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

#321 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:35 pm

Lost most of today as we were making our first trip over to the foster home currently caring for a rescue dog we're looking to adopt. We really feel that this will do a lot to enrich the life of the one we already have, especially given the issues we've had with the communal dog club meaning that he doesn't get to socialise any where near as much as we'd like. 

It's quite a long drawn out process (rightly so I think), especially for a dog who is as timid as the one we've currently got our heart set on, but today was the first time we got to meet her. Despite apparently usually being petrified of new people for ages, she was happily seeking affection and wanting to play with us in about twenty minutes. 

Our hearts were immediately melted as she's absolutely adorable.

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More importantly than her taking to us, she seemed to get along well with Tesla, and wasn't afraid to tell him off when he was being a butt. He doesn't really know how to play with other dogs as he's just never really had the chance...so we're hoping she can help there. She's also very, very affectionate, whereas he really isn't interested in fuss. He wants to be *near* to people, but has little interest in actually touching them...whereas if you stand still for five seconds around her she starts nosing at your hand for pets. So the two hopefully can teach each other different aspects of how to be a dog.

While she looks far more pure husky, she's actually a husky/German Shepherd cross just the same as Tesla.

How could anyone not love this face?

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Likely to be several months before she joins us (obviously assuming future visits and everything go well too), but it felt like the initial introduction to both us and of the two dogs to each other went about as well as it could. It seems that she's a really good fit for what we're looking for in this household. I think the rescue charity have been struggling to find a home for her (she's been with them for nearly a year now) purely because she's not a pure husky and they deal primarily with rescued sled dogs, so pure huskies & malamutes are easier for them to find homes for.


Hasn't left me much day to play with cars though...but I did have a dig through the box of random "air tool stuff" I picked up a few weeks back. Found three things which may well each be useful for different stages of the paint stripping process.

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Not honestly sure how to tell if the gun is a spray gun or soda/sand blaster. Answers on a post card?

Edit: this has now been identified as a paraffin spray gun, so no use for this...but will be really useful for painting our fences which need doing every few years.
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

#322 Post by JPB » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:51 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:35 pm
...she's absolutely adorable
I'm absolutely in agreement there, what a stunning looking beast she is. :thumbs:
John, If it's old & badly broken, chances are I've owned it. :|

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

#323 Post by Luxobarge » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:28 am

Beautiful dog! We got a yellow Labador puppy in March, he's now 6 months old and we're totally smitten with him, really adorable.

Yes, that's what's known as a paraffin gun, good for cleaning engines, engine bays etc. with paraffin or other cleaners, I also use this for spraying on Dinitrol, Waxoyl etc. when I'm doing rust-proofing, so might be useful for the camper and Citroen?
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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

#324 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:22 am

Had a bit of an experiment with the paraffin gun this afternoon. I still had some old underbody wax floating around, so I let it down a bit to a more spray friendly consistency then had a mess around with it.

Can't see me ever messing around with aerosol cans for this sort of job again. The spray is far finer and just generally well behaved. 

Didn't do a huge amount, just gave the front wheel arches and engine bay a blow over. It's a bit hard to see as it's clear wax that's gone on over the black stuff already there.

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The top dust cover on the shock absorber has fallen off again. I'll need to get inventive with a cable tie to make it stay in place I think as it's obviously not going to behave.

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Hopefully this should keep the rust in the bulkhead under the windscreen from getting worse too quickly until it can be cut out and replaced.

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Worked into all the little gaps under the struts and the cavities thoroughly misted. Bonnet really needs replacing in the long term, but hopefully this should help it remain stable for a bit longer.


The Invacar has had a little more sanding work. Have been going very gently with the P120 discs on the sander at low speed over the front of the car. Unlike the rear this has no coloured gel coat... it's been painted from the factory. It's also far thinner, so I'm aiming to just remove the loose areas here then I'll see how things look with some high build primer on there.

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While it looks horrible, this is actually smooth to the touch.

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Bonnet is still a mess, but is far closer to flat than it was!

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Then forgot to dust myself off before sitting in the driver's seat.

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Just a bit of dust about...

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Going to give one of those cheap soda blasters a shot for the rear body and roof...if it works it works...if not it's no huge loss and I'll just need to persevere...
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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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#325 Post by gazza82 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:02 am

I used my paraffin gun to clean down a A-series engine block with Jizer .. then filled it with plain water to wash it off rather than just hose it down. it was much easier to control and direct the spray.

I stood the block on one of those big plastic trays you use for mixing up cement, etc so it kept the fluid/water in check. Worked well! I dried it off and painted the block immediately so it didn't rust again. BTW The non-painted surfaces were all carefully taped over to avoid causing rust anywhere else!!

Also tried it again on a replacement gearbox for my old Alfa 156 ... being an alloy case that wasn't going to rust so just left in sun to dry. I guess had I had one back in the 70s/80s that would have had paraffin in it!!

Next time will be clean up my A35's engine bay! I may need to devise a way to catch the excess so it doesn't stain the garage floor .. or the very expensive driveway!!!
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '58 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: kept '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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

#326 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:06 pm

gazza82 wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:02 am
I may need to devise a way to catch the excess so it doesn't stain the garage floor .. or the very expensive driveway!!!
Spot on - I've done things very similar to that. Actually you don't get through a huge amount of paraffin (I use heating oil!) so a few large sheets of cardboard may suffice, supplemented with newspaper - good for lighting bonfires afterwards! Having the garage floor painted with floor pain helps a lot of course, at least it'll just wipe off that. However, when I did my Midget, I made a huge drip tray thing, I used a piece of sheet steel 1m x 1.5m and turned up the edges by about 1.5", welding the corners to make it liquid-proof. Worked a treat! Afterwards I cut it in half and made two drip trays, one for the Morris Minor and one for the Midget - still finding them useful now.
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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

#327 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:26 pm

I do reckon that the paraffin gun is going to be a useful tool. I was quite astonished seeing the coverage I got on the van yesterday for a tiny amount of product. Definitely compared to the aerosol cans or the pump sprayer.

Here's a question for you lot.

Heater and windscreen demister switch will be getting fitted in the not too distant future. It's of a type which is visually identical to those already on the dash so should look like it's meant to be there. 

The question is where to put it.

There are three options as I see it: 

[] Immediately to the right of the speedometer.

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[] To the far right over by the no passengers sign.

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[] To the far left, between the handbrake and door.

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I'm currently leaning towards the first option...seems most in keeping with the original switchgear. Should still leave me room to add the brake fluid warning lamp when the hardware for it is fitted.


Any votes for other locations?

May well fit this to my spare dash as I want to take the dash out to sort a couple of wiring bodges I've seen under there. Will make it a lot easier though as being off the car will vastly improve access.
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

#328 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:04 pm

Zip by way of stuff actually done today as I've spent the whole day running around in circles getting the house back in order (and wasting two hours stuck in traffic on the M25). As the van has a busy few days coming up it made sense to top up the fuel...

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(24.0mpg for that tank, so average is staying pretty solidly in the mid 20s mpg, tending toward high 20s if out on a decent run - I managed 32mpg once which was frankly staggering for such a huge brick of a van with an engine from the 1970s).

I always feel better when heading out of my local area if I'm starting out with a full tank, even if I know that I'd have comfortably made it with well over a hundred miles to spare on what was already in there (this is a 75 litre tank)...force of habit I guess.

In the interests of saving some weight I figured it was time to start actually shifting some of the crap which has been rattling around in the boxes of stuff I picked up out of the van. Box of tools no 1 contained:

[] Herma Combination Whitworth/AF/Metric socket set. That will be useful with the Invacar given the completely random selection of fasteners it features.

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[] Nice little Wanner grease gun. This will no doubt still be going decades after the cheap one already in the garage has turned to dust.

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[] Proper set of De-Walt branded impact sockets. Useful given I bought an impact wrench a few weeks ago.

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Also dragged in the second Core2 Duo based HP Server (complete with new, never opened monitor and keyboard), and what must be another couple of gallons of LHM. If anyone on here needs any LHM please just ask...I've about four lifetimes worth here now!

Was just about to close the garage up when this arrived in the most comically oversized box I've seen in a while. I should have taken a photo of it, the thing was nearly the size of the wheelie bin.

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Hopefully will have some soda blasting media arriving in the next day or two so will be able to give it a test run then. Just didn't seem worth not giving this kit a shot at less than £40 delivered. If it works, aside from saving me a lot of grief on the Invacar it will be an all round useful thing to have. Bit like having a compressor...I doubt it's a tool I'll really appreciate until I've got used to having it around.

Certainly can't see me voluntarily switching back to a garage without air on tap...and I've not even got an air powered rattle gun or anything yet! Do need a proper tyre inflator though. The one I've got works just fine...but the sort of thing you used to see in garage forecourts just seems more "correct" somehow.
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

#329 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:51 pm

Never got around to putting an update up yesterday as by the time I was able to actually sit down for long enough it was just too late. 

Felt that I had to *make* some time in the late afternoon to have a look into an issue which had become painfully obvious in the van on the way back home yesterday - an absoltely maddeningly intrusive boomy resonance from the engine. This is an issue which it had when I originally picked it up and had been bodged a couple of times so I knew the likely cause was the fact that there's a stinking great hole in the air cleaner resonator chamber.

Being a normally aspirated diesel, Mercedes have done quite a lot of work to ensure that as much air as possible is forced into the engine, hence there being a not insubstantially sized box in the air cleaner assembly. The effectiveness of this is immediately apparent when you try to patch up a hole in the wall of said box. Initially I went for duct tape (as you do), which lasted all of about ten seconds before being blown off. Putting your hand over the hole honestly feels like you're blocking off the exhaust rather than the intake. The aluminium foil tape I tried next last lasted longer but the racket I was hearing suggested that it too had failed. Let's take a look.

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Yep, that would do it.

Actually getting the airbox out of the van was a little more involved than I expected as Mercedes seemed to think that bolting it to the bulkhead by no less than four M6 bolts was necessary. Three of these are accessible once the fuse box is removed (four screws), the final one however is low enough down that you also need to remove the kick plate in the passenger footwell, which means another two nuts being removed, peeling the carpet back and disconnecting the electronic box which lives under there which is something to do with the brake lights.

Then I just had to disconnect the air intake hose (which came off at the engine end first...apparently whoever had that off last didn't tighten up the hose clip) and wrestle the thing out of the engine bay, which was actually harder than expected as it's a far bigger assembly than it looks when in place. It just fits into the gap between the slam panel and bulkhead when rotated in exactly the right way.

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The big difference between me now and when I originally bodged this up is that I've got more materials to hand now. My intention this time was to go with the fibreglass loaded resin I've been using to do a lot of the repairs to the Invacar bodywork. If that doesn't work I'll just have to take the whole thing apart and either bolt a panel onto it or mess around plastic welding a patch over the hole.

Step one (fine, step two...One was to remove all the foil and clean the area in question up) was to apply a small duct tape patch. This isn't actually going to play any part in the final repair, it's just to stop the resin from falling straight through the hole I'm trying to cover.

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I then roughened the area around it up with the wire wheel to give me the best chance of getting the repair to stick - though I'd done a test before with this and the resin seemed to adhere to the surface just fine.

Then slathered the area with a liberal helping of resin.

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While this was setting I took the opportunity to give the area behind the air cleaner a clean and to thoroughly blast the areas it's normally in the way of with rustproofing wax. Also tidied up the wiring a bit as whoever did the repairs to the cab floor in that corner obviously never put anything back in the clips so the wiring was all flapping around everywhere.

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The photo there is obviously the "before" image for the work mentioned above.

Once the resin had set I gave it a very quick and dirty blast of matt black paint just so it doesn't stick out so obviously - if it proves durable I'll sand it back smoother at a later date. Not going to worry about that just now though.

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It's really interesting to see how much effort they went to to optimise gas flow here. Looking into the inlet manifold you can clearly see how things taper as you pass the branch for each cylinder, meaning that while the volume of air being carried drops by 25% for each cylinder they've clearly tried to ensure that the velocity remains constant.

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Given I wasn't 100% sure of whether the intake pipe had actually been properly attached I was glad to see this wasn't full of dust and gunk like the rest of the engine bay.

Then was just a relatively simple matter of putting everything back together again.

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Definitely want to think about using some modern sound proofing under the carpets here. The stuff attached to the kick plate under the carpets here must weigh the best part of 5kg - it honestly feels like the plate is made of cast iron it's that heavy. Pretty sure there are alternatives available now which will do as good (or better) a job for a fraction of the weight. There's also absolutely zip by way of soundproofing on the actual bulkhead itself. 

Airbox back in place and reconnected.

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I came to the conclusion that the hose between the airbox and the intake manifold had been fitted backwards before. The logic behind this was that it was always pressed up against the top radiator hose. I didn't like this as I've had issues with hoses failing due to rubbing against stuff in the engine bay before. Rotating it 180 degrees left a good inch or so clearance under it. Much better.

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You can see the witness mark on the radiator hose where it's been rubbing for goodness only knows how many years.

Finally, air cleaner reattached as well and we can call it a day.

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A quick test run revealed that this has indeed got rid of the horrible boominess. Hard to tell if there's any improvement in power delivery, though I wouldn't really expect it to be that obvious given the power to weight ratio delivered here at the best of times. It can't hurt though!

Yes I did of course snap a quick idle video for those of you who like a bit of old school diesel clatter. Even if I did get momentarily distracted by discovering where one of the worst buzzes in the van at idle was coming from - the awning. I'll need to get another couple of straps to secure it when not in use.

YouTube Video Link

The camera seems to pick up a lot more belt noise from the front of the engine noise than there really is in person. First time I think I've managed to actually get the camera's mic to pick up the nice deep burble at idle from the exhaust. You'll probably need either headphones or decent speakers to really hear that though.

Just have to wait and see if the repair to the airbox holds or if I'm going to need to get more inventive. There's no risk of anything getting sucked into the engine if it fails by the way, the hole is on the atomospheric side of the air filter. Prior experience has shown that it's more likely to blow it off too rather than actually suck it into the engine anyway. If this were downstream of the filter I'd have been being a LOT more careful.

Got a busy day lined up tomorrow helping a friend collect a car, so have just got things loaded up. Fresh water in the tank, tea & coffee making supplies, jump leads, Easy Start, duct tape, socket set, screwdrivers, big hammer and some oil. If we need anything beyond that lot, that's what the professionals are for!

Yesterday we also had our second visit to the current foster home of the dog we'll hopefully be adopting soon.

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Nice to see that she was pretty happy in less than five minutes today. Definitely remembered us it seemed like.

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This is probably the silliest photo of the day though.

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We're heading back over on Tuesday to see how things go when out on a walk with her, basically so that the foster keeper can be sure we're able to deal with her if/when she gets panicked while out and about. They've said based on what they've seen of us and how she's taken to us though that so long as that goes well that there should be no reason we couldn't adopt her...All being well that could be a week on Sunday.
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: 350
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#330 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:18 pm

In addition to helping a friend collect their car, today I finally was able to get hold of something I've been after for the Invacar for a while to deal with the unhappiness of the transmission at speed.

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That's a pair of new old stock CVT pulleys. The primary one is cast aluminium and the little bit of oxide will clean off that no bother. The secondary one is just pressed steel though, and that's the one which is badly pitted on mine due to rust. That's effectively acting as a transmission brake over 40mph and is making the thing vibrate badly and unsurprisingly is chewing the belt up.

Also pictured there is a FULL workshop repair & service manual there waiting to be digitised and a proper part catalogue.
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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