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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#981 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 10, 2021 1:16 am

The most obvious thing in the engine bay which was making my teeth itch (aside from the horrendous racket from the knackered camshaft anyway) was the state of the air cleaner. It was a rusty, scabby mess which immediately drew your eye the moment you opened the bonnet.

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That got pulled off today for a really quick and dirty respray. The high voltage warning sticker had seen better days too.

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As had the foam in the intake silencer, so I pulled as much of that out as I could just to save it getting sucked into the filter. After a really quick rub down with a sanding block it was given a couple of quick coats of satin black. I think it was a really dark grey originally, and I will probably try to get it closer to the right colour further down the road - for now "tidy" is the main thing I'm after.

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The results speak for themselves I think...it won't stick out quite so much once it's got a bit of general dust and such on it.

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It no longer immediately draws your attention when you open the bonnet at least, which was the main object of this whole exercise. All 30 minutes of it. Happy with the result.


The replacement for the dodgy DAB+ antenna adaptor for the stereo arrived this morning (I did look to see if I could get one locally, but the only place I could find one was Halfords - and they wanted £35 for a whole antenna kit, so eBay it was in the end), so I finally have a fully functioning stereo now with both analogue and digital modes working.

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Even though I know I'll probably never really use it, knowing it didn't work was going to bug me!

While I was out a bit later in the day I grabbed another couple of photos just because I could. These will be good for a before/after comparison after I've done some polishing and a few bits of paint touchup work.

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A pretty major milestone was achieved for me today in that for the first time ever I have actually 3D printed a replacement part for one of my cars.

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This (while it obviously still needs some finishing off and painting an appropriate colour) will be a replacement for the broken bonnet catch pull.

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Yes I know proper replacements are about a fiver...but that's not the point. I needed to replace it and I randomly stumbled across the model for this, and it's a pretty flat part so took less than an hour to print...so this was a far more interesting solution than just buying a new one. Will clean that up, paint it and hopefully get it fitted tomorrow.

Really need to try to get a replacement for the broken bit of exhaust ordered in because that blow is really quite annoying - not a huge amount of places seem to have them in stock though (especially not at silly prices), and most of those seem to be the same brand as the systems I fitted to the van and Xantia. I'd really rather not buy another one of those as the fit on both of those was diabolically poor and involves massive amounts of swearing to fit. Oh, and the silencer on the van arrived devoid of any baffles. So it's quite likely that I'll just wind up getting a replacement section made up in stainless, especially as it's a pretty short bit that's affected and the rest of the system is pretty healthy.
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

#982 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:07 am

I wasn't 100% convinced I'd done a proper job of setting the valve clearances on the first pass (not least because I got interrupted halfway through the job and was dying from heat at the time) so went back today and did it again. Definitely was well off the mark in a couple of cases. No 4 intake in particular was way loose.

Has it made any difference to the noise? Maybe a little bit, but she still rattles, and will continue to do so until I replace the camshaft I suspect. Definitely hasn't made a night and day difference, but I feel better knowing the job has been done right for definite now.

The most annoying noise just now though is coming from this thing.

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I need to do some part number comparisons to confirm that the mid section is shared between the saloon and estate as I'm struggling to find anyone with this in stock for the TE variant - though a couple of listings for the saloon are out there at not too silly prices. I know the tailpipe is different, but I *think* the mid section is the same.

While the valve clearance adjustment hasn't made a huge difference to the noise levels it has definitely improved running - my guess is because of that one really loose inlet valve which will definitely have been hindering breathing on cylinder number four.

I did discover one really nice little design feature while doing this job. Last time round I was working with a socket on the crankshaft pulley to rotate the engine. This is really pig awkward to do from a position where you can actually see the valve gear. Getting at the power steering pump pulley is a no-go because it's less than an inch from the fan shroud so hard to get a socket onto. The alternator though is a perfect candidate. It did demonstrate though that the belt needed tensioning (they're pretty well shot due to oil contamination anyway - new ones are en route) as it was just slipping rather than turning the engine initially, even with the plugs out.

Now this is a job which I'm used to being simple enough but fiddly and annoying. Generally because of having to find a way to hold the right tension on everything while tightening things back up. Some cars make your life far easier by having a threaded rod or leadscrew setup on the adjuster, the old Saab 900 was a good example. The Jag uses a similar setup but loses points because the threads are massively more fine than they need to be and two of the adjusters are sufficiently well buried that you have to work blind.

