Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, 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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Zelandeth
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#371 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:48 pm

Throttle cable refitting was an utter fail.

Turned out that having now soldered my end onto the cable it wouldn't fit in the twist grip any more. De-soldering it to adjust then made the previously crimped on end fall off.

I then managed to drop the back part of the twist grip and watch it disappear down behind a pile of stuff in the garage. Retrieval of this took about half an hour.

I decided to call time at this point before I made things any worse!

Literally as I was walking back inside though I got a notification from Royal Mail saying that my package from China (which I have to assume is my throttle cable kit) has finally been received and is now passing through the UK network...so hopefully I'll have the bits in hand in the next day or so to properly change it anyway rather than bodging things.

Still kicking myself for not just bailing on that order and reverting to an actual UK based seller rather than one which just has UK in their name...never dreamt it would take so long to arrive.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#372 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:35 pm

Took some measurements today for future reference if I decide to go down the route of adding carpet of trimming any areas. Roof is the obvious one along with the shelf on the transmission cover. The purpose there is twofold in that it would both help with sound deadening and help stop stuff sliding around so much. Lining the roof should do a lot to help dampen the general echoes in the cabin.

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Front bulkhead is probably quite bad for drumming too as it's one huge flat surface.

Would probably make sense to do the floor and front bulkhead in one section.

Not putting too much thought and time into this right now as there are way higher priority tasks...just interesting to plan for what might be future improvements. Most carpet rolls are 4m wide I believe so need to factor in any wastage to the calculations for how much would need to be bought. Guessing two metres from a 4m roll would be sensible. Will give plenty of wriggle room, even taking into account the inevitable wastage, even of I were to do the lot.

I've forbidden myself from going near anything with a repeating pattern as trying to ensure everything is facing the same direction in such close quarters sounds like a recipe for insanity. Plus most patterns would look daft in a car. We'll be going with plain, solid colour short pile. Probably black or very dark grey for the floor, roof and rest of the panels will go for a more neutral mid grey.

Just a shame there are a lot of very rusty fasteners holding the roof on as that would be so much easier with it in the ground.

Not too worried about most of it, but I'd like to get the floor done as the existing flooring is in such poor condition. Imagine it would improve the refinement quite a bit too.

Given that my throttle cable package passed through a distribution centre less than 50 miles away yesterday evening I'm hoping it might arrive tomorrow.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#373 Post by gazza82 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:58 am

Have you thought about stick-on insulation pads, like Dynamat, on the really noisy panels before the carpet?
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '58 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: kept '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...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#374 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:43 am

Possibly, though I've always found products like that historically to be really heavy (granted I've never handled actual Dynamat)...and I'm conscious that all this stuff adds up. The carpet option isn't going to be exactly light to start with.

Definitely something to consider at the very least for the parcel shelf given it sits about 1/2" above the safety cage around the CVT pulleys - the noise from the absolutely dominates when moving. The engine noise itself you're barely aware of beyond a bit of induction roar when the throttle is wide open. Occasionally you hear the exhaust note if you've got the windows open and you drive past something to the right which bounces the sound back at you...otherwise it's totally drowned out by the belt noise from the transmission.

She's never going to be a quiet, refined car...but I figure if we can shave anyhow off the overall noise figure it's got to help. Currently the only soft surfaces in the cabin are the seat and you...so I figure even adding floor mats would probably help a lot.

I've noticed that the floor itself can flex quite a bit in a few locations producing comedy wobble board noises so I think a few additional rivets to fix it to the chassis might be in order (it's only held in by about ten rivets) which can't hurt...I'm sure that's buzzing/rattling when on the move. That will require the (glued down) rubber matting to be pulled up, and there's no way it will survive that.

I've always said that I really want to use this car, so adding a few points to the refinement score can't be a bad thing I say.

Lining the roof is a job which really would want the roof off to do. It's a horrible collection of compound curves so getting everything to sit flat and glue down will be a pain. Visually that would lift the cabin massively as the inner surface of the roof is unfinished fibreglass so really does look quite uninviting. It sounds a simple job to pop the lid off as well, it's just bolted on. Sadly they have used as many bolts as you'd expect to see holding a hatch in a submarine in...I've not actually counted them but reckon there must be the best part of 20 bolts involved. They all look quite crusty too so I don't rate my chances of getting them undone without a fight. Definitely a job for a quiet winter evening methinks...
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#375 Post by gazza82 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:30 pm

Dynamat isn't cheap but there are substitutes .. might be worth it on the roof and engine bulk-head
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '58 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: kept '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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Zelandeth
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#376 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:59 am

Things today started out in a frustrating way.

The throttle cable kit I had been waiting for since the sixth of August finally arrived today. However it immediately became apparent that it did not contain the parts I needed.

What I thought were the small barrel shaped cable ends in the tiny blurry images on the listing actually turned out to be ferrules (left on the image below), and the actual cable ends were the larger type. Shown to the right.

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By this point I was thoroughly irked given how long I had waited for it. This quite quickly turned into me refusing to be beaten given that I was holding a new length of decent cable in my hand.

The issue I had was that the barrel type cable ends supplied while correct in their length were roughly twice the required diameter. So they wouldn't fit into the proper retainer in the twist grip. I couldn't even wedge one in behind the holder because the clamshell sections which cover it wouldn't close with the cable end sitting so much prouder than the original.

That was until I gave it some thought and brandished an angle grinder at it. I cut a new slot just to one side of the original cable retainer like so...

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Which allows the larger cable end to sit like this...

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This drops the height of things to a point where the covers can be correctly reassembled. Having left the original retainer untouched means I will have the option to revert to the other type of cable end in the future if needed.

With the new end soldered onto the cable everything was put together and it worked. Action still isn't great so I may well change the cable outer as well at some point, but it is actually working now. The twist grip itself isn't the nicest thing ever anyway, so that too might be replaced in the future.

Which meant I could finally get the car out of the garage for the first time in several weeks.

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Answers on a postcard for the best way to shift overspray from tyres?

Before heading out though I made a point of properly setting the CVT belt tension - spacing the pulley centres 10.25" apart as per the manual (I'll probably find I've remembered the value wrong now) as I was pretty certain the belt was too loose when I was last out. It was very snatchy moving off from a standstill and sounded like it was flapping around a lot at speed.

Still a bit juddery moving off from a standstill, but definitely better. I suspect the engine/gearbox mounts I have are a bit last their best so may look to replace those at some point. It does to some extent seem to be something they are a bit prone to though from what I remember seeing.

Drive is definitely happier though, *far* quieter and especially so at cruising speed. Much less of a noticeable shunt when coming off the power too. Several points while out today I was having to back off the throttle due to the 60mph speed limit rather than due to running out of road or other traffic.

Fuelling up has shown us nearly touching 30mpg on that last tank - half of which was prior to fitting the new pulleys, so it's definitely heading the right way. Not expecting to ever see particularly great figures locally as MK is murderous on fuel economy because of there being a roundabout every 0.9 miles. Would be nice to see over 30mpg though, which hopefully we will on the next tank.

Obviously had to snap a few photos while out and about.

The heavens did open at one point, which revealed that I owe an apology to this windscreen wiper blade.

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I had expected it to be nothing but a pointless shiny bit of tat...but it actually works just fine, better than the Bosch one which was on there before anyway.

Even when the surface is horribly rough, you still get water beading on new paint which is always satisfying to see.

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At least I now have a few reasonable "stock" images of TPA I can throw at people when they ask what a Model 70 is now. Obviously I'll need to re-take these once the new number plates arrive though.

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...And back home after all the excitement of an actual run.

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The sliding doors still amuse me and seem to utterly confuse passers by.

I'll need to find an excuse to head out of town shortly so I can properly assess how the drive is behaving. Definitely seems far happier now though and there wasn't anything which felt like it gave me cause for concern during the drive. Never mind nothing actually falling off, it didn't feel like anything was even in danger of falling off this time.

Looking at those photos now it is slightly hard to believe that's the same car that arrived wedged in the back of a Transit van about a year ago...

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She's undergone a bit of a transformation I think it's fair to say!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#377 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:44 pm

I figure that by far the best thing for TPA at the moment is to cover miles given how long she's sat dormant. To this end I took the very long way round both to and from the shops this afternoon, covering roughly another 40 miles.

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Nothing I've ever owned does quite such a good job of making conventional parking spaces look absolutely massive.

She didn't miss a beat. The only gremlin I have discovered is that the heater control flaps aren't closing fully in the control box...so the heater doesn't switch off quite fully. The efficacy of the heat exchanger definitely isn't in doubt...The air coming out of the vents is *painfully* hot...so it would be nice to be able to switch it off properly. Especially as the outlet for the main cabin heater is under the seat. Gets a bit toasty after half an hour or so.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#378 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:21 pm

You know a while ago I gave some of the rusty and/or scruffy metalwork in the engine bay some paint? I really should of either held off doing that until after I painted the rest of the car or masked it off.

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Oops.

On the plus side it wasn't exactly a work of art, so not much to be replicated. Have already given the cowling a fresh coat of hammered black.

