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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 20/04 - Merc MOT Prep Underway


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#1381 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 06:11 AM

Sorry. If I'd engaged my brain, I would have been able to tell you that an impact driver won't fit. Not sure the driveshafts will allow a huge amount of lift, but I'm just wondering if the gearbox can be removed without the engine. With no input spline, it is at least easy to separate engine and transmission, and get them back together again.

1972 Invacar Model 70, 1984 Reliant Fox

1986 Citroen 2CV6, 1994 Mazda 323F*cked

1990 Rover 820 1999 Daewoo Matiz

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#1382 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 02:34 PM

Sorry. If I'd engaged my brain, I would have been able to tell you that an impact driver won't fit. Not sure the driveshafts will allow a huge amount of lift, but I'm just wondering if the gearbox can be removed without the engine. With no input spline, it is at least easy to separate engine and transmission, and get them back together again.


To be honest if I'd given it five seconds thought I would have figured it out.

Disconnecting the driveshafts isn't a major problem really if needed.

Getting the gearbox out on its own sounds like a truly massive faff given how unwieldy it is, though I would really need to take a proper look to confirm that. I'd need to properly support the front of the engine too as the front engine mounts are actually on the gearbox...which means I would be having to work around a jack or axle stand to just make things even more awkward.

Probably not going to be much progress on this for the next few weeks as it's full on panic stations trying to get the van MOT worthy in time for our first trip of the year.

Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1383 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 01:34 AM

Okay...on the third attempt, apparently I have had a new exhaust for the van actually dispatched. It's the single box system rather than the one with the separate expansion box.

Will be slightly more fiddly to fit because of the routing, but was what's actually available, should be lighter, and will shift the tailpipe further away from the vent in the rear of the body, so hopefully will reduce the issue of fumes getting into the cabin.

Tasks for tomorrow:

[] Swap nearside headlight. Two minute job.

[] Remove remains of the old exhaust. The downpipe and tailpipe are different to those on the new system so annoyingly they all need to come off now.

[] While I'm crawling around under there I may as well fix the fuel leak. It's already dropped diesel in my mouth once.

[] Change brake pads.

Doubt I'll get all that done tomorrow, but if I'm lucky enough to, next up will be seeing if I can revive the cab marker lights.

If not, am I right in thinking I could remove them for the MOT? They're not obligatory lights as far as I know, but like front fogs come under the heading of "if it's fitted it must work" I think.

The tail lights will be next... having reinstated the high level ones of course means I need to wire the damned things up now.

Will be getting it booked in for an MOT ASAP (even if the exhaust hasn't turned up yet) so if anything needs sorting I haven't yet found I can hopefully wave pound notes under their nose to sort it before our trip away. No use getting the test done at the last second as I'd be stuffed if anything needed done then.

Welding will probably be game over for my schedule as it is.

Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1384 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted Yesterday, 01:26 AM

So the task for this weekend is as far as possible to bash our way through the list of stuff the van needs for an MOT.
 
Let's start out with some low hanging fruit.  The nearside headlight reflector is sufficiently tarnished to result in there being zip by way of a beam image.  Usefully a brand new headlight was found in a box in the van, so I fitted that.
 
Nice five minute job.
 
IMG_20190420_171247.jpg
 
The old one doesn't actually look too bad surprisingly, but it was utterly failing to do anything by way of actually directing light in a useful direction.
 
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Beam height will need adjusting obviously but that can wait until it's pointing the other direction so I can use the garage door, which I think still has marks on from when I adjusted the headlights on the Saab about four years ago.
 
The next thing on the MOT list was to eliminate a minor fuel leak.  There was a very slow drip from the return line to the tank with the engine running, emanating from somewhere up between the fuel tank and vacuum reservoir.  This was quickly traced to this pipe joiner.
 
IMG_20190420_173131.jpg
 
It was utterly disinterested in gripping the fuel pipe firmly no matter what I did.  So it was removed, binned and a short length of 5/16" fuel hose was slipped over the join between the two pipes instead.  While I did get diesel in my hair this was another quick job, fuel tight and tested after less than ten minutes.
 
There is a new exhaust on the way.  Unfortunately this is a slightly different type to the one the van was previously fitted with (I was struggling to find anyone who actually had that in stock), so the downpipe and tailpipe of the old system would need to come off.  My original plan had been to retain those until I got around to having a bespoke stainless system made for it.
 
