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 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:21 pm

Had another couple of errands to run today, picking up items for a family friend who's still in full lockdown due to a medical condition. Was an obvious choice for transport wasn't there.

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I realised following a question from someone elsewhere that I didn't have a single bit of video showing how things were running since the new old stock CVT pulleys had been fitted. Figured this was as good time to sort that out as any.

Unfortunately the captured footage really has highlighted that I need to get a better camera mount. The one I've got now is miles better than the previous one but still isn't great. It's also really limiting in the Invacar as the shape of it means that the only places I can fix it are to the windscreen or the side windows. I usually used to favour fixing it to the rear windscreen looking over my shoulder. Out the windscreen means you can't see any interior details, but attaching it to the side window (as I did today) results in absolutely *diabolical* levels of camera shake. This is because the doors themselves move around quite a bit in the apertures while driving, the top frame flexes quite a bit itself, and then as the window glass is quite a loose fit in the channels that also wobbles around...so even with the anti shake turned on the footage is dire.

I'm honestly almost embarrassed to be sharing this given how poor the quality is, but I know at least a couple of people will be curious to compare this to my earlier test runs so here you go.



As you can see a gremlin most likely due to the car having sat around for more than half a year did rear its head towards the end of the journey today when a bit of gunk seems to have found its way into the idle jet in the carb (this is the first tank of E5 as well) and she decided to cut out at a junction. Immediately restarted and I just kept the idle up a bit with the throttle until the end of the drive. She was still absolutely fine under load, just spitting and sneezing when asked to idle.

Of course the moment I pulled into my driveway and went to investigate...



...She decided to idle absolutely perfectly.

This carb was cleaned out prior to my getting the bigger ultrasonic cleaner so there's quite likely still a few bits of crud in some of the passages. I might well pull it off if this fault reappears and give it another clean now that I have better suited equipment to the job.

I have noticed one issue that I'll need to keep an eye on and look into a bit closer. We do appear to have a gearbox oil leak.

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It's not actually left any visible drips where I've parked at any point (ignore the ground, this is the Jag's parking space), but a visual inspection shows that there's clearly quite a bit of fresh oil on the 'box.

This leak isn't a surprise really given that when I got the car the gearbox was absolutely encased in about a 3/4" thick coating of congealed mud and EP90 that took me the best part of an hour to chisel off. However where it was coming from was completely unclear and a possible suspect was immediately obvious in that three out of the four nuts holding the top cover on were only finger tight. There's also no evidence of a gasket under said cover. I can't tell looking at it from under the car if this is coming out through the offside driveshaft seal or running down from the top cover, I'll need to pull the access panel behind the seat out to take a closer look. If it's just coming from the top cover I'll make up a proper gasket for it and hope that solves the issue. If it's the driveshaft seal I'll need to get myself some parts ordered. At least it should be possible to change that without needing to dismantle too much, even if access will be a bit of a pain.

I'll really need to try to re-shoot that video once I can figure out a better way to hold the camera in place. The little action camera I've got has a far superior mounting bracket, however the microphone in that can't handle the noise levels and starts clipping the audio horribly the moment you open the throttle...and I don't think I have the patience for trying to edit together video and audio from two devices for a quick video like this. I'll need to double check if it has any provision for using an external microphone...If it does that's an obvious solution, even if the wide angle lens isn't really ideal.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:12 am

Couple of posts wrapped into one here.

Major step towards having the hub properly sorted has been achieved.

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Just waiting for a reply from a couple of companies regarding getting it drilled to suit the Invacar then we should be well on the way to permanently resolving that issue.

-- -- --

Got a couple of things done yesterday afternoon but hit an energy wall quite early on in the evening so wasn't feeling up to writing it up.

First up was taking a closer look at the front apron on the van. This is one of the things which has contributed to it looking the most rough ever since I got the thing. I'd never really gone poking it on account of half expecting it to wind up full of holes if I did. The panel isn't massively expensive so I'd always sort of planned on just replacing it at some point. I figured I should take a closer look though and see if it can be tarted up a bit in the meantime at least. I was really surprised that the two huge great blisters on both ends were covering solid metal...I'd expected this to disintegrate in these areas the moment I touched it.

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Whole thing is pretty rough, but astonishingly solid.

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Fair enough...As it's reasonably solid I'll look to pull it off at some point shortly so I can hit it with the wire wheel on the grinder to get most of it off, then drown it with Vactan (5 litres of which finally arrived yesterday) before repainting. The back of it is covered in flaky rust and peeling paint as well and there's no way I can get access to all of it with the panel in situ. Will give me a good opportunity to get at the inside of the wings as well.

The bonnet skin is toast though...the vinyls are basically all that's holding the corners together.

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Again, the whole panel is available...it's £150 though and given the expenses coming up I kinda feel that I can't really justify that expense right now - especially when getting it properly painted and the vinyls remade will probably near enough triple that cost. I suspect the short term basing out the loose crud, slathering the whole area with Vactan, fixing the voids left with some fibreglass and painting it will the the order of the day.

That's probably a job for next week I think.

As shown on the most recent video of TPA out and about, some gunk appears to have found its way into the idle jet of the carb. I was struggling for enthusiasm for pulling the carb to bits, so instead set about tidying up some wiring. There was a large amount of generally untamed spaghetti under the front service hatch which had been bugging me for ages, so I set about wrangling it into some semblance of order.

