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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mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

I find on a hot hot summer's night, the psychological effect of switching the lights off makes me feel cooler ! This has been the case through my time living in Hong Kong, Greece and Brazil!

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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 »

Today I'd planned to get the alternator off the Lada, but wound up spending an order of magnitude longer on some household cleaning tasks (the joys of OCD and a *really* high room and spiders - nothing like dangling out a 1st floor window wielding a vacuum cleaner hose duct taped to the end of a curtain pole I found in the loft). Maybe tomorrow.

I've come up with some quite inventive possible long term cooling solutions for my case, though have enough sense to avoid actually trying to build most of them. Seeing a proper cutaway diagram of the Apollo era space suits probably wasn't wise for me! Started having ideas of a two circuit fluid cooling system, with a peltier cooler pulling heat from one side, then a large passive radiator (where?), of course before I got as far as coming up with an excuse to make a horrendous mess all over the workbench playing with thermoelectric coolers, commonsense kicked in and I realised that the necessary pumps, plumbing and of course a suitable power supply was going to be a massive pain for a portable application. That was even before I started running the math to figure out how much heat I could actually expect to shed with the sort of radiator surface I had in mind - the answer being "not much" once you take into account the inefficiency of the peltier itself. Fun to play with on the bench, not so much for what I'm after. I will actually find a use for it one day...Have only had it in the junk drawer for a decade.

The really clever phase change material in the vests I'm looking at are pretty much perfect though for what I need. Once "activated" they maintain a temperature of roughly 14C for a couple of hours (they actually come in two types...One that's cooler but lasts a shorter time, and one that lasts longer but doesn't get as cool). Cool enough to be useful, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable or to cause issues with condensation etc, which is obviously a problem with ice packs and the like. They're also thin, flexible and light so aren't a pain to wear as the last thing you need is more weight to haul around. The fact that the packs can be quickly switched out gives a bit more flexibility as well. Fact that they only need 15-20 mins in cold water to "recharge" is a bonus as well as it means you're not dependent on having access to a fridge or freezer. Not cheap though, 170 Euros for the kit itself, and 120 for an extra set of inserts, which I reckon it would be sensible to have. Having seen and tried them in person though, it's one of those cases of "you get what you pay for" and that the best kit is often expensive - especially in niche, relatively small volume applications.

I really do need to go look up how the chemistry works one day as I'm really curious!

I keep forbidding myself from looking that up in the evening as it strikes me as a rabbit hole that once I fall down I'll probably lose hours to.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Figures...

First chance in the week I've had to get at the cars and it immediately starts raining!

*Disappears outside to remove an alternator in the rain*

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

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: First chance in the week I've had to get at the cars and it immediately starts raining!


You're lucky it was only rain. We had big hailstones here!

Lovely and sunny again now... If not still a bit chilly :(

Hope the alternator removal job is going OK Zel [-o<

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Yeah, the hailstones were fun, especially when the wave arrived while I was laying on my back under the car.

So from above to start with, this is what you can see of the alternator. I pulled the battery out just because it takes ten seconds to do and because it was in the way. Had already been disconnected obviously given the planned work.
IMG_20170426_152959.jpg
It *immediately* became apparent that I was going to need to bring into play the "torque amplifier" (a.k.a. old bit of exhaust pipe) to get the adjuster bolt free as it was Really Rather Tight.

Scratched my head for a moment to figure out how I might go about getting that into the equation, and the answer I came up with was to take the radiator out. Now, this is a rather different ball game to doing that in a Xantia...

You need to remove this bolt...
IMG_20170426_153108.jpg
This bolt...
IMG_20170426_153205_1.jpg
Disconnect the hoses, unplug the wires to the fan motor and thermoswitch. Then it just lifts out.

Three more bolts remove the fan shroud from the radiator itself - I wanted this out anyway as it really could do with a rub down and a coat of paint.
IMG_20170426_171533.jpg
Now it wasn't done in *quite* that order, on account of not being able to get the hose clip off the bottom of the radiator initially (you've heard me complain about the old Soviet made hose clips before...), so I actually ended up removing the radiator with the bottom hose and the thermostat still attached, then removing the hose clips where I could actually get at them. Every single one of these was weeping anyway so this was a good excuse to get them off to be replaced with proper worm drive hose clips. This is how many have been destroyed so far...
IMG_20170426_171124.jpg
After about an hour swearing at them and several scraped knuckles I managed to get all the large bore coolant hoses off. Will give the radiator a thorough back flush, rub down and some paint before it goes back together, and give the header tank a good clean too as it's got some 24 year old gunge in the bottom.
IMG_20170426_171112.jpg
For those wondering what that thing that looks like a mutant relation of a V6 XM/Xantia swirl pot is, that believe it or not, is the thermostat.
IMG_20170426_162450.jpg
With the radiator out and the grill removed it wasn't hard to confirm where the bulk of my oil was leaking from - exactly as I thought, the rocker cover.
IMG_20170426_165209.jpg
Nothing particularly heavily ingrained though - quick blast with some carb cleaner and a brush pulled it straight off, so won't be hard to clean up.
IMG_20170426_171202.jpg
I'll probably swap over the crankshaft pulley and timing chain cover with the EFi spec items (assuming I can get the crankshaft pulley off!) before I put things back together. I'll also replace the silicone-like sealant they've gunked the rocker cover on with with the proper cork gasket. May need to attack the edges of the rocker cover with a straight edge and a hammer as well as it looks to have been a bit warped due to having been over-tightened. ...Use the right gasket folks and that isn't needed!

Rather less stuff in the way now.
IMG_20170426_164157.jpg
Managed to get the top nut undone without any problem...then proceeded to get defeated by the 19mm one on the bottom. Not enough room to get a breaker bar on it...so will dig out the 1/4" drive and an appropriate socket tomorrow as that's got a much bigger handle on it, hopefully I'll be able to crack it off with that. I've left is soaking in penetrating oil too.

I don't particularly want to resort to heat for obvious reasons (i.e. that the bolt in question goes straight through the bottom of the alternator casing).

Despite my best efforts I did manage to spill quite a bit of coolant. I can guarantee though that pets are safe as it's definitely the type with a bittering agent in. I discovered that when I dropped the ratchet in the bowl and got a face full. I can still taste it...

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Hmmmm, reminds me, must change the alternator on the Caddy (I was quoted 1 day/£400 to fit the £400 part) while the rad's out - note to self: try to extricate alternator from behind 2nd Caddy, put in 3rd Cherokee, to take down to Devon on Friday.

Only thing is, getting on with the C15's clutch is really the priority.

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

Post by demag »

Is the rad ok Zel? It looks a bit green at the bottom.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Gosh! This alternator job is turning into a bit of a mission Zel :twisted:

A lot of it is very Xantia'esque in it's sheer cussedness!

Hope today sees further success [-o<

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

Post by Zelandeth »

It has turned into a bit of a mission, but not drastically. More of it has been "well this needs doing anyway, and it'll make my life easier if I take this out...So may as well do it."

Also, seemed daft not to fix the leak(s) which have most likely caused my issues while I was in there.

Pretty sure the radiator is okay and the green is just surface crud, mostly thanks to the top hose having been weeping for goodness knows how long and that getting collected behind the fan shroud. I will check it over though before refitting though just in case.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Nothing done on the car today as I've been feeling distinctly under the weather. Reckon I've just got over-tired given that I've not managed to grab more than an hour or so of sleep any night in the last couple of weeks.

Instead for the sake of my sanity I decided to start unearthing my workstation and the annexe surrounding it. The room itself is a lost cause for a while (...Will probably just chuck everything back in the loft again!) but the Annexe and workstation are what I actually use...So I want them back. My room is probably the least heavily used area in the house, so has a tendency to get filled with junk whenever we have guests staying etc - just seems to take a lot longer to get cleared again!

Also stuck wheels back on my old old old PC as I was getting fed up of the thing being such an epic pain in the tail to move. Being a (packed!) full AT tower case it's a bit heavy. Now it's a doddle to move again, just like it was about 10 years ago. Given I'm playing musical network cables in there at the moment (really need to install a switch and a bunch of faceplates with double Cat5 sockets...) I'm already appreciating that improvement.

Kind of dipped in and out of working in there, but have cleared the desk and the floor at least. May well throw a couple more shelves up in there before I call it done tomorrow as that should help keep the chaos at bay a bit better.

Hopefully will get back to the car tomorrow too as I really want that back on the road this week.

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

Post by demag »

Take it easy Zel after all it's only supposed to be a hobby. The trouble is the damn things take over your life.

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

Post by CitroJim »

demag wrote:Take it easy Zel after all it's only supposed to be a hobby. The trouble is the damn things take over your life.


As do so many hobbies... I've been a bit off-colour this week and only just better now... I've missed running, cycling and swimming and really feel it...

made good this moring though...

Zel, hope you're feeling a lot better today and the alternator job will go smoothly...

I will reply to your PM in a while but it won't be quick as it'll take me a while to write a decent reply!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

I'll survive, just a bit frustrated with myself for being perpetually tired yet unable to sleep...It gets old after a while. Managed to get the C5 out this afternoon at least and took the dog for a good run, so feeling a bit better for that. Will pop out to pick up a socket (don't think I have a 17mm one with a 1/4" drive in the toolbox) and see if I can shift that nut.

Bit annoying that there is only one nut left holding the blasted thing in place...If I can get that off I can at least get it off the car to take a proper look at it. Then it's a pretty quick matter to either clean/repair or grab a replacement. Then just reassemble stuff.

No rush on a response on the PM Jim, just me thinking aloud in text format more than anything!

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

Post by CitroJim »

I know what it's like from the darker, early days of me getting used to living with ME Zel...

I really hope it'll soon resolve but you know, getting out on the C5 will have helped no end ;)

Is that nut posing a big problem?

mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

Zelandeth wrote:I'll survive, just a bit frustrated with myself for being perpetually tired yet unable to sleep...It gets old after a while.
I suffered from CFS for a few years - well, apparently I still do, I just manage it properly now. You will get it to a manageable level if you take the correct course of action for your state. Being stressed about not sleeping doesn't help, as I know... it keeps you awake ffs! Vicious circle that needs breaking.