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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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

CitroJim wrote:
24 Jan 2021, 07:54
Excellent work Zel, especially in this weather!

Amazing what a parts cross-reference throws up! I'm shocked the brake pipe is made in India though... Ditto the new tyres on Daffodil!

I agree on doing the brakes for peace of mind... I was thinking the same when I did the complete brake overhaul on Daffodil and now I have full confidence in her brakes... Especially after seeing how well they performed during the MoT...

Upgrading to a dual circuit system is a good plan.. It should involve nothing more than a new master cylinder and a bit of pipe work...
The tricky bit I reckon will be finding a suitable cylinder as the two circuits will have a vastly different working volume. Being a three wheeler I can't do the usual diagonal split arrangement, it'll have to be front/rear. So I basically need a dual circuit master cylinder with a suitable volume split between the circuits.

Sure they exist though, just will require a bit of research.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
24 Jan 2021, 13:07
Sure they exist though, just will require a bit of research.
A late Reliant one perhaps?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Indeed I believe my Reliant Rialto had dual circuit although I don't remember the layout! :)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Ouch. Looks like the going rate for a tandem cylinder for a Rialto is about £180 - sans fluid reservoir. That'll be the joys of a specialised part that's probably not been made in a while then.

Anyhow...Let's finish the job we started yesterday.

It was still cold.

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Somewhere down the line once the garage is actually sorted out I'll have to think about getting some heating installed.

Step 1...Do what I should have done yesterday and spend ten minutes taking the seat out.

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Today this is the corner we were doing battle with.

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The first retaining nut came off without too much bother. Was still a bit of a struggle, but nothing too dire.

Of course the last one decided to be an absolute pain. Not helped by having to do everything 1/32 of a turn at a time and access precluding getting any serious leverage involved.

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If I hadn't managed to wedge that one spanner against the chassis rail I reckon I'd probably still be there.

It felt like a LOT more than an hour and a half later when we finally had the old hose out.

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Getting the new one in was only made slightly more awkward by virtue of the fact that the flare on the line to the wheel cylinder wouldn't spin on the pipe so I had to screw the pipe onto the union rather than the other way around.

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By this point I could barely stand from my legs and back cramping so I called it a day.

Jobs for tomorrow will be to bleed the brakes, adjust the handbrake, clip all the lines back into place and do a VERY thorough leak check. While I have the seat out there are a couple of minor jobs in that area I might attend to at the same time. Looks like I might have a very slight blow from one exhaust to inlet manifold gasket, or it could just be a bit of dirt...I'll look more closely tomorrow. I'd like to attach that fuel line to the chassis rail to keep it from sitting and rubbing against the top of the engine mounting cradle too.

I'm thoroughly glad that these hoses are fitted now...Not a job I want to do again! Such a simple job made a million times more awkward because of the positions that you have to contort yourself into to get to anything.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

I don't think that the unequal volume should be an issue, the tandem cylinders are designed to equalise the pressure in each circuit, not the volume, but it might work better if you connect the rear circuit to the nose end of the master cylinder.

You might also look at Triumph Spitfre (78-) master cylinders, being a little cheaper. Ideally you would find one with the same bore diameter as the original.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

xantia_v6 wrote:
24 Jan 2021, 21:36
I don't think that the unequal volume should be an issue, the tandem cylinders are designed to equalise the pressure in each circuit, not the volume, but it might work better if you connect the rear circuit to the nose end of the master cylinder.

You might also look at Triumph Spitfre (78-) master cylinders, being a little cheaper. Ideally you would find one with the same bore diameter as the original.
Interesting. I'll need to do a bit of digging. The Triumph parts bin features quite a bit in the car in general so it would be fitting!

This is the standard one that's fitted from the factory.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

The best fit of the common tandem master cylinders looks to be the Spitfire 1500 https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/Triumph-Spitfi ... bn_1251081 It has a bore of 17.5mm, probably close enough. Note that it is normally mounted such that it is angled upwards and the reservoir has a sloping top to match. It looks as if there would be enough fluid in the reservoir even if mounded straight. Alternatively, I think that the reservoir ports on these are the same size as the Jaguar XJ-S, so you could fit an Jaguar remote reservoir.

