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I have decided to get my 03 TF 160 back on the road. She has been standing for several years whilst the chaos that is our life took over. Where do I start?
I’m no mechanic with limited knowledge and budget, a garage’s dream customer. Obviously it’s as dead as the proverbial dodo electrically, there is a rotten spot on the front ds wheel arch. When last used everything was ok, I mothballed it for the winter.
Where do I start?
 

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I have decided to get my 03 TF 160 back on the road. She has been standing for several years whilst the chaos that is our life took over. Where do I start?
I’m no mechanic with limited knowledge and budget, a garage’s dream customer. Obviously it’s as dead as the proverbial dodo electrically, there is a rotten spot on the front ds wheel arch. When last used everything was ok, I mothballed it for the winter.
Where do I start?
Oh my! Where do I start? As you know- this is going to cost money and you would be better getting someone local to assist. you dont say what part of the world you are in and COVID restrictions will limit whats reasonable in respect to the law.

I used to have a squadron of Hillman Imps and bought a Stiletto from a guy who had left it in his front garden for 10 years. It took me over a year to get it back on the road- but I was passionate about originality. The engine was mechanically siezed and i wanted that engine to be back and running rather than a 980cc block, which were available at the time , ex Chrysler.

Anyway- If its in a garage- then all the better but if not, then its not going to be in good shape.
  • You need to make sure it can be moved
  • You need to make sure the egine can be rotated
  • The fuel needs draining
  • The oil/filter need replacing
  • The plugs need to come out and some oil dropped down the bores if point 9 isn’t fatal.
  • The alternator brushes are possibly seized, so they will need replacing or the alternator scrapping.
  • The clutch will be seized on
  • The brakes will be the same and need fettling
  • The underfloor pipes may have rotted out- add that to the list and the head gasket may have allowed OAT or worse to enter the head.

This is a first stab at what’s likely to be only the start of it. Its not the end of the world for someone that knows what they are doing and a few have ‘inherited’ similar.

You will have to work out if the cars worth all this or sell it as is...someone will buy it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh my! Where do I start? As you know- this is going to cost money and you would be better getting someone local to assist. you dont say what part of the world you are in and COVID restrictions will limit whats reasonable in respect to the law.

I used to have a squadron of Hillman Imps and bought a Stiletto from a guy who had left it in his front garden for 10 years. It took me over a year to get it back on the road- but I was passionate about originality. The engine was mechanically siezed and i wanted that engine to be back and running rather than a 980cc block, which were available at the time , ex Chrysler.

Anyway- If its in a garage- then all the better but if not, then its not going to be in good shape.
  • You need to make sure it can be moved
  • You need to make sure the egine can be rotated
  • The fuel needs draining
  • The oil/filter need replacing
  • The plugs need to come out and some oil dropped down the bores if point 9 isn’t fatal.
  • The alternator brushes are possibly seized, so they will need replacing or the alternator scrapping.
  • The clutch will be seized on
  • The brakes will be the same and need fettling
  • The underfloor pipes may have rotted out- add that to the list and the head gasket may have allowed OAT or worse to enter the head.

This is a first stab at what’s likely to be only the start of it. Its not the end of the world for someone that knows what they are doing and a few have ‘inherited’ similar.

You will have to work out if the cars worth all this or sell it as is...someone will buy it!
Thank you. It’s outside, so worst case scenario :( I’d assumed the brakes will have seized during that time. I know it had all the coolant system overhauled and stainless steel pipes fitted. It won’t be a quick job as it will be down to money, but I’d love to see her running again. I’m in the heart of England right now.
 

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Thank you. It’s outside, so worst case scenario :( I’d assumed the brakes will have seized during that time. I know it had all the coolant system overhauled and stainless steel pipes fitted. It won’t be a quick job as it will be down to money, but I’d love to see her running again. I’m in the heart of England right now.
Thats a good thing, but you can do a lot to help yourself on this. You dont have to be a mechanic and quite a few on here have learnt through asking.
Id been more concerned about draing fuel and loss of coolant. Is the Expansion bottle empty?
 

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what do you mean by dead? Have you changed the battery or tried a jump start, if so does it turn over? Also I doubt the brakes will sized to badly. Speaking from experience, my XR stood outside for six years. With a new battery it started on the second try and then promptly ran out of fuel whilst moving it. Rust however was a different matter.
 

