Today I mostly .....

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:19 pm

Well...This is now in my garage!

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First order of business today (given that I couldn't really do much yesterday thanks to the weather!) was to attack it with the pressure washer. It was filthy.

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I don't usually use the rotary nozzle attachment for the pressure washer on cars as it tends to remove paint as well as dirt...however it seemed the ideal tool for the job here!

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Also, here's the shot of a logo that you'd not really expect to find on something like this!

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Yesterday I did get a couple of things done though despite the rain. Mostly just checking things over. Firstly was proving that the engine did indeed turn over freely by hand. I also checked the oil, finding there to be far too much in the crankcase I drained that off and refilled with new...Goodness knows how long it had been in there.

Hoping that tomorrow I'll have the opportunity to do a bit of electrical detective work to figure out how the Dynastart works and see if I can get the engine to turn over - and maybe even run! Wish me luck...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Tom. » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:24 pm

Wow! you've got your work cut out there. :shock:

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97 Niva 1.7i
2107 Riva Sport
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:47 pm

The biggest challenge really is just going to be sorting the body I reckon. Beyond that it should be a pretty straightforward recommissioning job really. The damage to the floor looks spectacular - but the panel is actually just riveted in place and appears to be totally non-structural. So really no big headache. The chassis itself I've found to be sound so far. There is a bit of remedial work needed to the front crash structure, but the chassis itself seems sound.

Keeping my eyes open for either finding donor body sections that I could repair (it's in three sections), though that's probably not likely to happen as there are already more rolling chassis out there than bodies, or looking at creating moulds from a complete car to actually make new panels. More likely than not that's the route I'll need to take.

Otherwise this isn't actually too bad a candidate as everything is there - including quite a lot of the harder to find bits. Plus it's actually been running relatively recently, unlike quite a few which haven't turned a wheel in 20+ years.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby hoverfrog » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:12 pm

good luck with that one! Was helping the 'retired Renault mechanic' with a Kubato tractor today, we got it to start but there was a little white wire that wasn't connected... we did what we could! The thing lives, it starts now, but does it recharge the battery when running? We think so, it remains to be seen! LOL!
Oh, I'm on 'advanced motor-mechanics' lessons this winter! Replace your shock-absorbers? Yes, but only if you're part of our 'club'. Make my chainsaw go? (Sthll 280) - oh yes! I'm also doing lessons on Anghular&JS - goddammit, the strawberry season is going to arrive too soon! Lol!

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:42 pm

So a quick update on where I've got to with the Invacar so far.

The day following the cleaning that's shown earlier I set about sorting out some of the horrendous hackery that the wiring had been subjected to. Thankfully I've got the manual and it contains a nice detailed wiring diagram that's laid out sensibly - so it wasn't a hard job to track down which wires I needed to reconnect to make the engine actually run.

Apparently a lot of this happened to isolate a short years in the past - though I couldn't find any evidence of this - the only possible contender was one connection onto the combined voltage regulator and Dynastart control box where the wire had come adrift and was wedged against the chassis.

Having reconnected everything I thought I needed to, turning on the ignition brought the first signs of life to the dash in that the oil pressure light lit up (green, as per quite a lot of cars in the 60s/70s).

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It also revealed that the engine would spin over on the Dynastart - even though at this stage it became quite clear that I needed to invest in some actual battery terminals.

With those attached, sticking a highly technically measured splash of fuel down the carb throat and cranking the engine over would make it fire and run for a few seconds - but that was it. It was definitely a sign of life though...



It quickly became apparent that the fuel pump wasn't living up to the name.

Stripping it down quickly revealed why - the pushrod was seized.

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Dousing this with penetrating oil and exercising it (read: whacking it with a hammer) quickly got it moving freely again. Upon reassembly it quite happily pumped fuel - however unfortunately it was pumping as much of it straight out of the cover plate and all over the offside exhaust downpipe as it was into the carb. Off it came again, was cleaned up to within an inch of its life, and reassembled with a tiny smear of instant gasket. Sorted. It'll need a new proper paper gasket before the car actually goes back into regular use - but it'll do for now.

