Today I mostly .....

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:58 pm

Brief interlude...

I may have had a moment of weakness on eBay a few days ago...

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Been a long while since I last saw one, but it popped up in one of eBay's "we think you might like..." emails which have been increasingly dangerous lately since I went on a buying spree of ancient calculators a couple of months ago.

Still want to add an NC200 to the collection at some point, a friend had one while I was in secondary school and I always greatly coveted it. Just haven't seen one at a price I'm willing to pay yet. This was less than £50 including shipping though which I was quite happy with.

Hard to believe there's only four years between these two when you look at how much more of a coherent, polished looking product the NC100 is than the PPC which honestly looks like someone found a bunch of bits in a surplus warehouse and bolted them together (which *is* basically what they did!)...

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Though from a purely architectural point of view, the NC100 is arguably more old fashioned, being Z80 based rather than 8086 (well, a clone thereof anyway, NEC V30) for the PPC512.

They also share one major gripe...lack of a display backlight!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:41 pm

Finally got around to sorting something today on TPA which has been making my teeth itch for over a year now.

Spot the difference.

(Aside from the distributor cap.)

Before:

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After:

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Yes... finally dealt with this horrific bodgefest.

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These are the original battery hold downs. Sadly as I was completely unable to find the original form factor battery (or indeed what type it even was), they're basically useless.

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Oh, and here's a reminder why bungee cords and cable ties are not a permanent solution.

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That had been pinched between the rear wheel tub and the chassis rail and had rubbed about 2/3rds of the way through.

My solution has been to cut a couple of bits of M8 threaded rod to roughly the right length (a little over 6") and fasten a bit of webbing between them - this is a bit of seatbelt originally from KPL I think where the buckles had completely rotted away to nothing.

I heated a metal rod up to red hot before using it as a punch to make two holes. This melts the fibres together and prevents anything from fraying.

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Not too worried about that anyway. Ever tried to tear a seatbelt, even if it's already frayed halfway through?

Finished article...

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It's tightened up sufficiently that the battery is completely secure. If I have issues with it ovalling the holes out I'll replace it with a strip of angled steel instead - but I'd really rather avoid the need for metal across the top of the battery if I can avoid it given the layout. I might go back and bolt a lip onto the tray though just so there's then *absolutely* no way it could conceivably slide free then. It can't go anywhere the other direction as the wheel tub is in the way. Probably overkill...but I'm a fan of doing what I can to keep Murphy's Law at bay. It's really not a heavy battery either, probably half the weight of your average car one.

I had someone ask me on another forum what the labels on the slam panel were all about - the answer is "me getting fed up of realising I need to consult the manual in the middle of a service one time too many."

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Couple of photos from while she was out in the sun today just for good measure too.

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Really need to remember to paint that rear wheel arch...I just can't see it from in the garage so keep forgetting there are still white filler spots visible there.

Noticed I've got a drip from the sump plug... that's what I get for being a cheapskate and not just replacing the copper washer (which I noted was well mangled originally). No idea why I didn't just change it given I have them in stock. Oh well...on the plus side at least I'm not dropping a huge amount of oil to change it!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:50 pm

As mentioned above, TPA has been marking her territory since the last oil change.

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This is because the idiot doing the service for reasons utterly unknown decided to refit the rather dog eared copper washer rather than replacing it. Which would have required him to walk all of four feet to pull one out the box.

This has now been rectified.

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On the plus side, the sump only holds 1.75 litres of oil so I haven't wasted much by changing it twice in 200 miles.

On the downside, the sump only holds 1.75 litres of oil, so you *really* want it to stay inside the engine.

While I'd got the sump empty (again) I figured it wouldn't hurt to take a look at the sump strainer. I had been checking it religiously for the first few oil changes as quite a bit of sludge was initially washed out - but subsequent checks revealed nothing so I'd left it be for a while. Reckon it's probably been untouched for 650 miles or so now. Any slime present today?

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Nope. Clean as a whistle (well, a very oily whistle...but you get the idea). The grainy looking bits at the far edge are attached to the gasket. No deposits in the basket at all.