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I seriously need to just hit the whole car with the pressure washer to get rid of the paint and filler dust. Secondly (now I know it can be removed), I need to pull that splash guard out and batter it into something more resembling the correct shape with a large hammer.

Few things in the back were given the same treatment.

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The wiring to the tail lights used to wobble around a lot as it wasn't actually attached to the body/chassis anywhere. I could see that being a recipe for broken wires down the line.

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While working on this I spotted that the HT lead for the right hand cylinder was touching the back of the crank pulley. While it hadn't worn through yet, it had made a nice dent in the insulation. I decided that rerouting the HT lead to prevent this being a future problem seemed prudent.

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Something which has been bugging me for a while is that all of the fuel filters from the motor factors around here have the opaque (or at least mostly opaque) cases. I've never been a fan of these as you really can't see what condition they're in unless they are REALLY clogged. I far prefer using filters with a clear body. To this end I bought a little stock of clear filters online.

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One of these has been fitted to TPA this afternoon, another will get going into the heater fuel supply in the van next time I'm doing work in the locker the heater lives in.

Given this is a brand new fuel tank, brand new fuel hose from end to end and a fuel pump that was absolutely spotless internally I'll be curious to see how long it takes for any grime to become visible in there.

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I've now pulled the top off the carb and blown through all the jets. Unfortunately she still isn't happy, so I just need to accept that I need to pull the carb off and clean it properly. Hardly the end of the world but undeniably annoying given I only just got the car mobile again!

The suspension bush I've been waiting for the Xantia finally appears to have arrived in the country, so she should be getting put back to the garage for the MOT in the next week or so...however she looked like something from the Lost World having been parked under a tree for several weeks. Was filthy enough before that (I was honestly embarrassed to have presented the car for an MOT in that state) so a wash was the first order of business today.

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Better, though the winter hasn't done the clearcoat peel any favours. It's really looking more and more like the car has a bad case of sunburn.

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I'm tempted to have a play around with some cans of that plastic coating aerosol (the name of which escapes me right now). The paint is in such a state there's nothing to stop me having a bit of fun really is there?

What colour do you reckon?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:01 am

Having come to the conclusion that the Invacar will need the carb pulling for a proper deep clean again I got to having a dig around to see if there's a carb rebuild kit available for this one as it would make sense to me to swap out all the seals and gaskets for fresh ones while I've got it in bits. While this carb isn't showing any appreciable wear anywhere it's still over forty years old so I wouldn't mind at all if I were to spend a bit of extra time doing a full service. Unfortunately the Weber 32ICS10 on here seems to have very little in the way of parts availability out there.

The other carb they apparently came with was a Solex 40PID. That at least does have *some* availability...though it sounds like the larger 40mm carb is probably better suited to the larger 650cc version of this engine. After a bit of poking around I did note that that does also come in the same 32mm size as the Weber...and *that* does have decent availability as it's used on early Land Rovers and several PSA models. Hmm...if one of those were to pop up somewhere cheaply enough I might have to do a bit of experimenting.

Someone on another forum did link me to something which very much piqued my interest too in this field.

Link to a throttle body fuel injection kit for small engines

Now a lot of folks would run screaming away from this sort of idea. There's a few reasons I won't however. Firstly is that I conducted exactly that sort of conversion on my Lada a couple of years ago. There were a few hiccups due to dodgy secondhand parts and a few components being hard to obtain because the donor vehicle hasn't been made for twenty plus years. However once they were ironed out (finding the bug in the ECU design which meant standard lambda sensors didn't work was fun...) the difference to the carb setup was like night and day. The overall driveability of the car was transformed, and you could just jump in, turn the key and go, irrespective of the ambient temperature, it the car is hot, cold or anywhere in between. I reckon we gained a huge lump of mid range torque too. In spite of what the naysayers said, even though several bits were still unfinished and lashed together a year later the system had proven to be utterly reliable once the initial bugs were ironed out.

While it cost me a small fortune and trying to track down some parts was a pain (the donor vehicle having both a stuffed ECU and siezed fuel pump was unhelpful!) it was a rewarding challenge to undertake and resulted in a car I was far more happy to use.

For now we're just going to stick with the existing carb and clean it up, or possibly swap it out for something similar but with better support. For one thing I'd really like to experiment with the jetting a bit. My gut tells me the standard carb runs things a little on the lean side of ideal.

On the plus side, having had the carb off before it was a lot quicker and less annoying job to get to it this time as I knew what contortions and stripping down of the engine bay were needed to get the retaining nuts out so we were left with this.

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Still can't get over the size of that oil cooler for a 500cc engine.

...With this rather grubby lump of metal ready for some attention.

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When it was previously cleaned I never really put much effort into the outside of the casing, I'll give that a better scrub this time round.

Pretty much the moment I started stripping it down it became abundantly apparent that it really did need to be stripped down. This is the state the fuel inlet strainer was in.

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With this all dropping out of the recess the above strainer sits in.

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While the float bowl looked clean at a glance, there was actually quite a lot of this grit in there too.

Into the cleaner it goes.

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Will obviously need to be rotated several times before it's finished but despite being a couple of sizes smaller than ideal the cleaner does a good job.

