Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, BX, 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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daviemck2006
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by daviemck2006 »

You were maybe better nearer Aberdeen Zel, but every garage in Banff or Macduff when you go ask for work to be done say cant do a thing for 5 to 6 weeks. Thats with the "normal" cars. Ask them about anything remotely different, aka when I was trying to get quotes for the activa clutch, and they svratch their crotch, give a funny look and say I couldnt possibly price that, ill just charge by the hour. How many hours? Could be anything from 10 to 50. How much per hour? £50. Its ridiculous here since my trusted garage closed 3 years ago.

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

Post by mickeymoon »

daviemck2006 wrote:... and they scratch their crotch, give a funny look...
That's just a Scottish thing innit?


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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 »

Thing with most garages now is that have no skills worth speaking of... If they can't fix it by plugging in a diagnostic machine then generally they're stumped...

The industry is seriously dumbed-down now :(

And when faced with something a bit left-field like Lada wings they fail completely.

Zel, has Steve at the Two Wrestlers got a recommendation?

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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 »

CitroJim wrote: Zel, has Steve at the Two Wrestlers got a recommendation?


Dropping past and asking that question is probably next on my to do list, keeping my fingers crossed they suggest someone other than those I've already tried.

To be honest, if it comes down to it I can probably fit the new wings (I'd still rather not!), but there's no getting around the fact that even then the paintwork still needs done. I don't mind doing things like sills with a rattle can as they're not too visible...But the wings would be a bit of a stretch!

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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 »

Zelandeth wrote:To be honest, if it comes down to it I can probably fit the new wings (I'd still rather not!), but there's no getting around the fact that even then the paintwork still needs done. I don't mind doing things like sills with a rattle can as they're not too visible...But the wings would be a bit of a stretch!


You may have more success in finding someone to do a good job of painting them Zel so maybe your thoughts about doing the welding and initial fitting will be the way forward...

If you do that I reckon a proper tool to drill out all those spot-welds would be a good investment...

Also perhaps a pukka spot-welder. Wonder if one such can be hired?

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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 »

Good question...

To be honest, drilling out the couple of million welds holding the existing wings on is more off-putting than welding the new ones on!

If you can hire a proper spot welder though that could be a real time saver...Some investigation required methinks...

First welding task though is "sort exhaust" I think as it's bugging me. Also is good practice.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Practice will make perfect Zel... Oddly, it never has for me. I can't weld and remain rubbish at it... I can arc-weld heavy stuff but I just can't master MIG at all..

Odder is that I can braze with the best of them and solder (eyes permitting) anything... I've been soldering since I was ten!!!

I can gas weld reasonably and I'd love to try TIG. I may be OK at that.

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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 »

MIG welding is something I'm still very much learning - though seem to have progressed massively simply by having given my welder a thorough service...So equipment definitely makes a big difference. The auto dimming masks with adjustable opacity available these days are a massive help too.

Brazing is something I used to be able to do well, though am probably well rusty by now as it's been years since I last did any.

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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 »

The ability to braze around hydraulic Citroens is very valuable Zel... I've successfully repaired and remade a few duff hydraulic pipes by brazing them...

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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 »

Just had a pretty satisfying bit of welding practice here...Wondered why my later welds were less smooth than the first - and realised that at some point I ran out of gas. That'd do it!

Edit:

Exhaust from the cat back removed from the Lada and examined. As suspected, the expansion box (front box - albeit only just in front of the rear axle) had dissolved its end plates. New enough it's still got the label on, from 2009 - but a Walker exhaust section so not surprising...Never found them to last well.

My solution for now - and as much because I wanted to prove I could as anything else - was to chop the offending box out and weld in a bit of pipe from the Saab's old front section that I'd kept around for just such occasions.

Need to get some Firegum to reassemble it properly and to replace one of the clamps but it's mostly back together now. My welds (amazingly) appear to be gas tight, and there's zero apparent difference in noise levels, though it's maybe got a bit more of a burble on tickover now, hard to say really.

I'd obviously like to stick a stainless system on there, so that will happen at some point. Experience has shown that the system is a bit too restrictive for the engine (it was never altered other than wedging the cat in and its Lambda sensor when the cat was added). So I'll probably look to have it made a little larger (think the front section to the cat is 1 3/4" dropping about 1/2" after it), so most likely will keep that diameter all the way back.

I'll have to speak to whoever makes the system to see what they can do regarding noise...I know from my experiments with my Niva that these engines are capable of producing a satisfyingly old school noise (think Alfas or Lancias from the 60s or 70s) with the right combination of bits...So it probably won't end up sounding totally stock. It won't however be boomy like a Corsa with a drainpipe for a tailpipe! Subtle at idle and at low revs, It'll just howl nicely from about 3500 upwards when the engine is worked hard, and allow the occasional pop and crackle to be heard on the overrun. The sort of noises you expect from a car that looks like it came from the 60s!

I've got a really rubbish sound recording of the cobbled together system on my Niva somewhere, will have to see if I can find it and link to it.

Yes, I know...I should act my age and messing around with things like that is somewhat silly. It's my car though, and if I'm going to the expense of getting a stainless system on there, I may as well make it sound how I want...Boys and their toys and all that. Unlike the Corsa brigade though, there's no intent here to make it sound bigger than it is, just to make it sound distinctive.

Let's face it, distinctive is something it's good at!

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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 »

You must be getting very good if you can still do reasonable and passable welds after running out of gas Zel!
Zelandeth wrote:Yes, I know...I should act my age and messing around with things like that is somewhat silly. It's my car though, and if I'm going to the expense of getting a stainless system on there, I may as well make it sound how I want...Boys and their toys and all that. Unlike the Corsa brigade though, there's no intent here to make it sound bigger than it is, just to make it sound distinctive.

Let's face it, distinctive is something it's good at!


Good! Distinctive is good in my book ;) I'm all for it and as for acting you age.. Not bloody likely... I act like I'm still in my teens for the most part and long may it continue :)

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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 »

Okay, so apparently I didn't quite get things lined up as nicely with my welded patch on the exhaust as I'd hoped, can't quite get the front slip joint to go together without the system fouling on the diff casing, so onto plan 2.0.

Remove again, chop out the added bit again, then reattach it to the existing system, and tack the ends on in situ, take it off (seriously, it takes about a minute), and finish welding the seam around the joints. That way I know it will fit perfectly.

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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 »

Zelandeth wrote: Remove again, chop out the added bit again, then reattach it to the existing system, and tack the ends on in situ, take it off (seriously, it takes about a minute), and finish welding the seam around the joints. That way I know it will fit perfectly.


Reminds me of how they used to do exhausts in Cyprus in the 80s... No ready-made systems then..

All exhaust places had stocks of assorted silencer boxes, assorted pipe, a bender and a welder and every system was custom-made whilst you waited :-D

Mostly they were bloody good too..

Some difference to how it is today, sadly...

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

Post by demag »

Zel if I were closer I would pop down and fit your wings and do the spraying as well. Unfortunately I am in the middle of a Citroen (and Lada) desert and seem to be at least 80 miles from anywhere.

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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 »

Think I figured out what I did wrong first time.

I'd drawn a line along the existing pipe to make sure everything lined up. What that didn't take into account though was that there was a degree of wiggle room with the new bit of pipe allowing it to bend a little in *all* directions. Given that I'm using a larger diameter "patch" here, lining it up on the car really was the only way to be sure it was right.

... Especially as the original pipe wasn't that great a fit to start with and was touching the handbrake cable.

Well, every day is a school day!

Dave, whereabouts are you based? To be honest I'm not at all adverse the travelling a fair distance to get the work done.

Edit: Version 2.0 is complete and on the car. Also well proud of the fact that this early on I've managed to get not one but two gas tight welds. Has highlighted that there is a tiny blow from the front slip joint going onto the cat...Will see how long it takes my OCD to have me pull that off and reassemble it with some assembly paste so it seals properly.

Other bonus is that the tailpipe actually sits straight now. ...Still the wrong one for the Estate, but nobody other than someone with my knowledge of the marque would spot that!