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


Zelandeth

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When your friend lends you a an unusual interesting car from a location you need transport from there must be a degree of pleasure.

Then it is one of six-cylinders and does not quite make it back to your house before it dies completely!

Thank you so much for all your help and perseverance with getting this car back up and running.

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9 hours ago, Six-cylinder said:

When your friend lends you a an unusual interesting car from a location you need transport from there must be a degree of pleasure.

Then it is one of six-cylinders and does not quite make it back to your house before it dies completely!

Thank you so much for all your help and perseverance with getting this car back up and running.

Well we wouldn't want life to get boring would we?

Sadly haven't had a chance to even look at cars today so nothing to report.  I do have onboard footage from the first (successful) test run yesterday, but sadly it has so much camera shake as to be basically unwatchable.  Someone really needs to make a good smartphone camera windscreen mount that doesn't wobble horribly.

Plan for tomorrow is to borrow my husband to assist with seat cover installation.  An extra pair of hands will make that way less of a faff.

Then I want to check the oil.  Condition rather than quantity, given we've had a persistent misfire for a long while I want to make sure it's not horribly fuel contaminated.  If it stinks of fuel I'll drop and change that.

Then we will go for a gentle bumble around for an hour.  If it behaves for that we're going to head out onto the straight between two roundabouts just outside our estate, then (within reason...I know what condition the radiator is in!) cane the snot out of it for a bit.

Reasons for this are twofold.

1. When it played up the first time I went out it was straight after a brief period of higher RPM driving, so if it's going to present issues at the top end I want to provoke it into playing up.  I'd far rather it do it to me a quarter mile from home than Six-Cylinder halfway up the A5 in busy traffic.

2. It's had a weak spark for goodness only knows how long, so in all likelihood the plugs and combustion chambers are fouled up to buggery.  I'd like to clean that crap out so the engine has a decent shot at running well.

If that all goes well I'll have another shot at getting the original coil bracket loose so I can properly mount the replacement.  The coil bracket is held to the inner wing by Philips head screws rather than anything sensible like a hex head bolt, and they showed zero interest in budging last time I tried.  Have been soaking in Plusgas for about a week now though, so we'll just out the correct size of bit and whack it with the ancient but effective impact driver and see what happens.  Worst case, it'll chew the heads up and make a nice starting point to drill the damned screws out.

Then - hopefully - I can arrange to drop it back home.  Any bets on this going smoothly?

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All righty.

Front seat covers fitted.  Not tidily, because the seats in the Trevi are a really odd shape and are about 20% too big for the covers really, but they'll do the job - which is to protect the fabric from self-destructing any further, especially the offside bolster on the driver's seat which was visibly crumbling pretty much every time you got in or out of the car. 

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Will fiddle with it a bit more to see if I can at least get the base to sit a bit flatter.  Had to use cable ties as there was no way on earth things would reach to use the silly little hook things that come in the bags.  There's no gap at the side of the seats either which is awkward as that's where one of the main fastening loops is meant to go.

I'll give the interior a quick hoover as well as it's full of dead spiders from the winter layup.

Oil was checked and doesn't smell massively fuelly at least but is really dirty.  Definitely wants changing sooner than later.

So off we went for a drive around for probably about 3/4 of an hour.  Snippet of that run is over here.

Edit: Just looked at that video on a proper monitor and it really doesn't do the car justice.  It looks like the ride is really jittery there.  It really isn't.  In fact it's incredibly compliant and in a lot of ways almost wafty...but somehow while still having impeccable body control and seemingly no appreciable body roll in normal driving.  How?!?

Hopefully it's clear how much better the car is running there - bearing in mind this was the starting point.

So hopefully we can arrange to get her dropped back home soon.

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Still doesn't like cold starts, and definitely runs lean until up to running temperature.  Not saying the carb is definitely jetted wrong, keeping in mind that when I cleaned it last time the car was here I found that the top cover gasket was made of what was clearly recycled card - a proper overhaul may well help a lot.  My gut feeling though is that it's not jetted right.  Feels to me like the idle circuit needs to be feeding more fuel in.  Once you're properly running on the main jet it feels a lot better.

For all it's been an utter pain in the tail at times, I really love this car.  It's a type of vehicle which seems to have been totally lost the the world today: A really, really driver focused luxury sports saloon.  This is a driver's car, no questions asked there.  It's quick...must have been pretty bloody impressive back in its day performance wise, especially with the twin carb setup this would originally had, it handles incredibly well, but despite that it also has a lovely compliant ride, comfy seats and a nicely finished cabin.  Once the gremlins are shaken out of this, it's a car which I could easily see you doing 8+ hour drives in and getting out feeling like you'd barely driven an hour.

