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

#971 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:32 pm

Regarding the headlining - it's good news that it's flattening out OK with wetting and clamping. However, I do suspect that in time it will fall again, e.g. in the winter, when the interior is likely to get damp. (or for that matter, the summer, given how wet it is this year!) I think what I'd do is the same as you are doing, but instead of water use a dilute solution of PVA - this is very unlikely to stain the headlining when it's dry, will give more rigidity when dry and will resist the absorption of water vapour from the air too. The more concentrated the PVA the better the effect, but the more likely it is to show, I'd go for the most concentrated you think you can get away with - perhaps test on a small portion that isn't too visible?
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#972 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:56 pm

Luxobarge wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:32 pm
Regarding the headlining - it's good news that it's flattening out OK with wetting and clamping. However, I do suspect that in time it will fall again, e.g. in the winter, when the interior is likely to get damp. (or for that matter, the summer, given how wet it is this year!) I think what I'd do is the same as you are doing, but instead of water use a dilute solution of PVA - this is very unlikely to stain the headlining when it's dry, will give more rigidity when dry and will resist the absorption of water vapour from the air too. The more concentrated the PVA the better the effect, but the more likely it is to show, I'd go for the most concentrated you think you can get away with - perhaps test on a small portion that isn't too visible?

Nothing is likely to show through as the covering is is non porous. My plan to keep it rigid is probably in the first instance going to be to simply add some bracing to the back of it.

Little DAB antenna splitter gizmo arrived today. Being me I couldn't let that tiny black box go without investigation.

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A lot more in there than I was expecting. Was just expecting some sort of band pass filter, wasn't expecting active circuitry. Guessing this is necessary because it's using an antenna that's not designed for the purpose so additional amplification is needed...pure guess.

Pulled the head unit a bit further out this time while fitting it and had the joy that is finding prior audio wiring work that makes you scratch your head.

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There was a lot of this going on.

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Why they didn't just put that red wire straight into the white screw connector directly I have no idea...why connect another 2" long wire to it first by twisting the ends together? This loom reaches about two feet out from the dash too so it's not like they were absolutely desperate for the extra length.

Also found the main 12V feed twisted together when they had an open position on their terminal block...albeit with a stub of wire from its former life apparently.

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It's not pretty now, but all the taped and twisted together wires are now dispensed with. I would have done this last time but didn't spot it as I never pulled the loom far enough out.

Unfortunately my satisfaction was short lived.

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Apparently many DAB sets now use a tiny push fit antenna connection...so I need another adaptor to plug my adaptor in. *Sigh*

So off to wait longer for something else to arrive. Just put it back together for now. Not really likely to really use DAB anyway.

Hard to tell in the photo but I've fine tuned the display colour a bit so it matches better.

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It looks like the mission to de-sag the rear headlining trim is working.

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Will probably get it refitted shortly as it will be a while before I get around to wiring in rear speakers as it'll be quite a time consuming job.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#973 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:56 am

Before:

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After:

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Haven't bothered tucking it in at the edges as it will come out again to do the boot struts (if they ever arrive) and the speakers. Not sure why folks claim getting the locating pegs back in is a massive pain...took me all of about 15 seconds. Though I may just have been massively lucky this time!

It's not perfect if you look too closely, but is massively improved. If it sags again I'll probably just stick a bit of metal across the back to add some strength to it.

It's been a good couple of weeks since I'd last had TPA out...mainly because I'd buried her when getting ready for the vehicle swapovers happening with the Xantia moving on and the Merc arriving...so I spent about an hour unearthing her.

Quite rightly she was a bit irked at having been so unceremoniously buried, and made this displeasure known by getting a bit of gunk wedged in the idle jet. Thankfully this resolved itself after about half an hour of driving.

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On the way home I managed to capture one of those odometer palindromes which please my sense of order.

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Will have to make sure that it's not another three weeks before she's out again. Oh, and add "clean carb again" to the service to do list.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#974 Post by gazza82 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:30 am

Zelandeth wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:41 am
I'm slightly puzzled as to how they intended rear speakers to be fitted as there are no obvious attachment points on the metalwork...so I think attaching them to this trim is the only real option...not the end of the world as I can route the screws through the holes already there without damaging anything (the perforated area is far bigger than the speaker would be). Not an ideal setup though.

Sadly it doesn't look like there's any existing audio wiring loom either so I'll need to pull that through the whole length of the car. Blarg... she's a long old car too!
Stupid question but are they speaker holes? I've seen a couple of estates and hatchbacks with perforations or slots at the back of the headlining but this was possiby to allow for any air pressure building up behind the headlining where there was a sunroof. With a saloon you have plenty of places for the air to escape and flow into the boot, but estates and hatches are a lot better sealed. Seems odd that there aren't any speaker mounts built in under there either.
"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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#975 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:44 am

They are definitely intended for speaker mounting - just not directly. Where rear speakers were specified there was a cradle that would be installed first, then the speakers attached to that. Shouldn't be difficult to do the same job with a couple of metal offcuts with holes drilled in the right places.

