Today I mostly .....

Any topics of general interest (not lada related), post them here.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:25 am

Tom. wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:53 pm
Bought these four original Lada UK dealer advertising flags.

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Well found! That's an epic bit of memorabilia that is!

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We've got family staying at the moment and I'm designated taxi driver so my car time is generally going to be quite sketchy over this coming week until next Tuesday. Not that my time in the garage is ever exactly reliable at the best of times.

Today I had a brief quiet half hour though and I had a nice plan in place for what I wanted to do.

Paint stripper test. 

Further to what a few folks have said regarding "just paint over it," I'm afraid that really isn't an option. This is what the finish is like in several places. There's just no way you'll ever get it smooth - and those bubbles are going to cause more trouble as time goes on.

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That paint needs to go.

There was some questions over whether paint stripper would dissolve the surface of the fibreglass as well as the paint...I was 90% sure it would be fine, but obviously wanted to be sure before slathering the car in it. 

Conveniently there's one bit of the body which is both easily accessed and well hidden - under the engine cover. So let's throw a bit at it there and see what happens.

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Results were good. It didn't seem to show any interest in attacking either the resin I'd applied or the gel coat on the fibreglass, excellent. Yes that whole area needs to be rebuilt, but that's a fair ways down the to do list.

Encouraged by this, we slapped a bit of it over the top of the rear quarter. These are very important areas in terms of paint finish as the sort of vestigial tail fins are so integral to the styling of the car.

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Then attacked it with a stiff brush.

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Pretty quickly the top coat started to come apart, revealing biblical amounts of high build primer.

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Which also came off without any particular effort, revealing the gel coat below.

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As predicted there's a lot of crazing and ancient repairs present, hence why the car has been painted in the first place.

Interesting to see how much the removal of the paint has improved the definition of the line along the top of the "fin" compared to beforehand...not surprising how many layers there were.

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Other side was treated to the same routine.

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I think this is definitely the right approach based on these findings and the faffing about I've already wasted time on. I've far more chance of getting a halfway decent finish if I get rid of the existing paint first. Obviously I'll need to rework a few repairs first and then actually need to properly paint it all at the end of the day...how good a finish I'll get will be entirely down to my prep and my work. Reckon this will be an easier road than trying to get anything to sit flat over what's already on there.

Will pull the engine cover and tail lights off next and try to get the rear moulding stripped back tomorrow or shortly. At least then I should hopefully be able to see what I'm working with. Might actually have a shot at getting her looking halfway reasonable by the time the Festival of the Unexceptional rolls round...

Maybe... 
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:40 pm

Getting the impression that there are two types of paint on this car: the stuff which will come right off and that which is utterly immovable.

I think I'll just go round the car getting the easier stuff off then will have a look what's left.

Again today I didn't really have much time to play with but was determined to make at least some headway. 

So played automotive Tetris so I could get the Invacar actually out of the garage and see what I was doing. 

Set about slathering things with paint stripper again.

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Then ensued a good amount of waiting patiently followed by scrubbing and scraping. Finally the pressure washer was employed to get rid of the residue so I could see what I was left with.

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I need to pick up a better paint scraper, this one is so blunt as to be essentially useless. Think I need to be a bit more patient too to just see if it will slowly eat through the sections which have refused to budge so far.

Nice to see the roof to bulkhead seal showing through again...feels like we are seeing progress though.

I'd really like to get a couple of hours in a stretch where I could just leave the stripper to work and hopefully get a couple of panels properly cleared.



In other news, with the van having ceased squeaking at idle a really horrible sounding rattle/buzz was brought to the forefront.

Initially this sounded like it might be related to the belt tensioner, but a bit of digging revealed a far simpler and easily resolved issue. The U-bolt holding the exhaust downpipe onto the bracket on the gearbox had stripped the threads so it had worked loose. This clamp was reused because the one supplied with the exhaust was fractionally too small.

