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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...26/10 - Goodies Arrive for the Van


Zelandeth

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Didn't have much cleaning really to do on the underside of the new head, reckon someone had already done at least a first pass.  This is how it looked before I touched it.

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Likewise the block actually wasn't bad at all.  Didn't take long at all to get it all cleaned up - though I failed to take a photograph of that stage.

Before I could start building things back up I needed to reset that blasted ratcheting timing chain tensioner. 

First step of that is to remove this huge great bolt-like thing, which requires you to remove all but one of the alternator bolts so it can be swung out of the way.

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I had assumed this would bring the whole tensioner out...no, it retains the spring and forms the outer oil seal...but the core of the tensioner (and the bit I needed to remove) was completely separate.

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...And required a 17mm hex bit to remove.  Which I didn't have.  Biggest I could find in the garage was 12mm.  Biggest I could find separately was 12mm...so ended up having to spend £20 on a set of 10 sizes just for the 17mm one which was annoying.

It was also biblically tight.  Though after hanging off the end of a breaker bar - which was bending worryingly - it came free and could be unscrewed from the block.

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One tensioner.  All that faff so I could do this.

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I should really have taken an intermediate photo to show how this works...but basically that bigger outer body is hollow.  The way it works is that the plunger can move freely from frame right to left, but cannot move the other way.  So the only way to back it off is to pull the plunger all the way out and insert it back into the other end of the body.  When you screw the outer cap back on with the spring under it, that then applies the correct amount of tension to the chain.  In addition to the spring tensioner, there's also a hydraulic circuit built in to push the plunger out...so basically there's a layer of redundancy there in case either the spring or hydraulic system were to fail.

If it didn't involve having to remove the alternator to get at it and require tools beyond what the average DIY mechanic are likely to have to hand I'd call it clever.

Having just got that sorted out it looked like we were making good progre...Oh.

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Yeah, then the weather decided to play around which lost me about an hour.

Undeterred though once the skies cleared I got back at it.

No pictures from when I was actually wrangling the new head into position as you'll understand it was quite an awkward job to do myself.

The head bolt torque specs and the bolt tightening sequence were helpfully included with the gasket.

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However as soon as I dug out the torque wrench I realised I had an additional problem.

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Yep...the Torx bit had a larger drive fitting than my torque wrench.  Back to bloody Halfords again to get an adaptor.

Eventually...

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I tell you now though, that last 90 degrees nearly killed me.  I was literally *hanging* off the end of the thing to get there.  I will definitely be feeling that from my back in the morning.

Head is torqued up, timing chain sprocket, guides are fitted and the tensioner has been refitted.

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I've rotated the engine by hand several times now and it rotates freely without making any horrible noises...so I've at least got the cam and crank vaguely timed right it looks like!  Everything looks to be moving perfectly too.

Ignition timing will probably need to be reset from scratch but that's fairly simple to do at least.

Sadly I was running out of daylight by this point and definitely out of energy.  I would have liked to at least spin it over on the starter today...but a lot of things need to be done before I can do that...Not least flush out the sump and put oil in it.  Oh, and

Hopefully we'll be in a position to at least attempt a startup tomorrow.  I'm not saying it will run tomorrow, but hopefully we'll be able to try!  Would be really nice to at least spin it over on the starter and see if we've got compression when we should have.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...12/10 - Replacement Cylinder Head Installed...
2 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

Well done. Walking away when you did is very much the right thing to do. That desperate push for firing it up is just the time to drop an absolute clanger! Or maybe it's just me...

What?  Like dropping an 8mm nut down the pushrod trench after changing the head gasket on a Skoda Estelle?  Yep...done that!

Thankfully it wedged itself between the block and one of the pushrods, was definitely a tense moment while it was being fished out though.

It was definitely the right time to call it today.  I was definitely walking away after the exertion of getting the head bolts torqued up - the only thing I was determined to do beyond that was prove that the engine still turned over (or not).  Basically telling me whether to go into tomorrow with some optimism or to reach for the box of matches!

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The end result of about six hours straight work today:

Had to fiddle about a bit with the timing initially but aside from a few things being bloody fiddly everything went back together fairly smoothly.

Only real foul up was me putting the bracket for the brake servo vacuum line on backwards.

We've got a pretty major oil leak from the timing chain tensioner (guessing the big washer was intended to be single use) and water is pissing out of the thermostat housing.  Not surprised there as I only used instant gasket because the one I was sent by a supposed specialist was the wrong shape.  Fresh out of gasket paper just now but may well see about making one out of some card just to see if it works.

Has it improved the oil pressure situation?  Not massively.  Seem to be showing about 1.5 bar at a hot idle in gear.

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Though that's just at thermostat opening temperature...if it were right at the point the fan was cycling it may well drop a bit further.

Plus without the horrendous thrashy racket from the camshaft grinding itself into oblivion the engine generally sounds a bit rattly to me when the revs are picked up.

I'll see how she behaves after an actual test run (those leaks need sorting first), but I'm tending to think we're going to be back right where we started really.

No huge loss though...I still think this was a worthwhile thing to try.  Definitely no more work than removing the engine, and that's a job which just needs both space and equipment I don't have to hand.

Anyone want a project?

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...13/10 - Merc Running Again...Albeit with some Things to Sort...

Thermostat housing gasket and timing chain tensioner seal have both now been ordered from the dealer and should be here Monday or Tuesday.

Think I may have confused the folks at the Mercedes dealer slightly when I parked an Invacar in their car park...

Hopefully should be able to give the Merc a proper test run once they're fitted.

