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Ford Fiesta 1100L
The Fiesta was designed right from the start for ease of servicing and although the under -bonet area looks crowded at first glance, all the service items are easy to see and reach. The battery, brake fluid reservoir, radiator expansion tank and screenwash reservoir are all translucent for quick checking and items like the tappets, air and oil filters, electric fan, coil, dipstick and alternator are all easy to reach. Only the distributor is a little awkward to service.
In addition, the mechanical items have been designed so that removal and replacement is much quicker than on other cars. The front struts can be replaced by undoing four bolts, the discs can be quickly removed, the clutch is self-adjusting, with the result that servicing and repair can be carried out much quicker than on most other cars.
Engine: Four cylinder water cooled driving front wheels. Capacity 1117cc developing 53bhp(DIN) at 5700rpm.
Transmission: Four speed manual transmission with diaphragm spring clutch. Final drive ratio 4.056:1.
Suspension: Front: McPherson struts with coil springs. Rear: dead beam axle with trailing links and Panhard rod. Coil springs and telescopic dampers.
Brakes: Front 8.7in diameter discs. Rear 7.0in drum. No servo assistance.
Steering: Rack and pinion, 3.3 turns lock to lock.
Wheels and tyres: Pressed steel wheels with 145 SR12 radial tyres.
Opel Kadett LS
The new overhead camshaft Opel engine looks very similar to the Polo unit, with the distributor well positioned at the end of the camshaft and the fuel pump driven from the other end. The translucent battery case, brake reservoir, expansion bottle and screen wash bottle are easy to check and the dipstick, air filter (held by one bolt), plugs and alternator are accessible. The oil filter is close to the exhaust system and the starter motor is hopelessly hidden behind the engine below the carburettor.
Opel claim to have made great efforts to make the car easy to repair. The clutch can be changed in an hour; bumpers are in three pieces, front wings are bolted on and many minor adjustments and replacements to bulbs etc. can be done without using tools. The chassis also has a wax based rustproofing treatment.
Engine: Four cylinder water cooled driving front wheels. Capacity 1297cc developing 60bhp at 5800rpm.
Transmission: Four speed manual transmission with diaphragm spring clutch. Final drive ratio 4.29:1.
Suspension: Front: McPherson struts with coil springs. Rear: Dead beam axle on Trailing arms with coil springs and telescopic dampers.
Brakes: Front: Disc9.3in diameter. Rear: Drum 7.9in diameter with vacuum servo assistance.
Steering: Rack and pinion 3.9 turns lock to lock.
Wheels and Tyres: Pressed steel wheels with 155 SR13 tyres.
Volkswagen Polo GLS
Although the underbonnet area is cramped most of the routine service items are easy to find. The battery, fluid reservoir, cooling expansion bottle and screenwash bottle are all see-through for easy checking. The distributor is mounted horizontally on the end of the camshaft so is well positioned for adjustment as is the air cleaner, but the oil filter and alternator are well hidden at the front of the canted forward engine. The plugs are none top easy to reach either.
The Polo is equipped for computer diagnosis and VW do not really encourage DIY maintenance, but fortunately, services are only required every 10,000 miles, with an oil change and lubrication check every 5000 miles.
Don't forget that VW also offer their 6 year warranty on body rusting on all new VWs.
Engine: Four cylinder water cooled driving front wheels. Capacity 1093cc developing 60bhp(DIN) at 6000rpm.
Transmission: Four speed manual transmission with diaphragm spring clutch. Final drive ratio 4.57:1.
Suspension: Front: McPherson struts with lower wishbones, anti-roll bar and coil springs. Rear: trailing arms, coil springs and telescopic dampers.
Brakes: Front: Discs 9in diameter. Rear: drums Sin diameter. No servo assistance.
Steering: Rack and pinion 3.4 turns lock to lock.
Wheels and tyres: Pressed steel wheels with 145 SR13 radial tyres.