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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 17/07 - Paintwork Progress

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17 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Second visit to the foster home of (hopefully) our second dog this morning.

Time to shamelessly spam my thread with fluffy things...


Nice to see that she was pretty happy in less than five minutes today.  Definitely remembered us it seemed like.



This is probably the silliest photo of the day.


We're heading back over on Tuesday to see how things go when out on a walk with her, basically so that the foster keeper can be sure we're able to deal with her if/when she gets panicked while out and about.  They've said based on what they've seen of us and how she's taken to us though that so long as that goes well that there should be no reason we couldn't adopt her.

I took a few dozen photos as usual, but won't spam this thread with any more for now!

Currently sitting sitting in the waiting room at the hospital for a routine appointment... they're running roughly 90 minutes late.  I was due to be seen at 1500.  Blarg... let's see how long this takes!

What a lovely dog, hope all goes well with her, she seems to have taken well to you guys. 

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Never got around to putting an update up yesterday as by the time I was able to actually sit down for long enough it was just too late.

Felt that I had to *make* some time in the late afternoon to have a look into an issue which had become painfully obvious in the van on the way back home yesterday - an absoltely maddeningly intrusive boomy resonance from the engine.  This is an issue which it had when I originally picked it up and had been bodged a couple of times so I knew the likely cause was the fact that there's a stinking great hole in the air cleaner resonator chamber.

Being a normally aspirated diesel, Mercedes have done quite a lot of work to ensure that as much air as possible is forced into the engine, hence there being a not insubstantially sized box in the air cleaner assembly.  The effectiveness of this is immediately apparent when you try to patch up a hole in the wall of said box.  Initially I went for duct tape (as you do), which lasted all of about ten seconds before being blown off.  Putting your hand over the hole honestly feels like you're blocking off the exhaust rather than the intake.  The aluminium foil tape I tried next last lasted longer but the racket I was hearing suggested that it too had failed.  Let's take a look.


Yep, that would do it.

Actually getting the airbox out of the van was a little more involved than I expected as Merceds seemed to think that bolting it to the bulkhead by no less than four M6 bolts.  Three of these are accessible once the fuse box is removed (four screws), the final one however is low enough down that you also  need to remove the kick plate in the passenger footwell, which means another two nuts being removed, peeling the carpet back and disconnecting the electronic box which lives under there which is something to do with the brake lights.

Then I just had to disconnect the air intake hose (which came off at the engine end first...apparently whoever had that off last didn't tighten up the hose clip) and wrestle the thing out of the engine bay, which was actually  harder than expected as it's a far bigger assembly than it looks when in place.  It just fits into the gap between the slam panel and bulkhead when rotated in exactly the right way.


The big difference between me now and when I originally bodged this up is that I've got more materials to hand now.  My intention this time was to go with the fibreglass loaded resin I've been using to do a lot of the repairs to the Invacar bodywork.  If that doesn't work I'll just have to take the whole thing apart and either bolt a panel onto it or mess around plastic welding a patch over the hole.

Step one (fine, step two...One was to remove all the foil and clean the area in question up) was to apply a small duct tape patch.  This isn't actually going to play any part in the final repair, it's just to stop the resin from falling straight through the hole I'm trying to cover.


I then roughened the area around it up with the wire wheel to give me the best chance of getting the repair to stick - though I'd done a test before with this and the resin seemed to adhere to the surface just fine.

Then slathered the area with a liberal helping of resin.


While this was setting I took the opportunity to give the area behind the air cleaner a clean and to thoroughly blast the areas it's normally in the way of with rustproofing wax.  Also tidied up the wiring a bit as whoever did the repairs to the cab floor in that corner obviously never put anything back in the clips so the wiring was all flapping around everywhere.


The photo there is obviously the "before" image for the work mentioned above.

Once the resin had set I gave it a very quick and dirty blast of matt black paint just so it doesn't stick out so obviously - if it proves durable I'll sand it back smoother at a later date.  Not going to worry about that just now though.


It's really interesting to see how much effort they went to to optimise gas flow here.  Looking into the inlet manifold you can clearly see how things taper as you pass the branch for each cylinder, meaning that while the volume of air being carried drops by 25% for each cylinder they've clearly tried to ensure that the velocity remains constant.


Given I wasn't 100% sure of whether the intake pipe had actually been properly attached I was glad to see this wasn't full of dust and gunk like the rest of the engine bay too.

Then was just a relatively simple matter of putting everything back together again.


Definitely want to think about using some modern sound proofing under the carpets here.  The stuff attached to the kick plate under the carpets here must weigh the best part of 5kg - it honestly feels like the plate is made of cast iron it's that heavy.  Pretty sure there are alternatives available now which will do as good (or better) a job for a fraction of the weight.  There's also absolutely zip by way of soundproofing on the actual bulkhead itself.