Thanks to decent quality fasteners it only took fifteen minutes to get the tailpipe off.  It's seeing stuff like this which really highlights how much longer the van is than most cars.
 
IMG_20190420_174614.jpg
 
This whole stretch will be removed once the bespoke system is made - given the weight of this that can only be a good thing.  I'm not removing the downpipe and expansion box (which is only loosely bolted on just now) until the new system arrives as that will essentially immobilise the van.  I have doused the manifold to downpipe bolts in Plusgas though.
 
There were a number of things in the van which didn't work when I got it.  Among those were the marker lights above the cab.  I want to resolve that.  This is where I went off on a merry old dance.
 
After approximately an hour the cab had ended up looking like this.
 
IMG_20190420_185905.jpg
 
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This was all going on because I was peering into the bowels of the wiring loom trying to figure out where on earth the feed to those lights was meant to come from.
 
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I had found two fuses in the fuse box which were labelled as marker light (well, they were actually labelled in German but not hard to translate).  However tracing the conductors from there proved exceedingly difficult, and I couldn't figure out how they got into the space above the cab.
 
After wasting not an insignificant amount of time dismantling the cab, I eventually tracked down a total of five wires heading up into the windscreen pillars.  All of these were accounted for as part of the interior light circuit.  Cue much more head scratching.
 
Eventually after several times longer than it should have, the penny dropped.  It was highly unlikely that AutoTrail were going to have messed with the cab wiring...they stuck some carpet and fancy velour in there, but they didn't faff with the wiring.
 
The only area where the standard lighting had been messed with was at the back, where the tail lights were moved from the cross member where they would have been when it was just a bare chassis with a cab to the rear bumper...oh, and the upper level tail lights.  Wait a minute... didn't I find a couple of wires I couldn't account for ages ago, but just stuffed away because they appeared inert.  Yeah... here's two of them...
 
IMG_20190420_194618.jpg
 
Surely these couldn't be anything to do with the marker lights way up front... surely?  Well let's find out.  One was a solid ground connection...the other wasn't...so let's stick 12V down it and see what happens.
 
IMG_20190420_194530.jpg
 
Seriously?!?  Awards for the most ridiculously unnecessarily circuitous route for wiring to feed a couple of lights?
 
Annoyingly the feed which I suspect to be for the nearside one is now safely terminated and buried behind the bathroom wall...the wall I just finished building and finished tidily.  Argh!  I am not pulling that all apart again if I can avoid it - especially on the clock like this.  Currently thinking the best plan of action is to cut a couple of holes in the trim in the locker over the cab and just stick the lights in parallel... they're only 10W so should be just fine that way.
 
That's as far as we got today.  Hopefully will get those back in a working state tomorrow and then move on to the next things on the list.  Getting the new brake pads in is probably looking like a favourite for the next job.
 
Will definitely need to get the rust in the bulkhead seen to sooner than later won't I.
 
IMG_20190420_182657.jpg
 
Hopefully this won't be an issue at the MOT as it should be well clear of any prescribed areas.  For now Kurust and Dinitrol will be the order of the day to keep the weather out.

  • Saabnut, RayMK, egg and 4 others like this

Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.


#1385 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted Today, 02:56 AM

So if I remember rightly we had just figured out where the wiring for the offside front marker light emerged into somewhere vaguely accessible. This had pretty much confirmed to me that the mystery wire that I'd stuffed into a corner above the bathroom ceiling was actually for a light at the opposite end of the van...

This left me with a bit of a quandary. Namely that getting access to that wire - which I couldn't even remember if I had trimmed back as far as I could - meant having to tear apart at least a fair chunk of the upper rear wall in the bathroom, the wall I had just spent a not inconsiderable amount of time building.

I did pull apart a tiny bit in one corner to see if I could find the wire by stuffing my hand into the void and grasping blindly. Not a chance. I decided quite quickly to abandon that idea as there was a far easier solution to my mind. Having the lights individually fed from each tail light was a little unnecessary to my mind. Just sticking them in parallel on a single feed seems fine to me. We're walking a pair of 10W festoon lamps (which I will probably replace long term with LEDs - warm white ones before you all jump down my throat) rather than any high power stuff.

This still left me with some work to do, as being a coach built van, all of the wiring and such was routed long before the interior plywood lining was put in place. Initially I wondered if it might be possible to get the upper front trim panel in the over cab locker off. After spending half an hour in there (and nearly dying of heat exhaustion) I ascertained that AutoTrail weren't messing around. The panels are both stapled to the frame *and* glued in place. It ain't going anywhere.

