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Thread: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary.

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  1. #1 Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
    regular forum contributor Club Member
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    Hello there! As some of you may know from the new members forum, I have recently purchased a Sierra based Berlinetta, which I plan to hang on to for the foreseeable future. Given the car's age and apparent 8 previous keepers it seems to be in fair running order, with the odd patch of rust, bubbling paint and tired looking suspension (all to be expected I suppose). I'm planning on restoring parts of the car piece by piece whilst attempting to keep it in usable running order, as I would rather drive it than have it sat for months on end (however knowing myself it is likely to end with a full teardown). Of course this is all going to be funds and time dependant so there will be times of quick progression as well as stagnant ones. This thread is going to be an attempt to document any minor/major tasks carried out on the car from here on out. Will keep you posted!
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  2. #2 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member listerjp2's Avatar
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    Hi

    Albeit I am a Roadster Owner I always find these build diaries facinating.

    Look forward to seeing updates.

    Adrian



    Quote Originally Posted by pyrovee View Post
    Hello there! As some of you may know from the new members forum, I have recently purchased a Sierra based Berlinetta, which I plan to hang on to for the foreseeable future. Given the car's age and apparent 8 previous keepers it seems to be in fair running order, with the odd patch of rust, bubbling paint and tired looking suspension (all to be expected I suppose). I'm planning on restoring parts of the car piece by piece whilst attempting to keep it in usable running order, as I would rather drive it than have it sat for months on end (however knowing myself it is likely to end with a full teardown). Of course this is all going to be funds and time dependant so there will be times of quick progression as well as stagnant ones. This thread is going to be an attempt to document any minor/major tasks carried out on the car from here on out. Will keep you posted!
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  3. #3 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
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    Well a few things came in the post today, granted just the basics but I thought I would keep this thread updated as it is going to be for my own record as well as for those viewing. I'm under the impression that this was once a very loved car that may have been neglected by more recent owners, however this is pure speculation based on the condition. As some of you may be aware from my other thread, the current tyres are 10 years old and whilst there is little tread wear on them, they are cracked beyond belief, further inspection really showed that I may have been fortunate to get home without incident. I have ordered 5 new toyo tyres (budget limitations at present) in a slightly different size to the original vredesteins fitted but some quick measurements proved they will be a perfect fit. The speedometer is also knackered so that is also in the cards to be replaced which ties in well, as I don't like the look of the dash much anyway. I also drained the oil and replaced the filter too, thought that I may as well whilst there.

    This was the state of the old air filter on the carbs:
    IMG_20180213_113824.jpg

    Fairly sure that is some sort of rodent poop in there however I cannot confirm

    Nice new shiny air filer on:

    IMG_20180213_114533.jpg

    I'll need to source a 90 degree elbow of some sort to plug the oil breather tube in there, but I can't imagine it will be too hard to find. After I had the basics out of the way I had a look around the interior. The rear seats had a brown carpet on them which I decided to pull out as it was covered in hair and stank of dog. Under that I found this hinge thing. I assumed that it was just a way of making the seats fit to the correct angle however there were cutouts to lift it past the seat belt rollers.. but it wouldn't lift all the way up..

    Screen.jpg

    Upon lifting them up though, I found that the seat belts for the passengers had been cut . There was also a stray blue electrical wire that disappeared into the centre console and past the handbrake. I still have no idea what it goes to.

    However, when following the blue cable though I did discover the car's sound system -

    IMG_20180213_224042.jpg

    - which has been removed.



    The gear knob was also very loose and span round and pulled off when attempting to change gears. This however made me incredibly happy as it finally gave me an excuse to purchase a gear knob that I had been after for years and years - To conclude I fitted my new (somewhat incredibly tacky) prize possession to the gear stick.

    IMG_20180212_103131.jpg

    More to come soon hopefully!
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  4. #4 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
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    Poor Berli, such neglect! You are saving another car from the scrapyard - good work.
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  5. #5 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
    frequent forum contributor Club Member b_caswell's Avatar
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    You may find the 1st July 2013 MOT report will give some idea of the cars past.
    Ben Caswell probably not the last word on anything here!!
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  6. #6 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
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    You’re absolutely right! That July MOT does not shine good light on the cars history at all…I also think that the MOT garage used by the previous owner must have been a good friend as when I checked the car more thoroughly I did find a few things that should have failed it. Such things included the nearside indicator not working, causing the front one to flash more rapidly, all of the tyres being cracked and bulged beyond belief (as mentioned) and also the speedo not working – which I do find suspicious (and also surprising that the garage didn’t pick up on the fact that the odometer has read the same for years now…) However I have what I have now and am prepared to keep working till she’s up to standard.

