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Old 27-04-2013   #1
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John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Well guys and girls. i could not help my self when i saw this come in to our local scrap yard.

1994 Marbella with 20,079 miles on the clock. looks like it has not gone around the clock as the interior and parts of the engine and gearbox still look like new.

heres some pictures of how i came to it at the scrap yard:






here you can see the melted wire:





Stand by for some more pictures, and of course online video logs via Youtube!


bit of a story of how i found the car:

A few days ago (on the 23rd) me and a friend, went around another friends house. i parked up and used his (the friend we went around to see's) car to go down to the scrap yard (he is not far from it).
we had a good walk around and my friend found some more sound proofing for Talon (as he is very good at this) and some other odd bits (which i was told i could have for free - best scrap yard ever!).
on leaving the scrap yard a lorry came down the driveway looking for a way through to a business place. we told the lorry driver to follow us to where he needed to go as my friend knew the way to it.

on the way we passed a place i use to work at. as we went past the friend i brought with me noticed a seat marbella parked up in one of the car park bays. i didn't see much of it and only the back of the car, but noted the unusual reg number.
anyway. a day or so later (on the 26th) the same friend who spotted the car went to the same scrap yard we visited on the 23rd to get some bits for his car, and what car just so happens to be sat in the row of cars ready to have all of there vital fluids / environmental hazards removed? the little seat marbella. so he gets on the phone and rings me up.

I then ring up the scrap yard and ask them to hold the car and not to put it through the scrapping process as i would like to know if they would sell it.
they told me that it came in late on the 24th and i was lucky to catch it just in time. they gave me a price of 350 which was quite a bit for me so i was not really that bothered. my friend told me it was in good condition with no rust.
so i was just going to go down after they processed it for scrap as i wanted the rust free doors off it. (i know Sisley owners and Marbella doors.. )

anyway. this morning (27th) i got a phone call from the scrap yard.
"you were interested in the marbella? i've stuck it to one side for you if you want to come down and have a look at it..."

well i could not resist.. even if it was just to see how good them doors were.. (ohhh those marbella doors..). i drove right up to the gates and parked up. walked in and was greeted by this happy.. yet sad looking little red marbella.

well i looked around it found i could not get the bonnet open, would not pop up when i tried to open it. i did in the end get it open and soon spotted the "causes of death fault".
a really melted wire leading from the alternator that should of been connected to the starter motor, it somehow worked free and arced to the engine block causing the alternator to lock up and burn the diode bridge out. it also had short run issues like quite a bit of water logged oil in the oil filler (these engines get that, its normal), a smashed front headlight, on the inside the drivers side seat belt has been worn by something causing it to fray, and it is also missing a wing mirror.

inside the car was a notice saying that the car will not start and it was to be towed for scrap at 13:00 on the 24/04/13. i also found some paperwork with the previous owners name and address. (i was later able to track down the previous owner using this and retrieve the super rare parcel shelf! )

well despite the niggles that it had.. i just could not help myself... the car was rust free, solid as the first day it was put together.
so i end up talking to the guy on the weigh bridge and he said that i could take it for 325... delivered to my home address.

and so, i now own a 1994 Seat Marbella "Fun"

it just so happens that my brother is taking driving lessons and i think that it would make the perfect car to welcome him into the life of driving a car.
keep this hush hush.. he does not know yet that this will be his car.

Edits:
As of 17/08/2013 the car is now back on the road after its scrap yard rescue!!! High Five!
soon after the car was put in my brothers name as it made the insurance go down a lot.

Edit: This is a photo of the marbella when my brother sold it:
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Last edited by Dragon Man; 25-07-2020 at 00:48.
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Old 27-04-2013   #2
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Thumbs up Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

A wonderful find! I'm sure you and your brother are going to have a lot of fun with this one! Welcome to the world of dual-Panda (well, it is one, really...) ownership...!
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Old 27-04-2013   #3
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

I have to say that that is just awesome!

Look forward to seeing it on my next visit
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Old 27-04-2013   #4
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Well done on such a find! What a great brother you are as well. I love the wheels, what do the black caps say on them? Seat probs?
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Old 27-04-2013   #5
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

you know, i have not looked yet!i suspect them to have the Seat "S" on them.

well i bought this as a non runner but after a few hours guess what... clack
i got the engine going. the fault was the melted wire. here is what i think happened:

The car was driving down the road, and the cable linking the alternator to the starter snapped its eye crimp at the starter end. the cable dangled down and earthed out on the engine case causing the alternator to go to dead short, killing the alternator (i need to pull it to bits to have a nosey).


so i spin the engine over by hand to make sure it is all fine then try to get it running by just undoing the alternator from the wiring loom and taking the belt off. after i bypass the alternator the engine fired up first turn of the key! woohoo! no killed ECU!