Why do modern manufacturers seem to be incapable of producing cars which both handle well AND ride nicely?  Lancia plainly had it figured out back in the 80s!

This is a very ME sort of car, quick, quirky, fun to drive when you ask it to be, and comfy.  Sadly given the rarity of them, parts supply challenges and tendency for them to dissolve for a pastime I doubt a Lancia will ever grace my fleet.  I've also only driven three...This one, a bog standard Delta and a Dedra back around 2003 or so.  Being absolutely honest, I really liked all of them.  Even if the heater controls on the Dedra demonstrated some of the worst ergonomics of the era...Still streets ahead of the bloody touch screen nonsense which has become standard these days.

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The having to wedge the stick in the boot to keep it open was getting old.  Especially as the boot lid is bloody heavy.

There was a new gas strut in the boot.  However as with all things Trevi, it turned out to be wrong.  The ends were a good couple of millimetres smaller than the original.

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I discovered that the ends unscrewed from both, however the threaded section on the new unit was significantly bigger than the originals.

Helpfully they were plastic...so five minutes with the drill and a tap sorted that and had the old ends on the new strut.  Problem solved.

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He's not going to recognise the car at this rate...

Of course I wasted about half an hour looking for the split pin from the bottom bushing.  Before realising it was in my bloody pocket.

Rear seat covers are now also "on" the seat... they're really intended for applications where you can get to the back of the seat, but it's fixed in this car so I've done the best I can.

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To be fair, they're mainly there to protect what's under the covers so will do just fine.

Had a couple of errands to run this afternoon and the car was used for that without incident.

I've had the go ahead to change the oil & filter, so will get them done tomorrow with a bit of luck, give the interior a quick clean and then get the keys handed back over.

 

Edit: Big thanks to @dave j, a package turned up a day or two back for the Cavalier.  Something is currently very conspicuously missing from the rear of the car.

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This should help.

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The badge was a surprise, that will definitely be worn to the first show I take it to.  Thanks so much for that, will really tidy the back of the car up.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 02/05 - Trevi Test Run & Fixing Stuff...
15 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

The having to wedge the stick in the boot to keep it open was getting old.  Especially as the boot lid is bloody heavy.

There was a new gas strut in the boot.  However as with all things Trevi, it turned out to be wrong.  The ends were a good couple of millimetres smaller than the original.

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I discovered that the ends unscrewed from both, however the threaded section on the new unit was significantly bigger than the originals.

Helpfully they were plastic...so five minutes with the drill and a tap sorted that and had the old ends on the new strut.  Problem solved.

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He's not going to recognise the car at this rate...

Of course I wasted about half an hour looking for the split pin from the bottom bushing.  Before realising it was in my bloody pocket.

Rear seat covers are now also "on" the seat... they're really intended for applications where you can get to the back of the seat, but it's fixed in this car so I've done the best I can.

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To be fair, they're mainly there to protect what's under the covers so will do just fine.

Had a couple of errands to run this afternoon and the car was used for that without incident.

I've had the go ahead to change the oil & filter, so will get them done tomorrow with a bit of luck, give the interior a quick clean and then get the keys handed back over.

 

Edit: Big thanks to @dave j, a package turned up a day or two back for the Cavalier.  Something is currently very conspicuously missing from the rear of the car.

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This should help.

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The badge was a surprise, that will definitely be worn to the first show I take it to.  Thanks so much for that, will really tidy the back of the car up.

No problem. It was lucky I found them while trying to tidy my garage a few weeks ago... No idea why I kept them as I haven't had a Vauxhall for years, although this is probably why my garage is full of stuff as I never throw things away!

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Simple job.  Get this oil changed.

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It was basically jet black before the engine was run.

Draining the oil was relatively uneventful, though it was demonstrated to be very thin.  Didn't smell badly fuel contaminated, just seemed a very light grade.

Which given this oil pressure reading at idle is less than ideal.

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That's with the idle bumped up a bit too.  It doesn't sound bad though, and I've learned not to put too much faith in Fiat/Lancia/Lada instrumentation of this era.

Then came the oil filter.  I've only dealt with this engine in longitudinal configuration before...however the Trevi has it set up transverse.  Meaning the oil filter is roughly here.

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Yeah, wonderful access.

