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

Post by Zelandeth » 02 Feb 2019, 00:59

I'm going to have a chat with Steve. They don't officially do class III tests there, but given that it's MOT exempt, the test is purely me wanting someone to double check I've not missed something daft rather than a legal requirement.

I know there are a few things it would fail on currently (couple of split ball joint rubbers...inside the car, number plate light is currently pointing at the road rather than the plate...stuff like that), though not much that's actually going to present issues in the real world.

This evening I've made a start getting this lot fitted.
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Have only done the section between the fuel pump and carburettor so far, but it won't take long to finish things off.
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I have changed the hose routing from the factory spec slightly. It originally crossed from the offside to nearside inside the engine cowling. I'm not a fan of that for two reasons, even if it does help reduce engine bay clutter. Firstly, I can't see it without removing the cowl. Secondly, having the hose essentially sitting on top of the cylinder barrels just seems like a recipe for heat soak issues after the engine stops (shouldn't be an issue with the engine running given the huge amount of airflow).

Instead I've run it along the rear edge of the cowling on the outside where it's easier to keep an eye on. Also means if it did spring a leak, it would dump fuel over the gearbox casing and front of the engine cowl rather than straight over the cylinder barrels and exhaust.

The marine grade fuel hose is meant to be really resistant to abrasion etc compared to normal automotive stuff, so that will hopefully won't be too big a worry.

Very much hoping that this won't be the scene in six months time.
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That's supposedly injection suitable, unleaded compatible hose from a major national car part supply chain. Shudder to think of the possible consequences of that having a few tens of PSI behind it, buried under a car where it can't be seen. Let's see if the marine stuff does better. It feels like a far higher quality product, and it's really noticeable how much better it holds its shape when the hose clips are tightened up than the normal stuff.

There was originally no fuel filter fitted other than a coarse screen in the pump, so I've added an in-line one between the pump and carb, I've positioned it near to the offside cylinder head so it's pretty easy to check visually. Need to try to find some clear filters, all the ones Motorserv stock these days are opaque it seems, makes it harder to see what state the filter is in until it's really filthy.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 03 Feb 2019, 21:24

Given that the arrival of the fuel tank is surely imminent now, my attention is definitely firmly focused on the "stuff I need done before the first road test" list at the moment.

High on that list was "sort the handbrake." Two reasons for this, firstly: that it's the only way to secure the car when parked. Secondly: It's the only backup you have in the event of a failure of the single circuit hydraulic braking system, as the CVT drive system and centrifugal clutch means that you have no engine braking available to help you bleed speed in an emergency.

Having totally dismantled every brake drum on the car, I knew that the mechanism there was working fine, and I'd established that the cable between the handle on the dash and the cantilever assembly under the car was free (helped by the precense of a grease nipple I imagine), however no amount of my hanging my entire body weight off it could make it move. This was due to the rod with pulls on the cable to the drums having seized into a bush where it passes through the mid chassis crossmember. A combination of battering things with a 4lb lump hammer and general violence got that freed off. I think the handbrake is now actually working, though it will be easier to tell that once I've got it out the garage next. The adjusters are all free though so it shouldn't be a problem to adjust stuff.

The rear valance/bumper was next on the list. This essentially doubles as a shield to keep people clear of the exhaust, so needs to be in place in some form.

I've now started to put together the framework for this and also put some strapping in place to shore up the rear quarter on the nearside which has a bunch of cracks in it.

The plethora of bolts and rivets you can see here are now tying all the bits of bodywork here together via straps on the other side of the panel.
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There will be glass fibre repairs done here as well, matting most likely applied from behind the panel, but actually having things tied together now will make that a lot easier. The whole corner is now reasonably rigid rather than distinctly floppy (to the extent that it used to wobble comedically when the engine was idling).

Getting there, bit by bit.

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

Post by CitroJim » 04 Feb 2019, 07:33

Is the handbrake on the front or rear wheels Zel?

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

Post by Zelandeth » 04 Feb 2019, 08:09

CitroJim wrote:
04 Feb 2019, 07:33
Is the handbrake on the front or rear wheels Zel?


Rear wheels. The only interesting thing about that side of things is the way they have a lever setup in the middle of things to reduce the effort you need to apply to the hand control. According to the manual this provides an 8:1 mechanical advantage, important I imagine when the target market are likely to be quite frail.

This is what the cable and lever assembly looks like off the car, courtesy of the workshop manual.
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It remains to be seen how effective it is...

