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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 10/08 - The Cavalier Has Landed...


Zelandeth

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Generally I've found most of the van bits on the camper to be very easy to service.  Though I appear to have found the exception that proves the rule.

Our mission today was to change the thermostat.  I'm pretty sure the one fitted has been stuck open as long as I've had the van.  Heater gets to furnace levels in the winter so it's not running cold, cold but the gauge never really moves more than 1/16" from the bottom other than on hills.

Passenger seat out, dog house off and we have - just about buried under the fuel system - visual contact with the head.

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The casting the top hose goes into though doesn't look even close to big enough to hold the thermostat - which is a moderately sizeable one.

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A bit of head scratching and standing on my head appears to have located it, rather oddly kit seems to be at the engine end of the *bottom* radiator hose.

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Odd setup...and not exactly easy to get to.  It's sandwiched between the exhaust manifold and offside engine mount, tucked behind the alternator which precludes any thoughts of access from the front.

Near as dammit the lowest point in the system too so definitely be a coolant drain as step one... inevitably I'm going to end up with several litres of coolant in the face doing this job though!

May end up being a case of "screw this, a garage can do it!" depending on how awkward access ends up really being when I try to get tools onto it.

Need to clean the whole area up too as the timing cover gasket appears to be leaking to no small amount again.

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Will probably blast this area down with degreaser then hit it with the pressure washer first though as I'd like to confirm if this is coming from the timing cover or oil filler neck extension (bolted to the timing chain cover as in the van application the normal filler is inaccessible) before I go blowing £30 on another gasket for the timing cover.

That combined with running several errands however has consumed my available energy reserves (and patience with being eaten alive by ants), so back hiding in the air conditioning for now.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 21/06 - The Case of the Hidden Thermostat...

Tiny job done this afternoon...getting rid of these sun-baked and flaking off stickers on the Caddy's front windows.

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The passenger side one was horribly wonky too which was bugging me.

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It was also peeling away and causing the window to bind up.

Got rid of these ones at the same time.

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I really hate stuff like this so surprised it took me this long.

Much better.

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Can't remember who it was that suggested to me using WD40 to get rid of sticky residue on things a while ago, but I'm really glad they made the suggestion.  The goop left behind by them just wiped straight off with it pretty much.  Normal glass cleaner then gets rid of any residue from the WD40 easy enough.

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Removing those stickers from the Caddy earlier in the week reminded me that this one on the van had been bugging me for the last three years.

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Not any more it isn't.

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The Caddy is being dropped off tomorrow morning to have the shoulder wear on the front tyres investigated.  Hopefully it just needs the tracking set by someone who actually knows what they're doing.  I figured though that it would be polite to hand it over in a condition where the interior isn't 50% dog hair by volume so gave it a quick clean.

Doesn't scrub up half bad for a 20 year old van.

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While I had the vacuum cleaner out I gave the van a similar de-fluffing treatment.

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Really need to get a wet vac in to clean that staining out of the carpet a bit - or more likely get some proper automotive carpet in and just re-lay it given that it's coming unthreaded in a bunch of places and disintegrates a little bit further every time I touch it.

Also cleaned the work surfaces and such and just tidied up in there a bit.  This is important as I really want to get into looking at the fuel pump from the Bedford CF out at the FoD and the work surface in there is probably where I'll do that.  Externally it looks very like the Stanadyne pump I took apart and resurrected a few years ago, so I'm hoping the internal construction is similar and that it will be pretty simple to get going again - in that case it was a couple of rollers that had gummed up and a pretty quick fix once I managed to actually get to them.

A little progress (well, movement anyway) to report on the Trevi too.  Well aside from charging the battery anyhow.  Despite a lot of head scratching over trying to find the right ignition system parts I've decided to make a stab in the dark.  The Saab 900 uses a near identical ignition system, and a cap and rotor for that are less than a tenner for Beru items.  So I've ordered a pair.  If they fit and work, excellent...if not they'll get stuffed into the box of useful stuff for the future.  It's absolutely not in any way impossible, or even unlikely I reckon that I won't end up with another classic 900 one day after all.