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No access from underneath as there's a cross member in the way.  If you pull the whole air cleaner housing off the carb there's just enough room to squeeze the filter out up the front.  It's a right pig to get at.

New filter on and fresh oil in, and once back fully up to temperature we definitely have an improvement on the reported oil pressure, albeit not a massive change.  Shows it was worth doing at least.

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It seems to float around an indicated 30psi or so when actually driving.

I didn't manage to get the ignition coil mounting screws out, but I did manage to loosen them enough to allow me to swap the coil so I could get rid of my jury rigged mess hanging off the slam panel.

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Part number from the original coil...

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0 221 122 012 I make that.

The old one was labelled to prevent any future confusion before being stowed in the boot along with the old ignition amplifier module.

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Learned long ago that not labelling defective parts was a recipe for much confusion down the line.

Topped off the coolant which had got a bit low, then calling this done for now.

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It's still not absolutely 100%, I'm not convinced the distributor pickup is in perfect health, and I'm absolutely not convinced the carb is jetted right, but it's running a thousand times better than it ever has in my experience so far and is absolutely driveable now.

Just slightly lumpy on light throttle, and the idle should be smoother, especially when cold.  It gets vastly better once up to temperature.

The carb we know could do with some TLC anyway (we had to manually jam open a solenoid plunger because the coil was open circuit (and as I recall mostly missing) last time the car was here), so I'm stopping here before I wind up spending another month trying to get us that last 10% of improvement.  

If a known good carb or full overhaul kit for it turns up at some point I'll happily come back for round 3.  Though I reckon having someone with the knowledge and equipment to actually say whether the carb is set up correctly for the engine would be worthwhile.  I simply lack the experience and kit to really do that.

Not sure if the eventual plan is to get this back on the twin carb setup it would originally have had?

Last job was a really quick run round with the vacuum cleaner.  Not a full valet, just wanted to get the worst of the dead bugs and dust out.

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Hopefully get it dropped back home soon.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 03/05 - Trevi Done For Now...

We all knew I wouldn't be able to leave this alone didn't we?

Wanted to double check the rotor arm, mainly because I couldn't actually remember which one we had ended up with on the car.

The answer was the first new one.  I wanted to compare it more carefully with the old one as I've started to develop an inherent distrust for "equivalent" parts listed in catalogues these days, especially for somewhat oddball cars like these.

The original rotor arm is a Bosch 1234332215. 

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A part that I couldn't immediately find in stock anywhere, and the alternative suggested by the usual suspects was the one on the car.

Comparison of the distance between the centre of the rotor and the contact tip however shows them to be rather less identical than the catalogue would have you believe.  The Bosch one has at least a millimetre longer reach.  The tip of the cable tie here represents how long the Bosch rotor arm is.

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Which probably explains why the replacements appear to be burning up at the tip.  It's hard to see in the photo, but this one shows evidence of charring of the plastic near the tip just like the black one.

Sure enough, fitting the old old one back to the car improved running still further...so that equivilant rotor arm clearly isn't equivilant.

I then got a surprise when the HT system belted me several times in very quick succession.  This puzzled me given that nothing wasn't securely connected up and the HT leads were all brand new.

Yeah...about that.

I guess the Lucas branding on the box should have been a warning...

Turns out that the terminal at the coil end wasn't actually crimped onto the conductor, rather just the outer insulator.  A few of the strands of the core were poking out round the edge of the rubber boot, and that's what zapped me.

On the plus side, we can see that there's no shortage of spark from the coil now!

I swapped this lead out for a nice good quality Bougecord one from my spares stash.  

Why is it so hard to get good spares these days?

 

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 04/05 - *ZAP!* Ow!

Have been doing a bit more of a detailed look at the rotor arm on the Trevi because it seems like there's some incorrect data out there in the catalogues.

Here are the three rotor arms we currently have.

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The top one is what we believe to be the correct one.  The lower two are more recent replacements.  Part numbers below.

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The black one appears to match the current Intermotor listing at least visually.

The difference in contact profile is quite visible.

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That started to break down to the point that we completely lost spark within ten minutes of installation.

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The Vemo one lasted better, and it's hard to see in the photos but it's burning around the tip too.

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The one which is resulting in the best running is the ancient and probably badly worn Bosch one.

Here appears to be why.

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That's from the centre of the mark made by the centre contact post to the outer edge of the contact tip.  Wouldn't surprise me if that was a round 1" when made.

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If this is as old as the distributor cap which came off, it's probably very worn.

The others however are noticeably shorter.

