Today I mostly .....

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

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:23 pm

Some progress at long last on the BX.

Made a run over to Chevronics today to pick up some parts for the BX.

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That's a set of both rear axle brake lines and a steering rack gaiter kit. I only need one of both to my knowledge, but I'm assuming that if one of the brake lines has let go the other isn't likely far behind. Likewise with the steering rack gaiters. So just getting both made sense.

With those fitted and one small patch to the nearside sill made we should hopefully be ready to present the car for an MOT. Given how long she's been off the road I'm fully expecting that to turn up a list of things needing sorted, but hopefully not a catastrophic one.

Just really hoping I don't need to replace all the rear hydraulic lines as that gets highly involved in a hurry! Especially as the fuel tank is full which is an annoying step to need to address before the subframe could be dropped...a task in itself I'd *really* rather avoid.

Given I've had a pretty poor run of experiences with specialists in a plethora of fields over the last few years it was a very welcome surprise to see how helpful, friendly and organised Chevronics were.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:23 pm

Figured I'd try to keep up the momentum on the BX progress.

Didn't have much time today so decided to concentrate on a bit more diagnosis on a minor but important item that's currently non functional - and judging from the MOT history has been that way for a while: The speedometer.

Of course being the exceptionally cool rotating drum affair this is doubly important as there's no point in having something that interesting that doesn't work!

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Pulling the instrument panel out is a fairly painless task and only takes about five minutes once you've learned where the fasteners are and that 3 out of the 5 steps in the Haynes manual are totally unnecessary.

Spinning the input to the speedometer with an external source (Allen key) revealed the speedometer responded, if a little sluggish to return to zero. After twiddling the thing for a couple of minutes I'd got the trip meter to move visibly as well. This is good as I'm sure I've read that the drive to that can fail.

This meant I needed to delve deeper. I had hoped that maybe I just hadn't seated the cable right (it's a right pig to get on as there's next to no slack in the cable). Unfortunately driving the car back and forth without the instrument panel in place showed no movement from the cable. Not what I'd hoped for...that means either the cable is broken, detached at the gearbox end or the drive in the gearbox is stuffed.

Of course being a suitcase engine the gearbox is in the sump...and mostly totally invisible from above. This is the grand total of how much of the cable I can see before it vanishes down below the rocker cover.

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I note it does appear to be a two part cable...I kinda wish I'd known that before the swearing involved in getting the instrument panel out the first time. Next job will be finding out if the break is in the upper or lower portion.of the cable...if the upper that should be a pretty easy fix.

If it's the lower section that's going on the "sort once it's a working car again" list. At least it's no huge hardship these days with a plethora of smartphone apps available to provide a GPS based speedometer. That'll do just fine to/from the MOT station.

Before I go any further the panel needs some further attention as the speedometer illumination has failed again (this is about the fourth time).

The panel needs a good clean anyway as there's a lot of gunk on the inside of the plastic lenses and I'd like to make sure that the worm drive for the odometer/trip meter is properly greased up. This will give me an opportunity to try to repair the damage to the flex PCB and see if I can track down where the permanent 12V feed to the clock is disappearing (it currently resets to 0:00 every time you turn the ignition off).

I have a good quantity of warm white wide angle LEDs on hand so will do a bit of experimentation with those for the illumination. I'm not messing about with the warning lights, but given the dash illumination is on whenever the ignition is on the BX *and* I know this dash has a plethora of scratchy connection issues, if I can eliminate the heat, power consumption and maintenance aspect there it would be a bonus. Don't worry, if it looks horrible I won't proceede with it and will just try to get the normal lamps to behave reliably.

Just one of those things which while I've got it in bits anyway seems worth looking into.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:19 am

This evening's entertainment.

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I had hoped this would be a pretty quick strip down, clean and reassemble.

Strip down is pretty easy.

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Definitely needed a clean!

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Sadly my hopes this would be a really quick job didn't last long. Apparently at some point in the district past someone has tried to fix the dead speedometer...by unloading about half a can of WD40 into the instrument panel.

Everything is slimy and sticky. While unpleasant this isn't generally a huge issue as I just need to clean it. Here's the issue though...The oil has got in between the plastic window in front of the banks of warning lights and the plastic window in front of them.

