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 looked at Vuescan and wasn't entirely convinced that it would work.
Like this:-
Zel wrote: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.
I'm thinking of using my DSLR and cobbling together a copying rig.
I have intermittently used a projector and screen but it is clunky.

Looked at an Hasselblad scanner but lots of moolah.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Kite flying really is much simpler!!! :-D
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Found the page I originally read on a good way to use a DSLR.

To be honest if I already had a suitable camera I'd probably give that a shot - but buying a new camera pretty much solely for the purpose is probably a bit overkill - and by the time I've got that (even assuming secondhand) and the necessary lenses it's going to work out far more expensive than a dedicated device. I can see a fair amount of experimentation being needed there as well as the lens is absolutely critical to the results you'll get there. Both in terms of sharpness and geometry, so no guarantee the first one you'd pick up would work.

Given that I've come within a couple of tens of feet of being struck by lightning twice already I'll pass on the kite flying I think!
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 myglaren »

The upside would be that you would have a DSLR to play with.
Much as losing my complete Olympus SLR cameras and lenses, I would probably not use them now anyway.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Had a bit of a break from our usual routine yesterday and came across something that's a very rare sight on this side of the Atlantic these days.

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Actually a pretty rare sight in the US as well as we found a couple of trips ago, but definitely unusual over here. As a birthday treat for one of the family we made a trip up to Arcade Club up in Bury. They are and always have been heavily into their video games and had been wanting to make a run up there for quite a while now. I'm not a huge gamer really, the pinball is what really attracted my attention. Nevertheless I still lost a couple of hours to Arkanoid, Warlords (in both upright and table forms), Outrun, Robotron, Marble Madness and good old Pac-Man among others. I knew before we set out that they had "a few" pinball tables, but finding 18 I think it was in that room (plus two randomly in another area downstairs) was a definite surprise, one which I very much enjoyed taking advantage of.

Don't get me wrong - I am NOT an expert player by any stretch of the imagination. I can however pass as "reasonably competent" on a table I know my way around. The precision that some folks can muster though still utterly astounds me.

All got some play time. I still don't like Twilight Zone for all it's touted as a classic table by a lot of folks, I just don't get along with it. Addams Family is still good fun, as is Dr. Who. Surprise of the day though was The Getaway.

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For all this is apparently a well known and highly regarded table it's one which had somehow escaped me having known of its existence until yesterday - which surprises me both given how popular it is and that it's a William's table, and they're the ones I usually look at first. Really enjoyed how that table played and probably spent a good couple of hours on it over the course of the day.

Would I pick it over Medieval Madness (which is probably my all time favourite table to date) if I could pick any table to have in my house? If I'd won the lottery, probably not. However given that they seem to change hands for about a third of the price, it would absolutely be a contender if I was looking.

I mean they are all absolutely absurdly expensive for what is indeed absolutely a toy in a domestic setting which is why it's very unlikely I'll ever end up with an actual table (also...they're not exactly small!). They're also a definite commitment when it comes to maintenance if you want them to hold their value.

I personally reckon the late 80s/early 90s was the peak for pinball table design. They Later than that they just got needlessly complicated tended to add lots of flashy tat on top which really doesn't do anything to actually enhance the gameplay. Especially the raft of movie tie ins from Stern. Sure they'll keep me occupied for ten minutes, but after that they're just so utterly forgettable and all play so like each other it's hard to tell them apart. Which is why the handful of modern tables in that photo probably got about ten minutes of play time each, and I honestly can't remember anything about any of them! Yes I know that under the skin that Medieval Madness and Attack from Mars are very similar tables, but they play differently enough it's really not obvious unless you're thinking about it and know to look for the similarities - plus they both play really WELL rather than just being painfully average, which is probably my biggest gripe with the Stern tables.

There's a mind boggling amount of kit here right through the years from an original Asteroids cabinet, through the 80s to more or less the present day, and a decent number of import games we never got in the UK. One of our number has a huge soft spot for both rhythm and dancing games, and found themselves very well catered for. Not only do they have probably a dozen dancing games, they ALL are in good working order. In fact I think I only saw one or two out of order signs the whole day. Which given they've got four floors pretty well and truly packed full is very much a credit to the folks here looking after things.

If you've got a day, like games and are in the Bury area it's well worth a visit. Their cafe gets a mention too. The food is very basic fare, but for what it is it's pretty decent. More to the point given they've got a captive audience they have pointedly NOT chosen to price gouge. Freshly made 10" pizza and a Coke, £6.20. For food pricing inside an attraction in 2024 I don't think that's in any way something you can complain about.

Was a really fun, if very long day! We drove up on Friday evening, had the day there on Saturday and drove back this morning. Surprisingly the traffic actually behaved itself in both directions, even though we were all tiring of travelling south when it was sunny and the road was wet by the time we got home.

Normal service will probably resume tomorrow.
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 mickthemaverick »

It just has to be done after that revelation Zel! :-D

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

Post by Rp0thejester »

Oh god, Berri, I was Middleton so Berri brings back memories. Yes I know it's Bury but up north when I was a kid it was pronounced b rri. I wonder if my generation would ever do that with Sega master systems and mega drives and NES. Probably not as home game consoles kind of killed the 'lets get together and play' Now you play with your mates online and even then you've probably never met them.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by CitroJim »

Magic :D Used to love pinball machines Zel! I was rubbish at them... Definitely not Tommy!!!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

CitroJim wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 05:40 Magic :D Used to love pinball machines Zel! I was rubbish at them... Definitely not Tommy!!!
I've always said the same about anything intended to provide amusement: Doesn't matter if you're good at it or not. If you had fun then it's all good!

Admittedly, easier to say when somewhere like Arcade Club where everything is set to free play rather than eating all your change in five minutes flat!
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 »

Indeed, being rubbish didn't stop me thoroughly enjoying them Zel :D
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by bobins »

I watched a couple of Alec's videos on a deep dive into an old school pinball machine on his Technology Connections Youtube. By 'eck, there's an awful lot 'stuff' and clickety clackety things that go into making one of them work. :shock:
Sadly no longer a C5 owner :(
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

bobins wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 17:46 I watched a couple of Alec's videos on a deep dive into an old school pinball machine on his Technology Connections Youtube. By 'eck, there's an awful lot 'stuff' and clickety clackety things that go into making one of them work. :shock:
Any "modern" table isn't too bad. It LOOKs scary, but it's really just the same things repeated over and over again. All of the control and the "smarts" is handled by electronics. Now, older electromechanical tables before microcontrollers/processors got involved, now *those* are complicated. You're essentially looking at a shrunk down version of an electromechanical telephone exchange - as the way a lot of the control of the scoring systems uses very uniselector like arrangements. There's a channel on YouTube called Joe's Classic Video Games where he repairs quite a few of these machines, and does go into some of the principles of how they work.

Yesterday I set about making my temporary fuel return system on the Rover slightly less sketchy. I had originally run this using 3/8" brake line for most of the run just as proof of concept. I wasn't happy with that though, but I just didn't have enough proper fuel line on hand at the time.

The end results (well, save for a couple of hose clips I was short of):

Where we hook up to the original return line from the carb feed line.

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The original return line has been capped off for safety's sake. I don't think it's going to suddenly start spilling fuel back to the engine bay, but I don't want to take the chance.

Hose clips obviously still had to be added here.

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That bolt is only half threaded so there's a nice smooth area to seal to the hose, and the bit of hose is a snug fit on both the bolt and the nylon line.

The line follows the route of the factory fuel lines down the back of the engine bay.

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Then follows the main bundle of pipework and cabling along the underside of the car.

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Up into the car through the bung I'd found in the floor under the rear seat (with a suitable grommet to protect the hose).

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Then joins the loom of cables and pipework that runs through into the boot through a grommet behind the backrest of the rear seat.

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Then around the tank and onto our former vent port that's now our return spill port.

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Couple of additional hose clips needed here in the photo.

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Which should have us most of the way towards having a working fuel system. Though the car was still running a bit lean it seemed (as it demonstrated to me a week or so back when I had the air cleaner off and blipped the throttle, resulting in a cough and then proper shotgun like report out of the left hand carb which left my ears ringing for about an hour). This didn't surprise me really as I know the original return line had a restriction in it to act as a crude pressure regulator. I have picked up a cheap regulator, though I don't have huge hopes for that (because...well...cheap parts). If it doesn't work I've an idea to make my own crude version using an adjustable clamp on the line.

You may ask why I'm messing about with a cheap pressure regulator. Quite simply because this isn't intended to be permanent, and it doesn't seem worth spending real money on a regulator that's going to get stuffed in a box in the garage and forgotten about after a couple of months. I have however ensured it's installed in the boot rather than the engine bay just in case it does leak. Yes, because I trust it about as far as I can throw it.

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Guess what happened after I'd been driving around for about 20 minutes? The engine cut out and wouldn't restart. Guess why...no fuel being delivered.

Initial suspicion fell on the regulator...which when removed revealed no fuel coming down the return line. Cue much poking and prodding and swearing at everything I'd done yesterday.

That fuel pump, which I bought from a marque specialist...yep, it's dead. Well it's kind of dead...it pumps just fine until you present it with anything resembling a pressure head to pump against, at which point it stops pumping until it's power cycled an indeterminate number of times. It has always been horrifically noisy so I'm not hugely surprised, but it's disappointing as it wasn't cheap.

I then tried to switch over to the spare Hardi pump I've been kindly provided with by a reader of my blogs. That apparently needs a service, as more fuel came peeing out from around failed seals on that under gravity than I was getting out of the previous pump when it was running. Guess I'll need to order a service kit for that then...and will be nicking the pump back out of the Invacar again for now!

That's a job for another day though. Next job is sorting the failing wheel bearing on the Trabant which has progressed to making an unpleasant gronking noise with each wheel rotation now, so that's not going anywhere again until that's changed. Which is great as it's meant to be going to a show at the weekend. I'll need to drop by and cancel the MOT tomorrow as the odds of me getting everything needed for that done tomorrow are slim, especially as I'm going to be otherwise engaged for a large chunk of the afternoon. I don't *think* a press is required - though apparently getting the hub off can be a real pain.

...I did replace the broken reflector on the nearside tail light though with a random one I found in the parts stash.

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Let's see how things go tomorrow.
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 »

A good read again Zel, sorry to hear the Rover is still not playing nicely in the fuel department.

I'd be tempted to revert to the standard mechanical arrangement or are pumps like hen's teeth now?

I have a good hydraulic hub puller if you need one...
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

CitroJim wrote: 06 Mar 2024, 05:59 A good read again Zel, sorry to hear the Rover is still not playing nicely in the fuel department.

I'd be tempted to revert to the standard mechanical arrangement or are pumps like hen's teeth now?

I have a good hydraulic hub puller if you need one...
I have tried to buy an original one - what turned up was a completely nameless modern "reproduction" which was so well made the mounting bolts didn't even line up. Surprise surprise it didn't even try to work. Ended up having to issue a chargeback through PayPal on that one. Should I try again? Maybe.

No reason the setup I've got won't work, and the Hardi pumps are good quality examples, I just need to service one of them. Which in hindsight I probably should have just done when it arrived.

Edit: Had a spare ten minutes so have chucked the one that normally lives in the Invacar back in.
IMG_20240306_124723.jpg
Really need to swap that one hose clip on the pump for a proper fuel line one.

Can confirm now that the speed of the pump ticking now varies with the adjustment on the return line pressure regulator.
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 »

Time for an update. Let's do this car by car as that's likely to be least confusing.

Partner: Continuing to do car things. The wheel bearing really hasn't got much worse, you can definitely hear it but it's not bad. Which kind of supports my theory that it's got a ding in the race or something from when the hub had the bolt extracted rather than being a wear issue.

I did however end up driving around in circles for a good ten minutes. Why? Because you only get to see this line up a couple of times in a vehicle's life.

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Rover:

Having stolen the fuel pump from the Invacar again, I figured it was about time I tidied up the power supply. I was still using the piggy backed feed from the starter solenoid back from when I bodged things together when it broke down on a previous occasion and I shoved an electric pump on as a get-me-home fix. Not a long term solution.

A proper ignition switched feed was sourced from the heater blower fuse on the fuse box (which already had a spur running from it for the radio, so I nicked that), and routed it properly to the pump following the factory wiring loom. Even using all the factory wiring clips.

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That's a bit tidier. I still need to add the inertia switch, but that's a ten minute job, and I want things working reliably before adding another potential point of failure.

Those of you who have followed all of my trials and tribulations with this car will remember me finding this thing randomly floating around down the back of the engine when I pulled the heads off.

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This was pretty quickly figured out to be the transmission vent line. Evidently whoever last had things apart never reattached this. To whoever didn't take the opportunity to reattach it while things were substantially apart, I hate you.

It's just a bit awkward to get to. Can you see where the line attaches?

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Zoom in.

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Zoom in further...there it is!

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Absolutely no way on earth the semi-rigid nylon line was going back on there working on the ground. With it on a proper lift it would merely be massively awkward. As it is I can get about 1.5 fingers onto the thing, never mind a whole hand...I spent half an hour fighting with it before giving in.

So it's had a bit of fuel line stuffed on there and looped up and back down vaguely like the original line.

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You'll have to take my word for it that it's attached at the gearbox end. Getting that on there only took me about twenty minutes of swearing.

The fluid was also a *little* on the low side.

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Not helped by the fluid level checking method in the handbook being wrong. It says to check it cold with the engine off (hence the whole..."check cold" text on the dipstick). This is wrong. It needs to be checked at operating temperature with the engine running apparently. Took this much to get it up to the right level.

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Also worth noting that these gearboxes do NOT take normal Dex II/III fluid. They need type F fluid. Surprisingly, Mileham's had a few (admittedly rather dusty) bottles on the shelf. Don't imagine they'll be bothering to re-stock those! It looks, feels and smells the same as what's in the box so I'm reasonably confident this hasn't been filled with the wrong fluid at least.

Also apparently the heater box is missing a bunch of screws.

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Don't think I have any others that are short enough in stock so will need to buy some.

So far the fuel system still seems to be cooperating. Though I do need to adjust things a little as the warm idle is way too high, at about 1000 rpm in neutral. Should be nearer 750 - or lower if you can get the engine to reliably idle slower, to reduce the "thump" when selecting drive/reverse.

Following day I had to run some errands and decided to take a brave pill regarding my choice of transport.

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Proof it has actually moved!

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Made it home again too. Without breaking down. In fact without adding anything else to the to do list.

Annoyingly, the oil leak hasn't miraculously fixed itself.

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That's going to be a barrel of laughs to fix. It's the gasket behind the oil pump/filter housing that needs to be replaced. It's just *slightly* awkward to get to.

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I took a quick video to show the progress to date. I literally just wedged my phone between the dash and the windscreen, so low production quality! The loud bang about halfway through was me closing the glove box which decided to fall open and scare me half to death completely randomly.



So...

Oil leak is the big priority for the sake of other road users. I'm not comfortable driving it further until that's sorted. Other high priority items will be getting the radiator recored, the remaining original coolant lines replaced and the tyres need to be changed as they are definitely flat spotted. Only really noticeable above 50, so not a huge issue for local use, but definitely want doing before any longer trips - they're absolutely ancient anyway so they want changing anyway.

I do actually feel like I'm making progress now at last rather than just chasing my tail, which is nice.

However, you remember the fuel leak which caused a small environmental disaster and caused our house to stink of fuel for a full week? Guess what reappeared this afternoon? From exactly the same spot...Yep, the same bloody leak.

I think the root cause of the issue was actually down to the fuel filter itself. This had no ridge on the end of the hose barb, and I think the hose was just sliding down from the 8mm to 6mm section. Said cheap and nasty tiny filter has now been consigned to the bin and a larger, better quality one has been fitted.

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It was immediately apparent once the hose was connected that it was far more secure even before the hose clip was done up. Said hose clip has also been replaced to be safe. I've had that happen before on one of these but thought at the time it was a fluke. They're getting binned though now.

Will I be obsessively checking these connections every single time the car is used for about the next year? Yes. Absolutely.

Also really really need to get some black HT leads.


Trabant:

My box of several different sized pullers had turned up, so battle commenced with the Trabant wheel bearing replacement.

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Honestly not sure if I had loosened it when I tried to remove it last time, as it just slid straight off with relatively little effort this time round.

Not maybe quite as bad as I was expecting given the noise this was making, but yeah this clearly isn't as clean as you would like to see.

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Even more to my surprise, the lower shock absorber bolt unscrewed with any drama.

Couple of people had mentioned that removing the handbrake cable *before* starting to remove the trailing arm was a good way to save your sanity, so I wasted far too long trying to figure out the correct way to dismantle the brakes. Got there in the end though. Reassembling that won't be at all awkward I'm sure.

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The self adjusters in this are really quite clever. A really simple sliding ratchet arrangement which is built into the shoe retaining pins. They can move outward away from the piston, but not inward - so the force of the shoe moving itself works the adjuster. It's really simple, but looks to me like this should be quite reliable.

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The brake line itself was the next thing to be disconnected.

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Of course because I am highly intelligent, I parked the car such that I had to lay in the Rover's oil puddle while doing this. Well done.

Then it was literally just a case of unscrewing the two trailing arm bolts. I did support the bottom of the hub with a jack to ensure any remaining tension on the spring was supported. There wasn't much, but there was definitely a bit of tension left. Just enough I'm sure to make getting everything back together an absolute pain.

Something definitely missing here!

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Oh, here it is!

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The shock absorber mounting bracket also then needs to be removed from the arm as it gets in the way.

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I was really worried these bolts might snap, but they thankfully didn't. Did protest a bit, but they came out. The rubber cover the revealed the cause of our issue. The inner bearing had clearly suffered water contamination based on the amount of rust that fell out.

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Pretty sure this was the cause of our issues as the outer bearing didn't seem to be noisy.

The stub axle could then be knocked through the back of the hub. This is seriously chunky looking for a 600kg car. Can of Plusgas for scale.

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The inner bearing can just be pushed out the back of the housing with a suitable drift. The outer one comes out from the wheel side - after you've found and removed the circlip hiding in among the slimy old grease under the seal.

One set of knackered bearings. The thing on the left is the spacer which sits between the two.

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This needs to be cleaned up, then I can set about (carefully) installing the new bearings.

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Now I know how it comes apart hopefully should go back together a little quicker.

Having now seen how it comes apart, I reckon you *could* do this with the trailing arm still on the car, but it would be way, way more awkward - and the additional stress and swearing probably isn't worth the half hour or so it might save.

Would have been a bit silly not to get the surface rust on the suspension arm treated and a bit of protection applied while it's off the car. On goes a coat of Vactan.

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Then some topcoat.

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Another coat will go on tomorrow before stuff goes back together. Nothing special, realistically probably not going to make a bit of difference, but I feel better for having it done.

Well... probably not going to be tomorrow given it's looking like it will still be raining all day tomorrow. Again. The car has been essentially ready to go back together since late on Saturday afternoon. *Sigh.*

I should have just pushed on and got it back together in one go!
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.