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So we need to try to track down one that fits properly!  

I had pretty much decided to leave that slightly dodgy connector between the distributor and vehicle loom alone as it didn't seem to be causing any issues when poked, shaken, wiggled, flexed etc...however I've changed that decision today on seeing the insulation is worn through on the underside of one of the wires and that bare conductor is visible at the entry point to the connector block.  

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Will get that connector deleted... it's only two wires to remake connections between if the distributor has to come out in future.  Hardly the end of the world.

Oh...forgot to include the post oil-change photo a couple of days ago.  This looks better.

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A week or two ago I had the AC system on the Caddy evacuated so I could replace the dead expansion valve (pretty painless), and then had the system recharged.

Still no AC.  Arse.

Had a closer look today...here's the static pressure with everything stone cold.

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Um...I was expecting rather less than that.  Why do I get the feeling this may have been overcharged...That reading would make sense if the ambient temperature was somewhere north of 30C, but at 16C it should be sitting somewhere nearer 55psi.

I need to turn the garage upside down and find my proper gauge manifold so I can have a look at what's going on with the system actually running (I trust the reading on this one about as far as I can throw it) as equalised standing pressure doesn't tell you anywhere near the full story.

My money is on there being way too much gas in there though.

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12 minutes ago, Harriytait said:

I'm now a Lada owner as well as an Invacar owner, now I just need a BX or Xantia and I'll have to change my name to Zel 😂

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looks like a nice old thing :) now you just need a Mercedes camper van, and a Sinclair C5, bonus points if its also husky powered :mrgreen: 

those number plates need to go tho! they are making my teeth itch!

(thinking about it, given that RHD Lada production started only in 1973, I dont think there where any Lada's in the UK in period with white on black plates? unless there where some diplomatic cars over here before then or such?)

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14 hours ago, Harriytait said:

I'm now a Lada owner as well as an Invacar owner, now I just need a BX or Xantia and I'll have to change my name to Zel 😂

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Oooh...more pictures and details please...

Don't immediately recognise that car, though admittedly I've been out of touch with the Lada/Skoda circles for a few years.  There was a while when they popped up for sale that there was about an 80% chance I would know which one they were.  

I'd definitely love to see what in the metal sometime.

There was a local classic car meet on this evening, which I wanted to make an effort to get to.  This was a good catalyst for me actually tidying up the front half of the garage.  The work that's been going on with the Trevi this last week or two had resulted in TPA getting a bit buried.

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This is why the garage being so narrow is such a pain... it's so much of a faff to get around the car to get at things that stuff inevitably just ends up getting piled up on top of the car.

It's a good thing I'm not bothered about the finish on the paintwork.

I had a bit of a dig around too regarding the slight running issue we'd had.  Decided to clean and gap the points simply because it's been quite a while since they were last done.  No horror stories there, and the distributor cap posts were given a gentle clean too to scrape off the oxide layer that inevitably builds up.

A bit of investigation I think has tracked down the issue.  I think we've got an intake vacuum leak!  It's only a little one, but carb cleaner sprayed around the nearside base of the carb results in a drop in engine speed.  It's not worked itself loose of the manifold (again), so I'm not sure whether the base gasket has issues or if it's an issue with the throttle spindle.  It has always seeped fuel from somewhere in that vicinity, so might be connected.

It's not bad, and I feel I can rest a bit easier knowing the occasional carburetion hiccup is because of a small vacuum leak rather than something which is likely to suddenly degenerate and leave me stranded.  I'll have a closer look soon to see if I can confirm exactly where the leak is.

Had a bit of a run round the car as well, making sure the wheel nuts/bolts were all still tight, greased up the front end checked tyre pressures etc.  

All seemed fine, so off we went to the get together.  I think the driveshaft coupling bolts being properly tightened has reduced the vibration at speed and seems to have reduced the driveline shunt when taking up drive a bit, though the nature of the system means there's always a bit of slop in there.

Some quite nice motors at the meet.

Probably the car of the show though was this lovely little Micra.

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So nice to see one (a really early one at that) in such original condition.  

Speaking of things which are rarely seen as the factory originally intended...

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Though rather at the other end of the scale, this was rather splendid.

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Sounded every bit as good as it looks too.

US was quite well represented there.

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Not the only two cylinder air cooled car there either...

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Couple of MGBs.  Don't remember seeing many in red, really suits it.

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I know a lot of people hate them because they're so ubiquitous, but I still really like them.  Kind of surprised I've not owned one yet.

