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 »

New tyres look like they will indeed be the Vredsteins. The cheaper options I was looking at don't have the correct speed rating. The only tyres I can find in 215/70 R 15 with the correct ratings are the Vredstein Sprint Classic, Pirelli P5, or Good Year Sport Classic. Plus a couple of proper re-issues of old types which cost silly money. The Vredstein and Good Year tyres are roughly comparable on price but I've never been impressed with a Good Year tyre, so will probably head for the Vredstein. Pirellis are a little more expensive yet don't seem to have anything particular to recommend them over anything else.

Will check with a couple of places locally just to see if they can do any reasonable deals, failing that will get them ordered soon.

Jag got a wash today as it was turning more grey than black again, aside from the front wheels anyway which were doing the opposite.

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Really doesn't scrub up bad.

Biggest cleaning type job though was busting out the degreaser and hitting the engine bay before I did the rest of the car.

To say it's clean would be a vast overstatement, but it's a lot cleanER than it was. I was actually blowing sizable chunks out from the V of the engine. Before and after from the same rough angle for reference.

Before:

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After:

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Looks a bit more presentable...plus means I can actually do things like topping up the screenwash without getting covered in oil now.

I meant to go back and do the fan it forgot...so will need to go back to that.

A lot of people just about pass out in terror when I mention going near engines with pressure washers, much less in British cars that are this complex. However I've never had any real issues to date, this one included. I had a bit of a miss on the right bank until things warmed up - which I'm simply taking as an indication that my HT leads aren't at their best. They could well be original for all I know, so fair enough. Not an expensive bit to replace after all, albeit a bit fiddly. Will get a set ordered in, planning on doing the plugs while I've got the inlet manifolds off and can actually get at things anyway.

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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 »

Finally got around to dragging the Xantia back out from under the tree. The new exhaust has been here and getting tripped over on a daily basis for a couple of weeks now.

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Was really surprised at how easy it was to remove the old system, whole lot was off in less than ten minutes.

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While the front section at a glance looked generally to be OK, looking closer the front silencer has a couple of pinholes in it so obviously didn't have much time left. Patching up the flange that attaches to the tailpipe would indeed have been a false economy. No question as to whether the tailpipe was knackered though.

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Very obvious that's beyond help.

Sadly I then ran into a very typical pattern exhaust system problem.

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The front pipe is about an inch shorter than it needs to be.

I was pretty much out of energy by this point as that rear silencer weighs a tonne and trying to pick it up and wrestle the hangers into place (one of which is basically inaccessible thanks to suspension bits) is exceedingly uncomfortable when you're laying on your back.

I'll go back in tomorrow and "finesse" the hangers a bit to see if I can get enough give to get it to reach. Which will mean I have to get it *off* the hangers again. That will be fun. If I can't make it reach there will be significant amounts of swearing.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

After no small amount of swearing, wrestling with the thing and bashing stuff with a hammer, the exhaust is now fitted.

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That was an absolute battle but we got there eventually. I've still only got two out of the three hangers on the rear silencer on though. I simply cannot get it into place and have all three on. Not with the available strength I have while laying on my back anyway. I may seek the assistance of someone with a proper ramp, experience and bigger hammers and hooky tools for wrangling exhaust hangers for that bit.

Just waiting on new bushes for the nearside lower control arm to arrive then can get it back in for the MOT. Oh, after a thorough wash too.

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

Post by mickthemaverick »

Out of interest Zel does it go through the MOT with those plates or have you got a pair for MOT duty? :-D

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

Post by Zelandeth »

mickthemaverick wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 17:00
Out of interest Zel does it go through the MOT with those plates or have you got a pair for MOT duty? :-D
Tester has never batted an eye at them in the last ten years or so. If he did I have a spare set (albeit slightly dog eared) which can go on. I think as it's not as ridiculously messed with as a lot of plates it's ignored.

The front one is delaminating a bit so getting a new set made up is something that is on my radar. The spacing will probably be returned to standard at that point as it's the sort of thing which does worry me sometimes, it's the sort of thing that could be just enough of an excuse for a traffic cop who's having a really bad day to pull me over for.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Noticed when checking over the Xantia that the LHM was looking quite grim. There was quite a lot of foaming going on in the reservoir and the colour was definitely off. The foaming could also point at a leak on the suction side, but the anti-foaming properties of the fluid do seem to break down over time.