Having the engine now capable of running for more than five seconds at a time meant I could investigate the apparently dead charging system (the light on the dash wasn't working) - though actually checking with a decent meter rather revealed a healthy 13.6V across the battery at idle...so it is working fine, just the light isn't. That appears to be due to a break in the wiring between the instrument panel and the Dynastart control box - as I've got 12V on what should be the earthy side of the lamp at the dash - but by the time that wire gets to the control box (brown with a yellow trace, in case you wondered which wire!) it's at 0V...so that wire must be broken somewhere. It's been added to the "to investigate later" list. I really wanted to make sure that was working before running the engine for any length of time though, as the Dynastart unit can be damaged if it's run with the charging system unloaded for any length of time.

This meant that we could run the engine essentially as long as we needed though...so there was an obvious test to do...now we knew the engine ran, did the drive system work?



It was quite obvious that the carb wasn't happy with life - hence the backfiring and carrying on whenever the throttle was applied quickly or the engine was put under load. This really wasn't surprising as I'd not so much as looked at the carb at this point. The accelerator jet seems to have rejoined the party since then. The throttle was also sticking a bit there causing the idle to be too high - which is why there was some horrible grinding of gears as it was making the (centrifugal) clutch drag.

What did become very apparent though was that once the engine started to warm up properly was that we had a severe smoking problem!

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You know it's bad when it even shows up in the photos. I had my suspicions however that this would be short lived. The exhaust had clearly been nigh on drowned with penetrating oil when it was last removed, and the engine had been left with more than twice the correct amount of oil in when it was laid up - so I'm sure that had found its way into places it shouldn't. Sure enough, having cleaned out the crankcase breather and left the engine set to a fast idle for a while the smoke dissipated - and the first time I touched the throttle after that the now-not-full-of-oil exhaust decided to shed about 20 years of soot.

The only other thing of note I've done since has been to attack the utterly rotten floor. It's about 85% out at this stage - the only bit left is the bit I couldn't easily get at from above with the grinder because the gear selector is in the way.

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The fasteners for this are well and truly stuck in place...so I'll either get at this area from underneath or just hack the fasteners off with the grinder. I've got a spare gear selector in a box which is in far better condition than this one, so I'm not too worried about getting it out in one piece.

Didn't clean up too badly actually...

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It would have been downright miraculous if the chassis didn't require some repair work once the floor was removed given the state it was in. There are indeed a few bits where I'll need to weld in some new metal - but given it's been rotting in a field since the early 1990s I think you'll agree that it's astonishing how good condition the metalwork there is in. I shudder to think what state most cars from 1975 would be in if they'd been left in a field (with no doors on!) since then...

Next up will be:

[] Remove the remaining floor.
[] Weld up the bits that need it.
[] Start sorting out the brakes.
[] Start piecing together the rest of the wiring.

Doing both of the above *before* I put the new floor in as it will make routing piping or cabling a heck of a lot easier.

Really been enjoying it so far. It's been working out well as something that I can just go out and spend an hour or so on in the evenings, and is pleasingly over-engineered for what it's really intended to be.

410kgs unladen - and 90% of that must be the chassis and engine - so I seriously doubt they're anywhere near as unstable as legend has it. Biggest challenge most likely will simply be down to sheer lack of weight and contact area of that single skinny front tyre at speed. I'm not planning on trying to break any speed records in it though!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:48 pm

Started out by swearing at the AC. It stubbornly refused to run on both cylinders. This situation continued until I pulled the flooded plug out of the offside cylinder and attacked it with the blowtorch.

While investigating that I did discover why the idle has been so erratic though. The cable hadn't been trimmed after it was fitted and was too long. The untrimmed end had twisted back and was acting as a spring pushing the throttle back open a bit. Trimming that resolved that, so the idle is now stable for the first time.

While I was waiting for the spark plugs to cook, I attacked the exhaust with some black VHT paint I found while looking for the blowtorch. Pointless but satisfying.

