Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, 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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Gibbo2286
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 »

One of my customers had a 30k mile BMW six cylinder engine with the camshaft worn like that, the BMW dealer reckoned it was common and they were selling half a dozen new sets a month (camshafts and followers).
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

mickthemaverick wrote:
09 Sep 2021, 07:04
Just to clarify Zel, which exact engine is it? I will have a root around my contacts once I know exactly what you are looking for. Onward and upward!
If my research is correct the exact variant used in the W123 is the M102.980. Though I'm not sure exactly what differences the earlier carbed versions have internally, if any.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

I mentioned your engine search to my mate and he sent me this link, which you may already have but if not it could be useful!!: :)
https://mercedesmark.com/engines/17-10w ... aries.html
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

mickthemaverick wrote:
09 Sep 2021, 12:14
I mentioned your engine search to my mate and he sent me this link, which you may already have but if not it could be useful!!: :)
https://mercedesmark.com/engines/17-10w ... aries.html
Thanks for that. I've not really gone digging far yet as I've not had the time.

Useful to have a baseline cost wise now if nothing else. Not cheap...but at least there's some indication of history there rather than it being something that was quite likely pulled from a car because it was stuffed.

...Also I guess it's worth remembering that last time I was looking for a secondhand engine it was for my father's Sierra back in 2001/2! Prices will have gone up since then...

Does grind my gears a bit when listings don't have the photos matching the text though...all photos show all the ancillaries yet text clearly says none are included. Not an issue really for me, just bugs me seeing things like that.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

For a chunk of this afternoon it was raining so out of curiosity I decided to take a look at the camshaft setup on the spare head. This was as much for my education as anything. Plus if we find the bottom end on my engine looks okay we may wind up swapping this head onto my current block...unlikely but I'm keeping an open mind at this point.

Here's what I found.

Cylinders are numbered from 1 at the crank pulley end to 4 at the flywheel end.

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Corresponding rocker/cam carrier assemblies in the same order.

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Then the camshaft itself.

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Obviously isn't brand new but probably has plenty of life left in it yet. Million times better than the one on the car!

No chance I could just swap the cam/followers over as the lower bearing is part of the head and I imagine they were machined together as a pair.

Two main next steps I will be taking - once the incoming weather system has moved on anyway.

[] Pull the rocker cover again and inspect anything. If the cam follower on the bad cylinders are being eaten away it should be pretty apparent I'd think as the clearances will have opened up.

I do wonder if it's me having set those which has tipped the scales, as a couple were well wide.

[] Drop the sump and pull a few caps off to inspect them and the crankshaft.

That should give us a picture of where we stand with regards to the condition of the engine as a whole.

Then we can see whether we're looking at wholesale replacement or potentially a head swap. Though I'm guessing we will see a whole new unit at this point.

-- -- --

Bit later in the afternoon I decided to tick off another item on my list and give the Invacar an oil and filter change.

I'm glad to report that in sharp contrast to what just came out of the Mercedes that there wasn't anything by way of sparkly powder in the oil that was drained.

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Which was quite nice to see after the last couple of days! Even the magnetic pickup had next to nothing on it which is always nice to see. To be honest I've only ever seen a pencil tip eraser sided amount of gunk on there the first time I cleaned it, and I doubt it had been touched for decades before that.

Worth noting that the magnetic pickup is not in the sump plug though, it's in the oil filter drain - so could easily be missed if you didn't know it was there. I really like that they provided a separate drain for the filter too as it means you can change it without making a mess. As the filter is installed open end down that would otherwise be unavoidable.

Think I've spotted a source of a huge rattle too, looks like one of the body mounts in the vicinity of the offside rear wheel tub isn't doing its job so the whole area can wobble and vibrate. I will add a couple of fasteners to the back of the wheel tub to the chassis rail with a couple of nice big washers so they don't pull through like the original rivets did. Already did this on the nearside as that had happened there and the tub was fouling on the tyre there.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Just realised I made mention of the magnetic oil particle trap on the Invacar but have never shown it, and it's worthy of mention as it's quite a clever setup which I've not seen before.

It's the little black cylinder just below centre frame in the oil filter housing.

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You can see the head of it underneath where it's unscrewed from. Aside from allowing the magnetic plug to be inspected and cleaned this also allows the oil filter to be drained before you change it so as to minimise mess. 17mm head on that, 19mm for the sump plug itself.

Finished off the job from yesterday - I'd completely lost track of the spare filter so had to pick another one up.

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For reference, the Bosch equivalent for the Mann W712 usually quoted is a P2056.

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Apparently shared with a 2007 Nissan X-Trail 2.2 Diesel.

