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.
Message
Author
User avatar
Zelandeth
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#131 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:46 pm

Initially had planned to do a couple of useful things today however wound up running out of patience with the mess in the Invacar cabin.

The one task I did manage was to sort out the heater controls. The control for the cabin heater was sticky, traced to the cable sheath moving. The termination at the actual heater box isn't great, but fastening the three cables together has solved the problem. Of course it's also made them tidier which is also extremely important.

Image

It was about this point that I knocked a bunch of tools over again, and felt it necessary to do a bit of tidying up.

Image

Fire extinguisher was shoved back in the bracket as I was tired of falling over it, dropping it on my toes etc. Do need to find a proper bracket though as it's had one for the later powder type which is taller.

Having cleared a load of random tools and general debris out of the car it became very obvious how filthy it was...so the cleaning supplies came out.

Image

Slightly more pleasant place to be now. Really need to get a new grip for the handlebars as I'm fed up of finding bits of blue foam everywhere.

Garage itself actually needs the same treatment now...

I've a load of brake fittings on the way which will hopefully mean I can tidy my earlier work there up soon.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#132 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:42 pm

Figured it was about time we started ticking off a few of the things on the "pointy bits the MOT Tester will object to" list.

This one for starters.

Image

The gutters are also a major part of the weather proofing, as they stop water running off the roof into the door, where the seals are very basic. Well they should do, this one standing 1/2" off the roof wasn't doing much.

I'd salvaged a good one from the spares car a while back so it was a simple matter of drilling out the retaining screws (heads having long since vanished) and peeling the strip off.

Cleaning the surface up...

Image

Then lay down a bead of sealant before putting the strip in place and screwing or riveting it in place...except I couldn't find the gun assembly to go with the tube of sealant, and of course as it's New Year's Day so I can't just go out and get a new one. Will do it tomorrow.

Frustrated by getting interrupted halfway through that job I reverted to type and continued cleaning stuff.

Windscreen had never been done properly since I got it but actually scrubbed up pretty well. Given how beat up the body is I was expecting more scratches.

Image

Then continued the ongoing mission to get rid of the ingrained grime on the inside of the doors.

Image

Image

Bit of a slow process as the doors have been sitting outside for a couple of decades, but we're getting there. Need to do a bit of a repair to the nearside one above the rear latch too.

Given I've had people on three forums now express concerns about the fire extinguisher, I'll get that replaced with something more environmentally friendly and try to figure out how to safely dispose of the old halon one. I had no idea that one tiny little fire extinguisher could prove such a hot topic.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#133 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:20 am

So a couple of days ago our fridge freezer decided to lose interest in cooling. Of course when it was chock full of stuff for Christmas and New Year. Cue frantically scrambling to get stuff into what's normally used as the drinks fridge these days (the main one came with the house) and the chest freezer in the garage and the fridge in the camper. We *just* managed to cram everything in. The fault was pretty quickly traced to a failed relay. £2.02 including delivery had a new one here, and fitting it took about 15 minutes. No chance you would get someone to come and repair a 15 year old fridge these days if my experience with tradesmen is anything to go by, so the vast majority of households would have wound up binning this for the sake of that relay.

Image

New unit of equivalent spec these days would set you back around £800.

Obviously while it was empty and I wasn't rushing to get stuff done before things defrosted I'd have been daft not to give it a really good deep clean once it was fixed before putting stuff back in.

Image

Image

I actually quite enjoy getting stuff looking factory fresh so enjoyed this more than I probably should.

Back to the cars...

Speaking of cleaning things, the windscreen washer bottle was given a thorough clean and reinstated. The pipework will be more tidily routed in due course once I've finished messing with the wiring up above.

Image

We all remember this ugly looking monstrosity?

Image

I finally ran out of patience with it shedding blue powder all over everything whenever you went anywhere near it.

Image

Much better. Funny how perceptually this makes it feel far closer to a working vehicle from the driver's seat despite being such a minor detail. Handlebars will be given a coat of hammered black paint at some point in the future too, obviously.

Have also picked up some hardener to go wish the resin and glass fibre matting I already have in stock, so am all set to make a start on some of the real bodywork jobs now.

I did however totally forget to pick up a new mastic gun to apply the gutter sealant with...which is what I actually went out for in the first place.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#134 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:23 pm

Thanks to input from the Microcar World group on Facebook (which I've extremely begrudgingly made use of simply because not doing so was proving to be a major pain in the tail in resource terms) I've finally been in touch with a fabrication shop who are actually interested in making me a fuel tank.