I made up a spacer with a few washers to pack it out returning the nuts to a solid bit of thread, allowing it to be tightened back up properly.

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Nice simple fix.

While I was under there I had a look at all the joints on the system for any signs of leaks now it's got a few miles on.

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No tell tale sooty marks anywhere that I can see, nor could I hear anything chuffing so I'll take that as a win.



So the Invacar still needs paintwork, but at least the van is quieter at idle now. I hadn't realised quite how awful it was until sorting this! 

Edit: Yes I know the front exhaust hanger is missing the rubber. This is another "things I've had to do to make a really cheap exhaust fit without touching stuff it shouldn't" and not buzzing. Think this being fitted made it lift another hanger elsewhere off so the whole thing wound up sitting squint. Just removing the rubber block seemed to be the easiest solution...the system is more than sufficiently supported.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Aaron » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:46 pm

wrestled with the Pug.
It has a fault, which is that it overheats when towing a caravan long distances. Wouldn't be a problem if i dodn't primarily use it for towing a caravan long distances.
How many sepearate components would you think were required to operate a radiator fan? (I think the Lada just has a thermostat and a relay - and when it packs in you can just bypass everything and have it running constantly.)
Peugeot has 3 seperate relays for one motor. This allows variable current depending on the engine temp and hence different speeds for the fan.
The first relay that should kick in doesn't work.
It did work when removed (after i cleaned 20 years of tarnish from the contacts), but wouldn't work on the car even though i had voltage in all the right places.
More testing revealed that i had only 9v on the low current terminals (I expect there is a technical name) which isn't enough to flick the switch. Maybe it's a bad earth I thought.
No, that would be too simple. Between + terminal and earth I have 12v.
between negative terminal and earth I have 3v. (hence only 9v potential). I'm thinking this can't be right.
I'm thinking I should be able to cut the wire on neg side and run it straight to earth instead - but i have a nagging doubt. Maybe, just maybe, peugeot intended it to have +3 volts. maybe there is some clever element of engine management that requires this.
Whats the worst thing that could happen?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:27 pm

The relays are controlled by the ECU, but it should all be 12V stuff.

On the Xantia cooling fan problems are common when the wiring loom running below the radiator starts to degrade, though it's a swine to resolve as there are a lot of conductors involved and you need to take half the car apart to get at it...not sure if the 406 shares this weakness...but there's a lot of shared hardware, so not impossible.

The fans pull a lot of power, so the relays are worked hard. The changeover relay (the one which switches between high and low speed) is a bit specialised, but I'd swap the other two for new/known good ones to rule them out. A life of switching a 30A load with a large insrush current and huge inductive spike on shutdown isn't going to be kind to the contacts.

The fact that the fans are wired in series in low mode means that it doesn't take much to take out the low speed mode...any fault with any relay or either motor will kill it.

On mine the feed to one of the relay coils had gone awry. She was a £250 car and with 202K on the clock at the time I didn't begrudge it, but I didn't have time to properly sort things...so I found a solid 12V feed in the relay box and just stuck a switch that turned the fans on high I could reach through the radiator grill...I just turned them on when I left if I thought I would be going near traffic. Wasn't pretty but it worked!

What engine do you have? Guessing DW8 on a 1999 car?

----

Decided to investigate whether the old cling film over paint stripper trick could help us shift any of the stubborn paint on the Invacar.

While not entirely successful, it was a worthy experiment. Using the cling film didn't seem to make a huge difference. We did get a bit more paint off the rear moulding though. It's a tricky balance with the scraper... there's about a 3% difference between the pressure needed to shift the paint and needed to dig into the gel coat, which is annoying.

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Did a little experiment later in the day with leaving the stripper on one of the really stubborn areas for a bit longer. The results were... annoying.

Turns out that if you leave this stuff long enough it will attack the gel coat.

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In spite of that though the paint ain't any more interested in moving than it was before. This is going to come down to a sharp scraper and patience it looks like.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:42 pm

This paint removal process I think is just going to be a long slog.

