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

#691 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:09 am

Have been doing the whole enjoying the summer thing today. As you can see we've been doing things properly.

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Struggling to think of anything more fun to bumble around in doing errands on a day like today.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#692 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:10 pm

While I've not actually been instructed to do anything to this car I will give it an once over and generate a list of observations of things that I think need doing. This is something that happens to any car that passes through our driveway pretty much.

She's also in pretty serious need of a good old fashioned polish and wax, so that will definitely be happening before she's dropped off back home.

This takes a bit of stress off me as I'm currently waiting for the Xantia to come back from the garage with a fresh MOT. At least we've now sorted out the situation there - Just an old school communications breakdown.

It always surprises me how much room there is inside one of these cars given how tiny they are and how narrow the actual body is.

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Still breaks my brain a little that this instrument panel is from a late 80s car...

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Also surprises me that there's no charging/ignition light.

Have a couple of photos snapped at my usual photo spot, the car park by the Linford Wood BP Garage.

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Such a lovely design, especially from a low angle like this I think.

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I'll return here once she's had a polish and been drowned in wax.


The only thing I've really done so far cleaning wise was to give the steering wheel a clean. As seems to happen a lot to cars which aren't used regularly it was quite sticky and quite unpleasant to hold. Not really a visible difference, but this is far more pleasant.

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Fun fact: Steering wheels are disgusting.

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This isn't actually that bad...It's scary what comes off sometimes, it just always seems to go noticeably sticky and horrible on cars that don't get used regularly.

The interior in general isn't bad at all, so it won't need too much attention. The innumerable bits of grass will be vacuumed out, surfaces given a wipe down and the glass given a clean. The seat covers are suffering slightly from the long term effects of sunlight, so I'll be VERY careful while around those. Glass is definitely next on the list as when the sun is low it's honestly difficult to see out of currently.

It was mentioned that there had been some issues with the air filter housing on this car causing the lid to pop off. I did notice yesterday that the induction roar was rather loud, even by the standards of a 2CV which I always remember as being pretty rorty at the best of times...so seemed worthwhile checking.

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Yep...That would do it! I thought the BrrrrRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHH! from up front seemed a little excessive!

One screw was missing entirely, there were a couple of issues with the lid where the screws have pulled through, and one had stripped out the housing.

One beefy screw to deal with the stripped out hole, one replacement and some nice big washers later...

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Sorted! I checked it again after a run out today and it's just fine. The owner has recently picked up a new air filter housing for it so it will be changed soon, but as this repair took all of about a minute I don't consider it wasted effort.

The whole driving experience is just utterly addictive. The mechanical growl from the engine, proper old school gearbox whine, a gearchange which despite what people will tell you is actually a joy to use, comfy seats, and of course the ability to roll the roof back. Oh and the ride. The ability this car has to smooth bumps out on even the most knackered of surfaces is mind boggling. Definitely back on the wish list.

Looking forward to getting a bit of a shine back on the paintwork. Reckon it's going to be the classic white car situation where you won't realise how matt it's become until it's shiny again!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#693 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:20 pm

Despite running around like a headless chicken for a large portion of the last few days I finally got an hour and a bit this afternoon to get some cleaning work done on the 2CV. Yesterday the driveshafts and suspension shackle tie rods were greased as it was identified they were missed when the car was given some attention last weekend.

Windows all cleaned and the polishing has begun. First pass done on this side and the front now. Will want a bit more detail attention in a few spots and a load of wax, but we're getting there.

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At least the roof doesn't need to be polished because it's not metal!

If the weather cooperates it should be pretty much done tomorrow with a bit of luck.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 746
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#694 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:49 pm

Spot the difference...

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The photos flatter the finish a bit, but she's looking better I think.

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Annoyingly I've completely and utterly lost track of any of my wax. So I'll need to pop out to get some more tomorrow. I suspect I know where it is, under the landslide that happened a week or so back in the garage...so I'm not going digging for it in there just now! Buying new is the easiest option.

In other news, think I've picked out the carpet which I'll be using in the Invacar.

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Should look pretty understated once in place, especially once there's a little bit of wear in the picture. These tiles are £1.99 each, so reckon I should be able to do the whole lot for less than £30. Being in smaller squares should actually make getting things to fit easier I reckon, even if the finish won't be quite so seamless.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

Dick
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#695 Post by Dick » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:10 pm

You made a tidy job of the dolly, what did you use on the steering wheel? Mine are usually filthy ( im a grubby bugger) soapy water cleans me up fine but won't touch steering wheel grime..