Finding this arrangement on the Merc was a wonderful surprise.

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Loosen off the two mounting bolts a bit, a locknut on the back of the adjuster, then just turn it in the right direction...then nip the locknut back up, tighten the mounting bolts back up, done. Two minutes tops. It's a really simple design but has clearly been really well thought out. Someone really put thought into this as to how it would be used in the real world after the car left the showroom. Oh, all the nuts and bolts involved are the same size too.


After spending a bit of time filing the edges smoother and drilling the supports out of the mounting hole it was time to test fit the 3D printed bonnet release handle. It's definitely a good deal more discreet than the cable tie sticking out of the grill.

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It pops out when the bonnet release in the car is pulled and is definitely a lot easier to get hold of than the aforementioned cable tie I had on here before.

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It certainly feels sturdy enough, it's not a massively strong spring that you're pulling against after all. Now I've proven that it fits and seems to work just fine I'll splash some paint on it to make it a bit less conspicuous (I should have just not been lazy and swapped over to black filament before printing it...takes all of five minutes to do!).

Mission success there it feels like...not only have I 3D printed a part, it even fits and works!
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.

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

#983 Post by Dick » Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:25 pm

Looking a lot better already!

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

#984 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:03 pm

Ran out of time yesterday so here's a couple of posts combined.

It turned out to be a really good call getting these fitted last week.

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Got caught up driving in some of the heaviest rain I've seen in a long while so I was glad not to be on worn out, perished old tyres. As I've come to expect from Uniroyal tyres, they shrugged it off as if were nothing. I've used these tyres as my default now since at *least* 2006, and continue to be very impressed.

I definitely need to out super blades onto my list as I'm pretty convinced the driver's side at least isn't the right size. There isn't so much a triangle of doom where they meet as a crescent you could hold classic car shows in.

Sounds like 19"/20" passenger/driver is the correct size, will try to remember to grab some next time I'm picking up parts.

One feature I do want to implement at some point is an override for the cooling fan thermoswitch. It doesn't cut the fan in until quite a bit later than I would like. I have confirmed that the fan clutch works properly at least - so I just need to provide a switched ground to that wire. Should be a dead easy little relay installation job. Figuring out an indicator on the dash for when it's on shouldn't be too hard - there are helpfully two unused green lights in the strip below the instrument cluster - you can just about see the green mask as a slightly darker strip in the photo below.

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The original thermostatic control will be left alone, but I just don't like how warm it gets before the fan cuts in, so I'd like to have a manual override available to me.

We're well over 1000 miles travelled now since I got the car, and I remembered to grab this photo of numbers lining up yesterday.

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Didn't have much time today so only went out with one real task in mind, replacing the manky old fan belt. New one was fitted in a few minutes.

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The old one was pretty well wrecked from oil contamination.

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While working on this I spotted that I may be missing a bolt on the power steering pump.

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I haven't changed that belt yet because the new one is the wrong size. I'm not 100% certain there should be a bolt there...the pump is absolutely solidly mounted so it may just be a case of it having a few mounting options for different applications.

Really need to get back in to the front of the engine with the degreaser as I've obviously missed a fair amount there.
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

#985 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:56 pm

Nothing directly car related really done today. Instead it was the turn of the garage...the catalyst for finally getting around to this was knocking this pile of things over for about the seven thousandth time. Being the most easily accessible corner this is just where things tended to accumulate which are used regularly.

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Which pretty much matched the state of the whole garage. This is from a few months ago, but you get a pretty good idea of the general level of disorganised clutter.

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The huge pile about the size of a VW Beetle at the far end I can't do much about at the moment as a lot of the volume of that pile is cushions for the garden furniture and I've nowhere else to put that just now. However that's not really in the way of the area I actually use. I've wanted to attack the clutter in here for years, but the cascade of cans when I knocked one over today and it sent the whole lot cascading onto the floor was one time too many. Time for a proper rage tidy.

Cue me making a godawful mess.

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After a few hours I had to call it a day because I ran out of wall plugs so I couldn't put up any more shelving. Definitely feels like I've made some progress.

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This is what the corner in which I kept knocking everything over in looks like now.

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Everything has been moved out of the way so the avalanche of cans and jars should be a thing of the past.

