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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 17/06 - Actual Invacar Bodywork Progress

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So today I went outside planning to do something in the garden...instead got sidetracked fiddling with the van.

It became apparent that water had been getting in overnight, once again through the hole left by one of the high level tail lights.  So basically lost patience with the sticking plasters I'd been using...time to sort it properly.  No idea why they were removed in the first place, but step one was to put them back in place and properly seal them to the back of the van.


Oh...then remembered I hadn't finished refitting the trim strip over the cab on the offside so went back and did that.  Doesn't look any different really aside from having a new infill strip visible.


One at the front will be next...that has a rubber seal strip under it which is unevenly sticking out in a few places.  That will involve removing (and replacing) about a million screws though, so requires more patience than I could summon today.  Will tidy up the face of the van though.

With the lights in place, time to get wiring.  No excuse for wiring these clusters untidily, there's a cable guide and everything.


Routing the wiring was tedious but not in any way difficult.  Worked first time.


These suckers are really bright actually, thanks to the position the brake and indicators are pretty much focused at any following drivers...so no excuse to say they couldn't see me!  Brake lights I may well upgrade with the brightest LED lamps I can find at some point.

Currently it's running standard 21W lamps in the indicators and brake lights, with 10W ones for the running lights.

Half an hour or so later...


There's not actually a brightness difference across the sides, it's just an effect of the viewing angle and the optics in the lenses.

Here's just the running lights on.  The wire dangling under the back has since been tidied up.


I have decided to just fit a little bit of conduit in the bathroom to conceal the wiring from view in there for now...I can't face dismantling the wall right now.


Half pondering fitting a small shelf level with the change between the flat and angled section of the wall too, which could hide the conduit too...dunno.  That's something to come back to.

Anyhow...we now have a completely functional lighting system - including all the add on bits AutoTrail put on.  This pleases my OCD, which always twitched every time I saw the marks left by the formerly missing tail lights.

Have decided after speaking to a few people that Sikaflex will be the the route for seal-strip sealing.  Yes, it will make any future disassembly an absolute pain in the tail - but the main reason to ever take stuff to bits is because of failed mastic joints...water ingress should be far, far less likely to be an issue with that sort of materials.  It's good enough for holding windscreens in after all...

Currently undecided if I'm going to the show down in Luton tomorrow.  I'd really like to go, and it would be interesting to see how good a conversation starter the van it.  On the other hand, I'm definitely coming down with something and feel rotten...so not sure at the moment.

Edited by Zelandeth
Correcting autocorrect

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Friend of mine has been having a pretty major clear out due to failing health.  They're looking to downsize soon, so are shifting a lot of stuff.  I'd originally been planning to pick up a couple of Xantia bits - however things then snowballed somewhat...


Not visible here is also this little thing.  I'd sworn not to pick up any more TVs, but knew the moment I saw this that it was destined for my collection of archaic tech.


This however was found in a dark corner as well, and apparently hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of decades.


Not as versatile as my Konica as it doesn't give you complete control over the exposure time, but it's a good third lighter and a fair bit smaller so it's more user friendly.

The difference in size is quite obvious when the cameras are next to each other.


The weight difference is astonishing...the Olympus feels like...well...a camera.  The Konica is like a sodding brick.

Something I've been after for a while now is a flash with an exposure control.  This one is also capable of setting fire to the paint on the ceiling from the far side of the room.

I was entirely too happy to discover that the makers of this unit have come up with an ingenious method of illuminating the exposure compensation dial using the light from the flash ready neon. 

This looks exceptionally cool I think.


Yes it is actually as bright as it looks too.

Looking forward to getting the first roll of film through it.  Have a roll of Velvia 400 in the drawer...

No idea what's in the PCs yet, but there's a compressor in there, a few air tools, a good Imperial socket set, a set of impact sockets, a load of LHM, and a bunch of assorted fluids etc.


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ohh very nice haul :) (although sorry to hear of your friends health decline)

I especially look forward to seeing how that TV turns out especially if it uses a multitude of thermionic devices :)

oh and the PCs of course too :) if the stickers on the front are still accurate as to whats inside, then I would expect first generation Core 2 Duo 6xxx series, so Mid 2006-2007ish, dells from that period are pretty robust and good machines, so they should hopefully fire up with minimal issues

(and yeah that light up dial is pretty cool looking I think so too :) )

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Aye, that's correct Davie.

You were of course right on the nose with your guess, LBF... it's a bit spooky your knowledge of computers sometimes!


One thing's for sure...these machines haven't done many hours!


They are both downright spotless inside.