Got a few better scrapers today and they're precisely zero help. With the sharper blades they're just digging in and going straight through the paint and the gel coat, it's just too soft. On a few of the larger flatter panels where there's a nice clean edge to the paint as it's been removed, using the blunt edge it's possible to work away at it...but I was successfully doing that with my old blunt scraper already.

Heat lifts the gel coat before the paint too, as I did poke it with the heat gun just to eliminate it as a potentially helpful tool. 

I did bust the sander out again today just to see if I could flat back the area below the rear window where the surface was damaged by the paint stripper. Looks like there's plenty of thickness to the gel coat to sort that out at least.

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There's quite a bit of pitting on the one panel...you can clearly see the line where the paint stripper was sitting the longest...

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No huge issue, it's nothing a really tiny amount of filler can't hide...just annoying to have made more work.

Next stop will be investigating soda blasting. Either getting the kit to do it myself or getting someone in to do it.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:33 pm

Lost most of today as we were making our first trip over to the foster home currently caring for a rescue dog we're looking to adopt. We really feel that this will do a lot to enrich the life of the one we already have, especially given the issues we've had with the communal dog club meaning that he doesn't get to socialise any where near as much as we'd like. 

It's quite a long drawn out process (rightly so I think), especially for a dog who is as timid as the one we've currently got our heart set on, but today was the first time we got to meet her. Despite apparently usually being petrified of new people for ages, she was happily seeking affection and wanting to play with us in about twenty minutes. 

Our hearts were immediately melted as she's absolutely adorable.

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More importantly than her taking to us, she seemed to get along well with Tesla, and wasn't afraid to tell him off when he was being a butt. He doesn't really know how to play with other dogs as he's just never really had the chance...so we're hoping she can help there. She's also very, very affectionate, whereas he really isn't interested in fuss. He wants to be *near* to people, but has little interest in actually touching them...whereas if you stand still for five seconds around her she starts nosing at your hand for pets. So the two hopefully can teach each other different aspects of how to be a dog.

While she looks far more pure husky, she's actually a husky/German Shepherd cross just the same as Tesla.

How could anyone not love this face?

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Likely to be several months before she joins us (obviously assuming future visits and everything go well too), but it felt like the initial introduction to both us and of the two dogs to each other went about as well as it could. It seems that she's a really good fit for what we're looking for in this household. I think the rescue charity have been struggling to find a home for her (she's been with them for nearly a year now) purely because she's not a pure husky and they deal primarily with rescued sled dogs, so pure huskies & malamutes are easier for them to find homes for.


Hasn't left me much day to play with cars though...but I did have a dig through the box of random "air tool stuff" I picked up a few weeks back. Found three things which may well each be useful for different stages of the paint stripping process.

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Not honestly sure how to tell if the gun is a spray gun or soda/sand blaster. Answers on a post card?

Edit: this has now been identified as a paraffin spray gun, so no use for this...but will be really useful for painting our fences which need doing every few years.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Aaron » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:27 pm

Dogs do make great pets..

She is a very pretty dog. We decided not to get another Dog after mine died, but its been two years and i still miss having a dog around. If I met her in a rescue kennel I would struggle to leave without her.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:46 pm

LOOOVVVEEE that dog!!!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:52 am

Had a bit of an experiment with the paraffin gun this afternoon. I still had some old underbody wax floating around, so I let it down a bit to a more spray friendly consistency then had a mess around with it.

Can't see me ever messing around with aerosol cans for this sort of job again. The spray is far finer and just generally well behaved. 

Didn't do a huge amount, just gave the front wheel arches and engine bay a blow over. It's a bit hard to see as it's clear wax that's gone on over the black stuff already there.

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The top dust cover on the shock absorber has fallen off again. I'll need to get inventive with a cable tie to make it stay in place I think as it's obviously not going to behave.

