Clementine's Garage
Clementine the Cat
 
Image of flower
Yellow R4
 
Réparateur d'automobiles

GTL from Portugal

Messages
83
Location
London
#1
Hello all,

Thought I'd post a few lines about the new addition to our family. We negotiated the sale in late autumn but had to wait until after Christmas to collect him.

The day after Boxing Day we took an early flight from Stansted; by lunchtime we were shown to a secure parking compound in suburban Porto...

IMG_6756.JPG

...where Joao, our 1985 GTL was waiting -

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Now all we had to do was to bring him to London :)
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#2
After a drizzly start with dense traffic we got out of Porto. Hills to the north were shrouded in fog -

IMG_6759.JPG

After two hours' driving the roads were non-stop twisty, the fog became dense and day became night. In extremely limited visibility we trickled along at 50kph.

Then the worst happened: shape in the fog - herd of goats on the highway - hit the brakes, then BANG hit the goats. Awful. I'm astonished we didn't kill one of them, however they all trotted off nonchalantly.

Joao had taken a hit. The impact had pushed the front of the bonnet in. Luckily the radiator was intact. However both dipped beams were gone, and we were left with one crooked main beam. Not great in the fog. We had to drive a tense further hour of mountainous country roads before reaching Chaves.

Did I mention I hadn't arranged breakdown cover for the trip? :vsad:
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#3
Chaves was very pretty -

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And guess what we found hiding on a side street?

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Proper well-used example, with a selection of different alloys and what appears to be Portuguese-obligatory roof rack and tow bar (ours had been fitted with these too) -

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Next day we crossed the border into Spain and the sun came out. Got our first clear view of the accident damage - not great but not the end of the world -

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That won't polish out

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Messages
83
Location
London
#4
Next stop was Leon. A vibrant and moneyed city with a lovely old centre -

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Found this on a side street - thought it was a Fiat but it's a Seat -

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After a second night-stop, we drove on to the port of Santander to meet our ferry. Another nice town with a very interesting church, but my attention was taken by the stunning Centre Botin gallery on the waterfront -

IMG_6871.JPG

We then got the evening ferry to Portsmouth, with a private cabin. Nothing to do for 24 hours except eat, drink and look at the (mercifully flat) sea. Lovely :)

Tucked up on Deck 5:

IMG_6881.JPG

So the following day we got off the boat at 10pm and drove the final 100 miles back up the A3, getting home just after midnight.

Quick wash before putting Joao to bed under his new tailored cover:

IMG_6913.JPG

All in all a nice trip and a memorable start to R4 ownership! :D

Simon.
 

laxeian

Enthusiast
Messages
178
Location
Galicia
#7
Pesky goats!, get them round here, the heavy traffic you’ve got to avoid are the Ox and carts in some of the villages if you’d of taken the coastal route from Porto to Santander..hours more drive but views like this the entire journey 8EDA282F-5C95-445D-9E37-0FB7CB740DA4.jpeg
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#8
Hello all,

With Joao the R4 back in London it's been time to get to know him a bit.

Last week I took him to meet Derek at Renospeed, who's not far away. He kindly pulled my goat-damaged bonnet into some sort of usable shape, and got the headlamps levelled with new bulbs :)

At the weekend I took Joao to an ex-mechanic friend, with a big box of service parts just in from Der Franzose. We gave the car an engine service and did a general health-check.

I should say at this point that I'm NOT super-handy like the restoration experts here... used to do my own servicing but, for reasons of warranty and laziness at various times, have let others do it in recent years and lost some confidence as a result. So it was nice to be back with oily hands hunting for the right socket again.

Pictures and words to follow...

Simon.
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#9
Time to get busy -

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Whoever did the respray remembered to do inside the engine bay ...including the ID plates, CV gaiters, wiring loom...

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Oval plate -

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RHS of engine showing Femsa distributor (thank you for the "which distributor?" post!). God knows how long the oil filter had been there -

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Rocker box had clearly been leaking. The retaining nuts had been overtightened, deforming the cover - we straightened it on the bench with hammer and drift. Only discovered after fitting a new gasket that the dribbles were of old sealant not oil :whistle:

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Considering the state of the oil filter, this was a reassuring sight -

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Messages
83
Location
London
#10
We replaced the distributor cap, rotor arm and HT leads, although the existing items seemed quite fresh - saved to my box of bits to carry in the car. Vintage Femsa coil stays for now, albeit with the Gammatronix unit strapped to it (sorry, no pic of this) -

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Spanish spec air filter cover...

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...held a rather grubby paper element. Replaced -

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Carb has been replaced at some point, but I'm not sure with what. I think this may be a Zenith 32 -

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It seems to be running very rich at idle. However I want to replace a frayed/ sticky throttle cable (car doesn't always return to tickover) before playing with it. General running is okay and the plug tips looked a fair colour -

IMG_6922.JPG
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#11
We replaced the shocks with KYB items, part numbers taken from a post here (thank you again!).
It's removed a loud creak from the suspension but the ride is now considerably more wallowy than before, not sure this is an improvement :o

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Discs and pads, drums and shoes all seemed okay for wear. One slave cylinder weeping though. Brake lines were flushed through with new fluid.

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Whatever these bushes are called, they look knackered. There's also play in the front hubs, especially the left-hand one - think we'll need to deal with this

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After this lot, much gin needed to be drunk :)

Got a bit of a to-do list now, including:
front hubs/ bearings and suspension bushes
CV & steering rack gaiters
rear slave cylinders
throttle cable & linkage
carb tune
exhaust blow at manifold
dicky speedo needle
weeping sump plug

...will get on with these bits in the coming weeks, but meanwhile I'm pleased to have got more acquainted :D

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Best wishes, Simon.
 
Messages
83
Location
London
#14
Hello @Sepharad , thanks!
We have more adventures planned for later this year, but we’ll get to those in due course ;)
I see you have a Portuguese car too, do you have more pics to share?
Best wishes, Simon.
 

Sepharad

Enthusiast
Messages
27
Location
Portugal
#17
What a beautiful little car. Umm I have a photo of the Damage a neighbor did, then hit and ran. Maybe after my bodywork is done.
 

laxeian

Enthusiast
Messages
178
Location
Galicia
#18
“Umm I have a photo of the Damage a neighbor did, then hit and ran. Maybe after my bodywork is done.”
‘Patina’ is ‘In’ ! ;)
 

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
428
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
#19
Very nice GTL and what a clean engine, now enjoy driving your R4.
I wonder what happened with that goat, did you have a grill for the road kill?
 
Messages
27
Location
Millbrook Cornwall
#20
Next stop was Leon. A vibrant and moneyed city with a lovely old centre -

View attachment 22415

Found this on a side street - thought it was a Fiat but it's a Seat -

View attachment 22416
View attachment 22417

After a second night-stop, we drove on to the port of Santander to meet our ferry. Another nice town with a very interesting church, but my attention was taken by the stunning Centre Botin gallery on the waterfront -

View attachment 22418

We then got the evening ferry to Portsmouth, with a private cabin. Nothing to do for 24 hours except eat, drink and look at the (mercifully flat) sea. Lovely :)

Tucked up on Deck 5:

View attachment 22419

So the following day we got off the boat at 10pm and drove the final 100 miles back up the A3, getting home just after midnight.

Quick wash before putting Joao to bed under his new tailored cover:

View attachment 22420

All in all a nice trip and a memorable start to R4 ownership! :D

Simon.
 
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