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[car_overhaul] Miami16. The Story Of Slowly Progressing 205 Build.

52 replies to this topic


  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
I have yet again let my momentum fall away from finishing the 205, so I thought I should start a project thread and cover where I've got to so far. My thinking being that on writing about how much I have got done to date, I'll see I'm not really that far off finishing and be convinced to get my arse off the sofa, out of the lotus and into my overalls. Hopefully in doing so, I'll be giving you guys something to half interesting to read in exchange for help in the form of answers to questions when I need them. It's been in bits for while, so I may need some help putting them all back together again!

In summary the project has seen me take my already Mi16 converted 1991 1.9 Gti non sunroof 205 in Miami Blue and pull it to bits to refresh the suspension and rebuild the engine. The original plan was never to take the engine out but the project and my ambitions grew as time went on.

2004 -April
So the beginning. I had recently sold my GSXR 600 and had £3000 in cash sitting in my house. A friend of mine was busy building a 205 Mi16 (Alex205Mi16) and my attention had been drawn back to 205's. As a 17 year old in 1994 riding round town on my Suzuki RG125 Gamma I was always in envy of the Miami 1.9Gti that was always about. I have wanted a Miami 205 ever since. Alex was making good progress with his conversion and he was busy keeping me updated on his progress. I got pointed in the direction of this forum by him and soon developed a need for an Mi powered 205 as a play thing. I first went to see a local car for sale and it was an absolute shed with a dodgy purple re-spray but it did give me taste of the performance the Mi gave, I still wanted one. I found a J plate 205 for sale on autotrader already converted with an Mi16 engine one quite afternoon at work. I got all excited, took the rest afternoon off and jumped in my MR2 turbo to go see it, thinking nothing of the fact I was driving to Crawley from Birmingham on a whim.

The car looked tidy inside and out and the Mi had apparently been fitted for several years, which to me was good news, teething issues were hopefully not going to be an factor. In my minimal 205 reading all I knew was that I should be checking it wasn't tilted, it wasn't. The car was heavily lowered but otherwise it looked pretty straight. At the time I knew nothing about rear beams and the horrors they contained. I drove the car and it to be honest it went like stink which blinded me to the fact that it pulled left under acceleration and generally felt a bit tired over the bumps but hey the chassis had done 180,000 miles (alarm bells really should have been ringing). Like every other Mi conversion ever, the engine has allegedly only done 60,000 miles. Anyway I liked it and others were calling the seller interested in the car while I was looking at it. I paid £2500 for it, which I now know was too much. The money from the sale of my bike sale was burning a hole in my pocket. I hadn't really looked at any other cars and hadn't done enough reading to know what a good one should have felt like. That said I was happy and I loved the way it pulled into the redline just like my bike did. To look at it was a very tidy car.

So eventually I had my 1991 J plate, non sunroof, 1.9 GTI in Miami (With the added bonus of it already having the extra 8 valves).

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I ran it for 4 months as it was. The only work done was to sort out the pulling under acceleration. It became worse very quickly. This forum identified that problem as the wishbone bushes. Alex still busy with his own project kindly helped me change the wishbone for a spare he had, sorting the problem. This was the biggest job I'd ever done on a car and I liked how easy the 205 seemed to work on.

I'd make a point of taking Alex out in it for a blast whenever he needed re-motivating to get his finished. The old cobra immobiliser decided to give up one day and leave me stuck at home, so I had to have that replaced with a new CAT 1 system. The guy that fitted it happened to be an ex 205 owner. On finishing the job he commented that the wiring under the dash wasn't too pretty and I really ought to look at the suspension as they not supposed to be like that! The trouble I had was that I didn't want to spend any more on it as I had already started to make plans to sell all my worldly goods and go travelling.

2004 Ė November
I put the 205 up for sale at the end of 2004 and a few looked at it, including one chap that decided the head gasket was on it's way out. I was asking too much, because I'd paid too much and it didn't sell before it was time for me to leave on my travels. The end result of that was that I sold it to a mate for £1500 with the intention that he gave it the treatment it deserved, with a rebuilt beam and refreshed suspension. I was away for 7 months and the 205 did about 300 miles in that time, it sat in dry storage among some proper classics in Hampshire.

2005 - October
After my return in late 2005 my mate was looking to sell the 205 and at first I was happy to see go to a new owner. It needed lots of work and I had nowhere suitable to work on it. It had been sat untouched for months in storage, parked between 2 lotus sunbeams in the company of a good few other nice motor cars. To be honest the tired 205 looked very out of place when I visited it.

2006 - August
I moved into new house which had a nice big driveway. My friend still hadnít got round to shifting the 205 from itís Hibernation. So no sooner had I moved in, I had sorted itís return to my ownership. I bought it back for what I sold it for, £1500, it had to be, especially as he had helped me out by buying it in the first place. In effect I'd had it stored for free. We chucked it through an MOT just to see what the issues were and I got it dropped back on my drive.

