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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 23/01 - Equipment Upgrades...


Zelandeth

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We could set the bar high in the 'how many shitters can you fit in a polo' game at the fod in the summer ūüėā

My parents tarted up their old house prior to selling. Re-wallpapered and painted the rooms, new cheap carpet, other odds and sods. It hid the 80+ year old fucked plaster and other many reasons why they wanted out of the place before they got too old to manage it and they got decent money for it... New owners took the entire place back to the bare shell within a month and stuck a massive extension on the side. Also compacted the front garden so much it stopped acting as the soakaway (fucking high water table) and they flooded out the winter they moved in ūüėā

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The problem we have here is that at this end of the market it needs to be at least presentable.  Currently the back garden is basically a muddy hole in the ground from having had to get rid of the rampant bamboo infestation (courtesy of the previous owner, that alone cost us nearly £8k).  There's visibly a huge chunk of the main timber right over the front door missing (hidden by duct tape and paint when we moved in), the soffits are literally falling apart, and there are half a dozen areas where we have or have had water ingress issues.  These aren't jobs we need to do to "tart the place up" so much as "get it to a state we're not going to have to knock a huge chunk off the asking price." If we'd known half of these issues existed we probably would have knocked about £20K off what we offered.  However the "enhanced" survey failed to spot a single issue beyond the sliding doors in the atrium not having the correct type of safety glass that would be used today.  

-- -- --

First accomplishment of today was figuring out a way to stop the heater cable from rattling...it can be wedged in the handle of the ash tray.

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Not a permanent solution, but will save it from driving me insane until I can properly sort it.

Having a slightly more in depth look under the bonnet than yesterday I spotted a couple of things amiss.

Firstly, looking at the radiator something didn't look right.

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A bit of poking reveals it should sit more like this.

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The top brackets appear to have either fallen apart of are totally missing.  Strange.

I deployed a highly technical cable tie to pull it closer to the right spot until I can properly Investigate and resolve that...has at least got some clearance between the top radiator hose and fan shroud now, this was previous touching.

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Likewise this air conditioning line has rubbed a good 1/2 way through the outer casing of the line.

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Will need to see if there is any gas in there whatsoever soon.  I suspect not.

Then I noticed this.

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That's the state the main line coming off the vacuum pump was in.  That's not going to be doing anything any favours, especially as at the very least the actuator for the EGR system is vacuum controlled, and there are lines running off to several bits and pieces around the engine bay.

Ten minutes later it looked like this instead.

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Sorting this appears to have completely eliminated the hunting idle, the ever present smell of diesel and obvious white smoke on the overrun/light throttle openings.  It has also made the throttle response far smoother, so that leak was definitely causing issues for a few things.  Likewise the brakes definitely feel stronger now, so I think the servo was also struggling a bit for vacuum pressure before.

It looks like there was originally a plastic cover that sat over the inlet manifold etc.  I'm not too bothered about that, as it's one less thing to remove for service access - if I come across one though I'll probably replace it just because I know it should be there.  Definitely at the bottom of the priority list though.

While I was in the area I changed the air filter.  Old one wasn't too bad so had definitely been done in the last couple of years, but for the sake of a few quid it's on my annual-ish list.  Especially on a normally aspirated diesel where getting as much air into the engine as possible is always a priority!

Nice to have got a couple of small jobs ticked off which have had a noticeable impact on the driving experience.

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Not much to report today.  Had to take my husband to a hospital appointment this morning, so have confirmed that cold starting doesn't seem to be an issue for the Caddy, even at -4C that we had today.  Despite the rather old looking Lion battery, which I'd generally trust about as far as I can throw it.

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Think 18 months is the best I've ever got out of one of them before.  

This temperature also meant I was surprised to find that for the first time since I think 2009, I have a car with a full compliment of working rear window defroster elements!

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Luxury!

Something which *did* become apparent during that trip though was that the wiper blades were past it.  Cleared the screen okay, but unless it was absolutely saturated wanted to jump, skip, judder and generally make a nuisance of themselves.  I did clean them as they didn't look all that old, did help but not by much.  So a new set went on.

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Glad to report for our Mr. Wobbler that while he may not approve of the rear wiper setup, the front ones pass the Triangle of Doom Test, with decent overlap.

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Also the new blades have restored calm to the cabin when driving in the persistent drizzle we've had all afternoon.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 06/01 - Some Simple VW Fettling...

Cleaning time!  Interior only as I'm currently without a pressure washer - and they've literally just driven past our house and dumped about five tonnes of salt on each of the roads in our neighborhood so it would be pretty pointless.

Looking forward to dealing with the likes of this though...

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Plus there's about three quarters of a forest worth of leaves in the windscreen scuttle.

Interior looks a bit better for a bit of a scrub though.  

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The seats really want to come out so I can give the carpets a proper scrub, and the seats would really benefit from a wet clean themselves too.

I did note that both front footwells are a bit damp - I'm not reading too far into that though until I've cleared out the scuttle drains as given the amount of organic matter under there they're almost definitely clogged up.  The headlining would also benefit from a deep clean - that will need to come out to deal with the rust at the base of the window over the cab anyway so those things will probably happen at the same time.

Only other item of note done today was getting the fuel filter and the feed lines attached to it replaced.

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Think I'm going to go back and do the ones on the return too, just didn't have enough hose clamps to go round today (I despise those spring type ones with a passion - especially the ones VW use as they have really tiny tabs on so are nigh on impossible to get hold of if you don't have the proper tool).  Given I was able to pull the one on the feed side straight off, the hose had obviously been squashed enough under the hose clip that it was no longer doing anything.

One of the O-rings on the return line stub was cracked, so definitely think this was due changing.

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Hopefully this will put a stop to air being pulled into the fuel system.  Time will tell I guess.

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 09/01 - Caddy Interior Cleaning...

Having run out of daylight yesterday today's quick task was oil & filter change.

Set the oil draining, then realised something...the Caddy is modern enough to have one of these strange plastic caps over the oil filter.

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...Which I've never had to deal with before.  After wasting half an hour trying to get it unscrewed without the right tools I gave up and went round to Halfords and grabbed one of these.

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Holy hell that was tight.  I wound up basically hanging my bodyweight off the thing before it eventually started to very slowly come loose.

I then made a horrible mess and spilled oil everywhere when lifting the old filter out.  

