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

#511 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:03 pm

Fair point. I wasn't planning on going to town with sealants or anything, just Kurust/Vactan which I wasn't aware of from previous experience of being particularly flammable. Dinitrol etc would wait until a final repair had been done.

I know the car has been resprayed and has had quite a few corrosion repairs in the past so who knows what I'll find once I start digging there! On the plus side in the grand scheme of things it's not that difficult an area to repair. The biggest headache I can see is simply having to shape a relatively large curved piece for the outer skin there, the tools to do this properly simply not being in my possession at this stage. Probably won't stop me having a go though. I imagine the offside is probably in a more or less identical state too, though I've not given it a thorough going over yet.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#512 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:13 am

Hoping I might actually get to look at the cars this week! Have had most of my free time this week eaten up fixing things that were broken in the storms last weekend.

While we got off more lightly than a lot of folks we did have some damage to deal with.

One partly detached fence panel on this side.

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Which was later detached and wedged under a couple of paving slabs to prevent it inserting itself in next door's conservatory. The whole bottom edge of this was rotten anyway so my intention was to just replace it... annoyingly the neighbours across there crudely nailed it back together before I could do that so it now looks awful and will probably blow down again the moment we get more strong winds.

This just looks awful. Those tree stumps will be coming down this Spring anyway.

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One other rotten half height one blown out of the frame...I'd already bodged this one back together half a dozen times so didn't see it as any great loss.

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One panel completely flattened out back.

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This and both panels immediately adjacent were pretty much rotten beyond redemption anyway so no huge loss...especially as they're cheap anyway.

We also had evidence of some new water ingress in the house.

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Never what you want to see... especially when the location is "somewhat awkward" to get to.

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This only appeared on the worst night of things when we had torrential rain that was visibly running up that skylight rather than down... I've not seen any further evidence, so filing that under "monitor carefully" for the time being.

Same night saw rain getting blown in over the top of the garage door...straight onto the electrical consumer unit, tripping the RCD several times.

The wind had also managed to get under the flashing above the front door and lift it off the box section there.

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The rot in the ends of the beams there is something we're hoping to address this year. It's limited to the last few inches which aren't involved in holding the weight of the roof, that's handled by a cradle above the inner vestibule door. Also obvious there is that the drain gulley is full of plant life...again. It was last cleared out just before Halloween. I suspect that the primary reason for the rotten wood there is the previous owners never clearing out that gulley so it always overflowed.

Fence in the side garden was half "repaired" by the adjacent neighbours...which is annoying as I'd really rather have just fitted a new panel. Sadly as they don't seem to speak a word of English it's a bit tricky to try to discuss the matter with them.

New one fitted to the other side of the side garden.

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I trimmed the (Council's) trees back as well so they're not battering the new fence to bits while I was there. Yes, the former owner of this place even painted the brick wall black.

In the back garden the panel which had been blown out and it's neighbours were swapped out easily enough.

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This was made slightly more of a faff by the fact that while the two nearer to us are standard 6' square panels. The further one though is slightly over five feet wide...so I had to chop it down to size and rebuild the frame. By some miracle I got it millimetre perfect. The fence along the back is now a lot more rigid as it's properly anchored to the new panel I just fitted.

Final task was to sort out the conservatory roof drain yet again.

Before:

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You see those flecks of that lovely vivid orange? That's the colour the conservatory and window frames all were before they got slathered in black paint. Likewise the panelling above the conservatory roof, that's marine teak...why on earth would you paint that black?!?

After:

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Will stay that way for about five minutes...

Hope that this week I won't need to keep running around in circles putting fences back together, drying the consumer unit with a hair drier at 3am, or strapping stuff down in a panic when it's trying not to take off to Norway. Then I'll be able to get back to sorting out things on the automotive to do list!
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#513 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:56 am

Not a huge amount but I did get some time this afternoon to look at the cars at least.

Xantia battery is utterly, totally dead again so that will be needing replaced under warranty as it was only a year old in December.

I've added a complete coolant hose set to my shopping list for the Jag as a few are showing their age. The left hand top radiator hose and cross pipe bleed line in particular.

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That top hose is just a little scary...getting to the bottom radiator hose(s?) looks like a barrel of laughs. Hoping it will be easier from underneath with the car on the ramps - just to make absolutely sure I get as much antifreeze in my hair, in my mouth or up my nose as possible. Looks like the oil cooler lines may be in the way though which is my only worry there. Guess I'll find out soon enough!

