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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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1111 Post by gazza82 » Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:48 pm

That's on the "unusual" scale!
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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

#1112 Post by Dick » Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:18 pm

gazza82 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:48 pm
That's on the "unusual" scale!
I wouldn't expect anything else :thumbs:

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

#1113 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:43 am

gazza82 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:48 pm
That's on the "unusual" scale!
Unusual? Maybe... however it looks like a supremely practical, flexible and useful vehicle.

-- -- --

So, what have I found, having had a chance to look over the...car? Van? It's half of one, half of another... we're just going to say "car" for the sake of simplicity.

Overall initial assessment so far is that it's pretty much as expected. Cosmetically challenged in a few areas but fundamentally sound underneath it all.

Let's start with the usual walk round photos.

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The only bit of rust which has me slightly concerned is the bit immediately below the window over the cab.

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I have a horrible feeling that if I start digging at that we're going to have a hole to deal with. Properly sorting *that* would then require removal of both the front and rear headliners. I'll obviously be doing a bit of investigation, sanding it back, attacking it with Vactan then paint it for now.

Interior isn't too bad, needs a good clean and I've a few things to sort, but for a vehicle which has always earned its keep it's not bad at all.

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Thankfully this just pre-dates the point at which VW switched over to using concrete for their seats, so they're quite comfortable actually.

Rear seats are a bit cramped, but will be absolutely fine for short trips which are the most likely thing they'll be used for 99% of the time.

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That interia reel on the floor is part of the original seatbelt lashing arrangement so could be removed just a couple of bolts and could easily be refitted later if needed. Would be nice to get it out of the way of people's ankles given room is already pretty limited.

Strange sitting so high up, you kind of look down into the cab a good foot or so above the driver.

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Will surprise precisely no one that the pop out side windows appear to leak.

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Hopefully a good clean and treatment of the seals will sort that out.

The rear door seals could do with a bit of a refresh too. This will explain why the cabin fills up with exhaust fumes if you have a window open.

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This is the real reason for buying this though. Having two pretty large dogs, this is about as perfect a setup as I could ask for. The rear two wheelchair lashing eyes even are perfectly placed to hook their travel harnesses to (via suitable leads with elastic to absorb the shock during an emergency stop).

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I'm thinking I might make a panel to drop in over the dropped floor section so they have a bit more width, and it could also make a handy covered storage area. Lack of anywhere really out of the way of prying eyes is a bit of a drawback to vans with a lot of glass like this.

It's a layout which just lends itself to being a really, really *useful* vehicle.

Words can't quite express how much I'm looking forward to attacking this engine bay with a couple of gallons of degreaser and the pressure washer.

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That said, it's an honest looking engine bay and there's no hugely obvious bodges that are immediately apparent.


So let's make a start on the to do list.

One thing I immediately noticed the moment I started the van yesterday was that the idle tended to hunt a bit, especially when cold.

https://youtu.be/FOa03CZlPpk


Which was also accompanied by a tendency for a bit of white smoke to be visible occasionally when you come off the throttle. It's definitely fuel related, not coolant based on the smell.

Took me about thirty seconds to spy a likely cause for the fuel system having a bit of a hard time with the engine running.

https://youtu.be/R5WR5FFaLfs

If you look carefully you can just see there are air bubbles in the feed line to the fuel pump.

An obvious suspect is this fuel line on the suction side of the pump which is very obviously perished and kind of squishy.

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They're all a bit crusty looking, so I think they will get replaced along with the fuel filter. I've picked up everything for a routine service today anyway, so that will be done soon.

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There was an advisory on the MOT for the SRS warning lamp not lighting. As the space for the radio was still empty it was easy to get to the back of...sure enough it was unplugged.

Plugging it back in and turning the ignition on resulted in it lighting up as it should...

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Then after a couple of seconds, somewhat to my surprise, going out, exactly as it should do. Has continued to do so all afternoon too...so if that's sorted it I'll call that a win.

Next task was an obvious one...

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Getting audio set up. I'd actually asked the seller to take their head unit out as having only just bought this one and just about learned my way around it I'd rather stick with it.

Helpfully it's one of those which you can customise the colours of, so can match it perfectly to the dash lighting.

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Speakers in there are pretty decent actually, nice not to have to mess around upgrading those for a change.