I then decided to take a somewhat more direct (if barbaric) approach as I was done with standing on my head in the locker.

I went round outside, pulled the cover off the lights, found where the cable fed into the van, stuck the screwdriver into that hole then gave it a smack with the palm of my hand, more than enough to punch a hole in the plywood trim inside the van which I could then use as a marker for where I needed to dig out a bit of a hole to gain access.
 

IMG_20190421_151815.jpg

Likewise on the offside - the mess in the corner there is from my earlier attempts to see if I could get the panel off in its entirety.
 

IMG_20190421_151812.jpg

It was a quick matter then to disconnect the original live feed to the nearside light and terminate it, and to wire a link between the two to feed them both from the original offside light. I'll obviously make a couple of little covers to go over the holes and will clip the wire in place.
 

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I had taken the lenses off both of them last night to give them a good clean as they were full of pond scum. The seals having disintegrated years ago.
 

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There is quite a bit of crazing on them, but they've cleaned up pretty well.
 

IMG_20190421_133555.jpg

That was only half the challenge...I now had the lights ready to accept power and a wire dangling out of the rear kitchen cupboard...however there was a kitchen and a floor between it and the relevant bit of the vehicle loom for me to tie it in to.

I decided in the end not to go pulling the walls apart again. I drilled a small hole in the base of the cupboard (it has a lip along the front so it's not visible) having pulled the window blind runner and window trim off, tucked the wire into the void under the trim, drilled another small hole in the worktop (again hidden by the window trim), and routed the wire down to the space below down the cabinets. Then I had it follow the sink waste pipe through the floor.
 

IMG_20190421_201714.jpg

No it ain't pretty. This is a job I can definitely see me coming back to at some point in the future (I'll need to open the walls up really when I reinstate the high level tail lights) but it will at least get the lights working for now.

Once I got it that far I just pulled the offside tail light cluster out and put a piggy back spade terminal on this side and hooked it up to the tail light lamp holder. Glad to see they seem to be fully weatherproof as there was zero signs of water ingress inside the cluster.

The moment of truth of course was to see what would happen when I turned on the headlights.

 

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Hard to see in such bright sunlight, so here's one from a few hours later.

 

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Much better! Seeing that pleases me far more than it probably should do.

On the subject of lighting (as it seemed as good a time to do a full check on it with the MOT coming up and all that) I found that the nearside front indicator was out. New lamp time. This should be a ten second job, if it wasn't for the stupid poorly fitted alarm wiring getting in the way yet again. This thing had been annoying me for months. The entire installation was a mess. This nonsense floating around in the fusebox for a start.
 

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The only fusing to the whole thing being in the *ground* connection about six inches from the end of the cable didn't exactly instill confidence.
 

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Twenty minutes later the engine bay looked a good deal less cluttered.
 

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This is the pile of rubbish that was removed.
 

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The interior could then be put back together. Having tidied up the wiring behind the fuse box meant it was far easier to get it back in place this time. Also hopefully has put an end to getting wiring stuck in the seal when putting the engine cover back in.
 

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Before I buttoned that up I drowned the whole rusty area under the heater intake with Kurust.
 

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Also put some tape on this area on the engine side to keep any further water out until I have the opportunity to get a new panel welded in.

Annoyingly removal of the ultrasonic transducer assembly from the top of the dashboard left three holes.
 

IMG_20190421_200137.jpg

...So I just stuck that back in place. Not that I think a circa 1990 car alarm is likely to be much of a deterrent to would be thieves, it can't hurt. Plus it's a useful thing to attach cameras etc to. It can stay there until I either find something else to take its place or find a dash moulding free of screw holes.
 

IMG_20190421_200454.jpg

The LED in the dash is staying put for now similarly to avoid leaving a hole. I will be putting an indicator in there to give me a visual indication in the cab of if the power has been left on in the back of the van so I can't forget to switch stuff off before leaving the van or driving off.

The nearside indicator repeater lens is in dire need of a good clean as like the lenses of the marker lights it's been full of pond scum and rust.
 

IMG_20190421_210930.jpg

Brake pads next. First challenge there will be seeing if I can get the wheel trims off in one piece - if not it will be all the more excuse to bin the horrible things!


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Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.





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