Today I mostly .....

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:07 pm

Before I could conduct a test drive of the Invacar (which involved a run out to get essential supplies) I had a couple of minor jobs to finish. Reattaching the front mud guard and draining off a bit of brake fluid as the pressure bleeder as usual left the reservoir too full.

Job done.

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Mud guard is still a bit scruffy but given the location I think it's absolutely fine.

Also found an ideal stowage location for my cover prop (which is actually one of the old floor mat retaining strips).

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So on to the test drive. Well, after ten minutes of car Tetris anyway. Slightly concerned by whatever on earth this is under the Jag that it left behind when moved.

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Nothing has visibly dropped, though given the capacity of most of the fluids on this thing that doesn't mean much!

Answers on a post card? Wondering if there's just enough oil leakage that it's emulsified with the recent rain?

I have proven that there's ample room to park the inbound project car behind the Xantia.

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If the Jag and Xantia can fit there, Xantia and a slightly smaller car should have room to spare.

In the Invacar we got almost exactly 20 miles covered today.

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Which I think gives the game away that the test was successful as otherwise I'd have turned around pretty much immediately and headed back to base.

Instead we got all the errands run without incident. Yes I diverted by 1/4 a mile to take a couple of photos to prove she's actually moved.

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Observations:

Really wish I'd done this sooner. The difference in braking performance really is night and day. Previously you had a degree of free travel followed by an inch or so of very firm travel where all braking effort took place.

Now there's more travel - but delivering progressive braking throughout. It used to be just about possible to lock a wheel if you absolutely threw your weight on the bars, but it took a lot of effort. Now I'd say the effort required to deliver that amount of braking force is on par with any other car that doesn't have ABS. The overall feel of the brakes is *massively* more confidence inspiring.

Regarding locking up the wheels that was something I was most concerned about, so one of the first things I did was find a deserted bit of industrial estate and do a bunch of 30mph emergency stop tests. She isn't any more prone to locking up than anything else without ABS, and there doesn't seem to be any tendency for the front to lock up overly easily. I think the forward weight shift under heavy braking helps there. I wasn't able to detect any tendency for control to be compromised at all.

Limited to 50mph at the moment while the new belt is run in, but braking down from that sort of speed for a roundabout/junction is no more effort than in the Jag or van. The brakes honestly feel pretty decent now.

Handbrake is fully applied seven clicks out it seems, and is quite capable of stopping the car, no slower than in any other car really.

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Obviously she's not been worked particularly hard given I've got to obey a 50mph speed limit for the first 50 miles of the life of the new belt, but I was pleased at the cylinder head temperatures we were seeing. Bumbling around at low speeds it sits pretty solidly at about 125C.

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Highest I saw on a long uphill stretch was 165C. Perfectly reasonable numbers, and it seems to be pretty stable.

Interesting to see that - I'm assuming because it's bristling with cooling fins - that this engine doesn't seem to suffer the sort of heat soak issues I'm used to seeing with water cooled engines. The Xantia is particularly bad for that, the temperature on that if you come back to start it up after a brief stop can be quite alarming. This just seems to immediately start dropping in temperature from the moment the engine stops. Which being a thermocouple gauge you can actually see as it's self-powered, so doesn't shut off with the ignition.

Speaking of confidence inspiring...I honestly had no idea how much the seat was moving around before! That actually staying put really does make the handling feel far less wayward, as I'm not subjected to an inch or two of what feels like oversteer every time I change direction. It was also apparently a source of several rattles.

I can't say I noticed a huge difference in the steering, though it *might* be slightly more stable in a straight line. Hard to say how much of that is just placebo effect though.

Brake fluid level reassuringly hasn't moved at all during the journey.

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Glad that fluid is staying where it belongs!

On the subject of fluids, it looks like I might have also been successful in sorting the gearbox oil leak. Bit hard to tell because of historic deposits, but this area would normally be visibly wet after a run, rather than just "a bit oily." The upper part in particular you could usually see where it was running down from the top cover plate join.

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I will obviously monitor that to make sure the oil continues to stay where it belongs.

While I'm still treating it gently at the moment I can't say I can tell any difference so far between the HP2020 belt and the NOS actual Invacar one which came off. Will keep you up to date on that.

Here's a brief snippet from the first few minutes of the run out. This was done by attaching the phone to the rear view mirror with rubber bands...better than the actual proper phone mount, but still horribly shaky. Plus it meant the mirror wouldn't stay put. That was the main reason I called time on video and pulled over to stop it, I wanted my mirror to behave given I was going to be doing a lot of stops/starts for a few minutes.



It's early days but the initial impressions are that these improvements have been precisely that. The braking performance improvement in particular and having a seat that stays put both make a *huge* difference in the overall driving experience.

Can't say I notice any real difference in the noise levels having pulled the flashband off the service hatch. Definitely not worth the few kilograms of extra weight for all the difference it was making.

