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

#1021 Post by Dick » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:49 am

Its probably easier to just lift the engine out as it looks knackered.. still loving the screens you made for the bx

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

#1022 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:28 pm

Well we've found why the BX speedometer doesn't work.

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That little bit of plastic should be attached to the end of the lower cable. So unless I can come up with a bodge I'll be needing a new lower cable.

The dash is back together now though. Looks far less scruffy.

Before:

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After:

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All seems to be behaving.

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I really had not appreciated quite how big a visual impact just repainting the pointer on the speedometer would make.

After dark I was able to take a look to see if the panel lighting was behaving...yep!

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There used to be horrible blotchy bleed through here...

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Much better now.

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The slight bleed through on the right is actually just due to the frosted surface on the plastic light guide rather than light getting through the backing.

I've not been able to sort the clock yet so have just disabled it... having it show 0:00 every time the ignition was on was more annoying than it just not working. I'll get to that at some point in the future.


I've decided to take a step away from the Merc for a few days as I was just getting frustrated with it today.

Have discovered that to get the timing chain tensioner out (because I need to take it out and dismantle it to reset it so I can reattach the sprocket to the camshaft) I first need to remove the alternator. Of course one of the mounting blts is just spinning and I couldn't find the right size spanner to lock it in place. I'd already spent half an hour chasing tools around by that point and getting clocked on the head by the bootlid didn't help.

I'll get back to it after the weekend.

Oh. Looking at a car this weekend too. Yes I know...don't ask why!
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

#1023 Post by Dick » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:17 am

Bx dash is brilliant, well done.. what's the new car, when can we have pictures :thumbs:

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

#1024 Post by Dick » Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:12 pm

Not sure if this is helpful but wheeler dealers renovated a Mercedes 300 td.. thought you might be interested, its on quest..if you have replay or something similar

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

#1025 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:14 am

Dick wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:17 am
Bx dash is brilliant, well done.. what's the new car, when can we have pictures :thumbs:
Went and had a look at it today. Better than expected, so I definitely want the car.

Looking a little bit sorry for herself from being in storage for several years and sporting a few dents and dings which have occurred during that time, but here she is.

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Here's the real surprise for an unrestored 70s Vauxhall though...

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Incredibly little rust for one of these. I did find a couple of crunchy bits though, there was bound to be a couple. One is a hole just in front of the rear offside wheel. Which is probably the most difficult one to sort as it'll be an awkward pig to get to with welding spatter going in my ear.

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Oddly the nearside...which is where I'm used to there being the most rust...seems perfectly solid here.

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The crispy looking bit at frame left is the wheel arch lip rather than anything more sinister, poor framing on my part.

The other bit of note is on the nearside front chassis rail. A patch was done for the last MOT this car was back in 2010, however rust has got into the seam and blown it out.

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This initially looked quite alarming and had me thinking it was going to be a sigh and walk away situation when the whole surrounding area went "scrunch" when I poked it...but it didn't. It all feels solid and does look to be a case of cutting out that old patch and letting in new metal. It's one of those hugely rare instances where welding is concerned that it's both easy to get to and doesn't require half the car to be dismantled. Wheel off and one plastic fuel line to be tucked out the way should be all that's needed.

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While we're under the bonnet already, look at those inner wings and shock towers...

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We only had about a pint of petrol in the tank today so only managed a few minutes of running before running out, but she fired straight up and ran incredibly smoothly, albeit a bit tappety. Though from what I remember these engines did tend to rattle a bit.

This was about ten seconds after she was started up, so still on the choke.

https://youtu.be/lQuMSIKQChc

This was originally an automatic but suffered a gearbox failure somewhere in the distant past - why the car spent its first stint in storage for a while. Back in 2007 it was rescued and converted to a 5-speed manual using a gearbox from a Manta. I know for a while the previous previous keeper had been chasing an odd running issue which seemed to point at a timing problem, however we don't know for certain whether this was resolved or not...we haven't been able to replicate it though so I think there's a bit of crossing fingers and hoping there.

There will be a bit of repair needed under the battery as the panel there is a bit thin and there are a couple of pin holes. Access is fine though and I'm classifying that about a 0.2 out of 10 on the worry scale.

Being a GL this has stainless steel sill covers fitted...which is always a bit of a potential can of worms.

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However from what I can see this is pretty much the story.

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I gave them a decent thump along the full length both sides and the only bit I could detect any give in was the last couple of inches at the rear on the nearside where I'm absolutely sure there's a hole. Bottom and inner sides of the sill are still there though, so not panicking too much. Wouldn't be the worst repair ever.


If you think the exterior has survived the last 43 years well though it's nothing compared to the interior.

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Always a sucker for a dash with funky warning lights that aren't just square or round, even if my camera couldn't make heads or tails of the colour.

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The 80s Manta gearknob and gaiter have to go and be replaced with something more period appropriate. The console (which is also Manta I think) will need to stay as there's a gap in the carpet due to the gearbox change having required modification of the tunnel as the Cavalier one would normally be further forward.

The door card for the nearside rear is present, it was removed a couple of weeks ago when folks were looking at whether the dent in that door could be pushed out by hand. Needs a bit more strength than that, but I reckon both of these could be sorted to an acceptable standard without too much drama.

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I have always had a soft spot for these. An almost identical car was actually the first car I ever drove at about age 12, so there's a lot of nostalgia there. Memory is a funny old thing, first thing I noticed was that I remembered the smell of the interior. Never actually driven one on the road though!