    A more in depth description of my Tyre hunting: I checked up on a few tyre options to see what was available and suited the overall look of the car, I did have the option to go for the Verdesteins again but I had found numerous complaints online about random bulging and pinching on the walls, plus they were over my planned budget. I had originally found a few alternatives online made by Maxxis, HiFly, Federal and some other obscure names that I had never heard of. Out of these the Maxxis sounded pretty decent as my local tyre dealer swears by them, however were marked as light commercial/van tyres. I called about six different tyre dealers to inquire about fitting these sort of tyres to a relatively light kit car and the answer from all of them was a pretty solid "I wouldn't recommend it". From the info I gathered, the commercial type tyres made for vans are triple ply and indeed harder to provide increased mileage at the cost of lower speeds and lower grip. I found a brilliant website that would tell you similar size tyres to the ones you have fitted - https://tiresize.com/tyre-size-calculator/ and found the cheapest options were all 205/70/15. As a past owner of an MKIII Mr2 the name Toyo shone out above all the rest for grip (albeit being a "softer" tyre). These however were listed as Suv tyres..... SO after a couple more phone calls, I was told that they should be more acceptable on a kit car than van tyres, particularly as Toyo were again "softer". I bit the bullet and bought five online from MyTyres sent directly to me rather than a "fully fitted" price - as I knew I could have the local do them cheaper. Saved me a few hundred quid from the Vredesteins. So all fitted and the clearances seem ok, although the front ones do protrude slightly, which isn't the end of the world I guess. Took a quick 30 mile joyride to break them in a bit more (and recalibrate the speedo) - overall I think they are a bit louder than the originals, but I cannot fault the grip thus far. I will keep an update of the overall performance but at present I am pretty pleased.

    IMG_20180217_151713.jpg
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  7. #7 Re: Sierra Based Berlinetta Diary. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrovee View Post
    You’re absolutely right! That July MOT does not shine good light on the cars history at all…I also think that the MOT garage used by the previous owner must have been a good friend as when I checked the car more thoroughly I did find a few things that should have failed it. Such things included the nearside indicator not working, causing the front one to flash more rapidly, all of the tyres being cracked and bulged beyond belief (as mentioned) and also the speedo not working – which I do find suspicious (and also surprising that the garage didn’t pick up on the fact that the odometer has read the same for years now…) However I have what I have now and am prepared to keep working till she’s up to standard.

    A more in depth description of my Tyre hunting: I checked up on a few tyre options to see what was available and suited the overall look of the car, I did have the option to go for the Verdesteins again but I had found numerous complaints online about random bulging and pinching on the walls, plus they were over my planned budget. I had originally found a few alternatives online made by Maxxis, HiFly, Federal and some other obscure names that I had never heard of. Out of these the Maxxis sounded pretty decent as my local tyre dealer swears by them, however were marked as light commercial/van tyres. I called about six different tyre dealers to inquire about fitting these sort of tyres to a relatively light kit car and the answer from all of them was a pretty solid "I wouldn't recommend it". From the info I gathered, the commercial type tyres made for vans are triple ply and indeed harder to provide increased mileage at the cost of lower speeds and lower grip. I found a brilliant website that would tell you similar size tyres to the ones you have fitted - https://tiresize.com/tyre-size-calculator/ and found the cheapest options were all 205/70/15. As a past owner of an MKIII Mr2 the name Toyo shone out above all the rest for grip (albeit being a "softer" tyre). These however were listed as Suv tyres..... SO after a couple more phone calls, I was told that they should be more acceptable on a kit car than van tyres, particularly as Toyo were again "softer". I bit the bullet and bought five online from MyTyres sent directly to me rather than a "fully fitted" price - as I knew I could have the local do them cheaper. Saved me a few hundred quid from the Vredesteins. So all fitted and the clearances seem ok, although the front ones do protrude slightly, which isn't the end of the world I guess. Took a quick 30 mile joyride to break them in a bit more (and recalibrate the speedo) - overall I think they are a bit louder than the originals, but I cannot fault the grip thus far. I will keep an update of the overall performance but at present I am pretty pleased.

    IMG_20180217_151713.jpg
    Is this of interest .... taken at Newark some years ago.I went away and decided to buy one myself
    i100_0193.JPG100_0192.JPG
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