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Zel's Motoring Adventures...Peugeot, Renault, Rover, Trabant, Invacar & A Sinclair C5 - 19/05 - Local Car Meet Time...


Zelandeth

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3 hours ago, rattlecan said:

So the rear panel isn’t Duraplast like the other panels then?

 

1 hour ago, captain_70s said:

I believe the main body shell is steel with a skim of Duraplast over the top.

If you strip a Trabant of the Duroplast bits what you're left with looks remarkably like a miniature version of the base frame skeleton the Rover P6 is built around.  Front and rear panels are non structural steel, I'm guessing simply because the moulding would be excessively complex to make in Duroplast with the various cutouts and such.  

The inner structure is a (surprisingly rigid) framework including the sills, floorplans, roof frame, window surrounds, front and rear wheel tubs, door apertures, front bulkhead, and boot floor.  Everything else is then attached to that.

P6: 

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Source: http://www.roverp6parts.com/history.html

Trabant: 

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No idea where I originally found that one.  Here's a (crap) photograph of one stripped to the shell which original surfaced on Pinterest somewhere.

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For such vastly different cars it's almost uncanny how similarly the very basics of the inner structure have been penned.  P6 is obviously vastly more substantial, but you get the idea of what I'm saying.

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I've noticed that the AC in the Partner has started to get a little noisy.  It's still functioning, but sounds to me like the expansion valve is feeding vapour which would suggest we're low on charge.

Let's see what the gauges say.  Disclaimer here: I used to help out a HVAC technician looking after a bunch of gear on and around the farm I used to live next door to - but I've zero formal training in the field, and what I have learned I'm rusty on to the tune of probably more than 20 years at this point!  I can usually look at things and figure out roughly what's going on though.

I do keep half pondering looking at getting certification in that field, as if you like hands on stuff it's great as it involves a bit of everything.  Though sadly as with just about everything in life I find interesting or have an aptitude for I think I'm probably about 30 years late for the technology I'm happiest working on to be in mainstream use.

Back on topic...Standing pressures first.

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Smidge under 60psi.  Definitely a smidge on the low side, I'd be expecting to be seeing nearer 70-80 with the car being warm.

Running (and stabilised).

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We're definitely short on gas.  Low side isn't really too bad, but with an expansion valve throttling things that's kind of to be expected until the charge gets critically low.  High side though tells the story, I'd be looking for probably somewhere in the region of 150psi even with how cool it is today.  I was able to get the head pressure up a tiny bit by applying an artificial load by putting the system into recirculation mode with the heater on full, but it's definitely short on gas.

You can't really fully diagnose a system like this purely with a simple set of gauges like this, even with a full set of temperature probes etc you're never going to be charging this by pressures.  Correct procedure is to recover the charge then weigh the proper charge in (assuming it passes a vacuum test - ideally you'd pressurise the system with dry nitrogen and do a *proper* leak down test, but that takes time and I wish you luck finding a garage that will).  

So I'll be getting her in this week to get the system recharged.  

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Peugeot, Renault, Rover, Trabant, Invacar & A Sinclair C5 - 19/04 - HVAC Preemptive Investigation...
  • 2 weeks later...

Not been much written on here lately...simply because I've been busy with boring life stuff and not really had a chance to tinker with cars much over the last couple of weeks.  I did discover an ancient tin of R134a in the garage while looking for something else, and stuffing what was left in there into the system on the Partner has got the hewd pressure looking far more sensible.  It's still low I reckon, but far better than it was.  System is working well with a good temperature split and is running silently again for now at least.  I'll keep an eye on it and check it again in a month, if it's not lost anything by then I'll chuck it in to be properly recharged with the charge weighed in.  Given the cost of refrigerant these days I'd rather be reasonably sure it's going to stay in there first.  This top up was basically free though in my mind because the gas was originally bought I think back when I still had the 107.

The Trabant did end up briefly at the side of the road with the hazards on a couple of days ago - but in a situation surely to confuse passers by, it was there rendering assistance to a broken down vehicle rather than being the broken down vehicle.  A lovely guy was having electrical issues with a recently bought van.  We were both pretty sure than we'd found the root cause of the problem (loose connection on the battery to alternator connection), but his battery was utterly flat by then.  I grabbed the battery out of the Rover and my beefy jump leads, and we were able to get them started up and moved to a safe location to check that things were charging and all seemed normal (they were).  After letting the van run for about 20/30 minutes and confirming that the charging system was behaving, that the battery was taking a charge, and that there weren't any other obvious issues like grounding problems or loose connections that could be provoked by wiggling wires, they were sent on their way.

I don't think they had quite expected salvation to rattle up next to them in a cloud of two stroke smoke!