New one in - which helpfully has the top marked as I didn't realise they weren't symmetrical until after I'd put the old one down and lost track of the rotation.

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New filter also comes with new O-rings for both the cap itself and the feed tube assembly which drops down through the middle of the filter.  I made a definite point of lubricating the outer seal with fresh engine oil before reassembling.  Tightening it precisely as much as necessary to snug the seal up and a smidge more.  Hopefully I won't have such a fight to get the cap off next time round.

The old oil smelled quite strongly of diesel and seemed quite watery (it is 5W40 though so not all that thick anyway), which isn't a huge surprise given the van was chucking clouds of unburned fuel out the back on the overrun because of that vacuum leak I found a couple of days back.  By no means the worst I've seen, but it was definitely ready for a change.

New set of floor mats have also been thrown into the cabin to tidy the floors up a bit.  

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I may get a set of properly shaped ones ordered at some point, but these at least seem to stay put.  The rubber ones that were in there before had virtually no grip on the carpet and I'd nearly died getting into the driver's seat about half a dozen times because of that, so these are an improvement in that department.

Hard to believe I've done just over 500 miles in this thing already!  Still thoroughly enjoying driving it too.  

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 10/01 - Business As Usual & Routine Servicing...

It's quite amazing that a vw caddy is a surprisingly decent drive. I've never driven one of your age Zel, but I've owned a 2006 2.0tdi which was a rust bucket but a lovely drive, and my current 2014 1.6 TDI maxi, which although being really comfortable and an easy drive could be doing with a few more horses. Its adequate for just myself in it, but I would think fully loaded or towing would show up its lack of horses. My bosses 2012 1.6tdi seems far more responsive than mine, they have the exact same engine code and power, so I do wonder sometimes if his has been remapped.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk

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On 1/10/2022 at 5:41 PM, Daviemck2006 said:

It's quite amazing that a vw caddy is a surprisingly decent drive. I've never driven one of your age Zel, but I've owned a 2006 2.0tdi which was a rust bucket but a lovely drive, and my current 2014 1.6 TDI maxi, which although being really comfortable and an easy drive could be doing with a few more horses. Its adequate for just myself in it, but I would think fully loaded or towing would show up its lack of horses. My bosses 2012 1.6tdi seems far more responsive than mine, they have the exact same engine code and power, so I do wonder sometimes if his has been remapped.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk
 

This one really isn't fast, but the way it delivers the power it does have always makes it feel eager, if that makes any sort of sense.  A lot is how it just feels on the road, the steering is nicely weighted and has decent road feel, and it's just far more chuckable than you'd expect.

-- -- --

This afternoon I decided to have a look at the key to see if I could do anything to tidy it up.  I also wanted to get into it to confirm if it had an immobiliser chip in or not so I knew which type of spare to order.  Currently I only have the one key and that's always a recipe for stress in my mind.

The key looked like this...which is why I was determined to try to tidy it up a bit.

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The fact that the tape was decomposing and sticking to every bit of pocket lint (or in this house, the omnipresent dog hair) was also rendering this high on my to do list.

Like a complete and utter idiot I didn't wear gloves while pulling this to bits...and of course the mixture of electrical tape and duct tape had both well and truly started to decompose into the stickiest goo known to human kind.  Said goo is now all over my hands, desk, keyboard, mouse, phone, probably in my hair - and all over everything within about a 500 metre radius.  Rookie mistake.

Oddly when I pulled it apart I couldn't see anything wrong...all three bits of the assembly click together firmly, and the flexible membrane on the side with the remote buttons on isn't split.

Testing the two CR2016 cells showed they were both fine, so I just reassembled everything after a good clean.  Oh, and yes it appears the van does have an immobiliser.

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Sure enough, the light on the key did flash when buttons were pressed...so I went out and walked through the key synchronisation routine, resulting in...

I'll take that as a win!

Though I did notice this mess in the engine bay when doing a check for oil leaks following the change yesterday...

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Which is moderately concerning.  I know this van did at one point have an aftermarket alarm (which doesn't appear to function), so I wonder if this was a result of a refusal to shut up one time to often - the loom tape does make it look different to the main vehicle loom, which is why my first thought was alarm.  I will definitely be checking to ensure there's not power there shortly.

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 11/01 - Fixing Stuff...

A closer look at that wiring mess reveals the tail is attached to the aftermarket alarm sounder...so that's definitely thoroughly dead then.  Good thing I erred on the side of "I don't think so" when asked by the insurance company if it had an alarm.  I'll pull that out then and see if I can find the other end of this to at least confirm that there's no power going to it.

Yay, I get to stand on my head under a dashboard again!

On the running theme of seeing if I can get vehicle systems back up and running I made a run over to Formula 1 in Newport Pagnell so this could happen.

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While the AC system was totally flat when I got the van, I had noted that both service caps were loose, plus the condenser looks way newer than 20 years and 100K miles...have to wonder if a new one was fitted at some point and they just never bothered gassing it up?  I still have a bottle with some dregs of dry nitrogen from goodness only knows how many years ago, which in its last gasp shoved around 40psi into this system a few days ago.  Checking this morning showed the pressure hadn't visibly dropped.  Having something in there had also allowed me to check that the compressor clutch worked and the compressor ran - albeit only for a couple of seconds as I had no idea if there was any oil left in the system.

It was a tense 30 minutes while the system ran the vacuum decay test (which basically is a leak check to see whether any air leaks back into it) was carried out - zero decay reported.  Which says the system should hopefully be gas tight.  It also shows it's reasonably dry (as water boiling off from the drier core etc would result in a *small* bit of vacuum decay).

Machine was happy with all of the tests and charged properly.  Real test was going to be starting up, pushing the button and seeing what happened.

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I should really have had a camera pointing at the service gauges to video it, but suffice to say they behaved exactly as expected.  It's a bit hard to tell you'd think when it's all of 6C outside, but the system was definitely working.  Suction line definitely got cold and there was heat quickly apparent on the liquid line.  Definitely colder than ambient air coming out the vents too... exactly what we were after.  No nasty noises from the compressor (that I can hear over the rattle of an SDi idling next to it anyway... though I'd by lying if I didn't admit it's a lot more refined than an XUD).

