Today I mostly .....

Any topics of general interest (not lada related), post them here.
Neil Chowney
Administrator
Posts: 2578
Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Neil Chowney » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:17 pm

No, keep the Niva and sell me the 2106! :D
Neil Chowney
Land Rover Freelander 2 SE
Trek 7.3
Cube Agree HTC Di2
Reeboks

Argue ye not with dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well on toast........

rid54
Bronze
Bronze
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Vallentuna, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby rid54 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:01 pm

...arrived in Stockholm by ferry from Latvia after a few weeks of driving my Niva on gravel roads. Was, somewhat unexpectedly, stopped by a customs officer at the exit point. And now what, I thought to myself. However, instead of asking about controlled substances or inordinate amounts of alcohol, she wanted to know about the car... "My mother had one of these cute cars, is it good?" Having travelled over several hundred kilometers of Latvian roads without a hiccup I told her it is indeed a good car... In actual fact, going around on a "driveabout" on 8 litres/100 km is not too bad with a payload of three people and their luggage.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:30 pm

Argh...

Have just been offered a H plate Merc 209d based camper for a very good price.

Merc 209/309d is probably my favourite of any commercial vehicle. Not sure why, but I've got many fond memories from when I was a youngster and have always found them to just be somehow "right" as a driver. I've always wanted one, and have long felt that I've missed the boat on it somehow given how much even rough examples tend to change hands for these days

...so now I've had one that looks like a cracker thrown in front of me, at a downright crazy cheap price, it's even local...and I don't have any room at the inn. Argh!

I can start parking cars at a friend's place again can't I?

Please...
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:39 am

Today I mostly...

Well...see for yourself.

Image

This looks like progress.

So far that's the tail lights, engine cover and hub cap that have been moved over from KPL. Drivetrain will be next most likely, immediately after freeing off the currently seized front brake - not least as that should allow me to get this one into the garage, as it's far more of a theft target as it stands.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:10 am

Need to put together a little Invacar update at some point as a lot has been done on it now. Will put a summary together once I've got today's allotment done I think.

Yesterday however I spent nearly the whole day driving out to have a look at another car. Plan was mainly to offer the current keeper some advice on it, but there was half the thought of buying it as it's something that's been on my wish list for decades. Plus I was being offered a really good deal.

Turned out it was in far, far better nick than I'd expected... especially once we got out for a test drive. Save for a slightly squeaky fan belt (to be fair, it hasn't moved in a couple of months so the batter might be a bit low) and a blown bulb in the indicator tell tale on the dash it drove like a vehicle that had just left the factory.

Yeah... definitely want to be bringing that home. It *does* however mean I need to move something on. So...Activa or Lada it boils down to (Invacar doesn't count as it's not taking up actual driveway space). Activa is hard to justify, as despite the potential to be a long term maintenance liability, it's a mind-bendingly competent, practical and versatile car. Given that this ticks many of the same classic car driving boxes as the Lada, yet also has a number of other flexibility and potential for other uses, and still be welcome at classic car shows etc. Plus it's something that the whole family can get something out of rather than just me, which is a big factor to be fair these days.

So...the Lada is likely (haven't fully made my mind up yet) to be up for grabs shortly. Running immeasurably better than when I got it, tested to June, and taxed to get you home. I'll look at getting a proper for sale post put together once I've made my mind up. Not kidding myself that I'll get anything close back for it to what I paid for it, never mind what I've spent on it (heck I've poured near a grand into the injection project), but let's face it I'm not in this for the money!

Will be sad to see it go, but have now owned one and enjoyed it. Nothing is forever, and while I never planned to just sell it for the sake of it I was always open to the possibility of something else on "the list" came around that ticked many boxes.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

Aaron
Bronze
Bronze
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 1:31 am
Location: Grantham

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Aaron » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:02 am

Have you considered getting a bigger driveway?
Aaron, Grantham <br>
Riva1600SLX (my dinged baby)
Citroen (surprisingly quite good) C3
Peugeot (it's only for towing the caravan) 406

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:07 am

Aaron wrote:Have you considered getting a bigger driveway?


Yes.

Sadly it's a few years down the line, and below things like "fix the roof" on the priority list.

I'd planned on keeping this car for the long, long haul. However sometimes things come along you just have to grab. Especially as this is something the whole family should be able to enjoy.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

Geoff Stainer
Bronze
Bronze
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 2:10 am

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Geoff Stainer » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:15 pm

What was the other car that has led you to this decision?
G.S.S.
Lada Niva Hussar
Volvo V70

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:33 pm

Geoff Stainer wrote:What was the other car that has led you to this decision?


