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

#1011 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:38 pm

You remember me saying that the work to recreate the warning light masks was for "somewhere down the road" yesterday?

Yeah...about that. Look what I ended up doing this evening after dinner...

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The end result of which were these.

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Everything is on separate layers, so I can have a play around with different options regarding getting a clean print, good colour purity etc. Just need to wait for the transparency sheets to arrive. Fun fact: Laser printer transparency sheets are expensive suckers!

There are quite a few imperfections as it's all been done by hand so I'll need to tidy up a couple of the legends (sidelights and glow plugs being the two which stick out at me the most). A lot tidier than what's in there at the moment though. I've got a file somewhere with a large library of automotive symbols etc I could paste in, but restoring the original ones seemed worthwhile.

Tiny job...and one utterly unnecessary to the proper running of the car...but satisfying all the same.
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

#1012 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:03 am

Well today has been spent generating this mess.

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Last couple of trees that need to come down are going to require access from the other side of the fence to remove the bulk of the weight before we can bring them down.

Have got a mechanical job out of it though, the exhaust decided to fall off the chain saw. Gaskets have had it, so possible it's been leaking for quite a while.

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The marks on the back of the silencer and heat shield certainly suggest that theory is correct.

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That silencer seems to have a lot more to it than I'd expect, it's really surprisingly heavy.

New gaskets and some locknuts on the studs this time so it can't unbolt itself again and we should be good to go. Doesn't look like the mating surfaces are damaged at least.

Now however I am utterly broken, and will probably be feeling that way for most of the next week!
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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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1013 Post by Dick » Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:07 pm

So you made new screens for the dash?
Very impressive!

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

#1014 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:53 pm

Dick wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:07 pm
So you made new screens for the dash?
Very impressive!
That's the plan, just waiting on the transparency film so I can print it out.

To say "made new" is giving a bit more credit than due to be honest. I took a high resolution scan of the originals and basically just touched them up. Nothing anyone reasonably competent with a bit of photo editing/retouching software couldn't do.

Time will tell if the results are actually usable!
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: 922
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1015 Post by Dick » Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:17 am

I hope it works for you mate , 10 out 10 for effort..You're taking dedication to the cause to another level! :thumbs:

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

#1016 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:47 pm

Dick wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:17 am
I hope it works for you mate , 10 out 10 for effort..You're taking dedication to the cause to another level! :thumbs:
It really needed it...given the dash is something you look at every day, having bleed through like this around the lights would bug me really quickly. Especially given how much of a focal point the dash in a Series I BX is.

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-- -- --

Really quick additional job on the instrument panel done today while I'm waiting for the transparency film to turn up.

Sanded back and repainted the speedometer pointer white.

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Looks a good deal brighter back in the panel than it used to.

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Another item on the "missing" list has been ticked off now too thanks to a friend.

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Yep, she now has a parcel shelf again. Yes it's black rather than brown/beige but being a neutral colour it's less obtrusive than something like blue would have been. I'll take the wrong colour over missing anyhow.

At least it hides all the junk in the boot now.

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Small details yes. Though I still see it as important as the less things which are missing, the more likely my enthusiasm to keep pushing forward on getting the car sorted is to continue.

Has it helped take the rate the thing hurls itself open at? Nope...it still wants to smash my teeth out!

A while back I had intermittent issues with the alternator on the Jag not charging... though it has been behaving for a while and I made the mistake of mentioning that within earshot of the car the other day.

It heard me apparently and rewarded me with this on the voltmeter today.

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*Sigh*

I'll need to see if I can get the brush pack out with the alternator in situ (as I *really* don't want to have to mess about with the belt tensioners again). It doesn't actually look too hard to get at by the standards I'm used to on this car.

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I'm sure I'll end up swearing a lot at that pair of power steering lines a lot though...

From the symptoms I'm hoping it just needs a brush pack as I really could do without spending on a new alternator on this right 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.

