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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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

It's a point Jim - & not one that had occurred to me but, of course, it might've been a one-off: e.g. usual supplier let them down. However I have seen other examples of local traders/restauranters obviously using Lidl's as a "cash & carry" - not seen any evidence of it causing a local shortage though, but can see how it might.

Now, to matters of moment: after I got back from Halfords/Lidl's spent some time looking for my very full box of terminals, etc - but it seems to have gone off somewhere with my bag of 12v cable offcuts AND boxes of bulbs & switches OR I'd taken it down to Devon another time (just one of the "joys" of a 2-centre life!).

This morning it was damp & miserable, a typical S. Devon Winter day really, so I shouldn't complain. By the time I'd given up any hope of finding those terminals down here, the sun was out & the ground was drying. All helped strengthen my resolve - as though the red Cherokee's pending noon MoT appointment was enough! Turned it round, so the driver's door was open across the pavement, rather than out into the road & set to organising a working horn (something it's never had in my ownership). I was somewhat disadvantaged: all I'd been able to find was a yellow crimp-on piggyback spade terminal (which, somehow, I lost walking down the drive), a used spade terminal (nothing like as terminal - ouch - as some I've resurected in the past), about 8" of wire with a factory fit spade, the length of wire + spade which had been the end of the feed to the n/s horn (about which another time) - already earmarked for the earth from the new horn switch which would be a very snug fit in the hole drilled in the dash &, so it was within outsretched finger's reach of the wheel, in a place you couldn't get behind. All that said, if I have a speciality in D-i-Y mechanics, it probably is electrics [goes back to fitting electric washers to that 100E (a somplete Trico system liberated from a Westminster in a Neasden breakers) & converting it to amber front indicators, while I was still at school] so it was a sort of challenge in a comfort zone, with expertise honed from a lifetime's experience to rely on. An hour or so later, thanks to the strange heavy duty clingfilm tape that Halfords wrap round their cable, some freezer tape (fast becoming my musthave stand-by product to keep in the glovebox), a safety pin, the ability to, all but, stand on my head in the space between the wheel & driver's seat & some dexterity I had a horn that'd bleat when an easily reached switch was operated, i.e. MoT compliant.
Still had the radio to refit & the centre dash trim panel to put back - but, for today's purposes, they can wait.
Tidy up, secure spare wheel & petrol can, refit rear headrests (all to do with the backseat having been folded down for months but, of course, has to be upright to test seatbelts), clean up, get changed, say a little prayer & get back in Jeep. Turn it round again but it's only when I get to the end of the road that I realise how much better the brakes are since I replaced the handbrake. In view of the amount of fettling I had to do to the "self-adjusters" (lol) shouldn't have been surprised. Anyway, quite transformed - no point fretting about "balance" - notoriously tricky to set-up at home - &, anyway, my el cheapo tester does free re-tests. Just as well - it failed, on No: plates! My own fault as, just for fun/out of vanity, I'd fitted my American icon with US style/size plates (taking advantage of an obscure grey area that might even be a loophole) but they didn't like the spacing of the characters. Still if that's all (not even any advisories), I can live with it: all I have to do is take it back next Saturday displaying standard plates (apparently they don't even have to be permanently attached & don't have to remove the present ones), produce the fail sheet - & I'll get a certificate - just in time (by the skin of my teeth) to tax it.
Then when the weather improves & the days are a little longer I can tackle the things I'd have liked to have done for the MoT, at my leisure. Meanwhile I've got better brakes, a working horn - without it costing me $270 + p&p, VAT & duty (for a clock spring) & that warm feeling from the confirmation that my judgment didn't fail me when I bought it.

Went shopping in Lidl's on the way back from the garage, meant to be the w/e's provisions - but came away with a rightangle drive for drill/screwdriver (my little used cordless driver really came into its own, refitting the ply linining in the C15!), a £2.99 seatcover (the red Cherokee has wildly impractical light cloth upholstery - although for coming up to its 21st birthday, it's remarkably good) & one of those boot tidy bags (a different &, I think, better design to those I have already). However I did forget the milk, so have been meaning to pop out to Aldi, which is (to my mind, fabulously expensive BUT much nearer, & just off the Ring Road. Thought I'd wake the Caddy from its slumbers (not been used since Christmas day!). However, couldn't resist measuring the Cherokee's plates (which MoT tester's can't): the spaces are 9mm, they should be 10mm - how could I possibly have realised that?

