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Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

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Old 29-08-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
Matt D
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Daughters 1st Car - 2004 Corsa Design

My daughter is turning 17 next month so I have been on the look out for a cheap car for her once she has passed her test. Ideally I wanted to get something that needed a bit of work so for the last few months have been looking at everyone's favourite internet auction site for cars with spares or repair listings. Finally one popped up last weekend that fitted the bill; a 2004 Corsa 1.2 Design with 10 months MOT & 85,000miles for sale from a garage who had taken it as a part ex however the engine was sounding 'tappety' and there was a possible head gasket issue. Anyway it was listed at £150 so got to be worth a punt??? Bid placed and on Sat night I got the e-mail - I had won!! Final bid, £170.09.


Here it is after collecting yesterday










Guy at the garage said it had been off the road (the head gasket problem??) and parked under a tree for a year or so then dragged out and MOT'd again. He also admitted that it wasn't worth his while fixing it up due to the value of the car. Anyway my labour is free (so is my daughters) so even if I have to do the head gasket (full kit is can be bought for around £100) I reckon I can have it all sorted for approx. £500 which will still make it a cheap car - similar examples seem to be around the £800 mark.

Drove the car home and surprisingly it drove really well. Yes the engine has a rattle but everything worked (bar the radio), there are no warning lights and even the air con blows icy cold!!


Once home a proper inspection could be made


Body is straight, but covered in small scuffs and scratches








The worst being the roof which looks like it has been cleaned with a brillo pad





Certainly looks like it was under a tree for a while







Interior isn't too bad considering. Just a couple of random stains in the seats and the usual shiny leather steering wheel









Upon opening the boot which opened up with so much force I thought it would rip the hinges off revealed a pair of failed boot struts in there with new ones in place. Not sure if these are correct but they feel far too strong so new ones will be sourced along with a new aerial to replace this



And the headlights are hazed so will need a sand and a polish



And lastly the possible head gasket problem... looks like it does need changing

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Old 29-08-2018, 11:38 AM   #2
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Hey Matt! how you doing? its Andy from VPCC days. Saw your post on facebook.

That's a bargain, even with the potential work
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Old 29-08-2018, 01:27 PM   #3
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Engine rattle is normally timing chain related but oil changes make them a bit quieter.

Before you look at the HG, try to give it a good run and get it properly hot. I had two Corsas and if you used them for mainly short journeys you'd get some mayo on the oil filler, regardless of engine age/health.

Anyway good luck, they are great little cars. I loved my ones.
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Old 29-08-2018, 01:43 PM   #4
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Yer, agree with Dannbodge. The Corsa's just have noisy engines. I have done a few timing chains on them over the years, but they don't stay quiet for long. Injectors are quite noisey also.
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Old 29-08-2018, 02:21 PM   #5
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Great little project, I'd just get a sniff test done on the engines coolant before tearing into anything. If someone used it as a shopping car it could more than likely just be built up condensation in the oil that never got turned into vapour.

If it passes the sniff test, do full oil flush and change to a decent oil.

Also just check too see where the tappings coming from, as others have said above, chains or injectors most likely culprit.
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Old 29-08-2018, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannbodge View Post
Engine rattle is normally timing chain related but oil changes make them a bit quieter.

Before you look at the HG, try to give it a good run and get it properly hot. I had two Corsas and if you used them for mainly short journeys you'd get some mayo on the oil filler, regardless of engine age/health.

Anyway good luck, they are great little cars. I loved my ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojer View Post
Yer, agree with Dannbodge. The Corsa's just have noisy engines. I have done a few timing chains on them over the years, but they don't stay quiet for long. Injectors are quite noisey also.
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Originally Posted by Starbuck88 View Post
Great little project, I'd just get a sniff test done on the engines coolant before tearing into anything. If someone used it as a shopping car it could more than likely just be built up condensation in the oil that never got turned into vapour.

If it passes the sniff test, do full oil flush and change to a decent oil.

Also just check too see where the tappings coming from, as others have said above, chains or injectors most likely culprit.
Thanks guys. I have done a bit of research and these engines do seem to be a bit rattly and suffer from the 'mayo' when used on short runs. It had a decent run home yesterday (45 miles), didn't overheat but the water level has dropped. This could be it re-establishing itself as it was low when I went to collect it. Think the 1st port of call will be an oil flush and change and go from there.
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Old 29-08-2018, 02:36 PM   #7
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Look forward to this one!


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Old 29-08-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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Great value for money, cannot go wrong for a first car and not the end of the world if it picks up another ding or too.

Terrific rolling project and something to interest the daughter in terms of pride of ownership.
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Old 29-08-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
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I'm sure your Daughter will be made up with it - who can ever forget their first car!
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Old 29-08-2018, 09:31 PM   #10
Matt D
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Originally Posted by Andy1972 View Post
Hey Matt! how you doing? its Andy from VPCC days. Saw your post on facebook.

That's a bargain, even with the potential work
Hi Andy, doing well thanks. The VPCC!! That's going back a few years!!
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