The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

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The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 31 Aug 2019, 16:30

First let me start by saying after driving this van for a couple miles, I well and truly fell in love with driving it. I've always enjoyed driving a multitude of vehicles and the van never fails to make me smile.

That out of the way, best I introduce myself and my deviance of choice:

After a torrid few years working for a high street bank, who won't be named but rhymes with Bandstand-dare... I was fortunate enought get redundancy and a very healthy golden handshake. I wanted out anyway, but after a huge amount of un-necessary stress, the payment was really a silver lining. My mandate with the funds was to do something to bring a positive to my quality of life, to create memories with my daughters before they got too old to spend time with daddy, plus something I could enjoy with my girlfriend: We both have children from previous relationships and any time to ourselves is at a premium to say the least! A holiday would be a good start, but after two weeks is up, it fades.

So I decided to start looking back into camper vans. I came close to buying one last yeas (glad I didn't), but due to finances, it wasn't meant to be. When I got the news that I was being made redundant, I started looking. This was March- April. I finally left at the end of June, not without drama either (typically...).
Spent months refining my search, but always came back to the van I bought, my heart truly ruling my head!

So the day came, I travelled a great distance to view the van, having already negotiated a significant discount off the asking price, to allow for margin of error in the description. After hours of deliberation with my better half, looking it over, should we shouldn't we? Wwe took the plunge.

The drive back from York to South Somerset cemented my affection for the vehicle and reminded me why I used to love running old cars.

What made the difference was the provenance of the vehicle. I have every receipt for it. It's full history. I have the magazine articles which document the transition from white van to the two tone van you see here. I have the link to the wordpress site detailing some of the work involved. The care and attention afforded the van meant that inspite of blemishes, it would be money well spent. It was the only van to truly wow me. That's not to say I didn't like other vans, I wanted a pop top originally, but this one, for me, really had presence.

The whole advertisement and selling process really took great stock and pride in the provenance, that it had really been loved and this ethos had been carried through with following owners. To the seller's credit, he'd spent circa £6.5k on mechanicals, including things like clutch, recon engine etc. Credit where it's due.
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 31 Aug 2019, 16:30

So here's the pictures from the ad:

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And here's the wording...


'ONE-OFF' VOLKSWAGEN T3 TRANSPORTER PETROL 1.9 DG WASSERBOXER TWIN SLIDER



This is a unique opportunity to invest in a one-off Transporter; it is a stunning custom VW T3 finished in gorgeous Audi Alpaka Beige over Peugeot Verde Gombo pearlescent paintwork.

Although this T3 has had several owners it has been meticulously maintained and looked after. It has covered nearly 125 thousand miles from new and has recently undergone a fully documented and leading Volkswagen magazine featured recommissioning.

In 2016

Mot'd until March 2020

The engine has had its fluids and filters changed every 3,000 miles with a view to engine longevity and as such it runs beautifully.

It has the benefit of being fitted with a 61 litre BLOS LPG system which it has run on happily for a few hundred miles, effectively doubling the mpg. Unfortunately, currently the vapouriser (I have the replacement) was leaking a very small amount of coolant so the LPG system cannot be used and a new unit is installed. See below for refurb uptades under heading (since 2016)

The rear windows have been tinted with professional 2 ply 35% smoke film which is the same stuff the manufacturers put on the rear of their cars from factory.

During the restoration the entire underside of the bus was properly prepared and five litres of black waxoyl was applied to the underbody. Each wheel arch was scraped back to the original paintwork and stoneguarded, then each arch was also thoroughly waxoyled.

Within all the interior box sections, panels, behind the dash, most hinge and movement areas, and all interior panel sections ten litres of waxoyl has been applied.

The bus was fitted with a new passenger side front step and entire lower front panel.

The original tin roof was removed and replaced with an EXCEPTIONALLY RARE Dehler Profi roof imported from Germany.