Fusion Fabrication over in Oxfordshire have agreed to make me one up that will be as close as possibly a direct replica of the original tank but in aluminium (because lightness counts of course!). £230 was the price quoted which is precisely the sort of ball park I'd been expecting really - not the £850 one other lot quoted... Will let you know how it turns out obviously.

Next step, order fuel gauge sender...Need to dig back through the various threads I've got on this I think as I'm sure someone mentioned which one I needed somewhere. The gauge reads full scale full with no sender attached if that means anything to anyone - it will no doubt be shared with some BMC models from the early to mid 70s I'm sure.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#135 Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:25 pm

So we've made a start on the bodywork.

I've not done any real work with fibreglass like this before so it's an exercise in experimentation. Main target at this stage is "presentable at twenty paces and acceptable at the MOT.". I'm under no illusions that I won't wind up reworking this at some point in the future. Someone is currently looking at the possibility of making some moulds as well so it's entirely possible that repair sections may become available a year or two down the line too.

We started with this.

Image

Which when I left the garage this evening looked like this.

Image

Still scruffy by any standards, but scruffy is preferable to missing, so feels like progress.

Definitely reverting to the application method I've seen a friend using though (wetting the mat in a tray then applying that to the bodywork rather than holding the mat in place and "painting" over it) as doing it the way illustrated on the tin was a gigantic pain in the tail as the mat even when properly wetted through was far more interested in sticking to the brush than the bodywork.

Also highlighted how well insulated from the house our garage isn't. The whole house now stinks to high heaven of resin.

I've also got a fuel gauge sender, air filter element and a different type of fuel gauge (in case the sender is for a different type - at least three were used), so the tank should be pretty immediately ready to go in hopefully when it arrives. Will be dropping off the sender at the fabricator most likely so they can take measurements from it, they're less than an hour's drive away at least.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#136 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 am

Was expecting a couple of parts for the Invacar in the post yesterday. Still waiting for them...however something far more exciting turned up instead.

They were all scrapped in 2003, and we all know once that happens the car is doomed, right?

Image

Had expected this to require far more arguing with the DVLA, however all that wound up being required was a V62, a cheque for £25, a covering letter and a bundle of photos showing the car as a whole and the chassis, body and engine numbers.

Suffice to say, having the V5C turn up is a massive step forward. It however can't just be taxed like that...you need to do this first...

[] Fill in section 7 on the V5.
- Wheel plan/body type, change from "invalid vehicle/not recorded" to "3-wheel/tricycle."
- Engine size, 493cc. They all show 9999cc as that seems to be the default value the system put in when the records were digitised if the field was blank.
- Engine number, self explanatory.
- Number of seats, 1.
- Tax class, change "disabled" to "historic."

[] Go to Post Office. Have them change the tax class there (no MOT needed, V112 exemption certificate is sufficient). They retained the V5C for onward transmission directly to the DVLA.

So for the first time since at least 2001, she is taxed.

Image

Then rang up my insurer (Hagerty) to get it on cover (all of £50 a year), as I wanted to take the van off cover as it's laid up for winter anyhow...so wound up getting a nice little refund.

So now the only thing between it and the road is my own to do list...suffice to say this should make for a good incentive to get my tail in gear and finish it.

Lack of requiring an MOT is a bonus (it will still get one) as it will mean the first testing can be gently trundling around our neighborhood rather than a mad dash all the way across town to the MOT centre.

The evening task was to reattach the nearside gutter...job done.

Image

The self tapping screws are temporary, nuts and bolts will be used - I discovered after applying the sealant that I couldn't fit the rivet gun in, so needed to find a way to hold the gutter on while the sealant set.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#137 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:30 pm

Turns out my determination to get the trim panel above the windscreen off was well founded given this is what greeted me when I finally drilled out the seized screw and got it off.

Image

Thankfully the occupants were no longer present and as I've seen no other evidence of them I'm happy to believe that they're gone.

Annoyingly I'll need to pick up a second 1/8" Whitworth spanner to get the heater control box (for painting) and the windscreen demister assembly (to ensure it's free of rodent nests and to improve the degree to which it's sealed as a heap of air currently exits in unhelpful directions). So that's a job for the future.

This is what the trim panel looked like with the rotten cloth and foam removed.

Image

Once I've managed to remove the adhesive (and the remaining sun visor hinge) it will be given a coat of hammered finish black paint. I reckon that will look as though it was as intended by the factory. The original cloth actually looks oddly out of place I think.

The bolts I'd planned to use on the roof gutters unfortunately have heads too big to fit in the channel. I'll try to find something more appropriate tomorrow. That's not a massively high priority.

Nice little package of stuff arrived this morning.

