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

#961 Post by JPB » Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:59 am

I doubt that a UK DAB+ receiver would pick up UK content outside the UK, but then you missed out the other option you have: move to the UK. ;)
Sorry, I know that this isn't a great idea. :lol:
What about using an Android capable car radio, or an Apple play one if your device needs that. The 2017 Kenwood radio in my daily offers access to both, but in a limited way compared to newer sets, though using my phone's 5g hotspot (not needed for audio only and decent 3g or 4g would be fine), I can control Internet radio from the in car device so once the connection is established, the radio can control the phone's apps with one or two exceptions such as the STV player / ITV Hub and Google Play Music.
Meanwhile, enjoy your LW while you still can, though the Beeb has a history of threatening to kill off its remaining AM content only to change its mind and grant yet another extension.

Zel, that Valencia valve train noise would worry me more if I couldn't hear it, as that would see me ordering in valve seat inserts in the hope that [the valve seats] hadn't receded too far even allowing for the depth of the rebate needed to fit the hardened seats. Mercedes-Benz engines are fortunately not made of some sort of cheese, so your adjusting these clearances should see the motor running sweetly once more and optimum efficiency given a better chance of happening.
Loving the beige wagon by the way. It very much resembles the one that Ant fixed up in one of the American WD episodes. Mr Brewer is known to be a massive fan of the W123 cars and quite rightly so, these are lovely old things and so practical that there's surely no reason not to own at least one in one's lifetime. Well done for finding a decent example. Enjoy.

:drool:
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

#962 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:16 pm

Couple of things done today...first of which you likely won't be able to see on camera - cleaning the inside and outside of the windscreen. It's nice being able to see where I'm going now. Inside was particularly bad with a really thick, greasy coating on it.

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Had a nose around under the bonnet with a view to seeing what I need to move to get the rocker cover off. Doesn't look like it should be too bad.

Found a nut and a few washers so have replaced the missing nut on the exhaust manifold.

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Couldn't actually see or hear any sign of it blowing there, but at least I know it's bolted up properly now.

While the exhaust manifold doesn't seem to be leaking, the rocker cover definitely is. Oil everywhere.

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I am seriously looking forward to cleaning this engine bay. Not only will it be immensely satisfying, but it will be really nice to not get covered in black grime every time I so much as walk within ten feet of it.

Realised this afternoon that I'm going to need to spend more money before the proper cleaning can start though as my pressure washer died a couple of months ago. This shows that she really needs a good clean outside as well as under the bonnet.

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Sadly my pressure washer died a couple of months ago...so I need to replace that sooner than later.

Spotted something that needed immediate attention today...this looks like it might be a vacuum leak.

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Yep, that will be letting a bit of air in.

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Found another one of these in a similar state over on the offside inner wing. I don't have a diagram of the vacuum system yet so not actually sure what this does just now...There are a lot of vacuum lines on this car as a lot of things operate off vacuum. Central locking and headlight height adjusters to name two.

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I'll probably go around and change all of these boot connectors at some point as they're all a bit soft. Thankfully the lines themselves are plastic and still seem in fine shape.


Speaking of rubber that needs changing, the supply line for the self leveling suspension is looking rather sorry for itself.

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Will look to get that changed soon. I do need to confirm what type of fluid this uses - though the initial glance at Google seems to suggest that it's basically LHM with a Merc logo on. Which would be nice as I've a load of that in stock. It certainly *smells* like LHM.

I think one of the first non mechanical tasks will be seeing what I can do to straighten this roof lining trim.

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This panel needs to come out anyway for two reasons. One is to replace the tailgate gas struts, the other is to fit rear speakers as there currently aren't any.

The moulding is basically fibreboard and I imagine has got wet at some point. Hoping that with a bit of persuasion I might be able to get it to sit flat again. Apparently getting this hooked back in place is a pig of a job so hopefully I'll only need to do it once.
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

#963 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:08 am

What do you need to do to pull the rocker cover on a W123 with this engine?

1. Remove air cleaner housing (4 10mm nuts and pop two PCV hoses off).

2. Remove HT leads from the little plastic channel they sit in.

3. Detach the throttle cable at the engine end (little ball and socket setup, just pops off) and feed it back through the cable bracket.

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4. Remove the nuts (noting that one is a bolt and post arrangement to hold the ATF dipstick in place).

5. Lift off rocker cover. That's it...ten minutes tops. It's almost as though someone during the design stage thought that you might need to service a car one day.

Speaking of servicing, that's something somebody earlier in this cars life didn't pay much attention to. She clearly never had regular oil changes... it's quite manky in here.

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Sadly there is evidence of damage due to this...the camshaft in particular looks to have taken quite a beating, a couple of the lobes on cylinders 2 and 3 have some really rather nasty scoring.

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That is why you should change your oil and filter regularly, folks...

Valve clearances were a mixture of slightly loose, perfect and slightly tight. I think whoever was last in here just set them all roughly to 0.2mm from the feel of it. With them reset she does sound better, though a couple of valves definitely are still clattery. I suspect trying to quiet things down far is a bit of a lost cause given the state of that camshaft.

One thing I am definitely going to do when I've next got an hour free will be to pull the spray bar off and make sure that all the holes are clear, if it's clogged the cam will obviously be starved of oil.

Solving the issue properly isn't necessarily a huge headache given that I just happen to have a complete spare head sitting in my conservatory.

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In which the camshaft looks like this.

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So somewhere down the line one of two things will likely happen.

A: I swap the camshaft and rockers over from the spare head.

B: I drop the spare head off to be professionally cleaned, inspected, valves lapped, new valve stem oil seals fitted etc...and then just swap the whole head over.

B probably makes the most sense - though in the same breath the bottom end of the engine has suffered exactly the same degree of neglect...so dropping a lovely rebuilt head onto it without doing any other work might be a bit silly... though I do keep being told how hardy these engines are...so we'll keep an eye on things basically. Regular oil changes will definitely be adhered to though going forward! I'm not immediately worried, but definitely want to keep an eye on things.
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

#964 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 27, 2021 6:06 pm

Given we had obvious signs of poor lubrication on the camshaft that at least verifying that we had clear holes in the spray bar made sense. Especially as I had a spare present on the spare head, so simple to clean that up and just do a swap.

Here's it having just been removed - it has four pretty small holes in it which provide a drip feed of lubricant to the cam lobes, one for each pair.

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They are pretty tiny.

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Despite the head that came off being about 93% cleaner than the one on the car, only two of the holes were clear...doesn't bode well for the one on the car. I gave the "clean" one a thorough clean and got it flowing nicely.

Ten minutes later, had them swapped over.

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Having clean metal to contrast it against really highlights how grubby that top end is.

All back together.

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Has it made any audible difference? Not really. Though at least I know there's a good chance of lubrication getting to where it should now.

The old one was pretty manky indeed.

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Only one of the holes was clear, one other was about 50% clogged and two were completely missing in action - and you couldn't even see them for the gunk...so I think this was worth doing, even if most of the damage is already done it makes me feel better.

Being finished messing around under the rocker cover for a while I decided it was time for us to actually change the oil and filter. Went out for a run first to get everything nice and warm and to ensure as much of the gunk was stirred up in solution as possible.

Sump plug unsurprisingly is really easy to get to and came off without excessive effort. What came out was really dark but I've definitely seen worse. It was dark brown rather than black ink like you tend to find in diesels.

Oil filter has some crud immediately visible on top of the filter even before it was pulled out.

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This definitely looks to have done its time...the fact that part of the filter has collapsed tends to suggest to me it's a bit plugged.

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It has actually pulled the element away from the top cap there.

Out of curiosity I will dissect this filter to see if there's any evidence of issues visible.

New filter in, new O-ring and copper washer fitted to the filter housing...

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The old O-ring had (like the rocker cover gasket) pretty much turned to plastic.

