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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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

What disc set did you get in the end Zel? Hydraulic or cable? Hope it wasn't a TRP Spyre... I had those on one of my bikes and they were a great disappointment...

I'm not a fan of bike disc brakes at all...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by furriegurrie »

I've foto hydraulic ones on my mtb. Great for stopping, but they often make noise because of sand and mud getting between the discs and the pads. Very annoying!!!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Hydraulic ones may be better but the TRP Spyres I had were cable operated and were all noise and no stop!!!

And they used to bind a little...

The Ultegra and Dura-Ace rim brakes on my road bikes are far superior in every way...

Discs on my mtb are just about acceptable although embarrassingly noisy!!!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Made by Avid I believe.

Cable operated in this case, not saying I won't necessarily upgrade in the future to hydraulic, but I'd rather prove the concept before throwing serious money at it.

Not got a huge choice really other than discs here given that the rims are plastic, so rim brakes are a non starter. ...Despite that being on there as standard. I took that apart a while ago and have never put it together again - it used to work so well that I haven't missed it!

The drum on the back is also about as much use as a chocolate teapot, so having anything resembling even a reasonable brake will be a bonus!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Does that brake push both pads toward the disc when operated Zel or is it like those on my MTB and a sort of floating calliper where the cable operates a cam against only one pad? If the operating lever is in the form of a hoop or wishbone going to each side of the calliper then it's the former and if one-sided the latter...

Following this with great interest...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by elma »

If it's the Avids I had then both pads are pushed seperately. I do believe Avid do both types though.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by mickeymoon »

CitroJim wrote: Discs on my mtb are just about acceptable although embarrassingly noisy!!!
Have you given them a good clean Jim? They used to be pretty silent! Mine get noisy when they get dust and crud in them, which at the moment seems to be every time I go out, as you've probably seen from the pics in the other internet place!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

They are better in the dry Mickey, they only make a heck of a racket and behave as if they are made of PTFE in the wet...

Yesterday they were pretty much silent and worked OK :)

I've now put some sealant (the same stuff as in my roadie tubeless tyres) in my mtb tubes so it should guard again punctures as I don't carry spars on that bike...

Recommend some of that stuff in your C5 tyres too Zel... Punctures are a pain and given the state of the MK Redways these days they are a good possibility just when you don't want one...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Okay, actually able to sit down in front of a computer with an actual keyboard for more than 30 seconds...let's do a little Tuesday morning update. Quite a few photos attached, but I've generally found that they seem to be of interest so I'll keep using them unless asked otherwise.

The brake caliper that will be getting used on the C5 is a pretty standard unit in terms of how it works by the looks of it. The one side is actively moved by the cable operated cam, while the opposite side of the caliper is essentially floating.
IMG_20170324_172746.jpg
This is temporarily on hold while I wait for a part to arrive. I found a supposed "adaptor" bracket on Amazon for the extortionate sum of three quid. I don't expect it to be a direct bolt on solution - but what I do intend to do is cannibalise it for the bit of plate with the mounting holes in for the caliper as with the tools I have on hand that would be the most difficult bit to get right.

In other news on the C5, it has now had a proper dog attachment point added.
IMG_20170324_145810.jpg
While this looks somewhat wacky, the bar itself attaches to a quick release joint (not unlike the sort of latching connector used in industrial air line connectors) so it can be removed literally in a second or so. It's got a shock-absorber built into it to make it more comfortable for the dog, and keeps him at a safe distance so he doesn't get his feet run over. Also means that he's pulling straight forward when running rather than at an angle as when the lead used to attach to me. He certainly seems to enjoy it more, so it seems to be more comfortable. It's actually attached to a metal bar behind the bodywork there, but I've also attached a pretty large spreader plate behind the panel.

So here's the chunk that got taken out of my windscreen in the Lada the other day.
IMG_20170323_174800.jpg
Nothing much can be done to repair that. On the plus side, the screen had started to delaminate slightly at the nearside corner anyway, so it's an opportunity to resolve that issue anyhow I guess.

The *really* annoying part though is that it means that I have to lose a factory sticker from the windscreen.
IMG_20170326_133521.jpg
It's *very* firmly glued in place (hence the scars probably from someone trying to remove it in the past), so isn't going to be transferred in one piece. Anyone know of anyone offering a service to reproduce things like this?

Getting hold of the oil transfer pump from Lidl a couple of days back though kicked me into gear in terms of topping up the oil in the steering box - a task which I had been putting off from the memory of how frustratingly hard to get at it is, and memory of bodges involving funnels and fuel line to try to convince the oil to go into the box. The little green arrow in the image below is pointing at the fill plug...
IMG_20170326_154038.jpg
It's not actually that hard to get your *hand* onto the steering box (remove the warm air intake and its duct work and you can reach in from the front easy enough) but getting a bottle of EP90 in there is a non starter. The little oil pump changed this from an hour long swearing session into a ten minute job I don't mind too much any more. Even though I did inevitably manage to spill some oil - which dripped straight onto the exhaust downpipe (directly underneath the steering box...) so I'll be dealing with that smell for a while!

