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.
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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#351 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:00 pm

That was pretty painless.

New clutch master cylinder is now fitted to the van.

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Only slight headache was discovering that the hose clip had cut into the hose to the reservoir meaning I had to trim the end back a little, so the hose is now a little too short. Not a major issue in the grand scheme of things, hose looks pretty crusty anyway so probably not a bad idea to change it anyway. 

The test drive revealed quite how bad it had become. The gearchange is considerably more slick now which leads me to believe that we weren't seeing the full range of motion actually at the clutch end. The pedal is also a good deal lighter which is surprising given it was already surprisingly light for a design this old.

Next task there is probably going to be getting hold of some more fuel line and swapping out the tails which connect the rigid vacuum lines around the fuel pump together (I'm assuming they're something to do with the system which raises the idle speed slightly when the engine is cold) as they have perished a bit, and I figure it just makes sense to get them dealt with while I'm thinking of it.
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.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes, Sinclair & AC Model 70

#352 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 pm

Been struggling for energy a bit this last couple of days so not been a huge amount going on.

Have got the new PCV hardware fitted to the engine on the Invacar though.

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While I had the valves off it gave me a good chance to see how things were looking in the vapour separator now that we've had a few decent runs under our belt.

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This used to look like the aftermath of a water cooled engine with a stuffed head gasket. Glad to see that the moisture has all boiled off now. I'd ideally like to get the whole tower off to give it a really good scrub internally. However given that they are apparently quite prone to leaking at the joint to the crankcase where mine is miraculously oil tight I'm probably just going to leave it be rather than tempt fate.

Not expecting the new PCV kit to make any difference to normal driving, but will be nice to know that side of things is working as the designer intended.
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.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#353 Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:12 pm

Moderately irritating couple of days.

Really wanted to properly sort the throttle cable, I was astonished that my bodge had held a day, much less several weeks.

Now this sort of thing used to be simple...less so these days. Having been to the usual mainstream suspects along with three independent motor factors I only found that they've not kept stuff like cables on the reel "for years, mate." Already knew that was true for heater hose after I had a royal faff trying to find some a couple of years ago.

The thought occurred to try my usual bike shop, especially as the barrel type cable end was identical to the one used on the brake cables of the Sinclair C5.

Sadly they no longer stock stuff like that, rather than a reel of cable and a crimp tool to put the ends on,they now come pre-made in nice little cardboard packets. Sadly the longest one they have in stock is a brake cable for a tandem, at 2.75M. The cable which came off the car is roughly 3.5 metres long...so 2.75 isn't going to cut it.

Having struck out on everywhere locally to find cable am finally gave in and ordered it from the internet. From a seller proudly proclaiming to be UK based. Ordered 20 metres of cable and a shedload of ends to be soldered on. Twenty minutes later I received a text message from Royal Mail telling me there was a package on the way to me from China. Only one thing that could be...the throttle cable set I'd just bought.

Great, that'll be a couple of weeks then.

Really irks me that back when I started driving - even though I lived a 20 minute drive from civilisation - if I needed random stuff like that I could be home with it in my hand inside an hour. Yet now I've got to faff around waiting days or weeks for sundry items like this.

Sure there are plenty of independent motor factors who could still help, however I've yet to figure out where they are... especially as MK isn't exactly small firm friendly, it's mostly corporate chains round here. At least as far as I've generally found this far...only been here a few years so still tracking down useful places.

I'll let you know once I've actually got hold of a throttle cable and can get the car mobile again...annoying when what should have been a quick repair turns into a multi-day faff.
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.

suffolkpete
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:54 am

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

#354 Post by suffolkpete » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:39 am

You can buy cable off the reel from Car Builder Solutions www.cbsonline.co.uk if you don't mind using solderless nipples
1974 Rover 2200 SC
1982 Matra Murena 1.6

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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#355 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:44 am

suffolkpete wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:39 am
You can buy cable off the reel from Car Builder Solutions www.cbsonline.co.uk if you don't mind using solderless nipples
Cheers for the link, I'll take a closer look when I (hopefully) have the opportunity to sit down at my desktop PC later. I'm currently using my phone and that website seems to be almost aggressively mobile-unfriendly.

I'm not really fussed about which type of cable ends are used so long as it's reliable. At least with 20m on the way I shouldn't need to worry about buying more for a while once it eventually turns up.
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.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#356 Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:01 pm

This afternoon I took an hour out to investigate a gremlin which has turned on the Xantia in the last week or so - that the rear of the exhaust had taken up rattling somewhere. It's driving me round the twist.

