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

#881 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:05 pm

Not sure if I'll have a chance to do much today but did get an hour or so in yesterday.

Main target was a second pass at trying to get the driver's door on the Jag into a state vaguely resembling weather proof.

Now the easiest solution to this would probably be to build a time machine and go back to prevent whoever replaced the electric window mechanism from being lazy and not bothering to refit the original weather sheet (I found it bundled up in the bottom of the door).

The proper way to do this (and may yet be the road I need to go down) is to remove that to allow me to refit a contiguous sheet across the whole door...however I *really* don't want to faff around with the window if I don't have to as it works perfectly.

After some time and no small amount of swearing we had coverage along the whole door (save for an "n" shaped cutout around the window motor).

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There are additional layers behind the interior door handle and speaker void as those are the two areas that I'd been aware of water getting into the car from, so I figured doubling up there from both sides of the door skin couldn't be a bad thing. The main point of ingress at the front appears to be through the wing mirror, so hopefully this should work.

If it does I'll need to repeat the performance on the passenger side as that also leaks - albeit several orders of magnitude less badly.

While I was there I finally got around to finding a replacement for the missing securing screw for the light under the arm rest. Hopefully the lens won't fall off roughly every tenth time the door is closed now.

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Thanks to a suggestion from someone on another forum I realised that I'd made a stupid mistake with the wipers. I had completely failed to spot that the wiper arms are sided. With them flipped around I was able to get things sitting far better in the parked position.

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

#882 Post by Dick » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:57 pm

That jag does look a very nice place to be...

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

#883 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:00 pm

Dick wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:57 pm
That jag does look a very nice place to be...
It really is, just a pleasant, comfortable place to be. For all the size of the car the cabin really isn't that roomy. There's nowhere for your left foot other than under the brake pedal because the transmission tunnel is big enough to fit a Boeing 747 under with room to spare. The ergonomics are laughable in many cases, adjusting the heating temperature requires you to reach the best part of three feet to your left for one. Speaking of which, the labels for that are in about 0.3pt text which are set floating in acrylic so are near impossible to see. Especially in the dark.

There's also no really dignified or graceful way to get in or out because you sit about six inches below the surface of the road.

Nevertheless it is still a lovely thing... though I've never worked on...or for that matter sat in...a car which causes me to utter the words "Wait...why did they...?" So often!
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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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#884 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:24 am

How am I ever going to tell which car is mine out here...Oh...wait...

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I get the impression that while it may have taken a while for us to tick over the first thousand miles the second one will take anywhere near as long...

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That's just under 500 miles in two months.

One of the bits of trim fell off the inside of the offside door last time out, so today I decided to call time on the spray adhesive and got some old school goop involved.

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The trim was then firmly wedged in place while that sets.

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I reckon this will stay stuck a lot better. Can see me redoing most of these in the same way at some point. Summer will be the real tell when things get warm.

Also on the subject of doors...I completely randomly spotted today that the weatherstrip between the two sliding window panes on the nearside (the offside one is missing) was installed backwards...I apparently totally failed to notice that there was a plastic side and a felt side when I installed it. Does a far better job of stopping the draught when the window is closed now!

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Only took me approximately two years to notice. Ten points for observation to me. Oops.


Annoyingly it appears that even with the level sorted that we do still have a slight oil leak. It looks like it *might* be actually coming from the oil pressure switch as the whole area around it looks a bit wet.

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Have given the general area a good spray down with degreaser so we can have another look after the next trip out to see if it's the culprit. Would be nice as it's a cheap and easy part to change.

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Not holding my breath though...My gut feeling is that we're looking at a leak from the crankshaft oil seal.

The belts are in a state as you can see too. They have been loose for a while now...but lately have been getting a bit ridiculous. Aside from the increasingly unhappy squeak every time the starter is operated from cold, it's never good when you can SEE how slack a belt is.

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Yes, that is as floppy as it looks. Especially the one nearest the camera.

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The reason I hadn't done something about this sooner was simple: I'd been completely and utterly unable thus far to shift the nut on the Dynastart pulley. The belt tension on this engine is adjusted (like on old VWs) by adding or removing shims between the pulley sheaves...so any tension adjustment involves removing that big nut. While there are two holes in the fan to allow you to wedge it in place - the nut was tight enough that these holes were ovalling out from the torque I was applying.

Right up until the point that I *finally* spent an hour turning the back of the garage upside down and unearthing the impact gun.

In approximately 0.3 seconds it buzzed it straight off without it seemed like any effort whatsoever...Didn't even have to lock the pulley...

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Sometimes you just need the right tool for the job at hand.

It's not a tool you'll use for every job (and using it for the wrong one can cause you no end of headaches...), but really is an absolute godsend when presented with something like this or trying to get a wheel nut that's been done up by Kwik-Fit to 10,000,000,000 times more tightly than it needed to be. This was less than £50 and for the three jobs I've really used it for so far I reckon has already more than paid for itself in saved time, sweat and spilled blood. Just make sure if you get one to get a good quality set of sockets to go with it.

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The other reason I wanted to get this lot apart was so that I could actually clean up the pulley running surfaces...After this engine had spent a good number of years sitting outside in the weather they were unsurprisingly in quite a state - I'm honestly surprised that the belts didn't just self destruct given the state these were in.

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Definitely beyond the point of "self cleaning" at this point...so out with the carbide mop. Realistically I could do with a new set of pulley sheaves, but the heavy, rough pitting that will shred belts is gone at least.

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The fan hub (which forms the rear face of the pulley) got the same treatment.

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Again...It really has seen better days, but is a lot better than it was.

The belts will want replacement now as running on the pulleys in that state has unsurprisingly wrecked them. I'll grab a new pair next time I'm in the vicinity of Motorserv. They're not exotic or expensive so I'm not worried about that. They are at least properly tensioned now though (if anything a little over-tight in the case of the front belt).

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Not really too worried - they'll be getting replaced shortly anyway - I'll spend a bit of time ensuring that the replacements are tensioned as close to as per the manual as possible.

Quick test revealed that the "chirp" on activating the starter is indeed now gone.

https://youtu.be/e-50mlDp2L0

I had also completely failed to appreciate quite how much noise the belts were making at high engine speeds...The engine is SO much quieter and smoother when revved now. Will be interesting to see if that's at all obvious when on the move - though given that about 85% of the noise you're aware of is CVT and gearbox I rather doubt it.
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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#885 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:55 pm

Decided to have a better shot at cleaning the Dynastart pulleys up on TPA.

There is deep enough pitting that they'll never be perfect, though I think this should be good enough for the job...given that the previous belts lasted the best part of a thousand miles and still worked once the tension was adjusted...if I go through £14 of belts once a year or so I'm really not going to lose any sleep over it.

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Especially given they started out like this.

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Sadly Motorserv only had one belt (Gates 6262MC for reference) so I'll need to swing by tomorrow to pick up the second one before I can fnish reassembly.
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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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#886 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:20 pm

Task number 1 today... changing rear spheres on the Xantia. Aside from knowing having it done will make the car far, far more pleasant to drive, I really want to get the sphere removal tool back to its owner. I'm utterly paranoid about losing other people's tools so always try to get them back as soon as I can.

Dodged the usual game of chasing the ramps around by doing the job on the lawn. They dig in enough there to stay put.

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Still hate getting the car onto the ramps.

Of course because it's the Activa there's a hydraulic line in precisely the right place to be in the way when you're trying to get the removal tool onto the sphere.

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Not enough to be a problem, just enough to be moderately annoying.

Offside one first, wound off without too much of a fight

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Only slight game I had there was the seal vanishing into another dimension (I did find it eventually) which had me second guessing if I'd got the old one out of the strut for a few minutes.

New one in. That's this side done.

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Nearside required a little more persuasion to shift, but I was still able to do it by hand just using the sphere tool. Didn't need to get any additional breaker bar or anything involved. It's really nice working on a car where the previous owner or a garage haven't overtightened absolutely everything.

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New sphere on.

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Tightened the bleed screw on the regulator back up, checked for leaks then that's that job done. Maybe 20 minutes?

Well it would be if the new spheres weren't flat. Knew it was a bit of a risk being NOS ones from 1998...but was worth a shot. Offside one is passable, nearside one though is just as bad as the one that came off.

No huge inconvenience really, as mentioned above they take about 20 minutes to change and they were given to me free, so I'm really not even in the slightest irked by this development - it's just one of those things that happens when you're tinkering with old cars and old parts!

We'll be playing this game again shortly then.


Second new belt was picked up for TPA today so those have now been fitted. Adjustment seems spot on with the six spacers split evenly with three on each side.

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The bit of trim that I re-stuck to the offside door appears to have remained firmly attached overnight - so if I have any more bits coming adrift I know going in what approach to use - basically loads of adhesive.

On the subject of trim, while getting the whole roof lined is definitely a job for "sometime in the future" one bit I really wanted to address was the rear C pillar on the offside, mainly because of an unsightly historic repair there.

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Conveniently I had a couple of offcuts left from when I did the carpeting job which I was fed up of shuffling from place to place in the garage. They were just big enough to do this.

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Far tidier!

Obviously made a matching one for the other side too.

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Have left them both wedged in place while the glue sets. I'd really like to replace the windscreen demister duct, however it's still a way down the list - especially at £25+ a metre!
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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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#887 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:55 pm

Well I don't know if it is the *only* oil leak on TPA, but the oil pressure switch is definitely a source of *an* oil leak. This was cleaned up and completely dry before I set off today.

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Will get a new one ordered from Prokschi later on.

Have to admit that I'm staggered at the difference changing the Dynastart belts has made. Not so much in noise, but I'd say it's reduced mechanical vibration by about 80%, the engine just feels so much smoother now. Wouldn't have expected such a small mass wobbling around a bit to make such a huge difference, but I know vibration can be strange like that once you take into account resonance effects and such.

It's definitely improved performance of the charging system too, it starts charging a good bit earlier than it used to.

The additional trim panels on the rear pillars has helped the overall feeling of refinement in the cabin I think. It vastly reduces the amount of unfinished fibreglass you can see when you open the door. The roof obviously being the major bugbear in that department now.

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Trying to decide when I get to that stage whether to trim the panel behind the sun visor the same dark grey I've used elsewhere or to match it to the lighter shade I'll be using for the roof.

Thinking probably stick with the grey as that will nicely blend in with the windscreen pillars.
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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#888 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:43 pm

Nothing much to report from this weekend, though I did finally get around to giving the Jag a wash this afternoon. The amount of gunk that was accumulated around the window seals and such like was frankly embarrassing.

It's definitely one of the most awkward cars I've ever had to clean - especially the front and rear overhangs. Doesn't scrub up too bad though from ten paces.

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Hoping to get the van in for an MOT this week to find out if there's any work needed for that I'm not currently aware of (expecting a shock absorber and a couple of brake pipes as the ferrules are rustier than I'd like). Have had a couple of recommendations for a garage to use (my usual one can't deal with vehicles this large) so we'll see how that goes.
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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#889 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:51 pm

Later this week I've got a couple of portable split system air conditioners to collect. I reckon that I *might* just about be able to Tetris both of them into the back of the Xantia...maybe. I'm quite braced for having to make two trips though. At the end of the day it's only an hour each way so if I need to make to trips it's hardly the end of the world. However if I had the van available that would make things far, far easier as I'd have bags of room to spare then.

Following a few recommendations on the MK Modern Classics group on Facebook, I've got it booked in with MOTest in Newport Pagnell on Wednesday morning for a test. My usual garage can't do me an MOT on this as it's too big and too heavy for their test bay.

I've been out and given her a quick once over. The brake hose ferrules are a bit more crusty than I'd really like. I wouldn't say they're bad, but I'd definitely expect them to at the very least to be an advisory. They'll be getting changed either way - just not before Wednesday.

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Still slightly irked that the garage last year didn't even get a mention last year given the number of as far as I can tell non existent faults with the braking system that they found and charged me for sorting...Would have expected the rigid lines to have got a mention too - though those at least just need a clean up I reckon.

The front shock absorbers, particularly the offside one look quite crusty (and it has a dust cover held on with a cable tie), but they both work as far as I can tell. Like the brake flexible lines, I'm going to plan on swapping those out in the near future anyway for peace of mind.

