Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

Post pictures and stories about your cars both present and past. Also post up "blogs" on your restoration projects - the more pictures the better! Note: blog-type threads often get few replies, but are often read by many members, and provide interest and motivation to other enthusiasts so don't be disappointed if you don't get many replies.
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Zelandeth
Posts: 202
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#191 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:06 pm

I think if I get a bit of spare time this weekend, the Xantia needs a valet and detail.

I'm ashamed to admit the poor thing hadn't even been washed in a couple of months. She is *desperate* for a clean, and I'm embarrassed at the state I've let things get to.

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Of course this will then be the usual game of seeing how much gunk I can remove without taking the clearcoat with it.

The interior at least just needs a hoover and skim over with the leather feed.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#192 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:21 am

Had intended to take TP when I made a quick run to the supermarket earlier today - however made it about 1/4 of the way there before she started playing up.

My money is on crud in the carb given that it was purely by fiddling with the choke that I managed to coax her back to the house.

Think it's time I did what I should have a few months ago and just pull the carb actually off and take it inside where I can give it a really thorough internal clean. There's nothing in the fuel filter, but given the amount of slime I originally scooped out of the float chamber there's probably plenty of crud able to flake off and get into the teeny tiny jets. I do have a new top cover gasket at least.

Really should have done this a while ago to be honest.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

3xpendable
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#193 Post by 3xpendable » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:42 pm

If you can get access to one, might be worth giving the carb an ultrasonic clean too.
Currently classic-less.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#194 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:45 pm

3xpendable wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:42 pm
If you can get access to one, might be worth giving the carb an ultrasonic clean too.
I do have a small one - I would usually say way too small for work on a carb, but this carb is tiny enough that I can probably get away with it. A decent sized ultrasonic cleaning bath is very much on my wish list just now.

Nothing Invacar related today. Any work in the engine bay requires the garage door to be open, and the wind was blowing rain straight into the garage, so wasn't willing to mess around with that.

Instead though decided to get on with some of the stuff still waiting to be done inside the van well away from the weather.

Have now got most of the bathroom panelled in now. Just need to do the last foot or so and around the cabinet and a few fiddly bits. Then have wallpaper to go up (essentially glorified sticky back plastic) and seal the corners and edges.

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Still looks a mess - but you can't actually see the innards of the wall any more, and should be fine once we have some decently thick wall covering over it.

Nice to get a bit of work done on this, it's been months since I really did anything on the van and the new holiday season is starting to enter my thoughts now.

Do still need to decide what to do about the exhaust...definitely will be getting a short side exit stainless system made up...question will be whether that happens before or after the MOT. The cost of the standard system may well make that decision for me. If it's expensive may just have to get it booked in to have a stainless system fitted before the MOT. Unless I can do enough to get this through a test...but with one hanger snapped off and a foot long split in the silencer that seems unlikely...especially as I will need to get the whole thing off to sort the hanger anyway as it's buried up directly above the middle of the expansion box, with the propshaft in the way on one side and fuel tank on the other preventing access while in place.

So...the Van (known) MOT to do list...

[] Fit new nearside headlight due to the current one having a tarnished reflector. Already have it, just needs fitted.
[] Replace brake pads (already in stock).
[] Repair or replace the sieve...I mean exhaust.
[] Replace rubber boot on steering drag link front ball joint.
[] Replace the weeping fuel return line.
[] Properly mount the fresh water tank (or remove it for the test).

Think that's it for the known MOT stuff. The brake pipes while serviceable are pretty old looking, so I may well get a set of flexi hoses in stock and change them while I have the wheels off to do the pads. I tend to like changing things like that on any new vehicle I get - especially one as heavy as this!

Immediate to do list that's NOT for the MOT:
[] Fit the new thermostat that has been in the glove box for several months.
[] Sort the heater blower.
[] Remove the fuel tank so I can properly clear out the vent line so it takes less than half an hour to fill the thing past 1/3 full.
[] Figure out what's squeaking up front. Keeping fingers crossed it might just be a crusty old belt.
[] Properly fit the new propshaft slip joint boot (it has had a highly technical plastic bag and cable tie substitute since a week or so after I got the van).
[] Figure out what the fluff the previous previous owner has done to the split charging system and return it to how the factory intended.
[] Finish putting the kitchen back together & plumb the gas to the fridge and cooker back in.

