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 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:56 pm

Pretty sure we've got a developing issue with either the alternator or the regulator on the Jag. While the light goes out as normal when the engine starts, it doesn't seem to properly start charging until the engine is brought up to around 3000rpm and held there for a couple of seconds. Then the system seems to wake up and start charging properly. It will then stay there until the engine is next stopped. Before that point the system voltage will hover around 13V - so it is still generating power, just at a reduced level. Once the system "wakes up" it jumps up to a normal charging voltage.

Need to do some research on the likely cause and get the necessary things ordered in. At least alternators don't look to be massively expensive if a new one is needed. This one has been rebuilt - but that was back in 1998 so it's not really undue some attention.

I will obviously have a crawl under that corner (I *think* it's relatively accessible from underneath) and get myself covered in oil and clean up the connections to the alternator as it wouldn't be the first time I've fixed odd charging behaviour with naught but jiggling a connection.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:19 pm

Yesterday evening I finally made a start on something that I've been meaning to do literally for months - trying to get the garage tidied into a vaguely user-friendly state.

Lately getting into the garage to access the chest freezer at the back has required me to physically climb over the nearside rear wing of the Invacar because of how cluttered the place was.

After three or four hours I managed to get to this stage.

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Which doesn't look like much, but at least means I can actually get in now!

Doesn't do anything to address this disaster area though.

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Basically the problem I have in here (aside from too much utter junk) is a chronic lack of storage or any space to go through some of the boxed things to figure out what's worth keeping and what is honestly just useless detritus which is fit only for the bin.

While in there yesterday evening though I did finally make a point of having a look around and coming up with a proper plan of attack.

Along both sides of the garage I will install a more or less full length shelf slightly above standing head height. Those will hold a lot of the consumables and light weight items that are used on a more or less daily basis in a way that's relatively easily accessible but doesn't impinge on the actual working area. The intention there is to leave the floor either side of the car completely free to allow me to shift it to the left or right a little to suit whatever I'm doing. As it stands even on the clear side there isn't enough room for me to sit comfortably to access anything, much less see what I'm doing. I've got a couple of old coat racks from some old wardrobes which will go on the wall to the offside of the Invacar which any spray bottles with triggers can be hooked onto. There's no need for them to take up shelf space when they can hang on the wall.

At the far end things will be completely reconfigured.

The far wall will be pretty much entirely given over to full width, full height shelving. Right up to the ceiling as there is going to be quite a bit of stuff in here that I only use now and then, so I don't mind having to grab the little stepladder now and then.

The Sun diagnostic machine will be positioned pretty much directly in front of where the Invacar is currently parked (the Crypton one has been sold and will be collected by its new owner shortly hopefully), between it and the wall (to the offside) I will hopefully then have room for a small workbench. Nothing huge, but at least somewhere I can finally fit a vice as not having access to one is really annoying. I've lost count over the last few years of how many times I've sliced, hammered, wire-wheeled, frozen, set fire to or sanded my fingers because I was holding onto the thing I was working on rather than having it firmly held in a vice.

Behind that I'm hoping to then have at least two ranks of free standing shelving running right to the wall on the right, just leaving room to the left for a comfortable access passage.

This should give me masses more storage than I've ever had access to before which should then hopefully be sufficient to allow me to get rid of all the piles of things on the ground and the disintegrating cardboard boxes. Once that's done hopefully it will give me enough room to actually go through a lot of the stuff that was brought down from Aberdeenshire in a hurry when I had to clear out my folk's house at short notice and decide what's to be kept, what's to be donated to the charity shops and what is honestly fit for nowhere other than the recycling centre.

All previous attempts to tidy this place up have just consisted of picking up the piles of stuff from one place, moving them somewhere else then putting them down again without actually achieving anything, so having an actual plan in mind to deal with it feels like progress.

I've a few things that I'd like to get stuck into over the next few years, but step one before I can even think about any of these has to be "get my stuff sorted out!" if things have any hope whatsoever of getting off the ground.

Not least a few of the jobs coming up on the Jag...They're going to be far more pleasant with access to a reasonable work area than doing it sitting cross legged on the driveway while being eaten alive by the ants which inevitably get everywhere here in the summer.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Neil Chowney » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:01 pm

I can't help thinking things might get a little more congested when the XJ-S goes in there as well....... :D
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by sch4463 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm

There's a project, double decker garage... Invacar light enough to be raised with pullies like some people do with bikes.... 🤔😊

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:37 pm

Neil Chowney wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:01 pm
I can't help thinking things might get a little more congested when the XJ-S goes in there as well....... :D
No hope in hell of it going in! It's at least 6" wider than the door!
sch4463 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm
There's a project, double decker garage... Invacar light enough to be raised with pullies like some people do with bikes.... 🤔😊
Just makes sense to me to use all the height. Visual clutter is less of an issue in a garage after all, so I may as well use all the available space!

