Today I mostly .....

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:53 am

Nice little present arrived for the van this evening just as I was about to lock up for the night.

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These should look rather better than the bargain bin plastic tat on there which is falling apart currently. Looking forward to getting those fitted 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 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:38 pm

Not been much going on since the last report.

You may recall a few months ago I was having issues with the clutch master cylinder in the van failing to hold pressure - so the clutch would slowly re-engage even if you kept the pedal on the floor. This was initially resolved by thoroughly flushing it through with brake cleaner and fresh fluid, however it's now started doing it again so I've ordered a new one. Hopefully it will be here in the next couple of days then we can forget about the clutch hydraulics for a few years (the slave was changed at the end of last year).

Wanted to at least try to dodge replacing it as genuine cylinders aren't particularly cheap, but I'm not cheaping out given the no expense spared approach to maintenance by former keepers. Plus it looks nice in the history file if I do come to sell it at any point.

Will be nice to have that off the list of stuff I need to worry about causing trouble in the future.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:44 pm

Care package arrived for the van this morning.

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Thumbs up for Simply Car Parts...I only ordered this on Monday evening, so having it on my doorstep on Wednesday morning is pretty good going.

Here are the part numbers for those of you playing along at home.

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You may be wondering why I didn't just get it from Mercedes themselves...as I've tended to use them before because their parts supply has always been so seamless and not usually much more expensive than eBay etc. This has been one of the stand out things about owning a Mercedes...that the dealers actually want to help, and at least the reception I've had in our branch has had me believe that they don't care if you're in a car that's 29 days old or 29 years. I was staggered when I walked in a couple of weeks into ownership and they in moments had managed to track down several normal service items and even a replacement lens for the indicator light on the dashboard to replace the cracked one I had.

The last couple of times I've been in though we've had some issues. I have to make it abundantly clear though, not issues with the gent on the parts desk, he's a legend and has gone above and beyond to the call of duty to be helpful.

The issue is due to instructions from corporate somewhere within Mercedes-Benz that the dealers are not allowed to have anything to do with parts supply for anything other than passenger cars - totally irrespective of what it's registered as, it's actually down to the vehicle platform...so being based on the 601 platform I'm out of luck. Instead of being able to sell me the parts, they instead refer me to a nearby commercial vehicle specialist who apparently they partner with.

Slight issue there: said specialist doesn't deal with non-trade customers. Even before we realised that, they literally laughed in my face when I went in looking for parts for a 29 year old van. Apparently I'm far from the only person to have been less than impressed with them, even in the trade.

The last couple of trips the gent on the parts desk managed to cross reference things and trick the system into letting him order parts for other models of passenger car...however we struck out on this occasion, so I had to pick it up myself. Credit to the parts manager though, he still printed off all the part numbers for me.

He also believes it's an utterly daft situation. Sure if someone comes in looking for parts for a Tourismo or Actros (coach and artic lorry respectively), then send them on to the relevant specialist...but where it's a light van clearly registered as a motor caravan...C'mon folks, use some common sense. Especially as heritage vehicles like this running around can surely only be a good advertisement for the longevity of your products...and let's face it the Merc T1 van is something of a design icon. Or is that just in my head? I know if when I was a kid if you'd asked me to draw a van you'd have ended up with something that looked far more like a Merc T1 than a Transit...

Not going to let it spoil things though...doesn't mean I won't rant about it however! Just a shame as the excellent heritage parts support was one of the big plus sides of Mercedes ownership (and I don't doubt it still is if you own a passenger car).
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:39 pm

I've been watching Youtube stories of HubNut's adventures with his Invacar, and your involvement therein. As I've watched all of them I'm now suffering Invacar withdrawal symptoms!

Please may we have some more Invacar action!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:16 pm

Andrew353w wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:39 pm
I've been watching Youtube stories of HubNut's adventures with his Invacar, and your involvement therein. As I've watched all of them I'm now suffering Invacar withdrawal symptoms!

Please may we have some more Invacar action!
Okay...I'll set the camera rolling when I next take her out on a proper run. CVT belt needs a little tweak now it's broken in a bit as it's obviously a little loose now so launch is a little snatchy.

Nothing massive to report other that than with use TPA seems to just keep running better. Had her out this afternoon to run a few errands, rubbing shoulders with rush hour traffic. No bother. 

Have finally brought the PCV valves picked up last week inside for a clean up and fitting when I next get a chance. They're used examples but in a lot better state than the ones on the car currently.

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No idea whether I should expect this to make any difference to running, but it certainly can't hurt I figure.

Should rid me of a minor oil leak though - the seal on the lower one on the car is perished so the join "sweats" at the moment. The seal on this one is in good shape so this should put an end to that leak.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by sch4463 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:54 pm

Was hoping to get another scooter today.... Chinooks been overhead every few mins since 430am. Whaley Bridge been like a godzilla filmset since yesterday. If dam goes so does work.... Scary times...

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:21 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.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:00 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.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by sch4463 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:47 am


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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by sch4463 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 am

Image got to sit in the chinook last week when the village turned into a godzilla filmset...
Allowed back into work, lost a weeks pay ) - :
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:14 pm

sch4463 wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 am
got to sit in the chinook last week when the village turned into a godzilla filmset...
Allowed back into work, lost a weeks pay ) - :
8)
97 Niva 1.7i
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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:23 am

sch4463 wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 am
Image got to sit in the chinook last week when the village turned into a godzilla filmset...
Allowed back into work, lost a weeks pay ) - :
Real shame you've had so much trouble.

Glad you got a closer look at a Chinook though. That's worth a few quid...They're epic bits of machinery aren't they?

-- -- --

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.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:05 pm

This afternoon I took an hour out to investigate a gremlin which has turned up 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.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:11 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.
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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:43 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.
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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