Having working AC should really help me deal with the bit of damp in the cabin.  Basically we'll run the heater at "as warm as I can deal with" on recirc with the AC on for a while and see if that helps.  As the air con dehumidifies the air passing through it, that will help actively pull water out of the cabin.

Next significant jobs in mind:

[] Exterior clean.

[] Dismantle and clean EGR system as it sure it's thoroughly sooted up.  Especially given I've no idea how long that vacuum leak had been playing havoc with things.  Can't see any obvious signs of it having been apart before, so it and the intake pipework will be well due a clean if that's the case.

[] Paint front bumper so it looks slightly less scruffy.

Longer term I have an idea in mind regarding the paintwork as a whole...open to inspiration that others might have too though.  I'm already finding myself really quite attached to this little van so I'm going to try to make a reasonably tidy job of things.  The rust around the window over the cab will be getting sorted and we'll see what we can do for the offside rear quarter too before the aforementioned larger scale paint job too.

What colour do *you* think she should be painted?

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 13/01 - Chilling Progress...

Ten minute job for this evening between running around like a headless chicken all afternoon and starting to prep dinner.  Also had my booster jab earlier today and am already starting to feel rough.  Main plan for this weekend is to actually clean the Mercedes so it can be dropped off with the new owner.  Had really wanted to do that during the week, but time and weather kept getting in the way.  Will really be happy once we get back to having daylight in the evenings again.

Today I fixed...

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The backlighting for the heater controls on the Caddy.  Mainly because it was bugging the hell out of my OCD.  Just the one lamp for all that lot and a bunch of light pipes.

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(Some of which are on the faceplate).

This also allowed me to get a look at what's broken regarding the temperature control cable.

Pretty simple actually.

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There should be a metal clip where I've circled to grip the cable sheath (like on the red and white cables around 4 o'clock in the above photo), however the bit of plastic the clip should attach to has cracked.

Basically everything to the right of the red line in this photo has broken off.

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This is apparently a well known weak point in this setup.  A quick scan around online shows replacement units pretty readily available for less than £50, so I'm not going to invest too much time into trying to repair this one, especially as the tabs which are meant to secure it to the dash are also broken on 3/4 corners.  The question will be whether I go for a used OEM one (which we know has a design weakness) or an aftermarket one which may be made of cheese. 

My instinct is to get an original one which isn't yet broken and to add a bit of reinforcement to the bit that always breaks off.

The *tricky* bit is going to be figuring out whether I can transfer the AC specific bits to a non-AC baseplate (the facia just clips on/off so that's not a problem) as the vast majority of them are from non-AC cars.  Hmm...some more research may be needed.

Anyhow...meant I could finally get a proper dash at night photo (which I'll stick up in the relevant thread too in a sec).

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Camera makes it look far brighter and less green as usual. 

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Only lit thing not currently working is the cigarette lighter - which of course I noticed approximately ten minutes *after* packing up for the day.  

One oversight on the part of the company who did the wheelchair conversion I feel is that they didn't provide a handle with which to close the rear door from inside.  In the normal van configuration this would be pretty irrelevant, but I think getting into the rear seats is far easier from the back than trying to contort yourself through the front doors (having to climb UP into the back as well as around the seats is tricky).  So it would be nice to be able to shut the rear door from inside without having to pull it shut by the edge and try to get your hand out the way quick enough to not shut it in the door.  Will need to have a rummage through my stash of random crap and see if I can find a handle which wouldn't look horribly out of place.

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Absolutely bugger all to show for today as the vaccine booster is kicking my ass.  Which sucks as there are a LOT of things I need to get done this weekend both car related and otherwise...and I've already lost a day already.

Quite a few folks have suggested that if I were looking at doing a respray on the Caddy to stick with the original colour.  It is a nice clean looking colour, but let's face it... I'm really not a "resale silver" sort of person.  There is far too much grey in the world and I'm a fan of colour.

A few of you may already have figured out where I'm going with this given there's quite a bit of 6N Polo in the Caddy.  I reckon that one of the best - and most unexpected from a generally very restrained company like VW - ideas that came out of Wolfsburg in the mid 1990s was the Polo Harlequin.

A few thousand Polos and a handful of Golfs got the treatment, but it never (officially) saw use on any other models.  Not one to be deterred, I'd like to make a Caddy Harlequin.

This does require a little bit of thought though...as all the Polos and Golfs this was done to at the factory were 5-door cars...and my van doesn't have a cargo door on either side.  

I reckon having the base colour used on the whole rear quarter would be too much of one colour.  So the rear door colour would be used for the rear quarter in my case.  This then presents a new problem...on the Polo the rear doors and rear bumper were the same colour.  Not a problem there as there's a strip of metal running from the rear of the sill, up around the wheel arch then up to the roof line providing a contrasting colour to separate them.  That strip essentially doesn't exist here so I'd end up with the rear bumper blending into the rear quarter.  

My proposed solution is to swap the colour of the rear bumper.  Switching the green out for blue.  Pondered yellow too, but that would then match the front...and matching is precisely what this is NOT about.  It is supposed to be a glorious mess.

I threw this together as a really, really quick proof of concept to get my thoughts down on paper so to speak.

Obviously as this is just a quick and dirty photo edit of a silver van, the actual colours would be WAY more vibrant in reality.

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Hard to see there, but the rear doors will be yellow.  Wheels would obviously be tidied up at the same time.

For those who aren't familiar with the Harlequin, here's a factory example - so these are what the colours would actually be, courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Precisely how we'd do this will remain to be seen...hoping to find a bonnet the right colour as this one has a couple of dents in, doors may be easier to find than paint.  The sills, roof and sides though it may make more sense to have wrapped than to respray it... though I'll probably look for input from someone who actually does this stuff professionally before anything actually happens.  I'm going to try to do as good a job of this as I reasonably can.

Welcome thoughts, alternative colour placements etc.  Sadly getting hold of the correct seat material and blue steering wheel/gear lever of the Harlequin models are not likely to happen.

Only other achievement for the day was gambling on a £12 used heater control panel on eBay - it LOOKS like the AC/recirc button assembly just screws on the bottom, so I'm hoping I can swap that bit over...if not I'm not going to lose sleep over £12.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 15/01 - Pondering Paintwork...
35 minutes ago, 3VOM said:

The colour of the car goes off the sill IIRC, so don't change that and DVLA stay happy.

Don't really have an issue with changing that, I did query it with my insurer when I was setting things up as the idea was in my head since before I'd even collected the van and they didn't have any issue with it.  Given they're a van specialist they're used to companies switching things like that, applying wraps etc.  The only thing they said they would want more detail on would be if we were getting involved in fancy, very expensive finishes like flip paint, holographic wraps or matt paintwork.  

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I wanted to paint it green in my ownership. But not enough to actually do it.

I like the harlequin idea but I'm inclined to think that the most interesting thing to do to any old VW is leave it standard - Modified Caddys are probably more common than unmessedaboutwith ones these days, and this one is even of a rarity with the windows and etc.

Good work on the under-bonnet improvements. Glad it found a good home!

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Didn't have a huge amount of energy available today as I'm still feeling like death, nevertheless I was determined to get a few things done.

First up was getting the interior of the S123 back into a presentable state.  Calling it clean would be overselling it, but it's a hell of a lot better and I'm not embarrassed by it any more.  Sadly attempts to find a working jetwash to do something about the outside were fruitless.

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It's no longer 87% dog hair by volume at least.

 

Moving onto the Caddy it was time to have a look at the EGR valve to get an idea of how funked up the system was.

My the standards of most modern cars it's thankfully pretty easy to get to.

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Wasn't actually nearly as bad as I expected to be honest.  Yes it's pretty disgusting, but I'm not unused to seeing these choked solid.

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Probably about 0.5mm worth of caked on gunk the whole way round.

The other side of the valve is more disgusting as it's sticky, tarry crap as the PCV system feeds into the EGR circuit right next to the valve.  I did dig an appreciable amount of gunge out of the valve body, but it definitely wasn't totally choked nor seemed to be sticky.

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Reassembled everything...and absolutely no difference.  Very slightly surging engine speed still there (it does exactly the same at any engine speed I found, regularly once a second), along with excessive smoke on light throttle.

Definitely have vacuum at the EGR valve, and you can hear it physically snap shut if you pull the vacuum line off.  It however doesn't have any noticeable effect on the running of the engine either way.

Something I did notice is that when this behaviour is present, the rev counter also behaves slightly erratically, randomly twitching upwards from the actual engine speed - and it seems to do it more when on the throttle than off.

Then out of nowhere, the engine completely smooths out.  The note deepens (because the flap on the intake, which I assume works in partnership with the EGR valve is now fully open), and the diesel clatter becomes a little sharper, so something has obviously changed - I'm guessing with the injection timing.  Checking the EGR at that point shows there's no vacuum present, so the ECU isn't calling for the EGR system to be in operation.  It's also noteworthy that after this point when things decide to behave that the rev counter twitching also stops.

So I don't think the EGR valve is the cause of this issue...bit it's definitely *involved* in it.  Think the next step really will be to find someone locally with VCDS and get a look at some real-time data.  Everything being fly-by-wire here makes guessing pretty pointless... imagine on a newer car we'd have a check engine light illuminated - but this car doesn't have one!

The rev counter misbehaving being clearly tied into it is making me think camshaft/crankshaft position sensors?  Or however else the ECU gets the engine speed/position data...makes sense though if there's a disparity between the requested and reported engine speed, it would throw the fuelling all to hell.

Think it's likely been like this for a while so I'm not worried about it really, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to try to get to the bottom of it.  Especially as the van drives so much nicer when this fault is staying out of the way.

We got any SDi experts on here?

Oh...and I've ordered a replacement engine cover.  Looks quick and easy to fit/remove unlike many, so I'm not adverse to its being there.  

Something which may well be getting changed in the not too distant future - which is a shame as they're only a year old - is the tyres.  I had to brake moderately hard to avoid a suicidal pigeon this afternoon and discovered that these tyres really aren't great on a cold, damp road.  Also the front ones have way more grip than the rears...great, aside from when all four wheels lock up, then the front regains grip well before the rear - which by then has started to try to overtake the front.  It was a moderately firm braking manoeuvre, but I didn't expect quite *that* degree of upset.  Even the big van would have been okay.  

Methinks some Uniroyal rubber may be in the future.  I will get the tracking checked in the meantime though - not least because the steering wheel is slightly off straight and means I can't see about 2/3rds of the warning lights on the dash when driving straight ahead.  Bit of a daft design there from VW.  Likewise the switchgear most of which is hidden behind the steering wheel.

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This surging behaviour seriously has me intrigued.  Managed to catch it doing it again today and got a better video properly catching it.

Which clearly shows how it's essentially a regular "blip" that happens irrespective of the engine speed - and that during this behaviour she chucks out a shedload of smoke.  

You can always *smell* that something is off when it's doing this, the smell from the exhaust lingers for ages.  If you're in a car following it, it makes your eyes water apparently.

Physically disabling the EGR valve by removing and plugging the vacuum line to the actuator has no effect.  I know the valve is moving as you can clearly hear it snap open or closed - and it sealed well enough that carb cleaner wasn't even seeping through the orifice while I was cleaning it yesterday.  So I think the valve itself is innocent.

However if I unplug the electrical connection to the solenoid valve which controls said valve, the problem completely goes away.  Idle immediately smooths out perfectly (it sounds to me like the injection timing or duration also changes as the engine note itself does change too), you hear the throttle valve in the intake snap fully open, and the throttle response becomes perfectly smooth through the whole rev range - and we see absolutely zero smoke aside from the expected tiny bit of black if you absolutely boot it, and that's not enough to be visible in the headlights of a following car.   Also notable that any noticeable smell completely vanishes too...

Now I'm sure unplugging that would trigger an engine management light if I had one and I'm sure will have logged a fault code, and disabling an emission control device like this is illegal, so it's not a permanent fix...however it provides me with useful data to add to my diagnostic process and *definitely* puts the van in a less polluting state while I get to the bottom of the root cause.  You've see the cloud if you've watched the video above!

I need to make my evening reading today working out exactly what the sequence of operation is for the various bits of the emission control system on this engine and how the various parts interact with each other.  I get the impression that understanding how that lot works will shed some light on what might be happening.  

Decided that the Caddy could have a day off as errand running workhorse.

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Which went absolutely fine until I heard a suspicious "ding" at one point and saw something disappearing into oblivion behind me.

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Ah.  That's sub optimal.  The air filter element was still present, wedged between the chassis and suspension arm thankfully (as they're surprisingly expensive), however the cover plate and wing nut are long gone.  Even if I could spot it, as with so much of MK there's nowhere safe to pull over to retrieve it safely as it's on a 70mph dual carriageway with no pedestrian provision even vaguely nearby.  So I'll need to find a replacement.  Thankfully it's a bit of standard Steyr-Puch engine rather than a bespoke bit of Invacar so shouldn't be difficult to track one down, even if it may mean getting a whole new air cleaner assembly.

Guess we need to add "check air filter element retaining wing nut is tight" to the weekly checklist!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 17/01 - Further EGR Testing...
47 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

Decided that the Caddy could have a day off as errand running workhorse.

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Which went absolutely fine until I heard a suspicious "ding" at one point and saw something disappearing into oblivion behind me.

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Ah.  That's sub optimal.  The air filter element was still present, wedged between the chassis and suspension arm thankfully (as they're surprisingly expensive), however the cover plate and wing nut are long gone.  Even if I could spot it, as with so much of MK there's nowhere safe to pull over to retrieve it safely as it's on a 70mph dual carriageway with no pedestrian provision even vaguely nearby.  So I'll need to find a replacement.  Thankfully it's a bit of standard Steyr-Puch engine rather than a bespoke bit of Invacar so shouldn't be difficult to track one down, even if it may mean getting a whole new air cleaner assembly.

Guess we need to add "check air filter element retaining wing nut is tight" to the weekly checklist!

nice to see TPA out and about :) 

its a shame bout the air filter assembly disassembling itself! 

that air filter housing/assembly still a curiosity for me, as you probably notice yours is much shorter then any other, I do wonder did someone cut an existing one down for some reason or did it come from the factory like that and if so whats the deal with it being so short? is it a later replacement part? I wonder

but I have never seen one like yours, every other Steyr puch engined vehicle I have seen has had a full length one like on REV :) 

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17 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

 

Now I'm sure unplugging that would trigger an engine management light if I had one and I'm sure will have logged a fault code, and disabling an emission control device like this is illegal, so it's not a permanent fix...however it provides me with useful data to add to my diagnostic process and *definitely* puts the van in a less polluting state while I get to the bottom of the root cause.  You've see the cloud if you've watched the video above!

 

My first thought when watching the video was "is that going to stop?", which brought me on to my second thought, which was that if the jumps in revs weren't so definitively stepped, I'd be wondering if my diesel van was suddenly drinking all the oil in my sump and about to embark on a death-spiral of runaway. And then I saw how blue the smoke looked in the video.

So are you sure it's not eating oil?

Obviously that does nothing to explain the stepping behaviour, which definitely sounds electrically controlled, but in case that's food for thought.

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1 hour ago, mercedade said:

My first thought when watching the video was "is that going to stop?", which brought me on to my second thought, which was that if the jumps in revs weren't so definitively stepped, I'd be wondering if my diesel van was suddenly drinking all the oil in my sump and about to embark on a death-spiral of runaway. And then I saw how blue the smoke looked in the video.

So are you sure it's not eating oil?

Obviously that does nothing to explain the stepping behaviour, which definitely sounds electrically controlled, but in case that's food for thought.

Doesn't seem to be, level certainly hasn't moved visibly since I changed it, which is admittedly only a few hundred miles ago.  Thing is when it's not doing that there's absolutely zip in the way of smoke, irrespective of engine speed.  Also it smells much more of fuel than burned engine oil.

Think the video makes it look more blue than it really is too, was nearly dark when I recorded that.

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Today's automotive task: 

Get rid of this bodgery.

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This is a close up of the broken bit of plastic on the back of the heater control assembly.

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Which SHOULD look like this.

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Thankfully as I expected the base units are identical, just mine has a few extra bits on being from an AC equipped car.

Mine:

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New (used) one:

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Underneath:

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These (plus the white plastic lamp cover I later realised) are what need to be transferred over - and the faceplate obviously.

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The greenish plastic thing in the middle is the light pipe which illuminates the indicators in the AC/Recirc buttons green when the headlights are on and the controls are off.

It needs to sit in front of the main light pipe assembly, but thankfully that unclips easily enough.

The one on the right illuminates the legends on the aforementioned buttons...and getting that sucker into position here is a royal faff, especially as you're acutely aware of what a tiny, fragile bit of plastic it is.

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Really glad I had the sense to photograph the order these sat in before pulling anything apart.

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This is what the top of the switch assembly looks like.

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Whole new unit back together now with my AC specific bits added.

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I initially didn't realise that the white lamp housing is slightly different, as the AC specific one is slightly shorter to allow it to fit over the additional light pipes.

The part numbers are different, confirming I wasn't just being daft.

AC one:

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Non-AC one:

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Though if you're doing this job you've likely got a complete but broken assembly in front of you anyway, so really not an issue. If robbing bits for an AC conversion though worth knowing you do need it.

After a small amount of swearing at cables (they are *precisely* as long as they *need* to be).  I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's a large part of how that bit got snapped in the first place.  Wouldn't be hard to put a load of strain on there when installing a stereo or routing any wiring behind the dash.

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While I was in there I pulled the cigarette lighter out to replace the failed lamp in that.

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That has to be one of the most frustratingly difficult to access lamp holders I have ever come across.  I did eventually though manage to extract and replace the lamp.  Result being (finally) all of the dash illumination working.

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Albeit with a moderately annoying amount of light leakage from the vicinity of the cigarette lighter.  It really needs some assistance in the light-tightness department.

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Next interior target will be the offside outer heater vent which is missing a large chunk of itself.

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Which I have a suspicion will end up coming from the same breakers I just got the heater control panel from.  I'll probably do the headlight control panel too as it's not securely fitted, I'm assuming because a mounting tab has broken or something like that behind it.  The little storage cubby for documents under the dash being screwed shut with self-tappers may make it onto the list too as I can't unsee that now!

Small steps, but nice to have fully working heater controls again without needing a cable sticking out under the dash.  For the sake of £12 of parts and maybe an hour of time, hard to say no really.

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21 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

they are *precisely* as long as they *need* to be

Something that's been doing the rounds at work recently, as it happens.