Annoyingly I'll need to unthread the belt and half detach the alternator again to fit the seal for the chain tensioner...for all it's a 30 second job in itself!

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While waiting on parts from Mercedes I figured it was a good opportunity to get a service item on TPA I'd been putting off done.  Gearbox and diff oil change.

What came out was quite grim, not glittery though, just very degraded.  Was really thin and seemed to have lost a lot of its lubricity.  The oil that went in last year was from a very old container, and even though it was still sealed I think it may have broken down over time on the shelf.  The new oil that went in today was actually new and hopefully will fare better.

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While I was in there I took a look at the condition of both CVT pulleys and the belt - these items live quite a hard life so it's worth checking for any signs of distress whenever you're in the area, especially as we've been experimenting with a current belt type rather than the exact one originally specified.  Everything looks fine though, looks like the Dayco HP2020 belt is able to stand up to the job.  It's been on there since last August and has about 1500 miles on so far. 

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Main reason I had been putting it off was that getting to the level plug for the diff is an absolute swine.  It's not quite so bad now I've done it a few times as I know where it is (you can see it or touch it, but not both at the same time), but is still bloody awkward.  I'm sure the intended way of changing the oil was to have the car on a lift in which case it would be dead easy.  Having the original seat would make it easier too actually as the backrest can be easily removed from that, not possible on mine so you're working around it.

I've found that cracking the level plug off from in the engine bay but then unscrewing and removing/refitting it from in the cabin and then doing the final tightening from the engine side seems to be the easiest solution.

The "light scattered showers" the weather forecast predicted this afternoon proved to be anything but.  "Persistent and mostly heavy" was a better description.  So we got a few more typical photos of her out and about rather than just when it's nice and sunny for a change.

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My weatherproofing improvements have definitely helped, though I do still have a little water getting in around the offside of the windscreen occasionally.

The demister actually does just fine when you're on the open road so long as you keep a window cracked slightly - problem is that as soon as you drop below about 50 it basically ceases to have any effect whatsoever - and the cabin being so small means that it fogs up very quickly.  Obviously there's no way to direct air to the side windows either so you really do need a demisting cloth to live in the car.

Windscreen wiper does a better job of clearing the screen than you'd think with how tiny it is, though an intermittent wipe function would be nice...you really want two hands on the handlebars whenever possible so having to keep turning the wiper on/off gets a bit tiresome after a while.

Not that I generally plan to use the car regularly in monsoon conditions, but if I get caught on a longer run in poor weather it's nice to know that it's not a huge problem.

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...18/10 - Invacar Servicing...

I guess that's an advantage I have in these parts - higher average speeds, so demisting isn't generally an issue. Which is good given mine isn't even connected up! One issue with aircooled engines is that at lower engine speeds, there's less blow. On the 2CV, you can at least dip the clutch or knock her into neutral for a quick blast of revs. That does tend to confuse other road users mind you...

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Just now, dollywobbler said:

I guess that's an advantage I have in these parts - higher average speeds, so demisting isn't generally an issue. Which is good given mine isn't even connected up! One issue with aircooled engines is that at lower engine speeds, there's less blow. On the 2CV, you can at least dip the clutch or knock her into neutral for a quick blast of revs. That does tend to confuse other road users mind you...

Yeah, it's definitely something I need to address as anywhere in town driving it's a nightmare. 

Still have plans to add an electric blower for such eventualities once I find one that's well suited.  Would mean I could pull the air from somewhere more sensible too.  Drawing the air to demist the screen with straight out of the middle of the spray plume behind the car can't help it's efficacy!

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1 hour ago, Zelandeth said:

While waiting on parts from Mercedes I figured it was a good opportunity to get a service item on TPA I'd been putting off done.  Gearbox and diff oil change.

What came out was quite grim, not glittery though, just very degraded.  Was really thin and seemed to have lost a lot of its lubricity.  The oil that went in last year was from a very old container, and even though it was still sealed I think it may have broken down over time on the shelf.  The new oil that went in today was actually new and hopefully will fare better.

IMG_20211018_125416.thumb.jpg.11549ab644107f101ac8f92b4b803646.jpg

While I was in there I took a look at the condition of both CVT pulleys and the belt - these items live quite a hard life so it's worth checking for any signs of distress whenever you're in the area, especially as we've been experimenting with a current belt type rather than the exact one originally specified.  Everything looks fine though, looks like the Dayco HP2020 belt is able to stand up to the job.  It's been on there since last August and has about 1500 miles on so far. 

IMG_20211018_122558.thumb.jpg.cbc9190a31f07a98b2ea58693f5a0893.jpg

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Main reason I had been putting it off was that getting to the level plug for the diff is an absolute swine.  It's not quite so bad now I've done it a few times as I know where it is (you can see it or touch it, but not both at the same time), but is still bloody awkward.  I'm sure the intended way of changing the oil was to have the car on a lift in which case it would be dead easy.  Having the original seat would make it easier too actually as the backrest can be easily removed from that, not possible on mine so you're working around it.

I've found that cracking the level plug off from in the engine bay but then unscrewing and removing/refitting it from in the cabin and then doing the final tightening from the engine side seems to be the easiest solution.

The "light scattered showers" the weather forecast predicted this afternoon proved to be anything but.  "Persistent and mostly heavy" was a better description.  So we got a few more typical photos of her out and about rather than just when it's nice and sunny for a change.

IMG_20211018_153256.thumb.jpg.cf2d2b3500bd029399d64c72477a710d.jpg

IMG_20211018_160352.thumb.jpg.0ee735c0fa789f4dce1ea0acf6576ff8.jpg

My weatherproofing improvements have definitely helped, though I do still have a little water getting in around the offside of the windscreen occasionally.

The demister actually does just fine when you're on the open road so long as you keep a window cracked slightly - problem is that as soon as you drop below about 50 it basically ceases to have any effect whatsoever - and the cabin being so small means that it fogs up very quickly.  Obviously there's no way to direct air to the side windows either so you really do need a demisting cloth to live in the car.

Windscreen wiper does a better job of clearing the screen than you'd think with how tiny it is, though an intermittent wipe function would be nice...you really want two hands on the handlebars whenever possible so having to keep turning the wiper on/off gets a bit tiresome after a while.

Not that I generally plan to use the car regularly in monsoon conditions, but if I get caught on a longer run in poor weather it's nice to know that it's not a huge problem.

 

Awesome to see TPA is as always out and about and doing well :) I wonder if other road users realise/know just how rare it is to run into a Model 70 on the road... given she is at times the only Model 70 on the road/in daily use, the chances statistically speaking of someone running into an Model 70 must be minuscule, yet here we are :) 

and very cool to see the CVT system is still doing well, I have been wondering recently how its been doing/what the pulley surfaces and modern equivalent belt look like after a good bit of use, happy to see they all look nice and healthy :)

will be interesting to see how the new gearbox/Diff oil holds up hopefully better this time! :) 

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6 hours ago, Minimad5 said:

Is it Auto ?

Yep.

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Hopefully should have the parts arrive tomorrow so I can do a proper test run, she's got an opportunity to redeem herself there, I'm just trying not to get my hopes up too much.  I do like the car, but just can't see me getting as involved as doing an engine swap.

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20 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Yeah, it's definitely something I need to address as anywhere in town driving it's a nightmare. 

Still have plans to add an electric blower for such eventualities once I find one that's well suited.  Would mean I could pull the air from somewhere more sensible too.  Drawing the air to demist the screen with straight out of the middle of the spray plume behind the car can't help it's efficacy!

Electric blower makes sense. Can't say the 2CV's heater suffers too much from spray, even following traffic. There's enough heat to make the demisting work regardless. There are aftermarket blowers available for them (the GSA uses actual blower motors and it does give better results, especially in slower traffic).

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21 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

I guess that's an advantage I have in these parts - higher average speeds, so demisting isn't generally an issue. 

https://www.grainger.com/product/5PHD5

You can get decent 12V centrifugal fans with duct-in/duct-out rather than the generic ones that just draw in from by the motor case. I would say that flows enough air to clear the screen, plus give a vent. 

I presume the current arrangement allows for hot/cold draw, and there may be space up front to mount something like that?

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Original system is just a port off the cooling shroud to a heat exchanger then two (narrow) ducts to either an outlet under the seat or the top of the windscreen.  No cool air provision, it's just heat or no heat.

That blower looks like the sort of thing that would be ideal though.

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Today has been frustrating.

Started out well enough, with these picked up from the Mercedes dealership.

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Replacing the gasket for the thermostat housing was precisely as awkward as I remembered (because I didn't want to remove the stubby hose between the block and the stat housing as it's a pig to refit), but uneventful.

However rapidly went downhill from there.  Firstly it turns out that Hermes have apparently lost a parcel which contains the replacement alternator for the Jaguar.  Wonderful.  Their system shows it as having been delivered...whereas it definitely hasn't been.  Not to us, any house on our (short) street, or the same number on any of the surrounding roads.  Great.

We're kind of on the clock on that now too - my friend up north should be in their new house first week of next month, so I'd really like to get it ready to head onwards as near to then as possible...so we can get the Cavalier dragged out of the field before it winds up underwater through the winter.

Set about pulling things apart again so I could replace the outer oil seal on the timing chain tensioner.

It's the thing which looks like a huge bolt head in the photo below.

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Yeah...slight problem appeared at this point.

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Old one is on the left.  New one is a good few millimetres smaller, enough so it won't fit over the body of the tensioner.

Checking in with the dealer it turns out that this washer isn't shown at all on their parts system, so they have no idea where the original one came from...nor what the part number should be.  Having spent a couple of hours driving around everywhere I could think of I couldn't find another washer this size.

Typing "Mercedes M102 timing chain tensioner oil seal" into Google revealed that it was paying attention to the words "Mercedes" and "timing chain" and completely ignoring everything else.  I'll do battle with that when I'm sitting at an actual computer...I just don't have the patience for that nonsense when I'm using my phone. 

I'd really hoped this would be ticked off today but it looks like I'll be having to order a stupid washer and wait for that to arrive before I can make any progress.

I have a feeling someone mangled this washer somewhere in the distant past as it was absolutely slathered in instant gasket when I removed it...and I find myself almost wondering if that may be responsible for the historic oil flow issues we've clearly had to the head.  Coincidence or causality?  Either way, I'm fixing the problem rather than bodging it.

Having been a few hours since I fitted the thermostat housing I went to fill the cooling system...and went and made myself more work.  Apparently when I threw everything back into the garage a few days back I threw the wrong cap on a couple of bottles...and the one with the cap which said A/F Blue was in fact not blue antifreeze...it was 20W 50 oil.  So a good slosh of oil went in the radiator before I spotted it.  This is the curse of Motorserv having NAPA everything now...all the bottles are identical!  System was going to need flushing anyway as there was some oil contamination from when the head came off...but there's more in there now!  I did manage to skim *most* of it off as it hadn't mixed, but I'm sure there will be more slime to come out.