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

#1017 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:04 am

Now for one of our irregularly scheduled occasional distractions.

While it's very unlikely anyone remembers, a few months ago I was able to get hold of a HP12C calculator. One of the Voyager series from the early 80s thanks to a friend picking one up for me that popped up on Facebook Marketplace.

The 12C is a bit of an oddball in that it's heavily specialised for the business and financial sector. Upon its introduction back in 1981 it almost immediately became hugely popular - to the point of becoming the defacto standard...which is why you can still go out and buy a brand new HP12C today. Yes the underlying hardware has gone through a few revisions, but it still works exactly the same and save for a slight change of the colours and updating a few keypad labels it still looks exactly the same. I believe mine dates from the mid 90s based on the handbook that came with it.

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The Voyager range contained five models.

10C: A basic scientific calculator. This wasn't produced for long as it wasn't that much cheaper than the next model up despite lacking a lot of the features. Produced from 1982-84.

11C: Mid range general purpose scientific calculator. Produced 1982-89.

12C: Specialised for the business and financial sector. Produced from 1981 to the present day. Being HP's longest and best selling single device to date.

15C: An advanced scientific calculator. Produced 1982-1989 with a limited re-release in 2011.

16C: Specialised for use in computer programming applications. Produced 1982-89.

These have all got quite a following among collectors. The 12C being made in such numbers means that while they *do* change hands for substantial sums of money, if you're patient one will probably pop up somewhere. The rest of the range having been out of production for 30 odd years though means they are rather more sought after and finding cheap ones is harder. It's not unusual to see buy it now prices of around £250 on eBay for most of the. (The 16C seeming to command the biggest premium), so I'd generally considered them out of my reach.

Until a slightly cosmetically challenged 11C popped up with a reasonable-ish buy it now...I made an offer, it was accepted and a few days later I had this in my grubby paws.

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First photo taken on that desk since I installed the new lighting a few weeks ago too.

I've always liked these...RPN, nice form factor, really nice keypad, but the 12C isn't really great as far as being a good one to grab because of it being so financially orientated. The 11C though should be far more usable. There is *absolutely* a learning curve though if you've not used one of these before!

The display does have a bit of bleed but it doesn't seem to affect the usability. The self test function - yes, these have a self test function (hold down the multiply key when turning the power on)...

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...Turns on all the display segments to indicate a successful test. Like so.

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The only indicator really affected is the one to show the blue "g" function key is active. Not going to worry about that.

Definitely an interesting little calculator and one I'm really glad to have got hold of. One day it would be nice to get the whole lineup (16C at least), but barring lottery wins that ain't likely to happen! I'm surprised I found this one to be honest even if it's a little scruffy cosmetically.

Back to the cars next.
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

#1018 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:22 pm

Actually had a few consecutive hours available today so flipped a coin between pulling the alternator on the Jag (which has of course started working again) and delving into the diagnosis of what's going on with the Merc.

Merc won.

Step 1 I decided was to have a proper look at the camshaft. I knew a couple of lobes were badly scored but wanted to see what state the bearings were in - I had a feeling they were likely to be shot and haemorrhaging oil, hence the less than stellar pressure at a hot idle.

Off we go again. Getting used to doing this now!

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Let's have a peek at what lies under each of the rocker assemblies one at a time.

So what's behind door number 1...

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Pretty much exactly what I was expecting to be honest.

An impressively scored up bearing with a lot of slack, which you can actually see looking closer. Pretty sure you shouldn't be able to slot a finger nail between the camshaft and the carrier.

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Don't think I need to get a Plastigauge out to confirm there's too much free play there.

The cam followers feature some pretty epic scoring as well...the deepest of which must be about half a millimetre deep.

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Number 2 was pretty similar, though with slightly more severe bearing scoring, cam followers were *slightly* less mangled.

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This was the first one where I couldn't remove all of the bolts from the rocker frame itself because of how much carbon buildup there is in the bolt holes!

Number 3 however was where things got real exciting...

