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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 06/10 - Window Winder Bodge-fest!

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See if PlasticVanDan has any left. I sourced some from him and they've already come in useful.


In terms of charging, there is (on both of mine) an in-line fuse right next to the voltage regulator - on both it looks to have been added later in life. The wiring was particularly badly done on my Invacar, so I had to redo it all. I did get the charge light on though. I know on some vehicles, a non-functioning charge light bulb can stop charging activity. Worth a check for how simple it is. No idea if that logic applies here.

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My wiring looks decently done, just massively hacked about. The in-line fuse hasn't yet been checked, nor has the dash lamp.


To be honest just getting it to show any signs of life was the main task for today. I'll see if I can get it to charge tomorrow, hopefully run for more than five seconds at a time too.


If that's good, it will be onwards to the brakes I think!

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Quick lunchtime update.


Got the fuel pump off easy enough once I had a standard 11mm ring spanner on hand.  Turned out that the pushrod was seized in place, hence the lack of pumping.


Dousing it in penetrating oil and exercising it (read: whack it with a hammer both ways until it moved) after about 15 minutes got it moving freely again.


Reattached to the car I reckon I've had it now running on fuel from the tank (well...can), briefly.  Briefly because the fuel pump was doing a good impression of a fountain from the cover.  This is particularly worrisome as the first thing the fuel dribbles onto beneath the tinware is the exhaust thanks to its position.


I've pulled the pump off again, cleaned up both the mating surfaces and put on a tiny smear of instant gasket (there should be a paper gasket in here it looks like), which is currently curing.  I'll give it another shot after lunch.


This evening's task will be making a parts list of engine service items to order - which will include a proper fuel pump gasket.


Charging wise I've not investigated anything today yet.  The front earthing point is now earthed (bolted to the fuel tank bracket holes in the front framework), but that hasn't made any difference, unsurprisingly.  There is an in-line fuse holder with the red wire from my voltage reg (which is different to the wiring diagram which says it's in the yellow wire) with an intact ceramic fuse.  I couldn't read the rating on it however.  I had a very brief shot at getting the lamp out of the dash, before deciding that that's actually a really fiddly sod of a task so I'm going to check if there's voltage across it first.

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Glad to report that the reassembled fuel pump is now fuel-tight and appears to be happily pumping away as intended.

Here's what it looked like earlier in the day, making my dining room stink of carb cleaner.


The carb isn't happy, and any attempt to apply throttle quickly result in the engine backfiring through the carb. Apply it gently though and she will rev cleanly through the whole rev range. I've not even touched it yet so no great surprise.

I decided before further hunting of charging faults I'd first check if it was actually doing anything with the right test equipment...


Hey, look... it's charging! Just the dash lamp isn't working. 13.4ish volts across the battery.  This appears to be due to a break in the loom somewhere, as I've got 12V at the lamp, but ground at the voltage reg terminal that's meant to be attached to the light...Will investigate that further later.  It's quite possible there's another hacked about bit of wiring I've not spotted yet.

With the charging system not in danger of overheating itself and it no longer peeing fuel over the exhaust I was able to do the test everyone was waiting for.

Would it move?

Should point out that this was very carefully tested given the lack of any form of brakes.

The clutch appears to be dragging at idle slightly, but likewise I think the idle is slightly high so that won't help.

She's also smoking like a stone cold Deltic. Though the exhaust appears to be half full of oil, it may be clean once it's burned off. The oil in there is also slightly thinner than specified so that won't help either.



I'll give her a bit longer a run tomorrow and see if it clears. The comedy smoke clouds today we're a laugh though.

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Sadly I actually need to get some useful stuff around the house done today so won't have much time for car stuff.


I have however just been out and bought the steel sheet which will replace the rusted out floorpan and sill covers.

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As stated earlier, I didn't have a massive amount of time for this today, but did get a bit of time.

Two tasks.

