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Grenouille

[Car_Overhaul] 205 1.6 Gti Overhaul And Rebuild

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Grenouille

For some time my brother and I have been meaning to write a blog of our 1991 J reg Peugeot 205 GTi 1.6 which we co-own. What with storm Frank continuing to batter the North East of Scotland and with some time on my hands before heading back to work I thought I’d make a start.

 

After I bought my house in April 2013, with a built in, and rather narrow, single garage, I knew that I had to fill it with something cool rather than become a dumping ground. My brother, Jamie, who is also a member of this forum decided to get involved with my early mid-life crisis and we started hunting for a toy. Originally we aimed towards old front engined Porsches; I even test drove a 2.5 944. I fancied an MX5, Jamie wasn’t so keen, sighting rust issues (ah the irony). Eventually we both agreed that we loved the looks of Peugeot 205s.

 

We then pretty much jumped into buying (online) a 205 GTi sight unseen from an auction in Dundee. Having never sat in one, let alone driven one, I set off one miserable April evening from Aberdeen to the outskirts of Dundee to pick up our new acquisition – a Graphite Grey 1.6 Peugeot 205 GTi with a 1.9 half leather interior and 149,000 miles on the clock.

 

23565998504_96aac1c8b3.jpgCollection from Dundee by Andy, on Flickr

 

The car looked decent enough, tucked in the back of the car park. It came with a fairly thick wad of history and a couple of keys. I paid my dues and it started first time, surely a good start!

 

A relatively uneventful drive home, however much excitement for me nonetheless; checking the lights before setting off, marvelling at the throttle response, the rasp of the exhaust, and wondering if I’d make it home!

 

I did make it home and sent a few phone pics to my brother of our latest acquisition, describing to him the heavy (non-power assisted) steering, the ‘chuckability’ and feedback from the steering wheel.

 

Our first task was to sort out an MOT as we had bought it without long to go. I booked it into our local Halfords and predictably it failed on several items;

Headlamps incorrectly set – minor issue, easily solved.

Excessive play on offside ARB – bit bigger.

Offside front wheel bearing shot – bit bigger.

 

We repaired these immediate issues ourselves, having been given a quote of over £300.

Issues resolved the MOT was duly passed. What followed was a fairly trouble free year of occasional blasts about the roads of the North East. In this time we replaced both drive shafts with SKF replacements, changed the grotty transmission fluid, changed the front lights, fixed various leaks with varying success (this is a non-sunroof model so no issues there thankfully). We’ve also fitted a new cheapo (no stainless steel unfortunately) exhaust. The rear wheel bearings were also replaced ahead of it’s second MOT in our ownership. These had been advisories previously and thought it wise to be ahead of the game.

 

23567382473_3cb04b20c9.jpg205 at Cairn O Mount by Andy, on Flickr

 

A run up Cairn O' Mount, Aberdeenshire

 

24086148772_e11cff6314.jpgBanchory car park by Andy, on Flickr

Couldn't resist!

 

23567380433_98b0a1dcbf.jpgIMG_0837 by Andy, on Flickr

 

However our confidence that the majority of the issues were sorted ahead of the MOT was shattered when I took it to our local garage (wasn’t greatly impressed with Halfords) and received the dreaded phone call. The issues were: rust to the nearside inner sill near seatbelt mounting points, excessive play to both rear bearings (?!) and a very unhealthy emissions test with high CO and hydrocarbons. There did seem to be a fair amount of grey smoke out the back thinking about it…

 

24086168632_7d127843aa.jpgMOT fail 2015 by Andy, on Flickr

 

24111626751_bf4d7f479f.jpgMOT 2015 emissions by Andy, on Flickr

 

At this point we had a bit of soul searching to do, keep and fix these fairly large issues or scrap it? We decided to keep, as we were committed and wouldn’t get any more than scrap value for the car in any case. Not a fun discussion to have.

 

That MOT test was on the 29th of May 2015. From that point on we have been finding and attempting to repair some fairly serious corrosion on all the usual 205 spots – inner front wings, inner and outer sills, boot floor and rear passenger floor.

