Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

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Poundboy
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Poundboy » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:36 am

In case anyone else in central London ever checks this I found some good guys in Stamford Hill who have done a couple of little jobs well for me. They are called N.A. Motors and the old bloke who runs the place (he's Indian I think) has an appreciation for less modern cars.

I'll be off to see them again today as the little beast gave up after a few years of semi regular working and the head gasket has gone. It was heating up pretty regularly then overheated and cut out last week. I had it towed to the garage (RAC said it's the head gasket) and paid £300 to change the water pump and timing belt (go figure it's London). They said it might need to come back and would cost double that or more to do the head. I test drove it for 20 mins last night and heat went right up. Coolant overflow had been bubbling before I set off (which I remember Twiss saying was a sign of head being gone) and when I checked after 20mins there was an oily grime and a petrol smell in the tank that wasn't there to start. Awesome! The rad cap wasn't hot at all and actually I had the heater on full bore and switched to max hot but the air coming through was cold. I think there's something wrong with that situation too! I left the car where it was to cool down. I'll get RAC on it this morning cause I don't wanna risk further overheating / cracking the engine block.

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Anton
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Anton » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:37 pm

£600? Forget that, you can probably buy 6 good engines for that. If you've got a bad gasket then it'll be cheaper to get someone to just swap out the whole engine. A lot cheaper. Or find someone who'll swap a head gasket for a reasonable price.

My suggestions - take the radiator cap off and check if the water in there is flowing properly when the engine is up to temp. If not, you've either got a blockage (probably at the thermostat) or a dodgy thermostat.

Swap the thermostat if you aren't sure - it's a 10 minute job and costs pennies. Your cold rad cap/cold heater core makes me think your coolant is simply not flowing. Won't fix your head gasket issues, but if you do have a thermostat issue, it'll need sorting no matter what.

Have a look at the following:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201961384562

I *think* that's the right gasket for your engine, someone with a 410 will probably know better than I do. Get a gasket set (not necessarily that one) and then find a mechanic who has more reasonable hourly rates. You might need new head bolts too (not sure) but even if you need new intake, exhaust and head gaskets, new head bolts etc - you should still have good change from £600 if you can find the right mechanic.
Last edited by Anton on Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ScottieJ
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by ScottieJ » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:40 pm

Christ that’s crazy money.

Water pump and belt is a 2 hour job max and a head gasket is only a 2-3 hour job if you aren’t rushing.
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by SherwoodNash » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:13 pm

Perhaps they included sending away for skimming?

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ScottieJ
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by ScottieJ » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:13 pm

Still £600 is a huge amount for a head gasket, I can get a head skimmed for around £30 :shock:
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zook123
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by zook123 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:11 am

I did the Headgasket on a G13BB engine, not too difficult.. and it failed a few weeks later with a cracked block.

So I dumped another engine in, and touch wood it's been fine.
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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Poundboy » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:47 am

Fuck I didn't see you blokes had replied to my comment until today... thanks for the feedback!

Ok so it's official.. I think I got mugged!!! I've never had any big jobs done on the other cars I owned in the UK (all under 10 years old) and although the price were high I needed the SJ for work. After they had done the last job I checked what they charged me for a water pump (£70) and timing belt (£60) and it turns out the garage put at least 200% mark up on parts. I ordered a head gasket set myself and got them to fit it which cost £460. They charged £89 for an oil and filter change, £85 for it to be skimmed, £15 for coolant and £275 for labour.

Is that a massive rip off???

£780 for the two jobs and I noticed that after all that it's still heating up!!! I've ordered a new thermostat and I'll be checking the radiator tonight for cool spots after I go for a drive!

I love driving my little green machine but it's not cheap to run when you don't know how to fix it yourself :)

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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Poundboy » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:34 pm

I've realised the only way my missus will ever let me keep the SJ is if I can fix it myself (and burn all the past receipts). I've just arranged a big lock up garage in Hammersmith at a mates so no more dreaming about one day doing this or that... this week I'll put her on a sorn and start the pimping process. Spent all arvo watching the youtube how to's and reading the SJ manual... I'll post some pics as I go and no doubt ask some ridiculous questions... Should be fun!

Here's my wish list to have done by the end of summer...

Fit new thermostat and if need be radiator
Figure a better fan situation out
Rub back flakey paint & fill rust holes around the windscreen, door bottoms, top gutter... Respray
Put new shocks / springs as it doesn't feel good hitting speed bumps faster than 5mph
Lift kit maybe wheel spacers and 235 75 15's
Fit a headliner of sorts
Fit a radio and speakers
Put a storage system in the back (to carry work /camping gear)
Roof rack

If I have time:
Should probably do disc brake conversion although the old brakes seem ok...
Really wanna put an internal roll bar for safety

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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Poundboy » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:18 am

Actually I've just though of a few other things...
Heater needs fixed
Rear wiper needs fixing
Speedo needs recalibrating (bounces non stop)
Kill switch
Need new window regulators on both sides
Throttle needs fixing
Repaint interior a brighter colour its a gloomy dark blue
Do some noise reduction rattle mending

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Re: Recommendations for mechanic in or near London

Post by Jordi » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:04 am

None of that is too technical but can be daunting if you are a total novice.

As long as you are in no major rush, if you get stuck on anything just search the forum for answers. If you can’t find the answer put a post in the relevent forum area and someone will get back to you.

As you’re hopefully aware there are some well clued up lads on here and they are generally very good at responding to posts with basic how to guides including pictures and workshop manual info.

Good luck with it!
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