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Zelandeth

Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 14/09 - Van Tidying.

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Please, please, please...

Rebuild this with miniature Scammell bodywork.

A sort of 1/3 scale scarab.

You will win Autoshite.

 

It even kind of looks like one from the front as it is in my mind!

 

There are chassis out there completely lacking in bodywork, not a bad call if it were to bring one back to life that's otherwise doomed to be naught but cannibalised for spares.  Sadly building a new bespoke body from scratch is probably beyond my abilities.  Aim for this is to return it to more or less its original appearance - though I'm being realistic in that it will never be perfect.

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Good news everyone!

Looks like we've got the details mostly sorted out now, and all being well this will be arriving in my driveway on Tuesday.

I'm currently working on some major lighting improvements in my garage (somewhere roughly around a kilowatt of fluorescent lighting with everything on once it's all in place) so even if I run out of daylight I should hopefully be able to get some decent photos.

IMG_20180118_202959.jpg

Only got one fixture fully set up so far - but there will be four more of these 3x40W beasts going up (circa 1967, still going strong), plus a random smattering of other random fittings I've accumulated over the last few years for this purpose.  All magnetic ballasts too, so will be fit and forget, rather than having bloody HF gear going pop after six months.

Seller has agreed that my concerns regarding the crankcase breather cap being missing were valid and will be checking that in due course for me at the weekend.

This evening was mostly spent on the somewhat tedious wiring bit for the lighting, sorting the switch out.  Firstly I know our cantankerous RCD won't take kindly to roughly 1.5kW of inductive load being dumped on it all at once, and secondly I'm really not going to need 75,000 plus change lumens all the time, so switching things in a few banks (went for five) just makes sense.

Was really glad to see that MK still do their modular switch modules, so had far more fun than I really should making up a new light switch with five switch modules plus a power on indicator.  Loved getting to play about with these (isolated of course!) in the workshop at work with my father in the early 90s.

IMG_20180119_205249.jpg

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Just a quick update.


Slight further delay on arrival of the Invacar (do I call it that, or the AC?  Given it's actually AC made rather than Invacar...my OCD can't quite decide - in general conversation though it's got to be AC just because it will confuse people all the more).  The seller's had a few health issues lately so it'll be into next week before we get any further updates as I'm going to be away this weekend.


Given it's tipping it down out there right now I decided to examine the gigantic box I got from Lada a couple of months back and then promptly forgot about.

In this day and age where it seems to be the norm for some little black plastic box to cost hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds, let's see what £500 gets you from Lada.  Note that this is all current production stock, not ancient NOS stuff.

IMG_20180124_112440.jpg

So, we've got...

[] Front engine mount (x2).
[] Rear engine (gearbox) mount.
[] Propshaft rotoflex coupling.
[] Clutch fluid reservoir.
[] Miscellaneous fuel system O-Rings.
[] Upper front suspension ball joints (x2).
[] Lower front suspension ball joints (x2).
[] Fuel tank to filler neck flexible coupling.
[] Fuel injection pump & Gauge sender assembly.
[] Reversing light switch.
[] Fuel filter bracket.
[] Assorted fuel injection hoses (the really long straight rigid pipes I'll need to make myself as they'd be utterly impractical to ship).

Oh...and this too.  Think you can figure out what that is.

IMG_20180124_112442.jpg

To be honest the only expensive parts were the tank and fuel pump (£250 and £120 respectively if I remember right), I don't think any other single item was far north of a tenner. Despite these prices though, I don't honestly think I've ever had a duff part from Lada, and I'm going back to 2003 here.

Ball joints are all generally okay on mine, but one of them is creaking in a maddening fashion, so once it's in for the MOT I'll probably throw it at the garage with the instruction of "stop it creaking" with the full set on the passenger seat.

Once this lot is all fitted the injection system will be very nearly as per factory spec. The only thing I'll still be missing is the speedo pickup, which I'm still keeping my eyes open for. Much better than my current fuel pump bodge...which while perfectly serviceable looks a mess and makes a racket.

Annoyingly due to the latest round of MOT changes I now need to track down a new ECU to resolve my dead check engine light...It's quite a common issue with this ECU apparently, and I've reverse engineered it sufficiently far to establish that the offending transistor is buried in a custom Delphi branded chip...so repair isn't an option.  There's nothing wrong with the actual functioning of the car - just the light doesn't work.  I'll be damned if a single dead transistor is keeping my car off the road.

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Just had a bit of an epiphany with regards to the check engine light.  While long-term I'd really like it to be properly sorted (seems daft to have the self-diagnostic abilities there but not making use of them), in the short term I do have an easier answer.

 

As far as the MOT is concerned, this car still has the *extremely* basic emission control system and the silly computer controlled carb.  The check engine light behaviour on that is far more simplistic than on the injected car...in fact there are only a handful of conditions under which the check engine light will show itself...From memory: Short or open circuit on either control solenoid, lambda value out of range (once running closed loop), battery supply voltage too low (can't remember precisely, but the threshold is somewhere around 12.8V I think...It's in the manual)...and I think that's actually it.

 

...Would be an almost trivial exercise to throw something together on a bit of Veroboard to emulate the functionality of the original light.  Obviously the solenoids no longer exist, so that can be ignored...but it's easy enough to track the lambda value based on the sensor output, likewise watching the vehicle electrical system voltage.

 

Could argue as well that it's *not* a defeat device...it's emulating the exact functionality of the original circuitry.

 

Obviously the long-term plan though is find a not-broken ECU so the blasted light just works properly!

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Got a long trip coming up tomorrow, so gave the Activa a bit of attention today.

First up, check up of oil, coolant, screenwash and LHM. Secondly gave it a wash as it actually wasn't raining for a change...

IMG_20180125_152945.jpg

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Then also gave the leather a quick going over with conditioner and remove the dog's nose prints from the inside of the rear windscreen.

Also finally gave in to my OCD...

IMG_20180125_153334.jpg

...and painted the rusty tailpipe, as it was letting the whole rear end of the car down.

First proper long distance trip in the car tomorrow.

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Sadly I doubt it - I reckon the guy who's currently got it would have rescued the parts if they had been laying around.  My money's on the front having got pretty well smashed at some point and they've just hacked the remainder off.  Given that it was somewhere around Bristol if memory serves right, it's not just around the corner or I'd go take a look just in case...

All being well, the shed-I-mean-project should be arriving here mid-afternoon tomorrow.


Given that my garage clear-out is still very much a work in progress I decided to do a very important check this afternoon...

IMG_20180201_181236_scaled.jpg

Yep...it will fit!  The yellow chalk box drawn on the floor represents the max overall dimensions according to the diagrams in the manual.  Mine will be slightly smaller to start out with anyway due to the missing bits of body!  Obviously there's still more junk to be removed from the garage in due course as well.

Watch this space...Hopefully there should be some photos of a very shoddy very small blue car here by this time tomorrow...

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Nope...Facebook is somewhere I don't actively exist.

 

First thing it did the moment I signed up (despite it having been denied requests to access anything, and not even having my legal name) was start sending me emails saying "we think you'd like to connect with these people..." most of whom were people who I've spent the last 20 years trying to forget as they made my life bloody torture to the extent that I did consider on more than one occasion taking my own life while I was in secondary school and college.

 

The fact that it immediately started making those connections despite not having been told my actual name, any details about where I grew up, which school I went to etc, and that these were people who I've never exchanged electronic communications with (we're going back to the 90s here) just cemented the decision that Facebook is something that I want to have absolutely nothing to do with.

 

...Which is annoying as it seems to be where virtually bloody everything car-related seems to happen these days.

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Nope...Facebook is somewhere I don't actively exist.

 

First thing it did the moment I signed up (despite it having been denied requests to access anything, and not even having my legal name) was start sending me emails saying "we think you'd like to connect with these people..." most of whom were people who I've spent the last 20 years trying to forget as they made my life bloody torture to the extent that I did consider on more than one occasion taking my own life while I was in secondary school and college.

 

The fact that it immediately started making those connections despite not having been told my actual name, any details about where I grew up, which school I went to etc, and that these were people who I've never exchanged electronic communications with (we're going back to the 90s here) just cemented the decision that Facebook is something that I want to have absolutely nothing to do with.

 

...Which is annoying as it seems to be where virtually bloody everything car-related seems to happen these days.

That's antisocial media for you. Apart from it being a monumental waste of time.

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I am heartened by the EU's crusade against the more underhand aspects of social media - as a result of some work stuff I got involved in recently, I found out that the GDPR personal data protection laws that come into force in the Uk in May are directly targeting the gathering and holding of individual's data as a requirement for access to social networking services. That will be illegal under the new regs. Also there will soon be hefty fines for any organisation that doesn't reveal to an individual what data they hold about that individual and what they are using said data for. Pm me if you want to know more about what is being called 'the right to be forgotten'

 

Sent from my BV6000 using Tapatalk

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So it begins!

This has just been safely stashed away in my garage for the night...

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First order of business for the morning will be to attack basically every square inch of the thing, inside and out with the pressure washer.

