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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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

I couldn't shift the nuts on the Mazda wheels. Was looking to see if it had locking wheelnuts to throw away and discovered that the tyre was flat. Broke a socket on it.
Took it to the second hand tyre place and their rattle gun had it off in no time, loosened all the others and re-torqued them too :)
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

myglaren wrote: 24 Feb 2024, 11:26 I couldn't shift the nuts on the Mazda wheels. Was looking to see if it had locking wheelnuts to throw away and discovered that the tyre was flat. Broke a socket on it.
Took it to the second hand tyre place and their rattle gun had it off in no time, loosened all the others and re-torqued them too :)
Had that with the nut holding the fan onto the dynastart on the Invacar. Ended up bending several things trying to lock it in place and hanging off a large breaker bar. My big mains impact gun rattled it off like it wasn't even there.

-- -- --

Wanted to further investigate our mystery noise. I'd originally thought it was a brake dragging, but the fact that the noise didn't come and go with the application of the brakes meant that didn't quite make sense.

Didn't take long to find it (funny how when it's not raining and windy you have more patience).

Nearside rear wheel if I spin it is silent and will keep spinning for several tens of seconds. Offside on the other hand will stop after a couple of rotations, and you can hear something dragging. Particularly when the wheel starts to move. Not sure how well it comes across on camera.



While this sounds like it's a dragging brake, it isn't. With the drum removed the hub itself behaves exactly the same, the issue there is with the wheel bearings. Which is somewhat annoying as the inner bearing on this is a bit of a pig to deal with as the stub axle needs to be removed from the back of the hub. Fair enough, except for the shock absorber and its carrier being in the way.

Image

That grey plastic cap is covering the rear of the stub axle, and shows what needs to move (towards frame left) and how the shock absorber is right in the way. Not particularly difficult, it's going to involve dismantling a lot more stuff than I'd really like. I believe the "correct" way to do the job involves removing the whole semi trailing arm assembly from the car. Which admittedly isn't a massive headache for me here given that I know both of the main mounting bolts move! However I need to figure out how on earth to compress the spring safely without involving sketchy nonsense with bottle jacks and axle stands...I've never had to play that game with leaf springs before. Especially not ones arranged like this.

Image

Guess it would be a good opportunity to clean up and protect the trailing arm(s) and to clean and grease the spring anyway as that definitely would benefit from being done. If I can figure out how to de-tension it without killing myself anyway. I emphatically dislike doing jobs like this, however know that getting a garage involved will take several weeks.

On the plus side, the rear brakes look to all be basically brand new just like the front.

Image

Didn't actually need to remove the hub nut to remove the drum I later realised. Just a grub screw that holds the drum to the hub.

At least it's such a light car it's a doddle to jack and is laid out on such a way that it's really easy to support safely when working underneath.

I did notice that there's one other bit of quality repair been made to a bit of the boot floor in one spot.

Image

The underside actually looks in good shape aside from this bit, which is all down to rust that's come from inside the cabin because of the water ingress issues having been there for so long.

Guess I best go get a set of wheel bearings ordered then!

What are the odds of winding up with two cars both needing wheel bearings at the same time? Aren't cars fun?
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by xantia_v6 »

Did you see the yt series by seaside garage on his Trabant ? I think he had the rear arm off.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

xantia_v6 wrote: 25 Feb 2024, 01:12 Did you see the yt series by seaside garage on his Trabant ? I think he had the rear arm off.
Not something I've come across yet. Something I can have a look for.
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Yes, definitely need to be ultra-careful with that spring Zel ;) They can be lethal.

There's my hydraulic press at your disposal if you need it to do the bearings...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by RichardW »

Some sketchiness may be involved, but there doesn't seem to be a large amount of pre-load in the spring....

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Having had a think about it I think there's probably actually a pretty low-sketch solution. It looks to me as though the item limiting the travel is the shock absorber.

Solution: Remove the top shock retaining nut with weight on the suspension, then jack the car up. My theory is that will allow it to lift far enough to remove all preload from the spring. I reckon there should be plenty of flex in the bushes to allow that, especially if I slacken the trailing arm bolts off a bit. Should be easy enough to test that theory at least.

At the end of the day there's less than 300kg on the rear wheels so there can't be TOO much preload on there or the car would just bounce down the road uncontrollably.
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Yesterday Jim and I had another shot at getting the cruise control on the Partner going.

