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Bob Horner

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Everything posted by Bob Horner

  1. Can't see it myself - TRs are just not rare or good enough to be worth north of £30k. Realistically you're running out of people who care that much about them with any money. My bet is classic cars will fall long term. They are part of the asset bubble that cheap credit has created. Don't want to be morbid, but they are mostly owned by people in their 70s - when theyre gone or too old to bother with them, there will be a lot of them around with no one to buy them. As I said, buy them to drive and tinker with - not as a long term sure bet investment!!
  2. Further to Tom's post, it just goes to show that the economics of classic cars and their prices are totally mad! Perhaps we all expect too much perfection? It could also be that in this industry, a flat labour rate of £60 per hour plus VAT is not sustainable and the true market rate is nearer £20 per hour! I'm an accountant and I charge some professionals out at £50 per hour (but some of us with tax expertise are around the £200 mark for consultancy). However, I'd get a far cheaper staff to photocopy (ie the office equivalent of rubbing down perhaps!!?). To my mind, quoting £60 plus VAT for everything is not realistic. I also think that the time taken for something is not always scientifically ascertained. I do recurring work so I can compare with last year. If sometime takes twice as long to do a set of books as last year, unless I can justify why this has happened, I am stuck with last years fee plus a bit for inflation. Sometimes, people just take longer - particularly when they are not pushed to get on with the next job! Just because experience tells you a job seems to take a certain amount of time, doesn't mean it should. We act for a few small independent garages and one or two comfortably produce £100k profit per partner on lower rates. However, all businesses are different and, at the end of the day, you make what you can from who you can. Bob
  3. There is an awful lot of BS talked in the classic car world and motor trade generally. In my view its very like the world of estate agents.. Having some professional experience of both worlds, I find they have a slightly different moral code to the rest of us. There are some true gents in all these worlds but an hell of a lot of chancers and rogues out to make a quick buck. Caveat emptor I'm afraid. No amount of consumer law helps you with slightly dodgy second hand goods if they've got your money and a string of excuses. The law is just too expensive unless you are prepared to do it yourself - even then you may end up paying an expert for a report. Better to do this before you buy so at least you can sue someone if it all goes wrong! I was reading one of the auction houses lot descriptions the other day - what a load of inaccurate, sentimental clap trap bigging up cars that had large and bizarre estimates. I don't think I'd buy a TR now at current asking prices - couldn't justify the price. I'd be happy if values collapsed and turned my paper profit into nothing. At least we'd get some younger people in to keep them running after we're gone... It would also encourage anyone who has bought one recently to run it ragged, cover it in stone chips and generally use and abuse it for the purpose God intended and not worry about devaluing it any further. Anyway, enough of these wet, simpering, mealy-mouthed comments... Bob
  4. Tank looks pretty good (from what I can see) and swilling with fresh fuel didn't produce any bits and pieces but may do sloshing treatment as well in time. On my car, there is not a brass union to the tank (as shown by the manual) rather a rubber fuel hose and I think it was the degrading of this small section that caused the issue. All renewed with ethanol resistant hose and copper now right the way to the carbs. Bob
  5. Well just to close this one off. Thanks for all the suggestions. Turned out to be fuel lines partially blocked -all renewed. Tank emptied and swilled out. Very clear once renewed how much extra fuel flow there was. Clearly pump could suck enough through to keep the float chambers full enough in normal driving but sustained high spead driving it ran short. Useful though in that runs far better after everything else checked, cleaned and tightened! Bob
  6. The vent is in the cap and seems fine but I'll give running with cap open a go. I agree with comment re fuel lines, new kit on order regardless of what has caused this as all looking a bit tired and bits in filter are a worry. By the way, does anyone know if Dave Davies is still recondiotioning pumps - ive got a spare to recon so may as well do that now if it comes to swapping the pump. I used him before but cant find his details. Forgot to say using HS6 carbs that I bought fully reconned may be 4 years ago but I wondered whether a sticking piston could be at fault - fine when flying up the revs but perhaps just sticking when accelerating steadily from 3000 to 3500 in o/d top? Bob
  7. Not posted anything technical for a while but this one should get some heads scratching. Had to pull out of the RBRR on Saturday evening due to a misfire problem. The car goes fine through the gears and revs up to 5k with no hint of a misfire but when on a motorway in overdrive top at about 3500 rpm (so 80 ish) it starts to misfire and lose power. Pretty much consistently- does somtimes pull for a while at 3500 but then a misfire sets it. Car slows to 60 ish or less. However, once youve left the motorway, generally it clears and you can cane it down a B road without a hint of an issue. I am running with an Accuspark distributor which has proved faultless for many miles. However, swapped that by the roadside for a brand new one of the same make (new leads to coil supplied with it) and the problem re - occurred in exactly the same way. Changed coil and plug leads. Had carbs apart and cleaned and blown out float chambers etc. Fuel pump reconditoned by the chap recommended on here a few years ago but may be culprit? Changed the inline fuel filter and there were what seemed like bits of fuel hose floating around -I wondered if high fuel demand meant these blocked the filter but lower flow meant these bits weren't a problem - however given that swapping it didnt change things, that theory was blown. I feel its a fuelling issue but not really sure. Any thoughts or observations most welcome. Bob
  8. My revotec switch failed after a couple of years. The location is a bit crap really for adjusting, altough as said before, once set its ok (until it fails!). I replaced it with another (pipe already cut) which was pretty pricey for what it is - lets see if it lasts longer than the previous one. Sometimes you just wish such things were better thought out given their cost. Bob
  9. Its all classic car prices. My theory is cheap credit and lack of return elsewhere but mainly cheap credit. In my experience, years ago, the classic community wouldnt think of borrowing to buy a classic (a car to get you to and from work was different). Now its like houses - buy the best you can afford it will only go up etc etc. Plus there are a lot of current retirees who are far more affluent than previously (at the moment at least). More money in, limited supply, prices go up. Its just sad when genuine enthusiasts are not able to afford even relatively modest classics Bob
  10. Bob Horner