Anyway, the Caddy was as good as gold, even started to warm-up inside by the time I got back, even though the temp. guage had only just reached "normal". So, after I replenished the antifreeze I must've had a giant airlock, so perhaps there's no need to worry about how much it took to top it up after that 200 mile run at Christmas. Curiously the Cherokee had the chill off it this morning (normally you have to crank up the temp. AND turn the fan up a couple of notches. I did top that up this morning, might've taken a litre; perhaps that also had an airlock from changing the bottom hose a while back - they have a reputation for being difficult to bleed. That, in turn, takes me back to the C15, don't whether it's that I've finally got the hang of the heater controls (always tricky to set/adjust as they're unlit) but it was really comfortable coming back from Maastricht (not that it was particularly cold) & first time I've had warm feet while driving for years.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Good news on the MOT Van - new plates are easy :)

If the fundamental problem with the horn is the clockspring then have you tried to fix it? I successfully fixed the one on the Ka and I worked on the basis that it was duff and I had absolutely nothing to loose by trying... Getting them apart can be quite tricky - as are all devices that are not supposed to be repaired, which today is an awful lot :evil:

It certainly was a cold, wet and miserable day yesterday :twisted: I spent most of yesterday morning doing my bit at my local parkrun as Run Director and getting cold, wet and muddy! oddly enough, I enjoyed it immensely :)

Aldi, I have to say, in MK at least, is a real order of magnitude above our Lidl in terms of everything except nuts - you can't beat Lidl for nuts ;)

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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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I'd like a sill welded - but it's no worse than when the same garage passed it for the PO.

I'm relieved nothing was said about the rust hole in trackbar locating bracket, perhaps I'm more familiar with Jeep steering than the tester!? Have the one off the donor but would rather fit it in better conditions/circumstances & it'd be ideal 1st job for my rattle gun IF I can get it to charge. (then get the old one welded, ready to go on the green one - obviously a design fault - once the trans swap's been accomplished)

As for repairing the clockspring, I have to say it didn't much appeal (having read up on it on a couple of Cherokee forums), I did wonder about fitting the one from the donor, but don't know if they're interchangable - besides even installing a new one is, apparently, well nigh impossible & you have to accept you'll probably destroy the first one you try to fit. All that presupposes you have access but 1st there's disabling the airbag, then you NEED a steering wheel puller (& I don't even have a tyre hammer now!). All in all, not the sort of thing to tackle when time is short. If I was that fussed about having cruise control OR if the airbag light was on then it might be a different matter. However, for the moment I have an improvement (which I'll refine) as I never did like the absence of feel/control that comes from the horn(s) being operated by that huge, squidgy airbag pad (e.g. you can only sound the Caddy's horn when stationary, as it requires 2 hands: to load the wheel against the effort needed to be applied to the pad!)

Yesterday I took down the front No: plate off the green one (it's a "cherished No:") from where it was displayed on the garage wall, put it back in its frame &, like that, it'll wedge in place between the driving lights & the grille. Today I started a more determined search for its companion, which I've found - & did a bit of prep. so I can just stick it over the "offending" one. So, all sorted for next Saturday, when I can pop into the garage, on the way back from breakfast in Princetown.

Next - it's the C15's turn - but I want a sill patched first: hadn't realised how bad it was/had got 'til it kept staring me in the face in the course of removing/refitting the fuel tank. They may say it's not a fail but I'd like it done anyway. Otherwise, appearances notwithstanding, all I have to do is re-secure a rack gaiter.

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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire »

Whoops, just realised I forgot to take C15 on its weekly constitutional to Lidl's! That'l teache me to wreck my routine by getting home a bit earlier.

