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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 24/02 - BX Fuel Pump Replaced...

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Okay...anyone got a good Lada Riva windscreen?


So far I've found one up north - and the seller won't ship it, and come up blank in the mainstream supply side. This is annoying.


Invacar I had a bit of a play about with earlier, having shuffled cars around so I could use a bit more of the drive.


Even with a drive belt in need of adjustment, the rate that thing can spring off the line is startling. Sadly this was prematurely brought to a halt when it became apparent that my cleaned fuel tank wasn't as clean as I'd hoped, and the fuel filter clogged up. Seemed fine when standing still, but sloshing fuel around in the tank was a bridge too far apparently.


I did however get to let the windscreen wiper actually do what it was designed to for the first time in a couple of decades, most likely. This was one of those things which made me disproportionately happy with life in general for a while.


Brief though it was, getting to give it a bit of a blat along the drive has *really* rekindled the excitement at hopefully getting to actually drive this thing.


Think I might swing by my local tyre fitter this week and see what they can offer me. If it's not massively higher than online I'll always take it as I'd rather support the local business.


Reckon that things will come together quite quickly over the next month or two, and with a bit of luck we will see it on the road for the summer. Probably *not* at the Festival of the Unexceptional though - don't want to step on DW's toes there, and let's face it...the Lada will fit the bill just fine anyway, and hopefully I can talk my mate who bought the Skoda into bringing it along. It's hardly Unexceptional...but I'll probably stick my other half in the Xantia and bring it along too. Let's face it...only an enthusiast is really going tonne able to recognise any Activa from any other Xantia...


Was really sorry that last time I was there (year before last due to a schedule conflict last year) that I didn't see a single other RWD Skoda nor a single Lada.


Had someone ask me elsewhere though whether I'd be taking the Invacar to any shows as soon as it's on the road, hence having had a think about it. While I do fully plan to use it locally once it's roadworthy, it won't be going to any formal events most likely until after DW's showing of TWC at FoU. It's that restoration that introduced me to this car, so I really don't want to tread on toes.


Later in the year I'll probably get it to some though, and I even have some designs of doing a longer distance road trip up the country - though that will depend on how it actually drives before I make a decision there. Not Shitefest though, that's still going tonne either the Lada or Activa...keep changing my mind about which one. Should probably be the Lada though going by tradition... simply because I've never visited that venue not in something from the Eastern Bloc.


So...should really ignore the Invacar for a bit till things have moved on elsewhere in the plan. Odds on me winding up fiddling with it again tomorrow... probably about 90%, as I can't seem to stop messing with it.

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I know this won't be favourite option - but 2dehands.be - there's always Rivas on there, a lot with spares etc.... - they're never too far from me and if push comes to shove, it could be sourced over here. I'm not in UK very often, but there's always someone driving back n forth - Davenumbers when he picks up the roffle RR ;-) for example.


Let me know if you're really stuck.

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I think Mark is planning to bring his Model 70 to FOTU, so I wouldn't worry too much. The more the merrier. And all the more spectacular. With you on the low Skoda and Lada showing though. No Favorits!

Cheers for that. Need to double-check the new location, if it's still pretty local no reason both the Invacar and Lada couldn't come along, just means making two trips. Sadly my other half isn't confident driving the Lada unsupervised. Fair enough, it is pretty busy.


The Lada windscreen is more annoying than problematic... I'm sure I'll find one. Just hadn't expected it to be more of an issue than "phone glass cover number for insurance, book it in, pay windscreen excess, done." Only the second car I've ever tried to use that on too!


...Granted, the Corsa I had for a while did crack the screen every 3 months like clockwork...

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Cheers for that. Need to double-check the new location, if it's still pretty local no reason both the Invacar and Lada couldn't come along, just means making two trips. Sadly my other half isn't confident driving the Lada unsupervised. Fair enough, it is pretty busy.


The Lada windscreen is more annoying than problematic... I'm sure I'll find one. Just hadn't expected it to be more of an issue than "phone glass cover number for insurance, book it in, pay windscreen excess, done." Only the second car I've ever tried to use that on too!


