Dean's Activa/XM/V6 and now Talbot 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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Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

.........................enough said, i didn't know.

D
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CitroJim
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by CitroJim »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 14:52
Erm, the Activa sale caused a very nasty experience for Jim.


Yes, quite... Dean, she was for sale but not now. She's staying with me for good but for now, due to personal circumstances, she's on SORN...

Garaging a classic car makes a heck of a difference. I found that when i last looked to insure the Activa...
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

Trouble is, the garage costs more than the damn car! and then of course if you have a garage it's usually full of junk and not car.
I had a quote for a camper last week from the same people and that was only £120/yr fully comp, they would mirror my no claims on that, i was very surprised.

Currently seaking a coach built Talbot Express 2.0 petrol MWB thats not brown (corrosion or 80's styling), i want something i can improve but that isn't sucking it's last breath.

D
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CitroJim
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by CitroJim »

Deanxm wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 15:25
Currently seaking a coach built Talbot Express 2.0 petrol MWB thats not brown (corrosion or 80's styling), i want something i can improve but that isn't sucking it's last breath.


That sounds like an interesting project Dean ;)
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

I hope so Jim, just came back from two weeks in Ireland last Sunday and both the Wife and i have decided we could get away more often and enjoy life a bit more rather than sleep walk through it with a Camper, the hope is we can nibble the savings a little to buy a Camper but not lose any money by getting a van that's at the bottom of it's depreciation curve and go away more often for less.......................so the theory goes.

D
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

Good grief, its been over a year since i last logged on here! not had much time for extravagances recently but hopefully, that will soon change. I hope everyone is keeping well?

The XM V6 conversion saga did wind up in a happy place, the hydraulic belt issue was finally halted by fitting a pump with a pulley that wasn't completely jeffed, changing the fluid, cleaning the filters and fitting a new supply hose that wasn't sucking air, I'm not 100% sure which of those was the issue, nor do i care, i have not shredded a belt again since.
The running issue's, poor starting and jerky throttle application eventually degraded into a mid-range misfire which came and went and varied in severity, after doubting my homemade loom and taking it apart to check continuity of EVERY BLOODY WIRE as well as correct pinouts i eventually came full circle to find ALL the HT leads which i clung onto so dearly.......because they were red, were breaking down and going open circuit, this was cooking the ignition modules which then promptly expired on a near fortnightly basis (an expensive habit), a new set of red leads were made and a proper Bosch module sorted that out, the poor hot restarts were due to a leaking fuel pressure regulator, fuel pressure would drop to jeff all after about 30 seconds from engine off, the fuel at atmospheric pressure would then boil and leave all the fuel lines, injectors and rails full of vapour, and contrary to the beliefs held by some crackpot youtubers, engines cannot run on fuel vapour. And so here we are, the XM has been running, and running well for around 12 months with no issues and is currently wrapped up and put away for the winter while i torture myself trying to decide if i should sell it or not...........

I am also now the slightly ashamed owner of a 1989 vintage Coach built Autotrail Chinook on a 2.0 petrol, Talbot express chassis, this thing is a rocket ship, in that it is noisy, shakey, thirsty and it is always in the back of your mind while driving it that what you are doing is insanely dangerous, and it could kill you at any time. It has 80's commercial vehicle performance and it has all the crash protection and passenger safety you would expect from a B&Q garden shed strapped to an 80's chassis cab commercial, because that is what it is, only it is not built as well as the shed, and the chassis cab in question has been questionably cut to bits in order for the conversion to take place and then endured 29 years of weathering, corrosion and owner abuse.

And i love it to bits :rofl2:
ImageTalbot Express
ImageTalbot Express
ImageIMG_1383
So far i have serviced it, rebuilt the carb, fixed the myriad of chassis wiring and earthing problems/bodges, completed re-trimmed and reupholstered the interior, fitted a new toilet, fixed the many gas leaks, upgraded the habitation wiring and exchanged the old screws and nails for fuse holders and fuses, rebuilt the entire front 1/3 of the habitation due to water leaks and rotten timber, fitted all new tyres and resealed every window and body fitting on the van.

however lengthy the above list the "To do" list is still pretty sizeable, future works are as follows............god help me.

