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 » 15 Feb 2020, 01:13

Before we even thought about looking at new tyres we needed to sort the tracking. The horrible tramlining, wandering to Lada extents under braking and steering wheel being off centre told me it needed attention. This also meant that signalling right was a perpetual fight with the self cancelling mechanism.

We had some abnormal tyre wear too.

Offside front being the worst:

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Nearside front:

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Wear is less pronounced, but there's a couple of places where there's evidence of minor chunking of the tread. These tyres really need to be binned. Now.

The rears have plenty of tread and don't look to have any abnormal wear.

Nearside:

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Offside:

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Despite the tread they provide only slightly more grip than aerospace grade teflon, so are not long for this world either.

While the car was up on the ramps I had the opportunity to have a poke around to see if I could track down where the exhaust was occasionally buzzing against the bodywork. Didn't take long.

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That silencer is the guilty party. It's sitting all of about 1/8" from the heat shield above it and any movement of the system makes them touch. Given the offside system sits an inch lower at the tailpipe, I reckon the whole rear of the system just needs to drop a bit. Shouldn't be a hard fix.

While I was under there I was able to confirm that the rear gearbox mount looks pretty much brand new. Given they're a bit of a known weak spot that's nice to see.

Fifteen minutes later we no longer have ridiculous amounts of toe out.

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Oh, and the steering wheel now points straight ahead when travelling straight ahead.

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The disconcerting fidgety sensation has now left us which is nice. It was particularly bad before when you went over the white line while changing lanes on the dual carriageway for example. Plus she now brakes in a straight line which is nice. That required nearly Lada levels of correction when braking from speed before. Hard to tell if it's just in my head, but it feels like it's now rolling more freely too...wonder if that will translate to any additional MPG...probably not!

A small adjustment which took maybe 20 minutes, but it's made the car a lot more pleasant to drive.

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

Post by van ordinaire » 16 Feb 2020, 23:05

Bit late to this party - because the last time I tried I was asked to log in (for the 3rd time that session) when I hit "Submit".

Opening the bonnet on my S-type was like opening an oven door (even though the temp. gauge never got up to "N") but I never experienced that withmy 3500S's, the 1st of which got an electric fan - because it was also over-cooled by the mechanical one. That said I do recall the autos. had a supplementary electric fan to cool the fuel pump.

XJ40's had mechanical & electric fans, so Jaguar obviously thought that was the way to go. I used to dump the mechanical one, as the electric one was quite sufficient - even in South Africa!

Cherokees (at least 4.0's) have both fans - right up to 2001! Again the electric one is enough, at least for normal road use, although in the US a popular conversion is to fit a 2nd electric one in place of the mechanical one (if you replace the fan studs with mushroom head Allen bolts, a 2nd fan just drops onto the existing mountings, there because the mechanical & electric fans are transposed on RHD models).

Like Jags. they also suffer from high under-bonnet temps. because the engine compartment is stuffed full & there's very little airflow through it - & the answer is to raise the trailing edge of the bonnet or louvres; nothing new there, remember Coombes MkII's.

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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 » 16 Feb 2020, 23:21

3500 Autos used to suffer from the mechanical S.U. fuel pump vapour-locking - and vapour was something those pumps had difficulty shifting. Plenty of under-bonnet heat from the two cast-iron exhaust manifolds, which were a bit like having an Aga clamped on each side of the engine.

Removing the mechanical fan, and going for a pair of Kenlowes, solved this occasional problem on our 3500S, but I finally bypassed the mechanical pump, and just fitted a Jag-S.U. electrical pump above the tank in the boot, with the main/reserve tap relocated there too. End of problem, and instant priming/starting.

The P5 didn't stint on electric pumps: two separate ones on top of the tank, one for main, one for reserve.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 17 Feb 2020, 20:14

I think the worst car I had for conspicuously ridiculous under bonnet temperatures was my Saab. Opening the bonnet on that while the engine was up to temperature and/or had just been stopped released a truly eyebrow charring blast of heat. Jag doesn't seem anywhere near as bad as that was in this department. That said I do always try to let the engine idle for a minute or two before switching it off after a run.

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 17 Feb 2020, 20:59

Just a thought, Zel (and completely unrelated to the Beast!). Alasdair has an ES9J V6 engine looking for a good home. I wonder if the Activa might appreciate a 'heart' transplant?