 

24194201765_41a5a7b36e.jpgIMG_1723 by Andy, on Flickr

 

24086203722_b401013e1c.jpgNearside sill by Andy, on Flickr

 

24168143756_5b821725a3.jpgBoot floor by Andy, on Flickr

 

24194206485_7df84e2b23.jpgFront end by Andy, on Flickr

 

We have since decided that the engine needs a rebuild – the emissions may be from something fairly minor such as valve stem seals, but with such a high mileage it’s probably a matter of time. As for those rear wheel bearings, after a bit of a closer inspection, the rear beam was found to be shot – witness marks on the inner arches at the top being a give away.

 

So far we have been concentrating on the rust, having dug out an old MIG welder from our dad we’ve repaired the boot floor but a fair bit to go! This thread will be a way of recording the work on the car and hopefully be a source of information for us and for others in the future…what not to do possibly!

 

The overall plan is a slight OEM+ 205, with good quality repairs and components used throughout.

 

Whilst the car has been sat in the garage looking sorry for itself we’ve picked up some wishbones, Bilstein B4 front dampers and Eibach springs, sach rear shock absorbers and a short shift kit courtesy of Kam Racing.

 

These will be fitted as we go along and our exploits recorded on here. Feel free to give any advice as we go and point out any mistakes. With us both being fairly new to this then there’s definite scope for improvement!

Edited by Grenouille

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culreoch

Few snaps of our work over the Christmas break - this was the first session since April that the list of tasks got shorter, rather than longer.

 

Andy fires up the MIG to patch the NSR footwell:

24114971381_1dd01e560a_z.jpgfirst weld by JAMIE, on Flickr

 

Meanwhile I have a go at forming up one of the inner wing repair sections:

23901971840_4623030621_z.jpgmetal bashing by JAMIE, on Flickr

 

And offered up, it looks allright:

23901971690_33fdf7077b_z.jpgoffered up by JAMIE, on Flickr

 

Still to find some way of forming / replacing the "headlight bowls" in the vertical part of the inner wing, then we can chop out the rot and weld these in :)

 

Then the sills, the rear arch and lower quarter, the front panel... and we'll have a solid shell to work with. Fair to say that despite really missing being behind the wheel, all this work is a great and usually enjoyable learning experience.

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Alan77

Good work on saving it.

I remember Portlethen, used to go to courses at the Baker Hughes office / yard.

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Grenouille

Thanks! In hindsight, we should have been a bit cannier, but then again we might never have got anything if we'd waited...

 

I know where you are. Do you work in drilling/well services?

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Alan77

Yeah, used to work for Baker, and now Halliburton in Norway, although its all going down the tubes!...

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Mac Crash

Nice to see another 205 not far away, I work out of the Bridge of Don, have a fair bit of 1.6 spares, if you need anything drop us a line...

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Grenouille

Hi Colin,

 

Thanks for getting in touch. I may well take you up on that offer! You don't have any spare engines/heads or associated gubbins? We haven't got that far yet, but I suspect there could be trouble ahead.

 

Also be interested in any panels; front wings, rear quarter or sills if you have anything kicking about?

 

Feel free to PM if you prefer.

 

Andy.

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Grenouille

With a couple of cold evenings in the garage I’ve made some progress with some of the bodywork. During our last session we found a new hole in the nearside outer sill just aft of the door, we also had some issues trying to weld one of the patches in the floor, with the MIG (under my unpractised hands) blowing holes constantly being put down to thinned steel from corrosion. I decided to cut some more metal out and try and find some healthy steel.

 

24055269379_d54eae1d4d_z.jpg205 cut out by Andy, on Flickr

 

23796272253_103dd31934_z.jpg205 patch making by Andy, on Flickr

 

23796275973_b84720e68c_z.jpg205 floor welded 1 by Andy, on Flickr

 

24055266589_22dc4ca022_z.jpg205 floor welded by Andy, on Flickr

 

23796269833_9be054b46f_z.jpg205 sill tacked by Andy, on Flickr

 

23794866564_08f1868e1c_z.jpg205 sill welded by Andy, on Flickr

 

24396988316_13a6dcd0f0_z.jpg205 sill complete by Andy, on Flickr

 

 

I’d say mixed success.

 

After finding out that I had little to no shielding gas, I experimented with the wire speed whilst working slightly upside down on the sill; I found with a faster wire speed I managed to keep the weld pool on the metal and not moving back into the tip of the MIG torch…much to learn.

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culreoch

That last pic makes the sill look quite deformed Andy.