...Granted, the Corsa I had for a while did crack the screen every 3 months like clockwork...



how does the other half feel about driving the invacar then? :)


none of this foot peddle rubbish to worry about, just feet up on the dash it will be a doddle LOL


(you could also tow the invacar with the Lada... or tow the Lada with the invacar! :mrgreen: )

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Lada currently doesn't have a tow bar, and to be honest isn't the most stable of cars at the best of times! If I was going to use anything as a tow vehicle it would be the Xantia.


Had a brief issue with the Invacar running really poorly, but pretty quickly tracked it down to air getting into the fuel system. Source of this was my home made fuel hose size reducer - my guess is that on account of my blowtorch running out of gas, I didn't get enough heat into the joint for the braze to take properly, so it cracked when it cooled down.


Dispensed with the reducer entirely, and stuffed a fuel filter in there as it does the same job. Won't hurt having a second one either given the somewhat crusty fuel tank.

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So brief change of focus today as the new aux drive belt for the Activa arrived this morning, so it was time to get that changed as the volume of the squeaking was starting to become somewhat alarming.  Obviously this is doubly important with it being a proper green-blooded Citroen - as if that belt goes you lose not only your charging circuit and power steering, but also your suspension and brakes.  Plus it's not by any means unknown for a snapped belt to wrap itself around the crankshaft pulley and also take out the timing belt out of sheer spite.  That's especially a problem on the XUD engines where a snapped timing belt stands a good chance of writing off the cylinder head too.

In all, despite the complexity of the Activa this was a pretty painless job.  One where none of the Activa gubbins actually get in the way of anything - guess there can't be many of those!

Asways, made far more pleasant by the fact that everything on this car that needs to unbolt just does. That's one aspect of working on the Saab that always ended up being infuriating in short order, was that almost any job whether it be changing a light bulb or suspension arm, started with "let's see which over-tightened and/or seized fasteners we need to argue with today."  The fact that this car has been very well looked after throughout its life really does show.

Wheel arch liner out the tensioner is obvious, and conveniently has a 3/4" hole in so I can just stick the ratchet in it and heave. My favourite old bit of exhaust pipe was roped in as a "torque amplifier" to make life a bit easier.


Sadly I didn't realise that the tensioner apparently has a hole in it allowing a pin to be inserted to lock it in position to aid in belt changes.  I'll keep that in mind for next time!  On this occasion I improvised.


Should be noted that I kicked that several times to ensure it wasn't going anywhere, and was of course wearing gloves to reduce the risk of getting fingers pinched if it had slipped off.  Though there wasn't really any massive amount of tension in it until the very last pulley was dealt with anyway.

I was just about to start unthreading the old belt when there was a got almighty clattering noise from above me, as though I'd suddenly driven at high speed into a hail storm and suddenly my eyes were stinging and I couldn't see.  I hadn't the foggiest idea what had just happened.  First thoughts were that something in the engine bay had inexplicably exploded.

Bird's nest had apparently chosen that exact moment to fall out of the tree next to the drive, landing on the windscreen right next to where I was sitting, showering me with a not inconsiderable amount of crap.


Well there had to be *some* excitement, didn't there?  Having washed my eyes out and brushed the feathers out of my hair, I got back to the task at hand.

Having the old belt off, I discovered that there was actually still some text still left, which allowed me to confirm that 6PK1650 was indeed the correct size.  Can you tell which is the new one and the old one, or do I need to tell you?


Yep...Definitely due for replacement methinks...


There are a lot of areas where the base of the grooves is heavily polished, wouldn't be surprised if that's where the squeaking had been coming from.

Both the tensioner and the idler by the alternator have a little bit of left/right play in them and aren't silent when spun - but they're not gritty, and keep going for a good ten seconds after they're given a good spin, so should be fine for a while yet I think. They're also no warmer than anything else in the engine bay after a run.

Reassembly was as they love to say, the reverse of disassembly. Took me a couple of tries to figure out what the exact order that you needed to do things in, and made a mental note that if I do this again to take the plugs out so I could turn the engine over more easily by hand when trying to get it to "snap" over onto the last pulley. Nothing too troublesome though.

The big question though was whether this would have helped...and sure enough, the car is now squeak-free.

