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, BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

As mentioned above, TPA has been marking her territory since the last oil change.

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This is because the idiot doing the service for reasons utterly unknown decided to refit the rather dog eared copper washer rather than replacing it. Which would have required him to walk all of four feet to pull one out the box.

This has now been rectified.

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On the plus side, the sump only holds 1.75 litres of oil so I haven't wasted much by changing it twice in 200 miles.

On the downside, the sump only holds 1.75 litres of oil, so you *really* want it to stay inside the engine.

While I'd got the sump empty (again) I figured it wouldn't hurt to take a look at the sump strainer. I had been checking it religiously for the first few oil changes as quite a bit of sludge was initially washed out - but subsequent checks revealed nothing so I'd left it be for a while. Reckon it's probably been untouched for 650 miles or so now. Any slime present today?

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Nope. Clean as a whistle (well, a very oily whistle...but you get the idea). The grainy looking bits at the far edge are attached to the gasket. No deposits in the basket at all.

I think with regular oil changes and the sort of driving I do I can probably drop pulling this out down the service interval list a bit. It's worth keeping an eye on, but definitely doesn't need to be pulled out with every oil change or anything like that from the looks of things.

Later in the afternoon I found five minutes to fit the new horn properly.

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Aside from needing to fit the proper foam pads in the fuel tank frame (which I do now have in stock at long last) it's *almost* looking vaguely orderly under here now...

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The spare belt got in the way of the catch for the hatch so has been relocated to in a bag under the seat for now. I'm probably going to attach a couple of the down points for said bag on the fuel tank supports when I have them out to fit the anti vibration pads so it can stay up front, but somewhere actually out of the way.

I took the Jag out for a quick run to the post office in the afternoon and it rewarded me in a typically Jaguar way by having random components decide to fall off for no readily explicable reason.

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Situation normal then!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Out and about today. No photos sadly as I was running late and had to just about double the route length due to me having not realised things were closed (the fact this is Good Friday had completely passed me by, as my brain still thinks it's March 374th 2020.

Glad to report that the sump plug does indeed now appear to be oil tight.

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Though we definitely do have a weep from the diff on the offside, so I'll need to look into changing the driveshaft seal at some point. It doesn't seem to be enough to show on the level, just enough to make a horrible mess.

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Level has never visibly dropped between checks. But it doesn't take much to make a huge mess. Given the state of the outside of the diff casing (I chipped of congealed mud and oil the best part of an inch thick when I had it out between cars) I'm guessing it's probably been like this for decades!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

The Jag got an oil change a few days ago, but I found myself unable to get the oil filter off.

Quite HOW I managed to get it removed last time before buying one of these I have absolutely no idea.

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The issue you have is that you only have access to what seems like the bottom few millimetres of the filter casing - and you can't even see it. Equally helpfully you're hard up against the nearside exhaust on one side, and it sits about 1/2" away from the side of the gearbox bell housing on the other so you really can't get your hand on it, and there's no room to get a strap wrench in.

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Might be easier with the car on ramps, but with it on the ground it's a right faff. Especially as there's about an inch and a half of ground clearance on this thing.

Thinking the rear silencers may well go back on the Jag. It's the front ones which probably need altered to really release the full V12 bowl under acceleration - whereas the deletion of the rear ones (which are just deresonators) does sound nice at high RPM and low idle - the boominess at 1100-1500rpm can get tiresome. Especially in 30mph zones where it can be quite obtrusive.

Last thing I did today was to address some remedial bodywork on the rear of TPA. I'd had issues with a crack appearing to the left of the engine cover, which was basically because I'd done an appalling job of getting the new glass fibre I had laid down to adhere to the underlying bodywork. Hopefully I've done a better job this time.

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I've managed to get a lot smoother finish than I did last time - basically because I decided to ditch the applicator and form it by hand (wearing gloves obviously). This was WAY easier. I also used the excess left over to smooth over some of the horribly rough bits on the other side (this is where I started out rebuilding the rear apron so is where the fabrication was at its roughest).

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Chuck a bit of paint on there after I've hit it with some sandpaper to knock off any high spots and it should look better I think.