Image

That's a fuel gauge sender, new air filter (finally!) and one of the later Curtis/Veglia fuel gauges. So irrespective of which type of sender is in the box I should be able to make that work. Also means I can now take measurements of the sender unit and send those to the gent who is making the fuel tank for me.

Probably get tyres ordered this week...the first test run (even though it will just be a third of a mile loop round our neighborhood) is getting tantalisingly close now...
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#138 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:32 pm

I think it's fair to say that the old air filter was "due for replacement" on this occasion...

Image

Much better.

Image

The rest of the day's tasks came under the heading of "unexciting but important" given the steadily approaching point at which I'll want to venture beyond the end of the driveway.

The driver's seat still had the seat belt buckle and pretensioner assembly from its previous life in a Xantia attached. This was annoying in that I repeatedly sat on it when climbing aboard and that it got in the way of the seat belt. So that got removed (anyone need a spare for an S2 Xantia?). This meant that it was time to remove the original mangled seat belt buckle though - which I was staggered to find actually unbolted without too much protest.

Image

Obviously that was destined only for the bin!

Nice new old stock eye bolt was installed...

Image

Which finally meant I could clip the seatbelt into place correctly.

Image

The seatbelt now in a functional state I figured it made sense to sort the seat itself next. The main issue I had was that it wobbled because the clamps I'd used to secure the seat to the original framework were slightly too big - so I ran out of thread on the bolts before everything was properly secured. It couldn't actually *go* anywhere, just wobbled by a couple of millimetres.

I suddenly had the brainwave telling me that I didn't actually need to replace the clamps, instead just stick a few washers under the securing nuts to act as spacers, giving me the extra 1.8" or so of thread I needed. Worked perfectly, and the seat is now more securely fastened in place than the original was I reckon.

Knowing I was done with messing for that for now I drilled a couple of holes in and reattached the trim that used to be on the side of it, hiding the somewhat ugly mounting hardware from the nearside.

Image

Having a seat that doesn't go "clonk" alarmingly every time you sit down and having a working seatbelt definitely seem things it was worth ticking off the to do list.

The eagle eyed among you might have spotted in the above photo that the offside interior door release has also been refitted.

Nothing I've thrown at it so far has any impact on the glue from the sun visor trim panel, so looks like that will need to be removed by brute force and an andle grinder.

The absolutely disgusting sun visor (I'm not kidding, it was gross)...

Image

Cleaned up quite nicely overnight with a trip through my "parts washer" so is now ready to be refitted once the panel it attaches to is ready.

Image

I didn't want to tackle the brake pipes while the car is in the garage as having access to all sides of the car will make that a fair bit easier, so might try to pull it out the garage and do that tomorrow if the weather co-operates.
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: 144
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#139 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:17 pm

Sometimes you have to take what look superficially like a few steps backward to move forward.

You know that thing I did bolting the seat in place yesterday? Yep, went and pulled it out again today.

To be fair I knew I was going to be doing that, I've got a list of things on the whiteboard which basically come under the heading of "stuff I bodged when I was wanting to just get the car going" and "stuff I couldn't get at earlier."

The transmission access hatch needed to come off. Of course there was the obligatory *one* screw that wouldn't come out. There's always one.

Image

Out with the drill again. Then half an hour of very, very carefully peeling the gasket off as it was well and truly stuck to the bulkhead.

So there were a few things I wanted this off for.

Firstly, the offside engine mount. I'd only managed to get one bolt into it when the engine went in, and the nut wouldn't do up fully because the bolt was partly cross threaded. Access was awkward from the back of the car, but a doddle when approaching from inside the car. Note to self: next time you need to change one, do it from that side.

Image

While I was back there I rerouted the throttle cable properly through the eye on the gearbox which has helped stop it sticking. Also took the opportunity to adjust the gear selector which is far easier with the seat out the way.

While rummaging around I found two battery clamps, so have replaced the missing one.

Image

I've also been pondering my seat attachment setup and reckon that I can improve on my original solution...which worked but was exceedingly inelegant. I can do better.

Other reason I wanted that cover off was to get better access for routing the rear axle brake lines. Once that's done everything will be getting buttoned back up.


Edit: nearly forgot, the C5 was out for its first run of the year a couple of days back - totally by random chance it turned out to be on the anniversary of its launch.

Image

It still never ceases to amaze me how many people think it's some futuristic new thing that's just hit the streets, not just having turned 34...I used it far too little last year, need to do better this year.
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
JPB
Posts: 9780
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

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

#140 Post by JPB » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:53 am

This is outstanding work and you certainly don't hang around. Well done, here's wishing you well with the rest of the AC project. That's a tidy looking C5 and a gorgeous dog. :)
John, Operating knackered old sheds as daily transport since 1981. :|

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests