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I'm worried about Ambrose

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    I'm worried about Ambrose

    I took him for his MoT today, and there were various issues such as some lights not working, nor the wipers (which was odd, because they were earlier), but all easily fixable.
    However...
    The tester was very concerned about the state of his sills, implying that they were full of filler, and what bits were metal were badly welded. The tester couldn't be certain because there's a lot of underseal and also because there's only so much poking that they're allowed to do. He isn't allowed to fail the MoT for what he can't see but believes is there.
    When I got home, I dug through all the receipts and old MoTs that I had, and there were no bills for any welding work. I checked the MoT history and the sills were advisory on the 2010 and 2013 tests.
    I also found the phone number for a previous owner in the file, so gave him a call (he sold Ambrose in 2015) and he said he hadn't had any major work done on the sills, just some minor patching (even though he'd owned him for the 2010 & 2013 tests).
    So, even if I fix the bits that need fixing and get a pass, I still have a van that apparently has ropey (and possibly dangerous) sills, that will cost a LOT to get sorted.
    I could get the work done but other things that the tester mentioned concern me that Ambrose might be a money pit, and I don't really have too much cash to spend.
    Or, I could just cut my losses and sell Ambrose, but I'll never get back what I paid for him. And who would want him in this state?
    And I really don't want to drive him while he's in this condition.
    Really don't know what to do now...
    'There is absolutely no difference between theory and practice. In theory.'

    #2
    That does sound iffy, Del. Sills aren't so bad, are they? My last car used to need either one or the other side done every year. It used to cost about £60 every year, but there wasn't anything else wrong with the car, so I stuck with it for a number of years, and only changed the car a few years ago. The last car, at that point, still only needed welding on the sills, which was done before I part-ex'd it.

    What vehicle is Ambrose, exactly? Some of the old C15s were rust buckets, but fixable in a lot of cases.

    Comment


      #3
      Take it for a 2nd opinion at a different garage. My doblo failed its mot and the gwrage could not fix the emissions. I drove it 200 miles at mostly 3500 rpm , supposed to be good for clearing out soot, to my brother gave it to him as i was going to, it passed at his mot with no work, but some advisories.

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        #4
        Most motorhomes are built on a chassis so the sills are not structural and the only reason for failing them would be if there was an actual hole or jagged bit sticking out which might hurt a pedestrian if you ran over him. (It's a bit like the rubber seal in the fuel filler cap which has to be in good condition to stop fuel spilling all over the motorway if you turn the vehicle upside down).

        If your van is bullt on a seperate chassis consider chopping the offending sill away and replacing it with a side storage locker. If the sill isn't there, they can't fail it, can they? Anyway, this is just the opinion of one tester. I shouln't worry too much if he hasn't failed it but take it to a different garage next year

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          #5
          Ambrose is a 1989 C15 Hylo, so has what appears to have some of the original bodywork bonded to the pod (if you look at the photo, it's the section that has the Romahome graphics), so I guess it's structural?
          Having asked on a classic car forum that I'm a member of, some responses have suggested I'm looking at north of £500, and even up to £800.
          Attached Files
          'There is absolutely no difference between theory and practice. In theory.'

          Comment


            #6
            Congratulations on your MOT! (if you don't have it yet it sounds like you will shortly - cant be that bad then)
            Don't panic yet! A knowledgeable member on C15s will be about shortly.

            Last edited by llywelyn1984; 20-04-2018, 12:01.

            Comment


              #7
              Sills can still be structural, even on a vehicle with a separate chassis and looking at the pics i would say this is the early model based on a cut down van rather than a chassis cab base in any case.

              Full sill replacement is a tricky job because of all the bracing you have to do to make sure the body doesn't twist without the sills in place to hold it. Any decent body repair place can do the job, its just the cost of it. If you can get both sides done for £500 id say you're actually doing pretty well.
              Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

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                #8
                So I went to a garage today and got some idea of what's needed. It's a minimum of £200 per side (plus the dreaded VAT) so that's the thick end of £500 to start with. But there's no way of knowing what else is there until they start, and by then it's too late to go back!
                I could be looking at anything up to a thousand pounds or more.
                Now, this guy actually had another vehicle in progress, so I could see the quality of his work, so I had no concerns that it wouldn't be done properly.

                My choices then, are really:
                - Sell as spares or repairs.
                - Get the work done and sell on.
                - Get the work done and keep.

                There are a number of other issues that have come to light in our initial forays out in Ambrose, and the second option might be the way to go...
                'There is absolutely no difference between theory and practice. In theory.'

                Comment


                  #9
                  its often the case that something costs more that its actual value but its worth doing if you get a lot of joy from using it.

                  Our de-mountable would never be worth what we have spent on it with the re-upholstering, heater, solar panels, etc but the great trips we have had (and will have) are not measurable in monetary terms !

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Del View Post
                    So I went to a garage today and got some idea of what's needed. It's a minimum of £200 per side (plus the dreaded VAT) so that's the thick end of £500 to start with. But there's no way of knowing what else is there until they start, and by then it's too late to go back!
                    I could be looking at anything up to a thousand pounds or more.
                    Now, this guy actually had another vehicle in progress, so I could see the quality of his work, so I had no concerns that it wouldn't be done properly.

                    My choices then, are really:
                    - Sell as spares or repairs.
                    - Get the work done and sell on.
                    - Get the work done and keep.

                    There are a number of other issues that have come to light in our initial forays out in Ambrose, and the second option might be the way to go...
                    I know the feeling - our last van before the demountable was a lovely LDV convoy - home conversion with a fixed bed - several 100 hours work and I'm told it has terminal tin-worm. I sold it as "spares or repair" and bought the demountable - when the little HiJet succumbs the demountable pod will move onto the next vehicle -

                    As Donks Dad says "t the great trips we have had (and will have) are not measurable in monetary terms !"

                    I agree - the demountable is tiny and cramped although 3 of us (me Sandra and our large hound have been away for over 3 weeks together - wild camping most of the time).

                    Only you will know whether or not to cut your losses or put more money in. If you decide to cut your losses maybe a demountable would be a better option next time - it is about the same size as a C15 - won't go under height barriers.

                    Jon

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If you list all the issues we may be able to give you some comprehensive advice.You bought a very old vehicle there are bound to be things needing attention,that doesn't mean it's unsafe to drive.Testers don't like old vehicles, but with a spot of attention it could still give you years of happy camping. Don't Panic.It's not terminal.
                      Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

                      Comment

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