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

#721 Post by JPB » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:10 am

Ooh, Maxi! :mrgreen: That's an unexpected, if thoroughly welcome pairing of cars. 8-)
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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

#722 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:07 pm

Had only a brief bit of time to look at car stuff today but decided to see if I could improve my door situation a bit.

I think one aspect is that the door sits a little low because the rollers are knackered. I will deal with that at some point...but that point is not now. The issue is that because the door is sitting slightly too low the curve at the top of the panel bottoms out too early when you close the door. Guessing the documentation we've got access to doesn't state what the dimensions of those rollers should be...

There was no additional adjustment possible on the front striker plate, which tied in with that being the one which rattles the most. So I took it off and drilled two new holes to give me another 1/4" or so to play with. You can see the witness mark where the striker plate used to be.

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I think this is the best we're going to get until I completely rebuild the door rollers to lift it up a bit. Any tighter and you'll not be able to close it - and I don't want to put too much strain on the door itself.

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Not perfect, but if you look at the last exterior photos above you can see this is *way* better.

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The door too does actually touch the seal now without needing to add extra foam strips or anything, so it's definitely helped.

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We'll find out if it's actually helped on the move shortly.

As far as the rollers to, I've got an idea in my mind of getting hold of a set of skateboard wheels and attacking them in a lathe...open to better suggestions!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 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

#723 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:35 pm

A little package of things arrived for the Xantia yesterday morning.

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As far as I can see these appear to be correct, fingers crossed they are!

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Slightly alarmed by how skinny the belt is...but I guess it is only an SOHC engine. Have to confess to knowing little about belt driven engines as the vast, vast majority of my cars have had chains. A little disappointed to get a water pump with a plastic impeller in a Gates kit, but I guess that's just the way it is on more modern cars like this isn't it. It only has to last until the next belt change anyway.

Only part I'm still waiting on before we get this fitted is a crankshaft oil seal. I want to have this in stock so if there's even the slightest sign of leakage we can swap it while we have things apart rather than stalling the work while we wait for it or having to take everything to bits twice.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#724 Post by gazza82 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:47 am

All I can say is make sure it is changed regularly. :shock:
TimingBelt_2.jpg
TimingBelt_2.jpg (15.06 KiB) Viewed 4161 times
This was from my old Alfa 156 2.0TS. The belt didn't actually fail .. a toothed/geared tensioner seized. The missing teeth are from the crankshaft gear which literally wore the teeth off. And this was on the starter motor! 14 bent valves, two busted valve guides and a year later(!), big-end failure on cylinder 1. Turned out the impact flattened a bearing and 6000 miles later it gave up.

So two engine rebuilds in 12 months. Top end first, bottom end with crank grind second. While rebuilding the garage found a scratch on bore no 1which was deep enough to catch with a fingernail. But all the other bores were smooth. So we think this was like it from the factory! All the bores were honed and new rings fitted and the oil consumption dropped to nearly zero. Before that I was putting in a litre every few thousand miles which was acceptable to Alfa apparently. (It had covered 72,000 by then). That engine did 210,000 miles before the next work: new head gasket.

Unfortunately the body didn't want to last the course and the floor decided to part company with the inner sills .. and wheel arches. Water got between steel and underseal and slowly corroded away .. :(
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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

#725 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:27 pm

Thankfully this is at least notionally a none interference engine in turbocharged form (normally aspirated or closely related diesel versions are not due to the higher compression ratios). It's nowhere close due by mileage, just time. I know it's been religiously changed through the life of the car up to now so intend to continue that theme.

I did take a look at it last year when I changed the outer crankshaft pulley (the harmonic damper failed) and the belt still looked like new from what I could see.

I get the distinct impression that Alfas and Jags share a lot of qualities... they're lovely cars but can try the patience of owners in hugely creative ways!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 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

#726 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Oct 31, 2020 4:48 am

We've taken a brief interlude in the automotive department over the last few days as I suffered a critical loss of patience with the state my bedroom/office was in and decided that enough was enough and I needed to do something about it. As anyone who knows me will confirm...once I've decided I'm getting a specific task accomplished I can be something of a force to be reckoned with. I definitely got the bloody mindedness of being an Aries!

My room is a bit of an odd layout.

It's actually two rooms joined together. One smallish bedroom, then off to one side one very narrow room that's more like a large walk in wardrobe than a room. It's about eight feet long, but only about four wide - you can comfortably reach both sides standing in the middle. The main room is eight feet plus a couple of inches square...so it's a smallish room but not tiny. It is however square. You know what I've come to realise over the last couple of years? A square is a *really* awkward shape for a room! Have a look around your bedroom...What's the prevailing shape of your furniture? Rectangular isn't it...So you tend to arrange things in one main axes to make best use of the space. Things are made worse by the fact that the door is smack in the middle of one wall and the window is smack in the middle of another - so that's basically two sides of the room that are 70% spoken for before you've even moved any furniture in. The smaller room to the side was never really originally intended to be a room - it's where the monitoring systems for the various heating and energy harvesting systems that were tested out here by the BBC in the first couple of years of the life of this place (including a combined heat & power system based around a Fiat 126 engine) were housed. Sadly aside from the end of a stinking great three phase power cable in one corner of the garage all evidence of that is long gone.