Just one of the nice little design feature on the engine that seemed worth sharing.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

As a fair chunk of my tools are currently with a friend (hoping they will be returned tomorrow...I had been promised this morning...) there's not much I can really do today. Well that's not strictly true...I could use the 1/4" drive sockets and not have the impact driver on hand. However those sockets are massively more cumbersome so I'd rather wait till my usual kit is on hand.

Next step for the Merc will be pulling the sump and bearing caps to see what state the bottom end is in. In preparation for this it's assumed the position in the "nearest to garage but not blocking anything in" space ready for open heart surgery.

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I'll slot a couple of extra paving slabs in at that end before starting work as that will give me a little bit of extra room to work. I don't think I'll need the car on the ramps as it has plenty of ground clearance. I will have a closer look through before I actually start to confirm that.

This meant getting into the BX for the first time in... probably about three months.

She started first try (after a bit of cranking to get fuel up to the carb obviously), rose straight up and made me remember how sweet the engine actually runs. I decided to give her the opportunity to run for a while while I was in the area. So cranked the idle speed up to basically as far as the throttle stop screw allowed - probably about 1700rpm I think and left her like that for a while. Idea being to both get a bit of charge back in the battery and to get everything as properly warmed through as I really can without actually driving the car. Good stress test for the cooling system too - one which it seemed to pass with flying colours.

You can see why I wanted to try to get the exhaust warmed through at least - there's clearly been quite a bit of water sitting in it for a long while - the rusty trail following me whenever I moved the car was always a clue.

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Feeling really guilty for having neglected the car for so long. Have told myself that I absolutely need to pick up the brake pipes it needs this week and either make a start on fitting them or get it booked in to a garage to have it done. I've sat on it for far too long...it deserves to be sorted. I keep forgetting how incredibly comfortable a car it is for all the interior looks scruffy just now, and I really want to drive it!

Depending on what I find when I start digging into the Merc it may well end up being sorted first.

I was pretty sure that with my existing air line extension hooked up to my new hose that I'd be able to reach all the cars easily enough. Checking this today has shown that I was right and I've plenty of reach available.

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I checked over TPA to make sure there were no oil leaks following the filter change yesterday...there weren't. However I spotted something that I had completely forgotten about.

This is what the inside of the rear of the rear wheel tubs should look like.

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However this is what the nearside one currently looks like from the same angle.

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Looking closer from above you can see it's because about the rear foot of the wheel tub is actually missing, presumably from when this corner took a knock at some point in the past.

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Not ideal as it basically means there's very little bracing the two panels together at the rear...also means that the ignition coil, voltage regulator and starter solenoid will be getting absolutely drenched every time I drive on an even vaguely damp road.

My solution will come in the form of a random aluminium sheet offcut I've had in the "this might be useful one day" pile for ages.

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This will go roughly here.

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Which is a bit clearer to see from underneath.

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It will be both bolted to the chassis, riveted to the body and glassed in place and I'll cap off the remaining hole from above too.

This will tie the wheel tub, side body moulding, rear body moulding and the chassis leg together. Hopefully get rid of a bit of the rattling from that area too.

...I may actually use a bit of steel plate instead. That will largely depend on whether I can find my tin snips. I know that would be better, but I'd really rather not have to faff around trying to shape things using the angle grinder.

Last job for the day was sorting out this mess.

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This definitely absolutely had nothing to do with some idiot reversing 2.8 tonnes of camper van over it a few months ago. Nope...that absolutely did not happen.

Ten minutes later, nobody would ever know anything had happened.

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Well...except for me just having admitted my idiocy! Will try not to do it again...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Some progress at long last on the BX.

Made a run over to Chevronics today to pick up some parts for the BX.

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That's a set of both rear axle brake lines and a steering rack gaiter kit. I only need one of both to my knowledge, but I'm assuming that if one of the brake lines has let go the other isn't likely far behind. Likewise with the steering rack gaiters. So just getting both made sense.

With those fitted and one small patch to the nearside sill made we should hopefully be ready to present the car for an MOT. Given how long she's been off the road I'm fully expecting that to turn up a list of things needing sorted, but hopefully not a catastrophic one.

Just really hoping I don't need to replace all the rear hydraulic lines as that gets highly involved in a hurry! Especially as the fuel tank is full which is an annoying step to need to address before the subframe could be dropped...a task in itself I'd *really* rather avoid.

Given I've had a pretty poor run of experiences with specialists in a plethora of fields over the last few years it was a very welcome surprise to see how helpful, friendly and organised Chevronics were.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

I gave Chevronics a name check the other day when a member from Lisbon revived a very old thread of mine on
"Xantia Rear Strut new boots gaiters soufflets". Our Malcolm (Citronut) had put me in touch with Malcolm Lockwood who supplied the double wire clips for the "boots". Found out that when he retired his old stock was bought by Chevronics.
NewcastleFalcon wrote:
04 Sep 2021, 21:54
I see the chap I got the double wire clamp from has retired and all his former stock was bought by this outfit in Hertfordshire. Nothing to lose by giving them a ring see what they have got.

https://www.chevronics.co.uk/?v=79cba1185463
Regards Neil
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

I had it in my head they were up the far end of the country and the shipping from their web shop always seemed really steep, that's the only reason I'd not tried them before. Kind of kicking myself now as they're only 45 minutes away.

