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Peugeot 205 GTi

Peugeot 205 GTi Published: 27th Feb 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Peugeot 205 GTi
Peugeot 205 GTi
Peugeot 205 GTi
Peugeot 205 GTi
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The 205 GTi is back on the road and in its former glory. Chris Manning says it was all worth the time, trouble and cost but there were times when he thought different…

The last report of the rebuild of the Peugeot 205 GTi was the monumental moment of the freshly installed and correct 1.9-litre engine running for the very first time, replacing the ill-fitting 406 Turbo unit that had previously been badly shoehorned into the engine bay.

I had run the engine dry (oil, but no water) for the first fire up, and now was the time to sort through two boxes of various water hoses (some 406, some 205) and find homes for them on the cooling system.

I was short of four hoses, but found online a company (BakerBM) that specialises in Peugeot cooling and suspension parts, and could supply brand new hoses to complete my jigsaw puzzle.

I decided to fill the system with plain water first to check for any leaks. I am glad I did, as within a couple of minutes a steady drip-drip of water was coming out of a three-way plastic union at the back of the block, with its main feed to the radiator, having a hairline crack in it. With this replaced and a mix of antifreeze and distilled water poured in, I ran the engine up to temperature for the first time and left it running until the electric fan had cut in and all was well.

One other issue to tackle was that I noticed the oil cooler pipes were almost touching the radiator. I removed the lower engine mounting and realised that it had been extended, obviously to accommodate the 406 turbo engine. A quick trip to the specialist Citroën breakers in Billericay, I had used for a number of other parts common across the Peugeot/Citroën range, confirmed this as the new part I purchased had mounting holes about 50mm (2in) further back and immediately cured the problem.

All I had to do now was completely re-align the whole exhaust system as the engine had tilted back considerably, which took me the rest of the day.

Next hurdle was the MoT. My son Olly (who owns the car with his friend Sam) joined me for this nailbiting event and I can honestly say we felt like a pair of expectant fathers awaiting the birth of our first child! Thankfully, it passed.

Getting ready for showtime

With a big classic car show a week away at Battlesbridge in Essex in September, it was now all-hands-to-the-pumps to get the Peugeot 205 GTi ready for its first public appearance, and it became a real family affair.

With my son Olly away on a cycling weekend, a surprise respray of the 205 was on the cards as the bonnet was matt black and nearly all the lacquer on the roof had peeled off. Olly’s father-in-law Glenn, assisted in masking the whole vehicle, with Olly’s mate Aaron (another dedicated petrol head) who helped to strip the car and was instrumental in arranging the respray with a body shop near to where he worked.

With the grey plastic front and rear bumpers and grey side strips looking decidedly jaded and faded, Olly’s wife Vicky hand painted the whole lot with Autobright restore2grey bumper and trim dye and then set about repairing the stitching on the leather driver’s seat and giving both front seats a good dose of hide food to cover up some cracks in the leather. The day before the show even my fi ve-year-old granddaughter Chloe helped by cleaning the windows. A family thing, some classics…

Come show day the Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi looked stunning. The respray and revamp to the faded bumpers and external trim really made the difference. The interior was always in pretty goosd unmolested condition thankfully and responded well to a damn good clean to make it look almost as good as new again.

In retrospect…

I spent about 18 months working on the mechanical side of things, experiencing many problems and setbacks along the way, and as somebody who has worked on cars as a hobby for nearly 50 years, at times this prickly Pug even taxed my amassed knowledge and almost saw me throw in the towel a few times…

But I am glad I didn’t. I always knew that as it was a GTi of that breed of extremely popular ‘hothatches’ of the 80s it was worth saving and to see it at the car show gleaming in the sunshine and the beaming smile on my son’s face driving a car that he had bought with his mate Sam 12 years ago and never driven up until now, was worth all my hard effort. Without me it would probably still be rotting away under a tarpaulin eventually ending up as a sad pile of rust and scrapped.

I kept a track of costs from day one and parts purchased totalled £2750 plus £285 for the respray. As to my labour: Well, one of my neighbours who had seen me numerous times working on the car stopped one day and said: ‘’If your son is paying you for every hour I have seen you working on that car, you must be nearly a millionaire by now!’’. I jokingly replied back that I was probably only charging him for one in every 10 hours that I was working on it and I was doing it as much for enjoyment than financial benefit, but checking the invoices it comes to a princely £700.

So, in total the Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi cost £3,735 to get it back on the road. I kept a newspaper cutting which I stuck on my garage wall to give me inspiration, of one that in concours condition, had sold at auction last year for more than £38,000. So, yes, it was worth it.

As for my next project? I have a 1992 Mazda MX-5 that needs both rear sills replacing, but for now I am going to have a well-earned rest before I even think about starting on that one…



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