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About Zelandeth

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    Rank: Renault 16

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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. Running around all over hell today so nothing much to report...only thing I did was finally get around to mutilating a set of floor mats for the cab of the van. Suffice to say none of the generic ones ever fit because the footwells of the van are way different in shape to those in a car. Nearside one is relatively simple, just needs a little chunk removed for the space taken up by the engine cover. Offside one requires rather more hackery. Two reasons. Firstly is that the engine cover is not actually central in the cab - it's a good couple of inches nearer to the offside of the van. Secondly is that this van has a floor mounted throttle pedal with a huge heel rest, so you need to cut a slot out for it to sit in. The cab will be getting new carpet at some point (yes, in something more sensible than beige shag pile), so I really wanted some mats in there before that happened so as to keep things clean. Oh, and I had been repeatedly knocking this set of mats over in the garage for months and I wanted them out the way. Hopefully will get some actual garage time tomorrow so will have something more worthwhile to report on.
  2. Pretty sure it was your current engine given you first be oil pressure issues after your first hill climbing tests, and as I recall TWC was never driven on the road before the engine was swapped was she? They're basically just congealed oil. All oils will break down chemically over time (far more of an issue with older oils than the modern synthetic oils). Any moisture in there will also cause issues as it will cause emulsification of the oil. In addition to that there will be some carbon that winds up in the sump, which helps this stuff stick together too. All reasons you could change your oil regularly. I don't think the strainer would have been an issue in normal service. The problems we've seen here are due to a couple of decades of neglect...if the oil was changed every few months as per the service schedule I wouldn't expect any problems like this.
  3. Had another cross city trip today in the Invacar, nothing to report aside from befuddled looking pedestrians and other drivers. With 50 or so miles of actual driving done I decided that it was time for another change of the oil & oil filter. In addition I wanted to drop the oil pickup strainer as I was expecting it to be full of slime again. I wasn't disappointed. That's just nasty. It's not actually immediately obvious there, but there is a lot of gunk inside the strainer itself too. Looks far healthier now. Hopefully on the eighth attempt that image has actually been inserted where I told it to. Definitely goes to show that when an engine has been forgotten about for a couple of decades that a carb rebuild and a couple of oil changes just aren't enough, there can still be a load of crud floating around in the engine. I will probably pull this again in another fifty miles to check again - basically repeating until it stops accumulating slime between checks
  4. Basically because one of my friends back up north was someone whose approach to special cars was that they were pointless to own if people couldn't enjoy them, and he trusted my driving. I was stuck for wheels for a week while I was waiting for a part to arrive, and he always be a few things kicking around that were looking for a new home, I knew at that point that there was a Sierra and a Bluebird round the back of his place and was expecting one of those to be lent to me. I got home with my folks that afternoon to find a Ferrari in the driveway and an envelope on our doorstep containing the keys and a note simply saying "Have fun :)" Only cars of his that nobody was under any circumstances allowed to drive were the Ferrari Daytona and his orange X plate Escort 1.3 2-door estate. The first new car he ever bought, and possibly the most pampered mass market car ever to have existed. Anything else was fair game for me, which meant I had a shot of some pretty exotic stuff over the years as he always had something interesting, but tended to change the exotic motor in the fleet every few months.
  5. Glad to report that I know of one Leyland DAF 400 which is still earning its keep! The red one is long gone now, but the blue one is as far as I know still with us...and from what I've heard it would pretty much take an Act of God to take it out of the hands of the current owners as there are quite some stories and memories attached to it. "Upgrades" include but are not limited to an actual US locomotive horn hidden above the back axle. Apparently anyone within visual range will jump an average of two and a half feet straight up when the button that activates that is pressed. I've no idea what they've done to the engine either - I was following it to the convention a couple of years back and I was doing an indicated 80 (as far as my nerve will stretch on the motorway in these days of speed cameras every ten feet) and she was vanishing into the distance as if I was standing still.
  6. TPA has been pretty busy today. By the end of the day we'd covered 26 miles. Glad to report that despite a good mix of low speed residential and high speed dual carriageway work that the gremlin count has remained at zero. Here's a better picture of the freshly painted wheel in actual sunlight. The drive system still isn't exactly happy, sounds like the belt is flapping around at speed (probably because of the remaining imperfections in the pulley surfaces) but it's vastly better than it was. If time permits tomorrow I will pull the access cover to see how the belt is looking. It was obvious before I did the work on the pulleys that it was getting utterly shredded after less than ten miles...so this seems a decent opportunity to check it. Speaking about checking things, figured I would take a look at the plugs now I've had a couple of decent higher speed runs. Originally I was having issues with the offside one fouling up, but they look healthy enough to me now. Offside: Nearside: The plugs staying clean ties in with the oil consumption having essentially dropped to zero now a few miles on the road having been driven. Wouldn't have surprised me if there was a sticky piston ring or two prior to that. Actually really enjoyed the drive out today. She's surprisingly happy at 50mph, and the ride is far better than it really has any right to be in such a tiny lightweight car. Even if the way a three wheeler behaves over some types of road surface does take a bit of getting used to! It's refreshing to find how much of a liability she isn't on the main roads. One thing I hadn't clocked until today was how familiar the soundtrack from the drive is when you lift off the throttle...it totally sounds like the retarder on most late 90s era ZF (Ecomat?) gearboxes usually found in buses and coaches...figures my brain would have decided to make a bus connection... Quite nice to have got a test run done - especially given it was a pretty strenuous one - without anything going awry or falling off. Given I will be wanting to drive her over to Stoney Stratford in a couple of weeks for a show, it's nice to have made a good start.