Inside this bus is very clean and tidy boasting fully reupholstered custom cream seats with feature fern green insert, and immaculate accompanying grey trim.

Both front (SAAB 95 convertible, driver height adjustable) and rear seats are in outstanding condition with no rips, tears or cracks. They benefit from being a very convincing, modern 'leather look' vinyl (which has everyone fooled!), is that unlike leather it will not stain with sun cream, cooking oils or motor fluids and day to day dirt simply wipes off with a wet wipe. Perfect for a campervan.

The rear 'Rock n' Roll' bed works well and is very comfy, having been fitted with new springs during the recommissioning and lays flat into a very spacious, slightly narrower than double bed.

The cupboards span the entire length of the interior and have acres of storage within them. They also house a Waeco Mobicool fridge, a fully removable gas cooker and electric cold water tap with 20 litre water container and 12 liter per minute whale submersible pump.

Brushed steel double mains socket & mobicool fridge; Access lid to fridge; Fridge can accomodate six 2 litre bottles.

Rear storage box with split lid for access with tailgate closed.

In the rear area of the cupboard there is access to the gas cylinder and water container. It makes it much easier when the van is full of stuff to get them in and out.

New Smev sink & plug with tap and 12 litre per minute whale pump.

The first cupboard is set up with quick release on the gas line so you can turn off the gas, whip out the cooker and cylinder and use it as an outdoor cooking area.

The second cupboard area extends beneath the fridge and up to the frame of the bus which gives an amazing storage area for all your supplies.

The roof was purchased complete and therefore has the original DEHLER roof bed which locks away into the rear roof area. Although more suited for children, it can accommodate an adult. It has been trimmed to match the rest of the interior and looks fantastic

VERY RARE Projekt Zwo front fog light bezels with BRAND NEW 55 watt halogen light units; smoked front marker/turn signal lamps.

Custom smoked side repeaters; U.S. spec rear LED marker lights; GRP rear Heckeblende with smoked tail light units.

Reflective German pressed metal plates with authentic number plate surrounds front and rear; colour coded rear parking sensors activated when reverse gear is selected

Fixed 80 watt solar panel.

This system charges both the main battery (new, purchased 6 months ago) and the 85aH leisure battery whenever it is daylight and since we've been using the bus on the road have always had more power than we need.

Leisure battery status monitor and additional fuse box for all leisure systems; Solar charge regulator, Interior fluorescent light and ZIG CP2000 leisure charging system for mains hook up. There is also an RCD and MCB fitted within the storage cupbaord with access from the front cab but we haven't had to touch this.

Mains hook up point just behind OSF wheel.

Over cab storage area housing three large illuminated cupboards with telltale switch and ZIG unit; sunroof in main living area and a double glazed window to each side.

Original recommissioned Dehler lights; newly fitted RGB LED lighting strip with remote control runs above the work top

of the bus. Set the mood with whichever colour you wish!

Brand new EPAS (electric power assisted steering) complete with variable assistance control.

Carburetor has been refurbished and a new accelerator linkage fitted this month.

Brand new aerial; Tow hitch with single electrics which happily pulls our Erde 122 trailer full of camping gear; Sunroof over cab area.

The dashboard has been colour coded to match the wheels and bumpers of the van while the steering wheel has been painted to match the main area of the body.

Genuine VW dash tidy; Power outlets with USB supply (needs looking at as stopped working recently); Sony CD/MP3/Bluetooth Audio head unit.

Infinity Reference 6x9 speakers & access hatch to circuit breaker box; Nokia hands free mic and controller.

Audi 90 electric mirrors with individual control unit; polished chrome window winders; No 6 pool ball gear knob with extender.

New style single wiper blades all round; specially modified hinges to allow sliding doors to clear the extra wide wheels.

Awning rails are fitted to both sides to allow the use of a full drive away awning and a sun canopy at the same time; great for BBQ's. Included in the sale is a Kyham Motordome Classic quick erect drive away awning which I have never used and cost over £1,000.

