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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ekjdm14
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Pug 107, Saab 900, Lada Riva, Skoda Estelle & Sinclair C5

Post by ekjdm14 »

demag wrote:Yes its strange most of these bikes were considered commercial failures but you will need a lot of money to buy one now.

Sent from my Wileyfox Swift using Tapatalk


Sadly though, the people who buy them in the main are buying them to look at (and why not look, they were all beautiful IMO) and not ride. So I guess the rarity, technical difference and the fact that they're not being bought to be ridden/worn out/rebuilt (and it becomes less important what condition the internals are actually in, I guess) is why the prices have gone so high...

For all my opinion is worth, the majority of them should be used as they were designed for, as motorbikes not art. Nothing wrong with keeping it pristine but it's just sad when you have a perfectly good toy just sat not being played with, or looking a million dollars on the outside but blown up at heart...

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

Post by CitroJim »

elma wrote:That jogged my memory, something else I was told about rx8s is they have to be thrashed to lubricate correctly. Not sure on the truth of it but it makes sense to me if they meter like a 2 stroke.


Yes, that's quite correct James.. You can kill them with kindness and yes, oil is metered into the rotor housings just like in a pozi-lube 2-stroke bile engine... Potle around in them and rotor lubrication really suffers...

Dan, the RX-8 has no separate oil tank, the oil for the metered 'pozi-lube' system is taken straight from the sump, contamination and all... Now perhaps if it had had a separate oil tank with nice, clean oil in it then it might have been better but as I said earlier, undetected ignition coil failure leading to rotor housing wash (akin to bore-wash from a rich mixture containing neat petrol that washes all lube away) is the major killer...

New ignition coils are jolly expensive too...

Dave, the Hercules bike is a new one on me.. Thanks.,..

RE5 'bogroll' Dan, I presume you mean the rather unusual instrument cluster housing on it ;)

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

Post by CitroJim »

Interesting fact on the Van Veen Rotary bike... The engine was the one used originally in the Citroen GS Birotor! The Wikipedia article says it was 'repurposed'...

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

Post by elma »

Weren't Citroen planning a rotary for the cx as well but the concept was binned in the psa buyout.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Fascinating. The thought of a rotary bike had honestly never occurred to me...but yes, it would be well suited to it wouldn't it.

Shame on Mazda as well for not having a safety system in there though. The current VW diesels which require AdBlue adding give you plenty of warning (500 miles if I remember right) and count down - if the counter hits zero it won't let you start the engine. Where you're talking a critical to not blow it up consumable like oil that seems a sensible approach. Even more shame on the owner for not doing something when the warning light came on though.

Old Volvo B58 and Mk I B10 coaches were a pain in the warning light regard as the legends were silk screened on the outside of the lenses. The cleaner the operator kept the coach, the more likely you were to have four rows of six (from memory) warning lights without any form of legend! I recall one starting to blink at me one day and shouting to John that we had a light on he asked which one it was and my response was "um...yellow!" When asked for further clarification I thought about it for a moment and added "D-3...and it goes off when I turn left.". Turned out to be the (thankfully pessimistic) low coolant level indicator.

Interesting that Rolls were able to get high enough compression to get a diesel one working... that's quite a surprise!

Have driven an RX-8 and wouldn't mind one to be honest (tax costs nonwithstanding)...would need to add a coil failure detection system though! Thinking about it though, with modern car electronics being what they are, surely a failed coil would throw a CEL wouldn't it? Either by detection directly, or due to the poor resulting combustion throwing the exhaust gas levels all to pot.

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

Post by CitroJim »

elma wrote:Weren't Citroen planning a rotary for the cx as well but the concept was binned in the psa buyout.


They were, a tripe rotor version of the GS which was a bi-rotor unit.

Something else that was binned was the flat-6 air-cooled engine the DS was originally to have... Possibly why it ended up having the old TA engine originally... Forced to use something Citroen already had on the shelf...

Zel, pleased you've enjoyed this massive rotary hijack of your blog :)

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

Post by Zelandeth »

I generally enjoy any hijacked threads here, they're invariably interesting and I usually learn something new.

Just got the throttle jury rigged and couldn't resist a test run round the block...wow. The term " A profound difference" definitely applies here!

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

Post by ekjdm14 »

A coil failure warning would have been easier than it possibly sounds too i think, based around something similar to SAAB's Trionic system.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: Just got the throttle jury rigged and couldn't resist a test run round the block...wow. The term " A profound difference" definitely applies here!


Wow, excellent :D That's made all the hard work well worth it Zel! You must be absolutely over the moon 8-)
ekjdm14 wrote:A coil failure warning would have been easier than it possibly sounds too i think, based around something similar to SAAB's Trionic system.
It would not have been difficult - makes you wonder why not in the case of such a critical component....

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

Post by Zelandeth »

It's very much a boost to morale seeing the plan coming together.

Have bodged the wiring to the lambda sensor together for now too so it should be running closed loop - don't know for certain if that sensor is good though mind you.

No idea what's happened to the power figure, but the torque feels like it's doubled at least - bear in mind that my carb wasn't working as well as it should beforehand too so that may well be true!

Actually having smooth throttle response under light loads - like trying to drive at 30mph - is so nice rather than having it missing and carrying on. The "intake of breath" before it actually responds to the throttle is also now gone.

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

Post by RichardW »

Good work, Zel - glad the effort has returned a positive outcome!

I believe the original Ford KA was due to have a 2 stroke engine, but they had to bin it late on in development due to emissions (may even have been NOX - which is topical at present!). By then the bonnet line was very low, and all they could get in was the old OHV Kent engine, hence the number of rattling KAs there were around as the tappets went out of adjustment after about 20 miles!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Rattle they might, but from what I've seen of that engine it will just keep on going despite a heck of a lot of abuse.

One of the late Model III Fiestas we had dropped a valve head (no 2 exhaust I think), which eventually lodged itself in the top of the piston after making a noise like a cutlery set in a tumble drier for about 20 seconds (at 70mph on the motorway). It then ran like that on three cylinders obviously for a further 9 months until we had to sort it for the emissions test at the MOT. New piston and valve in and off it went...somehow the bore survived with barely any damage, and it ran for another five years after that before rust killed it. When did it originally date from? 60s and the original Escort?

Found my first real "going to have to modify that!" moment just a few minutes ago.

Went to put the fan and shroud back in and discovered that one of the fan supports wants to occupy the same space as the crankshaft position sensor. Oops.

No big problem, reckon I can get away with getting the grinder out and just cutting a little notch in the fan support. As it is there's enough excess metal there I could probably safely stand on it just now...

Also just realised that I totally forgot to put the radiator grill back on...need to do that, for all it looks downright evil with it missing!

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

Post by CitroJim »

Richard, that's interesting on the KA engine and of course had it had the two-stroke the oily exghaust emissions might have helped rust-proof it a little better too :lol:

The Morris Minor was to have a flat-4 similar tot he VW beetle and that too was abandoned at a late stage and it ended up with the old Morris 8 side-valve engine before getting the (then brand-new) 803cc A-Series in the early 50s...

Issigonis tried to develop a twin cylinder version of the A-Series for the Mini but that was a failure and ultimately that led to the famous and iconic transverse A-Series with the gearbox in the sump and both engine and gearbox sharing the same 'bathwater' as was said at the time...

A twin-cylinder engine would have allowed a more conventional (at the time) gearbox placement...

Zel, I'd say that if it's running as well as that then there is a good chance you're in closed-loop. You can check with a 'scope that the oxygen sensor is working... It should slowly swing from around 0.05v to 0.8v over say about 3 or 4 second intervals if it is working and the ECU is in closed-loop and actively controlling the mixture ratio...

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Just thinking now, a screaming little three pot two stroke would have been epic in the Ka, given how it handles that would have suited it perfectly!

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

Post by myglaren »

Zelandeth wrote:Just thinking now, a screaming little three pot two stroke would have been epic in the Ka, given how it handles that would have suited it perfectly!


Worked well in the original SAABS!