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:Well one thing's for sure, I could never have foreseen this development of my somewhat impetuous decision to start a blog, which I really thought might be of limited interest to anyone. :wink:
I'm pleased you did start this blog as we've all got a lot from it already :)

It is the way of this forum in that many topics do go into very interesting and beneficial territory. Some forums would never permit such drift in a topic but we do for the great benefits it brings, both is enjoyment and knowledge...

I look at one forum that is so heavily moderated with regard to off-topics it makes it sterile and flat.

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Just as well in my case, a day-by-day commentary on what I did with/to/where I went in, my C15 would quickly pall.

The 1st forum I managed to really "get into" was the biggest (I think) Cadillac one - well, anyway, it's got 130,000 members, all but a dozen (it seems) of whom are in America. Yet it considers itself a "family" & is very free-ranging (& it's ostensibly a technical advice forum) & the moderators seldom make their presence known other than to move posts to a more appropriate section &, occasionaly, to rebuke people for multiple posts - which you have to put into the perspective of the sheer volume of posts they have to trawl through. They're more likely to actually answer a query - or join in the repartee!

This is different though, it's a step further than most people take on a forum, & I suppose I was afraid I might be considered presumtuous + I was aware I had made some unpopular comments about the CCC - & its rallys - in my early posts, which some people, unfortunately, took personally. Taken all together, it might not have made me very popular or my missives particularly welcome.

Anyway, that's enough self-examination, thanks again for your encouragement & to matters of moment (such as they are): took the C15 to Lidl's Thusday evening, mercifully uneventful, 1st was reluctant a couple of times but reverse was fine - which I found a little odd.

Took the Cherokee out to Princetown this morning, conditions were typically "Dartmoor"; ironically this was the 1st time since I sorted out the foglights that I've needed (well, would've used) them but this one doesn't have any! Nor, it seems, does it have a tailgate that can be unlocked with the key, despite making the appropriate sounds.

Resisted the temptation to bid on a 3rd Seville (despite it ticking most of the boxes) - I really must get rid of at least one of the others 1st. This should be my last post here tonight, so think I'll go back to see how much it made.

mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

Many moons ago I had a blog about a Berlingo 2.0 HDi Multispace. It ran to about 50 pages.

I once read through it and decided it was all uninteresting drivel and had it deleted :D

Yours is far better!

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

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mickeymoon wrote: Yours is far better!
Yes, but yours was good too ;)

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Thank you for your support (I'll wear it always - groannnnnn!!! :roll: ) & encouragement. :)

Have to say, I was afraid mine would fit a similar description - & may yet meet a similar fate; another 46 pages, maintaining the same standard is surely a recipe for disaster! :wink:

Anyone remember I was going to take spanners back up to London to tweak the clutch adjustment? Well, seems I lost one (so that 10 + 11mm openender may have joined one of those lists of improbable things found on a train). A rummage yesterday revealed that, amazingly, it seems it was my only other 10mm - although I can clearly visualize an 8 + 10mm. Worse, I needn't have bothered as just discover £ shop does a set of 3 (8 - 13 mm). That may yet be the solution, & them see what's what at a couple of boot sales (my favourite hunting place, ever since my entire tool kit was taken for scrap (along with a trolley jack of industrial proportions & several spare 2CV engines) so needed replacements fast & couldn't afford to be picky - or anything else really! Now keep an eye open to fill gaps in size ranges, supplements to a basic socket set & the off chance of better quality replacements/additions. [-o<

Had few moments to spare, so to try & help someone on the Cadillac forum who couldn't identify the missing bolt from his alternator, went out to look at mine (only visible 'cos the rad's out! no, please don't try to envisage it: but it's a £400 job/day's work to replace!). I could barely identify it as an alternator for all the road dirt stuck on with oil, certainly couldn't see any bolts! :oops:

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

Post by van ordinaire »

More Cadillac stuff: this evening, wandered round to the lock-up (next to the 2CV's), climbed in though the passenger window of my 2nd Seville (known on the Cadillac forum as "STS2"), started it & just sat there 'til the temp got up to normal & the voltage display was reading "14.5 normal". Shut it down, climbed out, shut the garage & took myself back to the house for a celebratory coffee.

Why? What's the big deal?

Back in November had to abort taking it down to Devon to usurp "STS1" 'cos as soon as I hit 70 on the M25 it started overheating: received wisdom/great fear is "head gasket" so it's probably scrap BUT I need time/warmth/daylight/inclination/inspiration/encouragement to make a cursory examination. I started it just before I went down to Devon for Christmas/New Year (when I was supposed to do the C15's cam belt, take the rad out of "STS1" & try to reach a decision about the Cherokee with no drive - instead I bought another one!) & again, much to my relief, in mid-Feb. As I'm going on holiday on Saturday & get back just in time to decamp Westward for Easter (new clutch for C15? - probably not, being realistic) really my last chance to run it for a while, because it not starting doesn't bear thinking about (which is why I really shouldn't leave it so long) 'cos the battery's under the back seat - AND you can't open the doors!