All stuff that can be done in nice little chunks.

Then of course there is the "sort the rust in the windscreen scuttle" which will be a world of pain.

Oh...and drive it again. Realised when sitting in the driver's seat today quite how much I'm missing wafting around in it. Yeah...Most people wouldn't class a 29 year old 78bhp 2.8 tonne van as something they would miss driving...but I am not most people.

Need to get back in here!

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Still kind of amused that that is the first thing I have to jump into straight after putting the Invacar away due to how the driveway Tetris works out.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#195 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:02 pm

Having a bit of a tough time emotionally over the last few days so being able to just shut myself in the van and pretend the outside world didn't exist for a few hours was a good thing I thought.

Here is where we were left things today.

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All walls are now "panelled" save for the top inch or two because I need to remove the shower curtain rail to do that bit. It's the work of ten minutes to do that tomorrow though. All the corners are now sealed up, as are the edges around the toilet. I still need to actually track down a period appropriate fold out wash basin from somewhere...or just give in and fit something modern.

Worth mentioning that the black bit in the above image is actually identical to the white panels, it's just the remainder of an earlier batch which happened to be black because it was what was in stock.


Next up will be to go over some areas with a quick skim of filler just to smooth out the surface, then wallpaper. Oh, and make a cover to go in the shower tray when it's not in use, hopefully that will reduce the propensity for me to nearly break my neck every time I walk in or out of the room.

The room very obviously rattles less now, even when just walking around in the van.

Tomorrow I'll probably finish sealing up the one edge left because I ran out of sealant, then move into finally pulling the carb off the Invacar to get it cleaned up. Have been jumping around between cars a lot this week.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#196 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:35 pm

Today I learned a few things.

One, I do indeed still hate wallpapering just as much as I remember. Two, the bathroom in the van is precisely as awkward as I thought it would be to paper.

The reason for this is evenly split between the fact that the room is entirely devoid of 90 degree corners, or truly straight edges and the fact that it's such a cramped space to work in.

To add insult to injury once I did get the paper on the walls it appears to have stretched, leaving wrinkles all over the shop.

Crossing my fingers that things will shrink again and flatten back out a bit when it dries, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Granted, it's just lining paper at this stage, so no huge loss if I need to pull it off and start over. The actual wallpaper going in is patterned, and as such is going to be an absolute nightmare to get lined up right.

Oh, while I was in there I took the roof light out and renewed the sealant around it. I'd never seen any evidence of leaks from it while during my ownership of the van, but it has clearly leaked there at some point in the past. For the sake of ten or twenty minutes work I figured it made sense to just ensure it's definitely weather proof.

If the paper continues to refuse to sit right, I may well abandon the whole wallpaper idea and instead to and find some suitably 80s looking fake wood sticky back plastic and use that instead. Planning to install plastic panelling (probably white) up to about waist height anyway to help contain the shower spray.

Really do need to find a proper bathroom sink too...
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#197 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:33 pm

Thanks to a link from a friend on another forum I finally found a match for the missing original folding sink for the bathroom. So should be getting that picked up soon, so that will allow me to get the last missing bits of bathroom reinstated. This is a photo from the eBay listing.

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There's a cabinet and shower attachment with it that I don't really need, so they might well end up back on eBay.

Went back in the van to see if by some miracle the wallpaper had de-wrinkled itself when it dried.

No prizes for guessing the answer!

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No idea what's happened there...as my folks used to do up houses I was helping hang wallpaper pretty much as soon as I was walking. This wasn't just a case of poor prep or too much paste or anything like that.

So what did I do next? Well actually got to spend a very satisfying twenty minutes making a godawful mess.

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Not worrying about removing what's left there as it's firmly attached to the walls.

Now someone had suggested looking into using vinyl floor tiles to "tile" the walls.

They're definitely onto something. Got a few in place now and two things are immediately obvious.

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Firstly is that it's going to be an order of magnitude easier than the wallpaper to put in place. Secondly is that it should look a lot better when it's done. I've got two types, the ones you see there which I will use up to the window base and then a mosaic pattern from there upwards.

Now I've used these tiles before (which is why I can't believe I didn't think of it) and I know the adhesive is about as much use as a chocolate teapot, so have tacked them down using decent contact adhesive.

Also glad to report that despite the torrential (sideways at times) downpour today that my roof light in there is definitely keeping the weather out. Had the inner bezel off so I could actually see the seam between it and the roof, so know it's good.

Just need to try to convince the water getting in at the offside rear corner to cut it out. Astonishing really that it's the only water ingress issue I'm aware of given the age of it.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#198 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:56 pm

After a five hour round trip (yay traffic...) I have now this chunk of delightfully eighties beige plastic in my possession.

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One bit of damage to one corner but nothing we can't fix with a little bit of fibreglass or filler.

Really glad that despite having been rummaging on and off for months and not turning up anything aside one fuzzy picture of it, I've managed to turn up a match for what would originally have been fitted.

Hopefully get it fitted tomorrow.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 202
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#199 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:25 pm

Today has been one of those really annoying days which you always hit at some point in any decorating project where you wind up spending several hours taking stuff apart so you can get something else done. Made fifty times harder because the bathroom is just awkward to work in because it's so cramped.

Wanted to get the lower half of the tiling in the room finished and the sink properly installed.

Step one: make sure it actually fits and mark things up so I could see where to tile to (no point in doing the whole space under it) and where to drill holes for the pipework. This sink originally had the pipes coming out the bottom though I saw no reason for them to be visible as the sink was to be fitted against an interior wall up against the service cupboard. I suspect it was up against an exterior wall before.

Didn't take me long to realise that the pipework was too bulky to be bent around in the direction I needed and for the sink to lay flat against the wall. No problem, I've got some elbow connectors which will solve that. Cue 30 minutes of digging through boxes to find them. Eventually though they did turn up.

I then discovered that the hose clips on there were utterly seized. This took a further half hour or so of (very careful) argument to resolve. Once that was done the hoses still refused to be separated from the hose connector stub and I wound up having to (again, very carefully) slit them both with a knife before removing them. Attaching a nice new hose which actually bends and the elbow significantly reduced the room needed so the sink would actually sit flush with the wall.

Still need to actually connect everything back up behind the wall but that's easy stuff I can do later. Flexible pipework likes to look a royal mess which I dislike...I will need to instill order in this mess before I declare it done!

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I initially thought I could just remove the two bottom screws holding the cabinet to the wall to slip the tiling under that edge - right up to the point that I discovered that there's actually a wooden frame under the cabinet which is essentially part of the wall. Cue careful measuring and cutting of tiles.

The tap for the shower also needed to come off the wall to let me tile under it - the hoses to this were about as interested in shifting as the ones on the sink were. At least they weren't attached to a fragile hunk of brittle plastic which made things a bit easier to sort.

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This is where we finished for the day.

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I still find the whole sink without a conventional plug thing an interesting concept. It's an elegant engineering solution to allow for the basin needing to fold up, no flexible piping necessary.

Apparently it's not that unusual an arrangement for caravans etc, just not something I've come across before.

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This wall is essentially done. Just needs some sealant along the edges and the lower edge tidied up. Need an additional pack of tiles though, need a few more than my total guess, not by much though. I've a few small offcuts which will do for the sliver of wall visible to the left of the cupboard.

Yes they are a bit heavy, but the small number involved because of the tiny size of the room means it should be fine.

Hoping that as the rest is just sticking tiles on the wall and a bit of trimming that the next bit will go quicker...

Also reckon I must have wasted an hour going back and forth to the garage for tools! Will just take everything next time!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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JPB
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#200 Post by JPB » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:02 pm

I'm very much enjoying this thread. Not only because of its variety, but also because there cannot be many web pages that would show the procedures involved in refurbishing the facilities in a classic camper van. Then there's the - increasingly :oops: - tempting idea of the tiny AC, if I do happen to stumble across a salvageable one of these, following your most encouraging review of the vehicle's driveability, and subsequently yield to the pleasures of owning such a gloriously eccentric device; I'm holding you partly responsible for that car's inevitable impact upon my state of domestic (dis?)harmony! ;)

Can anyone else's personal fleet be so eclectic as yours?**..
Why has the magazine - whose name heads this page - not yet considered taking on something as weird as the AC or as practical as the camper van for a feature or better yet; a long term project?
:)

** - Yes, I suppose that is a challenge as well as a question. :geek:
John, Operating knackered old sheds as daily transport since 1981. :|

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