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

#1121 Post by Dick » Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:38 pm

Not sure what the difference is between the two apart from the leaky turbo on mine... its already looking a lot nicer than when you collected it a few days ago... well done mate! :thumbs:

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

#1122 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:53 am

Dick wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:38 pm
Not sure what the difference is between the two apart from the leaky turbo on mine... its already looking a lot nicer than when you collected it a few days ago... well done mate! :thumbs:
No fancy turbos to worry about here! Hence the blistering 64bhp it's rated for. Also means the engine bay is rather simpler as there's far less intake pipework to worry about. Most of the spaghetti is associated with the EGR etc as you'd expect from an engine from 2002.

-- -- --

This afternoon I decided to have a look at the key to see if I could do anything to tidy it up. I also wanted to get into it to confirm if it had an immobiliser chip in or not so I knew which type of spare to order. Currently I only have the one key and that's always a recipe for stress in my mind.

The key looked like this...which is why I was determined to try to tidy it up a bit.

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The fact that the tape was decomposing and sticking to every bit of pocket lint (or in this house, the omnipresent dog hair) was also rendering this high on my to do list.

Like a complete and utter idiot I didn't wear gloves while pulling this to bits...and of course the mixture of electrical tape and duct tape had both well and truly started to decompose into the stickiest goo known to human kind. Said goo is now all over my hands, desk, keyboard, mouse, phone, probably in my hair - and all over everything within about a 500 metre radius. Rookie mistake.

Oddly when I pulled it apart I couldn't see anything wrong...all three bits of the assembly click together firmly, and the flexible membrane on the side with the remote buttons on isn't split.

Testing the two CR2016 cells showed they were both fine, so I just reassembled everything after a good clean. Oh, and yes it appears the van does have an immobiliser as there's a chip in there.

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Sure enough, the light on the key did flash when buttons were pressed...so I went out and walked through the key synchronisation routine, resulting in...

https://youtu.be/0VEnmLg7pOU

We appear to have fully functional remote central locking again.

I'll take that as a win!

Though I did notice this mess in the engine bay when doing a check for oil leaks following the change yesterday...

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Which is moderately concerning. I know this van did at one point have an aftermarket alarm (which doesn't appear to function), so I wonder if this was a result of a refusal to shut up one time to often - the loom tape does make it look different to the main vehicle loom, which is why my first thought was alarm. I will definitely be checking to ensure there's not power there shortly.
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

#1123 Post by Dick » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:36 am

Working remote central locking! :shock:
Mine hasn't worked since 2012!! Ive changed the batteries tried to reset it several times, but no luck... now the drivers door lock is playing silly buggers... i think my old bus should come to live with you for a while :lol: :lol:

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

#1124 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:05 am

Dick wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:36 am
Working remote central locking! :shock:
Mine hasn't worked since 2012!! Ive changed the batteries tried to reset it several times, but no luck... now the drivers door lock is playing silly buggers... i think my old bus should come to live with you for a while :lol: :lol:
You're going to really hate me for today's update then!

-- -- --

Taking a closer look at that wiring mess reveals the tail is attached to the aftermarket alarm sounder...so that's definitely thoroughly dead then. Good thing I erred on the side of "I don't think so" when asked by the insurance company if it had an alarm. I'll pull that out then and see if I can find the other end of this to at least confirm that there's no power going to it.

Yay, I get to stand on my head under a dashboard again!

On the running theme of seeing if I can get vehicle systems back up and running I made a run over to Formula 1 in Newport Pagnell so this could happen.

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While the AC system was totally flat when I got the van I had noted on my first inspection that both service caps were loose, plus the condenser looks way newer than 20 years and 100K miles...have to wonder if a new one was fitted at some point and they just never bothered gassing it up? I still have a bottle with some dregs of dry nitrogen from goodness only knows how many years ago, which in its last gasp shoved around 40psi into this system a few days ago. Checking this morning showed the pressure hadn't visibly dropped. Having something in there had also allowed me to check that the compressor clutch worked and the compressor ran - albeit only for a couple of seconds as I had no idea if there was any oil left in the system.