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The vast majority of my photos from this meet up are on film though so it will be a couple of weeks before I get that film finished and off for processing.  

I completely forgot to actually take any photos on my phone of my own car there.  Derp.

The Trevi is actually going to stick around for a *little* longer yet.  Six-Cylinder has successfully tracked down a seller over in France who has the correct rotor arm in stock, so that's on the way.  I've also noted a few dash lamps are out again and want to get those all sorted, and am having to wait for replacement stock to be delivered.  Apparently 1.2W capless dash lamps are too exotic to just walk into a motor factors and buy in Milton Keynes in 2022...Guess given the ratio of sub 1 year old VW/Audis around here to anything older it shouldn't be a total surprise.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 06/05 - Local Classic Car Meet Photos...
4 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Oooh...more pictures and details please...

Don't immediately recognise that car, though admittedly I've been out of touch with the Lada/Skoda circles for a few years.  There was a while when they popped up for sale that there was about an 80% chance I would know which one they were.  

I'd definitely love to see what in the metal sometime.

There was a local classic car meet on this evening, which I wanted to make an effort to get to.  This was a good catalyst for me actually tidying up the front half of the garage.  The work that's been going on with the Trevi this last week or two had resulted in TPA getting a bit buried.

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This is why the garage being so narrow is such a pain... it's so much of a faff to get around the car to get at things that stuff inevitably just ends up getting piled up on top of the car.

It's a good thing I'm not bothered about the finish on the paintwork.

I had a bit of a dig around too regarding the slight running issue we'd had.  Decided to clean and gap the points simply because it's been quite a while since they were last done.  No horror stories there, and the distributor cap posts were given a gentle clean too to scrape off the oxide layer that inevitably builds up.

A bit of investigation I think has tracked down the issue.  I think we've got an intake vacuum leak!  It's only a little one, but carb cleaner sprayed around the nearside base of the carb results in a drop in engine speed.  It's not worked itself loose of the manifold (again), so I'm not sure whether the base gasket has issues or if it's an issue with the throttle spindle.  It has always seeped fuel from somewhere in that vicinity, so might be connected.

It's not bad, and I feel I can rest a bit easier knowing the occasional carburetion hiccup is because of a small vacuum leak rather than something which is likely to suddenly degenerate and leave me stranded.  I'll have a closer look soon to see if I can confirm exactly where the leak is.

Had a bit of a run round the car as well, making sure the wheel nuts/bolts were all still tight, greased up the front end checked tyre pressures etc.  

All seemed fine, so off we went to the get together.  I think the driveshaft coupling bolts being properly tightened has reduced the vibration at speed and seems to have reduced the driveline shunt when taking up drive a bit, though the nature of the system means there's always a bit of slop in there.

Some quite nice motors at the meet.

Probably the car of the show though was this lovely little Micra.

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So nice to see one (a really early one at that) in such original condition.  

Speaking of things which are rarely seen as the factory originally intended...

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Though rather at the other end of the scale, this was rather splendid.

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Sounded every bit as good as it looks too.

US was quite well represented there.

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Not the only two cylinder air cooled car there either...

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Couple of MGBs.  Don't remember seeing many in red, really suits it.

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I know a lot of people hate them because they're so ubiquitous, but I still really like them.  Kind of surprised I've not owned one yet.

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The vast majority of my photos from this meet up are on film though so it will be a couple of weeks before I get that film finished and off for processing.  

I completely forgot to actually take any photos on my phone of my own car there.  Derp.

The Trevi is actually going to stick around for a *little* longer yet.  Six-Cylinder has successfully tracked down a seller over in France who has the correct rotor arm in stock, so that's on the way.  I've also noted a few dash lamps are out again and want to get those all sorted, and am having to wait for replacement stock to be delivered.  Apparently 1.2W capless dash lamps are too exotic to just walk into a motor factors and buy in Milton Keynes in 2022...Guess given the ratio of sub 1 year old VW/Audis around here to anything older it shouldn't be a total surprise.

I know very little about it myself other than it was imported from Hungary to the Isles of Wight in 2020, it's a bit crusty in places but what lada isn't? 😂

I'm just happy to have one, I've been after an early shape Lada for a while now and this one showed up locally, I managed to buy it for £1350 which I was pretty happy with.

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After a search covering approximately 80% of the far end of the garage I finally managed to locate this nondescript black plastic case.

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Here we have the reading with the AC off.  This was before I even started the engine.

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Aaaaaaand with the AC turned on.