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I'd really like to get the fan off so I can give it a better clean up, but the bolt holding it onto the dynastart really doesn't want to budge. A six foot breaker bar and 3/8" socket extension resulted in zero movement and a bent socket extension. A task for a year or five down the line.

Had a few errands to run today and it would have been rude to take any other car wouldn't it.

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Enjoy the fact that it wouldn't take all that much editing to take thirty years off this photo.

Starting to get a bit of a better feel for the car now and can definitely vouch for it being very much at home darting around congested city streets. The only slight negative mark is that the initial launch between 0 and 5mph is a little sluggish. This is down to the centrifugal clutch and a relatively heavy flywheel for a small engine like this. It's not bad, just more like an old school automatic with a long first gear. Just needs a half second or so more forward planning than driving a modern car when you're pulling into a busy roundabout or turning right out of junctions.

Have been a little more daring today and can vouch now for this car having downright tenacious levels of grip compared to what you'd expect. Yes she wanders about in sidewinds a bit and wobbles in a strange way unique to three wheelers on uneven surfaces, but there's a lot more cornering ability than you'd think.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#379 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:25 pm

Had a spare hour this afternoon so figured it would be a good time to start tackling the snagging list on the Invacar.

The repainted engine cowl was reunited with the engine.

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Being such a visible thing in the engine bay this immediately makes it look far less decrepit.

I then turned my attention to the slow puncture on the nearside rear wheel. This has lost roughly 5psi per day ever since the tyres were fitted. As such my suspicion was always that there was a leak from the rim rather than in the tyre itself.

Five minutes with the leak detector spray later, we have a winner.

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Bubbling merrily from the bead right behind the larger balance weight. There's another smaller leak I spotted just after taking this photo just out of frame.

I've faffed around fitting tyres at home before and have deemed it to be considerably more trouble than it's worth (until such time as I inevitably pick up a tyre fitting machine) so decided to entrust sorting this to Formula 1 over in Newport Pagnell. My usual go-to for tyre stuff, only reason they didn't get the job of fitting these originally was that they literally wanted double the price for what were inferior tyres.

Suffice to say this being in the workshop caused a few scratched heads.

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The gent who was working on the car for me couldn't have been more than 18 and was really enthusiastic which was nice to see.

Once the tyre was off it was obvious that no effort had been made to clean the rim up beforehand...bit disappointing given the tyres were fitted by a specialist not Kwik-Fit. Five minutes with the wire wheel had things looking far healthier, and we flipped the tyre around (they're not sided) to hide my horrible overspray. Was all going great...right up until this happened.

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Gent doing the work was being careful and was doing everything by hand - that stud just decided it had had enough. They're happy to cover the cost of sourcing replacement and fitting no questions asked. So I'll have a dig later today (I still have the parts manual here waiting to be scanned because I'm bloody disorganised) to ascertain exactly what spec the studs are and will then get replacements ordered. Hopefully they're straight from the Mini as those will be plentifully and inexpensively available.

I'll plan on replacing all of them as a matter of course now. If one has failed without being abused in my time with the car there's no reason to believe the rest are in any better shape. I had one fail on a car before (can't recall which one) and the very next time I had the wheel off I recall a second stud snapping...so they're all getting done.

Once they're done they're done...one less thing to worry about.

Just hope access to the back of the hub isn't a problem.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 344
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#380 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:24 pm

We all knew this was not going to be simple didn't we!

So far I've ascertained that the Model 70 does NOT use Mini wheel studs. They're screw in ones rather than the splined knock-through type.

It became immediately apparent once I pulled the wheel off that my intention to change all the studs was sensible. Despite knowing they had never been overtightened or otherwise abused during my ownership, one additional to the one which snapped was bent (and cracked I discovered on closer examination).

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Here's what came out. Going theory is that the thread is 3/8" UNF.

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Anyone who recognises what they're out of I'd welcome your input.

The first three - including the snapped one - wound out nicely. Of course this was going too smoothly...the last one immediately stripped the moment I applied any torque to it.

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Balls.

Picked up a tap and die set this afternoon in the hope I can possibly cut a smaller thread onto it and wind it out that way. I realise this is almost doomed to failure, and I'm going to wind up trying to weld a nut to it.

In slightly better news, a nice little improvement arrived today from Tipper's Classic & Vintage Plates.

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Nicely retro reflective unlike the current ones which have become transparent!

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Looking forward to getting these fitted to the car, they'll look so much better than the current scruffy, delaminated acrylic plates.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 93 Lada Riva 1.5i Estate. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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