It was a tense 30 minutes while the system ran the vacuum decay test (which basically is a leak check to see whether any air leaks back into it) was carried out - zero decay reported. Which says the system should hopefully be gas tight. It also shows it's reasonably dry (as water boiling off from the drier core etc would result in a *small* bit of vacuum decay).

Machine was happy with all of the tests and charged properly. Real test was going to be starting up, pushing the button and seeing what happened.

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I should really have had a camera pointing at the service gauges to video it, but suffice to say they behaved exactly as expected.

It's a bit hard to tell you'd think when it's all of 6C outside, but the system was definitely working. Suction line definitely got cold and there was heat quickly apparent on the liquid line. Definitely colder than ambient air coming out the vents too... exactly what we were after. No nasty noises from the compressor (that I can hear over the rattle of an SDi idling next to it anyway...though I'd by lying if I didn't admit it's a lot more refined than an XUD).

Having working AC should really help me deal with the bit of damp in the cabin. Basically we'll run the heater at "as warm as I can deal with" on recirc with the AC on for a while and see if that helps. As the air con dehumidifies the air passing through it, that will help actively pull water out of the cabin.

Next significant jobs in mind:

[] Exterior clean.

[] Dismantle and clean EGR system as it sure it's thoroughly sooted up. Especially given I've no idea how long that vacuum leak had been playing havoc with things. Can't see any obvious signs of it having been apart before, so it and the intake pipework will be well due a clean if that's the case.

[] Paint front bumper so it looks slightly less scruffy.

Longer term I have an idea in mind regarding the paintwork as a whole...open to inspiration that others might have too though. I'm already finding myself really quite attached to this little van so I'm going to try to make a reasonably tidy job of things. The rust around the window over the cab will be getting sorted and we'll see what we can do for the offside rear quarter too before the aforementioned larger scale paint job too.

What colour do *you* think she should be painted?
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: 995
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1125 Post by Dick » Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:16 pm

If i was going to repaint it i would stick with the original colour... or red :D

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

#1126 Post by JPB » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:57 pm

It's a Polo of a certain age under all of the commercial and WAV stuff, so surely there's only one thing that can be done to recolour the vehicle in a marque appropriate way:

Image

Go on, you know it makes sense! 8-)
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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

#1127 Post by Dick » Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:41 pm

JPB wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:57 pm
It's a Polo of a certain age under all of the commercial and WAV stuff, so surely there's only one thing that can be done to recolour the vehicle in a marque appropriate way:

Image

Go on, you know it makes sense! 8-)
You wouldn't have too much trouble finding it in the car park :thumbs:

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

#1128 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:41 pm

Dick wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:41 pm
JPB wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:57 pm
It's a Polo of a certain age under all of the commercial and WAV stuff, so surely there's only one thing that can be done to recolour the vehicle in a marque appropriate way:

Image

Go on, you know it makes sense! 8-)
You wouldn't have too much trouble finding it in the car park :thumbs:
Apparently you read my mind...that is *exactly* what I have in mind. Very, very quick photo edit done to ponder what changes I'd need to make to account for the lack of a rear door to work with.

Image

I've always had a huge amount of love for the Harlequin, and being able to recreate one appeals to me greatly.
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
Posts: 884
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#1129 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:14 am

Didn't have a huge amount of energy available today as I'm still feeling like death from the booster jab on Friday, nevertheless I was determined to get a few things done.

First up was getting the interior of the S123 back into a presentable state. Calling it clean would be overselling it, but it's a heck of a lot better and I'm not embarrassed by it any more. Sadly attempts to find a working jetwash to do something about the outside were fruitless. Nevertheless, the interior is better at least.

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It's no longer approximately 87% dog hair by volume at least.

Should be off to a new owner in the next couple of days.


