Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, 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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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

My sleeping issues are something I've been dealing with for years, and if it were just my own issues I was trying to work around just now I'd probably be doing a lot better a job of managing it. Sadly I'm also trying to work around several other things at home at the moment which are additional sources of stress and in particular are preventing me from setting my own schedule, with is a big issue for me.

I had actually got my GP to give me some medication just before I moved which I could just take for a night or two to kick my body back into a vaguely sensible schedule again - worked a charm generally - sadly then I moved down south, and I'm back to square one there.

When rummaging around in the garage today I completely by random chance stumbled across a can of paint that related back to the PC I was fitting wheel to yesterday! This was a case that I pulled apart and painted myself in 1998 (I think), having done the keyboard frame and monitor bezel to match. Looking a bit scruffy now...but now I've found the paint I might give it a touch up! Can probably stretch to clearcoat these days too...
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The colour is Ford Petrol Blue in case you wondered.

Back actually on topic, firstly I took a closer look at the radiator as it was readily accessible and I had to shift it to get to the toolbox - at which point it immediately peed coolant all over my feet of course. Actually looks okay to me, some surface oxidisation on the lower surfaces, but no actual corrosion it looks like (clicking the images should open larger versions).
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Of course the wonder of this thing is that if it were weeping from anywhere, it's actually serviceable! Heck, it would be actually viable to get the thing re-cored if it came to it (though I believe that replacements are pretty readily available). So I'll give the end tanks a blast with the pressure washer to shift the loose paint (being careful to avoid the core of course!), then degrease it and repaint. I'll probably treat it to a new pressure cap as preventative maintenance as it definitely looks original.

The problem I'd had earlier in the week was that I couldn't shift the 19mm nut on the lower bracket of the alternator. I couldn't get my "torque amplifier" in down there, so needed to track down a socket with a 1/2" (not 1/4" as I said earlier...that was my deliberate mistake) so I could stick the "slightly more serious" driver into the equation. Strangely, I didn't have any issues once I'd switched from the driver on the left to the one on the right...
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Within five minutes I had the nut off, the bolt out, and this thing was sitting on the floor.
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...In a pool of coolant and oil.

A couple of cans of carb cleaner later (seriously...I love the Wynn's cans of carb cleaner - they're like a solvent-based pressure washer in a can...I don't care that they last about 30 seconds apiece - there is very little they won't shift!), and it looked a bit healthier.
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Hey, the fan/pulley is actually grey not black...who knew?

Back of the alternator has a total of two connections to it (plus ground), guessing there must be an external voltage regulator somewhere...I'm not a huge alternator expert I have to admit!
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Doesn't take a genius to look at that and figure out where the brush holder is.

...I think we can call off our search for the problem!
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What I'm guessing has happened is that the one brush has cracked at some point goodness knows how long ago in the past, but has just about been managing to hold in there until that bit flaked off too (the last 1/8" with the wear surface on it on the brush to the left was sitting in the casing when I took the brush holder out) and suddenly my alternator ceased working! Just count myself lucky I got home before this happened!

Looking at the commutator seems to bear out that theory that the one has a "thinner" wear pattern than the other.
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Let's see how much a new set of brushes costs me...Hopefully that will get things back up and running again.
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CitroJim
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Re: RE: Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

mickeymoon wrote: I suffered from CFS for a few years - well, apparently I still do, I just manage it properly now.


I try hard to manage it properly but every now and again I have an epic fail... This week has been a good example when I let my strict dietary regime slip just a little and I paid a heavy price...

Living with ME/CFS is like walking a tightrope constantly...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Zel, excellent result on the alternator... I buy my carb cleaner - it's the only solvent I'm not allergic to - in 5 litre cans from Motorserv... Best way to buy it... It is magical stuff :D

Brushes I guess will cost pennies ;)

I have sleep issues which is why I'm always up at 4... This is a very late night for me. I'm only up because I'm still buzzing from an excellent kayaking session this evening and can't yet sleep....
mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

CitroJim wrote:
mickeymoon wrote: I suffered from CFS for a few years - well, apparently I still do, I just manage it properly now.


I try hard to manage it properly but every now and again I have an epic fail... This week has been a good example when I let my strict dietary regime slip just a little and I paid a heavy price...

Living with ME/CFS is like walking a tightrope constantly...
Yes. It's very tricky. For instance I went to the gym on Wednesday morning and I realised before I started the class I was going to do that I wasn't fit to do it, so walked out immediately and did absolutely nothing physical or mentally challenging all day. Began to feel alive about 5.50pm yesterday


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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 »

I'd like to get the carb cleaner in bulk to be honest - not least because it's my default "I need to clean this..." Option for most things. Problem is that it's no where near as effective in a pump spray bottle as it is from the stupidly over enthusiastic aerosol cans from Wynn's (which I do get from Motorserv). They're particularly handy for stuff that you really can't get to with a brush without taking half the car to bits.

Should really get some in a sprayer for larger easy to get to areas though and stop being lazy!

Have already dropped Tom an email about the brushes. They don't actually come out of the holder altogether so I'm guessing it comes as a module (well, the actual brush holder does break down further so it's just the plastic base and a spade connector), to make changing easier. Sure ten seconds with the soldering iron would have them out though! Sadly brushes aren't something I have just randomly laying around or I'd already have had had a dig to see if I had anything the right sort of size I could fix it with. Not holding my breath, but will swing by Motorserv tomorrow, failing that also the little car parts shop on the high street in Stoney Stratford... They're old enough that there might just still be a dusty old box of assorted brushes still buried in a corner of the stockroom. Worth an ask surely! If I can fix it tomorrow rather than later in the week I'll take tomorrow!

Will probably give the radiator a paint tomorrow anyhow and swap out the rocker cover gasket to stop that leaking (hopefully). Was pondering changing out the few remaining hose clips - but they're all on small bore coolant pipes which will be getting removed and rerouted when the EFi conversion happens so just going to leave them for now. Especially as two of them are a right git to get to, being buried under the exhaust manifold. It will be a lot easier to get at them when the carb and intake manifold are off.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Years back Zel, you could get a refillable aerosol can you could pressurise from an airline... Wonder if they're still available?
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

New set of brushes are on their way now, so hopefully will have things back up and running soon.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:New set of brushes are on their way now, so hopefully will have things back up and running soon.


Excellent :D How much did they cost?
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I have found that some of the Radox products have (in the past) helped me get a good nights' sleep. Poundland do a Radox bubble bath called (IIRC) "Restful Sleep". If you find it, only use two capfuls in the bath, otherwise you will spend ages getting rid of the bubbles afterwards.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by myglaren »

You could try Methyl Ethyl Ketone, about £9 a Litre and a pretty effective cleaner with a nice sounding name.
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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:Excellent :D How much did they cost?


£4 Jim, apparently the 25+ year old dealer tape still attached to them has been thrown in for free too!

Currently working on the simple yet fiddly task of trying to clean some of the gunk out of the coolant header tank.
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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 dropping some cheap cola into the header tank overnight might help. I once used it to clean some heavily tarnished brass. The following morning the tarnish just wiped away, and a bit of Brasso then got the shine back on.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by Zelandeth »

Not a bad thought actually, it's the phosphoric acid I believe which makes it attack rust and similar stuff. Carbonation probably does its bit too.

Going to try my usual approach first though as most of it's pretty soft slimy gunk - pour a quarter of a cup or so of dried rice in with some water and shake it like crazy for a few minutes. Usually shifts anything that's not hard, dried on grime.
mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

Zelandeth wrote:Not a bad thought actually, it's the phosphoric acid I believe which makes it attack rust and similar stuff. Carbonation probably does its bit too.

Going to try my usual approach first though as most of it's pretty soft slimy gunk - pour a quarter of a cup or so of dried rice in with some water and shake it like crazy for a few minutes. Usually shifts anything that's not hard, dried on grime.


Vinegar and bicarb of soda. Works wonders to remove "stuff". I didn't believe this until my mother-in-law suggested I used it to unblock a toilet. 6 bottles of cheapo vinegar, a tub of bicarb, and I got a crazy reaction in the bowl which shifted the blockage!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by CitroJim »

mickeymoon wrote: I got a crazy reaction in the bowl which shifted the blockage!


The reverse of the crazy reaction that caused the blockage in the first place :lol:
Zelandeth wrote:
CitroJim wrote:Excellent :D How much did they cost?


£4 Jim, apparently the 25+ year old dealer tape still attached to them has been thrown in for free too!
Perfect :D You can't beat prices like that!