Marie Louise – Maintenance Blog 2017 Part I – The basics

Can you own a classic car with almost zero technical skills?
Yes you can, especially when it is in good driving condition or when you have at least a membership to roadside assistance to feel more secure while driving.

But what if it is not entirely in good driving condition or you just do not know?  
Then it is still possible but you need to budget your (expected) repair work as well.

So with this blog I want to give you some better insight in costs and repairs made on me, so you can decide if this can also be a fun and affordable hobby for you (as a non-technical person).

Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on where you live. In Europe costs of spare parts are a bit comparable and for outsourced work the price highly depends on if you go to a professional garage, a local handy man or if you know a technical person who is willing to help you out.

Part 1, my 2017 repair, maintenance and improvement work.

I was bought in July 2017 after a test drive of 10 minute test drive by my current owner without any knowledge on my technical status or status of the body work. Since it was love at first sight, he just wanted to own and drive me and the car was delivered on a trailer to his home the week after.

Tip number 1: When buying a classic car always bring an expert with you who can better assess the status of the car or knows the specific pain points of the brand and type. Another option is to ask if you can have it inspected at a local garage before you decide to buy it to get better insight in potential future costs.

In my case this was done after the deal was done.

26 July 2017 – Technical inspection at P.B. Automotive in Voorschoten

Fortunately my engine started and was therefore in driving condition to go to a local garage for a technical inspection, the verdict:

Most importantly a hard bottom! Here and there some surface rust, but according to the mechanic this was a matter of using a wire brush for cleaning and then protection it with anti-rust.

Also some bolts, nuts were found with surface rust, so quite easy to do for someone with two left hands 

The brakes, still reasonable showing around 70% of breaking power

Main concerns:

  • The tires are very old and dried out, on the rear only 2 mm of profile so due for replacement.
  • A broken steering house cover (rubber) on the left front
  • A worn wheel bearing on the same side
  • Clutch plate or release bearing is worn and up for replacement
  • Engine does not run well, the mechanic could think of various reasons for spark plugs, clogged filter, valve adjustment, timing (early ignition), etc.

Costs: €65

18 August 2017 – Adjustment of valves and ignition

My owner found a classic coach online, somebody who can do the work or even better:

Instruct you how to do it and let you do the work your self so you can slowly learn things. Since the engine was not running smoothly we started with the basic maintenance principles.

Tip number 2: Adjusting the valves is something you do with a cool engine (not run for at least 6 hours) and should be part of your yearly maintenance for sure.

Values needed:
Inlet valves        (on the left site of the cylinder head)    – 0.10 mm
Outlet valves     (on the right site of the cylinder head) – 0.20 mm

After that we went to the ignition, which ignites also in the 1-3-4-2 order. The ignition needs to be on 8° or 10°  before the highest point of cylinder on is reached. I will post an instruction blog on both handlings in a later stage.

Costs: €70 (lesson and traveling allowance)

But these are costs you don’t have to make any more if you understand the principle

Potential costs (I just replaced them all and kept the old ones for spare):

  • €10 – Contact points:                 
  • €10 – Condensator:                               
  • €25 – Distribution rotor + cap
  • €10 – 4 spark plugs                                    

Costs: €55

06 September 2017 – Replacement of all liquids (oils, cooling solution, brake fluid) and filters.

Tip number three: With my current knowledge I would have done this on day 1, basically something I preventively do every 1-2 years now depending on the amount of mileage travelled. If the car has a known maintenance history you might skip this if recently done. Also by default replace the copper rings of the outlet plugs you unscrew.

Potential costs (I just replaced all of belwo since maintenance history unknown):  Costs:   €155        

  • €17 – Oil filter:                                             
  • €15 – Air filter:                                               
  • €10 – Valve cover gasket                       
  • €01 – Carter gasket                                     
  • €15 – 6x Oil plug 
  • €03 – 6x Copper ring for oil plug
  • €28 – Cardan oil rear axle                      
  • €30 – Engine and gear oil (20W50)     
  • €07 – Brake fluid                                        
  • €22 – Coolant fluid (10L)                                 
  • €07 – Greese tube 

Brake fluid is hygroscopic so attracts water. If you do not replace this every 2-3 years it can result in rusted breaking cylinders, especially when not driving for a while (e.g. winterstop).

II bought a bit more expensive coolant fluid, which is organic which is friendly for gaskets, hoses and good for our aluminum cylinder head. (Replaced every 5 years).

So on average around €95 per year if you replace the cardan oil rear axle and braking fluid every 2 years.

Tip number four: Be carefull with replacing the oil in the cardan of your back axle since there are two types of oil and these do not mix well. Will post about this soon

15 September 2017 – Replacement of oil plug and oil of the gearbox

Unfortunatly I had 1 oil plug in the gearbox which was mutilated in such a way I could not get it loose. At the timemy my owners tool collection was still limited and a poor floor jack gave limited space under the car it needed to outsourced.

Costs: €65

Marie Louise – Maintenance Blog 2017 Part II will follow soon
Sneak preview:

12+ 13 October 2017 – Replacement of Clutch plate, Clutch bearing and Pressure group

  • €80 – Clutch plate:                                     
  • €27 – Clutch bearing:                               
  • €145 – Pressure group                                              
  • €300 – Wage classic coach                        

 Costs: €552

20 September 2017 – Meguiar’s 5 Step Car Care Wash Cycle

Will be posted as an instruction blog – Costs: €38 on materials

 

So total costs made during 2017: €1000

Half of these costs were because of the clutch an investment not needed anymore for at least 15 years or longer (I hope & asume). If I compare the remainder of which most was preventive and compare this with the annual maintenance of my modern daily driver …

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