After a long period of not getting much done, I’ve found a second wind! I’m aiming for an MOT pass by the end of March – so lots of small jobs to be done in order to get the taxi ready. I reckon I can have the taxi ready for the MOT this coming week, which will inevitably flag up some small things, but hopefully on a less spectacular level than the MOT Failure a couple of years back. I can then use the remaining week or so to get the problems sorted and have it through a free re-test. My insurance is restarting from tomorrow – I got a great deal this time with Adrian Flux (who now insure two other cars in the household) – £195 for the year, with comprehensive cover on other cars. I’m not sponsored or anything like that, but I do find them reliable and by far the cheapest… Footman James came out with £650!

When I wrote the previous post in summer of 2020, I had got stuck into repairing the copious amounts of rust in the rear wheel arches and I had got as far as cutting out the boot floor. It’s been a bit of a drag since then, with the welding taking up a huge amount of time. Every session I spent in the garage, I found myself welding a patch in, but cutting twice the amount out! I struggled to make any meaningful headway and work all but stopped during the winter months.

It’s only been in the last week that I’ve found some motivation to get back into the welding in order to get things on track again. Everyday that passed where work wasn’t getting done I got more and more annoyed with myself, it was a case of ‘I’ll start again tomorrow’… In the end, I had to force myself into the garage and take things in tiny little chunks. I realised I was so daunted by the whole project and was therefore put off doing anything whatsoever. By setting myself tiny little goals I found myself in a much better frame of mind and in many cases ended up spending the whole day in the garage.

So where has that bought me to today? Well, I have completed the rear wheel arches, the inner sills and body mounts have been repaired, the boot is now a boot again, the new rear wings are in place, the outer sills are back on and I’m feeling well on track!

I’ve spent the last few days working on the engine, with an oil change, finding and cleaning an insane amount of black sludge in the inlet manifold, a coolant flush and refill, and I’m in the process of welding in a new battery tray.

I plan to give a decent write up of all these things in a bit more detail, but for now I’ll leave these photos.

So, things left to do before MOT:

  • Remount the front wings and rewire the old headlights. I had HID lights on here which are still too unreliable to get through an MOT, I will be putting the original halogens back in. I also feel like I’ve been through my bling-white-headlight phase and I want this renovation to reflect something a little more classic.
  • Remount the bumpers
  • Reducing black smoke & emissions – injector cleaning, blank off the EGR
  • Change the tyres
  • New bearings on front wheels
  • I would like to fill the gap between the inner wheel arches and the bottom of the rear wings. This will stop water ingress and mud building up. I’m thinking of using a foam tape which expands. I definitely don’t want to chuck a ton of filler in there… Any suggestions welcome!

These are just jobs to get the MOT sorted. After that is all the body work! Rusty doors. Can’t wait!

Before you go – do you know where I might find a replacement gear stick lever for the Fairway? I recall seeing these on commercial trucks from the 90’s but I don’t know which ones and can’t find any reference to them online, apart from an eBay listing from Leacy Classics for over £330.


  1. Nice work mate. I have a TX2 that im restoring. Plenty of rust which i have now welded up. Unfortunately i’m having real trouble getting insurance for the thing me being 18 most insurance companies don’t want to insure me. Its not even a case of it being expensive just cannot get insurance and i’ve tried companies such as Adrian flux who specialise in cabs. Hopefully i’ll have a bit more luck in a few years time. Good luck with the fairway look forward to seeing more updates. Also are you going to be doing any more updates on youtube?

  2. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for your message!

    I was in exactly the same position as you, I struggled to find anyone who would insure me until I was 21 – I had a few quotes before that but they were absolutely ridiculous. Such a shame that’s the way things work out, they see a 2.7L engine and don’t realise these things barely break 70mph!

    I am focussing on getting the MOT sorted (it’s booked for Friday this week) and will then set about doing a load of updates on both the website and YouTube. I have been taking photos throughout the last few months and will be doing some detailed writeups about various different jobs. I plan to make a few more videos when I start doing all the bodywork later on this year.

    All the best, and good luck with the insurance!


    • Exactly my point! In my case its a 2.4 litre engine which is still quite a big engine for my age but it still barley breaks 70 and i would only go that fast if i was feeling really brave. Unfortunately i haven’t even been able to get any ridiculous quotes, i’ve been turned away by every company, Just need something to drive it to a MOT. As i said before i’ll just have to wait a bit longer before being able to drive it. Anyway look forward to seeing more updates


  3. Tone, Good luck with the MOT on Friday. I hope to MOT my Fairway in May, if all goes well. The same as you. Just looking to get the MOT out of way and then more things to tidy up after that. I am going to install the Crystal headlights. They don’t look too modern but should be better than the originals. Search eBay for “Crystal Headlight Defender” as they fit the Land Rovers as well. I have had motivation issues as the welding seems to go on forever. The most used tool is a “dustpan and brush” to sweep up fallen rust 🙂 but as you say. Little steps is the way way to go.

    • Hi Clive,

      Good to hear from you. I took her out for a drive today (for the first time in about 3 years!) to blow out the cobwebs and she is running really well. I’ve done an oil change and I am using BP Ultimate Diesel with a bottle Wynn’s Injector cleaner, hopefully this will help it through the emissions. Fingers crossed!

      Funnily enough I have just put my old halogens back in as they should get it through the MOT – I may stick with them afterwards as this isn’t going to be my daily driver like it once once. I’ve come full circle and and quite like the old look of them!

      I feel your pain… the dustpan and brush have been a valuable addition to the process. Keep going and one day it will all just come together. It does take a while…

      All the best,

  4. Hi. What did you use to fill the gap between rear wing and inner wheel arch liner.

    I am about to do something with mine. Might use expanding builders foam and then trim and shape it so it’s flush.

    • Hi Clive,

      Hope you’re well.

      As of yet, nothing. There is a big gap there, however I have used copious amounts of Dynax UB from Bilt Hamber around those areas. Also, I’ve been fairly precious and I haven’t been driving in wet weather or when the roads have been salted.

      Personally, I’d be a bit wary about usuing builders foam as it tends to trap moisture in places it shouldn’t be and if anything will accelerate any rusting.

      I was looking at Expanding Foam Tape – e.g., however I haven’t got around to ordering and fitting yet. You can order it in different sizes, to fill different gaps. The benefit being you can remove it periodically to see if any mud or water was getting trapped behind it.

      Let me know what you end up doing, will be interested to see the results.

      All the best,

  5. Hi Tone,

    I have made some progress and hope to be ready for my MOT in about a month’s time. 7 years off the road and bit by bit it’s getting done. Front wings and lights to fit and a side window and then it should be ready. I am not planning to use it much when it’s done. Probably just sunny days and then returned to a dry garage. Filling the gap is on my post-MOT list along with paintwork and other little jobs I will take a look at the tape and let you know, cheers


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here