axle to the body were the coil springs, the prop shaft, the handbrake cable and the rubber brake hoses.
After hours the next day I peeked through the seller's garage doors (a back street car criminal, it turns out) and saw an identical Volvo. Next day I went during working hours and noticed that the mileage on the sparkling Volvo was the same as on my MOT certificate. He had swapped number plates, got an MOT on the good car, and put the number plates back on mine.
A mate and I went to a car auction in a disused cinema in Dalston, E. London. We tried to open the bonnet of an Austin 1100 and the whole of the front, grille, bumper, wings and bonnet came up in our hands. They would have detatched as one piece if we had put a bit of effort into it. Then the entrance doors to the cinema opened and someone shouted "Don't touch the next one, it is still wet". We used to go to that auction for a real laugh, there was never anything worth buying.

Then there was the brand new Rapido Motorhome I bought that wasn't built properly in the factory and the main dealer on the A46 couldn't fix it - I'll never have a Rapido again, the Pilote that was just plain stupidly designed, and then there are the several I haven't bought because of things like wash basins with no plug that just drain water out as soon as you turn the tap on. Idiots.
Not to mention the three motorhomes I didn't buy because the dealers would not demonstrate the electric bed . . . .now I know why . . . .
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Post by rgermain on Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:45 pm

Never hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins.

Well not that I admit too. Although some on here would include an A/S van, not me though very pleased with our van.
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Post by gassygassy on Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:42 pm

The only daft things I would say about my A/S Nuevo are things you can fix yourself, and those things don't make it a dud. Light switches on the ceiling. Now, how daft is that - would you buy a house with light switches on the ceiling, even if it was a Tudor timber framed house with ceilings 5ft 6 from the floor? The rear lights, the number plate lights and the electric step, right in the water blast from the rear wheels. I guess you have to dismantle and grease the step annually and plaster the electrical connectors to that and the lights with grease or waxoyl. The sofa cushions with silly zippers which are about the right size for your daughter's dolly's dress so you have to replace them with fatter ones. It's no use commenting on the electrics because they change every year, but the 2015 version seems just about OK to me. Apart from the fact I need to investigate why my Truma heater control panel has a warning triangle when I try to turn on the heater using electric only. . . . . .
I still think A/S is the best UK manufacturer - not necessarily the best European one though . . . and anything at all this side of The Pond is better than anything in gun-totin' country.
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