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I’d be very cautious trying to start the engine if it’s been stood several years without some care. There’s a guy on here that’s run his one out of fuel and he’s having grief. This ones been sat. Last thing you want is water in the bores. I’ve asked him if he’s still got water in the expansion tank.
I agree that after a short Layup you might be lucky- I’ve done it with bikes before due to bans- but ‘several years’
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats a good thing, but you can do a lot to help yourself on this. You dont have to be a mechanic and quite a few on here have learnt through asking.
Id been more concerned about draing fuel and loss of coolant. Is the Expansion bottle empty?
I’ll check tomorrow - it’s taken all afternoon to find the keys! My son is bringing a friend over who a trainee mechanic. Hopefully he’s going to free the brakes and drain the fuel. Thank you so much for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I’ll check tomorrow - it’s taken all afternoon to find the keys! My son is bringing a friend over who a trainee mechanic. Hopefully he’s going to free the brakes and drain the fuel. Thank you so much for your help.
Not yet obviously, but I’m trying to get organised and hopefully get her back on thr road in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what do you mean by dead? Have you changed the battery or tried a jump start, if so does it turn over? Also I doubt the brakes will sized to badly. Speaking from experience, my XR stood outside for six years. With a new battery it started on the second try and then promptly ran out of fuel whilst moving it. Rust however was a different matter.
It’s been stood for 5+ years. New battery will be on the shopping list. Apart from 1 wheel arch rust doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem. The brakes are seized and tyres are very unhealthy. I don’t want to try starting her without checking if the engine hasn’t seized.
 

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It’s been stood for 5+ years. New battery will be on the shopping list. Apart from 1 wheel arch rust doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem. The brakes are seized and tyres are very unhealthy. I don’t want to try starting her without checking if the engine hasn’t seized.
If there is no obvious water loss then Id remove the plugs and put a small drop of oil down each bore, only about 5ml in each and leave the plugs out and overnight. Then from the o/s, remove the rear wheeel once propped securely on axle stands and try move the engine out of gear obviously and see if it will move. Dont let the 'trainee-mechanic 'whack a battery onm it and try to start it!
The brakes are not an issue. They are just a bit of cleaning and elbow grease/swearing. I replaced the rears on my one as the handbrake mechanism was unreliable. Discs are not expensive, but make a list and Id suggest getting it started is the most important thing.
 
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Personally I would give it a go on the starter after first takeing out the plugs and see what happens.
My concern steaming in is the clutch jammed. Hence he’s left it 5 years, a bit of time teasing it won’t hurt. We know how expensive they are to repair. It’s going to need a cam belt and water pump at the very least.
 
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A few years ago I had a similar story to tell with my F that was just left outside on the drive for about 3 years and nearly ended up in the scrapyard a couple of times.
I put a new battery on her and had to use the EKA code to bypass the immobiliser and hey on the first turn of the key she started.
About a week later after a bit of tlc she went through the mot with no issue.
I also am not mechanically minded but this forum was invaluable.
 

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As has been said, this is a very open ended situation, and will need hands -on input on a local level. The services/opinion of a trained mechanic might be a bonus, but if this were mine, and I wasn’t mechanically minded, then my first port of call would be to get in touch with the principals of any local classic car clubs, and explain your situation. The objective would be to find an enthusiastic member there who knows his way around older/classic vehicles, and would be prepared to be ‘your mechanic’ on an suitable as-and-when, semi commercial basis.
I feel the list of do s/don’t s / check this will simply confuse you, and more to the point, will damped your enthusiasm. A keen local knowledgeable enthusiast will be worth a hundred suggestions of how to go about this.
In reality, the task is to get the car inspected, decide whether it’s recommissioning is an economic proposition, then set about that recommissioning and servicing procedure, in a structured manner. Your can act as ‘Project Manager‘ as they say!
In terms of parts, again if it were mine, I would be buying quality parts at best possible prices, on the basis of buy once and wisely.
Good luck and kind regards,
Austin.

recommission the car
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If there is no obvious water loss then Id remove the plugs and put a small drop of oil down each bore, only about 5ml in each and leave the plugs out and overnight. Then from the o/s, remove the rear wheeel once propped securely on axle stands and try move the engine out of gear obviously and see if it will move. Dont let the 'trainee-mechanic 'whack a battery onm it and try to start it!
The brakes are not an issue. They are just a bit of cleaning and elbow grease/swearing. I replaced the rears on my one as the handbrake mechanism was unreliable. Discs are not expensive, but make a list and Id suggest getting it started is the most important thing.
No obvious water loss (still nice pink in expansion chamber) no water in oil - definitely no mayonnaise. Another issue found - I have no idea of the whereabouts of the locking wheel nut key.
 

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Try the boot between the two rear lights - tucked away behind the steel bracing? If lost, possible to get a new one if you have the key ref number.
 

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No. It came on a card headed 'Security Information'. It is a 2 digit code in the box headed 'LockingWheel Nut No'.It should be with the car handbook and service record, if anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No. It came on a card headed 'Security Information'. It is a 2 digit code in the box headed 'LockingWheel Nut No'.It should be with the car handbook and service record, if anywhere.
I’ve found a socket with a bar either side in where the spare wheel should be.
 
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