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
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#521 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:11 pm

Definitely need to look at tweaking the idle speed up a bit...450rpm is a little on the low side...book says 750.

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That might be a job for tomorrow.

Today's task was to see if we could restore sanity to the reversing lights. A quick search on Google revealed that the switch is on the gear selector assembly inside the car rather than outside...surprisingly sensible!

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It just screws into the side of the selector mechanism and there's no need to strip that down to remove it.

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It was very obviously gummed up, requiring the plunger to be manually pulled back out rather than snapping back out under spring pressure.

Turns out all it needed was a good clean and a dose of fresh lubricant. Ten minutes later everything was back together and the lights behaving as they should.

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Tiny little task in the grand scheme of things but nice to have it ticked off anyway.

Fuelled up again this morning...9.8MPG and £92!
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
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#522 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:13 am

Had a look at the temporary expansion bottle today after a decent run. About 3/4 full (and I put a bit of coolant in the bottom of it to help prevent air being drawn in as things cool anyway), so doesn't look like I need to worry about it overflowing.

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The hoses also feel firm but not absolutely rock solid like they were, so it looks like the pressure is being managed correctly now. If the weather permits I'll try to get the inner wing metalwork off and strip out the proper expansion tank and its pipework to be cleaned at the weekend.

As fixing the reversing lights was deceptively easy, I'm sure this will be an utter pig of a job to make up for 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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Zelandeth
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#523 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:50 pm

Courtesy of an idiot in an Audi RS6 who decided that headlights are for loosers and that they're too important to give way to mere mortals on roundabouts I wound up with a bit of a cleanup operation to do. I wound up with most of the meal I had just picked up and two milkshakes on the floor.

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I had secured everything, but apparently not sufficiently to withstand full on evasive maneuveres.

On the plus side the main carpets in the Jag simply lift out. So getting those out wasn't a problem and they are now drying in my conservatory.

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The thing about mid brown carpets is that they can hide quite a bit of grime! While most of them weren't too bad (save for the not inconsiderable amount of milkshake!) the driver's side front one took quite a while to get clean water running off.

The carpeting on the sills however appears to be glued in place so cleaning that will require a bit more effort...seems like this might finally be the excuse I need to actually get around to picking up a wet vacuum cleaner. Would be useful to have around, not least because Autotrail felt it necessary to fit pale beige long pile carpet in the cab of the van...and it's filthy.
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
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#524 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:15 pm

Still need to do something about the one sill (it's been sponged clean as far as I can manage so far) but the rest of the carpets were finally dry today and are now back in.

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Really need to get some leather dye on the steering wheel I think. As the rest of the interior is getting more tidy it's letting things down more!
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
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#525 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:16 am

Was tipping it down again this afternoon yet again.

Is the windscreen still leaking?

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That will be a yes then.
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.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#526 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:38 pm

Today thanks to a friend I had the opportunity and honour to have a shot of something really rather special.

Not often you come across things which make the interior of the XJ-S seem Spartan and the seats seem conservatively padded!

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Those seats are actually even more comfortable than they look.

I love the contrast with the Biturbo between the interior which is absolutely thoroughbred Italian luxury supercar, the soundtrack which matches...and the utterly understated exterior.

Excuse the crudely blanked out registration plates, it's a friend's car so I'd rather keep them covered - and I don't have a decent photo editor on my phone.

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The rear in particular is very anonymous, and leaves people looking around trying to figure out where the howling V8 is hiding!

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There are a lot of little details though which bely how special a car she is. The door handles to name one.

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She is a very Italian car. Only they can make a car feel like such a real living, breathing creature rather than just a machine. Plus they tend to produce cars where there is a hilarious blend of luxury and downright shonky. Such as the wing mirrors which are utterly incapable of staying where you point them behind the first bump. Oh, or the warning lights on the dash...which are comprehensive to say the least.

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...However they may as well not be there as they are all entirely hidden behind the top of the steering wheel when driving. Oh, and that Italian thing where half the gauges don't sit at zero. The Lada carried that over from its Fiat routes too.

It's probably nearly 20 years since I wqs last in a Biturbo and I had honestly forgotten what gorgeous cars they are. This sort of uber-luxureous performance car has started to appeal to me more as I've got older...I used to gloss over cars like these as unnecessary and pointless...however the high velocity squidgy leather sofa category is really growing on me.

When (if) I decide it's time to move on from the Jag I think one of these will definitely be high on the list to take that position in the fleet. Especially as it comfortably seats four and doesn't require you to descend to several inches below bedrock to climb onboard...which are two areas where the Jag does lose points. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not in any way shape or form thinking of moving her on any time soon given how I've meshed so well with the car...this is purely a thought experiment for the hypothetical fleet.