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Yeah...the reading on the blue gauge should have dropped, target being the 30-40psi range, and the reading in the red gauge should have gone up, probably to 130-150psi.

They should absolutely *not* stay exactly where they were.  What this means is that the compressor isn't pumping.  Either one of the valves isn't seating properly or something has failed mechanically in the compressor.  It does drop the low side a fraction when the clutch first pulls in, but by like 1 or 2 psi, and creeps back up over the course of the next few seconds.

So basically we need a new compressor.

Really glad I've found my gauge manifold though.  Not knowing where that was was really annoying me.  Obviously I don't have access to refrigerant so I can't charge it myself and I don't have access to a recovery machine any more, but being able to properly see what's going on is really useful.

These are only cheap gauges and would fall apart in a couple of days in a commercial setting I'm sure, but for occasional use they're just fine.  We compared the readings to a set of decent quality (Fieldpiece I think) gauges back when I got them and the accuracy was spot on at least.

Will need to get the system evacuated so we can get a new compressor fitted...hopefully that (and getting it recharged for the *third* time) will finally get the air con working again.

 

As the Trevi is still here waiting on the arrival of the correct rotor arm I figured it was a good time to get a couple of other minor niggles sorted.

The reason it was here last time was to resolve the almost completely dead dash lighting.  Which was successful, though we had issues with quite a few scratchy contacts.  

Since then while the illumination still seems fine, we were missing several warning lights.

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There should be lights showing there next to the fuel and temperature gauges.

A scan over the rest of the dash showed we were also missing the indicators for the handbrake and rear fog lights. 

Strip down time.

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However further investigation shows the issue there to be other than in the dash.  The rear fogs work, just no light on the dash.  

There was an issue with the little lamp failure display too which was convinced there was always a lamp out in the offside rear cluster.  

Further strip down needed to get to that.

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There were a couple of spare PCBs in the boot and sure enough swapping it out for one of those (getting the ribbon cable back in was an absolute pig) got rid of the spurious lamp failure warning.

I re-replaced any lamps I put in last time given I've had horrendous reliability issues with that batch.  These will hopefully prove more reliable.

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We now have a full compliment of the four main warning lights on the dash during the self test.

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We still have a red warning light (the big circle below the side/main beam indicator had a red and green LED in, it shows green now with the ignition on as the dash lights are all OK, and lights red to draw attention to a fault) when the headlights are turned on - though there *is* a lamp out in the front fog lights, so that may actually be telling the truth!

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So I'll get that changed and see where we are then.  

I may end up with the dash apart again as I'd like to beef up the ground(s) for the panel.  Currently turning the headlights on raises the reading on the fuel and temperature gauges by about an eighth...to me that just smells like a grounding issue.  Especially with prior experience on Fiats (and relatives) where they have almost invariably had issues with grounding in or around the instrument panel.  Easy enough thing to improve though.  Have to admit I'm tempted for the sake of less than £10 to add a known good engine to body and body to battery ground strap for future proofing...

It looks wacky and you'd think it was a nightmare to work on, but the dash is actually really easy to get apart.  Stripping it down as you see above, changing a bunch of lamps, voltage testing to see what was and wasn't working, replacing the lamp failure module and putting it all back together took me less well less than an hour.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 09/05 - Air Conditioning Woes...

Finally got around to investigation of where the little bit of free play in the steering on the Caddy is.  It is only a tiny bit but is really noticeable if I've not driven it for a few days.  

I had a suspicion that the culprit was this universal joint at the base of the steering column.

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Having an assistant wobble the steering wheel for me (requiring a helper was one reason I'd not done this yet) revealed that I was correct.  There is definitely some free play between the two halves.

Wonder how much of a pain that will be to change...

Something else which had been on my to do list for a while was installation of a bit of easily removable equipment in the back.

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Big plastic bin with a non-slip mat in the bottom of it.  This is now basically the boot, saves stuff sliding around all over the place.  It's tethered in place by the straps there for hooking the dog's travel harnesses to which wrap around the front of it and hook to each other.

Bigger than it looks, can get a week's shopping for us in there with a bit of Tetris action.  Can just unhook the straps and lift it out to stow in the garage or stuff in the passenger seat when I want to take the dogs out.

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On 10/05/2022 at 00:09, Zelandeth said:

So basically we need a new compressor.

I will have a look in my stash, but I am very sure that I have an air con compressor from a 1999 6N Polo that worked well when it was on the car.  When I removed it, I sealed the ports, so internally it should be good.