Speaking of pipes, I wanted to have a look at the tailpipes. They clearly weren't adjusted properly as they were both pointing somewhat skywards, like so.

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This is annoying. For one it looks stupid. Secondly, it means that whenever it rains the rear silencers fill up with water (especially as the car is usually parked pointing downhill). It turns out that when the stainless exhaust was fitted they cheaped out a bit...rather than having new tailpipes made to suit they just stuck with the original swan neck tail pipe tips. This means that there's no way to make them sit quite right. If they're sitting level they wind up touching the bodywork. So for now I've flipped the offset by about 180 degrees so they tilt down a bit rather than up. Still looks stupid, but should at least put an end to the rain filling up the silencers!

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While I was under the bonnet I also dropped the new air filters in. They weren't too bad but judging from the oily hand prints all over them they have been in and out a good few times.

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I was reasonably happy with how the woodwork on the dash was looking (though I may give it another few coats in the summer when the weather is hotter and the clear coat will dry quickly) but the trims on the doors had yet to be touched...they were very much dragging the tone of the interior down.

Unlike the dashboard trims these aren't clipped in place but are held in by three small nuts which screw onto studs attached to the trim. To get to these you need to partly remove the door card. As I wanted to change the speaker as well and to reinstate the missing weatherproofing sheet in the door it just made sense to pull the card off and take it inside where I could work on it in more comfort. If you're just wanting to get the wooden trim off you can probably get away without actually pulling the card off the car entirely.

Unlike most things Jaguar, getting the door card off is dead easy. You need to undo one screw hidden under the trim front of the arm rest, the two little screws securing the interior light switch striker plate. Then the card just lifts off. Once you pull the various wiring connectors off the card can then be removed. Oh...and maybe the electric mirror control... can't recall if it's attached to the door itself or the door card.

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Note that if you do this you'll need to either disconnect the battery or put the striker plate for the interior light switch back in place otherwise the interior lights will stay on indefinitely. Glad I spotted that before leaving the car overnight.

It's not hard to see where the door card has been getting wet.

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The new speaker is slightly smaller than what's being removed (pretty close to the standard ones actually). Because of this and the respective corner of the door card having the structural integrity of a soggy teabag I had to get a little inventive to provide some additional braces. Not pretty but it will do the job. Long term I'll look to come up with a better solution.

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I'd rather see the originals back in place, but these look better than the vibrant red things that have come out.

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Speaker fitted it was time to turn my attention back to the trim.

Not a pretty sight.

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The lacquer on here which wasn't just flaking off turned out to be a lot more firmly attached than it had been to the dash trims so it took a good hour or so of picking and scraping to get it all off. Got there in the end though.

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Then it was off to the paint booth...I mean greenhouse to start applying the fresh clear coat. Many thin coats is the plan.

Before:

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After only the first coat the difference is immediately obvious!

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Nice to be actually able to see the inlay clearly now. Will make the interior look so much better once it's back in.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#514 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:19 pm

Yesterday I threw the driver's door back together. I reinstated the weatherproofing behind the door card before refitting the card too of course.

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I'll probably pull the wood off for several more coats at some point when the weather is better (now I know I can get it off without having to fully dismantle the door), but it looks massively better than it did.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#515 Post by gazza82 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:14 pm

Loving the mirror switches!! Beats black plastic .. but probably not H&S! :lol:
"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: kept '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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

#516 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:38 pm

gazza82 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:14 pm
Loving the mirror switches!!
Those aren't switches, that good ol' mechanical mirror adjustment!
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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

#517 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:46 pm

Luxobarge wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:38 pm
gazza82 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:14 pm
Loving the mirror switches!!
Those aren't switches, that good ol' mechanical mirror adjustment!
Nope...they're switches for the electric adjustment. Up/down works on the passenger side, left/right works on the driver's side.

The issue is with the switches. If you want to make yourself choke go and look what they change hands for. So it will be getting pulled apart and cleaned at some point.

As noted a few posts back a few of the coolant lines on the Jag are showing signs of failure. The left hand top radiator hose in particular was ballooning quite alarmingly. While this is probably at least in part just due to old age, it felt like the system was maybe pressurising more than it should. I'd also spotted a couple of drips from the outer seal on the expansion cap.

