Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, 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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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim » 27 Jan 2019, 05:35

Zelandeth wrote:
27 Jan 2019, 01:14
[] Adjust and test brakes... possibly above walking pace for the first time ever... won't that be exciting...


Wow yes! And from there it's a short step to an MoT and the open road :D

It'll happen sooner than you think at this rate of progress ;)

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

Post by Zelandeth » 27 Jan 2019, 19:55

Given the wind today I decided crawling around under an extremely light car on a jack probably wasn't the smartest idea.

Let's check out to see if the fuel pump is behaving.
IMG_20190127_161329_1.jpg
Yep. Annoyingly the dipstick is still weeping. I get the impression that this is going to be a recurring issue...may well see if Steyer have dipsticks in stock as a spare item as it's a minor but annoying issue.

Having finally unearthed the angle grinder which had been missing in action for a while I was able to hit the interior trim panel from above the windscreen with the carbide mop. As I'd hoped the adhesive residue was brittle enough that it came off without much issue.
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Quick coat of hammered black paint has it looking rather less scruffy and much more "1960s industrial equipment" which is more fitting with the general aesthetic of the interior I think.
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Reliably working indicators are kinda important when we get to the road test, so time to get the old indicator stalk out so I can get the replacement wired in.
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That will be this evening's task. I personally prefer the indicator stalk on the right, so this is a good opportunity to swap that over. Given the control layout it makes more sense anyhow as that leaves the left hand free to deal with the stuff on the dashboard.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 28 Jan 2019, 21:37

Didn't take long today to get the new stalk wired up to the existing indicator stalk wiring loom.
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Not the prettiest job, but it should be electrically sound. The connections were made with crimp butt connectors which were then also soldered and heatshrink wrapped, before the loom was then re-wrapped. In hindsight I should probably have continued the wrap about an inch closer to the back of the switch itself...but I'm not worrying about that now. I did away with the grommet in the end as it was just getting in the way.
IMG_20190128_172316.jpg
Had to rotate the throttle grip slightly to prevent the indicator stalk from fouling on the cable when signalling right, and the cowling needed the opening made a little wider to accomodate the high beam flash feature which the original stalk didn't have. There was originally only one screw holding the plastic cowl on, so I had to have a bit of a rummage around in the box of random fasteners but soon had it properly secured so it doesn't wobble around like it used to.

The only thing that I need to be careful of is that at extreme full left lock the stalk can foul the dashboard, though I doubt that will really be an issue in the real world.

All the lights are now behaving properly again, however still no signs of life from the horn. Given that the front service cover was I believe open for a number of years, it's unsurprisingly looking a bit worse for wear.
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Connecting it directly to 12V resulted in nothing happening. Checking with a meter revealed that this does indeed seem somewhat poorly.
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Not going to waste time trying to resurrect that or find as close a match as possible. My plan has been since day one to fit something which is rather louder than standard, so an air horn will be getting installed tomorrow. My logic is that a tiny car needs a Very Loud horn, especially living in a city of blind Audi driving maniacs and never ending roundabouts.

Here's how the trim panel from above the windscreen has come out.
IMG_20190128_181154.jpg
The visor has now been reattached and hopefully I'll get it reunited with the car tomorrow.

Thinking about possible upgrades in the future I've also been thinking about the heating system. It seems to chuck out decent heat, and the biggest issue is probably that the airflow isn't great - especially at low revs - and let's not forget that quite a bit of my driving is probably going to be around town. So I'm definitely pondering the addition of an electric fan to replace the existing engine cooling air bleed setup. I'd obviously not want to pull any more air from the cooling system, so a bit of re-plumbing would probably be needed. Not something I'm looking at doing now, just something I'm sort of mapping out in my head as a possibility for the future.

In other news, for the last few weeks I've kept hearing something sliding around *somewhere* in the cabin of the Activa. However actually tracking down what it was had thus far been unsuccessful. Until this afternoon.
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That'll be it! This usually lives in the boot, so has probably been in there since the car was in the garage having work done for the MOT. It has now been returned to its usual home in the boot.

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 28 Jan 2019, 22:09

I would go to your local scrappy and grab the two tone horn off a C5 or Xantia. That should be loud enough to let people know you are in the area!

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

Post by Michel » 29 Jan 2019, 00:17

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
28 Jan 2019, 22:09
I would go to your local scrappy and grab the two tone horn off a C5 or Xantia. That should be loud enough to let people know you are in the area!


Nope. Get a R&G Denali Sound bomb. Makes a Xantia or C5 sound like a wheezy tin whistle.

I’ve got one to fit on the ‘bike once the weather warms up. They’re made for motorcycles, would be ideal for the Invacar.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 29 Jan 2019, 01:19

I'll probably stick with a twin air horn. I've got one still in a box somewhere if I can find it. Used an identical one in three cars and it's painfully loud - I like the fact that it seems in keeping with the period of the car. Being such an anachronistic sound it tends to make people sit up and take notice pretty well!

Fact that it's already here helps too!

Tomorrow I'm going to head over to speak to Vintage Tyres and get that item on the to do list checked off with three new tyres. If they don't have them in stock I'll get it booked in for a home visit.

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 29 Jan 2019, 19:37

You cannot have the bugle air horn off my Mums' boat. We have NOT tried it in a tunnel, as we want to keep our hearing.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 29 Jan 2019, 23:36

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 19:37
You cannot have the bugle air horn off my Mums' boat. We have NOT tried it in a tunnel, as we want to keep our hearing.


A mate of mine has a genuine US locomotive horn on his coach. He snuck up behind me with it in Aberdeen one time and then let it rip. I basically thought the world had ended, and apparently levitated about two feet straight up.

What was I up to today then?

The wheels from the Invacar are currently at Vintage Tyres in Bicester, and should be ready to pick up with new tyres fitted in the morning.

A moderately deep level excavation of the loft turned up the air horn I'd bought a while ago for another project.

A slight problem turned up in that it couldn't fit on the original mounting point as it was too big. Cue some brief improvisation.

I still had a bracket in the front compartment which had originally been a support for the front brake flexible hose. However I had not been able to convince the end left over from the original hose to unbolt from it. However as KP used a different bracket I'd swapped that over and just left the original in there, it didn't really get in the way or anything. That bracket however was exactly what I needed to act as a spacer to attach the new horn.

So started a three quarter of an hour fight with it to try to remove the ferrule from the original brake hose. Between penetrating oil, brute force, having the whole thing glowing red hot... eventually the blasted nut threaded itself...and still won't come undone. So it's still there for now!
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I'll just chop it off with the angle grinder next time I have it out. Just one bolt to get it off the car after all. I'm not worrying about it for now. I'll need to wire up a relay to provide power for it as well, but being virtually next to the fuse box (it's about six inches away on the other side of the bulkhead) that won't exactly be a chore.

Speaking of electrical stuff, this tiny little combined DC voltmeter and ammeter turned up today.
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This obviously won't be a permanent addition to the dash as it's so out of period. However during the initial shakedown period I'll take as much information from the car as I can get - it did spend 15 years dumped in a field. The charging system is worthy keeping an eye on too as any glitches with the voltage regulator (which is mechanical) can destroy the battery and the Dynastart unit itself...so if it plays up I want to know about it.

The shunt which was supplied with this is rated for up to 100A continuous, and given that the starting circuit is fused at 50A this meant I could just stick it directly in series with the battery feed (and I wanted to change the ground lead as it was somewhat dog eared anyway). Version 1.0 has the shunt just attached to the battery.
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I don't like this. Even though it's not a permanent addition... it'll be getting moved to a better supported and tidier location tomorrow, probably either under the battery tray or on the tray the coil, solenoid and voltage regulator live on.

I hadn't spotted how manky the battery to lead connection on the positive side was until looking at these photos, I'll get that changed out for a new one tomorrow.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 30 Jan 2019, 23:51

While I didn't actually have the opportunity to do anything to the car today, two very important parts have now arrived.