2006 - September
So, the suspension was very tired, it had failed last MOT on both ball joints, the drop links were knackered, the shocks were knocking and leaking, it was very crashy all round, the rear beam had never been looked at and the rear mounts had almost parted company with the rubber blocks, the exhaust manifold was blowing, no history on a cam belt change, it was using or losing coolant, the sump leaked oil, the driveshafts needed new gaiters and didn't like full lock, a driveshaft oil seal was weeping, the brake lines were corroded and had advisory notes on the MOT, rear pads were finished, the heater blower had stopped working, the washer jets had stopped working, it needed tyres oh and it had a LHD headlight following the fitment of an eBay sourced replacement. It had done 180,000 miles and it needed help. That said, the shell was sound, no real rust problems and pretty clean inside and out.

By the end of September I had pulled it all to bits put it up on bricks. It's still there!

In the time since then Iíve been on and off with the 205 work. Itís been more of a hobby than a need to get it going. Iíll do bits and bobs every now and then. Iíve been busy doing other stuff like getting married, working on doing up the house, growing my own veg, buying and driving other cars, I lost months playing COD4!!, not to mention the time spent reading this forum! No excuses really, Iíve figured out that if you donít work on it, nothing gets done. Iím currently in a good spell of working which I hope will see me finish it.

So it went up on the bricks and the lot came off. First off was the rear beam followed by all the front suspension, driveshafts and sub-frame. After that I decided that with the work needed doing on the engine it may as well come out. Once it was out and on a stand I thought I may as well rebuild it and add some go faster bits. Funny how what starts off as one thing, snowballs into a bigger project. Personally I blame this forum and hold you all personally responsible.

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So over the long period of time since that point in 2006 I amassed the following list of parts. Some of the stuff I bought, I have since sold on again. I managed to get a bit carried away with the 205 parts purchases and realised how much money was tied up in some of the non essential parts.

Gaz GHA adjustable coilovers (direct from Gaz) {sold to Sorrento Pete}
309 wishbones (Neat autos)
Drop links (Ebay)
Track rod ends (Pug)
Rear bump stops and cups (Pug)
Top mount bearings (GSF)
Group N top mount rubbers (BBM)
ARB poly bushes (forum - JonMurgie)
Upper Strut Brace (taken off my other 205)
Lower Strut Brace (forum - Jrod)
Grp A rear beam kit (BBM)
23mm Torsion Bars (forum - Miles) {sold to aCe}
205 Beam tube (Pugtorque)
Rear beam rebuild bearings and bits (Pug)
Trailing arm shafts (Pug)
All new Stainless fasteners (Namrick)
Strut and Ball Joint Bolts (forum - Mr Swampy)

Rear Calipers as both had snapped bleed nipples (Ebay)
Front Calipers again due to snapped nipples (1 brand New Ebay, other second hand Anthony)
Ready made Copper brake pipe kit (Automec)
Front and rear Discs, original pug (Ebay)
Mintex 1144 pads (forum - Miles)
Goodridge braided lines (forum - JonMurgie used rears, new fronts from a forum member)
New Rear compensators (forum)
New bleed nipples (Ebay)

new 309 GKN driveshafts (GSF)
Quaife ATB (Ebay) {sold to Bert}
Mi16 Gearbox already Rebuilt by Miles (forum - J Turnell)
Ally gear rods (forum - Miles)
Phosphor bronze bush kit for gear selector arm (BBM)
Front wheel bearings (Neat autos)

Body / Wheels
New Valeo headlights (Neat autos)
Full Dip/Main HID kit (forum - Dreamweaver) {sold to a forum member}
Clio Rear Wiper (forum - Teestuff)
2 Italian Speedlines to replace my 2 SMRís (Johnny205)

Mi16 Silicone Hose Kit (BBM)
Cam belt, alt belt (GSF)
Cam belt tensioners (Pug)
New Pug Engine mounts (Citroen xantia turbo bottom mount) (Pug / Citroen)
PRD re-angled manifold (Philfingers)

Cat cam inlet (forum - M@tt) {sold to Sarty}
Kent Cams Verniers (forum - Dcc) {sold to Stu}
Full set of Payen engine gaskets and head bolts (forum - Fijibob)
Thermostat with blanked off rear section (forum - Fijibob)
Pug bearing shells, thrust washers, liner seals (Pug)
Piston Rings (supplied by Autosprint)
Valeo Clutch (GSF)
Gti6 oil pump, sprocket, chain (forum - 16v205)
Gti6 sump (forum - 16v205)

Having sold some of the above bits {as noted} to help fund the Elise purchase I had to fill in the gaps and bought:
Bilstein Streetlines Struts (forum - Stu)
Gti6 rear dampers (forum - Stu)
Eibach 7001 springs (forum - 16v205)

Iíve got a spare set of alloys that I bought from Veero, 4 near new genuine Peugeot Ouragan alloys with tyres. They are from a 406 and have the correct offset for the 205. In effect they are 15inch version of the 206 Gti 16Ē Nimrod alloys. I always liked the look of these wheels on a 205, so now I have the choice. This decision was helped by the fact it saves me having to fork out for 4 new tyres for the speedlines. I can have a set for track tyres if I like.

So even taking into account some of the selling I did, that little lot stood me at a good few £ís. The selling of the posey bits raised over a grand. Even without them Iíll still have a nice 205 when complete. I will have to do a big add up later in the project!