(ECU with a carburetor.. what)

thankfully, my old cinquecento was in the same scrap yard, i knew that it had loads of new parts. so they were all recovered (and for free to because i bought a car from them!), fitted the new alternator (that was only 1000miles old) on the car and now the battery charges fine!

there is a few issues however, i am getting a lot of gasses from out of the cam shaft breather pipe however they dont seem to increase as i rev the engine
and also after the car is up to temperature running on tick over the ECU light will come on until you rev the engine, then it will go off.
i suspect it to be detecting an issue with the exhaust gasses.

anybody else have any views on it?


anyway here is the first video! enjoy:

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Old 27-04-2013   #6
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Literally rescued from the jaws. Well done
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Old 27-04-2013   #7
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Well done John, nice find .

Please don't use 'T cut' on it! Autoglym paint renovator would be the easy choice out of a variety of superior options, will come up like new.

My guess is that someone connected jump leads the wrong way round and burnt out the wire, easy fix though.

I want to convert my Terra front end to Panda style so will have spare headlights available once it's done, if you struggle to find a replacement I may have to consider bringing this plan forward a couple of years.
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Old 27-04-2013   #8
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Just watched the video through, that has to be the best scrap yard car ever!

I was considering a Marbella when I was Pandaless there is something that I find appealing about them, (probably all that stuck on plastic!).

I'll sort you out some decent polish to get that body work gleaming

Now that's gonna be a good picture, Fizzle, Talon and Ricardo?!

(It has to be a Dick - those decals if you look closely - or maybe it's just me?)
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Old 27-04-2013   #9
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Nice one That's very smart looking and some spit and polish will bring it up a treat. Saved!!!
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Old 27-04-2013   #10
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

everyone has commented on that rear decal >_<

im not going to do anything mad headed to this. its just going to be nice and standard. i even want to keep the radio! i think its awesome!

anyway i know you all love pictures so i just went outside and took some for you all, enjoy them

from the front.. whats that.. on the back of the car.. huh? is that a...

the back.. note the epic decal. makes you look twice >_<

underish side all still looks new!

note how unworn the seats are

Car WAS dead... was. glad i saved it

awesome car radio. wish i could get hold of the original knobs for it though

rear flappy seats that fold down to nothing!

the boot.. car still needs a clean but.. rain

looking forward from the boot:

nice fix some one did of the bumper. i actually didnt see this at first.

Need to get this sorted:

only bit of rust i could find! not doing bad!

yucky gear stick.. need to clean this. but i fear the plastic has degraded

Driving view:

little hedgehog friend came with the car:

stress testing ALL the electronics!:


awesome little car eh?

think it will be a great first time car.

i really need to do a compression test. i cant find my compression testing gauge anywhere though

any thoughts on why the ECU light comes on after a long time of ticking over at normal running temperature?
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Last edited by Dragon Man; 27-04-2013 at 14:48.
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Old 27-04-2013   #11
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

If it runs well despite the light being on I'd just use it, you may find it goes out all by itself in time.

The gunge in the top of the engine is probably just condensation, these engines are known for it as you're probably aware, especially as it's had such little use.
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Old 27-04-2013   #12
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Nice one Dragon man looks great, i really like the luminus green dials I wouldn't mind a Marbella at some point as I wouldn't mind modding it.

I never thought I'd find myself thinking this but I'd really like to live near a scrap yard
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Old 27-04-2013   #13
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

the 903's do seem to produce great clots of mayo - it seems to be "normal" and not obviously leading to any problems.

Great save John Looks really good body wise, but you'll miss all the welding!
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Old 27-04-2013   #14
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

Has it got a Lambda Sensor?
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Old 27-04-2013   #15
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Re: John Dragon Man's Seat Marbella Fun

huzzah, another Marbella joins the gang Nice find and price was good too.

Video is quite interesting too, explains lots of things I wasn't sure of and also you have a servo!! I guess SEAT were finally allowed to have that one or it fell within budget later on. Also the modified front suspension strut towers on the inner wing have a modified shape....which explains why I bought some dampers a couple of years ago that turned out to be for your car! I had no idea at the time that that had been changed

If you need new dampers let me know anyway as they are brand new Delphi and wasting space in my shed. I wouldn't ask much for them, just a bit to get some of the loss back. But you probably won't need them seeing as the car has only done 20k miles!

Love the electronic ignition ecu, awesome to know that there is an electronic ignition unit designed for the ohv engine

I guess it has a lambda sensor being a '94 car. How does it adjust the mixture with a carb!!? Or does the lambda merely tell the warning light to come on when it is running rich / lean do you think? This also explains why you can buy a lambda sensor for a Seat Marbella on ebay

Anyway, nice to see another one saved. They are quite rare now probably due to being the underdog even to the Panda

A point worth mentioning is that those plastic side panels are great for covering up rusty door bottom corners. If you can get a peek under them to check, you might save some more difficult repairs later on. Unfortunately for me my Marbella doors have started to rust through But I suppose mine is a '90 car and an extra 40k miles on the clock!

Happy Marbella'ing
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