The cable for one of our components is exactly the length for its fully-seated position, but makes assembly a pain in the backside for the guys on the line. On the flipside, when you add length to a cable in a confined space, you've got to make sure the slack has somewhere to go without getting trapped or fouling other parts.

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Today was frustrating.  I wanted to give the outside of the Merc a bit of a scrub up before it's off to a new home on Friday.  At the end of last week I picked up another secondhand pressure washer to replace the one which went "pop" just before Christmas.  Having not used this stuff for a while it took me forever to find all the associated bits and pieces. 

Then my hosepipe burst...there went another 3/4 of an hour while I picked up a replacement and put the reel together.

At this point it became immediately apparent we had a problem.

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That water should be inside the pressure washer.

This is not a small leak.

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It literally was spraying out of the casing in several places.  A bit of investigation showed we have a cracked pump housing on the output stub.

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I reckon given there was a chunk missing out of the end of the threads that it had been dropped/chucked (bearing in mind it was destined for the bin when the lance got broken) and landed on that outlet.

Game over.

I've run out of patience with this problem and cheap plastic domestic washers packing in after a year or two.  Not the cheapest one I could find by a long shot, but a relatively cheap petrol one has now been ordered.  Reviews all seem to suggest that provided that you are aware that you're buying a budget machine and accept that you are going to have to deal with some foibles now and then it's a decent bet.  We'll see when it gets here I guess.  Had nearly £100 of gift vouchers in my Amazon account, some of which had been there for quite a while so that made it quite a bit cheaper too.  All other things aside, having 30 metres of hose to work with and an onboard hose reel will be a huge hassle saver at the very least.

Sadly does mean I'm either going to need to find a working jetwash tomorrow or hand the car over filthy.  Again.  Not ideal, but that's just how things go sometimes.

In other news, this happened on the way to a hospital appointment this morning.  On the M1 at the time so you'll have to make do with a photo taken by my other half at my request.

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Here's to many more miles hopefully.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 19/01 - Pressure Washer Problems & Caddy Passes a Milestone...

Finally managed to find one working jet wash.  It's the most horribly rushed, patchy job in the history of self-service car washes, but the car looks a lot better.  At least I've got most of the moss out of the gutters and window seals...

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Car rewarded me for this by blowing one of the rear indicator bulbs.  Of course the last of which I fitted last week...so I nicked one from the offside repeater on the van as it won't be going anywhere further than across the street until the salt is gone.

Quite a bit of it out there just now.  This roof corner was silver this morning!

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TPA obviously won't be doing much until after this cold snap has moved on.  Hasn't stopped me from finally getting a replacement key ring for the one I somehow lost back around the start of the pandemic.

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Also great fun for messing with people's heads at classic car shows.

I really need to ask a few folks if they have spare air cleaner bits floating around.  In the meantime a solution has been found to keep the intake clean using random bits and pieces that were floating around the garage.

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That doesn't look *at all* ridiculous, does it...

It'll only be there until I source a replacement filter retaining plate for the proper housing.   Good for at least an extra 5bhp...

...Or maybe not, given I could neither hear nor feel any difference to normal with the filter open.  Not really surprising given what a small engine it is.

With a bit of luck the Mercedes will be off to a new home tomorrow afternoon.

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16 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

I really need to ask a few folks if they have spare air cleaner bits floating around.  In the meantime a solution has been found to keep the intake clean using random bits and pieces that were floating around the garage.

IMG_20220120_154654.thumb.jpg.c685dc0c88ed374460b63085210c235e.jpg

That doesn't look *at all* ridiculous, does it...

It'll only be there until I source a replacement filter retaining plate for the proper housing.   Good for at least an extra 5bhp...

...Or maybe not, given I could neither hear nor feel any difference to normal with the filter open.  Not really surprising given what a small engine it is.

With a bit of luck the Mercedes will be off to a new home tomorrow afternoon.

LOL! somewhere theres a table lamp missing its lamp shade now!

about as incongruous as the clad in bright metallic red plastic horn currently fitted to REV :) 

 

curiously AC did change about the positioning of the air filter with regards to the standard steyr puch engine layout 

Prototype Model 70's and every other Steyr puch engined vehicle out there has the air filter pointing to the right, as seen here on AC Model 70 Prototype number 9

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but all production Model 70's I have seen have the air filter pointing to the left, I have not seen any other Steyr puch engined vehicle that is configured like that AFAIK

have to wonder why they did it, was there a technical reason behind it, or was it just done to make accessing the air filter element a bit easier?

 

BTW excuse me if I have missed if you have mentioned it already, but is the Merc staying in the fold or is it onto pastures new like the jag? :) 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 20/01 - S123 Ready to Move On...
56 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

LOL! somewhere theres a table lamp missing its lamp shade now!

about as incongruous as the clad in bright metallic red plastic horn currently fitted to REV :) 

 

curiously AC did change about the positioning of the air filter with regards to the standard steyr puch engine layout 

Prototype Model 70's and every other Steyr puch engined vehicle out there has the air filter pointing to the right, as seen here on AC Model 70 Prototype number 9

Bild_014_AC-Car.thumb.jpg.9ea19491b8fb64626531e12e4fa90c04.jpg

but all production Model 70's I have seen have the air filter pointing to the left, I have not seen any other Steyr puch engined vehicle that is configured like that AFAIK

have to wonder why they did it, was there a technical reason behind it, or was it just done to make accessing the air filter element a bit easier?

 

BTW excuse me if I have missed if you have mentioned it already, but is the Merc staying in the fold or is it onto pastures new like the jag? :) 

Carb choice possibly?  The mounting point for the throttle return spring pretty much needs the housing to be this way round.  Wonder if other carbs were used in other applications, or if the long throttle cable run necessitated a helper spring on the Invacar, so they just flipped it round as it was a convenient mounting point for it.

Do other Steyr-Puch air cleaners have the spring mounting tab?

Other thought - I'm assuming when they were built that the completed engine assembly was plonked in as one assembly.  Given it's already shifted slightly towards the offside because of the layout, wonder if flipping that around through 180 degrees would help make it a slightly more compact and easily managed unit.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Citroen, Mercs, VW, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5 - 23/01 - Equipment Upgrades...

