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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Seams around the gas locker have now been sealed and the grating has been refitted over the floor vent.

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Obviously the top ones will be done once the worktop is in place.

After a search covering about 80% of the house I've managed to track down the wiring conduit and the connectors so I can get the tail light wiring in there tidied up. I also need to tidy things up a bit as there's a horrible goopy mess of sealant around some of the areas where the pipework passes into the locker...but we'll get there in due course. I'm having to fight the temptation to box the pipework in in the interests of tidiness, reminding myself that it's in the gas locker...you won't be able to see any of that once things are finished...I've gone for overkill as far as sealing things are concerned, even if that does mean it's messy.

Also installed the first of the cabinet lights. There will be one of these on each shelf in the cupboard.

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This one however is positioned so I can see what I'm doing when connecting/disconnecting the gas cylinder and turning it on/off.

They're dirt cheap little LED things, but work well for occasional use applications like this. I think they're actually meant to be number plate lights, but are about 7,000 times too bright for that application really.

The switch will obviously be in the cabin, not having switches in the gas locker...

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Picking up where we left off yesterday it was time to start trial fitting things. At the very least I wanted to get the main chunk of the worktop into a position where I could have it in place as trying to work around a 2.5 metre long chunk of board on the floor in the back of the van was getting on my nerves. I also didn't want to have to try to get it *out* of the van again as it only just fit through the door.

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I may well take the edge back a bit further yet, this is the full 600mm depth that the board was supplied in. There's a balance to be struck between floorspace, workspace and the edge of the worktop not getting in the way of accessing things below it. The one at the rear will have to be shallower so that the bathroom door can still be opened.

I think that this is *approximately* where things will be going.

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That will leave the whole area at the rear of the van clear as a workspace. The sink isn't stuffed away awkwardly in the corner and nothing's situated in a way that will be a pain to hook up. I am finding myself tempted to take the opportunity to get rid of the convolute hose for the drain pipework while I've got a lot of things apart though. It doesn't flow well, Getting the joins water tight is an exercise in frustration and while it's not a problem I've had in this van I know it's prone to causing smelly drains as the ridges in the pipework tend to hold both soapy gunge and water - obviously of course there are no proper traps on the sinks here either which make that more likely to be an issue. I'd use waterless traps here anyway to reduce the odds of problems with freezing in the winter.

Before I finalise anything though I'm going to borrow Abby and see what she thinks. She's the most proficient and enthusiastic cook in the household so I'm happy to bow to her guidance on what will work best in terms of kitchen layout.

Once everything has been properly situated the worktop will be glued down to the framework in addition to the screws to hopefully reduce any potential for squeaks or rattles in the future.

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Moving on from yesterday the last bit of the worktop has been fitted.

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The last bit was a lot more awkward as the gap it had to fit into was far from square.

Starting to look more like a room again.

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Annoyingly the gas line for the water heater is now looks to be about 1/8" too short! So I'll probably need to cut it and add a coupler in there. Frustrating...but that's the way these things go sometimes.

Appliances going in will be the next thing on the list.

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

One of the gremlins I've been aware of on the Jag ever since it entered the fleet was a slow leak of brake fluid from somewhere in the vicinity of the master cylinder. The whole thing was wet with fluid, and the deposits in the vicinity suggest it's been leaking for a long while.

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I had originally assumed this was down to the seals between the plastic hose stubs and the cylinder body, right up to the point that I discovered that the hoses weren't snugly fitted. I guess over the years the rubber has shrunk and compressed below the hose clips so it's no longer a tight fit.

I don't want to disturb the actual hose connections until I know that all the bleed valves are operable...and I'm slightly scared of the rear ones as if I break a bleed nipple off I'll be in for a whole world of pain as sorting it would mean having to drop the entire rear subframe. I'd rather not do that!

Decided to try an experiment. Got a couple of small table ties and fitted them as tightly as I could. Result of sitting overnight after cleaning things up and after about 1/2 an hour or driving:

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That looks better to me! Has proven nicely that the issue is with the connecting hose between the reservoir and the cylinder. This is preferable as it's a lot cheaper to sort.

Being totally honest once I get some suitable hose in I'll probably do away with the typically Jaguar flexi-metal-flexi arrangement and just run hoses directly from the reservoir to the master cylinder.

I discovered while doing this however that I do not have a working brake fluid level warning light. The float is jammed in place at the top of its travel and one of the terminals has corroded sufficiently to part company with the lid. I'll get a new one ordered. If I wasn't the sort of person who actually does a regular check of fluid levels that could have been nasty. This is why you should never rely on warning lights folks!

In the afternoon I turned my attention back to the van. First order of business was to finish tidying up the tail light wiring in the gas locker.

Nothing special but better than the spaghetti that was in there before.

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With a bit of fermangling I managed to make the gas line for the water heater reach. Not the prettiest bit of work but it passed the leak test just fine.

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Attention was then turned back to the worktop.

The location for the hob was pretty much fixed by the position of the framework under the worktop, so that was the obvious thing to start out with as far as cutting holes in my nice new surface.

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By some miracle (and thanks to quadruple checking things!) I managed to get it fitted straight.