Moral of the story: When you're shutting up shop, no matter how knackered you are, don't cut corners.  You'll end up making yourself more work in the long run.  Probably in a way which will make you feel like an absolute IDIOT as well.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...19/10 - Parts Frustrations and Rookie Mistakes.

I'm not saying it's right, but for now can you not put a few wraps of PTFE around the tensioner and re-use the old copper washer ? (As a temporary fix)

Or measure the O.D of the tensioner and get a good quality dowty washer / seal ordered (might even have one if you throw me the size)

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Hermes have on one occasion previously managed to give me the GPS location of where the parcel was 'delivered', but it was a battle to get through to someone. On two other occasions they've been even less helpful...
My latest problem with them last week was that for several days the tracking info was showing delivery had been attempted, yet we were in all the time.  My wife had at the same time raised an investigation into the driver who had collected a parcel from her (so they clearly know the correct address) which hadn't reached the depot, so I suspect the driver wanted to avoid awkward questions. Sure enough it was delivered the first day we went out!

It's got to the point where I'll avoid anything delivered with them (and Yodel), or ask if I can pay extra for a proper delivery service.

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9 minutes ago, Minimad5 said:

I'm not saying it's right, but for now can you not put a few wraps of PTFE around the tensioner and re-use the old copper washer ? (As a temporary fix)

Or measure the O.D of the tensioner and get a good quality dowty washer / seal ordered (might even have one if you throw me the size)

Sadly not, the seal is on the washer face rather than the thread.  Someone has obviously trapped it in the thread at some point and has totally folded over the one side.  It's toast.  It was quite likely leaking before too to some extent, just with how much oil had been leaking from the timing cover though you'd never have seen it.

Hard to tell from the photos, but the original is a really soft aluminium (or aluminium alloy).

Will try Pirtek tomorrow, being a hydraulics specialist hoping it's the sort of thing they might have something closer that might do the trick.

You need to keep it all held in place while you tighten it up too...which is a real pig as you're fighting against the spring while putting the thing together... working one handed and blind.

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Found two local independent hydraulics specialists...first one barked "we don't do car shit!" at me, second didn't even look up from their phone for more than half a second before muttering that they didn't do stuff like single washers any more.

Step forward Pirtek.  Who immediately said "That's an odd one..." and went rummaging.

Couple of minutes later:

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The outer diameter isn't that important as there's plenty of room around it, the inner diameter was the important one and that's spot on.  They wouldn't even take anything for it.

Did it fit?

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The term "like a glove" springs to mind.

Problem solved it looks like.

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After a good half hour of running...no leak present.

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Not by any means the first time that Pirtek have saved my tail either.

I did completely fail to remember to pick up the hydraulic hose for the suction line to the SLS pump though...will need to go back tomorrow for that.

I'm sure the hex head is actually a metric size, though I don't have a clue what size it is...none of my metric sockets are big enough...this worked fine though!

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Evidence of my "mishap" with mislabelled bottles yesterday.

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The good side of this is that it never really mixed, so I've managed to skim I reckon 95% of it back off the surface.  There's a slightly oily film in there now but I don't think much worse than from the head coming off.

The vast majority of the bottles are labelled both on the lid and bottles, like so...

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The one that caught me out was very much an outlier!  Definitely won't make that mistake again though.

Before I set about running tests I sorted out the other coolant leak I'd noticed, one of the washers was missing from this coolant balance pipe.

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I'm not proud of the bodged throttle return spring... I'll be getting a proper replacement for this if the engine is staying with us, but it does work.

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Aside from a few plastic covers for the HT leads everything is now back in the engine bay.

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Finally meant I could let the car warm up properly until the fan was cycling (which it was also nice to see was working as the switch came with the new head so was untested until now).

So how's our oil pressure looking?

In gear right at the point when the fan is cycling, about like this.

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Though the idle is definitely a bit low which won't be helping - at 1000rpm it seems reasonable.

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Deliberately checking for it at a set engine speed as that will make it far easier to tell if it's getting worse over time.

Here's a quick look at how it tracks with engine speed.

 

Definitely sounds a lot better than she used to.

 

By the time I got to this stage we were well into rush hour so no proper test runs were going to take place...an unproven car and rush hour Milton Keynes traffic just sounds like a recipe for disaster.   We did however go for a gentle bumble around our local estate...and it seems to be working okay.  Not able to give her enough revs to really tell much though - but we'll do a proper test tomorrow.

It's definitely very noticeable that the engine is running cooler while bumbling around town...would previously have been sitting around the 100C mark, whereas it now seems to sit about halfway between the 80 and 100 marks. 

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Not reading too much into it, but it seems to suggest the engine may be running more efficiently.

Only a *little* bit of a mess left where I was working...I did try to catch as much as I could in a catch tank, but there's only so much you can do.

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I think the vast majority of the oil came from the initial leak we had from the timing chain tensioner.  Slightly puzzled as to where the exhaust manifold gasket came from as I'm reasonably confident that two went back on each of the runners...

Let's see how the actual test run tomorrow goes...

At least today was less annoying than yesterday!

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...20/10 - Mercedes Back Together & Running...

We've been out and done a bit of driving around today.

Nothing has blown up yet at least!

About 30 miles done, all keeping close enough to base to hopefully be able to limp home if something went awry.

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I definitely need to bump the idle speed up a bit, I'm pretty sure that the IAC valve isn't doing anything...I have a spare so I'll probably thoroughly clean that then just swap it over. 

I had the car stall on me twice going into gear, and it didn't really want to restart on those occasions, sounding like the engine was kicking back against the starter.

Figured the ignition timing was most likely out there, especially as performance had felt a bit "flat" even keeping in mind I've been being pretty gentle so far.

Most obvious thing to check there was ignition timing, simple both to check and adjust.  You can tell the timing light isn't a tool that gets used hugely frequently from how dusty it is!

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Correct setting is 13 degrees BTDC +/-3 at idle.  Yeah...it was at roughly 38 degrees advanced, so that won't have been helping.  How I wasn't getting pinking with it that far advanced I've no idea.  I will recheck it once I've sorted out the idle speed/IAC issue as it's difficult to get it spot on right now as the idle speed changes with the setting and is wandering enough to make it tricky to judge.  It's at least close now though.

Haven't been for a proper drive since, but on a quick run round the block the engine felt smoother.

Something which definitely is not smooth however is the gearchange.  It feels like gears are being changed with a goddamned sledgehammer.  The box has always been a bit clunky, especially 2nd-3rd and when cold, but every change at the moment is totally devoid of any slip.  To the extent it's honestly painful.  Definitely can't be doing anything any favours.

There's no adjustment I'm aware of on the kickdown cable I removed, but I'll definitely double check that tomorrow and make sure I've not routed it wrong so it's binding or anything.

I did note the fluid level was quite low, so topped it up.  Well...aside from the half pint or so I felt it necessary to dump over the exhaust manifold.

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Cleaned as much of it up as I could, but it still stank for ages...guess at least it wasn't EP90!

Pirtek unsurprisingly had no problem picking out a suitable hose to replace the leaky suction line for the SLS pump.  This has been sweating for ages and I think was responsible for a lot of the oil over the front of the engine. 

IMG_20211021_163904.thumb.jpg.7b23267ffe87ef911d0ec07869c56f3b.jpg

Definitely looks a bit tidier...plus will be nice to not get covered in hydraulic oil every time I accidentally brush against it.  Was a bit of a faff to change it without draining the reservoir but I managed it.  I didn't have any of the correct oil in stock so didn't want to drain it if I could avoid it.

Doesn't look like we've had any more leaks present themselves during the day, so that's a plus.  Just need to try to get to the bottom of the horrendously harsh gearchange (which is massively worse than before I worked on the car, so *something* has changed) and we can keep testing.  Open to suggestions there.

I do have oil and filters in stock again now, so will do another oil change at the weekend.  Still looks spotless on the dipstick but after doing work this major it just makes sense I think.

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Can anyone see the problem here?

IMG_20211022_140354.thumb.jpg.56ba0e5696ce4f1cc1b5ebba6f772d22.jpg

How about now?

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Yeah...that is going to be doing any good just flopping around underneath the inlet manifold.  It's the line which goes to the shift modulator on the gearbox - and a lack of vacuum there would indeed explain why it's been changing gear so harshly.

The issue is though that I couldn't connect it without displacing something else...which tells me that something is hooked up wrong.  There is a solenoid controlled valve which looks like it should have something hooked up to something on the second port, but it's not been connected since before I got the car... I'd assumed up till now it was a vent.

I made a best guess for what I think went where to give everything a home, but I really need to find a proper diagram to show were the lines are actually meant to go.  There are just too many of them on this car to sort out by intuition alone.

This *has* mostly sorted out the gearchange though.  Second to third is still a bit of a thump and she still doesn't want to use first gear unless you absolutely boot it from a standing start (not sure if that may be by design?) but it's a thousand times better. 

With a bit of poking around I ascertained that the IAC valve was doing nothing. 

Pulling it off the car for inspection revealed it to be completely jammed up.  I did free it off after a bit of effort and cleaning, but for now have put the one off the old head on.  It turned out that an adjacent vacuum controlled valve which is something to do with the PCV/idle circuit was also stuffed, both being physically stuck closed and with a blown diaphragm.

IMG_20211022_155812.thumb.jpg.ab00d15a73d0e5b1ab6cfc6a155fc446.jpg

Again, swapped this out with the one from my original head.  Still doesn't seem like the IAC is doing much of anything... though see my earlier comments about vacuum lines possibly being hooked up wrong.  This evening's task is going to be finding a proper diagram of the vacuum line routing.

At least the car does feel driveable again now, I was really worried I was going to break something with how it was before.

 

 

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...20/10 - Gearchange Issue Resolved...

I've been pondering on the mediocre oil pressure issue. Considering how much sludge there was in the cylinder head, I'm wondering if the oil strainer looks similar. Have you put anything like Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil or something to that effect in at all? It does a very good job at putting all that sludge in suspension to be drained out.

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2 hours ago, Fumbler said:

I've been pondering on the mediocre oil pressure issue. Considering how much sludge there was in the cylinder head, I'm wondering if the oil strainer looks similar. Have you put anything like Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil or something to that effect in at all? It does a very good job at putting all that sludge in suspension to be drained out.

The thing is that the pressure is mediocre, but it's within what seems to be deemed acceptable.  The thing I'm interested in is does it remain stable over time.  The reason I started digging into this was that I'd noticed the pressure at idle had dropped very slightly.

I've not seen any signs of issues with oil delivery.  The camshaft is the last thing in the lube circuit and there's plenty of oil being delivered there.

I would *like* to take a look at the oil strainer (especially being something of a Saab fan, knowing the issues the engines in the 9-5s suffered with them clogging, and a friend losing an otherwise lovely car to that), which was one of the reasons my original plan had been to drop the sump.  Right up to the point where I discovered that dropping the sump involves going basically 3/4 of the way to removing the engine as there's a stinking great crossmember in the way.

I have been meaning to pick up a borescope for a while...this might be a good time to do so as I could take a peek through the drain hole then.