Here's why I love this guy's garage so much though...having dropped that off, I was then able to jump into this.

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Which is in my view every bit as interesting a car in its own way and as much fun to drive. Especially being a first generation AX she has the interior with the comedy ergonomics.

I can't think of any other car where I have to reach *around* part of the dash itself to get to the power window switches...

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The AX/late Visa/C15 dash however is almost timeless though isn't it?

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I thought it was a messy design when I first came across it but it's really grown on me and it seems quite charming to me these days.

Do wonder how many other models this ended up in...the Talbot Samba and the Umm four wheel drive immediately spring to mind...

Later on in the day I decided to set about de-fluffing the van. I'll be using it actually to sleep in for a couple of days this coming week so really wanted to reduce the volume of dog hair in there!

I've been considering picking up a carpet cleaner or wet vacuum cleaner this week. The cab of the van I think makes a very good case for it.

Can you see where the mat sits?

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Nevertheless, the living area has been effectively de-fuzzed.

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Just need to give the water system a flush through so it's ready for use (as it had been drained down and blown through with compressed air to eliminate any freezing risk over the winter).

Will be a good opportunity to test out the heating system in the real world and I'm quite looking forward to testing it out.
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
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#527 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:24 am

There has been one area that the van has struggled a bit ever since I got it: Audio.

Having upgraded the drivers in the cab they were just about passable - though the dash cutouts only allow for 10cm drivers so there's only so much that we can do there.

In the back though we had bigger problems with these.

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Again they're only 10cm drivers...but the issue here isn't the diameter (it wouldn't be hard to widen the cutout) it's the depth. The roof panel is only about an inch and a bit behind there so any serious upgrade is likely to involve a bigger enclosure that will stand proud of the ceiling.

Had a bit of an epiphany this afternoon though and realised that there's absolutely nothing to say that the speakers need to stay in the ceiling. There's plenty of other places they can go where depth isn't a problem.

Grabbed a 5x7" speaker I had laying around and went to have a look.

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Nearside one can go here, helpfully it can actually hide below the floor in the wardrobe I believe.

Offside is a little more awkward, but here looks to be the best spot.

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It backs onto the side of the oven, but the outer skin of it barely gets warm so I'm not too worried about that. If depth is an issue there I can probably get away with using a little spacer without it being too obvious.

A 6x9" should work just as well as this in these locations and give us a bit more punch.

Have a plan to get things a bit beefier in the cab too. What I reckon I'm going to try is getting a decent set of drivers installed down here forward facing behind the seats in the end of the lockers...

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The important thing though is that I'd keep a pair of tweeters in the place of the current cab speakers to help keep a decent soundstage in the cab. Bass is relatively non-directional, it's the treble you need to place carefully as that's what will give you the stereo separation.

It's either this or in the front of the box under the seats, but those boxes are full of battery and it involves cutting metalwork with I'd rather avoid.

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I'll keep the original speakers in the back of the van, but what I'll do is hook those into the TV as they're absolutely perfectly serviceable for that sort of duty...just not providing music above an OM.601 with a straight through exhaust being worked hard!

That's been a bit of a fly in the ointment ever since I got it as I do like my music, but I really didn't know quite what to do about it as the original speaker placements left little room for improvement. Quite why moving them didn't occur to me until now I've no idea. Well the obvious answer is that I'm an idiot I think!

It's a low priority thing really in the grand scheme of things but will impact a lot on my enjoyment of it, especially on longer runs.

A sub is something that might join the party one day...I know what a difference it can make, and unlike in a car it's not like I'm struggling for anywhere to fit one without eating half the boot 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.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#528 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:50 pm

Not content with averaging 13MPG the Jag apparently decided this morning that merely using its fuel wasn't bankrupting me quick enough!

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Yep...it was caught dribbling fuel all over the floor.

I had fuelled up in the last hour, our drive slopes slightly downhill towards the camera and it's been quite nice and sunny here so far today.

As such I reckon things have expanded in the tank and it's forced fuel bank out the filler, probably due to a compromised tank vent line (which I've suspected for a while on account of a distinct pong of fuel in the boot). Though I've never noted and excessive pressure/vacuum in there really. It was weeping out around the cap seal itself then draining down the spill line in the filler surround today. Turning the car through 180 degrees so the filler was at the high rather than the low side sorted things.

