Picture the scene… A cold, damp, January Monday morning… In blissful ignorance I got ready for work… Left the house on time, despite having to do a bit of de-icing… No issues so far… Part way through the journey, I put the heater up to full blast, and was greeted by the sound of a screaming belt. “Hm,” thinks I “must just be a bit of condensation on the belt, or something else minor- no worries.” By the time I get to work (only 5 mins in the car, ish), the belt is still screaming- even though I switch the heater OFF some time previously. Not having the time to do anything about it there and then, and it still being dark, I left it until tea-break.
So I come out, and fire the car up… Belt screaming- still. Immediate shutdown. “What the **** is that?” says I, as I pop the bonnet. This is the sight that greets me:
[Can you see the slump towards the Driver's side?]
“WHAT THE **** IS THAT?” I say again after seeing the slumped engine (must've dropped a good 3 inches, and shifted the same sideways), loud enough this time that people of the FAR SIDE of the car park turn round. Suffice to say, after a quick chat with my boss I took the rest of the day off to sort repairs- and possibly the unanaesthetised castration of a certain someone, with a set of blunt, rusty pliers. Later that day I had the car recovered by a local garage and family friend/contact.
These next pictures were taken by him as he repaired the car (sorry about quality):
See where the Cambelt has chomped it? Obvious fray on the belt, too. The top bolt had sheared off, bottom one had vibrated undone.
The guys doing the repairs told me they were amazed the car still ran, let alone being able to drive it.
When the cambelt was changed the engine mount was removed, and upon its replacement the mechanic [yes, THAT mechanic] had put one of the three bolts in the right hole, and the other two in the wrong holes. The three bolts are all different shapes and sizes, and he’d put one with a long thread in a hole intended for a bolt with a much shorter thread, and vice versa. The only thing still holding the engine up was the third bolt- the only one in the right hole- which was very close to shearing itself. Had that gone, then… Need I finish…?
Such an error would be blatantly obvious, and totally unforgivable. I was blazing with fury when the guy doing the repairs told me and, being in a mood to start lobbing Molotov’s, I had my dad call the dealer I bought the car from the next day. Had I called, I was likely to have directed such a stream of vitriol at the guy that I would have achieved nothing. As it turns out, the garage at fault provided us with a cheque to pay for the repairs (ex. VAT). Appeased, but not totally satisfied at the conclusion, I closed the matter. It still makes me mad when I think about it though. No real harm was done when the mount collapsed, but I had only been at low speed- no more than 30 mph for the whole journey. Had it happened on the motorway at 70…? Well, it probably wouldn’t have been just me on the slab.
Back to happier subjects now…
Routine maintenance of the rear braking system saw this Care Package arrive:
Standard/OEM replacements, but nice enough. Happy to see that at least some things still have “MADE IN BRITAIN” stamped on them.
Rear pads were getting right low.
Pistons had come out so far that it was a right pain in the arse getting the Calliper Tool on them. I don’t think the discs or pads had been changed since first installation by VW. Fronts have been done at some point though (thankfully).
An “off chance” trip to the scrappies looking for Xenons netted me these for £25:
So I bought forward my plans for fitting the W8 light and swapping over the vents. At this juncture, I’d like to state that I HATE these bloody clips!
Why do they have to make such a bloody bang when they come off?! Scared the cacky out of me when I took the first one off! I thought I’d broken the bloody dash! And who’d have thought that you had to take almost the entirety of the dash underside out just to fit some vents?! Ah well, at least my loom came out nice and tidy (first time in a long time that I’d done any soldering).
Next acquisition was these:
Just waiting to find a fifth before I have them refurbed and powder-coated in satin black, hopefully with a little bit of a fleck in it too, if Lepsons can do it. Got some nice Black Magic Pearl wheel bolt covers painted up to go with em. Once the newly refurbed Montreal II’s are ready to go on I’m going to tart up the hubs a bit (rustiness it NOT appealing) and get the callipers painted black so everything is nicely tied in (starting to see a bit of a black theme here…?).
As the red letters on the back had faded to pink, I got on and debadged the rear. Looks a lot better now in my opinion. Found this later on, laid out in the kitchen, courtesy of a certain BMW-driving git.
Cheeky bloody git, comparing my Bora to a sodding Trabant! At the same time as debadging, I swapped out the damnably crap headlight bulbs for a set of Osram Nightbreaker Plus, so now I can actually see where I’m going when its dark, and decoded my VIN...
Happy to say that my Bora was built in Wolfsburg.
I bought a shark fin next, looked nice:
…but it didn’t/doesn’t work, so it’s currently winging its way back to Germany. In time, I’ll sort out a system using genuine VW parts.
So now we’re up to this week, and this week’s job was cleaning out the EGR and Inlet Manifold, which were quite dirty but, if I’m honest, neither were as dirty as I was expecting:
Several hours soaking in diesel and the “Special Cleaning Fluid”…
… got us to this:
So that brings us up to the present day. I almost bagged some post-2002.5 OEM Xenons on ebay yesterday, but missed them by a narrow margin, which is a pain in the arse. Separate funds are now set aside so I can pull the trigger on the xenons at any time.
Onto laying out the future plans then…
Not a huge amount decided yet. Obviously, getting the Montys sorted out is high up on the list- just waiting to buy the fifth wheel. After that, my priority is getting the Xenons sorted. But it’s not just a case of buying the light units and adapters, as my Bora does not have headlight washers.
Yes, I mean it’ll be a 100% legal retrofit- xenons, headlight washers, and auto-levelling. And as the operation will require removal and refitting of the bumpers, I’ve decided that I’ll be doing my upgrade to Bora R bumpers at the same time, along with side skirts and [possibly] spoiler too. All in all that’ll cost close to 2k if I buy the extra parts new.
After that… lowering at some point, though I’m not sure how much by yet. Because of the size of the speed bumps round here, I’d like to get Air, but that’ll depend on the price tag. Upgrade to a heated leather interior at some point too- possibly 5dr full black leather R32 interior. Guinness style interior doesn’t really fit, so I’ll arrange for a black headliner and trimmings at some point. I’d like to get that shark fin shenanigans sorted too.
Audio side of things… Not really that much thought gone into it yet, though I’ve been looking at Pioneer double DIN units as possible upgrades: can’t say no to full iPod compatibility, hands-free system, Sat-Nav, and DVD all in one unit.
To pre-empt the “bigger wheels” demands I’m likely to receive: The Monty II’s are a stop-gap measure, I’d like some 17/18” BBS CH Black Editions, but they’re damnably expensive. I’ve no doubts the Montys will look great though.
I suppose that just leaves the engine/drivetrain mods then…? Those, I’m afraid, are “EYES ONLY” at the mo, so I’m not telling. Suffice to say, they have been variably described as “inspired” and “insane” by those that have been told. This I can tell you: a friend recently suggest the name “The Chimera” for the vehicle once it’s completed, and it is a very apt name.