Being a hydraulic Citroen has pluses and minuses. Needing to pull the axle stands out to safely crawl under it to poke the exhaust is a minus. Not actually having to do the jacking up manually though is a plus.

Obligatory safety disclaimer:
Obviously it's essential to put the axle stands in as should there be any failure in the hydraulic system, the car could drop on you. There are far less stupid ways to die than get squished by a Citroen because you accidentally poked and annoyed the rear height corrector while inspecting the exhaust.

I've had a good poke around the exhaust end to end...I'm precisely none the wiser. All of the hangers are present and correct, the system hasn't split anywhere (nope, not even the usual joint on the front of the back box which usually rots out on Xantias), no obvious dents or anything. The hanger rubbers even look healthy.

The only thing resembling a theory I've got at this point is that someone has smacked my car in a car park, but they've managed to very specifically hit the tailpipe...just hard enough to either bend the system or one of the hangers slightly.

It's all I've got...the rear silencer is fouling on the rear chassis rail (okay fine...I know it's a monocoque, but you know what I mean) and boot floor quite firmly. It's never done this until the last couple of weeks, so either the car or the exhaust has changed shape!

I'd known the rear box was a bit crusty though so wanted to give it a good look over. Of course I'm a complete idiot, so I poked the crusty bits.

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Now there are two holes in the box. This one and another one just by where the pipe joins on the front.

The centre section isn't bad, but it's not in its first flush of youth either and I know from prior experience that the flange at the rear (for those not familiar with PSA exhausts, these use a sort of spherical joint with a cup on each end of the joining pipes) is likely to be a mess once I remove the clamp and will then be a pain to seal again.

So I realistically need a rear box, probably a middle section...and four tyres. Fronts are worn out, rears have plenty of tread left but date from 2010 and are starting to perish. This is going to be an expensive month isn't it.

I attempted and failed to track down a local independent paint specialist today. After spending half an hour driving around in circles I abandoned that plan and reverted to plan B, heading over to LKQ Coatings. I've used them before a few years ago and was impressed with the service, so happy to give them more business. All the forms have been filled in and the paint details tracked down, and tomorrow we should get some paint made up for the Invacar in cellulose along with some decent high build primer. This should be a pretty big stepping stone towards getting the Invacar looking vaguely presentable.
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.

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

#357 Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:05 pm

I have paint!

Took a bit of discussion to come round to what was probably the best compromise in terms of being sprayable with the equipment I have, being suitable for the substrate, and not being horrifically dangerous so as to require a respirator with a remote air supply. We got there in the end though.

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£11 for a litre if I remember right - and a litre should go a lot further in a proper spray gun than in rattle cans if my prior experience is anything to go by. The Halfords rattle cans were the best part of a tenner each. Yeah...this should save me a few quid. 

This paint has really good high build properties apparently, so all the better for scruffy fibreglass. 

Picked up a suitable mask while I was there too.

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Didn't even come close to having time to get the spray gun out yesterday, but couldn't resist having a peek to see what the colour match looked like.

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It's really hard to tell in the can obviously (especially under artificial light), but it looks a decently close match for my purposes. If anything it's slightly lighter than the Halfords paint, which if it's not a perfect match is what I'd prefer.

Worth noting that the engine cover in shot there has several coats of clearcoat on as well, which this paint shouldn't require. So that may also explain why it looks a bit darker.

No, there would have been nothing to stop me getting them to mix up the original colour at this point - sticking with this Ford colour is a purely personal choice at this stage. I just like it better.

No idea if I'll have a chance to get anything done today at this stage....but I'd obviously like to get some spraying done.

Another part for the Invacar arrived this morning in the post (which I'd totally forgotten ordering).

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The blade I'd been using was stuffed despite having been on there only a few months and nobody locally stocks 10" ones any more. Nor do any of the refill kits I have fit (the blade is too fat to fit in the retainers)...so I just ordered one. Figured if I was doing that anyway I may as well get something that looks vaguely in period.

I'm not holding out much hope for it actually being even vaguely useful in terms of actually clearing the screen - but at least it won't scratch it when I forgot the existing blade is knackered and turn the wiper on in error again. I've already got very lucky in that regard twice.
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.

