Today I mostly .....

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

Post by Tom. » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:46 pm

Glimpse of a customers car that's almost complete after 12-months of restoration, new doors, floor, boot, bonnet, tank, list goes on and on. Will post some proper pics of it once finished................... Might even be for sale. :)

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:04 am

That's a BEAUTY! If it comes up for sale, will this be on the forum?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:03 pm

Andrew353w wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:04 am
will this be on the forum?
If he decides to sell, it will be up on the forum. Owner is a forum member and currently owns several cars ranging from a Renault-5 to a classic Merc, all in pristine condition and renovated my himself. Steering and idler boxes have also been rebuilt using original RHD parts, bearings, worm-mesh etc.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:15 pm

That looks like a bloody beauty Tom. Whoever buys it will be getting a car probably better than it left the factory by the looks of it. I look forward to seeing photos of the finished article.

-- -- --

Finally had an opportunity to give the Jag a proper wash today.

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Which gave me the chance to give the bodywork a bit of a better appraisal.

The rear arches definitely need some attention sooner rather than later. Probably not a massive job to sort now, but give it a few years and it will be far harder.

Not quite sure what's going on with the number plate lights. Looks like the lenses have sort of disintegrated (and half painted over during the respray).

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There are a couple of wide washers on the original screws which are sort of wedging the lens half in place. Methinks replacing these will be on the cards. Though they're £25 apiece so might not be particularly high on the list just now.

Spotted something which I'll need to attend to at some point shortly. Looks like the seals under the feed hoses to the brake master cylinder need changed.

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I'll make sure it's not the hose weeping first though.

While the car was actually clean for ten seconds I decided to grab a couple of better photos.

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Figured that the next thing it would be sensible to do would be to throw some wax on to protect the paint until I have time to fully polish it. This it turned out was a mistake. I didn't spot the words "new and improved formula" on the bottle of aqua wax until after I'd sprayed half the car with it. Being new and apparently improved of course translates to "no longer behaves as I expect it to." As such I then spent nearly two hours trying to buff it off, without seeming to get anywhere.

Tomorrow I'll set about polishing and waxing it properly if the weather plays ball.

Planning to get into the distributor in the week when I should have a couple of afternoons with a decent chunk of time without interruption. Don't want to do that tomorrow as there's too much chance of me getting dragged off for other tasks and it's a job I'd rather get done in one shot rather than having to down tools and come back having forgotten half of what I'm doing.

Last little job I had a look at before tidying up was to see if the foggy reversing light lenses would clean up. It's a small detail but their being milky, dull and yellowed is quite obvious when looking at the rear of the car.

Before:

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After:

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That scrubbed up nicely, could probably do with a second pass (and the polish residue cleaning out of the lettering), but looks far better. I'll probably do all of the tail light lenses as even though they're not as bad as the reversing light ones they're all quite dull.

Speaking of tail lights, I do wonder how much of the US spec running lights is present in the cluster...I believe over there the little retro reflector in the side facing part of the indicator would have had a little 5W lamp behind it.

Sorry, I will stop spamming the thread with photos of this car eventually...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:08 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:15 pm

Sorry, I will stop spamming the thread with photos of this car eventually...
Can never have too many pics of a Jaguar XJS :)
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:23 pm

Yesterday I ended the day with a car covered in smeary, hazy wax marks that refused to buff off. This was highly annoying.

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That bottle has now been binned. I'm not playing that game again.

Step one for today, after a bit of experimentation, was to polish the car end to end to get rid of that residue.

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Much better. Though having just made the car shiny again, it was immediately made un-shiny again by throwing lots of (probably a bit much to be honest, but I struggled to get this to go on thinly) wax at it.

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This behaved much more as expected and didn't cause me any headaches.

I did give the tail light lenses a skim over with the cutting paste to bring them back to life a bit as they were quite matt and hazy, they came up pretty decent. They're still a bit tired but look way better than they did.

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This is the reflector which in the US would have a small lamp behind it serving as one of the position lights I believe. There's an obvious space for a 5W capless lamp but sadly no lamp holder.

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Thinking I may retrofit this as these days I'm all for anything which makes the car more visible. I don't believe there's a roadworthiness issue with a steady amber light being shown to the side of the vehicle when the headlights are lit.

