Jump to content

Zel's Motoring Adventures...Lada, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 19/08 - Actual Paintwork Progress...I think.

Recommended Posts

Sorry. If I'd engaged my brain, I would have been able to tell you that an impact driver won't fit. Not sure the driveshafts will allow a huge amount of lift, but I'm just wondering if the gearbox can be removed without the engine. With no input spline, it is at least easy to separate engine and transmission, and get them back together again.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry. If I'd engaged my brain, I would have been able to tell you that an impact driver won't fit. Not sure the driveshafts will allow a huge amount of lift, but I'm just wondering if the gearbox can be removed without the engine. With no input spline, it is at least easy to separate engine and transmission, and get them back together again.

To be honest if I'd given it five seconds thought I would have figured it out.


Disconnecting the driveshafts isn't a major problem really if needed.


Getting the gearbox out on its own sounds like a truly massive faff given how unwieldy it is, though I would really need to take a proper look to confirm that. I'd need to properly support the front of the engine too as the front engine mounts are actually on the gearbox...which means I would be having to work around a jack or axle stand to just make things even more awkward.


Probably not going to be much progress on this for the next few weeks as it's full on panic stations trying to get the van MOT worthy in time for our first trip of the year.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay...on the third attempt, apparently I have had a new exhaust for the van actually dispatched. It's the single box system rather than the one with the separate expansion box.


Will be slightly more fiddly to fit because of the routing, but was what's actually available, should be lighter, and will shift the tailpipe further away from the vent in the rear of the body, so hopefully will reduce the issue of fumes getting into the cabin.


Tasks for tomorrow:


[] Swap nearside headlight. Two minute job.


[] Remove remains of the old exhaust. The downpipe and tailpipe are different to those on the new system so annoyingly they all need to come off now.


[] While I'm crawling around under there I may as well fix the fuel leak. It's already dropped diesel in my mouth once.


[] Change brake pads.


Doubt I'll get all that done tomorrow, but if I'm lucky enough to, next up will be seeing if I can revive the cab marker lights.


If not, am I right in thinking I could remove them for the MOT? They're not obligatory lights as far as I know, but like front fogs come under the heading of "if it's fitted it must work" I think.


The tail lights will be next... having reinstated the high level ones of course means I need to wire the damned things up now.


Will be getting it booked in for an MOT ASAP (even if the exhaust hasn't turned up yet) so if anything needs sorting I haven't yet found I can hopefully wave pound notes under their nose to sort it before our trip away. No use getting the test done at the last second as I'd be stuffed if anything needed done then.


Welding will probably be game over for my schedule as it is.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
So the task for this weekend is as far as possible to bash our way through the list of stuff the van needs for an MOT.


Let's start out with some low hanging fruit.  The nearside headlight reflector is sufficiently tarnished to result in there being zip by way of a beam image.  Usefully a brand new headlight was found in a box in the van, so I fitted that.


Nice five minute job.




The old one doesn't actually look too bad surprisingly, but it was utterly failing to do anything by way of actually directing light in a useful direction.




Beam height will need adjusting obviously but that can wait until it's pointing the other direction so I can use the garage door, which I think still has marks on from when I adjusted the headlights on the Saab about four years ago.


The next thing on the MOT list was to eliminate a minor fuel leak.  There was a very slow drip from the return line to the tank with the engine running, emanating from somewhere up between the fuel tank and vacuum reservoir.  This was quickly traced to this pipe joiner.




It was utterly disinterested in gripping the fuel pipe firmly no matter what I did.  So it was removed, binned and a short length of 5/16" fuel hose was slipped over the join between the two pipes instead.  While I did get diesel in my hair this was another quick job, fuel tight and tested after less than ten minutes.


There is a new exhaust on the way.  Unfortunately this is a slightly different type to the one the van was previously fitted with (I was struggling to find anyone who actually had that in stock), so the downpipe and tailpipe of the old system would need to come off.  My original plan had been to retain those until I got around to having a bespoke stainless system made for it.


