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juular last won the day on November 2 2022

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Rank: Citroen Ami

Rank: Citroen Ami (6/12)



  1. A SWB Trafic is about the same size in terms of footprint as most modern cars. They are incredibly easy to live with in this regard. They'll even fit under most height barriers and into multistorey car pars without too much clenching required.
  2. I had a close call driving in Edinburgh last week. Was following a Tesla onto an empty roundabout when it did a full on emergency stop in the middle. There was nothing in the way and the driver looked as confused as everyone else was. It looked like he had to switch off and restart (reboot?) it. At least I was in the 240 so not only could I stop in plenty of time, if I hadn't I'd simply have squashed the Tesla and kept going.
  3. After around three grand a year got added to household costs, I for one am overjoyed at saving £20 a year. *Tugs forelock*
  4. I'm going to do the unconscionable and say good things about Halfords. I know they're overpriced, badly stocked and often frustrating. But I'm glad they exist. If I need a specific size of hose clamp, or a fuse holder, MIG wire, or random electrical bit on a Sunday afternoon when everything else is shut, they often provide the difference between having the car working on Monday morning, or it sitting on the drive for another week. Euro Car Parts really have lowered the bar for the customer experience to the point Halfords feels friendly. Brain dead perhaps, but still friendly. I don't mind overpaying for something when something helpful is provided in return. In this case it's the ability to drive 10 minutes down the road and lift the right thing off the shelf to keep me going. I really wouldn't like to see them go under.
  5. You've just reminded me I did plan on doing this actually, and I even have the bits for it. I will try this out at the weekend. In the meantime I have been running it on diesel with the max fuel screw turned in a bit. I like to address problems head on you see. It's hilarious, highly recommended.
  6. Coolant pipe swapped for a nice new stainless thing. And off it goes. Problems to be overcome : It wants the choke out a bit even when warm, otherwise it stalls. It likes to stall at junctions and won't restart without lots of cranking. I'm thinking the carb needs a good service. Apart from that it drives well apparently. No more scary steering and brakes!
  7. The problem with the 240's wipers is that they're so slow they don't really help much in moderate rain, and in a really heavy downpour you may as well pull over and stop. The technology probably hasn't changed much from the late 60s and the 140 series, so if you buy another original wiper motor it doesn't really improve much. That's if you can find one, you can see the dollar signs in the eyes of a breaker when you ask if they've still got any left. RHD ones aren't available new any more and even when they were they cost in the region of £300. I've known of 240s being scrapped for a failed motor and not being able to pass an MOT without it. I've dismantled the original motor several times and it just never worked right. Firstly the bearing died and I replaced it. Then the board holding the brushes in place snapped and I had to epoxy it back together. Finally it seems the motor shaft has now worn down to the point that it oscillates inside the bushings at either end of the case. The result is that the motor grinds and rattles, this being transmitted through the linkages and to the wiper arms, to the point where the blades would just bounce across the screen. On top of that you could hear the motor labouring away even through the road noise at 70mph. I was absolutely convinced I'd see a puff of smoke from under the passenger footwell and that would be me fucked. So, I bought a motor from a 2001 Volvo S40 for £15, thinking that I could adapt it, and if I couldn't, well it's only £15. The main differences are: - The electrical connector is different. - The spindle shaft is too short to reach all the way down through the bulkhead to the wiper linkages. - The mounting bolt holes are on the opposite side of the motor. The electrical part is easy, it's just a case of making a small wiring harness to connect the right pins to the 240 plug. With a quick test, it worked first time on low and high speeds, intermittent wipe, and would park itself when you turned the ignition on and the wipers weren't parked. To extend the spindle shaft I attached a nut connector, with one side marked using a centre punch. Drilled a 3mm hole. Screwed the nut connector onto the motor, then continued the 3mm hole into the spindle. Tapped the hole to M4. Then an M4 machine screw was added, with some threadlocker for good measure. This was then cut off, filed flat and epoxied over the top. This should lock it in place and stop it ever unwinding. I guess it would have been much quicker to tack it in place with a welder, but I was worried about damaging the nylon gear inside the motor. To solve the mounting problem I made an adapter plate, starting by taking an offcut of 2mm steel and marking out the holes from the original motor. The orange line marks the centreline of the original motor which is quite important. The S40 motor is then lined up and holes drilled for that. The holes in place. And the cleaned up adapter plate. On the S40 motor. This was then bolted to the car. Amazingly it all lined up, and the extended spindle was exactly the right length. The last job is to attach the wiper crank in the right orientation , with the motor in the park position. Looking up inside the passenger footwell, it's easy enough to attach the crank to the wiper linkages and bolt it in place. Thankfully once aligned, it's possible to lift the complete unit out of the car without taking the crank off, given a bit of wiggling. On the original motor the crank is keyed to the right orientation so that it doesn't spin on the shaft. I'm sure there's plenty of ways to replicate this, but I decided to be lazy and just do a couple of tack welds to hold it on. It's far enough away from the nylon gear at this point. With that done I tidied up the wiring by soldering it directly to the motor pins. I also 'potted' the top connector using some hot glue to stop water ingress and any potential shorts. Finished unit. And finally, on the car. The wiring was finished off with some heatshrink to make it look a bit less shit. And the moment of truth. I didn't intend for this to be an upgrade, I just wanted reliable wipers. But what a difference it makes to have wipers from a modern car. It just takes away all that grim uncertainty when you're ploughing through downpours at night. They are silent, and at least twice as quick as the old unit. The high speed mode is probably about 300% faster than the old one. I should really have done a before and after video to show how bad they were, but I really had lost the rag with it by that point. Edit: I found a video I took while the car was in bits, showing how loud and slow they were from inside. No windscreen, but you can see the linkages plod along.
  8. juular