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Hopefully this should keep the rust in the bulkhead under the windscreen from getting worse too quickly until it can be cut out and replaced.

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Worked into all the little gaps under the struts and the cavities thoroughly misted. Bonnet really needs replacing in the long term, but hopefully this should help it remain stable for a bit longer.


The Invacar has had a little more sanding work. Have been going very gently with the P120 discs on the sander at low speed over the front of the car. Unlike the rear this has no coloured gel coat... it's been painted from the factory. It's also far thinner, so I'm aiming to just remove the loose areas here then I'll see how things look with some high build primer on there.

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While it looks horrible, this is actually smooth to the touch.

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Bonnet is still a mess, but is far closer to flat than it was!

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Then forgot to dust myself off before sitting in the driver's seat.

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Just a bit of dust about...

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Going to give one of those cheap soda blasters a shot for the rear body and roof...if it works it works...if not it's no huge loss and I'll just need to persevere...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:30 pm

Here's a question for you lot.

Heater and windscreen demister switch will be getting fitted in the not too distant future. It's of a type which is visually identical to those already on the dash so should look like it's meant to be there. 

The question is where to put it.

There are three options as I see it: 

[] Immediately to the right of the speedometer.

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[] To the far right over by the no passengers sign.

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[] To the far left, between the handbrake and door.

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I'm currently leaning towards the first option...seems most in keeping with the original switchgear. Should still leave me room to add the brake fluid warning lamp when the hardware for it is fitted.


Any votes for other locations?

May well fit this to my spare dash as I want to take the dash out to sort a couple of wiring bodges I've seen under there. Will make it a lot easier though as being off the car will vastly improve access.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:15 am

The first option looks the better choice to me as well. Should you plan another switch of the same dimensions it would fit the other side of the speedometer neatly. By the way, I think the sign forbidding passengers is excellent!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by sch4463 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:45 am

Bracket under dash so not to cut original.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:51 pm

sch4463 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:45 am
Bracket under dash so not to cut original.
Not too worried about that to be honest. Dash mouldings are *not* a rare part, I know a guy who literally has a stack of about 20 of them, and the going rate seems to be about £15 for a spotless one. I'm wanting to make this look as much as though it was fitted at the factory. Basically I'm trying to make this car as good as I think it could have been, which would probably have meant a booster fan for the heater would have been fitted.

At some point I'll probably add a cool air function as well, but that's a ways down the road. Will probably use two fans either side of the heat exchanger with a check valve so whichever fan is on will provide air to the cabin - or both for maximum airflow for demisting on that horrible winter morning. That way just two switches will be needed and I won't need to figure out any ridiculous Bowden cables or anything.

Zip by way of stuff actually done today as I've spent the whole day running around in circles getting the house back in order (and wasting two hours stuck in traffic on the M25). As the van has a busy few days coming up it made sense to top up the fuel...

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(24.0mpg for that tank, so average is staying pretty solidly in the mid 20s mpg, tending toward high 20s if out on a decent run - I managed 32mpg once which was frankly staggering for such a huge brick of a van with an engine from the 1970s).

I always feel better when heading out of my local area if I'm starting out with a full tank, even if I know that I'd have comfortably made it with well over a hundred miles to spare on what was already in there (this is a 75 litre tank)...force of habit I guess.

In the interests of saving some weight I figured it was time to start actually shifting some of the crap which has been rattling around in the boxes of stuff I picked up out of the van. Box of tools no 1 contained:

[] Herma Combination Whitworth/AF/Metric socket set. That will be useful with the Invacar given the completely random selection of fasteners it features.

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[] Nice little Wanner grease gun. This will no doubt still be going decades after the cheap one already in the garage has turned to dust.

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[] Proper set of De-Walt branded impact sockets. Useful given I bought an impact wrench a few weeks ago.

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Also dragged in the second Core2 Duo based HP Server (complete with new, never opened monitor and keyboard), and what must be another couple of gallons of LHM. If anyone on here needs any LHM please just ask...I've about four lifetimes worth here now!

