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 Buying guide

 

Buying an ADO16? Well if you are it should be both an enjoyable experience for you, and start of a long happy relationship between you and your car. Providing that is you've read up on the topic, and have an idea what to look out for when buying an ADO16.

Ever heard about the guy who purchased an 1100 for £1000 then spent a further £3000 having it restored?

It sadly is the case when some owners have purchased their 1100's. Below you'll find a buying guide that points out some of the key areas you should be looking at when purchasing an ADO16.

 Looking for an ADO16

There are many places for advertising your car now. A favourite amongst owners at the moment is the on-line auctions. While you can pick up a bargain its important to remember if you bid without going to look at the car you could end up with a heap! Therefore I'd recommend you try local advert papers, and classic car magazines. You aren't entering into a binding contract like you are in the auction room, and you can see and try before you buy.

 Tools

I'd recommend taking a few tools when you go to look at a car, all will become clear later on. By taking tools, it shows the seller you are serious and will check out the key areas before making the decision, it also tells you what the quality of the car is.

Take the following: A Jack, something to kneel on, a torch, and a bottle of water (can be still or fizzy - your choice).

 The day of inspection

You've arranged to meet the seller today to take a look at a possible purchase. Here's where we use our trusty tool kit above, and follow the steps below.

 Cover sills

Firstly, check for cover sills. This type of sill is usually fitted by M.O.T centres doing an in house repair to pass the M.O.T test. The owner is then advised to get the repair done properly. In some cases these are left on.

They weld over the top of the existing sills and sill to floor closing panels. covering in the rotting metal. Once fitted, the metal sweats and attracts more moisture allowing more to set in. This time it affects the inner sill which provides rigidity for the bodywork.

The check: The only way to check this is to kneel down, and look underneath. If the sill panel, and follow on, are all one piece and weld about halfway onto the floor, you have a classic case of a cover sill. There are however exceptions. Sometimes genuine sill panels were welded on, followed by a "repair" floor section. This should still be treated in the same way.

If a genuine sill is fitted, also check this for any rot that may need replacing. Be sure to check the Sill to floor closing panel too.

If the car has these on, I'd walk away unless you are prepared to spend approx £600 each side to remove them.

See picture below to see a cover sill (shown left) and a genuine sill structure (shown right).


The red arrow shows where the cover sill is welded on the floor pan. The green arrow shows where a genuine sill to floor closing panel should be welded.


 Floor pan

The floor, quite important if you plan to go out in your 1100 at some stage. Therefore an inspection will tell you if there are any urgent problems.

The floor can be repaired, and it is possible to get pattern panels, although these can be complex to weld in, and again it can be a costly procedure.

The check: You'll need to remove the back seat base, and lift the rear carpet, and any felt underneath. You can usually see if you have any problems very quickly. Look to see if there are any "rust bulges". If there are. Assume that these will be a problem.

See pictures below for typical places for holes to form.



 Rear subframe mountings

While you are examining the floor, it might be worth just casting your eyes over the rear subframe mountings at the point where there are rubber bungs in the corners of where the back seat base fits.

These again can be repaired, although "the check" will confirm a few things.

The check: It advisable to check that 4 rubber grommets are inserted into the holes (two each side). If the appear not be seated correctly it might be worth further investigation. If they are missing, and one of the studs is sticking through the hole then there could a problem with the Heelboard or one of the mountings.

See below for a picture of where to look.



 Heelboard

This is a key area to examine. You'll need something to kneel on at this point, and perhaps something gentle to prod at the heelboard. If you hold a hammer head, and use the shaft this usually gives you a guide.

Heelboards can be replaced, but it can be a costly job, and requires removing the rear subframe.

The check: Kneel down just behind where the sill joins the wheelarch at the rear. When you look forward you'll be able to see the side of the subframe. In front of that is the heelboard gently press with the hammer shaft, if the hammer goes through this section then you have an M.O.T failure.

See below for a picture of where to look:



 Boot floor

Again, perhaps one of the common areas that perspective owners overlook. It is important to remember that the rear subframe is held in by two brackets welded to the boot floor, and any serious signs of rot in the boot floor should be considered as a big job.

Boot floors can be repaired or replaced, but requires the subframe and petrol tank to be taken down.

The check: Lift the boot lid, and remove the false boot floor. take out the spare wheel, and using a torch examine to see if there are previous repairs or areas of rust that are starting to come through. If caught earlier enough they can be repaired.

See below for pictures of what to look for:


The picture shown on the left is no longer a legal repair. If a car you visited had a repair like this then it would most certainly be an M.O.T failure. The correct repair is shown on the right. Although the correct repair on completed car wouldn't shown in grey undercoat.


 Inner wings

The Inner wing on the 1100 is an important part of the structure. You have to remember that the subframe bolts to these in two places, and if there is any sign of rust of bodged repairs you could be in for a nasty shock when its M.O.T time.

Like most other panels, the Inner wings can be replaced, but it can sometimes be tricky to get them fit correct, and make sure that everything lines up.

The check: Open the bonnet, and check for signs of rusting to the tops of the inner wings. Any rust on the tops is an M.O.T failure. Some people have repaired previously, but some M.O.T testers are keen on bodged repairs. If only light surface rusting, its important to get it cleaned back and painted as soon as possible.

See below for pictures of what to look for:



 Trumpets

The trumpets work in connection with the inner wing. Without trumpets on the inner wing to give the front support it becomes very fragile, and it is likely to get damaged. If you see any bodged repairs on these, then you have a challenge to try and replace them with the wings in place. Its a hard task.

Trumpets are remanufactured for the 11/1300 and its relatively easy to get hold of them. However the only problem is fitting them. It requires either struggling to try and do it with the wing in position or if the wing needs replacing the job becomes a lot easier.

The check: You'll need your hammer shaft again, and gently push on the trumpets. This checks to see if water has rotted them away. If your hammer shaft goes through them, you can still buy the car, but be warned, at the next M.O.T its a failure.



 Checklist

This checklist will summarise the areas of importance given above, and will include some other areas you should check before making your mind up.

Item

Yes

No

N/A

Sills checked?

     

Floor pan checked?

     

Rear subframe mountings checked?

     

Heelboard checked?

     

Boot floor checked?

     

Inner wings checked?

     

Trumpets checked?

     

Unusal noises when driving? i.e. Clunking or grinding?

     

Suspension problems? i.e. Does the car not sit level? Is there no bounce?

     

Damage to any panels? i.e. due to rusting or due to accident damage.

     

Oil leaks? i.e. Large drips of oil on the floor?

     

Brake problems? i.e. do the brakes fade?

     

Make sure you have a test drive, if the car is driveable! The main reason is once you've driven a car day in day out you learn how to stop gears scrunching etc.


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