Next task was changing the stuffed brake master cylinder.

Didn't bother trying to get the bolts out, just attacked them with the grinder as they were easily accessible. It did take me about half an hour of standing on my head and swearing at it to get the split pin out of the pushrod to handlebar link...made far more awkward by the fact the car currently has no floor. Aside from that though that task was simple enough. Glad to report that my NOS (but having sat in a box for 20 years) cylinder appears to be fine. I've only bled things through to the first pipe union so far though as there are currently no shoes in the drums.

Tomorrow hoping to rebuild the drums, then see what's going to move and what's not. Then can order new wheel cylinders if needed. Even if one brake will work though it will make life easier as it'll make moving the thing less unnerving.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby hoverfrog » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:58 pm

...achieved far less than Zelandeth!
My two Nivas are legal and running, it's cold-wet-windy outside, so I'm currently doing an online course on AngularJS.
Last week of the course! So far so good - I passed all the other weeks, just this week to go, ...and then I'll find myself back in the strawberry greenhouses as no-one uses such advanced techniques in my neck of the woods!

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Neil Chowney » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:26 pm

Zelandeth wrote:Started out by swearing at the AC. It stubbornly refused to run on both cylinders. This situation continued until I pulled the flooded plug out of the offside cylinder and attacked it with the blowtorch.

While investigating that I did discover why the idle has been so erratic though. The cable hadn't been trimmed after it was fitted and was too long. The untrimmed end had twisted back and was acting as a spring pushing the throttle back open a bit. Trimming that resolved that, so the idle is now stable for the first time.

While I was waiting for the spark plugs to cook, I attacked the exhaust with some black VHT paint I found while looking for the blowtorch. Pointless but satisfying.

Next task was changing the stuffed brake master cylinder.

Didn't bother trying to get the bolts out, just attacked them with the grinder as they were easily accessible. It did take me about half an hour of standing on my head and swearing at it to get the split pin out of the pushrod to handlebar link...made far more awkward by the fact the car currently has no floor. Aside from that though that task was simple enough. Glad to report that my NOS (but having sat in a box for 20 years) cylinder appears to be fine. I've only bled things through to the first pipe union so far though as there are currently no shoes in the drums.

Tomorrow hoping to rebuild the drums, then see what's going to move and what's not. Then can order new wheel cylinders if needed. Even if one brake will work though it will make life easier as it'll make moving the thing less unnerving.


Hang on, what???

......Nitrous Oxide in an invalid carriage?????

You'll be getting a stiff letter from the local Motability you will...... :D
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:28 pm

Neil Chowney wrote:
Hang on, what???

......Nitrous Oxide in an invalid carriage?????

You'll be getting a stiff letter from the local Motability you will...... :D


Nearly made me inhale my coffee there, you did! You know full well what I meant! Sticking Nitrous on one of these things would be a quick way to kill yourself unless you'd implemented some way to brake the rear wheels independently to steer. There's little enough weight on the nose as it is, thing would probably wheelie of you stuck that much power through the rear wheels. Assuming it didn't just shred the drive unit anyway...

Today I mostly continued putting the Invacar's brakes back together...

Rear ones are fluffing awkward. The usual trick is to fit the shorter and stronger return spring to the shoes before you fit them to the backplate. You can't do that here because the spring physically does not fit through the space between the hub and the brake adjuster at the bottom or wheel cylinder at the top. You *have* to attach the springs to the second shoe actually on the car.

There's a very specific order that you have to do things in to achieve this and it's a bit of a three dimensional logic puzzle, but it's really not too difficult. Fiddly and requiring patience yes, difficult, not so much.

The front is slightly easier because you can *just* squeeze the shorter of the two springs through the gap between the adjuster and the hub provided you have a suitable implement to convince it that it really will fit through the gap. The rear wheels have a far larger hub flange though so that only works on the front.

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It should be noted that I've not cleaned up the backplates or greased any of the sliding surfaces etc here. I'm fully expecting to have to take this all apart again to replace the wheel cylinders, but I figured for the sake of an hour I'd give them a chance to prove themselves good first.