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

Post by Zelandeth » 17 Feb 2020, 23:11

Nah...for one I actually quite enjoy the ridiculous boosty nature of the TCT. Plus I think I've got more than enough of my allocation of "awkward to get at stuff because of V-configuration engines" with the Jag.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 19 Feb 2020, 00:01

I'd a few tasks planned for today but wound up slimming the list down rather a lot as it seemed to be absolutely freezing outside despite the thermometer showing 8C. Not sure if it's just my being more tired than usual lately is making me feel it more lately.

Now everything has dried out again there's a pretty clear mark where the water has been finding its way in through the windscreen seal.

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This tends to make me think that the water has indeed found its way in between the glass and the seal rather than the seal and the windscreen surround at least. It's only a theory at this stage though.

Some of this stuff was deployed to hopefully find and seal the leak.

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It's been years since I last used this stuff but I'm sure it's become more unruly... really struggled to get a small enough amount out of the bottle. Maybe I've just become more clumsy, or the smaller bottles are just easier to manage.

While I had it out I also gave the windscreen seal on the Invacar a going over with it. That's been about 90% watertight since I did some work on the seals but still leaked a little so hopefully this will help.

Main job for today though was to see if I could do something about the exhaust touching the floor. This makes an annoying growling noise when pulling away or turning hard right. It's really annoying, and we had identified the issue was a lack of clearance above the front nearside silencer. It looks like the situation could be resolved by dropping the rear of the system by an inch or so.

There was a bit of flexibility available by rotating the rear silencer as the hanger is attached to the body on the outlet side. So I loosened both and turned it to give the greatest clearance. This has definitely helped but it's still buzzing occasionally. So I'll need to pull that silencer and "convince" the hanger to give me a little bit more clearance.

While I was sitting down by that corner though I did spot some bodywork that's definitely going to need some TLC sooner than later.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that if I start poking here I'll end up with a not insignificant hole. To be fair it shouldn't be the end of the world to sort and it was inevitable I'd find a hole somewhere in a 35 year old Jag so I'm not hugely surprised.

Not faffing around with metalwork at this time of the year but I'll look to drown the area in Vactan etc in the near future to try to halt any further degradation in the near future.

Will I be able to resist the temptation of seeing what she sounds like without the rear silencers given I need to remove the one to mess with the hanger? Not a chance!

Speaking of bodywork, did a bit of work on the house today. I managed to take a chunk out of this wall a few years ago.

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It's always going to be vulnerable to things like this as it's a major thoroughfare and you're pushed towards the wall as you need to walk around the staircase. That damage was done by my phone sticking out of my pocket clipping it on the way past.

Hopefully this will prevent a repeat performance.

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Much tidier.

At the very least if I do it again it's just a few quid's worth of plastic coving to replace rather than messing around with filler and things like that.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 22 Feb 2020, 01:49

Hoping I might actually get to look at the cars this week! Have had most of my free time this week eaten up fixing things that were broken in the storms last weekend.

While we got off more lightly than a lot of folks we did have some damage to deal with.

One partly detached fence panel on this side.

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Which was later detached and wedged under a couple of paving slabs to prevent it inserting itself in next door's conservatory. The whole bottom edge of this was rotten anyway so my intention was to just replace it... annoyingly the neighbours across there crudely nailed it back together before I could do that so it now looks awful and will probably blow down again the moment we get more strong winds.

This just looks awful. Those tree stumps will be coming down this Spring anyway.

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One other rotten half height one blown out of the frame...I'd already bodged this one back together half a dozen times so didn't see it as any great loss.

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One panel completely flattened out back.

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This and both panels immediately adjacent were pretty much rotten beyond redemption anyway so no huge loss...especially as they're cheap anyway.

We also had evidence of some new water ingress in the house.

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Never what you want to see... especially when the location is "somewhat awkward" to get to.

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This only appeared on the worst night of things when we had torrential rain that was visibly running up that skylight rather than down... I've not seen any further evidence, so filing that under "monitor carefully" for the time being.

Same night saw rain getting blown in over the top of the garage door...straight onto the electrical consumer unit, tripping the RCD several times.

The wind had also managed to get under the flashing above the front door and lift it off the box section there.

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The rot in the ends of the beams there is something we're hoping to address this year. It's limited to the last few inches which aren't involved in holding the weight of the roof, that's handled by a cradle above the inner vestibule door. Also obvious there is that the drain gulley is full of plant life...again. It was last cleared out just before Halloween. I suspect that the primary reason for the rotten wood there is the previous owners never clearing out that gulley so it always overflowed.

Fence in the side garden was half "repaired" by the adjacent neighbours...which is annoying as I'd really rather have just fitted a new panel. Sadly as they don't seem to speak a word of English it's a bit tricky to try to discuss the matter with them.

New one fitted to the other side of the side garden.

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I trimmed the (Council's) trees back as well so they're not battering the new fence to bits while I was there. Yes, the former owner of this place even painted the brick wall black.

In the back garden the panel which had been blown out and it's neighbours were swapped out easily enough.

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This was made slightly more of a faff by the fact that while the two nearer to us are standard 6' square panels. The further one though is slightly over five feet wide...so I had to chop it down to size and rebuild the frame. By some miracle I got it millimetre perfect. The fence along the back is now a lot more rigid as it's properly anchored to the new panel I just fitted.

Final task was to sort out the conservatory roof drain yet again.

Before:

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You see those flecks of that lovely vivid orange? That's the colour the conservatory and window frames all were before they got slathered in black paint. Likewise the panelling above the conservatory roof, that's marine teak...why on earth would you paint that black?!?

After:

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Will stay that way for about five minutes...

Hope that this week I won't need to keep running around in circles putting fences back together, drying the consumer unit with a hair drier at 3am, or strapping stuff down in a panic when it's trying not to take off to Norway. Then I'll be able to get back to sorting out things on the automotive to do list!

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 22 Feb 2020, 12:56

If you go to a B&M with a large 'outdoors' department you may be able to get some rolls of 'hedgehog' drain protector. This helps to stop the drains getting blocked.

https://www.bmstores.co.uk/products/hed ... ush-316514

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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 » 22 Feb 2020, 13:35

The same (100mm etc) stuff is also available as an industrial coarse filter, apparently. It is pushed into lengths of pvc piping to filter water, etc.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 23 Feb 2020, 02:02

I don't think things like that will really help here as I suspect if you put that in the channel leaves and stuff would just stop where it was instead of washing down to the drain above the door. That's likely to be more detrimental to the roof drainage than helpful. To be fair it takes all of fifteen minutes to clear it out anyway so it's no huge hardship.

-- -- --

Not a huge amount but I did get some time this afternoon to look at the cars at least.

Xantia battery is utterly, totally dead again so that will be needing replaced under warranty as it was only a year old in December.

I've added a complete coolant hose set to my shopping list for the Jag as a few are showing their age. The left hand top radiator hose and cross pipe bleed line in particular.

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That top hose is just a little scary...getting to the bottom radiator hose(s?) looks like a barrel of laughs. Hoping it will be easier from underneath with the car on the ramps - just to make absolutely sure I get as much antifreeze in my hair, in my mouth or up my nose as possible. Looks like the oil cooler lines may be in the way though which is my only worry there. Guess I'll find out soon enough!

Speaking of pipes, I wanted to have a look at the tailpipes. They clearly weren't adjusted properly as they were both pointing somewhat skywards, like so.

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This is annoying. For one it looks stupid. Secondly, it means that whenever it rains the rear silencers fill up with water (especially as the car is usually parked pointing downhill). It turns out that when the stainless exhaust was fitted they cheaped out a bit...rather than having new tailpipes made to suit they just stuck with the original swan neck tail pipe tips. This means that there's no way to make them sit quite right. If they're sitting level they wind up touching the bodywork. So for now I've flipped the offset by about 180 degrees so they tilt down a bit rather than up. Still looks stupid, but should at least put an end to the rain filling up the silencers!

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While I was under the bonnet I also dropped the new air filters in. They weren't too bad but judging from the oily hand prints all over them they have been in and out a good few times.

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I was reasonably happy with how the woodwork on the dash was looking (though I may give it another few coats in the summer when the weather is hotter and the clear coat will dry quickly) but the trims on the doors had yet to be touched...they were very much dragging the tone of the interior down.

