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My Serenade


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Hi everyone, looks like I'm finally getting around to starting on this thing. Going has been slow so far due to financial factors (as always), but I finally have enough resources to get going. First of all, the car:




Previously owned by my granddad (herein Jim) who sadly passed away a year and a half ago. Owned by him from new, it was kept in a garage and driven very little over the last 8 years or so. Although I didn't have a license at the time (despite being in my late 20's, sue me, lol), I couldn't let this near rust-free car be sold on; and so when asked if I would like it I said yes. Took my test last year and I've been driving now about 5-6 months. Decided to do the car up a bit, and protect it, and then got hooked by every escort related forum I visited. Working on it with the help of my 10 year old nephew, Matthew.


It is a 1.6 16v Serenade. N reg. Nouveau Red (the annoyingly rare colour). I'd go as far as to say that this is possibly the last nouveau serenade on the road. It comes with ghia style front and rear chrome as standard, as well as passenger airbag, and a heated front windscreen. It had done 76k miles when it came to me. The fogs were not standard, and were added and wired last year using a pepper red bumper courtesy of Wayne. You can just about see the colour difference in this light between pepper and nouveau red, but in other conditions it is strikingly obvious. I plan to paint both the front and rear bumper when the mechanicals and body work are up to scratch.


In the time since last November it has unfortunately stood on my driveway without the protection of a garage. The result is that underbody rust problems have gotten much worse, as illustrated in my other thread, although the interior is still immaculate as you can see:







There was one spot of rust inside the boot, which is obviously the result of something heavy being loaded into the boot and then smacking the wall at some point. I've ground this down today with an angle grinder ready for filling, priming and painting at a later day. Wayoyled for now to prevent further corrosion.




Going to spend the day cleaning and waxoyling the interior, and then re-laying the carpet and fitting the seats. I've picked up a bargain set of rs2000 recaros in raven flow which are ready to go in.


Those with a keen eye will notice the body-coloured dash modification I did last year. It looks good, but I do plan on replacing it with something else. I'll show some pics when I can.



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Pics of the seats please :pancake: Also, unless you got a bit 'happy' with the grinder and put massive gouges in the metal, for where it is its noth worth filling e.t.c Just paint it as its covered by carpet or trim........isnt it :thumb:


Haha. Nah, as much as i love using it, I wasn't that happy with it. And you're right. Now that I realise it, it's going to be covered by the boot lining.


I'll see how OCD I am when I come to do it. Might just want it as smooth as possible for the sake of having a 'pristine' car. If i'm in a lazy mood, then i'll just paint it and cover it, lol.


I'll get pics of the recaros soon. Full front and back, with a few bits of minimal damage: small (one cm) tear on the rear of the passenger seat that I can stick down and touch up, and the right cog-cover has snapped off so I'm going to replace that with a functional cog taken from the old seats. Other than that, and needing a bit of a clean up, they're pretty mint.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Well it's been a hell of a long time, but i've finally come to work on my beloved mk6 again. What can I say; life, love, misery and money always gets in the way, doesn't it?


Okay! So... here's the car as it sits right now:




There have been a few changes since my last post. Three of the four doors have been replaced entire. I managed to source (god knows how; luck was on my side i guess) a pair of N reg mk6's in nouveau red being broken. I really can't stress how much of a pain in the ass it is to find parts in this colour. Imagine my delight when i found one of the two was a Ghia with body coloured bump strips, handles, and electric mirrors.


Between the two, I obtained most of the bump strips (one was wrecked) and three perfect doors. Previously, my o/s doors had a shallow but noticeable scrape right along the bottom half, and my n/s front had a a rather nasty gauge from a small bump years ago. The replacement doors were a steal, so i snapped them up. In the pic you can see the rear door is still awaiting the correct handle and bump strip - I'll get around to it.


You may well notice i'm missing a bumper, grille, lights, and front wheels. I had a nastly little bump myself a few months back and left half of my front bumper in a car park. I'm taking the opportunity to sort out whatever surface rust and hose leaks I can whilst the old bumper is off. As soon as the heavens stop pissing on me i'll be taking the wheel arch guards off and giving the inside of the front wings/arches the same kind of rust treatment.


Arches are in good condition, but sadly my bump left a crumpled dent in the front o/s quarter panel. I don't have a pic of this right now, but i'm going to attempt a repair by knocking it out with a rubber mallet and some home made dollies. So look forward to my car looking like this one:




A word on replacing the front doors: Bizarrely, my mk6 had different window regulators for each of the front doors. One of them took M6 bolts, which made it much easier to bolt the regulator back on. You can see the M6 threaded holes here: (not the rubber standoffs)




Rather than re-rivet the rubber 'mounts' to the door frame, I marked up the M6 holes using grease on the end of some pre-fitted bolts. Here the bolts are threaded in 'reverse' so i can position the regulator against the door and locate the necessary holes.