    Stars in Shite

    Maybe pushing the remit a bit given he was neither a star or a celebrity, but Colin Powell was fond of a broken Ovlov or two. As did Jerry Seinfeld seen here in his P1800 David Letterman had a 960 with a V8. Kurt Cobain loved his 240.
  9. Half arsed fleet update. Peugeot 205 The vegan 205 is happily smoking on as my commuting car. I didn't think I'd still have it by now, but damn it's just such a Good Thing in every possible way. And sometimes as an impromptu recovery vehicle. I'm still finding it less than keen to start when running on a high veg blend, although it runs well when warm. I've been doing various bits of tinkering to try and narrow this down. I started with the fuel lines. I mean .. Is that.. garden hose? Needless to say the whole lot was ripped out. I uprated the main feed line to 10mm bore and replaced the return line with the standard 8mm bore. Highly interesting photo of said fuel lines. I also took the fuel lifter thing out to clean the strainer. That was a quick job as it doesn't have a strainer. Next job was to make a modification to the fuel filter housing heat exchanger. Here I took the thermostat valve out of the side, cut most of it off, and blocked off the bypass hole. This should ensure that the fuel is heated constantly. A slightly filed down penny, sealed in place, is the ideal size to block the hole. Lastly, I fitted an electric lift pump, wired into a switched live so that it runs when you turn the key. The idea here is that it should help the veg along putting less strain on the system and so less likely to pull air in anywhere. I also treated it to an oil change since I have no idea when it was last done. The results are in and... no change. At least not to the cold start grumpiness. It does certainly run happier now when warm, and any hesitation disappears quicker thanks to the fuel being heated for longer. I feel there's more to be done here. I eliminated the fuel filter from the equation completely by fitting a generic canister filter in its place, which had no effect on the way it started. I'm still going on the assumption that air is getting into the lines when run on thick fuel, but to prove that theory I've got some clear fuel line to fit onto the pump so I can actually see what's going on. The 240 Not huge amounts to say here, it passed its MOT without any intervention from me, although it did get an advisory for underseal / corrosion which is an arse covering by the tester that really wound me up. There's not a single bit of corrosion on the whole underside. It enjoyed the snow. In fact a RWD Volvo is right at home in snow, better than anyone would expect. It got used whenever the gritters were out in force as frankly it's the only car I trust not to rust to hell. The most difficult thing about this car is convincing myself to drive it when I have a 205 runs on chip fat, but it still remains near the top of the list whenever I just want to go a drive. It hasn't really flung any shit my way. The temperature needle was a little bit low in the very cold weather. That'll be the thermostat then. There's a good few hours left in that. With that replaced I got ALL THE TEMPERATURES. Second minor niggle was trying to track down a slight bump/wobble at idle. It's not bad, certainly nowhere near being a misfire, but I'm a perfectionist arsehole and if something can be fixed I like to at least give it a shot. Despite replacing the injector seals last year, some of them seem a bit shagged. I stuck a new set on and didn't really notice any change. I thought the ignition was worth a look over as well. Since I put a set of £4 spark plugs in last year I thought I'd splash out and pay the full £12 for