Which is where I left it today, as I'd clearly run out of daylight!

Next thing I need to investigate is the temperature control for the heater. As is basically standard for this control assembly the cable has snapped off the back of it. So the heater is currently adjusted by pushing or pulling a cable sitting in the dash cubby hole. Which rattles. A lot. If nothing else it'll get relocated to one of the switch blanks above there to stop it rattling so much! Hopefully while I'm in there I can see if I can sort the illumination for the heater controls as currently none of that works.

Not really going to have much time over the next few days, but I'll no doubt find a few minutes here and there to do something.

Overall though I'm really happy with it so far. Was exactly as I expected based on the description I was given and is something I should be able to improve on nicely. Really does drive nicely 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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gazza82
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1114 Post by gazza82 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:45 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:43 am
gazza82 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:48 pm
That's on the "unusual" scale
Unusual? Maybe... however it looks like a supremely practical, flexible and useful vehicle.

So, what have I found, having had a chance to look over the...car? Van? It's half of one, half of another... we're just going to say "car" for the sake of simplicity.
Wheel-chair carrier conversion?
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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

#1115 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:45 pm

gazza82 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:45 pm
Zelandeth wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:43 am
gazza82 wrote:
Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:48 pm
That's on the "unusual" scale
Unusual? Maybe... however it looks like a supremely practical, flexible and useful vehicle.

So, what have I found, having had a chance to look over the...car? Van? It's half of one, half of another... we're just going to say "car" for the sake of simplicity.
Wheel-chair carrier conversion?
Yep.

-- -- --

First accomplishment of today was figuring out a way to stop the heater cable from rattling...it can be wedged in the handle of the ash tray.

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Not a permanent solution, but will save it from driving me insane until I can properly sort it.

Having a slightly more in depth look under the bonnet than yesterday I spotted a couple of things amiss.

Firstly, looking at the radiator something just didn't look right. How the top hose was sitting was what really drew my attention to it initially.

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A little poking and head scratching revealed that it should actually be sitting more like this.

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The top brackets appear to have either fallen apart of are totally missing. Strange.

I deployed a highly technical cable tie to pull it closer to the right spot until I can properly Investigate and resolve that...has at least got some clearance between the top radiator hose and fan shroud now, this was previously touching.

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On the other side the shroud had worn quite a deep groove in one of the air conditioning lines too, this now has a bit of actual clearance.

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Will need to see if there is any gas in there whatsoever soon. I suspect not.

Then I noticed this.

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That's the state the main line coming off the vacuum pump was in. That's not going to be doing anything any favours, especially as at the very least the actuator for the EGR system is vacuum controlled, and there are lines running off to several bits and pieces around the engine bay.

Ten minutes later it looked like this instead.

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Sorting this appears to have completely eliminated the hunting idle, the ever present smell of diesel and obvious white smoke on the overrun/light throttle openings. It has also made the throttle response far smoother, so that leak was definitely causing issues for a few things. Likewise the brakes definitely feel stronger now, so I think the servo was also struggling a bit for vacuum pressure before.

It looks like there was originally a plastic cover that sat over the inlet manifold etc. I'm not too bothered about that, as it's one less thing to remove for service access - if I come across one though I'll probably replace it just because I know it should be there. Definitely at the bottom of the priority list though.

While I was in the area I changed the air filter. Old one wasn't too bad so had definitely been done in the last couple of years, but for the sake of a few quid it's on my annual-ish list. Especially on a normally aspirated diesel where getting as much air into the engine as possible is always a priority!

Nice to have got a couple of small jobs ticked off which have had a noticeable impact on the driving experience.
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

#1116 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:01 am

Not much to report today. Had to take my husband to a hospital appointment this morning, so have confirmed that cold starting doesn't seem to be an issue for the Caddy, even at -4C that we had today, and oddly is the coldest we've seen this winter so far. All despite the rather old looking Lion branded battery, which I'd generally trust about as far as I can throw it.

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I think the best I've ever got out of one of their batteries before was about 18 months, so I'm already mentally budgeting for having to replace that at short notice at some point.

This temperature also meant I was surprised to find that for the first time since I think 2009, I have a car with a full compliment of working rear window defroster elements.

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Luxury!