While my wallet may now be £200 lighter, I've got three nice new tyres on the wheels.
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I'm really happy with how in period those tyres look.

The other thing to turn up is this bundle of fuel hose.
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It's worth noting that I've kind of lost patience with hoses starting to disintegrate virtually as soon as they're fitted, so I may have resorted to slight overkill.
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Let's see how that lasts shall we? Only downside is that with the pipe walls being about twice the thickness of the ones on there I'm going to need to get a bunch more hose clips.

I'll get the wheels back on tomorrow (she's currently sitting on three very flat tyres) and get the fuel hoses routed properly so that's all ready for the fuel tank when it turns up - which should with a bit of luck be in the next couple of days.

So a short update (by my standards anyway!) this one, but quite important items to have ticked off.

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

Post by Gibbo2286 » 31 Jan 2019, 10:42

A suggestion for that horn, drop it from height onto concrete and it will probably work again . :)

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

Post by van ordinaire » 01 Feb 2019, 01:03

. . . or not! But does it matter?

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

Post by Zelandeth » 01 Feb 2019, 03:56

Nope...the horn is resolutely dead. It's been dropped, whacked and smacked with a hammer...dead as the proverbial dodo.

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed the mistake with the fuel hose. Yep... they've sent me 5/16" hose - not the 3/16" I ordered. The seller has been really polite though and replacement is already on the way. These things happen.

So given I couldn't set about re-plumbing the fuel system, where did I get to today?

Well firstly these obviously needed to be fitted to the car.
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I'm getting far too much enjoyment from how genuinely like something you'd have seen this car roll out the factory wearing back in 1973 these look like, despite the December 2018 production date.

While I had the wheels off I set about checking the shoe adjustment, sure enough the one I'd not had totally to bits had a heap of slack in it. Nipping that up has greatly reduced the amount of dead travel.

Hard to show how the tyres look on the car as it's really cramped in the garage.
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I'll try to get some better photos soon.

An annoying issue I had previously been unable to resolve was a significant mismatch between the flash rate of the left and right indicators. As this uses a thermal flasher unit (no, I'm not replacing it...the *piiing-tick....piiing-tick* sound effect is important) it's very sensitive to any impedance mismatch between the sides. Thankfully simply fitting a full compliment of new lamps has sorted it. The right hand ones still flash slightly quicker, but they're close enough.

Final task on my list for today was "shore up NS Door.". Some of you may remember from the interior photos that there is a hole in the interior surface of the nearside door to the rear just below the window. My guess is that somebody at some point has shut something in it.

Now if this wasn't so close to the latch I would probably just have ignored it for the time being. However as it was so close to the latch it had a serious effect on the rigidity of the door in that region. As such I needed to tie each of the surfaces involved back together again. This is a job I'll probably get a body shop to do at some point as it will require a bit more finesse than I possess. However this has vastly improved matters from a functional perspective...
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It's particularly noticeable in that the door closes with a slam now rather than a hollow rattly click, basically because there's no longer about 1/16" of lateral movement in the latch itself.

That's where work closed today. Not sure how much time I'll have to look into anything else before the weekend.

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

Post by CitroJim » 01 Feb 2019, 07:43

Coming on a treat Zel :D

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

Post by Zelandeth » 01 Feb 2019, 13:59

CitroJim wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 07:43
Coming on a treat Zel :D


With a bit of luck, depending on the fuel tank turning up, she might be on the road within a week at this rate - assuming I don't break anything else between now and then of course...

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

Post by CitroJim » 01 Feb 2019, 15:18

Zelandeth wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 13:59
CitroJim wrote:
01 Feb 2019, 07:43
Coming on a treat Zel :D


With a bit of luck, depending on the fuel tank turning up, she might be on the road within a week at this rate - assuming I don't break anything else between now and then of course...


Wow! That's awesome :D Truly excellent work indeed Zel :)

MoT should be a formality after all the work you've done... Will Steve be able to MoT it or will it need a specialist who can deal with trikes?