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

Post by CitroJim » 04 Feb 2019, 12:36

That's clever Zel :)

In so many ways they put so much thought and good engineering into the Invacar...

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

Post by Zelandeth » 04 Feb 2019, 20:23

Actually some decent progress made today for a change.

Having reversed out of the garage it was far easier to get at the fuel lines.

Ten minutes later all of the old fuel lines were off. Had to cut it into a couple of pieces to remove it as it is essentially impossible to bend.
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No idea what this hose is made of...Absolute pain to cut whatever it is!

My guess as to how much hose I needed was correct pretty much to the inch. In case you wondered, you need five metres of hose. Tail is here waiting for the fuel tank up front.
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Speaking of the fuel tank, had an email from the company who have been making it for me to say that it's now ready for collection. A shame that you'll never see it once it's on the car.
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Fuel lines all finished up in the engine bay now as well.
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The other task of the afternoon has been to start building up a framework to support the rear bumper as I come to actually build it up.
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Just waiting on a response from a friend to see if I can rearrange a visit we'd got planned for tomorrow to see if I can rearrange it - if that can be moved easily I'll hopefully go and get the fuel tank tomorrow and get it fitted.

Then we might be looking at a (very, very, very, very) local road test and seeing if it's as downright terrifying to drive as I'm half expecting it to be.

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

Post by van ordinaire » 04 Feb 2019, 21:08

Not too many Reliant main dealers around now :wink:

Many years ago I knew someone who had a VW trike, which he took to the local independant microcar specialist,'cos they had a suitable ramp. He said they literally walked round it, kicked the tyres - & wrote out the ticket; like I said, many years ago!

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

Post by bobins » 04 Feb 2019, 21:22

My local tame MOT guy still does MOT inspections with a pit. They have a dusty old metal plate tucked away for the extrememly rare occasions they have to test 3 wheelers using the pit :-D

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

Post by Gibbo2286 » 05 Feb 2019, 12:20

For that difficult to cut plastic pipe I find secateurs do the job admirably.

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

Post by Zelandeth » 05 Feb 2019, 20:14

Thankfully I only needed to cut it in a couple of places, and as I had no intention of reusing it for anything it was just a matter of pulling it off.

Look what I picked up today...
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This was made for me by Fusion Fabrications, and I reckon they've done a really nice job of it. Well worth the £220 they charged for it I think.

Sadly won't have time to get it installed this evening - but suffice to say though it will be the first thing on my to do list for tomorrow!

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

Post by CitroJim » 06 Feb 2019, 07:26

Excellent! That tank looks ace :D

Did they do a new cap too or will you use the one from the old tank?

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon » 06 Feb 2019, 23:07

Zel, you may find this curiosity interesting. I came across it while amusing myself looking through the auction list for Arctcurial at Retromoblie and thought it looked quite Invacar-esque. Its a 1952 Dick Tricycle with a "flat 1" Ducati engine.

link here

Regards Neil

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

Post by Zelandeth » 06 Feb 2019, 23:50

Jim: New cap has been provided. We would have liked to retain the original one as it's got a lovely dainty little retaining chain and satisfying bayonet locking action - sadly it's paper thin due to rust. The new one will feel far nicer to use once I've put a tiny smear of grease on the threads. Looks the part, milled from a solid chunk of aluminium.

I hadn't spotted till just now that Fusion have actually faithfully copied the reinforcing ribs stamped into the panels from the original too. Nice touch.

Neil: that's an interesting looking little thing. I honestly hadn't any idea quite how many microcars there actually we're back in the 40s-70s...every time I blink it feels like another one appears out of the woodwork.

Annoyingly I didn't have much time to work on stuff today. The tank as a result is still sitting on the dining table. I have however got the gauge sender attached to it now, so it's ready to just be dropped in, piped up and filled with fuel. Then we can go for a drive!

I'm extremely curious to see what the driving experience is like. Aside from "incredibly noisy" which seems like a given.

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

Post by CitroJim » 07 Feb 2019, 07:08

Zelandeth wrote:
06 Feb 2019, 23:50
I'm extremely curious to see what the driving experience is like. Aside from "incredibly noisy" which seems like a given.


I think the word you're looking for is 'fun' Zel :wink: :lol: :-D

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

Post by Zelandeth » 07 Feb 2019, 18:18

Sadly due to other commitments which required me to run off to London I've had to leave the job half done - but the tank is actually attached to the car now.
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Didn't spot that the lower bracket has a tab missing until just now annoyingly, but I have a spare so no problem.

Should have a pretty clear program tomorrow so should be able to crack on with the jobs a bit.