Thanks to decent quality fasteners it only took fifteen minutes to get the tailpipe off.  It's seeing stuff like this which really highlights how much longer the van is than most cars.




This whole stretch will be removed once the bespoke system is made - given the weight of this that can only be a good thing.  I'm not removing the downpipe and expansion box (which is only loosely bolted on just now) until the new system arrives as that will essentially immobilise the van.  I have doused the manifold to downpipe bolts in Plusgas though.


There were a number of things in the van which didn't work when I got it.  Among those were the marker lights above the cab.  I want to resolve that.  This is where I went off on a merry old dance.


After approximately an hour the cab had ended up looking like this.






This was all going on because I was peering into the bowels of the wiring loom trying to figure out where on earth the feed to those lights was meant to come from.




I had found two fuses in the fuse box which were labelled as marker light (well, they were actually labelled in German but not hard to translate).  However tracing the conductors from there proved exceedingly difficult, and I couldn't figure out how they got into the space above the cab.


After wasting not an insignificant amount of time dismantling the cab, I eventually tracked down a total of five wires heading up into the windscreen pillars.  All of these were accounted for as part of the interior light circuit.  Cue much more head scratching.


Eventually after several times longer than it should have, the penny dropped.  It was highly unlikely that AutoTrail were going to have messed with the cab wiring...they stuck some carpet and fancy velour in there, but they didn't faff with the wiring.


The only area where the standard lighting had been messed with was at the back, where the tail lights were moved from the cross member where they would have been when it was just a bare chassis with a cab to the rear bumper...oh, and the upper level tail lights.  Wait a minute... didn't I find a couple of wires I couldn't account for ages ago, but just stuffed away because they appeared inert.  Yeah... here's two of them...




Surely these couldn't be anything to do with the marker lights way up front... surely?  Well let's find out.  One was a solid ground connection...the other wasn't...so let's stick 12V down it and see what happens.




Seriously?!?  Awards for the most ridiculously unnecessarily circuitous route for wiring to feed a couple of lights?


Annoyingly the feed which I suspect to be for the nearside one is now safely terminated and buried behind the bathroom wall...the wall I just finished building and finished tidily.  Argh!  I am not pulling that all apart again if I can avoid it - especially on the clock like this.  Currently thinking the best plan of action is to cut a couple of holes in the trim in the locker over the cab and just stick the lights in parallel... they're only 10W so should be just fine that way.


That's as far as we got today.  Hopefully will get those back in a working state tomorrow and then move on to the next things on the list.  Getting the new brake pads in is probably looking like a favourite for the next job.


Will definitely need to get the rust in the bulkhead seen to sooner than later won't I.




Hopefully this won't be an issue at the MOT as it should be well clear of any prescribed areas.  For now Kurust and Dinitrol will be the order of the day to keep the weather out.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So if I remember rightly we had just figured out where the wiring for the offside front marker light emerged into somewhere vaguely accessible. This had pretty much confirmed to me that the mystery wire that I'd stuffed into a corner above the bathroom ceiling was actually for a light at the opposite end of the van...

This left me with a bit of a quandary. Namely that getting access to that wire - which I couldn't even remember if I had trimmed back as far as I could - meant having to tear apart at least a fair chunk of the upper rear wall in the bathroom, the wall I had just spent a not inconsiderable amount of time building.

I did pull apart a tiny bit in one corner to see if I could find the wire by stuffing my hand into the void and grasping blindly. Not a chance. I decided quite quickly to abandon that idea as there was a far easier solution to my mind. Having the lights individually fed from each tail light was a little unnecessary to my mind. Just sticking them in parallel on a single feed seems fine to me. We're walking a pair of 10W festoon lamps (which I will probably replace long term with LEDs - warm white ones before you all jump down my throat) rather than any high power stuff.

This still left me with some work to do, as being a coach built van, all of the wiring and such was routed long before the interior plywood lining was put in place. Initially I wondered if it might be possible to get the upper front trim panel in the over cab locker off. After spending half an hour in there (and nearly dying of heat exhaustion) I ascertained that AutoTrail weren't messing around. The panels are both stapled to the frame *and* glued in place. It ain't going anywhere.