The only other solution really is going to be finding a complete used distributor with serviceable cap and rotor...but as these are consumables that's a sticking plaster.  We need to find a compatible (even if we need to do a bit of tweaking to make it work) off-the-shelf solution so this car can actually be used without worrying where we're going to find stupid simple stuff like this.

I want to get it back to Six Cylinder...being slightly selfish I also want to drive the thing with it running right too.  I cannot overstress how bloody nicely that car actually drives, for all it looks scruffy. 

From the driver's seat the only thing that really detracts is that the gear change is quite clunky - though that seemed to be a common thing for Fiat and their relatives in the 80s.  Sure a bit of grease in the right place and maybe a new bush or two would make a huge difference.  That is definitely below sorting the ignition gremlins, replacing the crusty radiator though.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 29/06 - Caddy off for TLC, Bit of Cleaning Done...

Caddy is now ready to be collected.  They had a good poke and prod around underneath and aside from a tiny bit of play I'd already identified in the universal joint on the steering column itself found nothing amiss or showing any noticeable play/wear.

The tracking however was a different matter.  It was showing 4mm of toe in, rather than 1mm of toe out that's required.  Yep, that would explain why it had always felt a bit fidgety on the road and would match the tyre wear.  So basically the place that adjusted it for me before fouled it up.  It was definitely improved when they did it, but clearly still wasn't right.  Be curious to see if it feels noticeably different when I pick it up later.

Edit: Collected!  Steering definitely self centres better now.  Hard to properly judge whether stability has improved given the trip home was entirely done during a torrential downpour with crap tyres.  I *think* it's a bit better though.  Feels less wayward under braking definitely.

Will definitely be getting a new set of tyres ordered shortly as I've got four now which are badly worn on the outer shoulders.

Been running around in the van today while the Caddy was in the garage...still waiting for a point where driving that old crate stops putting a big grin on my face.  It's slow, bloody noisy, has silly heavy steering and doesn't fit in a lot of car parks.  However it just feels right to me from the driver's seat.

I really do need to sort the thermostat though...

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That's where the gauge generally sits.  If the heater is on it'll sit about a needle's width lower still.

That's definitely going to be a job for the coming week I think.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 30/06 - Caddy Wheel Alignment Sorted (Properly This Time)...

Out in the van today noted that I had lost the nearside front speaker.

This was almost certainly going to be down to the spaghetti associated with the stereo getting caught when reinstalling the engine cover as despite a couple of strategically positioned cable ties it still managed to get utterly in the way.

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This was one of those classic jobs which took at least 475% longer than it looked like it had any right to.  However after a significant portion of my afternoon had vanished I eventually got to this.  So much for my "This will take half an hour to zip tie out the way."

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Calling it tidy would be an overstatement, and I now need to remember to unplug the head unit from the back before pulling it out the dash - but if that's the price of being able to get the engine cover in/out without ten minutes of faffing around with the wiring I'll call that a win.

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Terminal strip was removed and replaced with a bunch of Wago terminals.

I know some people don't like them but I've personally never had any problems.  I'd expect them to be more reliable here than a crusty old screw terminal block anyway.

I may be back in here one day to reroute the power feed (I'd ideally like it to be fed from the leisure battery/ground power system rather than the vehicle battery) and if I ever get around to that I'll probably call work on that system "done" and properly butt solder and heat shrink all the wiring splices.

Yes, there is one black wire joined to a red wire there (orange actually).  That's an illumination line, and is 6" of wire I couldn't bring myself to unfolding from where I was working to go and retrieve another reel from upstairs.  See the above comment...if I'm back in here it'll be replaced - it did get labelled "Dash illum +" before I buttoned things up at least.

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Aside from just tidying things up there was one pretty obvious issue I resolved as well.  That was that whoever originally installed the ISO harness never bothered to connect the ground wire to anything.  The head unit was grounding entirely via the antenna sheild and/or through the fixing cage itself (the dash moulding is actually metal under the vinyl finish).  This was attached to a ring terminal I fitted under one of the dash support bolts.  It's always fun seeing what you find when you start digging into electrical work!

Of course this was one of those jobs which looked like I'd decided to completely dismantle the entire vehicle while in progress.

