You Raise Me Up…

The Vento has been back in the workshop this week for a bit of tidying up before Castlewellan next weekend:


Generally I’m a fan of older cars for their simplicity, ease of maintenance and character compared to new cars with plastic covers everywhere and and the need for an IT degree to figure out whats wrong with them. However, one of the things I have always liked and wanted for my cars is hydraulic bonnet lifters. So I ordered a set for the Vento for a very reasonable sum from Venom Motorsport.

Once I had the lifters, I thought I should probably try to tidy up the engine bay a bit so it would actually be worth using them. The eventual plan is to properly smooth the bay and do an engine swap (when funds permit) so this is just a quick fix up for now to do until the end of the summer.

This is what the bay looked like before:


It was a total mess, a tangle of wires and hoses, filthy, rusty and of course still red when the rest of the car is now grey.

The first step was to remove the battery tray, washer bottle and airbox to start cleaning up the chassis legs and get access to the wiring. The battery has now been relocated to the boot and the airbox replaced with a new Pipercross filter. I have also done away with the charcoal filter (it had an accident coming off the trailer one night…) which removes a couple of fuel lines from the front.

The exhaust heatshield, alternator, sub frame, block, power steering lines and anything else I could reach all got a good scrub and a coat of Hammerite. The rocker cover, timing belt cover and caps on the suspension tops were all sprayed with black textured paint, while the front panel and various other tatty looking plastics were tidied up with satin black. The backs of the headlights have also been sprayed black but not fitted yet.

The bay was sprayed to match the body and I removed the dirty old cloth tape from as much of the wiring as possible and rewrapped with black plastic insulating tape as well as using black plastic conduit to cover some of the power steering lines.

I then fitted the bonnet lifters, removed the engine crane brackets from the top of the engine and cable tied the plug leads into a slightly tidier position.

So far:


Still have to come up with bracket solutions for the power steering bottle and air filter and do a bit more cleaning. I’m also hoping to get a small engine cover from a Polo to cover the distributor and plug leads and possibly fit a polished rocker cover but they might be after Castlewellan.

Also this week Stefan provided and fitted a new drivers side window for me, (as the old one looked like someone had tried to prise it out with a chisel) so thanks to him for that, and thanks to both Stefan and Connor for all their advice and help with the bay.


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