I then decided to take a somewhat more direct (if barbaric) approach as I was done with standing on my head in the locker.

I went round outside, pulled the cover off the lights, found where the cable fed into the van, stuck the screwdriver into that hole then gave it a smack with the palm of my hand, more than enough to punch a hole in the plywood trim inside the van which I could then use as a marker for where I needed to dig out a bit of a hole to gain access.


Likewise on the offside - the mess in the corner there is from my earlier attempts to see if I could get the panel off in its entirety.


It was a quick matter then to disconnect the original live feed to the nearside light and terminate it, and to wire a link between the two to feed them both from the original offside light. I'll obviously make a couple of little covers to go over the holes and will clip the wire in place.


I had taken the lenses off both of them last night to give them a good clean as they were full of pond scum. The seals having disintegrated years ago.


There is quite a bit of crazing on them, but they've cleaned up pretty well.


That was only half the challenge...I now had the lights ready to accept power and a wire dangling out of the rear kitchen cupboard...however there was a kitchen and a floor between it and the relevant bit of the vehicle loom for me to tie it in to.

I decided in the end not to go pulling the walls apart again. I drilled a small hole in the base of the cupboard (it has a lip along the front so it's not visible) having pulled the window blind runner and window trim off, tucked the wire into the void under the trim, drilled another small hole in the worktop (again hidden by the window trim), and routed the wire down to the space below down the cabinets. Then I had it follow the sink waste pipe through the floor.


No it ain't pretty. This is a job I can definitely see me coming back to at some point in the future (I'll need to open the walls up really when I reinstate the high level tail lights) but it will at least get the lights working for now.

Once I got it that far I just pulled the offside tail light cluster out and put a piggy back spade terminal on this side and hooked it up to the tail light lamp holder. Glad to see they seem to be fully weatherproof as there was zero signs of water ingress inside the cluster.

The moment of truth of course was to see what would happen when I turned on the headlights.



Hard to see in such bright sunlight, so here's one from a few hours later.




Much better! Seeing that pleases me far more than it probably should do.

On the subject of lighting (as it seemed as good a time to do a full check on it with the MOT coming up and all that) I found that the nearside front indicator was out. New lamp time. This should be a ten second job, if it wasn't for the stupid poorly fitted alarm wiring getting in the way yet again. This thing had been annoying me for months. The entire installation was a mess. This nonsense floating around in the fusebox for a start.


The only fusing to the whole thing being in the *ground* connection about six inches from the end of the cable didn't exactly instill confidence.


Twenty minutes later the engine bay looked a good deal less cluttered.





This is the pile of rubbish that was removed.


The interior could then be put back together. Having tidied up the wiring behind the fuse box meant it was far easier to get it back in place this time. Also hopefully has put an end to getting wiring stuck in the seal when putting the engine cover back in.


Before I buttoned that up I drowned the whole rusty area under the heater intake with Kurust.


Also put some tape on this area on the engine side to keep any further water out until I have the opportunity to get a new panel welded in.

Annoyingly removal of the ultrasonic transducer assembly from the top of the dashboard left three holes.


...So I just stuck that back in place. Not that I think a circa 1990 car alarm is likely to be much of a deterrent to would be thieves, it can't hurt. Plus it's a useful thing to attach cameras etc to. It can stay there until I either find something else to take its place or find a dash moulding free of screw holes.


The LED in the dash is staying put for now similarly to avoid leaving a hole. I will be putting an indicator in there to give me a visual indication in the cab of if the power has been left on in the back of the van so I can't forget to switch stuff off before leaving the van or driving off.

The nearside indicator repeater lens is in dire need of a good clean as like the lenses of the marker lights it's been full of pond scum and rust.


Brake pads next. First challenge there will be seeing if I can get the wheel trims off in one piece - if not it will be all the more excuse to bin the horrible things!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Have been putting it off for long enough...time to get the brake pads changed.  


