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.

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2019
Posts: 4077
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 1193

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

Post by mickthemaverick »

My approach to repair that Zel would be to cut a patch from stiff plastic, I usually use card file dividers, and then mould it into the right shape to fit inside the hole. Then attach a stick, for holding it, to the centre with a hot glue gun and gently lower into place so you effectively form a back to the hole. Seal round the full edge with hot glue or similar and then, when it has set solid, cut off the stick and you can fill the patch with normal resin and filler mix, P38 or similar. Sand back and paint - jobs a goodun!! :)

Something like this:
Own work
Own work

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 42174
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1247

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

Post by CitroJim »

Those little lights are ideal Zel :)

If you think your arms look like you've been self-harming, you should see mine after fighting with Daffodil's instrument pod :lol:

Citroen AX dashboards have more sharp edges than a rack of butcher's knives :twisted:

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Had virtually zero time to do anything today as I've been running around all over the shop. Did spend five minutes when I was "released" from other duties to get a couple of small things done. The new fuel filter arrived for the Invacar this morning, so got that fitted.

Image

Bit blingy!

Image

Might give the retaining clips a bit of black paint to try to tone it down a bit.

I also had a bit of a thought about the doors. Invacar doors rattle like a washing machine full of marbles being dropped down a flight of stairs. That is just a fact of life. One of the biggest issues with mine were the interior door handles though, I'm guessing I was missing a spacer of some sort because of the amount of play in them.

Wonder if I can have a dig around in the drawer of washers, fasteners etc to improve that...



Well that was worth five minutes of time! Will hopefully see how much difference it makes actually driving tomorrow.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Having thought about it for two seconds I realised that the position I'd mounted the fuel filter in was going to be massively in the way...All I needed to do however was flip it around to the opposite side of the support bar it's attached to.

Image

That should be far more out of the way.

We then had a run over to Buckingham to run a couple of errands. The weather forecast was checked before I went out, and was showing 0% chance of precipitation. Yeah...about that.

Image

Yeah...I wound up driving back through near monsoon conditions (twice). The windscreen I'm glad to report doesn't seem to leak any more, at least when driving. Only visible water ingress we had was a little getting into the nearside door cavity through the window runner. Aside from the windscreen demister still being about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike below 50mph, she handled it absolutely fine. I know a lot of people have been saying that the Camac tyres will kill me the moment I look at an even damp road, but they seemed to handle everything absolutely fine today, up to and including quite a bit of standing water. No complaints. I'm not exactly going to try chucking it around in the wet anyway...Not that sort of car!

Needs a clean again now.

Image

Image

Having been out for a longer run though, I'm glad to report that between the reduction in door rattles from yesterday and the general trim installation, noise levels at speed are *massively* reduced. Cruising at 55 feels honestly comfortable now and 60 isn't an issue.

The Xantia decided it hadn't had enough attention lately so decided to pop up the low oil level warning when I started it up this morning.

Image

Had a look and the level is absolutely fine, so just the usual "once every three months" false positive. The occasional false positive or not, I'd still far, far rather have this warning light than not.

Of slightly more concern however was that in the last couple of days I've been becoming very much able to hear the dump valve from the turbo again. That was last heard back in November 2018 when the intake line between the air filter and intake ducting split. This was repaired at the time using self amalgamating tape, duct tape and cable ties. No great surprise it's failed again...astonished it's lasted this long!

Image

Just fell apart when I touched it. This is a problem that basically all TCT engined Xantias are running into now as the pipe just turns to plastic then splits. The parts have been NLA new for years, and the vast majority of secondhand ones are just as bad...Having had a quick look at it, the hose is a 70mm inside diameter, so a generic silicone elbow will be ordered in to replace this. In the meantime a bit of random ducting and a cone filter have been deployed. The soundtrack now is frankly ridiculous. To say the dump valve is "obvious" when you come off the power would be an understatement. Hopefully shouldn't be too hard to sort with a bit of off-the-shelf silicone pipe. Should be enough flex available that it can accommodate the kickback in the line the duct needs to take.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 42174
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1247

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

Post by CitroJim »

An excellent set of updates Zel :D

I still find it amazing the Invacar will happily cruise at 55-60mph! I reckon it would gibe my Saxo a good run for its money!

You know, I reckon there's a market for replacement TCT induction elbows... They all go like that, as do all the others in the family, V6 and 1.9TD particularly...

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Time for a regularly scheduled wander into the world of electronics.

Not long ago I picked up a rather scruffy Toshiba T1200 laptop, the intention being to make one good machine out of this and the remaining bits of one I had a good few years ago. Yesterday morning I decided it was time to start investigating it while we were waiting for a call back from the vet to go pick up Tesla who had been in for an eye operation.

I'd forgotten how easy to get into these machines are. About a minute in we were at this stage.

Image

Oh if only all modern machines were this easy to get in to!

Nice to see that we do have the additional 384K memory expansion board fitted.

Image

Looking at the power supply board, it was no surprise whatsoever to immediately spot obvious signs of capacitor leakage.

Image

Image

In addition to this, there was one obviously visibly blown transistor.

Image

The only marking on this is 11397 which so far hasn't turned up anything particularly useful on a Google search. That's going to be fun to track down...

*If* I can find the original PSU I might be able to scavenge the transistor in question... though to be fair if I can find it just recapping it and swapping the boards would probably be the way forward as my original one had issues with leaky caps causing it to shut down and go into a fault mode, but it had never gone pop like this clearly has...Time for another rummage in the loft to see what remains of my original machine I can find. I want the keyboard and lower case at least anyway.

8086 processors aren't that unusual, though I think this is the first time I've seen an 80C86 - which I believe is a CMOS based version of the 8086 for low power applications.

Image

While not massively widespread there's definitely some evidence of a little bit of that capacitor goop having made its way to the motherboard.

Image

In addition to the capacitor goop, the motherboard (like everything else on the machine) was filthy so would be wanting to come out for a clean anyway.

Here's the oddball JVC/Ricoh hard drive, it's connector and the interface card. Bet that hybrid module cost a packet back in the day.

Image

The card wasn't fitted to these machines if they didn't have the HD option ticked. Though if I wanted a cleaner donor machine for anything, the non HD equipped ones do seem more plentiful and usually sell cheaper...so it would be easy for me to now upgrade one.

The keyboard isn't the worst one I've ever cleaned, but it's up there in terms of ones that haven't gone swimming in coffee.

Image

Image

Before any further investigation was going on, the motherboard, PSU and the keycaps needed to be cleaned. I would have liked to do the whole upper case moulding, but haven't figured out how to detach the display without tearing off stickers yet. Off they go to the parts washer...

Image

Image

After an hour the keycaps and the vent cover for the hard drive were removed to avoid the heat from the drying cycle.

They look a bit better! Obviously still yellowed and still worn, I can't do anything about that just now...but at least they're clean now.

Image

Image

I'll probably still swap the keyboard for the one from my original T1200 as it's a far lower mileage example...but this was getting cleaned before I even let it near the spares box!

A little later in the day, the boards had finished cooking...Let's take a closer look. Power supply up first.

Image

That's a little bit less disgusting at least. Looking closer however shows that it's in quite a poor way. Quite a few tracks have dissolved.

Image

Image

Image

Quite a lot of these are downright tiny so repairing them will be a pain. So for now I think we will sideline this PCB until I've had a chance to dig out my original PSU and pray it's in a better state.

How about the motherboard?

Image

Here's a closeup of the connector that was looking distinctly green in the original photos.

Image

However I think I've made a discovery which has indeed rendered this a "parts" machine and nothing more.

You know that point on an a car where you drain the oil and see that horrible silvery sheen in it, that you know is metal that used to belong to critical bits of your engine? I think spotting this was the electronic answer to that.

Look more closely at the CPU...

Image

See that little white mark? The thing that I thought was a bit of hair and went to brush away...

Image

Uh oh...

Image

Yep...That looks to be a crack in the package. I have a sneaking suspicion that the magic smoke has escaped from this CPU.

My current theory is that one of two things has happened in the PSU...

1. Due to conductive capacitor goo getting into places it shouldn't on the board, the 12V input has leaked onto the 5V output line (I *think* the only lines this has are 12V and 5V).
2. Due to the dissolving tracks, we've lost a feedback line somewhere and one or both of the output voltages have skyrocketed until something went bang.

It's possible that there was some catastrophic failure on the motherboard and that that caused the transistor we've found popped on the PSU to go...but the PSU going haywire and nuking the motherboard seems rather more likely to me.

The question at this point becomes whether anything useful has survived. As far as I know the motherboard on my old machine was fine, the only issue with it was in the PSU. It had just gone into a protection mode (flashing red light), and I've not been aware of anything going bang...so fingers crossed I'll still be able to make one good machine out of the two. I need to find the box of bits of my old T1200 first so I can find out what parts I'm actually missing.

I'd really like for the hard drive and its interface card to have survived as those drives are really rare, and my one has been sitting since at least 2001 so I've no idea whether it will still be in working order - as due to the proprietary nature of it I've not been able to just plug it in and spin it up as I try to with most of my historic drives on a reasonably regular basis. While I do have a note of the pinout, annoyingly these drives behave in a way (somewhat like some SCSI drives) meaning that they won't actually start the spindle motor until a motor enable signal is sent from the controller...and when I last looked there were three conflicting reports on what voltage that pin wanted to be supplied with...and I'm not about to go and blow up my drive that's made of pure unobtanium by guessing.

Toshiba seemed to like oddball hard drives in the last days of the 1980s, they used a similarly obscure and proprietary drive in the T3200 (NOT the SX/SXC etc versions, those used a standard Connor IDE drive) in the form of a Fujitsu M2227DT. A totally different but equally proprietary drive, in 40Mb form.

One of these.

Image

Here's the interface connector.

Image

This at least doesn't have the same issue as the T1200 drive where it requires a signal to enable the spindle motor...and it has a standard Molex connector for the power supply. So as soon as you hook power up it starts up. This is good because it means that I know this drive hasn't suffered from any of the horrible issues you hear of where spindle motors seize up or where the heads stick to the platters. It's always a nice one to spin up anyway as it has a really unusual sounding spindle motor.

Would have been rude not to dig it out of the hard drive stack and record it for you wouldn't it?



No video as I just stuck my phone on top of the drive to capture the audio. Would really like to get hold of another T3200 one day so I could actually get it doing something more than the start up head seek and home.

I *think* this is quite an early drive to use a voice coil head actuator rather than a stepper motor one...though prepared to be corrected on that.

Hopefully at some point I'll be able to get up into the loft and dig out the remains of my original Toshiba T1200 and then we can have a look at what bits we've got. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that anything attached to the motherboard is likely to be toast at this point though. Bit of a disappointing result really, but that's how these things go sometimes!

EDIT: Do these steps qualify as having started to sort out the garage?

Image

Image

The socket sets, spanners, allen keys and the box of drill bits now have homes attached to the garage wall in easy reach. So I don't need to drag a heavy tool box all the way out of the far end of the garage or more likely wind putting them somewhere more nearby because I'm lazy...and then forget where they were! The black socket set is by far the most commonly used tool, hence having stuck it right by the door.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 42174
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1247

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

Post by CitroJim »

Watching your laptop adventures with interest Zel ;D

That blown transistor may have a 'house code' on it... Ti were well known for putting their own codes onto semiconductors...

There's been a few threads on the vintage radio forum about semiconductor house codes recently and I expect one of the members there may be able to identify what it is and what will substitute for it...

If magic smoke has escaped from the CPU I'd be wondering what else has thrown in the towel too?

Good work on the workshop ;) A good start!

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

My thinking at this point Jim is that the motherboard is a paperweight. The big question really is whether the hard drive interface card and the drive itself have survived, as they're the items with real value.

Just about to go rummaging in the loft to try to find my original machine and see what state the PSU and motherboard are in on that example.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 42174
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1247

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

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
17 Oct 2020, 16:07
My thinking at this point Jim is that the motherboard is a paperweight.
Here's hoping you can find another and that the hard drive and interface are good...

A big part of me was hoping you were going to show how you go about replacing a surface mount multi-legged device such as that 80C86 CPU ;)

I just can't get my head around SMD rework at all... Something I'd love to understand but I think my eyes are past it now!