The cam followers are utterly wrecked, both inlet and exhaust.

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That however pales into total insignificance compared to the state of the camshaft...

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Wait...that doesn't look right, let me move a bit to get a better look...wait...what the? Oh hell...

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Yep... pretty much the entire cam lobe of the number 3 inlet valve has been totally *obliterated.*

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I'm pretty certain this is the most mangled non-broken camshaft I have ever seen... it's *definitely* the worst I've ever seen on a running engine. Never mind one that seemed to be running quite happily aside from being a bit rattly. That's easily 5mm plus change of material that has been worn away.

Number 4 also has quite a lip on the exhaust valve...which would have been impressive wear if we hadn't just seen the above photos.

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Number 4 inlet actually looks normal!

The followers on this one were probably the least badly deformed of the lot, though that's not saying much.

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Goes without saying that the whole camshaft assembly inboard of the timing sprocket is scrap metal. Well I don't think it is actually...this is more the sort of artefact that should be hung on the garage wall as a warning to future generations!

I did start the engine up with the rocker cover off briefly simply because I wanted to confirm we did have good oil flow up there, as there's obviously a load of damage been caused by oil starvation or *severe* contamination. We do - in fact so much oil is gushing out from around the rear two and front bearing that it totally overwhems the drains in the respective areas of the head and starts flooding over the top of the head after the engine has been running for about five seconds.

Probably why everything under the car looks like this and why so much was pouring out before the rocker cover seal was changed.

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Definitely plenty of oil getting to the camshaft now...

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Though sadly too late, this hardware was mortally wounded years if not decades ago.

There's like 1/8" of this gritty sludge just caked over everything.

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If you remember back to when I first set the valve clearances I checked and found that the spray bar which runs above the camshaft was about 70% clogged, with the front most jet being the only one that was working properly. This ties in with where the most damage seems to be...so I'm calling on oil starvation as the main cause. The lack of zinc additives in modern oils probably hasn't helped given the cam follower design. A separate additive will definitely be going in with the oil once this mess is sorted out.

It's a bit hard to see, but in person you can make out glittery residue in the head valley around number 3 far more than anywhere else, which supports the thought that the mangled camshaft may be where a lot of the glitter I found in the oil had come from.

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So if the bottom end has survived, we might just get away with a head swap.

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Before going all the way down that lengthy road (being used to OHV engines a head swap on an OHC engine feels daunting!) I'd really like to take a look at the condition of the engine bottom end. Simple enough to get a quick health assessment done, drop sump, pop a couple of bearing caps off and see if we can see copper and if the crankshaft looks smoother than the surface of the moon. Simple enough.

Oh.

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How the bleep do you get the sump off this thing? There's a stinking great cross member in the way. Sump appears to go back to about the red marker in this photo, a good foot or so behind the front of the aforementioned metalwork.

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Even if I could figure out how to get to the half dozen or so bolts buried above it and removed the engine mount attached to it... I'm not convinced I'd have enough clearance to pull it out.

Think I need to go do some reading to figure out what really simple trick it is that I've missed...or getting the sump out will wind up with me 3/4 of the way down the road to removing the engine...by which point I may as well just take it out anyway! Feels like I must be missing something though given how serviceable most things on this car seem to be. I did wonder if the sump was split into a front and rear half, but if so I can't see the join.

Definitely an instructive day...and kinds good news in a way. The camshaft being so chewed up to this extent definitely would have an impact on oil pressure I'd think and we've definitely found a likely cause for the glitter. It's just possible the bottom end might have survived...

Either way I want to check the condition of it before going to the trouble and expense of a head swap. Plus given the amount of grime in and around the top end I fully expect the sump to be as bad or worse...and worry about the oil pickup strainer.

Now I just need to figure out how the fluff to get the sump off! Simple right?
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: 922
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1019 Post by Dick » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:52 am

Ooh that cam looks poorly... can you drop the cross member?

