Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Ah ha! I have seen that microswitch, I mistakenly assumed it was used to detect when the throttle was closed.

That's nice and easy to check at least.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

xantia_v6 wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 23:46
I have previously thought of building a more intelligent kickdown trigger, that takes rate of throttle movement into account to give part-throttle kickdown.
You've been spoilt by the programmed throttle movement on Hydractive, Mike!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Having adjusted the throttle cable to get what looked like sufficient movement to activate the switch made no difference - however I wasn't able to properly check it with the meter as the wind was sufficiently strong that the meter kept getting blown over and the bonnet blown shut despite strong gas struts. I'll look better on another day when the weather is more sane.

Have changed the bulbs in the boot lights for two 5W LED ones I had rolling around. They've got a horrible colour temperature, but for the boot I'm really not bothered about that. That's basically why they have been following around the "misc automotive lamps" box for the last couple of years.

The difference is obvious here where one is the original lamp, the other the LED...there is actually enough light to be useful now.

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The warm colours of the carpet manage to make them look less horribly blue too, which is a bonus.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

Zelandeth wrote:
14 Jan 2020, 19:14
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Seeing you posted that image, I should point out that the engine ECU is behind the trim panel to the right of the battery. The idle mixture screw is accessible there, but requires a special tool which can be bought or fabricated, or you can open up the ECU and cut a screwdriver slot on the adjustment shaft.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Trust Jag to put the idle mixture control in the boot!

Something I need to have a look at is what I can do with the wood trim. It actually looks to be sound, it's just the clear coat that's coming away. Just like a Dante Red Citroen!

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The rough plan I've got in my head. Obviously once I've figured out how to get it off the car.

Step one will obviously be to strip the existing lacquer off - I'm just assuming it won't all flake off and I'll need to get some stripping agent involved. I don't think sanding it off is a good idea as there are areas where it's already missing and I don't want to create pits. I also have no idea how thick the veneer is.

Step two will be to go over it with the sander with some very gentle paper on just to smooth out any bits which are standing proud.

Step three. Apply a coat of stain to give it some colour.

Step four. Sand over it again with high grit paper again to key the surface.

Step five. Apply goodness only knows how many coats of clear coat. Given the way it's peeled off I'm guessing the original stuff was water based. I imagine polyurethane varnish would be the normal approach for this sort of application? Though part of my brain does wonder why normal rattle can automotive clear coat couldn't be used...saves me trying to avoid visible brush strokes, lost bristles etc...and I already have it in the garage.

Nope...never done anything like this before so I'm making it up as I'm going.

It's very much the first thing anyone notices when opening the door these days, so I'd really like to improve it. Doesn't necessarily need to be absolutely perfect...but anything has to be an improvement.

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Open to advice from anyone who has experience with restoration of things like this if I'm barking up totally the wrong tree. This is the first car I've had with actual wood in, never mind the first time I've had to restore it.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

I did the wood trim in my 1985 XJ-SC, I think that the existing coating does come off with a suitable solvent, but I can't remember what I used. I do remember having several attempts at getting a perfect unblemished final coat on.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Don't suppose you remember what was involved in actually getting the trim out of the car do you?

Door trims and glovebox I imagine will be screws from the back. Bits on the dash are a bit less clear as there's no obvious way to get to the back of the panel without dismantling half the car.

Though dismantling half the car is probably the correct procedure. It's a Jag after all!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

This really is a car which encourages you to go the long way to get places.

Like home to the charity shop over at Kiln Farm I check in on semi regularly as they usually have a good selection of vinyl that's mostly £0.50 apiece...a trip that's about four or five miles...but I ended up going via Buckingham, just because I could. Still didn't want to get out when I got there!

The windscreen washers have decided to pack in today. I'm guessing as with most cars of this age this is due to slime growing in the bottom of the washer bottle. It's easily accessible though so no problem. I'll pull it out tomorrow and give it a really good clean, then blow all the lines back through with compressed air. Sure it will be absolutely fine once that's done.

One modification I am definitely going to do is the deletion of the 15 minute "warm up timer" system. What this does is that if the coolant temperature is below 45C (measured by its own sensor to the rear of the right hand coolant manifold), for the first fifteen minutes it disables the vacuum advance system and retards the timing. This makes the engine less efficient, producing more heat and helping it heat up more quickly. It also means that for the first fifteen minutes it absolutely massacres your fuel economy. You'll be lucky to see the instantaneous MPG figure make it into double digits until this has timed out.

Given there is 5.3 litres of quite highly tuned V12 producing heat, it'll warm up in a perfectly reasonable amount of time, even though the engine weighs something ridiculous... there's really no need to deliberately make the thing use more petrol than it needs to!

Luckily this system can be disabled really simply by unplugging the appropriate temperature sensor. The associated hardware can also be removed to help improve space in what's possibly the most cluttered engine bay ever designed (I'm not sure designed is the right word..."happened" seems more accurate), though that's not strictly necessary.

