Today I mostly .....

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:28 pm

Hmm...can you tell which panel I experimentally gave a wipe clean then hit with the polish and wax this afternoon?

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Looks like the paint might actually come up better than I expected. The actual colour change was a surprise! I honestly thought the car was a slightly warm white...no, it is actually a pure brilliant white. She just needs a really good deep clean.

Tyres have now been ordered, garage have said they'll just give me a call when they're in and I can just drop by then. Will be nice to have that done as the current set vary in age from 2017 at the newest to 2010 at the oldest and all have pretty significant perishing. Front two look superficially fine as the sidewalls are OK, but they're cracking up inside the tread area instead. Shame as I'd have probably kept one for the spare - not going to trust them for that duty though (as goodness knows how many years it might sit perishing more before I need it).

I always like to have a matched set of tyres on a car anyway so this would probably have happened anyway...as it is though these have had it. While being able to provoke a drift at just about any speed on a damp road is occasionally amusing, it's less than ideal in the real world when you're just trying to pull away from a set of traffic lights on a busy signalised roundabout. Especially when you notice there's a police car behind you. Yes the garage to order the tyres *was* the next place I stopped after that!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:25 am

Brief vintage technology intermission...it's no secret that I've a major soft spot for the Toshiba T1200, and this has developed into a bit of a problem, there are now four and a half of them here, one of which works, three that don't plus a pile of assorted bits.

Then I spotted a very vague ad on eBay for one with one fuzzy photo a week or so back for £50 delivered. I grabbed it. I didn't really care about the operational status based on the fact that A: It's a hard disc equipped model so provides a spare drive (they're a drive that uses a proprietary JVC/Ricoh interface which are consequently basically extinct)... though the main thing which grabbed my attention was the case.

These machines nearly always yellow to some extent. However this one looked pristine in the photo. I was expecting this to have flattered it (especially as it looked to have been taken on a 90s webcam).

I was a little alarmed when this box arrived yesterday...simply as it's about half the size of the box I would have used to ship one of these.

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Nevertheless it looked to have made it in one piece. Guess I'm just lucky they didn't ship it through Yodel.

Somewhat to my surprise, the photo hadn't exaggerated it...it is astonishingly free of yellowing. With a bit of a clean this case will qualify as minty fresh I reckon.

My existing running machine is shown for comparison. It's worth noting these were never pure white but a cream colour from the factory.

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At the *very* least this will provide a donor case for my working machine. Being a factory hard drive model it has the correct labelling on the status indicator lights showing drive letters A and C rather than A and B as on my current one.

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In addition to that the screen looks to be good (they tend to fade, allowing the pinkish colour of the backlight to show through if they're failing - a deep indigo blue is what you want to see).

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I'm not daft enough to even *consider* plugging this straight in given that one of the most common failure modes of the power supply boards is to shove 12V down the 5V line. Power supply was whipped out for inspection.

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Yep...covered in capacitor goop.

Having been through the "parts washer" it looks like the traces have survived...so with a fresh set of caps hopefully it will live to fight another day.

This leaves me with an interesting quandary. I'm sure at this point that I have more than enough parts to assemble a full second machine. Given the prices these go for in fully working order on eBay these days there's a definite temptation to build one up and see if I can flip it and make a bit of money. Though that sounds like a lot of work as dealing with potential timewasters and such on eBay is always so much "fun."

I definitely don't need a full second machine...and while I want to have spares on hand, I don't feel the need to hoard them...

Most likely I'd end up offering the second (which would be the scruffiest one as I'll be keeping the cleaner case for mine) one on here and a couple of other forums I'm on for a more realistic price than what seems to be the going rate.

Getting ahead of myself though, no idea if the power supply will come good, if the motherboard is any good, if the hard drive is seized up... let's see how that goes first.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:42 am

Today has been a bit of a mess really, not helped by me having a day where I spent a good half hour apparently having completely forgotten how to drive. Made myself look an absolute and complete idiot about half a dozen times in as many minutes. Thankfully it didn't last long nor actually have any lasting effects, but I generally hold myself to a pretty high standard so was well hacked off with myself for hours.