Disclaimer there is that I was in the Trabant when I first stopped to offer assistance and looked things over.  I did actually go back with the Partner once I'd stopped off at home to collect tools/battery etc.  The logic being that I was trying to get back there quickly, and if we did end up having to do a full jump start, taking the vehicle with the beefiest battery and alternator on the fleet made sense.  As it was that wasn't needed as a standalone booster battery did the job.  If all else had failed I was keeping dragging the thing out of harm's way in mind as well (as they'd been quoted something daft like five hours as the ETA from the AA), and a tow bar makes that a lot less hassle.

Was nice to be actually able to render assistance on this occasion though, and to have actually been able to render it to someone who was polite and grateful rather than either so clueless as to be a danger to themselves and others or blaming me for their car having broken down!

No real fleet news to report though, as I've just not had time for much really.  The Partner and Trabant have just been doing day to day Being A Car things.

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It is a long time since I had a regas done, but when I took the yellow SLK to KwikFit for one it was £50 but they didn't charge if it wasn't a success.

The system held gas but the A/C compressor clutch delivered a shower of sparks and an unholy scream when engaged.

It was deemed a failure and I wasn't charged 😂

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5 hours ago, RichardK said:

It is a long time since I had a regas done, but when I took the yellow SLK to KwikFit for one it was £50 but they didn't charge if it wasn't a success.

The system held gas but the A/C compressor clutch delivered a shower of sparks and an unholy scream when engaged.

It was deemed a failure and I wasn't charged 😂

The biggest issue is that they don't take the time to do a proper leak down test.  Can't blame them either really.  So it's entirely possible if there's a smallish leak that it would pass the 15 minute or so vacuum decay test the machine does just fine - but give it a month or two and I could be back at square one.  I'd just rather go in at least with a reasonable idea of whether the system is gas tight or not, and if not get it evacuated and the problem sorted before the hotter weather arrives.

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they did 30 mins at 100psi with nitrogen on our street ka which showed no drop but it still lost it's charge over a couple of months, UV dye showed tiny leaks at most of the O rings, been fine for a couple of years with new ones now. If you can get them to put some dye in it makes finding small leaks a lot easier.

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Trabant has been on daily duties today as Abby's been in the office so the Partner is away.  

Doesn't seem to be a fan of this latest round of oil, being far more grumpy about idling.  Will revert back to what I got last time, this bottle had been a target of opportunity while I was buying other things and knew I was getting lowish.

Nothing else to note really aside from pleasing numerical symmetry on the mileage just as I was more or less just about to turn into the drive.

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As previously, not really been much going on lately.

The Trabant has taken to being somewhat grumpy about idling immediately following hard work.  It'll start right back up instantly, the idle speed just seems to drop just far enough that it's 50/50 as to whether it will keep itself going or not for a couple of minutes.  

The idle speed has always seemed a bit on the low side so I wanted to investigate whether there was anything I could do about that anyhow.  Documentation suggests that there's no actual idle speed adjustment on the later carbs (which I have).  Idle mixture yes, but speed is done simply by adjusting the stop for the throttle screw.  At least if Google Translate is to be trusted!  While I'm in there tweaking that, I also want to do a quick and dirty test to see if we've got any vacuum leaks.  You can do this simply by putting your hand over the carb intake with the engine running.  It should cut out all but instantly - if it runs on at all there's air being drawn in somewhere it shouldn't.  Given that running lean is absolutely the worst enemy of a two stroke engine, that's something I really do want to check.  This is because it both hinders lubrication *and* generates excess heat.

Sadly as our neighbour across the street was out in their front garden enjoying the sun I didn't get as far as trying to adjust this as I didn't want to disturb them by making such a racket.

The other main reason it would be cranky after a higher speed run would be if the engine was getting warmer than it should.  The nearside cylinder in particular was a really oily, slimy mess from the head gasket leak when I went in to change that - I just didn't have time to degrease and wash things down at the time.  So I'm going to go back in and do that as soon as the opportunity arises.  I'll swap out the other head gasket while I've got things apart as it's all of an extra ten minutes work, and I know they're both fresh then.

A really obvious reason for the engine to run hot would be a loose fan belt, and it was a bit limp to be honest, so I've given that a tweak.  Also made really sure to tighten the retaining nuts properly this time as I'm sure I've already done this at least twice.  I do have a new belt in stock, so I'll probably throw that on while I've got the cowls off (you need to pull the engine cowl to change the belt as the fan is driven from the back).  Is absolutely fine running around town, it only exhibits itself after holding 50mph or so for more than a minute or two, which is why I'm pointing at heat being the root cause.

Given she'll be driving to Birmingham in a couple of weeks, I need to get to the bottom of this or at least confirm it's something benign.  I can easily enough drive around it really, but don't want to risk causing permanent damage to the engine - rebuilds aren't cheap - even on Trabants!

The bite point on the clutch has always been quite high with hardly any free play.  The adjuster is really easy to get to on the end of the cable.

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Not sure exactly how much tension I took out, but an appreciable amount.  There is free play you can actually feel at the pedal now, which seems more correct.  The thrust bearing in these is just a graphite ring so you really don't want the clutch dragging as it will burn that up in short order.  Fingers crossed I've not gone too far, will find out next time I start the engine.

Final really quick fix for the day was replacing the rubber washers on the thumbscrews that hold the front panel on.  The originals were pretty well wrecked.

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For the second day in a row, the replacement I needed was sourced from the random plumbing supplies box in the form of a tap washer.

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Much better.

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Hoping I'll get a little bit of time tomorrow to further investigate the running issue.

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Peugeot, Renault, Rover, Trabant, Invacar & A Sinclair C5 - 13/05 - Minor running issue to investigate...

Two strokes much prefer cool damp air,so the recent bout of hot weather is most likely the cause of your change in engine behaviour.on my MZs I always had the carb set richer than the book (settings were to get around emissions regs) and they idled much nicer,can't remember off hand the trabi carb adjustment options but if you have an idle mixture screw,do the usual method of adjusting (screw right in then screw out till fastest idle) then screw it back in 1/4 turn and adjust idle to suit,im certain it will improve it 

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16 hours ago, plasticvandan said:

Two strokes much prefer cool damp air,so the recent bout of hot weather is most likely the cause of your change in engine behaviour.on my MZs I always had the carb set richer than the book (settings were to get around emissions regs) and they idled much nicer,can't remember off hand the trabi carb adjustment options but if you have an idle mixture screw,do the usual method of adjusting (screw right in then screw out till fastest idle) then screw it back in 1/4 turn and adjust idle to suit,im certain it will improve it 

There are two adjustments available, an idle and main mixture screw.  I'm inclined to leave the main one well alone given it seems to run well and things looked to my eyes spot on when I had the head off.

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To be fair I'm not going to be fiddling anything aimlessly, as aside from it idling a little slow things clearly aren't far off.   A careful wiggle of the idle mixture screw, keeping careful note of where it's started isn't going to hurt though.  I'd rather it be slightly rich than slightly lean.

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The plug looks ever so slightly on the weaker side,I would expect a slightly darker brown.What oil ratio are you using? Obviously modern oils you don't need quite as much as when they were new,and too much oil actually weakens the mixture believe it or not (less petrol to air) but far better it from me to advise anyone to play with their two stroke mix! Interesting to see the head design is exactly how mz did it,the "gasket" is just a metal shim,and different thicknesses usually available to change the squish gap,tighter the gap,better the performance.Usual practice to lap that silver face against the barrel with valve paste (obviously can't do that with the studs in the way)

Of course ethanol is an issue,but I found my east German strokers preferred lower octane,as that's what they were used to,and also a retarded timing from factory due to the different rate modern fuel burns,I would definitely recommend retarding the timing very slightly and giving it a run,too much advance is very bad and will cause hotter running,and a more erratic tickover

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Had a quick nosey this afternoon.

Pretty sure we do have an air leak somewhere.  Blocking off the carb has virtually no effect on the engine for at least a second or two.  So that's something which will need to be fully investigated.  Could be as simple as the carb to block gasket or the bolts being loose (they're a bit of a bugger to get to as the alternator, carb itself and exhaust are in the way, or could be crank seals or even jug gaskets.  All of the relevant gaskets I do have in stock.

Taking a look at the carb settings, the idle mixture screw is the large one roughly centre frame below.

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This is nice and easy to get to.  The main one is somewhere up on top of the carb I believe based on the diagram I found - but I can't even see it with everything in situ.

This screw was all but ready to fall out.  It was at the point you could easily wobble it around with your finger.  Had to screw it in four full turns before it had any effect on anything whatsoever.  Very little resistance on it though, so I suspect the O-ring is well past it's best.

We also have a bit of a leak from the bowl gasket.

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Nothing dire, but needs to be tended to.  So I think it's time to pick up a carb service kit.  May as well grab a set of crank seals while I'm at it as I'm sure I'll need them at some point.

I did bring the idle up a bit (probably a bit too far actually).  

 

The adjustment a lot of people seem to think is for the idle speed is a screw which *looks* like it's for the idle speed - but that's actually to do with the choke linkage to open the throttle a bit to bring the idle speed up when you're on choke.  The only adjustment for the idle speed itself is just done by tweaking the cable apparently.

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Seems a bit odd for me, but I guess is a good and simple way to ensure that you're always getting some amount of fuel (and oil) into the engine even when the throttle is notionally closed.  I guess it also speaks to the "keep it simple, stupid" theme that runs through the car as a whole.

So time to get some parts ordered to go through the carb.

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16 hours ago, plasticvandan said:

The plug looks ever so slightly on the weaker side,I would expect a slightly darker brown.What oil ratio are you using? Obviously modern oils you don't need quite as much as when they were new,and too much oil actually weakens the mixture believe it or not (less petrol to air) but far better it from me to advise anyone to play with their two stroke mix! Interesting to see the head design is exactly how mz did it,the "gasket" is just a metal shim,and different thicknesses usually available to change the squish gap,tighter the gap,better the performance.Usual practice to lap that silver face against the barrel with valve paste (obviously can't do that with the studs in the way)

Of course ethanol is an issue,but I found my east German strokers preferred lower octane,as that's what they were used to,and also a retarded timing from factory due to the different rate modern fuel burns,I would definitely recommend retarding the timing very slightly and giving it a run,too much advance is very bad and will cause hotter running,and a more erratic tickover

Completely missed this reply.  Looks like you must have posted it literally as I was typing the last one. 

The factory spec for oil ratio is 50:1.  Though the advice from the owners club is that the best compromise is 40:1.  So that's what I've been using, likewise the previous owner.

Not really surprising to see construction similarities with MZ engines given that they're both brands under the IFA banner, so wouldn't surprise me if the two engine designs were penned by the same team of people.

I'd need to look, but I'm honestly not sure if the timing can even BE adjusted on this engine.  The points are run right off the end of the crankshaft, and I'm not sure if there's any facility like a slotted base plate that would allow things to be moved.  I've never had the cover off the points enclosure yet so just don't know.

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28 minutes ago, bobdisk said:

Found this on the Trabant Forum, might be useful regarding timing;     https://www.trabantforums.com/forum/trabant-tech-forum.95/timing.13540/

Are you members of this forum, would be good for a Trabi owner.

Good to know.  Figured that was probably how things would be adjusted, but having the numbers now also on hand is useful.  Just one of the things I'd not got as far as looking for yet.

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It will almost certainly need retarding if it's now on electronic,due to the fatter and more instant spark,certainly on my MZs which are timed using mm before tdc using a device that goes down the plug hole,the standard setting of 2.7mm had to be lowered to 2.5 on electronic,and I found ran best at 2.3,yes,that .2 of a mm does make a big difference! 

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Actually dared take the Rover to a car meet.

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Not many turned up yet. Fingers crossed it actually gets me the whole mile home again afterwards!

Yes it's still covered in moss.  Had planned to clean it today but ran out of time.  Cleaned the windows though as being able to see is nice.

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Awesome to see the P6 has not been forgotten about it tickles me in that if someone said "I saw Zel today in his white saloon car, you know the one with the unit base frame bolt on panel construction and distinctive engine note" you would still have to ask them to be more specific or which one? :mrgreen: 

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Not forgotten.  Just been getting pulled in too many directions a lot of the time lately.  Sadly ignoring it and hoping the issues will resolve themselves isn't likely to work!

Hoping I'll be able to get a few hours on it in the not too distant future and start getting it into a bit more of a state where I feel I can trust it - as that's currently the biggest issue.  The relationship so far has very much been "I scratch your back, you stick a knife in mine" with this car.

Fact is, I do just have too many cars.  That's really impacting my ability to keep on top of things.

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6 hours ago, Noel Tidybeard said:

the Raver looks like it's ready to pounce on some poor unsuspecting fcuker in that pic🤣

They do have quite an aggressive look to them. Especially in a light colour so the black grill stands out.

Didn't take a huge number of photos.

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Yes please.  I'd gladly daily this.  Bit outside my pay grade though!

 

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9 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

Awesome to see the P6 has not been forgotten about it tickles me in that if someone said "I saw Zel today in his white saloon car, you know the one with the unit base frame bolt on panel construction and distinctive engine note" you would still have to ask them to be more specific or which one? :mrgreen: 

The answer of course is "both!"

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Sadly the Estelle had gone by the time I got back with it, would have been fun to get a photo of all three together.

This is the advantage of a meet that's literally five minutes from my doorstep.  

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  • Zelandeth changed the title to Zel's Motoring Adventures...Peugeot, Renault, Rover, Trabant, Invacar & A Sinclair C5 - 19/05 - Local Car Meet Time...

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