Xantiaman's Blog

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

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XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 05 Dec 2010, 12:24

The snow we had up here has virtually all gone now, a good thing ! I love it and i hate it. Driving back through Kent last week i saw some amazing snow falls and some very dangerous roads, the Transit didnt care though...

Image

After all that fuss last week, i've not done much else to the Activa yet, i need to order a few more nuts for the manifold and then blitz it one day, hopefully in the next week.

I have been busy with other stuff though! Jim may remember i showed him the site of Norwich City Station, closed in 1959 to passengers and then eventually wound up in the late 70's.

Well, after much talk with a few friends via Flickr and Facebook over the past 18 months, we finally all met up yesterday and proceeded to clear the site remains, and actually found a few interesting things as a result, like Platform One wall which was assumed demolished, but appears to still be there, just covered up.

Here are a few pictures, let me know if you can see them.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=3 ... 6892893836

It is immensely addictive finding old stuff, and we cannot wait to get stuck in again, hopefully a once a month meet but possibly every other week whilst the weeds and brambles are held back thanks to the winter. There is much to see like like the old engine shed floor and inspection pit, and it seems every time we visit, we find something new.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 05 Dec 2010, 12:53

That's rather a fine picture of the Transit Gareth :D It needs a caption like "White Van Man Always Gets Through"

I enjoyed the Pictures of your work on Norwich City Station. That's real archeology and very worthwhile stuff. It's preserving a piece of history that without people like you, would just fade away to nothing.

It amazes me that they demolished most but also left so much. Almost like they didn't get around to quite finishing the job. Just as well as it keeps the history of the place alive.

What's the long-term plans for the site? Housing no doubt. Our old station is buried under housing although if you know where to look, there is still a little evidence of what was once there.

I enjoy looking at Google maps satellite pictures and tracing the remains of old railway lines. It's amazing just how visible they still are from above even if there is little evidence to be seen at ground-level to the casual observer.

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 05 Dec 2010, 13:36

Hi Jim,

Currently, no-one owns the land. Its very unlikely it would turn into housing for two reasons, firstly the industrial estate runs parallel to the line, access to it would be very difficult, and secondly its very close to the river.

The Marriott way walk uses the old line which is owned and maintained by the council and is very popular. The only risk i can foresee is Halfords extending their car park. It is our plan to claim ownership of the wasteland either side where there are remains.

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Post by XantiaMan » 18 Dec 2010, 19:37

Finally got the Xantia back on the road, just in time for some serious cold!

It was minus 10 c here at 9am, even by mid-day it was -5, parts of Norfolk saw -17.2, for this part of the world, very cold indeed.

The Activa started on the button, nice and quiet, non-ticky manifold gasket, only the blowing centre join spoiling it.

The suspension isnt quite right though. I did a few runs of Citrobics, and the front end does not want to rise from low up to normal or service setting, it only rises up when the car goes into its highest postition, when its lowered back to normal it will then drop at the front.

Also when it was dropping back down to normal, i opened the drivers door and the back end shot up :?

At some point Jim will be popping over to have a closer look at it, and hopefully diagnose a few bits and pieces for me to sort and getting it A1 in that department.

I managed to find my old manual boost controller this afternoon, once i have checked what boost its running i will be fitting it and setting the boost around 12psi and see how it goes.

Did have a atmospheric dump valve fitted, however the vacuum take off was the MAP sensor line, i dont like this for two reasons, the first is the leak potential and the ECU must have a reliable signal to help set the timing/fuelling correctly, secondly the vacuum is not that strong, so the DV doesn't operate that well until higher load, the boost blowing through the line also helps keep the DV shut.

The valve has been removed and the take off blocked, i could do with one of the original caps that go onto the metal inlet pipes to make it look proper.

A t piece which was fitted into the MAP line had push type fittings, again i dont like these, its been removed and black 3mm silicone hose bridges the gap and looks original.

I've got a small plastic T piece to fit for the boost gauge, which will be hidden in the ECU box, not decided if the gauge will be permanent or not as it could do with a pillar pod, dont want to cut the dash in any way.

One day at work next week, and a few bits of Xmas shopping to do before the 25th :roll: luckily this year has been much better, i had the flu last year and was knocked out, plus the weather was no better and sales were not as strong, its been a good year for us, in fact a very memorable one personally, we have had a lot of luck and someone is looking after us up there without a doubt.

We head into next year in a good position to expand the business, possibly going LTD and cracking into the retail market, in between i hope to have a bit of fun with the cars, but most importantly family first! :D

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 19 Dec 2010, 22:11

I'll be over as soon as the weather is more amenable Gareth. I'll come armed with Lexia and Sphere tester....