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

#696 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:20 pm

Dick wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:10 pm
You made a tidy job of the dolly, what did you use on the steering wheel? Mine are usually filthy ( im a grubby bugger) soapy water cleans me up fine but won't touch steering wheel grime..
That was just the own-brand antibacterial surface wipes from Costco. I find that they're really good at cutting through greasy sticky grime like what tends to accumulate on steering wheels. Obviously only suitable for use on plastic or foam based ones, I suspect they'd do more harm than good on a leather wrapped wheel. I found that make up remover wipes did a really good job of getting the gunk off the wheel in the Jag without appearing to attack the leather at all.

-- -- --

This morning I went out and grabbed a new pot of wax to replace the one buried somewhere in the back of the garage, then got to work.

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I'm not a professional automotive detailer, but I think this has come out looking reasonably presentable.

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In addition to the obvious polish and wax action, the glass has all been cleaned inside and out and the outside of all the windows (but NOT the windscreen) have been treated with Rain-Ex. I don't like this on windscreens as it has without exception just resulted in wipers that smear and judder so I keep it well clear. It's great for the other glass and mirrors though. It's only a theory, but I reckon that the way it makes water just bead and run off helps keep the windows cleaner for longer as well. I've never actually conducted any proper tests to see if that's true or not.

Hoping that if my schedule co-operates tomorrow I'll get her dropped back off with her owner. If not (and it's looking like it will be quite a hectic day) that will be pushed back to Tuesday, and I'll take the opportunity to apply an extra coat of wax.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 746
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#697 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:49 pm

Forgot to post up yesterday's update...

-- -- --

We had a little bit of excitement this morning while I was putting the Xantia in for the MOT in that the 2CV decided that mashed against the floor was a good place for the throttle pedal to sit - irrespective of whether my foot was on it or not.

Didn't take long to figure out why...

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That's the throttle return spring which should be hooked up between the throttle linkage on the carb and the fan cowling up front.

Cable ties were deployed to get me home.

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I did experiment with the spring a bit to see if I could bend a new loop in the end, but irrespective of whether heat was used or not it just kept snapping off...and a new spring is only £3.50, so it's not worth spending too much time on really.

So we went back to the cable tie solution for the time being, albeit slightly more tidily routed than the original one.

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After that the car was driven back over to and reunited with its owner.

I believe the next patient that we might be seeing here is an early AX which is refusing to idle properly at the moment.

Despite the slight excitement with the throttle setup on the 2CV flying to bits the Xantia has *finally* gone successfully through the MOT so is once more roadworthy. With the 2CV back at home I was able to fit everything back off the road. If it were still here something would have had to be moved outside or put behind the Jag on the lawn. The plan is to extend the driveway or to put a grid down to give us more space - not least because currently getting in or out of the garage with a car is a major faff.

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I noticed when getting into the Xantia this morning that the rear wiper blade had completely disintegrated...but knew I had a genuine replacement in my parts stash so swapped that over. Wouldn't usually be worthy of note but for the fact that it's actually got a Citroen logo printed on it.

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I do wonder how much of a markup that added!

I do have the trim for the end of the arm but it's not a very good fit so lives in the glove box as I've always been afraid it would vanish if I left it on the wiper arm.

Had honestly forgotten how rapid this car is once the boost arrives...

Few things still on the to do list for it.

[] Reset Activa system ride height, as unsurprisingly with the whole front end pretty much having been apart it's gone awry and the offside front is sitting about an inch lower than it should.

[] She's due a timing belt.

[] Rear brake discs & pads.

[] Do *something* about the paint.

We'll get moving on this lot soon hopefully.

-- -- --

Fast forward to today:

Having been out for a proper drive now I can vouch for the fact that these have hugely improved the Xantia.

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For a start the slight vibration at 70 has totally gone. Secondly the grip (which was already impressive because Activa) is now absolutely ridiculous. Thirdly they're massively more compliant than the old Michelins which they replaced. It's made the ride far better and vastly reduced the tendency for the car to crash over sharp ridges in the road surface (which has always been the biggest weakness of the oliopneumatic suspension).

Will be curious to see how it is once we've got a new set of spheres on as I know the rears in particular are very tired.