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Still be as rough as the North Sea in a hurricane, but better than it was.

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

When applying body filler it's a good idea to use an old polythene carrier bag over it to smooth out the horrid stuff before it sets (iron it :) ) then just peel off the bag, saves a lot of sanding.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
05 Apr 2021, 09:11
When applying body filler it's a good idea to use an old polythene carrier bag over it to smooth out the horrid stuff before it sets (iron it :) ) then just peel off the bag, saves a lot of sanding.
I did try that on one of the areas up front, but the bags just dissolved! Guessing that might be something to do with everything having to be biodegradable these days. Something I might need to revisit though as it would go a long way to dealing with the otherwise inevitable stray fibres which get dragged off whatever applicator implement you use.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Some additional fibreglass and several coats of resin applied to the back of TPA. Bit of sanding obviously needed and it's never going to be (even close to) perfect, but should definitely be an improvement.

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Even before I've done any sanding I think you can see how much smoother the finish is. Perfection isn't the target here, "presentable" is what I'm aiming for.

Once that was done and I was waiting for that to cure I turned my attention to the Jag.

Spot the difference?

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Yep, rear silencers are back on.

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Definitely preferable...I must be getting older! Would prefer a bit more of an exhaust note, but for now I'll take refinement as a win.

I just had to poke this rust scab didn't I?

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Guess I'll be getting the welder out soon then.

I'll probably cut out more than I really need to, as hiding the seam under the bumper will be far easier than trying to flat my welds back to the point they're invisible! Plus this colour will be a pig to match.

I was expecting to find a hole there to be honest. Doesn't look like there's been any prior work there and we know the boot leaks like a sieve. Plus she's a 36 year old Jag, a bit of rust is something you just need to deal with, that's a pretty easy bit to deal with in the grand scheme of things.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

While it was lovely, dry and sunny earlier on today I had the Jag out again. Yes...Having the silencers back on again is so, so much nicer.

Then this nonsense arrived.

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Meant I got a nice photo of the snow in the trees in the evening though.

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Later on I was pointed at this website by the owner over on another forum I'm on: Linky.

I've been meaning to get some replica tax discs made up for the fleet forever, but baulked at the cost that most places were asking for them. I started to make my own a couple of times, but being picky enough about my work I never got to a finish I was happy with. These look the part though.

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I'll probably print these off again and put them through the typewriter to do the text as that will look far more authentic. Or just stick it in in software because I'm too lazy to go digging in the loft for the typewriter...

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Did a bit of sanding back today...and after about half an hour remembered precisely how little patience I have for that sort of thing and how much my back (which I'd already hacked off during a tip run earlier) hates it.

So quickly got to a stage of throwing my hands up in the air and saying "Sod it, that's good enough, throw some paint on it."

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I didn't realise quite how much even this had improved things though until I looked at a couple of older photos though...

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It'll do for now! Car has been in the garage without moving for long enough now. Plus I'm still planning somewhere down the line to A: Hopefully get some actual moulds made for the rear apron and B: Chuck it at a body shop to have a few things sorted out more professionally. So I'm not spending too long on this - dealing with the crack I'd had issues with on the nearside and keeping the car presentable from 30 paces is good enough for me.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Nothing much to report today. Have been fighting off a headache that's been threatening to turn into a migraine so have been taking it easy.

While I haven't been able to track down my stash of tax disc holders yet, I knew where the one which came with the Jag was so have put the replica disc in there now.

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I'll likely revisit this once I've figured out a bit better replica for the stamp. Yes, realised right as I clicked print that it would have still been the DVLC back in 85, but it looks the part and that's the whole idea!

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Really need to adjust the wipers again...they were just thrown back on when I had the motor apart and are parked way too far up the windscreen. Oh, and wash the poor thing.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

40 mile round trip done in TPA today (Dunstable and back), and spent the vast majority of it being held up by other traffic. The woman in the Fiesta who kept slowing down to 30 while looking at her phone then accelerating back to 70, then repeating roughly every 60 seconds got old in a hurry. Was very glad to get past her once we got to a dual carriageway.