I think with regular oil changes and the sort of driving I do I can probably drop pulling this out down the service interval list a bit. It's worth keeping an eye on, but definitely doesn't need to be pulled out with every oil change or anything like that from the looks of things.

Later in the afternoon I found five minutes to fit the new horn properly.

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Aside from needing to fit the proper foam pads in the fuel tank frame (which I do now have in stock at long last) it's *almost* looking vaguely orderly under here now...

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The spare belt got in the way of the catch for the hatch so has been relocated to in a bag under the seat for now. I'm probably going to attach a couple of the down points for said bag on the fuel tank supports when I have them out to fit the anti vibration pads so it can stay up front, but somewhere actually out of the way.

I took the Jag out for a quick run to the post office in the afternoon and it rewarded me in a typically Jaguar way by having random components decide to fall off for no readily explicable reason.

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Situation normal then!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:42 pm

Out and about today. No photos sadly as I was running late and had to just about double the route length due to me having not realised things were closed (the fact this is Good Friday had completely passed me by, as my brain still thinks it's March 374th 2020.

Glad to report that the sump plug does indeed now appear to be oil tight.

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Though we definitely do have a weep from the diff on the offside, so I'll need to look into changing the driveshaft seal at some point. It doesn't seem to be enough to show on the level, just enough to make a horrible mess.

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Level has never visibly dropped between checks. But it doesn't take much to make a huge mess. Given the state of the outside of the diff casing (I chipped of congealed mud and oil the best part of an inch thick when I had it out between cars) I'm guessing it's probably been like this for decades!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:58 am

The Jag got an oil change a few days ago, but I found myself unable to get the oil filter off.

Quite HOW I managed to get it removed last time before buying one of these I have absolutely no idea.

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The issue you have is that you only have access to what seems like the bottom few millimetres of the filter casing - and you can't even see it. Equally helpfully you're hard up against the nearside exhaust on one side, and it sits about 1/2" away from the side of the gearbox bell housing on the other so you really can't get your hand on it, and there's no room to get a strap wrench in.

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Might be easier with the car on ramps, but with it on the ground it's a right faff. Especially as there's about an inch and a half of ground clearance on this thing.

Thinking the rear silencers may well go back on the Jag. It's the front ones which probably need altered to really release the full V12 bowl under acceleration - whereas the deletion of the rear ones (which are just deresonators) does sound nice at high RPM and low idle - the boominess at 1100-1500rpm can get tiresome. Especially in 30mph zones where it can be quite obtrusive.

Last thing I did today was to address some remedial bodywork on the rear of TPA. I'd had issues with a crack appearing to the left of the engine cover, which was basically because I'd done an appalling job of getting the new glass fibre I had laid down to adhere to the underlying bodywork. Hopefully I've done a better job this time.

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I've managed to get a lot smoother finish than I did last time - basically because I decided to ditch the applicator and form it by hand (wearing gloves obviously). This was WAY easier. I also used the excess left over to smooth over some of the horribly rough bits on the other side (this is where I started out rebuilding the rear apron so is where the fabrication was at its roughest).

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Chuck a bit of paint on there after I've hit it with some sandpaper to knock off any high spots and it should look better I think.

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Still be as rough as the North Sea in a hurricane, but better than it was.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:09 am

Some additional fibreglass and several coats of resin applied to the back of TPA. Bit of sanding obviously needed and it's never going to be (even close to) perfect, but should definitely be an improvement.

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Even before I've done any sanding I think you can see how much smoother the finish is. Perfection isn't the target here, "presentable" is what I'm aiming for.

Once that was done and I was waiting for that to cure I turned my attention to the Jag.

Spot the difference?

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Yep, rear silencers are back on.

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Definitely preferable...I must be getting older! Would prefer a bit more of an exhaust note, but for now I'll take refinement as a win.

I just had to poke this rust scab didn't I?

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Guess I'll be getting the welder out soon then.

I'll probably cut out more than I really need to, as hiding the seam under the bumper will be far easier than trying to flat my welds back to the point they're invisible! Plus this colour will be a pig to match.

I was expecting to find a hole there to be honest. Doesn't look like there's been any prior work there and we know the boot leaks like a sieve. Plus she's a 36 year old Jag, a bit of rust is something you just need to deal with, that's a pretty easy bit to deal with in the grand scheme of things.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:14 pm

While it was lovely, dry and sunny earlier on today I had the Jag out again. Yes...Having the silencers back on again is so, so much nicer.

Then this nonsense arrived.

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Meant I got a nice photo of the snow in the trees in the evening though.

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Later on I was pointed at this website by the owner over on another forum I'm on: Linky.

I've been meaning to get some replica tax discs made up for the fleet forever, but baulked at the cost that most places were asking for them. I started to make my own a couple of times, but being picky enough about my work I never got to a finish I was happy with. These look the part though.

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I'll probably print these off again and put them through the typewriter to do the text as that will look far more authentic. Or just stick it in in software because I'm too lazy to go digging in the loft for the typewriter...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:19 pm

Did a bit of sanding back today...and after about half an hour remembered precisely how little patience I have for that sort of thing and how much my back (which I'd already hacked off during a tip run earlier) hates it.

So quickly got to a stage of throwing my hands up in the air and saying "Sod it, that's good enough, throw some paint on it."

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I didn't realise quite how much even this had improved things though until I looked at a couple of older photos though...

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It'll do for now! Car has been in the garage without moving for long enough now. Plus I'm still planning somewhere down the line to A: Hopefully get some actual moulds made for the rear apron and B: Chuck it at a body shop to have a few things sorted out more professionally. So I'm not spending too long on this - dealing with the crack I'd had issues with on the nearside and keeping the car presentable from 30 paces is good enough for me.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:36 pm

Nothing much to report today. Have been fighting off a headache that's been threatening to turn into a migraine so have been taking it easy.

While I haven't been able to track down my stash of tax disc holders yet, I knew where the one which came with the Jag was so have put the replica disc in there now.

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I'll likely revisit this once I've figured out a bit better replica for the stamp. Yes, realised right as I clicked print that it would have still been the DVLC back in 85, but it looks the part and that's the whole idea!

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Really need to adjust the wipers again...they were just thrown back on when I had the motor apart and are parked way too far up the windscreen. Oh, and wash the poor thing.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:27 am

40 mile round trip done in TPA today (Dunstable and back), and spent the vast majority of it being held up by other traffic. The woman in the Fiesta who kept slowing down to 30 while looking at her phone then accelerating back to 70, then repeating roughly every 60 seconds got old in a hurry. Was very glad to get past her once we got to a dual carriageway.

TPA actually needs a wash now as the heavens opened halfway back.

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While the lack of an intermittent wipe function is a bit irritating, the tiny wiper actually copes just fine and does a decent job of clearing the screen. So long as you're moving the water all seems to stay outside too. Which is nice as it helps keep the windscreen from steaming up.

Has made me really appreciate quite how knackered the roads in MK are! Felt like I was driving on a freshly surfaced formula 1 track compared to driving around locally here.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Apr 14, 2021 10:49 am

Had TPA out again yesterday. Now proudly displaying her replica tax disc.

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Ended up doing something I haven't in years. After I was done with the errands I had to run, I just picked a road and decided to see where it went. Was probably out for a couple of hours all in. That says a lot I think about how I've started to build some proper confidence in this car - and enjoying driving her.

Observations:

10" wheels and quite firm suspension aren't great with the condition a lot of roads round here are in. The fact there are quite so many crashes and rattles from the bodywork and doors I think makes it seem worse than it is because of the noise. It's not actually too jarring and the seat helps provide a decent amount of isolation too. Really want to move on getting the roof lined as I think that will help with the racket.

She's far more at home on A roads than B roads funnily enough. A roads tend to have more sweeping curves with better sight lines so it's easier to carry speed through corners. B roads don't afford the same opportunities (at least the one I was on today...doubly as it's not a road I know) so I was finding myself wishing I had a couple of BHP more on a couple of occasions, and did pull in to let the queue behind me pass at a couple of points. Activa is the car for roads like that.

Still won't impact me driving the car though, and is useful experience to gain. Was a really good workout for the brakes too...so I can now say that brake fade doesn't seem to be an issue, as I was working them pretty hard at a few points!

We're still leaking a bit of oil though I spotted when I came to put her back into the garage a few hours later.

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Not a huge amount, just two single drips it looks like. However that's two drips too many for my liking.

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I need to do a bit more detective work first but it looks like the culprit is the crankshaft oil seal.

Which would unfortunate as I'm pretty certain changing that will be an engine out job as I think the whole rear engine mount assembly will have to come off to get an impact driver onto it. I'll get a set of seals ordered anyway so they're in stock whenever I need them. If I do end up doing that I'll basically just replace every oil seal on the outside of the engine while it's out.

I'm not *too* worried about it at this point...I just want to keep an eye on it. With so little oil in the sump leaks are something not to be taken lightly though. If it is just a couple of drips when we stop I'm not going to panic though.

Apparently it's catching too...

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This could be engine oil or LHM, it's hard to tell because it's dripping off the under tray, so there's no way to see where it's coming from directly. Don't think it's coolant. I'll need to investigate it. There definitely is an oil leak somewhere we need to deal with though as the sump in general looks quite wet.

In addition to the replica tax disc in TPA, the rest of the fleet now have them too, thanks to Qarecar.com.

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The ridiculous variety visible from one of the upstairs bedroom windows earlier today definitely made me smile.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:40 pm

Well let's monitor the Invacar oil leak now I've resolved this.

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Dumb mechanic error. Guessing I forgot to thread the dipstick in to take the reading. Let's see if this has sorted it next time we're out.

Only real car job was to finish sorting the wipers on the Jag. When I sorted out the intermittent motor back last year I never really put any effort into getting the wiper alignment right and had broken the non return valve for the windscreen washers. Both of these issues were resolved today, so the wipers now park in the correct spot again, so only a quarter of the way rather than halfway up the windscreen.

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Replaced the wiper blades too as the ones on there looked horrible. They went rusty pretty much the day they were fitted.

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Last job was to realign the washer jets as the driver's side one washed the scuttle and the passenger side one was pointing skywards.



Much better. Granted that's one item of about 700 on the to do list ticked off...but it's something at least!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:23 pm

Not sure if I'll have a chance to do much today but did get an hour or so in yesterday.

Main target was a second pass at trying to get the driver's door on the Jag into a state vaguely resembling weather proof.

Now the easiest solution to this would probably be to build a time machine and go back to prevent whoever replaced the electric window mechanism from being lazy and not bothering to refit the original weather sheet (I found it bundled up in the bottom of the door).

The proper way to do this (and may yet be the road I need to go down) is to remove that to allow me to refit a contiguous sheet across the whole door...however I *really* don't want to faff around with the window if I don't have to as it works perfectly.

After some time and no small amount of swearing we had coverage along the whole door (save for an "n" shaped cutout around the window motor).

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There are additional layers behind the interior door handle and speaker void as those are the two areas that I'd been aware of water getting into the car from, so I figured doubling up there from both sides of the door skin couldn't be a bad thing. The main point of ingress at the front appears to be through the wing mirror, so hopefully this should work.

If it does I'll need to repeat the performance on the passenger side as that also leaks - albeit several orders of magnitude less badly.

While I was there I finally got around to finding a replacement for the missing securing screw for the light under the arm rest. Hopefully the lens won't fall off roughly every tenth time the door is closed now.

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Thanks to a suggestion from someone on another forum I realised that I'd made a stupid mistake with the wipers. I had completely failed to spot that the wiper arms are sided. With them flipped around I was able to get things sitting far better in the parked position.

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Every day's a school day.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:28 am

How am I ever going to tell which car is mine out here...Oh...wait...

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I get the impression that while it may have taken a while for us to tick over the first thousand miles the second one will take anywhere near as long...

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That's just under 500 miles in two months.

One of the bits of trim fell off the inside of the offside door last time out, so today I decided to call time on the spray adhesive and got some old school goop involved.

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The trim was then firmly wedged in place while that sets.

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I reckon this will stay stuck a lot better. Can see me redoing most of these in the same way at some point. Summer will be the real tell when things get warm.