In itself this is unpleasant to clean up...but the big issue is that it has eaten away the printing on the filter gels. This is what I found when I peeled them apart.

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Quite how badly this has eaten away at things is clear when you hold them up to the light.

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Realistically I'll need to either remake these or find replacements. I'll make sure to get a high resolution scan to allow me to make a replacement digitally and print out on transparency film. I don't have time for that right now, so this will be a project for somewhere down the road.

For now I've done a bit of patching with a marker.

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Not great but better...at least the dash illumination won't shine through the left hand one like it used to like this.

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The single biggest cleaning task I was worried about though was the bit of plastic which has that diagram of the car printed on it. The plastic is edge lit and provides a light pipe effect to make the diagram glow. If that came off I'd be stuffed really, I don't have the resources to remake that.

Thankfully this was the result of ten minutes of VERY careful cleaning with a microfibre cloth.

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Jumping ahead a bit, here's how this area now looks when lit up.

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Far less blotchy light coming through from behind and it's way brighter now as the plastic is clean. The bezel isn't fitted there so there's a lot of spill from the sides.

The warning panel on the right always looked blotchy before because the filter gel was actually stuck to the plastic lens.

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That area now looks like this.

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Quite a lot of warning lights that just aren't used on this car being in humble RE trim.

[] Brake pad wear indicator (no bulb fitted or evidence of it having ever had one).

[] Glow plugs... obviously, it's a petrol engine.

[] Clutch temperature warning for the semi-auto gearbox - it's a manual.

[] Exhaust temp - only applies to cat equipped cars.

[] Oil level warning - very sadly not fitted. That may get upgraded as it's a feature I think is really sensible to have.

In addition to these though, this one isn't even in the handbook.

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I assume was there intended to show when the engine was cold (note that the BX never had a temperature gauge fitted), but never actually got used. Would be quite a nice thing to reinstate.

Equally there two red lights alongside the "Econoscope" (a two-light based vacuum meter basically) in the middle of the dash.

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These aren't mentioned in the handbook either.

Over on the other side we're also missing the indicators for the doors being open...these would be LEDs in these four holes.

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I'm quite surprised that they actually went to the extent of omitting the LEDs... I'm kinda curious to know if they were fitted if the indicators would work. Only in the front obviously...there aren't door switches on the rear doors...or bonnet, or boot...so those lights *definitely* won't work.

The pointer for the speedometer needs a good scrub up and coat of paint...it should be white, not lumpy and rust coloured.

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I'm still having big issues with scratchy contacts basically everywhere on this panel, so we may end up going with a more wholesale LED retrofit as I can just solder them in.

The panel has obviously issues...there are a bunch of broken clips, the above moth eaten light gels, and several "interesting" prior repairs to the flex PCB. Oh, yeah and I need to fix this mess under the clock.

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I'll need to find a pin out for so I can figure out what's meant to have voltage or ground on it to sort that. The clock itself does work...insofar that it turns on with the ignition and then keeps time. However it resets to 0:00 as soon as the ignition is turned off. It also doesn't dim when the headlights are turned on as I think it should.

The flex PCB on this is one of the most difficult to follow I've ever worked on, so really hoping I can find a proper schematic which shows the pin connections so I can just buzz them out with the meter rather than having to trace every one out... That's for tomorrow though. Oh, and trying to remember where the bottle of sewing machine oil is so I can put a tiny dab on the speedometer bearing to hopefully thin out the WD40 goop currently in there. Little smear of grease will go on the work drive for the trip/odometer too...which was one of the main reasons for pulling it to bits.

This has turned into a bit of a ramble, sorry!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:40 pm

You remember me saying that the work to recreate the warning light masks was for "somewhere down the road" yesterday?

Yeah...about that. Look what I ended up doing this evening after dinner...

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The end result of which were these.

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Everything is on separate layers, so I can have a play around with different options regarding getting a clean print, good colour purity etc. Just need to wait for the transparency sheets to arrive. Fun fact: Laser printer transparency sheets are expensive suckers!

There are quite a few imperfections as it's all been done by hand so I'll need to tidy up a couple of the legends (sidelights and glow plugs being the two which stick out at me the most). A lot tidier than what's in there at the moment though. I've got a file somewhere with a large library of automotive symbols etc I could paste in, but restoring the original ones seemed worthwhile.

