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John Plum
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Post by John Plum »

I've been away for a while, and offline until last night, due to a move to Liverpool on 21 st December.
The run up from London in some sleet, ice and rain in the dark in a extra-heavily laden car was very comfortable, but unbelievably the new drivebelt, fitted with new tensioner spring and roller snapped when I got to Liverpool, less than 1/4 a mile from my destination. The car was very heavy to steer!

How come? obviously my fault, I am a stupid idiot, non? :oops: Yes but, though my natural reaction was to hate myself, I was a little perplexed because tightening a belt is no particular brain tease for me, and I took great care.

All I could think at first, was it was a dud belt. Speaking to the garage I bought the new one from, I asked have they ever had a new belt go..and the reply was well, it can happen to 1 in over a thousand. What I am to think? I refitted a new one exactly the same way, same tension. The new belt seems fine after 200 miles, and is a couple of millimetres shorter (supposedly), yet it was slightly easier to fit on. Perhaps the wrong belt was in the wrong packet. I cant remember whether I checked the markings on the belt, I would have thought I did. It had been found amongst a pile of old stock, and in a packet with belt size on it.

God help me. Well snapping round the corner, I can be glad of my blessings. It's going to be a lucky year.


I searched for Cash & Carries in Liverpool, then rang around trying to find rapeseed oil. Of course, this being the gourmet UK, saying rapeseed causes consternation, "no, we only have vegetable oil". I tell them, each one, all cooking oils are vegetable oil...what a world.
KTC soya oil, the cheapest vegetable oil, is sold as 'Vegetable oil', with soya oil written in small letters, somewhere. I find one selling Pride rapeseed for £15.99, 20 L, then go online to get travel directions. The search took me about 2 hours with a phone.

I was ready to set off, descended to ground level, but first, on foot, popped into the Chinese Wholesale Supermarket to get some stuff - mint, yeast, soy sauce etc especially, to set up my kitchen store, Lo! I find they have Pride rapeseed oil at £15.99 round the back. Its 500 yards away, nearer than any garage. So I go to my car park, and drive in to their drive in, and load up. Its now in the tank, and she purrs and darts nicely, at about 65:35 SVO:diesel, or slightly higher. Starts fine in freezing (0 degrees C) weather. Its the smell of chips allright. I am going to try adding some essential oil next, may be peppermint or patchouli. The cost could be offset by ditching the Feu Orange dangling from my mirror.
Never heard of essential Oil as an additive, but I see no harm in it.
Need to devise a decent funnel for the operation, which clips on to stay still, but I found it easy enough to fill from the 20 L can.

Wow! I feel 10 years younger with that rapeseed in the tank! :)

Best wishes for a New Year to all.

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

Hey John, glad you're enjoying the veg.
I use KTC as it's 20L for £13.49 last time I bought some.

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John Plum
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Post by John Plum »

Hey Zac,

Good to hear from you.
Yes, It's great. I'm going to try the veggie (soy) next. I was inspired particularly by your posts. Do you use a Stanadyne heater at all? I didn't read that you yourself did. I chose the rapeseed because of the freezing weather and, in caution because, you may remember, you feel really ginger as well as heroic when you first stick the stuff where only diesel went before.
Regards,
John

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John Plum
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Spring

Post by John Plum »

It's going to be an early spring. My boy saw two robins in the same patch last week, during all the icy weather. You know, they are murderously territorial.

WARNING: This is not a Met Forecast, and could even be true.

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

No modifications to either Cassy or Jenny.
Will be interesting to see how Cassy fairs once I've replaced her starter motor as she's been sat under a blanket of snow for the past couple of weeks.

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John Plum
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Post by John Plum »

Yes, do let us all know.
Last edited by John Plum on 16 Jan 2010, 22:44, edited 1 time in total.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Welcome back John :D

Strange about the belt... Must have been a duff 'un...

Yes indeed Xac, it will be interesting but largely academic as provided the battery is good, she'll start instantly. Diesels can be left for months on end with no adverse effects on starting. That's why all standby generating sets are invariably diesel.

My Activa was the same. Weeks out of use and then as soon as she emerged from under a blanket of snow, she started instantly :D

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Xaccers
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Post by Xaccers »

Except she's got veg in her tank, not derv... and it's been a bit nippy recently.
I do expect her to start up first time though :)

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John Plum
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Gentlemen

Post by John Plum »

Hey Jim :) , thanks.
Diesel engines are the true daily horse power replacement.

Gentlemen
Recently I sold some BX spares I had to a bloke on Ebay. We had problems with accepting payment through paypal, but I sent him the Octopus pipes anyway. His cancellation and re-payment didn't work. That was in the middle of a house move, so I dropped the matter, then almost a month later i contacted him, and he paid up immediately by bank transfer on the eve of his departure for overseas (it was time consuming for him too), and we exchanged some good travel stories.
The vintage francophile driver bloke was a Gentleman. No surprise there.

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CitroJim
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Re: Gentlemen

Post by CitroJim »

John Plum wrote: The vintage francophile driver bloke was a Gentleman. No surprise there.
None whatsoever John...

I have NEVER met anyone involved with any old French cars who wasn't an absolutely smashing person in all ways...

Just today, meeting up with the lads doing a V6 conversion on a 306 (see my blog) was a pleasure.

Come to a rally or two this year John and see for yourself!!!

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John Plum
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Post by John Plum »

I'd be delighted to come to a rally this year.:D
The feeling I get is like in my Norton motorcycle days as a youth...which taught me some of the best I know about brotherly community and approach to craft apprenticeships. Having decided on a BX for practical reasons, I got a whiff of it in the UK Citroen world, and couldn't believe my luck, as if I was guided to some of the best, and most competent practical fellowships on the planet...and in the world of cars, I was surprised.

davewithington
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Post by davewithington »

"Diesels can be left for months on end with no adverse effects on starting. That's why all standby generating sets are invariably diesel. "

You've never run an old land Rover 2.25 diesel then?

Love the ease of starting of the Xantia even in the -10 weather we had the other week. Oh the joy of modern diesels with instantish glowplugs.

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John Plum
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Post by John Plum »

Hey Jim,

I love the new avatar - good to know you migh tbe interested ion a spot of climbing :lol:

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

davewithington wrote:You've never run an old land Rover 2.25 diesel then?
No. When I made my comment I was thinking more of the old Lister H series gensets. You could leave those for donleys and run themn on anytjhing vaugely combustible under compression :lol:

No glowplugs on those. Good old industrial DI... They did have hand decompressors though....
John Plum wrote:I love the new avatar - good to know you migh tbe interested ion a spot of climbing
Not me John. I'm terrified of heights. A Xantia on high is about as high as I can tolerate. I can't even fly because of it...