Today also gave me the opportunity to do something I'd meant to for ages... actually get a photo of all of the cars together in one shot.

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They're all filthy...but better than nothing!

Of course in two days this group will be out of date and I'll need to get an updated one!

Given there's been quite a bit of work done there it feels quite good to actually have tangible improvements coming out of it.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:52 am

Well would you look what just turned up...

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Will have a closer look and try to get some better photos later on when it's not tipping it down with rain!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:42 pm

First job for the afternoon was to replace the knackered battery - which meant I needed to have a quick look to see what type I need, giving an opportunity for a 30 second look around the engine bay for issues.

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Nice simple looking engine bay.

Things immediately spotted.

[] Vacuum advance unit on the distributor isn't attached to anything.

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[] What looks to be the fuel tank return line isn't attached.

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[] Random 5mm pipe flapping around in the breeze which looks like it should attach to the hose stub on the back of the carb which is missing it's hose.

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[] Several hose clips are loose.

[] Oil level is quite a bit too high and stinks of fuel.

[] Coolant is low.

Nothing that's making me run away screaming...We had to pause at that point as I had to go to pick up groceries - which involved a run to Costco anyway so adding a battery collection to that run was easy enough.

Fast forward a couple of hours and I was back and could actually take a bit of a better look around.

Initial impression: While rough around the edges, I reckon there's the makings of a good car here. A good valet and a set of seat covers would go a long way to making it look better.

The bodywork seems astonishingly free of dents and scrapes for a 150K mile car. Quite likely more than that actually given the exact same mileage is still showing from the previous MOT...

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I'm betting the speedometer and/or odometer doesn't work.

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Can you get more definitively 80s than these graphics?

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The interior to be honest needs more help than the exterior and is looking a little sad.

Aside from just being generally grubby and dusty in that way all old, disused cars are the single biggest issue seems to be decomposing fabrics. It looks like the seats and door cards all suffer from degradation under UV exposure in the same way as seats on Skoda Estelles do.

Not sure what state the front seats are in under the slip covers currently in place (which are fit only for the bin), but I'm guessing not great. The cover seems to have been completely removed from the upright of the rear seat.

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While that looks quite dramatic, the foam doesn't seem to be in too bad shape so re-covering them shouldn't be too difficult.

The cloth on the door cards is clearly going the same way. They're flat though so should be easy enough to restore. The headlining looks in honestly miraculously good shape.

Given the reputation these series 1 cars have for plastics with the structural integrity of cardboard there are surprisingly few things that are obviously broken.

All of the driver controls are present and aside from a few scratchy contacts due to disuse seem to work fine.

Looking forward to actually getting to use these in the real world.

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They will look a lot better once they've been given a good wipe over to get a bit of life back into them.

The engine bay is filthy but seemingly pretty clear of the usual maze of wiring hacks I'm kind of used to on cars of this age.

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Mmm...crusty...

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Cleaning this engine bay is going to be immensely satisfying...

Right, let's actually get some things done. First up, new battery in as the one that came with the car seems to have had it.

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New one is annoyingly slightly larger than the plastic tray...so much for their fancy cross reference chart...It'll do just fine though, clamp still secures just fine.

My earlier glance around the engine bay revealed a few things disconnected due to prior investigation into poor running.

This one I initially thought was a vacuum line.

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Turned out that this was actually hooked up to the fuel pump inlet...my guess folks were trying to run the car from a can.

Figuring this out was helpful as it meant I wasn't missing a hook-up point for the connection for the distributor vacuum advance unit, that had me scratching my head a bit initially.

Sadly the line for that was beyond help.

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I didn't have nearly enough 3mm pipe in stock to run a whole new line...so being me it was time to improvise!

Two flexible elbows made line I did have, then connect the two with a bit of copper brake line.

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Not pretty but will do the job.

With everything put back where it belonged it was time to do a bit of experimentation. Before I went any further we did a bit of cranking to confirm we had oil pressure - we did. Know she's been running relatively recently, but it's just one of those things I like to do with any car it's the first time I try to start it.

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Didn't have any idea how much fuel was in the tank or how old it was, so stuck a can of nice ethanol free Esso Supreme 99 in the tank while I can still get it.

No interest in starting though, feeling like we weren't getting fuel. Turns out that I was right, a blast of brake cleaner down the carb throat would immediately result in the engine springing to life, sounding quite sweet. I was astonished how quickly the car sprang up to running height - far too used to the Activa which takes the best part of a minute to sort itself out.

After this started a good hour or two of experimentation while I tried to get the thing to take fuel. However no matter what I did I couldn't get any fuel into the float bowl.

I've proved the line to the tank as I was able to pull a good stream of fuel through under vacuum. Seems there's an issue with one/both of the check valves in the fuel pump so it's just not delivering any pressure whatsoever. Most likely it's got gritty rusty particles in it.