Firstly was to give it a run for a decent amount of time and see if the smoke cleared. While this was underway it occurred to me that cleaning out the crankcase breather was probably smart too. It wasn't actually too bad really, but I did make a point of ensuring the valves in it were able to move freely. Not sure if it was related, but shortly after that the smoke stopped.

A few minutes later the accelerator jet seemed to rejoin the party and the engine would rev - at which point the now not full of oil exhaust decided to shed 20 years worth of soot. This was impressive, but only happened once.

The next task was to start pulling out the knackered floor. This first required me to remove the seat (which I'd already decided was beyond saving). This turned into the predictable hour long round of swearing at stuck fasteners and rotating nuts that if the car had been built by anyone sensible would have been captive. Eventually I got it out though.

I've got about as much of the floor out now as I can before I introduce it to the angle grinder. I can definitely confirm that the actual floor isn't attached to the chassis save for rivets at key locations. I think it's actually in two parts as well.

It would have been downright miraculous if the chassis hadn't needed some repairs, and sure enough a few holes have appeared. Nothing show stopping by any means though - especially with it essentially being a glorified ladder frame structure.

The annoying bit however is that it's clear that the floor was attached to the chassis and the body then plonked on top, bolted through both. So to properly fix it, the body will definitely need to come off.

I'm going to get underneath first though (or tip it over again) for a proper look through before I get too involved in that - especially given that I'm not done looking for possible body part donors yet. It would be annoying to take it off, reassemble it then have a better body turn up a week later.

I'm not going to faff about with fasteners when I do that - they're just getting attacked with the grinder and replaced with metric ones. This is the sort of proactive approach I'm taking - if it's going to save me time in the long run and make the car easier to live with and work on later - I'll sacrifice a bit of originality. There are plenty of concourse examples, and this is never going to be one of them!

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It's a tricky one really isn't it? I mean, I've got a body that's probably better than your body, but then it's on a chassis that is probably better than your chassis. It doesn't have an engine though, and may soon be lacking a few more parts too (rear window for instance). It does have two doors though, even if the furniture is missing.

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It is tricky!


I've actually got the doors, they just need the window frames sorting.


I do seem to have a good engine, gearbox works in so far as it goes backwards or forward but hasn't been tested beyond that.  If it came down to it I'm not beyond using this one as a parts donor to save another one...though that would need definite proof that the chassis was a better candidate than this one.  I'll be able to better assess it obviously once I've hacked the rest of the floorpan out and cleaned up the frame.


From what I've uncovered so far it's definitely saveable though...just needs a bit more work than might have been ideal.


I'm basically just picking away at jobs I've got the ability and resources to handle, kind of hoping a bodywork solution will present itself at some point!

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I haven't had a detailed look at my spare car, but I have crawled around underneath it enough to know it isn't hanging. But, I think it was being used as as spares car before being carted off for scrap, so there are lots of things missing (like the throttle cable and handlebar mechanism for same). 

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If the floor inside is decent it's probably sound. The external rust proofing (at least on mine) still looks like new underneath for the most part. Virtually all of the corrosion seems to have gone from the inside out due to water trapped under the mats.

I'm not too fussed about bits, as save for a handful of things I've got everything. Only things we're scratching our heads about a bit at the moment is the fuel tank because it's not where the seller thought it was and the engine bay heater hardware. Sure that list will grow.

One of the plus sides to a lot of stuff arriving in boxes is that it helps reduce the amount of seized fasteners you have to fight with!

Edit: Just going briefly back to the comment earlier about it not being willing to rev - I'm 99% certain that in my case that's carb related - as it seemed to clear its throat today once warmed up.  I seem to recall your original engine being a bit of a pain to start as well - this one in contrast starts instantly both warm and cold.  Literally is just a case of touching the key to the start position and it's up and running.  It sounds happy too...To be honest I'd be happy with any vehicle I was using every day idling as smooth as this thing!

In terms of furniture in mine, this is the one area that I'm going to make a modern concession.  I'm sticking a modern car seat in.  My back is somewhat shot thanks to an idiot in a diesel tanker driving into me 15 odd years ago, so in the interests of *not* aggravating that, I'll have a comfy seat thanks.  If some future owner wants to swap it back out, they're welcome.  The frame of the original seat in mine has literally rotted away to nothing and the vinyl is actually holding the frame together at the moment...so it's not fit for anything other than the bin.

The purists may hate me for that, but I do actually want this to be something I can use to pop down to the shops and actually drive to shows through the year - if the seat is catastrophically uncomfortable, that's going to reduce the odds of me doing that by a lot.

In other news, just as I was tidying up I decided to check to see whether some of the crud left after the wash would shift in the presence of a cutting compound.  These are the results of about 30 seconds work...It does look like there is colour under there.


At the very least, the black grime will shift.

The roof, doors and engine cover are the only panels I'm really going to pursue in this manner as they're the only ones that I know for certain will be getting put back into service on a permanent basis.

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Well, I can add Hillman to the list of marques the parts bin raiding included then!  The whole car is basically a parts bin special.

Today I had two main tasks in mind.

Firstly was to get it back on a sensible size of wheels.  While the 50s Hot-Rod stance with the 15" Daimler wheels on the back was somewhat amusing, the fact that I kept walking into the nearside one whenever I went into the garage was rapidly becoming annoying.  Even if given the huge arches it does look even more ridiculous now.

It's wearing 10" wheels just now as none of the 12" ones I've got showed any interest in holding air.  They will probably get used long-term though as it should give me slightly more choices in terms of tyres I believe.


This looked even more ridiculous when I only had one on...


Next up was introducing it to my good friend Mr. Angle Grinder.

Most of the rotten floor pan and sill covers removed.


The bit under the gear selector I haven't been able to get to yet as every one of the fasteners involved in securing that are utterly refusing to shift.  They're currently soaking in Plusgas - if they won't move tomorrow I'll attack them with the grinder.  I've got another gear selector that's in far better condition in a box, so I'm not too precious about getting this one off without harming it.

I then hit it with the carbide polishing wheel to shift the rust and paint on the chassis...


This is the worst bit of rust I've found so far save for the bit by the seatbelt buckle.



Given the state that the floorpan itself was in, the fact that the chassis is in this good a state is quite remarkable I reckon - especially when you look at the state your average MG or similar motor from 1975 would be in if it had been left sitting in a field since the 1990s - with no doors on.

I've also had a better look at how the body/floor overlap is constructed.  It appears that the body is first bolted to the crossmember, and the floor is then riveted to the underside of that - rather than actually being built on top of it - there's just a couple of inches of overlap.  This is definitely true at the front, and I'm hoping the same is true at the rear - this is good as it should be a LOT easier to sort and shouldn't involve me having to remove the body.  Unless I go to swap it for another one at a later stage of course.

Other discovery of the day - there's no inhibitor switch to stop you starting it in gear.  Important safety tip...check it's in neutral first!

Tomorrow's tasks will be to remove the last bit of floorpan down by the gear selector, drill out the rivets to get the bit of overlap under the front/rear body sections off, and possibly bust out the welder to repair the rot in there...If we get that far, we might even look at getting some new floor in place...I doubt that level of progress will be seen though!

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Very good point about the lack of inhibitor. I know people have been killed or injured by cars with centrifugal clutches when they didn't know they were in gear. Starts fine, then shoots off if you blip the throttle. Worse bit is that there's no clear notch to tell you it's in neutral.


What year is yours? I think they moved to the 10" wheels in late 1973. 

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1975 this one.  I've got both 10" and 12" wheels here - just don't have any air-tight 12" tyres yet.  The other advantage of going with 12" will be that it will reduce the amount of wheel arch I need to rebuild if I go down that route.


Don't know about yours, but the gear selector on mine has three quite distinct positions, so it's not too hard to check.  It'll be a bit less of an issue once the idle is back down at a sensible rate rather than at about 1500rpm which it's currently at.  Will get rid of the horrible "CH-THUNK" currently involved in selecting drive as well hopefully...


Given that the gear selector is right down by the choke control that should make an easy part of the startup procedure to check...just a bit fluid at the moment with the lack of a seat (or floor!) at the moment...Having to manually apply and remove the choke on the carb with a pair of pliers isn't too helpful either...

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Ah, my choke control is at roof height! The gear select has nothing to tell you it has engaged other than the furthest movement. I'm tempted to engineer some sort of neutral lock. Interestingly, the choke control on my spares car is on the dash I think. I get the impression that no two Model 70s are truly alike.

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On 2/8/2018 at 8:17 PM, dollywobbler said:

Ah, my choke control is at roof height! The gear select has nothing to tell you it has engaged other than the furthest movement. I'm tempted to engineer some sort of neutral lock. Interestingly, the choke control on my spares car is on the dash I think. I get the impression that no two Model 70s are truly alike.

You can see the control box for choke, heater and demister just to the right of the seat here.  I don't actually seem to have a decent photo of it.

The wonderful bodge positive wire to the starter solenoid is also visible...


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Other discovery of the day - there's no inhibitor switch to stop you starting it in gear. Important safety tip...check it's in neutral first!


DAFs were always started in gear (Except Swiss version with interlock and later Ovlovs)


Handbrake on. Footbrake on. Start it the selector in direction you wish to proceed. Keep choke and fast idle revs to minimum otherwise the clutch starts to engage and working against the brakes will toast the clutch.


There wasn't a neutral notch, but you could feel for a point it wasnt either in forward or reverse, this point being used for servicing purposes.


It was more problematic starting them in neither gear and crunching/grinding things moving the shifter forward/backwards from inbetween. Much less so than a swift flick from forwards or backwards to the opposing direction. This movement being done whilst absolutely stationary AND at low idle.


Later cars had even more complicated vacuum gubbins to work around the shifting at revs problem (declutch servo/valve/switches)


As I've never looked at the mechanics of these things, it could be completely different, but I wouldn't bet my house on it being so.

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No, they're very simple. Can't say I've had any problems switching from forward to reverse, apart from one time I did it before the revs had dropped sufficiently, which certainly did crunch. I reckon the advice was purely to avoid that as at the correct idle, there should be no problem with switching between the two.

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that looks like they lifted the choke and start levers from a fiat nuova 500 and "adapted" them


Entirely possible - they did use a Fiat 500 power unit for a while as I recall.  The switch to the Steyer-Puch engine came about when Fiat stopped making the old air-cooled 500 units.  The rear suspension setup is lifted straight from the Fiat 126 parts bin, just with hubs adapted to suit the Girling brakes.  So entirely possible that other parts were also sourced from Fiat as well.

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Not really done much today as feeling somewhat under the weather.


Scrubbed a bit more of the gunk off the roof mainly.


Disconnected the choke cable - having discovered it's the cable that's jammed rather than the linkage on the carb.  There's now a clothes peg that's a critical part of the cold start procedure to hold the choke closed.


Main event of today was that it actually drove into the garage under its own power for the first time.  Managed not to drive into anything while doing so either!


Also discovered that I appear to have an intermittent starting fault.  Though I think I've tracked this down to the fact that the solenoid is simply wedged against the chassis leg...so I suspect it's suffering from a distinct lack of a decent ground.  I'll clean up the contact area and actually bolt it into place tomorrow.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting to have quite a lot of electrical issues with this car!

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Investigated the lack of an ignition light a bit further today.


Have ascertained that there's apparently a break in the wiring between the dash and the voltage regulator, as I've got 12V on what should be the earthy side of the ignition light on the dash, but nothing on the relevant terminal of the voltage regulator.  However earthing it at the instrument panel end didn't bring the light on either. 


Figured at this point that I needed to get the light out the dash and see if it worked in isolation.  ...and snapped the back off the light.  D'OH!  All of the lights in my spare dash are similarly corroded and refuse to budge.  So filed that under "I'll look at this later."  Hopefully I'll eventually manage to get one of the spares apart to fix that.


Then turned my attention to the spare brake master cylinder.  Helpfully it too appears to be seized - it's currently full of penetrating oil to see if I can get the piston to move.  I can't even get it out at the moment to see what state the bore is in and whether it's worth rebuilding.  Failing that, it will be time for a new one.  To be honest I'm tempted just to order a new master cylinder and full set of wheel cylinders and be done with it - it'll save me time and hassle in the long run most likely.


Finally for the day, thoroughly doused the handbrake mechanism in Plusgas as it's utterly seized.  I do have a spare which while it looks like it was retrieved from the Titanic, actually works perfectly.  So if need be I can swap them out, but if I can get the one in the car to behave all the better as it will be a bunch of fasteners that won't want to come undone that I won't have to fight with.

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Didn't have a massive amount of time to dedicate to this today, and wound up spending far too much time chasing the fact that it decided to start on one cylinder, and resolutely refused to run on two until I'd taken the plug out of the flooded cylinder (offside) and attacked it with the blowtorch.

First thing I did though was utterly pointless, and was done while I was waiting for the spark plug to cook.

Painted the exhaust...purely because I stumbled across a very nearly empty can of VHT black paint.


At least once the plugs were cleaned up it ran properly again.  In fact, for the first time since I got it, it's idling consistently.  I discovered that there was a lot of excess length on the throttle cable, and the excess had got itself twisted around and was effectively wedging the throttle slightly open.

The main task of the day though was to change the knackered brake master cylinder.

Somewhat amusingly, the most difficult bit of this by far was trying to get the blasted split pin out of the handlebar to cylinder pushrod joint.  That took a good half an hour of swearing and standing on my head - made considerably MORE difficult by the fact that the car doesn't currently have a floor.  I did eventually get the bugger out though.

I didn't even bother faffing about with the original fasteners.  They'd been open to the elements for *at least* 12 years, and I just didn't have the patience for that.  Angle grinder was brought into play and cut them off in a few seconds.  I still had to batter the cylinder with a hammer to get it to separate from the bulkhead as it was well and truly stuck in place.

New (good used) one in place...


...and bled through so it's pumping fluid.  I've not bled any further than the union by the brake light switch though as there are no shoes in any of the drums yet - and I need to figure out how the heck everything fits together before I play that game tomorrow.  Been so long since I last messed with drum brakes (well, other than on a bus anyway) that that particular logic puzzle was defeating me. 

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to see if any of the wheel cylinders are actually interested in working - not holding my breath though.  If any are though it will be a big step forward as *any* brakes will make moving it around a lot less terrifying.

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Ah, your turn for the drum and shoe nightmare! Remember, red spring nearest the wheel cylinder (so bottom). Remember that the shoes don't go the same way up - so on one of them, the rectangular hole for the handbrake goes at the top.


On the front wheel, I just about managed to remove the knackered old wheel cylinder without dismantling the shoes. Getting it back in was a chore, but not as bad as battling shoes (though you have the convenience of access on your front wheel at least!). There's a grease point on the front hub that I made use of while I was there.

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Hoping that once I've had a look at a diagram it will make more sense to me.  I've done a bunch of drums before on Land Rovers and Metros, it's just been more than ten years!  The front brake has a wheel cylinder in it, but that's it!  Hoping that I can find the nuts to hold the adjusters in, otherwise that will be a swine...


Need to figure out where my grease gun has gone...


Did you spot while you were doing that lot that there's a grease point on the handbrake cable itself?

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