About twice as long as it looks like it should be as there's no direct route there from here... probably quicker when you're not lumbering down claustrophobic twisty roads in a 30 year old camper van.

Sure I'll be back over there before long to get a whole set of hydraulic lines!

Already remembered two other things I meant to get. Outer bellows for the front struts as the offside one has disintegrated and meant to ask if they were aware of anyone breaking one locally I could rob the seats out of.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Figured I'd try to keep up the momentum on the BX progress.

Didn't have much time today so decided to concentrate on a bit more diagnosis on a minor but important item that's currently non functional - and judging from the MOT history has been that way for a while: The speedometer.

Of course being the exceptionally cool rotating drum affair this is doubly important as there's no point in having something that interesting that doesn't work!

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Pulling the instrument panel out is a fairly painless task and only takes about five minutes once you've learned where the fasteners are and that 3 out of the 5 steps in the Haynes manual are totally unnecessary.

Spinning the input to the speedometer with an external source (Allen key) revealed the speedometer responded, if a little sluggish to return to zero. After twiddling the thing for a couple of minutes I'd got the trip meter to move visibly as well. This is good as I'm sure I've read that the drive to that can fail.

This meant I needed to delve deeper. I had hoped that maybe I just hadn't seated the cable right (it's a right pig to get on as there's next to no slack in the cable). Unfortunately driving the car back and forth without the instrument panel in place showed no movement from the cable. Not what I'd hoped for...that means either the cable is broken, detached at the gearbox end or the drive in the gearbox is stuffed.

Of course being a suitcase engine the gearbox is in the sump...and mostly totally invisible from above. This is the grand total of how much of the cable I can see before it vanishes down below the rocker cover.

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I note it does appear to be a two part cable...I kinda wish I'd known that before the swearing involved in getting the instrument panel out the first time. Next job will be finding out if the break is in the upper or lower portion.of the cable...if the upper that should be a pretty easy fix.

If it's the lower section that's going on the "sort once it's a working car again" list. At least it's no huge hardship these days with a plethora of smartphone apps available to provide a GPS based speedometer. That'll do just fine to/from the MOT station.

Before I go any further the panel needs some further attention as the speedometer illumination has failed again (this is about the fourth time).

The panel needs a good clean anyway as there's a lot of gunk on the inside of the plastic lenses and I'd like to make sure that the worm drive for the odometer/trip meter is properly greased up. This will give me an opportunity to try to repair the damage to the flex PCB and see if I can track down where the permanent 12V feed to the clock is disappearing (it currently resets to 0:00 every time you turn the ignition off).

I have a good quantity of warm white wide angle LEDs on hand so will do a bit of experimentation with those for the illumination. I'm not messing about with the warning lights, but given the dash illumination is on whenever the ignition is on the BX *and* I know this dash has a plethora of scratchy connection issues, if I can eliminate the heat, power consumption and maintenance aspect there it would be a bonus. Don't worry, if it looks horrible I won't proceede with it and will just try to get the normal lamps to behave reliably.

Just one of those things which while I've got it in bits anyway seems worth looking into.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

This evening's entertainment.

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I had hoped this would be a pretty quick strip down, clean and reassemble.

Strip down is pretty easy.

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Definitely needed a clean!

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Sadly my hopes this would be a really quick job didn't last long. Apparently at some point in the district past someone has tried to fix the dead speedometer...by unloading about half a can of WD40 into the instrument panel.

Everything is slimy and sticky. While unpleasant this isn't generally a huge issue as I just need to clean it. Here's the issue though...The oil has got in between the plastic window in front of the banks of warning lights and the plastic window in front of them.

In itself this is unpleasant to clean up...but the big issue is that it has eaten away the printing on the filter gels. This is what I found when I peeled them apart.

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Quite how badly this has eaten away at things is clear when you hold them up to the light.

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Realistically I'll need to either remake these or find replacements. I'll make sure to get a high resolution scan to allow me to make a replacement digitally and print out on transparency film. I don't have time for that right now, so this will be a project for somewhere down the road.

For now I've done a bit of patching with a marker.

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Not great but better...at least the dash illumination won't shine through the left hand one like it used to like this.