User avatar
xantia_v6
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 7471
Joined: 09 Nov 2005, 23:03
x 419

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

Post by xantia_v6 »

Having seen the condition of yours, I will open up my T1200 next weekend and check for visible leakage. I have my fingers crossed that it will be OK, as it has been stored in a cellar which has a fairly constant cool temperature.

SMD rework is very difficult if you don't have suitable tools, I have done a bit as part of my work (especially when I was working in a lab that designed Bluetooth chips), but have never had my own kit.

You need a temperature controlled hot air gun with various sized nozzles, a suitable (preferably binocular) low-power microscope, a very fine soldering iron tip and a steady hand.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Some of the things I've been waiting for for the Xantia arrived today.

Nice new silicone elbow to replace the cracked factory induction hose. We've stuck with black as once everything is back together and it's dulled down a bit you won't even notice it's been changed unless you specifically know the engine bay of a TCT engined Xantia.

Image

Annoyingly, while the elbow has arrived, the straight bit hasn't...which leaves the hose about 2" too short to reach the air filter housing. Fine. Back on goes the cone for now.

Image

I have to admit to childishly enjoying the ridiculous induction growl and dump valve noises in the interim. Pretty sure it's actually costing me horsepower given the lack of a cool air supply.

Once the new straight section arrives I'll get the air box reinstated and hooked up properly. I may trim the hose down a little yet to try to reduce the tendency to rub against the lines to the LHM reservoir.

-- -- --

Right, back to the very sick Toshiba T1200 patient on the operating table. I've pretty much written off the motherboard in my donor T1200 as at least one chip has had the magic smoke escape and I'm reasonably convinced there are cracks in a couple of others though it's hard to tell with the naked eye. In addition several traces on the power supply PCB have dissolved and due to the density of the board repair was going to be really tricky.

Time to go have a dig around in the loft to find the remains of my original machine and see if we have the potential to make one good one out of the two.

The keyboard on the donor machine as you may remember was absolutely gross. Here's what was left when the key caps were removed to be cleaned.

Image

Doing that to such a nice keyboard is just downright criminal!

For those who know their keyboards, yes those are Alps key switches. The keyboards on these laptops are better than most desktops I've used. My favourite keyboard of all time (Northgate OmniKey Ultra) uses identical switches to these. I do have a couple of spare boards from machines I've stripped down over the years, and have pondered now and then whether I could actually figure out a way to interface with them to make a compact desktop keyboard. I'll need to actually do a test one day, but I reckon on the T5200 (which is the one I've probably spent the most time behind) I can easily keep up with my typing speed on the IBM Model M on my desktop.

This one looked a bit better after a good old scrub with the vacuum cleaner.

Image

I'd have liked to be able to get the foam off to give it a wet clean, but it is well and truly stuck in place. So some of the 30 odd year old grime will just have to stay...won't be visible once it's back together anyway.

Then the fun bit. I always find reassembling a keyboard after having it to bits to clean very satisfying.

Image

There we go...

Image

Definitely has a few miles on it!

Image

Image

Time to go have a dig around in the loft to find the remains of my original machine and see if we have the potential to make one good one out of the two.

In a truly bizarre turn of events it was actually exactly where I thought it was in the loft. The only bits I've not been able to immediately lay my hands on are the display and keyboard. I know they're up there somewhere...but *hopefully* these won't be necessary to actually get things up and running. The display is still an unknown, given the motherboard looks to have been subject to some major over voltage issues we'll just have to see.

Time for an assessment...

Image

We've got the lower case moulding, LED retainer and screen switch bar, motherboard, memory expansion board, rear connector riser, hard drive interface card, a display backlight inverter - and it turned out a couple of bits from a totally unrelated project.

Let's start with the power supply. It has leaky caps and there's some fluffy looking corrosion on some of the component legs, but it almost looks more like something has gone after the solder itself rather than the PCB tracks - it's worth noting that this did live in the loft at my parents house for about 10 years, and that house was VERY damp, so this may well be more to do with that than the capacitor goop.

Comparing to the worst (visible) track damage of the PSU we've already looked at this definitely looks like it's a more likely rescue candidate.

For reference, I'm referring to the machine I just picked up as a parts donor as the "new" one, and my old incomplete one as the "original" just to try to stop myself getting tied in knots.

New:

Image

Original:

Image

New:

Image

Original:

Image

New:

Image

Original:

Image

It still needs the caps changing, but the only other damage I've been able to find was one tiny transistor (right in between the leaky caps) which came away from the board when I was scraping around to see if we had any broken pins on the ICs or anything after we'd given things their first clean. The pads it should be attached to are pretty much in the centre of the photo below.

Image

I need to remove those caps for replacement anyway, so that will obviously be the time to replace the transistor. Won't that be fun. Couldn't have been a nice chunky inductor or something like that could it?

Image

It still tests fine...I don't rate my chances of getting solder to reflow to those pins though so will probably grab the one off the new PSU (which tests identically on the meter).

Moving our attention back to the motherboard and what's left in the case I thought I'd check the RTC battery, mainly for giggles. Given it's a NiCd battery from 1990 (early 1990 is the latest date code I've seen on this motherboard) that hasn't seen a charge current since 2001 I wasn't expecting to see anything.

Image

Image

While I've not actually found any damage to the motherboard, it was entirely covered in a greasy feeling residue and there was some grime particularly on the inter-board connectors.

Image

Image

Image

Figure that I'd rather get rid of that greasy film whatever it is in case it's something that long term will be harmful so the board's getting a clean.

The display on these machines uses a large EL panel for the backlight, and the inverter board for that is the area other than the main PSU which is renowned for having issues with leaking electrolytic caps. Conveniently the inverter from my original machine was still with it so we can take a look at it.

Image

Yep...Those be leaky! Will look up the values and add them to the parts order that will be happening shortly.

The motherboard has recently returned from being cleaned, which brings us pretty much back up to date.

Glad to report that all the greasy residue has gone. It's going to be spending the night sitting in the airing cupboard with a fan pointed at it to help ensure any remaining moisture is evicted before we go any further.

Image

Image

Apologies these photos aren't the best. I was working at the dining table and the lighting there is horrendous for taking photos with due to glare.

Next steps will be to get some capacitors ordered to recap the PSU and to reattach/replace that transistor which has dropped off. Then we can start putting things back together and see if we can by some miracle end up with a working machine.

We probably won't be seeing much from this for a while as I'll be needing to get some parts ordered in, so we'll be back to the actual topic of this thread for a while!

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 42174
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1247

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

Post by CitroJim »

xantia_v6 wrote:
17 Oct 2020, 19:16
and a steady hand.
I fail on that one these days :roll: :lol:

The new intake hose looks good :)

That keyboard :o :twisted:

Gibbo2286
Donor 2020
Posts: 4704
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 835

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I wonder if those yellow plastic keys would clean up the way we used to clean our pushbike mudguards......with Steradent tablets. :)

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

xantia_v6 wrote:
17 Oct 2020, 19:16
Having seen the condition of yours, I will open up my T1200 next weekend and check for visible leakage. I have my fingers crossed that it will be OK, as it has been stored in a cellar which has a fairly constant cool temperature.
Definitely worth doing. It seems to be something that these machines universally suffer from at some point in their lives. It's a pretty easy to change the affected caps themselves - it's repairing the damage they've done if left unchecked for years that's the hard part.

The caps in the power supply are:

2X 1800uf, 10v.
3X 470uf, 25v.
220uf, 25v.
150uf, 35v.
10uf, 25v.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3650
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 358

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Chris takes his company car back for changeover tomorrow (yay, we're finally rid of the TTRS... without exception the most uncomfortable car I have ever sat in), so I had to give it a clean.

Oh...my...word. That is by some margin the most godawfully fiddly car to even wash I have ever crossed paths with.

Gave the Xantia a quick wash as well while I had things out and cleaned the windows.

Removing these stickers really felt like absolute vandalism and doing so broke my heart as they feel like part of the car's story. Sadly the sun over this summer had done a number on them and they were disintegrating.
IMG_20201018_174049.jpg
Will just need to start earning some more now I guess!