The fact that the cleaning solution had after only a few minutes visibly turned darker and cloudy shows it's doing something.

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Will get the other sides done tomorrow, blow all the drilled passages out and finally refit it to the car before taking a test drive.

-- -- --

Yesterday I swore at the Jag a lot. Changing four belts should not take an entire afternoon.

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Whoever was responsible for the belt tensioner design on this car was a complete and utter sadist. They're awkward to get at (except for the one for the air con belt which you can clearly see above), which you kind of expect and accept going into the job. The location of them means that you can get about 1/18th of a turn on the nuts at a time, having to rotate the spanner by 180 degrees between each movement. This is annoying...but especially so given that the threaded rod used in the adjusters is of a ridiculously fine pitch for the application. This meant that it took me more than half an hour of knuckle grazing, smooshing my face up against the front splitter and swearing to back the alternator belt tensioner off enough to actually get the belt off. This one is even more annoying as you have to do it completely blind unless you're lucky enough to have a vehicle lift on hand. Just having it parked on static ramps is no good as you need access from both above and below...

There's absolutely nothing difficult about this job...it's just incredibly soul destroyingly tedious.

I honestly hope that I never have to do this again...it was a truly horrible job.

Unfortunately once everything was back together I think I have found why the original compressor clutch assembly failed.

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The far side of the pulley you can see here is adjusted to the correct clearance. Yep...the input shaft on the compressor is bent. So I'm on the hunt for a new compressor after all...though it does look like we've tracked one down already. Just annoying to have wasted the best part of £100 on the clutch assembly.

Not one to be put off by such things though I turned my attention elsewhere. One thing which had always been letting the interior down was the steering wheel. It had faded in a slightly odd, blotchy way and looked a mess.

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Finally got around to treating it with some leather dye today...I think this looks a thousand times better now.

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-- -- --

I have made a start on de-rusting and painting the front apron on the van as it was getting to look embarrassingly rusty... obviously waiting on a top coat now but we're getting there.

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The bonnet skin has had it, I'll get a repair made to that corner shortly, though longer term the panel needs to be changed. Don't worry about the slight overspray on the bumper by the way, it needs painting too but will be removed to do that.

Made a bit of a step forward with my planned audio upgrades when I stumbled across these in a box in the loft.

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I bought these back in 2007 as part of a kit including all the fittings, wiring etc and both the sub and amplifier which are still in use, hooked up to my stereo downstairs. I'd completely forgotten I still had these though, I thought they were still in the Saab which I passed on to a friend years ago. While they're not exactly a prestige name as far as I'm aware they definitely exceeded my expectations performance wise. These should do nicely in the van I reckon. They're a lot less conspicuous than they were when new as after a couple of years in use the almost neon green colour of the cones faded to what you see now.

I'm usually one to try avoiding cutting holes in things, but I like my music and there's not really much option if I want some better speakers in place. The position I'm planning to install these will be about as discreet as I can possibly make it though.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:49 pm

One slightly cleaner Invacar carb back in place.

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Not sure if I ever posted the full carb details before...so for those who are interested in such things here you go.

I had a feeling that the adjustments on this were a mile out as when dismantling it I found that the idle mixture screw was only held in by about two threads. When I put things back together I went with the usual starting point of two turns out (I've generally found that's usually a setting that's close enough to get an engine to run so you can start adjusting things properly).

After dancing between the idle mixture and idle speed screw we settled at a reasonable idle showing this on the CO meter.

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Annoyingly 1 out of 4 times when you go to open the throttle she will hesitate and spit back through the carb before the engine picks up. The accelerator jet is working and is squirting fuel nice and straight down the carb throat. It's just as though she's running too lean as soon as you try to transition between the idle jet and main.

It seems that thes cars were always somewhat prone to doing this, though I don't see that that means that they all *should* do that if the fuelling is correct.

Something I've always noticed is totally absent from this car is any form of pops and crackles from the exhaust on the overrun, which always tends to suggest she's running a bit on the lean side. It's utterly unscientific and worth nothing but it's just my thoughts on the matter.

It looks like I've tracked down another carb which *should* have the same stud pattern as the one on the Invacar, from a 1100cc four pot so the fuelling should be roughly in the right ballpark (I'm assuming that like air-cooled VW engines these engines probably prefer to run slightly on the rich side). I'm just curious to do a bit of experimenting and irrespective of performance etc, for long term reliability I'd not complain about having a slightly better supported carb in place. It's entirely theoretical at the moment anyhow, will let you know when it arrives and I have a chance to experiment.

Some very quick and dirty paint has been thrown at the van.

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It's not pretty by any stretch of the imagination but I think looks a bit less horrendous than it did. Doesn't need to last forever given that both of the panels involved will be replaced eventually anyway. At least the rust should be a bit less conspicuous at a passing glance now.

Today I've set about attacking the front and rear windscreens in the Jag with Cpt. Tolley's to see if we can resolve the issue with water creeping in between the glass and the rubber seal.

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The driveway being on a slope is a pain when doing this as it tries to run to one side because of the slope.

While I was in the vicinity of the rear windscreen I took a brave pill and poked at the rusty blisters at both lower corners. I was honestly expecting to wind up with holes in this panel (and know full well what an utter swine it would be to repair). Mercifully the metal was still solid if somewhat pitted. This was rubbed back a bit then liberally coated with Vactan.