Time to get this emptied out.

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The Pela was employed to empty the reservoir (I always forget how big it actually is) and a fresh fill of green blood was dropped in. Even after several full cycles of the suspension and steering to thoroughly circulate the fluid there's no foam now visible in the reservoir. I'll obviously keep an eye on this once the car is back on the road and if excessive foaming becomes an issue again I'll give all the suction lines a good going over.

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While the rest of the car desperately needs a thorough clean at least the engine bay is still looking reasonably presentable for a 24 year old Citroen that's knocking on 150K miles.

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Positive terminal cover is off the battery as that battery is knackered and I'm needing to jump start the car every time at the moment. I need to drop by Costco as this one is still well under warranty. It died (I think it's lost a cell) towards the end of last year...was planning to get it swapped out this Spring...then...well, yeah...2020 happened.


My intention is to get the hub pulled off the Invacar sometime over the next few days so in preparation for that I unburied it. It's a fact of life that the moment a car becomes immobile it immediately becomes a shelf...so getting to this stage took me a good 45 minutes.

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Something I'll need to look at improving at some point down the road is the splash guards/heat shields in the engine bay. While these aren't critical like on an air cooled VW due to the cooling air intake path being more carefully controlled, they are there for a reason. Most of mine aren't in *too* bad shape, aside from the offside rear corner which is a little on the frilly side.

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These plates I believe are still available from Haflinger, but I reckon I can probably repair that to a serviceable standard without much trouble. Actually replacing them is a surprisingly involved process.

My engine bay in general has been looking a bit of a mess lately because like a complete idiot I utterly underestimated how much paint and dust would find its way into the engine bay while I was doing the bodywork and didn't properly mask anything aside from the actual air intake off. Rookie mistake.

Luckily most of the areas which had suffered most badly are actually painted, so I've been starting to tidy things up a bit by repainting them. It's starting to look a bit more presentable again.

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I'm not ever going to be interested in a concourse level finish on this car, "passable from twenty feet" will do.

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Can't tell you if they will be cheaper but I've had two lots of tyres from 'Tyres on the Drive' for my C5, best price I could get at the time and they came out and fitted and balanced them at a time to suit me.

A subsidiary of Halfords.

https://www.tyresonthedrive.com/services

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 10:18
Can't tell you if they will be cheaper but I've had two lots of tyres from 'Tyres on the Drive' for my C5...
Sadly as with many of the mainstream services they don't stock any tyres in the size and speed rating I need. Everything in the right size is a van or camper tyre.

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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 friend on another forum pointed out that there's a perfectly clear photo of the hub/driveshaft arrangement in the service manual which I'd completely missed.

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This is helpful in that it clearly shows that it's the version with the fine splined driveshaft coupling I need.

One has now been ordered, hopefully it will be here in a week or two. Once it arrives should be a simple enough matter to get it drilled out to a 4X100 stud pattern.

I also had a bit of a burst of determination in the garage this afternoon.

The wheel bolts I had been using were too long and were fouling on the brake shoes. This was easily resolved though in a couple of minutes with the jigsaw and an appropriate blade. I only managed to launch one across the driveway. Once the threads were chased out I was then able to properly tighten up the wheel bolts to the correct torque without any issues. Even the one with the slightly loose feeling thread which I reckoned would just pull out. Stuck some thread lock on that one for good measure as well.

The jack was then deployed to let me check the wheel was fastened both centrally and straight.

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It was. Plus the brake was working properly again without snatching or making any horrible noises. While the hub will be getting replaced in due course anyway, I reckon this will be absolutely fine for a bit of local low speed trundling so long as common sense is used. It's a 400kg car with 20bhp, we're hardly doing hot laps round the 'Ring or blasting up the outside lane of the M1. We've got three high tensile bolts which are as if not stronger than the original studs which are perfectly threaded into the original threads the studs came out of, and one standard M12 X 1.5 wheel bolt with a less than stellar thread. Three known good bolts should be absolutely fine in the short term on such a small car even if the one thread did let go.

While the original test was done at low speed (I only had one wheel jacked up), I wanted to blast it properly to see if anything misbehaved at speed.

Before I could do anything though I needed to unearth the car properly.

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I really need to get back to "Mission: Tidy the disaster area of a garage" at some point.

Hey look, she's back in the daylight again...but without any drama or horrible scrapy noises this time.