Because how *how* grubby the head was I've specifically been avoiding any strong detergents as I'm worried that it's liable to wash out large chunks of debris and potentially clogging critical oil galleries - which I reckon is precisely what wrecked the head and camshaft originally.  This stuff isn't like sticky varnished deposits, it's horrible gritty tar-like stuff which doesn't readily dissolve.

I've generally found that underneath the rocker cover is usually the most gross part of an engine as it's where condensation tends to happen, so am honestly curious to see what the sump looks like.

Edit: I'm an idiot.  That's not an IAC (Idle Air Control) valve I've been looking today... it's the Auxiliary Air Valve...which is used only during warmup from a cold start (it's the device which holds the idle up initially and gradually ramps it down over a couple of minutes).  I should have remembered that given it's the same injection system as used on the Saab 900s which I've had three of and have been messing about with since I was about 12.  It's amazing what you forget after a couple of years!  Thanks to the person who pointed that out, I really appreciate it.

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Not a huge amount to report today really but we've made some incremental steps forward since yesterday.  Firstly I did some research and figured out where the idle speed adjustment screw was - exactly as I expected, this one:

760101495_IMG_20211013_1527223.thumb.jpg.a4349fb61e026aff2b4def546e4e19cf.jpg

Worth remembering that this was transferred over with the head, so not surprising it needed a slight tweak.

A bit of vacuum hose shuffling has restored the fast idle function when engaging gears too, which is nice as it makes me less paranoid that the car is going to stall every time I stop.

I'm pretty sure things aren't actually hooked up correctly, but I'll address that once I find a proper diagram.  Finding a decent one that's not for a diesel has proven annoyingly tricky so far.

Horrible attempt at video footage from a test run...I basically decided to do this on a whim and just wedged the camera under the passenger headrest.  This really needed to be a good 6" higher up as it kind of feels like you're a five year old trying to see out without a booster seat.  Figured you can watch or not as you wish!

I will try to get something better at some point.

The horrible metallic "clank" from the back now and then is a five litre bottle of brake cleaner in the boot.  I thought being wedged in place it would stay quiet...I was wrong.

Gives a decent snapshot of how the car is currently running - though the mic really doesn't catch the harsh engine note at the top end of the rev band.  It starts sounding rough around 4k and gets progressively worse above that, so generally I am just trying to keep the revs down when I can.

Second (which the car moves off in unless you boot it) into third is a little harsh about 80% of the time, far worse when cold.  Third to fourth though is generally beautifully smooth, only really noticeable from the change in engine note.  That's what I remember generally being the case with Merc autos when they're behaving...lazy but very refined gearbox where you hear rather than feel shifts.

Had a decent poke around today and can't see any evidence of any fresh leaks of anything.  Think at this point I need to get the next oil change done then give the engine bay another clean.  Especially the front of it which I largely missed last time, so any future escape of oil is visible.

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Also sorted the windscreen washer pipe hanging off the bonnet.  That was bugging me.

Oh, and reattached this bit of trim that was shaken loose by the brutal gearchanges during the earlier test runs.

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I wasn't kidding about how harsh the jolts were!

Oil change tomorrow, then we'll just cross our fingers and try to use the car as normal this coming week I think, and see what happens.

Next up will be pulling the alternator from the Jag to see if I can sort it...I was loathe to do that until the Merc was mobile again though for obvious reasons!  Was really hoping I'd have a replacement here to just swap out...however Hermes appear to have managed to lose it, so we'll be checking the condition of the brushes first.  Fingers crossed it just needs a brush pack - the symptoms definitely fit at least.

 

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Cleaned up the area immediately around the SLS hydraulic reservoir, hopefully now the hose isn't sweating it will stay dry now.

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Somewhere that wasn't dry I spotted while walking past the car when taking the dog out for a walk earlier was the offside rear corner.

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I was initially slightly concerned that might be fuel (I know the tank does leak when absolutely full), but it turned out to be water.

Looking down into the area where the jack etc is stowed showed the source.

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There was about 4" of standing water down there.  Not screenwash either, so the rear washer bottle isn't to blame.

A bit of flailing around blindly I found what felt like a drain hole, and after fishing out some pond scum several pints (I'm not kidding, there was quite a lot) of water came pouring out.

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Not entirely sure where that water had come from, but I'll definitely keep an eye on that.  There's enough rust on this car as it is without it actively trying to dissolve from the inside out.

I'd hoped to get an oil change done today but just ran out of time, it'll be done tomorrow.  Fluid check revealed everything still seems to be where I'd left it, despite the weep from the radiator.

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I really do need to look at wiring in an override for the thermoswitch for the cooling fan, getting this far up the gauge before it cuts in just makes me way too anxious.

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The van was the other recipient of some attention.  The leisure battery has been showing signs of having died a sudden death recently.  Dropping like a stone to around 10V pretty much as soon as any load is applied. 

Before consigning it to the recycling bin I figured it made sense to at least check the electrolyte level, as a visual inspection can often reveal signs of damage too.

The label helpfully said to remove the sticker for maintenance...so I honestly expected to find cell plugs under it.

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Yeah...about that.

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Strikes me as an odd decision to render this sort of battery unserviceable given by its very nature as a leisure battery it's likely to spend a lot of time on float charge when the vehicle is in use or in standby ready for use.

In this case all it told me was that yes it's toast.  The electrolyte in all but one cell is the colour or strong black coffee and on closer inspection the one end of the battery has bulged out by about 1/4".

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That lip below the lid is recessed on the opposite end.  Something has gone quite badly awry in this battery.

New one is about £100, not the end of the world but a cost I could have done without.