Have to admit to being hugely impressed by this tiny little jack.




Two aspects.  Firstly is that it lifted something the size and weight of this van effortlessly.  Secondly in that it's cleverly designed so it slots securely around the suspension leaf (or axle tube at the rear).  This also makes the jacking process far less unnerving as you don't need to lift the thing feet into the air - literally about an inch has the tyre clear of the ground.


Very glad that I bought the rattle gun...very much doubt I'd have got these wheel nuts out without it...to say they were tight would be a massive understatement.


It's pleasing how substantial everything on this is when you're used to working on cars.  Nice to see the discs are obviously pretty decent, no lip at all.




Let's have a look then and see how the calipers come apart to get the pads out...wait a second...




...I thought we were dealing with a worn out set of pads.  Not a set that's barely used.


Oh well, got a good opportunity to check things over while the wheel is off.  Grease gun was brought in and the kingpin given a good shot of grease (yes I did wipe the excess off before I put the wheel back on).




Annoyingly I almost immediately spotted more MOT work though.  The track rod end ball joint dust cover is knackered.




That's one substantial drop link!




Everything else over this side looks okay to me.  Bit of rust on the brake hose ferrules, but they've got another year or two in them I reckon.  Hoses themselves seem nice and supple still with no perishing.  Can't see anything awry with the wiring to the pad wear sensors in that the wheel arch.


Have the hub a good brush down and painted the wheel surface with copper grease as per my usual practice and put things back together.  Then on to the offside wheel.


I was slightly worried given the new pads in the nearside but the perpetually flickering brake light on the dash that I would find that someone had only changed the pads on one wheel (wouldn't be the first time I have found that!).




Thank goodness for that!


Gave the kingpin on this side a good dose of grease while I was there too.  This is something which is often neglected on these old Mercs.  The steering should be lovely and light once you're on the move (especially if it's got the correct tyres on) though it's inevitably fairly weighty when parking!  Annoying to hear of people having to do major work due to wear in there for the sake of a 30 second bit of service work!


Hey look...another stuffed track rod end.




Not too bothered about those as track rod ends are hardly going to break the bank.  The other split dust cover however is on the steering linkage from the steering box (I believe drag link is the correct term?) which is rather more annoying as I expect this is rather more expensive.




This one I actually knew about beforehand so not a huge surprise.  There's a little bit of play in one of the joints as you can hear something very faintly going "dunk dunk dunk..." when you rock the steering.  Can't see where it's coming from but given where that is it's a prime candidate.  Don't *think* it's one of the track rod ends as I can't feel anything in the way of movement at the wheels.


Looks like my local Mercedes dealer will be making some money out of me tomorrow then.  Yes I could probably find stuff a bit cheaper on eBay (etc) but the parts desk at our dealer has been really helpful so far.  Plus Mercedes seem to have really good heritage support and I'm more than willing to pay a few quid extra to show that is owners appreciate that.


Depending on how time goes I might fit those things myself...though I'd rather get the garage to.  I generally avoid steering and suspension work if I have any choice these days.  I've played the "the ball joint appears to have been welded in place and I've immobilised the car trying to get it out" game enough times to learn that throwing it at someone with a four post lift, serious ball joint splitters and oxy-acytaline on hand is far less stress.  Not too worried about that.


This however requires more thought and some time spent with my nose buried in a wiring diagram.




The pad wear sensors appear fine and the pads have a good 1/3" of friction material on them.  No the fluid isn't low either and the float is floating.  Hmm...time to have a think.


Some folks have given me a couple of garages who should be able to do a test on the van so will give them a shout tomorrow.


Still finding this quite nice to work on though.  The fasteners are all good quality and most things are nice and chunky, *usually* easy enough to get at too.  There are exceptions of course too...see offside front indicator swap which requires you to remove the headlight - which requires you to remove the radiator grill.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy reading your write ups, particularly these ones on your van. I have a bit of a soft spot for this vintage merc van and it’s great to see the amount of detail you’re willing to go to.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that the brake pad warning light is also used for the handbrake on light? If so could it be the switch for it that is goosed giving you the light flickering?


Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that the brake pad warning light is also used for the handbrake on light? If so could it be the switch for it that is goosed giving you the light flickering?


Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk


Good call but no.  The light on a Merc T1 is tied into the fluid level sensor and pad wear sensors only.  There is no parking brake light on these vans.  The only other thing which lights it is the self test when the ignition is turned on.


I had a sneaking feeling that the issue was going to turn out to be something at the wheels rather than a wiring issue.  The reason for this being that the light could be affected by rocking the steering and would always light when the brakes were applied.


The pad wear "sensors* are actually just a bit of wire stuffed into a hole drilled in the pad friction material.  You can see the hole for it in the pad below.




The way they work is that the light on the dash is always powered, and when the pads wear down far enough the wire touches the disc during braking, completing the circuit to ground so the light comes on.


Unusually (at least to me) these sensors are not supplied ready fitted to the pads.  You have to buy those separately and fit them yourself.


The hole for the sensor on the OE pads like these is blind, however I have seen "off brand" pads where the hole goes all the way through.  This means that it is possible to push the sensor too far into the pad, to the point that it then sticks out the far side and touches the hub of the disc.  Given the behaviour I was seeing I had a sneaking feeling that something like this was the issue for me based on the behaviour I was seeing.  Quick and easy enough to test though, just unplug each of the sensors in turn.


To make sure the light would stay lit until I found the offending sensor I used the old "wedge a bit of wood between the steering wheel and brake pedal" trick.  Also gave me a good opportunity to check the actual brake lights.




When withdrawing my hand from situating the wood on the pedal I couldn't help but notice that the back of my hand was cold and wet.




Hmm...blue tinted water.  That's got to be coolant hasn't it... especially given that the prime suspect for an interior coolant leak is in the neighborhood.




The carpet is bone dry and it hasn't used a drop of coolant since I bought the van...so I'll keep an eye on it.  Naturally I discovered this apparently weeping heater control valve about an hour after I got back from putting an order in for parts with Mercedes.  


Speaking of parts...That was an expensive trip.




All three of the ball joints with split covers needed changing.  Two had some play in and one was really notchy (that will be the occasional cream from the steering then).  


The track rod ends would be £48 each, but the entire steering tie rod (which comes with two track rod ends as an assembly) is £132.  Given how disinterested I am expecting the track rod ends to be after 29 years, saving me from having to mess with that nonsense is worth a few quid.


Likewise the whole steering drag link was £102 which was pocket change more than the two ball joint sections.


The other plus of this is it will mean I can get the old ones (hopefully!) off the van without messing up the steering geometry so I can measure up the new ones to identical settings before fitting - again, should save me a bit of time.


The one concerning thing today at Mercedes though was that their parts desk has been told that strictly speaking they really shouldn't be selling parts to me because it's a van.  I should instead be directed to a commercial vehicle specialist down the road. 
I've tried to buy parts from them before, however they made it quite clear that because it was registered as a motor caravan rather than a goods vehicle their system couldn't look up parts for it.  Oh, and they didn't want my business anyway as private individuals are "too much trouble" which really gave a good impression.  Nor did their comment about how daft I was to be expecting a commercial vehicle specialist to have parts for an ancient camper.
One of the big perks of having this van so far has been the incredible parts support from Mercedes...will be really disappointing if that ceases to be possible down to some manager meddling with things... Especially as the staff actually on the parts desk really do want to help and seem to know their stuff.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that Parcel Force don't foul up this delivery (they have managed to mess up all three this month so far so I'm not holding my breath), my new exhaust for the van should be here tomorrow.


Got slightly sidetracked today by another project while it was raining. Another one of those things spotted at the side of the road which I had decided required investigation before it was either rescued or getting put in the electrical equipment bin at the recycling centre (rather than dumped at the side of the road).


