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

#1081 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:05 pm

Dick wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:53 am
No love for a galaxy, :cry: .... I've never had major problems with it apart from chocolate drive shafts. The drivers door window fell out once and the cable for the electrics has been repaired a few times and the remote central locking died many years ago.. now the lock is playing silly buggers... ive seen quite a few jeeps for sale here, 2 door with diesel engines are popular here...
Don't get me wrong, the Galaxy (and it's VW brother) were and are fantastically well thought out vehicles. If one had come up at the right price ten or so years back I'd probably have considered it - just they're well into the realm of "if x breaks, replace black box y" territory given the complexity of the electronics. Plus I've just found that anything from the 90s onwards I just don't enjoy working on, which for something that's meant to be a daily driver really isn't helpful.

The original version of the Citroen Picasso is another one that if it weren't for the electronic complexity which came along with it and that they tend to be worked to death I'd consider. While I find them to be up there in the top twenty of most ugly cars ever made, they are very, very cleverly packaged. They were one of those cars which when we had them in at the garage quite frequently would sell before we'd even had a chance to get them offloaded from the transporter, never mind get them ready to go on the forecourt!
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

#1082 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:06 pm

The first few web searches, including the lookup system on Tanya's website, suggested that a 096 battery is correct for the XJ-S, so is what I picked up.

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Was no point comparing to the one in the car as I knew it was well under sized - hence my "creative" solution to getting enough travel in the tie down frame to actually make it fit.

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Turns out they're speaking nonsense. No way will a 096 fit in here, it's the best part of an inch wider than the battery tray. D'oh!

Cue a bit of head scratching...before I nicked the battery I stuck in the BX about 8 months ago. That's a 027 which while still a little smaller than what I imagine Jag intended (which I'm thinking now is probably a 075), is a far better fit. It sits snugly in the tray and the tie down fits properly without needing to faff about with spacers. Meant I could actually get the lid fitted properly for the first time since I've had the car.

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The battery tray in the BX is huge on account of the diesel variants so the 096 dropped in there just fine and looks like it was meant to be there - even if it's grossly overrated for a humble 1.4 petrol, but we're not going to complain. Especially with the car not being used regularly.

I put it on charge overnight on account of the BX sitting unused a lot, but even beforehand it span the engine over far faster than the one previously in the car ever did. Also while out for a run the voltmeter stayed pretty much smack in the middle the whole time without sagging anywhere near as much at idle...so I think that was half our problem. Dying battery took out a weak alternator regulator? Or dying alternator killed the battery? We will probably never know.

The battery that csme out definitely has a shorted cell. Sitting rock steady on 10.8V off charge but using the calibrated battery testing spanner is still sourcing a decent chunk of current - which suggests it can also still sink a decent charge rate, which given that with a lot of kit running I can easily account for about 80% of our old 55A alternator's output in vehicle systems alone isn't going to help anything.

First thing I noticed driving out of our neighborhood on a quick test run...the heater was actually behaving in a sane manner. It continued to do so for the remaining 25 mins or so I was out...and the cruise control worked first try. Have we been fighting off odd gremlins because of a sickly battery for a while? I know that's more of a modern car thing...but let's face it, the XJ-S in a lot of ways *is* a lot more modern than its year of production would suggest.

I had a decent opportunity to give the charging system a good test the following day as I had to make a decent run out of town to pick up some vintage computer hardware. At 150 odd miles round trip this was actually the longest single run I'd probably done in the car since I picked it up. Glad to report that it performed perfectly - and I managed 21.7mpg on that run...a far cry from the 12mpg I manage around Milton Keynes!

For those interested in such things, this is what I was picking up.

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In 1987 this was pretty much the most powerful portable machine you could buy - with pretty much everything you would expect of a conventional desktop PC - including a full size ISA expansion slot. These "portable desktop" machines were something that Toshiba were very good at making, and were quite worthy of note in an era where desktops tended to do desktop things and portables were generally vastly more limited and did very different jobs. The desktop replacement concept became quite commonplace about 15 years later, but in the late 80s/early 90s was quite a novel idea.