Will pull the pump apart tomorrow for s clean and then see where we are.

Once it was dark I was able to have a look at how much of the dash lighting works.

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Ah.

We have *one* working illumination lamp it looks...above the blanked off space above the fuel gauge. Zip from anything else. Yep...that will need to come apart then!

Speaking of lights that are out, noted that we have no light working in the hazard switch or dash tell tale for the fog lights.

The light in the glove box is working though!

The dash light for the indicators initially wasn't working, but I blinked and it came back to life without requiring any intervention.

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The radio works... though a car with only an AM radio really tells you how long ago this car was made and that it wasn't a high trim level!

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Things which so far I've found don't work/have issues.

[] Fuel pump doesn't.

[] Dash lighting 99% dead.

[] Fog light tell tale dead.

[] Hazard Light switch tell tale dead.

[] Fuel gauge showing nothing... though there may just not be enough in the tank.

[] Heater blower inoperative. Doesn't seem to pull any current so hopefully just sticky brushes.

[] Slight blow from exhaust somewhere towards the rear it sounded like. Looks brand new so probably just needs a clamp given a tweak.

Expect more tomorrow. Hopefully the fuel pump will respond to a good clean out.

If the folks working on this car have been fighting a low fuel pressure issue all along they could have been chasing their tails for a while. It's helpful in that it now won't start at all as it gives me a solid fault to hunt down rather than hunting a random intermittent issue!

Cautiously optimistic at this stage. She sounded sweet when she was running, even though it was only on brake cleaner!

Proof she has run though as the suspension has raised!

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Watch this space! There will be more.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by rid54 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:22 am

Nice!

I've had two of these from the later generations, a 14 and a 19, if I remember correctly. They give a very pleasant ride!

Uncannily quick rise time may be connected with too little gas in the master sphere, but I'm sure you'd be going there soon anyway.

Good luck!

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:25 am

rid54 wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:22 am
Nice!

I've had two of these from the later generations, a 14 and a 19, if I remember correctly. They give a very pleasant ride!

Uncannily quick rise time may be connected with too little gas in the master sphere, but I'm sure you'd be going there soon anyway.

Good luck!
Yep, all will be revealed by seeing what rate the regulator clicks at once the engine is idling. I know at least one of sets of corner spheres have been changed recently, but no idea if the accumulator was touched. We'll see when I can get the engine running for more than five seconds without me having to drip feed it.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:28 pm

Annoyingly today I had barely any time to look at the cars, though I did drop the last two instruments into their holder on the Invacar when they arrived. Not wired up yet, but they look far better than the cheap modern tat I had previously in there.

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Yes I'll clean all the finger prints off once the wiring has been done. I'll need to pull them out again to so that so it would be pointless doing it now.

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Location seems a good blend between out of the way and clearly visible.

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My garage is about a worst case scenario where reflections are concerned because of the lighting. If I have issues with that on the road I can adjust the angle of the bracket a bit as required.

Once I was finally released from my boring actual responsibilities I really was only left with just over half an hour of usable daylight to look at the BX. Based on yesterday's testing first task was to remove the fuel pump.

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Pretty trivial to get to, all of those coolant lines nearby have enough give that you can push them out of the way as needed.

Five minutes later we had the pump off and in bits on the workbench.

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Not too dirty actually. The diaphragm isn't as supple as I'd like but I've seen far worse still working. I couldn't actually find any cracks or pinholes in it.

After it was cleaned and put back into the car...absolutely nothing changed.

Best I can tell one of the valves is damaged or the diaphragm has a pinhole I can't detect. It just doesn't seem to be able to generate any decent pressure. I've checked again and can get a solid flow of fuel from the tank under vacuum, so this pump looks to be to blame.

I did note that the oil smells quite strongly of petrol, I had put that down initially to the reported miss and lack of a decent run in forever, but if the pump has been leaking internally that could also explain it.

If I'm not mistaken This looks to be the right part even though the body design is slightly different.

There is at least some electrical oddness going on too. The clock resets every time you turn the ignition off, so looks as though the permanent 12V feed for that has gone walkies somewhere. Also there's no side light position on the switch - first click takes it straight to dipped beam. Would have thought 84 would have been early enough to escape the need for dim/dip devices wouldn't it?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:08 am

I was determined that today the BX was going to run.

Borrowed the fuel pump from the Invacar.

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This got a decent amount of fuel flowing through the filter. Still no interest in starting though. I did block off the return line just in case the pump was having issues with the return. No difference.

Pulling the top off the carb revealed we *did* actually have fuel in the float bowl which was progress from yesterday. I was able to blast a bit of gunk out of a few of the passages. There's definitely something amiss with the accelerator pump though... doesn't feel like the plunger is moving at all. So I'll need to pull the carb and do some detective work there. Hopefully I can find a decent exploded diagram so I don't need to reverse engineer it in my head.