Was just about to close the garage up when this arrived in the most comically oversized box I've seen in a while. I should have taken a photo of it, the thing was nearly the size of the wheelie bin.

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Hopefully will have some soda blasting media arriving in the next day or two so will be able to give it a test run then. Just didn't seem worth not giving this kit a shot at less than £40 delivered. If it works, aside from saving me a lot of grief on the Invacar it will be an all round useful thing to have. Bit like having a compressor...I doubt it's a tool I'll really appreciate until I've got used to having it around.

Certainly can't see me voluntarily switching back to a garage without air on tap...and I've not even got an air powered rattle gun or anything yet! Do need a proper tyre inflator though. The one I've got works just fine...but the sort of thing you used to see in garage forecourts just seems more "correct" somehow.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:55 pm

Never got around to putting an update up yesterday as by the time I was able to actually sit down for long enough it was just too late. 

Felt that I had to *make* some time in the late afternoon to have a look into an issue which had become painfully obvious in the van on the way back home yesterday - an absoltely maddeningly intrusive boomy resonance from the engine. This is an issue which it had when I originally picked it up and had been bodged a couple of times so I knew the likely cause was the fact that there's a stinking great hole in the air cleaner resonator chamber.

Being a normally aspirated diesel, Mercedes have done quite a lot of work to ensure that as much air as possible is forced into the engine, hence there being a not insubstantially sized box in the air cleaner assembly. The effectiveness of this is immediately apparent when you try to patch up a hole in the wall of said box. Initially I went for duct tape (as you do), which lasted all of about ten seconds before being blown off. Putting your hand over the hole honestly feels like you're blocking off the exhaust rather than the intake. The aluminium foil tape I tried next last lasted longer but the racket I was hearing suggested that it too had failed. Let's take a look.

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Yep, that would do it.

Actually getting the airbox out of the van was a little more involved than I expected as Mercedes seemed to think that bolting it to the bulkhead by no less than four M6 bolts was necessary. Three of these are accessible once the fuse box is removed (four screws), the final one however is low enough down that you also need to remove the kick plate in the passenger footwell, which means another two nuts being removed, peeling the carpet back and disconnecting the electronic box which lives under there which is something to do with the brake lights.

Then I just had to disconnect the air intake hose (which came off at the engine end first...apparently whoever had that off last didn't tighten up the hose clip) and wrestle the thing out of the engine bay, which was actually harder than expected as it's a far bigger assembly than it looks when in place. It just fits into the gap between the slam panel and bulkhead when rotated in exactly the right way.

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The big difference between me now and when I originally bodged this up is that I've got more materials to hand now. My intention this time was to go with the fibreglass loaded resin I've been using to do a lot of the repairs to the Invacar bodywork. If that doesn't work I'll just have to take the whole thing apart and either bolt a panel onto it or mess around plastic welding a patch over the hole.

Step one (fine, step two...One was to remove all the foil and clean the area in question up) was to apply a small duct tape patch. This isn't actually going to play any part in the final repair, it's just to stop the resin from falling straight through the hole I'm trying to cover.

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I then roughened the area around it up with the wire wheel to give me the best chance of getting the repair to stick - though I'd done a test before with this and the resin seemed to adhere to the surface just fine.

Then slathered the area with a liberal helping of resin.

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While this was setting I took the opportunity to give the area behind the air cleaner a clean and to thoroughly blast the areas it's normally in the way of with rustproofing wax. Also tidied up the wiring a bit as whoever did the repairs to the cab floor in that corner obviously never put anything back in the clips so the wiring was all flapping around everywhere.

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The photo there is obviously the "before" image for the work mentioned above.

Once the resin had set I gave it a very quick and dirty blast of matt black paint just so it doesn't stick out so obviously - if it proves durable I'll sand it back smoother at a later date. Not going to worry about that just now though.

