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

#651 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:14 pm

Following the experiment yesterday I had cobbled together a link to the throttle control...which went *ping* the first time I tried applying full throttle.

Version 2.0 was quickly put together.

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This actually worked surprisingly well.

Unfortunately actually on the road this carb didn't work as well as it looked like it might. On wide open throttle it feels like the engine is really bogging down at lower revs. However it has very much highlighted how well the original one isn't behaving in some circumstances. The throttle response here is far more linear, the original one felt that there was far more of an off/medium/high sort of throttle. This one is also far happier to sit on a very light throttle at a set speed - 30mph for example can be maintained without needing to continually adjust.

Being able to just bring the revs up till the clutch starts to bite and then being able to just roll it on as you move off makes things so much smoother and pleasant.

At higher revs it felt more lively so long as you didn't go beyond about 70% throttle.

I think I might be seeing a reason that it feels like this engine is holding back a bit at the top end. Here's what I saw when I got back from the test.

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Not maybe obvious in the photo but the whole outer of the carb was swimming in fuel.

Doing some testing with the air cleaner off showed an interesting effect - when the throttle is opened anywhere beyond about 50% there is a tendency for a fine mist of fuel to want to hover about 2" above the carb throat - I'm guessing suspended there by pressure waves caused by resonance within the inlet manifold.

I'm sure I recall hearing of folks using dual carbs on air cooled VWs (so each carb feeding two cylinders exactly like this) having trouble with exactly this phenomenon with certain carb setups. Pretty sure I've heard this referred to as "fuel lift" on a couple of occasions.

That's where the fuel that I've been seeing running off the carb has been coming from though, it's nothing to do with a leak. It's literally been getting sprayed over the inside of the air cleaner housing, then running down over the carb. The air cleaner is just a metal-on-metal join so isn't hermetically sealed or anything like that.

I'm getting the feeling that's putting a theoretical limit on how much charge we can get into the engine, and why it has always felt like the last 30% or so of the throttle travel really doesn't seem to do anything.

I think it's a combination between this effect and the carb being better to run slightly lean (according to the manual) which might together account for the sneezing habit.

What to actually *do* about it though I've no idea. Applying some brainpower and maybe ask thoughts from folks who do more engine tuning etc for a living may be the answer. Will let you know if I get anywhere.

In the meantime though I will put the original carb back...after further cleaning. I'd obviously failed to shift the offending gunk last time around so it was dismantled again and chucked back in the ultrasonic cleaner.

My cleaner wasn't quite big enough to fully submerge the whole carb though which was always rather limiting.

However someone on another forum presented an idea which was a stroke of genius and effectively made my ultrasonic cleaner more than big enough.

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Plenty big enough to thoroughly submerge it now.

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It was left in there with the cleaner running for a full two hours. It *definitely* shifted a lot more crud this time round...both based on the sludge left behind when it was removed from the cleaner and just how it looks.

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I'll get it out back on the car tomorrow and see where we are. Setup procedure will be done by the book too.

So while this carb experiment might not have been an immediate fix, the behaviour when bumbling around at 30mph or below, starting etc has very much highlighted that the existing carb wasn't allowing the engine to perform as well as it could. Whether that's down to this carb being in need of a professional service or just limitations of the combination of this carb and this engine is something I've yet to confirm. One thing I will be doing is rechecking the valve clearances. I did check these when I first got KPL, but that was a long time ago. 0.15mm is the correct cold clearance for both inlet and exhaust valves. It will be a lot more of a faff now the engine is in TPA because she has intact wheel wells...

Will order in a new set of rocker cover gaskets first though. I was incredibly lucky to get them to seal properly when I reused them the first time round, expecting them to survive being taken off and refitted twice is a bit of an ask...

Also on the subject of carburetors I'm glad to report that the scruffy roadside find lawn mower is working like new again with the new carb fitted.

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Might even treat it to a clean as a reward for living to fight another day. While it looks like hell it is mechanically well looked after though...the oil is a lot cleaner than the outside. I have tried four times now to buy a new grass box for it, every time I get an email several days after the order saying "sorry we don't actually have one in stock."

I noticed yesterday that the offside tailpipe on the Jag was buzzing again. Turned out it had managed to rotate and was touching the underside of the cutout under the bumper. Five minute job to tweak the alignment and clamp it a bit more securely.

This is how the tips now sit.

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Know a few of you wanted to know why I'd spent time faffing with it. This is why. Sorry, didn't want to make too much noise as our neighbours were having lunch in the garden opposite.

YouTube Link

I'll try to get a proper driving video shortly.

That however is why I was messing with the exhaust. Sounds a bit more purposeful now I think...

Oh, and the leather has been treated a further two times today. It's almost getting to the stage where the conditioner actually sticks around for more than two milliseconds before being absorbed now.

More excuses to play with the wide angle mode on the camera too.

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Looks like this car was really well looked after in a lot of ways but the leather had been quite neglected.

Something I really need to do as a matter of some urgency is get some floor mats. I keep meaning to but keep forgetting.
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.

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

#652 Post by Dick » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:23 pm

Like your cleaning machine, are they expensive, and what chemicals are you using?
Glad you're keeping the noise down with jag, even though it sounds lovely... good neighbour's are hard to find...

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

#653 Post by gazza82 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:55 pm

Dick wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:23 pm
... good neighbour's are hard to find...
If you find any, can I have them rather than the two idiot parents and three demented and uncontrolled children that live next to me .. :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: 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...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#654 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:09 pm

Dick wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:23 pm
Like your cleaning machine, are they expensive, and what chemicals are you using?
Glad you're keeping the noise down with jag, even though it sounds lovely... good neighbour's are hard to find...
I think it was about £70, and worth every penny I reckon. I'd definitely not go any smaller than this. I was considering the bigger 5/7 litre versions but they're a lot more expensive - kind of glad I didn't now I've discovered the tank expansion hack! The cleaning solution is just any old degreaser - this is Gunk branded I believe. Obviously using flammable solvents in there requires common sense to be applied. Don't let the temperature get too high (keeping in mind it will heat it up by about 20C during a 30 minute cycle even without the heater on) and bear in mind that a certain amount of it *will* get atomised and waft off into the surrounding area looking for an ignition source. That's why I only ever use it outside, round the back of the house out the way.

Sadly for all we're friendly with the neighbours directly across the road, four of the other five we share boundaries with...not so much. There's the one who run a shipping company and regularly fill the entire road with vans left running for hours at a time in the dead of night, the drug dealer, the drum and bass enthusiast with a stereo that can trigger seismographs for miles around, and the family with five kids and two dogs who rent the tiny two bed house directly outside our master bedroom window who think the solution to every problem in life is to scream profanities at it. Oh, and we're less than 100m from a primary school which causes precisely as much mayhem twice a day as you'd expect including such joys as people parking cars on my driveway (not across... actually on the drive) and disappearing for half an hour to retrieve their kids because they can't be bothered to walk 50m from the next road over which nobody ever parks on. We didn't even know the school was there until about a fortnight after we moved in. It's a nice house, but I absolutely despise living here and cannot wait for the time we have the opportunity to look at moving.

-- -- --

First order of business for yesterday (well, was actually a bunch of boring real life stuff...wasn't until gone 1700 before I was able to stick my head outside) was to get the original carb refitted.

On the plus side, I've done this enough times now that it takes about ten minutes.

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While fitting this I made a point of trying to get some of the slack out of the throttle cable as there was a lot of dead travel in it before which made applying anything more than about 40% throttle really awkward.

I was then slightly delayed at this point by the battery being flat. I have been doing a lot of stop/start work lately and it was never charged while the car was off the road as I can recall so not massively surprising. Conveniently due to the low power draw of the Invacar's electrical systems, the 12A of charge current from the charger is more than enough to meaningfully help as a jump start (as I recall I measured the current draw of the Dynastart while cranking to be in the region of 30A). While there was initially a lot of spluttering, coughing and one properly shotgun loud backfire while the residual carb cleaner was expelled and a bit of faffing around wishing I had three hands while I got the idle mixture dialled in, we were soon back up and running.

It seems that whatever blockage was in there last time we were successful in dislodging this time.

So, on to the test run. I set the camera running before I started out on the test run. Unfortunately because I'm an idiot I totally forgot to close the offside window so there's a heap of wind noise. Sorry. Equally the camera aim is horrible - again a limit of the holder and that location. I've got a couple of alternatives on the way from Amazon as we speak to try in the future as I'd really like to be able to get *decent* driving footage. This gives a better idea of how she's actually running now though at least. I do note that I appear to need to poke the tail light earthing arrangements again as the indicators stop flashing when the brake lights are on. Think it's time I just rebuilt those lights with better lamp holders and proper wiring as they're nothing but trouble.

YouTube Link

(No, I haven't wired the gauge pod up yet either.)

She will still stumble occasionally if you crack the throttle open instantly from idle, but I haven't been able to provoke any sneezing today. If you make a point of smoothly rolling on the throttle rather than just cracking it open, cleaning the carb and having tweaked the idle speed up a bit seems to mostly have resolved that. I do wonder if a throttle damper might be something worth thinking about here.