If you are interested, you are welcome to it gratis, I'll find the part number and get some photos.  No problem if you are not, it might mean that I finally put it on eBay.

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1 hour ago, CaptainBoom said:

 

I will have a look in my stash, but I am very sure that I have an air con compressor from a 1999 6N Polo that worked well when it was on the car.  When I removed it, I sealed the ports, so internally it should be good.

If you are interested, you are welcome to it gratis, I'll find the part number and get some photos.  No problem if you are not, it might mean that I finally put it on eBay.

Oh yes please if you can find it etc!

Whereabouts are you based?  Imagine it would be pricey to send given the weight.

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8 hours ago, mitsisigma01 said:

Location

On the pimple of the arsehole of mankind.....

🤔 Gosport or Crawley

Orpington in Greater London/Kent.  But having been to Crawley for work, I can see that there is stiff compeition for the title!

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34 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

You've obviously never visited Luton...

Point taken!

I did a few times to visit Watford Electronics/Savastore for computer parts.  On one occasion I made the mistake of driving round Luton town centre on a Saturday afternoon after Luton Town had played at home.  Some eejit pushed his mate from the pavement to in front of my car while I was driving at road speed, only just stopped in time (remembered how to cadence brake which may or may not have made a difference) shot my nerves to pieces.  Never went back!

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Had TPA out and about again today, when something else fell off.

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Just a bit of trim.  Only myself to blame, don't think I used anywhere near enough glue when putting those panels in (I think about half of the ones in the door cavities have fallen off at some point now).  I've now absolutely slathered the back of the carpet in glue and wedged in firmly in place.

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Don't really have anything visible to show for it, but I've adjusted how the engine cover is sitting to try to reduce the tendency for it to rattle quite so much.  It is now actually sitting on the latch pin rather than the bodywork.  Only real visible difference is that there's now clearance where it used to rub.

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At least the witness marks made spotting the contact points easy!

Has definitely reduced the tendency for there to be a godawful crash from the back end on bumps now.  Has meant I can get rid of the horrible strip of weatherstripping which was across the bottom of the closure too (an earlier - and *briefly* successful - attempt to shut it up).

I do need to touch up a couple of bits of the glass fibre work on that nearside corner though.

I sense the Caddy may be seeing another visit to a garage soon.

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She's wearing the outer shoulder on both front tyres.

I know one control arm was changed a while ago, so quite likely it's partner needs doing now.  That's not something I'm getting involved in, that'll be a garage job.

Any noticeable change in how the car drives?  Nope.  Any clonks?  Nope.  Would the average car driver in 2022 have noticed this before the tyres either blew out or were pointed out as being down to the cords at the MOT (which is eight months out)?  I rather doubt it.

This will be sorted properly soon.  I'm really not a fan of these tyres either, so they might get swapped for some Uniroyal rubber once that and the alignment has been corrected.

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The hunt for the proper rotor arm for the Trevi continues.  We've got another one here now which was advertised as a genuine Bosch one...which blatantly obviously isn't.  It's a "compatible" one, which is precisely as compatible as the other three we have sitting in the boot.  Which means really not at all.

The horrific amount of free play in the gear change in the Caddy was really starting to bug me.  Especially as it's so bad that the lever visibly flops from side to side when you go around corners (which is often given how many bloody roundabouts there are around here).  Replacement bushes are available from AutoDoc etc for a couple of quid, but it would be daft to pay postage on an order of just that part, so I went for a rummage in the garage to see if I could figure out a way to shim it out a bit.

My first attempt involved a bit of heater hose cut down, but that turned out to be too thick.  A little experimentation and head scratching then resulted in this monstrosity.

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Yes, that's about two dozen cable ties wrapped around the outer ring which is the bit actually attached to the linkage to the gearbox.  This has taken up the slack between it and the gear lever itself.  I am simultaneously both very ashamed and somewhat proud of this solution.  The result is actually a perfectly fine gear change without any of the horrible slop in it beyond what was probably there from the day it was new.

In more worrying news, just after I pulled out of the driveway today it started beeping loudly at me and flashing this angry red light at me again.

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(Why is there dog hair EVERYWHERE?!?)

Sure enough, the oil was indeed low again.  Having checked the handbook, apparently this IS simply a pressure indicator, and there's no level monitoring.  It's not just a switch like on most cars though - coolant level/temp and oil pressure lights on this are both ECU controlled.