Moving onto the Caddy it was time to have a look at the EGR valve to get an idea of how funked up the system was.

My the standards of most modern cars it's thankfully pretty easy to get to. The arrow is pointing at the vacuum actuator rather than the valve itself, but you get the idea.

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Given the position of the securing collar I don't reckon it's ever been off. However the innards weren't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting.

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Yes it's pretty grim, but I'm not unused to seeing these things totally choked solid on far newer vehicles.

Probably about 0.5mm worth of caked on gunk the whole way round.

The other side of the valve is more disgusting as it's sticky, tarry crap as the PCV system feeds into the EGR circuit right next to the valve. I did dig an appreciable amount of gunge out of the valve body, but it definitely wasn't totally choked nor did it seem to be sticky.

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I'd also been able to confirm that the valve is sealing completely and consistently when closed.

Reassembled everything...and absolutely no difference. Very slightly surging engine speed still there (it does exactly the same at any engine speed I found, regularly once a second), along with excessive smoke on light throttle.

Definitely have vacuum at the EGR valve, and you can hear it physically snap shut if you pull the vacuum line off. It however doesn't really have any noticeable effect on the running of the engine either way.

One thing I did notice is that when this behaviour is present, the rev counter also behaves slightly erratically, randomly twitching upwards from the actual engine speed - and it seems to do it more when on the throttle than off.

Then out of nowhere, the engine completely smooths out. The note deepens (because the flap on the intake, which I assume works in partnership with the EGR valve is now fully open), and the diesel clatter becomes a little sharper, so something has obviously changed - I'm guessing with the injection timing. Checking the EGR at that point shows there's no vacuum present, so the ECU isn't calling for the EGR system to be in operation. It's also noteworthy that after this point when things decide to behave that the rev counter twitching also stops I'm increasingly convinced these two symptoms are connected in some way.

So I don't think the EGR valve is the cause of this issue...bit it's definitely *involved* in it. Think the next step really will be to find someone locally with VCDS and get a look at some real-time data. Everything being fly-by-wire here makes guessing pretty pointless... imagine on a newer car we'd have a check engine light illuminated - but this car doesn't have one!

The rev counter misbehaving being clearly tied into it is making me think camshaft/crankshaft position sensors? Or however else the ECU gets the engine speed/position data...makes sense though if there's a disparity between the requested and reported engine speed, it would throw the fuelling all to hell.

Think it's likely been like this for a while so I'm not worried about it really, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to try to get to the bottom of it. Especially as the van drives so much nicer when this fault is staying out of the way.

We got any SDi experts on here?

Oh...and I've ordered a replacement engine cover. Looks quick and easy to fit/remove unlike many, so I'm not adverse to its being there.

Something which may well be getting changed in the not too distant future - which is a shame as they're only a year old - is the tyres. I had to brake moderately hard to avoid a suicidal pigeon this afternoon and discovered that these tyres really aren't great on a cold, damp road. Also the front ones have way more grip than the rears...great, aside from when all four wheels lock up, then the front regains grip well before the rear - which by then has started to try to overtake the front. It was a moderately firm braking manoeuvre, but I didn't expect quite *that* degree of upset. Even the big van would have been okay.

Methinks some Uniroyal rubber may be in the future. I will get the tracking checked in the meantime though - not least because the steering wheel is slightly off straight and means I can't see about 2/3rds of the warning lights on the dash when driving straight ahead. Bit of a daft design there from VW. Likewise the switchgear most of which is hidden behind the steering wheel.
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: 995
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:31 pm

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

#1130 Post by Dick » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:30 am

Will we be saying goodbye to the Mercedes ?short lived visitor but very welcome :cry: do you have any news of the jag? Im missing it... :oops:
I was due my 3rd jab later this week but tested positive last week :sick: ... ive never taken the egr? Valve apart ... while im on unplanned "holiday" for a week i might have a look for the one on the shran... (im nicking the turbo)

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