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Having been in the garage since September and basically buried for most of that time she is absolutely filthy. Between sawdust from the work I was doing on the van, oily hand prints (that will be me getting stuff out when working on the Jag then!), and the odd footprint from me climbing past, the poor car needs a wash

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The dust in particular is just everywhere.

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She hasn't turned a wheel really since September and that can't have been doing anything any good. Wanted to do a better test though before considering leaving the driveway so got the axle stands involved and wound things up until we had an indicated 75mph and held it there for a while. Aside from blasting a huge plume of dust off the driveway no drama. The bolts were checked again and were still tight.

Buoyed by this I decided to take a short run out to get some fresh fuel. Not before driving around our block several times experimentally, then deliberately throwing a bit more force than necessary at a couple of roundabouts and a few emergency stops (the brakes felt a bit wooden as I'd expected anyway)... everything seems fine.

Successful mission completed without incident.

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This was the first time I'd had the engine properly up to temperature since I changed the oil and replaced the washer on the sump plug which had been the source of my oil leak, so a good time to see if it had solved the problem.

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Much better. Slight weep from one gasket on the nearside but nothing anything like serious enough to worry about. I'm honestly astonished how oil tight this engine is all things considered. Most of the gunk you can see encrusted on the diff casing there is from the gearbox, and as far as I can tell the reason that was leaking was that someone be left the top cover bolts finger tight. I really do need to hit this whole area with the degreaser and pressure washer though. I try not to be too picky about stuff being spotlessly clean but I like to at least make an effort.

As a reward for having successfully made it the 0.8 miles to and then back from the fuel station I decided to continue the tidying up theme. The interior was as dusty as the outside.

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I really need to get a wet and dry vacuum so I can give the seat a wet clean as it has quite a lot of ingrained dust in it...plus 212K miles worth of grime from its former life...that could do with removing. Nevertheless it's better than it was.

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The rubber floor mat is a bit of a state too, but I don't want to be too rough with that as it's quite fragile. Carpet will be replacing it in due course anyway. I don't want to shred it in the meantime.

Last thing I wanted to do was a bit of tidying in the engine bay. Bit of fresh paint in a couple of places, rerouting of the fuel line and convincing some of the wiring that it actually did want to sit tidily.

Looks a bit better anyway.

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She's staying well clear of the main roads and under a self imposed 40mph speed limit until the new hub is fitted, but I think we can call her back in service for the occasional local run. Wheel will be getting checked after every run too obviously.

You really do forget how tiny this car is when you've not had it out the garage for a while!

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Nice to be (metaphorically) back behind the wheel again in at least a limited capacity and to have a permanent, proper solution now in the works.

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Your through the windscreen view had me going for a second then, I thought "Nice brick arched workshop." then looked again and saw it's just the washer sweep and the dirty glass. :)

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Thought you might be interested in this, from a general nose around point of view.

Matthewsons have a 1984 Mercedes 207D Autotrail Navajo up for auction this Saturday.



https://mathewsons.co.uk/auctions/aucti ... 07d-camper

REgards Neil

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

Post by Zelandeth »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 13:47
Thought you might be interested in this, from a general nose around point of view.

Matthewsons have a 1984 Mercedes 207D Autotrail Navajo up for auction this Saturday.



https://mathewsons.co.uk/auctions/aucti ... 07d-camper

REgards Neil
Thanks for that! Useful for the interior photos alone even though the coachwork is a generation earlier than mine...I'd been after some decent interior photos for ages.

-- -- --

Photo heavy post warning!

I really need to hurry up and get the grid laid down over the lawn out the front of our place so I can actually use it for temporary parking when needed...The current automotive Tetris needed to get the Invacar out of the garage (when there's basically no on-street parking available around us due to the school we unfortunately live just round the corner from) takes the best part of half an hour and is a right faff. Just being able to shuffle everything to the left by one space will make things FAR less of a pain.

Nevertheless...after 40 minutes of messing around - made even more annoying when a parent arrived for the school and parked across the drive (again) - we got TPA out, and we went out to run some errands. Have a couple of random "Model 70 in the wild" photos as you might have seen prior to 2003.

One of these things is not like the others...

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Ever wanted to make a Suzuki Swift look absolutely massive?

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I'd forgotten how much fun this car was to blast around in.