Grabbed a couple of photos of the Merc at one of my usual spots this afternoon, realised I really didn't have any from the rear. A shame as I think this is one of the better looking estate variants out there.

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There were enough people about I didn't bother trying getting any more than that.

Something I have made a start on tackling is the rear headlining trim panel, which has looked like this probably for a number of years.

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Not ideal.

I'm trying the simple approach first, which has been to wet the fibreboard down thoroughly in the affected area and clamp it to more the shape I'm after.

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Somewhat to my surprise when I removed the clamp after a couple of hours the trim actually didn't just spring back to the original shape...so I've wet it down again and clamped it again.

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What I'll probably do tomorrow is the same again, but exaggerating the curve I want, hopefully meaning once it's released that it will just sit against the headlining.

I'm slightly puzzled as to how they intended rear speakers to be fitted as there are no obvious attachment points on the metalwork...so I think attaching them to this trim is the only real option...not the end of the world as I can route the screws through the holes already there without damaging anything (the perforated area is far bigger than the speaker would be). Not an ideal setup though.

Sadly it doesn't look like there's any existing audio wiring loom either so I'll need to pull that through the whole length of the car. Blarg... she's a long old car too!

On the subject of headlining, anyone got a diagram of how this is meant to be assembled?

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That's above the driver's door. There's a little metal clip visible there but I can't find anywhere that it's meant to locate. Passenger side looks just the same.

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Reattaching the material to the board needs to be done too, but knowing how the panel itself is meant to sit would be useful!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:58 pm

Little DAB antenna splitter gizmo arrived today. Being me I couldn't let that tiny black box go without investigation.

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A lot more in there than I was expecting. Was just expecting some sort of band pass filter, wasn't expecting active circuitry. Guessing this is necessary because it's using an antenna that's not designed for the purpose so additional amplification is needed...pure guess.

Pulled the head unit a bit further out this time while fitting it and had the joy that is finding prior audio wiring work that makes you scratch your head.

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There was a lot of this going on.

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Why they didn't just put that red wire straight into the white screw connector directly I have no idea...why connect another 2" long wire to it first by twisting the ends together? This loom reaches about two feet out from the dash too so it's not like they were absolutely desperate for the extra length.

Also found the main 12V feed twisted together when they had an open position on their terminal block...albeit with a stub of wire from its former life apparently.

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It's not pretty now, but all the taped and twisted together wires are now dispensed with. I would have done this last time but didn't spot it as I never pulled the loom far enough out.

Unfortunately my satisfaction was short lived.

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Apparently many DAB sets now use a tiny push fit antenna connection...so I need another adaptor to plug my adaptor in. *Sigh*

So off to wait longer for something else to arrive. Just put it back together for now. Not really likely to really use DAB anyway.

Hard to tell in the photo but I've fine tuned the display colour a bit so it matches better.

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It looks like the mission to de-sag the rear headlining trim is working.

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Will probably get it refitted shortly as it will be a while before I get around to wiring in rear speakers as it'll be quite a time consuming job.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:27 am

I don't know if it helps, but I have a DAB/analogue aerial splitter on my classic. It's fitted with a normal chrome telescopic aerial, mounted on the rear wing and a "passive" splitter (I didn't open it up before using it) which I think simply splits the signal, allowing the DAB car radio to receive both an analogue (FM/AM) and a DAB signal. The plugs do need to be pushed well in, though!

Living in north London may mean we receive a stronger DAB signal than in other areas, but I have to say that, using this device gives me excellent digital radio reception on BBC1,2,3,4, 4extra, World Service and U.K. Gold-job done!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:05 am

Andrew353w wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:27 am
I don't know if it helps, but I have a DAB/analogue aerial splitter on my classic. It's fitted with a normal chrome telescopic aerial, mounted on the rear wing and a "passive" splitter (I didn't open it up before using it) which I think simply splits the signal, allowing the DAB car radio to receive both an analogue (FM/AM) and a DAB signal. The plugs do need to be pushed well in, though!