Originally when we moved in I set up the main room as the bedroom, with the Annexe as we tend to call it set up to be my office.

Bedroom looked roughly like this.

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The Annexe after quite a lot of effort and experimentation looked like this.

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Which *looked* the part as a nice little tech cave...especially after dark...

(This is an older photo but you get the idea)

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Sadly while it looked the part it really didn't work well at all...both rooms are really heavily compromising on several key points.

I think the main reason that I originally put the bed where I did is that my room at least in the early days of us moving in here was the default guest room - and that bed can fold out into a double. However it doesn't work...as once the bed is deployed then you literally can't open the door to the room.

The office really doesn't work well either, for all it looks like it's making good use of an otherwise very strangely proportioned and not particularly useful space.

Firstly, it just always feels cramped. Secondly there are no windows in there, and no matter how much light you throw at it it just always feels dingy. There are something like 300W of LEDs and 150W of metal halide lighting going on in that picture, and it still felt dimmer in person than it looks. Turns out that having no windows is another issue, in that once you've got the computer doing anything vaguely strenuous, it gets real warm in there real fast. Generally it was just an unpleasant place to be.

As neither room really worked particularly well, I just tended not to spend much time in there - which is partly why it became something of a dumping grounds for otherwise homeless items in the house. I was used to generally having free reign of the house while everyone was at work, so didn't really highly prioritise work on better sorting out my space. Right up until Lockdown happened anyway! Suddenly with everyone on seemingly endless teleconferences I have ended up hiding in here a good deal more.

So it was time to have a proper think about things and to see if I could improve on matters. Knowing that the bed doesn't work with both sections set up next to each other eliminated one of the original major constraints...so I decided to flip the main purpose of the two rooms. The Annexe being a somewhat cramped, dark, dingy sensory deprivation chamber really isn't an issue if all you want to do in there is sleep I reckon. With the bed out the way that then frees up a huge chunk of floor and wall space for a decent sized workstation.

Now actually rearranging things was quite a task in its own right simply because A: Both rooms are pretty small and B: I have FAR too much stuff. I describe the process as being somewhat like trying to complete one of those slide puzzles that were popular when I was a kid, where you've got tiles that you can move around to make up a picture...but where you have to repeatedly dig out enough space to make the hole to allow you to move the tiles around. Leading to scenes like this while I was dismantling the bed so I could move it.

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This was what happened when I dragged (nearly) all the older computers in the room into one spot!

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That's not nearly all of them I own either, that's just those which were in this room to start with! We're not even going into radios, Hi-Fi or televisions...

After the best part of a week, an unfeasible amount of swearing and a very sore back, we've ended up with this.

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Peeking through the doorway into the Annexe where there used to be an extremely claustrophobic workstation we now see this.

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There's still a shedload to be done obviously! The desktop is temporary, I'll be replacing it with something without a huge step in the middle in due course, and all the stuff on the shelves has basically just been randomly shoved there to get it out of the way while I've been working. A lot of the lights will come off the wall too - I just got utterly fed up of moving a lot of the bulkhead fixtures around in circles that I just stuck them on the wall as it was out the way to be honest. The one to the left of the door at least is actually a functional emergency light though.

There will be a full length bookcase going in to the left of the door (in the image where you're facing the window) which should hopefully allow me to properly find homes for a lot of the things in the "Pile o' Junk" (TM) in the corner so I can finally get rid of that. Something like a set of IKEA Kallax shelving will probably then go in on the other side of the door - The desk will then be extended right up to where it would meet that shelving. A decent sized chest of drawers will then be added at the foot of the bed (replacing the ancient Argos £12 bookshelf there that's been missing a shelf since 2008) so I can finally store clothing without having to cram it down to subatomic sizes to get it into the current drawers. In the bedroom I'll also be adding probably two shelves running the full length of the room above the bed for storage of things that I use less regularly but would rather not shove totally out of reach in the loft.

The radiator is buried under the desk (it's directly under the window), but honestly I'm not bothered. We've been in here since 2014 and I have not once switched it on because of how well insulated this place is, so I really don't see that as an issue. Getting heat OUT of this house is always far, far more of a challenge than getting it in. Air conditioning is definitely going to be happening in the next couple of years.

I don't think I've ever actually had what I'd describe as a "roomy" workstation before...I think I could get used to this!