While I was on the subject of oils, I thought I'd best check the gearbox oil. That turned out to be slightly harder than I had hoped on account of there being about an inch of clearance between the level plug and the side of the transmission tunnel...about 1/2" less than I needed to get any of the hex bits onto the plug. I've since bought some which are a bit smaller, and hopefully will have more luck when I try again. It's seriously the XUD Xantia belt access problem...if the hardware was a tiiiiiny amount further to the right, it would be dead easy...

I did spot a couple of issues while I was down there though. Firstly is that the flexible coupling between the gearbox output shaft and the prop shaft has seen better days and is starting to perish, so will get a new one ordered in (about £10).
IMG_20170326_161037.jpg
I was also concerned by what appeared to be a crack in the attachment point to the prop shaft to the left of the coupling, but I had a good poke around there with and it looks to be a manufacturing defect in the surface rather than a crack as such - in that it doesn't go right through the metal. I will keep an eye on it though, and it it shows any interest whatsoever in growing will replace the shaft as a precaution.

Speaking of the drivetrain and rear suspension...it never fails to amuse me how disproportionately large some of those parts are compared to on many cars these days. I guess that's what happens when you design things for Russian roads!
IMG_20170326_161104.jpg
IMG_20170326_161118.jpg
Yes, I see the rear axle weeping oil - that's how you know there's oil in it. So long as it isn't actively dripping or the level dropping between services you're fine.

The gearbox itself is also weeping oil from somewhere, resulting in more or less the entire rear third of the box being wet - no drips though, and both of the previous Ladas I've had with this gearbox have done the same - and no, I never had any luck in tracking down where the oil was actually coming from. My money is on where the selector assembly actually attaches to the top of the box based on where it seems to come from.

While I was crawling around down there I grabbed the multimeter and confirmed that the reversing light switch is indeed dead, so will get another one of those ordered in. Hopefully that will restore my currently non functional reversing lights.
IMG_20170326_161045.jpg
There has been some big progress on the EFi project - or at least what feels like a bit step forward to me anyway!

The couple of things which needed a decent tidy up before they were ready for refitting to the car have now been given a good scrub up and have been repainted. Most visibly was the air cleaner housing, which was almost entirely covered in surface rust before. Nothing that would affect anything functionally - but being right on top of the engine it's really visible so I'd like it to be tidy. The original paint used on that is a fairly dark greenish grey, and I couldn't find anything really close to that locally. What I did find however was "camouflage" grey, which while slightly lighter than the original paint will be close enough, and at least should look at home in the engine bay.
IMG_20170327_172213.jpg
I really didn't want to wind up making it too shiny or anything, as it would stick out like a sore thumb then...this however I reckon looks like it could have been a stock fitment. If I do come across any paint that's the exact right colour I'll give it another going over, but this will do for now.

The bracket that holds the MAP sensor in was also quite rusty so it got the same treatment.
IMG_20170327_171306.jpg
I was considering doing the same for the plate that the coil packs attach to, but decided against it as it's essentially invisible due to its location - and is about 1/4" thick plate so some surface corrosion isn't going to hurt anything!

The top coolant elbow (the new one which contains a tapping for the coolant temp sensor) was basically a solid block of crystallised antifreeze when I got it...
IMG_20170327_160137.jpg
After 20 minutes chiselling it off with a screwdriver, half an hour soaking in vinegar and some more cleaning it emerged in a usable condition. There is some surface pitting, but nothing that I reckon will actually cause issues sealing. I will ask along with the next order of parts if they're available new and if so will probably swap it out for long term peace of mind, but otherwise I'm not going to worry about it.

So that's where the Lada is just now. Having got pretty much everything actually cleaned up (just the coil pack and charcoal canister left) and painted the stuff that needed it feels like quite a big step as that's the prep work basically done.

Just as if I needed to add anything to my to do list though, I noticed while we were outside with the barbeque going for the first time of the year, that I need to get someone in to remove some weeds...in our roof. Unless I'm really lucky and can get at where this is growing from from inside the skylight...
IMG_20170326_184019.jpg
I'm not convinced that a water mark on the ceiling near to that skylight hasn't grown since we moved in either, so I would actually quite like to get someone up there to check that the flashing etc is in good order anyway.

Finally for this little update, I spent a couple of evenings last week playing around with one of my old computers and finally getting it into a condition where I can do what I actually want to with it. Which basically means writing without all the distractions of modern machines - it's also essentially a complete replica of my first real computer so there's sentimental value there too.

Having just got the networking side of things going though I decided to have a bit of a laugh...

I can confirm that my website does indeed render pretty much correctly (albeit after a wait of about ten minutes) in a web browser from 1996, on a machine from 1992.
IMG_20170324_214108.jpg
Backwards compatibility is important, isn't it?