The tensioner being far easier to get at I think makes this a lot easier than the same task on the 1.9TD - plus it being a far cleaner engine meant that I didn't wind up black from head to foot like I did when I changed the belt on my first Xantia!

I did note that it looks like there's a bit of oil seepage from the crankshaft pulley oil seal. Nothing dire by any means, just enough that I've cleaned it up and made a mental note to check back on it next time I'm doing work in that vicinity. The car has never left oily drips anywhere, nor has used a drop of oil on the dipstick since I got it - so I'm not going to worry about it.

Car seems incredibly quiet at idle now...

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Have figured out why the various fuel lines I've got for the Lada don't fit.

They *do* fit - but the metal bits didn't come with them...So I'll need to adapt what I've got.  Now I *know* that, not a problem...will get some 10mm flare fittings and look at getting that sorted soon.  I'd foolishly assumed that the pre-shaped rigid "tails" would have come with them.  My mistake.

I've got a circuit pieced together on a breadboard upstairs to operate the check engine light, will need to bring it out to the car at some point shortly to see if it actually works.  It's not doing anything fancy as it's just providing the same functionality as the original from the carb setup - so in this case it will light the check engine light in the following circumstances...

[] Lambda value too high OR too low AND vehicle coolant temperature is over 70C.

[] Vehicle electrical system voltage is LOWER than 12.6V.

So it should behave exactly like the original - comes on with the ignition, but extinguishes the moment the engine starts, and should then stay out unless something is awry.  It'll ignore the lambda value until the car drops into closed loop mode (coolant temperature >60C), I've aimed for slightly above that to avoid nuisance triggering at the changeover point.  Will be interesting to see if it works in practice.

I could just wire it in to the ignition light...but this should actually give me some useful diagnostic information at least, and puts my conscience at ease as it's not an MOT defeat-device...it's an honest workaround for the fact that my ECU has a stuffed CEL output.

Couldn't resist getting the Invacar out for a bit.  Gave it a bit of a run around the drive, and can confirm that the speedo does indeed work.  This "enthusiastic" behaviour and exercising of the brakes however then immediately swilled more gunk out of the bottom of the fuel tank, and I spent some considerable time trying to figure out why I wasn't getting any fuel into the float bowl.

Turned out the little screen filter in the top of the carb was full of rusty gunk.  Now, these are far too big bits of crud to have got through the fuel filters or the screen in the fuel pump...so my guess is that they've been dislodged from the pump itself due to the higher fuel flow rate because I was actually using the throttle under real load for the first time.

Cleaning that out restored normal behaviour again, though if I were going to be using this fuel tank long term I think I'd just pay to have it professionally cleaned - I can't imagine it being that expensive.  As it is, it'll not be getting used long-term, so I'm just going to keep an eye on things.

I also got fed up of tripping over the engine cover stay, which seems to have a talent for managing to get in the way irrespective of where I put it in the garage...so I solved this problem by reattaching it to the car.


At least it keeps it out of the way.  The air intake duct does make the engine cover annoyingly awkward to work around though, so I can see the cover being removed regularly if I have to spend any real time in the engine bay.

EDIT:  Went out this evening to discover that for the second time in as many days a bird's nest has fallen out of the tree next to our driveway and landed on the poor Xantia.


The heater now buzzes - that'll be bits of twig in the blower then. Will take that apart to clear them out tomorrow. Thankfully that is at least an easy job on this car.

Have I mentioned that I'm utterly and totally sick of having that tree next to my driveway? 

Between the (immovable) sap it drops on the cars, the endless pine needles that get everywhere, the birds adding to the mess, the fact that it's destroying the driveway itself with the roots, and is also starting to life the footway, I really, really want shot of it!  Sure our neighbours would agree...they can't have seen daylight in a couple of decades!

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On 3/16/2018 at 11:37 AM, Talbot said:

Sounds like you need to get busy with a chainsaw. How big is this tree?

About this big.


Big enough it's a job for a professional I think.

Moot point though, as the Council say no. I'm keeping every shread of correspondence however, so when they try to send me a bill to sort the footway, carriageway or ducting that the root system will damage I've something to throw back at them.

The hedges are on the list to be cut back to sensible height this spring. The previous owner here had left everything to run wild forever, so that's been a slow task to get back in control of. Hence the pile of garden waste there!

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the Council say no.

Unless there is a tree preservation order on that tree, then it strikes me that there is bugger all the council can do about you cutting it down.


That said, it would be a shame for it to go, keeping trees is a good thing. You could possibly prune back some of the worst offending branches though. Would be fairly easy with a scaffold tower or a saw-on-a-stick type arrangement.


Edit: Like this:




6.5m reach is pretty impressive.

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The issue here is that the legal situation around greenery in this estate is somewhat complicated - a holdover from some of the ordinance put in place when the development was built (it was originally a major new home design expo rather than a normal estate), which basically states that all of the original greenery must "be retained."


Just trimming it back isn't going to do much - it's just got too big for where it is, and the roots are already utterly destroying the drive - don't imagine they're doing our next door neighbours any favours either - it being directly southwest of their house too means that they must hardly ever actually see any sunlight.


It's too tall, too sprawling and has too big a root system.  It needs to go.


We are actually going to be planting several trees over time around this place - but they'll be both A: Managed to keep them to a sensible size, and B: Will be fruit trees that we'll actually get something back from other than bloody pine needles.

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That was the one thought - though someone a few streets over apparently got in to major trouble with the Council having done exactly that...so reckon I'm going to stick with the angle of "keep pestering them until they give in and see sense" - which basically means getting them to send someone out to actually look at it. 


Think once I can get hold of an actual engineer who will understand the "if we leave this alone it'll cost us money" line is actually me speaking the truth, they'll co-operate.  Just a matter of trying to find the right person to actually speak to - I worked in local government for nearly eight years, so know how they work.

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Quick evening update.  Snapped a couple of photos on the way out earlier to show what the roots of that tree are doing to the driveway - it's actually kind of hard to see in the photo.  The drive is essentially laid as two halves though, and it's quite obvious that the entire side nearest the tree is appreciably lifting.



It's resulted in me landing on my face on at least a couple of occasions when getting stuff out of the car in the dark, and worked pretty effectively as a wheel clamp when we had the snow.

With it being such a lovely day though, I was sure as heck not going to go out for a drive unless I had all the windows and the sunroof wide open.  This revealed two things:

Firstly that driving the Activa without a perpetual "squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak..." in the background is far more pleasant. 

Secondly: I could hear a light metallic sounding rattle from the offside rear.  First thought was rattly brake pads - however it didn't stop when applying the brakes.

Quick investigation when I got home revealed a simple cause for a change...


Loose centre cap in the wheel.  Hopefully that shouldn't be too much of a pain to sort.

Speaking of wheels, spotted something on the way into the garage to get to the freezer this evening.


Looks like I will be needing at least one new wheel cylinder for the Invacar then.  Ah well, at least they're cheap.  Shame as that brake's working too!

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I feel your tree pain, the hedge we removed here (thankfully with no protest, quite the opposite) has absolutely wrecked one corner of the block paved drive and the only way to fix it is to dig out the drive, the roots, and re-lay the lot.  Likewise the silver birches (two are coming down this year, hooray!) are a proper nuisance for sap and bird poop and general detritus, we hate the mess and our neighbours hate the mess and the landlord is happy for us to get choppy with them.


Excellent progress on the Invacar, I've enjoyed reading up on that today.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just back from holiday, so was determined to get into the garage for five minutes.


Invacar started first touch despite sitting for a fortnight. 


Have pulled the exhaust off to clean it up and paint to keep the elements off.  Would have been rude not to see what it sounded like without it... basically think of any bike from the 60s with an engine of this sort of size...rather nice actually!


Will hit it with the carbide mop tomorrow then give it a good coat of paint.  Looking at it, it appears that it would originally have had a dark grey enamelled finish originally.

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Today I started getting the Saab ready to move on to its new home.  Started shifting the stuff which had wound up stored in it for a start.  Also stuck the battery on to charge - even though it seemed to be fine, figure it's been sitting for several months, it can't hurt it to spend a night on the charger.

Also noted that the oil in it didn't look too clever, obviously having picked up some residual moisture from the initial head gasket failure - I'll stick some fresh stuff in there before it's started up.  Hopefully will drag it out of the corner at the weekend and blast some off the moss and bird crap off it.

As far as the Invacar goes...well...I reattached the cleaned and repainted exhaust.


Also bent the attachment lugs straight, so it sits properly now rather than applying undue pressure on the downpipes as it was before.

Will see if this supposedly high temperature paint is more resilient than the last lot which just wiped off after it got hot...Failing that I'll just slap some engine enamel on it (which is what appeared to have been used originally).  It'll be totally hidden behind the bodywork eventually anyway, just figure I may as well try to offer it some protection against the elements.

Was nice to see that she immediately started first touch, even without the choke and idled perfectly.  Definitely quieter now there's a bit of exhaust paste on the joints too, I knew from the soot that was visible around the joint that it must have been blowing a bit, but the reduced noise levels confirm it.

Main task for the weekend for the Invacar for the weekend if time permits will be to get it up on the axle stands and give the drive system a bit more of a test in terms of getting it up to a bit higher "road speed" than has been possible shuffling around the driveway.

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Those driveway blocks look to be proper engineering type clay brick. Shame that tree is destroying them.  Trees of that type are a pest.  Anywhere you find them close to houses, the roofs seem to have lots of moss growth on the tiles.

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Okay, tweaking the idle speed up a bit has totally transformed this thing where starting is concerned... It's now just a case of "flick the key, then wait five mins or so while it warms up."


Useful given that the choke cable currently sticks - meaning I need to tank it with a pair of pliers to turn it off!


Have finally got it up on the axle stands, however it was late enough that I didn't want to make a racket, so drive system meddling will have to wait until tomorrow.

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I also got fed up of tripping over the engine cover stay, which seems to have a talent for managing to get in the way irrespective of where I put it in the garage...so I solved this problem by reattaching it to the car.




At least it keeps it out of the way. The air intake duct does make the engine cover annoyingly awkward to work around though, so I can see the cover being removed regularly if I have to spend any real time in the engine bay.


Is there any way of inconspicuously making the cover quick release? That would appear best for access other than routine checks. Perhaps the hinge pins might be made removable?

About this big.





Pfft; I've tackled taller and (much) girthier(is that a word? If not I claim copyright). Let us know when you wish it to tragically 'fall over due to high winds/spindle weevils/needle dropsy/it was tired and needed a lie down'. No doubt professional tree surgeons will want a middling king's ransom to fell it and would insist on doing it in an entirely risk-free* manner.
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The engine cover could quite easily be made quick release - just stick one of those pins you can pull out through the hinges rather than the tapered rod that's meant to be a friction fit. For now it's got a nut and bolt in as I know it will want to come off again.


The tree will just have to stay for now. Sadly now the council know we want rid of it, if anything unfortunate were to happen to it, they would point the finger firmly at us. Speaking to neighbours, it seems that in such an instance they can and will pursue the matter to the maximum extents possible by law. One neighbour pulled a far smaller tree down that they were totally unaware was covered by the same archaic legislation (that I still have to actually find in written form anywhere) - it wound up costing them several grand at the end of the day.


Shame I can't send them the bill for sorting the drive...when I know they will send me the bill for sorting the footway and road!

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Given you've repeatedly asked to chop the thing down and chopping it down is the only means of preventing damage or arresting existing damage, I'd be tempted to risk a few quid and lob in a pre-emptive Money Claim On Line for the damage to the drive the council is causing; the cost of the damage to the drive incurred as a result of not being allowed to chop it down, plus 10% for your mental anguish at having to deal with windowlicking lackwits. There's protecting the environment from despoilation and there's mindless arsecovering, you've expressly said that you intend to plant other trees in its place.

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Few things done today. Main target though was to see if the variomatic system on the Invacar would work properly...I knew I had drive and that the clutch works fine, but whether the variomatic would vary as intended I had no idea.

Given the drivetrain probably hasn't seen speeds north of walking pace this century, I figured it would make sense to check that the diff and gearbox had oil in. Level and filler plugs are easily accessible, so that was the work of about five minutes.

Second task: investigate the horrible squeaking, scraping noise coming from the offside rear wheel. Turned out to be the return springs were on the wrong side of the shoes, they need to be on the back. This makes refitting them about a million percent more fiddly but still not impossible.


Next up was to engage drive, and get the revs up to see what happened. Answer was me getting a face full of cobwebs, dust and rust as the variomatic system shrugged off a couple of decades of crud. Also this...


Speed came up nicely, bit of resonant vibration from the belt at a few points (not unexpected as I know it's a little loose) but nothing untoward. Noticeable change in note from around 45mph upward when the system is meant to drop into a fixed ratio "overdrive" mode according to the manual. Briefly had 65mph shown, but chickened out shortly after that as the noise levels in my not huge garage were reaching biblical levels...and I really didn't want the car vibrating its way off the axle stands.

Seems that I have a working variomatic system... I'll take that as a win. Rear brakes work too, even if they're not perfectly balanced yet.

Feels like progress, even if it's just proving a system I've not actually done anything to is working...

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Had planned to get some poking around this evening, probably aim to get the carb cleaned. Instead was just walking out the door when I got the cry of "the internet's broken."


Cue nearly two hours of swearing at my network infrastructure. Not sure what's going on...for some reason it's decided - but only in the case of Windows machines - that anything connected directly to the router's WiFi should route to the network switch...rather than the internet...Android and Linux machines behave normally.


Nothing has changed...so best guess is that Sky have issued a firmware upgrade or something that's messed it up. Not that you can get much worse than the piece of garbage SR-102 router Sky give you anyway - hence the external switch, wireless access point etc...


Have just unplugged the whole wired side of things for now and will do more battle with it in the morning. So that's the website, printer, NAS offline...in addition to WiFi coverage of about 2/3rds of the house. Not looking forward to plugging that back in as I'm sure I'll get about 3 million emails from the server complaining about the fact that it can't see the router...sadly I can't shut it down because I can't connect to it!


Well, I could, but that would mean walking all the way to the other side of the house and either finding a keyboard and monitor or booting the desktop back up...plus last time I switched it off I lost a hard drive. I think I'll just deal with the email deluge...

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Take photos of the drive with the camera just off the ground, the uneveness will look like the foothills of the Andes. It worked for me with the road outside our house which is block paved, getting the council to do something about it as the lorries were shaking the house apart.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroens, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 24/02 - BX Fuel Pump Replaced...

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      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
    • By Tickman
      First some background:
      I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
      Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
      As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
      The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
      ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
      Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
      Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
      The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
      I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.

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

      It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
      My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
      Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
      All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
      That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
    • By 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 Supernaut
      What does £191 on eBay get you?
      An E36 BMW 316i with two sets of wheels, a DAB radio, an MOT until December, 110k miles on the clocks, a slightly* fucked back box and a bit of grot on the driver's side sill.






      This is co-owned between me and 17-Coffees and our plan is to do a light restoration and just generally piss about with it. It's actually really nice to drive, and is surprisingly brisk for only being a 1.6.
      Yes, the alloys are getting sacked off ASAP as it came with the original steel wheels with all-but-new Toyo Proxes on them!
    • By strangeangel
      It seems like it's time to have a new thread dedicated to the on-going progress (or otherwise) of the Beige BX, without people having to trawl through pages of stuff about the original purchase. All that malarkey can be found here. The new thread will make it easier to change the title as required, too.
      For works completed to date in the old thread go here.
      Today's progress at SF17 was MEGA. Much work was carried out on the fuel system by Joe and many of the assembled Shiters; the fuelling problem finally being cracked when Joe fitted one of the Pleasure Wagon's clear fuel filters!


      There was a stuttering journey down the ramp...

      Fuel was added... and it ran!

      A quick ride round the campsite revealed that the spheres are completely shagged, as the suspension was entirely bereft of travel. On the plus side, there are two new spheres in the boot. Dead chuffed to see it run, and have a go at piloting it across the field, though
      It's headed back to Castle_Cleland after SF, after which we need to have a think about the best way to go from here.
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