At the end of the day once all the wax was buffed off and the bumpers etc given a going over with the rubber treatment this is what we were left with. Need to do that again as they absorbed the rubber treatment like a sponge - guessing it's a while since they saw attention. Looking better though.

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Ignore the puddle under the back of the car... that's from the bottle of antifreeze I knocked over in the boot earlier that started leaking unknown to me until I noticed that puddle forming. Oops.

Starting to look like a Jag deserves to.

Last task for the day before I ran out of daylight was to investigate the utterly horrendous reproduction from the stereo. Attempting to turn the bass control up anywhere above zero resulted in it sounding like a gazoo being played through a guitar distortion pedal...

I knew that something looked off about the speaker installation even before I picked up any tools.

The moment I went to remove the covers it became abundantly clear why things were sounding so laughably poor.

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Firstly, the speaker isn't fastened to anything aside from the flimsy fibreboard door card. Secondly, it's fastened to the wrong side of it, so the cutout (which I am assuming is sized for the stock speakers...which were probably better than this rubbish) is leaving the door card actively pressed up against the periphery of the speaker cone. Thirdly, the door card is flapping around in the breeze because whoever installed this broke half the trim clips and never replaced the adhesive tape around the edge. Fourthly, they never put a weather shield over the speaker, so it was full of water and consequently is knackered.

While the covers said Kenwood, what came out is Sony badged...but it's clearly a bargain basement piece of Chinesium with a Sony badge on.

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The fact that it weighs less than half what the little 100mm drivers I installed in the van last year says a lot I think...only place these are headed is the electronic recycling bin.

It's a shame they've marked the door cards so badly (and I think cut it away a bit on closer inspection) as otherwise I'd look to find a replacement for the original speaker covers and replacement drivers in the original size. As it is, the damage is already done so no point worrying about it. I did wonder about putting these 5x7s in as they've been looking for a home for a few years now (bought for something else where I discovered they were too deep for).

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However that will involve hacking away more of the door card which I'd really rather avoid. Plus I'd need to buy a cover for them anyway as I've no idea whatsoever where the ones that came with these speakers have gone.

So I'll pick up something new. Based on what's available locally and at a sensible price, will probably be a pair of Pioneer TS-R1350S units I think as they should fit in the existing cutout (properly fitted this time!). I'll probably get a cheap set of generic plain black mesh covers for them to make it blend in and look a bit less obviously aftermarket. I'll then take a better look at the setup in the back and decide what to do there. It looks like identical speakers have been fitted, and I'm expecting them to have been just as poorly fitted. They're a bit less mission critical though as once the front ones are sorted at least the stereo will be listenable.

I'll obviously take the opportunity to resecure the door cards properly as well and reinstate the weatherproofing shield that I'm sure should be in there. May as well cavity wax the inside of the doors while I'm in there.

Had a shot at getting the washer bottle out for cleaning just before closing up for the evening, however the fasteners are utterly disinterested in moving, so they have been doused in Plusgas and I'll try again tomorrow. At least it's one of the few things in the engine bay that are easy to get to!

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So this evening I am finally roughly where I had hoped to be this time yesterday before the nonsense with that horrible Aqua Wax stuff. On the plus side, at least the car has now had at least a quick polish. The bonnet I reckon in particular would benefit from a proper going over with the machine polisher at some point, but the rest of the car hasn't come up badly at all.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:11 pm

Might be of interest to some......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwSQTYspyG0 :)
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:15 pm

Tom. wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:11 pm
Might be of interest to some......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwSQTYspyG0 :)
That's quite a time capsule that video.

I always forget that the Samara is actually that old! I keep thinking it's a 90s car...never mind mid 80s!

-- -- --

Turns out that I really do need a new distributor cap, the breather line attachment point on it has snapped off at some point and has been messily glued (unsuccessfully) back in place. Given that the distributor venting system pulls air through the cap this is sub optimal as it essentially means I now have a source (albeit a small one) of unfiltered air being drawn into the engine. New cap has been ordered. Seems daft not to do the rotor arm at the same time...though in true Jag fashion it's more expensive than the cap (£25 for the rotor arm, £20 for the cap)! Once these are in my hands I'll get started on striping the distributor down and servicing it.

I wanted to at least try something with the oil pressure gauge today before starting pulling the cluster out to investigate that (there's definitely something amiss as all the gauges read slightly low - aside from the oil pressure one which does the opposite). I can see that the gauge does react to changes in pressure, as it varies when running between being physically pegged against the top of the gauge and sitting on the 100psi marker.