People always seem to think you can just pick it up and move it, but at 410Kg, I'm not trying to lift it anywhere! The visually almost identical Model 67 (which still used the old Villiers two stroke engine and a really basic chassis) was somewhere around the 300Kg mark so a good deal lighter... you're still not going to pick it up and put it in your pocket though!

I wanted to confirm the garage dimensions so I could start planning out how much shelving I can fit in there. However I didn't want to go out in the rain for a fifth time to measure it. So I dug out the floor plan saved from the original property listing when we were looking at buying this place.

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It's an oddly long narrow space (the door is so narrow that to get the Lada in I had to fold both wing mirrors in). Granted, the whole layout of this house is a bit odd!

I'll have a play around with a few possible layouts in CAD tomorrow afternoon if I have time. I'd like to know roughly how much shelving I can actually fit in before I start buying things. Should allow me to figure out roughly how much square footage of storage I'll gain through the project too.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:30 pm

Not really been much going on the last few days. Finally did get the opportunity to give the Jag a wash to get rid of most of the caked on salt and grime.

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Still doesn't scrub up bad.

Really do need to attack the wheels with some solvent cleaner to try to get rid of the foam backing from previous balance weights.

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Had a trip out in my housemate's current company car today, an Audi TTRS. This has the fancy magnetoadaptive suspension so I was actually expecting it might be almost tolerable - though I *expect* it to be pretty hard edged as that's kinda why it exists. I was quite impressed with the ride in the S7 we had as a demo a year or so back.

However it's utterly horrendous. Our street is paved with lockblock rather than tarmac, it's not that rough though. You honestly can't read the instruments driving along there it's bouncing around so much. The road noise is absolutely deafening as well.

While I was washing the Jag I think I spotted one reason why!

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There is absolutely zero give in these tyres (235/30 ZR20s!)...and yes, they're run flats.

It's moderately quick, but the lack of give in the tyres and the suspension seem to conspire to limit that as despite hugely wide tyres and four wheel drive going anywhere near full throttle on anything less smooth than a snooker table just results in the traction control light blinking angrily at you. Likewise cornering always feels downright terrifying as it skips and bounces around so much. Sure it would go pretty rapidly around a track, but on real road surfaces not so much.

Meh...disappointing. Wasn't expecting a luxury car, but had hoped it might at least be a bit of fun. So continues the string of company cars which have been utter let downs. The only one in the last few years I found tolerable was the top spec Skoda Superb L&K. That actually managed to be almost comfortable for journeys of more than ten minutes.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:47 pm

Decided to take advantage of the sunshine this afternoon to try to get something done without me having to leave my property. Garage clear out is now on hold as we obviously can't get any rubbish cleared out to the tip.

Today's target was the thoroughly blocked "atmospheric coolant catch tank" - seriously Jag, it's an expansion tank - on the Jag. I'd like to get rid of the bottle currently wedged between hoses in the nearside front of the engine bay.

Access is gained by removing five 10mm (I expected them to be imperial sized!) Bolts and pulling the wheel arch liner out.

First contact with the enemy.

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Immediately obvious is that the overflow bung has escaped the side of the tank.

The idea of this setup is that if this tank were to overflow any water or steam would exit via that metal pipe you can see to the left. However if the seal between the tank and that pipe is compromised (which it is basically from day one as they never fitted well) this will simply escape into the wing.

Made worse by them sticking a foam pad underneath it to hold onto the moisture for as long as possible!

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The tank originally would have been a friction fit between two brackets however these were missing so once I fed the pipe through from the engine bay it was just lifted out.

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This left behind a lot of crusty mess.

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Quite how much crud was apparent once it was swept out. Hey, there's the remains of the bracket that should have been holding the tank!

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The results of this were honestly predictable.

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On the plus side, the outer wing just bolts on so access should be fine to carry out a repair. I could be naughty and bolt the liner back in and pretend not to have seen it as the MOT tester would never know... I'd rather properly fix it though. Even bearing in mind that I'll need to chase it back a ways to find solid metal it shouldn't be the worst repair to do. Especially as it's out of sight so my horrible welding won't be visible.

I had a bit of a peer into the void using my phone camera and the inner will looks fine. Couple of bits of surface rust but nothing terrifying.

It looks like the tank itself was replaced in the early 90s judging from the date of 1991 on a sticker on it.

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Given the line was completely clogged I was surprised to find that it did have some water in...well...something vaguely resembling liquid which may at some point have been water anyway.

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This smelled precisely like you'd expect for 30 year old Barr's Stop Leak or K-Seal...lovely! Given that Jag used to recommend adding two bottles of the stuff at each coolant flush, not surprising to find this. There was about an inch of compacted mud at the bottom of the bottle under about 1/2 a pint of water.

Trying to clear the pipe took way longer than getting everything out. The culprit was unsurprisingly the narrowest point in the system, the coupler between the two pipes.