In fairness, my intention has always been that it should work in pretty much any browser that can handle frames and tables (I was using an Amiga with a pretty outdated version of Voyager as my browser when I first built the thing), which means that it tends to behave predictably in modern browsers too. Plus I've never really seen any reason to change it given the purpose of the site. The only thing I'd like to work out how to do would allow text reflowing on a mobile device when zooming to save you having to scroll all over the place to read anything - thus far though that requires knowledge beyond what I currently possess - maybe in the future though.

If nothing else though, having the machine showing a screenshot of my website will make a good photo to add to the page for that machine when I get around to updating it.

...Yes, last time I updated the vintage tech section over there was very nearly 10 years ago, I am well aware of that!

I think that's quite enough waffle from me for now...so I'll get on with my day now and see if after the mundane to do list is complete if I get time to do anything actually interesting.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I wonder if a hair dryer, carefully used, will allow that sticker to be detached in one piece?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Zel, what an incredibly interesting post.. Enjoyed every word of it... Most excellent :)

Looking forward to the next instalment now so don't keep us waiting too long!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Had an hour to fiddle around with it this afternoon. Basically "preparedness testing" for doing the real thing. What this basically means is making sure that I can get at everything I need to get at, and that I can get everything I need to unbolt unbolted, rather than discovering that the answer is "no" when I've already taken half the car apart.

[] Carb unbolted from inlet manifold (left it still piped up save for three vacuum lines), check.
[] Stupid, infuriatingly fiddly, over-complicated linkage, ball & socket throttle assembly cursed and eventually one of the balls popped off to detach the throttle linkage.
[] Carb stuck to the heat shield as per usual, sworn at for fifteen minutes, then finally removed using a combination of determination and a large screwdriver being used in a manner other than intended.
[] Noted that the EGR feed loops around into the back of the inlet manifold, so that's something I will need to consider as that's not used on the injected version. Hoping there's enough flexibility in the line that I can just leave it in place as it is but unused rather than having to look at removing the whole assembly.
[] Located and cracked off all appropriate manifold retaining nuts. All surprisingly not biblically tight which makes a nice change, being used to working on the Saab where you tend to need an 8 foot breaker bar to get the screw holding the indicator lens off.
[] Checked all the nuts/bolts holding the timing chain cover in place that I could get at, and they're all movable (the rocker cover oil leak has helped here). Actually found one that was really loose...because the nut was stripped. Happened to find a random M5 nut literally rolling around on the garage floor which was the right size - so that's nipped up to a sensible tightness now.
[] The one tool I do need to pick up is a huge socket to suit the crankshaft pulley bolt, which is something ridiculous like 38mm.

Have had a crawl around under the car and confirmed that the fuel lines (flow, return and vent) are indeed metal save for tails at the tank and engine end. Should make piping things up a lot simpler as it should save me having to route injection rated hose the whole length of the car. Also noted that the new fuel pump is almost exactly the same diameter as the ignition coil...so I reckon I've found my fuel pump bracket. Waste not, want not and all that...

Having had a look at thing I reckon that I'll probably pull the radiator out when I do the conversion. It will make getting at the crankshaft pulley and timing chain cover a massive amount easier, plus it gives me a good chance to give the radiator itself and the fan shroud a coat of paint which they could both do with. Tempting though it would be to just polish the (brass) end tanks on the radiator it would look rather out of place...

Speaking of paint, really need to give the rocker cover a clean up and paint too, that being flaky is really bugging me.

Also on the subject of paint, here's the comparison between the original paint on the Riva's air cleaner (which is in surprisingly good condition compared to most), while the new paint isn't an exact match, I don't reckon it will stick out too much once in the engine bay.
paintcomparison.jpg
So tomorrow's task will probably be to look at tracking down a socket for the crankshaft pulley...If I can get that cracked off, maybe will get that and the timing chain cover changed...especially as that won't affect the actual running of the car. Just be nice to actually get the first thing actually attached to the car.

One thing I did forget to crack off was the lambda sensor, will go and find out how impossible to shift that is tomorrow - though I do at least have a proper wrench to undo it...fingers crossed.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Not much to report today.

Bought a 38mm socket, so should be all set to get the crankshaft pulley bolt off.

Continued attempting (and failing) to get the gearbox oil level plug out. It's (I believe) a 14mm hex socket, not that unusual. I've got several sump plug removal keys which should fit. The *problem* is that there is all of about an inch of clearance between the side of the gearbox casing and the inside of the transmission tunnel...and each and every one of the tools I have for the job are about half an inch longer than I have space to play with.

The Lada actually included a tool for this job in the factory tool kit (it looked like a really stubby Allen key)...unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to get said toolkit from the previous owner, and I dutifully gathered up all of the components of the one from my previous Riva and passed them on when I sold it.

Thinking about it, really should keep my eyes open for one of those on eBay etc as it honestly does contain virtually every tool that you're likely to need to completely dismantle and reassemble the car. Plus a pump for the tyres and an inspection lamp...and a couple of tools that I never actually managed to identify the intended function of.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Hell Razor5543 »


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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Yep, that's the one. Tempted by that actually...Bit pricey but it's not often you see one that doesn't have at least some bits missing.