1989 Bedford Rascal from UK and Ireland - Comments

6th Jun 2001, 08:57

Just got my 2nd Rascal Van (oops just remembered how bad the old one was!), this one has 100 000 miles on clock - I know someone with 200 000 on their van.

What's wrong with them - rusts badly (wheel arches), back door rattles (adjust rubbers on the side of door to cure), some kids pushed ours over in the road (maybe they just sneezed!) - at least you can lift it up again on your own - did I mention it rusts?

We ran a new Fiat at the same time as our old van, the Rascal was slower, noisier, but it was far cheaper to run (and broke down less). OK so it ain't all bad - did I mention it rusts?

28th Feb 2002, 06:04

I own the Bambi Motor-caravan conversion and have nothing but praise for its reliability.

It is slow, but what can you expect from 970cc pulling 27cwt!

Only gripe is tyre wear, but that may be something to do with the weight of the conversion.

11th Jun 2003, 15:46

I have owned a Rascal for four months and its excellent apart from the noisy gear box. I have got some Wolfrace wheels going on it EXCELLENT.

18th Oct 2003, 16:38

My dad spotted our 1988 'F' plate Rascal in our local scrap yard in 1998,can't remember why he was at the yard to start with, but hey it's a story! The van wasn't in the yard as such, but kept in the "too good too break" section, which was nice! After some negotiation the large owner of the scrap yard took £150 from my dad in the return for the little van. After getting it home and then informing me of his purchase. I, being a mechanic, found the body to be sound, but the head gasket to be blown, with the mileage showing 87000.

The van was painted in a local decorators... decorations and on scanning the log book found the previous owner was a florist in the local area! So we were now the third owners.

To cut a long story short, we had the van painted in its original red, I replaced the head gasket, but not before removing the sump and replacing the piston rings because it smoked badly as-well, (at the same time finding that the engine had been replaced by an 850cc at some point in its life, so the mileage was more like 120000 miles at the wheels)

The Rascal was used extensivley between '98 and 2001 where it performed its tasks reliably and as its such fun to drive, with a smile on my face.

The little Rascal now sits in my garage, dry and cosy awaiting my restoration.

Not much to be done, the door bottoms need replacing, as do the wheel arches as well as some minor repairs.

A classic van some day, and I've got one. And I won't part with it. I've made that mistake before!

14th Nov 2003, 09:01

Hi, I've got a 1989 Bedford Rascal van, but am not sure if it's leaded or unleaded. Could anyone help?

9th Oct 2004, 09:53

Can anybody help me? Do you know what the settings are for the points as I am having some problems finding out. Thanks, Shaun.

31st Aug 2005, 10:16

All rascals from 1986 run on unleaded fuel.

29th Jun 2006, 05:14

Does anybody have a rascal van to sell (with rascal side sign). Thanks! Sarah.

13th Sep 2006, 02:08

Hello rascal fanciers, I've just bought a cheeky little rascal after searching for 3 weeks, trouble is I keep popping out in it and my girlfriend is getting fed up, she might have to go, but the rascal stays-GLYNN.

4th Jun 2007, 09:02

Hi, for anyone having problems starting up a Rascal, I found that you must ensure the fuel pump is working - turn the key on, but not all the way to the starter position, lights come on etc. and you should hear a clicking noise. When that slows down and settles at around 80 clicks per minute, give two pumps on the gas - gently. Pull out your choke, put your clutch in and start it up.

The reason for this is that the engine needs charging with fuel, which when the van is left parked, runs back into the tank. The longer it is left standing, the more likely this will be a problem. The fuel pump does a good job, but as these fellas get older, they need a little help, so a gentle pump on the gas just helps get the fuel to the engine ready to start.

It is also in the users manual to charge the engine by a gentle pump on the gas.

Putting the clutch in reduces the mechanical resistance, and helps to get the engine started. Make sure you are not in gear when you release it.

Trying to start her up without sufficient fuel will pump air into the engine instead of fuel, and make it more difficult to start next time. Pumping too hard on the pedals will flood the engine. If you flood, try very slowly pressing the accelerator down while turning the ignition key, this can take a few seconds, but often clears out the system and gets you started.

If your choke does not stay in place when pulled out, try using a wine cork, cut yourself a slit for the choke wire, and when you pull it out, put the cork in place to keep it there.

3rd Jan 2008, 18:17

Hi I just bought myself a Rascal, but not Bedford, it is a GME (basically the non UK version.

Are the Bedford parts same as for the GME and are they hard to find?

It is working just fine at the moment, but I would like it to last so I want to keep it in good shape.

Could anyone give me good addresses for spare parts?

Thanks in advance...

4th Jan 2008, 06:18

I, m pretty sure the rascal has an in-line fuel filter? can't be sure though as (many years ago) firm I worked for had both rascals and hi-jets, Anyway worth checking as recall one that after parking for say 15 minutes took ages to restart, shorter was OK, longer OK! why thus who knows, but after bypassing filter no more trouble.

28th Feb 2008, 21:19

I have a badly smoking exhaust on my Rascal which lasts about 5 to 10 minutes after startup, then stops. I will be changing the head gasket, pistons, and piston rings shortly as I suspect either an oil or coolant leak.

My question is - are there any other potential leaking seals or gaskets worth changing at the same time? (please list all!) If so, what are the MOST likely to be leaking, and can any of them be tested?

Here are the symptoms:

1. The engine overheats sometimes after extended driving, without the temperature gauge reaching red.

2. Water from radiator reservoir is being consumed at about a quarter bottle every 100 miles.

3. Oil becomes low about every 250 to 300 miles.

4. There is no oil in the radiator or water in the oil bottle.

5. The smoke is white-ish grey and smells horrid.

Any help welcome, thanks!

29th Feb 2008, 05:10

I too have just become the owner of a 1989 Rascal. Only 69000 miles on the clock + it's had a new engine due to a water pump going. It has a folding bench seat in the rear which is well handy. Rust is minimal on the body, but one front wheel arch is rusted through. When I drove it home (hours drive) the temp kneedle was at 3/4. I drove it to work this morning & the kneedle only just made it off the cold mark, & not much heat coming from the heater, it was frosty though, but started 1st time ;-)

Does anyone know if there's a summer/winter setting on the carb? I know some vehicles have this.

The van was given to me for free so I'm not complaining about anything.