'Serenity' sits on 16” allows correctly weighted and with winter tyres( only 3000 miles on them) all installed 2018

They are spaced appropriately

She is lowered on springs by 60mm at the front utilising spring assisters and 40mm at the rear.

Professional quality extended threads and associated radius wheel nuts were fitted into the hubs at the rear, and extended radius wheel studs were fitted to the fronts.

This vehicle comes with it's own 'birth certificate' from the Stiftung Auto Museum Volkswagen. It details all the original options of the bus, most of which it still retains with exception to the exterior trim and interior trim. Interestingly it states one of its M codes means an extended capacity fuel tank.

V5 Registration Document and current MOT Certificate (March 2020) available.

The bus recommissioning was featured as a 9 part series in a leading Volkswagen magazine publication; copies of articles available.

This file contains all of the previous history, instruction manuals for any fitted equipment and every single component purchased for the recommissioning.

Vehicle history HPi check; all clear.

A full set of Just Kampers insulated window blinds including suckers.

Please bear in mind that you are bidding on a Used Vehicle which in our opinion has been accurately described. Buyer sends deposit within 24 hours after sale and collects within 5 days unless otherwise agreed.



From March 2016

New 16 inch alloys fitted with winter tyres.

Dashboard pcb fitted £210 this eliminated all wiring quirks relating to the dash.

Full service, water and oil changes, new gear selector housing, adjustment to all gear linkages done at Mercedes commercial Aberdeen and completed by a vw t25 expert

Custom fitted a new Solid oak tongue and groove floor, matching work tops and occasional table. (plenty spare wood to make a new floor and work tops)

Full Engine refurbishment on the original engine was completed in march 2018. The refurb was from the ground up and included, new big end bearings, pistons, piston rings, a re-bore, cylinder head skim and complete seals. She has new clutch and a £550 stainless steel exhaust system.



Serenity has since done only 3000 miles and was run in txt book style.

A re-tune and oil n filter change and MOT til March 2020.



Today, as she stands she is in in great shape underneath and mostly good on the skin a part from bubbles of rust which with some attention will bring her back up to scratch.



Cons- Bubbles around one of the rear windows,

Offside arch - surface rust and a few scratches,

Offside driver door and sliding door have paint cracks that need sprayed

Rear bumper needs removed and re-sprayed, Total I was quoted was

(£1000 to fix the lot)



The rivet on the 'Rock n' Roll' mechanism has caught the cupboard as it has been put down and has a scratch on the paint work. We just cover it with a cushion!”



To be candid I paid £9300 for her 4 years ago and have put £6500 on top of that therefore whoever buys her now will gain a well looked after van. with only standard maintenance costs.



Having a van like this has changed my life in the way that adventures have shaped a new and healthier thinking. Visiting friends, the mountains, being the first on piste to ski, the cozy nights in all set up and warm with full bellies.

These days will be missed but not forgotten!

Currently insured for £13000

please contact me for more photographs and information.

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 31 Aug 2019, 17:20

Linky to wordpress site for the van, lots more pictures of it in it's pomp!

https://serenitycamper.wordpress.com/

So now the rage sets in.....

Let me be clear, I'm not angry with the van, moreso with the stupidity of the previous owners. Bare in mind I have a the receipt for the labour associated with the paint job, which sits close to £14k...

The work, detail finance and love poured into this van is incredible, so why would you take on that responsibility if you were not prepared to continue it's legacy as custodian??

Here's the shizzle that really grinds my gears....

