Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Best Summer Buys -

In­spec­tions should be­gin un­der­neath. Check the two main chas­sis rails for any rust, knocks or kinks. Move on to the front cross­mem­ber, which sup­ports the rear ends of the tor­sion bars, be­fore pok­ing around the floor­pans. Spring ar­eas (front and back) mustn’t be for­got­ten, ei­ther.

You’ll also need to be alert to rot af­fect­ing the front wings around the head­lamps and at the rear near the A-pil­lar, plus usual prob­lem ar­eas such as whee­larches, door bot­toms and sills. Check the lat­ter from in­side by lift­ing the car­pets, in ad­di­tion to the cen­tral cross­mem­ber (un­der the seats).

The A-se­ries en­gine can hardly be de­scribed as oil-tight, so leaks are to be ex­pected. Most orig­i­nate from the back of the unit – a worn rear crank­shaft seal be­ing the most likely cul­prit. Reg­u­lar oil changes are key to the en­gine’s longevity.

Front trun­nions and king­pins should be greased ev­ery 3000 miles. If they aren’t, ex­pect way­ward han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics, while you can con­firm your sus­pi­cions by jack­ing up the front of the car, at­tempt­ing to wig­gle the wheel while hold­ing it at the top and the base, and find­ing sig­nif­i­cant move­ment.

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