That's the total useful achievement for today...now off to go fall into bed.  Hoping to be in a better state to be a functioning human being tomorrow.  Fun fact, the common cold sucks.

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You got some nice towers there. In fact, it might just be that the speaker inside them will also play normal audio, like my business HP machines do! You'll be surprised, the response from those is great.


Also mega like for mega great Polonez.

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4 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

You were of course right on the nose with your guess, LBF... it's a bit spooky your knowledge of computers sometimes!



Dell optiplex 755s by the look of things

good for Core 2 Quad CPUs too, combined with a budget Graphcis card and you could have yourself a half decent budget gaming computer or something on the cheap :) (Q35 chipset for those wondering so no LGA771 Xeon mods sadly otherwise you could of reused the X5355s from your Mac Pro in these 2 Dells)

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4 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

HP in this case actually.


I'll toss the whole lshw at you tomorrow sometime if I get a chance.

see im not perfect! :mrgreen:

they looked like Desktop 755s at a glance, although looking closer im obviously wrong :) (and I obviously missed the HP sticker on the PSU!)

dont forgot an lspci too if you get a chance to :)

however looks like its the same Q35 Chipset setup tho (with similar CPU support)

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Finally back in action after an absolute stinker of a cold.  Been ages since I've been knocked for six like that.

So...the Xantia decided that it would progress the clutch issue from "annoying" to "dead" day before yesterday.


Finally getting the lid off revealed no fluid present.  No huge surprise there given the behaviour.  Topping it off and liberal pumping of the pedal returned something resembling a working clutch.  Bleeding it will obviously be needed, though given the lack of any provision for that will make that job "interesting."

This is the point things got downright annoying.  Having returned the car to a usable if imperfect state, I decided to call it a day and put the lid back on the reservoir...and promptly dropped it straight down the back of the engine.  Did it drop all the way out the bottom?  Of course not...Can I reach it?  Heck...I can't even *see* the thing...Balls!

 Will get it on the ramps at the weekend and see if I'm really lucky and it's sitting somewhere accessible from underneath.  Not holding my breath...might need to find a new one...though I do have a spare Lada one which I'm really, really tempted to install somewhere actually sensible Inthe engine bay.  The current arrangement is just downright idiotic.


Have a sneaking suspicion that the original lid will be buried down there for ever more.

I'm just praying there's nothing wrong with the master cylinder...as I don't even want to think about the degree to which I'd need to dismantle the car to get that out.


The squeaking from the fan belt on the van had got to the point that it was driving me mad...so figured it was time to change it...picked up a new belt back with the £350 batch of bits from Merc before the MOT.

One of the main reasons for using a main marque specific dealer is that they have all the fancy parts lookup systems...therefore it's easy for them to track down exactly what you need.   Especially useful when there are a zillion different variants of the vehicle.  You should wind up with the correct parts...right?



Annoyingly it's well outside the return window.  Anyone need a decent quality 6PK2000 belt?  Guess I'll be hunting down a replacement tomorrow.   So the van is still squeaking.  The Citroen is immobilised because I've dropped the clutch fluid reservoir lid down the back of the engine, and the offside front brake caliper on the Lada is weeping again...time for a new one. 

Think the Invacar needs to come out this weekend so something can go awry, then I can go for a full house of cars with issues!

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The C5 really needs its brakes given a going over...so it's not without issues!

In fairness the van is perfectly driveable, just makes a godawful squeak at idle.  Likewise the Lada, it's not losing fluid at any appreciable rate.  Level in the reservoir has dropped about 3/4" in a month.  I'll try to get both of these issues sorted this week though.


The persistent rain over this week has made me shove sorting the laughably poor weatherproofing of the Invacar up the list.  Main issue was that both the front and rear windscreen seals have shrunk and perished.  The rear windscreen isn't such an issue as it doesn't get too much rain on it due to the reverse rake, and that any water getting in there just runs down the rear bulkhead - anything getting in around the windscreen drips onto your knees.

Long term plan is of course to source and fit new seals...however I don't have those on hand and would like to be able to actually drive the car if the weather is less than optimal...so time to re-seal the seals.


Including blocking off the 1/4" hole here on the offside of the windscreen too.


I'll be going back in about half an hour to remove the tape before the sealant has fully set.  That should give me a nice clean edge without ripping a bunch of it off.


Rear windscreen has been given the same treatment.


Also including blocking off the huge hole at the top.


Which looks far worse from inside.


So just waiting for that to partly set now before the tape comes off.


Hopefully this will keep at least the worst of the elements outside now.  I've always been a little worried about the security of the rear windscreen given how much the surround has shrunk, so this shoring it up can only be a good thing.

