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 (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

My favourite machine in my collection is a Toshiba T5200/200 actually, funny you should mention them!

Will certainly do some digging for LHM info. Know I did read a few threads a while ago about it, just don't remember anyone really coming up with a definitive answer on the cause.

Either way, I know it needs changing...I'll hopefully get to enjoy the magic carpet for a while at least once it's done!
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Have had precious little time to do anything with the cars in the last couple of weeks.

A couple of days ago however I discovered a spare part I'd obtained for the Saab ages ago so was finally able to sort out one of the utterly minor gremlins which really drove me mad. Anyone who has similar cases of OCD will understand.

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The backlighting in the headlight control had been intermittent since I got the car, usually springing to life if you tapped it in just the right way - but about a year ago it died altogether. The fault is actually in the lamp holder rather than just a duff lamp. However I found a spare switch assembly, so just changed the lot (after fitting a new lamp so it doesn't go pop five minutes down the line). At least it's a ten second job in the C900...
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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Oh yes, I understand the OCD bit very well indeed Zel... :twisted:

Things like that really niggle me and I need to get those things fixed...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Next quick to fix niggle is probably going to be the rev counter, which still works when it's in the mood, but more often than not doesn't. Or it sits there twitching and bouncing off each end of the scale every few seconds...which is really distracting.

Usually this just needs the connector behind the panel removing and re inserting. This can be done through the speaker aperture if you've got reasonably long fingers. If that doesn't sort it, the panel will have to come out...which is always a bundle of fun. ...if it does need to come out though I'm going to stuff a lampholder into the coolant temp warning light position (it's not used in the UK) and tie that into my fan override button as a visual indicator that it's on...as I have a terrible tendency to forget to turn it off when I get out of town and having a light on the dash would be handy. ...but sticking aftermarket lights on the dashboard ain't gonna happen...

Have to admit to being a bit frustrated at the lack of time for the cars I've had lately. Poor old Saab is looking a right sorry state just now, Skoda has been sitting under the cover since May waiting for me to start work on the head, and Gabriel still is owed a session on the ramps to properly set the ride height. Oh...and I need to get the wheel balance checked...which has been on the to do list since March.

Come hell or high water, Saab is getting an oil change this weekend though!

Think the Saab is the only one of my fleet you've not met isn't she, Jim? Will need to fix that sometime, properly interesting car for someone who knows how they work and one of the most characterful vehicles I've ever owned.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

That's true Zel, I've not seen the Saab (or you for some time)...

Door is always open so whenever you're passing, pop in! Be good to see you and you can see V6 progress in the metal then...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

So it's not just the connector...dangit! Will do some digging and see if I can find the pinout for the dash and check if the pulse is actually getting to the dash or if it's a wiring issue. Hoping not as sorting wiring faults on 900s is always so much fun...

If the pulse (I'm assuming it's just tapped off the ignition amplifier) is arriving at the dash, most likely a dry joint in the instrument panel itself then...probably easy enough fix, even if it does involve having to dismantle a large portion of the fascia to get the cluster out.

...easier than on the Xantia mind you.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: ...easier than on the Xantia mind you.
I expect most things are on a Saab Zel!!! :twisted: :lol:
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

True, in theory anyway. Once you've lived with one for a while you do learn to multiply your time estimates on any work by at least three.

In many ways, they're over-engineered cars, especially where a 10mm bolt tightened hand tight would do the job, Saab will use a 17mm one tightened by Thor himself, but will have positioned it carefully to ensure that you can't quite get your 1/2" drive socket and nice big breaker bar on it! Plus you'll usually then realise that there are another two equally tight bolts hidden away that you can't even see.

Xantia definitely wins on complexity (well, it is A: a green blooded Citroen, and B: a 20 odd year newer design), but thus far it's been far more co-operative when I've been working on it than the Saab usually is. Maybe I need to learn how to swear at it in Sweedish...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

No, no, no, no. The secret is to talk nicely to them :wink:
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by daviemck2006 »

You need blonde hair and a lurid coloured shell suit for overalls to fix the saab [emoji13] [emoji23]
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

True...I usually try to talk nice to them...but it doesn't always work. At least with the Ladas swearing at them in Russian and threatening them with the Really Big Hammer (TM) generally worked.

Think my trying to be nice is half the reason I struggle with some tasks, I'm always worried that I'll break something by using brute force.

...really looking forward to getting the bolts out the Skoda's head for that reason. Remember them being silly tight last time I pulled a head off one...

I'm not blonde, but do have a genuine 80s yellow and grey shell suit buried somewhere. It is totally getting dug out when the weather cools off a bit for use when out in the C5 (Sinclair, not Citroen!) as that will really look the part then...
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Spent a far larger portion of this afternoon stuck in the car park that was Central Milton Keynes than I had intended. No idea what happened to the traffic today, but it took me the best part of an hour and a half to get from our house to Wick's and back - which usually takes about 20 minutes - including getting what I needed from the store...