Obviously only an issue when the tank is really full (so about 3 miles worth of driving then probably!) and on a warm day, but something I'll need to be aware of until I can investigate the venting system properly, and possibly renew the seal in the filler cap as it's a little perished in a couple of spots.

Have to wonder if this happened unknown to me at some point during the random sub-10MPG tank a couple of weeks ago...hard to say as the evidence is gone minutes later!
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.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#529 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:57 pm

Pretty sure we've got a developing issue with either the alternator or the regulator on the Jag. While the light goes out as normal when the engine starts, it doesn't seem to properly start charging until the engine is brought up to around 3000rpm and held there for a couple of seconds. Then the system seems to wake up and start charging properly. It will then stay there until the engine is next stopped. Before that point the system voltage will hover around 13V - so it is still generating power, just at a reduced level. Once the system "wakes up" it jumps up to a normal charging voltage.

Need to do some research on the likely cause and get the necessary things ordered in. At least alternators don't look to be massively expensive if a new one is needed. This one has been rebuilt - but that was back in 1998 so it's not really undue some attention.

I will obviously have a crawl under that corner (I *think* it's relatively accessible from underneath) and get myself covered in oil and clean up the connections to the alternator as it wouldn't be the first time I've fixed odd charging behaviour with naught but jiggling a connection.
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.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#530 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:19 pm

Yesterday evening I finally made a start on something that I've been meaning to do literally for months - trying to get the garage tidied into a vaguely user-friendly state.

Lately getting into the garage to access the chest freezer at the back has required me to physically climb over the nearside rear wing of the Invacar because of how cluttered the place was.

After three or four hours I managed to get to this stage.

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Which doesn't look like much, but at least means I can actually get in now!

Doesn't do anything to address this disaster area though.

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Basically the problem I have in here (aside from too much utter junk) is a chronic lack of storage or any space to go through some of the boxed things to figure out what's worth keeping and what is honestly just useless detritus which is fit only for the bin.

While in there yesterday evening though I did finally make a point of having a look around and coming up with a proper plan of attack.

Along both sides of the garage I will install a more or less full length shelf slightly above standing head height. Those will hold a lot of the consumables and light weight items that are used on a more or less daily basis in a way that's relatively easily accessible but doesn't impinge on the actual working area. The intention there is to leave the floor either side of the car completely free to allow me to shift it to the left or right a little to suit whatever I'm doing. As it stands even on the clear side there isn't enough room for me to sit comfortably to access anything, much less see what I'm doing. I've got a couple of old coat racks from some old wardrobes which will go on the wall to the offside of the Invacar which any spray bottles with triggers can be hooked onto. There's no need for them to take up shelf space when they can hang on the wall.

At the far end things will be completely reconfigured.

The far wall will be pretty much entirely given over to full width, full height shelving. Right up to the ceiling as there is going to be quite a bit of stuff in here that I only use now and then, so I don't mind having to grab the little stepladder now and then.

The Sun diagnostic machine will be positioned pretty much directly in front of where the Invacar is currently parked (the Crypton one has been sold and will be collected by its new owner shortly hopefully), between it and the wall (to the offside) I will hopefully then have room for a small workbench. Nothing huge, but at least somewhere I can finally fit a vice as not having access to one is really annoying. I've lost count over the last few years of how many times I've sliced, hammered, wire-wheeled, frozen, set fire to or sanded my fingers because I was holding onto the thing I was working on rather than having it firmly held in a vice.

Behind that I'm hoping to then have at least two ranks of free standing shelving running right to the wall on the right, just leaving room to the left for a comfortable access passage.

This should give me masses more storage than I've ever had access to before which should then hopefully be sufficient to allow me to get rid of all the piles of things on the ground and the disintegrating cardboard boxes. Once that's done hopefully it will give me enough room to actually go through a lot of the stuff that was brought down from Aberdeenshire in a hurry when I had to clear out my folk's house at short notice and decide what's to be kept, what's to be donated to the charity shops and what is honestly fit for nowhere other than the recycling centre.

All previous attempts to tidy this place up have just consisted of picking up the piles of stuff from one place, moving them somewhere else then putting them down again without actually achieving anything, so having an actual plan in mind to deal with it feels like progress.

I've a few things that I'd like to get stuck into over the next few years, but step one before I can even think about any of these has to be "get my stuff sorted out!" if things have any hope whatsoever of getting off the ground.

Not least a few of the jobs coming up on the Jag...They're going to be far more pleasant with access to a reasonable work area than doing it sitting cross legged on the driveway while being eaten alive by the ants which inevitably get everywhere here in the summer.
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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