    radio

    ive been disappointed by the Retrosound unit. I think others have as well. Its expensive for what it is, fiddly to use and radio reception is poor. In another classic I just fitted a modern unit at a fraction of the price that works better. Bob
  11. I bet your wife thinks youre a total aerosol!! Bob
  12. Just reading an article in Classics Weekly. "Boom, but no Bust". It appears a large percentage of cars are not being sold when auctioned. Who are those people telling us there is no problem? Why, it's the auctioneers who have absolutely no interest in car prices falling at all..... Yep, theyre the ones we turn to for objective analysis!! Lets hope they are on the way down and those who bought for a profit and not enjoyment get their fingers burnt and dont do it again!! Looks like a classic (no pun intended) bubble to me - including the part where near the end, all the experts tell you there is nothing wrong at all!! Bob
  13. + 1 it is all about driving and tinkering with them for me. more interested in a car that goes than one that looks perfect. cant understand why people are scared of stone chips!! unfortunately you cant stop idiots falling over themselves to buy non income producing, physically depreciating assets!! bob
  14. its just like houses - cheap money pouring in to an asset that is perceived to be rare - when actually it isnt quite as rare as people are led to believe..... Check out the antiques market and brown furniture at its peak and what ifs worth now....peanuts. Something that in the mid nieties cost £6000 is now worth £600. Fashion also plays a role but dont think just becuae they are worth a fortune now, they will be worth anything like as much in 10 years time. Complete madness - but, like houses, makes you feel smug if youve already got one!! There will be plenty of people telling me that i'm wrong, and I may well be, but the same people believed antiques woudl contine to represent an excellent investment- dealers and auctioneers! I wonder why........ Bob
  15. Bob Horner