Had to stop after two wheels though as it turned out that I'm missing a return spring and both the shoe retaining clips for the third and final wheel. This is highly annoying as I know we picked them up when we got the car - so they've escaped in transit somewhere. Not hard to source, just annoying.

I decided we could at least see if what we had would work though, so clamped off the brake hose to the remaining wheel and set about bleeding the system for the other two. Nearside rear bled through just fine - what came out looked precisely what you would expect 43 year old brake fluid to look like (ewww...). However as soon as I closed that bleed screw and tried to start on the front, play was stopped by the sound of a pipe failing. The metal one to the nearside rear had decided to let go just before the flexi to the axle. Not entirely unexpected really as I knew it was going to have to be changed, but annoying nevertheless. Time to bust out the flaring kit and figure out where the 20m reel of brake pipe I know is in the garage somewhere has got to.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Andrew353w » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:50 pm

That stub axle reminds me of my Reliant Robin from many years ago......
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:48 pm

Andrew353w wrote:That stub axle reminds me of my Reliant Robin from many years ago......


Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was the same part.

With the exception of the chassis, some of the specialist controls and the bodywork itself, pretty much everything about this vehicle has originated from someone else's parts bin. BMC are well represented throughout, the braking system is all Girling (same 7" drums as used on Reliants I believe), Smith's gauges, Lucas bits of electrical stuff, engine bought off the shelf from Steyer-Puch, and back axle from a Fiat 126...it's a Parts Bin Special really!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:06 pm

Today I mostly...

...Well actually did a bunch of stuff around the house and went grocery shopping...but that's not what you lot are interested in.

So had an hour to do car stuff. First up was relocating my battery which I discovered I had in the wrong place. This proved problematic however in that I appear to be missing a battery bracket. Currently awaiting feedback from some other Model 70 owners so I know what I'm looking for and whether I'd be just as well fabricating something.

Then had a shot at getting the knackered rigid brake lines off, only to discover that the fasteners are an imperial size that I don't (yet) have a spanner to fit. So that can wait until next week.

Determined to tick at least something off the list, instead I turned my attention to the hole in the dash which was making my teeth itch every time I looked at it - so spent half an hour fighting a replacement off the spare dash...and refitted the windscreen washer control.

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Which after another ten minutes of standing on my head, would do this on command.

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In hindsight, I would have saved myself a lot of time (and screenwash to the face) if I'd been smart and attached the pipes to the pump *before* I screwd it to the back of the dash.

Tiny detail really in the grand scheme of things, but it did need to be fixed before the MOT, so it's one more thing off the list.

...and I no longer have a hole in the dashboard, which let's face it is actually the most important thing!

Plan for this weekend I think is to get the indicator/light/horn stalk transferred over from the spare handlebar assembly. Once that's transferred over that *should* mean that there will no longer be any dangling cut wiring actually inside the car, which will be a nice milestone. Also means I'll be actually able to start properly testing out some of the other wiring - as all the power to the lighting and indicator circuits pass through that switch, so at the moment I can't do any testing on those circuits.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby hoverfrog » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:27 pm

Zelandeth wrote:Today I mostly...

In hindsight, I would have saved myself a lot of time (and screenwash to the face) if I'd been smart and attached the pipes to the pump *before* I screwd it to the back of the dash.


LOL! I do that kindof thing all the time, people here tell me it's just because I'm blonde! I swear working in the greenhouses is not only bleaching my hair... :lol:

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Geoff Stainer » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:35 pm

LOL I've done it as well, only a few days ago as it happens, but in my case it was worse, it wasn't my face I it--------it was the wife's. I was :lol: She was :x My ears were :shock:
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby hoverfrog » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:50 pm

Geoff Stainer wrote:LOL I've done it as well, only a few days ago as it happens, but in my case it was worse, it wasn't my face I it--------it was the wife's. I was :lol: She was :x My ears were :shock:


LOL!


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