After a bit of thought we went for this layout as it gives a decent clear area at the rear for food preparation etc.

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After generating approximately fifty tonnes more sawdust...

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Nothing actually hooked up yet, but it is actually starting to look like a kitchen again. Now it's time to actually get things reconnected...which I'm honestly looking forward to far more than the blasted carpentry!

Only bit of further cutting needed (well, aside from making a few holes for pipework) will be to make a blanking plate to sit in the sink to allow that to be used as extra space if needed.

I do have to admit to feeling quite satisfied with how things are looking now though...hopefully I won't foul it up before I'm finished!

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

Unread post by mickthemaverick »

Looking good Zel, just a possible tip I did in my van many moons ago, for the blanking plate i made a top with telescopic legs from an old tripod which extended to turn the infill into a childs stool when eating! :)

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

The ingenuity of people finding ways to make use of every square inch of space in campers and caravans knows no bounds!

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

Unread post by Gibbo2286 »

Zelandeth wrote:
02 Jun 2020, 12:33
The ingenuity of people finding ways to make use of every square inch of space in campers and caravans knows no bounds!
How they got all that stuff tucked under the bonnet of the Jag was pretty impressive too

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Today hasn't seen all that much actual physical work done, but quite a bit of thinking regarding the plumbing was done.

I'm going to be doing away with pretty much all the convoluted pipe in the greywater drainage system in the van in due course. I'm not bothered about the one vent line or the outlet from the bathroom sink (which is a specialised caravan one), but the vast majority of it will be getting binned. The bathroom sink I can get to the back of easily at least as the line it dumps into is accessible in the service compartment below the wardrobe, so I can add a trap in there easily enough. The couple of inches of line between the sink and the trap I'm not going to lose any sleep over. This is something I can look into though once I pull all the lines underneath the van off (the one from the bathroom side is more patch than original pipe!) and replace them with 40mm rigid plastic. Just now though I'm not quite feeling like facing that challenge. However as I've already got the kitchen in pieces it makes sense to me to pipe that up properly so I don't need to take it all apart again.

Firstly, we need to ditch this outlet on the sink.

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Replacing it with a standard household 1 1/2" one. The existing plughole on the sink side was retained

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The overflow port on here is where the draining board will hook into.

The one challenge I did face was that I had very limited clearance to work with in the cupboard and I really didn't want to go cutting holes in the shelf to make room for the trap. So I went scouring both the Toolstation and Screwfix catalogues to find the shallowest trap that anywhere locally has in stock. I may replace this with a waterless one in the future as I'd rather have a water free solution to prevent possible freezing issues in the winter - not that a scoosh of antifreeze when I winterise the van wouldn't solve that issue - and the new heater controller that's on the way has a frost protection mode anyway.

This was the arrangement we ended up with.

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You know sometimes that you measure everything down the nanometre and it still ends up looking like you never gave anything a moment's thought? Well sometimes it works the other way too...when what you ended up with completely at random ends up fitting absolutely perfectly.

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The seal and thread on the base of the trap didn't exactly inspire confidence, so I gave it a good blob of assembly goop before putting it in place.

The pipework runs down to the back then drops down where the old drain "downpipe" used to be.

At this point I had a challenge however in that I needed to hook the 40mm rigid pipe up to the existing convoluted line under the van. Cue a bit of headscratching and digging through my box of random "stuff" to see what I could come up with.

This was the result:

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One boiler condensate drain attachment point with the compression fitting replaced with a washing machine attachment barb. It won't flow fantastically well...but it will be getting hacked off and replaced with an elbow not all that far down the line when I replace the underfloor lines. It just needs to drain the odd small sink in the interim. It will do fine I reckon. The compression fitting is just an inline coupler with a push fit end cap blocking it off. That will disappear entirely once the elbow is fitted...In the meantime it can be a sediment trap I guess...

Should get this all together tomorrow and can then get the sink and drainer bolted in.

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Up until today, the arrowed line in the image below was the main drainage line that the kitchen sink and draining board dumped into.

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That bit of pipe is no more...This is now the main waste line heading out of the van from the kitchen.

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Doesn't that look better?

This is the contraption just below the floor to hook it up to the existing line that runs forward to the grey water holding tank (which sits just in front of the living area door step).

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The grey pipe with the white tip on it at about 8 o'clock is the original waste line from the kitchen which has now been removed. The larger grey line running from about 10 o'clock to 3 is the fill line for the fresh water tank which you can just see the end of to the right of the image.

The drainage side has now been hooked up inside and secured with a bracket in the cupboard.

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(Yes I fouled up the position of the outlet the first time around).

When I came to fit the taps I discovered that even though it was way thinner than the one I had removed, the worktop was still too thick...so I had to do a bit of modification.

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Sorted.

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I did consider completely re-running the lines for the taps, but instead decided to just pick up from where the sink used to be.

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The last couple of inches of the feed to the cold tap has been run in red hose...I quite simply needed a last couple of inches of hose and I didn't have any more blue to hand.

It almost looks like a sink again.

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I did wonder how well things would flow given my Frankenstein's Monster of a hookup to the original drainage system.