A lovely old Mercedes 208D based camper van, which is in such good order that it's *totally* devoid of any of the usual pranged, scraped or torn up corners, blown seals etc and having had all of the usual welding repairs common to this model recently (and recently it looks like) done. 54K on the clock, and what sealed the deal for me was taking it out for a test drive.

Drives like a brand new one. Also ticks many of the big vehicle boxes which I've seriously been missing since I moved down south and haven't been able to spend time driving buses.

I've wanted one of the proper old Mercs for years (since I was about 5). Thought I'd missed the boat on it given that they're virtually extinct now - and that good examples tend to change hands for strong money now - especially ones with decent spec bodies on them, and this definitely ticks that box... I'd be a fool not to go for it.

It needs the services in the living area sorted out (can do that in my sleep) and the cab needs a little TLC cosmetically... certainly nothing to scare me off. Don't think I've ever been in a coach built camper of this age that was totally devoid of any damp, musty smells. The fact it had been standing in the sun all day and wasn't roasting inside suggests it's pretty well insulated.

Biggest issue for me with the Lada these days really is that it's something that only I'm getting anything out of. The van will be something that the whole family should be able to get enjoyment out of.

Oh...and it's not beige or beige and brown, which seems rare for campers!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:42 pm

Engine...

Image

...and gearbox...

Image

Now out of the spares Invacar. Going to hit them with the degreaser and the pressure washer in a second, then hopefully get them at least loosely into the project car. Want to get that done as I won't have an extra pair of hands until Thursday. Though if not I'll pop over to a mate's house and borrow an engine hoist.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:58 pm

Gearbox has been given a quick clean up, and has now been transferred to the project car.

Image

Hopefully the engine will follow tomorrow!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:35 pm

Today I mostly...

Bought the Mercedes and drove it home.

Lovely driving old bus, can't be hurried, but rumbles along quite happily at 60 and feels like it would do so for months at a time.

Good deep clean and an end to end inspection will follow, and then writing up a to do list.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Platinum
Platinum
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 3:40 am
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Zelandeth » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:35 pm

So I've been falling in love with a vehicle in the last week in a way I really haven't since the first time I drove a Saab 900...far too bloody many years ago. I refuse to do the math!

So I've been spending a lot of time finding excuses to be sitting here...

Image

...and going out for all manner of errand runs.

To be fair though, the poor old thing has only done a few hundred miles in the last five years and more than anything else has been in absolutely desperate need of some use. Having not touched anything mechanically (well, did an oil change today), we've gone from just about being able to maintain 45mph up the one hill nearby here, foot to the floor in fourth the day I brought her home to now quite happily bounding up there in fifth at 60 plus with more to give. The difference having blown the cobwebs out is startling.

Now she's a two tonne plus change old bus with 78bhp by the books so still can't be hurried...but once up to speed it really doesn't feel like you're holding people up. Not like the guy in the VW T2 Transporter I got stuck behind yesterday! You quickly learn that she's chosen the pace that she will pick up speed at, and that's that. It doesn't matter if you absolutely thrash the engine to death or drive with suitable mechanical sympathy - it really makes very little difference to the rate the speedometer climbs at!

You know what? I'm okay with that. I'm more than content to bumble along at a nice relaxed pace, rowing gently through the gears as needed - double declutching isn't in any way necessary, but somehow just feels right. Between the size and angle of the steering wheel, the gearlever sticking out of the floor at an odd angle with a lovely spherical bakelite gear knob to hold on to (the plastic one on the Riva is the one thing I was never a fan of, always wanted to swap it for one from the earlier cars), coupled with the way it very gently bobs and sways along the road just makes my brain think I'm driving an old coach rather than a van. Seriously - the closest thing I've to compare to for general driving "feel" is an old Bedford YNT coach...

Funnily enough, John always had a devil of a time getting me out of the driving seat of that too.

As you'd expect from a vehicle which has suffered such tragic levels of dormancy of late there have been a few gremlins. Most of these have been the usual silly things like dodgy light bulb contacts, a clogged fuel tank breather making it nearly impossible to get more than 2/3rds a tank of diesel in (thankfully not a massive problem with a 75 litre tank!), and a perished vacuum hose making the brake servo a bit lazy. Oh, and the exhaust system which has more leaks than sound metal and which rattles so much at idle that it makes more noise than the engine.

We have had a couple of more dramatic ones though.

The first was the day after I picked the van up, when suddenly (in the middle of the pickup/drop off area at Milton Keynes Railway Station!) turning on the hazard lights as I was about to start backing out of the parking space, instead of giving me flashy lights...gave me smoke gently wafting out from under the dash in the general vicinity of the indicator stalk.