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To be fair that is because I took the opportunity to sort a couple of other things while I was in there.  Most notably being that there was no connection to the illumination circuit on the head unit, which was waaaaaay too bloody bright when driving at night and lit the whole cab up.  While I was breaking into the dash lighting circuit I figured I may as well also actually connect up the lighting for the pointless compass that lives on the dash and also see if I could get the illumination for the cigarette lighter to work.

I got the compass illumination sorted simply enough.  

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Camera unsurprisingly makes it look way brighter, as digital cameras always seem to when dealing with LEDs, it is brighter than the heater controls but being a deep red won't bother me when driving.

Haven't been able to sort the lighting on the cigarette lighter though. Pretty sure it's just a blown bulb, but there's no way to get to the back of it to replace it.  I can just about touch the housing with the tips of my fingers if I pull the blower switch out - but the illumination bit is on the far side of it so that gains me absolutely nothing.  Reckon it's something I would need to literally pull the whole front dash moulding out to get to.  That will have to happen one day when I get the scuttle replaced...so it can be replaced with an LED then, until then it will just have to continue bugging my OCD after dark!

Is nice to have sorted that messy wiring out though - you could always see it down below the hazard switch before.  Nice to have it all tucked out of view.

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You wouldn't know from a glance I'd spent a fair chunk of an afternoon working on this.

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The cover did just slot straight back in though which makes a nice change.  I really do need to try to find a replacement for the nearside clip though as it's split and held together by a cable tie.  It holds just fine but means it's impossible to latch or release it without a screwdriver or similar levering device, which is sub optimal.

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That's what they should look like - I suspect the one got broken by someone trying to force it latched when the wiring I just sorted was trapped in the seal.

Judging from the part number on the back this is one of a relatively small number of bits Merc didn't either make in house or buy in stamped with their own part number.

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Sure if I do enough digging I'll be able to find a NOS one somewhere.

I have tried to buy a few from breakers over the last couple of years but apparently they're too low value parts to be worth replying to me about.  Well, save for the one guy who wanted £60 plus VAT and postage for one.  That seemed a little steep!  A whole engine cover sans the bloody carpet I'd happily pay that for, but no...I ain't paying that for a bloody clip.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 01/07 - Wiring Tidying...

Trevi update.  Saab bits arrived this morning.

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The cap is as far as I can tell absolutely identical to the one on there, so that's useful to know for future reference.

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I checked all dimensions, position of the rotational registration pegs etc, all matches up spot on.

Rotor arm has a slightly longer duration, but I don't see that causing issues.  

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Length wise it looks spot on.  Measurement we had for the "good" one was 25.28mm from the centre of the contact point to the tip, all of the other new ones had been significantly shorter.

This one is showing 25.41mm.

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I remember saying back then "I'd not be surprised if it was spot on 1" when new."

Oh look...

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Unfortunately it's not a match elsewhere!

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Though it does at least confirm for us that the supposedly correct rotors we've been finding are too short, having one from another car which uses the same cap in front of me that's the size I expected.

Not sure what to do now short of trying to buy one of every brand that cross references to the Bosch 1234 332 215 rotor arm in the hope that at least *one* company has it right.

 

Edit: MAY have found one...watch this space and cross as many fingers as you can!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 05/07 - Trevi Fun Continues...
14 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Not sure what to do now short of trying to buy one of every brand that cross references to the Bosch 1234 332 215 rotor arm in the hope that at least *one* company has it right.

apparently according to this it might be shared with the 924?

https://www.mhteile.com/en/924/9-electrical-equipment/9.1.00-engine-electrics/1552/bosch-distributor-rotor-all-924-1-234-332-215

dunno how accurate it is, but might be worth looking into, or maybe buying from the link above directly if it looks correct?

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6 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

apparently according to this it might be shared with the 924?

https://www.mhteile.com/en/924/9-electrical-equipment/9.1.00-engine-electrics/1552/bosch-distributor-rotor-all-924-1-234-332-215

dunno how accurate it is, but might be worth looking into, or maybe buying from the link above directly if it looks correct?

Wouldn't surprise me if they were used on the 924, era is right and they'll likely have used Bosch parts.