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I can even actually get at the big scanner that a friend loaned to me forever ago to scan my negatives and slides now without needing to balance it precariously on top of anything any more...which is why I think about five frames have been scanned so far!

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I've very deliberately kept that corner seemingly excessively deep (not *just* because of the huge scanner) as I want to be able to set up a CRT in that corner when working on old computers where that's needed without having to dismantle half the room. In this case I just scoot the printer over to the left and stow the scanner under the desk and I've got a nice deep corner to accommodate a monitor as needed.

Speaking of monitors, I want those off my desk. I really want to get them mounted on wall arms as that would then completely clear the desk in front of me. Unfortunately that involves me having to buy £80 worth of adaptor plates as I totally failed to clock when I bought the right two monitors (which was based on the image performance alone) that HP were utter idiots and didn't include any direct provision for attaching to a VESA mount. You need to buy a special adaptor from them at £40 a shot. If I'd known that I may well have gone for something else...which is a shame as they perform really well.

I'm also really pleased to finally have somewhere to actually use that old Dazor fluorescent desk light - I dragged that thing all the way back from the US back in 2014 I think it was, but have never managed to find anywhere for it that wasn't hugely in the way...until now. It now lives on and usefully lights the drawing/crafting/electronic repair area.

While most of the heavy lifting was done yesterday, today has mostly been sorting this.

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Then starting to sort out some of the other related things that were displaced by my original workstation being removed - the network switch and our main wireless access point to name two things were left dangling by their Ethernet cables for most of the week. Only got the first few things hooked up yet but we're getting there.

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Speaking of things that I hope Future Me thanks me for one day...Yes I'm being OCD and labelling everything. I have learned enough times now that this can save so many headaches down the road it's hard to believe.

Likewise the other end of those cables are labelled to tell me which port on the switch they're hooked to. Likewise wherever they surface elsewhere in the house.

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Yes I did just manage to pull that network socket out of the ceiling... I'll sort it tomorrow.

Praying I'll get the cable routing finished tomorrow as it gets boring real quick! Especially as making Ethernet cables doesn't get any less fiddly no matter how many thousand times you've done it I find! I'm trying to keep things tidy here so am mostly making up new cables so they're actually the correct lengths.

I'm absolutely knackered, but it does feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.

I've got so many stalled art, craft and electronic projects that have been waiting for some attention that I've just not had the will to touch for *years* simply because I've had no decent space to work on them...I'm hoping that once I've got things finished here that might change a bit

Once I've more or less decided where everything is going to live I'll be getting a little more decorating done. I've always planned to use a deep red to pick out details in the room. The actual colour I'm using is from one of the most obvious things you notice when walking into the room; a lovely (to my eye) bit of late 60s lighting design, the Mazda Netaline.

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Back when fluorescent lighting was still seen as new and exciting and designers were still allowed a bit of flair. I'm a bit of a sucker for that sort of retro futuristic design. Especially if you start throwing chrome detailing into the mix too. The arm it suspends from on mine could really do with a polish I can see now I'm looking at the photo.

I'd really like to get both parts carpeted as well as I'm not a fan of hard floors, especially in bedrooms. If I could get a close colour match to the aforementioned red that would be really good in my view. The Annexe is already carpeted...but in a dirty brownish grey and it's utterly worn out in several areas so needs changing anyway. I think if I got the carpet running seamlessly through between the two areas it would help increase the perceived space by removing a visible boundary.

There's too much in the way of muted tones in decoration these days... what's wrong with a bit of colour? I won't be bothering with the carpet until I find a colour I really like. I may end up going for a complimentary colour rather than red if I see something that I think works...but I'd kind of prefer to keep it to the red aside from the neutral white on the walls and ceiling.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 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

#727 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:42 am

Today mostly consisted of me chasing this stuff around.

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Then fitting loads of these.

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The sockets in my room needed sorting because I pulled one out of the ceiling yesterday. Needed to add an extra socket anyway as I wanted to bring Chris' network connection through here rather than being hooked straight into the router. Also meant I was able to get rid of the network cable that's been trailing across the hallway upstairs for the last year and a half.

Before:

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After:

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Once the various loft based cabling was routed (which required nearly two hours of Tetrising stuff in the loft so I could get to the tiny gap you need to feed stuff through to get it from the West to North "wings" of the house) and a couple of lines were added in my room I could then actually tidy up the wiring to the switch. Originally this had just been a haphazard mess which made my teeth itch every time I looked at it.

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It really doesn't seem fair that the bundle of grey wires running along the ceiling here represents almost an entire day's work!

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Another few cable clips were added since I took that photo to tidy up a couple of bits that were visibly sagging a bit.