Oh well, it's not as though it has to be started every week, to be sure it will - & think of the money I've saved :-D

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

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Thinking about it, I've probably saved the cost of the non-food indulgences the week before :)

That brings me nicely to - my latest toy: the rattle gun! While I've made passing references to this before (or, at least one!) perhaps this is the time to tell the tale (bit short on other news - there is some, but just be patient). At the beginning of November I went to an event at Stoneleigh (I think it was billed as a Restoration Show); now any of you who've been to one of these, or, e.g. an autojumble will probably know (of) the guy who sells number plates out of a converted ambulance &, in recent years, he's had some stuff to offload as well - at excellent prices: often £1, so I usually pick something up. This time though he'd gone a bit upmarket &, among other things, he had a few Hilka cordless 1/2" drive impact wrenches, something I've been looking at for a while, so I was immediately interested - speshly when he said they were £50. Anyway, after a little chat & a short demo, we agreed on £45 & I went off as happy as pig in muck :mrgreen:
However, when I got back I discovered why it probably was so cheap: the battery wouldn't charge more than enough to run the thing for a minute at the most. There seemed to be a problem with the connection between the battery & charger but I couldn't be sure which was at fault. Anyway the Cherokee handbrake & other MoT prep. was the priority (ironically it would've been very handy getting the back wheels off - or I'd have burned it out :!:) then Christmas got in the way, no, actually it gave me a lot of invaluable extra time AND gave me an idea. So I fired off a messgae via their website to Hilka's customer care dept, setting out this sob story about the kids' present that didn't work & how they'd be upset when they found out, & suggesting that if replacing the battery didn't work & I needed a charger, a spare battery's always useful. Their website says they'll respond within 48 hours, when they hadn't after a week, I wrote a letter saying I was even more disappointed with their after-sales service than I was with the product. A couple of days later I got an e-mail advising me a battery was on its way, which I should get by the end of the week. Actually it took another week 'cos it was sent by courier, which is invariably a disaster.
Arrived at my weekend retreat last night, to find in the porch a card saying the package had been left in the porch (as I'd arranged), except it obviously wasn't - it was outside!
While the coffee was brewing, the battery was unpacked, put on charge & in no time at all the fuly charged light came on, naturally suspicious, I put the battery in the "gun", pulled the trigger - & it ran 'til i couldn't stand the noise any longer :wink: So, short of actually putting it to work, all seems good. :-D
Quite enough excitement for one evening, after a trying day in the fun factory & tedious journey down from Paddington (but, at least, it significantly reduced the waiting time for my connection at Newton Abbot). So this morning dawned distinctly damp, 'though can't say it was cold & off I set in the Cherokee for a run out over the moor (it's that prospect that keeps me going - sane, even - from at least Thursday afternoon, most weeks), breakfast & return by a different route. Back in Paignton, go to my favourite MoT station, stop just up the road, temporarily afix the compliant plates & drive into the yard. Whip the fail sheet off the passenger seat walk in. I'm greeted with "oh no! (grin) have you got the plates?". We go outside, he checks that there are indeed plates to his liking at each end, opens the driver's door to read the mileage, as he closes it & we both turn to go back into the garage, a noise makes us look back - & the back plate's fallen on the ground! (that's cheap carpet tape for you) We both laugh, I suggest it's trying to tell him something, he says, well it was there when I examined it, which shows how stupid the whole thing is - & hands me the "certificate" (which, of course, it isn't any more). Back in the yard, I pick up the plate, throw it in the back, refit the "American" one, remove the front compliant plate (which isn't actually attached) & carefully manoevre the Cherokee out of the yard.
All in all, a good result: it now has a working horn, which it didn't when I got it (at which time it also had a handbrake button glued on the end of the spring but hanging out of the lever), pleased I manage to set up the handbrake from scratch (on a vehicle with a poor reputation in that department) AND that it has brakes so much improved, that I'm not so bothered about the absence of ABS (although I'd still like to crack that). In the year (alright, nearly 13 months) I've had it, we've only really bumbled (rumbled?) round Torbay & Dartmoor, having only been to Shepton Mallet & London (twice) + a w/e in Ireland the only other things I've had to do is replace the fuel pump relay (albeit twice . . . ?), the driver's seat switch pack (after someone else shunted it back too far for my comfort - otherwise I wouldn't have known about that fault) - at no cost & the bottom hose + the bracket that's supposed to stop the serpentine belt sawing through it. (pair of Chinese silicone hoses were less than even a pattern bottom hose, & the one I took off is repairable, I had a spare "bracket" - & I've re-profiled the tortured original, so I still do - not that it's something you'd expect to have to replace). Of course there are still things to do, which can wait at least 'til the C15's MoT'd - although I suppose it really does deserve an oil change; better see if I've got enough 15/40. [-o<

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

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Van, all excellent news :)

I have an old Hilka impact driver - the sort for undoing screws with a whack from a big hammer... I originally bought it for taking chrosshead screws out of the engine covers of Japanese motorcycles but it still comes in very valuable nowadays for such things as Torx screws holding brake discs in place and the like...

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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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They come into their own for that sort of thing - & those huge countersunk, Phillips head set screws British manufacturers use to love for door & tailgate hinges. Not so good for stubborn larger hex headed bolts though.

I have a few jobs in mind for the rattle gun, but prob'ly not 'til the Spring - so might test it (& my curiosity) by seeing how many wheel nuts it'll remove - & replace - on a single charge.

When I was searching for a handbrake, I also found a rear wiper motor (amazingly in another breakers in Devon); the red Cherokee's doesn't work & they're hard to come by because of the high failure rate. That was to be my 1st non-essential job, post-MoT, but I've had a thought: what if it's simply not connected? When the snorkel was fitted, the washer "bottle" was removed from it's place under the front wing, behind the liner to make room for the plumbing to the aircleaner. It was replaced with a ridiculously small bottle (says Pepsi~Cola on the cap!) &, I suspect, an aftermarket pump that supplies the screen washers, but which is fired by the rear wash/wipe switch. So a lot of the oriiginal wiring/connectors are missing/hidden/tucked away, so I think I really need to investigate that first - & find a home for a sensible reservoir (I'm thinking 5 litres - but might have to settle for, say, 2.5) + a second pump (which should be marginally easier).

Did have a quick poke about under the bonnet, of all 3, today but didn't come up with anything useful BUT, the C15 is first priority now. (except the oil change, as found about 12 litres of 15/40 & I know I have a small supply of 5 litre Ford V8 filters, a popular upgrade (the OE filter's not much bigger than the C15's).

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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 to Lidl's this evening, a complete waste of time (see elsewhere) except the poor ol' thing's not been started, never mind run, for a fortnight.
Weather's foul but it is the 1st time it's rained (during the week, at least) this year. Must get a wiper for it before the MoT, as it was an advisory last year, it's still perfectly servicable BUT not at its best for the 1st 1/2-dozen sweeps. Gave me a chance to observe wiper in action though - & still think the intermittent wipe has, appropriately, has an intermittent fault but it does seem to work OK when going back from "slow". Thoughts, on a postcard, please.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Mucky stalk contacts Van... Take it apart, being aware of the potential 'pingfuckits' lurking within, clean it up and reassemble...

All will then be good :)

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

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I wonder if the stalk is anything like that of a Xantia indicator stalk? If it is, maybe my guide to cleaning one of those up could provide some assistance.

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

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Hell Razor5543 wrote:
02 Feb 2018, 08:52
I wonder if the stalk is anything like that of a Xantia indicator stalk? If it is, maybe my guide to cleaning one of those up could provide some assistance.



Unless it has a COM2000, I'd imagine all PSA stalks are very similar... A COM2000 allegedly responds to a disassembly and a cleanup too...

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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

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My immediate thought on reading James' post was to have a look at that, on the basis they must have more in common than differences, which Jim confirms. That's a mixed blessing, as I was rather taken with swapping it for one with a proper headlight flasher function when on dipped beam, rather than having to use the dip switch. Anyway, it's really a job for the Spring, when, of course, hopefully, there'll be less incentive. (bit like replacing the panel lights, which has defeated me since the 1st time I drove it in the dark!)

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

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& before someone feels the need to point out they're 2 fifferent stalks - yes, I know but my thinking was (a) better another matched pair & (b) once I've got the shroud &, possibly, the wheel off . . . .