Living in north London may mean we receive a stronger DAB signal than in other areas, but I have to say that, using this device gives me excellent digital radio reception on BBC1,2,3,4, 4extra, World Service and U.K. Gold-job done!
It will be interesting to see how this performs once it's hooked up. It was able to immediately pick up some form of multiplex just with the antenna held in the socket, so looks like it should work. Don't imagine DAB is something I'll really use much, but it'll just be nice to know it's there as an option.

Just hoping the audio quality is better than when I last investigated digital radio about five years ago...sounded like a low bitrate MP3 from 20 years ago...

-- -- --

Before:

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After:

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Haven't bothered tucking it in at the edges as it will come out again to do the boot struts (if they ever arrive) and the speakers. Not sure why folks claim getting the locating pegs back in is a massive pain...took me all of about 15 seconds. Though I may just have been massively lucky this time!

It's not perfect if you look too closely, but is massively improved. If it sags again I'll probably just stick a bit of metal across the back to add some strength to it.

It's been a good couple of weeks since I'd last had TPA out...mainly because I'd buried her when getting ready for the vehicle swapovers happening with the Xantia moving on and the Merc arriving...so I spent about an hour unearthing her.

Quite rightly she was a bit irked at having been so unceremoniously buried, and made this displeasure known by getting a bit of gunk wedged in the idle jet. Thankfully this resolved itself after about half an hour of driving.

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On the way home I managed to capture one of those odometer palindromes which please my sense of order.

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Will have to make sure that it's not another three weeks before she's out again. Oh, and add "clean carb again" to the service to do list.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:51 pm

This afternoon the Merc was being used as a proper estate car.

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It will come as precisely zero surprise that the mechanism to lower the rear seats is clever and one of the easiest to deal with I've ever used. The rear seat base can be removed in seconds without any tools as well if you need an extra few inches.

This old desktop for scale is longer than I am tall.

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All loaded up for a tip run

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Gave me a good opportunity to confirm the self leveling works - appears to do just fine.

The amount of stuff you could cram in here if you tried is crazy.

Bit later in the day this happened.

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Now we're talking.

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Then with the wheel trim back on.

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Could have done without the 25 minutes of soaking wet walking along the verge this caused on the way home though!

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Apparently one wheel trim didn't get refitted properly. Thankfully I found it and it hadn't decapitated anyone. A set of safety cable ties will be implemented tomorrow.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 07, 2021 2:52 am

Out and about today to collect a replacement for my broken pressure washer, a friend on another forum had one more or less identical one to mine with a busted hose. Hose and lance on mine are fine, it's just the pump that expired violently a couple of months ago.

On the run over there a few things were confirmed.

1. I really need to fit a tethered box or something in the boot or things slide around all over the place and make a racket.

2. The new tyres have definitely reduced road noise and vibration.

3. Ride seems exactly as before, always a bit of a question with tyres these days given the tendency for them to have unnecessarily stiff sidewalls.

4. Wish I could say they have transformed the handling...but they really haven't. She still corners like a drunken elephant on a space hopper. Just isn't a car for pushing on in, she's a lazy cruiser. If I can reduce the freeplay in the steering a bit that would help I think, though she's never going to be a B-Road weapon.

5. I need to replace the felt seal around the sunroof. First time I've been out on a windy day with it closed and it makes a horrendous din. Does make you realise how quiet these cars must have been in their day though.



I ran into an issue setting up the new stereo due to the fancy pants new DAB+ head unit using a tiny (SMA?) Connector, rather than the screw in mini BNC one like the older ones.

As such I'd had to order up this adaptor.

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Which lets me hook it up like so.

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Nice and simple. Oh. Or is it?

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After a certain amount of head scratching I managed to figure out that the issue is that stupid adaptor! Stuffing the antenna connection straight into the socket results in this happening.

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The "DGTL" icon on the bottom of the display shows it is receiving through DAB rather than analogue. A quick test with the meter showed that there is indeed a complete lack of continuity through the centre pin. Will need to get another one of those ordered in then.

Getting really sick of getting DOA parts these days. This wasn't even a particularly cheap one - was picked because the seller offered next day shipping rather than because it's cheap. That worked out well then!