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Grenouille

Bit of deformation on the sill. Maybe a skim of filler would help. I think the lighting and the colour of the paint do accentuate it though. I'm not cutting it out though!

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buchanan84

Good to see your making progress, really need to pull my finger out!!!

 

I bought a 2nd hand rear beam which I refurbished, theres no obvious issues with the beam that's fitted so might be of use to you? (when I get round to removing it...)

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Grenouille

I asked my mum to look out some pictures which might explain why we went for the Peugeot 205…clearly it was meant to be.

 

24098869729_f3dab5ba6a_z.jpg205 XT by Andy, on Flickr

 

 

This is a picture from circa 1989 and a 205 XT, registration unknown. Note, I’m neither of the two pictured, probably not being born at this point. According to my folks, my dad put a roof rack on the 205 and promptly bent the roof…a lesson learned for me there, since I do like a roof rack on a car!

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Grenouille

Good to see your making progress, really need to pull my finger out!!!

 

I bought a 2nd hand rear beam which I refurbished, theres no obvious issues with the beam that's fitted so might be of use to you? (when I get round to removing it...)

 

Thanks very much for the offer. We're thinking of getting a refurbed beam...ours is definitely needing overhauled.

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buchanan84

No worries,

 

they're not that difficult to refurbish, probably need heat to split some parts and access to a press if the shafts need changed... will probably refurbish this one a sell on here if it comes apart ok, tho don't hold your breath as currently out of work and trying not to spend money ;)

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Grenouille

Yeah there are a few guides on here and some of the companies that offer the refurbishment have a bit of a reputation. I believe that Tom Fenton does it though... Just with so much to do it's very tempting to say "refurbished beam please"...

 

Sorry to hear about the job. Not a nice time to be in the oil industry...hope you sort something out!

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Grenouille

We finally made some progress this weekend with treating the rust after a bit of a hiatus due to a combination of other things getting in the way and lack of motivation.

 

Managed to repair the sill, which caused our MOT failure and Jamie worked his magic on the inner front wings. We started to fit the front panel but ran in to trouble with our non-OEM panel fitting…

 

26486591725_d7ab203fce.jpg205 passenger inner wing cut by Andy, on Flickr

 

26460674686_e92082e538.jpg205 drivers inner wing by Andy, on Flickr

 

26420474711_a15531aa59.jpg205 passenger inner wing by Andy, on Flickr

 

Unsure what’s happened here. The replacement inner wing was made to match the old panel which met the original front panel. Confused!

 

26213755380_5ffdda5905.jpg205 front panel gap by Andy, on Flickr

 

Next stage is to order a replacement sill and fit this, not to mention tackle the mess that is the boot stiffener beam. Unsure whether to chop out and replace or carry out local repairs. Any advice/experience, please do tell.

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culreoch

This month's update...

 

With Andy having some annual leave to use up before the end of the holiday year, and my having worked through my usual easter week off, we both booked this last week off with the intent to blitz some of the more laborious bodyshell repairs in one hit.

 

First up: the front panel where we left off last time. Oddly with fresh eyes it went together fairly easily, with lots of clamps and plug welds.

26541577833_6382471e2f_z.jpg

front panel in progress

 

Next, completing the vertical section of the inner wings, and the complex "bowl" section behind the headlights/indicators. This took a while but we (Andy) managed something fairly neat.

27112594486_d15279ee21_z.jpg

nsf inner wing

27112595546_47d1084bc7_z.jpg

osf inner wing

 

With that done, time to sort the rotten offside sill. This was a full replacement, taking almost a full day just to remove the remains of the original and prepare the mating surface, and another day to get the new sill on.

27050833602_6a73d9d009_z.jpg

sill

 

Finally, cleaning out the rotten OSR inner arch, removing at least two previous repairs in the process. A new plate was made up and welded in.

At close of play yesterday - it looks and feels a lot less of a lost cause now :-)

27112600376_8f3d722a95_z.jpg

finish

 

Next up:

* the NSR quarter, sill end and inner arch (another one!).

* the boot floor crossmember to which the rearmost beam mounts attach

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Grenouille

Excellent, thanks for writing that up. No mention of me using an old carpet to prevent weld burns either...

 

Seeing the Graphite Grey 205 GTX at "How Many Left" today has inspired me!

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culreoch

Time for another update to catch up on the last couple of months.