Double checked I'd refitted the sump plug... possible to do easily from next to the car as you have line of sight of it from above.

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Then refilled with some fresh oil, started up and checked for leaks. None present.

I'm not used to seeing this sort of thing actually making any visible difference...but this has where hot idle oil pressure is concerned. When at full temperature, in gear at idle I used to see 1 bar or fractionally above of oil pressure (it jumps off scale as soon as any revs are really used).

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So it looks like I've gained somewhere in the region of 15psi of oil pressure at a hot idle. Not going to complain at that. I may try 15W 40 for the next change (10W 40 or 15W 40 are recommended) and see if that makes a difference.

Think my oil change program on this car is basically going to be "Change it as soon as it starts to look dirty" for 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.

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

#965 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:27 pm

That oil feed bar arrangement reminds me of the early Ford OHC engines in the '70s, which were famous for camshaft failure for exactly that reason - blocked holes in the oil feed tube. It killed many a camshaft, including the one I had in my 2-litre Capri at the time. Those who knew used to simply change the tube for a new one every oil change, or at least regularly. The symptoms were a clattery tappety noise such as you describe, and if the effect of blocked holes on your engine is the same as that on the Ford (and I don't see why it wouldn't be) then I'd say that you won't get rid of the noise without changing that camshaft.

Having said that, there is some good news for you, and that is that if the above theory is correct, it means that the rest of the engine may well be fine. The logic is that if the camshaft wear is specifically due to those blocked holes (and I suspect it is) then that issue doesn't affect the rest of the engine, so it may well be just fine and only need a new camshaft. That was the case on the Fords, the rest of the engine usually survived just fine - mine did. This theory that the rest of the engine may well be fine is supported by the fine oil pressure readings you're getting eh?


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

#966 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:29 pm

I'm definitely not expecting silence, though I would really like to have the proper adjustment procedure in front of me and a helper as it's a bit of an awkward one simply because you can't see the camshaft lobes.

Something I'm trying to confirm at this point is whether it's a simple matter to do a camshaft swap on these engines...if it's as simple as it *looks* there's no reason not to just swap it for the one from the spare head.

I know from having made the mistake of taking the oil filler cap off to check for excessive crankcase pressure that the timing chain flings oil everywhere (it got me in the face and all over the windscreen of the Jag)...if I could figure a way to contain that I'd be interested to briefly run the engine sans rocker cover to confirm if we had good oil flow to the camshaft.

If a bit of noise is all we have to worry about and doesn't otherwise impact the running of the engine I'm not too worried. From what I've read so far the hot oil pressure I've got is perfectly acceptable, for all it looks a bit alarming when you see how far the needle drops - which is probably why so few cars tended to be fitted with gauges.

Speaking of which...something I hadn't really consciously realised until today that this car doesn't actually have an oil pressure warning light... you're just trusted to keep an eye on the gauge.

These and the tell tales for the indicators are the grand total of the lights on the dash:

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Had to take the photo in the dark because the main beam one is so dim that it wouldn't show up during daylight!

In daylight this is more like how they look.

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Far cry from modern dashboards with about fifty lights! Given the minimalist approach kind of surprised to see a brake pad wear indicator. The van has one too, but it's bundled in with the brake fluid level warning on that.
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

#967 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:39 am

After 30 or so miles today the rocker cover still looks to be oil tight...except for the oil cap which looks to be weeping.

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I did check that the PCV was clear when I had the cover off and it seems to be. The problem I think is actually that the paint is flaking off the rocker cover meaning that the sealing surface isn't flat.

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My solution is pretty simple...scrape the remaining paint around the cap sealing surface (having stuffed a rag in there to catch the flakes). Yes I did spot I'd missed a bit after taking this photo.

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We'll find out next time I have the car out probably tomorrow.

Only other thing I did today was to get the new front speakers fitted. These had been upgraded at some point in the past, I'd say somewhere around 2000 based on the speakers found. Discovered why they rattled so badly... because they weren't screwed in. Just sitting on top of the dash. Turns out this has also has resolved one of the main rattles in the dash in general.

