1st impressions were good - bodywork wise its above average for its age, several surface blemishes that will ease out, a couple of 'soft' dents in o/s wing and one in drivers door. An inch diameter hole of rust just above the sill (behind rear o/s door). According to the history its had some repair work done there and one of the seams has clearly been 'cleaned out' and sealed up - not the best job but I've seen worse. Needs sorting out professionally tho to make sure it doesn't get nasty. Underneath looks sound apart from support valance on inside rear bumper.
On start up she sounded bloody awful. There is an unpleasant noise when cold for about 15 seconds which then dies away. There is a noise/vibration at about 2000rpm when hot/cold. It comes from the timing belt end - maybe it needs tensioning??? Very lumpy and variable idle speed. Bloomin loud exhaust rattle (exhaust knackered) Suspension went ok tho' but front struts are quite sticky on high.
I didn't really enjoy the first drive - was really bothered by the start-up noise on the engine and due to the clutch cable/pedal box scenario (as so ably described by doc!) it was an absolute b*tch to get in gear. I wasn't certain, so a phone call to Doc put my concerns to rest so it was £400 on the nose.
There is a list of about a dozen small faults e.g. Passenfer door f*cked, boot lock loose, elec windows slow/don't work/up=down, manual door mirrors instead of elec, no plip fob etc and some more significant items that Doc picked up on but nothing major I think/hope (except windscreen!)
Needless to say that as I grew more confident with the car - the rev counter got more exercise and so I took her up to just over 6000rpm - on a few occaisions....enough to put a great big grin on my face and enjoy that hard engine note...and she liked it too!! The ride I thought was just great, beats the Xantia without question...ride and handling. The rubber is sh*te (esp the rears which are old old old) so believe it or not the back behaved like it was on ice when caning it on roundabouts but I am very, very, very impressed. I find it both composed AND supple, a really great car that I look forward to putting right with time.
I like the colour too Tim, a bit of a girlie thing to say I know but it suits the car.
Doc has threatened to come down in a couple of weeks and help with some fettling work - I think he's just in it for the
personally but I'll let him fettle away and keep you updated.