Looking forward to having this buttoned up for the last* time.

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* Of course keeping in mind I'll need to be back in here to wire in the rear speakers anyway.

I know a lot of people say terminal strip has no place in a car, and for anything under the bonnet or mission critical I absolutely agree. For stuff like this though so long as the strip is good quality, the wires are prepared properly, everything is tightened down and nothing is strained it's absolutely fine. In 26 years of messing with in car audio I've had I think two speaker connections come adrift where these were used - and in both of those cases it was my own fault for making the wires too short.

I'll tidy things up a bit before declaring it to be finished.

I have done the solder and heat shrink thing on one car - and wound up cursing myself for it! Though to be fair with ISO connectors now being the norm nowadays that makes things easier.



The replica sticker pack I'd ordered also arrived this morning. This is the main one I wanted it for as it's got a lot of useful service data on.


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I wasn't quite prepared for how many other stickers were included!

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I'm going to need to figure out where they all go... though obviously some aren't going to be relevant, being for other markets, diesel versions etc.

I'll try to get some better photos tomorrow, but I'm really blown away by the quality of these, if they had a Mercedes logo on the backing sheet rather than an Avery one I'd have believed they'd just been posted by the dealer. So long as they last they're well worth the asking price I feel.

These were bought from this eBay seller if you want to get some. No connection with them other than as a satisfied customer.

It's a small detail, but little things like that really can improve the feel of a car I think.

The main thing I need to get done before the engine bay ones can go in is of course cleaning it...especially as currently I've no hope whatsoever of being able to tell if we're still leaking oil and where from because it clearly has been for many years. The main thing holding that up was the lack of a pressure washer, which we've now resolved. I'm really looking forward to getting this car properly cleaned, reckon it will make quite the difference. Mean I can give her a bit of a shine up then too.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:55 pm

This bit of trim was really bothering me. Not just because it looks a mess but because it stuck out about an inch from the car and was just asking to stab a passer by.

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Eventually I managed to "repair" this channel (read: Squished with pliers) to the point I could reattach it to the trim clip so it sits flat again.

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The "cap" which would have closed that off would originally have been part of the rubber part of the strip so is long gone. My solution to that is probably going to be a bit of chemical metal...discovered the tube I had in my toolbox had turned solid so I couldn't do that today.


As I mentioned in my last post the headlining trim had done this again.

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This wasn't really a surprise and I already had a plan B in the works for when this inevitably happened.

Panel was removed, clamped in the shape I wanted using a small batten, then I went after the surface with a craft knife, scoring the surface...

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...So the resin I had mixed up could sink properly into the board to strengthen it as much as possible.

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Left this in the garage to set up for a couple of hours. Result being a board which at least feels far more rigid. Let's hope it stays that way!

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Was interested to find a major junction box for the wiring to the rear of the car above that panel. I'm more used to seeing things like this on older commercial vehicles than on cars.

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Having conductors numbered like that will surely be a huge help if I ever need to chase gremlins around here.

I took a brief intermission here to investigate what had happened to my old pressure washer before transferring the Lance etc to its new (identical, secondhand) replacement. It died a few months back by surging briefly a couple of times then making a godawful loud bang and stopping pumping.

The fact that oil was peeing out of it when I pulled the pump definitely suggests something is far amiss.

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No obvious splits in the casing, but I'm guessing something has gone catastrophically wrong internally in the gearbox. I didn't have a set of hex keys on hand today but I do intend to pull it completely apart later in the week to determine what happened and if I can, why. The moment I hooked the new one up it proved to me that there's been something amiss with mine from day one as the new one has far more punch.

Having a working pressure washer again meant I could start to deal with the proper cleaning tasks...first up the oil caked mess that was the engine bay.

Before:

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After today's first pass:

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I really need to paint that air filter housing...

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I definitely need to get some rust treatment and paint in the general vicinity of the brake master cylinder and servo as there has obviously been a fluid leak here at some point and it's dissolved the paint.

Despite the terror a lot of people seem to express at taking high pressure water near an engine bay, the car started up perfectly after this. I then went for a half hour or so drive to dry everything off.

