Sevenman's TVR (was SAAB) Blog

June 30, 2008

Garaged life

Filed under: Saab — Administrator @ 9:21 am

Since going in the garage, the car has been out twice.

If getting it in is tricky, getting it out is doubly so… No way I could do this by myself, not if I wanted to keep my bodywork intact.

First trip was to take 3 friends for a pub lunch, given the other option was a Mk1 polo, and that 2 of the guys are about 6’2 and 6’5, and the other prob. about 6′, the Saab made more sense.

2nd trip was to a UKSaabs meet just North of Worcester. Dragged along my Supra-driving friend who is organising the Ring trip. 26 days to go.

After we got past a slow caravan, the car drove very well on motorway, boosting nicely well past the red and driving smoothly.

Saab meet was good, my nearly 11 year old car was the newest, although newer cars could have arrived later.

What was dissapointing is knowledge of how little my car is worth. A highly modded (far more than mine) and well cared for 9000 recently sold for £2k. Parkers list mine as £975, private (Good).

On my return I gave the battery an extra charge to make sure it was completely topped-up, then put the car back into storage.

This brings up a factor of European breakdown cover. I have this, and repatriation, but they look at the value on Glass’ guide, and if it costs more than the car is worth I don’t think they bring it back… A quick phone call later, and they say that the cars they don’t bring back tend to be sheds, and average costs are about £800. As part of cover the least they will do is take the car to a garage for work, and if that is no good, repatriate us and dispose of the car…

If we don’t want to be repatriated, and arrange to do the car ourselves, they have no set policy, but would try to work something out.

As part of our group, a car trailer is being brought along should mishaps occur, so in the worst case I am sure something could be worked out…

Keeping the car in the garage under dustsheets is great. I will need to wash/wax the car far less often, and hopefully rust will be less of an issue.

Only drawback is accessing the other stuff in the garage such as bikes (cycle). These are currently in the dining room since there is no way of getting bikes out while the car is in. Not sure how I will get round that problem.

Still to do before Ring trip

1) MOT – will be a useful 2nd check that all is well
2) Tax – runs out while I am over there

That’s about it really. If it stays in the garage, I might now even have to wash it. Hopefully it will stay clean during the MOT…

June 24, 2008

Doh and Doh again

Filed under: Saab — Administrator @ 12:38 pm

Since fuel now costs ridiculous amounts, mainly due to tax, I have been making an effort to drive less :(

The Saab has therefore done relatively little, only going out once/week.

Managed some good mpg coming back from Gloucester and sitting at 55mph on the M5 with the lorries… Didn’t reset the trip computer but the instantaneous display was in the 40-45 mpg range.

In one of my infrequent reads of UKSaabs I spotted a meet which was local to me, so will be going along to that.

Since I had some leave to use, I took a Friday off, an decided to give the car an even more thorough clean than usual. Following the purchase of a new sponge (when I realised I had no spares and had used the old one to clean my spare set of wheels), the cleaning began.

1) Wash with Autoglym car shampoo
2) Dry
3) Clean all door sills, boot, east to access bits of engine bay
4) Coat of Autoglym super-resin polish to bodywork
5) Remove polish
6) Super resin polish around doors/frame, and bits of engine bay
7) More polish removing
8) Coat of Autoglym high-gloss protection
9) Buff
10) 2nd Coat of Autoglym high-gloss protection
11) Buff
12) Vinyl and rubber care on interior and some exterior plastics
13) Glass cleaner on all glass

No need to treat the leather seats since I did those a while back.

Doh number 1. When cleaning the car, I spotted the start of rust at the leading edge of the front driver’s side wing, where it meets the sidelight cluster. This is the wing I spent a lot of money on very recently getting rust repaired. I should have just sourced new wings. No more rust repairs for me, it will be new wings, but they can wait until post-Ring since I need to watch my pennies. It is only the start of visible rust so I can’t imagine it doing much over summer.

This also got me thinking about how much I spend on this car, how much I use it, how little it will be worth when I come to sell it, and whether I should switch to something like an Evo or Subaru instead…

While all this polishing was going on, I remembered the weather forecast for the weekend was rain and strong winds. It was therefore inevitable that my car, while spotlessly clean now, would by the time of the Saab meet be very dirty. And I don’t have time to clean it in such an extreme manner very often.

I therefore decided to try and get the Saab into the garage. This is a single garage, accessed from my narrow driveway, and over the years has become cluttered with stuff. I know the car fits, even with my work-desk at the end of the garage, since it has been in the garage at some time in the past, although must be more than 4 years ago. That was when I had a far emptier garage.

Much tidying commenced, with careful arrangement and the rejection of some things I won’t use again, a good space was cleared.

A friend came over, and with little effort, the Saab wa in the garage, room to get out fairly easily, and a good 1 1/2 inches of space between the garage door and the rear bumper.

Car in garage

I then placed a range of old blankets/curtains over the car to keep dust/dirt off, and all was done :)

Now for the second Doh.

I haev 3 spare interior doors which were given to me with the intention of being used in my house. This never happened, and they have lived in the garage. These were stacked alongside the car in-line with the passenger door as can be seen here:

Side of Saab

The weather on Sunday was windy, very windy. We had some plants to put in the garden so the garage door was open to access tools etc. As we stood by the end of the car, a strong gust of wind caught the doors, and they fell slowly onto the car, with the door handle making contact with the passenger door. Unable to get to the doors in time I watched this them fall with resignation, and went over to shift the doors back up.

The handle had made a dent in the passenger door, but it is very small, can only be seen from certain angles, and hasn’t marked the paint. I think the bulk of the weight was taken evenly on the edge of the roof, which was ok due to being protected by a blanket. Still really annoyed, but I think I got away lightly.

The doors are now in my dining room, and I intend to get rid of them soon on freecycle or similar, as well as other things such as 75kg of ballast, sand and cement which were leftover from fence building.

The car may come out on Friday if the weather is good, otherwise I will be waiting until Sunday and a chance to meet new Saab owners.

I’ll keep an eye out for wings, but I am not in a hurry. I may try to keep the car in the garage more, but it does cause issues with getting to bikes and other bits and pieces. Depends how easy it is to roll the car backwards a few feet to get to things at the back of the garage…

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