I do think that I need to have a look for a proper Girling brake master cylinder though, I couldn't find the correct type at a sensible price when I originally looked so a random supposedly compatible kit-car one was used (albeit with good feedback...I wasn't relying on random unproven Chinese tat for brakes!)...but I'm willing to spend a bit more now that I know the car is essentially sound rather than a garage-bound money pit. She pulls up perfectly square, but the brakes really do require a good, solid shove, especially for the last 10mph or so (I imagine as you lose the self-servoing effect from the drums as the speed reduces). I think it's something you'll probably get used to over time as well, but it would just make the car a bit less hard work to drive I think. I also know that the shoes used are all old-stock and probably still need to bed in to the drums, so they may well get better with use anyway.

Today we ended up covering just under twenty miles. Including a lot of bumbling around housing estates and basically driving between points A and B via Q, Z, D and 42. This was quite deliberate as I am still treating this as a shakedown period for the hub (amongst the rest of the car given how long it is since the was last out properly...and not forgetting that the only decent journey out of town covered to date was the trip to and from the Festival of the Unexceptional last year!).

Twenty-ish miles covered.

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Really need to get that dash pod wired up. Though before I do that I need to figure out what adaptors I need to fit the oil pressure gauge...and probably get a better suited temperature gauge (the type favoured by VW enthusiasts which clamps under the head of a spark plug).

Something I am really happy to see is how clean the oil is now staying. The first couple of changes turned pretty grubby after only a couple of miles. This looks a bit happier I think it's fair to say.

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No more visible oil leakage either, even despite one higher speed run today, and I'm sure that the oil was properly up to temperature.

I have to note though that the Halfords VHT silver paint doesn't seem to have been quite up to the temperature that Invacar exhausts run at.

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Granted I didn't really do much in the way of cleaning before I painted it...If my compressor was working I'd hit it with the soda blaster, but a flap disc on the grinder might have to suffice. Though I'm not worrying about that just now, she's not exactly going to be in mainstream service when the roads are covered in salt...and when this exhaust fails it will be getting remade in stainless anyway.

I need to get those wires for the number plate light cable tied out of the way too - though they're not actually quite as close to the exhaust as the camera angle makes it look.

When I got back (twice actually as I did the errand runs in two stages), the wheel bolts were checked and were still properly up to torque.

Once I was done with everything I made a quick run out to my usual car park photo spot to grab a few shots to celebrate TPA being back in a running state. Yes the body is still rough as anything, yes she's still filthy, but still makes me smile.

Aside from anything else, the front end looks far better I think now that the black rubber surrounds for the indicators are visible again rather than painted over. Likewise the new number plates look so much better.

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To conclude, observations from today:

[] Windscreen wiper works surprisingly well. I expected the dirt cheap chrome thing from eBay to be useless. It does skip a bit at the parking end and I'm not sure how well it would fare at 70mph, but it seems to work a lot better than I expected.

[] Windscreen how appears to be water tight as tested by the random downpour today. Likewise the nearside door. Offside still needs to be rebuilt and leaks like a sieve.

[] Wheel seems to be staying attached. Yay! I will still change the hub once the new one arrives and is machined etc though obviously. In the meantime it will be getting checked regularly.

[] Brakes require a decent shove. Not sure how much of that is "they're just like that" though. My shot at driving the car this was originally used as a parts source to restore was sufficiently brief that I really can't recall how the brakes were.

[] CVT belt needs adjustment I think. There's always been a bit of judder on moving off in this car, but it seems to have got worse recently. I think the pulley change I did was before we'd found the "pulleys must be x distance apart" note in the service manual too, so that will be the first thing I try. This is an old stock belt stored in probably not the best conditions though, so that may be a factor.

[] Actually being able to turn the heater off makes driving on a sunny day far less uncomfortable.

Will try to make a point of getting her used a bit over the next few days and report back on any findings.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Had another couple of errands to run today, picking up items for a family friend who's still in full lockdown due to a medical condition. Was an obvious choice for transport wasn't there.
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I realised following a question from someone elsewhere that I didn't have a single bit of video showing how things were running since the new old stock CVT pulleys had been fitted. Figured this was as good time to sort that out as any.

Unfortunately the captured footage really has highlighted that I need to get a better camera mount. The one I've got now is miles better than the previous one but still isn't great. It's also really limiting in the Invacar as the shape of it means that the only places I can fix it are to the windscreen or the side windows. I usually used to favour fixing it to the rear windscreen looking over my shoulder. Out the windscreen means you can't see any interior details, but attaching it to the side window (as I did today) results in absolutely *diabolical* levels of camera shake. This is because the doors themselves move around quite a bit in the apertures while driving, the top frame flexes quite a bit itself, and then as the window glass is quite a loose fit in the channels that also wobbles around...so even with the anti shake turned on the footage is dire.

I'm honestly almost embarrassed to be sharing this given how poor the quality is, but I know at least a couple of people will be curious to compare this to my earlier test runs so here you go.



As you can see a gremlin most likely due to the car having sat around for more than half a year did rear its head towards the end of the journey today when a bit of gunk seems to have found its way into the idle jet in the carb (this is the first tank of E5 as well) and she decided to cut out at a junction. Immediately restarted and I just kept the idle up a bit with the throttle until the end of the drive. She was still absolutely fine under load, just spitting and sneezing when asked to idle.

Of course the moment I pulled into my driveway and went to investigate...



...She decided to idle absolutely perfectly.

This carb was cleaned out prior to my getting the bigger ultrasonic cleaner so there's quite likely still a few bits of crud in some of the passages. I might well pull it off if this fault reappears and give it another clean now that I have better suited equipment to the job.

I have noticed one issue that I'll need to keep an eye on and look into a bit closer. We do appear to have a gearbox oil leak.
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It's not actually left any visible drips where I've parked at any point (ignore the ground, this is the Jag's parking space), but a visual inspection shows that there's clearly quite a bit of fresh oil on the 'box.

This leak isn't a surprise really given that when I got the car the gearbox was absolutely encased in about a 3/4" thick coating of congealed mud and EP90 that took me the best part of an hour to chisel off. However where it was coming from was completely unclear and a possible suspect was immediately obvious in that three out of the four nuts holding the top cover on were only finger tight. There's also no evidence of a gasket under said cover. I can't tell looking at it from under the car if this is coming out through the offside driveshaft seal or running down from the top cover, I'll need to pull the access panel behind the seat out to take a closer look. If it's just coming from the top cover I'll make up a proper gasket for it and hope that solves the issue. If it's the driveshaft seal I'll need to get myself some parts ordered. At least it should be possible to change that without needing to dismantle too much, even if access will be a bit of a pain.

I'll really need to try to re-shoot that video once I can figure out a better way to hold the camera in place. The little action camera I've got has a far superior mounting bracket, however the microphone in that can't handle the noise levels and starts clipping the audio horribly the moment you open the throttle...and I don't think I have the patience for trying to edit together video and audio from two devices for a quick video like this. I'll need to double check if it has any provision for using an external microphone...If it does that's an obvious solution, even if the wide angle lens isn't really ideal.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Couple of posts wrapped into one here.

Major step towards having the hub properly sorted has been achieved.

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Just waiting for a reply from a couple of companies regarding getting it drilled to suit the Invacar then we should be well on the way to permanently resolving that issue.

-- -- --

Got a couple of things done yesterday afternoon but hit an energy wall quite early on in the evening so wasn't feeling up to writing it up.

First up was taking a closer look at the front apron on the van. This is one of the things which has contributed to it looking the most rough ever since I got the thing. I'd never really gone poking it on account of half expecting it to wind up full of holes if I did. The panel isn't massively expensive so I'd always sort of planned on just replacing it at some point. I figured I should take a closer look though and see if it can be tarted up a bit in the meantime at least. I was really surprised that the two huge great blisters on both ends were covering solid metal...I'd expected this to disintegrate in these areas the moment I touched it.

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Whole thing is pretty rough, but astonishingly solid.

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Fair enough...As it's reasonably solid I'll look to pull it off at some point shortly so I can hit it with the wire wheel on the grinder to get most of it off, then drown it with Vactan (5 litres of which finally arrived yesterday) before repainting. The back of it is covered in flaky rust and peeling paint as well and there's no way I can get access to all of it with the panel in situ. Will give me a good opportunity to get at the inside of the wings as well.

The bonnet skin is toast though...the vinyls are basically all that's holding the corners together.