Still a lot to do as there's plenty of gunk I've missed (especially down by the alternator), but it's a thousand times better and I should actually be able to see which oil leaks are fixed or not now. Was kind of hard to tell with the 1/4" caked on gunge on the sides of the block before.


Last job for today was putting the first of the new stickers in place. This dog eared looking example was removed.

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Then replaced with the reproduction one.

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I need to try to pull that dent out of the bumper then see if I can get the rubbing strip to pop back onto its channel. The amount of gunk I blasted out of there was unreal...

Hoping to get the bodywork cleaned up and get the polish and wax out soon...oh, and the metal polish on the brightwork.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Aug 10, 2021 1:21 am

The most obvious thing in the engine bay which was making my teeth itch (aside from the horrendous racket from the knackered camshaft anyway) was the state of the air cleaner. It was a rusty, scabby mess which immediately drew your eye the moment you opened the bonnet.

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That got pulled off today for a really quick and dirty respray. The high voltage warning sticker had seen better days too.

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As had the foam in the intake silencer, so I pulled as much of that out as I could just to save it getting sucked into the filter. After a really quick rub down with a sanding block it was given a couple of quick coats of satin black. I think it was a really dark grey originally, and I will probably try to get it closer to the right colour further down the road - for now "tidy" is the main thing I'm after.

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The results speak for themselves I think...it won't stick out quite so much once it's got a bit of general dust and such on it.

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It no longer immediately draws your attention when you open the bonnet at least, which was the main object of this whole exercise. All 30 minutes of it. Happy with the result.


The replacement for the dodgy DAB+ antenna adaptor for the stereo arrived this morning (I did look to see if I could get one locally, but the only place I could find one was Halfords - and they wanted £35 for a whole antenna kit, so eBay it was in the end), so I finally have a fully functioning stereo now with both analogue and digital modes working.

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Even though I know I'll probably never really use it, knowing it didn't work was going to bug me!

While I was out a bit later in the day I grabbed another couple of photos just because I could. These will be good for a before/after comparison after I've done some polishing and a few bits of paint touchup work.

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A pretty major milestone was achieved for me today in that for the first time ever I have actually 3D printed a replacement part for one of my cars.

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This (while it obviously still needs some finishing off and painting an appropriate colour) will be a replacement for the broken bonnet catch pull.

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Yes I know proper replacements are about a fiver...but that's not the point. I needed to replace it and I randomly stumbled across the model for this, and it's a pretty flat part so took less than an hour to print...so this was a far more interesting solution than just buying a new one. Will clean that up, paint it and hopefully get it fitted tomorrow.

Really need to try to get a replacement for the broken bit of exhaust ordered in because that blow is really quite annoying - not a huge amount of places seem to have them in stock though (especially not at silly prices), and most of those seem to be the same brand as the systems I fitted to the van and Xantia. I'd really rather not buy another one of those as the fit on both of those was diabolically poor and involves massive amounts of swearing to fit. Oh, and the silencer on the van arrived devoid of any baffles. So it's quite likely that I'll just wind up getting a replacement section made up in stainless, especially as it's a pretty short bit that's affected and the rest of the system is pretty healthy.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:09 am

I wasn't 100% convinced I'd done a proper job of setting the valve clearances on the first pass (not least because I got interrupted halfway through the job and was dying from heat at the time) so went back today and did it again. Definitely was well off the mark in a couple of cases. No 4 intake in particular was way loose.

Has it made any difference to the noise? Maybe a little bit, but she still rattles, and will continue to do so until I replace the camshaft I suspect. Definitely hasn't made a night and day difference, but I feel better knowing the job has been done right for definite now.

The most annoying noise just now though is coming from this thing.

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I need to do some part number comparisons to confirm that the mid section is shared between the saloon and estate as I'm struggling to find anyone with this in stock for the TE variant - though a couple of listings for the saloon are out there at not too silly prices. I know the tailpipe is different, but I *think* the mid section is the same.

While the valve clearance adjustment hasn't made a huge difference to the noise levels it has definitely improved running - my guess is because of that one really loose inlet valve which will definitely have been hindering breathing on cylinder number four.

I did discover one really nice little design feature while doing this job. Last time round I was working with a socket on the crankshaft pulley to rotate the engine. This is really pig awkward to do from a position where you can actually see the valve gear. Getting at the power steering pump pulley is a no-go because it's less than an inch from the fan shroud so hard to get a socket onto. The alternator though is a perfect candidate. It did demonstrate though that the belt needed tensioning (they're pretty well shot due to oil contamination anyway - new ones are en route) as it was just slipping rather than turning the engine initially, even with the plugs out.

Now this is a job which I'm used to being simple enough but fiddly and annoying. Generally because of having to find a way to hold the right tension on everything while tightening things back up. Some cars make your life far easier by having a threaded rod or leadscrew setup on the adjuster, the old Saab 900 was a good example. The Jag uses a similar setup but loses points because the threads are massively more fine than they need to be and two of the adjusters are sufficiently well buried that you have to work blind.

Finding this arrangement on the Merc was a wonderful surprise.

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Loosen off the two mounting bolts a bit, a locknut on the back of the adjuster, then just turn it in the right direction...then nip the locknut back up, tighten the mounting bolts back up, done. Two minutes tops. It's a really simple design but has clearly been really well thought out. Someone really put thought into this as to how it would be used in the real world after the car left the showroom. Oh, all the nuts and bolts involved are the same size too.


After spending a bit of time filing the edges smoother and drilling the supports out of the mounting hole it was time to test fit the 3D printed bonnet release handle. It's definitely a good deal more discreet than the cable tie sticking out of the grill.

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It pops out when the bonnet release in the car is pulled and is definitely a lot easier to get hold of than the aforementioned cable tie I had on here before.

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It certainly feels sturdy enough, it's not a massively strong spring that you're pulling against after all. Now I've proven that it fits and seems to work just fine I'll splash some paint on it to make it a bit less conspicuous (I should have just not been lazy and swapped over to black filament before printing it...takes all of five minutes to do!).

Mission success there it feels like...not only have I 3D printed a part, it even fits and works!
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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 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 9:07 pm

Ran out of time yesterday so here's a couple of posts combined.

It turned out to be a really good call getting these fitted last week.

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Got caught up driving in some of the heaviest rain I've seen in a long while so I was glad not to be on worn out, perished old tyres. As I've come to expect from Uniroyal tyres, they shrugged it off as if were nothing. I've used these tyres as my default now since at *least* 2006, and continue to be very impressed.

I definitely need to out super blades onto my list as I'm pretty convinced the driver's side at least isn't the right size. There isn't so much a triangle of doom where they meet as a crescent you could hold classic car shows in.

Sounds like 19"/20" passenger/driver is the correct size, will try to remember to grab some next time I'm picking up parts.

One feature I do want to implement at some point is an override for the cooling fan thermoswitch. It doesn't cut the fan in until quite a bit later than I would like. I have confirmed that the fan clutch works properly at least - so I just need to provide a switched ground to that wire. Should be a dead easy little relay installation job. Figuring out an indicator on the dash for when it's on shouldn't be too hard - there are helpfully two unused green lights in the strip below the instrument cluster - you can just about see the green mask as a slightly darker strip in the photo below.

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The original thermostatic control will be left alone, but I just don't like how warm it gets before the fan cuts in, so I'd like to have a manual override available to me.

We're well over 1000 miles travelled now since I got the car, and I remembered to grab this photo of numbers lining up yesterday.

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Didn't have much time today so only went out with one real task in mind, replacing the manky old fan belt. New one was fitted in a few minutes.

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The old one was pretty well wrecked from oil contamination.

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While working on this I spotted that I may be missing a bolt on the power steering pump.

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I haven't changed that belt yet because the new one is the wrong size. I'm not 100% certain there should be a bolt there...the pump is absolutely solidly mounted so it may just be a case of it having a few mounting options for different applications.

Really need to get back in to the front of the engine with the degreaser as I've obviously missed a fair amount there.
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 Aug 15, 2021 10:57 pm

Nothing directly car related really done today. Instead it was the turn of the garage...the catalyst for finally getting around to this was knocking this pile of things over for about the seven thousandth time. Being the most easily accessible corner this is just where things tended to accumulate which are used regularly.

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Which pretty much matched the state of the whole garage. This is from a few months ago, but you get a pretty good idea of the general level of disorganised clutter.

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The huge pile about the size of a VW Beetle at the far end I can't do much about at the moment as a lot of the volume of that pile is cushions for the garden furniture and I've nowhere else to put that just now. However that's not really in the way of the area I actually use. I've wanted to attack the clutter in here for years, but the cascade of cans when I knocked one over today and it sent the whole lot cascading onto the floor was one time too many. Time for a proper rage tidy.

Cue me making a godawful mess.

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After a few hours I had to call it a day because I ran out of wall plugs so I couldn't put up any more shelving. Definitely feels like I've made some progress.

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This is what the corner in which I kept knocking everything over in looks like now.

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Everything has been moved out of the way so the avalanche of cans and jars should be a thing of the past.

The additional shelving (all scavenged from cheap bookcases we've since got rid of, dating back to our student days) has made quite a difference.

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Digging around I've ascertained that I *really* don't need to buy any more oil for a while. Especially 10W40!

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Once I do have the opportunity to clear the rear of the garage my plan is to set up three or four ranks of free standing shelves across the garage widthways. Will increase the available actual storage capacity by several times and mean I can actually get at things. There's stuff in there I haven't seen since we moved in!

Remembering some comments from last time there was a photo of my garage on another forum. There was a suggestion that I'd nicked the bus stop flag and public transport information sign. No on either. The bus stop flag was a sample we had made to see how the new design (which I'd been heavily involved in the creation of) and was never actually installed. I was quite proud of how clean the graphical design looked and had put a lot of work into it, so kept the sample. The sign was originally in the reception of our old office building before the timetable rack in there was removed, it then spent several years above my desk until we moved buildings...we couldn't take it to the new office and it would have been skipped when the building was demolished, so I rescued it (with permission).

Not sure if the result really reflects how many hours of work this took...but I'm glad I've made a start on it as this is something I've been trying to find the activation energy to make a start on for years.

I can at least walk past the car now without having to flatten myself against the wall (I need to get through here regularly as we have a chest freezer at the back of the garage).

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The compressed air tank there is going to be wall mounted up above the garage door frame to keep it out of the way. Having started this will give me a bit of a kick into getting that piped in... especially as I'm sick of not having air on tap any more.

The far side is still a squeeze, but at least having got all of the cans and previously precariously stacked tools onto higher shelves now it doesn't involve me knocking everything over when I want to get through to the oil stash.

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Still a load of work to do but it really feels like progress.
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 » Wed Aug 18, 2021 11:56 pm

Progress has continued on the garage. Yesterday I got the shelf up for the compressed air receiver tank which finally moved that from the floor sticking out about 6" into the walkway.

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Those brackets are screwed directly into the wall stud so strength should be fine, the tank isn't actually all that heavy (the compressor is remote), and I did go back and add another two just for peace of mind later on.

I had originally hoped to have the tank mounted up above the garage door framework nearer to the door, that plan though was scuppered by there not being quite enough height available. I had also been half planning to have the compressor up in the same area...right up to the point where I picked it up for the first time in a couple of years. Nope... it's staying firmly on the floor because it is downright obscenely heavy.


Today that corner continued to be developed with me starting to rebuild some old Dexion shelving a friend gave me a while back. Yes I fouled up the top shelf currently in there on the one corner.

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The bottom one was the important one today though as the height of that was dictated by needing enough room underneath for the compressor to live, so I can now install the rest of the shelves at usefully spaced heights.

The eagle eyed among you will probably see that there is pipework running up the wall there too, that's the charge line to the air tank.

I was a bit worried that my tiny and ancient compressor wouldn't be up to the job, but it made it up to the set point and cut out in a little under five minutes from stone flat. About a minute seems to be the going rate to top itself back up when doing things like inflating tyres. Which in all honesty is what 99% of its work will be anyway. Especially with the two nearest garages to me now charging £2 to use the machine there.