Back together and we tried again. Result?



That's progress. Huge progress. She still dies if you give her any real throttle because there's no accelerator pump working, but other than that she seems happy enough. Bit of a miss now and then, but the fuel coming through the filter is the colour of weak black tea, so think we need to put a couple more gallons of fresh fuel in the tank before we read too much into that. No smoke whatsoever, no rattles, she sounds pretty good. Even though that puff from the front to mid exhaust join is going to drive my OCD mad now I've noticed it.

With the engine actually running I could check things out better. Clutch seems okay. Brakes (based on 3 feet of movement) are working.

Suspension comes up very quickly and settles down fine. Based on the regulator tick rate I think the accumulator sphere is fine. The bounce test seems to show the front spheres are fine...very floaty - the amount of travel is huge compared to the Xantia. The rear ones...not so much. No notable travel. We'll need some new spheres for the rear then.

Yeah, these have been on there for a while.

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I was pretty happy with where we got to today. Meant I could move the car forward a couple of feet so she wasn't blocking the path.

Oh, and I put the wheel trims back on, which has vastly improved things.

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This was the first time I was able in decent weather conditions to have a look at the car.

The bodywork on this car is (aside from the one obvious dent just forward of the nearside rear wheel which looks repairable) is astonishingly straight. Like ridiculously so. The lack of scrapes and dings just blows my mind.

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I didn't realise that the front bumper is actually brown rather than beige!

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I couldn't resist hitting one tiny bit with the polish. I reckon she's going to look decent once she's had a polish.

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The exterior has an appointment with the pressure washer then a load of polish soon.

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I knew I wasn't going to have time for that today though, had about an hour of daylight left at that point. That was plenty of time for a first shot at the interior though.

First order of business there was to get rid of the disintegrating slip covers on the seats. Front seats aren't in terrible condition under them, though they're grubby as all hell and the fabric has come away from the foam which is why they look so baggy.

After an hour or so, some attention with the vacuum cleaner and a first wipe down of the plastics this is where we were.

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Still a huge amount to do but it's got rid of a lot of grime, and the dash looks so much better.

Did spot one area I'll need to break out the welder for though... hardly catastrophic though!

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Only real grumble there will be the sheer amount of interior I'll need to dismantle to get to it without melting things.

Looks like the weather will be going downhill again tomorrow, if it does stay dry I'll try to get some exterior cleanup started.

Finally made a point of noting the paint code as well so I can get some made up for touch in purposes.

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Quite happy with the progress so far.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:51 pm

A decent wash can make quite a difference.

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Bit of moss on the bumpers...

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Didn't go crazy under here, just knocked the worst of the gunk off, not least the aluminium oxide dust that was absolutely everywhere.

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One of the main water ingress points I reckon was the passenger front window as it had come out of the runners and wasn't closed quite all the way. The gutters being totally choked so the water was just running straight off the roof into the door seals won't have helped either.

A really nice touch is how much on this car is colour coded...gear lever and handbrake both are which is a nice touch.

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After another load of treatments the dash is starting to look a lot better.

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If I can coerce the carb to behave enough to let her run for more than a minute at a time tomorrow (I should just take the blasted needle valve out and see if it's full of gunk) it'll probably be the point at which I get the oil changed. Will probably be the last time for a bit though as a few jobs need done which will affect running ability.

[] Carb needs to come off so I can try to get the accelerator pump working.

[] Rear spheres *desperately* need changing.

[] Dash needs to come to bits to sort out the plethora of dead lamps...the fact that neither the low coolant or overheat lights work makes me nervous. Though I did determine the cooling fan works yesterday.

[] Stealing the fuel pump back now I've proven the one on the car is an issue - which will immobilise the car until the new one arrives.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:29 pm

Quite a productive hour or two this afternoon.

Fuelling mystery solved. Well, functionally anyway...

There were two separate issues I'd been having. One was that initially I struggled to get things primed at all - this was quickly traced to the fuel pump being very weak - which it definitely is. However even with a known good electric fuel pump fitted I was still having a huge hassle actually getting fuel into the float bowl.

Today I decided to dig into things to find out what on earth was going on there. With the top off the carb the mystery was solved the moment I removed the float bowl needle valve (the needle and seat are an integral assembly in this carb) and I found this.

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The thing which interested me the most if it's not clear from that photo is this...

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I assume that this little ball is meant to be part of a check valve, probably to assist in stopping the fuel draining back to the tank. However for it to work as intended it would need to have a spring under it, without a spring it would simply sit quite happily against the fuel inlet port under gravity...only sealing more tightly as fuel pressure was applied. Essentially working nicely as a check valve...just in the wrong direction! Clearly the reason that I was really struggling to get any fuel into the carb. For the time being, I've removed the ball, bagged, labelled and stored it with the rest of the spares in the car.

