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Lannette: The rust and not ready build

Hi everybody!
(Insert Dr Nick wave)

Thought it was about time I started documenting my ownership and ongoing upkeep on my recently purchased K11, otherwise known as Lannette (play on using the letters in the licence plate).
Get comfy, grab a cuppa and a snack and hopefully you enjoy the journey.

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[Taken when I got it home]

Randomly scrolling through the online equivalent of the 'middle of lidl' otherwise known as Facebook marketplace, on a lazy Saturday afternoon and stumbled across an advert in my local area with the price attached to it of £350.

After a quick discussion with my partner about driveway space and the logistics of potentially having x3 cars and a motorcycle for one household if purchased, I was quickly advised that I would need to get rid of the currently owned ford fiesta, in order to take on a new car / ongoing project.

With the notes app swiftly opened on my phone and me beginning to write an advert for the ford fiesta to be sold and on it's merry way, a message was sent to the owner of the little red micra, advising I would be very interested in coming to view and test drive.

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[Taken when I got it home]

Now, the ad was as basic as you can get and stated:

> 1999 Equation
> Red
> 1.0L
> 150K Miles
> Runs and drives

If i'm honest, that was enough for me. I have wanted one of these cars for quite some time now ever since I stumbled across the forced induction side of the forums back in 2017 while on a student night out in Plymouth. This is also of course before the model became a little more popular due to certain youtube / tiktok videos making the price for them slowly increase! Quick GOV MOT history check looked good and for the past few years had only shown all cosmetic stuff (happy days).

Sunday 10/10/2021

Went to view and test drive the car. Upon arrival the car needed to be moved out of a garage and the owner advised a check engine light had "appeared while moving the car the day before" and that a mate was on his way with a code reader to see if the fault could be traced. Hmmm, clearly the lack of info and price on the advert was now starting to make sense.

Paintwork is rough in places. I cannot stand the door trims not running in line with each other, but that can be fixed at a later date.

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[Taken when I got it home]

The sellers mate showed up and was unable to plug his code reader into the ODB port as apparently the car needs one with a special adapter. Was advised by the kiddy, the reason for sale was due to him buying it for his younger brother off of the local council. The brother took one look at the car and said "not a chance i'm driving that" and thus after having it sitting in the garage, (a while by the sounds of it!) it was listed for sale. Undeterred by a check engine light and a clear fault I would need to trace and fix with little description of what it could be, I test drove the car and after seeing it in person really didn't want to walk away due to the price it had been advertised.

Personally I didn't notice anything wrong with the car on the test drive, so parked up and was ready to swap some cash for the V5. Seller then advised he had left the V5 at another address! So had to awkwardly leave me with his mate with the code reader, fetch it and come back...(Lovely kid, but either first time selling or spends a lot of time in the prone position - Bless him!)

Finally upon his return, cash, details and keys swapped, quick MTA on my insurance from the fiesta to the micra and I drove off +1 car up and with a slightly annoyed partner as the fiesta was still in my ownership.

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[Taken when I got it home]

This is where the fun begins!

While driving back, I noticed the temp gauge was a little above the normal 90 degrees / mid way point...and climbing.

Clearly I was not paying attention to this on the test drive! Also, not a good position to be in as I have a fair way to get this car back home. Just over 5 miles from where I purchased the car with the needle very close to tipping into the red section of the temp gauge, managed to pull into a local Esso to check the coolant and pick up some if required.

Checked the expansion tank, as expected - empty.

Picked up a bottle of 'Prestone' all make and model coolant (the only one they had) [£6.30/£356.30] and a drink for myself and brimmed the expansion tank after letting her and myself cool down. Set off once again, this time watching the temp gauge like a hawk. Same thing happened again, got to temp and started creeping past. Once again, pulled over to let car cool down, this time within reach of my parents house on the inevitable 3rd run. Managed to get it back without having to stop for a 4th time and decided it might be a good idea to chuck the rest of the coolant in the radiator instead.

Let the car cool down, opened the rad top (no mayo) and filled it with the remainder of the coolant. Looked under the car, no leaks. Odd, where is it going then if expansion is now full? Started the car up, coolant then decided to p### all over the floor from a leak that looks like it is coming from the bottom of the sump!?

Well, that's where its going then. Anyway, I had things to do, people to see, so I left the keys at the rents house and planned to pick it up another day to assess properly.

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[Taken when I got it home]

Sunday 17/10/2021

Picked up a tow pole from euros [£19.49/£375.79] in anticipation this would be the easiest and best way to get the car back to its permanent location. Roped in a mate to help me flat tow the car from my rents house to mine, just over 15 miles away!
07:00 on a Sunday morning, with not much traffic about to cause a major disturbance on the road, managed to get it back. 5-0 even drove past on the other side without a care in the world (Win!)

Right. Now to collect thoughts, do some research and find the best way of tackling the leak moving forward.

Saturday 30/10/2021

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Jacked the car up to get a better look. Front wheels off and driver side arch plastics off, decided to pour about 1 litre of water into the rad this time (rather than to purchase and waste even more coolant) and start the car to see where the leak was actually coming from. Got underneath and looks like it's coming from the water pump area as it's dripping down and coming from the corner of the sump directly underneath.

Okay, we have a starting point! Picked up a used Haynes manual online [£9.49/£385.28] put in a order to euros for belts and water pump [£40.28/£425.56] now
I just need to find some time to work on the damn thing.

Thursday 04/11/2021

The boss has decided there is not enough work to go around and that I have too much holiday to take before the end of the year. Due to that I have been
'advised' to take some time off, so booked the next 10 working days off. Not back until 18/11/2021 (Result!)

Haynes manual and euros delivery in hand, got out on the driveway to work on removing the belts and access the water pump. Not gonna lie, this took much longer than I ever thought it would and became a right PITA, due to the fact that no matter what bolt I decided to touch on the car, it would give me issues. I spent more time trying to strip the front end, removing one bolt successfully for another to snap due to being rusty and past its prime, mainly just trying to gain more access to the engine bay, than actually doing anything productive from the cooling side of things!

Then, of all the things that could happen - this did:

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Yes, that is the tension bolt for the alternator you can see bent upwards (taken after removal - have misplaced bolt head to take photo).

Removed the bottom bolts holding the alternator in place fine but unable to remove the top bolt as unable to get the right amount of tension on it to loosen it. Wasted too much time not really achieving anything other than a headache, so decided to call it a day with a semi/half stripped front end.
 
Monday 08/11/2021

Much more productive day! Found a golden nugget of info on here over the weekend, advising to remove the engine mount and jack engine from underneath for more access - Did just that! Was finally able to get the much needed torque on the top alternator bolt, which also decided to go snap! (Shock!)

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Ah well, at least I can remove the alternator fully from the car along with the old belt. Water pump pulley and tensioner were a breeze in comparison to the alternator and came undone with no issues. The 3 bolts on the water pump hub were the only tricky ones as you have to tighten one, while loosening the other, took a while to get the right torque on each in order to remove - good old two spanner technique!

Old water pump belt off - Looks in okay nick to me

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Old pump:

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Used a razor blade to get rid of the bulk of old RTV and a microfiber with some WD-40 to clean the remainder and mating surface. New water pump in.

Used the paper gasket the water pump came with rather than RTV - (Note to self: If it leaks i'll remove and replace with RTV instead)

New belt on and 80% tightened from underneath.

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Rang local scrappy - K11 in yard with alternator still attached (didn't expect that!). Happy to let me come down and pull what was needed. Only needed the two bolts and the block they sit in. 5 min job with the 12 & 14 socket heads. Old geezer wanted £5. Only had £10 on me so let him have the extra profit for getting me out of a bind and being able to obtain the same day! [£10/£435.56]

Went back, fitted the alternator with new bolts and belt. Tightened both 100%. Noice!

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Old alternator belt for comparison - Looks worse than the old water belt for sure!

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Darkness approached rapidly, so decided to put inner wheel plastics back with cable ties, wheels back on and lower car off jack stands.
Called it a productive day and decided to pick it up later in the week due to the weather forecast.

Thursday 11/11/2021

Once again, I decided to fill the radiator with water instead of coolant, in case the leak was not from the water pump or in case of any gasket issues. 1.5- 2 litres of water in - not very carefully i'll admit. Put the key in the ignition, turned over and went to look under the car. Belts seem fine and no leaks! Result! So the leak was clearly coming from the water pump. Glad that is sorted. Okay, let's take it for a test drive to see if it keeps temp now that the leak has been addressed. Quick little spin around the block, reaches 90 / half way on gauge and continues creeping, yet again
BUT check engine light has decided to do one! (Need to check if water pump could trigger one?)

Okay, could easily be air in the system as I was a bit slap dash and only 'sort of' decided to release the air via squeezing the bottom radiator hose a few times and I write that being generous. However, I decided I would remove the thermostat as the housing appears to be covered in orange sealant and could quite possibly be due for a change anyway.

Safe to say i'm glad I did. Here is the current thermostat removed from its housing.

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Here is the mating face.

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yeah, you clocked that bolt in the top left hand corner like me, right?