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I'll give it another couple of coats before getting some top coat on there.

A couple of weeks ago our lawn mower started playing up, and no amount of cleaning the carb would restore normal behaviour. It would run fine for about 30 seconds then start behaving as though it was running out of fuel.

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I was about to order a carb overhaul kit before discovering that you could get a whole genuine Briggs carb for less than £20...Which makes spending £12 on an overhaul kit seem a bit pointless.

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Ten minutes later we had the new carb in place.

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Based on comparison of what came off and what went on it seems that the diaphragm which serves as the fuel pump has gone hard and plasticy probably resulting in poor fuel delivery.

While it was pouring with rain so I wasn't able to really test it under load, it started first pull and was happy to run on both idle and run settings, so it *looks* like we've solved the problem.

EDIT: Oh, and I've got a couple of metres of 1.75" stainless steel tubing on the way to become the new tailpipes for the Jag. Figured for £20 it was worth a shot at doing it myself. The rattling from the sleeves in the silencers is annoying me, but I'm sure as heck not going back to having a silent exhaust, the V12 howl is far, far too addictive.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:22 pm

After what seems like forever I finally have this bush for the Xantia's suspension in my hand.

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Despite coming from an eBay shop which didn't mention the name anywhere, it came in an AutoDoc box with an AutoDoc invoice...I'd never normally voluntarily buy from them given the history of sending out completely the wrong part that's on part with Euro Car Parts...However it appears that this is actually correct by some miracle. While changing it looks a deceptively simple job, apparently getting the old bush off can be a right pain so I'm sticking with my decision to get the garage to do that work. It's booked in for a week tomorrow, and I'll hopefully have the car back a few days later with a fresh MOT. Only taken me eight months!

22mpg will seem positively frugal after using the Jag daily for a while!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:57 pm

With the Xantia heading in for remedial work and an MOT at the start of next week I figured it was probably time to set about removing the cobwebs and pine needles from the interior. I always try to present my car for the test in a reasonable state as I figure making a good first impression can never hurt. The tester jumping into a car that's obviously cared for despite being worth about the same amount as the fuel in the tank is always going to put them in a better frame of mind than one they have to don full hazmat gear to get into.

While the clearcoat peel let's the exterior down the interior still scrubs up will for a 24 year old, 140K mile car.

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Gave the cab of the van a quick scrub up too as it was really dusty.

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Really do need to do something about the threadbare carpet on the engine cowl. If it wasn't glued on I'd just remove it and have that match the rest of the dashboard. Finding a second hand one may well be the easiest solution there.

EDIT: Went back out after dinner and gave the Jag the same treatment.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:00 am

Wednesday was a little bit of a disaster.

My fuel injection overhaul kit for the Jag has finally turned up. I'm leaving this alone until next week though once the Xantia is (hopefully!) back on the road as it will inevitably take the car off the road for a few days as it will be quite an involved job to get that overhaul done.

The other thing which turned up was the stainless steel tubing I had ordered to take the place of the rear silencers on the Jag.

I set about replacing the tailpipes, while a bit fiddly this was pretty uneventful. Right up until this happened.

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That is the twisted, shattered remains of what was my poor Huawei P20 Pro phone.

What happened is a classic case of "a series of unfortunate events." I'm a creature of habit...and my phone always lives in my left pocket. However during lockdown I've had no less than three pairs of trousers come to the end of their lives...leaving me a single, solitary pair of cargo pants. I've not felt like going into a clothing store to replace them so have been making do - but I didn't have my usual cargo pants on. So I didn't have the usual compliment of pockets. So I took my phone out of my pocket so it didn't get scratched up by my keys, placing it on the rear bumper of the Jag by where I was working. Unfortunately I then totally forgot to retrieve it before I went for a test drive. I realised it was missing about half an hour later and eventually figured out what had happened. The rubber bumpers on the case managed to make it stay exactly where I had put it for about 3/4 of a mile until it eventually fell off...Right in the middle of a 70mph dual carriageway.

The P20 Pro is a sturdy bit of kit for all it's got a shiny tempered glass finish, the chassis is milled from a single solid ingot of aluminium. It would have probably been absolutely fine following that experience, between the sturdy case it was in and the design, it might have cracked the screen or the rear case glass (both relatively easily replaceable), but it wouldn't have been a huge issue. However getting run over repeatedly by 70mph traffic was more than any piece of consumer electronics could deal with...and I defy any phone, even the ruggedised ones made by Cat, to come out of the experience looking any better than this.

Despite that mess my SIM card survived, and the eject mechanism for the drawer it lives in was still able to work properly to retrieve it. The battery was still undamaged as well - though given what it had been through I removed it as I didn't particularly trust it.

I feel such an utter idiot. I've had a mobile since early 1998 and have never damaged any of them beyond the odd scrape or scratch...I still have every single phone, and they all still work (even though the charger for the original one, a Vodafone MN-1 is currently AWOL...I know I do have it through, I saw it when we moved in here). Until now.