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Specs seem positively laughable by today's standards, but this was a powerful machine when it was launched.

Back on topic...

That run was a usefully timed test given that the car was off to a new owner today.

I gave the interior and windscreen a quick clean and loaded up the spares I had into the boot.

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I had originally planned to give the whole car a wash and quick wax - but realised that given the state of the roads and that it had a 400+ mile motorway run coming up that it would be completely pointless.

Definitely a car I will miss. This is definitely one I'm selling because it's the sensible decision than because I want to.

While I would happily have made the trip myself, it's always a bit nerve wracking sending someone.off who's not familiar with the car on a journey that long - especially when it's not had a huge amount of use recently. However the worry was unnecessary as she made it to her new home in Aberdeenshire without incident - well aside from the interior light falling out of the headlining again. Economy on that run was 20.8mpg, which seems perfectly decent to me for a 1700kg 5.3 litre V12 car from the mid 80s.
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
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1083 Post by Dick » Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:26 am

I remember those early laptop things... a freind had one at college... the computer tech chap was really impressed.. i shall really miss your jag, i like those..

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

#1084 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Dec 13, 2021 12:45 am

So will I!

I could see the bodywork visibly degrading month by month though. Just a car which really needs to be garaged.

Having a gap out here just looks wrong!

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No...it looks right. It's a step towards actually getting everything to fit on the driveway.

Short lived though given there's another (broken) project on the way soon...so much for thinning out the herd!
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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JPB
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1085 Post by JPB » Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:35 am

At this rate, you'll have as many cars as Ian Seabrook by the end of spring! Please tell us that you're adding something suitably bonkers to the fleet!
:lol:
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, Citroens, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1086 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:44 am

JPB wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:35 am
At this rate, you'll have as many cars as Ian Seabrook by the end of spring! Please tell us that you're adding something suitably bonkers to the fleet!
:lol:
I think 9 was my record at one point...No intention of repeating that!

To be honest once it's in a more saleable state the BX will probably move on. We'll see.

We'd also really like to include a wholesale redesign of the driveway with landscaping work that we need done round the side of the house. That would take a lot of the pressure off as it would generate a lot of additional parking space and mean I could get into the garage without needing to move two vehicles every time. That gets tiresome in a hurry. Widening the entrance (or more likely making there be two, the driveway being a crescent between them) would also reduce the frequency with which we get blocked in/out by idiots from the school round the corner. At least we don't need to deal with dropped kerbs etc as they're all low round here. Unfortunately we've really been struggling to get anyone to even quote for the work.

As for what will be arriving soon? Matches the BX quite well.

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I wasn't looking for another project...or even another car. Then a friend went and put this up for sale about 10 miles away!
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...Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1087 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:04 pm

Okay...Mercedes is officially for sale.

Photos as of a few days ago. Not prettied up, in her working clothes as she's still being used as the daily.

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Offside rear arch is probably the most outwardly scruffy bit of bodywork. A repair panel for this is included with the car.

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Current mileage, though this will go up a bit as the car is in regular use.

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If you've followed this thread over the last few months you'll know the car.

I bought this car back in the summer with the intention of it being a practical daily which I could carry out a gradual rolling bit of tidying up on - not going to say restoration as that was never really the goal. A tidy working car was.

Sadly it became apparent a short time later that due to historic chronic neglect the top end of the engine had sustained a lot of damage due to oil contamination and/or starvation. The damage to the camshaft is probably the worst I've ever seen on a running engine. Aside from sounding like an 80s Fiesta needing a service she still ran just fine though!

As a spare head was supplied with the car I went ahead and fitted that.

My intention had been to drop the sump so I could inspect the crankshaft and potentially drop in a new set of bearing shells - however I quickly discovered that doing that involves you going about 80% of the way through pulling the engine as there's a huge chassis cross member in the way. So we were taking a gamble.

While the engine is a lot happier now (it's been a little over a thousand miles since the head swap), it's still a bit rattly at high revs and the oil pressure at hot idle is mediocre - though not in itself low enough to be a danger sign apparently.