Issue we've had buying from Europe though is that we've had two sellers so far claiming to be selling Bosch parts (and having a photo of one in the listing) but having a third party one then turn up.  So I'm slightly hesitant to pull the trigger on that for a third time, especially factoring in postage costs and probably waiting another fortnight to a month for it to actually clear customs and get here.

The seller I've just found claims to have two NOS ones and they're just down the road in Luton, so hopefully they'll just agree to letting me collect them...

 

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That's an improvement I think.

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Ones that came off were saved as I'm sure someone can get some further use out of them.

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Gave me a good opportunity to check on the condition of the brake pads.

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Decent amount of life left there yet.  Though I may look to strip down and clean these up sooner than later as one of the pads does like to squeak periodically which is bloody annoying.

Rear shocks are a bit crusty though.

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I know that's just the shield rather than the actual working part, but nevertheless I may look at replacing these - I'd like to try some slightly less ridiculously firm ones anyway.  This is really set up for a payload in the back it'll never, ever see which renders the ride rather on the harsh side.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 05/07 - Trevi Fun Continues & New Tyres...

A package arrived this afternoon containing these.

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Oh oh...No box, just two rotor arms in plastic bags.  We've been here before.

Or have we?  Upon closer inspection, no they were in fact genuine Bosch parts. 

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In case people wondered if there really was that much difference between the correct and pattern parts - here's the difference.  The centre post contact point is lined up between these, the pattern parts are really that much shorter.

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So you're adding the best part of a full millimetre to the plug gap effectively by using that.

The old one has definitely done its time!

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Of course by the time I got a new one fitted to the car it was rush hour so I wasn't able to go for a proper test run.  I did bumble around the block a bunch of times though more than long enough to get the car properly warmed up.

Usually this is when the issues became most apparent, with an erratic miss at idle.

That *seems* a lot better.  It's not perfect, still the odd stumble here and there, but it's entirely passable.  Especially as I'm pretty certain that the carb needs setting up properly and/or at least being treated to a proper service kit.

The throttle response is definitely miles better.

I'll need to get out tomorrow afternoon so I can give the car a proper test run.  I'm absolutely NOT saying it's fixed now.  I've proclaimed the ignition issues sorted twice now, then about half an hour later ended up having to push the damned thing because it had cut out on me and refused to restart because the spark had disappeared again.

IF it behaves itself tomorrow when I take it out for a proper test run, it'll get a (careful) wash to get rid of the large amount of tree that is now adorning it and then be returned to its owner.

Along with a spare rotor arm so hopefully it will be a long time before this game has to be played again!

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In case you wondered how many rotor arms had been involved - there were no less than five incorrect but supposedly compatible ones picked up before we finally managed to find an actual NOS example of the right part.

Hopefully we can get a line drawn under this episode shortly.

Did 75 miles or so today in the Caddy.  New tyres have definitely made a big difference - the single biggest thing that's immediately obvious is road noise.  That has literally been halved.  Handling definitely feels more positive, especially noticeable is that there's more steering feel now.  Not night and day, but definitely an improvement.  Imagine the biggest difference though will be the first time I have it out in the wet as that seems to be the biggest shortcoming of the old tyres.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 06/07 - Trevi Progress...Hopefully!

What's the verdict then?

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Well, it's back in the drive having got there under it's own power for the second time in a row which is a start!

Had it out for about half an hour during which I basically drove back and forth between the same two roundabouts over and over and over again, being about as heavy footed as I dared given I know the radiator is very much past its prime.  No new issues to report, in fact having blown some of the cobwebs (literally in some areas!) out seems to have resulted in it running far smoother.

Still isn't really 100% happy under very light loads, though gets a lot better once fully up to temperature and is far better in that regard than it was.  Don't think there's any sense whatsoever in my trying to diagnose that minor gripe any further without us having had somebody who knows their stuff cast their eyes over the carb.  My gut feeling is still that the carb is jetted for a 1600 rather than 2000 engine, though that's a very uneducated guess.  Equally I know the top gasket is made out of a cereal box, and at least one of the solenoids has been manually wedged open because the coil is open circuit, so the thing could really do with at least having a proper service kit and some new solenoids thrown at it before a real judgement can be made.

So it seems to be running reasonably well now.  Do I trust it further than I can throw it?  Not in the slightest!  I'm pretty convinced by now that this car just doesn't like me and wants to see me suffer.