The low speed/low throttle behaviour has been vastly improved. It's possible to sit at 30mph now without the car complaining which is a nice improvement. It was always a bit hit and miss, but you generally could provoke a sneeze from the carb by hitting the throttle hard after coasting for a bit. I've deliberately tried several times today but wasn't able to replicate it - so am tentatively labelling that as fixed by cleaning the carb more thoroughly.

What it hasn't done anything whatsoever about is the fuel lift problem. The carb still ends up wet with fuel after any period of hard acceleration, and there's still little noticeable difference between 70% and 100% throttle. I'm really not sure what to do about this...If the air cleaner was a better seal against the carb body it would be less of an issue, but as there's a sufficient gap there that any fuel mist that lands on the inner surfaces of the air cleaner housing eventually run down the inside of it and then down the outside of the carb intake, then down over the body. I wonder if it might be possible to fit an O ring to seal the base join between the air cleaner and the carb? Obviously would need to plug the two cutouts (which allow it to close to clamp onto the carb) with something flexible too.

I'm not sure this is something that I can hope to resolve with the carb itself as it (at least if my understanding is correct) is more a function of resonance effects within the inlet manifold itself causing pulses to force fuel back up through the carb when the inlet valves are both closed. Alteration of the air filter side of things to mitigate the effects of the phenomenon seems to be the order of the day. Figuring out a way to properly seal the air filter to the carb *seems* to be the easiest avenue.

It's not a massive problem, the fuel doesn't exactly wind up pouring everywhere, the carb body itself just tends to appear slightly damp to the touch after a run and it evaporates entirely within a minute or two of the engine stopping. I'd obviously prefer *not* to have flammable liquid, no matter in how small quantities, winding up in my engine bay anywhere other than inside my engine though. Long term it's definitely something I want to get rid of - especially given that the road layout around where I live means that full throttle blasts are a necessity pretty much any time I go out whether I like it or not.

On the plus side though it seems that she is running pretty well again. Only gremlin that really came to light was that I do need to put a tiny amount of slack back into the throttle cable. It sometimes hangs up with the throttle held open by about 0.00002%, holding the idle speed up just high enough that I can't engage drive. Simple enough to fix though. Oh, and I need to stick the battery on to charge...Would have done that tonight, but as the Citroen is heading into the garage this morning it needed to spend some time on the charger as it is in need of a new battery and struggles to hold charge for more than a few days.

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Once she's got a fresh MOT on I'll get that battery replaced - it's still under warranty so will be getting swapped out as soon as the car is actually mobile again. The car is at the garage having the stuffed suspension bush replaced and a fresh MOT done as we speak.


I made a point of borrowing my husband in the evening to get a bit of exterior footage of the Jag at something other than idle...Sadly I think I really need to re-shoot this with the camera a bit further down the road as it sounds like that's where the good stuff really was based on the distant howl! Makes sense given it really picks up in the mid range.

The theatre of the way the whole car rears back when you give it some throttle from a standing start really hasn't got old yet.

YouTube Link

While we were at it, I was curious to see if the van actually sounded as ridiculous from the outside as it seemed based on my hearing it bouncing off buildings and such.

YouTube Link

Yep...That's about what I expected...Sound clip that could well be from a good few decades ago!

Both of these need to be tried again with a better vantage point and when the traffic is quieter.
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

#655 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:57 pm

It's nice when simple jobs actually stay simple.

I noticed during the video clip of the van yesterday that the nearside indicator repeater wasn't working. Had a look today and it turned out to be nothing more sinister than a slightly dirty lampholder. Quick clean and we were back in business.

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This has obviously had issues with water ingress over time so might want replacing at some point in the next year or two. They're not hugely expensive at least.

Now the Xantia is off at the garage being sorted out I was able to stick the Invacar on the battery charger.

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That should keep things going there for a decent amount of time. It's worth bearing in mind that this has a dynamo rather than an alternator, so it sits off charge at idle so I'm not seeing the battery having gone flat as an indication of an issue - but I'd like to get an ammeter/voltmeter up and running just so I can keep an eye on things.

Fingers crossed we'll hear back from the garage shortly on the Xantia. I don't hassle the garage though, we've got a pretty good working relationship and don't mess each other around so know that it will be done when it's done and there's no point in pestering them.
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

#656 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:56 pm

Had TPA out and about again today, probably the best part of an hour's driving under various conditions...and no issues to report.

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The carb continues to seem a lot happier after the second strip down and clean. That and having removed about 1/2 a turn at the twist grip of slack out of the throttle cable has vastly improved the drivability of the car.