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ahh, I imagine having a husky turbo boost would do that to your brakes :)

happy to see some more work being done to improve the Invacar, hopefully the seals are just standardised items that can be cut to the required length

but the better question is,  what happened to the defuser on that Popular pack and if its staying missing, it needs a proper T12 tube fitted :mrgreen: (T8 tubes in T12 sockets like that always looked quite naff to me)

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The diffuser that was on that one is now on the one in the Utility Room which was missing the diffuser when we moved in.

It's got a cheap and nasty T8 tube in because it gets short cycled a lot - and I've managed to smash two tubes in there since we moved in already so I'd rather stick with disposable ones... keeping the T12s for the SRS and QS fittings I run which need them.

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Tape is now off the Invacar.  Looks like I've got enough overlap on the edge of the glass to ensure it's actually sealed to the seal.  This is where most of the water around the windscreen had been historically getting in.  Can easy enough increase the overlap a bit of needed.



Top tip: panel preparation wipes (intended for use immediately before applying paint) will easily remove any PU sealant like this which hasn't fully set.  Handy to deal with the inevitable finger print or two.

...Plus one very black finger because I apparently nicked the glove I was wearing so one of the fingers wound up entirely full of the goop!  Thankfully it wiped off me as easily as the panel...will use sturdier gloves next time!

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Having done a bit of testing it does appear that both front and rear windscreens are now waterproof.  Haven't actually subjected it to sustained rain yet, so we'll just have to see how it goes.


Finally had a chance to do a bit more bodywork reconstruction this afternoon.

The foam based corner now looks like this.




Obviously some serious sanding action needed, but definitely heading in the right direction now.  Reckon I'll need to take a bit off the outer radius of the bumper, but I've kind of done that deliberately as it's far easier to take a bit extra off than to add extra material.

This stuff is *way* nicer to work with than what I was using before.


Will see how it sands, but in terms of application it's streets ahead of the stuff I've been used before...it actually holds its shape when upside down which was really handy when forming the lip along the bottom of the body.  This is definitely getting bought again in larger quantities as I get a feeling it's going to be a useful addition to the toolbox.

Have given the underneath of the service cover a skim over as well, hoping that will help strengthen it a little as it's suffered from being quite bendy so far due to the old damage.


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It seems that each time I do a bit of work on the body of TPA it comes out a bit better.

As of this afternoon it feels like we're actually getting pretty close to the offside front corner being built up to a suitable standard to be ready for finishing.

The work from yesterday was extensively sanded back (I'll be finding dust for years) to help define the profile before laying down another layer of paste over it.


The swadge line is still a little wobbly, and I've got a plan to tidy that up when doing the next stage of sanding.  Once that's done it will probably be a few coats of resin to toughen it up before throwing some paint at it.



It's not perfect by any means, but I think will qualify as "passable" once finished up and painted with a bit of care.  I still hope that at some point in the future I might be able to get a mould cast off a car with sound bodywork here to match the profile more precisely.

I've also started to build up the lower edge of the offside corner too.  It doesn't need anywhere near as much work to get it to a usable state thankfully.


Really wish I'd discovered this glass fibre loaded paste sooner as it's so much easier to use than the old school separate Matt and resin approach.  Having done a bit of anecdotal testing shows it to be more than strong enough for this job.

Hopefully I'll get time to get it finished tomorrow and start throwing some paint at it.


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very nice work :) 

my only comment on it if you dont mind me saying, is I think the corner is meant to have a wider radius (is that the right word?) the other corner is not actually that far off :)

here's a couple pictures to hopefully give you a good idea on the shape of things :)



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Yeah, getting that radius correct seems to be the tricky bit.  It's one of those things that you only really notice once you look at the photos.  It's just foam under the fibreglass skin there so shouldn't be too hard to grind it back to the right profile.  I'm not too bothered about getting it millimetre perfect so long as it doesn't look a mile off.

Still kinda peeved that eBay fouled up the bidding on those NOS body panels the first time round!

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aye its something I had noticed for a while now, but seeing how you have been continuously restructuring that corner I was a bit reluctant to point it out, especially given the amount of effort you have put into rebuilding that corner, I dont want to come off as down putting or anything!

indeed the whole body situation annoys me as well, from ebay glitching out the first time it showed up, to the person who won it, literally selling his Model 70 chassis before hand, and then complaining he does not have a chassis for his body, tbh at this point I feel sorry for KPL twice now that poor Model 70 has been deprived of a body 

the rest of this rant is probably best saved for next time I visit or something LOL

(at least I got a bunch of neat photographs from the second ebay listing, its very interesting to see how the body sections where constructed :) ) 

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