It had actually been forgotten about in the boot of the Activa for a couple of weeks. I had clocked that it was A: an audio amplifier of some sort and B: that it weighed a tonne. That was as far as my observations at the time had gone when I tossed it (with difficulty) into the boot.


First look today revealed is to be a rather more businesslike amp than anything else I've had. It's a Spectra 90/D power amplifier...400W stereo or 800W bridged...


Let's have a look shall we. I'd already got the (seriously scruffy) cover off by this point while I was checking for any signs of damage or distress.




No obvious signs of the magic smoke having escaped, though I wasn't really expecting much to be honest. Most amplifiers like these usually have a plethora of protection circuits that usually prevent major meltdowns unless it's something blindingly obvious like the mains transformer having overheated. Usually if something has gone awry you'll just find that one channel is shut down or the whole thing will refuse to power up. This can actually make fault finding an absolute nightmare sometimes as they will often trip out before you can get any useful readings.


Couldn't see anything amiss. It was quite dusty in the case (as is pretty inevitable it seems for any electronic equipment with a fan in) but not too badly really. No signs of any overheating anywhere, no signs of water ingress (despite the case being quite rusty on the surface) or anything like that.


The only signs of trouble I could see were that the volume control pot for channel 1 had become detached from the front panel (sorted by doing the nut on the spindle back up) and that the nut holding the wire on to one of the speaker output posts had come off. This was found rattling around in the case and was reattached.


Was a dead channel due to that nut having come off the reason it had been binned? Well only one way to find out. Plug it in and see what happens!


Okay, not quite. A couple of sanity checks were done - checked the earth bonding was good and checked there was no leakage to earth with the Megger. All seemed good.


Turning it on resulted in an almighty "thud" from the huge toroidal mains transformer (I don't want to know what the inrush current is - the 40,000uF of smoothing caps probably have something to do with it), the fans starting up nicely and after a second or so a couple of relays clicking purposefully.




While I had it powered up this gave me an opportunity to check that there was no DC present across the speaker terminals (that's a quick way to kill speakers). Absolutely nothing according to either analogue or digital meters...this is good.


Couple of lights to tell me it's alive but that's about it. I took that opportunity to take it outside to blast as much of the dust out as I could. It's a substantial bit of kit...




I needed an audio source and some speakers. Specifically I needed some speakers I didn't care about in case there was a fault present that resulted in them being blown into the next county.


Conveniently I remembered having bought a set of speakers something like ten years ago for a project I had never got around to doing...not exactly hifi but they'll prove if it works or not.




The input is via either 1/4" jack's or XLR plugs. I'll just go grab some connectors from Mapl...oh. No I won't because they don't exist any more. Great! Amazon it will be then. In the meantime I came up with a truly diabolically dodgy aux cable adaptor to plug an iPod in.






Horrible hack. This is all signal level stuff though so there aren't any safety issues at least.


Let's stuff some audio in and see what happens.




It appears to work absolutely perfectly. Obviously it's barely ticking over here driving a pair of speakers rated to 70W RMS/120W peak at volumes limited so my ears don't bleed, but it played happily for a couple of hours.


The case however was a mess.




I didn't bother doing anything about this earlier as it seemed daft to spend time on it in case it turned out to be a very heavy door stop.


Now it's proven to be working it seemed worth tidying it up a bit.


Hit it with the carbide mop...




Nice fresh coat of hammered black paint.




All back together, looks rather nicer I think.




Never ceases to amaze me what people throw out! This took all of two minutes to fix, and half of that was opening the case.


Now I need to find some speakers to go with it, then we can really rattle some windows...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. The rather nice McIntosh I have in the living room appears to have been thrown because the bridging pins for the preamp to power amp were missing, resulting in zero sound...


Same fate, upside down on a pile of junk at the side of the street.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm shocked...Parcel Force actually managed to deliver a parcel!




Now to find out if it fits.  Any bets?