I had forgotten how annoying the creak from the offside front was though...really might need to put some energy into seeing if we can resolve that. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the car is so quiet and refined otherwise that it puts many moderns to shame...it just makes the strut that does a passable impression of a creaky door in a haunted house seem so much louder.

Something I was particularly pleased to see at the MOT though was the result of the emission test. We've got pretty much every bit of paperwork for this car from the original bill of sale onwards, and we're pretty certain that this is the original 26 year and 140K mile cat.

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Oh...and this was running on six month old fuel as well.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

Dick
Posts: 833
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#698 Post by Dick » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:26 am

You'll be pleased to know that i followed your advice on cleaning the steering wheel in my galaxy, its gone from crocodile skin like covering to normal in a few minutes..
Thanks for the tip :thumbs:

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

#699 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:22 pm

This afternoon I made a horrendous mess in the garage while pulling out most of the old rubber floor mats from the Invacar.

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This took a lot longer than hoped as while it was falling apart, the bits that were still stuck to the floor were VERY stuck to the floor.

As expected given I could see daylight through it, the metal underneath the offside kick plate was largely missing.

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I'll make sure a little plate goes in here to bridge the gap. I did note that a few bits were hanging down there into the area of the door runner, I reckon this may have had something to do with why that door jams so frequently.

Quite a few of the rivets aren't actually attached to anything because they've dissolved, so I'll replace most of them. I'll be adding a bunch across the floor panel anyway so it's held still against the chassis as currently it's totally free to move aside from at the edges. That's going to involve drilling several dozen holes from underneath... that'll be fun.

Then we can start getting the new flooring installed and she will start to look a good deal tidier inside.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 746
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#700 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:48 pm

Dick wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:26 am
You'll be pleased to know that i followed your advice on cleaning the steering wheel in my galaxy, its gone from crocodile skin like covering to normal in a few minutes..
Thanks for the tip :thumbs:
Glad the suggestion was useful!

-- -- --

Well I think we might have found a large reason for the floppy floor. A significant number of the rivets weren't actually secured into anything because they were smaller than the drilled holes, some others were only secured to the floor panel itself, and several others had dissolved. I reckon about 20% of them actually secured the floor panel to the chassis. Oh, and most of those were loose.

After a brief period messing around with the rivet gun I lost patience and just grabbed the bag of nuts and bolts.

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Just this has added about 70% to the rigidity of the panel. A lot of the rivets holding the body overlap to the floor seem to be just as bad, so I'm going to drill out and replace them all with stainless bolts. Just need to pick up some new big washers for the body mounting bolts.

While it's a bit tedious this shouldn't take too long. Currently there's no attachment to the floor panel aside from the edges. My intention is to have it bolted to each of the chassis rails/braces. Here's what's under the floor for those who haven't seen underneath an Invacar floor (courtesy of KPL when I pulled the original rotten floor panel was removed).

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If there are still problems with any areas being floppy I'll probably attach a couple of lengths of ally bar diagonally underneath just to stop the panel from being able to flex so much. We're keeping things pretty simple though. Not wasting months on this.

The seat needs to come out next though as it's just going to make everything far easier. This isn't going to be a "take the whole car apart for six months" job though. I've been enjoying using the car too much for that, but I decided that I needed to sort the flooring situation after I did actually fall over getting out last week and very nearly took my eye out on one of the hooks on the garage wall because the flooring was so slippery.

Even when it wasn't trying to kill me the flooring was really scruffy though and was bugging me. While I'm not too precious about the outside I do like my car interior to be tidy, and having this sorted out will definitely help my enjoyment of the car. Very curious to see if it helps take down the noise level at speed at all.

The original kick plates are quite rough so I'm probably going to replace those, I've got some nice aluminium extruded pieces (they're actually stair tread plates) which will do the job nicely and as the return is a little less deep will make cleaning/greasing of the door runners less fiddly. Think I bought those back when I first got KPL for this very purpose as they were completely missing on that car.

I'm probably not going to get much time to work on the cars this week. Sadly a friend passed away from cancer at the end of last week so we're pretty busy both looking after their other half and generally helping out with the resulting admin and trying to get their house back in order. They've not really been able to put any effort into housework for the last six months so it's in a bit of a state. Obviously looking after them is priority one though, sorting the house comes later. Not a huge amount we can do until Tuesday when all the hospital gear is picked up anyway, so we might get a bit of time tomorrow...we'll just have to see.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 83 Citroen BX 14RE. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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