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Offline patbrooks

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Buying Guide
« on: 05, April, 2014 - 12:25:31 »
This is a guide to offer some help for those who are new to buying a Sinclair C5, and possibly a useful reminder for those that aren’t, this guide has been compiled from replies to various questions that have been asked.

1.If possible go to view the C5 you are interested in as all C5's seem to photograph well - even the ones that have been less loved over the years 

2. If you are unable to view the C5 then you will want to see some pictures, if possible ask the seller to forward photos of the following areas
a)   Underneath to check for corrosion and chassis damage.

b)    Boot removed to help view the motor, control box etc.,

c)    A view from each side, front and rear to check for body twist, holes and other general damage (stickers, scratches etc).

This is how the rear wheel should sit    
within the rear wheel arch;

This is how a bent chassis affects the
rear wheel alignment;

Example of bent front forks / or bent chassis causing the front wheel to tuck under

Example of how the front wheel should sit, the tyre should sit much closer to the "nose" of the bodyshell, also check by seeing if the rear part of the front wheel shroud rubs against the bodywork on full steering lock.

Depending on what can be seen in the pictures you receive and what description has been provided with the sale listing, here are some questions you can ask the seller:-

a)   Does the c5 power up and run properly, any belt slip (loud buzzing noise)

b)    Is there a Pod / control box included, if yes does it light up and function properly?

c)   Is there a motor,

a.   No - is the motor mount still fitted,

b.   Yes - what type of motor

i.   Brown fingers is an early model and the fingers are prone to becoming brittle and will disintegrate
ii.   Creamy fingers is the later model this end remains flexible.

(brown or cream coloured – see photo below)

d)   Is the chassis rusty or bent? (see photos above for guidance)

e)   Are mirrors and or indicators included / fitted, if yes are they complete and undamaged?
NB. They are difficult to source and you will have the holes in the body if they've been previously fitted & removed

f)   Is the boot included?
NB. If you need to find a replacement you will also need a lock and key as they are not always sold together

g)   Are there centre caps for the wheels?

h)   Are the front & rear lights still fitted, any damage?

i)    Does the chain move freely or is it rusted solid

j)   Is there a chain tensioner fitted, if so is it complete with clips and undamaged?

k)   Are there any holes in the floor (usually found just behind the front wheel).

l)   Does it still have a front shroud (front wheel cover).

m)   Has the front wheel melted (check the rims)

n)   Is the wiring factory standard or has it been changed / adapted

Outside of the above questions you will need to consider what basic maintenance will need to be carried out on the C5. E.G. Check  tyres / inner tubes / brake cables / wheel bearings / battery etc
When buying a C5 you need to decide if you want it as a restoration project or as a ride it away immediately purchase.

Restoring a C5 is all about the love for the C5 and either bringing it back to original specification with all the accessories or to modify one to your make it your own unique machine.

As you would find with almost any restoration project if you choose to restore then you need to consider that it may cost you more than you originally budgeted for and it may take you longer than planned because your requirements may change as you go along or you may find parts need replacing that you didn’t think would originally. However at the end of it you will have an iconic piece of history that has its 30th birthday in 2015, remember there were a limited amount of them produced in 1985 so help history by keeping another C5 alive.

You will find the forum to be extremely helpful whilst restoring your C5 as the forum members are always happy offer advice and help to questions asked.

If you are buying one to be able to just ride away on then you will just need to consider the maintenance required as you would if you were to purchase a pedal bike, check the C5 is legal and safe to be ridden or driven.

 Check out the new owners guide information sheet.