Something which become extremely vocally apparent during that trip though was that the wiper blades were past it. Cleared the screen okay, but unless it was absolutely saturated wanted to jump, skip, judder, squeak and generally make a nuisance of themselves. I did clean them as they didn't look all that old, did help but not by much. So a new set went on.

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This restored quiet and calm to the cabin while driving in the persistent drizzle which we've had here all afternoon.

Not an exciting update today!
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

#1117 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:42 pm

Cleaning time has begun for the new arrival.

Interior only as I'm currently without a pressure washer - and they've literally just driven past our house and dumped about five tonnes of salt on each of the roads in our neighborhood so it would be pretty pointless.

Looking forward to dealing with the likes of this though...

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Really will be better for a good scrub up. Plus there's about three quarters of a forest worth of leaves in the windscreen scuttle.

While the exterior is a task for another day, the interior looks a bit better for an hour's work this afternoon.

The dash plastics in particular were really dull and lifeless. There's a very clear line where I'd got to visible here.

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The seats really want to come out so I can give the carpets a proper scrub, and the seats would really benefit from a wet clean themselves too. Both jobs which will be waiting on warmer and drier weather.

I did note that both front footwells are a bit damp - I'm not reading too far into that though until I've cleared out the scuttle drains as given the amount of organic matter under there they're almost definitely clogged up. The headlining would also benefit from a deep clean - that will need to come out to deal with the rust at the base of the window over the cab anyway so those things will probably happen at the same time.

Only other item of note done today was getting the fuel filter and the feed lines attached to it replaced. Simple enough job.

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Think I'm going to go back and do the ones on the return too, just didn't have enough hose clamps to go round today (I despise those spring type ones with a passion - especially the ones VW use as they have really tiny tabs on so are nigh on impossible to get hold of if you don't have the proper tool). Given I was able to pull the one on the feed side straight off, the hose had obviously been squashed enough under the hose clip that it was no longer doing anything.

One of the O-rings on the return line stub was cracked, so definitely think this was due changing.

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Hopefully this will put a stop to air being pulled into the fuel system. Time will tell I guess.
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

#1118 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:22 pm

Having run out of daylight yesterday today's quick task was oil & filter change.

Set the oil draining, then realised something...the Caddy is modern enough to have one of these strange plastic caps over the oil filter.

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...Which I've never had to deal with before. After wasting half an hour trying to get it unscrewed without the right tools I gave up and went round to Halfords and grabbed one of these.

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Even with the right tool, holy hell that was tight. I wound up basically hanging my bodyweight off the thing before it eventually started to very slowly come loose. No way it was coming off without the special tool for it.

I then made a horrible mess and spilled oil everywhere when lifting the old filter out.

New one in - which helpfully has the top marked as I didn't realise they weren't symmetrical until after I'd put the old one down and lost track of the rotation.

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New filter also comes with new O-rings for both the cap itself and the feed tube assembly which drops down through the middle of the filter. I made a definite point of lubricating the outer seal with fresh engine oil before reassembling. Tightening it precisely as much as necessary to snug the seal up and a smidge more. Hopefully I won't have such a fight to get the cap off next time round.

The old oil smelled quite strongly of diesel and seemed quite watery (it is 5W40 though so not all that thick anyway), which isn't a huge surprise given the van was chucking clouds of unburned fuel out the back on the overrun because of that vacuum leak I found a couple of days back. By no means the worst I've seen, but it was definitely ready for a change.

New set of floor mats have also been thrown into the cabin to tidy the floors up a bit.

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I may get a set of properly shaped ones ordered at some point, but these at least seem to stay put. The rubber ones that were in there before had virtually no grip on the carpet and I'd nearly died getting into the driver's seat about half a dozen times because of that, so these are an improvement in that department.

Hard to believe I've done just over 500 miles in this thing already! Still thoroughly enjoying driving it 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.

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

#1119 Post by Dick » Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:45 am

Is that the 1.9 diesel engine? Its very similar to my galaxy..

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

#1120 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:58 am

Dick wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:45 am
Is that the 1.9 diesel engine? Its very similar to my galaxy..
Yep, the old 1.9SDi. AYQ engine code, which is a variant only used in the Caddy/Inca apparently. Not sure exactly how it differs from the ones used in passenger cars.
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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