Far easier (and likely cheaper) than trying to track down the original speaker brackets anyway.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#976 Post by gazza82 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:47 pm

Back in the days when car manufacturers made different models and fitted the parts to suit. Nowadays it's pretty much build a standard car and add or leave out the bits the models need or don't need. One wiring loom generally to suit all the models in that car's range, etc.

I'm sure someone of your inginuity won't be stuck for too long! :D
"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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#977 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:50 pm

gazza82 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:47 pm
Back in the days when car manufacturers made different models and fitted the parts to suit. Nowadays it's pretty much build a standard car and add or leave out the bits the models need or don't need. One wiring loom generally to suit all the models in that car's range, etc.

I'm sure someone of your inginuity won't be stuck for too long! :D
Oh it's no problem, especially as all the bits of trim in this are actually held in by proper screws and fasteners than stupid clips. It's just a long winded job to route wiring all the way to the back!

-- -- --

This afternoon the Merc was being used as a proper estate car.

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It will come as precisely zero surprise that the mechanism to lower the rear seats is clever and one of the easiest to deal with I've ever used. The rear seat base can be removed in seconds without any tools as well if you need an extra few inches.

This old desktop for scale is longer than I am tall.

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All loaded up for a tip run

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Gave me a good opportunity to confirm the self leveling works - appears to do just fine.

The amount of stuff you could cram in here if you tried is crazy.

Bit later in the day this happened.

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Now we're talking.

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Then with the wheel trim back on.

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Could have done without the 25 minutes of soaking wet walking along the verge this caused on the way home though!

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Apparently one wheel trim didn't get refitted properly. Thankfully I found it and it hadn't decapitated anyone. A set of safety cable ties will be implemented tomorrow.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#978 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:45 am

Out and about today to collect a replacement for my broken pressure washer, a friend on another forum had one more or less identical one to mine with a busted hose. Hose and lance on mine are fine, it's just the pump that expired violently a couple of months ago.

On the run over there a few things were confirmed.

1. I really need to fit a tethered box or something in the boot or things slide around all over the place and make a racket.

2. The new tyres have definitely reduced road noise and vibration.

3. Ride seems exactly as before, always a bit of a question with tyres these days given the tendency for them to have unnecessarily stiff sidewalls.

4. Wish I could say they have transformed the handling...but they really haven't. She still corners like a drunken elephant on a space hopper. Just isn't a car for pushing on in, she's a lazy cruiser. If I can reduce the freeplay in the steering a bit that would help I think, though she's never going to be a B-Road weapon.

5. I need to replace the felt seal around the sunroof. First time I've been out on a windy day with it closed and it makes a horrendous din. Does make you realise how quiet these cars must have been in their day though.



I ran into an issue setting up the new stereo due to the fancy pants new DAB+ head unit using a tiny (SMA?) Connector, rather than the screw in mini BNC one like the older ones.

As such I'd had to order up this adaptor.

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Which lets me hook it up like so.

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Nice and simple. Oh. Or is it?

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After a certain amount of head scratching I managed to figure out that the issue is that stupid adaptor! Stuffing the antenna connection straight into the socket results in this happening.

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The "DGTL" icon on the bottom of the display shows it is receiving through DAB rather than analogue. A quick test with the meter showed that there is indeed a complete lack of continuity through the centre pin. Will need to get another one of those ordered in then.

Getting really sick of getting DOA parts these days. This wasn't even a particularly cheap one - was picked because the seller offered next day shipping rather than because it's cheap. That worked out well then!

Looking forward to having this buttoned up for the last* time.

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* Of course keeping in mind I'll need to be back in here to wire in the rear speakers anyway.

I know a lot of people say terminal strip has no place in a car, and for anything under the bonnet or mission critical I absolutely agree. For stuff like this though so long as the strip is good quality, the wires are prepared properly, everything is tightened down and nothing is strained it's absolutely fine. In 26 years of messing with in car audio I've had I think two speaker connections come adrift where these were used - and in both of those cases it was my own fault for making the wires too short.

I'll tidy things up a bit before declaring it to be finished.

I have done the solder and heat shrink thing on one car - and wound up cursing myself for it! Though to be fair with ISO connectors now being the norm nowadays that makes things easier.



The replica sticker pack I'd ordered also arrived this morning. This is the main one I wanted it for as it's got a lot of useful service data on.


