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

Post by Armidillo »

Pardon me butting in from "down under", but could at least some of that sludge (and possibly orange colour) be due to a stop leak product? If so then your concerns about her biting the hand that cleans her might be well founded...

Cheers

Alec

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Armidillo wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 04:32
Pardon me butting in from "down under", but could at least some of that sludge (and possibly orange colour) be due to a stop leak product? If so then your concerns about her biting the hand that cleans her might be well founded...

Cheers

Alec
It's not impossible, but it doesn't smell or feel like any of the usual suspects I've come across. The owner did mention that there was basically zero coolant in it when he got the car, so it had all evaporated/leaked at some point. Thout it did have a cracked expansion tank (they all do that) which wouldn't have helped.

It's hard to know really...but either way our approach is very much one of finding and fixing any leaks rather than sticking a bottle full of clay in the radiator...Radweld/K-Seal/Barr's Stop Leak etc are very much "get you home" last resort products. Fixing the problem is a far better course of action than leaving the cooling system limping.

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

Post by Armidillo »

Absolutely agree about the need to fix the problem, and the wisdom of having new radiator to hand before getting too serious with cleaning - just hope there isn't a head gasket problem lurking in the shadows...

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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 »

Is the timing of this article just coincidence?https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/classi ... ish-roads/

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Wonder if the motoring journos scour the FCF for interesting topics :-D

Not quite the "only survivor on British roads", as readers of the FCF now know. :-D The one Zel is woking on has current Tax and a recent MOT too :-D. Escaped any advisories springing from the MoT tester's corrossion assessment tool as well :-D
NF montage
NF montage
Regards Neil

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Armidillo wrote:
12 Sep 2020, 06:53
Absolutely agree about the need to fix the problem, and the wisdom of having new radiator to hand before getting too serious with cleaning - just hope there isn't a head gasket problem lurking in the shadows...
But feeling is no. Absolutely no sign of water in the oil and the coolant doesn't smell fuelly nor seems to be pressurising...so fingers crossed!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Will get a proper update up later if time permits. However the Trevi was dropped back off with her owner today. Will likely make another appearance once we've sourced a radiator and a carb service kit.

Looked a bit better once the interior was cleaned...
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Real shame about that damage to the driver's seat bolster as the interior other than that is in astonishingly good shape for a 37 year old Lancia.

Have returned home in something a little different, which I've kindly been lent until I can wrestle our garage into getting the MOT done on the Xantia.
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Must be going on 15 years since I last drove one and I had absolutely forgotten what a huge grin these cars put on your face while driving. This one goes a lot better than the last one I drove too.

Will be stopping by there tomorrow and basically giving them an ultimatum...MOT my car in the next 48 hours or I'll take my business elsewhere. Which I'd really rather not do...but it's over a week since we told them that all the remedial work has been finished and they just need to do the retest. I know they're busy, but this is getting silly.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent Trevi work :D The owner must be delighted!

I really must try a 2CV again... I've been a passenger in one and found the whole experience a bit offputtinmg, especially the enormous quantities of roll! Maybe from a driver's perspective they are fun. I must find out one day ;)

I'd love to see the 2CV before it goes back to its owner :D
Zelandeth wrote:
13 Sep 2020, 18:21
Will be stopping by there tomorrow and basically giving them an ultimatum...MOT my car in the next 48 hours or I'll take my business elsewhere. Which I'd really rather not do...but it's over a week since we told them that all the remedial work has been finished and they just need to do the retest. I know they're busy, but this is getting silly.
I'm staggered Zel :o That's not like Steve at all :?

Hoping it can all work out in a satisfactory manner [-o<

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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 get the feeling that Steve has just got himself so deeply buried under work at the moment that he just can't see daylight at the moment. I'll have a chat with him tomorrow.

The body roll is strange, I remember it being rather terrifying as a passenger, and feeling somewhat seasick the first time I was out in one. As a driver though I honestly didn't even really notice it today...

So let's jump backwards a couple of days as I never really wrote things up anywhere aside from one forum which runs annoying software so you can't use normal BBCode tags.

-- -- --

Yesterday I actually managed to make a decent bit of headway through the to do list on the Trevi.

Initially it was refusing to idle again. Though I've definitely pinned down where it's getting clogged up, and it's in between the solenoid and the idle screw...so took them both out and blasted that through yet again...and so far it's behaved since so I might have got rid of the crud this time. Hopefully. Maybe.

On to the tail lights.

Getting into the nearside one was slightly awkward on account of the antenna being in the way, especially as the ground wire from it was strung right over the tail light lamp holder assembly so I had to disconnect that first.

Once we got the lamp holder assembly out...it was obvious it was a miracle the lights were working to start with.

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That's just nasty...Though given that we knew that there had been a pretty major water ingress issue into the boot for goodness only knows how long not terribly surprising.

I could have spent half an afternoon messing with sandpaper etc...Or I could actually just use the power tools I bought for exactly this sort of job.

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Not perfect, but an awful lot better than they were, and I reckon the should be fine, the lamp holders are a reasonably snug fit.

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A full new set of GE lamps went in (what came out was as as rusty as the lamp holders, getting the indicator lamp out required pliers).

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Despite the rusty lamp holders there was nothing wrong with the ground connections, I gave them a quick clean anyway but everything tested fine.

Now the offside was rather more of a headache to get in to...which was annoying as that's the side we had strangeness reported by the lamp failure display. Problem was that this thumbscrew that holds the trim that holds the carpet over the lamp holder assembly was stuck.

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It's sufficiently stuck that the plastic top wound up spinning on the metal inner. So I had to spend a bit of time trying to detach the carpet up under the trim as carefully as I could...Which someone had already done on the *other* side where the trim came off perfectly fine! Ah the joys of working Lancias I guess.

This side wasn't quite as bad but was given the same treatment. This has sorted the problem with the interaction between the separate lamps...but hasn't had any effect on the report of a faulty lamp on this corner.

I have a sneaking feeling that this may be down to an issue with the module in the dash, especially as the LED for that lamp glows dimly as soon as the ignition is turned on. Taking the bulb out of the other tail light puts out the warning on the offside rear corner...but puts one shown on the nearside headlight. It seems to have some issues.

There is a spare (no idea of the condition) one in the boot. Annoyingly I didn't spot that until this afternoon or I'd have tried it out *before* I put the dash back together.

That's a job for another day I think...I get the impression that I might see this car again and don't mind that at all. She's going to want a radiator fitted soon at the very least...

Also found a bit of ducting that I know is meant to live in the engine bay based on some photos I've seen of these cars, I assume to help to direct cool air to where it's more useful. Figured it wasn't doing any good in the boot so put it back where it lives.

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Aside from properly itemising what I've done and what's still to be done I think I'm pretty much at s point where she can return to her owner so the usefulness of my work can be assessed!

One very important job was still pending though! Cleaning! I'm not too worried about disturbing well earned patina here as I know from the auction photos from back in 2017 that she was valeted before that sale...so is just grubby! The outside I'm leaving be (not least because of not wanting to accidentally remove any of the structural duct tape) for now, but I'd like to spruce up the interior a bit. That's the bit you spend the most time with after all.

Firstly I went through the car with a fine tooth comb, gathering all the parts, nuts, bolts, screws, washers...and a tiny stubby ratcheting spanner...into a box in the boot so I didn't end up accidentally vacuuming up something important. Especially given how many of the interior fittings and bits of trim on these cars are made of purest unobtanium. Then we got to work.

Starting point in the rear:

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After a vacuuming (carefully as I had no idea how fragile the seat cloth was - turned out to be fine in general) it looked a bit better.

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The amount of spiders evicted was biblical. Plastics still need gone over back here.

Up front was even grubbier. Sadly there's a little bit of water staining on the passenger seat presumably due to a leak from the sunroof somewhere in the distant past.

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Another half hour made quite the difference.

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While the rear still was waiting for the plastics to be wiped down when we called it a day yesterday, she was looking like quite a different car!

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That's where we left things yesterday...Fast forward to this morning...

-- -- --

Yesterday the Trevi was started up four times and driven three. It behaved on all of them. This morning, as I was planning to head back to its home with it...refused to idle again. Bother.

I've now established that the issue is definitely in the drilling between the solenoid and the idle screw. So they were both removed and large quantities of carb cleaner were sprayed through. If my compressor wasn't currently dead I'd have blasted the hell of of it with compressed air.

After a clean out again today it returned to being willing to idle. Still not running quite as well as yesterday it feels like, but perfectly drivable.

I went around the car to attack a few key areas with Vactan, and to apply a temporary patch to the rust spot on the roof.

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I noted when applying the Vactan that this had made a couple of pin holes into the roof space and figured as this is definitely right up there in the list of places you don't want the rain getting into that a patch was needed.

Then we finished off the basic clean of the cabin...I could have spent days on it to be honest, but it's looking a LOT better I think.

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I really like how they've made the dash moulding wrap so cleanly round onto the doors on this, it really helps make the design look clean.

After that she was returned to her owner. Reckon she'll make another appearance on here once we've got hold of a carb overhaul kit and a new radiator for her.

Also realised when I got home that my camera mount is still stuck in the rear window. Oops. Will grab that next time I'm over that way.

Realising when I'd got there that I really hadn't thought about how I'd get home, we arranged for me to take another motor back home. While we're not aware of any immediately required mechanical work, she is in need of some cosmetic TLC as she's turned rather completely matt as light coloured cars tend to.

I don't usually and really don't like doing the whole blanking number plate thing out, but given that I'm well aware that these cars are being targeted a bit more these days I felt it was a reasonable precaution as this isn't my car. Was a bit pointless on the Trevi given there are only two of them on the road!

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An interior which despite being as basic as they come, is surprisingly comfortable.

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The windows desperately need cleaning...discovered that the first time I tried to turn out of a junction with the sun in my face.

I've heard a lot of people say that driving a 2CV is like riding a bike in terms of you remembering things quickly, and once the one inevitable "Is that 2nd?...No, that's 4th..." Moment had passed the rest of the trip passed uneventfully with me wearing s huge grin. I'd forgotten what fun cars these are. This is dangerous has it's definitely got me pondering one again!... Exactly as I feared!

No issues with the dashboard illumination in this car at least!

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So we'll see how I get along with it for the next couple of days...Am I going to end up with a 2CV on my shopping list? I am aren't I...

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

Post by myglaren »

The 2CV is identical to the one owned by "Hubnut", AKA "Dollywobbler" for obvious reasons.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Seems we've had a good old fashioned communication breakdown with the garage. Very apologetic and we're booked into the next MOT slot they have a week today.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

As you can see we have been doing this whole "enjoying the summer" thing properly today.
IMG_20200914_143938.jpg

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

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
14 Sep 2020, 15:44
Seems we've had a good old fashioned communication breakdown with the garage. Very apologetic and we're booked into the next MOT slot they have a week today.
Excellent :-D I thought that sounded very unlike Steve too...

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

Post by Zelandeth »

While I've not actually been instructed to do anything to this car I will give it an once over and generate a list of observations of things that I think need doing. This is something that happens to any car that passes through our driveway pretty much.

She's also in pretty serious need of a good old fashioned polish and wax, so that will definitely be happening before she's dropped off back home.

This takes a bit of stress off me as I'm currently waiting for the Xantia to come back from the garage with a fresh MOT. At least we've now sorted out the situation there - Just an old school communications breakdown.

It always surprises me how much room there is inside one of these cars given how tiny they are and how narrow the actual body is.

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Still breaks my brain a little that this instrument panel is from a late 80s car...

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Also surprises me that there's no charging/ignition light.

Have a couple of photos snapped at my usual photo spot, the car park by the Linford Wood BP Garage.

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Such a lovely design, especially from a low angle like this I think.

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I'll return here once she's had a polish and been drowned in wax.


The only thing I've really done so far cleaning wise was to give the steering wheel a clean. As seems to happen a lot to cars which aren't used regularly it was quite sticky and quite unpleasant to hold. Not really a visible difference, but this is far more pleasant.

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Fun fact: Steering wheels are disgusting.

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This isn't actually that bad...It's scary what comes off sometimes, it just always seems to go noticeably sticky and horrible on cars that don't get used regularly.

The interior in general isn't bad at all, so it won't need too much attention. The innumerable bits of grass will be vacuumed out, surfaces given a wipe down and the glass given a clean. The seat covers are suffering slightly from the long term effects of sunlight, so I'll be VERY careful while around those. Glass is definitely next on the list as when the sun is low it's honestly difficult to see out of currently.

It was mentioned that there had been some issues with the air filter housing on this car causing the lid to pop off. I did notice yesterday that the induction roar was rather loud, even by the standards of a 2CV which I always remember as being pretty rorty at the best of times...so seemed worthwhile checking.

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Yep...That would do it! I thought the BrrrrRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHH! from up front seemed a little excessive!

One screw was missing entirely, there were a couple of issues with the lid where the screws have pulled through, and one had stripped out the housing.

One beefy screw to deal with the stripped out hole, one replacement and some nice big washers later...

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Sorted! I checked it again after a run out today and it's just fine. The owner has recently picked up a new air filter housing for it so it will be changed soon, but as this repair took all of about a minute I don't consider it wasted effort.

The whole driving experience is just utterly addictive. The mechanical growl from the engine, proper old school gearbox whine, a gearchange which despite what people will tell you is actually a joy to use, comfy seats, and of course the ability to roll the roof back. Oh and the ride. The ability this car has to smooth bumps out on even the most knackered of surfaces is mind boggling. Definitely back on the wish list.

Looking forward to getting a bit of a shine back on the paintwork. Reckon it's going to be the classic white car situation where you won't realise how matt it's become until it's shiny again!

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

Post by CitroJim »

It was excellent to see you and 2CV yesterday Zel :D

For a late 80s car it is amazing, it looks more like a late 50s car in so many ways...

I was thinking, if Robyn had joined us in her car we would have had four generations of little Citroens at my house yesterday!

2CV, AX, Saxo and C1 8-)
2CV
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