Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

I'm the same on the very rare occasions I come across another Lada, Jim. The engine and under load exhaust note are quite distinctive.

Funny how we get so well attuned to certain noises.

The primary gear whine from the 'box in a Mini or Metro always instantly has my ears perked and me scanning for the vehicle it originates from...and if it happened to be a snapdragon yellow Mk I Mini Metro probably giving chase and trying to buy it...
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

daviemck2006 wrote:Thanks for that. I don't often see them for sale, but there is one I see just now on a 53 reg but it's 300 miles away. I'd like to inspect one before I went buying one that distance away. I know I bought my 205 over 300 miles away, but I knew what I was speaking about having previously owned one. I like the older, more simple engineering of a 205 against a say 207 so I'm presuming I'd like the same about a c15 compared to a berlingo.

Sent from my SM-T705 using Tapatalk


They come up all the time, anything up to 1/2-dozen a week BUT, if it's 300 miles from you - it must be a lot closer to someone else, who could maybe go have a look.

The later ones, 2000(?) on do have a simple/basic/primitive/whatever ECU - but that's about it. On the other hand, there's a recent cri de couer fom a Berly owner, so glad I decided against one (if I want that comlexity, I've got a Cadillac - or 2 :wink: )

b-t-w, there was quite nice one for sale in Fife, it's on the Visa forum BUT check "Small van wanted" in "for Sale & Wanted" here, when "FOAD" offered his - he's actually in Dunfermline, if that helps.
Last edited by van ordinaire on 01 Jun 2017, 01:45, edited 1 time in total.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

white exec wrote:C15's aplenty on our patch. On the way back home last night at about 2230, we passed no fewer than four - all white, and 15RD as they are here - in the space of five minutes.

You can pick them out with your eyes closed: just listen for the rear end graunch from the trailing arm bearings, on the unloved ones. (Our BX did the same, along with a leaning-inward rear wheel. No bloody grease nipple (until mod'd)!


Unfortunately Spain's a bit of schlep from the N. of Scotland.

As the owner of a previously unloved C15, but still with 2 vertical back wheels I'd be interested in the grease nipple mod - to help keep them that way. Have you got details?
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by ekjdm14 »

Zelandeth wrote: The primary gear whine from the 'box in a Mini or Metro always instantly has my ears perked and me scanning for the vehicle it originates from...and if it happened to be a snapdragon yellow Mk I Mini Metro probably giving chase and trying to buy it...



Likewise :D if you should happen across XBF 579X that was my parent's first Metro and Snapdragon Yellow too... I seem to recall the interior being a chocolate brown cloth/vinyl.

The bimetallic indicator flasher units also had a unique sound & rhythm on BL products of the era, as a child I loved it for some reason!
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Zelandeth
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

Yep...that noise is another very much imprinted on my brain, probably because my folks had one in my very early years. Not something I've come across yet on any other vehicle either, though the Skoda does also have a thermal flasher unit. It's rather more agricultural though...and does have the amusing side effect of meaning that the flash speed varies with engine rpm, especially on cold days. Switching the heater on slows it even further.
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by ekjdm14 »

The variable rate flasher is something I've experienced in my Allegro too, I think it was to do with the voltage regulator on that one though as temperature didn't affect it as much as revs/electrical load.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Took the C15 out for its weekly run to Lidl's (often the only exercise it gets for weeks on end).

Called in on the '99 STS on the way back, usual performance of climbing in through the passenger window & clambering over the centre console. Turned the key - & the dash didn't even light up. My worst fear, really don't know what to do now, s'pose I could try to jump it from the C15, I could drag the '98's battery back from Devon in a couple of weeks time - but however well charged it is, voltage drop will almost certainly mean that will come to nothing. Once I've saved the reg. No off the '98 (if DVLA will let me) 8-[ & waved it goodbye I could transfer the insurance - & call recovery. Although my first thought was to sell it for scrap & leave them to deal with extracting it from the lock-up - & that might yet be my chosen course. Meanwhile, having lost that Deville in MK (it just disappeared off eBay!) a '92 Seville that was new on the site only a day or two ago has similarly disappeared, i.e. it doesn't come up as withdrawn or sold - it just doesn't come up at all! Obviously I'll have to learn to move a bit quicker, but I'm used to them hanging around for months, years sometimes! Got my eyes on another C15 though, just hoping the same thing doesn't happen with that. 8-[
Oh, & that XM that I resisted at Whetherby has turned up here, but still think the pair nearer home would be the better bet. All might depend on if I can get another couple of lock-ups: I noticed this evening that two had notices on them saying the landlord was repossessing them. [-o<
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by ekjdm14 »

Is this the electronic bonnet release issue we face? if there's jump cable points available (as suggested) then couldn't you hook the cables up & then pop the bonnet while you have power to do so?