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I wasn't quite prepared for how many other stickers were included!

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I'm going to need to figure out where they all go... though obviously some aren't going to be relevant, being for other markets, diesel versions etc.

I'll try to get some better photos tomorrow, but I'm really blown away by the quality of these, if they had a Mercedes logo on the backing sheet rather than an Avery one I'd have believed they'd just been posted by the dealer. So long as they last they're well worth the asking price I feel.

These were bought from this eBay seller if you want to get some. No connection with them other than as a satisfied customer.

It's a small detail, but little things like that really can improve the feel of a car I think.

The main thing I need to get done before the engine bay ones can go in is of course cleaning it...especially as currently I've no hope whatsoever of being able to tell if we're still leaking oil and where from because it clearly has been for many years. The main thing holding that up was the lack of a pressure washer, which we've now resolved. I'm really looking forward to getting this car properly cleaned, reckon it will make quite the difference. Mean I can give her a bit of a shine up then too.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#979 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 07, 2021 8:59 pm

Zip to show for today as 75% of the day was spent gardening, then a trip to Costco - showing once again how silly big the boot on this car is. Just under £300 worth in here. I know in the Jag this would have filled the boot and most of the rear seat, and the boot on the Jag isn't exactly small.

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The eagle eyed may see that the trim by the tailgate has sagged again, as I honestly expected it might. I've got a plan to deal with that on a more permanent basis, just wanted to try the simple one first off.

Really hoping that tomorrow I'll be able to get some decent time set aside to do some work on the cars.

A good cleaning session for the Merc is first on the agenda, then I should be able to get most of the new stickers in place (still need to have a dig around to see if I can find a cheat sheet showing where most of them should go).
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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

#980 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:54 pm

This bit of trim was really bothering me. Not just because it looks a mess but because it stuck out about an inch from the car and was just asking to stab a passer by.

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Eventually I managed to "repair" this channel (read: Squished with pliers) to the point I could reattach it to the trim clip so it sits flat again.

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The "cap" which would have closed that off would originally have been part of the rubber part of the strip so is long gone. My solution to that is probably going to be a bit of chemical metal...discovered the tube I had in my toolbox had turned solid so I couldn't do that today.


As I mentioned in my last post the headlining trim had done this again.

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This wasn't really a surprise and I already had a plan B in the works for when this inevitably happened.

Panel was removed, clamped in the shape I wanted using a small batten, then I went after the surface with a craft knife, scoring the surface...

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...So the resin I had mixed up could sink properly into the board to strengthen it as much as possible.

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Left this in the garage to set up for a couple of hours. Result being a board which at least feels far more rigid. Let's hope it stays that way!

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Was interested to find a major junction box for the wiring to the rear of the car above that panel. I'm more used to seeing things like this on older commercial vehicles than on cars.

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Having conductors numbered like that will surely be a huge help if I ever need to chase gremlins around here.

I took a brief intermission here to investigate what had happened to my old pressure washer before transferring the Lance etc to its new (identical, secondhand) replacement. It died a few months back by surging briefly a couple of times then making a godawful loud bang and stopping pumping.

The fact that oil was peeing out of it when I pulled the pump definitely suggests something is far amiss.

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No obvious splits in the casing, but I'm guessing something has gone catastrophically wrong internally in the gearbox. I didn't have a set of hex keys on hand today but I do intend to pull it completely apart later in the week to determine what happened and if I can, why. The moment I hooked the new one up it proved to me that there's been something amiss with mine from day one as the new one has far more punch.

Having a working pressure washer again meant I could start to deal with the proper cleaning tasks...first up the oil caked mess that was the engine bay.

Before:

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After today's first pass:

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I really need to paint that air filter housing...

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I definitely need to get some rust treatment and paint in the general vicinity of the brake master cylinder and servo as there has obviously been a fluid leak here at some point and it's dissolved the paint.

Despite the terror a lot of people seem to express at taking high pressure water near an engine bay, the car started up perfectly after this. I then went for a half hour or so drive to dry everything off.

Still a lot to do as there's plenty of gunk I've missed (especially down by the alternator), but it's a thousand times better and I should actually be able to see which oil leaks are fixed or not now. Was kind of hard to tell with the 1/4" caked on gunge on the sides of the block before.


Last job for today was putting the first of the new stickers in place. This dog eared looking example was removed.

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Then replaced with the reproduction one.

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I need to try to pull that dent out of the bumper then see if I can get the rubbing strip to pop back onto its channel. The amount of gunk I blasted out of there was unreal...

Hoping to get the bodywork cleaned up and get the polish and wax out soon...oh, and the metal polish on the brightwork.
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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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