I've been deliberately being a bit heavier on the brakes while out today and they do seem to be improving as a result. They do definitely have the grunt to pull the car up rapidly if you press hard enough (I've had to do one emergency stop from 50-ish when someone decided to reverse out of a driveway on the A422 without warning in front of me, and pretty much had to peel my face off the windscreen), they just feel a bit "dead" under normal use in a way that just doesn't inspire confidence. Hoping that a bit of use will improve matters. If not a new set of shoes (rather than ones stored in who knows what conditions for a few decades) aren't expensive.

I've officially given up trying to free off the engine cover lock. A couple of external straps (like used on the Jeep Wrangler) will be fitted for now to stop it rattling until I can find the patience to try to come up with a solution to the existing lock (and all its fasteners) being a solid block of rust. No it won't look stock, but I'm more interested in getting miles covered than satisfying the concourse committee at this stage!

It still surprises me how happy she is at 50 or so compared to a lot of small cars from the 70s or even 80s. Noisy yes, but there's no vibration or buffeting or things like the windscreen wiper trying to make a bid for freedom. The offside windows rattle like there's no tomorrow but that's because half the channel at the base is still missing! Once she's got some proper miles under her belt and I'm convinced we've got most of the bugs from 20 odd years sitting in a field worked out I can honestly see us covering some decent distances in this little car quite happily.
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

#657 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:23 pm

These turned up this morning.

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Which has finally allowed me to dispense with the bungee cord wrapped around the fan shroud which was utterly failing to prevent the engine cover from bouncing around. The original latch is essentially a solid block of rust (as are the fasteners - two of which are really difficult to get at) and is utterly beyond redemption.

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Not exactly pretty,..but that's not really high on my priority list. It's an effective solution though and has *massively* reduced the racket in the car caused by the cover rattling, buzzing and crashing around, especially on less smooth surfaces. Doesn't look massively out of place either I reckon.

I'm fairly sure they are actually fitted back to front, but this is just the way things lined up best with the level difference between the engine cover and surrounding bodywork.

We did a little experiment this afternoon when I was on the way back home. Previously I'd only really had one proper journey out of town - to and from the Festival of the Unexceptional last year - in this car to give me a better idea of real world performance and cruising ability. It's really hard to gauge in Milton Keynes as you run into a roundabout every 0.9 miles! So on the way home I hopped onto the A5 down by Bletchley and stayed on till the Stacy Bushes Milton Keynes exit. This test was a roaring success I feel. She's entirely happy to cruise at 60-65mph without any drama whatsoever, and has more in the tank for overtaking. I think the drivers of the few cars I passed today we're rather baffled by the tiny, scruffy pale blue tripod that had just merrily sailed past them without a care in the world, making a noise like a cross between a 60s motorbike and a hovercraft.

During my previous trip out of town I'm pretty confident now I was still suffering carb related issues as the performance today was very noticeably more eager. Previously she would sit at 55-60, but it felt like you were running out of steam a bit by then, whereas today she was happy to cruise above 60 with a reserve of power still on tap. Does take a little while to wind up to it, and I imagine hills would still knock her back...but we were only talking about a rated output of 19.3bhp from new so your expectations need to be realistic. Importantly though she gets up to speed quick enough to never feel like a liability, and she definitely gets up to cruising speed quicker than the van by quite a comfortable margin. I'd not maybe want to go mixing with rush hour traffic on the M1, but it's entirely possible to drive this car in real world traffic in 2020 so long as you use a bit of common sense.
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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JPB
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

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

#658 Post by JPB » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:23 pm

IMHO, these rubber things look entirely in keeping with the general appearance of the car. To the question of whether they're the wrong way round, this is easy to solve thus: Should the two be orientated differently from each other, then worry a little, but as they're both the same way round, nobody can pick fault with them as they're an addition to the car's original engine cover security features and ninety nine percent of observers won't know how they should be fitted and the one percent who might really ought to find a hobby more constructive than criticising other folks' cars needlessly. Swimming with sharks springs to mind, that'll shut them up. :|
8-)
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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

#659 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:44 am

Let's face it, the rivet counters are never going to like this car are they? Far too many battle scars and alterations have been made over the years.

They can go occupy themselves looking at the seven digit price tag Ferraris with carefully polished and rotationally matched spark plugs. I'll stick with the cars with a story to tell.
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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JPB
Posts: 10166
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

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

#660 Post by JPB » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:05 am

Zelandeth wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:44 am
...

They can go occupy themselves looking at the seven digit price tag Ferraris with carefully polished and rotationally matched spark plugs. I'll stick with the cars with a story to tell.
Amen to that! :)
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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