It's a real shame as well as this was probably the single piece of technology I've ever owned that I was most both impressed by and generally liked. I'd had it for a little over two years, and the shine hadn't even started to wear of (physically or metaphorically), and I was still daily awed by the capabilities of such a tiny bit of technology and the camera never ceased to impress me - and was singularly responsible for me having stopped carrying a separate camera. I knew I was just about at the point where I would be able to pick a new upgrade, but wasn't really feeling any need to. The main drive would be the fact that I always pass my previous handset on to my husband when I get an upgrade - so we actually get far more use out of them than we would otherwise (though I'd probably have considered selling the old handset otherwise). Being able to offer him such an impressive bit of technology would probably have been an incentive to look into it. Obviously that's not going to happen this time!

Turned out when I looked, I was indeed due an upgrade (as of last Wednesday), so getting a replacement handset wasn't going to leave me directly out of pocket (bearing in mind that directly replacing my existing one would still have set me back somewhere around £400) - though we *do* have "gadget cover" on our home insurance which will allow some of that to be recovered at least. Did mean I needed to do a bit of research though to decide what I wanted. Didn't take much...I've been very impressed with Huawei's handsets so far (we've had two P9s, two P10s and my P20 Pro in the house) so wasn't really interested in looking elsewhere. The P30 Pro was the standout choice...Basically a couple of year's worth of refinements to the basic design of the P20 Pro - and apparently a far better camera. Knocked £8 a month off my contract and doubled my (hardly touched) data allowance too.

Less than 24 hours after speaking to Vodafone the new handset arrived. I'll say one thing...It really is an incredibly pretty thing. There's a sort of three dimensional holographic effect on back.

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They describe this finish as "Aurora" - and yes, I can see that.

I think I may actually need to make a point of getting a clear case this time...That's too pretty and makes me far too happy to hide it.

Initial impressions to overall fit, finish and software experience while setting up, basically can be summed up as "Your move, Apple."

Quick camera test...Haven't fiddled around with the configuration at all yet...

Hey look, a conveniently pretty test subject.

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Hey look...a proper optical zoom with proper optical image stabilisation. Nice to have.

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Plus in the opposite direction a proper wide angle mode.

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Which will definitely be handy, not so much outside but for interior shots it will be a real bonus. Examples...

Here's a shot of the interior of the Jag in "normal "mode.

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It's clear how much more you can see with it in wide angle mode.

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The rear seat you can't usually get a decent photo of whatsoever because it's so cramped.

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Would have been much better if I spent two seconds making sure the driver's headrest wasn't in shot.

It's even makes taking an interior photo of the Invacar pretty easy!

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At the other end of the scale I discovered another party trick this camera has which will definitely be a lot of fun to play with. The macro mode focuses down to something ridiculous like 3mm. Here's the Jag's bonnet badge. I could get closer than this but would need to have a light on hand to avoid shadows.

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Or how about a Xantia tail light lens?

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You can really clearly see the alternate strips of clear lens and retro reflector in the lens.


Another package arrived yesterday morning that I'd actually completely forgotten about...This was hiding in it.

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Here's the data tag for those of you playing along at home.

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This is a new old stock 32mm Solex carb. It has the same throat size and stud spacing as the Weber 32 ICS carb on the Invacar - albeit with the base rotated through about 45 degrees. So if this stays on the car I'll need to make an adaptor up - not that it will be difficult. Just needs a metal disc with one hole in the middle and four smaller ones at appropriate places.

There was nothing really in mind here other than experimentation in the sheer spirit of curiosity.

Turned out the most difficult thing to get my head around for an initial test was figuring out how to actually bolt it onto the manifold. The original Weber carb has studs attached to it. This one has two holes to allow it to be bolted down or to fasten onto studs on the manifold. Just bolting it on however was made a bit tricky by the fact that you can't slot a bolt in from the top because the top of the carb casting is in the way. You can't slot it in from the bottom because the inlet manifold itself is in the way. After a bit of head scratching I cut a couple of bits of threaded rod to size and put nuts in both sides to clamp it down. That took me far longer to figure out than it really should have.

So what happened the first time I started it up? I wasn't honestly expecting it to even start. This was literally the carb as it was out the box - all I'd done was to blank off the vacuum feed for a distributor advance unit. Apologies for the horrible camera work, you're listening more than watching to be honest though.



Well I think that's got promise! The throttle response is immediately obviously far, far snappier. Cracking the throttle open would usually result in quite a gaping hole in the carburation until the engine picks up, with at least the occasional sneeze back through the carb. I think we might need to cobble together a connection to the throttle to see how it behaves under load. The engine this carb was originally destined for was an 1100 I believe, so the per-stroke fuelling rate should have been pretty similar to what we would have been looking for here. Should be an interesting experiment...Initial indications seem to be positive.

Hopefully the weather will cool down enough over the weekend that we might be able to do an actual test run. I'll need to figure out whether making an adaptor plate for the base or adapting the throttle cable will be easiest. Annoyingly the throttle cable is about 1/2" too short to reach as it is. I suspect it may well be the base plate. I don't want to invest *too* much time in this at this stage as it's purely an experiment and it's entirely likely that my theory will be completely wrong and it will actually run pig rich under load.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:03 pm

I *finally* found the long lost trim for the number plate light this afternoon so have stuck that back where it belongs.

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It's not perfectly straight, I'll tackle that another day when it's not a thousand degrees outside.

Did a bit more experimentation with the carb. Let the engine run long enough to get decently warm to see if any running issues cropped up...still seemed happy. Let's see what the CO meter has to say.