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I don't know why, but I've grown pretty fond of it over the time I've had it, despite the fact that it is fairly crap to drive by modern standards! 2001 Subaru Legacy Outback 3.0 H6 - Bought cheap with a short MOT, it was all going so well until I started picking at the inner arches. This was my partner's daily up until the MOT ran out, and ever since it's been on the 'I'll get round to it' list. Other than some crustiness, it's a pretty decent car. The flat 6 engine sounds beautiful through the stainless exhaust. It's rapid for a wagon, and has all the creature comforts you could want. It's fairly straightforward to work on.¬†I think this is about our 6th or 7th Legacy, I keep getting rid of them and then regretting it. I'm told we are selling this one once I fix it... I may just buy my partner out of it, save us buying another one in a few months time¬†ūüėÜ 2001 Mercedes E430 V8 Estate - ¬£250 facebook marketplace special. Ran great for 6 months, providing loads of V8 fun. Bloody quick in a straight line, and huge inside. Easily one of my favourite shit heaps I've ever owned. Then the gearbox took a dump before we left for Zurich in 2019 (yes, I am stupid enough to plan a 3,000 mile foreign trip in a ¬£250 German car...). I've since bought a replacement gearbox, which conveniently came attached to a 5.4l AMG lump from a CLK55 AMG that a mate was breaking, plus all the other bits I wanted to grab off of it. It's currently sat up at my parent's farm, firmly on the 'I'll get round to it' list. 2001 Mercedes SLK 320 - Bought off the mate who sold me the AMG lump, I got this as something to work on with my younger brother. It had a snapped control arm, and subsequently a knackered engine and gearbox. My mate chucked in a spare engine and gearbox, and we are most of the way through the repair¬†work. The hardest part of this project has been both mine and my brother's working hours changing, making it hard to find the time to work together. 1992 Honda Prelude 2.2 Si VTEC - Another Japanese import, I bought it when I was 21, ran it for years and then took it off the road and left it up the farm until I was ready to do the restoration work it needed (I couldn't weld back then... Some people might say I still can't ūüėÖ¬†) as the rear quarters and sills were going to crap. I started her up the other day and noticed she wasn't charging, so I'll probably strip the alternator and repair it over the next few days. As for the welding, you guessed it, I'll get round to it! 1992 Citroen BX Break 1.7 TZD - Well, it was free to a good home, and I had just dropped a car off and had an empty car transporter... What would anyone else do?! She's done nearly 300k miles, and has lots of holes for me to weld up. Otherwise runs fine, no trouble starting, suspension goes up and down as needed, doesn't spray green fluid all over the shop. I've had all the interior out and cleaned it thoroughly, removed most of the spiders, fitted the missing trim - basically done anything I can to avoid the harder jobs. It's due to become our holiday bus though, so I've scheduled some time over the next few months to get stuck in to the welding. This is probably one of the cars I'm most excited about running, as I reckon it will be a pretty decent estate to run around in. 1988 Zastava 311 - A bit of a random one, but I've always wanted a Zastava just for the obscurity. This one came up in January, and had been sat in¬†barns since 1996 apparently.¬† It didn't run when I got it, but I've slowly replaced pretty much everything in the engine bay, along with all the brake components and lines, and she runs now. Just the welding left to do, and she's ready for MOT. I have been fairly productive with this project, up until several cars within my family broke at the same time and I ended up working on those in my spare time instead of my toys. Only one family car left to fix and I'll be back on my projects again hopefully. I will try to put an individual post to follow for each car, as and when I can be bothered to do a write up of what I've done with each of them to bring them up to date, and then after that I'll try and get posts and pics up as I do jobs on them. I suspect the first thing to get up will be the Skoda, as that's what I'm actively working on currently. And seeing as you made it this far through my rambling, here's a picture of the Favorit:

    • By dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.



      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
    • By SiC
      So to recap. After a painfully long time (well a month) I finally bought a MGB GT.
       








       
      I've always fancied one and after seeing one at a local garage (which turned out to be a bit shit) the urge sprang up again. Anyway after a lot of searching I ended up with this. Seems pretty straight and underneath don't appear to not been welded too much. Worst point that I've found in the leaf spring mount. I'm not going to cover all the different things and stuff just yet as its already in the thread, so I shouldn't make this too long!
       
      I've not owned a car this old and never something with a carburettor. So I don't quite know what I'm doing with a lot of this, and will have plenty of questions! Part of the reason why I bought it was so I had something that I could fiddle with and learn on. As the other thread got a bit long, I thought it would be a better idea to split and start here.
    • By Fumbler
      To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-


      It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
      This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.

      As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
      All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
    • By BorniteIdentity
      This week, for the first time ever, I felt old. I have sciatica which swaps from one side to the other, arthritis in one hand and what I think is the beginnings of IBS. On top of that it took me 2 weeks to remember a registration number that once would take me 2 seconds, and I forgot my parent's wedding anniversary.

      I'm only 32.

      Shit. No I'm not. I'm 33. I forgot that too. (Genuinely)

      So, it's about time I committed some of my tales to paper. Well, a shonky server... but that's the best you can do in 2016.

      First up, a list of the cars I've owned (as best as I can remember) in chronological order.

      Main Cars
      1985 VW Polo Formel E. C158 TRT. This was given to me even before I passed my test.

      1991 Rover Metro S. J801 TAC. Bought about 3 months after I passed my test as I was convinced the Polo was about to shit its gearbox.

      1987 Volvo 360 GLT. D899 CBJ ___ Managed three months in a Metro before the small car and smaller petrol tank became a bore.



      Ford Mondeo and Honda Civic Coupe by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Ford Mondeo Zetec. V384 DBJ. Still the most I've ever spent on a car. It was 3 years old and cost, from memory, about √ā¬£8,000. Just think of the Rover R8s you could buy with that now!

      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8v by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI D79 CVV. I very nearly bought a MK1 Golf 1.1 but was persuaded, by my father amusingly, to buy this one from a different friend. From memory I gave about √ā¬£500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about √ā¬£300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for √ā¬£530.

      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis CDX. V781 GDP. By far the best car I've ever had. Bought in 2002 for √ā¬£5300, it had previously been a company car at British Telecom. I ran it from 62,000 to 174,000 before it became surplus to requirements. A German chap bought it on ebay for about √ā¬£500 and drove over to collect it. Hero.