Will try to get it cleaned up tomorrow to remove all the tree crap, give it a repeat of today's test and if all still seems to be good will arrange to drop it back with its owner.  Before it has the opportunity to throw anything else at me!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 07/07 - Trevi...Dare I Say it?...Fixed...I Think...

Not going to be a massive amount of progress to report over the coming week as it's forecast to be a million degrees and I simply cannot function when it's hot.  So anything is getting done in about 20 minute bursts before I start fading fast from the heat.

The Caddy has been working very well as dog transport, only real gripe is that the floor in the back is a very hard plasticy material and they slither around a bit.  Star in particular doesn't like that so I've been meaning to put something in which will provide a little more friction.

Progress so far.

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Should also help bring noise levels down a little which can't be a bad thing.

I had wanted to have a look at the area around where the ramp used to be.  I know if you open the driver's window half way it tends to pull a bunch of exhaust fumes into the cab so there must be a fair sized gap somewhere.

Well that won't be helping.

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This is the point at which I started looking more closely at the workmanship of the ramp delete...To call it shonky would be something of an understatement.

For a start, this Sikaflex appears to be structural.

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Originally that rear section would have been part of a hinged ramp which was attached to a big hinge on the floor.  That took up a bunch of space and would basically delete 70% of your rear visibility (and probably weighed about 100kg), so not surprised it was removed.

It would be nice if they had done a better job of it though!

Apart from the Sikaflex, the only thing that seems to be actually connecting the centre section of the bumper, lower door latches etc to the rest of the vehicle are these *quality* welds.

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Think that's bad?  How about the other side?

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Yeeeaaahh... quality workmanship.

The inner and outer panels there are "spot welded" together...in so far as someone has thrown some weld vaguely at the panel...however there's about a 1/8" gap between them and I don't think a single one has actually connected the two bits together.

I think the plan will be to pull the outer section off entirely, remove the currently structural Sikaflex, at which point I think the inner ramp delete panel will basically fall out.  

I will then clean up and rust proof everything involved (there's no paint on the outside of the ramp delete bits at all).  Then I think I will permanently attach the outer section to the inner off the car.  Then I'll offer the whole assembly up, and bolt the whole lot into place using some hugely overkill 90 degree brackets and high tensile bolts and big washers.  Then we'll seal up the joins with fresh Sikaflex.  That should do a far better job of sealing things up and sort the wobbly bumper issue.

I did wonder about reinstating the ability to drop that section down as it would be nice for the dogs, but the latches and everything are long gone plus the hinges so it would be quite a bit of work, probably more trouble than it's worth.

The whole underside of the dropped floor is quite crispy and really wants going over with a wire brush, some rust converter and some underbody protection.  It'll need some repair in that area at some point, especially to the floorpan itself - but the frame is about 1/8" thick box section and it's all just flat panels and right angles so wouldn't be difficult to rebuild if necessary.  The actual VW metalwork under there is in good shape, especially by the standards of a 20 year van.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 10/07 - Uncovering Prior Bodgery...

Tomorrow I've got a drive up to a little town 15 miles or so past Aberdeen.  510 miles according to Google Maps.

In preparation I've given the Caddy a once over, checked all the fluids, checked tyre pressures and given it a quick clean. 

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Just one of the things I like to do prior to a long trip.  Figure I may as well be able to see out of the windows as well as possible when I set out at least.  At least it gave me the opportunity to clean the dog nose prints of the inside of all the rear windows!

First fuel fill up since the new tyres were fitted is in - 52.1MPG, best tank to date.  Be curious to see what we run tomorrow with a long motorway run, where it's always done well before.

Would have been really nice to have the AC fixed for this trip (and especially for the return trip on Monday!) but that sadly was not to be.  Given the temperatures forecast I'll be making very sure to take several bottles of water with me - both for me, the car, and potentially for assisting others if necessary.

Hopefully next check in will be reporting in from my friend's place in Tarves.  Then a couple of days to relax and catch up with friends back up there, before I return home with a roughly Invacar sized pile of computers crammed into the back of the Caddy.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 14/07 - Road Trip Prep...

Of course I decided to travel north the day the sodding M6 was closed at Carlisle.