I recall reading a while ago your fears of a completely pancaked battery but I don't remember if the battery access is restricted by the bonnet release or it was under a seat that can't be accessed... sure there was talk of both probs.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

The elecric bonnet release WAS a Cadillac feature, I think, in the late '60's but no, my difficulty is, the battery's under the back seat - & I can't open the doors [ i.e. within the confines of the typical suburban lock-up in which it resides (hence the entry/exit a la Dooks of Hazzard)].

There are points under the bonnet for jump starting, something with which I became very familiar with the '98 - which suffered from parasitic battery drain. Only once was it ever started using those points, using a very impressive starter pack - after 2 earlier attempts had failed! On a previous occasion, we could only start it using the onboard starter on a recovery vehicle by taking the leads direct to the battery. Not optimistic - nor do I have any enthusiasm for the task (which is the root cause of the problem!)
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Learned Friday evening that the major international Cadillac meeting (in Denmark this year) has been cancelled due to lack of interest - well, bookings actually. Disappointed, 'cos not been to Denmark for years but then, pressure's off to get another one (really not the sort of car to buy out of desperation) & still a bit grieved about missing that Deville in MK, on the other hand, I didn't really want another "Northstar". Just out of interest, can someone explain how these backwards auctions oneBay work; i.e. where there's a "buy now" price & an invitation to make an offer. Just so I know another time.

For want of a working Caddy, decided not to go to Cork next weekend, for Ireland's 2nd big Yank show [yes, could've taken the (red) Cherokee but while it's effectively limited to 60 mph, that long haul to Hollyhead or Fishguard's not much fun]. Decided that the time/money would be better spent seeing if the trans. in the green one could be brought back to life - so a final decision can be made. In preparation for Friday's visit by he who suggested he might be able to restore drive by adjustment, drained the ATF last evening & later today will take out most of the sump bolts, so 1st thing Friday I can remove the sump.

Everything was put back yesterday as stopped at bootsale on way out for my weekly drive over the Moor (managed to pick up a pair of Hella Pilot fog lights for £1.50 a piece - didn't have the nerve to of offer £2 for the pair) & when I returned to the driver's seat realised I didn't have the keys, convinced I'd dropped them, spent maybe an hour slowly re-tracing my steps with my eyes glued to the ground. Eventually returned to where I was parked, opened the tailgate in desperate hope the keys might've fallen out of my pocket whilst I was leaning in tucking my precious new aquisitions safely into corners - & there they were, on the spare wheel where I'd obviously forgotten I'd put them, in the short time I was there. A little worrying, very embarrassing - but all I felt was an overwhelming sense of relief. A bad start to the day, from which, it seems, I never really recovered.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth »

Did that with the first Riva once...sadly there's no way to open the boot without the key. Also no way into the boot from the car. A spare key was also notably absent.

Took me a while, but I eventually managed to pick the lock.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Jag. owners must make a habit of that because there's a built in remedy: behind the rear No: plate there's a small, strategically positioned hole, if you insert a screwdriver or similar in the hole & push - it'll trip the lock!* I understand that on models with no hole, firm pressure at the right point will distort the panel to have the same effect.

* too bad if you're French, have antitheft screws - or the sort of weight supporting adhesive pads the red Cherokee had at the back.

Yesterday, I forgot to mention:-
(a) I had another look at the handbrake cable connections, (as thought the sooner I start dousing that adjuster thread with some freeing agent the better.) & noticed that the cable from the handle doesn't end in that adjuster on the '97 (on) but in a nipple, so it might just be possible to disconnect it there.
(b) As I won't be going to the "Grand European" in Denmark, I can go to The Great Dorset Steam Fair, which is quite some consolation - especially as the the reason isn't that I don't have a Caddy to go in. Just have to check my leave dates AND whether the "no vans" rule applies to car based vans, i.e. the C15 & I'll book that.

Moving on, Sunday I removed all but 4 of the trans. sump bolts, so will have the minimum to do early Friday morning - except wrestle the sump to the ground, which is a real pain, because the very long dipstick tube can't be detached, which means moving the sump thid way & that, to withdraw the tube from the engine compartment. Also had a quick look at the driving lights on the red one, which are connected to the foglight switch, with a view to fitting the H3 LED's I've got, so I can patch them into the mainbeam circuit quickly & easily (i.e. without extra relays, etc) & thus make the foglight switch available for the newly acquired fogs. Only thing is, to remove the lamp unit from the shell, you have to undo a screw/bolt at the back - which means removing the front bumper, or what's left of it. Hmm, not sure I mightn't just as well fit the relays.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Nothing at all on the French front: C15 went to Lidl's on Wednesday - that's it, really! Except the bits I ordered from a previously untried (indeed, unknown) source, failed to materialise within a reasonable time: at best, won't use them again.

