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Zelandeth last won the day on December 4 2022

Zelandeth had the most liked content!


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    Milton Keynes
  • Interests
    Vintage technology restoration (if it's got valves, I'm interested), retro computing (Amiga and Acorn in particular), photography (film based generally), the Furry Fandom, vintage commercials...and whatever else I've inevitably forgotten.


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  1. Front latch. Rear latch. Well the bolt spacing is the same...has to be worth a look. Pulled things apart. Front on the right, rear on the left. The core components are the same - though some different bits tacked on for handling locking. However I reckoned we could make it work. Fitting the rear latch in the front (after bending the little lever for the child locks out the way) was pretty easy. The only thing I couldn't easily hook up was the rod from the key barrel. I can live with that, central locking still works from either the passenger door or button on the centre console. In the rear the only thing I couldn't hook up was the lock plunger - again I can live with that as it will still lock/unlock with the central locking. Ideal? No. However far better than having a driver's door you need to slam with 90% of your strength to close and have to bodyslam to open. So let's put everything back together. ...and take them apart again. The rear window refused to wind up. It went down absolutely no bother, but just made a "sproing" noise straight out of a Loony Tunes cartoon the moment I tried to wind it back up. Cue half an hour of fighting with that. Eventually got it done. Then after another 45 minutes or so got the front door back together. Photograph doesn't quite show how much I was running out of light by that point. That's more accurate! I'm pretty knackered now, and long term do still need to find a replacement lock - at least before the end of July when the MOT tester will want to actually open the offside rear door...but for now it means the car is actually usable, so that is a big step forward. Thanks for the suggestion!
  2. Not a bad shout... I'll have a closer look at the rear one shortly. I've no idea what other models they may be used on - the latch mechanism annoyingly has absolutely zero by way of makers marks or part numbers on it. Only thing which has is the central locking actuator - and that's the part number specifically for the actuator which is just bolted onto the latch. Figuring out what the part number actually is would probably be half the battle.
  3. Well I've just spent another couple of hours faffing about with the sticky door latch on the 25. On the plus side I've figured out why it's being a pain. On the negative side the basic summary is that it's stuffed and I need a new one. The striker plate itself has a plastic coating on, this has started to peel off and has bunched itself up in the middle of the locking mechanism. Which is assembled in a way that really isn't friendly to the idea of being dismantled. Even if I could get it to bits to fish out the bits of plastic I don't think it will work properly without it as part of the "ramp" used to release the catch is moulded into the plastic rather than the metal. I know this as it was one of the loose bits I was able to fish out of it - opening the door now requires a carefully aimed shoulder bash from inside the car. It's still a git to get to latch too. Yeah, that's going to be a nice and easy part to find in 2023 I'm sure!
  4. Well... Yeah, I hadn't *planned* on taking this door apart again today. The driver's window deciding not to wind up again however had other ideas. I think there's a dirty spot on the motor commutator as it occasionally "skips" while winding, and it managed to stop on exactly that spot. Once I'd stripped the door down far enough to figure out exactly where the motor was and highly technically thump it, it started working again. Because French. Also "exactly the sort of issue to expect on a car that's not been used regularly in forever."
  5. Xantias as just fscking expensive for insurance I found, both the Activa and the low spec TD were more than double pretty much anything else I'd had on fleet around the same time. Of course I wanted to be dismantling this door again in the fading light when I should be cooking dinner. Window decided to not wind back up.
  6. Sounds like a pretty much perfect vehicle for the job. My old VW Caddy is pretty economical in real world terms - but even that's costing around £0.18/mile these days just bumbling around locally. If that's what you're spending most of the miles doing an EV makes a lot of sense. I reckon that probably somewhere in the next five years we will likely be looking at an EV as the main daily driver. Prices and other priorities just prohibit it making its way to the top of the to do list yet.
