|Although the Firefox can use any Rover Metro or 100 as a donor car,
the most desirable model is the rare Metro GTi with the 1.4 litre 16V
multi-point injection engine. I spent several weeks looking for a suitable
car and even put a wanted ad in Trade-It (a local free-ads paper).
Unfortunately, the only two I was offered were complete wrecks and far too
Having widened the search to include the less powerful model with single-point injection, I eventually found a suitable car in Swindon - a 1990 GTi 1.4 16V SPi. It had failed the MOT test on severe corrosion to the sills and floors - I think the side skirts are holding the car together! This car will provide the gearbox, brakes, suspension, steering and wiring loom for the Onyx. The engine ran OK during a short test drive, but a later compression test revealed low compression on cylinders 2 and 3. I suspect the head gasket has failed (a very common problem on K-series engines apparently). If so, it will need replacing, or I may look around for another complete engine, preferably with multi-point injection.
A reasonably clean engine bay. Note the new MEMS ECU behind the battery.
The quick and easy way to remove the radiator, cross-pipe and cooling fan in one piece. I cut through one end of the slam panel with a hacksaw, then removed the two bolts from the middle, allowing it to be bent out of the way. Such finesse.
Out! A bit of blood, lots of sweat, but no tears. Thankfully
(and rather surprisingly), I had no problems with seized or damaged
Out! A bit of blood, lots of sweat, but no tears. Thankfully (and rather surprisingly), I had no problems with seized or damaged fasteners.
The front lower seat belt mounting came out like this. What a death trap.