I then drilled out the areas marked by the grease and used these holes to mount the regulator using bolts alone. Much more convenient:




The same was achieved with the window guides - bolts were used instead of rivets. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the o/s window regulator. This had a plastic frame rather than all metal. There were a number sections of this frame with part-drilled holes of the approximately required size, so I ran these straight through with the correct drill bit and then repeated the process above; the only difference being I had to use nuts with these bolts as the holes were unthreaded. You can see the n/s result as well as the window guide bolted on here:




Note that the scratches will need touching up to avoid rusting. This has yet to be done. Door cards have yet to go back on as well. All in good time.


Plans are now, in the short term, to have the new bumper painted (when fitted) and a small bit of rust on the rear chassis rail welded. The worst of this rust is shown here:




Once that's done, i'll be treating the entire underbody to some thoroughly acid-etchy goodness and underseal. I want this car to last for at least another couple of years, so I'm going to be very thorough when it comes to rust-proofing. I'll be taking off the fuel tank and treating that separately.


There is then a list as long as my arm of changes ready to be made. Most of the bits i've already acquired and are sitting in my house, the rest i'll likely be picking up in the coming week. They include:


  • New exhaust: Stainless scorpion catback acquired from byrnes a number of months ago.
  • -40mm suspension, gmax (i think?) again acquired from byrnes way back when.
  • Rear rs2k disc beam setup. (Possibly, looking into purchase as we speak)
  • Front rs2k discs/calipers or st170. Undecided yet.
  • Sideskirts/spats/spoiler - all waiting here to be painted and fitted.


I fitted my recaro's a good number of months back but have yet to take any pictures of them. They're in pretty good condition, and are damn comfy - I do recommend them! Plans for the 'distant' future (once the above is completed) include:


  • New head unit, speakers, sub and all that malarkey.
  • A nexus 7 tablet permanently mounted in the dash, in place of the centre vents and heater controls - really looking forward to this one, already have a spare dash standing by for cutting and molding. The tablet will be wired power-wise and likely connect via bluetooth to the headunit. I'll be using it for music, sat nav, internet etc etc.
  • Relocation of the heater controls.
  • At a later date - addition of a raspberry pi micro-computer to take input from 'third party' sensors as well as the ECU, and give running data on a small LCD as well as handle climate control. This is way off as its a rather involved project in itself - I may or may not decide to follow through with it.


I'd love to drop a two litre lump in there, but lets get the car back on the tarmac first eh, lol. I'm looking to get a 2 litre silvertop at some point and do a complete stripping and restoration as a separate part time project in my shed. Should be fun.


Anyway, thats all! I'll keep ya posted; I'm sure at least one unfortunate member will click through this thread now and then...


Thanks for reading!



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Today I drained the coolant system ready for flushing, and had a go at 'beating' my nasty little dent back into shape. Now there's still plenty to be done with this, in terms of smoothing out the creases etc, but I ran out of daylight. I think it's going okay so far, but do be honest. Apologies for the poor picture quality; it was dark and I'm using a potato until I can get my good cam powered up again.


Oh, and I've never done any body work in my life - so go easy on me, lol. :))


Before... (This is the front o/s quarter panel)








And as it stands now (albeit in the dark)...










Like I said, far from finished.


I'm going to be getting the quarter panel painted with the new bumper when I take the car in for welding, so while i've been careful with the paint in the area, i'm not too worried about the surface. I'm more concerned with the shape. After a couple of hours with multiple make-shift rigs (a clamp, together with an old steel ruler, a block of wood, a steel hammer, a 1lb rubber mallet) I've got the general shape back as it should be.


Next non-rainy day I get i'll go over it a lot more patiently with a lot of smaller clamps and steel rulers, attempting to ease out those creases. The 'notch' you can see at the bottom of what used to be the dent is an optical illusion caused by the flaking paint; that part of the arch is reasonably flush.


The good news is that underneath the arch-lining I didn't find a bit of rush, which is odd because there's a section elsewhere on the wing which is starting to bubble under the paint. I'll take a look in the daytime again, but I saw no rust whatsoever (surface or otherwise) under that arch lining. :S


Anyway. Comments and advise very welcome. In particular if anybody has any advice about smoothing out those small creases then please speak up! (They really are small - the lines in the paint caused by the original dent make it look much worse than it is).


Cheers again all,


Here's to no bloody rain!



