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

Post by CitroJim »

van ordinaire wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 23:23
I think the ex-Bakerloo stock which, for all I know, is still running on the Isle of White is that vintage.
Yes, amazingly so... Although I believe there are plans to replace them in the no too distant future...

Tube stock is used on the IoW as the loading gauge will not support standard overground stock... IoW trains were always little midget ones...

You're right about that stuff being really well built to have lasted that long!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

The stock which was only recently withdrawn on the District line in London is the only piece of railway to have the dubious honour of having managed to physically throw me out of my seat.

Still always enjoy the slightly odd sensation of several hundred tonnes of train accelerating away from the platform at a seemingly improbable rate on the Northern Line when I'm down there. The torque figures must be ridiculous...

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

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Zelandeth wrote:
14 Feb 2018, 14:30
Still always enjoy the slightly odd sensation of several hundred tonnes of train accelerating away from the platform at a seemingly improbable rate on the Northern Line when I'm down there. The torque figures must be ridiculous...


Indeed... There must be a bit to get that lot moving so quickly...

Best for me are the Class 350 'Desiro' EMU sets that run between CMK and Euston - their rate of acceleration from a standing start and their braking performance are just awesome... Top speed is very impressive too.

Done on purpose so that they can mix it with the big boys on the fast lines and not get in their way...

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Modern trains are only supposed to last 30 years - although it seems many are replaced after 30 months.

Anyone interested, & clever enough, to access tonight's "Standard" on line might be interested the City Editor's full page spread on why new trains are being replaced almost as soon as they've entered service.

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

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Took the C15 on its weekly outing to Lidl's & as going round the block to come back took me past a Sainsbury's petrol station, where diesel was still "only" £1.19 I thought I'd take on fuel. Took 36 litres to fill it, which was a bit disconcerting, as I'm sure it's only done about 10 miles since coming back up from Devon. Looking on the bright side, the fuel guage has reverted to be being remarkably accurate AND it doesn't run out when indicating 1/4 full.
While under decent light on the forecourt I took the opportunity to write up the engine change sticker under the bonnet so, perhaps because of it's oil change only a week earlier, I had the red Cherokee's mileage in mind, it was quite a "wow" moment when I realised next oil change is due at - 180,000 miles!

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

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Friday evening took the C15 down to Devon for its MoT, there is still some logic in that, although the financial incentive has gone by the board now it won't do the round trip on a tankful of diesel. Took an extraordinaryily long time, for which no blame can be attached to the van, which performed faultlessly AND kept my feet warm, remarkable because I've not had anything for nearly 20 years that would do that AND without the benefit of a heater fan!
The problem started with leaving so much earlier than I'm used to, I thought I could stop for refreshments for the journey, completely failing to consider what traffic would be like then. Lost some time joining the M25 because it's notoriously difficult to jockey for position in traffic in a van in the dark, so couldn't safely get back into the lane I should've been in. There was a 45 minute delay posted on the M3, due to an accident so took off down the A3, with a view to joining the M3 at Guildford; except, I'd forgotten that, without local knowledge, you can't get into G'ford from the A3 &, besides, although there is a G'ford exit on the M3, I don't actually recall the M3 being signposted from G'ford. All complicated by it only being a 1/2-formed plan (indeed, hardly a plan at all) somewhat muddled in my mind with my off M-way route of choice which w ould be G'ford - Winchester (A31), cross M3 & join A303 111 miles from Exeter (i.e. somewhere between the M3 & Stonehenge). Now realise the the trick once on A3, is to ignore G'ford & come off at the Farnham turn - the A31! After that it was a couple of silly missed turns in the dark on a road I'd not used for a while. Soooooh, this much should've been posted on my arrival Friday night but as it was so much later than I'd hoped - & I had an early start in the morning, it got left over.
Saturday morning it was hop in the red Cherokee & head out over the moors for breakfast. Not convinced I had quite enough petrol to get back to Trago Mills in Newton Abbot, so stopped at Morrisons in Totnes where I got in a conversation with a man whose opening gambit was "Bit different from the Jeep I drove in Korea". Apparently, despite being minus something silly, in the winter, they didn't even have side canvas (much less being Norwegian winter spec. equipped). Ended with him offering a straight swop for his Fiesta - & I don't think he was joking. So, on to Princetown - & the Old Police Station Cafe), to return via Trago's for 54 litres ofunle aded, @ £1.16 & my local factors for a couple of items from the Sealey catalogue before their winter sale ends this month. Back "home" (by now down to a T-shirt with the window down) & plenty of time to check the C15's oil level (spot-on!) & the security of all the "boots" change the windscreen wiper (it was an advisory last year - but it takes 1/2-dozen sweeps to get into its stride) & change the brake pedal rubber. Then off to Paignton to leave it for its MoT: the arrangement is for the o/s sill to be welded, if it's a "fail" (but if they can get away with not doing it, they will - 'cos none of them like welding) then it'll be MoT'd on Friday, which means I can collect it on Saturday with a new ticket or, if worst comes to worst, to do repairs for its free re-test. This then should've been Saturday's post - but, I really didn't feel up to it. As a result, lost so much time, Sunday was a mad scramble to be ready to get away in time for my train back up to London.
Took me an hour to finally get internet access via GWR's passenger WiFi, by which time it was too late to do much, especially as the website was playing silly buggers - & the only way I could get it to behave was to visit another forum's site 1st. Had the same performance all over again once back in the house, so it quickly got too late to do anything - if I was to get 4 hours sleep.

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

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So C15's good to go for another year - with a new MoT! Only 3 advisories, about which more anon, because, as usual, there's a tale to tell - & one of them, at least, is part of it.

Coming up to 5:30 last evening, I realised I'd not heard from the garage, so spent the journey down to Devon trying to decide whether I'd trust my judgment that it would pass & call in on my way back from my trip over the moors - or go straight there in the morning, to maximise the time available to fix anything in the event of a fail. In the end it was decided by the realisation that I'm going to Antwerp next weekend - not the following one, so (a) I'll have to take it back up to London regardless & (b) next w/e wasn't available for remedial work OR a re-test.

Anyway, the advisories: driver's door - again! Really must crank up efforts to find a replacement: ideally the passenger door off a left-hooker from warmer climes (suddenly, a day trip to Spain - el cheapo cruise on the ferry from Plymouth? - appeals).
Passenger door. Now I do have a good Visa door - but it's under the Cadillac in the lock-up! Further incentive to address that problem - like have it towed away?
Corrosion of lower rear o/s body, i.e. the sill they decided didn't need doing for the MoT. Spoke to them about this sill-y situation & they'll do it when the weather improves, about £100 - but that might double if it's more like a full sill (I'm sure I read recently £300 was reasonable for a sill, so don't think I'll spend too much time getting other quotes). It was also suggested I did the doors 1st - & they'd paint them at the same time; hmmmmm, have to see how that converts into £££££'s!
Underside: now the year before last the father was so impressed he called his son away from welding up a modern "S-type" Jag (£3,000's worth) to look at it, now, talking to the son (who did the test this year) HE said that from the state of the body [particularly the f. doors & (replacement) bonnet] he'd expect the underside to be rotten - & it's actually quite good. So, still don't quite understand that advisory; the father said it's 'cos he didn't do this year (thereby confirming what a lottery the MoT is) - & suggested it's just surface rust. Maybe, come the Summer, I should spend some time under it with a wire brush & some old engine oil?!

Celebrated by taking the Eldorado to pick up the bits ordered from the factors last week; thought it should be woken from it's slumbers - it's been about a month since it was started last! On the way, I began to wonder if there wasn't actually some warmth in the cabin (even down here in the very favourable Torbay micro-climate - it IS cold today!) & on the way back, can't be much more'n a mile roundtrip, temp. still not quite up to normal, it was definitely comfortable, bordering on cosy, much as I remember it that November evening in Manchester when I 1st got into it. Seems like there was an air-lock after replenishing the antifreeze - & it's cleared! Reason to be cheerful II !

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

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Van, excellent news on the MoT :D

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

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Thanks Jim, I was quietly confident - but still nice to know I was right, especially as only e few weeks ago I'd been asked how on earth I managed to get an MoT for it; I'd just grinned & said it was easy!
Best pleased about the brakes though, which have a poor reputation & were almost non-existant when I got it: almost entirely due to the self-adjusters not doing anything. A little judicious probing with a screwdriver, prior to its 1st MoT, got the pedal off the floor & a handbrake that wouldn't come much above horizontal; although it passed on brakes, I did fit new pads (which I'd bought in anticipation) when I was doing the front end work that was required, I've done nothing since - so, a hat-trick, of sorts, must've got it right the 1st time.