The additional shelving (all scavenged from cheap bookcases we've since got rid of, dating back to our student days) has made quite a difference.

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Digging around I've ascertained that I *really* don't need to buy any more oil for a while. Especially 10W40!

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Once I do have the opportunity to clear the rear of the garage my plan is to set up three or four ranks of free standing shelves across the garage widthways. Will increase the available actual storage capacity by several times and mean I can actually get at things. There's stuff in there I haven't seen since we moved in!

Remembering some comments from last time there was a photo of my garage on another forum. There was a suggestion that I'd nicked the bus stop flag and public transport information sign. No on either. The bus stop flag was a sample we had made to see how the new design (which I'd been heavily involved in the creation of) and was never actually installed. I was quite proud of how clean the graphical design looked and had put a lot of work into it, so kept the sample. The sign was originally in the reception of our old office building before the timetable rack in there was removed, it then spent several years above my desk until we moved buildings...we couldn't take it to the new office and it would have been skipped when the building was demolished, so I rescued it (with permission).

Not sure if the result really reflects how many hours of work this took...but I'm glad I've made a start on it as this is something I've been trying to find the activation energy to make a start on for years.

I can at least walk past the car now without having to flatten myself against the wall (I need to get through here regularly as we have a chest freezer at the back of the garage).

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The compressed air tank there is going to be wall mounted up above the garage door frame to keep it out of the way. Having started this will give me a bit of a kick into getting that piped in... especially as I'm sick of not having air on tap any more.

The far side is still a squeeze, but at least having got all of the cans and previously precariously stacked tools onto higher shelves now it doesn't involve me knocking everything over when I want to get through to the oil stash.

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Still a load of work to do but it really feels like progress.
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.

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

#986 Post by 3xpendable » Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:40 pm

Definitely progress there! Looks good. I must admit I'm spoiled living in the US now, I forget how small many British garages are. I have what is considered a small garage by standards here and its a 2 car 20x20.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#987 Post by Luxobarge » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:57 pm

We too had the "where to store the cushions for the garden furniture" conundrum, in the end we got a waterproof garden chest, which works very well and provides easy access to the cushions close to where you need them, and keeps them safe and dry during the winter too. Like this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deuba-Storage- ... NrPXRydWU=

Like you, we've got far better things to do with the limited space in the garage!
;)
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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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#988 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:41 pm

Luxobarge wrote:
Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:57 pm
We too had the "where to store the cushions for the garden furniture" conundrum, in the end we got a waterproof garden chest, which works very well and provides easy access to the cushions close to where you need them, and keeps them safe and dry during the winter too. Like this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deuba-Storage- ... NrPXRydWU=

Like you, we've got far better things to do with the limited space in the garage!
;)
Useful suggestion, though we should be fine I think. We've got another shed planned to be installed round the back of the house where the greenhouse used to be, which is where most of the seasonal equipment will get stored - they'll go in there as well.

-- -- --

Progress has continued on the garage. Yesterday I got the shelf up for the compressed air receiver tank which finally moved that from the floor sticking out about 6" into the walkway.

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Those brackets are screwed directly into the wall stud so strength should be fine, the tank isn't actually all that heavy (the compressor is remote), and I did go back and add another two just for peace of mind later on.

I had originally hoped to have the tank mounted up above the garage door framework nearer to the door, that plan though was scuppered by there not being quite enough height available. I had also been half planning to have the compressor up in the same area...right up to the point where I picked it up for the first time in a couple of years. Nope... it's staying firmly on the floor because it is downright obscenely heavy.


Today that corner continued to be developed with me starting to rebuild some old Dexion shelving a friend gave me a while back. Yes I fouled up the top shelf currently in there on the one corner.

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The bottom one was the important one today though as the height of that was dictated by needing enough room underneath for the compressor to live, so I can now install the rest of the shelves at usefully spaced heights.

The eagle eyed among you will probably see that there is pipework running up the wall there too, that's the charge line to the air tank.

I was a bit worried that my tiny and ancient compressor wouldn't be up to the job, but it made it up to the set point and cut out in a little under five minutes from stone flat. About a minute seems to be the going rate to top itself back up when doing things like inflating tyres. Which in all honesty is what 99% of its work will be anyway. Especially with the two nearest garages to me now charging £2 to use the machine there.