The new ones are just cheap units (all of £16 from Halfords) but that really does show how far speaker technology has come over the years in that they're far better than the Sony ones that came out.

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The dash moulding here is actually metal under the surface so now these are screwed down they are very securely anchored. The grill just fits over the tweeter thankfully. Equally thankfully the neon orange is completely hidden behind the grill.

The passenger side one sadly has one broken clip on it so the grill doesn't clip down securely at the front edge, I'll need to see what I can do about that - as I'm certainly not paying the £50 someone is asking for one of the covers on eBay at the moment.

I need to take some measurements to confirm if I have enough depth to play with, but if so I'll probably just throw a set of the same speakers in the rear. As you've only got little 4" enclosures to play with (though the front ones do have proper acoustic foam in the enclosure behind them) I don't really think there's a huge point in paying big bucks for speakers. What I'll probably do is look into getting one of those little self contained under-seat combined sub and amplifier boxes to just help things sound a bit more rounded out. Should be easy to just run the wiring through the centre console as well without needing to dismantle too much.

Speaking of wiring...I really do hope that Mercedes included wiring for the rear speakers as part of the loom as routing wiring all the way back there will be a major faff. Especially with the speakers being mounted in the head lining. Not holding my breath there though!

I know audio is really low priority compared to a lot of things, but it's one of those things which make the car nicer to live with so I'd like to get it properly sorted sooner than later.

In more useful news, a set of bootlid struts have now been ordered. The next specific task I'm probably going to go after will be the trim on the bootlid. It's tried to cut my wrist twice walking round the car now and I really don't want that happening to some random member of the public who then decides to sue me.

Trim is one of the things which just aren't available new for these cars and the prices for used parts are just silly if you look at the likes of eBay, so it's a case of make do, mend or wait patiently until something turns up at a sane price, most likely found through word of mouth rather than any internet search.

Tyres will probably be getting changed next week or the week after. She will be getting a full set of Uniroyals fitted, and (if it's better than the current one) the best will be retained for the spare. She does wander around a bit so I'll have the wheel alignment checked while we're there - I think the main issue though is just a bit of play in the steering box which we might be able to improve a bit with some adjustment.

So we are doing more important things than just replacing speakers!
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

#968 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:27 pm

Hmm...can you tell which panel I experimentally gave a wipe clean then hit with the polish and wax this afternoon?

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Looks like the paint might actually come up better than I expected. The actual colour change was a surprise! I honestly thought the car was a slightly warm white...no, it is actually a pure brilliant white. She just needs a really good deep clean.

Tyres have now been ordered, garage have said they'll just give me a call when they're in and I can just drop by then. Will be nice to have that done as the current set vary in age from 2017 at the newest to 2010 at the oldest and all have pretty significant perishing. Front two look superficially fine as the sidewalls are OK, but they're cracking up inside the tread area instead. Shame as I'd have probably kept one for the spare - not going to trust them for that duty though (as goodness knows how many years it might sit perishing more before I need it).

I always like to have a matched set of tyres on a car anyway so this would probably have happened anyway...as it is though these have had it. While being able to provoke a drift at just about any speed on a damp road is occasionally amusing, it's less than ideal in the real world when you're just trying to pull away from a set of traffic lights on a busy signalised roundabout. Especially when you notice there's a police car behind you. Yes the garage to order the tyres *was* the next place I stopped after that!
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

#969 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:24 am

Brief vintage technology intermission...it's no secret that I've a major soft spot for the Toshiba T1200, and this has developed into a bit of a problem, there are now four and a half of them here, one of which works, three that don't plus a pile of assorted bits.

Then I spotted a very vague ad on eBay for one with one fuzzy photo a week or so back for £50 delivered. I grabbed it. I didn't really care about the operational status based on the fact that A: It's a hard disc equipped model so provides a spare drive (they're a drive that uses a proprietary JVC/Ricoh interface which are consequently basically extinct)... though the main thing which grabbed my attention was the case.