So I wanted to see if I could null out the offset and still get a usable reading by adding an additional resistor in series with the sender. As stated elsewhere, I have little interest in the actual numbers reported by it, I'm far more interested in learning what behaviour is normal for my car and then being able to spot any deviation from that behaviour.

One variable resistor to clip in series with the sender thrown together.

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With this clipped in it was a simple matter to "dial in" zero on the gauge with the ignition on but the engine not running.

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Sadly it appears that the response curve of this sender is incorrect (or there is something amiss with the gauge itself as we suspect) as this was the highest deflection of the needle I saw at any point with the engine running.

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I know these engines don't have great hot oil pressure, but I'd hope for more than that if stone cold.

Time to get the cluster out for a look I think. I need to dismantle it to some extent anyway to free up and lubricate the trip counter reset mechanism which currently jams every time you press the button.

On the list of other small jobs I wanted to get done today was "kill the stupid warmup timer" which disables vacuum advance for 15 minutes from a cold or cold-ish start. This is easy enough to do simply by disconnecting the thermoswitch, which resides to the rear of the right hand coolant manifold. Just about visible in the shadows, centre frame below.

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In typical XJS fashion this dead simple job was made slightly more annoying by half the engine being in the way. However after a bit of swearing it was disconnected.

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The wires were then cable-tied out of the way. This should hopefully (at least once the vacuum advance system is working fully) save me a fair chunk of fuel around town or during shorter journeys. At some point in the future the hardware involved in this system may well be removed. The general consensus among marque experts is that it's really unnecessary...and I figure anything which removes clutter from that engine bay can only be a good thing.

While doing that though it was noted that quite a few vacuum lines are past their past.

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Will get a bunch of hose ordered in and assume they are all in a similar state...never know this might make the cruise control spring back to life! Will take a while to do though, there are a LOT of vacuum lines!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:24 pm

The perpetual light drizzle this afternoon put paid to any plans of doing anything outside. Nothing to stop me doing a bit of interior work though.

It's no secret that the warning lights on the dash in the XJS are rather sub par. Most of them quite simply aren't bright enough. The ones for the indicators are probably the worst. Especially as they're half shaded by the internal baffles so only half the light actually gets properly lit.

I have a bag of a couple of hundred flat top warm white LEDs and this seems like a good job for them. I'm not using coloured ones as I just don't think that will look right.

Conveniently I also have a full set of dashboard lamp holders of the correct type that I scavenged from a scrap car years ago, so it was a simple matter to solder an LED and resistor in to one to create a test unit to try out.

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Here's what the lights on the dash for the indicators look like as standard.

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That is how weedy it actually looks in person. On a sunny day they are basically invisible.

The offside indicator tell tale was the first to get an LED retrofit in the form of my experimental prototype. So how does it compare to the original incandescent version?

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The improvement is quite obvious I think. The use of a warm white rather than coloured LED means the colour still looks like a filtered incandescent lamp though which was always a requirement for me. With the exception of the ignition light (as it's actually part of the charging system) I'll probably set about replacing the rest of them. I'm undecided as to whether to also do the lamps which illuminate the panel, I probably will though in the interests of reducing temperatures inside the cluster and removing load from the somewhat marginal flexible PCB. Using warm white LEDs like this should retain the original colour essentially unchanged so it shouldn't be obvious that anything has changed unless you know to look for it.

While I had this apart it also gave me the chance to sort the trim around the instrument cluster which was clipped together totally wrong and was really annoying me.

Before:

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Note how the trim is all bunched up in the middle.

After:

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This is how it's meant to look. You can see there's now a gap between the top edge of the warning lights and the trim. It was just sitting on there before.

I'll replace the foam around the base which has dissolved at a later date. There's a similarly knackered strip internally at the top which is meant to stop light leaking out above the caution & warning panel which has also dissolved. I've got some black foam weatherstripping which will do just fine as a replacement.

The new speakers for in the front arrived early this evening.

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Fitting those will probably happen tomorrow. Will look a lot less conspicuous than the bright red things which were in there before, and I trust Pioneer kit to sound decent too.

The headlamp wiper on the offside was missing 90% of the wiping edge of its blade so obviously wasn't really doing much. These short wipers are ridiculously expensive for what they are, so instead I hacked up the old windscreen wipers I took off the windscreen a week ago and used that to rebuild it.