That yellow hose will be getting routed along near the ceiling to next to the door. I'll probably mount a regulator and water trap on a quick connect fitting there. The regulator actually on the tank is awful and I'm basically just leaving it there because I'm too lazy to remove it! I really do want a hose reel (so I can reach all the cars without having to coil/unwrap 25 metres of hose every time), but we'll see how long it takes me to justify the cost. Or I could try to build one...I do have a couple of dead wheels floating around.


The power supply to the compressor is wired through the original pressure switch so it cycles just the same as the original one from that tank.

Once I've finished messing with the shelving I'll probably put some mesh around the bottom to make sure nothing can get tangled up in the belt. Given there's no integrated cooling fan on the compressor I will probably arrange a electrically operated one to help keep it from overheating issues. It didn't seem to be doing bad though after filling the tank from empty twice in a row though. Once I have a fan in there I might enclose one side to help cut down on noise a little bit. Though it's really not bad...plus volume level aside having something chugging away like this is far less grating than the old direct drive one was, which sounded like a cross between a jackhammer and a chainsaw and really did require ear protection if you were in the garage with it running for more than a few minutes.

I *do* need to find some rubber feet for it though...I can feel it going *dug dug dug dug* through my feet despite the floor being concrete - so I'm sure everyone else in the house can as well. I think some broken Invacar engine mounts I still have in a box for some reason will be perfect for that job.

I'll get a few better photos when I've actually finished and tidied things up a little. It still looks really shonky just now.
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.

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

#989 Post by Dick » Thu Aug 19, 2021 2:08 pm

I put up some more 8 x .40 shelves in my shed last year and made a lot of extra space... i still have no room i just don't know where it all comes from...
Good luck :thumbs:

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

#990 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 21, 2021 10:32 am

Two updates in one as I ran out of time yesterday.

I needed to get TPA out of the garage to allow me to put up a ladder to route the compressed air line along the side of the garage. So this was an excuse to use this particular car to run the errands I needed to.

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Which meant that this happened.

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That's us ticked over the 2,000 mile mark. Second one rolled around a lot quicker than the first did!

Having air on tap in the garage meant it was time to replace the horrible cheap tyre inflator/pressure gauge with something a bit more fit for purpose.

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The 220psi scale on the old one meant that you really couldn't aim for anything better than "roughly to about +/- 5psi" on a good day - not great when I'm aiming for 17psi for the front tyre on the Invacar. New one actually has a proper scale...and has shown how awful the old one was! It was overreading by about 5psi.

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In a hobbyist garage setting that should last basically forever.

I also made a start on routing the supply hose around towards where I'm planning on the hookup point.

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The compressor now has "feet" made from a few old engine mounts. This has reduced the noise level in the garage when it's running by a good 50% I reckon.

Sadly took a couple of steps backwards today. I knew I had a tiny leak from one union on the charge line and had planned to just tidy up a couple of minor things like that. However the system apparently had other plans.

You may recall I mentioned that my intention was to remove the regulator that's on the tank outlet as it's sufficiently inaccurate enough as to be useless plus with the new tank location I need a ladder to get to it. Apparently it heard me.

While rummaging through the toolbox I heard something bounce off the ceiling, land on the roof of the Invacar then roll off and disappear behind it. Now I'm quite used to hearing things falling over now and then in the garage, but something randomly bouncing off the ceiling was a new one.

Turns out that it was the pressure adjustment knob from the regulator.

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The threaded section in the body has completely stripped out, this allowing the spring pressure to launch the knob off the top of the regulator.

Cue a run round to Toolstation to grab a replacement. Which of course is far larger than the original one so I couldn't just screw it in the same place as the original to stay there until I had finalised the pipework layout etc. So for the time being it's just been hung off a random screw in the wall in roughly the same neighborhood of the target location.

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The supply line will be larger than that one long term...it's just what I had laying around with the right fittings on...I'll need to pick up a few more bits and pieces to finish this off.

I've now got a 30 foot hose reel on order so this is probably roughly where the regulator will live, most likely just moved a foot or two up so it's a bit further from elbow bashing height. The reel will probably be fitted up above shoulder height so I can reach around to the far side of the Invacar when checking tyres without falling over it. Also to keep it just generally as out of the way as I can as it will otherwise eat into the space there otherwise.
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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