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

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:09 am
by Zelandeth
Have been doing the whole enjoying the summer thing today. As you can see we've been doing things properly.

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Struggling to think of anything more fun to bumble around in doing errands on a day like today.

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

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:10 pm
by Zelandeth
While I've not actually been instructed to do anything to this car I will give it an once over and generate a list of observations of things that I think need doing. This is something that happens to any car that passes through our driveway pretty much.

She's also in pretty serious need of a good old fashioned polish and wax, so that will definitely be happening before she's dropped off back home.

This takes a bit of stress off me as I'm currently waiting for the Xantia to come back from the garage with a fresh MOT. At least we've now sorted out the situation there - Just an old school communications breakdown.

It always surprises me how much room there is inside one of these cars given how tiny they are and how narrow the actual body is.

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Still breaks my brain a little that this instrument panel is from a late 80s car...

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Also surprises me that there's no charging/ignition light.

Have a couple of photos snapped at my usual photo spot, the car park by the Linford Wood BP Garage.

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Such a lovely design, especially from a low angle like this I think.

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I'll return here once she's had a polish and been drowned in wax.


The only thing I've really done so far cleaning wise was to give the steering wheel a clean. As seems to happen a lot to cars which aren't used regularly it was quite sticky and quite unpleasant to hold. Not really a visible difference, but this is far more pleasant.

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Fun fact: Steering wheels are disgusting.

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This isn't actually that bad...It's scary what comes off sometimes, it just always seems to go noticeably sticky and horrible on cars that don't get used regularly.

The interior in general isn't bad at all, so it won't need too much attention. The innumerable bits of grass will be vacuumed out, surfaces given a wipe down and the glass given a clean. The seat covers are suffering slightly from the long term effects of sunlight, so I'll be VERY careful while around those. Glass is definitely next on the list as when the sun is low it's honestly difficult to see out of currently.

It was mentioned that there had been some issues with the air filter housing on this car causing the lid to pop off. I did notice yesterday that the induction roar was rather loud, even by the standards of a 2CV which I always remember as being pretty rorty at the best of times...so seemed worthwhile checking.

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Yep...That would do it! I thought the BrrrrRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHH! from up front seemed a little excessive!

One screw was missing entirely, there were a couple of issues with the lid where the screws have pulled through, and one had stripped out the housing.

One beefy screw to deal with the stripped out hole, one replacement and some nice big washers later...

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Sorted! I checked it again after a run out today and it's just fine. The owner has recently picked up a new air filter housing for it so it will be changed soon, but as this repair took all of about a minute I don't consider it wasted effort.

The whole driving experience is just utterly addictive. The mechanical growl from the engine, proper old school gearbox whine, a gearchange which despite what people will tell you is actually a joy to use, comfy seats, and of course the ability to roll the roof back. Oh and the ride. The ability this car has to smooth bumps out on even the most knackered of surfaces is mind boggling. Definitely back on the wish list.

Looking forward to getting a bit of a shine back on the paintwork. Reckon it's going to be the classic white car situation where you won't realise how matt it's become until it's shiny again!

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

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:20 pm
by Zelandeth
Despite running around like a headless chicken for a large portion of the last few days I finally got an hour and a bit this afternoon to get some cleaning work done on the 2CV. Yesterday the driveshafts and suspension shackle tie rods were greased as it was identified they were missed when the car was given some attention last weekend.

Windows all cleaned and the polishing has begun. First pass done on this side and the front now. Will want a bit more detail attention in a few spots and a load of wax, but we're getting there.

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At least the roof doesn't need to be polished because it's not metal!

If the weather cooperates it should be pretty much done tomorrow with a bit of luck.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:49 pm
by Zelandeth
Spot the difference...

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The photos flatter the finish a bit, but she's looking better I think.

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Annoyingly I've completely and utterly lost track of any of my wax. So I'll need to pop out to get some more tomorrow. I suspect I know where it is, under the landslide that happened a week or so back in the garage...so I'm not going digging for it in there just now! Buying new is the easiest option.

In other news, think I've picked out the carpet which I'll be using in the Invacar.

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Should look pretty understated once in place, especially once there's a little bit of wear in the picture. These tiles are £1.99 each, so reckon I should be able to do the whole lot for less than £30. Being in smaller squares should actually make getting things to fit easier I reckon, even if the finish won't be quite so seamless.

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

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:10 pm
by Dick
You made a tidy job of the dolly, what did you use on the steering wheel? Mine are usually filthy ( im a grubby bugger) soapy water cleans me up fine but won't touch steering wheel grime..