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Was stuffed as far as clearing the windscreen was concerned, will do absolutely fine for a headlamp wiper for a while though. You can see how little the old one was doing in the photo above.

A few parts have arrived from Motorserv as well.

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Still astonished the brake discs & pads only came to £111, I was bracing for several times that figure.

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There are four metres of fuel line in there too which will be used to replace crusty vacuum lines as they're found. It will be interesting to see if that alone revives the cruise control. That fuel filter will replace that horrible red anodised thing in the engine bay currently, and will look far less out of place.

All little things, but they all add up eventually.

The only other thing of note today was that I decided to put the Invacar on the battery charger for the afternoon. Figure with it having not been run properly in a few months it would probably benefit from it.

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This has also finally been dragged off the van and has been stuffed into the garage.

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It hasn't cleaned up badly really. I do need to try ringing up the manufacturer to see if they can provide me with any documentation with regards to how to drive the thing...though there are only two buttons (and one of those is "print") so it shouldn't be too difficult you'd think!

The drizzle did give me the opportunity to grab a couple of the obligatory water beading photos before we went out today, so it would be rude not to post those wouldn't it...

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:27 pm

Out running some errands earlier and we had a good result in that this started working again.

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That was a nice easy fix! Have to assume that one is another thing which was faulty primarily due to it not having been used regularly in years. Investigation of why it wasn't working was somewhere around number nine on the to do list, so nice that it's sprung back to life on its own. The system will be getting serviced in due course, but servicing is easier than restoring a system that's simply "dead."

The first of the new speakers has been installed.

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The new speakers being slightly smaller has worked to my advantage in a couple of ways. For one, they look more in proportion I think. Secondly it means that the speaker surrounds no longer catch on the sill kick plate which the ones that came with the car did.

I had to glue some little wooden blocks to the inside of the door card to screw the speaker too as it was fractionally too small to get all four screws attached due to the size of the existing hole. Took all of five minutes to sort though and wasn't something I was worried about as the grills are more than big enough to hide the slightly messy edges.

While I was looking at audio I had a closer peer at the head unit in the dark with a torch to try to confirm (as I've been unable to find a decent photo of this unit) that there is evidence of the buttons being illuminated.

Using a bright light source shone onto them reveals clear portions where the text is, so there definitely should be lighting in there as I expected.

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The lamps were probably killed off by the illumination line being incorrectly wired up to the permanent 12V feed for goodness only knows how long. I'll pull it apart at some point to restore functionality of the lighting.

Speaking of lighting curiousity got the better of me as lighting technology is an interest of mine, so I went digging to take a look at the light source for the fibre optics.

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It's the silver and black cylinder just right of centre. So pretty easy to get at (just three screws hold the panel above it on). Pulling one of the lines and playing around even with the not particularly bright light from the torch on my keyring shows a great potential for improvement of the lighting. The bottom of the temperature control here is being lit by my torch. Top is the normal light source.

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Camera has made it look way brighter than it is...but it's actually visible to the naked eye there...the lighting at the top of the dial wasn't visible above the ambient light to the naked eye. Will be nice to give that a bit of a boost as I think the visual effect looks really nice...it's just laughably dim.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:46 pm

Took the Xantia over to my usual, trusted garage today to get a more realistic picture of what she needs for the MOT.

First, the MOT fail list as presented by the original, supposedly Citroen specialist garage:

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Then the MOT fail sheet produced this morning:

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That seems rather more in keeping with what I had expected!

I'll get the exhaust sorted out then I'll send it back in to them to sort the suspension arm bushes. We did find some play in another couple of bushes which weren't anywhere near enough to be an actual MOT issue, but they're things I already have in stock and will get changed at the same time.

Hopefully she will be back on the road soon.

I know that the seats in the Xantia are really soft and squidgy compared to anything these days, so it is kind of ridiculous that they feel really firm compared to those in the Jag.

Speaking of the Jag, the mission to refinish the wood trim has now started.

After a bit of head scratching I managed to figure out how to get a couple of the bits of trim off.

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The piece that lives behind the hazard/rear window demister switch needs a little reconstructive surgery. The veneer has pretty much completely detached from the actual trim piece.

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The reason for this having happened became pretty apparent once the little trim panel was removed.

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I think someone in the past has been a little over enthusiastic when they were trying to get either of those switches out.