Which is exceedingly worrying...Both as it means there are a couple of minutes of running time with the warning shown, and because of...well...Where the HECK is the oil going?  It's gone from max on the dipstick to minimum in a couple of days and probably around 150 miles.  That's a lot of oil used...Enough that if it was burning I'd have expected a James Bond style smoke screen to be following me, and there isn't.  She hasn't really smoked at all visibly from the driver's seat since we sorted out the nonsense with the EGR throttle system having failed resulting in the intake being completely blocked off on the overrun/on light throttle.

So a leak then?  I'd have thought I would have noticed a litre of oil leaking out of it in the space of a couple of days - the underside of the van would be plastered in it, and burning off the exhaust I'd have smelled it.

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Well crap...No apparent leaks.  Little bit wet around the rocker cover on the offside, but I think that's actually more historic spillage from filling it than a leak.  I have taken off and cleaned out the vapor separator in case the PCV system was clogged.  There was a bit of gunge in there but nothing drastic.

I'm a bit puzzled really...This seems like a LOT of oil to be burning.  This is more than my father's CVH Sierra was going through when the oil control rings on it went and it was properly comedy smoky.  How much smoke do I have here?  Well about this much. 

So nothing I wouldn't expect...Little puff of black when you first hit the throttle, but nothing notable...I'd be expecting plumes of blue with this much oil being burned.  That video is with the engine at full operating temperature, so the oil as thin as it'll get.  Nothing visible at all when it first starts either.

It's not ending up in the coolant either.  That's spotlessly clean.  Level is actually on max - the driveway is on a slope.

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I'll do an oil & filter change at the weekend (it's due in like two weeks based on my usual program anyway) so I can start properly monitoring usage from a known base line.  It's hard to get a proper reading from the dipstick on our drive as it's on a slope in two directions.

So where the heck is my oil going?!?  Answers on a postcard please...

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Merc, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 20/05 - The Mystery of the Disappearing Oil...
34 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

So where the heck is my oil going?!?  Answers on a postcard please...

erm... maybe the Coolant system? I mean I dont like what that would imply but its the only remaining place I can think of!

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Ah crap...it just briefly beeped and flashed at me again shortly after starting.  Went out again after about two seconds.

I know the level isn't low this time though as I just checked it before we set out.

Dodgy sensor or actual oil pressure issue?  Test gauge is now on the way from eBay...

I'm not seriously going to have two cars in a row with reputedly very reliable engines with major internal issues am I?

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5 hours ago, dozeydustman said:

Is it smoky on the overrun? Might be worth getting someone to follow you and seeing what happens

Nope.  There's no abnormal smoke at all as far as I can tell which is what's got me so confused!

The random pressure warning 2 minutes into the journey today is the most concerning.  Didn't do it again for the rest of the day.

Oil and filter have been changed, I'll inspect the filter element tomorrow in case there's any signs of nasties in there.

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Flipping sump plug was biblically tight.

Really annoying that the oil light on these is ECU controlled, so it comes on for a self test then goes out after a couple of seconds along with the temperature/low coolant light.  So you don't get any indication of how long it takes pressure to built up on startup.   Even after an oil change, it doesn't come on in the time it takes to prime the filter housing etc.

Which is why I've ordered a proper pressure test kit so I can see what it's actually producing.  Hopefully the result is "absolutely fine" and I can point at a pessimistic sensor.

Not going to bank on it though.  

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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...

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      First some background:
      I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
       
      Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
       
      As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
      The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
       
      ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
       
      Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
      Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
       
      The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
       
      I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.

      On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
      For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
       

       
      It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
      My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
       
      Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
       
      All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
       
      That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
    • By vulgalour
      Fackin oops.
       

       
      My goal was not to buy any more cars but with the Lanchester out of action while we work through it and make it safe to use, and the Princess out of action and needing the engine to be removed (a job I am procrastinating about, and when I'm motivated am thwarted by schedule and weather conflicts) it was getting more obvious that I needed some personal transport.  Something basic and reliable that I know my way around, that's going to be cheap to buy and run.  This is an ideal candidate, on paper.
      Whether I really can just use it as An Car or will end up getting all finicky about making it nice remains to be seen.  I just want some hasslefree pootling for a few months and normally Maestros are just that.
    • By robinmasters
      Yes, one of those. You've seen the car before, and I've already used up my best jokes (so I'll repeat them).
       
      An epic journey, including:
       
      - THREE COUNTIES
       
      - THAT LONDON
       
      - TRAINS
       
      - SHANKS' PONY
       
      - And possibly a pastry-encased but disappointing meal
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