Episode 76. Ford Scorpio. P373 TGK. (Part 2).

It's safe to say that the transition from Jaguar S-type to Ford Scorpio has not, at this point been a smooth one.

The problem has been for the most part that I have been trying to hang on to the Jaguar, but apart from that, the Scorpio has got a fuel leak, and it's bad, really bad. Infact it's so bad that really I should be able to spot it, I should actually be leaving a trail of petrol behind me while I drive. But I'm not. After looking at the petrol tank and fuel line and finding nothing I was a bit stumped as to where it could be, but as I was getting through five gallons of petrol a week, and only doing the school run of about six miles a day that meant that I was averaging about 6 mpg, and that's pretty bad! However, one rainy morning I had an epiphany as I turned on the heater to de-mist the windscreen, suddenly the cockpit was filled with petrol fumes! That, in my mind meant that the fuel leak could only be in one place...

In here! I searched for ages but I could not find the leak. I could however find evidence of a leak as the petrol was collecting in the valley of the V engine, and on the cast iron exhaust manifolds. So that should be perfectly safe as presumably the petrol would evaporate from the heat of the exhaust before it would burst into flames! Hmm, or maybe not! With the MOT looming and me still being unable to find the leak, as I'm obviously incompetant at finding leaks under the bonnets of cars! I decided to let my mechanic have a look for it as I knew he would be able to find it, and find it he did. The leak turned out to be a hairline crack on the incoming fuel line, he then cut the offending fuel line out, and replaced it with a new bit. While he had it I figured that he might as well put a patch on the small hole I had found on the sill, as no doubt that would fail the MOT. He said he'd have a look at it for me, but when he started cutting the rust hole away he just uncovered more and more rust until it got to the point where he thought that in reality, it was going to need a new sill. The problem is that new sills for a 1996 Ford Scorpio estate are pretty thin on the ground, and in the end my mechaninc had to fold a new sill from scratch on his sheet metal bender. A couple of days later and it was all done, and ready for it's MOT. Driving home it was quite pleasant not to be engulfed in petrol fumes as I drove along. Once home I called the MOT station and booked it in, then sat back and wondered what else they would find. I tried to convince myself that it all would be fine, my mechanic had looked it over, and not mentioned that he'd fouind anything to concern myself over, so it should be fine. I kept telling myself that, but I wasn't convinced, this is the first time I've MOT'd it, and I always find the first time the most gruelling as you're never too sure just how friendly the last owner was with their MOT inspector. But, the day before the Scorpio was due to go for it's first MOT in my care I had something new to think about which took my mind off the MOT for a bit. As I came out of BelongaClint something looked different about the Scorpio...

Drat, and double drat!! I dunno, thats just not quite as sweet as it was!

Now in my opinion whoever did this must have known they'd done it, but they had not left a note, or maybe they had and the wind had blown it away!! I asked my neighbours, who all said that they had not seen or heard a thing! Great! I figured that I would just track down a new bumper and fork out for it myself, and thats when it really hit the fan! I can't find a bumper for it, there would appear to definately not be any new bumpers for a 1996 Scorpio, but it would seem that there are no second hand bumpers available either, or atleast, not if the one you're looking for is for an estate! This irritated me somewhat! But in the end I decided that I would put it in for it's MOT as it was booked anyway, and see if it's actually worth fixing!

The following day, feeling like I was taking a lamb to the slaughter I arrived outside BEST autocenter. I went inside, and handed over my keys before leaving to go back to work. I wandered back to work wondering what else could be wrong with the thing, and pretty much thought about it all morning. Finally at about 14:00 the call came, it was a fail! I was epecting that. I said to them not to tell me now, as I would be there to collect it in about ten minutes. Ten minutes later I was stood infront of the reception desk in BEST listening to them explaing to me that it had failed on wiper blades, the rear numberplate lights were not illuminating the numberplate, and the sharp edges on the rear bumper... And that was it! There was a couple of advisories too, but nothing major! So I asked them what I could do about the bumper? They suggested that if the sharp edges were covered up, and the numberplate lights fitted so they illuminated the numberplate, then with the addition of some new wiper blades it would pass! A plan was hatching, and I told them I would be back in a mo, and I left to go across the road to the motor factors and Toolstation. Several minutes later and I was back at BEST with a pair of new wipers, and the widest roll of duct tape Toolstation had! Wipers fitted it was time to turn my attention to that damn bumper! One of my friends is very minimalist when it comes to his toolbox, he believes that you need just two items in it, WD-40, and duct tape. He says that if it doesn't move but it should, then WD-40, and if it does move but it shouldn't, then duct tape! Twenty minutes later...

A repair had been made! I'm quite the craftsman, and sometmies I amaze myself with my bodywork skills! Anyway, I asked the MOT inspector to have a look at it, and he said that he was happy with my repairs, and could now issue me with a pass!! Horaaaay!! I must admit that as unhappy as I am about the back bumper, getting an MOT on the Scorpio sure did take the edge off it all, I was chuffed to nuts! Infact I was so happy I went for a celebratory drive as due to the fuel leak I've only done the school runs for a few minutes at a time! How was it? It was good. I don't know if it was because I was in such a good mood because of the MOT, or if it was because the sun was out, or what it was. But I enjoyed my hour and a bit cruising in the Scorpio, and hopefully I'll soon find a rear bumper for it, and everything will be tickety-boo! Until then, I guess I'll just have to put up with looking at my expert repair!