It used to take a good few minutes to drain this sink, and it couldn't drain quickly enough to keep up if you were rinsing your hands etc. If you just left the tap running it would eventually overflow the sink. How's it looking now?



Much better!

That's a huge improvement. That low profile trap is never exactly going to allow mammoth flow rates anyway, but it's certainly decent enough for the intended application.

This is quite a big milestone. Next steps are to get everything actually attached to the worktop, then just tidying things up really. Few gaps to fill around some edges in the cupboards, seal around the pipework (including patching up my foul-up from earlier with the drain outlet positioning), a couple of brackets to install, some trim to add, and a few screw heads to trim off etc...then we can start tidying up the horrific mess I've made!

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

Unread post by mickthemaverick »

Nice work on the waste piping there Zel, although the thinness of the worktop around the taps is a concern for me. I can't help thinking that with an eager youngster reaching for the tap in haste may result in a leverage crack in the laminate. I'd be tempted to try and reinforce that, maybe with an underplate or fibreglass or something.? :)

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

Unread post by white exec »

Looking so much better! That old convoluted pipe is not only small, but the ridges and the sags in it can trap kitchen and grey-water waste for months, creating all sorts of smells. That Wickersham book is quite influential, I found!
Agree about the tap base reinforcement. Chipboard+water are not a happy combination (only slightly better than MDF!), and any moisture at the tap base could get to the wood. A thick plastic or thin stainless plate on top could work, too. Escutcheons rule ok :-k

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

There is a rubber washer under the tap itself and will be a gasket around the sink, so measures have been taken to try to keep water away from any unfinished edges of the board. If I have any issues with it though I'll add a metal plate beneath the tap to act as a load spreader.

It's worth noting that the trench cut for the tap tails to sit in isn't entirely level due to where I was approaching from with the tool, so the edge nearest the sink is actually thinner than where the tap actually sits.

Good call though and yes it's a potential area we might have issues with in future, we will keep an eye on it. On the plus side, no kids in this household!

Likewise if the edge of the worktop needs trimming back is something I want to gather further data on. I'll make a call on that after we've used the kitchen to prepare a few meals. Once a decision is made there I'll get a radius cut in the corner at the front of the kitchen. Obviously the diameter of that radius will depend on how much material I take off, so I don't want to do that until a decision is made on whether we're taking any depth off. The originals would have been 500mm deep, the replacement is 600mm, so that's the wriggle room we have to play with.

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Time to start actually putting things back together.

I discovered a bit of a problem when I came to attach the draining board and the sink.

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These originally used a very specific type of fastener...Which vanished somewhere after the kitchen was pulled apart long before I got the van. I couldn't find a replacement locally and I wasn't prepared to wait for something to arrive from eBay.

Hmm...We can work around this.

*snip*

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*Rummage in box of fasteners*

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There we go.

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Note the thick rubber gasket around the edge as well to stop any spilled water getting under the edges. There's an O-ring under the tap as well though it's not visible once it's fitted.

There we go! Both the sink and the draining board are now properly fitted.

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Sadly I did chip a bit of enamel off the draining board because I over-estimated how tightly to do the fasteners up. My mistake - though at least it was already chipped in one corner so I don't feel quite so bad! A little paint touch up will sort it.

Annoyingly there's a "but" as well. That cheap and nasty low profile sink trap...it is indeed cheap and nasty, and is a complete joke. It's utterly useless, the whole outlet section is held on by two tiny little plastic pegs, one of which has snapped.

Back to Toolstation tomorrow for something more suitable. We'll stick a straight pipe under the sink and add an in line waterless trap in the drop pipe in the gas locker - Probably this one. It's what I was originally planning to do anyway, then I tried to save a few quid...Should have gone with my original plan!

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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.

Unread post by Zelandeth »

Having discovered that the sink trap I had bought was as much use as a chocolate teapot I did what I should have done in the first place and grabbed one of these.

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This is a "water free" sink trap. In case you wondered what's inside one, this is the answer.

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The blue section is a very flexible material which feels like silicone to me.

While it required a bit of rearrangement of the pipework this really is what I should have done originally.

Before:

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The fitting wedged under the trap is the only thing stopping the outlet section falling off in the above photo.

After:

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Yes, I utterly fouled up cutting the new hole for it vertically. That's what I get for rushing to get finished before dinner. I knew pretty much the moment I started that this was going to fight me, it just felt like one of "those" jobs.

Obviously this also required changes to the main waste line as the kitchen outlet was in a different spot. The less said about this the better probably!

Not proud of it but sometimes that's just how it goes.

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Patching up the cupboard wall won't be a problem - it's just irritating at this stage.

Really irritatingly though I apparently managed to nick the line from the draining board while cutting the new hole in the cupboard wall, so I needed to pull that off and replace it. Thankfully this was just standard so I was able to use the original hose that the sink was originally hooked up with.

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Hob needs bolting in then I can tidy up and call it done!

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

Unread post by Gibbo2286 »

I don't want to be too critical of the job Zel but I think you have too many right angle bends in the waste pipe and your problem of smells will likely return as stuff gets to sit trapped on the ledges.