Feels pretty cheap...but it was pretty cheap so I'm hardly surprised.  It doesn't need to last forever at least.  So long as it gets me through the MOT and a few months of use I will be happy.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having a closer look before I venture outside to fit this.




The downpipe is definitely different to the one currently on the van.  This is annoying as I was kind of hoping to avoid having to convince that to part company with the manifold.


The slip joints are also really quite tight, so will need to spread those a bit so they aren't an utter pain to assemble when crawling around under the van.


This is why it pays to check stuff like that.  It's far easier to discover that now and prep the parts than find they do not fit together cleanly when trying to assemble them.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep looking at the AC and all I can see is a 1960/70's Moggie minor panda car in blue & white....need some POLICE signs for the door and a blue light for the roof.. :D


your not the first person to point that with TPA :)



I imagine especially with a 650cc engine, a Model 70 prolly would not make for a bad first responder type vehicle  :mrgreen:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This morning (astonishingly, exactly when it was meant to) a very large, heavy cardboard box arrived.




Now I've been here before, so made a point of assembling everything on the floor before going anywhere near the vehicle.  Especially on bargain basement eBay specials like this.




This showed a few things.  Firstly that the downpipe is indeed different to the one on the van.  A little annoying as I was kind of hoping to avoid touching that based on the pain and suffering I've been through trying to get downpipes separated from manifolds in the past.  Secondly was that the slip joints were really tight so would definitely need spreading out a bit before putting them together.  That's definitely something I was glad to discover inside rather than while trying to slot things together on the van.


Well let's make a start then.  First contact with the enemy...




Astonishingly, five minutes later this was in front of me.




The bolts just...unbolted.  No heat, no power tools, no fuss.  I'm slightly baffled by the concept of a downpipe to manifold joint coming apart without hassle!  Not going to complain though.


A large amount of faffing around then ensued while I figured out which hangers went where (as this system is a significantly different layout to the one which came off), figured out exactly what order I needed to put things together in, and battered things with a 4lb lump hammer to correct a couple of bend angles.  


Pretty much what I expected from a cheap exhaust to be honest...three hours of *making* it fit followed by twenty minutes actually putting it together.


Eventually we got there.




Had to alter the tailpipe to sit a little lower on account of the grey water tank.  Just need to get a bracket put together for the last hanger there...had hoped I could do without it (the system is plenty well supported) but the tailpipe vibrates and buzzes like mad at idle, so it's needed to help damp that vibration.


Starting it up astonishingly revealed it to both be gas tight and to not be touching and buzzing against anything.  Was rather surprised though when I touched the throttle and was presented with a very throaty exhaust note.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this bargain basement silencer doesn't actually contain any baffles.


This is the kind of observation which is worthless without evidence isn't it...




Not that I'm complaining...that's a nice noise I think...one straight out of a few decades ago.


Yes she's a bit smokey, hasn't left the driveway since October so she needs a good run.  Usually runs clean as a whistle.


Thankfully it's not boomy as that would get annoying in a real hurry I reckon on a long trip.  I'll be curious to see how it actually sounds on the move though.  Obviously that will have to wait until the trip to the MOT station as it's currently out of test so I can't exactly go out for a quick test run.


Wasn't actually that hard to fit really.  Bit annoying that the fit needed a little "gentle persuasion" but not really surprising at this price point, and I don't think I've ever fitted an exhaust that was anything less than maddeningly awkward.  Well...save for the one on my lawn mower maybe.


Feel confident enough to get it in for a test now, was a bit worried that the remains of the exhaust would wind up going through somebody's windscreen before.  Plus a shiny new exhaust should hopefully show the tester I'm actually willing to put some work in to looking after the van...the invoice for £300 worth of genuine parts for the known fail items should give a decent impression too I'd hope.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool stuff :)


it will be interesting to see if the van performs any better with the new exhaust seeing as you suspected the old one had collapsed internally somewhat, and the fact the new one is missing baffles which probably helps with flow :)



"I don't think I've ever fitted an exhaust that was anything less than maddeningly awkward."


what about the exhaust on the invacar? that looks pretty damn simple  :mrgreen: (to fit and remove anyway, actual construction inside is another matter!)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a Bosal.


