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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daviemck2006
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

When I go on a bus now I always try to get beside the emergency exit. Usually much more legroom.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

That was my usual target, reason I wasn't there this time is that it was winter, cold and the emergency exit door on that bus was really draughty, so I opted for the middle rear instead. Seemed sound logic at the time!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

daviemck2006 wrote:It's quite possible that we have actually met Zel.
It's a small world!
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

It is indeed! I reckon as well a good deal better for it too being honest, even despite having crossed paths with some of the narrow minded morons who gave me grief at school and college since then. ...seems I've landed far more on my feet than they did. So far I've randomly crossed paths with people on at least five utterly unrelated subjects that I've found that I already knew elsewhere, which is downright spooky at times!
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Noticed over the last couple of weeks that the Saab was down in power a bit and wasn't idling as smoothly as normal. Granted, she is due a service. Seem to have resolved the issue this afternoon though with naught more than taking the old girl out for a good old fashioned Italian Tune up. Astonishing what a damn good thrashing can do for a car, especially if it's sat around for a bit.

Had forgotten how quick the old beast can be when you're heavy with the right foot...honestly don't understand where the reputation the automatic Classic 900s had for being gutless came from...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Ahh yes, Italian Tuneups are wonderful things :)
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

After spending a couple of hours trimming our hedges which left my arms feeling like they were about to fall off, I decided that was an excuse to actually do something *I* wanted to for a change! So attacked the to do list for the cars a bit.

Firstly was the dodgy indicator stalk on the Saab, the replacement for which I found yesterday evening when digging around in the loft trying to find the 3.5" USB floppy drive that I know I tidied a couple of weeks ago. Where I tidied it to however I don't have the foggiest idea. Found a whole host of things I wasn't looking for, including a couple of boxes of discs - including ten 5.25" ones, which is odd as I don't remember packing those...Reason I was after that is because I'm determined to get one of my older laptops back up and running, after it decided to stubbornly stop booting from the hard drive about a year and a half ago. Still reads the drive fine, but refuses to boot from it. I want to be armed with the materials to do a reinstall if necessary, but unfortunately my MS-DOS 6.22 and Win 3.11 discs fell foul of the mould in my parent's house where we had serious damp problems. I do have images of them though (I was at least organised there! ...even if I didn't think to do the same for things like Office unfortunately), but need an accessible drive to actually make the install media. Half tempted to see if I can find a suitable oddball flavour of Linux to throw at it as well if I can find one that's user-friendly enough for me to get my head around. From memory the machine's a 486DX2, has 20Mb of RAM (16Mb of which is on an odd PCMCIA-like but not quite add in card), a 340Mb harddrive and a standard HD 3.5" floppy drive. Networking is currently not possible as my PCMCIA network adaptor appears to have died while it was in storage annoyingly.

Anyway...back on topic, the detent on the Saab's indicators had been getting progressively worse since I bought it, to the extent eventually that if you hit a bump you would suddenly be indicating left. A temporary bodge had been done by wedging a bit of rubber pipe in next to the stalk, though that obviously also stopped the self canceling thing from working, and meant that there was no centre detent.

This was one of those rare jobs working on a car where I found myself thinking "now, that's a really *good* bit of design." Removing either of the stalks involves taking two screws and one clip off, after which the whole lower steering cowl comes off. Two more screws release the cradle to which the stalks are attached. Then another two screws and a few connectors release the stalk itself. Refitting is simply the reverse of removal. Whole job took about five minutes end to end.

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I then decided it was high time that I actually investigate the bubbles I noticed in the clear fuel line on Sunday (when revving the engine, nothing at idle, and it's not draining back to the tank).

The primer bulb goes hard after a couple of pumps, and despite a good prod around I couldn't find any signs of fuel seeping out around the filter housing or anything, despite some obvious chafing of a couple of hoses where they've been vibrating. Not least next to the dipstick tube because that clip has broken, and the PCV hose which it's made quite a nasty dent in.

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I also spotted this bodge...Proper hose clip will be going on there probably tomorrow.

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The PCV hoses appear to have turned to plastic over time as well, there is absolutely zero flex in any of them, meaning that the normal hose clips aren't really doing anything resembling a good job of securing them. Is that normal, or would I be better of just replacing them, assuming that they don't cost a small fortune anyway.

Can someone confirm what the correct "layering sequence" for this general area? The way things seem to want to sit, the throttle cable should actually be above the fuel supply line rather than under where it is just now? Not sure whether the wiring to the blue Bitron sensor should be squidged underneath things, or looping over the throttle cable.

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In the meantime I've slipped a bit of old heater hose over the fuel hose where those two meet and have cable tied them together so they can't rub any more. Likewise the fuel hose is now clipped (well...cable-tied) where it should be to the oil filler/dipstick housing. I also routed the water drain pipe via a little clip on the dipstick housing (for which I can't see any other use?) so that it sits over where the oil filter is now - so that I can drain any water into that while my oil drain pan is under the oil filter to catch the inevitable spillage when it's changed.

While I was in there, I also cable tied a bundle of other bits of plastic and pipework in place which were flapping around in the breeze (and vibrating madly when the engine was idling). I never would have thought that a few cable ties could reduce mechanical noise that much!

Never did find where the air leak is though...however, today when the engine was revved it stubbornly refused to show any evidence of air bubbles...Looks like we've got an intermittent fault to play with...oh joy...Pretty sure that this will prove to be linked to the slightly lumpy power delivery, especially on light throttle though. Time to get me some clear fuel hose I think and insert it at key points along the run back to the tank until we have bubble-free fuel flow.

Have also ascertained that the timing cover gasket is utterly stuffed, which is where 90% of the oil seems to be coming from. A job both the Xantia and Saab need done then...I'd put money on it being easier on the Saab...don't need to dismantle half the car first there to get at it...

Xantia is without doubt the car I've owned with the most "stuff" in the engine bay by quite a few orders of magnitude, though unlike my former flatmate's Jags, I can figure out what at least 95% of it does at least! Just makes getting at things a bit fiddly sometimes...Like that fuel hose clip that's buried underneath the air inlet pipe that was unclipped and I had to manipulate back into place with one fingertip at a time...Goodness only knows how you folks with V6s cope! I keep oscillating between loving the idea of owning one, but equally being terrified of working on one
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Stickyfinger
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Stickyfinger »

Goodness only knows how you folks with V6s cope! I keep oscillating between loving the idea of owning one, but equally being terrified of working on one
No problem, why would there be ?

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Simple answer: because I'm a terrible coward!
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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

A most interesting update Zel :)

Surprisingly, the V6, although there's a lot going on in the engine bay, is remarkably well designed for a Frenchie and everything is both well laid out and very accessible...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Today (well, yesterday actually), Gabriel was given a coolant flush and change. What came out wasn't actually bad at all, but at least I know it's been done now. Also done a bit of an LHM change (I need more fluid to do it properly, and that's on the list for the near future). Anyhow, drained a couple of litres off and replaced with fresh (if ancient) - to the proper level as it was a bit high before. Noticed this morning that the stop light took far less time than usual to go out, so a sign it's done something I guess. Haven't actually gone far enough to tell if there's any effect on the ride though. I know it's a bit of a waste of fluid, but I wanted to drain some off to see what state it was in, and it finally meant I got rid of several half used bottles that were floating around and somehow never got combined into one.

Will do a full change and tank clean etc when I get a chance to investigate which brake (or brakes) is dragging. Hopefully next week with a bit of luck.

Just realised that I think she's probably due an oil change again, will need to double check that tomorrow...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Rained all day today when I wasn't busy, so nothing really done today. Mostly entertained myself by getting my old IBM ThinkPad 755Cs back in the land of the living. Win 3.11 runs quite nicely on a 486DX2/50 with 24Mb RAM to play with. It's a bit more portable and back friendly than my old Toshiba luggables that can break a spine from 30 paces. Need to stick the serial mouse driver on it tomorrow though as the trackpoint is maddening and my old CAD software doesn't support a PS/2 mouse (which the trackpoint masquerades as).

Did head out to get some shopping though and can't help but note that the partial LHM change has made a truly massive difference to the ride - it's very noticeably smoother. Startup again saw the stop light out after about 5 seconds rather than the usual 20-30. Haven't checked the tick rate - but it was once every 30-40 seconds before and quiet enough that it was actually quite hard to hear so not expecting any huge change. Definitely curious to see what the proper LHM change will do now...
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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Win3.11 on a 486DX2 :shock: Gosh, that takes me back a bit Zel :lol:

Yes, it is amazing what a change of LHM can do for the feel. Sadly you may find that initial loveliness is not tremendously long lasting...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

I do like me a bit of retro computing. This was probably the sweet spot for me as the machines were so over engineered and tend to just keep going with relatively little TLC on the hardware side save for the occasional CMOS battery change and occasionally a power supply re-cap (which is something we're both well familiar with from our experience of old radios etc). Next step for this little IBM will be having its battery pack re-stuffed. Managed to get it apart today and confirmed it's made up of standard (2/3 AA size if I remember right) bog standard NiMH cells, so should be easy to revive - and probably vastly increase its capacity from the original 3.3Ah!

Will have to bring a couple of them over some time to give a bit of a trip down Memory Lane for you - and prpbably learn something myself as I'm far from an expert in the software department - though "back in the day" did quite complex stuff, though I'm damned if I can remember 90% of it now...

Why is it that the benefits of an LHM change tend to seem short lived in a lot of cases? I'm pretty sure I do have fluid aeration issues, so will look at doing the return pipe mod soon to see if that helps.
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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

That's an excellent bit of work on the laptop Zel,

Yes, they were so over-engineered it just wasn't true and built to last a lifetime... Remember the old Toshibas? Built like tanks...

I'm into recycled laptops.. All mine are cast-offs from the kids...

I ditch windows on them as a first task and install Linux... Currently running Fedora 21 on the one I'm using now and it's excellent.

There's been a lot of discussion in this forum on LHM aeration over the years.. Might be worth some searches...