I'm not convinced that this engine is going to be reliable long term without a bottom end rebuild...and that's something I just am not interested in getting involved in. Nor am I messing about swapping engines. If I could find one for a couple of hundred quid, maybe. Sadly the days of them being cheaply available appear to be in the past, and I'd need to do the work in the middle of my front lawn. My poor neighbors put up with enough as it is without that nonsense! I could be totally wrong and it will still be going strong, rattling away in another 50K miles...but I just don't trust it to not eject the number three con rod through the side of the block without warning halfway down the A5 in rush hour. Milton Keynes being such an aggressively unfriendly place to break down in does fuel that paranoia somewhat.

The bodywork is best described as scruffy but generally solid. Pretty much every panel has some form of dent, rust and or evidence of a prior respray done quickly. However it's not a total rot box and is perfectly respectable from ten paces. At least none of the trim is actually missing as that stuff is expensive to replace these days.

Interior is similarly a bit shabby. Worst parts are the driver's seat where the base has partly collapsed and the bit of trim above the sun visors which has peeled away from the backing at the edges. Aside from oddly the carpet from the offside rear footwell everything is there though.

Vital bits of info:

[] 163K miles - will continue to go up a bit as the car is still being used.

[] MOT to April (20th if I remember right).

[] Potential bottom end engine issues as described above.

[] Gearbox goes from second to third with quite a jolt, especially when cold but otherwise seems to behave.

[] Exhaust has a couple of leaks in the front section. Pattern section is about £70 on eBay, or I was quoted £700 for a full stainless system by a local specialist. Whole system is £350 direct from Mercedes as a third option.

[] Boot struts don't work.

[] Central locking only works for a few minutes after shutting the engine off due to a vacuum leak somewhere, just haven't got to investigating that. Most likely candidate is the fuel filler flap lock.

[] Fuel leak when the tank is brimmed from the gauge sender as the gasket has dissolved. Keep meaning to see if I can get to it without dropping the tank.

[] Could do with a set of rear springs as they creak over larger bumps.

[] Full set of UniRoyal Rainexpert tyres fitted a couple of months ago.

[] Passenger side heater temperature control is jammed - though you can still adjust it from the valve in the engine bay so nowhere near as big a deal as it could be.

[] The boot is large enough that it should need its own post code.

These were all the sorts of things I was planning on picking away at, getting deeply involved in the mechanical side just wasn't in the plan and I just don't have the kit or space to get any deeper into than I have at the moment.

£2500 and it's yours. Which if you have taken a look at the market for an S123 with a current MOT, even a slightly shabby one, is pretty cheap.

I'd just far rather move the car on now while it's a running driving concern rather than having to do this if something did go awry with the engine at a later date.

Car is located in Central Milton Keynes.

I MAY consider a swap/px for another large estate or similar. What I *want* is an early XJ Cherokee, but don't expect to find one I can afford...

-- -- --

Not really been much else going on to be honest. Had TPA out and about again a few days ago when I needed to make a run out to Northampton.

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Did get spotted while on the outward journey, resulting in a rare photo of TPA actually in motion which is nice to see.

Link to Facebook Post. Sorry, not sure how to link to the image directly, I really don't use Facebook for much.

Shame the photo wasn't of the return journey which was down the M1...that really would have messed with folk's heads. Was really nice to get her out for a decent run again, had been a while.
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
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1088 Post by Dick » Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:34 am

You're having a clear out mate, is everything ok? :o

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

#1089 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:04 am

Dick wrote:
Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:34 am
You're having a clear out mate, is everything ok? :o
Just fed up of suffering decision paralysis whenever I go to do anything because everything has a to do list, and kind of wanting at least one car on fleet which just works properly as being an actual car for 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. 86 Mercedes 230TE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

Dick
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1090 Post by Dick » Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:00 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:04 am
Dick wrote:
Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:34 am
You're having a clear out mate, is everything ok? :o
Just fed up of suffering decision paralysis whenever I go to do anything because everything has a to do list, and kind of wanting at least one car on fleet which just works properly as being an actual car for a bit!
I do wonder how you keep on top of your cars, old computers and the collection of old calculators... never mind work etc.

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