Sadly we weren't successful, as when going into the engine ECU configuration menu it simply claimed that this function wasn't available on my ECU. Though we have a hunch that this may well be a replacement ECU based on the fact that this message pops up every time you go into the Engine ECU menus.
IMG_20240226_121005.jpg
The actual ECU does respond properly when interrogated through the global test, and is obviously functioning as the car works, but it's clearly not happy about something.
IMG_20240226_115314.jpg
Can someone with access to the relevant systems look up what ECU this car should have originally been fitted with? I think knowing that and figuring out if we have the right one is key to making any further progress.

The wheel bearing on the Partner still hasn't progressed to the stage I can tell where it's coming from (99.999998% of drivers wouldn't even have noticed it yet). I suspect it's going to be the nearside front - not least because that hub was recently subjected to a certain amount of (entirely necessary) violence to remove the remains of a snapped wheel bolt. I'd not be at all surprised if these events are related. Nor am I going to point a finger at the garage and go "you broke my wheel bearing!" If it is that one and there's a connection between these events, so be it. These things happen.

Ideally it will be one of the rear ones though. Don't think it is, but I'd like it to be. If I is, I won't be just changing a bearing. Nope, if it's a rear one the whole axle will just be getting whipped out and swapped for a reconditioned one. I know from the excessive camber and how crashy the ride is that it's on its last legs (and it's definitely got worse since I've had it). So if we're taking the rear end apart we're just going to take the opportunity to just do the lot. I've said it before, but we're ideally planning on this being a long term fleet member so I'm not going to begrudge an opportunity to tick off two jobs in one work order.

This afternoon for the second time in a couple of years I took an improbably tiny car to do a Costco run.

Image

Not the smallest car I've taken there, but close!

Image

Big difference though is that the Trabant actually has proper cargo space. Got the whole shop in the boot as well, it's really an impressive size for such a small car.
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: 28 Feb 2024, 02:03I suspect it's going to be the nearside front - not least because that hub was recently subjected to a certain amount of (entirely necessary) violence to remove the remains of a snapped wheel bolt. I'd not be at all surprised if these events are related.

Very possibly Zel, I've known it happen on a Xantia with a stuck driveshaft...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Box containing the wheel bearings for the Trabant and some properly matched paint have turned up.
IMG_20240301_131132.jpg
Predictably this has turned up before the parcel from another supplier a couple of hours away for something totally unrelated that was ordered 48 hours earlier!

I'll have a bash at getting that lot fitted next week. I'm busy this weekend so won't have the opportunity until then.

Something I have been playing around with a lot more lately has been getting back into film photography. Unfortunately I have now reached the point where I'm running into hardware limitations of the equipment I have at home. Specifically where scanning is concerned. The Epson V700 that I've got here is generally pretty well regarded in terms of a flatbed scanner with the ability to handle transparencies, however it's still a flatbed scanner at the end of the day, and their design always includes compromises from an optical standpoint. While it handles larger formats like 120 just fine, the results from scanning 35mm (or worse, 110) negatives/slides always come out looking really quite soft. The quick scans I have provided by the shop that does the development for me show far sharper detail despite being relatively low resolution. While this thing claims to be able to scan at up to 6400dpi, I don't think it can actually optically resolve much past 1500 or so. I might have managed to nudge that up a tiny bit by fiddling around shimming the film trays to try to get the focus optimised, but it still isn't great. All scanning at higher resolutions does is generate larger files in terms of data, there isn't actually any more detail visible. I had been struggling with colour balance as well before, though I have since got that largely sorted after discovering a whole bunch of options in Vuescan - including the ability to properly calibrate the scanner using an IT8 test slide. Colours are far better since I've done that, obviously that isn't going to do anything about the optical resolution though.

A couple of years back I'd have considered the results I'm getting now to be "good enough." Unfortunately I've grown both in terms of learning to use the camera better and driving the scanning software since then - but also have started to hold myself to a higher standard in terms of the final output.

Basically, I need to upgrade to a dedicated film scanner I think if I want to get better results. Fun fact: Those are annoyingly expensive! Especially as unlike most consumer electronics that's a field which seems to move pretty slowly. The Plustek 8200I seems to be widely regarded as the yardstick to which most things get compared these days in terms of the actual optical performance - and it looks like that was launched way back in 2012! I mean, if it ain't broke don't fix it, but given pretty much every other piece of computer equipment gets relaunched with a different model number and a different coloured case every three and a half days that's a bit of a surprise. I am however fighting with myself to justify spending £300+ on a bit of equipment that I really don't actually NEED. Looking at completed listings on eBay, doesn't look like there's a huge saving available buying used, and honestly something like this buying new so you've got a manufacturers warranty does make a lot of sense to me.