Annoyingly there is one bit missing so I'll need to have a think about what to do with this bit. Have a few ideas though. For now I've just given the metal backing a quick bit of satin black so it looks less unsightly in the meantime.

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Annoyingly the paint and varnish remover I have here seems to be utterly useless...after sitting for an hour it's not even slightly softened the existing varnish, even at the edges. So need to try to find something more effective tomorrow.

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Will lift the cabin so much once it's done though.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:22 pm

After quite a bit of experimentation I eventually came to the conclusion that the correct formula required to remove the old finish from the woodwork is a combination of carefully applied heat and patience. I'm sure if I could get hold of some proper old school Nitromors (the can we thought I'd found it turned out had dissolved the bottom out of the tin) or similar I'm sure it would be sorted in minutes...but the modern water based nonsense is a total waste of space when up against what I am pretty sure at this point is a polyeurythane clearcoat.

The starting point:

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After the old clear coat had been removed it was given a gentle rub down with 1200 grit sand paper just to remove any bits I had missed and to key the surface ready for the application of the new coating.

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Which is a little disheartening to be honest as it ends up looking awful when the first couple of coats are applied.

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However after a few coats it did start to look better, though spraying one coat when the ambient temperature was too cold resulted in a satin-like finish at close of play a couple of days ago.

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Today though it felt like we actually made decent progress towards it looking decent, reasonably warm but breezy weather was ideal to get several coats added to it which has resulted in a pretty decent finish.

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I think this one better demonstrates the degree of gloss we've managed to attain (even though the camera has helpfully focused on the wrong surface).

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Those pieces are sitting in the spare room just now safely tucked away while the clearcoat fully hardens. Given I now have a workflow which works reasonably well for this I'll look to get the remaining trim removed and put through a similar treatment shortly. While this isn't maybe a factory perfect finish I think it's fair to say that it will look a whole lot better in the car than the flaky mess that's currently in there.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Neil Chowney » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:03 pm

Ooooh! shiny!

Lovely job there Zel, you're gonna need shades to drive it at this rate, what with the super clear dials, new lights in the dash and the glass like finish on the wood.

Was all the laminate veneer still in place? it looked as though some of it was missing?
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:32 pm

Neil Chowney wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:03 pm
Was all the laminate veneer still in place? it looked as though some of it was missing?
I'd say it was 90% present. There were a few chunks missing around a few of the edges where it had blistered though. Annoyingly everything aside from the bits which had obviously blistered was absolutely properly attached to the surface though so it was an absolute battle to remove!

First two pieces of trim have now been reinstalled in the car. This gives us a nice "before and after" set of images I think.

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Definitely think this will be worth the effort once all the woodwork has had this treatment and is back in the car.

The offside air vent surround and the glove compartment lid have now been brought in and are waiting on their turn to be given a fresh clear coat.

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Stripping the old stuff off is fiddly and time consuming but not really difficult.

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I suspect I'll be finding bits of that stuff for years...

Tomorrow we should hopefully get this looking nice and shiny again.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:20 pm

The offside air vent surround and the glove box lid had their first couple of coats of lacquer earlier today.

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Will still need several more coats but it's getting there. I do love the colour and depth that this has taken on. It's impossible to see in a photo, but there is a really strong three dimensional effect when direct light hits the grain in the wood.

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Once this two are done it will just leave the door cappings to be tackled. Unfortunately getting those off involves pretty much entirely stripping down the door cards, so a bit more involved than the dash trims.

I noticed yesterday that there was a bit of a burning oil smell when parking up at home but didn't think too much of it. Today though I've found evidence that we do appear to have a leak...these spots weren't there a couple of days ago.

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Hmm...I did have a quick look around and couldn't see anything immediately obvious. No visible drop in any fluid levels, though it does hold enough of both engine and gearbox oil that it would take quite a bit to drop the level on the dipsticks.

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I'll have a better crawl around tomorrow and see if I can pinpoint a major source. Though there are quite a few minor leaks (both cam covers weep to name two), about time the oil was changed anyway... usually is done virtually the moment a new car hits my driveway. Probably get funny looks from my motor factor when looking for oil this thick!

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Crossing my fingers it's nothing difficult to sort. Oil cooler unions will be the first thing to be checked as they will have been disturbed I believe when the radiator was changed a couple of months ago.
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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