Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

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

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 »

The ideal stuff for cleaning carb bodies quickly I've found is cellulose thinners.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

The 207D I mentioned earlier Zel sold for £6,875 inc buyers commission
Mathewsons Sale 18th July 2020
Mathewsons Sale 18th July 2020
Regards Neil

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
24 Jul 2020, 19:54
The 207D I mentioned earlier Zel sold for £6,875 inc buyers commission
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Regards Neil
The upper end of the bracket but not unreasonable given the condition and how original it looks.

-- -- --

One slightly cleaner Invacar carb back in place.

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Not sure if I ever posted the full carb details before...so for those who are interested in such things here you go.

I had a feeling that the adjustments on this were a mile out as when dismantling it I found that the idle mixture screw was only held in by about two threads. When I put things back together I went with the usual starting point of two turns out (I've generally found that's usually a setting that's close enough to get an engine to run so you can start adjusting things properly).

After dancing between the idle mixture and idle speed screw we settled at a reasonable idle showing this on the CO meter.

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Annoyingly 1 out of 4 times when you go to open the throttle she will hesitate and spit back through the carb before the engine picks up. The accelerator jet is working and is squirting fuel nice and straight down the carb throat. It's just as though she's running too lean as soon as you try to transition between the idle jet and main.

It seems that thes cars were always somewhat prone to doing this, though I don't see that that means that they all *should* do that if the fuelling is correct.

Something I've always noticed is totally absent from this car is any form of pops and crackles from the exhaust on the overrun, which always tends to suggest she's running a bit on the lean side. It's utterly unscientific and worth nothing but it's just my thoughts on the matter.

It looks like I've tracked down another carb which *should* have the same stud pattern as the one on the Invacar, from a 1100cc four pot so the fuelling should be roughly in the right ballpark (I'm assuming that like air-cooled VW engines these engines probably prefer to run slightly on the rich side). I'm just curious to do a bit of experimenting and irrespective of performance etc, for long term reliability I'd not complain about having a slightly better supported carb in place. It's entirely theoretical at the moment anyhow, will let you know when it arrives and I have a chance to experiment.

Some very quick and dirty paint has been thrown at the van.

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It's not pretty by any stretch of the imagination but I think looks a bit less horrendous than it did. Doesn't need to last forever given that both of the panels involved will be replaced eventually anyway. At least the rust should be a bit less conspicuous at a passing glance now.

Today I've set about attacking the front and rear windscreens in the Jag with Cpt. Tolley's to see if we can resolve the issue with water creeping in between the glass and the rubber seal.

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The driveway being on a slope is a pain when doing this as it tries to run to one side because of the slope.

While I was in the vicinity of the rear windscreen I took a brave pill and poked at the rusty blisters at both lower corners. I was honestly expecting to wind up with holes in this panel (and know full well what an utter swine it would be to repair). Mercifully the metal was still solid if somewhat pitted. This was rubbed back a bit then liberally coated with Vactan.

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I'll give it another couple of coats before getting some top coat on there.

A couple of weeks ago our lawn mower started playing up, and no amount of cleaning the carb would restore normal behaviour. It would run fine for about 30 seconds then start behaving as though it was running out of fuel.

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I was about to order a carb overhaul kit before discovering that you could get a whole genuine Briggs carb for less than £20...Which makes spending £12 on an overhaul kit seem a bit pointless.

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Ten minutes later we had the new carb in place.

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Based on comparison of what came off and what went on it seems that the diaphragm which serves as the fuel pump has gone hard and plasticy probably resulting in poor fuel delivery.

While it was pouring with rain so I wasn't able to really test it under load, it started first pull and was happy to run on both idle and run settings, so it *looks* like we've solved the problem.

EDIT: Oh, and I've got a couple of metres of 1.75" stainless steel tubing on the way to become the new tailpipes for the Jag. Figured for £20 it was worth a shot at doing it myself. The rattling from the sleeves in the silencers is annoying me, but I'm sure as heck not going back to having a silent exhaust, the V12 howl is far, far too addictive.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by bobins »

It's an extremely common issue on the little Briggs Pulsa Jet carbs - the diaphragm really needs to be changed every few years.
Just a thought on the Invacar - have you done the valve clearances at any point as I can't remember. Are they even manually adjustable on it ?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Have to wonder if it's entirely random chance that this happened about 3/4 of the way through the first tank of fuel this mower has had of E5 fuel. My guess is that it's washed crud which has been sitting entirely harmlessly stuck to the inner surfaces of the tank and carb body for the last decade or so into the (non removable) jet.

I did check the valve clearances during the initial recommissioning, they were pretty much spot on at 0.15mm. Probably wouldn't hurt to recheck them now I've covered a few hundred miles.

EDIT:

*Finally* have this in my hands.
IMG_20200727_131758.jpg
Rear left hand lower control arm bush for the Xantia.

Before I throw this at a garage to fit, is it actually as easy as it looks like it might be? Jack car up, support control arm, undo boots, slip off old bush, replace with new one, reverse removal? Or is it pressed into the control arm or something like that?

Planning to just let my trusted garage deal with it, but if it's really simple I might give it a go.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

CitroJim wrote:
19 Oct 2011, 21:50
Getting the old 'P' bushes off can be fun.

The best way is to lay the wishbone o the ground, hold it under foot and drive the old bush off with a cold chisel and biiiig hammer. If this fails then carefully cut away the outer and very carefully angel grind the inner sleeve lengthways until it can be split off. be careful not to nick the underlying wishbone...

Clean the shaft of the wishbone until it is spotless, oil it lightly and after confirming alignment very carefully, drive the new 'P' bush home. Use a socket as a mandrel for the last few mm.

Adam, good point about final tightens once Citarobics have been done...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

xantia_v6 wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 19:55
CitroJim wrote:
19 Oct 2011, 21:50
Getting the old 'P' bushes off can be fun.

The best way is to lay the wishbone o the ground, hold it under foot and drive the old bush off with a cold chisel and biiiig hammer. If this fails then carefully cut away the outer and very carefully angel grind the inner sleeve lengthways until it can be split off. be careful not to nick the underlying wishbone...

Clean the shaft of the wishbone until it is spotless, oil it lightly and after confirming alignment very carefully, drive the new 'P' bush home. Use a socket as a mandrel for the last few mm.

Adam, good point about final tightens once Citarobics have been done...
Nope, nope, nope, nope nope...The garage can have that fun.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

With the Xantia heading in for remedial work and an MOT at the start of next week I figured it was probably time to set about removing the cobwebs and pine needles from the interior. I always try to present my car for the test in a reasonable state as I figure making a good first impression can never hurt. The tester jumping into a car that's obviously cared for despite being worth about the same amount as the fuel in the tank is always going to put them in a better frame of mind than one they have to don full hazmat gear to get into.

While the clearcoat peel let's the exterior down the interior still scrubs up will for a 24 year old, 140K mile car.

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Gave the cab of the van a quick scrub up too as it was really dusty.

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Really do need to do something about the threadbare carpet on the engine cowl. If it wasn't glued on I'd just remove it and have that match the rest of the dashboard. Finding a second hand one may well be the easiest solution there.

EDIT: Went back out after dinner and gave the Jag the same treatment.

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Last edited by Zelandeth on 28 Jul 2020, 21:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

You should be able to re-carpet that. Not a complex shape: sides first, then a final piece for the top, tucked in so the 'join' doesn't show.

No end of choice, including a good shag pile.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Michel »

white exec wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 18:27

No end of choice, including a good shag pile.
I think a good shag in a motorhome is what we all need after this lockdown.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

white exec wrote:
28 Jul 2020, 18:27
You should be able to re-carpet that. Not a complex shape: sides first, then a final piece for the top, tucked in so the 'join' doesn't show.

No end of choice, including a good shag pile.
Being totally honest I'd actually prefer if it was uncarpeted. The base tends to get scuffed quite a bit when you're climbing through the cab to get into the back and the offside of it gets a lot of wear by the clutch.

The shag pile in the cab looks really out of place to me, and being a light colour in the cab of a van is a nightmare. I'd far prefer something like a dark grey or blue cord carpet in the cab.

What I'll probably go with though is more of a mid blue to match the carpet already in the back.
IMG_20200722_145123.jpg
That's actually got a couple of areas where it's quite worn so might be a good time to just lay new carpet through the whole cabin.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Wednesday was a little bit of a disaster.

My fuel injection overhaul kit for the Jag has finally turned up. I'm leaving this alone until next week though once the Xantia is (hopefully!) back on the road as it will inevitably take the car off the road for a few days as it will be quite an involved job to get that overhaul done.

The other thing which turned up was the stainless steel tubing I had ordered to take the place of the rear silencers on the Jag.

I set about replacing the tailpipes, while a bit fiddly this was pretty uneventful. Right up until this happened.

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That is the twisted, shattered remains of what was my poor Huawei P20 Pro phone.

What happened is a classic case of "a series of unfortunate events." I'm a creature of habit...and my phone always lives in my left pocket. However during lockdown I've had no less than three pairs of trousers come to the end of their lives...leaving me a single, solitary pair of cargo pants. I've not felt like going into a clothing store to replace them so have been making do - but I didn't have my usual cargo pants on. So I didn't have the usual compliment of pockets. So I took my phone out of my pocket so it didn't get scratched up by my keys, placing it on the rear bumper of the Jag by where I was working. Unfortunately I then totally forgot to retrieve it before I went for a test drive. I realised it was missing about half an hour later and eventually figured out what had happened. The rubber bumpers on the case managed to make it stay exactly where I had put it for about 3/4 of a mile until it eventually fell off...Right in the middle of a 70mph dual carriageway.

The P20 Pro is a sturdy bit of kit for all it's got a shiny tempered glass finish, the chassis is milled from a single solid ingot of aluminium. It would have probably been absolutely fine following that experience, between the sturdy case it was in and the design, it might have cracked the screen or the rear case glass (both relatively easily replaceable), but it wouldn't have been a huge issue. However getting run over repeatedly by 70mph traffic was more than any piece of consumer electronics could deal with...and I defy any phone, even the ruggedised ones made by Cat, to come out of the experience looking any better than this.

Despite that mess my SIM card survived, and the eject mechanism for the drawer it lives in was still able to work properly to retrieve it. The battery was still undamaged as well - though given what it had been through I removed it as I didn't particularly trust it.

I feel such an utter idiot. I've had a mobile since early 1998 and have never damaged any of them beyond the odd scrape or scratch...I still have every single phone, and they all still work (even though the charger for the original one, a Vodafone MN-1 is currently AWOL...I know I do have it through, I saw it when we moved in here). Until now.

It's a real shame as well as this was probably the single piece of technology I've ever owned that I was most both impressed by and generally liked. I'd had it for a little over two years, and the shine hadn't even started to wear of (physically or metaphorically), and I was still daily awed by the capabilities of such a tiny bit of technology and the camera never ceased to impress me - and was singularly responsible for me having stopped carrying a separate camera. I knew I was just about at the point where I would be able to pick a new upgrade, but wasn't really feeling any need to. The main drive would be the fact that I always pass my previous handset on to my husband when I get an upgrade - so we actually get far more use out of them than we would otherwise (though I'd probably have considered selling the old handset otherwise). Being able to offer him such an impressive bit of technology would probably have been an incentive to look into it. Obviously that's not going to happen this time!

Turned out when I looked, I was indeed due an upgrade (as of last Wednesday), so getting a replacement handset wasn't going to leave me directly out of pocket (bearing in mind that directly replacing my existing one would still have set me back somewhere around £400) - though we *do* have "gadget cover" on our home insurance which will allow some of that to be recovered at least. Did mean I needed to do a bit of research though to decide what I wanted. Didn't take much...I've been very impressed with Huawei's handsets so far (we've had two P9s, two P10s and my P20 Pro in the house) so wasn't really interested in looking elsewhere. The P30 Pro was the standout choice...Basically a couple of year's worth of refinements to the basic design of the P20 Pro - and apparently a far better camera. Knocked £8 a month off my contract and doubled my (hardly touched) data allowance too.

Less than 24 hours after speaking to Vodafone the new handset arrived. I'll say one thing...It really is an incredibly pretty thing. There's a sort of three dimensional holographic effect on back.

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They describe this finish as "Aurora" - and yes, I can see that.

I think I may actually need to make a point of getting a clear case this time...That's too pretty and makes me far too happy to hide it.

Initial impressions to overall fit, finish and software experience while setting up, basically can be summed up as "Your move, Apple."

Quick camera test...Haven't fiddled around with the configuration at all yet...

Hey look, a conveniently pretty test subject.

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Hey look...a proper optical zoom with proper optical image stabilisation. Nice to have.

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Plus in the opposite direction a proper wide angle mode.

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Which will definitely be handy, not so much outside but for interior shots it will be a real bonus. Examples...

Here's a shot of the interior of the Jag in "normal "mode.

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It's clear how much more you can see with it in wide angle mode.

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The rear seat you can't usually get a decent photo of whatsoever because it's so cramped.

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Would have been much better if I spent two seconds making sure the driver's headrest wasn't in shot.

It's even makes taking an interior photo of the Invacar pretty easy!

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At the other end of the scale I discovered another party trick this camera has which will definitely be a lot of fun to play with. The macro mode focuses down to something ridiculous like 3mm. Here's the Jag's bonnet badge. I could get closer than this but would need to have a light on hand to avoid shadows.

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Or how about a Xantia tail light lens?

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You can really clearly see the alternate strips of clear lens and retro reflector in the lens.


Another package arrived yesterday morning that I'd actually completely forgotten about...This was hiding in it.

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Here's the data tag for those of you playing along at home.

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This is a new old stock 32mm Solex carb. It has the same throat size and stud spacing as the Weber 32 ICS carb on the Invacar - albeit with the base rotated through about 45 degrees. So if this stays on the car I'll need to make an adaptor up - not that it will be difficult. Just needs a metal disc with one hole in the middle and four smaller ones at appropriate places.

There was nothing really in mind here other than experimentation in the sheer spirit of curiosity.

Turned out the most difficult thing to get my head around for an initial test was figuring out how to actually bolt it onto the manifold. The original Weber carb has studs attached to it. This one has two holes to allow it to be bolted down or to fasten onto studs on the manifold. Just bolting it on however was made a bit tricky by the fact that you can't slot a bolt in from the top because the top of the carb casting is in the way. You can't slot it in from the bottom because the inlet manifold itself is in the way. After a bit of head scratching I cut a couple of bits of threaded rod to size and put nuts in both sides to clamp it down. That took me far longer to figure out than it really should have.

So what happened the first time I started it up? I wasn't honestly expecting it to even start. This was literally the carb as it was out the box - all I'd done was to blank off the vacuum feed for a distributor advance unit. Apologies for the horrible camera work, you're listening more than watching to be honest though.



Well I think that's got promise! The throttle response is immediately obviously far, far snappier. Cracking the throttle open would usually result in quite a gaping hole in the carburation until the engine picks up, with at least the occasional sneeze back through the carb. I think we might need to cobble together a connection to the throttle to see how it behaves under load. The engine this carb was originally destined for was an 1100 I believe, so the per-stroke fuelling rate should have been pretty similar to what we would have been looking for here. Should be an interesting experiment...Initial indications seem to be positive.

Hopefully the weather will cool down enough over the weekend that we might be able to do an actual test run. I'll need to figure out whether making an adaptor plate for the base or adapting the throttle cable will be easiest. Annoyingly the throttle cable is about 1/2" too short to reach as it is. I suspect it may well be the base plate. I don't want to invest *too* much time in this at this stage as it's purely an experiment and it's entirely likely that my theory will be completely wrong and it will actually run pig rich under load.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

I *finally* found the long lost trim for the number plate light this afternoon so have stuck that back where it belongs.

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It's not perfectly straight, I'll tackle that another day when it's not a thousand degrees outside.

Did a bit more experimentation with the carb. Let the engine run long enough to get decently warm to see if any running issues cropped up...still seemed happy. Let's see what the CO meter has to say.

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Well that's rather better than I'd expect for a carb from a totally different engine on which I've not even touched anything.

Got a better video today, showing throttle response...audio is better if nothing else.

The first run is me cracking the throttle immediately wide open after the engine had been idling for a good 30 seconds or so. The engine here is always going to initially respond a little slowly just because it's got a really heavy flywheel attached and has to spin up the whole gearbox input shaft when the centrifugal clutch engages.



Anyone who knows these cars knows that this would normally have resulted in a fairly noticeable pause before the engine really picked up.

She starts a lot better now too. Usually you had to give her a bit of throttle to initially get the engine to catch.



I have cobbled together a connection to the throttle cable which seems to work okay...think we might need to try to get a road test done tomorrow.

I'm really, really curious to see how she behaves under load now.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Don't lean back too far, in case she decides to wheelie with all that new power! :D

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Following the experiment yesterday I had cobbled together a link to the throttle control...which went *ping* the first time I tried applying full throttle.

Version 2.0 was quickly put together.

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This actually worked surprisingly well.

Unfortunately actually on the road this carb didn't work as well as it looked like it might. On wide open throttle it feels like the engine is really bogging down at lower revs. However it has very much highlighted how well the original one isn't behaving in some circumstances. The throttle response here is far more linear, the original one felt that there was far more of an off/medium/high sort of throttle. This one is also far happier to sit on a very light throttle at a set speed - 30mph for example can be maintained without needing to continually adjust.

Being able to just bring the revs up till the clutch starts to bite and then being able to just roll it on as you move off makes things so much smoother and pleasant.

At higher revs it felt more lively so long as you didn't go beyond about 70% throttle.

I think I might be seeing a reason that it feels like this engine is holding back a bit at the top end. Here's what I saw when I got back from the test.

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Not maybe obvious in the photo but the whole outer of the carb was swimming in fuel.

Doing some testing with the air cleaner off showed an interesting effect - when the throttle is opened anywhere beyond about 50% there is a tendency for a fine mist of fuel to want to hover about 2" above the carb throat - I'm guessing suspended there by pressure waves caused by resonance within the inlet manifold.

I'm sure I recall hearing of folks using dual carbs on air cooled VWs (so each carb feeding two cylinders exactly like this) having trouble with exactly this phenomenon with certain carb setups. Pretty sure I've heard this referred to as "fuel lift" on a couple of occasions.

That's where the fuel that I've been seeing running off the carb has been coming from though, it's nothing to do with a leak. It's literally been getting sprayed over the inside of the air cleaner housing, then running down over the carb. The air cleaner is just a metal-on-metal join so isn't hermetically sealed or anything like that.

I'm getting the feeling that's putting a theoretical limit on how much charge we can get into the engine, and why it has always felt like the last 30% or so of the throttle travel really doesn't seem to do anything.

I think it's a combination between this effect and the carb being better to run slightly lean (according to the manual) which might together account for the sneezing habit.

What to actually *do* about it though I've no idea. Applying some brainpower and maybe ask thoughts from folks who do more engine tuning etc for a living may be the answer. Will let you know if I get anywhere.

In the meantime though I will put the original carb back...after further cleaning. I'd obviously failed to shift the offending gunk last time around so it was dismantled again and chucked back in the ultrasonic cleaner.

My cleaner wasn't quite big enough to fully submerge the whole carb though which was always rather limiting.

However someone on another forum presented an idea which was a stroke of genius and effectively made my ultrasonic cleaner more than big enough.

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Plenty big enough to thoroughly submerge it now.

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It was left in there with the cleaner running for a full two hours. It *definitely* shifted a lot more crud this time round...both based on the sludge left behind when it was removed from the cleaner and just how it looks.

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I'll get it out back on the car tomorrow and see where we are. Setup procedure will be done by the book too.

So while this carb experiment might not have been an immediate fix, the behaviour when bumbling around at 30mph or below, starting etc has very much highlighted that the existing carb wasn't allowing the engine to perform as well as it could. Whether that's down to this carb being in need of a professional service or just limitations of the combination of this carb and this engine is something I've yet to confirm. One thing I will be doing is rechecking the valve clearances. I did check these when I first got KPL, but that was a long time ago. 0.15mm is the correct cold clearance for both inlet and exhaust valves. It will be a lot more of a faff now the engine is in TPA because she has intact wheel wells...

Will order in a new set of rocker cover gaskets first though. I was incredibly lucky to get them to seal properly when I reused them the first time round, expecting them to survive being taken off and refitted twice is a bit of an ask...

Also on the subject of carburetors I'm glad to report that the scruffy roadside find lawn mower is working like new again with the new carb fitted.

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Might even treat it to a clean as a reward for living to fight another day. While it looks like hell it is mechanically well looked after though...the oil is a lot cleaner than the outside. I have tried four times now to buy a new grass box for it, every time I get an email several days after the order saying "sorry we don't actually have one in stock."

I noticed yesterday that the offside tailpipe on the Jag was buzzing again. Turned out it had managed to rotate and was touching the underside of the cutout under the bumper. Five minute job to tweak the alignment and clamp it a bit more securely.

This is how the tips now sit.

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Know a few of you wanted to know why I'd spent time faffing with it. This is why. Sorry, didn't want to make too much noise as our neighbours were having lunch in the garden opposite.



I'll try to get a proper driving video shortly.

That however is why I was messing with the exhaust. Sounds a bit more purposeful now I think...

Oh, and the leather has been treated a further two times today. It's almost getting to the stage where the conditioner actually sticks around for more than two milliseconds before being absorbed now.

More excuses to play with the wide angle mode on the camera too.

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Looks like this car was really well looked after in a lot of ways but the leather had been quite neglected.

Something I really need to do as a matter of some urgency is get some floor mats. I keep meaning to but keep forgetting.