TPA actually needs a wash now as the heavens opened halfway back.

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While the lack of an intermittent wipe function is a bit irritating, the tiny wiper actually copes just fine and does a decent job of clearing the screen. So long as you're moving the water all seems to stay outside too. Which is nice as it helps keep the windscreen from steaming up.

Has made me really appreciate quite how knackered the roads in MK are! Felt like I was driving on a freshly surfaced formula 1 track compared to driving around locally here.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Had TPA out again yesterday. Now proudly displaying her replica tax disc.

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Ended up doing something I haven't in years. After I was done with the errands I had to run, I just picked a road and decided to see where it went. Was probably out for a couple of hours all in. That says a lot I think about how I've started to build some proper confidence in this car - and enjoying driving her.

Observations:

10" wheels and quite firm suspension aren't great with the condition a lot of roads round here are in. The fact there are quite so many crashes and rattles from the bodywork and doors I think makes it seem worse than it is because of the noise. It's not actually too jarring and the seat helps provide a decent amount of isolation too. Really want to move on getting the roof lined as I think that will help with the racket.

She's far more at home on A roads than B roads funnily enough. A roads tend to have more sweeping curves with better sight lines so it's easier to carry speed through corners. B roads don't afford the same opportunities (at least the one I was on today...doubly as it's not a road I know) so I was finding myself wishing I had a couple of BHP more on a couple of occasions, and did pull in to let the queue behind me pass at a couple of points. Activa is the car for roads like that.

Still won't impact me driving the car though, and is useful experience to gain. Was a really good workout for the brakes too...so I can now say that brake fade doesn't seem to be an issue, as I was working them pretty hard at a few points!

We're still leaking a bit of oil though I spotted when I came to put her back into the garage a few hours later.

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Not a huge amount, just two single drips it looks like. However that's two drips too many for my liking.

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I need to do a bit more detective work first but it looks like the culprit is the crankshaft oil seal.

Which would unfortunate as I'm pretty certain changing that will be an engine out job as I think the whole rear engine mount assembly will have to come off to get an impact driver onto it. I'll get a set of seals ordered anyway so they're in stock whenever I need them. If I do end up doing that I'll basically just replace every oil seal on the outside of the engine while it's out.

I'm not *too* worried about it at this point...I just want to keep an eye on it. With so little oil in the sump leaks are something not to be taken lightly though. If it is just a couple of drips when we stop I'm not going to panic though.

Apparently it's catching too...

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This could be engine oil or LHM, it's hard to tell because it's dripping off the under tray, so there's no way to see where it's coming from directly. Don't think it's coolant. I'll need to investigate it. There definitely is an oil leak somewhere we need to deal with though as the sump in general looks quite wet.

In addition to the replica tax disc in TPA, the rest of the fleet now have them too, thanks to Qarecar.com.

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The ridiculous variety visible from one of the upstairs bedroom windows earlier today definitely made me smile.

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

Post by white exec »

A whole new turnaround meaning to "displaying an out-of-date tax disc" =D>
Who would ever have thought, ociffer. . .

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Well let's monitor the Invacar oil leak now I've resolved this.

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Dumb mechanic error. Guessing I forgot to thread the dipstick in to take the reading. Let's see if this has sorted it next time we're out.

Only real car job was to finish sorting the wipers on the Jag. When I sorted out the intermittent motor back last year I never really put any effort into getting the wiper alignment right and had broken the non return valve for the windscreen washers. Both of these issues were resolved today, so the wipers now park in the correct spot again, so only a quarter of the way rather than halfway up the windscreen.

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Replaced the wiper blades too as the ones on there looked horrible. They went rusty pretty much the day they were fitted.

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Last job was to realign the washer jets as the driver's side one washed the scuttle and the passenger side one was pointing skywards.



Much better. Granted that's one item of about 700 on the to do list ticked off...but it's something at least!

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

Post by myglaren »

All your replica tax discs should show approximately the same date and your neighbours will think they have gone through a time warp.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Loving the tax discs Zel :) I must get one for Daffodil...

Great to briefly see you today and here's hoping the drip from the Activa is nothing serious 🤞