Cue hazards being abruptly turned off. The smoke stopped - within about thirty seconds the fuses for the hazards and indicators were both removed from the fuse box and stuffed in the ash tray. I returned home indicator-less pretending to be driving a modern Mercedes rather than a proper one...

This actually turned out to be down to someone having managed to yank the whole positive terminal from one of the indicator repeaters out of the housing, leaving it dangling inside the inner wing. It was only a matter of time until it shorted out. Easy enough fix - even though I did have to remove the grill, offside headlight, offside front indicator and move the washer bottle to gain enough access to get the wire back through the hole into the actual lamp assembly. Still... it's a van, so all that took all of about ten minutes and required the grand total of a single Philips screwdriver and 10mm spanner in terms of tools.

The second incident took more figuring out.

I was on the way back home from a shopping expedition, and had just dropped to fourth to save losing too much speed on the last few hundred yards of a hill. Suddenly all hell seemed to break loose somewhere that sounded roughly like under the passenger seat. Based on prior failures in other vehicles my guess was that a propshaft universal joint had just exploded. Drop it into neutral and start scanning for somewhere to pull over...

Suddenly it occurred to me that the noise had stopped after only a couple of seconds. Odd. Tentatively went for fourth gear again and even more tentatively let the clutch out to see if I still had drive. I did. Picked speed back up a bit (being in the middle of some S bends at this point really not in an ideal stopping location), no vibration, no unusual noises... suddenly everything seemed quite happy again. What the?

I knew there was a fuel station less than a mile down the road, so just took it easy until I could pull in there. My main theory at that point was that a part of the horribly rattly exhaust had decided to come adrift and had touched the propshaft before either falling completely off (didn't see anything in the mirrors) or managing to wedge itself in place. Second one was that one of the rather rotten splash guards or similar had managed to get itself eaten by the belt driven cooling fan.

Pulled into the garage and had a quick crawl around. Given the violence with which the "event" had happened, I expected to find evidence of it, and pretty clear evidence at that. Exhaust all still present (and rattling). Nothing obviously missing, no visible damage to the fan or anything else amiss that I could easily spot. Only thing I did spot was a slight weep from a fuel return line (like one drop every five minutes - it's on my list for this week). I was baffled.

Two days later I worked it out, when crawling around under the van (it has Niva levels of ground clearance, so that's easy to do without needing to worry about ramps or anything) trying to see if I could silence the idle speed buzz of the exhaust (not really, it's snapped a hanger off the expansion box and it looks knackered enough that I doubt I'd get it off in one piece - new system time really!), when I realised I was staring at the cause.

The front sliding joint on the propshaft has a rubber gaiter on it, just like a CV joint. Or rather it should have - approximately 95% of this one was missing, the fresh looking fan of grease telling me that this was a relatively recent event. Apparently the boot had disintegrated - the reason it sounded so violent from in the cab is because only an inch or two directly above said slip joint is the handbrake cable. I reckon that as the boot started to come apart it had flailed around, and on each revolution whacked the handbrake cable, which would have reverberated through the cab quite nicely.

It fits all the facts anyway, and I've been unable to repeat the event, which stands to reason given that the remains of that boot are now finely atomised I think and somewhere on the A420 just outside Buckingham.

Hoping replacing that won't be too big a headache.

This week the plan is to get stuck properly into recommissioning the services in the living area.

If you see this out and about, give me a wave!

Image

People seem to like it. I've been really surprised by the cheery response from other drivers and the general public. I thought that was reserved for motorhomes only made by VW...

Personally, I reckon a Merc T1 is far superior a vehicle than any VW van with the possible exception of the LT from this era...though the Merc wins on looks and dash layout I reckon. LT wins on noise if it's the six cylinder version, that I do concede - the straight six TD engine they put in the LT must be one of the smoothest power units to ever find its way into a commercial vehicle.

Anyhow, I'm going to have to quit faffing around finding reasons to drive it this week and actually concentrate on getting it ready for a weekend away at the end of August.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 &75 AC Model-70s.

User avatar
Tom.
Site Owner
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:08 am
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Tom. » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:33 pm

Proper toy!! 8)
97 Niva 1.7i
2107 Riva Sport
2104 Estate 1500

Neil Chowney
Administrator
Posts: 2578
Joined: Sun May 25, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: Whitchurch, Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Today I mostly .....

Postby Neil Chowney » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:59 pm

Bloody nice that... Driven more than a few Merc panel vans in my life.
Neil Chowney
Land Rover Freelander 2 SE
Trek 7.3
Cube Agree HTC Di2
Reeboks

Argue ye not with dragons, for thou art crunchy and go well on toast........


Return to “General Interest”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests