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 (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

I believe there's another kind of gentle blasting that uses crushed nutshells. Not sure which though...

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Yep, crushed walnut shell is quite a common soft blasting material if I remember right.

Got a brief video of the stripping process with the washer yesterday which I might throw at Youtube tomorrow, is only a few seconds but shows how effective it was.

You going to be about tomorrow, Jim? Wouldn't mind borrowing a pair of ears and ten mins to try to track this noisy belt/pully down and I keep not getting to it. Tried to take the belt off last week, but couldn't get the tensioner to co operate and it then started raining so it got put off.

The horrid rattling noise though has pretty definitely been traced to the a/c compresser clutch. Simply because as soon as it pulls in, the noise stops. Not sure if much can be done about that save for changing it...and whether that can be done without removing the compressor (which is working perfectly otherwise).

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by citronut »

CitroJim wrote:I believe there's another kind of gentle blasting that uses crushed nutshells. Not sure which though...
just plain water at a very high velocity these days as well i believe Jim

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Stickyfinger
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Stickyfinger »

Just do not do it on a Aluminum panel ......not a good effect

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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: You going to be about tomorrow, Jim? Wouldn't mind borrowing a pair of ears and ten mins to try to track this noisy belt/pully down and I keep not getting to it. Tried to take the belt off last week, but couldn't get the tensioner to co operate and it then started raining so it got put off.
Yes, I most certainly am Zel,

Mid to late afternoon will be perfect. Got a full morning already.

be very good to see you!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by citronut »

CitroJim wrote:I believe there's another kind of gentle blasting that uses crushed nutshells. Not sure which though...
i would think soda is way more gentle than using nuts ( the shells at least )

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

As suggested, I am still finding bits of clearcoat. This is what the driveway looked like immediately following it getting blasted off the roof...

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Every seam, seal and protrusion on the car seems to have managed to accumulate a small stock of flakes.

...Not limited to, but including the name badge...

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This is what the roof looked like after the stripping. The darker areas are where it's been touched up by brush in the past.

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I had to call it quits after only the first coat because I ran out of paint (well...clearcoat), so the finish isn't great yet. It's covering well though and the brushed areas have basically disappeared. Once there are another couple of coats on there it should look okay I reckon. Not really aiming for perfection here given the circumstances, I'll take "reasonably presentable" quite happily. I don't have any issues with the car showing a few battle scars for its mileage, provided that it's evident that some efforts have been made to tend to said battle scars.

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Yesterday I finally had a few spare minutes again so gave the Saab a run for a while and attacked it with the pressure washer to remove some of the green grime that the tree had deposited on it over the last few months. Planning to get it booked in over the next couple of weeks for an MOT so that I can get a proper list of what needs done to get it a ticket for another year. I've done everything that I *know* it needs, but it's always an interesting experience taking cars of this age in for the test, especially these days. Just crossing my fingers that the rust moths haven't been too busy since last year.

Really looking forward to getting this back out of the corner of the garden and onto the road again.

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Haven't managed to get to any shows yet this year, need to correct that I think!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by bxzx16v »

Nice work on the xantia, loving the classic 900 8-).

Mark

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Thanks for that. She's getting there bit by bit.

This evening my 107 has ended up with the dreaded red "Do not drive" steering wheel cover fitted (which looks a bit comical given that it's sized for bus steering wheels...).

Was asked to take a look at it because there was a vibration being felt. Given that I know that one of the front wheels was rebalanced recently following a knock I was expecting a wheel out of balance because a weight had flown off (seems to happen much more commonly with the zinc weights being used these days than the old lead ones). It's *not* a wheel out of balance. I was told it only really became noticeable above 50mph. I got up to 40mph - then immediately aborted the journey at the first available opportunity and returned home at about 20mph.

There is a very odd feeling going on, it almost feels as though you're completely at random running over cat's eyes in the road surface. You can feel it though the steering and hear it. It only starts once you get up to about 40, and continues then until you come to rest - it then goes away until you get back up to 40 odd mph again. Doesn't appear to be affected by accelerating, braking or turning. I'm stumped as to what's causing it.

I've jacked up both front wheels and they both rotate reasonably freely (offside brake is dragging very slightly) and smoothly. There's no play that I can detect in anything, nor anything getting obviously warm. Given that the symptom only appears to turn up once you get up to speed though, and vanishes when you stop...finding the cause is less easy! Yes, I have checked that the wheels are seated properly and that the wheelnuts are tightened up properly. A loose wheel was my first theory as to what was going on, as that's what it felt like.

I'm baffled to be honest...

My only other theory (bearing in mind that the offside front wheel bearing was changed only a few weeks ago) was that the hub nu had not been secured properly and had come loose, but it seems to be secure - and there's no play that I can detect.

Anyhow, it's booked into the garage on Friday morning and they can hopefully tell me what on earth is going on. It's not going anywhere in the interim though! Crossing my fingers it's actually something simple...

----

In other news...not car related, but it has an engine so still holds my interest, I have resurrected a lawn mower from the grave. ...Which I count as a very good thing, as our current electric one is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. A cut best measured in thousandths of an inch, and such a puny motor that it virtually stalls if you present it with anything resembling normal lawn grass.

Was out walking the dog a couple of days ago, and noted a reasonably sized petrol mower bundled in with the bags of trash at the side of the road (evening before rubbish pickup). So once I'd deposited the dog back at home, I wandered back and knocked on their door and asked if they minded me taking it away. They didn't mind at all, and after about half an hour talking about the Skoda which I'd arrived in, I escaped with my prize. Think they thought I was a bit mad...but then again, they probably decided that before I even opened my mouth, turning up on their driveway in a bright orange 28 year old Skoda...


Didn't have time to do anything with it then, but the following day I did a bit of investigation in the evening. It was completely locked up - and I was pretty sure I knew why. The fact that there was oil peeing out the exhaust and intake gave it away a bit. It's a traditional sidevalve Briggs & Stratton engine - and I'm willing to bet that they had stored it upright, with the engine standing on its cylinder head. Over time, the oil has seeped past the rings and filled the cylinder.

Sure enough, removing the plug released a significant torrent of engine oil (there wasn't a drop in the sump). Sticking a fresh supply of oil in the sump, I then set about shifting as much as I could from the cylinder by spinning the engine over with the plug removed. You'll be surprised to find that this made the most horrendous mess, managing to spray an oil mist a good 20 feet or so away from the engine.

I didn't have a spare spark plug to hand, so set about cleaning the one I had using a bit of brute force and a blowtorch. This was also part of my starting plan as I was pretty sure that there would still be enough oil in there to just foul the plug up normally. So my plan was to get it as close to red hot as I could, shove it back in while still as hot as possible, give the engine a scoosh of easy start in the air intake and give it a good pull. Worked a treat, producing several coughs and such a dense cloud of smoke that I immediately relocated to another work area. An issue I hadn't forseen as well was the jet of oil that was forcibly ejected from the exhaust - which has now left an oily circle on the back wall of our house. That'll be fun to clean up!

Okay, I'd established that it would fire and run, and that there weren't any obvious sounds of mechanical torture. Time to see if I could get it to run for more than a second. The reason I reckon it got stuffed in a corner originally was that the fuel primer bulb had a hole in (this is under vacuum when the engine is running), so it wouldn't be getting any fuel. I temporarily bodged this with a bit of duct tape and a rubber band just to see if it would work. It did. After a few pulls it coughed into life again - and pretty much the entirety of Central Milton Keynes vanished in a dense blue fog...I'm not kidding, even as someone who on occasion works on old commercial diesel engines (including cold Gardners!), it was quite an epic cloud of smoke. Mercifully, after a few minutes as the crud in the cylinder and exhaust burned off, the smoke levels decreased dramatically. The engine then stopped, as the couple of cups worth of fuel in the tank ran out. Play stopped there for that evening as it was time for dinner...but I'd established that it was a goer.

Following morning I picked up a new fuel primer from my local Briggs stockist (£3.12), fitted it which took a grand total of about 30 seconds, and took the fuel tank off for a clean, as it seemed to contain more water than fuel. Gave me a chance to check the pickup strainer as well, which was spotless. Also refitted the air cleaner which had been cleaned overnight. After this was done and with a fresh tank of fuel, it started not only first pull, but first engine revolution and then proceeded to run as well (if not better) than the day it left the factory. After ten minutes or so, the last residual smoke cleared, leaving it running perfectly cleanly. Did reveal a couple of loose bolts though, not least the one for the guard around the silencer which was bouncing around like a caffinated meerkat. Easily sorted though. Quick test around the back garden proved that the self propulsion system even works perfectly, and that in my ten minute test, I managed to cut the whole lawn...usually took me an hour plus with the old mower!

So...to do list. Replace the partly broken pull cord handle (though to be fair, it starts so easily it's not an issue for anything other than my own OCD). Free off the one front wheel which sticks a bit. Give it a decent clean now I know it works. Give the metalwork a quick splash of paint just to tidy it up. Will see if I can track down a grass collection box as well as that's currently missing.

The more I look at the thing, the more I reckon that it's not done any real hours, and has been condemned simply because of the faulty primer bulb...which I think failed purely because it had been left outside with stale fuel in (the rubber has taken on the consistency of toffee). Engine itself sounds absolutely sweet, and I don't think has misfired once the whole time I had it running today despite being sopping wet when first started up.

Total costs so far:

Fuel primer bulb: £3.12.
Bottle of oil: £4.99.
Roughly two hours of time.

Cheapest mower they have of this size in B&Q is £219. I'll take that as a bargain...well happy with it as a kerbside find!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by elma »

Roof looks like a major difference, good job.
Nice Saab, never had one but definitely would.
No idea about the 106, 1st thoughts driveshaft, hub or strut top. Guessing blindly though.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Well, the 107 is back from the garage having had an initial check. The general theory at this point is that it could be one of two things - both of my theories, which makes me feel a bit less useless.

It's either A: A failing CV joint, or B: The recently replaced wheel bearing is breaking up. Most likely the CV joint though (which in this case is apparently an integral part of the driveshaft).

It's going back in on Wednesday to have the hub stripped down to investigate further.

Highlight of the day I think for me was while on the way back into town in the Skoda (with my other half trailing in the 107) was spotting a Morgan Plus 8 coming the opposite direction, and getting a very enthusiastic wave from the driver. That makes it feel that the Skoda is maybe getting better accepted now as a proper classic car...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Stickyfinger »

and getting a very enthusiastic wave from the driver.
.............he was telling you your bumper fell off !

Once happened to me, it was a rear door on an old Comma van had gone astray :)

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Well everything was still present and correct when I got home.

We did lose the entire rear windscreen out of an old coach halfway up the A90 one evening. Which I somehow managed to dodge. Even more surprising was that the screens survived, albeit with a few scratches!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Stickyfinger »

Seen a guy, arse out of a transit on the M1 having a crap !....funny how the cars changed lanes quick....laughed so much that night

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

I was driving a coach of football supporters up the A90 one night, in quite heavy traffic just happened to look in the mirror as someone pulled the handle to empty the chemical toilet. Big splat of blue toilet fluid and god knows what else hitting the road at 60 mph looked quite spectacular. I felt quite sorry for the following cars! I was not happy when there was a police car waiting for me on the Stonehaven bypass. I was taken into the police car and warned. I thought what the f*** could I do about it? I'm driving the bloody thing looking forwards! It wasn't me that pulled the plug. I suppose I was lucky I wasn't charged with anything. Any football busses I did after that there was a look put on the handle. Only thing was then I had to put my hand on to the floor to pull the bloody thing.