*
It has the benefit of being fitted with a 61 litre BLOS LPG system which it has run on happily for a few hundred miles, effectively doubling the mpg. Unfortunately, currently the vapouriser (I have the replacement) was leaking a very small amount of coolant so the LPG system cannot be used and a new unit is installed. See below for refurb uptades under heading (since 2016)


I booked it in for this to be done and have a lpg service. Gave the parts the to specialist. Couple hours later I get a call asking where the vapouriser is.... It's not there. £98 later, new vapouriser fitted. Another call later in the day. "I now know why those other parts are in the box, the solenoid that sits on the control valve is siezed, not only that, but it's been screwed down so tightly, that if I try to losen it, the gas will vent at once.." Queue long chat about replacing tank, taking a chance on venting and ripping out the lpg. The seller knew this and chose to lie about it... The specialist made it safe, is currently on hols, will update in a couple weeks once he has it running. Just don't get the need to liet about it. It is what it is...

*"frelling" stickers on the van. This is a high profile van that has been done with lots of care and attention, so why put cheap nasty stickers all over it?? Bloody bullet holes too?? The stickers are symptomatic of the general attitude to the van's maintenance. The cracked filler, a knackered hands free kit. The original roof bed was knackered and not stacked properly, so you couldn't even sit in the back seat comfortably. Instead of fixing it, a bolt was put through it securing to the bl00dy high top!!!

In the blog, it details the two days spent wet sanding the paint to give an incredible glassy finish. I've spotted brush marks on it!!! Not to mention the passenger door has been blown over with a non matching paint colour, there's a huge ridge where a repair has been painted down the side (I didn't spot this when I first looked heart and head and all that...)

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The bad colour was painted over the damned sticker!!!

How about this:

I get temporary fixes, but a crack case vent hose is under £20. Why wouldn't you fix that as a priority?

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I love the Audi mirrors. The drivers door one has taken damage, it works but it wobbly. Rather than fix it, lets "paper" over the cracks....

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.. with ill fitting aftermarket glass!!!

The "never used" awning it came with? Ripped bag with a knackered zip, the tent was completely twisted and one of the connecting arms snapped... A couple holes in it too.... (all fixed now, it's a great awning

I could go on, but hopefully I've set the tone. Can't really believe I'm already over protective of the van!!!!

I've since deduced the lazy sod merely copy and pasted the advert he had when he bought it, adding a few lines at the end. Everything isn't quite as it seems with it. Perhaps I should have walked away and bought a Harley!!!

It was also tragically filthy, we spend 3 days cleaning it properly, removing ingrained oil and stains to the seats and bed.

Had our first weekend away and loved it!!! Next one booked for the end of Sept. We bloody love the old thing!!
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 31 Aug 2019, 17:42

Plans

Next Tueday it's in with a VW specialist for a once over. It eats miles but I want to know about any impending doom. There's a strong smell of petrol, I though it may be a rusty tank or knackered breather pipes, but today I've spotted the filler neck where it meets the filler cap is broken. I was inspired to check it after watching a video on a t25 facebook page of similar. I'll order that today along with the breather hose.

While it's with the specialist, he's introducing me to his bodywork guy. he estimates a couple grand (not £1000 like in the advert.. but in fairness I called the owner out on that) will see her straight. That's in budget. In truth I'm happy to double that and more if needed. Perhaps I should expect it.

LPG fix will be completed a week later.

Now the silly "male chicken" decided for whatever reason to remove the beautiful grey work top (see blog, it's visible indirectly in a couple pics) and replace it was a very badly fitted top made of wooden flooring.... N0b. As a result, the pretty green doors are warped where he didn't chase in channels for the locks to sit, so they had to be bent to hit the channels in the wood flooring to stay shut.... What a clown...

Tomorrow I'll convince my rather talented cousin that he'll take good money to replace the doors and worktop, save a bit of weight too. I ripped out the loose wooden flooring (the same wood as on the work top) and saved approx 15-20kgs. As flooring it looked great, but too heavy and massively inappropriate in camping conditions.

Where the bed in the roof went will become a storage cupboard, as per other Dehler high top vans. I don't have under the rock n roll, that where lpg lives!

While on the roof, why would you fit round speakers in oval holes???? Stupid stupid thick muppet idiot!!!! 5x7 speakers are still available, buy those, or get more 6x9s and enlarge the space. So many corners cut, I'm surprised the van isn't a circle....