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Again, the whole panel is available...it's £150 though and given the expenses coming up I kinda feel that I can't really justify that expense right now - especially when getting it properly painted and the vinyls remade will probably near enough triple that cost. I suspect the short term basing out the loose crud, slathering the whole area with Vactan, fixing the voids left with some fibreglass and painting it will the the order of the day.

That's probably a job for next week I think.

As shown on the most recent video of TPA out and about, some gunk appears to have found its way into the idle jet of the carb. I was struggling for enthusiasm for pulling the carb to bits, so instead set about tidying up some wiring. There was a large amount of generally untamed spaghetti under the front service hatch which had been bugging me for ages, so I set about wrangling it into some semblance of order.

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I seriously need to just hit the whole car with the pressure washer to get rid of the paint and filler dust. Secondly (now I know it can be removed), I need to pull that splash guard out and batter it into something more resembling the correct shape with a large hammer.

Few things in the back were given the same treatment.

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The wiring to the tail lights used to wobble around a lot as it wasn't actually attached to the body/chassis anywhere. I could see that being a recipe for broken wires down the line.

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While working on this I spotted that the HT lead for the right hand cylinder was touching the back of the crank pulley. While it hadn't worn through yet, it had made a nice dent in the insulation. I decided that rerouting the HT lead to prevent this being a future problem seemed prudent.

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Something which has been bugging me for a while is that all of the fuel filters from the motor factors around here have the opaque (or at least mostly opaque) cases. I've never been a fan of these as you really can't see what condition they're in unless they are REALLY clogged. I far prefer using filters with a clear body. To this end I bought a little stock of clear filters online.

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One of these has been fitted to TPA this afternoon, another will get going into the heater fuel supply in the van next time I'm doing work in the locker the heater lives in.

Given this is a brand new fuel tank, brand new fuel hose from end to end and a fuel pump that was absolutely spotless internally I'll be curious to see how long it takes for any grime to become visible in there.

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I've now pulled the top off the carb and blown through all the jets. Unfortunately she still isn't happy, so I just need to accept that I need to pull the carb off and clean it properly. Hardly the end of the world but undeniably annoying given I only just got the car mobile again!

The suspension bush I've been waiting for the Xantia finally appears to have arrived in the country, so she should be getting put back to the garage for the MOT in the next week or so...however she looked like something from the Lost World having been parked under a tree for several weeks. Was filthy enough before that (I was honestly embarrassed to have presented the car for an MOT in that state) so a wash was the first order of business today.

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Better, though the winter hasn't done the clearcoat peel any favours. It's really looking more and more like the car has a bad case of sunburn.

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I'm tempted to have a play around with some cans of that plastic coating aerosol (the name of which escapes me right now). The paint is in such a state there's nothing to stop me having a bit of fun really is there?

What colour do you reckon?

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Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3607
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
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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 come to the conclusion that the Invacar will need the carb pulling for a proper deep clean again I got to having a dig around to see if there's a carb rebuild kit available for this one as it would make sense to me to swap out all the seals and gaskets for fresh ones while I've got it in bits. While this carb isn't showing any appreciable wear anywhere it's still over forty years old so I wouldn't mind at all if I were to spend a bit of extra time doing a full service. Unfortunately the Weber 32ICS10 on here seems to have very little in the way of parts availability out there.

The other carb they apparently came with was a Solex 40PID. That at least does have *some* availability...though it sounds like the larger 40mm carb is probably better suited to the larger 650cc version of this engine. After a bit of poking around I did note that that does also come in the same 32mm size as the Weber...and *that* does have decent availability as it's used on early Land Rovers and several PSA models. Hmm...if one of those were to pop up somewhere cheaply enough I might have to do a bit of experimenting.

Someone on another forum did link me to something which very much piqued my interest too in this field.

Link to a throttle body fuel injection kit for small engines

Now a lot of folks would run screaming away from this sort of idea. There's a few reasons I won't however. Firstly is that I conducted exactly that sort of conversion on my Lada a couple of years ago. There were a few hiccups due to dodgy secondhand parts and a few components being hard to obtain because the donor vehicle hasn't been made for twenty plus years. However once they were ironed out (finding the bug in the ECU design which meant standard lambda sensors didn't work was fun...) the difference to the carb setup was like night and day. The overall driveability of the car was transformed, and you could just jump in, turn the key and go, irrespective of the ambient temperature, it the car is hot, cold or anywhere in between. I reckon we gained a huge lump of mid range torque too. In spite of what the naysayers said, even though several bits were still unfinished and lashed together a year later the system had proven to be utterly reliable once the initial bugs were ironed out.