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

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:20 pm
by Zelandeth
Dick wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:10 pm
You made a tidy job of the dolly, what did you use on the steering wheel? Mine are usually filthy ( im a grubby bugger) soapy water cleans me up fine but won't touch steering wheel grime..
That was just the own-brand antibacterial surface wipes from Costco. I find that they're really good at cutting through greasy sticky grime like what tends to accumulate on steering wheels. Obviously only suitable for use on plastic or foam based ones, I suspect they'd do more harm than good on a leather wrapped wheel. I found that make up remover wipes did a really good job of getting the gunk off the wheel in the Jag without appearing to attack the leather at all.

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This morning I went out and grabbed a new pot of wax to replace the one buried somewhere in the back of the garage, then got to work.

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I'm not a professional automotive detailer, but I think this has come out looking reasonably presentable.

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In addition to the obvious polish and wax action, the glass has all been cleaned inside and out and the outside of all the windows (but NOT the windscreen) have been treated with Rain-Ex. I don't like this on windscreens as it has without exception just resulted in wipers that smear and judder so I keep it well clear. It's great for the other glass and mirrors though. It's only a theory, but I reckon that the way it makes water just bead and run off helps keep the windows cleaner for longer as well. I've never actually conducted any proper tests to see if that's true or not.

Hoping that if my schedule co-operates tomorrow I'll get her dropped back off with her owner. If not (and it's looking like it will be quite a hectic day) that will be pushed back to Tuesday, and I'll take the opportunity to apply an extra coat of wax.

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

Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:49 pm
by Zelandeth
Forgot to post up yesterday's update...

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We had a little bit of excitement this morning while I was putting the Xantia in for the MOT in that the 2CV decided that mashed against the floor was a good place for the throttle pedal to sit - irrespective of whether my foot was on it or not.

Didn't take long to figure out why...

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That's the throttle return spring which should be hooked up between the throttle linkage on the carb and the fan cowling up front.

Cable ties were deployed to get me home.

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I did experiment with the spring a bit to see if I could bend a new loop in the end, but irrespective of whether heat was used or not it just kept snapping off...and a new spring is only £3.50, so it's not worth spending too much time on really.

So we went back to the cable tie solution for the time being, albeit slightly more tidily routed than the original one.

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After that the car was driven back over to and reunited with its owner.

I believe the next patient that we might be seeing here is an early AX which is refusing to idle properly at the moment.

Despite the slight excitement with the throttle setup on the 2CV flying to bits the Xantia has *finally* gone successfully through the MOT so is once more roadworthy. With the 2CV back at home I was able to fit everything back off the road. If it were still here something would have had to be moved outside or put behind the Jag on the lawn. The plan is to extend the driveway or to put a grid down to give us more space - not least because currently getting in or out of the garage with a car is a major faff.

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I noticed when getting into the Xantia this morning that the rear wiper blade had completely disintegrated...but knew I had a genuine replacement in my parts stash so swapped that over. Wouldn't usually be worthy of note but for the fact that it's actually got a Citroen logo printed on it.

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I do wonder how much of a markup that added!

I do have the trim for the end of the arm but it's not a very good fit so lives in the glove box as I've always been afraid it would vanish if I left it on the wiper arm.

Had honestly forgotten how rapid this car is once the boost arrives...

Few things still on the to do list for it.

[] Reset Activa system ride height, as unsurprisingly with the whole front end pretty much having been apart it's gone awry and the offside front is sitting about an inch lower than it should.

[] She's due a timing belt.

[] Rear brake discs & pads.

[] Do *something* about the paint.

We'll get moving on this lot soon hopefully.

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Fast forward to today:

Having been out for a proper drive now I can vouch for the fact that these have hugely improved the Xantia.

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For a start the slight vibration at 70 has totally gone. Secondly the grip (which was already impressive because Activa) is now absolutely ridiculous. Thirdly they're massively more compliant than the old Michelins which they replaced. It's made the ride far better and vastly reduced the tendency for the car to crash over sharp ridges in the road surface (which has always been the biggest weakness of the oliopneumatic suspension).

Will be curious to see how it is once we've got a new set of spheres on as I know the rears in particular are very tired.

I had forgotten how annoying the creak from the offside front was though...really might need to put some energy into seeing if we can resolve that. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the car is so quiet and refined otherwise that it puts many moderns to shame...it just makes the strut that does a passable impression of a creaky door in a haunted house seem so much louder.

Something I was particularly pleased to see at the MOT though was the result of the emission test. We've got pretty much every bit of paperwork for this car from the original bill of sale onwards, and we're pretty certain that this is the original 26 year and 140K mile cat.

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Oh...and this was running on six month old fuel as well.