  7. Why does nobody write how to guides any more? I don't want to watch a fscking video!
  8. Precisely the point. I didn't have another one of these and was working outside. So I didn't want to either lose it or damage it. I've also stabbed myself in the finger doing this before which is an experience I don't wish to repeat. With a set of actually working set of circlip pliers picked up from Toolstation - which were cheaper than the ones from Halfords - we got the clip off and the wheel transferred over. Doesn't that look better? Notable from the driver's seat is that I can actually see the switches to the right of the steering wheel now. These were always totally obscured behind the windscreen wiper stalk before. Getting the wheel actually straight was a right faff. It's still clocked very slightly off centre, but I can tweak that when it's convincingly above freezing. How badly bent was the actual steering shaft? Well about this badly. That was recorded in landscape...thanks YouTube. I don't want to know how much force that took...well actually that's a complete lie. The engineer in me is really curious to know how much force that took. Here's the state of the keyway the steering lock locates in. Having the steering wheel actually rotate around its own centre and only moving in one plane rather than two really does make driving the car rather more pleasant. Have to admit, I was kind of dreading this job. These cars seem to have a bit of a reputation for being difficult to work on, but this job at least really couldn't have been easier. The only holdups were caused by either errors in sequencing on my part or not having tools on hand. I reckon you could easily do this in an hour if you were organised. The puller built into the steering wheel boss in particular was a really nice thing to find.
  9. Think the highest I've seen on any car I've owned was my Cappuccino which I think showed 18 former keepers when I got it. Think the Jag was on 10, though for that sort of car that didn't really surprise me. Not everyone is going to feel a 9mpg V12 bankruptcy device is a long term fleet member...
  10. No photo as I was driving, but was following a metallic red Avantime along the A34 towards Oxford for a while today. Still cracking looking cars. If it weren't for the spectacular tendencies for electronic borkage associated with Renaults of that era I'd really consider one.
  11. A substantial looking box arrived this afternoon. Which somewhat usually in my experience for a box from a car dismantler turned out to contain a couple of items that were exceptionally well packed. After nearly an entire recycling bag of unwrapping later the contents were revealed. The steering rack was a bit of a shot in the dark as they were listed specifically as LHD - though visually I couldn't see any obvious differences - and at €35 I was willing to take a gamble. The tail light on the car had a pretty substantial crack in the top so obviously needed replacement. What I hadn't realised was quite how knackered it was! Yeah, that had seen better days. New one looks far better. There is a tiny chip out of the one corner but it's not massively obvious once on the car and is definitely a huge step forward compared to what was on there. It wasn't in the photo the seller listed though, so I'll give them the opportunity to replace it if they wish. I'm not particularly worried either way. This is far better! Next task... steering column. The one this car came with had been damaged by a previous (as far as I can tell eventually unsuccessful) attempt to steal the car. The take away message from that seems to be that Renault steering locks are formidable adversaries if you don't have the keys. I meant to take more photos, but the process is basically: [] Remove steering column top and bottom cowl (two screws - one in my case as the offside one wouldn't go in because the ignition barrel was the best part of an inch too far forward). [] Remove lower dash cover. Two screws in the top edge then it unclips downwards. [] Unplug and remove the indicator and wiper stalks, two screws on the underside of each. [] Remove the ignition barrel. There's a position between the accessory and ignition positions marked by an arrow at which the retaining pins can be pushed in allowing it to just be drawn out of the housing. If you're smart (unlike me) you realise that the wiring connector is actually a few inches down the wire and don't waste ten minutes trying to work out how to separate it from the barrel for no reason. It's these two beefy looking connectors down here. Renault even have helpfully staggered them in such a way that they don't try to bind up on each other during feeding through the housing. With the ignition barrel out precisely how much of a go at taking it out someone had had before. What a mess. [] The sensible next step (I missed this initially) would be to undo and remove the pinch bolt holding the upper and lower column together. Note the body of the bolt also acts as a safety device locking the two together as well as the tension - so it does need to be totally removed. I forgot about this step so wound up having to do it while the whole lot was hanging off the car. Oops. This also shows you a glimpse of the violence this column has been subject to. Note the bracket that the rear column mounting bolts (well...they're studs that nuts attach to actually). This should be LEVEL and FLAT. Yeah. Though given that they had managed to bend the actual STEERING SHAFT ITSELF that doesn't really surprise me. This is relatively thin sheet metal, and likely is designed to deform in the case of an impact. [] Once that pinch bolt is