Clutching times with the ST220

As I said previously, this car was at my local garage for some time. It went in as the clutch pedal kept on dropping to the floor. The owner was hopeful that it was the clutch master cylinder that was gone. With this changed, the pedal was no different. It was obvious that it was the concentric slave that had gone.

In that time, the chap got taken into hospital with a brain aneurysm, and sadly passed away. This is why this car was moored up at my local garage for quite some time. In the end, the family got in contact and basically gave the car to Mick (my MOT tester/garage owner), who then kept it for some time before selling it on to another garage locally.

Fast forward 5 months ago. In that time, Gaz, the second garage who bought this car would have fun and games with the car.

Firstly, the interior was cleaned out by a valeter. Unfortunately in that time, the bumper took a knock while being parked up too. He would then proceed to change the clutch. This is where the problems would start.

With the first clutch in along with the new concentric, or as far as he told me, the clutch was slipping badly. This apparently came with the car, but at the time I didn’t notice it being in the car, along with a couple of other parts. Obviously, this acheived nothing. After this, another clutch was put it, but without the concentric being renewed. After all, that concentric was only 3 weeks old! After this, the pedal was fine for a week, but then, it started going bad again. It was mad! After two clutch changes, the car was no different! This is where I would enter the equation.

The car was advertised on Facebook Marketplace as I said for £1k, with a basic description around it, and with the offer of it being broken up for spares. Maybe that line and me knowing the car vaguely made me want to rescue the poor thing. After speaking with Gaz, he mentioned that the bumper had one crack, and that the clutch pedal was poor, but that he saw a puddle form on the driver’s side With this, I cycled down to the garage and took a look at the car.

It was a bit of a dissapointment. The interior despite being cleaned did not look great, the exterior was quite flat on the paint, and the car looked a little unkempt, especially with that cracked bumper. That’s before I get to the hideous wheels! To top this off, the bellhousing and sump were damp in that area, with an occasional drip. Great, the concentric looked to be gone! But then again, it’s an 18 year old ST220! The car however, did have a number of good points beneath the rubbish.

-It wasn’t too rusty at all underneath, after briefly looking it. This is surprising, given that the car originally lived in Devon!
-The interior had no rips in it at all, and it all looked to be working
-The engine sounded very sweet!
-The car had 97k on the clock, with a FFSH up until 60k, and servicing until 88k.
-It was on a private plate. I do not intend to keep this, as you’ll find out later

With this in mind, I went away to think about it, and what to do. I wasn’t going to give over £1k. If it was tidier, I would done. With this in mind, I called the seller back, stating that I’d have to assume the worst case scenario; it would need another clutch. With me lowballing him hard, and us two agreeing on a price quickly, a deal was done. All I had to do now was collect it.

With it being Covid times, and the hassle of driving a car back with no clutch, I decided to have Mick, the MOT tester, trailer the car back to my unit on a low loader. With this, I could borrow a 4 poster and really check the car out.

It became apparent that this car really is very solid underneath! It’s also apparent it’s a little tarted up too with rubbish! But anyway, let’s not muck around, let’s show some shots.

Oh yes, I forgot to say, the mirror baseplate is cracked too, and not repaired very well.

With this in mind, I set about acquiring a set of mirrors for the car, wheels, bumper and a clutch.

While I’d get a set of mirrors for £40 delivered to my door in Stardust Silver, I would struggle more with a cheap set of wheels, almost give up with the bumper, and run into serious issues with finding a clutch. More will be revealed next time.

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