Unlike the dashboard trims these aren't clipped in place but are held in by three small nuts which screw onto studs attached to the trim. To get to these you need to partly remove the door card. As I wanted to change the speaker as well and to reinstate the missing weatherproofing sheet in the door it just made sense to pull the card off and take it inside where I could work on it in more comfort. If you're just wanting to get the wooden trim off you can probably get away without actually pulling the card off the car entirely.

Unlike most things Jaguar, getting the door card off is dead easy. You need to undo one screw hidden under the trim front of the arm rest, the two little screws securing the interior light switch striker plate. Then the card just lifts off. Once you pull the various wiring connectors off the card can then be removed. Oh...and maybe the electric mirror control... can't recall if it's attached to the door itself or the door card.

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Note that if you do this you'll need to either disconnect the battery or put the striker plate for the interior light switch back in place otherwise the interior lights will stay on indefinitely. Glad I spotted that before leaving the car overnight.

It's not hard to see where the door card has been getting wet.

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The new speaker is slightly smaller than what's being removed (pretty close to the standard ones actually). Because of this and the respective corner of the door card having the structural integrity of a soggy teabag I had to get a little inventive to provide some additional braces. Not pretty but it will do the job. Long term I'll look to come up with a better solution.

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I'd rather see the originals back in place, but these look better than the vibrant red things that have come out.

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Speaker fitted it was time to turn my attention back to the trim.

Not a pretty sight.

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The lacquer on here which wasn't just flaking off turned out to be a lot more firmly attached than it had been to the dash trims so it took a good hour or so of picking and scraping to get it all off. Got there in the end though.

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Then it was off to the paint booth...I mean greenhouse to start applying the fresh clear coat. Many thin coats is the plan.

Before:

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After only the first coat the difference is immediately obvious!

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Nice to be actually able to see the inlay clearly now. Will make the interior look so much better once it's back in.

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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 » 23 Feb 2020, 09:28

Zel, this might be of use for replacing hoses which are NFP, or just doing generic hose runs.
Posted this on Club-XM last year.

Metalcaucho catalogue offers a large range of rubber/metal aftermarket/OEM items across many marques.
As well as OEM pattern hoses for specific vehicle applications, their catalogue also contains some very useful universal straight and angled hoses, hidden away in the misc section of the printed catalogue.

These straight (1m long) and 90°-bend (generous length) items are available in many internal diameters (IDs), and this is the current listing of them:

90°deg bend
part.no. - ID
09618 - 20mm
09619 - 25mm
09620 - 30mm
09621 - 35mm
09622 - 40mm
09623 - 45mm
09624 - 50mm
09625 - 55mm
09626 - 60mm

1m straight
part.no. - ID
09001 - 20mm
09002 - 25mm
09003 - 30mm
09004 - 35mm
09005 - 40mm
09006 - 45mm
09007 - 50mm
09008 - 55mm
09009 - 60mm
09010 - 65mm
09011 - 70mm
09012 - 75mm
09013 - 80mm
09014 - 32mm

The hoses are high-quality EPDM, and reinforced.
They bend well without collapsing. The 90° bend can be opened to a more gentle bend (eg 135°) if needed.
I have used the 20mm ones on our XM 2.5 for heater hose runs across the engine bay.

Metalcaucho online catalogue (motor factors may have a printed one as well):
https://www.metalcaucho.com/en/

Choose a marque, or click Catalogue
Enter either an OEN part number, or their own number in Catalogue Search (eg those above).
MC page for 09622 hose.JPG
Metalcaucho (logo is MC) is a major rubber/steel manufacturer headquartered in Barcelona, but with products widely distributed across Europe and elsewhere, or for order direct. Their catalogue also contains a huge range of header/expansion tanks and suspension/steering/engine bushings. Metal+'rubber' is what they're into.

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

Post by myglaren » 23 Feb 2020, 12:15

Good item for the "Useful Links" section Chris. I'm sure that many would find that indispensable.

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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 » 23 Feb 2020, 12:38

:idea1: Done – now posted on Useful Links.

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 23 Feb 2020, 17:23

I got my cousin some rolls of hedgehog several years ago. It works really well (and he is in a bungalow with tall trees nearby). Yes, the leaves end up on the hedgehog, but they don't then block the drains. Over time the leaves break down into small pieces which can then get washed down the gutters.