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That was choked solid end to end. I had to resort to drilling the gunk out of it as it had the consistency of concrete. Again, I reckon age old leak stop compounds are probably to blame. Removing the hoses (once I eventually managed to get the hose clips free) required them to be cut and then peeled off with a pair of pliers as they were utterly welded onto it.

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The whole lot is now soaking in the sink in the utility room, probably awaiting a run through the dishwasher tomorrow before being refitted.

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The bung on the overflow will probably be sealed to the body using Sikaflex to hopefully make it something resembling water tight. Hopefully the system will be less troublesome going forward given that cooling system sealant potions won't be going anywhere near the car.

I will need to figure out some means to secure it though as the bracketry has long since dissolved too.

Welding the wing up will need to wait a bit as I'll need a bunch of supplies first which I obviously can't get out for just now.

In summary: It's been said a thousand times before by pretty much every owner of an XJ-S ever...what a stupid design!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:32 pm

The bottle was left soaking overnight before getting thrown in the dishwasher on an intensive wash this morning.

Hasn't cleaned up badly actually given there was about an inch of solid mud in the bottom of it originally.

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Looks perfectly serviceable to me.

Has now been reassembled ready for refitting.

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I'll make sure both the hose inlet/outlets are sealed properly once it's back on the car. I'll be careful about the hose routing to make sure it doesn't get kinked as I know that's a common problem with this setup.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:35 pm

I've got a parcel on the way (the factors say it's business as usual for web orders so hopefully should be here soon) which contains:

[] Full coolant hose set. Thanks to the expansion tank hose having been blocked for goodness only know how many years, the system has been over pressurising and at least two of the hoses are showing signs of distress as a result. See below.

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These both have cable ties wrapped around them to act as reinforcement until the new hoses arrive. At least the system pressure is being kept at sensible levels now.

Given they're all 34 years old, I figure they've done their time and are probably due a change. The radiator was replaced only a couple of months before I got the car, so having the hoses all replaced as well should hopefully mean I don't need to actively worry about the cooling system for a while.

I'm sure I will invent several new and exciting curses while trying to fit them.

[] Set of spark plugs.

[] A/C Compressor to condenser hose. Speaking of factory bodges - using jubilee clips to hold together the hot gas lines on the A/C system qualifies I think! It probably worked fine if the system was to be gassed up every year or two, but with the price of refrigerant these days (the system has been converted to r134a at least) I'd rather get shot of two joints which I know will leak...I've spent many hours helping out a friend who is a HVAC technician, so this makes my teeth itch!

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That's exactly the sort of bodge we used to find on equipment on the farm. Bonus points if it's on the high pressure side of a hydraulic system.

[] Cam cover gaskets for both cylinder banks and a set of half moon seals for the cam boxes.

[] Inlet manifold gasket set.

Both cam covers leak like a proverbial sieve at the moment...actually changing those is pretty simple...once you get to them! Um...

Can't even see the one on this side...

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Nearside one you can see bits of at least!

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Which also does a good job of highlighting how ridiculously long the engine is given that the cam cover runs from the oil filler (mid way between the radiator caps) all the way back to just above the windscreen washer bottle. She's a substantial old beastie! Pretty sure I recall seeing someone quoting a figure somewhere around the 450kg mark for the drivetrain in this thing...The unladen weight of the Invacar is 410kg!

Yeah, getting at the cam covers requires removal of the inlet manifolds (which of course requires removal or disconnection of no small number of things which are attached to or in the way of them). Well it's a good opportunity to change the gaskets I guess!

The distributor also needs servicing...which will be massively easier with all the nonsense it's normally buried behind out of the way. So doing this while I've already got things apart to do the cam cover gaskets makes a lot of sense to me. I'd rather not take this much stuff apart more often than I need to. Spark plugs will also be changed at the same time as getting to those requires you to unbolt the A/C compressor and to remove the assembly holding on the throttle linkage and ignition coil. This is a job that's way more awkward on the HE cars because of the angle the plugs screw into the heads. The plugs on the pre-HE cars just screwed straight down into the heads which made things way easier.

Hoping once the plugs are done, distributor has been overhauled and a new cap and rotor arm are on it that we'll finally be able to get an idle that's as silky smooth as it should be. Currently there's a very slight intermittent miss at idle which is really bugging me.

I wouldn't complain if it improved economy a bit either!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:05 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:35 pm
I've got a parcel on the way (the factors say it's business as usual for web orders so hopefully should be here soon)
Courier companies are doing a great job keeping the delivery system going. Parcels are still being delivered next day in the UK :) The hand over to the driver is a bit East German spy exchange on a bridge situation, 6ft apart and place the parcel on the floor then step back 6ft so they can pick it up. We've just received a priority service parcel with a specific part from Russia that we tracked through Europe without any delays. Parcel was thoroughly cleaned and precautions taken during its unpacking.
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