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The Lotus Elan and Morgan Plus 4 used a similar cylinder and flat reservoir, but these seem to be unobtanium.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

xantia_v6 wrote:
25 Jan 2021, 07:03
The best fit of the common tandem master cylinders looks to be the Spitfire 1500...
That looks like it would do the job nicely. The cylinder on the Invacar is on a slight angle as well so the angled reservoir shouldn't be an issue. Will look at getting one of those ordered soon. Real bonus is that thanks to the routing of the lines the required changes are really minimal.

Guess the only question mark is how much heavier the switch from a 15.8 to 17.5mm bore would make the brakes. Tend to think this is one of those cases where experimentation is probably the only way to be sure. Provided it's not drastically different, I'd be willing to take a slightly heavier "pedal" for the added safety inherent to a dual circuit system anyway.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Angle wise that cylinder should be absolutely fine....in fact, perfectly angled. You know why? Because the Spitfire clutch master cylinder is the same style as the brake one on the Invacar! So they're canted over at exactly the same angle.

Have decided to pick one up. It's a bit pricey as a replacement for something which is actually working fine...but the safety improvements brought about by upgrading to a dual circuit braking system is absolutely worth it I reckon.

The thought of a brake failure in this car still scares the hell out of me, so I'd rather have some inbuilt backup systems in there.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

Have you considered the insurance implications Zel?

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

myglaren wrote:
26 Jan 2021, 10:06
Have you considered the insurance implications Zel?
It's with a specialist who only do classics, kit cars etc so I can't see them having issue with a modification which vastly reduced the odds of there being a catastrophic brake failure. It's not as though it's an unknown mod on other cars from the same period. They didn't bat an eyelid at the fuel injection conversion on the Lada at least. Will give them a shout to confirm though as it's not a bad call.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

I thought that with it being a modification of a primary safety system that you may need an engineers report to satisfy them.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

myglaren wrote:
26 Jan 2021, 12:58
I thought that with it being a modification of a primary safety system that you may need an engineers report to satisfy them.
It's a worthwhile question - definitely worth a ten minute phone call. Hopefully not as that would be gigantic pain in the tail to sort out right now I suspect. Though in the same breath, I really do want to get her properly (rather than informally!) MOT'd at some point - only reason that's not been done already is that none of the garages I have any sort of working relationship with do Class III tests. The nearest one which has a decent reputation if I remember right was further away than I was comfortable driving TPA in the early days...obviously that's not really an issue these days.

The box with my new steering linkage ball joints has turned up. There's a little play in a couple of the ones on the car and one of the others has a shredded boot, so I think it's time to replace them.

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These are standard Mini track rod ends so readily and cheaply available. Conveniently they've got a hammered black finish as well which fits in perfectly with what I've generally been using for the cabin metalwork!

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I'll probably do that one first just to confirm they are actually correct as that one is by far the easiest to get to. That's a job for another day though.

Today I wanted to get things mostly buttoned back up - but there were a few tasks I wanted to do while I had the seat and service hatch out.

[] CVT Belt.

Our research had shown that the Dayco HP2020 should be a "drop in" replacement for the original Dayco 43-5639 belt. Having compared the two next to each other they appear identical (well within the variance that there seems to be between various batches of the original belts).

Checking my notes it's hard to believe I've done a little over 400 miles since I fitted that NOS belt! Taking a close look at it though it seems to be doing absolutely fine.

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I was particularly interested to check for any signs of either overheating or the outer braiding failing given that she's done quite a few high speed blasts up the A5 recently - and I don't think howling along at 70 was really in the original design spec for these belts! That's one area where the HP2020 is a better bet as I know it's factory spec for some vehicles with quite a bit more power than the Invacar so hopefully it should be able to stand up to this sort of punishment reasonably well. Even if I do wind up changing the belt annually or something as a service item at £35 it's hardly the end of the world.

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Changing the belt takes a grand total of about fifteen minutes from stepping into the garage and requires a 17mm spanner...that's it. In my case there's also an 8mm one needed to actually open the service hatch. Suffice to say these are kept in the car as standard these days. That belt I've taken off will be getting tucked away somewhere in either the engine bay or under the front hatch as a spare so should I have issues with a belt letting go unexpectedly in the future I shouldn't have issues getting myself going again.