While it cost me a small fortune and trying to track down some parts was a pain (the donor vehicle having both a stuffed ECU and siezed fuel pump was unhelpful!) it was a rewarding challenge to undertake and resulted in a car I was far more happy to use.

For now we're just going to stick with the existing carb and clean it up, or possibly swap it out for something similar but with better support. For one thing I'd really like to experiment with the jetting a bit. My gut tells me the standard carb runs things a little on the lean side of ideal.

On the plus side, having had the carb off before it was a lot quicker and less annoying job to get to it this time as I knew what contortions and stripping down of the engine bay were needed to get the retaining nuts out so we were left with this.

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Still can't get over the size of that oil cooler for a 500cc engine.

...With this rather grubby lump of metal ready for some attention.

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When it was previously cleaned I never really put much effort into the outside of the casing, I'll give that a better scrub this time round.

Pretty much the moment I started stripping it down it became abundantly apparent that it really did need to be stripped down. This is the state the fuel inlet strainer was in.

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With this all dropping out of the recess the above strainer sits in.

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While the float bowl looked clean at a glance, there was actually quite a lot of this grit in there too.

Into the cleaner it goes.

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Will obviously need to be rotated several times before it's finished but despite being a couple of sizes smaller than ideal the cleaner does a good job.

The fact that the cleaning solution had after only a few minutes visibly turned darker and cloudy shows it's doing something.

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Will get the other sides done tomorrow, blow all the drilled passages out and finally refit it to the car before taking a test drive.

-- -- --

Yesterday I swore at the Jag a lot. Changing four belts should not take an entire afternoon.

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Whoever was responsible for the belt tensioner design on this car was a complete and utter sadist. They're awkward to get at (except for the one for the air con belt which you can clearly see above), which you kind of expect and accept going into the job. The location of them means that you can get about 1/18th of a turn on the nuts at a time, having to rotate the spanner by 180 degrees between each movement. This is annoying...but especially so given that the threaded rod used in the adjusters is of a ridiculously fine pitch for the application. This meant that it took me more than half an hour of knuckle grazing, smooshing my face up against the front splitter and swearing to back the alternator belt tensioner off enough to actually get the belt off. This one is even more annoying as you have to do it completely blind unless you're lucky enough to have a vehicle lift on hand. Just having it parked on static ramps is no good as you need access from both above and below...

There's absolutely nothing difficult about this job...it's just incredibly soul destroyingly tedious.

I honestly hope that I never have to do this again...it was a truly horrible job.

Unfortunately once everything was back together I think I have found why the original compressor clutch assembly failed.

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The far side of the pulley you can see here is adjusted to the correct clearance. Yep...the input shaft on the compressor is bent. So I'm on the hunt for a new compressor after all...though it does look like we've tracked one down already. Just annoying to have wasted the best part of £100 on the clutch assembly.

Not one to be put off by such things though I turned my attention elsewhere. One thing which had always been letting the interior down was the steering wheel. It had faded in a slightly odd, blotchy way and looked a mess.

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Finally got around to treating it with some leather dye today...I think this looks a thousand times better now.

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-- -- --

I have made a start on de-rusting and painting the front apron on the van as it was getting to look embarrassingly rusty... obviously waiting on a top coat now but we're getting there.

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The bonnet skin has had it, I'll get a repair made to that corner shortly, though longer term the panel needs to be changed. Don't worry about the slight overspray on the bumper by the way, it needs painting too but will be removed to do that.

Made a bit of a step forward with my planned audio upgrades when I stumbled across these in a box in the loft.

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I bought these back in 2007 as part of a kit including all the fittings, wiring etc and both the sub and amplifier which are still in use, hooked up to my stereo downstairs. I'd completely forgotten I still had these though, I thought they were still in the Saab which I passed on to a friend years ago. While they're not exactly a prestige name as far as I'm aware they definitely exceeded my expectations performance wise. These should do nicely in the van I reckon. They're a lot less conspicuous than they were when new as after a couple of years in use the almost neon green colour of the cones faded to what you see now.

I'm usually one to try avoiding cutting holes in things, but I like my music and there's not really much option if I want some better speakers in place. The position I'm planning to install these will be about as discreet as I can possibly make it though.