In other news relating to my workstation I picked up a nice little upgrade for my PC. I've been keeping my eyes open for a new graphics card as the Radeon HD 5770 in there has been becoming increasingly glitchy of late. Usually manifesting itself by the window compositing system getting stuck in a loop when drawing animations...but only on any two of the displays at a time. The issue also popped up under Windows when doing 3D intensive things like running games, so pretty confident it's an issue with the card rather than a bug in Compiz or Mate.

Not exactly bleeding edge these days, but this should do everything I want it for.

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It's a GeForce GTX 1060, so is five years newer than my old card at least

At £65 it seemed worth a punt. Just waiting for a power lead adaptor (this has an 8-pin PCI-E power socket rather than 6) before I fit it. That should be here tomorrow though. Fingers crossed it will give me a bit of a performance boost (and get rid of the random glitching). Not expecting miracles (it's a 2006 machine it's going into, but despite that I know the graphics card was by far the biggest bottleneck), but getting more than 20fps in Minecraft while a video is playing in another window would be nice. Nvidia GPUs are far more widely compatible with the distributed computing work I do generally too so hopefully that will help boost my numbers.

Looks like I've got an extra display output too...that will be welcome as I've always liked the idea of using an additional one to one side just as a system status monitor. I've got a little 14" Iiyama one which could fit nicely next to the clock. After painting though as it's REALLY badly yellowed.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#728 Post by JPB » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:50 pm

We're not even going into radios, Hi-Fi or televisions...
Aww, so we're not going to see the rest of that lovely Selena Vega 215? I use a B212 regularly and yes, I use the dodgy, original mains lead rather than let it eat D cells that can last for months at a time in my Graetz Super-Page.

Please nicely may we see more of the radio & tv stuff? :oops:
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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

#729 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:27 am

JPB wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:50 pm
We're not even going into radios, Hi-Fi or televisions...
Aww, so we're not going to see the rest of that lovely Selena Vega 215? I use a B212 regularly and yes, I use the dodgy, original mains lead rather than let it eat D cells that can last for months at a time in my Graetz Super-Page.

Please nicely may we see more of the radio & tv stuff? :oops:
It's a bit tricky to show much of it as the vast majority of it is buried in the loft and the back of the garage. The Vega lives in here though so it's accessible.

I've had this one for a good long while.

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While the FM section on this set is nothing to write home about, the AM is incredibly sensitive. I don't have the mains supply cable for this one, but have found the batteries seem to last forever...though I don't tend to use it all that often to be honest. It did however allow for one of the most surreal moments when I managed to tune in to a very distant station which was playing a track called Dead King by the Espers. This makes use of some very strange and downright creepy sounding distortion effects in some parts of the track...and it was honestly impossible to tell what was part of the track and what was hetrodyne whistles and interference etc...Bearing in mind I was sitting in a completely dark room in the middle of the night, having just been seeing if I could find anything interesting having just revived this radio (which I think was a kerbside find), when I stumbled across this strange dischordent distorted music.

If you're curious, here's the track in question over on Spotify. I recommend in the dark, headphones and loud and just see where your mind goes. Anywhere else it's largely just noise.

Not a huge amount of visible progress has been made with regards to the major workstation and room, a lot of the things which have been going on have been behind the scenes. Cable management etc.

Did make one major upgrade though, having found a small offcut of board which was by complete fluke the exact size to fit between the right hand edge of the desk and the wall.

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Finally...I can actually have a turntable set up in my own space.

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That's actually a very sturdy base it's sitting on. It's anchored securely to the wall on both sides, as is the (very heavy) desk, so I don't expect to have any issues with it jumping around if I'm walking around.

Turntable is nothing special, just an Audio-Technica AT-LP60USB. It's nothing special, but in the same breath I've found there to be absolutely nothing wrong with it. I can't hear any difference whatsoever between it and the Sanyo or Sony ones I've also got, or the horrifically expensive one that a friend has. It does the job. Just glad to be able to listen to my vinyl in here now too...silly little detail (and utterly pointless in a lot of ways given 99.9% of the music I have access to on Spotify anyway), but it makes actually using the workstation more pleasant.

I've been ignoring the fleet a bit...so I need to fix that this coming week.

[] Invacar. Actually just wants some use now.

[] Xantia. Desperately needs the rear spheres changing. Timing belt is due.

[] Van. MOT is now out, in hibernation till spring.

[] Jag. Laundry list of things needing done (it's an 80s Jag, or course there is), but also basically in hibernation till spring. MOT isn't up till January though, so I was planning to get it in for a test to see if there's another to do list there...however lockdown has scuppered that plan. The thing I really want to take a look at in the very short term though is see if I can stop the blasted water getting into it...Then fix my dehumidifier and get the interior properly dried out again before it starts going mouldy (again).
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#730 Post by gazza82 » Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:01 am

Garages are prob still doing mots. Garages are on essential service list. No announcement about delaying their expiry this time.
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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