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I'll see if I can find a suitably tiny spring shortly and use that to refit it. Though it's not shown on either of the diagrams I have for the carb...which leads me to think there are two possibilities. 1. It actually belongs somewhere totally different in the carb (I know something is amiss with the accelerator pump). Or 2, that it's a later addition to the design (no idea if this carb is original to the car, given the mileage it's entirely likely it was replaced years ago) so not on my old diagrams.

For now though this has resulted in a car which starts first touch and *stays* running properly.

With a view to getting it run properly up to temperature for a while (not least to try to dry off some of the moisture I'd introduced to the engine bay yesterday when I attacked it with the pressure washer), I went to stick a couple of gallons of fresh fuel in. This went fine right up to about a third of the way through the second can when this happened.

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Which took me a second to realise was because the tank actually appears to be full.

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Despite the claims of the gauge!

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The gauge never even twitches from the stop. I'm hoping that this is a grounding issue at the tank or a faulty sender rather than a fault with the gauge itself as finding a replacement for that I would expect to be quite a challenge.

With fuel delivery behaving itself and the engine properly up to temperature I was able to tweak the idle down to a slightly more sensible level, think it was sitting at about 1800rpm before.



With the carb behaving itself better I did another little experiment...Spot the difference?

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Yep, she's running on the original fuel pump. I know from testing that it's weak though so it'll be changed as soon as the replacement arrives. I wanted the Invacar's pump back though as I'd like to be able to drive that again.

Trying to decide which job to tackle next on the BX. Fuel pump is scheduled to be here Thursday, so probably pull the carb and see if I can sort the accelerator pump. Oil change is waiting on the correct filter arriving - nowhere locally could source one so I had to resort to eBay.

Hoping once the fuel pump is changed, if I can also get the carb fully behaving that will get the car *running* reasonably well. Then I'll feel more free to tackle the less fundamental but more involved jobs like sorting out the instruments, trying to get the heater blower working etc.

Do have one obvious suspension job to do - the strut gaiter on the nearside has totally disintegrated.

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Not particularly surprising to be honest, and simple enough to sort - albeit a bit of a faff because of the amount of stuff you need to dismantle to get to it as I recall. I've done this job on a Xantia a couple of times albeit a number of years ago - I'm assuming the process is pretty similar.

One real good thing from today as well is that I think I've tracked down one of the main spots where water is getting into the cabin.

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This is the only place I've actually seen water dripping in, and the passenger footwell is by far the wettest bit of the car. This seems to be coming from the intake grill for the fresh air vent, guessing the gasket has just failed due to old age. Re-sealing that should be pretty simple hopefully.

There's a bit of damp in there though - not helped by the heater blower currently being dead. The rear window heater kind of almost works...

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While having a rummage around in the boot I found the bits of trim that are currently missing from the front wings, just need to get some really good strong double sided foam tape so I can reattach those as it will tidy the car up no end.

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Also discovered that the low coolant warning light does work (on test at least), just the test button has some seriously scratchy contact issues going on.

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Feels like a pretty productive day though. Figured out why the carb has been playing up, got it running far better, found what looks to be a major contributor to the water ingress, found a couple of bits of trim I was missing and am just waiting on a couple of parts now to move forward really.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:17 pm

Okay...so that ball does not live under the accelerator jet. With it in there it's not possible to get the jet to seat fully so it plainly lives elsewhere. Except of course now it's stuck in the hole so I'll need to remove the carb so I can extract it. The smallest magnet on a stick that I have is significantly larger than the hole the ball has been dropped into.

Isn't it fun when things don't match the diagrams?

Moving on from that, investigation of the non-functional hazard flasher warning light has proven somewhat successful.

The switchgear actually comes apart really easily...two screws out then everything just unplugs from the base. I was expecting this to be a lot more of an involved task. Many, many manufacturers could learn from this setup...

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The bulb in the switch was indeed blown, and replacing it has restored the illumination which comes on along with the headlights.

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However it still does nothing when the hazards are actually on which to me seems wrong. That's been filed under "stuff to investigate later."

Got about halfway through pulling the dash out before I ran out of time. Annoyingly, you have to pull apart the whole cowling below the steering column to access the bottom two retaining screws.

Then I'll need to stock up on lamps... didn't realise quite how depleted my stock was.

I did try replacing the one for the speedometer (as that is readily accessible from above) sadly this had no effect, so looks like there's a power supply (or grounding) issue on the panel itself somewhere. Sure that will be fun to trace...
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:38 am

Ran out of time and mental energy before finishing an update yesterday, so here's yesterday and today bundled into one.

Didn't have much time to dedicate to the work on the Beige Wonder, but when the new fuel pump arrived almost perfectly in sync with me getting back from running several errands I decided to take a few minutes out to at least get that fitted.

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That took a little under seven minutes from setting foot outside the front door to having the vehicle running.

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Knowing these cars I'm sure I will pay a heavy price for that going so smoothly later on at some point...

Today's main task was to have a look at the carb to see if we could figure out what was up with the accelerator pump (and to retrieve the little ball and hopefully figure out where it's meant to be).

Ten minutes and the carb was off.

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The correct home for the mystery ball bearing has been found, there should be one at the end of a spring on the choke mechanism...there's a distinct lack of ball on the end of the spring.

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That has now been reinstated in the correct place.

It didn't take long to spot what was wrong with the accelerator pump..This is what was facing me when I took the pump cover plate off.

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That spring should be pushing the diaphragm out (so up in the photo, the carb is sitting on its side). It was never going to work like that! I think we've all been there at some point haven't we? Especially when you're not used to playing with carburettors. If you're not able to get everything done in one sitting it's so easy to wind up making mistakes like that, especially if you don't have a nice clear diagram in front of you.

Sadly when reassembled it still didn't work. It just pulls a vacuum - there's a hard blockage between the float bowl and the pump cavity it seems. No amount of blasting with carb cleaner or compressed air will seem to shift it. I guess I'll try giving it an overnight soak and a couple of hour run in the ultrasonic cleaner...but I'm not holding my breath.

For now I've put everything back together while I consider my options.

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At least this keeps the car mobile and makes running other tests and such easier. If I can't clear it I may just need to drive around the lack of an accelerator jet (which I've done before...the Lada didn't have one until I did the injection conversion) initially. Once the car is driving and (hopefully!) has an MOT, it might be easier to justify splashing out on a new carb for it. I still don't really have any idea if she will end up being a long term fleet member or not yet...Though it wouldn't surprise me. The driving position is absolutely spot on for me, which is something I often struggle with...and I don't know. Just the moment I sat in it for the first time it was kind of like with the Saabs...just felt somehow "right" for me. Though I do keep telling myself I have two cars too many already! Time will tell.

This evening I decided it was time to do something about this thing.

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Which I still has to be one of the most brilliant yet bonkers instrument panel designs out there - Though it doesn't quite make it to the same level as the madness of the one in the GSA. I'll be really curious to see how it works in the real world. However it needs to light up to get the full effect...and as the car arrived none of the illumination worked at all and at least half the warning lights were also on the blink.

Immediately finding evidence of prior repair work to the flex-PCB doesn't fill me with confidence that this is going to be an easy one.

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I found a grand total one one blown bulb...in the glow plug light so I'm guessing that's been swapped from somewhere else at some point. However what I did find that the most widespread case of scratchy, oxidised contacts I think I've ever come across in one device. After cleaning a dozen or so slide contacts and then what felt like somewhere around five thousand lamp holders...

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I had no idea that the little diagram of the car and the Citroen name/logo were illuminated!

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Obviously it goes without saying that it will need to be completely dismantled at some point to be properly cleaned. That will probably be the best part of a full day's worth of work though so is very much on the "once she has an MOT" list.

It's a shame that in quite a few places on the left hand cluster the mask has failed. You can see the light from the backlight bleeding through.

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When I have it apart for cleaning I reckon some (very) careful application of black paint to the back of the filter gel will be the way to go to sort that out. There is a similar issue on a couple of the main warning lights on the right too - but it's far less obvious and unless you were actively looking for it you'd not see it. Plus none of those lights should be on while you're driving anyway - whereas the actual panel backlighting is on whenever the ignition is unless I'm mistaken.

Sadly back in the car...no backlighting. So I'll need to do some further digging to see if we've got a missing supply or if there's just problems with the harness connectors. The fuel gauge I *think* gets its feed from one pin over from the panel lighting too...so given that doesn't work that could well be a clue.

We have victory in other areas though. All the lights which the handbook says should now light when the test button is pressed - we were missing the overheat warning light before.

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The lighting cluster is now fully functional, the side light, main beam and rear fog light indicators were missing before.

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You can see what I was saying about light showing through the areas which should be black. Being a humble RE spec car she doesn't have anything in the door/bonnet/boot open locations.

I was intrigued to find that there are two temperature lights - an amber one which is the overheat warning, but also a blue one (not used by the looks of it), which I assume is an indicator on some models/in some markets to show you that the engine is still cold. First car I ever saw that on was in 2010...never realised Citroen had done it back this far.

When I went out to get my errands done yesterday I decided for no reason other than "because I can" to take the Invacar out. No real opportunity for scenic photos when you're driving point-to-point for specific tasks.