Not much on the "car" front today. When I left this morning for my weekly natural high (+ breakfast) out on the Moor it was distinctly damp, not boding well for the one job I said I'd do. Curiously the weather improved all the way to Princetown & if the wind had eased it'd been quite nice, but then the rain started, whereupon the sun came out - April come early? Anyway it was sunglasses & wipers all the way back to the outskirts of Paignton - oh, & the washers ran out! Fortunately a quirk of Cherokee design means spray from the front wheels is directed at the screen - so a big puddle (i.e. the width of the road) cleaned off the mud.
Almost shirtsleeves weather in Paignton so, yes, I could do that oilchange - after all I've had the red Cherokee a little over 13 months now. With a 2" lift & 31" tyres, even though the sump plug is at the back it's easilly reached without a jack, odd though, given it's an old AMC (possibly Rambler) lump that it's 16mm. So leaving it draining into an old washing-up bowl ("square" one are excellent for the job) on a bed of corrugated cardboard (it was windy, remember) I tackled the filter (not so easy with a 2" lift & 31" tyres) but, amazingly, it came undone by hand - definitely a first for me! I'm sure the grippy Hilka rubber gloves were a factor. (if you can find them at a show/autojumble - where they're usually £1 a pair - grab a couple of pairs). On with the huge upgraded filter, must hold best part of 1 1/2 pints. Drawing off 5 litres of oil from my 25 lire "drum" (I don't think I paid the £50 on the price sticker) with one of those manual pumps, which I'm sure somebody here suggested, was remarkably easy - & quite quick. That went in the engine, then I poured the last 4 litres into the "can" as that was even easier. Hopefully, Lidl's will have some 15/40 in before the next oil change is due, otherwise I'll have to double check the specs of the tractor oil that Mole Valley Farmers do in 25 litres - although some will say a Jeep's so agricultural that'd be perfect.
That just left the washers, so had to make up some 25% - so down to my last 5litres of concentrate now BUT, as I was putting the top back on the empty container, I noticed that for summer use it should be mixed 5:1, so that should eke it out 'til B&Q's next sale.
Took advantage of the nice weather (though by 3 o' clock it was distictly chilly - even with another couple of hours daylight left!) by tackling the wheel nuts with the rattle-gun, now this was on the donor so they may not have been that tight but, yes, after undoing the 3 remaining nuts on that wheel, & replacing them - twice, there was no discernable reduction in speed, so - result! Thanks to Hilka's excellent Customer Service, it really was a bargain!
Something else I've been promising myself for a while now is - a new printer, but all spare time has been devoted to MoT related stuff since both of mine died. However with the Cherokee's behind me & the C15 booked in on the 10th for some pre-MoT welding, priorities have changed a little - because I have to print my advance ticket for Paris Retromobile, so, between Princetown & Lidl's in Paignton (where, I'm pleased to report, I don't have any of the grief associated with their SE London branches) I went to Cartridge World, where they know a thing or two about printers & provide an excellent after sales service! Came away with a Cannon Pixma MG5750 (which if it wasn't a Cannon, I'd have thought was a Chinese car) which, if the box is to be believed (or, in my case, understood) will do what little I might ever require - & a whole lot more (including, no doubt, checking the oil & tyres, cleaning the windows, making coffee & running the bath!). It is also positively hateful, so complex & difficult to set up, as to be almost terminally frustrating & exasperating. I've wasted an entire evening (I mean, look at the time), it's ruined my day - & I still don't have sufficient confidence in it to risk doing the job that prompted its purchase!

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

Post by CitroJim »

Van, you have summed up modern IT in a nutshell with your printer :evil:

It is why I hate it so, so very much and still use a 20 year old laser printer at home. It does the job simply....

Printers these days are just bizarre...

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

Post by white exec »

If you don't need to print in colour, mono (B/W) laser printers are unbelieveably cheap, and cheap to run. Can be had for £50+ new, lots of choice of makes.

Have had Canon A4 mono lasers (LBP4, LBP8) at home from the '80s onwards, which worked hard and reliably. Then followed Epson inkjet, A4 and eventually A3 - lovely when new, but increasingly cloggy and expensive after the first year or two. Cheap to buy, hyper-expensive and annoying to maintain.

So, returned to laser - a Canon A4 colour (LBP7780C) - a couple of years ago. Tremendously capable and high quality, as well as fast. Not the cheapest thing to buy, but running costs far better, and also suited to intermittent use, which ink jet is not.