Add to that list of bits things like a new set of tools, engine crane hire, engine stand, paint, gasket goo, loctite, grease,ÖÖ. I realised I have got myself well invested in this 205 and to not finish it would be a big waste of money and my time. That is what has kept me motivated or should I say resistant to selling it and giving up.

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Beam bits from Pug

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309 driveshafts for the 309 wishbones

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Stainless Fasteners

I put my slow progress down to a number of factors having to come together for me to be able do work on the car. I need dry weather as I have to work outside most of the time. It has be a weekend generally as Iím usually shattered after work in the week. I have to be free that weekend with no other weekend activities. I need to have the parts/money available for the work. Even when all those things do come together I sometimes canít be bothered! So it goes that it can sit for months with no progress.

2006 - October
First off I set about the rear Beam work. I had a friend who worked at Peugeot and he was able to get discounted parts, so I ordered all the bits I needed from him. Getting it apart was a lot more work than I imagined. On the car the beam seemed fine, it wasnít seized but it was showing some camber on the drivers side, not a good sign. As it came apart it wasnít pretty. The shafts were a big mess, the bearings were less than perfect! See pics. The tube was a right off. 180,000 miles had ground the bearings to dust almost. It took a sledge hammer to get it apart.

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It didnít come apart without a fight. One torsion bar was lost as the mangled torx scew ruined the threads in it as it had to be pressed out in the end. Picked up another standard pair form a forum member easy enough but then decided to go with 23mm bars.

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Nice!! Serviceable do you think?

2006 - November
I carried on with the removal of parts from the car. Off with all the front suspension and Sub-frame.
I binned most of it as it was all shot. Not having any spring compressors I cut the crappy lowering springs with angle grinder as deep as a dare before breaking them with a lump hammer. That allowed me to get the top mount assembly off for reuse, without risking my life undoing the top nut with the springs still in compression!

The rack always felt pretty tight on the car and it turned out itís not the original. Itís stamped as produced in 1996, so it hasnít done all that many miles. Itís a standard manual rack. I toyed with the idea of going for a PAS rack without the PAS (as I had on the black 205) but this one is in fine condition so Iím sticking with it.


  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
2006 - December
I nipped round a friends work and into their plant workshop. I got the old shafts pressed out and the new shafts pressed into the trailing arms. While I was at the workshop getting the shafts swapped over I got the front hubs separated from hub carriers so they could painted up and have new wheel bearings fitted. I also got that stuck torsion bar, mentioned above, pressed out.

I cleaned up trailing arms back to the metal and got them painted up.

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New shafts pressed in

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Cleaned up for painting

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Before and After

2007 Ė February
Next up was getting the old bushes out of the replacement beam tube. What a ball ache that was. I donít know if I made a meal out of it but I wouldnít do it the manual way again. I think Anthony uses a hole saw to get the centres out. That sounds like much better option and I would recommend it after trying it this way. Burning them out also seems easier I would imagine but I donít see that been too much fun either. Once one half was out, it was easy but they put up a fight.

So the bare beam was stripped back to the metal and painted up ready for new bearings, a Group A bush and mount kit and some nice 23mm torsion bars I had bought form Miles.

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These really are a pain to get out by the ďnormal methodĒ. Iíd get a hole saw or burn them out if I did it again

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Tube ready for painting

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Painted up

2007 - March
All the other beam bits were painted up, by which time I was being accused of OCD tendencies. I must admit itís not all really necessary but it made it easy for me to justify keeping it in the house!

The beam went back together a treat and I was happy. I was later to find out however that I had not allowed enough of a reduction in the gap between the shock bolts from the standard setting to allow for the stiffer 23mm bars. So when I did get it on the car it sat way to high.

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Bearings in

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Freshly painted bits with new fasteners

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Getting there, pictured here with the 23mm I have since sold on.

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Ready to go on the car


  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
2007 - April
So the day came to start putting things back on the car, a big moment for me!
I painted up all the mounting points on the car with smootherite to help keep any potential rust issues at bay.

Getting the beam back on the car on my own was quite the fun job. I felt like Iíd bench pressed that think all day afterwards. With the help of 2 trolley jacks I got it back on.

Once back on, I must admit I was a bit gutted when I took off the jacks to see it sat up like a tractor.

I posted at the time here: http://forum.205gtid...s...c=74312&hl=

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Ready to go back on, only to find out Iíd set it too high.

2007 - May
Eventually I got round to adjusting the ride height. I did it on the car by using a washer and socket to form a puller for the torsion bar. It was then just a case of bringing it down a couple of splines each side. So eventually I was happy with height.

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Finally after dropping it back a spline or two I had the ride height I wanted

2007 - July
I had bought a ready made copper brake line pipe kit from Automec. Itís all cut to length with the flares and unions in place, it was an easy option for me as I didnít have access to a flaring tool. On reflection, it might have been worth investing in one for the price of the kit. Fitting the front section of the rear lines was easy enough, however getting the section up and over the fuel tank was a fiddly affair! The tank is ĺ full of fuel and I didnít really want to have to go to the hassle of dropping it to fit the lines. I persevered and it is possible to do it with the tank in place. You just need a bit of patience and very thin fingers.