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I've sorted the spurious brake pad wear warning light issue - by disconnecting the sensor leads. I'm not proud of it, but the problem is a simple fundamental issue with the system design which results in false triggering with modern brake pads. Rather than the way for instance BMC did where they just have a light in series with a metal tab in the brake shoe, which grounds the circuit through the disc when the pad gets worn down, Mercedes have the switching done by a transistor - meaning that even the tiniest bit of leakage to ground at the brake end of things brings the light on. I don't think I've ever actually seen one of these vans where the wiring wasn't snipped off decades ago... guessing this may be why! I've not cut anything, no need to. There are two connectors that can be unplugged in the engine bay. So if somewhere down the line I feel like modifying the system to be less hyper sensitive I can easily get it going again. Though being honest on a van that's doing a couple of thousand miles a year it's really not necessary. Obviously would be far more important a feature if she was a van in heavy commercial service doing thousands of miles a month!

Discovered the nearside indicator repeater was out. This turned out to be a bit of poor design. The ground for the repeater is via the mounting screw - however that's just a self tapping screw into a plastic plug on the inside of the wing. A bit of rust on the screw where it passed through the wing = dead light. I've done away with that and replaced it with a nut and bolt with a shake proof washer, and a big blob of grease over it to keep water out.

There could be a thousand things I've missed though...it barely moved last year. Obviously being an old Merc rust is the biggest fear!

I then went and cleared what felt like about two tonnes of dead leaves and dog hair out of the interior.

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I'll get back under there tomorrow and give all the rigid brake lines a rub down and see if I spot anything else needing attention. I will say it's really nice having a vehicle that you can comfortably work underneath without needing to faff about with jacks or ramps! In the interests of seeing off Murphy's Law, I do stick an axle stand under the chassis rails though just in case a spring decided to snap while I was crawling around under there. Unlikely? Yes. However I know my luck and it takes all of thirty seconds to do. So let's just play it safe.

I'd by absolutely lying through my teeth if I didn't say I that even just on the run to the testing centre that I was massively looking forward to driving the old bus again. It's been far, far too long. I do find it highly amusing the degree of decision paralysis that I sometimes suffer as to whether to go out driving in a Citroen Xantia Activa, 2.8 tonnes of camper van with 78bhp, a V12 Jag XJ-S, or an Invacar. I enjoy driving all of them...Though honestly the Invacar probably has caused the biggest grins from me lately.

They all have their moments though...

Xantia: Seeming ability to totally ignore the laws of physics where changes in direction are concerned and the addictive shove in the back when it comes on boost.

Jag: The sheer degree of torque from a standing start is absolutely ridiculous...oh, and the noise when you go anywhere north of 3000rpm. Comfort goes without saying...and the looks.

Van: She's just a lovely old thing to drive. Gearchange, steering, ride and strangely enough, the smell all say vintage bus to me.

Invacar: Hard to point at any one thing, as it's just such an utterly unique driving experience...and far, far more capable a vehicle than you'd ever think to look at.

In other fleet news, for the last month or so I've been unable to get the boot on the Xantia unlocked. Wouldn't unlock with the central locking or the key. No amount of fiddling around with either on a dozen or so occasions had any effect. Yeah...right up to this afternoon when I went outside to properly investigate and fix it.

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When I unlocked the car to undertake this task the bootlid unlocked perfectly normally. The lock has then proceeded to work absolutely perfectly, and pulling the trim off didn't reveal anything amiss which would have caused any issues. Yep, that's pretty much situation normal then!
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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#890 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:04 pm

Had a few errands to run today, the weather was decent and as we weren't boxed in by school traffic for five minutes I took TPA out.

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Another fifty or so miles done today without really thinking about it - even though I could have done without the monsoon that descended on the A5 about halfway home. She handled it fine though and about 90% of the water stayed outside the car, reckon it'll be fine once I replace the window channel rubbers.

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The windscreen is at least fully weatherproof now it seems so I don't wind up with water dripping on my knees any more - that used to get old in a hurry.

Dynastart belts are squeaking a bit just now at idle but I reckon they'll shut up once they've bedded in a bit.
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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