Airbox back in place and reconnected.


I came to the conclusion that the hose between the airbox and the intake manifold had been fitted backwards before.  The logic behind this was that it was always pressed up against the top radiator hose.  I didn't like this as I've had issues with hoses failing due to rubbing against stuff in the engine bay before.  Rotating it 180 degrees left a good inch or so clearance under it.  Much better.


You can see the witness mark on the radiator hose where it's been rubbing for goodness only knows how many years. 

Finally, air cleaner reattached as well and we can call it a day.


A quick test run revealed that this has indeed got rid of the horrible boominess.  Hard to tell if there's any improvement in power delivery, though I wouldn't really expect it to be that obvious given the power to weight ratio delivered here at the best of times.  It can't hurt though!

Yes I did of course snap a quick idle video for those of you who like a bit of old school diesel clatter.  Even if I did get momentarily distracted by discovering where one of the worst buzzes in the van at idle was coming from - the awning.  I'll need to get another couple of straps to secure it when not in use.

The camera seems to pick up a lot more belt noise from the front of the engine noise than there really is in person.  First time I think I've managed to actually get the camera's mic to pick up the nice deep burble at idle from the exhaust.  You'll probably need either headphones or decent speakers to really hear that though.

Just have to wait and see if the repair to the airbox holds or if I'm going to need to get more inventive.  There's no risk of anything getting sucked into the engine if it fails by the way, the hole is on the atomospheric side of the air filter.  Prior experience has shown that it's more likely to blow it off too rather than actually suck it into the engine anyway.  If this were downstream of the filter I'd have been being a LOT more careful.

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Look what I got hold of today...


Hopefully this will resolve the issues I've been having with drivetrain vibration at speed.

Was also lucky enough to be given the opportunity to have a proper look at and a quick spin in this today.




Massively impressed.  Haven't ever had a chance to properly look at a Maxi up close before.  Massively roomy and comfortable motor for the time...and it's definitely a car that's far, far more on my radar now than it was 24 hours ago...

Definitely need a proper drive of one someday...though I'm hesitant to do that as I'll wind up being after one then.

This example is a lovely example I reckon... obviously well loved by its owner but it's not an overly pampered concourse car.  It's in what to me is pretty much the perfect state.

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Pretty quiet day today, which was a nice change as the last couple of weeks have been almost non stop.

Despite having a day off I tend to feel that it's necessary to achieve something in a day, even if it's something small.  Having a new set of Invacar pulleys sitting in front of me it was obvious what this afternoon was going to involve.


While the secondary pulley was ready "out of the box" so to speak, the primary one needed a quick clean up first to deal with some aluminium oxide on the running surface.


Five minutes with the wire brush later it was much better.


For those playing along at home, here's a clear photo of the markings on the new primary pulley.



Getting the primary pulley off was precisely as much of a pain as I'd expected it to be.  Simple reason: there is no easy way to lock the thing in place while you try to crack the retaining nut off.  After snapping one large screwdriver and bending another, I finally managed to get it to cooperate.


Yes, that is a crowbar.  It later came into its own again while I battered it with a hammer to get the pulley off the shaft.  The secondary one slid off pretty easily once unbolted, the primary was really quite a snug fit.

With it off it immediately became apparent that something wasn't right.  The reason it rattled was because it appears to be completely devoid of any springs.


It never ceases to amaze me how knackered this sort of setup can be while still working to at least some degree...this felt absolutely fine anywhere below about 40mph!

The new secondary pulley looks to be a different type...but given the source I'm going to give it a shot.

Reassembly was relatively painless, only slightly awkward discovery was that the keyway cutout in the new primary was shallower than on the old one, requiring a rectangular rather than square key.  Luckily I've quite a few random shaft keys in the "drawer of random fasteners and similar stuff" and was able to find one that was a perfect fit in a couple of minutes.


Belt tension was checked after I'd rolled the car up and down the driveway a couple of times (yay...it no longer goes *click-squeak...click-squeak...click-squeak...* while moving at low speed.  Seems reasonable.

Was only able to get out for a ten minute test drive this evening before dinner, but immediate impressions:

[] At low speeds the noise levels are hugely reduced.  The actual noise you can mostly hear now is nice subdued tuneful transmission whine rather than howling belt.

[] Low speed responsiveness is slightly better.  Though I think the tension is a little loose as it's a bit snatchy moving off.

[] Only did one higher speed run, but at 40mph plus things seem massively improved.  I'm used to being able to just about hit 40mph between the one roundabout and our turnoff.  Today an indicated 62mph (which I imagine is somewhat optimistic) was achieved with less than full throttle and leaving me plenty of time to brake.

Hopefully I'll have the chance to do a better test tomorrow.  Initial impressions though are that it's improved things.

Oh, and while halfway round a roundabout the brake fluid warning light which I'd lost was spotted skittering across the floor.  It has now been safely stuck in the box of random Invacar bits.


Looking forward to a proper test drive tomorrow...after I've cleaned the windows!  I did wipe them down briefly...but obviously not very well, and I totally forgot about the wing mirror.

Will 70mph be doable?  Let's find out.  Not worrying too much about breaking the belt in.  Just isn't practical to drive gently for more than a couple of miles here...it's 20-30mph in housing estates or busy distributor roads where you need really to be able to get up to 50mph or so pretty rapidly if you don't want to be flattened.

Do have to wonder what anyone who saw me on the test run thought given the current cosmetic state of the car!

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very happy to hear the preliminary results with the new pulleys is good :) (I do wonder what happened to the spring in the old pulley! did it just disintegrate over time and fall out or what? LOL)

it will be very interesting to see how the speedo compares to GPS, I know @dollywobbler said the speedo on TWC was surprisingly accurate, so id like to believe the 62Mph reading was true :mrgreen:

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Initial experimentation with the soda blaster has yielded an absolutely godawful mess but little progress in terms of shifting the original paint.  Hard to tell if that's just my air supply not being up to spec or if it's just further evidence of the paint on there being able to withstand a tactical nuclear strike.

My entire garage is now about 1/2" deep in finely powdered sodium bicarbonate...oh well, at least it will smell fresh for the foreseeable future!

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3 minutes ago, LightBulbFun said:

perhaps doing it outside may have been in order? :mrgreen:

perhaps try  testing the setup on something you know for sure it can strip, to double check your setup is in check?

I may as well have put up a notice asking the parents of the hellspawn attending the nearby school to heckle me if I were to use it outside.  I get enough hassle using the pressure washer to clean the path.

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3 hours ago, dollywobbler said:

I can't remember who told me, but someone did explain that some pulleys did have no springs! Might have been the place that I bought mine from (which I've forgotten the name of...)

Interesting.  Doesn't seem that far fetched given that the tension on the belt will always tend to pull the sheaves of the primary pulley back to the rest position. 

Does mean there's no tension on the rollers at rest though so it rattles!

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Today was our third visit with Star, the rescue dog we're looking to adopt.  Today we actually took her out for a walk, helping convince the foster that we weren't going to do something absolutely daft the first time we left the house.

Everything went well, and it's been agreed that we will be adopting her.  She will be coming home on Sunday morning.

A few photos from today - though they all seem to convey seriously huge levels of derp!






Wasn't deliberate...they just came out looking utterly silly!

Obviously nothing to show car wise as this took up pretty much the whole day.  However I've a few things planned for tomorrow all being well.  Given FotU is only a few days away I need to get my tail in gear to get TPA ready!

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Have made an executive decision regarding the paintwork on TPA.  Simply that I've had enough faffing about.  I'm getting things into a vaguely flat state then throwing paint on it.  I could spend weeks (or months) trying to get a mirror smooth surface, but I think that's a task for another time.  The most important thing I need to do with the car at this point in time is simple: Drive it!

Okay...step one.  Remove all the residue from the soda blasting experiment.  Just a bit left to deal with...




Gave the van a quick wash too while I had the hose out as it was getting difficult to see through the windscreen again.  The joys of brick wall aerodynamics.

Have had another shot at clearing the fuel tank breather, I've tried several times so far but it's only in the last few weeks I've had access to compressed air, so could try zapping it with this.


Will remain to be seen if it's actually made any difference.

Back to the Invacar paintwork. Worst bit of the car was this wheel arch I think.


I just went after it with the sander to get it vaguely smoothed out, then set about chucking some primer at things.


Followed by some top coat.  Still obviously needs a few more coats (and in fact covering the remainder of the car), but I think it will wind up looking better than it started out.



Really do need to get hold of a spray gun for the compressor though...this is costing an absolute bloody fortune in rattle cans!  Hopefully will get it to a state which would classify as "inoffensive from ten paces" in time for Saturday.

Had a brief moment of worry when I was just packing up when I spotted this under the van.


Despite the engine being a little oily, she never usually actually leaves anything behind so the leak definitely required investigation.


The oily residue I think is mainly leftover from the leaky cam box cover.  She doesn't seem to use a drop between services (granted, there are nearly eight litres of oil in there!)...and this didn't look to be oil.  First thought was brake or clutch fluid...however there was no visible source in the engine bay, and hydraulic fluid was still sitting happily on the max mark.

Eventually  I tracked down the source - that vertical tube to the left of the alternator.  Looks to be a drain from the heater intake box, so just a bit of water draining off from the earlier wash... nothing to worry about thankfully.

Edited by Zelandeth
Correcting autocorrect

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