 

Took us a weekend to cut out and rebuild the NSR sill end/arch. Then, a bit later it was time to cut out and replace the bottom of the NSR quarter. This had been ground back and built up with filler previously, then rotted away. So we chopped it out below the plastic trim and made a new bit.

28566538723_7644a73881_z.jpgquarter

 

29108011471_0ef2b21860_z.jpgquarter

I was a bit doubtful about achieving both a nice, even curve over the height of the panel and the lip around the wheelarch. But by bending the sheet incrementally and gently using the welding gas bottle as a former, it went well. I can't actually remember how we made the lip now - I think we must have had to cut slots in it , bend it and then weld it up.

 

As that was quicker and easier than expected, we bashed on with the next bit: dropping the beam to see what the mounting points were like, and cleaning up all the crud and rust on the rear underbody. Can't say I was looking forward to that job. The beam came off OK and hid no nasty surprises. We knew the crossmember was rotten, and cut a z- shaped section out and folded something suitable up to weld back in.

28564068474_8891708f71_z.jpgx-member

 

29108044271_0c428524ba_z.jpgunderbody

 

The underside cleaned up fairly well, and is sitting in primer for now. We'll give it a finish coat, probably using epoxy based stuff, and by that time a refurbished beam should be arriving to build up and refit.

 

 

The car still looks a lost cause to anyone but us, but it is (slowly) coming back together now. Bit more blood sweat and tears to go yet!

Cheers for now.

Edited by culreoch

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Mac Crash

 

The underside cleaned up fairly well, and is sitting in primer for now. We'll give it a finish coat, probably using epoxy based stuff, and by that time a refurbished beam should be arriving to build up and refit.

 

 

 

 

Good effort, regards the floor pans/underbody... don't think it is a good idea to bring old steel back to bare metal, avoid this where you can, in the same boat myself though and so I am using zinc primer then stonechip to hopefully seal it against the elements. Not sure what is the best way so using what I have to hand.

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Grenouille

Hi Colin,

 

Why would you suggest avoiding bringing the floor pan back to bare metal?

 

We're planning on applying a fairly heavy duty coating (once Jamie finds some!).

 

Andy.

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Mac Crash

Hi Andy, Have found you can never protect it as good as it left the factory, may be something to do with new steel, from what I have seen, rust always finds a way back once it has begun... cars are dipped from new in the factory then sealed with seam sealer and they last as we see them today, once you start repairing them, in most cases they never seem to have that same resistance to corrosion again.... how many of us have repaired bodywork on old cars just to see rust come back through a year or two later? I'd be wary of going back to the metal unless you have to... but I'd check with the experts, see what they think or have experience of...

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culreoch

I agree with that Colin. Having (through my work) specified repair and re-preservation of steel in a dockside environment, it requires a level of surface preparation that we can't achieve on the car - too many lap joints etc that we can never realistically clean out.

 

If we can remove and kill as much of the pre-existing rust as possible, then do our best to keep water and road salt away from the metal then I think that should minimise the rot and earn us a good few years before the wire brush has to go back under there.

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culreoch

Stripped down the rear brakes (1.6 so the drum system) this weekend. The backplates looked like they'd been at the bottom of the sea for a long time, and the wheel slave cylinders were getting past their best.

 

Good news: all came apart ok and we don't need any consumables as the internals were in decent order - cylinders aside.

Bad news: both backplates are rotten to the point where I put holes in them when chipping off loose scale: there was no metal between the rust on front and back faces.

 

I guess we will need to see if we can somehow patch them. Initial research suggests they're NFP, and nothing I can find in Servicebox for other models seems equivalent as the 205 GTi has wider (40mm vs 30mm) drums.

Otherwise the options are for replacement secondhand items - pair on ebay just now look almost as crusty as our originals - or swap to a drum setup from something like a non-ABS 106/206/306 I can see that being a can of worms to try and find out what would fit without upsetting the wheel geometry, and match with the 205 beam mounting and stub axle.

 

180x30 replacements from a base 205 or one of the x06 Peugeots would seem to be a downgrade, and would on the face of it result in a 20mm narrowing of the track?

 

Any ideas folks, anybody been down this path before?

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Tom Fenton

Shot blast them to see how good/bad they really are; I have in the past had crusty looking things that actually are not as bad as you think. I have locally repaired some before with the welder.

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