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As I've been handed back the little Akaso action camera (which had been drafted into use as a webcam for the last few months for home working) I did a couple of test recordings as I really want to figure out a decent way to record video in this car - my phone is basically useless as the optical image stabilisation just can't keep up and you end up with footage that is completely useless thanks to the amount of camera shake. I know from prior experience that the little Akaso handles this issue far better. The biggest drawback it does have though is that the onboard microphone is absolutely dire. Well it's actually passable...but the manufacturer for some reason decided not to implement any form of gain control. So as soon as I go anywhere beyond about 2/3rds on the throttle the induction noise just results in diabolical levels of clipping. I do plan to (once we're out of lockdown) do a couple of driving videos that I'll actually post as public videos on my YouTube channel, when I take those I'll use a separate audio recorder and just splice the two together in the editing phase. Just a shame that the Akaso doesn't have any ability to use an external mic.

So these really were only intended as camera tests, so I didn't put too much time into framing or anything. Also I'm still 20 miles away from finishing the break in period for the new CVT belt - meaning that I currently have to obey a 50mph speed limit. That is far more difficult in this car than you'd expect.

First one was done with the camera attached to the window on the offside door just behind my shoulder. This gives the best view of how you actually drive one of these cars, but has quite a bit of shake to it because the doors do wobble around a bit when in motion.



The second was done with the camera attached to the windscreen in more of a conventional dash cam type way. This gives a far, far more stable picture - but misses much more of the driving. Probably the best solution would be what I did on one of my first test runs where I attached the camera to the rear windscreen. I wasn't doing that yesterday though as it involves a lot of clambering around backwards and forwards to get the framing right. I didn't want passers by yesterday thinking I was out to record video, whereas the reality was that I was just setting the camera running while I was already out and about picking things up for people.



Again...apologies for the audio.

Hopefully if you compare that to some of the earlier videos of TPA being out and about you can see how much happier she is now. The whole driving experience now is actually pleasant.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:17 pm

Today saw a big milestone passed by TPA.

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Which doesn't mean anything unless you really remember things usually well from two years ago. When she first arrived on my driveway looking like this...

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The odometer was reading 11353 miles.

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That's us now over the 1000 mile mark. I'm gutted that I was keeping an eye out for the big 1K that I totally missed 12345!

We actually ended the day on somewhere around 12380 as I seem to have been running around all over the shop today thanks to an utter and complete failure to plan out the day's missions in anything resembling an efficient manner. Not limited to but including picking up our week's groceries.

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Reckon that was the most unusual car to appear in the customer collection point at Tesco today?

Another fuel up today showed 33.1mpg, so it seems to have settled down to mid 30s fairly consistently. Would like to see what the figures were on a run out of town, but obviously can't do that at the moment. I'm pretty sure I'd be seeing into the 40s if I was anywhere other than Milton Keynes - this place is just murder on fuel economy - especially in a car with a small engine. It's a bit like driving a 2CV, conservation of momentum is the name of the game.

Service coming up at the weekend. Engine oil, oil filter, gearbox oil, diff oil will all be changed, plugs will be checked and all grease points will be gone over. Oil pickup strainer will also be checked and cleaned as she had quite a bit of sludge in after the first oil change. Never really seen any since, but better safe than sorry.

Oh...and clean the rear windscreen. I've managed to leave a hand print right in the middle of it and it's driving me mad!

There are probably other far more important things that I *should* get done this weekend, but currently at the top of my "I really want to do..." list is polishing the poor BX. I reckon she will look so much less sorry for herself after that. Found a tube of Sikaflex yesterday evening too so I'll hopefully get the fresh air vents re-sealed too and see if that helps keep the weather outside.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:00 am

Few bits and pieces done today. First up was seeing if I could figure out what was up with the dash lighting on the BX.

The only lighting inside which is tied to the headlights is in the rear window heater and hazard light switches, the rest all comes on with the ignition. The only light I found that was working was the one in the glove box - but investigation of the schematics shows that it's on a different circuit. The rest should all run through a rheostat - missing on mine. I'd originally assumed just being basically a base spec car it just didn't have the rheostat...however I fully expected the wiring to be there just with a link in its place. Kind of expected they would have fitted a blanking plug too rather than just leaving a hole in the lower steering cowl.

Peering down inside the cowling I could see this.

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Hmm...Green and green with a purple trace. Let's consult the schematics.

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Would you look at that...the dash lighting rheostat (number 50 in the diagram) has that colour of wiring.

Quick rummage around in my box of bits of Xantia turned up this.

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Thanks to PSA being big fans of not changing parts bin items for decades this has exactly the same connector and slotted perfectly into place. Did this fix the dash lighting?

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That's a yes.

Thankfully the rest all seem to still work too.

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Remembered seeing this floating around in the boxes in the boot...

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Which today I realised I had spotted the home for - it's the trim which should go between the ignition barrel and the cowling.

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Doesn't that look better?

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Speaking of looking better, treating the front bumper has made a heck of a difference!

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Work has started on the polishing.

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As I had kind of expected, the metal badge on the boot lid fell off pretty much as soon as I touched it. Leaving a horrible mess behind it.