One of these days I really must take up a nice cheap hobby...Those do actually exist, right?
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote: 01 Mar 2024, 14:36 One of these days I really must take up a nice cheap hobby...Those do actually exist, right?
No, I don't believe such a thing actually does Zel... Many say running is a cheap hobby but when you look at the cost of shoes, technical clothing and Garmin devices it quickly isn't..

And if you enter races, they don't come cheap - triathlons and duathlons especially...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Try Kite flying Zel but don't get competitive, just do it for fun and fresh air, equip yourself with a couple of canes, an old bedsheet and a ball of string!! Be flying for less than a fiver!! :-D
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I got a film scanner from Lidl a couple of years ago for under £50. Next time I see they are on the website I will let you know.

Next time there is a get together I could pass mine on to Jim, so you could borrow it to convert the film to a digital image, if that would help?
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 01 Mar 2024, 17:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

There are a load of reviews of film scanners on YouTube.
Just one of them.

I could do with one but want it for 6x6 cm and to work with Linux.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

myglaren wrote: 01 Mar 2024, 16:51 There are a load of reviews of film scanners on YouTube.
Just one of them.

I could do with one but want it for 6x6 cm and to work with Linux.
The "work with Linux" bit at least isn't too complicated as Vuescan tends to have that covered. Yes it means paying for an additional bit of software, but when it's something genuinely useful that's been in development basically by one guy for so long I don't really mind that. You get what you pay for as well, it's a very powerful bit of kit and is so many times better than the laughable nonsense usually bundled with scanners or the antiquated mess that is Xsane that there really is no comparison.

For something as large as 6x6 a decent flatbed with a proper transparency unit like the V700 I've got should do just fine. The scans I've got from that from 120 originals look entirely acceptable, it just struggles with anything smaller.

I have had a couple of those cheaper film scanner devices in the past and pretty quickly decided that they were basically useless. The slightly more expensive one was about £70 I think (admittedly we're going back ten years or so here), and was basically just a box containing the cheapest 1MP digital camera-on-aboard they could get and a poorly diffused LED backlight and a sticker with some long defunct camera maker's name on. I mean, if all you were interested in was getting memories onto a computer it absolutely worked, but at the end of the day still looked like a photo taken on a cheap digital camera from 2003. In fairness, still probably better than I could manage with the flatbed scanner I had at the time - but nowhere near what my current one can manage.

To compare the definition available from a good film with a good lens to digital, you're talking somewhere in the region of the 20MP mark. With a reeeaallly sharp lens and something with a super fine grain like a low ISO roll of Fuji Velvia or Kodachrome, maybe a touch more, but that's the sort of ballpark you really want to be aiming for in terms of what you're scanning at - and the scanner needs to be able to make our detail at. Obviously colour is another major factor given the gamut available on film (especially when you're dealing with slides), so scanning at 48-bit or higher really is a must. Not that you'll necessarily SEE that, but the more colour information and dynamic range that you can capture and get into the computer, the more you've got to work with when doing any post processing. That's why any decent modern digital camera gives the option of shooting RAW images rather than just saving them as a Jpeg or PNG. This does have the downside of making the images awkwardly large - the files spit out by Vuescan with my current setup are usually somewhere around 200Mb apiece. Obviously they're not stored that way long term, as once I've done the necessary post processing, they're exported as a Jpeg at a high quality setting, usually ending up with an image that's in the 6-10Mb range depending on content. If it's something I'm particularly proud of/think I might actually want to get prints of later I may in those cases save the uncompressed TIFF we started with. Those are few and far between though.

Another feature that the cheaper scanners rarely have is an infrared scanning mode. I only recently discovered that my Epson has the ability to do this (only taken me a few years...oops). Quite a clever way of filtering out dust and scratches on the transparency without actually requiring you to manually do the retouching. It works by taking a scan using an IR backlight, and taking advantage of the fact that (most) photographic film and colour emulsions are largely transparent to light at that wavelength. Dust and such however isn't - so it allows the software to "see" where the dust is and automatically correct for it. I hadn't realised quite how useful that was and how big a difference it can make until I had it working. Definitely not something I would want to go back to not having.

The other oft mentioned way of getting good quality scans of transparencies is to use a DSLR camera, a good macro lens and a light box. However I don't have a DSLR nor a suitable lens, plus that's an approach which takes quite a bit of effort and practice to get consistent results out of. Fair bit of workstation space needed too which I'm always short on.
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.