Rather looking forward to it. It'll be good to see Vicky, Jack and little 'un

And if we can visit some railway artifacts that'll round it off a treat :D

Great news on the potential expansion of the business :D Sounds like it's going from strength to strength. I guess this cold snap will bring in plenty of work as soon as the thaw sets in; a lot of vehicles seem to be scuffed and grazed at the moment...

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Post by jgra1 » 24 Dec 2010, 00:38

good stuff re the diet Gareth..! I have been off the site for a few weeks..
I am in a similar position re blood pressure.. last week the doc finally told me to start taking the tablets, and never stop.. quite a sobering experience! i am mulling it over.. but I need to shed some weight for sure..

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 24 Dec 2010, 09:32

jgra1 wrote:good stuff re the diet Gareth..! I have been off the site for a few weeks..
I am in a similar position re blood pressure.. last week the doc finally told me to start taking the tablets, and never stop.. quite a sobering experience! i am mulling it over.. but I need to shed some weight for sure..
It gets better (or worse) depending on how you look at it, i got norovirus over the weekend and my weight dropped even further, thanks to fluid loss, i dropped 8lbs, shame it didnt all stay off, but i am now at 12 stone 12 lbs, was 12 stone 7!

My mum is on tablets for blood pressure, she is fit and healthy and goes to the gym, not overweight but its hereditary... and this is why i had to do something about it whilst i was still young in relative terms, if your BMI is well over 30 then you do need to look losing a stone or two, to get it closer to where you should be, it does make a big difference to the blood pressure.

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 30 Dec 2010, 17:26

Looks like i'm a little famous now..

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/bid ... s_1_763755

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren » 30 Dec 2010, 17:32

World famous in Norwich? :)

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim » 31 Dec 2010, 13:44

Excellent stuff and great to see you're getting some recognition for the work of preserviving a bit of our heritage Gareth. Looking forward to seeing it :D

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 31 Dec 2010, 16:41

Thanks Jim, we are in the Eastern Daily Press as well today which has a bigger coverage. Nice to see our plans finally turning into a reality.

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 09 Jan 2011, 23:34

Today was good! Jim popped over late morning to give my Activa a good check over, its mainly good, a few issues that need sorting according to the expert, i'll explain that more in my progress thread.

Took him out in the Mondeo (he hated it :wink:) and showed him around a few old station sites, it was a lovely late afternoon, sadly i was getting harassed by SWMBO having spent most of the day tweaking the Activa and she needed feeding..

So after that, picked her and the kids up and went to my local carvery, great VFM and a nice end to the day.

Weight update :

Image

I'm now down to 12 st 12lb and on a stricter diet and gym twice a week to give me a boost for the year, aiming for 12 st dead on, there isnt much more to lose now, mainly around my belly left.

Once again it was nice to see Jim and admire his skill and patience, and enthusiasm for these cars, a real asset to the community.

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG » 09 Jan 2011, 23:43

Well done on the weight Gareth, been there done that when you get down to 12st the really hard work is keeping at that weight, not easy I'll testify to that!!

XantiaMan
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Post by XantiaMan » 10 Jan 2011, 00:03

DickieG wrote:Well done on the weight Gareth, been there done that when you get down to 12st the really hard work is keeping at that weight, not easy I'll testify to that!!
Thanks Richard, the problem with losing weight, is you need less calories than before to maintain it. Why may explain why really overweight people seem to eat loads and stay the same, they need more to stay that way.

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Post by XantiaMan » 19 Mar 2011, 09:15

Its been a little while since i updated this.

All change here, first of all, likes like we are moving again, partly because the landlord wants to sell the house, and partly because we spotted a bigger house, with a DOUBLE garage for only £75 a month more!

We just need to sort the timing, our let finishes beginning of May, but the new house is available 4th April, so hopefully they can wait a little bit for us to get in there, otherwise there should be no issues.


This of course means i have to have a rethink of the car situation. I'll finally be able to work on the Maestro before i lose all interest, the Mondeo will be kept in a garage, and the MG will sit on the drive next to the van. Sadly there is not space for the Activa :cry:

Once i've got the front height corrector replaced, all should be good in the suspension department, i'll be refitting the original airbox, fitting the new exhaust clamp and changing the engine oil to a fully synthetic 5w 40. Finally it just needs a front bumper repaint and a good clean and polish and its ready to go. Mechanically its very well sorted and straight on the exterior, the interior is near enough mint too, so it should sell ok.

I've barely driven it, but when i have done i've really enjoyed it, its a nicely looked after example with all the usual Activa troubles resolved including the nightmare manifold gasket change.