Meant that I missed the intended catch up with Jim (not helped by the fact that my phone decided to pick that point in time to decide to lose all contact with the outside world - a situation it seems to have resolved as of about half an hour ago).

However, we then had a lovely afternoon of weather, and I actually wasn't presented with anything else that I immediately had to do, so could give the cars some attention for a change. Decided that it was about time that Gabriel had some attention in the cosmetic department. Poor car has been in my keeping since November last year, and hasn't even seen a hint of any wax yet. About time I sorted that I thought.

So, out came the clay mitt and my crate of assorted Autoglym stuff (I shudder to think how much that box has cost me over the years!).

The clay mitt is something that I was highly skeptical of when I got it, but had heard some folks saying good things about so thought I'd give it a shot. It's actually very, very effective. First couple of wipes over the surface almost feels like you're dragging sandpaper over the paint, but suddenly after a couple of wipes it just goes glassy smooth. It won't shift bigger things like tar spots and such, but for removing general surface "crud" it is incredibly effective. My usual approach now is to wipe over the panel with that, and once the lubricant (weak car shampoo mix) has dried off I usually attack the panel in question with polish (Autoglym's super resin polish being my usual). Now because the panel is already so smooth that takes a matter of a couple of minutes really, just picking up any areas that there might be specific points needing a bit of extra attention. Likewise, buffing it off is a breeze because the surface is already so smooth. After that it's a liberal coating of the Ultra Deep Shine wax, and move on to the next panel. Come back to buff that off when you've done the clay part of the next panel, and so on.

Think the best I can do now is let the pictures do the talking really!

Items of note: Here I have done the nearside rear quarter, rear and offside of the car. Nearside rear door forward, front bumper, roof an bonnet haven't been touched. The roof has been re-laqured with a rattle can so is pretty matt. I've got some pretty aggressive cutting paste about somewhere that I plan to blast it with to see if I can get any better a shine on that. The bonnet is in need of some more touching up before I go near it with wax, to try to stabilise its flaking clearcoat. That I may well just throw at a bodyshop (probably along with the front bumper) for stripping and repainting at some point, as it really lets the whole car down just now.

...That and the blasted smashed wheel trim on the nearside rear wheel that I *still* need to get a replacement for, which is driving me mad.

Camera hasn't done a great job here - you could quite clearly in person see how much more of a haze there was on the door compared to where the treated paintwork started on the rear wing - running your hand across the two though very clearly showed the difference - paint where it's been treated is like glass now.
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Camera again hasn't done a really good job of capturing the shine here, but I think still shows that it's looking much more cared for than it was! I did some before/after photos, but with how dull the weather was when I took the last lot it's not really a fair comparison.
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Glasswork hasn't been polished yet either now that I think about it.
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Eventually I got frustrated with trying to find an angle where I could actually show what sort of shine we had now - this I think captured it pretty well! Not half bad a finish I reckon...

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Sadly the front bumper and bonnet are what really let the car down the most at present (and the big gouge down the nearside rear door/quarter). I really do need to do something about this...Especially with how well the rest cleans up! Even the roof you can get away with from a distance at present because it's pretty even, it's the patchiness of the bonnet that really bothers me!

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Overall though, pretty satisfied with this for a couple of hours work (even if I did kick myself about 3/4 of the way through for taking that long to realise that I could jack the suspension up to high and make my life a lot easier - will remember that next time!). Hoping to get the nearside done tomorrow with a bit of luck, and maybe even get the poor neglected Saab some attention. We've got a guest staying with us this week - but that means that several folks are off work - so I'm essentially free to actually get something done while folks are just doing their own thing for a change!

Time for my motors to get some much overdue TLC I reckon!
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CitroJim
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

That's looking good Zel :-D

I expect it was the Foo Fighters playing at the Bowl that caused all the gridlock :twisted:

I was really sorry to have missed you yesterday... Waited in for the a call until well beyond three and then took my own advantage of the lovely weather and went out for a gorgeous bike ride...

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Spent a bit more time on things today. Firstly *hours* picking the tree sap off my housemate's Audi TT company car as it's going back next week (replaced by a Scirocco R if I remember right). Then gave the roof and bonnet a skim over on the Xantia. The bonnet while obviously a bit patchy has taken on a lovely sheen, roof from a distance looks presentable. All glassware (windscreen excepted) was then Rain-X-ed. Just the two nearside doors left to do. Ran out of time today.

Then a quick skim over the interior (it's not too bad thanks to my OCD!) Then on to the Saab.

Will add a couple of photos from today tomorrow when I'm at an actual computer.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by superloopy »

Did you wire wool the glass before rain-x'ing it? Supposedly takes the non-visible crud coat off before applying. Lasts longer apparently.

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