12 hours 29 minutes door to door.  Should be eight and change.

Blarg.

Nevertheless, am now here and the Caddy managed 54MPG, despite my pushing on a bit once the traffic did eventually clear.

I think it says a lot about how competent a vehicle it is though in that I've just done a 12 hour drive, during which it's been plenty warm, had torrential rain, and then a couple of hours of driving basically into the sunset, and some tiny country lanes in the dark, but I'm not totally frazzled.  Tired, sure.  But I don't feel absolutely drained.

It's a far more competent long distance mile muncher than you'd ever expect.

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This was clean when I left home!

IMG_20220716_164106.thumb.jpg.1b6ce5a3062bc4e25672a45320c95cda.jpg

The amount of bugs plastered on the front is ridiculous.

In case folks wondered how the Jag is doing these days, quite well is the answer.

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Since my friend picked it up the following has been done.

[] All remaining cooling lines replaced.

[] Rocker cover gaskets replaced.

[] Tappet covers resealed.

[] Oil pump/filter block seals replaced.

[] Inlet manifold a thoroughly cleaned inside and out.

[] ALL vacuum lines replaced.

[] All fuel lines replaced, including injector pig tails etc.

[] New HT leads.

[] Front brake discs replaced.

[] Steering rack bushes replaced.

[] OSF wheel bearing replaced.

... That's what I can remember!

Definitely found a good home.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 16/07 - How's the Jag Doing?
45 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

This was clean when I left home!

IMG_20220716_164106.thumb.jpg.1b6ce5a3062bc4e25672a45320c95cda.jpg

The amount of bugs plastered on the front is ridiculous.

In case folks wondered how the Jag is doing these days, quite well is the answer.

IMG_20220716_124522.thumb.jpg.f5766455e238a9fe29520b94609b5879.jpg

Since my friend picked it up the following has been done.

[] All remaining cooling lines replaced.

[] Rocker cover gaskets replaced.

[] Tappet covers resealed.

[] Oil pump/filter block seals replaced.

[] Inlet manifold a thoroughly cleaned inside and out.

[] ALL vacuum lines replaced.

[] All fuel lines replaced, including injector pig tails etc.

[] New HT leads.

[] Front brake discs replaced.

[] Steering rack bushes replaced.

[] OSF wheel bearing replaced.

... That's what I can remember!

Definitely found a good home.

Really awesome to see the Jag has gone to a good home! and happy to have an update on it! I still look in at awe that you managed to get it and all that! that was a really fun time! :) 

and pleased to hear the Caddy is doing its job well :) 

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Aaaaand we're home.

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Didn't miss a beat despite it being fluffing hot, me having my foot down for most of the trip, and having just a little bit of stuff in the back.

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Just wish the AC worked!  I've got a serious case of trucker's elbow... though closing the window at all was totally out of the question so I just had to cook.  I did put sunscreen on...but eight and a half hours and 518 miles mostly heading due south meant that the sun won I think!

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While I was up north I did of course make a run out to my traditional photo spot.

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Still reckon that for a car derived van that the Caddy isn't a bad looking little thing.  Really do need to paint the wheels though!

That's a thousand miles over the course of the weekend on the motorway plus a bunch of local running around.  Didn't miss a beat.  Coolant use: None.  Oil use: None.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 18/07 - Road Trip Done...
  • 2 weeks later...

TPA has been out and about today doing car things.

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I do need to try to figure out why she occasionally has issues at idle/on light throttle after running for a while.  It feels like fuelling, though I don't think it's delivery.  Guess I probably ought to actually check the float height in the carb given I've not touched that so far.

The van will be going in sometime over the next couple of days to get a full set of new tyres on to deal with the horrible perishing going on with the current set.

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I'm not inclined to take chances given the amoutof weight on the back axle on this.

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1 hour ago, Zelandeth said:

The van will be going in sometime over the next couple of days to get a full set of new tyres on to deal with the horrible perishing going on with the current set.

There's not as much choice in 14" van tyres any more, but for what it's worth, Toyo Nanoenergy are my favourite all-rounders on the LT and are lasting well at the moment (~50% worn after 20k miles). No problems with grip, although I hardly push the limits. It's hardly an exhaustive test but in 90k miles I've used Hankook Vantra LT (wore out in 20k miles),  Kumho 857s (better wear but perished in less than 4 years), GT Maxmilers (lasted well but easier to spin a wheel in the wet).

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It's got the GT ones on at the moment, and aside from the degree to which they have perished the thing I find most off-putting is how ridiculously easy it is with them to lock up the brakes on anything other than a perfectly dry road.

No visible wear at all to speak of (I've not actually measured it), just they have started to perish badly both on the sidewalls and between the tread bands.

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It had the GTs on the back when I bought it - I did 20k miles in the first year I owned it and they barely wore down any further! But yes, even double digit horsepower was enough to spin the inside wheel pulling out of a wet junction, so can imagine they may be easy to lock up on the front.

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There we go.  Much better.

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Funky sidewall pattern.

As for how they age and wear, guess time will tell.  

I really didn't expect to feel any difference from the driver's seat but you really can.  Tracks much more stable in a straight line and the steering response is definitely sharper.  Seems quieter too though that's kind of hard to say given how much of a racket the rest of the vehicle makes!

At least I don't feel uneasy driving it over 30mph any more.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 28/07 - New Tyres...
6 hours ago, MorrisItalSLX said:

All it needs now is a set of proper Merc hubcaps.

Indeed. Sadly the ones with the deeper dish are bloody hard to find.  The ones used on the W123 etc don't fit.  I know that style were available on the van, but they weren't a common option even when the vans were everywhere.

Something that looks at least a bit more period correct has been on the wish list for a while now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am hoping to drop the Trevi back home tomorrow.  It was running way better than it was, but still not 100%.  I discovered something rather interesting in that regard this afternoon though...

 

That's the heater blower I'm turning on and off there...

Yeeeeahhh...it appears that in addition to a dead coil (the cause of the original breakdown), an intermittent ignition amplifier, utterly ruined distributor cap, crap modern HT leads that weren't made properly, an intermittent connector between the distributor pickup and the wiring loom and an incorrectly sized third party rotor arm, that we also have a high resistance issue somewhere on the supply to the coil.

I did try jumping straight to the positive of the coil a while ago - but it made no difference.  However I've fixed a bunch of other issues since then!

Having had plenty of experience with Lada electrics this to be honest doesn't really surprise me.  With the greatest of respect to Lancia, the Lada fuse box and wiring connectors actually seem better quality than the Lancia ones.  I'm guessing we probably have slight issues in the fuse box *and* ignition switch.  It's just resulting in excessive volt drop.  It's worth noting that the dash volt meter basically drops to nothing when the heater blower is turned on, though the actual battery voltage doesn't droop excessively at all.

Simple enough to work around here for now - I've hooked up a (properly fused) direct feed to the battery from the coil ballast resistor via a relay.  The relay is triggered by the original 12V feed to the coil, so all that is now having to do is energise the relay coil.  That's taken ~5A of draw off the ignition switch etc, and has ensured we have a nice solid 12V to the coil (well...the correct voltage after the ballast resistor).  I couldn't get a solid reading on what we had there with the engine running as my digital meter had a fit because of the electrical noise there.

I've hooked up this wiring and just need to label things and to trim some cable ties then I'm going to call that done.  The car sat idling quite happily for a good hour I reckon while I was tidying other things up.  It's very obvious that the throttle response seems sharper from idle...so we might have improved things a lot.

Idle is still lumpy as hell, but I'm not at all convinced that's not entirely carb related.

Turning on every electrical device on the car now has no effect on the running of the engine, which is an obvious improvement.

I will have a quick look and see if I can easily find where the 12V feed to the ignition amplifier is.  If I can I will tap that into the same relay feed as that not getting a solid 12V could cause all sorts of nonsense as well.  I'm not going to go hacking things about too much, but I'd like to get a solid power feed to there if I can as it would eliminate a lot of question marks over that side of things.  If we have a weak point in there any "weight" I can take off the ignition switch etc has to be a good thing too.

Hopefully get it home tomorrow though... I'm slightly nervous to take it out of the neighborhood though as I don't really trust it yet on account of having had to push this more often than any car I've ever owned!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 10/08 - The Cavalier Has Landed...

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