      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2001 Ford Mondeo Zetec. Y821 EEB. I should have loved this car. I gave √ā¬£500 for it in 2008 which was stupidly cheap by anybody's standards. It needed 4 tyres (which actually was nice to pick good ones for once) and a coil spring. Sadly, it was just bill after bill after bill. I sold it and promised to never own another Ford. I nearly succeeded.

      1998 Nissan Almera by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1998 Nissan Almera GX Auto. S58 NLO. My late Grandfather's car and, upon reflection, my first proper attempt at bangernomics. I bought it for √ā¬£500 in 2008 from the estate and ran it for well over a year and 30,000 miles. It was also my first automatic which, whilst a bit dumb, did lock up into overdrive and give a good 36 mpg no matter how it was driven.

      2004 Ford Fiesta 1.25 LX and 2006 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Ford Fiesta Zetec. AG53 BWL. My wife's car which I ran for a couple of years when I bought her a Focus as a wedding gift.

      2003 Rover 75 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2003 Rover 75 Club SE. AX53 BFA. This is where my career as a serial car buyer really began. Ignoring all of the warning signs I decided to press a K Series into a daily 100 mile commute, which it did with aplomb. This wasn't actually the car I set out to buy, the one I'd agreed to buy OVERHEATED ON THE FORECOURT whilst I was doing the paperwork. Consequently I couldn't leave fast enough and bought a different car later that day.

      2004 Toyota Avensis T30-X by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      2004 Toyota Avensis T3-X. KT53 DWZ. Sensible head back on, I decided to get back into something I trusted when my 3rd son was born. This was a lovely car, but not without its problems. The VVTi oil burning issues are well documented and do frequently occur. Ironically, this was less reliable than the Rover it replaced! Despite fearing the worst and 3 months off the road, the new owner has just MOTd it.

      1999 Toyota Avensis SR by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1999 Toyota Avensis SR. V263 GDP. Back into bangernomics territory again. The last MK1 Avensis I had was the best car I'd ever had, so I hoped to replicate it with another T22 Avensis. This one came up for sale in my favourite (and rare) colour with a numberplate sequential to my previous car - so it was meant to be. I still have this now, and tomorrow it will tick around to 185,000 miles having been bought by me at 100,500.

      Side Bitches

      1974 Morris Mini 1000 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1974 Morris Mini 1000. GEL 517N. Well, I always wanted one - and was young, free, single and well off at the time (2003). A memorable trip to buy it when I called my new girlfriend by my ex girlfriend's name 20 miles into a 200 mile weekend away. She's never forgiven or forgotten but we're still friends. Oh - and married.

      1977 Ford Capri II GL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1977 Ford Capri II 1600 GL. SMY 675R. I can't remember why I bought this, other than I thought it'd be amusing. It was bought from Norwich for √ā¬£350 and was perfectly well behaved for the 8 months that I had it (other than a flasher unit expiring). I remember being shocked just how much the windscreen would ice up inside, and duly sold it in November to a guy who was going to drive it daily! It's still alive and now, apparently, black! (Update - it's now silver!!!)

      1989 Volvo 340 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1989 Volvo 340 DL. G67 AVN. I bought this for √ā¬£80. Unbelievable. It was utterly bloody perfect. I wanted to do a banger rally which is why the guy gave it to me so cheap. I'm still yet to do that rally, but no longer have the car. I sold it for about √ā¬£300 to a family who were clearly down on their luck who, I hope, still have the car.

      1996 Toyota Granvia by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1996 Toyota Granvia. N775 JEV. My wife and I decided to increase our numbers further and, with our 4th son on the way, larger transport was required. We quickly realised you can either have 4 children and no apparel, or apparel and no children. After trying a very tired Mercedes Viano, the Granvia was found for 1/4 of the price and it's still here 2 years later. I can safely say that we'll never sell it - it really is another member of the family.

      1993 Mercedes 190e by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1993 Mercedes 190e. L795 COJ. I've admired these cars since I was a child. In fact, one of the very few toy cars I still have from my childhood is a Mercedes 190e. Regular readers of "Memoirs from the Hard Shoulder" will know what a PITA this car has been since day 1, but I get the feeling it's a keeper. We'll see!

      1983 Ford Sierra Base 1.6 by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1983 Ford Sierra Base. GVG 510Y. Not explicitly my car, but it should be documented here for reference. Oh - and the V5 is in my name. The story is online for all to read as to how five of us acquired what is believed to be the only remaining Ford Sierra Base. Make a brew and read it, it's a fantastic story.

      1982 Ford Sierra L by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1982 Ford Sierra L. LCR 503Y. I accidentally won this on ebay for √ā¬£520. Upon reflection, I shouldn't have sold it - but short stop of saying I regret it. I could never get truly comfortable driving it and, in fairness, I could scratch my Sierra itch with the base if I wanted. Sold it at a stupid profit of √ā¬£1250. It is believed to be the oldest remaining Ford Sierra in the UK.

      1979 Volvo 343 DL by Bornite Identity, on Flickr
      1979 Volvo 343 DL. DBY 466T As you'll see above, I'd had a 360GLT as a younger lad and fancied one of these earlier cars. The variomatic is, frankly, terrible but amusing. This car has just 8000 miles on the clock and inside was absolutely timewarp. Sadly, the huge bill for the Mercedes 190e cylinder head rebuild meant I had to sell this car shortly after acquiring it. Since then I've had a bit of money luck, and now realise I didn't need to sell it after all. Typical.

      I think that's it. My arthritis is playing up even more now. I've left out a few cars that were actually my wife's, but if I find pictures will add them in at a later date. I'll run this as an ongoing thread on cars and what's happening.

      Current SitRep:

      Purple Avensis: Just about to click over 185,000. Minor drama this week when an HT lead split but otherwise utterly fantastic, fantastically boring and boringly reliable.

      Granvia: Just done 1000 miles in a month around Norfolk, 6 up with suitcases. 31mpg achieved on the way up which is good for an old tub with a 3.0 Turbo Diesel on board. ODO displaying 175,000 which is a mix of miles and kilometers. Say 130,000 miles for argument's sake.

      Mercedes: Being a PITA. It's had the top end completely rebuilt after the chain came off. Now needs welding to pass another MOT and the gearbox bearings are on strike. It's about to go into the garage for winter until I can stomach it again. 151,000 miles on the clock.

      Sierra bASe: Still on sabbatical with AngryDicky who only took it bloody camping in cornwall! Legend.
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