These machines nearly always yellow to some extent. However this one looked pristine in the photo. I was expecting this to have flattered it (especially as it looked to have been taken on a 90s webcam).

I was a little alarmed when this box arrived yesterday...simply as it's about half the size of the box I would have used to ship one of these.

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Nevertheless it looked to have made it in one piece. Guess I'm just lucky they didn't ship it through Yodel.

Somewhat to my surprise, the photo hadn't exaggerated it...it is astonishingly free of yellowing. With a bit of a clean this case will qualify as minty fresh I reckon.

My existing running machine is shown for comparison. It's worth noting these were never pure white but a cream colour from the factory.

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At the *very* least this will provide a donor case for my working machine. Being a factory hard drive model it has the correct labelling on the status indicator lights showing drive letters A and C rather than A and B as on my current one.

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In addition to that the screen looks to be good (they tend to fade, allowing the pinkish colour of the backlight to show through if they're failing - a deep indigo blue is what you want to see).

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I'm not daft enough to even *consider* plugging this straight in given that one of the most common failure modes of the power supply boards is to shove 12V down the 5V line. Power supply was whipped out for inspection.

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Yep...covered in capacitor goop.

Having been through the "parts washer" it looks like the traces have survived...so with a fresh set of caps hopefully it will live to fight another day.

This leaves me with an interesting quandary. I'm sure at this point that I have more than enough parts to assemble a full second machine. Given the prices these go for in fully working order on eBay these days there's a definite temptation to build one up and see if I can flip it and make a bit of money. Though that sounds like a lot of work as dealing with potential timewasters and such on eBay is always so much "fun."

I definitely don't need a full second machine...and while I want to have spares on hand, I don't feel the need to hoard them...

Most likely I'd end up offering the second (which would be the scruffiest one as I'll be keeping the cleaner case for mine) one on here and a couple of other forums I'm on for a more realistic price than what seems to be the going rate.

Getting ahead of myself though, no idea if the power supply will come good, if the motherboard is any good, if the hard drive is seized up... let's see how that goes first.
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

#970 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:41 am

Today has been a bit of a mess really, not helped by me having a day where I spent a good half hour apparently having completely forgotten how to drive. Made myself look an absolute and complete idiot about half a dozen times in as many minutes. Thankfully it didn't last long nor actually have any lasting effects, but I generally hold myself to a pretty high standard so was well hacked off with myself for hours.

Grabbed a couple of photos of the Merc at one of my usual spots this afternoon, realised I really didn't have any from the rear. A shame as I think this is one of the better looking estate variants out there.

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There were enough people about I didn't bother trying getting any more than that.

Something I have made a start on tackling is the rear headlining trim panel, which has looked like this probably for a number of years.

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Not ideal.

I'm trying the simple approach first, which has been to wet the fibreboard down thoroughly in the affected area and clamp it to more the shape I'm after.

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Somewhat to my surprise when I removed the clamp after a couple of hours the trim actually didn't just spring back to the original shape...so I've wet it down again and clamped it again.

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What I'll probably do tomorrow is the same again, but exaggerating the curve I want, hopefully meaning once it's released that it will just sit against the headlining.

I'm slightly puzzled as to how they intended rear speakers to be fitted as there are no obvious attachment points on the metalwork...so I think attaching them to this trim is the only real option...not the end of the world as I can route the screws through the holes already there without damaging anything (the perforated area is far bigger than the speaker would be). Not an ideal setup though.

Sadly it doesn't look like there's any existing audio wiring loom either so I'll need to pull that through the whole length of the car. Blarg... she's a long old car too!

On the subject of headlining, anyone got a diagram of how this is meant to be assembled?

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That's above the driver's door. There's a little metal clip visible there but I can't find anywhere that it's meant to locate. Passenger side looks just the same.

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Reattaching the material to the board needs to be done too, but knowing how the panel itself is meant to sit would be useful!
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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