Citrojim's Skoda, Saxo, 207 and Bike Tales

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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vince
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Post by vince » 18 Apr 2010, 22:13

Not exactly sure what you mean Jim with the problem of fitting the sleeve etc. Do you need to fit the sleevs (with the yellow arrow) over the rubber bit with the pipe sticking out of it at 45degrees?

If so could you not make a hole in the sleeve and feed the pipe through it and then seal the bottom of the pipe into place with silicone?

Perhaps im way off the mark with my understanding :lol:
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 19 Apr 2010, 08:43

No, I really ought to have ended the bit on Activa rams with a "To Be Continued..." Vince :oops:

All will shortly become clear!
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Post by davetherave » 19 Apr 2010, 08:49

Interesting reading Jim, your a genius!
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Post by CitroJim » 20 Apr 2010, 22:12

davetherave wrote:Interesting reading Jim, your a genius!


Not me Dave, just building on some sterling work done by a group of French Activa Owners!!!! I take absolutely no credit for it whatsoever...

Here, at the bottom of page 2 of this thread is the results of my first trial repair to a front ram..

It was carried out on a scrap ram (scored piston rod) and next I shall do it for real. I already have some MK2 ideas to make it a bit better in light of experience on the first attempt...
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Post by davetherave » 20 Apr 2010, 22:47

Still good going Jim! if it makes activa ownership less hazardous, then more will be saved!
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Post by CitroJim » 26 Apr 2010, 21:26

Disaster this evening :evil: Went to listen to Radio 4 at 18:30 for the comedy spot and I found the workshop wireless had died :cry:

The workshop wireless is an old Leak Troughline FM Tuner which in the early 1960s was the last word in Hi-Fi tuners. It's entirely valved and still gives good service. It feeds into a little home-made valve amplifier so the entirely valve theme is continued.

I found I'd sort of hard-wired the tuner in place on its shelf above the lathe so to repair it I had to lay it upside down on the lathe bed...

Here it is receiving attention...

Image

It was my fault it died. I'd been ignoring a loose on/off/volume pot for months on end and in the end the loose pot caused one of the wires to break off on the back of it. A quick wave of the soldering iron and Radio 4 was again restored :D

I have quite an interest in vintage wireless and have quite a collection of early FM sets. I have another Leak Troughline in the lounge connected to my stereo system which is almost vintage in itself.

The rather odd name of the tuner refers to the use of a "troughline" lumped L-C tuned circuit to form a very stable local oscillator and thus overcome the tuning drift that early FM valve tuners suffered from.

Enough of my wireless antics. You read my blog for the cars and so it shall be :D

Friday saw me making up a MK2 version of my clutch bleed nipple for i3. It went off in the post today...

Project Activa received a bit of attention this weekend and the first task after making good my "experiments" with the clutch slave cylinder was to check the brakes in readiness for an imminent MOT. I found tham all to be good and in fact there's evidence that all four corners have had new discs and pads in the recent past. The rears are mercifully free from corrosion on the calipers and the pads are wearing true. That's quite some bonus really.

Then it was to the rams. Following the exploratory work it was time to go for it and fix a couple of rams for real. I removed the leaky rear ram before bad light stopped play. I was amazed to note the ram was of recent vintage judging by the lack of corrosion on ut. Despite that, it was weeping like a good 'un...

The bush in that ram was in perfect condition too. Another clue the ram was relatively recent. That ram and bush has gone into my stash and another ram has been prepared for refitting.

On Sunday the day dawned very wet so time was spent on the lathe making a couple of ram bushes, one for Tzani in Bulgaria and one for myself for the ram I was preparing for the project. I ade Tzani a conventional one but for mine I made a different one; a split bobbin with cheeks, the idea that it would allow better lateral control.

This is they:

Image

Then a rear ram was prepared in a similar way to the method used to modify a front ram. This is the modified rear ram with modified bush fitted and ready for installation:

Image

I fitted it and during the fit it came on to rain. I was blissfully unaware, lying under the car and did not become aware until I felt very wet legs. I seem to recall that happened when I fitted a new ram to my red Activa :roll:

In refitting, I discovered something interesting about ram bushes and why they are actually rose-joints. It's to compensate for potential lateral misalignment between the top and bottom mounts, effectively allowing the ram to sit a little sideways if necessary. My wonderful new split bobbin bush actually locates too well laterally and is not really an outstanding success.

In removing the rear ram, I dropped the subframe crossbar to improve access and due to corrosion two bolts sheared :twisted: What fun it was drilling them out and re-tapping the threads :evil: :evil:

All came good in the end and the last job on Sunday was to remove the leaky front ram (which had already been subject to an unsuccessful modification method). Removing front rams is so easy compared to rear ones it's almost a pleasure :D

I pulled the front ram apart in readiness for modification and this photo shows the extent of corrosion on the sealing face of the original leakage return collar. This corrosion is what causes the weeping. Shocking isn't it that something so fundamental as this has been allowed to write off countless rams and no doubt with them, complete Activas...

Image

Time and weather permitting, I hope to be able to report on the effectiveness of the ram repairs in the next few days...
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Post by CitroJim » 01 May 2010, 18:49

CitroJim wrote:Time and weather permitting, I hope to be able to report on the effectiveness of the ram repairs in the next few days...


I must redefine the definition of a few days :roll: It's been another manic week :twisted:

Firstly, Robyn took her driving test on Monday and failed :( Only because she hit the kerb whilst parallel parking and panicked. She was very pragmatic about it and has another test booked for May 11...

I've got the front ram all ready to go back on the car and here it is..

Image

However, I never got to do that today as one of my workmates took his 306 for an MOT and it failed on trackrod ends and an ineffective N/S handbrake. Simple jobs....

So he popped round and we expected an hour or so of work would see it fixed. No such luck :twisted:

Both trackrod ends put up a fair fight but they yielded in the end. The biggie was the handbrake. Off with the drum. Sounds simple but the drum would not budge. Much force, a puller and some big bars finally got it off after over an hour of struggling. What had happened was the cable had seized the brake on and it was initially binding and binding sufficiently to wear an almighty ridge in the drum and this prevented the drum sliding off. The shoes were worn almost to nothing and the auto adjuster and seized cable was holding them still in tight contact with the drum. We had to not only replace the cable, which meant the centre console had to come out but fit new shoes as well..

By the time we'd done that there was precious little left of the day...

What a heck of a job just for something that seemed so simple on the face of it. Seems difficult jobs search me out these days :roll: Oh for a nice few really easy ones.

Tomorrow I hope to get back to the Activa project and then go and meet Geoff Lebowski to exchange some FCF International Couriers consignments. We're meeting up at a garden centre near Luton :)
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 05 May 2010, 11:51

It was good to meet up with you Geoff on Sunday :D Another face to a name and a great chat despite the Arctic wind in the garden centre car park...

After picking up the door, I then went over to see xantia_v6 so all in all, a very pleasant Sunday spent..

Work on the Activa project has been progressing intermittently. The only work of significance to report is that the modified rams are now fitted and so far, they are working a treat.

Which really is more than can be said for the reast of the car. I'm STILL having trouble levelling it and last evening an attempt almost ended in diaster when the car nearly toppled off an axle stand :twisted: Luckily, there was no risk of injury when it happened but it brought to a climax the happenings of late where me and cars are not getting along too well. I take it as an omen really; I need to take a rest from it for a while and that's what I'm going to do.

I'm genuinely delighted with my ram work though and as soon as I have some time, I'll do a write-up and publish it on my website. Don't hold your breath, I'm a bit time-poor at the moment due mainly to long hours spent fighting technology at work :twisted: From where I stand, I see the letters "HP" standing for Hope and Pray rather than Hewlett Packard and as far as I can tell, all they "Invent" is aggro for IT Engineers :evil:

I'm down in Somerset today, visiting Dad and attending a meeting at Mum's car home. For a change, I drove down in my Activa. A great and enjoyable drive and a drive to reaffirm just why I love the Activa...
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Post by Brigsygtt » 05 May 2010, 12:07

Excellent news about the activa ram repairs :D Jennies front one will need doing soon, 2 yrs old/roughly 20k miles & its leaking already from the return pipe area.
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Post by CitroJim » 05 May 2010, 12:20

Sadly, two years seems to be about the life of a ram these days. The rear ram on my Project Activa was leaking like a seive and was barely two years old.

It's all down to corrosion under the leakage return collar and it seems to me that cars now are corroding underneath far more and sooner than they did say, just a few years ago. It might well be down to how councils throw salt around with gay abandon these days or maybe it's just the rain is more acidic nowadays. Whatever, it's really causing a lot of trouble.

Still, we're staying one step ahead....
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Post by lexi » 05 May 2010, 21:05

Interesting mechanical stuff as usual.....BUT........The Troughline......wow! and in the garage too :lol: Have had a few different valve amps and tuners as well as lots of good tranny stuff. I'm back with valves now. This is a lil EL84 that is bought as a kit or fully built.

I bought mine fully built by a guy I knew on a forum 16 w per channel drives my Big Tannoys easily in my smallish room....vocals are stunning!

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 06 May 2010, 04:43

Wow! That's fantastic lexi :D Pleased there's another valve enthusiast on this forum!

Those amps now go for very silly money. Leak Point Ones and Quad monoblocks can go for high three figures and any old rubbish with an EL84 in it is worth at least a ton! You get something with a pair of KT66s and you're a rich man. A pal of mine found a Quad monoblock at the tip a while back complete with valves and in near working-order... Jammy sod...

The little amp in the garage is a home-made little class A job with an EL84 and an ECC83.

Only 5W but loud. Funny how valve watts seem a lot more powerful than transistor watts!!!

I've got a few guitar amps knocking around here. One has a sextet of EL34s producing 120W and another has a pair of 6L6s. My favourite guitar amp is my little vintage Fender Champ. Just a few watts from a 6V6 but it does sound nice..

It's just a shame I can't play the guitar.....
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Post by addo » 06 May 2010, 09:12

So how much is my Rogers Cadet III worth, Jim? :lol:

Don't worry about lack of musicianship with the guitar - just add more volume and distortion... :wink:
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Post by lexi » 06 May 2010, 23:16

Send it to me Adam ....I'll give you a tenner :lol: Decent ones can fetch £250?...sometimes more.
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Post by addo » 06 May 2010, 23:38

I'd seen some asking prices that were high, but no evidence they actually sold for that.

Lexi you can buy it for £10 plus carriage, but I expect first refusal at the same price when you tire of it. :P
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