That yellow hose will be getting routed along near the ceiling to next to the door. I'll probably mount a regulator and water trap on a quick connect fitting there. The regulator actually on the tank is awful and I'm basically just leaving it there because I'm too lazy to remove it! I really do want a hose reel (so I can reach all the cars without having to coil/unwrap 25 metres of hose every time), but we'll see how long it takes me to justify the cost. Or I could try to build one...I do have a couple of dead wheels floating around.


The power supply to the compressor is wired through the original pressure switch so it cycles just the same as the original one from that tank.

Once I've finished messing with the shelving I'll probably put some mesh around the bottom to make sure nothing can get tangled up in the belt. Given there's no integrated cooling fan on the compressor I will probably arrange a electrically operated one to help keep it from overheating issues. It didn't seem to be doing bad though after filling the tank from empty twice in a row though. Once I have a fan in there I might enclose one side to help cut down on noise a little bit. Though it's really not bad...plus volume level aside having something chugging away like this is far less grating than the old direct drive one was, which sounded like a cross between a jackhammer and a chainsaw and really did require ear protection if you were in the garage with it running for more than a few minutes.

I *do* need to find some rubber feet for it though...I can feel it going *dug dug dug dug* through my feet despite the floor being concrete - so I'm sure everyone else in the house can as well. I think some broken Invacar engine mounts I still have in a box for some reason will be perfect for that job.

I'll get a few better photos when I've actually finished and tidied things up a little. It still looks really shonky just now.
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 » Sat Aug 21, 2021 12:16 am

Two updates in one as I ran out of time yesterday.

I needed to get TPA out of the garage to allow me to put up a ladder to route the compressed air line along the side of the garage. So this was an excuse to use this particular car to run the errands I needed to.

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Which meant that this happened.

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That's us ticked over the 2,000 mile mark. Second one rolled around a lot quicker than the first did!

Having air on tap in the garage meant it was time to replace the horrible cheap tyre inflator/pressure gauge with something a bit more fit for purpose.

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The 220psi scale on the old one meant that you really couldn't aim for anything better than "roughly to about +/- 5psi" on a good day - not great when I'm aiming for 17psi for the front tyre on the Invacar. New one actually has a proper scale...and has shown how awful the old one was! It was overreading by about 5psi.

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In a hobbyist garage setting that should last basically forever.

I also made a start on routing the supply hose around towards where I'm planning on the hookup point.

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The compressor now has "feet" made from a few old engine mounts. This has reduced the noise level in the garage when it's running by a good 50% I reckon.

Sadly took a couple of steps backwards today. I knew I had a tiny leak from one union on the charge line and had planned to just tidy up a couple of minor things like that. However the system apparently had other plans.

You may recall I mentioned that my intention was to remove the regulator that's on the tank outlet as it's sufficiently inaccurate enough as to be useless plus with the new tank location I need a ladder to get to it. Apparently it heard me.

While rummaging through the toolbox I heard something bounce off the ceiling, land on the roof of the Invacar then roll off and disappear behind it. Now I'm quite used to hearing things falling over now and then in the garage, but something randomly bouncing off the ceiling was a new one.

Turns out that it was the pressure adjustment knob from the regulator.

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The threaded section in the body has completely stripped out, this allowing the spring pressure to launch the knob off the top of the regulator.

Cue a run round to Toolstation to grab a replacement. Which of course is far larger than the original one so I couldn't just screw it in the same place as the original to stay there until I had finalised the pipework layout etc. So for the time being it's just been hung off a random screw in the wall in roughly the same neighborhood of the target location.

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The supply line will be larger than that one long term...it's just what I had laying around with the right fittings on...I'll need to pick up a few more bits and pieces to finish this off.

I've now got a 30 foot hose reel on order so this is probably roughly where the regulator will live, most likely just moved a foot or two up so it's a bit further from elbow bashing height. The reel will probably be fitted up above shoulder height so I can reach around to the far side of the Invacar when checking tyres without falling over it. Also to keep it just generally as out of the way as I can as it will otherwise eat into the space there otherwise.
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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