out, then the four 13mm nuts holding the column on can be removed. At which point the whole assembly should just drop out. There was one little plastic clip guiding a cable over the top of the column, but that was the only other thing I found that needed to come off. [] I actually chose to leave the steering wheel attached to the column as it gave me something to get hold of to manhandle the assembly by. It's quite awkward to hold onto otherwise. Though it would normally be important to crack the steering wheel to shaft join before removing it from the car as it can be a bit of a struggle. Except here it isn't! Renault have been really considerate here - in the block that secures it, they have provided two threaded holes into which you screw the mounting bolts to act as a puller. I like that. What I didn't like was that I then utterly failed to get that bloody circlip off. A set of circlip pliers is something I lacked, and I couldn't get by this time. I decided to just come back to that later - putting the wheel back on could be left to literally the very last step without causing any problems. So, column off, let's take a look at things. New next to old. Aside from some slightly more flexible looking mounting holes (the donor is off an earlier car), they look to be identical. This is good, as the replacement was specifically listed as for LHD cars (I've not seen a RHD one listed since I got the car). While the sheet metal I'd seen bent in the car wasn't massively substantial (and I was able to more or less bend it back into shape with my much abused Saab toolkit pliers), the column itself is quite beefy. Nevertheless, it's taken a heck of a beating. Looking up the column from the base makes the scale of the damage really obvious. The top of that column should be level. Yeah, there's only one place for this, and that's the scrap bin. The metalwork under the dash has been more or less bent back into shape. It's never going to be perfect, but it's a lot better than it was. To to more with that would require at least the instrument panel to come out. Reassembly is as the Haynes manual loves to say, reverse of disassembly. Only thing I'll say though is to reattach the lower column pinch bolt before anything else. As you need to get things lined up right, laterally and obviously you can't really move things once the column is bolted in. With everything bolted/screwed back together this was the result. First thing that's obvious is that the ignition barrel is actually in the cutout in the cowl, whereas it used to be displaced about an inch forward and down. It is still clocked very slightly anticlockwise, but only a tiny bit. "Before" photo for reference. Now it should have been a simple matter to swap the wheel over, I just needed to grab a set of circlip pliers. As I was passing by Halfords while running other errands in the afternoon I thought I'd grab some there. This turned out to be a mistake...the only ones they had were cheap and nasty in the extreme. I wasn't exactly filled with confidence by the packaging! Yes, that is a Halfords tag stapled to a nameless OEM card package...and the tool in it broke the first time I tried to use it. So my steering wheel is still in the boot, which is frustrating! Hopefully get this finished off tomorrow afternoon though. Will be nice to have a steering wheel which actually rotates around the centre and doesn't press itself into my left knee at one point in each rotation. I'm also no longer slightly worried that the wheel is about to snap off in my hands due to the trauma the steering shaft has been subject to.
  12. Apparently there is a new depth to how shit something can be and Halfords still put their name to. Produced for them even? Yeah right, it's the cheapest piece of garbage they could find. Literally useless. Which makes me exceptionally grumpy as it means I'm still 5 minutes away from being able to finish the same job I was five minutes away from being able to finish two hours ago because I need to remove one bloody circlip. Plus I'll need to go out again tomorrow to buy another set of circlip pliers! Won't be from Halfords this time. So much for saving time because I was passing by there.
  13. No worries, they will be here in the morning anyway. It's just annoying that running out of something daft like that used to mean an hour's interruption to progress while I ran out and grabbed some whereas now I literally have no option but to wait for delivery. It irks me. Especially as I had already taken the subject machine apart and set everything up for soldering in the necessary parts...then foiled by two bloody diodes!
  14. Once again lamenting the loss of Maplin. In the middle of a project and discovered I need two bog standard 1N4007 diodes. Do I have any in stock? Do I hell. Do I have anything else in stock that will do? No. So now I have to pause, put everything back together and move on to something else while I wait for them to be sodding delivered...from Amazon because I refuse to pay six times the price of the goods I need from RS/Farnell for the shipping. If you're an electronics hobbiest and need random components like that at short notice unless you're lucky enough to have an RS trade account and live in a city with a trade counter you're screwed these days as there really is no alternative. Of course last week I took several things which had been sitting in the corner for weeks to the E-waste bin at the tip...most of which probably contained appropriate diodes that I could have cannibalised them for. Oh well...
  15. That's two hours of my life I won't get back - but survey completed.
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