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.

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

I'd love a Series II or III to be honest (got to be a V8 really though...), but the money that even basket cases change hands for is just silly - especially given that they're hardly rare! Like Minis... they're everywhere yet still manage to command such a premium.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 44009
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1779

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

And now they're NFP no doubt they'll get even pricier now Zel...

Toyota Land Cruiser then?

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

80s era long wheelbase Land Cruiser with the big four litre diesel? Yes please (and ironically, the first thing I ever drove!), sadly they suffer from exactly the same issue...though I actually do feel they are closer to worth the asking price than a Land Rover. Oh...if you can find one.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 44009
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1779

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Issue as in expensive or same issue in that they rust Zel?

I always though they were as tough as old boots...

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Expensive when they show up (which isn't often) because they sadly rust nearly as badly as most cars coming out of Japan in the 80s.

Mechanically they will go forever though, and I imagine countries without MOTs still see a lot still going quite happily, just rust that kills them here.

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

It's funny how things work out sometimes isn't it.

I'd been in discussions with a guy about potentially buying a car from him for a month or so, but they had gone very quiet recently and I'd basically assumed that things were going to fall through with it, hence the prospective rummaging around that lead to finding the sadly rust ridden Cherokee. Though I still reckon now I've thought about it that one would do nicely as the "modern enough to be a usable daily but still interesting" vehicle number two.

However barely was I off the phone with the very dejected seller of the Cherokee than the guy I'd previously been talking with resurfaced.

So, looks like next Saturday I'll be hopping on a train up to Edinburgh to bring this home (assuming I don't discover any horrible dark secrets when I get there anyway).

Image

(You will be glad to hear that the horrible wheel trims are long gone apparently!)

This is one that I definitely wasn't going to waste time on as I've actively sought one of these for years (I've owned virtually the entire model range *except* for the estate), and they are now becoming incredibly hard to find, especially in this condition - and increasingly to find ones that haven't been modified.

This is one of those situations which tend to bode well for the buyer, in that the seller honestly doesn't want to let the car go, but as they're moving abroad don't have much choice and want to make sure that it's being passed on to an enthusiast, and seems satisfied that I can offer the car a good home.

Looking forward to it, nice blend of the Skoda's charm but being slightly better suited to travel on the roads today, not least because it's got a bit more grunt...The 54bhp offered by the Skoda does sometimes feel a little lacking when you live in the middle of a grid of 70mph dual carriageways...Was fine when I was up north, but I do find that the grid roads in MK can be a bit intimidating sometimes!

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 44009
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1779

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

That looks like a lovely one Zel :) Definitely something different! I remember well when they were ubiquitous but can't recall the last time I saw one, either in the wild or at a show...

Hope it all works out well this time...

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

It certainly sounds a decent car...just fingers crossed it's as good as advertised.

They're a particularly rare sight now as so many were shipped back to Russia in the late 90s. The export cars were subject to tighter quality control and got more equipment than the domestic models so they were highly sought after over there.

...that and the fact that they have some truly exciting rust traps! I'd need to look up the numbers, but my gut feeling is that they probably suffered quite heavily in the Scrappage scheme as well.

RichardW
Forum Treasurer
Posts: 9521
Joined: 07 Aug 2002, 17:12
x 447

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by RichardW »

Zel

Might not be very far from me - I could possibly go and have a look at it which might save you a trip up here if it turns out to be an obvious dud (well, apart from being a Lada! :lol: )

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Thanks for the offer Richard, but I honestly think we should be okay. The guy sounds really genuine, has a genuine reason to sell it and has given me a very detailed description down to mentioning one of the tiny badges on the rear quarter being missing an A (surprise surprise, I have one of them in a box somewhere!). So fingers crossed we'll be good. Certainly don't seem to have spared any expense, and have already agreed to stick a fresh set of tyres on for me.

Think my plan at this stage will be to get the train up, pick the car up then stop in a hotel overnight, otherwise I'll be arriving home around midnight, think I'd rather take the first trip at a bit more relaxed pace!

Probably use the Livingston Mercure...be slightly surreal being there on a normal day, but at least I know it's a hotel I like rather than playing the usual hotel lottery and ending up in a real dive with horrible staff.

Edit: Slight shuffling around of the original plan as usual! No hotels *anywhere* in the vicinity available on Saturday. Bother. Okay, reschedule things to Sunday, train up (£3 extra to go first class...okay then!), hotel booked and it looks like we're all set.

Sunday train is a couple of hours earlier, so I could have done it in the one day, probably getting back around 22:00 (assuming train is perfectly on time, and that the traffic is perfect on the way back), but for the sake of £50 it just seemed worth spreading it over two days...far less stress then and I can just take it easy on the way home rather than trying to do it as a mad dash before it gets too late/I get tired. That sounds like a good way to not get off to a great start with a relationship with a new car!

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Sooo...We have a new member of the family.

Light was fading so photos aren't great, will get some better ones when I get home tomorrow. Just outside the hotel when I got here.

Image

Front of the wing tops are crusty, but there are two new wings recently shipped over from Russia on the back seat and I haggled £500 off the price to cover getting them fitted as it's a bit of a pig of a job. Otherwise though I utterly failed to find any rot of any significance. Few bits of light surface rust underneath, but I have to assume that this car has spent most of its life in a very dry garage. If the first owner had cleaned under the wings properly they would probably be spotless too (mud collects in the corners so they rust from the inside out as it takes forever to dry).