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So, whoever removed / replaced the thermostat last time, instead of drilling the snapped bolt out decided, "nah" and just RTV'd the whole thing. This is the other end of the bolt that was 'wiggling' in its housing, meaning even if I put a new bolt in, it will freely spin as it has nothing to 'bind' to without re-tapping.

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So this is where I currently am:

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With the radiator removed as well. I have ordered a replacement today on FleaBay as it looks like it died of death a long time ago and orange fluid was making a nice break for it when I tipped it upside down.

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Fan seems alright though, wondering if there is a method to test while off the car? Would be nice to not have to replace the full cooling system!

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Along with the radiator, ordered some other bits to start making a CAI, following the removal of that over sized air box and ducting! [£61.21/ 496.77]. Will now need to drill the bolt out, test or replace the thermostat and fix the bolt hole on the housing.

Next update will likely see costs go over the £500 mark, but so far so good with fixing the leak IMO. These rusted bolts will be the death of me, however! I swear, I will have replaced as many as physically possible or just given up and used cable ties (like the plastic inner wheel arches at the moment!) Hers my current selection of random ones from various locations from the front end so far, both broken and not.

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If you made it this far thanks for reading, ill try and keep updates as often as possible but this will be a slow project as I do not need to use the vehicle as a daily ect

Cheers - Steve
 
Monday 15/11/2021

Fleabay goodies in hand:

New rad:
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90 degree for throttle body:
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Rather large cone filter:
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Decided it would probably be easier to remove the thermostat housing fully from the engine block, rather than try to drill out the old bolt with it still on the car.

Wasted another day not really achieving much as x1 of the bolts holding the housing to the block is covered by the heater pipe that goes round the back of the engine into the water pump.

Tried to get the 12mm bolt holding the pipe to the back of the block under the intake manifold out, but access is limited and like all bolts on this car, seems to have been torqued to spec - and then some! Spanner keeps catching on the lip of the sump so unable to get any type of torque required to remove.

Rang my Grandad to see if he could pop up and take a crack at drilling the stuck bolt in the housing out, as he has all the tools required. He's otherwise engaged so will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday 16/11/2021

Grandad came to take a look at the £350 'shed', with his hand drill and set of easy outs present (the old style hand drill - not a cordless!)
He gave it a crack for the best part of an hour before we agreed it would be best to drill the bolt out and re tap due to the easy outs not wanting to bind to the remainder of the bolt left inside the housing. The old hand drill does not have enough oomph to widen the hole made with the drill bits he brought along, so Grandad left me with x2 options:

> Take housing off car and once done, take to him to drill out and tap on workbench
> Buy a cordless and drill/tap myself OR give him a nudge once purchased so he can come back and carry on.

Decided it would be best to continue the route of taking the housing off the car as this is what I was attempting to do in the first place. That way if anything goes wrong in the process of drilling / re tapping, I can just pick up another on the internet anyway.

Due to this I had a thought that it might be a better approach to go from top of the engine down, instead of bottom up. So I removed the fuel rail and started to undo the throttle body body and intake manifold bolts. Managed to get x6 of the intake bolts out before I noticed x2 needed to be accessed from underneath!

Ugggh, so the only thing holding me back from removing the housing is the 12mm bolt at the back of the block holding the heater pipe!!

Tried every combination of 12mm socket, spanner and hand tool I have. Stubby is the only thing close but still unable to get enough force on it for the bolt to undo.

Looks like I'm heading to the shops in the morning to get a drill...

Wednesday 17/11/2021

Woke up and borrowed the Mrs car to take a trip to B&Q / Halfords. Went to B&Q first to take a gander at the spanners to see if they had one with a pivot head or something that would allow the handle to clear the sump lip, in order to get enough force for the 12mm bolt, rather than having to fork out for a cordless drill.

** Offset spanners **

Why did I not think of these earlier in the week!!

Picked up a set (not including these in the build price as these will be classed as a future investment!) and drove home with a specific goal in mind.

Got on the driveway, one foot in the engine bay (one perk of removing enough in order to be able to do this) one hand round the back of the block. Spanner now clears the sump lip but unable to get the angle I need. Got under car - Boom! Minor scrape to the old knuckles but finally the (bane of my life) bolt is loose. Back up to the top of the engine, I managed to wiggle the pipe enough to get housing off the car.

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Ran the housing up to Grandad's who will now drill out and tap. He even advised that he had some gasket maker lying about so will see if he can make one for both the engine side and the thermostat side rather than using RTV like the last bodge job!

Up close look at the process made with the old style hand drill:

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Now we patiently wait. Might be a good time to order a new thermostat and start putting things back that really didn’t need to be removed in the first place!
 
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