I think I'll probably look to make a bit of a change to the charging/DC supply in the near future too.  The current onboard charger is a pretty old school one, and just supplies the DC circuits in parallel with the battery.  Given that I'm in and out of the van quite a bit and like to leave the heater powered on in frost guard mode in the winter that means it spends quite a lot more time on charge than is ideal.

I think I'll set things up so instead I have a separate mains to 12V DC supply to run the onboard services when mains is hooked up and a separate proper intelligent charger to look after the battery.  It's a pretty trivial matter to use a few relays to switch automatically between the battery or mains DC supply depending on whether mains is present.  That will mean I can leave the van plugged in indefinitely without having to worry about it frying the leisure battery - but equally know that it's always ready to go if and when I go to use it.

To be fair kits probably already exist to do exactly what I'm suggesting off the shelf...be curious to see how horrifically overpriced they are as generally seems to be the case for most things aimed at campers or caravans!

DC supply shouldn't be difficult.  By far the heaviest load is the heater during startup/shutdown, but even that's fused at 15A, though the highest draw I recall seeing during testing was around 10A...so doesn't need to be anything too specialised.

Edit: New battery has been ordered.  I did look into going down the lithium-iron-phosphate route...right up until the point at which I found the £500 price tag.  Would be nice...but not five times as nice.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...24/10 - Water Ingress and Battery Problems...
On 10/12/2021 at 7:13 PM, Zelandeth said:

IMG_20211012_135741.thumb.jpg.5eceae2ab9b3ca7a57a217ca41bf782a.jpg

...And required a 17mm hex bit to remove.  Which I didn't have.  Biggest I could find in the garage was 12mm.  Biggest I could find separately was 12mm...so ended up having to spend £20 on a set of 10 sizes just for the 17mm one which was annoying.

It was also biblically tight.  Though after hanging off the end of a breaker bar - which was bending worryingly - it came free and could be unscrewed from the block.

For anyone seeking to do the same thing and discovering a lack of a large hex key in their toolbox on a Sunday/while in Outer Mongolia, if you have a nut and bolt with the right size head they can be welded together or onto a steel bar to make a passable facsimile provided the torque needed isn't too huge.

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2 hours ago, somewhatfoolish said:

For anyone seeking to do the same thing and discovering a lack of a large hex key in their toolbox on a Sunday/while in Outer Mongolia, if you have a nut and bolt with the right size head they can be welded together or onto a steel bar to make a passable facsimile provided the torque needed isn't too huge.

Or a bolt as @somewhatfoolish suggests, but with two nuts on the thread, done up tight against each other with a spring washer between them.  Better for someone like me, with no welding facilities.

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9 hours ago, PhilA said:

Harsh top end on the car sounds like the timing is way off at high RPM, real strained. Maybe check the advance is working? If it was set that far out it might have been to solve a cruise/high speed problem.

Phil

I'll look into that.  Mechanical advance is definitely doing something, as is the vacuum system - though as mentioned previously I've a pretty low level of confidence in the vacuum system being hooked up correctly.

Will double check I've not done something extra daft like setting the idle timing to ATDC rather than BTDC...

Given how much room there is around the engine in this car it's incredibly difficult to get the timing light onto the timing marks.

Would be nice to know I'm actually timing it to the right mark too as there's no really clear pointer I've been able to see... though as seems to be a running theme, the vast majority of information on the web seems to be for the diesel or six cylinder engines...so finding a clear photo of the timing reference setup has proven fruitless so far.  So I've gone with a protrusion from the front of the timing chain cover which looks likely.

Just realised I'm an idiot for trying to read the numbers with the engine running and should just put a paint marker mark on the spot I'm aiming for on the pulley too...then I just need to line that mark up rather than trying to read.  Never said I was smart.

Edit: Nope, looks like I was right and this marker on the crank pulley does indeed show the point for the idle ignition timing (13 degrees BTDC).

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If there exists a different pointer I'm meant to be lining it up with it's completely obscured by other bits and pieces in the engine bay - which would defeat the purpose of being something you need to set visually.

I'll check what the timing is up to at higher revs later on...have to admit I never looked beyond checking that it did move.

Edited by Zelandeth
Added photo from additional investigation
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Unless I've totally forgotten how to use a timing light the ignition timing at idle and at high rpm (not sure it was exactly the specified 4500, but can't have been far off) seems to match the values on the data plate.  The high speed value is 32 degrees BTDC at 4500rpm, and I put a mark on the pulley there and it was definitely heading in that direction when I would expect.  So unless the vacuum advance (that's tested with it disconnected and plugged) is doing something seriously funky OR I totally fluffed up setting the initial timing when I reinstalled the timing chain it should be right.
 

I've put the HT lead cover back on for now, mainly to get it out of the way in the garage.

It's a bit of a faff to fit but does tidy things up nicely.

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In hindsight I should have done this *before* going out so the engine wasn't roasting hot leading to many burned fingers.

Really is a good looking car...

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This afternoon I got slightly sidetracked by the van.  Having temporarily removed the leisure battery while I await arrival of the replacement I figured it would be prudent to remove the fuse from the split charging system.  I've isolated the leads anyway, but better safe than sorry.

The main vehicle battery box is something I've barely touched since I got the van.

IMG_20211025_154119.thumb.jpg.481eb82d8bc53a20bcd8d4962466cce7.jpg

The white in line fuse holder is the one for the split charging circuit.  When reaching for it I couldn't help but notice the random blade fuse taped to a pair of spade terminals next to it was hot.  Like REALLY hot.  "I'm surprised it's not actively smoking" levels of hot. 

A little bit of investigation revealed this to be the DC feed to the fridge, which apparently I'd accidently switched onto DC mode at some point.  Being designed purely for use when in transit to/from places that's set up so it will only be powered then the vehicle charging system is active. 

While the fuse hadn't blown, this clearly isn't up to the job!

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It was about this point that I discovered that the battery wasn't bolted down either.  That was fixed first.

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While rummaging around down there I found this bit of plastic.

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It looked familiar but took a good couple of tens of seconds to figure out what it actually was.  It's edging fitted to the front seat frames, like this.

IMG_20211025_160614.thumb.jpg.56da7bc30ab2b6bd92c54fa78abcfb3f.jpg

 

The outer one on the passenger side has been missing since I got the van...now I know where it ended up, and have refitted it.

I ended up replacing the weedy bit of wire with a maxi fuse holder I had in stock.  It's overkill for the application, but is still fused at 20A...and I'd rather have low voltage DC wiring over-engineered than the alternative.

It's hard to see in the photos but all of the other lines going into the split charge relay are beefier than this one was.

I wound up doing a bit of general tidying up and housekeeping...not least actually bolting down the relay rather than leaving it flapping in the breeze as I assume it has been for the last 31 years.

IMG_20211025_165423.thumb.jpg.47396ae8f91d2d6bd5a0dded77686552.jpg

Not as though you'll ever see any of this as it's hidden under the passenger seat!IMG_20211025_165624.thumb.jpg.11140309b79e7aa6483d33b2dc5154a6.jpg

Nevertheless, after running it for half an hour I confirmed that the terminals of the new connection were just barely warmer than ambient...a large improvement from the starting point!  So I'm happy it's been sorted even if nobody will ever know.

New hardware is on the way in the form of a new 110Ah deep cycle battery (identical to the old one), a CTek intelligent charger and a 40A DC power supply. With a little rummaging in the box of relays I should be able to get this set up with an automatic switchover and give us a properly looked after battery going forward irrespective of how long I leave the van plugged in for.  I've never had any starting issues even at -10C up in Scotland, so don't think I see any reason to make provision for charging of the vehicle battery from the mains too. If I get that desperate on the road, that's what jump leads were made for...once the engine is running all this requires is enough power to hold the stop solenoid in on the fuel pump.  I will replace that white in line fuse holder when I set about wiring the new kit up, probably with a similar Maxi fuse holder as I used for the fridge line, simply because they're good for way more power than we'll ever see here and I've found them to be nicely robust. Bit harder to find fuses for, but nothing carrying a spare or two isn't enough insurance against (carrying a decent stock of spares in something the size of a small house is less of a headache than in a car!). More and more cars seem to be using Maxi Fuses these days anyway so most factors seem to stock them - albeit not always down to values like 15 or 20A. Probably because they're total overkill for those ratings.  This will be nice to have done as I can just leave it plugged in through the cold and damp weather without worrying about cooking the battery. The heater is set up to kick in if the cabin temperature drops below 5C or the humidity gets above 70%. Found last year that it pretty much completely eliminated issues with mould and mildew. I have the ability to control it over our home WiFi too, so it's really nice on a cold day being able to pull the modern EV trick of turning the heater on before I go out, then open the door to a nicely toasty warm van. It's hardly essential but is nice to have - especially as I do tend to use it as both a workshop and a bit of an escape space if I want somewhere quiet to retreat to for a while. I know I've sung the praises of the Afterburner controller before, but it's a cracking bit of kit.

 

Edited by Zelandeth
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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercs, AC Model 70 & A Sinclair C5...26/10 - Goodies Arrive for the Van

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      Collection went really well and the below posts follows my initial assessment of what is quite frankly the best car I have ever purchased.



    • 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 £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 £500 for it, and sold it to some racers later that year for about £300. Amusingly, 16 year later I'd sell the Hartge wheels that came with the car for £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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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 £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.
    • By SiC
      Big thanks to Panhard65 for transporting this for me.


       
      Now unloaded and waiting for me to start work on it. First time I've seen it outside. I think Panhard65 thinks it's a bit of a turd but doesn't want to be nasty.

       
      Entertaining Mrs SiC friends today, so I need to put these away from kids hurting themselves. Going to live in the garden for a month undercover. If I can get the 1275 in there running, these will be sold on. If I can't, I'll see if I can get any of these in.

       
      For now, I have to earn some more goodwill credits with Mrs SiC.
    • By Joey spud
      I have been looking for a cheap van for a while now,something that i can cart crap about in and also use as a sort of Day van.
      My budget was £1500 max but i really wanted to spend far less if possible and improve it over time but it soon became obvious that VW t4's are massively scene taxed and Transits are all rotten at this price.
      Vito's likewise rusty and mega milages only available for my budget and i have no love for Vivaro or Trafics as i have spent too many hours towing the things or sending them off on the back of a flatbed.

      So i started looking at the humble Hiace.
      These never seem to go wrong in 17 years of roadside breakdown patrolling i can't recall attending one with anything more serious than a flat tyre or battery.
      Early non turbo 2.4 diesel ones are so simple they just run and run but the downside is they are only 87bhp and so sluggish and a bit thirsty compared to a more modern van.

      I spotted one down in Devon on ebay and while i dithered about the distance it sold for £1500 and i thought fuck it i should have had a bid on that,then it was relisted on a buy it now for £1600 (no bites) then auctioned again starting bid £1000 that was then dropped to £800.

      After a few messages with the seller i popped in a max bid of £999 and waited for the auction to end and i found i had indeed won a shonky 1996 Toyota Hiace for £895.
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