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Which required the best part of an hour carefully picking away at it to clean up. It has left a mark but you wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking for it.

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I'll keep it with the car obviously.

I'm torn about the dealer decals...They're part of the car's story, which makes me inclined to leave them be. However they're in quite poor condition, and the cleanliness of the design on the BX really makes them stick out...so I'm tending towards removing them. If they weren't already flaking off I'd probably just leave them be.

We're getting there, though it's time consuming as polishing a car always is. I'd hoped to get most of the doors done but only got the tailgate and one rear quarter done because of the amount of time dealing with that badge lost me.

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Looking a lot better already I think though, we're getting there.

Does anyone know how the little spoiler is attached? If removing it isn't a huge pain it would make repainting it far less of a faff (it should be satin black, but it's worn away badly like the paint on the door tops has).

I noticed this afternoon that despite 38 years and 150K miles the protective film is still on the metallic label with the gearchange pattern on it.

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Once it was dark this meant I could finally get a dash at night photo.

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...At which point I immediately news that the light behind the fuel gauge has gone out again. That's going on the "deal with later" list.

Does look the part though.

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It's interesting to see that Citroen apparently got in there a couple of decades early with the whole gentle general background night time cabin lighting. I never saw this on other cars until around 2000 (think it was a Skoda Superb).

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With a bit of luck I might get the polish and wax finished tomorrow.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:00 pm

Reasonably productive day today. Main task was to hit the BX (not literally) with the polish and wax.

I'd been hovering over whether to remove the dealer decals for a while, though as they were in pretty poor condition was leaning towards removing them...Especially as the BX being such a clean design doesn't suit them.

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Decision was made far easier however when they started to disintegrate pretty much as soon as I started polishing around them...Off they come then!

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Also giving me a tiny glimpse of the actual colour of the bonnet.

A couple of hours of elbow grease ensued...The difference was immediately obvious!

Can you spot where I'd got to?



The weather today was pretty much perfect for it. The effort was very much worth it I think...The results speak for themselves really.

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The bonnet and roof still have a bit of a haze to them so could probably do with going over again, but overall I think she's looking a huge amount more presentable. She looks far better for having lost the random stickers and badge from the bootlid and bonnet I think.

I'm waiting on some proper 3M double sided foam tape so I can redo all the rubbing strips (two are coming away in addition to the two missing on the front wings), which will be a good opportunity to deal with the ingrained grime right next to them I just couldn't get to today. The bootlid badges look to be metal rather than plastic, so removing to clean behind them shouldn't be a problem.

Getting the missing bit of rubbing strip back on the front wings will help a lot I think as your eye is drawn to the gap there immediately I find.


Once I was satisfied with my progress there I decided to finish up wiring in the new instruments in TPA. This took longer than it really should have mostly thanks to poor process planning on my part but we got nearly there in the end, and the voltmeter now works. I just need to hook up the permanent live for the clock at the battery end and tidy up my wiring a bit.

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What ended up taking the longest was tying into the existing dash lighting circuit and sorting out the grounds - as we had a mish-mash between the gauges of common grounds for the gauge and lighting, grounded through the case and totally separate connections - and I was trying to keep the spaghetti to a minimum. Got there though.

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Really need to lose that horrible blue filter on the speedometer illumination...Will probably try to match it to the fuel gauge (as the filter on that is built into the gauge). Don't mind the main instruments being different to the lower set...but the mismatch between instruments actually grouped together bugs me.

Finishing off the clock wiring tomorrow should only be a ten minute job. Only took a while because I've got a battery isolator switch fitted so need a dedicated live for it run all the way back to the battery itself (via a 2A fuse of course, right at the battery side). That adds a lot of extra work as the wiring all has to run underneath the car. Nice to be still getting things ticked off though.

Really happy with how the BX is looking now. I was right that the colour was really going to look the part once it had a good shine to it, really does suit the car I think - even though I'd never have thought to choose beige at the showroom, I do like it.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:33 pm

Resting battery voltage looks a bit healthier when I've not been faffing about with the headlights for half an hour.

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The clock now works too.

I keep forgetting how well this thing picks up when you've got a decently long stretch of road on the level. Think the folks in the convertible Golf were slightly baffled when I came hurtling past them on the dual carriageway earlier.

Unfortunately one of my old gremlins resurfaced later in the day when the throttle cable came away from the retainer in the twist grip. I initially thought it had snapped, but it's just pulled out. That's the third time this has happened.

Getting the rest of the way home required a little ingenuity.

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Really wasn't a problem, though my hand was getting really tired by the time I got home - there's a wicked strong return spring on that cable!

Think it's time to get a new twist grip ordered that doesn't rely on an odd sized mounting peg that I have to improvise. Be nice to get one that's not just hard plastic anyway as it gets horrible and sweaty after half an hour or so.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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