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Well that's rather better than I'd expect for a carb from a totally different engine on which I've not even touched anything.

Got a better video today, showing throttle response...audio is better if nothing else.

The first run is me cracking the throttle immediately wide open after the engine had been idling for a good 30 seconds or so. The engine here is always going to initially respond a little slowly just because it's got a really heavy flywheel attached and has to spin up the whole gearbox input shaft when the centrifugal clutch engages.



Anyone who knows these cars knows that this would normally have resulted in a fairly noticeable pause before the engine really picked up.

She starts a lot better now too. Usually you had to give her a bit of throttle to initially get the engine to catch.



I have cobbled together a connection to the throttle cable which seems to work okay...think we might need to try to get a road test done tomorrow.

I'm really, really curious to see how she behaves under load now.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:21 pm

Following the experiment yesterday I had cobbled together a link to the throttle control...which went *ping* the first time I tried applying full throttle.

Version 2.0 was quickly put together.

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This actually worked surprisingly well.

Unfortunately actually on the road this carb didn't work as well as it looked like it might. On wide open throttle it feels like the engine is really bogging down at lower revs. However it has very much highlighted how well the original one isn't behaving in some circumstances. The throttle response here is far more linear, the original one felt that there was far more of an off/medium/high sort of throttle. This one is also far happier to sit on a very light throttle at a set speed - 30mph for example can be maintained without needing to continually adjust.

Being able to just bring the revs up till the clutch starts to bite and then being able to just roll it on as you move off makes things so much smoother and pleasant.

At higher revs it felt more lively so long as you didn't go beyond about 70% throttle.

I think I might be seeing a reason that it feels like this engine is holding back a bit at the top end. Here's what I saw when I got back from the test.

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Not maybe obvious in the photo but the whole outer of the carb was swimming in fuel.

Doing some testing with the air cleaner off showed an interesting effect - when the throttle is opened anywhere beyond about 50% there is a tendency for a fine mist of fuel to want to hover about 2" above the carb throat - I'm guessing suspended there by pressure waves caused by resonance within the inlet manifold.

I'm sure I recall hearing of folks using dual carbs on air cooled VWs (so each carb feeding two cylinders exactly like this) having trouble with exactly this phenomenon with certain carb setups. Pretty sure I've heard this referred to as "fuel lift" on a couple of occasions.

That's where the fuel that I've been seeing running off the carb has been coming from though, it's nothing to do with a leak. It's literally been getting sprayed over the inside of the air cleaner housing, then running down over the carb. The air cleaner is just a metal-on-metal join so isn't hermetically sealed or anything like that.

I'm getting the feeling that's putting a theoretical limit on how much charge we can get into the engine, and why it has always felt like the last 30% or so of the throttle travel really doesn't seem to do anything.

I think it's a combination between this effect and the carb being better to run slightly lean (according to the manual) which might together account for the sneezing habit.

What to actually *do* about it though I've no idea. Applying some brainpower and maybe ask thoughts from folks who do more engine tuning etc for a living may be the answer. Will let you know if I get anywhere.

In the meantime though I will put the original carb back...after further cleaning. I'd obviously failed to shift the offending gunk last time around so it was dismantled again and chucked back in the ultrasonic cleaner.

My cleaner wasn't quite big enough to fully submerge the whole carb though which was always rather limiting.

However someone on another forum presented an idea which was a stroke of genius and effectively made my ultrasonic cleaner more than big enough.

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Plenty big enough to thoroughly submerge it now.

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It was left in there with the cleaner running for a full two hours. It *definitely* shifted a lot more crud this time round...both based on the sludge left behind when it was removed from the cleaner and just how it looks.

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I'll get it out back on the car tomorrow and see where we are. Setup procedure will be done by the book too.

So while this carb experiment might not have been an immediate fix, the behaviour when bumbling around at 30mph or below, starting etc has very much highlighted that the existing carb wasn't allowing the engine to perform as well as it could. Whether that's down to this carb being in need of a professional service or just limitations of the combination of this carb and this engine is something I've yet to confirm. One thing I will be doing is rechecking the valve clearances. I did check these when I first got KPL, but that was a long time ago. 0.15mm is the correct cold clearance for both inlet and exhaust valves. It will be a lot more of a faff now the engine is in TPA because she has intact wheel wells...

Will order in a new set of rocker cover gaskets first though. I was incredibly lucky to get them to seal properly when I reused them the first time round, expecting them to survive being taken off and refitted twice is a bit of an ask...

Also on the subject of carburetors I'm glad to report that the scruffy roadside find lawn mower is working like new again with the new carb fitted.

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Might even treat it to a clean as a reward for living to fight another day. While it looks like hell it is mechanically well looked after though...the oil is a lot cleaner than the outside. I have tried four times now to buy a new grass box for it, every time I get an email several days after the order saying "sorry we don't actually have one in stock."

I noticed yesterday that the offside tailpipe on the Jag was buzzing again. Turned out it had managed to rotate and was touching the underside of the cutout under the bumper. Five minute job to tweak the alignment and clamp it a bit more securely.

This is how the tips now sit.

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Know a few of you wanted to know why I'd spent time faffing with it. This is why. Sorry, didn't want to make too much noise as our neighbours were having lunch in the garden opposite.



I'll try to get a proper driving video shortly.

That however is why I was messing with the exhaust. Sounds a bit more purposeful now I think...

Oh, and the leather has been treated a further two times today. It's almost getting to the stage where the conditioner actually sticks around for more than two milliseconds before being absorbed now.

More excuses to play with the wide angle mode on the camera too.

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Looks like this car was really well looked after in a lot of ways but the leather had been quite neglected.

Something I really need to do as a matter of some urgency is get some floor mats. I keep meaning to but keep forgetting.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:31 pm

First order of business for yesterday (well, was actually a bunch of boring real life stuff...wasn't until gone 1700 before I was able to stick my head outside) was to get the original carb refitted.

On the plus side, I've done this enough times now that it takes about ten minutes.

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While fitting this I made a point of trying to get some of the slack out of the throttle cable as there was a lot of dead travel in it before which made applying anything more than about 40% throttle really awkward.

I was then slightly delayed at this point by the battery being flat. I have been doing a lot of stop/start work lately and it was never charged while the car was off the road as I can recall so not massively surprising. Conveniently due to the low power draw of the Invacar's electrical systems, the 12A of charge current from the charger is more than enough to meaningfully help as a jump start (as I recall I measured the current draw of the Dynastart while cranking to be in the region of 30A). While there was initially a lot of spluttering, coughing and one properly shotgun loud backfire while the residual carb cleaner was expelled and a bit of faffing around wishing I had three hands while I got the idle mixture dialled in, we were soon back up and running.

It seems that whatever blockage was in there last time we were successful in dislodging this time.

So, on to the test run. I set the camera running before I started out on the test run. Unfortunately because I'm an idiot I totally forgot to close the offside window so there's a heap of wind noise. Sorry. Equally the camera aim is horrible - again a limit of the holder and that location. I've got a couple of alternatives on the way from Amazon as we speak to try in the future as I'd really like to be able to get *decent* driving footage. This gives a better idea of how she's actually running now though at least. I do note that I appear to need to poke the tail light earthing arrangements again as the indicators stop flashing when the brake lights are on. Think it's time I just rebuilt those lights with better lamp holders and proper wiring as they're nothing but trouble.



(No, I haven't wired the gauge pod up yet either.)

She will still stumble occasionally if you crack the throttle open instantly from idle, but I haven't been able to provoke any sneezing today. If you make a point of smoothly rolling on the throttle rather than just cracking it open, cleaning the carb and having tweaked the idle speed up a bit seems to mostly have resolved that. I do wonder if a throttle damper might be something worth thinking about here.

The low speed/low throttle behaviour has been vastly improved. It's possible to sit at 30mph now without the car complaining which is a nice improvement. It was always a bit hit and miss, but you generally could provoke a sneeze from the carb by hitting the throttle hard after coasting for a bit. I've deliberately tried several times today but wasn't able to replicate it - so am tentatively labelling that as fixed by cleaning the carb more thoroughly.

What it hasn't done anything whatsoever about is the fuel lift problem. The carb still ends up wet with fuel after any period of hard acceleration, and there's still little noticeable difference between 70% and 100% throttle. I'm really not sure what to do about this...If the air cleaner was a better seal against the carb body it would be less of an issue, but as there's a sufficient gap there that any fuel mist that lands on the inner surfaces of the air cleaner housing eventually run down the inside of it and then down the outside of the carb intake, then down over the body. I wonder if it might be possible to fit an O ring to seal the base join between the air cleaner and the carb? Obviously would need to plug the two cutouts (which allow it to close to clamp onto the carb) with something flexible too.

I'm not sure this is something that I can hope to resolve with the carb itself as it (at least if my understanding is correct) is more a function of resonance effects within the inlet manifold itself causing pulses to force fuel back up through the carb when the inlet valves are both closed. Alteration of the air filter side of things to mitigate the effects of the phenomenon seems to be the order of the day. Figuring out a way to properly seal the air filter to the carb *seems* to be the easiest avenue.

It's not a massive problem, the fuel doesn't exactly wind up pouring everywhere, the carb body itself just tends to appear slightly damp to the touch after a run and it evaporates entirely within a minute or two of the engine stopping. I'd obviously prefer *not* to have flammable liquid, no matter in how small quantities, winding up in my engine bay anywhere other than inside my engine though. Long term it's definitely something I want to get rid of - especially given that the road layout around where I live means that full throttle blasts are a necessity pretty much any time I go out whether I like it or not.

On the plus side though it seems that she is running pretty well again. Only gremlin that really came to light was that I do need to put a tiny amount of slack back into the throttle cable. It sometimes hangs up with the throttle held open by about 0.00002%, holding the idle speed up just high enough that I can't engage drive. Simple enough to fix though. Oh, and I need to stick the battery on to charge...Would have done that tonight, but as the Citroen is heading into the garage this morning it needed to spend some time on the charger as it is in need of a new battery and struggles to hold charge for more than a few days.

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Once she's got a fresh MOT on I'll get that battery replaced - it's still under warranty so will be getting swapped out as soon as the car is actually mobile again. The car is at the garage having the stuffed suspension bush replaced and a fresh MOT done as we speak.