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

#358 Post by Zelandeth » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:45 pm

Had an opportunity to do a very quick test of the paint yesterday evening - which was basically 30 minutes setting up the spray gun, wiping the panel down, then the same to clean the spray gun out. Actually painting covered about five minutes.

It's pretty obvious that this is going to be an order of magnitude easier than messing around with rattle cans.

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The green blob on the floor is a fair amount of the original paint matching test, spilled courtesy of next door's cat. She is a menace. No huge loss though given the neon peppermint colour didn't seem to really match anything well on the car.

It's not been put down nearly thick enough, I'm fully aware of that. This was just a quick test - a bunch of masking and cleaning will be done before I hopefully do a reasonably complete run round the car. Shouldn't take me long to establish how far the paint is going too so I can see if I need to go and get more well before actually running short. 

It's been a while since I've had a decent A2 rated respirator on. Having a bit of equipment which successfully totally filters out the smell of solvents is *weird* I tell you. You kind of expect goggles to restrict your vision, ear protectors to muffle sound...but to have a little plastic thing that does little to restrict air flow essentially be able to turn smell on and off is something which messes with my head a bit. 

Effective though - was utterly oblivious to how strong the garage was smelling until I took the mask off (after airing the garage out a bit too)... should be effective though given that's why I bought it. 

That was where we left things yesterday.

This evening I had a bit of time to do a bit of further testing.


Step one was to get everything masked off so I can stop worrying about getting paint where I don't want it.

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Bit further spraying was done.

Definitely looking a million times better now the front end is mostly one colour.

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If you ever wondered if it's worth wearing a mask...well here's what the particulate filters look like now after about an hour and a half.

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They were white when we started, and this process has produced about a quarter of the amount of garage fog that the rattle cans do...so yes, make sure you're wearing the correct PPE. It's somehow reassuring to actually see evidence of the filters doing their job.

The only issue I seem to be having is actually getting enough paint onto the car. Think I'll need to experiment with a bit more thinners than the instructions actually recommend to see what happens.

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Will do a bit more experimentation with paint mix over the weekend and see if I can get a thicker layer put down (without ending up with runs of course). Feels like we're heading in the right direction, even though there's a fair way to go yet. 
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.

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

#359 Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:38 pm

Definitely struggling with the spray gun a bit. I don't seem to be able to get any sort of a wet edge laid down no matter what I've done with the settings and the paint doesn't seem to be atomising all that well, hence the pebbly texture we seem to be getting most of the time.

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When covering other colours (like the grey primer on the roof front edge) it was immediately apparent how thinly the paint was going on too. I did a little experimentation with thinners and found that I could get a decently "wet" spray - but at such a point that the paint was watered down to the extent I wound up with odd effects where the pigment had run...so not really a solution.

I think the £18 spray gun may need to be eyed as a possible contributor to these issues...I don't think air supply is an issue as I've verified I've got suitable pressure at the delivery point (not just shown on the regulator).

Every now and then it will sputter for a second then give me a few seconds of actually decent spray...so there are some spots where things are actually glossy.

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Bit frustrating to be honest as so far I've not come close to matching the finish I was getting from rattle cans (admittedly at about ten times the price) beforehand. As demonstrated by the engine cover below, where it caught the rain a little yesterday evening when the back end was sticking out the garage door a bit.

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We'll get there I'm sure...just going to take some time and experimentation I think.
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.

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Zelandeth
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:11 pm

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

#360 Post by Zelandeth » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:10 am

Not a huge amount of progress from yesterday - though the rear of the roof is now the only bit which is now still in primer.

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A friend of mine who does quite a bit of painting of commercial vehicles has suggested that based on the type of paint I'm using the 1mm nozzle is likely to be sub optimal for doing full panel spraying. This ties in with my observations to be honest today when I was fiddling around with the settings on the paint gun. I got a nice finish on the little box I was using as my test piece, but turning back to the car it felt like I was puffing paint at the car through a drinking straw again.

About an hour after that conversation someone suggested that on another forum as well.

My friend has also suggested that this paint should behave well if rollered on, especially on a less than stellar surface like this where we want a bit thicker a coat than might normally be expected. So I'm going to give that a try tomorrow. Never tried it before, but curious to try it.

Should quickly be able to get the remaining bits of primer in colour quickly anyhow. I've not discounted the idea of getting it along to the National Microcar Rally next weekend yet...but there are a lot of things which would need to go right before that can happen yet.
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.

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