The old brake lines were well past it and needed replacing, in removing the rear beam the lines had split when subject to slight bending. Once the old lines were off the car it was worrying to see just how thin some of the sections were. The old compensators has become one with the unions, they were never coming apart, so I managed to pick up a new set from a forum member.

2007- September
With the prospect of having to do the cam belt in situ, swapping the exhaust manifold and the nagging doubt about the health of the head gasket, I decide I was best to whip the engine out to get these bits of work done. No sooner had I made this decision I had bought a cat cam inlet cam, and made plans to rebuild the bottom end.

I had spent a couple of hours trying to get the exhaust manifold off without success. With the way it was re-angled and the position it was in, I just couldnít get the damn thing off insitu, so that really sealed itís fate, it was coming out.

So I disconnected the engine wiring loom and marked it all up best I could (Iím dreading retracing that bit now itís been two years!). I dropped the coolant (or should I say water) and removed all the plumbing. I hired myself an engine crane once that lot was done, The lifting of the engine was pretty straight forward, despite the hire shop not providing me with any chains as expected. That said it really needs two people so one can swing the engine about, while the other pumps the crane. I must have looked like a gymnast pushing it about with my foot while I reached back to the crane to pump it up.

With the engine clear of the car I dropped the gearbox and flywheel off and got the engine mounted on a stand. I was very impressed with myself.

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The big lift

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Itís good fun on your own, trying to swing things and pump the crane at the same time!

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Happy days, will need a load leveller to get it back in though I assume, the sand bag lifting straps were a bit crude but worked ok.

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Gearbox off so it can on the stand

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  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
2007 - October
With the engine on stand I set about removing all the ancillaries, pluming, inlet manifold and that damned exhaust manifold.

Next step was to get the Head off. In doing so there was no sign of head gasket failure after all, so I must have been losing coolant from somewhere else in the system. On inspection of the old coolant hoses I found a repaired section that ran past the drivers front wheel where the metal section usually runs. It had been patched with what looked like inner tube and metres of electrical tape, so I think I found the source of the coolant loss.

The head did have some areas of corrosion on the surface and I presumed it would need some welding before being skimmed for refitting.

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After stripping a few bits off

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Time to come apart

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First look inside.

2007 - November
After taking the head off I started to lose my bottle on the rebuild and phoned round a few places to get an idea of costs to have it done professionally. The quotes were quite a bit more than expected, or should I say I hoped for. I had a choice to make, it was down to me to do it, or to leave it as was and drop it back in, or go down the route of sourcing rebuilt Mi or low mileage Gti 6 engine.

In the end and in the spirit of this being learning exercise and some fun for me, I decided I should give the rebuild a go. I had spoken with Miles about the possibility of him rebuilding it for me but I simply couldnít justify the cost. I did however drop the head off with him on trip down to Dorset, to get sorted.

He had it skimmed which cleaned up the majority of the corrosion, 3 angle valves seats cut, cleaned up and then he rebuilt it. Luckily all the guides where fine, no replacements were needed. The skim had cleaned most of the corrosion up but it hadnít removed one main area. Miles said that what was left was well away from any where important and wasnít worth the effort or risk of trying to weld it. So the nice shiny head was sent back to me.

Iím a bit peeved as I managed to forget to take any photos of it, even though it sat in my dining room for months!

2008 - January
With Christmas out the way I set about the bottom end.
I managed to make a foolish mistake in undoing the crank pulley bolt. I had locked the crank using the timing hole in the pulley and the two locating webs on the block. I bent the fist pin I used, which should have been a warning to me but I persevered and that resulted in me snapping one of the webs off the block. I am an idiot. If Iíd stopped to think at the time instead of ploughing on I would have realised it was going to happen. So lesson learnt, I wedged the crank against the inside of the block with some wood and got it undone. Why I didnít just do that before Iíll never know.

Luckily that section of the Mi16 block is detachable and I managed to pick one up off ebay for a few quid and it was only just up road. So fortunately it wasnít an expensive mistake.

So next it was out with the crank. In removing the main bearing caps and the rod bearing caps the crank looked in good condition, no nasty scours, just clean even metal. The bearings also looked in good health. Looking at the bearing caps, they had all been marked with small blobs of paint, which made me wonder if it had been rebuilt before, possibly when it was first fitted to the 205?

Well I was doing it now anyway, so out came the crank, followed by the pistons, rods and then the liners, leaving me with bare block on the engine stand.

I took the crank, rods pistons and liners to the chap at Autosprint near Coleshill. He comes highly recommended and heís only up the road. I had him look over the bits and check the crank. All was well for reuse. I left them all with him to have the bottom end (Crank, Rods, Pistons, Flywheel and the new clutch pressure plate) balanced, I also had the liners honed. So once itís back together it should run like a sewing machine! I was tempted to get the flywheel lightened but for what the car is going to be used for, which is primarily fast road, it seemed a step to far. I did ask the chap at Autosprint and he advised me against it.

Following the health check on crank, and confirmation it hadnít been reground previously, I ordered all the bearing shells from pug. I had the chap at Autosprint order me in the piston rings.