I made a point of borrowing my husband in the evening to get a bit of exterior footage of the Jag at something other than idle...Sadly I think I really need to re-shoot this with the camera a bit further down the road as it sounds like that's where the good stuff really was based on the distant howl! Makes sense given it really picks up in the mid range.

The theatre of the way the whole car rears back when you give it some throttle from a standing start really hasn't got old yet.



While we were at it, I was curious to see if the van actually sounded as ridiculous from the outside as it seemed based on my hearing it bouncing off buildings and such.



Yep...That's about what I expected...Sound clip that could well be from a good few decades ago!

Both of these need to be tried again with a better vantage point and when the traffic is quieter.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:01 pm

It's nice when simple jobs actually stay simple.

I noticed during the video clip of the van yesterday that the nearside indicator repeater wasn't working. Had a look today and it turned out to be nothing more sinister than a slightly dirty lampholder. Quick clean and we were back in business.

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This has obviously had issues with water ingress over time so might want replacing at some point in the next year or two. They're not hugely expensive at least.

Now the Xantia is off at the garage being sorted out I was able to stick the Invacar on the battery charger.

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That should keep things going there for a decent amount of time. It's worth bearing in mind that this has a dynamo rather than an alternator, so it sits off charge at idle so I'm not seeing the battery having gone flat as an indication of an issue - but I'd like to get an ammeter/voltmeter up and running just so I can keep an eye on things.

Fingers crossed we'll hear back from the garage shortly on the Xantia. I don't hassle the garage though, we've got a pretty good working relationship and don't mess each other around so know that it will be done when it's done and there's no point in pestering them.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:59 pm

Had TPA out and about again today, probably the best part of an hour's driving under various conditions...and no issues to report.

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The carb continues to seem a lot happier after the second strip down and clean. That and having removed about 1/2 a turn at the twist grip of slack out of the throttle cable has vastly improved the drivability of the car.

I've been deliberately being a bit heavier on the brakes while out today and they do seem to be improving as a result. They do definitely have the grunt to pull the car up rapidly if you press hard enough (I've had to do one emergency stop from 50-ish when someone decided to reverse out of a driveway on the A422 without warning in front of me, and pretty much had to peel my face off the windscreen), they just feel a bit "dead" under normal use in a way that just doesn't inspire confidence. Hoping that a bit of use will improve matters. If not a new set of shoes (rather than ones stored in who knows what conditions for a few decades) aren't expensive.

I've officially given up trying to free off the engine cover lock. A couple of external straps (like used on the Jeep Wrangler) will be fitted for now to stop it rattling until I can find the patience to try to come up with a solution to the existing lock (and all its fasteners) being a solid block of rust. No it won't look stock, but I'm more interested in getting miles covered than satisfying the concourse committee at this stage!

It still surprises me how happy she is at 50 or so compared to a lot of small cars from the 70s or even 80s. Noisy yes, but there's no vibration or buffeting or things like the windscreen wiper trying to make a bid for freedom. The offside windows rattle like there's no tomorrow but that's because half the channel at the base is still missing! Once she's got some proper miles under her belt and I'm convinced we've got most of the bugs from 20 odd years sitting in a field worked out I can honestly see us covering some decent distances in this little car quite happily.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:26 pm

These turned up this morning.

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Which has finally allowed me to dispense with the bungee cord wrapped around the fan shroud which was utterly failing to prevent the engine cover from bouncing around. The original latch is essentially a solid block of rust (as are the fasteners - two of which are really difficult to get at) and is utterly beyond redemption.

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Not exactly pretty,..but that's not really high on my priority list. It's an effective solution though and has *massively* reduced the racket in the car caused by the cover rattling, buzzing and crashing around, especially on less smooth surfaces. Doesn't look massively out of place either I reckon.

I'm fairly sure they are actually fitted back to front, but this is just the way things lined up best with the level difference between the engine cover and surrounding bodywork.

We did a little experiment this afternoon when I was on the way back home. Previously I'd only really had one proper journey out of town - to and from the Festival of the Unexceptional last year - in this car to give me a better idea of real world performance and cruising ability. It's really hard to gauge in Milton Keynes as you run into a roundabout every 0.9 miles! So on the way home I hopped onto the A5 down by Bletchley and stayed on till the Stacy Bushes Milton Keynes exit. This test was a roaring success I feel. She's entirely happy to cruise at 60-65mph without any drama whatsoever, and has more in the tank for overtaking. I think the drivers of the few cars I passed today we're rather baffled by the tiny, scruffy pale blue tripod that had just merrily sailed past them without a care in the world, making a noise like a cross between a 60s motorbike and a hovercraft.

During my previous trip out of town I'm pretty confident now I was still suffering carb related issues as the performance today was very noticeably more eager. Previously she would sit at 55-60, but it felt like you were running out of steam a bit by then, whereas today she was happy to cruise above 60 with a reserve of power still on tap. Does take a little while to wind up to it, and I imagine hills would still knock her back...but we were only talking about a rated output of 19.3bhp from new so your expectations need to be realistic. Importantly though she gets up to speed quick enough to never feel like a liability, and she definitely gets up to cruising speed quicker than the van by quite a comfortable margin. I'd not maybe want to go mixing with rush hour traffic on the M1, but it's entirely possible to drive this car in real world traffic in 2020 so long as you use a bit of common sense.
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