Tiny job...and one utterly unnecessary to the proper running of the car...but satisfying all the same.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:05 am

Well today has been spent generating this mess.

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Last couple of trees that need to come down are going to require access from the other side of the fence to remove the bulk of the weight before we can bring them down.

Have got a mechanical job out of it though, the exhaust decided to fall off the chain saw. Gaskets have had it, so possible it's been leaking for quite a while.

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The marks on the back of the silencer and heat shield certainly suggest that theory is correct.

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That silencer seems to have a lot more to it than I'd expect, it's really surprisingly heavy.

New gaskets and some locknuts on the studs this time so it can't unbolt itself again and we should be good to go. Doesn't look like the mating surfaces are damaged at least.

Now however I am utterly broken, and will probably be feeling that way for most of the next week!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:50 pm

Really quick additional job on the instrument panel done today while I'm waiting for the transparency film to turn up.

Sanded back and repainted the speedometer pointer white.

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Looks a good deal brighter back in the panel than it used to.

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Another item on the "missing" list has been ticked off now too thanks to a friend.

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Yep, she now has a parcel shelf again. Yes it's black rather than brown/beige but being a neutral colour it's less obtrusive than something like blue would have been. I'll take the wrong colour over missing anyhow.

At least it hides all the junk in the boot now.

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Small details yes. Though I still see it as important as the less things which are missing, the more likely my enthusiasm to keep pushing forward on getting the car sorted is to continue.

Has it helped take the rate the thing hurls itself open at? Nope...it still wants to smash my teeth out!

A while back I had intermittent issues with the alternator on the Jag not charging... though it has been behaving for a while and I made the mistake of mentioning that within earshot of the car the other day.

It heard me apparently and rewarded me with this on the voltmeter today.

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*Sigh*

I'll need to see if I can get the brush pack out with the alternator in situ (as I *really* don't want to have to mess about with the belt tensioners again). It doesn't actually look too hard to get at by the standards I'm used to on this car.

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I'm sure I'll end up swearing a lot at that pair of power steering lines a lot though...

From the symptoms I'm hoping it just needs a brush pack as I really could do without spending on a new alternator on this right now...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:06 am

Now for one of our irregularly scheduled occasional distractions.

While it's very unlikely anyone remembers, a few months ago I was able to get hold of a HP12C calculator. One of the Voyager series from the early 80s thanks to a friend picking one up for me that popped up on Facebook Marketplace.

The 12C is a bit of an oddball in that it's heavily specialised for the business and financial sector. Upon its introduction back in 1981 it almost immediately became hugely popular - to the point of becoming the defacto standard...which is why you can still go out and buy a brand new HP12C today. Yes the underlying hardware has gone through a few revisions, but it still works exactly the same and save for a slight change of the colours and updating a few keypad labels it still looks exactly the same. I believe mine dates from the mid 90s based on the handbook that came with it.

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The Voyager range contained five models.

10C: A basic scientific calculator. This wasn't produced for long as it wasn't that much cheaper than the next model up despite lacking a lot of the features. Produced from 1982-84.

11C: Mid range general purpose scientific calculator. Produced 1982-89.

12C: Specialised for the business and financial sector. Produced from 1981 to the present day. Being HP's longest and best selling single device to date.

15C: An advanced scientific calculator. Produced 1982-1989 with a limited re-release in 2011.

16C: Specialised for use in computer programming applications. Produced 1982-89.

These have all got quite a following among collectors. The 12C being made in such numbers means that while they *do* change hands for substantial sums of money, if you're patient one will probably pop up somewhere. The rest of the range having been out of production for 30 odd years though means they are rather more sought after and finding cheap ones is harder. It's not unusual to see buy it now prices of around £250 on eBay for most of the. (The 16C seeming to command the biggest premium), so I'd generally considered them out of my reach.

Until a slightly cosmetically challenged 11C popped up with a reasonable-ish buy it now...I made an offer, it was accepted and a few days later I had this in my grubby paws.

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First photo taken on that desk since I installed the new lighting a few weeks ago too.

I've always liked these...RPN, nice form factor, really nice keypad, but the 12C isn't really great as far as being a good one to grab because of it being so financially orientated. The 11C though should be far more usable. There is *absolutely* a learning curve though if you've not used one of these before!

The display does have a bit of bleed but it doesn't seem to affect the usability. The self test function - yes, these have a self test function (hold down the multiply key when turning the power on)...

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...Turns on all the display segments to indicate a successful test. Like so.

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The only indicator really affected is the one to show the blue "g" function key is active. Not going to worry about that.

Definitely an interesting little calculator and one I'm really glad to have got hold of. One day it would be nice to get the whole lineup (16C at least), but barring lottery wins that ain't likely to happen! I'm surprised I found this one to be honest even if it's a little scruffy cosmetically.

Back to the cars next.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:24 pm

Actually had a few consecutive hours available today so flipped a coin between pulling the alternator on the Jag (which has of course started working again) and delving into the diagnosis of what's going on with the Merc.

Merc won.

Step 1 I decided was to have a proper look at the camshaft. I knew a couple of lobes were badly scored but wanted to see what state the bearings were in - I had a feeling they were likely to be shot and haemorrhaging oil, hence the less than stellar pressure at a hot idle.

Off we go again. Getting used to doing this now!

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Let's have a peek at what lies under each of the rocker assemblies one at a time.

So what's behind door number 1...

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Pretty much exactly what I was expecting to be honest.

An impressively scored up bearing with a lot of slack, which you can actually see looking closer. Pretty sure you shouldn't be able to slot a finger nail between the camshaft and the carrier.

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Don't think I need to get a Plastigauge out to confirm there's too much free play there.

The cam followers feature some pretty epic scoring as well...the deepest of which must be about half a millimetre deep.

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Number 2 was pretty similar, though with slightly more severe bearing scoring, cam followers were *slightly* less mangled.

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This was the first one where I couldn't remove all of the bolts from the rocker frame itself because of how much carbon buildup there is in the bolt holes!

Number 3 however was where things got real exciting...

The cam followers are utterly wrecked, both inlet and exhaust.

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That however pales into total insignificance compared to the state of the camshaft...

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Wait...that doesn't look right, let me move a bit to get a better look...wait...what the? Oh hell...

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Yep... pretty much the entire cam lobe of the number 3 inlet valve has been totally *obliterated.*

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I'm pretty certain this is the most mangled non-broken camshaft I have ever seen... it's *definitely* the worst I've ever seen on a running engine. Never mind one that seemed to be running quite happily aside from being a bit rattly. That's easily 5mm plus change of material that has been worn away.

Number 4 also has quite a lip on the exhaust valve...which would have been impressive wear if we hadn't just seen the above photos.

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Number 4 inlet actually looks normal!

The followers on this one were probably the least badly deformed of the lot, though that's not saying much.

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Goes without saying that the whole camshaft assembly inboard of the timing sprocket is scrap metal. Well I don't think it is actually...this is more the sort of artefact that should be hung on the garage wall as a warning to future generations!

I did start the engine up with the rocker cover off briefly simply because I wanted to confirm we did have good oil flow up there, as there's obviously a load of damage been caused by oil starvation or *severe* contamination. We do - in fact so much oil is gushing out from around the rear two and front bearing that it totally overwhems the drains in the respective areas of the head and starts flooding over the top of the head after the engine has been running for about five seconds.

Probably why everything under the car looks like this and why so much was pouring out before the rocker cover seal was changed.

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Definitely plenty of oil getting to the camshaft now...

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Though sadly too late, this hardware was mortally wounded years if not decades ago.

There's like 1/8" of this gritty sludge just caked over everything.

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If you remember back to when I first set the valve clearances I checked and found that the spray bar which runs above the camshaft was about 70% clogged, with the front most jet being the only one that was working properly. This ties in with where the most damage seems to be...so I'm calling on oil starvation as the main cause. The lack of zinc additives in modern oils probably hasn't helped given the cam follower design. A separate additive will definitely be going in with the oil once this mess is sorted out.

It's a bit hard to see, but in person you can make out glittery residue in the head valley around number 3 far more than anywhere else, which supports the thought that the mangled camshaft may be where a lot of the glitter I found in the oil had come from.

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So if the bottom end has survived, we might just get away with a head swap.

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Before going all the way down that lengthy road (being used to OHV engines a head swap on an OHC engine feels daunting!) I'd really like to take a look at the condition of the engine bottom end. Simple enough to get a quick health assessment done, drop sump, pop a couple of bearing caps off and see if we can see copper and if the crankshaft looks smoother than the surface of the moon. Simple enough.

Oh.

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How the bleep do you get the sump off this thing? There's a stinking great cross member in the way. Sump appears to go back to about the red marker in this photo, a good foot or so behind the front of the aforementioned metalwork.

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Even if I could figure out how to get to the half dozen or so bolts buried above it and removed the engine mount attached to it... I'm not convinced I'd have enough clearance to pull it out.

Think I need to go do some reading to figure out what really simple trick it is that I've missed...or getting the sump out will wind up with me 3/4 of the way down the road to removing the engine...by which point I may as well just take it out anyway! Feels like I must be missing something though given how serviceable most things on this car seem to be. I did wonder if the sump was split into a front and rear half, but if so I can't see the join.

Definitely an instructive day...and kinds good news in a way. The camshaft being so chewed up to this extent definitely would have an impact on oil pressure I'd think and we've definitely found a likely cause for the glitter. It's just possible the bottom end might have survived...

Either way I want to check the condition of it before going to the trouble and expense of a head swap. Plus given the amount of grime in and around the top end I fully expect the sump to be as bad or worse...and worry about the oil pickup strainer.

Now I just need to figure out how the fluff to get the sump off! Simple right?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:42 am

Somewhat frustrating day here. Well on the Merc front anyway.

I wanted to have a look at what the journals under the camshaft looked like. More for the sake of my curiousity and because everything at this stage is an education.

Now this is where I fell into a trap that it sounds like many people working on these engines have. The only OHC engines with chains I've messed around with had tensioners which were either manually tensioned or ran off oil pressure. As the camshaft is keyed to the sprocket, provided I didn't let the chain go slack so it could slip at the bottom end it shouldn't be an issue.

Yeah...oops.

Turns out the timing chain tensioner on the M102 engine is near aerospace levels of over-engineered.

Tensioning method number 1 is an oil pressure actuated plunger as I'm used to.

Tensioning method number 2 is a spring based setup as a backup and to ensure it doesn't go slack when the engine isn't running.

What's caught me out is number 3. There's also a ratchet mechanism which means that the tensioner can add tension to the chain as it wears, but there's no way for it to go the other way...the only way to reset the thing to take tension off is to completely dismantle the tensioner. Which involves quite a bit of faff.

So I've now managed to move the car from "sick" to "non runner."

I did have the sprocket tied up, but apparently I gave enough slack that it now won't go back on.

Great.

I have read up on how the tensioner works, but working through such a small gap looks like a right pain. Hopefully I can get back to where we started out again tomorrow.

Oh, the camshaft bearing journals are scored to hell, exactly as expected.

Judging from how many stories I've read of people who have had things like snapped camshafts or timing chains after work on it or head gasket changes even done by professional garages, I'm far, far from the first to make this mistake.


The transparency film I'd been waiting for to sort the dash on the BX arrived.

Thankfully because I was working on a scan I had taken I knew the dimensions would be right when I printed it. Didn't look too bad at first glance (yes this is the wrong way round in the photo).

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Though precisely as I expected opacity was clearly going to be a problem. There was also an issue with boundary alignment between black and coloured areas. I knew this sort of thing was going to be stretching the abilities of my printer so this was not a huge surprise.

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I'd already got a plan in place for this though - and was one of the reasons why I made the image in several layers.

I printed this in several layers (from back to front):

2X with the colour filters and black borders (coloured areas slightly oversize to ensure the edges are pure).
1X with the borders and legends on.
1X with the borders only.

The result looks like this when held up to the light, looks a lot more convincing I think you'll agree.

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I was just holding the sheets together by hand there which is why I have obvious registration errors visible.

With everything back into the panel it looks far better than the blotchy, faded original ones.

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Such is the curse of digital cameras that it's really hard to get an accurate looking photo of how it looks when lit...but this is vaguely close. Colours still look more washed out in the photo and the hotspots aren't really that pronounced.

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There is more of a hotspot than with the original filters but personally I don't find it objectionable. If that was an issue it would be easy enough to slot in a diffuser of some form behind the filter stack.

Opacity was going to be most critical on the left hand light bank as one of the dash backlighting lamps is behind it. So looking at this in the dark was going to be important to see if I could see the light bleeding through.

Using the night mode on my camera to obtain a really overexposed photo allowed me to confirm a solid "nope" on that. Exactly as I hoped.

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The edge lighting on that panel for the car diagram is actually far more subtle, this is more accurate in how it looks.

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Might get that dropped back in tomorrow. LED illumination hasn't been done yet, but I've too many projects going on right now so could do with it back in the car and off my workbench. Hoping in daylight I can get some better photos too.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:37 pm

Well we've found why the BX speedometer doesn't work.

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That little bit of plastic should be attached to the end of the lower cable. So unless I can come up with a bodge I'll be needing a new lower cable.

The dash is back together now though. Looks far less scruffy.

Before:

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After:

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All seems to be behaving.

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I really had not appreciated quite how big a visual impact just repainting the pointer on the speedometer would make.

After dark I was able to take a look to see if the panel lighting was behaving...yep!

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There used to be horrible blotchy bleed through here...

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Much better now.

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The slight bleed through on the right is actually just due to the frosted surface on the plastic light guide rather than light getting through the backing.

I've not been able to sort the clock yet so have just disabled it... having it show 0:00 every time the ignition was on was more annoying than it just not working. I'll get to that at some point in the future.


I've decided to take a step away from the Merc for a few days as I was just getting frustrated with it today.

Have discovered that to get the timing chain tensioner out (because I need to take it out and dismantle it to reset it so I can reattach the sprocket to the camshaft) I first need to remove the alternator. Of course one of the mounting blts is just spinning and I couldn't find the right size spanner to lock it in place. I'd already spent half an hour chasing tools around by that point and getting clocked on the head by the bootlid didn't help.

I'll get back to it after the weekend.

Oh. Looking at a car this weekend too. Yes I know...don't ask why!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 86 Mercedes S123 230TE, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:29 pm

Two entries in one today as I ran out of time and energy halfway through yesterday's one...

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Currently I have five cars on the drive. That's two too many.

Current status of them...

[] Jag: Intermittent charging fault. Reeks of fuel when the tank is more than 3/4 full. Sold anyway, waiting for the new owner to complete their house move so they've got space to take it on. I intend to stick a fresh MOT on before it's handed over (and obviously sort the alternator).

[] Van: Working...though being 2.6 metres tall means it's not the most practical daily driver as so many places around here have height barriers.

[] Merc S123: Currently half way to having the cylinder head removed.

[] BX: Hasn't been on the road in at least 11 years, we're making progress but still a ways from being a working car.

[] Invacar: Working, though the brakes need adjusting.

So yeah...two out of five. Not a great average.

Absolutely the last thing I need is another project...so why the heck was I looking at one yesterday? Honestly I think the answer is because I'm an idiot.

I went to look at it with heavily tempered expectations, though was really quite pleasantly surprised at what I found.

So what did I find?

Looking a little bit sorry for herself from being in storage for several years and sporting a few dents and dings which have occurred during that time, but here she is.

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Here's the real surprise though given this is an unrestored 70s Vauxhall...

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Incredibly little rust for one of these. I did find a couple of crunchy bits though, would have been downright miraculous if there weren't a couple. One is a hole just in front of the rear offside wheel. Which is probably the most difficult one to sort as it'll be an awkward pig to get to with welding spatter going in my ear.

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Oddly the nearside...which is where I'm used to there being the most rust...seems perfectly solid here.

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The crispy looking bit at frame left is the wheel arch lip rather than anything more sinister, poor framing on my part.

The other bit of note is on the nearside front chassis rail. A patch was done for the last MOT this car was back in 2010, however rust has got into the seam and blown it out.

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This initially looked quite alarming and had me thinking it was going to be a sigh and walk away situation when the whole surrounding area went "scrunch" when I poked it...but it didn't. It all feels solid and does look to be a case of cutting out that old patch and letting in new metal. It's one of those hugely rare instances where welding is concerned that it's both easy to get to and doesn't require half the car to be dismantled. Wheel off and one plastic fuel line to be tucked out the way should be all that's needed.