  7. Irrespective of the monetary value, it's downright tragic that they've been left to for like that. I'm no massive Ferrari fan boy, but there is *something* about them, at least up until the 90s... Had the pleasure of driving a Testarossa for most of a week a few years back, and for all it was the model that the purists loved to have, I'd have been very happy to have it as part of my fleet. Only thing I remember actively disliking was that it was an absolute pig of a thing to clean.
  8. I think the whole situation is a bit confused by the fact that there's seemingly a lot of "it's a microcar...no it's not!" arguments going around. While these prices might seem somewhat eye watering to us lot, if you look at what prices some utter basket cases of "well known" microcars and parts swap hands for they're pocket change. DW and TWC's story has done a lot to raise the profile of these cars in recent months, and there's no doubt been a surge in interest and demand for parts as a result - I'm entirely guilty of jumping on that bandwagon myself, never having been aware of their existence until TWC was dragged out of that field. I'm pretty sure the number of listings for Invacar bits on eBay etc have jumped a heck of a lot since then. It will be interesting to see as time goes on if that level of public interest remains, or whether they will fade into the background again. How that goes will obviously have a big impact on the value (perceived or otherwise) of the various stashes of parts that are out there. The values for complete vehicles already seem to be all over the shop - very much being worth "what a buyer is willing to pay" rather than following any real rhyme or reason already. Not sure if this will remain to be the case or if we might get to a paint where a more concrete price guide might be something we can expect to see someone write up one day. No, I'm not volunteering. It's hard to believe that the interest wouldn't remain though, even though some microcar groups seem to deem them not to be "real" examples of the genre. They're really well designed compared to many microcars, are actually usable in the real world rather than a novelty you trailer to shows, and there seem to be surprisingly readily available spares out there...I can't see the cat being persuaded back into the bag. My original plan had been to restore KPL to as near stock as was feasible, possibly even hacking together something using a Robin/Kitten/Rialto front end as a basis for the nose - obviously when TPA became available though, that left me with a far more sensible route to a working car - though I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling somewhat guilty for separating the original drivetrain from the car...I really wanted a working car though, and this was the best route I could see to one.
  9. You're seeing there basically why I decided to transfer the drivetrain to TPA. Restoring KPL was eminently doable, bit was going to cost more than I could really justify. With a bit of patience though you can probably shave a fair chunk off the bottom line...and you seem to have more working space than I do and know the Reliant bits better than me. There was no headliner in KPL, but the sun visor panel was originally fabric covered. I've stripped this off on TP and painted the panel black, this both got rid of the rotten fabric and I think looks more in keeping with the look of the interior. Pretty sure I remember it being said that Rover used that fabric at some point, so if you're looking for a match that might be a worthwhile starting point.
  10. That's a pretty good figure for any car of that sort of age I'd say!
  11. This one is mains only. Not too worried about that though as if we're somewhere without mains we're not likely to be spending much time parked in front of the telly. If we really do want to have it on for a bit though we do have an inverter on board as well. Having this set in place now gives me a reason to actually install the inverter permanently rather than just having it floating around in one of the lockers.
  12. Thanks for sharing that, really interesting to see. Definitely looking to get a new set of pulleys for TPA with a view to refurbishing the ones currently in use. Thanks for being so complimentary of TPA too... Had to laugh when you hit the queue on the A422 on the way onto the A5 from Buckingham...that bit always gets choked up. Really appreciate you taking the time to edit it all together into one video that flows well...that must have taken nearly as long as the driving.
  13. Not exactly subtle is it...great fun potential if you've got a lot of space off the public road though...
  14. If you look at the central portion of the wheel hub there are three "lugs" which are a friction fit inside the circumference of the hub cap. There are no clips or anything involved, but the 10" ones at least are a very snug fit - prising these off usually results in the thing pinging off and bouncing off the garage wall when it eventually lets go. Hub cap has now been refitted to the wheel that was painted earlier. Don't think that colour/finish looks out of place at all. If time permits I'll get the other one done tomorrow, though it's looking like the garden will be eating up most of my free time this week at the moment.
  15. Been fighting with the garden all day today, so only a 30 minute dash into the garage today. Nice easy target on the to do list was start getting the Invacar wheels painted. Patchy red oxide primer wasn't exactly a good match to pale blue to my mind. Hammered metallic black should look period appropriate and will help make the hub caps look shiny. Hub cap will obviously be reinstated once the paint is fully dry. There are a couple of runs, but equally there are already some in the paint already on there and I'm not wasting time just now getting them blasted back to bare metal for repainting. That might be a detail job for a decade or so in the future. For now this will do. Annoyingly I do appear to have a slow puncture on that wheel, I need to top it off every week or two. Couldn't see anything obvious, so most likely is leaking around the bead somewhere...will get the leak detection spray out once the paint is fully dry and see if I can find it.
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