...Shortly following that will be seeing if I can get the engine started.  I realise that should probably be somewhere around item 95 on the list...but sod that, I want to hear it run!

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Excellent. I hope the ignition timing is ok...

 

On my spare engine, the fuel pump was seized entirely, and the fuel lines filled with horrible, broken down old fuel. I was spared that on the main Invacar as the fuel line had rotted/been chopped, so all fuel had drained away.

 

You've got the earlier rear lights.

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The fuel lines are totally missing here I think.  Realised the tank is something we forgot to pick up (no big deal, I need to go back for the window glass anyway as we couldn't see a properly safe way of transporting it).

 

Engine was last running in 2016, so hopefully the pump will be okay.  Had a quick look underneath the very manky distributor cap and was surprised to see very clean, shiny contacts...so hopefully that won't be too major a headache.

 

The wiring has been majorly hacked about though, so I may need to figure some of that out before we can get it running.

 

Think I've got two sets of tail lights, both the older style but slightly different...

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Just figures doesn't it...get a new project home, then it proceeds to spend the ENTIRE day raining...

Still, not one to be deterred, I figured I could still get some useful things done.

First off was to replace this...

IMG_20180203_150644.jpg

Which quite clearly is utterly beyond redemption.  This was high on my list as it was making it difficult to move the car around.

This has improved things massively.  The tyre is still shot, but it is a great improvement in that it actually holds air and that the wheel is actually round.

IMG_20180203_151327.jpg

While the front wheel was in the air I established that the front wheel bearing is lovely and smooth, and that there doesn't seem to be any notable play in the kingpin.

While I was in the area I decided to take a look at the brake master cylinder as it's utterly shot.  Dollywobbler's observation that it's a bloody stupid design is indeed correct.  Why the fluff they didn't use captive bolts to hold the thing on I'll never figure out.  I suspect that the existing bolts may well end up meeting my good friend Mr. Angle Grinder and just get replaced.

Next up...refitted this, purely to please DW...

IMG_20180203_153736.jpg

Then I turned my attention to the engine.  There was way too much oil in the engine, so that got drained off and replaced with new.  10W 40 rather than what's specced - but it will be getting changed after it's been run for a short time anyway to help flush any resulting crud out.

Was surprised to find that I had an oil filter in stock which appears to be the correct type (ish - it's fitted with a non-return valve which isn't necessary in this application)...so on that went.  I'll be watching very carefully to ensure I've got good oil pressure before the engine is cranked over with the ignition system enabled.

IMG_20180203_164119.jpg

Speaking of the ignition system, here's what things under the distributor cap look like.

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I have established that as things stand, connecting a battery up results in precisely nothing working.  This doesn't really surprise me given the state of the loom...so I might need to be a bit inventive to get the engine going initially.

Here's hoping that the weather tomorrow is slightly more co-operative so I can actually get it out of the garage and clean it.

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I've had issues with the fusebox that has killed the electrics. Getting the fuses out and cleaning everything up seems to have helped there.

 

Dear also recommend rebuilding the front brake while access is so good!

 

That will be getting a look shortly as it's high on my list.

 

Brakes will be getting looked at soon.  Will in fact be one of the first things on the list once we've got the engine going.  I've got a NOS master cylinder in hand already, and I think all the bits I'll need aside from a couple of wheel cylinders.  Sure I'll be proven wrong in short order though!

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In terms of the overall plan - it's basically as follows:

 

1. Attack with pressure washer so it's not so bloody disgusting to work on.

 

2. Get engine running to at least some extent.  This is more psychological than anything so that I *know* that it does actually function, to give me something to cling to when I have utterly lost patience with the thing and want to set fire to it.

 

3. Sort brakes.

 

4. Sort floor.  Possibly having taken the body off the chassis first.

 

5. Sort electrics.

 

6. Properly sort engine and drive.

 

7. Sort everything else!

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Apparently in around late 2001 invacar repairers were instructed to fit ally floors to all invacars that came in for service,which they found odd knowing they would be scrapped 2 years later

 

You know, I was just looking at the floor on mine thinking it looked like galv. Maybe it is ally? I shall subject it to a magnet test tomorrow. I have had comments from folk remembering them driving around with the floors falling out. Maybe that's why! Surprises me though, as these have the feeling of 'cost no object' care in many ways. No point scrimping if the government is picking up the tab.

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Was surprised to find that I had an oil filter in stock which appears to be the correct type

 

Is yours a different engine to Dollywobbler's then, as I seem to remember his has a replaceable element filter?

 

Speaking of the ignition system, here's what things under the distributor cap look like.

 

Sod that, does the distributor turn?

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