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Sump off

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Crank out, bearings looked in good condition and all the bearing caps had coloured paint blobs on them so maybe it had been done before?

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Liners ready to come out

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Honing marks still visible in most of the bore, I wasnít expecting that. Some evidence of a ring not doing itís job right?

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Pistons and rods as they came out


  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
2008 Ė February
I collected the freshly balanced bits and the new piston rings from Autosprint. All of the rods had had some metal taken out of them, all out of the bearing cap. The crank also had metal removed at the big end section of the crank in two locations. The flywheel had been worked on, as had the new clutch pressure plate. He showed me it all spin together on the rig, it stopped wherever it ran out of puff, each time in a different spot. It looked nicely balanced to me!

I removed the old rings from the pistons and cleaned the pistons up carefully. They came up nice and I fitted the new piston rings.

I had to clean the crank up following the balancing work and pipe clean all the journals to make sure there were no metal nasties hiding in there.

So all was now ready to go back together.

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Ready for the new rings, you need strong nails and hard fingers for this. Not that difficult in the end.

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Part cleaned

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Cleaned up nicely, with the new rings fitted
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Ready to go back in (spot the ironing board!)

2008- March
By March my wedding plans were taking over and eating up all the spare money and time I had.
I got very little done even though everything was ready to go. It was at this time I had to sell the black 205 to help fund the wedding. Admittedly buying the black 205 the previous year had diverted my attention from the work on MiaMi16, so it was probably for the best. I pilfered the odd nicer / newer bits from it before it went and swapped them with other car but I didnít manage to get the 4-2-1 manifold off which was a shame.

The only progress I did manage, was a day to clean up the block and get it painted. I was in two minds whether to paint it. In the end I did it with a silver smootherite after a damn good degrease and rub down to remove the worst of the oxide. It looks ok and hopefully the paint will stay where it is, as it has done for others on this forum that have used it.

2008 - June
Got married, after a total lack of any progress on the car up to this point.
Was a good day mind, I can recommend it!

2008 - September
The dining room I had been using as garage to do the odd bit of work and to store all my bits had been scheduled for building work and re-decoration. So I had to get rid of some the bits. had to set about getting the engine together. The fact the room had started to smell like a garage was also becoming an issue with the new wife! The fact I kept car parts in the house had even made it into the father of the brideís speech.

So alas progress was restarted. The liners went back in with new liner seals, followed by the pistons and rods. Out of the packets came the new bearing shells and thrust washers and then with plenty of engine oil I lowered the crank back in. All the bearing caps went back on in order and the crank still span freely once torqued up so I was happy. Next was the big ends, all done without issue.

I got it all back together including the xu10 oil pump sprocket and chain. One thing I did notice though was that in initially using a gasket provided in the payen gasket set to mount the end, meant the oil pump sprocket wasnít being held securely. I thought this was odd at first but then realised the extra thickness of the gasket was the cause. With everything done up tight the sprocket would still spin. So I binned the gasket and used the gasket goo, all was well this time. Itís worrying that the oil pump sprocket isnít keyed like the pulleys.

I had initially intended to go the route of the Gti6 sump and an extended pick up from PeterT in Australia but I have since decided I can always go down that route if oil surge becomes a problem. For now Iím sticking with the just the xu10 oil pump with the standard sump. Another reason not to bother was that the Gti6 sump I had bought had been repaired. It wasnít noticeable at first but once cleaned up you could see a blob of some very hard sealant on the back of a depression on the front of the sump. Iím sure itís perfectly usable but for now Iíve elected to go with an Mi16 finned sump to replace the tin sump that was on this engine initially. The engine is actually form a BX Gti not and 405 Mi16, hence the tin sump. Out of interest itís 1987 engine according to all the production stamps.

With the bottom end back together it was time to get the head on. No real issues there. Once on I removed the original Mi16 inlet cam to fit the new cat cam I had bought from M@tt. In doing so I realised there were no cam seals in place. With my inexperience, if I hadnít changed the cam I doubt I would have thought to check them, I just presumed they were done when the head went back together, especially as the cam sprockets were back on. That would have been a nice mess at the first turn of the key! Glad I found out when I did. I ordered the cam seals but the 2 exhaust cam seals were the wrong size, I still need to get those 2 seals before I can fit the cam belt and the rest of that side of things.

Back on the car I removed the old top and gearbox engine mounts and fitted the new pug ones. I got the old top mount out using an oil filter removal tool. I still need to get the lower mount pressed out of itís housing and the new one pressed in but Iím still not clear how to that. Thereís no real flat surface to get it in a press. How have others done it?

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New shells in ready for the crank.

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Liners in, rods and pistons in. Ready for the head on the new Payen head gasket

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Refreshed head back from Miles looking much cleaner. Cat cam inlet fitted. I have since oiked the cam back out and itís now with the Doctor!


  • Drivers
  • 461 posts
Joined: 14 Aug 2006
  • Name:Richard
  • Location:Ferndown, dorset
2009 - February
After 4 months of no work and hence no progress I was at tipping point as whether to sell up. This was my lowest point. I had twice decided to sell up. I had my eye on my mates Elise and the 205 was holding a lot of money, as well as causing me some wife grief. I very nearly gave up and quit.