It's a car I've always liked, for all the front end styling is divisive. Just never come across one for sale that was for sale that wasn't rotten, heavily performance modified, too expensive for me or any combination of the above. I wasn't looking for this...and in fact deliberately avoided looking at it too closely when I was last over there a few weeks ago because I knew I'd wind up asking "how much?" if I did. Then it popped up for sale...so here we are.

This is pretty much spot on for what I'd like...tidy enough that it could clean up well with a bit of elbow grease, not having comfort destroyed in favour of track lap times, and a pretty simple car to work on.

Something will have to go to make way for it though!
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

#1026 Post by Dick » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:50 pm

One of my brothers had one and another had the opel version.. one of my old neighbours had one in near mint condition one.. i haven't seen one since 2000! Great find mate..

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

#1027 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:26 pm

Dick wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:50 pm
One of my brothers had one and another had the opel version.. one of my old neighbours had one in near mint condition one.. i haven't seen one since 2000! Great find mate..
This one is never going to be mint, but I'm hoping we can get it to "tidy" again.

I really wasn't looking for a project, but the moment I sat in the driver's seat of this it just felt like slipping into your favourite pair of comfy old slippers. It's a long time since I've really felt that immediate reaction like that getting into a car. I know some of that is just reliving childhood memories, but it just felt right somehow.

Be curious to see how it actually drives, but if well it could prove to be difficult to let go.

-- -- --

Having finally picked up the brake pipe for the BX I really had no excuse not to get cracking on sorting it.

Somewhat to my surprise both ends unbolted from the unions with relatively little effort. Rounding those off was high on my worry list.

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All of the lines look crustier than I would like...so I can see them all being changed before the car is pushed into use.

While the clamps holding the pipe were really fiddly to undo it wasn't really that difficult.

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Putting the new one in was equally fiddly but without drama. All in was about two hours, though at least half an hour of that was fiddling around trying to figure out where half the tools were.

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Oh.

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Yeah...about my diagnosis of that pipe being at fault... totally wrong. It must be the main brake supply line to the rear axle. Really hard to tell as I can't see the actual location of the leak, but it's not suspension related as the leak only happens when the brake pedal is pressed.

That will be fun to change. I know the official way to do this involves dropping the subframe...which is a road I really would rather have avoided at this stage when I don't even know for certain how far from an MOT we are.

Bit frustrating to be honest having spent that amount of time on something which probably didn't need doing!
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

#1028 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:47 pm

Yesterday with fuel basically impossible to come by it was obviously a good idea to take out the most economical member of the fleet to run my errands. Especially as I had a can of petrol in the garage for the mower... enough to add about a quarter of a tank to the gauge in TPA.

Been a while since I got any new photos of her, so grabbed a few while we were out.

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Guessing she will be out and about quite a bit this week.

Having now got hold of a 12mm Torx bit I had hoped to get some more work on the Merc done today...

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Yes, the weather had other ideas. As a bonus there's about an inch of water in the garage again. Oh what fun.

My current plan is to swap out the cylinder head for my spare and see what happens. Basically as there's nothing to lose by trying save for a few hours of time and a gasket set. If it's the bottom end of the engine that's self destructing it should be pretty immediately obvious as the oil pressure will continue to decay and we will keep seeing glittery oil. At least then we'll know.

Aside from £500-£900 plus postage for a replacement engine itself, probably £150 of sundry parts I'd change while it was out, I'd need probably £2-300 of tools (not least but including an engine crane). I reckon that's a large enough chunk of money that it's worth a few hours of my time throwing spares I've got at it and seeing what happens. At the end of the day if it doesn't sort it I'll just unbolt the head again and it can go back into the spares store!

The arrival of the Cavalier on the scene really has complicated things... Really hadn't been anticipating any more automotive arrivals for a while. Very much looking forward to getting stuck into it though.

Biggest issue though is that I need to clear a space before I can get it delivered...Jag isn't going anywhere for over a month. Merc Currently is obviously...in bits. BX...well I really want to get that back on the road. Bah...need to make a slot somehow! Preferably quickly as I'd like to try to get at least some of the work done before the weather totally dives for the winter.

Yes it will be delivered. I know it's technically MOT exempt, but I'm not about to go all Vice Grip Garage on this...I know the front brakes are shot, there's a bulge in the nearside front tyre the size of an egg, we're missing part of the exhaust, and it's been sitting in a shed for at least 11 years. Plus there may have been an unresolved running issue prior to that. If I was still in the back end of rural Aberdeenshire, maybe if I changed the tyres, made sure it actually ran well and sorted the brakes...Down here...not happening!
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: 953
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1029 Post by Dick » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:16 pm

I know what you mean, my brother and dragged allsorts of dead and dying wrecks home.. non runners were towed to see if it would start.. we left one valley full of thick blue smoke (marina 1.3) another was a mini with seized brakes.. 3 freed off but no 4 wore through the tyre and left a hand sized hole... happy days :scared:

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

#1030 Post by 3xpendable » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:57 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:47 pm
Yes it will be delivered. I know it's technically MOT exempt, but I'm not about to go all Vice Grip Garage on this...I know the front brakes are shot, there's a bulge in the nearside front tyre the size of an egg, we're missing part of the exhaust, and it's been sitting in a shed for at least 11 years. Plus there may have been an unresolved running issue prior to that. If I was still in the back end of rural Aberdeenshire, maybe if I changed the tyres, made sure it actually ran well and sorted the brakes...Down here...not happening!
I very much enjoy VGG, and he now lives not too far from me, but yeah I'd never drive home some of the stuff he does :lol: It IS easier to get away with it over here though, you'd die if you saw some of the wrecks being driven around here.
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