    LED

    There is always a danger in reading an article as a lay person and concluding that something is or is not illegal. I have no axe to grind either way but it is often the case that people tend towards the "can't do it" than the "can". Years of soaking up the european ethos rather than prinicples of common law tend towards this conclusion - as well as a general attraction towards the sky is falling school of thought in most people. The only answer is to get a definitive legal opinion on the position (ideally paid for by someone else as noted by Roger above). Even reading the legislation itself can be misleading in that sections are often disapplied by other sections and without reading the whole act you cannot be certain (ie cars built on or after certain dates etc - which seems to have been mentioned above and may or may not negate the seemingly definitive article provided by PhiipB). Personally I would be worried about writing an article without counsel's opinion that declared such bulbs to be illegal. If the unsupported opinion in an article turned out to be incorrect, that person or institution could be open to legal action - particularly if it severely damaged the trade of a legitimate business by claiming falsely they are breaking the law!! Perhaps we can look to Better Car Lighting to fully explain the legal position as their trade seems to depend on it? Bob
  16. I have Racetoratins seats fitted and find them very comforatable - as do my co drivers on the odd regularity rally and, more importantly, the 2000 mile Round Britain Reliabilty Run. I had to have the backs specially narrow to fit the Racetorations roll over bar (something i was not told when the bar was bought!). I do suffer from a bad back and sciatica so I am not good at putting up with poor seats. The only thnig i would say is that i got leather seats and they are already wearing on the piping etc pretty badly. i would go with vinyl as i assume its tougher. Bob
  17. + 1 for Overdrive Repair Services - he rebuilt my gearbox and converted to overdrive. It was done 4 years ago and has had some serious abuse done RBRR, quite a few rally tests and a lot of miles and still going strong (as is the overdrive). Bob
  18. I think this kind of thing is very common in the motor trade. It's partly because things are often not as simple as they first appear. I think garages prefer not to have any paperwork - partly because paperwork is not their thing, partly because doing things properly paperwork-wise would cost them money in terms of admin cost and partly because they want the flexibility to add to the price as and when they like! I think many garages don't want to think too hard at the start or commit themselves. Trying to get them to in any meaningful, written way is pretty impossible (if you got some paperwork it would be so heavily caveated that it would probably be useless). Also, they work on certain unwritten assumptions about what is "usually" included - those assumptions often seem bizarre to the average man or woman but perfectly normal in the trade. They are not usually great communicators but, not unreasonably, we tend to assume they are experts, professionals and also assume they will point out any uncertainties etc about time and cost. Generally they do not. Add to that the common attitude that they know best (clearly many don't from the horror stories you hear)and you are some idiot who doesn't understand how these things work. I have a good relationship with the people I use but even so, sometimes things I think should be included in a "quote" are not. Cars are complicated mechanical things and what is lurking within the bodywork is even more of an unknown. Don't think there is a solution that gives anyone any real certainty Bob
  19. I've got a Retro sound unit. Ok to fit but I'm not that impressed. A bit fiddly to use and v expensive compared to other offerings. I find the tuner is a bit **** - regardless of aerial used. No option to turn it to mono with FM reception so really infuriating hiss can't be lessened- forced to listen to 5 Live on MW instead! Bob
  20. Thanks Mike. The adjusters on mine face forwards but looks tricky to get the allen key at them given the postion of the spring coils. However at least I know its simply a 4mm allen key so I'll give it a go and if not, take off the damper. Regards Bob
  21. My TR4 (a late one) has the same arrangement as the TR4a - ie vented via the carbs and burnt. Contemplated the spew it on to the road arrangement of earlier TRs but went for catch tank instead (vented at the rocker and out of the old hole in the block) but it didnt help! But as i said, the truth was that the engine, although apparently healthy (good oil pressure etc), was blowing through the rings. You dont realise just how well a wet liner engine can go if rebuilt and balanced! Most of us only ever drive one TR and cant really tell how fast they can go or how well they can handle. I hope your engine is in better nick but if its really spurting out of the dipstick, unless there is a very obvious blockage, it may be time to enjoy a rebuilt engine!! Bob
  22. I had this - hoped it was blocked breatther, wrong felt washer on dipstick etc etc but in reality it was a tired engine with shot rings that simply fell off when the pistons came out! The crank case pressure resulting forcing oil out of the dipstick hole at anything other than tickover. The amount of oil that got pushed out was quite remarkable and looked like a serious oil leak with it dripping off the chassis after a high speed run. Bob
  23. Hi all Upgraded to twin valve lever arms on my tr4. To my mind the front seems a little under damped now compared to the rear. I have adjustable AVO front shocks but not sure how to adjust them. Internet talks about a "4mm allen key tool" but cant really see how to get at the adjuster without dismantling part of the front suspension. Is there a special tool? Is more dampng at the front a good idea? Handling is pretty good in my view, far more stable in the turns and far better after hard driving for a few miles. Its just the ride seems to pitch backwards and forwards a bit more since I fitted the twin valves. Should I run with the new dampers a bit longer before doing anything at all? Bob
  24. Had exactly the same problem and chassis to engine earth was the culprit. Simply tightening it means spins it now over very well. Didnt need further earth but that would certainly help. Bob
  25. Thanks chaps for the responses. It is fitted with poly bushes so inner fulcrum lubrication is an interesting suggestion (top r/h wishbone stiff when changing ball joint). What to lubricate with? Revington kit is the late TR4 polybush integrated kit with 160lb springs. Haven't fitted the roll bars or adjustable top fulcrums. Trunnion was probably next thought for me. Regards Bob
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