I did however get an afternoon to paint strip the cam cover and rub it down ready for painting.

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Paintstrippered and prepped for painting

2009 Ė March
By March I had made a decision. I was keeping the 205 but I was selling some of the more expensive extras Iíd acquired. So the Quaife LSD, Gaz coilovers, 23mm Torsion Bars, Cat cam, Kent Cam vernier pulleys and the HID lights went up for sale.

With that decision made I went and bought my Elise. I donít regret it.

So out came the cat cam and back in went the original inlet cam. I just love doing things twice!

I finally got round to painting the cam cover after some research on the forum. Acid etch primer should ensure the paint stays on there. I bought the pink can of Upol acid primer from Halfords and then used a normal can of Halfords auto paint.

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Upol acid etch primer should keep the paint where itís supposed to be.

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Miami Blue, should look nice sat in the engine bay.

2009 - May
Popped over to spgti and collected an Alloy Mi16 sump to replace the tin one.
I cleaned it up ready to fit. I also cleaned up and painted inlet manifold for bit more under bonnet bling.

2009 - June
I had a buyer for the 23mm bars so I undid the work Iíd done back in April and May 2007 and pulled the beam off the off the car. I split it without issue and took the bars out.

2009- July
aCe came and collected the 23mm torsion bars heíd bought and Doctor Sarty bought the cat cam inlet cam. So I had finally sold all the extra goodies Iíd decided I didnít really need back in March. Out of all of them, the one I think I will really miss is the LSD. That said it raised the most cash when I sold it.

2009 - August
With the 23mm bars sold I cleaned up the standard torsion bars and painted them. I couldnít bear not to with the rest of the beam looking so well. It went back together without issue, will have to check Iíve got the ride height right once refitted.

2009 - September

So after a year of doing almost zero work Iím back in the game and pushing to finish.

With a lend of a set of spring compressors from Anthony this last weekend I managed to get the struts back together with new bearings and the BBM Group N rubbers. I had got myself a set of reasonably new Bilstein Streetlines from Stu and a set of Eibach 7001 springs from Rich (16v205) to replace the GAZ coilovers, Iím hoping they will be fine for what I need.

Iíd had cleaned up and painted the hubs and hub carriers the previous year, a few days sat in vinegar had them looking the nice and shiny ready for paint. I had new bearings pressed in once all was dry. Theyíve been sat in the 205 since.

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After plenty of gunk and dirty rags the sub-frame was looking a lot better than it did caked in muck and oil. I refitted the steering rack, engine mount yoke, ARB with the poly bushes and the gear selector with itís new phosphor bronze bush.

Next job was to refit the sub fame to the car, a nice moment to actually be refitting stuff again. Once Iíd done that I had a bit of time, so I lobbed the wishbones, drop links, hubs and struts on the car loosely just to check all was well and that I had all the right the right fasteners. Iíve not tightened it all up yet as it will have to come apart for the driveshafts to be fitted. The fact Iíve not got any bump stops on the front struts is pain! I presumed they were internal on Bilsteins but Iím told thatís not the case for the streetlines! So at some point I will have to get a set and fit them.

A trial fit of the discs proved an issue, they have too much offset and foul the hub carrier?? Anthony pointed out that was probably due to the fact I had been sold 1.6 discs instead of 1.9 discs, can you dispute miss sold items on ebay 2 years after purchase? So Iíll have to sort myself out with some 1.9 discs.

I go the front copper brake line lines from the automec kit fitted the other night and fitted the front goodridge braided hoses to just check the all the unions fitted. So once the master cylinder and calipers are on Iíll get them bled. I will need an eezibleed to do that, is the Gusen one any good? Does it fit the 205 reservoir ok?

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Bilstein sprintlines, a come down from the planned Gaz coilovers but should do nicely with the Eibach springs

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Struts back together thanks to Anthony for lending the spring compressors, shame I failed to notice the lack of bump stops! Cleaned up hubs with new bearings slotted on for fun

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The BBM phosphor Bronze bush for the gear selector.

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Sub-frame and steering rack back on the car, swiftly followed by a trial fitting of the wishbones and struts.

So thatís the progress to date, congratulations to those of you that persevered with my ramblings right to the bitter end!

I still canít believe itís been over 3 years to get here, time flies.

Iíve got a series of Fridays off in October to work on it and have all but one my weekends in November free to get things done.

Iíll be sticking a big list of wants up on the wanted section soon, so if you can help Iíd appreciate it.
Will be keeping this thread updated with progress and questions as I move on with the build. Feel free to kick my ass if it goes quiet for a bit, I need the motivation! :ph34r:

So did anyone read it all? ;)

Edited by skeggyrik, 01 October 2009 - 07:41 PM.


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Good write-up Rich, and keep at it - slow and steady will get it done finished ;)

I will need an eezibleed to do that, is the Gusen one any good? Does it fit the 205 reservoir ok?

The Gunson enzi-bleed kit is fine and does what it says on the box. It's somewhat hit and miss on 205 reservoirs though in my experience - some seal fine, others will allow the cap to blow off, even on the same kit. Gotta love French tolerances....