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While we're under the bonnet already, look at those inner wings and shock towers...

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We only had about a pint of petrol in the tank today so only managed a few minutes of running before running out, but she fired straight up and ran incredibly smoothly, albeit a bit tappety. Though from what I remember these engines did tend to rattle a bit.

This was about ten seconds after she was started up, so still on the choke.

https://youtu.be/lQuMSIKQChc

This was originally an automatic but suffered a gearbox failure somewhere in the distant past - why the car spent its first stint in storage for a while. Back in 2007 it was rescued and converted to a 5-speed manual using a gearbox from a Manta. I know for a while the previous previous keeper had been chasing an odd running issue which seemed to point at a timing problem, however we don't know for certain whether this was resolved or not...we haven't been able to replicate it though so I think there's a bit of crossing fingers and hoping there.

There will be a bit of repair needed under the battery as the panel there is a bit thin and there are a couple of pin holes. Access is fine though and I'm classifying that about a 0.2 out of 10 on the worry scale.

Being a GL this has stainless steel sill covers fitted...which is always a bit of a potential can of worms.

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However from what I can see this is pretty much the story most of the way around.

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I gave them a decent thump along the full length both sides and the only bit I could detect any give in was the last couple of inches at the rear on the nearside where I'm absolutely sure there's a hole.

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Bottom and inner sides of the sill are still there though, so not panicking too much. Wouldn't be the worst repair ever.

While the exterior has survived the last 43 years extraordinarily well it's nothing compared to the interior.

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The 80s Manta gearknob and gaiter have to go and be replaced with something more period appropriate. The console (which is also Manta I think) will need to stay as there's a gap in the carpet due to the gearbox change having required modification of the tunnel as the Cavalier one would normally be further forward.

This may have something to do with why there's so little wear there.

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Always a sucker for a dash with funky warning lights that aren't just square or round, even if my camera couldn't make heads or tails of the colour.

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The door card for the nearside rear is present, it was removed a couple of weeks ago when folks were looking at whether the dent in that door could be pushed out by hand. Needs a bit more strength than that, but I reckon both of these could be sorted to an acceptable standard without too much drama.

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I have always had a soft spot for these. An almost identical car was actually the first car I ever drove at about age 12, so there's a lot of nostalgia there. Memory is a funny old thing, first thing I noticed was that I remembered the smell of the interior. Never actually driven one on the road though!

It's a car I've always liked, for all the front end styling is divisive. Just never come across one for sale that was for sale that wasn't rotten, heavily performance modified, too expensive for me or any combination of the above. I wasn't looking for this...and in fact deliberately avoided looking at it too closely when I was last over there a few weeks ago because I knew I'd wind up asking "how much?" if I did. Then it popped up for sale...so here we are.

This is pretty much spot on for what I'd like...tidy enough that it could clean up well with a bit of elbow grease, not having comfort destroyed in favour of track lap times, and a pretty simple car to work on.

Something will have to go to make way for it though!

-- -- --

Having finally picked up the brake pipe for the BX I really had no excuse not to get cracking on sorting it.

Somewhat to my surprise both ends unbolted from the unions with relatively little effort. Rounding those off was high on my worry list.

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All of the lines look crustier than I would like...so I can see them all being changed before the car is pushed into use.

While the clamps holding the pipe were really fiddly to undo it wasn't really that difficult.

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Putting the new one in was equally fiddly but without drama. All in was about two hours, though at least half an hour of that was fiddling around trying to figure out where half the tools were.

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Oh.

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Yeah...about my diagnosis of that pipe being at fault... totally wrong. It must be the main brake supply line to the rear axle. Really hard to tell as I can't see the actual location of the leak, but it's not suspension related as the leak only happens when the brake pedal is pressed.

That will be fun to change. I know the official way to do this involves dropping the subframe...which is a road I really would rather have avoided at this stage when I don't even know for certain how far from an MOT we are.

Bit frustrating to be honest having spent that amount of time on something which probably didn't need doing!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 86 Mercedes S123 230TE, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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