an official set. Again, no real change. I changed the HT leads last year, but the Bosch kit came with the wrong king lead. As a result I was running a lead which was [undefined] years old and probably could do with replacing. Top: old lead. Bottom: new incompatible lead. I set about hacking up some old leads in order to steal the crimp connectors and swap them over. Mint bro. Again, frustratingly, no change. All in though, it's a minor inconvenience and I've not got the inclination to start flinging tonnes of cash at it It did a fairly uneventful 800 mile trip down to Cannock via the Peak and Lake Districts at the new year, so as you can infer I'm just being a picky, ungrateful bastard. It's a phenomenal car and driving it is an absolute pleasure. The next minor project on it is to upgrade the wipers, as I find them horrendously slow even though they were all like that sir. Original wiper motors are basically impossible to find and in the region of £HFM. Doing some in-depth eBay scouring and wiring diagram perusal, I've found that the wiper motor from an S40 is one of the closest available. It uses the same control system and should be a bit less antiquated. It won't fit out of the box, but I'll make it fit. ENDS.
  10. I bought a 205 from @Lacquer Peelas a stop gap and can't bring myself to sell it on. Really addictive car, still cheap, ticks lots of your boxes. My Mrs is restoring a Triumph Toledo which is also a cheap entry into actual classic territory.
  11. Lots of work happened on this over the past month or so, despite the weather being mostly shite. Passenger side chassis leg was finished off, seam sealed and painted. Finishing the driver's side chassis leg was a bit more involved as the subframe bolt had welded itself into the tube with rust. This needed a lot of chopping, banging, oil pouring down the tube then it eventually broke free after being asked to support the weight of the car. Then the chassis rail could get finished off. Then the subframe raised and suspension bits and new brake lines put back on. All ball joints, front hardlines, rack and subframe bushes and track rod ends were replaced with new ones. New heater hoses were made up to replaced the old leaky fittings. Some underbonnet tinkering. The new coolant lines and a new pancake filter were put on. Holes were marked out and drilled for a passenger side wing mirror. The windscreen chrome was replaced as it was rotten. While she was doing that I set up the tracking and stuck the front wheels on. Coolant was refilled, at which point we noticed that a core plug had decided to shit itself. I'm not sure why really, as the coolant was drained before the cold weather came in. That got knocked back in, only for us to notice another one which had rusted through completely. We had to wait for a full set of those to arrive and a few other bits and bobs before we could get it started. Eventually, with a bit of cranking we managed to get it running again, and out for a short road test. Unfortunately we didn't make it far, as the Toledo decided to start ejecting more coolant in the form of a whistling jet like a kettle. The coolant return line into the back of the water pump is pretty rusty and has decided enough is enough. We did try a bodge job with some hose, but that only highlighted that it was leaking in about 29384 other places, so a replacement pipe was ordered. Hopefully by next weekend this will actually be drivable!
  12. I don't have to worry about what I get introduced to people as, as I don't get introduced to people. I am an antisocial grumpy bastard and don't really have a social life. It's brilliant, I recommend it.
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