Sooooooh, just to keep Jim entertained - a tale of 2 Cherokees:-

but, 1st - the preamble:-

This weekend I was supposed to be in Cork but for reasons I won't bore you with, I didn't go but used the Friday (which I'd booked off work months ago) to troubleshoot the trans. on the green one. Some may remember that my newfound friend in the trade had said I should let him know when I'd next be in Devon on a Friday (his day off) & he'd see what he could do (apparently he'd discovered that the reason everyone says scanners can't read the trans, is because all the codes are in the engine module). There was a slight problem though, which I'd forgotten, when I'd changed the PAS pump I'd fractured the high pressure pipe the steering box (imagine a huge brake pipe union, if you will) because the steel pipe was seized in the (16mm) union that goes into the pump. He reckoned he could do a cut'n'shut job using pressure fittings but found it would cost at least as much as a s/h pipe, which he could get. Meanwhile, I'd discovered my favourite purveyor of Jeep parts was winding down his Cherokee breaking sideline, too late to take up his offer still to help.

Friday morning, remove sump from trans. [what a performance/mess! (a) since learned the dipstick tube is in 2 parts, supposedly a push fit, with an o-ring - but mine was rusted together (b) anyone know how to clean ATF off tarmac?] & disconnect fluid lines from steering box. Interesting job, but not as difficult as I was afraid - even without a stubby 18mm union spanner or 3/8" drive crows foot. Go in for coffee, find text to say wrong pipe sent, replacement coming 1st class, so having to wait for postman.
Entertained myself in the interim, removing the linkage from the handbrake to the rear cables on the red one (in preparation for replacing the lever). Whilst under the n/s sill, I discover it'll need patching for the MoT (although the green one's the same, on o/s & when I took it in for that to be done before the test, they MoT'd it first - & passed it!) OR, I might use it as an excuse to have them cut out & rock-sliders fitted. Also took the opportunity to have a closer look at the source of a drip at the front, which I had thought was the oil seal in the steering box but now think is more likely one of the trans. cooler lines, which run above the Pitman arm. Doesn't fill me with joy because while I am familiar with the connections to the rad. it's along, not particularly accessable run - & I've never liked the look of the connections in the trans case. Look like those unremovable "quick release" one to me. Oh, & the trackbar mounting bracket has a sizeable hole in it, I looked at the green one (as a possible replacement) & that has a big rust blister in the same place (Zell, something else to look out for; but a bargaining point rather than a deal breaker). Fortunately the one on the parts car is OK - & easy to get to, so I can remove that at my leisure (probably one bolt at a time - unless I treat myself to a rattle-gun!). Then, if I'm keeping the green one, I can investigate having the one off the red one welded up.
So, man with the knowledge, expertise, scanner(s) AND pipes (&, incidently, a '98 Grand Cherokee) arrives. PAS pipes fitted [bit of a fiddle - 'cos they're not really the right ones (they come as pair, why? I've no idea!)] & now, the real nitty gritty, do I have a salvageable trans - or not? Still don't know because although the Cherokee got a 4-speed by '96 - the Grand still had a 3-speed in '98/99. Slight ebbing of confidence here, but increased determination. Bit of research needed into the 4-speed & its search criteria for the scanner to find it. If it's the pump, or a couple of servos, which, it seems is likely, couple o' hundred (I think that's mate's rates!) - a long way short of the £800 I was quoted (which is why the red one, even for £900, was such an attractive proposition). Now we come to logistics, he asks when I'll next be down on a Friday, when I mention that at this time of year it's not easy for me to get a Friday off at short notice he says he says - & this is where this carefully cultivated good working relationship suddenly take a giant leap forwards - "as a friend" he could spare me a couple of hours next Saturday - IF that suited me. Now he'd mentioned he was going away next weekend (in the context of having to drop off the wrong PAS pipes on the way), whereas I'm only going to the Bristol Classic Car Show, via breakfast in Princetown. If I forego the breakfast, I'll probably get to the show about the same time but, if it comes to it, I can always go on Sunday (although then I'll miss out on socialising with the people on the CCC stand afterwards).
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by ekjdm14 »

Not finished reading yet, but on the ATF thing I find it tends to vanish fairly readily itself as it's largely detergent. You could try dousing it in half a bottle of cheap washing up liquid though & agitating it with a stiff brush before sluicing it off.
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent Van! Enjoyed that read even though it's keeping me away from sprucing up the Activa ready for her trip to DSM tomorrow!!!

As Dan says, clean ATF (and LHM) soon fades but old stuff can stain...

I soak up the excess with cat litter and then use biological washing powder in a very strong solution to wash the area down... That will bet 90% of the stain gone and time will do the rest...

looking forward to the next Cherokee instalment ;)