Tom Fenton

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Yes, and the easiest way to sort the lower mount is to cut through the old rubber bush with a hacksaw, then knock the remains out. Then pressing in the new one is reasonably straightforward, even more so if you have an old 1600 wheel bearing about as this is the correct size.


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I read it all mate :lol:

You've done well up to now, not much left to do so get stuck in!

Reminds me of my own miami project, started it in April last year, the shell's been waiting in one of my dad's bodywork sheds for 6 MONTHS for a respray, although its free so what can I do ;) On the up side, i've rebuilt the engine & suspension & fixed up loads of parts while waiting. So I know its tough to keep the motivation to finish it!

.....wish I had a shell to put new parts onto, so get it finished! :ph34r:


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Great read!
Go for thr finish


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  • Name:Will Mounsey
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So far so good mate, just reading about you taking the engine out made me laugh I was there myself! ;)

Motivation is the key! Unfortunatly I lost it myself a few months ago but its slowly coming back specially as my fiesta van is slowly giving up on me!

I faced the same problem with the rear brake lines round the tank but decided to drop it in the end (my fingers where too fat!), wasn't that bad to remove it was refitting that was tricky.

You'll have it back together in no time, looks like the magority is already done!

Keep up the good work



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I will be keeping a close eye on this as I knew the car years and years ago, it was converted by a mate of mine about 10years ago. Keep up the good work!



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Your long, thin, spindly fingers must have blood pouring from the tips after all that typing!

What a brilliant epic tale! I can feel the pain in certain sections, as said, such as lifting the engine out on your own with the male balerina technique. :ph34r:

It's great stuff throughout, especially to see how you stuck with it and your dining room smelt like a garage. This is the stuff that winners are made of and how marriages end prematurely. ;)


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nice read mate, keep at it youve done so much already!!


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The finish line is in sight!

Keep up the good work


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Thanks to all for the positive comments, excuse any typos Iíd started to go blind after writing that lot up! :P

I know some of the cars history to date
My understanding is:

It was a lease car with Cowie Interleasing for the 3 years of itís life. It did a lot of miles very quickly.
It had done 78,000 miles by January 1995, which gave it a pretty good head start on the mileage!

At 3 years old it went to a private owner, who I believe is the sister of the chap below.
In August 1996 it had done 86,000 miles
July 1997 it had 91,000 mile

At 90,000ish miles it was owned Nick Watling, (where Maxi knows the car from)
July 1998, 103,000
July 1999 120,000
September, 2000 Ė 131,000

I asked Mattsav at QEP about the car, as Maxi told me Nick works/ed for QEP.
Mattsav confirmed that the Mi16 engine was put in around 2000, which according to the MOTís would put it about 130,000 miles. Iím told the engine wasnít rebuilt as it was a good low mileage engine.

I donít know when it was sold but it must have done about 135,000 when it went to the guy I bought from in Crawley, who did about 40,000 miles in it.

June 2003 167,000
April 2004 178,000

When I bought it in April 2004 it had done 178,000+

The mileage now reads 184,136 so the Mi16 had done 50k+ miles in this car, plus whatever it had done in the BX Gti before. So a best guess would say there was something like 100,000 miles on the engine.

The car must have been garaged a lot as the chassis is mostly rust free.
If I hadnít had it on bricks for the last 3 years it would be well into the 200,000ís.

Anyway, less typing more working........


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What an epic thread Rich, now i need time to read it all fully, there goes my night lol.


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Great write up Rik, a great insight into what is needed, and thought provoking for me as well, as I intend to do just this to my Miami Mi, starting in the next few months. As someone with very little experience, I really appreciate all of your descriptions - might help me avoid some of the pitfalls myself. I hope you don't suffer too much from repetative strain injury after all that typing!

Good luck with the rest of the rebuild, and keep us all informed. I might even pop over to S'hull to take a look if you have a spare 5!


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The weekend saw me get the rear beam back on the car. The setting of 305mm between shock centres when I assembled it resulted in a rear ride height that was too low. You couldnít get a finger in between the arch and the top of the tyre. So I pulled each torsion bar out with the beam on the car and dropped them down a bit. Itís fine on the passenger side but still looks a little low on the drivers side. I canít be sure Iíve got it even as I didnít use a dummy shock. I will revisit that and get it right once itís had time to roll about and find itís level. For now just sat on the drive itíll do fine.

I bought a set of plain Brembo front discs from GSF which meant I could get the front wheels on and progress with the front brakes. So for the first time in 3 years it was sat on 4 wheels and it even moved 2 feet when I pushed it. (I wontí be making a habit of that until the driveshafts are in, as I believe the new front bearings arenít properly supported until the hub nut is on and tight). So some good visible progress! Itís sat up at the front as youíd expect without the engine but itís looking like a car again. The neighbours have even commented. Itís currently sat on the drive with bricks keeping in it place as the handbrake cables are not yet connected. One of the cables is still free moving the other is pretty dry and tight. Iíll either get a new pair or try them with a cable greaser first and see how that frees them off. After reading Veeroís thread about his handbrake cables, I will be greasing them up at the point they fit into the caliper. I remember they were bit a pig to get out when I took them off.