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It's really interesting to see how much effort they went to to optimise gas flow here. Looking into the inlet manifold you can clearly see how things taper as you pass the branch for each cylinder, meaning that while the volume of air being carried drops by 25% for each cylinder they've clearly tried to ensure that the velocity remains constant.

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Given I wasn't 100% sure of whether the intake pipe had actually been properly attached I was glad to see this wasn't full of dust and gunk like the rest of the engine bay.

Then was just a relatively simple matter of putting everything back together again.

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Definitely want to think about using some modern sound proofing under the carpets here. The stuff attached to the kick plate under the carpets here must weigh the best part of 5kg - it honestly feels like the plate is made of cast iron it's that heavy. Pretty sure there are alternatives available now which will do as good (or better) a job for a fraction of the weight. There's also absolutely zip by way of soundproofing on the actual bulkhead itself. 

Airbox back in place and reconnected.

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I came to the conclusion that the hose between the airbox and the intake manifold had been fitted backwards before. The logic behind this was that it was always pressed up against the top radiator hose. I didn't like this as I've had issues with hoses failing due to rubbing against stuff in the engine bay before. Rotating it 180 degrees left a good inch or so clearance under it. Much better.

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You can see the witness mark on the radiator hose where it's been rubbing for goodness only knows how many years.

Finally, air cleaner reattached as well and we can call it a day.

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A quick test run revealed that this has indeed got rid of the horrible boominess. Hard to tell if there's any improvement in power delivery, though I wouldn't really expect it to be that obvious given the power to weight ratio delivered here at the best of times. It can't hurt though!

Yes I did of course snap a quick idle video for those of you who like a bit of old school diesel clatter. Even if I did get momentarily distracted by discovering where one of the worst buzzes in the van at idle was coming from - the awning. I'll need to get another couple of straps to secure it when not in use.

YouTube Video Link

The camera seems to pick up a lot more belt noise from the front of the engine noise than there really is in person. First time I think I've managed to actually get the camera's mic to pick up the nice deep burble at idle from the exhaust. You'll probably need either headphones or decent speakers to really hear that though.

Just have to wait and see if the repair to the airbox holds or if I'm going to need to get more inventive. There's no risk of anything getting sucked into the engine if it fails by the way, the hole is on the atomospheric side of the air filter. Prior experience has shown that it's more likely to blow it off too rather than actually suck it into the engine anyway. If this were downstream of the filter I'd have been being a LOT more careful.

Got a busy day lined up tomorrow helping a friend collect a car, so have just got things loaded up. Fresh water in the tank, tea & coffee making supplies, jump leads, Easy Start, duct tape, socket set, screwdrivers, big hammer and some oil. If we need anything beyond that lot, that's what the professionals are for!

Yesterday we also had our second visit to the current foster home of the dog we'll hopefully be adopting soon.

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Nice to see that she was pretty happy in less than five minutes today. Definitely remembered us it seemed like.

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This is probably the silliest photo of the day though.

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We're heading back over on Tuesday to see how things go when out on a walk with her, basically so that the foster keeper can be sure we're able to deal with her if/when she gets panicked while out and about. They've said based on what they've seen of us and how she's taken to us though that so long as that goes well that there should be no reason we couldn't adopt her.. All being well that could be a week on Sunday.
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 AC Model-70.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:20 pm

In addition to helping a friend collect their car, today I finally was able to get hold of something I've been after for the Invacar for a while to deal with the unhappiness of the transmission at speed.

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That's a pair of new old stock CVT pulleys. The primary one is cast aluminium and the little bit of oxide will clean off that no bother. The secondary one is just pressed steel though, and that's the one which is badly pitted on mine due to rust. That's effectively acting as a transmission brake over 40mph and is making the thing vibrate badly and unsurprisingly is chewing the belt up.

Also pictured there is a FULL workshop repair & service manual there waiting to be digitised and a proper part catalogue.
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 AC Model-70.

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