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The single biggest cleaning task I was worried about though was the bit of plastic which has that diagram of the car printed on it. The plastic is edge lit and provides a light pipe effect to make the diagram glow. If that came off I'd be stuffed really, I don't have the resources to remake that.

Thankfully this was the result of ten minutes of VERY careful cleaning with a microfibre cloth.

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Jumping ahead a bit, here's how this area now looks when lit up.

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Far less blotchy light coming through from behind and it's way brighter now as the plastic is clean. The bezel isn't fitted there so there's a lot of spill from the sides.

The warning panel on the right always looked blotchy before because the filter gel was actually stuck to the plastic lens.

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That area now looks like this.

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Quite a lot of warning lights that just aren't used on this car being in humble RE trim.

[] Brake pad wear indicator (no bulb fitted or evidence of it having ever had one).

[] Glow plugs... obviously, it's a petrol engine.

[] Clutch temperature warning for the semi-auto gearbox - it's a manual.

[] Exhaust temp - only applies to cat equipped cars.

[] Oil level warning - very sadly not fitted. That may get upgraded as it's a feature I think is really sensible to have.

In addition to these though, this one isn't even in the handbook.

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I assume was there intended to show when the engine was cold (note that the BX never had a temperature gauge fitted), but never actually got used. Would be quite a nice thing to reinstate.

Equally there two red lights alongside the "Econoscope" (a two-light based vacuum meter basically) in the middle of the dash.

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These aren't mentioned in the handbook either.

Over on the other side we're also missing the indicators for the doors being open...these would be LEDs in these four holes.

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I'm quite surprised that they actually went to the extent of omitting the LEDs... I'm kinda curious to know if they were fitted if the indicators would work. Only in the front obviously...there aren't door switches on the rear doors...or bonnet, or boot...so those lights *definitely* won't work.

The pointer for the speedometer needs a good scrub up and coat of paint...it should be white, not lumpy and rust coloured.

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I'm still having big issues with scratchy contacts basically everywhere on this panel, so we may end up going with a more wholesale LED retrofit as I can just solder them in.

The panel has obviously issues...there are a bunch of broken clips, the above moth eaten light gels, and several "interesting" prior repairs to the flex PCB. Oh, yeah and I need to fix this mess under the clock.

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I'll need to find a pin out for so I can figure out what's meant to have voltage or ground on it to sort that. The clock itself does work...insofar that it turns on with the ignition and then keeps time. However it resets to 0:00 as soon as the ignition is turned off. It also doesn't dim when the headlights are turned on as I think it should.

The flex PCB on this is one of the most difficult to follow I've ever worked on, so really hoping I can find a proper schematic which shows the pin connections so I can just buzz them out with the meter rather than having to trace every one out... That's for tomorrow though. Oh, and trying to remember where the bottle of sewing machine oil is so I can put a tiny dab on the speedometer bearing to hopefully thin out the WD40 goop currently in there. Little smear of grease will go on the work drive for the trip/odometer too...which was one of the main reasons for pulling it to bits.

This has turned into a bit of a ramble, sorry!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Zelandeth wrote:
17 Sep 2021, 03:24
This has turned into a bit of a ramble fascinating read and visual feast
Love the pics of the innards of that speedo etc whats the collective term for it ..a binacle?...fascinating.

Forgive me Zel if I give it a bit of a promotion with a POTD link and example pic. :-D

Regards Neil
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
17 Sep 2021, 08:19
Zelandeth wrote:
17 Sep 2021, 03:24
This has turned into a bit of a ramble fascinating read and visual feast
Love the pics of the innards of that speedo etc whats the collective term for it ..a binacle?...fascinating.

Forgive me Zel if I give it a bit of a promotion with a POTD link and example pic. :-D

Regards Neil
I'm fully intending to get a few better photos of it before reassembly, the speedometer drum is a particularly visually pleasing thing in itself I think, especially when lit up.

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Does anyone know the name of the typeface they used on those instruments? It's one I'd like to use for a couple of things round the house if it's actually out there.

-- -- --

You remember me saying that the work to recreate the warning light masks was for "somewhere down the road" yesterday?

Yeah...about that. Look what I ended up doing this evening after dinner...

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The end result of which were these.

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Everything is on separate layers, so I can have a play around with different options regarding getting a clean print, good colour purity etc. Just need to wait for the transparency sheets to arrive. Fun fact: Laser printer transparency sheets are expensive suckers!

There are quite a few imperfections as it's all been done by hand so I'll need to tidy up a couple of the legends (sidelights and glow plugs being the two which stick out at me the most). A lot tidier than what's in there at the moment though. I've got a file somewhere with a large library of automotive symbols etc I could paste in, but restoring the original ones seemed worthwhile.

Tiny job...and one utterly unnecessary to the proper running of the car...but satisfying all the same.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

You made a really nice job there Zel, well done!! :)