Image

Only mechanical gremlin I've found so far is a reluctance to idle, though I can live with that for now. She runs well, just doesn't want to idle. Could be crud in the carb, could be a dodgy contact in the fuse box (I note the check engine light doesn't work) or the AFM (electronic control unit for the carb) could be faulty - though I don't think so as the fuel metering solenoids are clicking away merrily, and I don't think the car will usually run at all if that's duff. Been a while since I've done battle with this carb and emission control system, so will see what I can remember! Could even be something as silly as needing to unplug the AFM multipin connector and reseat it...That's one for when I get home!

Plus:

[] Get the original white wheels (in the back) cleaned up and powder coated. The silver ones are the standard ones for the Russian market, UK cars should have had white steels, and I far prefer the look of them.
[] Find a non-faded set of tail lights. Amber bulbs in the indicators for now means it's purely a cosmetic issue though. Strangely it only seems to be the estates that suffer this.
[] Replace a couple of broken badges (have them in stock).
[] Resecure a few bits of interior trim which are falling off (no surprises there then).

I have a sneaking suspicion looking under the dash that someone has installed half an alarm system in the past, so will need to do some detective work and make a judgement on whether to A: Finish the job properly, or B: Remove it and reinstate the disturbed wiring properly. As above though, that's a job for once we're home.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 44009
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1779

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

Wow! That's lovely Zel... Quite a late one too...

I seem to recall that fading rear light clusters was a big problem. Can you get them re-tinted? I ask as I have an idea that back in the day kits were available to do this..

Fascinated by the electronic carb and emission control system... have you any technical details of it?

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Will happily provide you a bunch of detail when I'm home Jim. Just grabbing lunch at Lancaster right now. Still a shame we're not allowed up the tower...as someone with an interest in architecture it fascinates me!

The emission control system on this thing is quite clever...as far as I know Lada were the only company to use both a carb and cat - though third party kits were available to fit to previously non-cat cars in the 90s, have a magazine somewhere with an article on the kit.

User avatar
CitroJim
A very naughty boy
Posts: 44009
Joined: 30 Apr 2005, 23:33
x 1779

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by CitroJim »

That'll be lovely Zel, thanks and looking forward to it :D

Didn't Pierburg in Germany make one too that was fitted to some small German cars? Or was that just a clever carb but no cat?

User avatar
Zelandeth
Donor 2016
Posts: 3936
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 445

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog (Xantia, 107 and "others")

Post by Zelandeth »

Possible, Jim. I'll need to find the old article to see who made it, seem to recall it was one of the big names, so might even be Pierburg after all. Know there were some dabbling with a degree of electronic control over carbs in the names of performance, though I've never been *aware* of anyone using one with a cat from the factory.

It basically behaves kind of like an injection system, in that there are two solenoids which turn on and off the fuel supply several tens of times a second controlled by the AFR (air fuel ratio) module that lives under the passenger seat. Feedback is provided by a conventional lambda probe in the exhaust downpipe. Just rather than the fuel going to an injector after the solenoid, it's fed into the idle or main jets in the carb. Checking the behaviour of the solenoids is the only time I can ever remember using a dwell meter to test a fuel system!

I do have a document somewhere that goes into far more detail, when I find it I'll give a more in depth rundown.

Today was just an interior clean (honestly looks like the day she rolled out the factory inside now), and making a to do list.

Not surprising the check engine light wasn't working - lights don't work well without bulbs in. Nicked one from the fasten seatbelt light (was only wired up for the Canadian market), and sure enough it now works. Even though it now won't go off, though to be fair I expected as much. The emission control system on this car is generally regarded as witchcraft by most people, so hardly surprising it's in need of some attention. For now I've bodged around the refusal to idle by cranking the idle speed up a bit. Not a fix, but at least makes the car safe to drive in the interim.

While I had the instrument panel out (two screws and about twenty seconds...unlike the procedure for getting it out of certain Citroen's), I checked why the parking brake light wasn't working, just a dodgy contact. So that's now blinking away happily as it should. Don't ask me why it flashes, Lada decided they wanted it to.

Took off the smaller, horribly 90s looking steering wheel and put the original skinny rimmed bus sized wheel back on. Looks so much better and actually makes it feel right to drive again. Main issue was appearance though, it was just such a glaring visual anachronism in the interior.

Discovered a free hanging relay in the fuse box meaning the lid doesn't close properly, need to sort that as they are touchy enough even when sealed, appears to be the horn relay that's been changed for a different type.

Then found the whole air cleaner was only being held on by one bolt rather than four. Didn't have any M5 bolts long enough on hand so will go grab some in the morning. Need to go back to Motorserv to see if they have tracked down my oil filter anyway.

Having had a good crawl over it I am even more staggered at the condition of the body, and am seriously giving consideration to shelling out of getting it professionally rust proofed at this point as it's so clean, especially as I have no intention of selling this one anywhere in the near future.

Don't know if you'll be about tomorrow (well, probably today - Wednesday by the time you read this) Jim but I'd be more than happy to pop over for a coffee, a chat and to introduce you to a car even more basic in many ways than the Skoda! Been a while since we had a catch up.

Have a heap of photos taken today that I'll stick up tomorrow when I'm at an actual computer too.

PS: I know my site is currently down, our router crashed last night and I've not had a chance to sort out the DNS redirection yet. Meant to this evening but forgot...should really just set up DyDNS at some point...