The HP2020 is a directional belt, so the arrows want to be pointing towards the left hand side of the car (as if you're sitting in the driver's seat), I assume this is to do with the direction that the braiding is woven, so if a thread were to come loose the rotation would tend to keep it from unravelling.

Virtually impossible to get a photo of that because of the guard and poor lighting...but you get the idea.

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[] Gearbox oil leak.

While TPA's engine is pretty much entirely oil tight, the gearbox isn't. It's fine when stationary but is clearly losing some when you're driving. One of the main sources is from the top cover, from where it's then running down the offside of the gearbox casing. I can't tell for certain if there's an additional leak from that driveshaft seal as well until I've sorted the leak immediately above it. Helpfully it's only held on by four nuts so hopefully an easy solution. It doesn't look like there was ever a gasket in here, just a smear of instant gasket goop. So I've scraped it back and replaced it with the same.

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While I had the cover off I checked to make sure the oil level hadn't dropped - and it is still level with the top of the fill plug. It is a bit murky though and seems to have frothed up more than I'd expect from my messing with the pulleys while fitting the belt.

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When I changed this oil originally it was drained cold when the car had been sitting for a while...so I reckon there may well have been some gunge in the bottom that was left behind (there's no drain plug on the gearbox so you have to drain it with a suction pump). The car will be getting an oil and filter change in roughly 150 miles anyway so I'll make sure that the gearbox and diff oils are changed then as well - I'll make a point of ensuring it's done right after a run so nothing has a chance to settle out this time. If it has been foaming though that won't have helped with any potential leak issues.


[] Electrical Isolator Switch.

I noticed that this was wobbling around a bit by random chance so took the opportunity to nip this up a bit.

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Easy fix.

[] Seat improvement.

The seat base on the Invacar is a little unusual because the seat is designed to be able to slide a foot or so over to the left to aid someone transferring from a wheelchair into the car. To allow this it sits on rollers at both the front and the rear. The lateral movement is only locked by a single latch on the front runner...the downside of this is that between play in the latch, the front rollers and the unsecured rear, the rear of the seat can of course shift a little - probably an inch or so - during cornering. I imagine this was probably far less of an issue with the original seat as it wouldn't provide any lateral support to speak of - the one I have fitted does though. After a year and nearly a thousand miles, the feeling of that moving just as you start to go into a corner is still extremely disconcerting.

My solution for this was actually very simple.

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I just drilled two holes through the rear of the seat frame, through the back of the backplate the runner is attached to and out the back of the bulkhead, then stuck two bolts through it. This simply prevents the frame from being able to move left or right.

It's a tiny detail in the grand scheme of things, but I think it's one of those things which will make a huge difference to how pleasant the car is to drive.


[] Reassembly.

Last thing I had to do before putting the interior back together was to return the rigid brake lines to their clips, then it was just a matter of putting the hatch back in place and bolting the seat back in. Which took about half an hour because it decided to fight me.

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That seems to happen about one in four times you have the seat out, it just refuses to line up properly when you're trying to get the bolts in. Got there in the end though.

That's where I ran out of time today - hence why there are still tools strewn all over the place. I haven't fully bled the brakes yet as I'll obviously need to do that once I've fitted the new master cylinder and done the associated plumbing modifications. I did get enough air out though so I could get full pressure in the braking system to do a leak check on the pipework I'd disturbed - everything seemed just fine.

Before I got stuck into the Invacar I did take a look at the alternator on the Jag. I wanted to see how accessible it isn't.

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Actually looks a lot less buried than I expected...Awkward yes, but not utterly impossible. I reckon once the airbox is out of the way and maybe that idler for the air conditioning belt it should be *reasonably* accessible. Of course being a Jaguar I'm sure there will be one fastener that's completely inaccessible and probably isn't shown on the parts diagram just for giggles...I'll have a closer look and pull a couple of bits and pieces out when I've got a bit more time...but I'm leaning a lot more towards having a bash at changing the alternator myself than I was this time yesterday.

So a lot of little things today, but it feels like a reasonably productive afternoon as it ticked a few things off on the whiteboard in the garage.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

A most excellent read Zel :D What sot of oil goes in the Invacar gearbox and diff?