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Once that's all done, the wheels will be replaced. They're not bad, just not to my taste. I'm thinking BBS RS or Borbet As in some sort of finish...

Oh I also today discovered what I believe to be a consequence of the stupid lowering, splits at the back where the high top joins the roofline. In heavy rain it leaks. Just waiting for it to dry, then I'll apply some clear sealant, tide me over until bodywork can fix it... Not ideal, but it'll see me through the next month. Any advice on this or anything else, feel free to comment, I've got thick skin!!

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This thread will help me chart my journey with the van. There's more things to do on it than listed. This continues the provanance!!!
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Fugeh » 01 Sep 2019, 11:01

I so very nearly went to look at this van but brought one before going to see it. I think I would have come away with it as looks great in the pictures.

To be fair, mines got way more issues than yours...

Looks lovely, glad you're having fun :ok
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Cobra88 » 01 Sep 2019, 12:13

Looks ok to me nothing too scary.

nice hightop roof as I hate the shape of most but that one I like.

I like the AMG Merc rims in the old pictures, really suited the van

Just get on top of all the rust patches and youll be fine
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 01 Sep 2019, 20:30

Thanks guys, appreciate the replies. Replacing the sparks, leads, cap and rotor has worked wonders, easy cruise to Exeter today, felt like a different van. I'm doubting the alleged 3k miles service, I think I'll tell the specialist to do an oil and antifreeze service, just so I have an accurate line in the sand.

Completely agree about the Merc wheels. They look so much better, but were 18s, if I've remembered the receipt correctly. It's really crashy and unpleasant on the 16s, with the stupid drop in the front. 18s would've been unbearable.

I'm thinking Bilstein B4s with Avo springs for a 40mm drop all round will be better. Anecdotally, seems to offer a good balance between ride and performance.

Low on the list will be better wheels, that's for sure!

Another issue I think may have been caused by the stiff suspension, is cracks around the join between the hard top and roof line, at the back of the vehicle. It lets water in when it rains hard. I've clear silicone sealant the cracks for now as a temporary measure, I'll post pics of cracks below... ImageImage

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 04 Sep 2019, 21:26

So on Tuesday, I dropped the van in at the local specialist, The Dub Doctor. I've met Shaun, the proprietor a couple times. Very passionate and knowledgeable chap with a very good reputation. In fact when I was driving my van home from buying it in Yorkshire, I stopped to see a friend in Sheffield. He has a mk1 golf cabriolet, but I wouldn't call him a car guy. He'd heard of The Dub Doctor. I'd heard other stories too.

Anyway, I'd asked Shaun to give the van the once over, after coming to terms with the bullshi.. artistic licence in the add. I'd changed plugs and leads etc and they were shot, so I was worried about the overall health. I was right to be worried. The coolant was awful, rusty even. The 3000 mile regular servicing had not happened. So oil and coolant service underway, I popped in after work.

Shaun had arranged for a bodywork guy and a welder to come and have a look over the van. While we waited, Shaun raised the vehicle up so we could look underneath. Thankfully, that was as described. Slight corrosion to trailing arms and one of the beams, but surface only. Shaun described it as the cleanest t25 underside he'd had in his workshop! The sliding doors and tailgate are also in great shape. Excellent! I am catching the van at the right time before big problems start.

We looked over the engine, missing hose and split in the air intake hose by the carb. A couple minor oil leaks, a couple new rocker covers while we are at it. He's also going to adjust the tappets, so it'll drive really smooth.

Bodywork guy had a good look over. Pointed out some really "pooh" bodges which seem typical of the tosser who had it before, but it's all cosmetic and he's confident he can sort it. Both him and the welder have lots of experience with t25s.

In fact the welder is currently saving a synchro that left its trailing arms on the floor when the ramp went up.... [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

We (Shaun and I) talked about preservation of the underside when all is finished, he's even offered me the use of his ramp one weekend if I wanted to wax oil it! A true measure of an enthusiast I'd say!

So now I'm waiting on the quote for the bodywork. It'll be both sides, gutter down, new arch on the filler cap side and potentially new metal in the drivers side rear window surround.

We're away for three nights at the end of September to try out an electric hook up site near Wareham in Dorset. After that, the resto starts in ernest!

My only caveat for the bodywork team is lots of pictures. They were impressed with the van's provenance, I need to continue that, to document its return to the level the van was originally!

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 09 Sep 2019, 19:58

So the bodywork guy has got cold feet. Feels the job may be too much for him, which I appreciate him saying before he starts any work, rather than part way through!

However, as someone who is looking to go full time as a bodywork guy, it's having the confidence to take on a challenge that can mean you make the transition into the job you dream of doing. Yes there's a fair bit of work, but it's made up of lots of smaller jobs if that makes sense.

So back to finding a good bodyshop to take the job on, happy to hear recommendations of anyone near to Yeovil in Somerset.

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 10 Sep 2019, 06:58

So literally minute after posting, I heard back from N B Restorations. Their work on Facebook looks awesome, once I know I have the van back from the lpg chap, I'll meet up with them and hopefully agree a price! Very excited!

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 14 Sep 2019, 10:24

Picked the van up from Shaun at the Dub Doctor. Wow, what a difference. So much smoother. Still a few bits that need tinkering, but I'm really happy with what's been done so far. So glad I got this done, the coolant hadn't been changed for god knows how long, it was somewhat brown in colour. Not consistent with 3000 mile service intervals. More lies.

Apparently the valve clearances were all over the place, some not adjusted, some screwed right down, which could've caused problems. There's a slight clacky noise on start up, which I'm told is indicative of a hydraulic issue. So that'll get done shortly too.

Dropped the van in to the lpg place Friday to finish recommissioning that system. Thankfully, the stuck solenoid was able to be replaced without replacing the tank, saving a couple hundred quid, thanks to Pemco Pitstop for that. However, that's not the end of the issues. Seems some sort of switching pump thing that should be on the fuel line is missing. Whether it was never replaced when the engine was reconditioned or perhaps fuel lines replaced, I don't know. Either way the melt that owned the van before me, clearly had bu11sh*tt3d about the state of the lpg, among other things.

I have every right to ask for the cost of getting the vehicle to how it was advertised, met by the previous owner. However, I have no appetite for pursuing small claims should my request not be acquiesced. With the former owner being overseas for the medium term, I don't fancy my chances. I may just vent a strongly worded email offering some critical feedback.... [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

I've also taken delivery of some new speakers to replace the round ones currently sat in oval holes in the hard top. They were 40gbp. Another thing which speaks of the d1ckheadery of the previous owner.

Just popped a message to the bodywork guys, still need to get the lpg finished and let shaun finish his work too. I'm away on the van for a few days in a couple weeks, which I can't wait for!



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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 14 Sep 2019, 10:26

Will fit these Tuesday I think. Won't take a minuteImage

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Cobra88 » 14 Sep 2019, 13:25

I thought I saw the van for sale again ?
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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 19 Sep 2019, 20:37

Cobra88 wrote:I thought I saw the van for sale again ?
No mate. No way! Love it too much. I thin the listing was off and on for a number of months as the pervious owner was in two minds to sell. He'd gone abroad for an indeterminate time, so did so reluctantly. Where have you seen it listed recently?

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Re: The Rage-storation: I Shoulda Bought a God-damned Harley!

Postby Rosc0PColtrane » 19 Sep 2019, 20:39

Rosc0PColtrane wrote:Will fit these Tuesday I think. Won't take a minuteImage

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"frelling" speakers are not the size as advertised, they're too big. Plus with the gap between the inner and outer skin being narrower at the top than the bottom, the space isn't deep enough. Bought some spacer rings and will fit some donated 6 x 9s instead.

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