A little detail I didn't mention, 1st time I looked in the o/s door mirror after leaving the garage, I noticed a tideline on the window, about an inch up, my immediate reaction was to glance up at the top of the window, which confirmed that, for the 1st time for well over a year (when the regulator failed), it was fully closed. What prompted someone in the garage to do that I don't know - but I will constantly be thanking them on my drive back to London tomorrow night.

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

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So after yesterday's excitement, not much today. Took the red Cherokee out to Princetown for breakfast, on the way back became aware of strange rattle from underneath, amidships. Too light in tone to be serious (I hope) next time I'm down, I'll have to fire it up - & roll under it: too damn cold, despite the bright sunshine, today!

Checked the battery on the green Cherokee (dear old fashioned thing's got those flush plugs you need a huge, v. shallow Phillips driver to remove) & put it on charge. It wouldn't start a couple of weeks ago - but then I was amazed it started over Christmas, considering I'd not been near it for months.

Put 5 litres of the fuel I'd drained out of the C15 before removing the tank back in it (& filled a "can" with another 5 lites) I'm only going to add 5 litres to a tankfull because I'm not convinced it's not contaminated. Left I bit early to bring the C15 back up to London, partly to pick up the M5 via Trago Mills in Newton Abbot for cheap diesel (well, £1.18) & it was a nice day (out of the wind) so thought I'd make a detour, once back on the A30, to this elusive AA box at Newton Poppleford. Now I thought that would be easy ('though it must be decades since I was last in that part of the county) but I couldn't find the right road out of Ottery St Mary, which should take me down the Sidmouth road at Halfway House. Anyway after a few extra "Devonshire miles" I arrived at Newton Poppleford & turned towards Exeter, got to the junction - nothing! Since I got back to London I've found a satellite picture &, if that box IS still there, it would now seem to be in a densely wooded area.

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

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The day after I got an e-flier from one of the on-line tyre shops offering a deal on summer tyres - it snowed! Don't you just love irony?

Seems strange seeing the C15 out by the kerb covered in snow (got that driver's window closed not a moment too soon!) - if I could get someone to do the graphics cheap, I might christen it "Snow White" :-D

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

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So this evening, managed to open the driver's door (did have fleeting thoughts about frozen locks &/or seals), got in & sat in the dark - all the windows were obscured - waited for what seemed an eternity for the glow-plug light to go out, turned the key & after blipping the throttle a couple of times, left it ticking over while I cleared the snow off all the glass & freed the wiper. Back in the driving seat, pulled away from the kerb into, effectively, a 3-point turn (in a road which, although clear enough this morning, was causing others problems just driving along it) & set off for Dover. A few yards up the road the wiper blade started to detach itself, stopped under the next streetlight & fixed it, as I thought, had to do the same again a couple of times, the last in stationery traffic on the M20, due to an accident. Think (hope?) the problem was the amount of snow on the scuttle, which the wiper was hitting at each end of its sweep. Despite that delay & rather lengthy formalities once at the docks was only 10 mins late at a completely deserted check-in (good job I allowed a little extra time, because of the weather). Now on the ferry, well on our way to Dunquerque, en route to Antwerp. Be interesting to see how the French & Belgians coped with all this nage. I suspect this will be an easier journey than going down to Devon this weekend.

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

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Back from Antwerp last evening when I prepared to write this on the return ferry, but a combination of DFDS's dodgy on-board WiFi, my boredom induced dozing off & the laptop's limited remaining batttery life put paid to that.

Uneventful outward journey really (passed 177,000 miles - so that 180,000 mile service IS looming ever closer), although no sooner had fixed the wiper, than the washers failed! Just assumed I was out of fluid - they had been used a fair bit! - but driving into the sun with a salt caked screen made me very grateful for Continental artics not being fitted with those brushes in the wheel arches & the odd car that passed with a plume of snow trailing off the roof. However when I was able to look at the washers, there was fluid AND when I tested them they worked, although the driver's side was a bit weak but, without a pin or a bit of fuse wire there wasn't much I could do.
First time I had cause to use the washers on the way back - they worked OK, but I had realised the wiper, while no longer trying to escape wasn't as good as before, so I decided next time I stopped I'd try turning it round (i.e. end-to-end) on the arm. Having done that, performance was restored - so I must've put it back the wrong way round after the MoT (which those of you who have been paying attention, will know it passed - without another advisory - courtesy of a wiper off the red Cherokee) - I'd had to replace the little plastic clip so there was a 50:50 chance of it going back on the same way round.
That was it really, except once it was dark enough for the headlights to actually throw a pattern on the road it was obvious that something was amiss - & I had a shrewd idea what. First chance to investigate was on the ferry & the amount of movement when I gently pressed the o/s lamp proved I was right: it had come off the top mounting. Now for those not familliar with the set-up &, in particular, the mechanical height adjustment to compensate for different loads, the lamp unit has 3 sockets, so it is a press fit onto 3 mounyings, 2 are the adjuster screws but the top one (& fortunately the most accessable) is the end of the adjuster cable & it's been prone to coming off ever since I fitted new lights: obviously didn't like being disturbed! Time to investigate the top mount on a Visa methinks, & abandoning the height adjustment - which doesn't work anyway (Cherokees have a similar set-up, except it's powered - & none of mine work!).
They've changed the internal road layout in Dover docks - again! - so you have to be in the correct lane for the M2 or M20 before you leave, except by the time you see the sign (as you're leaving the customs area) it's too late to change lanes. So, destined to use the road which is not my choice; passed 177,177 miles on the way back up the M2 but on a less familiar M-way, in the dark, with a speedo I can barely see (soooooh 2CV!) never mind be able to read the mileage, I missed that - still 177,771's not so far off now.
Think it's 1st time I've used the M2/A2 since I drove the C15 back from Gravesend where I bought it, almost exactly 3 years previously. Then it was bright, sunny & busy, the van was very unfamiliar, seemed to be be blessed with little in the way of performance & had a brake pedal that almost hit the floor before anything happened (I remember thinking I could probably improve the braking experience by removing the carpet). Last night it was dark, wet & what little traffic there was seemed to need all the road, the van has become a familiar place to be & why was I having to use the outside lane (on a 4-lane motorway) so often because a lone car in the 3rd lane seemed to be having more trouble than me maintaining reasonable progress - sometimes up hill? The brakes? Short of fitting 205 ventilated discs (which does appeal) they're probably as good as they get.

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

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Took the C15 to Lidl's this evening: a complete waste of time & diesel - see elsewhwere.

Last Sunday I went to have a look at Ashford (Kent) for a colleague who's thinking about moving there, & being stuck in London was grateful for the excuse. Actually it's a straight run down the A20 for me but I chose the scenic route, found some lanes still with snow down the middle - & one that was completely impassable ('though in the Cherokee it'd been an interesting challenge). Rejoining the A20 near Charing the snow piled up on one side was so deep I saw one car buried past the door handels in it. Approaching Ashford it started to rain which continued 'til I was almost back home - at least I know the wiper's OK now; for which I was very grateful.

Seems like the fuel consumption's returned to 40mpg - bonus!

Looked at buying advance tickets for the big Essen show in a couple of weeks: they were only introduced last year, but I didn't find that out 'til In got there. Found out the Essen LEZ now includes the show site although I was going to apply for a "green badge" anyway: the cost's gone up to €31.90, I'm sure the last one was about €16 (for foreigners) - of course that's a one-off payment so still cheap compared with London (I'm just hoping the C15 qualifies) but then the Paris carnet has just come down to about €3.50. None of this prepared me for Antwerp (which I didn't know about last week - but think the Expo's out of the Zone anyway) as I'm hoping to take the Eldorado to an "American" weekend later, it's €25 per day, or €40 for a week (& so on). It's all making European travel more diificult - & expensive BUT nothing like the headache of living within the M25 after 2019 - if that madman Khan gets his way.

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

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On my usual Saturday morning jaunt over the moors I noticed there's still a fair amount of snow in hollows & the lee of walls (of course I missed all the fun last w/e 'cos I was in Antwerp & Kent).

Gave up trying to secure the cover to the driver's seat of the red Cherokee, as the positions I was having to adopt was aggravating my cough, so all I achieved was cleaning out the rear ashtray which was stuffed to overflowing with sticky sweet wrappers.

Put the green one back on charge but didn't have chance to see if it had had long enough to start. That & the, as yet still unidentified, rattle under the red one is something else to look forward to next w/e.