Also on the subject of doors...I completely randomly spotted today that the weatherstrip between the two sliding window panes on the nearside (the offside one is missing) was installed backwards...I apparently totally failed to notice that there was a plastic side and a felt side when I installed it. Does a far better job of stopping the draught when the window is closed now!

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Only took me approximately two years to notice. Ten points for observation to me. Oops.


Annoyingly it appears that even with the level sorted that we do still have a slight oil leak. It looks like it *might* be actually coming from the oil pressure switch as the whole area around it looks a bit wet.

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Have given the general area a good spray down with degreaser so we can have another look after the next trip out to see if it's the culprit. Would be nice as it's a cheap and easy part to change.

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Not holding my breath though...My gut feeling is that we're looking at a leak from the crankshaft oil seal.

The belts are in a state as you can see too. They have been loose for a while now...but lately have been getting a bit ridiculous. Aside from the increasingly unhappy squeak every time the starter is operated from cold, it's never good when you can SEE how slack a belt is.

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Yes, that is as floppy as it looks. Especially the one nearest the camera.

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The reason I hadn't done something about this sooner was simple: I'd been completely and utterly unable thus far to shift the nut on the Dynastart pulley. The belt tension on this engine is adjusted (like on old VWs) by adding or removing shims between the pulley sheaves...so any tension adjustment involves removing that big nut. While there are two holes in the fan to allow you to wedge it in place - the nut was tight enough that these holes were ovalling out from the torque I was applying.

Right up until the point that I *finally* spent an hour turning the back of the garage upside down and unearthing the impact gun.

In approximately 0.3 seconds it buzzed it straight off without it seemed like any effort whatsoever...Didn't even have to lock the pulley...

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Sometimes you just need the right tool for the job at hand.

It's not a tool you'll use for every job (and using it for the wrong one can cause you no end of headaches...), but really is an absolute godsend when presented with something like this or trying to get a wheel nut that's been done up by Kwik-Fit to 10,000,000,000 times more tightly than it needed to be. This was less than £50 and for the three jobs I've really used it for so far I reckon has already more than paid for itself in saved time, sweat and spilled blood. Just make sure if you get one to get a good quality set of sockets to go with it.

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The other reason I wanted to get this lot apart was so that I could actually clean up the pulley running surfaces...After this engine had spent a good number of years sitting outside in the weather they were unsurprisingly in quite a state - I'm honestly surprised that the belts didn't just self destruct given the state these were in.

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Definitely beyond the point of "self cleaning" at this point...so out with the carbide mop. Realistically I could do with a new set of pulley sheaves, but the heavy, rough pitting that will shred belts is gone at least.

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The fan hub (which forms the rear face of the pulley) got the same treatment.

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Again...It really has seen better days, but is a lot better than it was.

The belts will want replacement now as running on the pulleys in that state has unsurprisingly wrecked them. I'll grab a new pair next time I'm in the vicinity of Motorserv. They're not exotic or expensive so I'm not worried about that. They are at least properly tensioned now though (if anything a little over-tight in the case of the front belt).

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Not really too worried - they'll be getting replaced shortly anyway - I'll spend a bit of time ensuring that the replacements are tensioned as close to as per the manual as possible.

Quick test revealed that the "chirp" on activating the starter is indeed now gone.



I had also completely failed to appreciate quite how much noise the belts were making at high engine speeds...The engine is SO much quieter and smoother when revved now. Will be interesting to see if that's at all obvious when on the move - though given that about 85% of the noise you're aware of is CVT and gearbox I rather doubt it.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:58 pm

Decided to have a better shot at cleaning the Dynastart pulleys up on TPA.

There is deep enough pitting that they'll never be perfect, though I think this should be good enough for the job...given that the previous belts lasted the best part of a thousand miles and still worked once the tension was adjusted...if I go through £14 of belts once a year or so I'm really not going to lose any sleep over it.

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Especially given they started out like this.

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Sadly Motorserv only had one belt (Gates 6262MC for reference) so I'll need to swing by tomorrow to pick up the second one before I can fnish reassembly.
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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