As of last night it has front calipers and they are connected up to lovely new braided lines. Spent 30 mins each side getting all the threads in the hubs and the hub carriers cleaned up last night. The wheel bolts, disc locating screws and the calipers mounts are now nice and clean and run free. They were a bit gunged up before, didnít feel too nice. Will get some thread lock on the caliper mount bolts once Iím sure they not coming off again. Was working in the dark by lamp last night.

No work tonight by the looks of the weather. Next job is to get the rear braided flexis, rear compensators and the last bit of solid line that runs along the trailing arm done. Once thatís complete itís on with the master cylinder and I can get the brakes bled. A lad at work has a cheapy Gunsen brake bleeder that works from a tyre valve, so I will borrow that and see how I get on.

Need to start making progress on the engine too. I just need to get those cam seals from pug, I just never get the time to go get them.
I need to get them mail order!


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An update on progress and a request for advice.

Iíve been concentrating on the engine in the time Iíve had lately. Itís now mostly back in one piece. :blush:

I finally got myself a set of cam seals, on fitting them I could finally get on with fitting the water pump, pulleys, cambelt and tensioners. So much easier out of the car I imagine. I removed the timing pins and span it round on the bottom pulley with the plugs out. The timing pins all still line up so Iím happy. The tension on the cambelt is such that I can just get 45 degrees turn on it with finger and thumb on the long run, so I think Iím good to go with that. Being a BX Gti engine it came with two number 2 pulleys. Iíve stuck with that as I love the way the thing used to try and head butt the red line with that set up. I had considered sourcing a number 4 pulley but in the end I decided I liked that top end rush too much. In fact I get excited when thinking about driving it again. All good! :)

Iíve thread locked the bottom pulley bolt and torqued it up with my breaker bar. Last thing I want is that coming undone, at one point I was slightly worried Iíd end up breaking the engine off the stand or knocking a lump out of the side of the block where Iíd wedged the crank against it with a block of wood, however all was well in the end. Once that was done I fitted the Xu10 oil pump and got the sump and spacer back on. The Xu10 oil pump comes with small baffle plate that bolts to the pickup. With that fitted it fouls the Mi sump so I left it out in the end. I did fit the plastic chain guard you get with the Xu10 set up.

Iíve swapped the original BX tin sump for an alloy finned one from an Mi16, having dropped the idea of the Gti6 sump. In doing this I had to pick between the two sets of sump bolts for the gti6 and the BX tin sump to get a set that fit the Mi sump. Iím still 2 bolts short of a complete set, so hopefully Iíll be able scrounge them before itís up and running. They are the ones that are just that bit longer than the majority but not the longest of all, if that makes sense!?

With that done Iíve refitted the sensors, oil/coolant heat exchanger, thermostat housing and rocker cover. (That reminds me I need to buy a thermostat!)
Next it was back on with the inlet and exhaust manifolds. Iíd got a new set of studs and nuts for this so whipped the old studs out and fitted then new ones, locking one nut against another without too many issues. I learnt that the inlet manifold canít be fitted using studs at all locations as you canít get access the nuts to do them up, so the hex head bolts went back in those positions. I had the choice of a standard length inlet manifold or the shortened version the car came with. Not wanting to change how the car felt before (as mentioned above) I stayed with the shortened item, it also saves me having to butcher the radiator mount to make space for the original item.

I took Tomís advice and cut the lower engine mount bush out of itís housing without issue. I pressed the replacement bottom bush into the mount in itís place (read: carefully used a hammer :angry: ). Iíve chosen a Xantia turbo part instead of the standard part or an uprated solid mount. I understand the Xantia part is slightly stiffer than the stock item but is of the same design. Iíve also rotated the new mount 90 degrees to itís standard orientation so that it sits with the rubber blocks in the direction of movement of the engine. This will hopefully reduce engine movement without giving the nasty vibes Iíve experienced in cars fitted with a solid rubber bush.

Just dug up a post I made in 2007, it explains the orientation Iím on about for those that arenít clear.

So Iím now almost ready to drop the engine back into the bay. I will get the alternator back on as soon as Iíve found the rest of the top engine mount. Iíve misplaced the bit that bolts to the block!? It must be in the shed somewhere.
Iíve got the cam belt covers to go on and I will get the oil breathers sorted before the lift.

So once I get the engine crane and lift the engine off the stand I can get the flywheel clutch and gearbox bolted on before lifting the lot in as one, (with the battery tray removed).

Iíve had a good clean up in the engine bay and tarted a few bits up while the lump has been out. So things are looking nicer in there than before. It seemed a shame to put a refreshed engine back in a dirty holeÖ. (Stop it!)
The new standard pug top engine mount and the gearbox mounts are also ready so ÖÖ..

Can anyone think of what else I really need to do, or should probably do, before it goes back in to make life easier for myself? Iíve left the master cylinder off the servo for now to help provide room for swinging the engine about.

Iím thinking along the lines of what to do before the engine goes back in checklist.

Last thing I want is to be bending myself backwards doing things up with my fingers tips just because I forgot to do it before it went back in.

Getting quite excited at the thought of getting it back in there now.

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