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

#1020 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:31 am

Dick wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:52 am
Ooh that cam looks poorly... can you drop the cross member?
Sadly not. There's no easy solution. Merc just didn't see removal of the sump as something that would be needed during normal servicing - honestly not unreasonably, especially with it being an all alloy job rather than a steel one that's likely to rust through at some point. The expectation simply was that the only time you'd have it off would be during a rebuild, and that you'd already have the engine out to do that.

Only real solution is to about three quarters remove the engine...by which point you really may as well make the job easier on yourself by... taking the engine out.


-- -- --

Somewhat frustrating day here. Well on the Merc front anyway.

I wanted to have a look at what the journals under the camshaft looked like. More for the sake of my curiousity and because everything at this stage is an education.

Now this is where I fell into a trap that it sounds like many people working on these engines have. The only OHC engines with chains I've messed around with had tensioners which were either manually tensioned or ran off oil pressure. As the camshaft is keyed to the sprocket, provided I didn't let the chain go slack so it could slip at the bottom end it shouldn't be an issue.

Yeah...oops.

Turns out the timing chain tensioner on the M102 engine is near aerospace levels of over-engineered.

Tensioning method number 1 is an oil pressure actuated plunger as I'm used to.

Tensioning method number 2 is a spring based setup as a backup and to ensure it doesn't go slack when the engine isn't running.

What's caught me out is number 3. There's also a ratchet mechanism which means that the tensioner can add tension to the chain as it wears, but there's no way for it to go the other way...the only way to reset the thing to take tension off is to completely dismantle the tensioner. Which involves quite a bit of faff.

So I've now managed to move the car from "sick" to "non runner."

I did have the sprocket tied up, but apparently I gave enough slack that it now won't go back on.

Great.

I have read up on how the tensioner works, but working through such a small gap looks like a right pain. Hopefully I can get back to where we started out again tomorrow.

Oh, the camshaft bearing journals are scored to hell, exactly as expected.

Judging from how many stories I've read of people who have had things like snapped camshafts or timing chains after work on it or head gasket changes even done by professional garages, I'm far, far from the first to make this mistake.


The transparency film I'd been waiting for to sort the dash on the BX arrived.

Thankfully because I was working on a scan I had taken I knew the dimensions would be right when I printed it. Didn't look too bad at first glance (yes this is the wrong way round in the photo).

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Though precisely as I expected opacity was clearly going to be a problem. There was also an issue with boundary alignment between black and coloured areas. I knew this sort of thing was going to be stretching the abilities of my printer so this was not a huge surprise.

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I'd already got a plan in place for this though - and was one of the reasons why I made the image in several layers.

I printed this in several layers (from back to front):

2X with the colour filters and black borders (coloured areas slightly oversize to ensure the edges are pure).
1X with the borders and legends on.
1X with the borders only.

The result looks like this when held up to the light, looks a lot more convincing I think you'll agree.

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I was just holding the sheets together by hand there which is why I have obvious registration errors visible.

With everything back into the panel it looks far better than the blotchy, faded original ones.

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Such is the curse of digital cameras that it's really hard to get an accurate looking photo of how it looks when lit...but this is vaguely close. Colours still look more washed out in the photo and the hotspots aren't really that pronounced.

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There is more of a hotspot than with the original filters but personally I don't find it objectionable. If that was an issue it would be easy enough to slot in a diffuser of some form behind the filter stack.

Opacity was going to be most critical on the left hand light bank as one of the dash backlighting lamps is behind it. So looking at this in the dark was going to be important to see if I could see the light bleeding through.

Using the night mode on my camera to obtain a really overexposed photo allowed me to confirm a solid "nope" on that. Exactly as I hoped.

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The edge lighting on that panel for the car diagram is actually far more subtle, this is more accurate in how it looks.

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Might get that dropped back in tomorrow. LED illumination hasn't been done yet, but I've too many projects going on right now so could do with it back in the car and off my workbench. Hoping in daylight I can get some better photos 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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