New clutch kit (last owner "fitted a new clutch mate" but forgot to do the pressure plate and thrust bearing while he was in there)
Gearbox input shaft bearings to cure the simply horrific whine when the clutch is released or the syncros grab a gear
Headgasket (because, 30 year old van)
fit new driver and passenger seats that have foam and springs (current ones are akin to being seated on a clothed skeleton)

Then finally remove windscreen and dash to enable me to......
Remove door skins, wings, bonnet, scuttle panel, inner arches, front slam panel and rebuild the top of the firewall, fab and weld in new lower A posts, inner arches, outer lower arches, wings, bonnet, scuttle, front grill panels, and fab and weld in extensive inner wing patches.
She will then need new shocks all round, headlamps, a full cab respray and underseal/cavity wax.

And a new drivers wing mirror..... And off grid solar setup......and a new rad and heater matrix, coolant hose set, Gear selector relay and tower bush, reversing camera and um, probably lots more.

That was hard work to type out, i think the actual job may take longer :roll:

Oh and if that wasn't enough we have a baby due in December, so you may say, i am up to my neck in the proverbial :-D

D
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CitroJim
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by CitroJim »

Dean, a fantastic update :D Enjoyed that! The motorhome looks a fantastic project :) Looking forward to future instalments ;)
RichardW
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by RichardW »

Deanxm wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 23:58


I am also now the slightly ashamed owner of a 1989 vintage Coach built Autotrail Chinook on a 2.0 petrol, Talbot express chassis, this thing is a rocket ship, in that it is noisy, shakey, thirsty and it is always in the back of your mind while driving it that what you are doing is insanely dangerous, and it could kill you at any time. It has 80's commercial vehicle performance and it has all the crash protection and passenger safety you would expect from a B&Q garden shed strapped to an 80's chassis cab commercial, because that is what it is, only it is not built as well as the shed, and the chassis cab in question has been questionably cut to bits in order for the conversion to take place and then endured 29 years of weathering, corrosion and owner abuse.

And i love it to bits :rofl2:


:-D Best post on here for a while; made me laugh out loud. In the office!

Good luck with it - you can have a meet up with Zel!

Good luck with the 'other' new arrival as well!
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

Thank you gentlemen, if it's welcome content I will be sure to keep you abreast of the trials and tribulations that will no doubt surround this Talbot express project, she does have a name bestowed upon it now too, my auntie has labelled it the 'WWW' (wibbely wobbly wonder) and I kind of see where she is coming from, it's lack of serviceable shock absorbers and any form of anti roll bar does make for a fairly unique handling package.

D
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Zelandeth
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Zelandeth »

Yay!

Another AutoTrail owner! Looks like you've got the rarest colour too. Maroon and cream is the standard palette, blue and green being later additions to the range.
IMG_20181119_231959.jpg
Sounds like rust in the firewall etc is just a 70s/80s commercial vehicle thing, as mine has some rot in many of the same areas.

I've never really spent any time around the Talbot Express vans, how does this one handle the open road?

While being an old school diesel mine takes its sweet time moving off from a standing start, she'll quite happily bumble along at 60-65mph all day long.

Reckon it would be really interesting to compare the way these two drive next to each other one day.

Edit: Do you have a copy of the AutoTrail owner's handbook? If not let me know and I can scan you a copy of mine.
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

Ha Ha! i had a Merc 308 as a works van years ago, nice bit of kit in a shonky old van kind of way, i think they look nice too.
The talbot is very quick* off the line and pulls hard in 1st, 2nd and 3rd up to 45mph but then the world seems to slow down, indicated 62mph is the most i have had out of it on a strraight long road with a slight downhill run but that was pushing hard, foot to the floor, any kind of hill results in much reduced progress and currently i would think a hill climb on the motorway, say like the you find on the M3 coming up to the winall interchange would result in a top speed of 40mph, not sure if this is right or not. I rebuilt the carb and it starts and idles great now and did pull much better but then i am still having problems again.
Fitted a new stat as she was overheating, old one would only open 5mm then give up but now she overcools on a run, if the engine temp is at 85-90c she pulls well but as soon as you get moving it cools to 60c, the heater goes stone cold and it developes a big dead spot in the throttle at about 1/4 travel, if i stop the temp comes back up to just under 90c and the engine feels perky and the dead spot vanishes so i think i have a duff stat again and may need to revisit the carb setup perhaps.

On the open road, despite all the piddle taking she is OK, tracks straight, feels pretty comfy, the engine is fairly quiet, she does not have power steering but you only notice when trying to park, the steering is light enough you can palm the wheel but it is a very low ratio to achieve that lightness, feels like 20 turns lock to lock when trying to park but would imagine its actualy 9 or something.

The main thing is the Gearbox, the selector is so bad i think describing it as vague would not be doing it justice, gears are selected by thrusting the lever swiftly but gently in the correct direction to use the momentum of the mechanism to find the required gear, you can feel no gate as such but then the whole linkage set is worn horrifically and required re bushing.

if i remember correctly the Merc had 1st on a dogleg (racing gearbox?) but was a very low ratio which made getting off the line a bit of a scramble.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Zelandeth »

The Merc is noisy by modern standards. You can't ignore the fact that the cylinder head is immediately to the left of your left knee, and the gearboxes whistle in fifth.

You remember correctly...
IMG_20181120_144810.jpg
Lovely change in this in that sort of precision engineered in as far as commercial vehicles could be at the time way. First is as you say quite low geared, as is second. So you're generally in third by the time you're half way around a roundabout.

Probably the biggest surprise for me in this is the fact she rides as well as she does, much more like an old coach than a van. Steering here is very pleasantly weighted when driving, but is rather weighty (less so than the Lada!) when parking. It's not problematic, but you do learn to feed the wheel through your hands when parking quite quickly.

The cab is quite a different place and is one of the few places where the origins of the Merc T1 being back in the early 70s shows compared to the relatively modern design of the Talbot...
IMG_20180722_194550.jpg
We seem to have a similarly afflicted thermostat however...this is the highest I ever see on mine currently.
IMG_20180908_174431.jpg
I do have a new stat on hand though, just need to get around to fitting it.
Last edited by Zelandeth on 20 Nov 2018, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM blog

Post by Deanxm »

The needle on the temp gauge should sit just above the first white line if my memory is correct, i used to love the odments tray on top of the engine cover............in fact, i still have a temperature guage out of that Merc somewhere, i know i saw it recently, the cab of the merc is rather well put together, the Talbot..............Meh.

D
Deanxm
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM/V6 and now Talbot blog

Post by Deanxm »

Thought i would have a go here at challenging some of you with my Talbot express related problems, i think they are fueling issues but obviously, I've not fixed it so could be wrong, and i am not that good with carbs as i have not really had any contact with them..........too young :rofl2:

I did join the talbot express owners club but..........yeah.

I have fitted new plugs and leads, air filter and rebuilt the carb which is a rather simple bit of kit (Solex 34 PBISA 16) and the problem still exists which is as follows-

Starts easily cold with full choke but within 5 seconds at most will start missing so the choke has to be pushed in and feathered, off enough to stop the missing but on enough to keep the revs up so it won't die, the engine runs ok once it's warmed up to 60°C ish but hesitates at low revs as you try to accelerate and really lacks any power, i cant maintain a speed above 40mph without thrashing through the gearbox which causes the engine temp to rise a lot which causes the fans to cut in.
If i stop and let the engine idle so the temp comes up to 90° and try again the hesitation and lack of power at low revs goes but its still got very little go and i cannot get above 50mph and cannot maintain that speed even on the flat.
When starting the engine warm it needs throttle to catch, i will start straight away with a bit of throttle but idle very low untill it really gets warm again and is often easier to give it a little choke.

I am going to pull my new plugs tomorrow to see what state they are in and see what kind of flow the mechanical fuel pump is delivering but does this issue sound familiar to anyone? does anyone else think the symptoms sound like a lean condition?

D
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bobins
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Re: Dean's Activa/XM/V6 and now Talbot blog

Post by bobins »

Time to invest in a good old Gunson's Colourtune ? :wink: