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TOPIC: Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today

Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 2 weeks 4 days ago #39534

Hi,
I'm in need of a little help.
My car has not been on the road since 2011, i purchased it from a friend in 2016. (Its a 1989 bertone 1500) I've been working on it for the last 2 years or so when i can find the time (and when its warm enough), it failed its MOT today on a few minor things, (when i say minor - the headlight aim was a little low (adjusted in minutes) and one of the gators on the steering rack was a little loose, sorted that with a jubilee clip). Plus a couple of other things.
i've sorted all but 2 things. Firstly they couldn't check the emissions as the car was idling at about 1100rpm, (they want something like 800 rpm) i can get it to idle about as low as 950 -1000 but with it sounding like its on 3 cylinders and trying to stall, the only thing is that to idle at this speed the dwell needs to be about 35 degrees (rather than 55) (i adjusted it by ear to get the smoothest and fasted idle then looked at the dwell meter) and the advance is at something like 25 degrees BTDC (supposed to be 5 degrees), and it drives fine with these settings pulling hard in all gears, although its running super rich - i mean my eyes are still burning after working on it all afternoon. So something is not right - will an engine run if the timing was out by 180 degrees and the dwell and advance are as far out as mine are? i didn't think it could as the spark plug would be firing on the exhaust stroke so wouldn't get any compression.
Tomorrow I'm going to check that my TDC is actually on the compression stroke and look for vacuum leaks around the carb (with a can of easy start - don't worry i do have a fire extinguisher on hand) is there anything else i should be doing?
The second issue was that the brakes were not good enough and the hand brake was not balanced across the rear wheels, i know how to adjust the hand brake and the pads are all new so just need bedding in a bit more, i've been driving up and down the lane behind my house and hitting the brakes to try and bed them in but the fronts want to lock up before the rears, i think i will load up with some ballast in the front boot to stop the fronts from locking up to give the rears a chance to bed in.
I've only got 7 days to get it re-tested wish me luck.
Thanks in advance
Matt
(picture attached waiting nervously before MOT) but i did have a blast getting there, and going round and round the block a few times getting home, its strange how you only see police cars when your're driving to or from MOT station without MOT or TAX. Got the all important insurance, or though not much use without the other 2.
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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 2 weeks 2 days ago #39537

From my experience if the dizzy is 180 out then it will pop and bang but not start. Regards the idle issue it could be a dirty carb which is common on cars sat idle for long periods. Treat it to a carb rebuild kit and blow out all the galleries with an air line. It would be worthwhile to replace any old ignition parts e.g plugs, leads, points etc and then set the ignition and carb back to the factory settings. Check the TDC if a new belt has been fitted. Often problems are often a combination of issues which can sort of be addressed by 'bodging' something else, but this makes the correct diagnosis difficult and so you are best starting from the beginning.
Front brakes should lock up before the rears for safety reasons, although an X1/9 is probably a bit too prone to this.

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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 1 week 6 days ago #39542

Success on the MOT retest......:)
There is one more x1/9 on the road (once i've taxed it), still idling a bit lumpy but i'm going to get it booked in for a rolling road session to get everything timed properly and get the carb jetted.
The gearbox needs a rebuild - got the common problem of crunching up into third and also down into second.
Anyone know of a good 5 speed gearbox for sale?

Thanks for your suggestions Speedy.

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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 1 week 6 days ago #39543

Great news, well done for getting it through the MOT.
Hopefully catch up with you during the summer.
Cheers
Andy

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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 1 week 5 days ago #39548

I have had similar problems with gearboxes and have found that getting a gearbox rebuilt for synchro issues is not that expensive. It cost me £150 and it works like new. The parts that wear can be fettled, reversed and other fixes if you have the knowledge. Having said that you may struggle to fin someone with the relevant knowledge to work on such old designs of gearbox. The company I used was www.thegearboxcentre.co.uk/

I hesitate at doing it myself as I don't know what could be reused and what acceptable wear looks like, but plenty of people have undertaken this job successfully.

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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 1 week 5 days ago #39550

Thanks again Speedy that's some very useful information, Northampton is not to far from me (i'm in Rugby). And for a price like that i'd be more than happy for someone else to do the work. I'm guessing you removed your gearbox and delivered it to them? how long ago was it that you had the work done?

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Not been on road since 2011 - Failed its MOT today 1 week 5 days ago #39551

Yes, I really removed the gearbox and delivered it to them. The work was a couple of years ago and cash was involved and so prices are likely to have risen. In my view it would still be worth it as any second hand gearbox is very likely to have the same problems, or soon will have, given the age of them.

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