I bought an exhaust for my Bluebird from them. It was cheap, it fitted and sounded pretty much like that. For a diesel, that's an impressive exhaust note. I'll wager you'll feel an improvement in torque, it resonates nicely up in the middle of the range there.


Looks to have been worth the investment and hassle.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool stuff :)


it will be interesting to see if the van performs any better with the new exhaust seeing as you suspected the old one had collapsed internally somewhat, and the fact the new one is missing baffles which probably helps with flow :)



"I don't think I've ever fitted an exhaust that was anything less than maddeningly awkward."


what about the exhaust on the invacar? that looks pretty damn simple :mrgreen: (to fit and remove anyway, actual construction inside is another matter!)

The Invacar one isn't too bad - though initially getting it off was a slight challenge as the bolts were tighter than you would think humanly possible.


Performance wise there's definitely an improvement - just blipping the throttle like that there's a huge difference in how it picks up compared to how things were with the old exhaust on there. How big a difference that will actually translate into on the road will remain to be seen.


Sounds like a Bosal.


I bought an exhaust for my Bluebird from them. It was cheap, it fitted and sounded pretty much like that. For a diesel, that's an impressive exhaust note. I'll wager you'll feel an improvement in torque, it resonates nicely up in the middle of the range there.


Looks to have been worth the investment and hassle.



I was quite surprised at the result...that much of a throaty rasp doesn't really match the visual image presented by the van does it. The sort of noise which will tend to make people who like cars perk their ears up and look for the source of that's for sure...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does mean it has a moderately aggressive cam*, which is really surprising.



*For a diesel


Have to admit I don't really know one camshaft from another...but this is what the one in here looks like.




Snapped back when I was replacing the cam cover seal.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now at the testing station.


It's one that does mostly commercial stuff so a far cry from my usual independent little garage where I'm involved in half the test...just sitting in a corner and waiting feels extremely odd.


Know it will fail on the ball joints (new ones are sitting in the luggage compartment) but just praying that nothing else serious turns up.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By danthecapriman
      Thought I'd start a thread about my old Capri since it's now reached it's turn in the que to receive a bit of attention.
      I've actually had this since 2001, it's an early mk2, on an M reg 1974. Being an early car it's still got mk1 rear axle and single acting type rear brake set up aswell as a few other minor differences from later cars just to use up remaining mk1 parts.
      It started life here in the Portsmouth area and doesn't seem to have ventured far since.
      Originally a stardust silver 1.6 L poverty model, which means virtually sod all regarding luxuries. Basic 2 pod dash with black 'crackle' finish facia, no radio, no sun roof or vinyl roof, not even a centre console!
      When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in.
      Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated.
      The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places.
      It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day.
      It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things.
      Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!).
      1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing!
      IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done.
      It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch.
      I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote.
      Today I heard back from them.
      Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there.
      The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc.
      The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises!
      There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far.
      This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them!
      The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car.
      Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that.
      The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed.
      The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions?
      This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction!
      For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid £100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now.
      I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!
    • By cobblers
      Train tickets booked from a train station 30 miles away to save £9 on the recommendation of the Mrs
      Mrs booked and primed ready to drop me off at said train station.

      Mobile tool kit primed and ready, missing almost every vital component due to EU regulations about leccy tape and screwdrivers on trains (I left them all at my mums house yesterday).
      If I do break down, I should have something to listen to while I work out whether I'm with the AA or RAC or none of the above.

      Not pictured: pile of cash
    • By egg
      Caveat - I have not sealed the deal on this. This could easily go pear-shaped and is utter insanity anyway. However there is a MK12 Invacar for £300 here:


      Could anyone offer transport to me please? This would be to my rented lock-up in Whitstable CT5.

      155 miles.


      Obviously I would be paying you for this. Preference is to keep in house though given the absurdity!
  • Create New...