I had a sneaking feeling that these would prove to be connected. This is because the expansion setup on the Jag is a bit strange (no surprise there...the whole coolant system is a bit strange), with the overflow tank buried inside the nearside front wing. It's totally inaccessible without removing the wheel arch liner...and you could be forgiven for not even knowing it's there. Through this tank is the only route for pressure in the system to vent. Fine...except for the fact that the line between it and the cooling system is a thin rubber hose which is bent through a tight 90 degree bend right after it disappears from view from the engine bay. As such this hose is very prone to kinking. The bottle itself is also a cause of trouble as of course being totally hidden from view it never gets cleaned, even if the cooling system gets serviced regularly (let's ignore the fact that Jaguar *recommended* that two tins of Barr's stop leak be added after each coolant flush for now!). So it tends to end up full of horrible organic slime.

Each enough to check though, just disconnect the hose from the header tank overflow line and see if you can blow through it. It should be easy to do, accompanied by a gurgling noise from the dip tube in the hidden tank. There shouldn't be any real resistance.

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Oh.

We had double that on there and still zero airflow.

Well that won't have been helping anything then!

Play was stopped at this point by marble sized hail. However I've cobbled together a temporary solution to allow me to drive the car locally for the next few days while minimising the risk of blowing coolant hoses.

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Have also wrapped some cable ties around the hoses which are bulging to hopefully help keep them together until the replacements arrive (a full set has been ordered). It's a horrible bodge...but sometimes that's unavoidable!

Any guesses on how many inches of solid mud I find in the bottom of the expansion tank when I get to it?
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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

#518 Post by Luxobarge » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:30 am

Zelandeth wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:46 pm
Luxobarge wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:38 pm
gazza82 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:14 pm
Loving the mirror switches!!
Those aren't switches, that good ol' mechanical mirror adjustment!
Nope...they're switches for the electric adjustment. Up/down works on the passenger side, left/right works on the driver's side.
Oh OK, I stand corrected! I could have sworn it was mechanical on these. As you say, they are some special switches!! Cheers! :D
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

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

#519 Post by gazza82 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:02 pm

Had a work colleague who bought one in the 90s and both were broken (pointing down and a bit "limp"). He called the previous owner and asked if he knew why .. and was told "Wife broke them. Hung her handbag on them!" :shock:

I remember a mate's Dad who couldn't understand why his wife was always re-fueling her car until he found her using the choke as a handbag hook! But it only worked if pulled out about an inch!! :?

What is it with handbags? Twice my wife knocked the interior mirror off our Alfa 156 with hers .. :roll:
"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: 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...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#520 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:56 pm

Courtesy of a gent in an AA truck earlier today I was made aware of the fact that the reversing lights on the XJ-S had stuck on again. They did this once a couple of days into my ownership but after a bit of exercise of the gearshift they sorted themselves out. I'll need to investigate where the switch is and look at either cleaning/lubricating or replacing it in due course.

Just now though I don't have time for that...so the reversing lights have been temporarily disabled. Didn't know off the top of my head if they have a dedicated fuse so just pulled the lamps out.

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I'd also noticed that the voltmeter had been sitting a little lower at idle in the last couple of days. Now I know it under reads (presumably due to voltage regulation issues in the panel itself - it's on the to do list) so the actual value indicated isn't important, the fact that it's not sitting where it usually does is what's worthy of note.

I have been doing quite a few short journeys though, after dark and with the heater going (and the demister setting runs both blower fans flat out), so it's quite possible the battery is just getting a little low... I'll give it a night on the charger tomorrow.

Worth doing a quick alternator function check though...

Everything off.
Natural idle: 13.1V.
Fast idle (~1500rpm): 14.1V.

Headlights, heater blower, rear window demister and stereo on...
Natural idle: 12.1V.
Fast idle: 13.8V.

So it's looking a bit weak under full load maybe. However I do know the idle is a little low...so I think I'll give the battery a good charge, tweak the idle up to the proper 750rpm and then have another look at it.

The idle speed being low is something it's easy to miss on a V12 as they're so smooth. She was idling at about 400rpm when I first took ownership of the car and yet there was no sign of vibration or anything.
My website - aka. My *other* waste of time
Current fleet: 73 AC Model 70. 85 Sinclair C5. 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE. 90 Mercedes 208D AutoTrail Navajo. 96 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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