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Small update! Finally got my old fuji camera going again so the pictures are much better quality now. Here's how she sat this morning:




Now the little knock I took earlier in the year bent part of the o/s light fitting and left room for rust to creep in. The result was this:




Which after a bit of a cleanup, looked like this:




The radiator mount towards the bottom of the car also had some rust due to a loose jubilee clip:




Long story short; I decided to sand down and treat the whole front end while the bumper was off. I used that hydrate 80 stuff i've seen mentioned elsewhere, and it really is excellent. Here it is on the car:




And a close up of it around the damaged area (It looks like a thinner coat because this side was applied and thus 'dried' first):




How it looks when it first goes on (n/s - also had a little bit of rust damage):




H80 requires a 24 hour period before painting over, so once this was applied I turned my attention to the front wheel arches, removing the arch lining and inspecting for rust. As you can see from the following pics, for a 17 year old car the front end is surprisingly rust free! I'm pretty chuffed, to say the least. There are a few ningly little bits that I'll go over when I get another dry day, and then i'll give each arch another lick of paint.








I also turned my attention to the two front doors, which needed some scratch-filling inside and out. The insides aren't going to be seen, of course, so I just slapped it on without much care. On the outside, I had my first go of prime-filling this rather baffling cluster of scratches around the passenger lock. F*ck knows how these happened (it's a donor door). Perhaps the previous owner was blind? And drunk?


You can see i've just started below, hopefully the 'after' pic tomorrow will be much better.




A word on Halfords 'nouveau red' paint - don't use it. I have one grey bump strip to body-colour and decided i'd have a go myself. The finish/paint is fine but the colour is far from the nouveau of my car. I've decided i'll just take the strip down to the bodyshop when I have the new bumper painted, and ask them to do it at the same time.




Finally - here are some pictures of the ongoing work on that o/s quarter panel. As you can see the 'crumple point' still needs a lot of smoothing off, but I think I have the actual line of the arch pretty spot on now. Hopefully I can improve on this over the weekend before I bolt her all back together.









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Good work. Just knock out as much as poss so you have to use as little filler as you can.


On the paint point... the colour problem ocurs on pepper red also. ( See scottybo's sideskirts) I got around this by using black basecoat then the red over the top. As you can see through the paint it needs a dark base or will look too light. Just a little future tip to remember ;)

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Good work. Just knock out as much as poss so you have to use as little filler as you can.


On the paint point... the colour problem ocurs on pepper red also. ( See scottybo's sideskirts) I got around this by using black basecoat then the red over the top. As you can see through the paint it needs a dark base or will look too light. Just a little future tip to remember ;)


Cheers for that. I'm going to get this bump strip painted along with the front bumper now (which is new and freshly primed - couldn't find a good one pre-painted).


I do have side skirts, spats, and a spoiler to paint and fit at a later date. I can't get them painted just yet as they need a bit of prep work. I'll certainly remember your tip if I rattle can them myself; but with the price of decent paint, and the number of coats required, I'm wondering if it might be just as 'cheap' to drop them in at the bodyshop again some time in the future. Certainly save me a lot of hassle. I'll try and find a quote and go from there.

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Quick update before I go out there with the hammerite. Here's how the H80 left me o/s slam panel this morning. As you can see the surface rust has been eaten away. A protective 'film' can be felt all along the slam panel and surrounding area, so it does seem to be doing its job. Unfortunately we had heavy rain this morning and this may have impacted the finish.




Now I know you experienced body-workers will be cringing at me painting right over that, but I'm on a strict budget and time period here, owing to bigger priorities (which you'll see in a moment). I'm planning on taking a welding course at the next available opportunity, and then i'll revisit the front end some time next spring; (hopefully!) cutting and replacing tin wherever needed.


The bad news is the back end. I knew it needed attention back in Feb, but while the original problem area hasn't worsened all too much, the very back of the chassis rail (just infront of the bumper) is in a right state. The following pictures are both o/s:






I'm looking to get this sorted next week if I can find a body shop to fit me in. The rear arches need a bit of work, but nothing too drastic. The n/s chassis rail is nowhere near as bad but needs attention:




There is a silver lining, however. The underbody itself is surprisingly immaculate. After reviewing stichills RS2000 build I started to panic about my front arch rails. As you'll see from the following pics, both near side and off side, as well as the floor of the car are all in pretty good condition.


n/s arch rail:




n/s underbody:




n/s mid-front rail (surface rust due to repeated jacking):




o/s arch rail:




o/s mid-front rail (again, rust due to jacking):




o/s underbody:




Oh, and some pillock (me) tried to scissor-jack this big hulk of iron when he first got the car. The result is a twisted bit of side... sill... thingy... whatever you call them:




That's about all in terms of rust damage to the car. There are a few other little spots around the door frames etc that i'll be able to tackle myself, but i'm hoping it wont cost me too much to sort out those rear arches. Input welcome! Put my mind at rest! lol.


Okay, going out to start on the rest...




EDIT: Should read 'hope it wont cost too much to sort out those rear chassis rails'.

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