Speaking of heating, the heater is something which needs help. Pretty certain that the tube has come adrift from the duct used to sample the cabin air temperature (or the thermistor value has drifted) as the only way to get any appreciable heat out of it is to set it to the demist mode. Bit of explanation needed here for those who have never used the heater in one of these. When it's set to anything other than demist the temperature is dialled in to a set value between 65 and 85F. There's no "as hot or cold as possible" setting. Which is fine and good when the system is correctly sampling the cabin...but a pain when it's not. The demist mode overrides this and just chucks out as much heat as possible, with the blowers set to maximum. It's also worth noting that there's no air distribution control like on most cars. So the only way to get air into the windscreen is to set it to demist...which puts the blower on full! I reckon that will be less of an issue once the air conditioning has been sorted as the cabin will then always be dehumidified...however it's currently a pain to keep it demisted - though the fact it's never stopped raining since I picked the car up hasn't probably helped. When it's set to demist you should get as much heat as possible, full power to both blower motors and air distribution set to 90% to the windscreen, 10% to the floor level vents. However the air coming out of the lower vents is never warm. So reckon there's an air distribution issue there. That's a job for another day though, I'm not pulling the dashboard apart yet.

Hard to believe I've done nearly 400 miles in it already! Wonder how many years of its previous life that would account for...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

Presumably a good pair of electric radiator fans, and a nice warm thermostat?
Does Haynes help at all with dash removal? Something they used to cover decently, back then.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

white exec wrote:
16 Jan 2020, 00:22
Presumably a good pair of electric radiator fans, and a nice warm thermostat?
Does Haynes help at all with dash removal? Something they used to cover decently, back then.
Pretty sure the issue is with the air distribution and/or the logic controlling it, as when set to demist is chucks out good heat from all the upper vents, so hot water is getting to the heater matrix. The heater just isn't calling for heat correctly.

These sample cabin air similarly to the Xantia, but rather than having a thermistor sitting right next to a fan, it's drawn in down a little rubber duct from a hole in the dash just above the glove box. Apparently what often happens is that duct falls off, and the heater then starts sampling the air from behind the dash...right on top of the heater matrix. So it thinks the car is toasty warm and blasts cold air into the cabin, even though in reality you're freezing!

Having no warm air to the feet I suspect is a flap issue as it never seems to change temperature there irrespective of settings.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

It sounds like you have been reading Kirby's book (which I contributed to in a few places). Heater flap adjustment is fun.

You really do need to get the A/C fixed before summer, as these cars a dreadful to drive without it. The through-ventilation is not very good (and by design it always warms the air slightly), and the only opening windows are in the doors, and give bad buffeting if driving over 30 MPH, I think that is why A/C was not an option, it was standard (the first UK car to have standard A/C in 1975?)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

A/C hopefully shouldn't be too difficult to get going.

She had a new compressor fitted roughly a year ago and the system converted to run R134a. However having already spent the best part of a grand on the work they decided to save a few quid and reuse the existing pulley and clutch assembly. Unsurprisingly when it had to deal with full head pressure for the first time in goodness knows how many years it then failed.

So hopefully a new clutch assembly and the belt refitting will be all that needs to get it back up and running.

Obviously I won't be able to say for certain what state the charge is in until the system is running, but there's definitely pressure in there which is a good sign.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

450 miles in.

MPG on the last tank? Uuuuum...10.98MPG. Yeah, economy isn't her strong suit. That warmup timer needs to get in the sea and we'll see how much that helps. The trip computer is far more accurate than most modern ones seem to be. At least I can track it properly now... previously I was having issues there as I hadn't been able to get the tripometer to reset and the counter on the trip computer was getting wiped as I was disconnecting the battery overnight prior to sorting the stereo wiring issue.

Been busy most of today, so aside from briefly introducing a local friend to the Jag (yep, they were as surprised as I was to see it in my fleet!), I've not had a chance to do much with cars. Weather has been distinctly miserable anyway and not really conducive to working on cars.

However on departing the house to run one of many errands I was presented with this:

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The way the lamp failure system works in the Jag is that if an appropriate amount of current flows through the lamp, a bimetallic switch in closes after 10-20 seconds after the respective lighting circuit is turned on to tell the system that the lamp is good, at which point the indicator on the dash goes out. If it doesn't detect this "lamp good" signal, the indicator stays lit.

In this case examination revealed that a number plate light was indeed out. Simply tapping the fitting restored it to operation though rather than the lamp needing replaced. So I'll add "clean number plate light contacts" to the to do list.

Good, because I could have done without standing in the pouring rain sorting that!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by daviemck2006 »

My BMW 4.4 v8 must be an economy car compared to your Jag then Zel with its 19.7mpg for my first check! Probably got an easier life pootling about the rural roads of Aberdeenshire and Moray at 55or so mph on the cruise, but using kickdown and every rev there is when overtaking.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

A bit of real-life brimming and mileage checks will confirm what the Jag is doing.
Might need a sedative first.