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Yesterday I ordered 3 litres of Total EP75/80 GL4 from Nielsen's – thanks Richard ('though have to say + VAT, + p&p, it's not cheap – nor nearly as expensive as Comma from Halfords BUT useful to know that, if needs must, it should be readilly available in/near most places).Before completing the order I did check to see if they did it in 5 litres but didn't see any (more of which anon)

Then, out of curiosity I searched “ EP75/80 GL4” with some intersting results: lots of results for Total & Nielsen's, who do even more expensive Elf - & Total in 4 litres, slightly less per litre AND p&p free, so definitely the way to go (if only I'd known before). Curiously, the majors were conspicuously absent, but some well known (at least to me) American brands appeared - @ some very fancy prices! Then I found a budget brand (£19-odd for 5 litres) I checked their website & seems OK, & if it's up to spec. that's what counts! If I have time tomorrow I'll order some, then save the Total for when(ever) I do the clutch (unless someone wants to take it off my hands at a rally we're both at).

Last evening unexpectedly had to take the van out – it was terrible: worse than when the symptoms 1st appeared. How could it deteriorate so badly in a week - while parked? If that GL5 75/90 (or is it 80/90?) that's in it is really so toxic, surely it would've been apparent much sooner after putting it in.

In circs. thought I'd better make the effort to re-adjust the clutch this evening & discovered that although the 2 nuts were locked together, I could easily wind them in with thumb & forefinger – so had the ajjustment just backed off during the short drive last week? Started it up, tried gear selection: vastly improved, bit 1st & R still a bit notchy. Backed off locknut, wound adjuster in 1, 1 ½ turns, locked it up & re-assembled aircleaner (b-t-w, does anyone have a spare one of those locating grommets, they could pop in the post for me?). Off to Lidl's shortly, proof of the pudding & all that . . .

O.K. - so much improved, in fact that slight resistance going into 1st, is ir really any worse than it always was or, is it that sooooo hightened awareness (paranoia?) we develop immediately after, hopefully, curing a fault? More importantly, how long will it last?

Came back from Lidl's with a 12v oil pump among the groceries; not for draining oil, their advertised purpose, but for refilling the gearbox. Is it just me that doesn't find modern squeezy packs very squeezy? In any event, I don't find this an easy vehicle to refill without removing the n/s f wheel – or to get level on 3 wheels & a jack. We'll see - & you'll be sure to read about it here first!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

That sounds useful...Will drop by Aldi tomorrow see if they have one...Would make filling my steering box a heck of a lot easier!

I do miss my parent's drive when doing gearbox fills...We had an overgrown embankment along one side that was a good foot or two higher than the driveway itself - so driving two wheels up on there gained ample room to get under the car and so long as you made sure the tilt was the right way, that made sure you could get the full specified amount of oil in. It also saved my bacon when wrestling with Saab exhausts a couple of times. Even if I did manage to beach one on there one day courtesy of the ridiculously over engineered sump guard.

Interesting that the Caddy has such an inaccessible battery...Same place as in the Skoda - and you can't fold the seat forward in that without opening the rear doors because the armrests get in the way. At least that has the excuse of being rear engined for it being in an odd place...MGB has it back there too doesn't it? Know several Classic Rolls and Jags have it in the boot. Cue much hilarity one day when we wanted into the boot of a friend's one when the battery was stone flat...And we discovered that the manual release was seized. Three hours of faffing around later we got in...

Does it have an accessible battery boost socket/terminal anywhere? Can't remember which ones specifically now, but sure a couple of vans and cars I've seen with moderately buried batteries had made at least some effort to make it vaguely possible to jump start them. Not quite so well catered as for on a bus where there's usually a dedicated heavy duty socket to plug the booster pack in, mind you. Useful to know where that is...Makes it far easier to sneak out with the jumper pack and get it going again rather than tell anyone else in the museum that you forgot there was no battery fitted and accidentally switched it off...

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

Post by elma »

Go to Lidl rather than Aldi if you'd like an oil pump.
Shame as I fancy one of them for my gearbox but I know where Aldi is and I have no idea the whereabouts of Lidl.

So I looked it up and I'm getting an oil pump too, be passing near enough dropping hire equipment back tomorrow for work so I'll get my kurust and an oil pump.

Trolley jack for £20 as well, is that a reasonable price? I really need one here now, not in 3 weeks when I get mine back. I haven't bought a jack for about a decade £20 sounds fair.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Sure we have a Lidl somewhere...Shame Aldi aren't doing them too as that's only a few hundred yards down the road.

Think that's about what my last trolley jack cost. It's big, red, heavy and generally built like a brick outhouse. Have had it well over a decade and it's been used to jack cars, vans, a tractor, has helped transport a bus engine, and was part of a highly dubiously safe levelling setup for a Lister TS-2 based generator set at one point. It still works as good as it did when I bought it (from the little shop at the Drum of Wartle Filling Station in case you wondered).

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

Post by elma »

Mines the same 3 Tonne, massive footprint and over a decade old.
That was about £20.
Everythings gone up though, that LIDL one is probably well priced at £20.
Halfords are charging £40 for a 2 tonne one so I guess £20 is ok.

mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

I've had a Lidl 2 tonne jack for years now. No problems at all.

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

Post by elma »

Excellent, I think I'll buy one this afternoon. I'll be able to check the suspension before I get the tracking done then. Decided against the oil pump now, just wasting cash on something I don't really need.

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

Post by van ordinaire »

So, Friday 24 March, my last at the fun factory before leaving for distant parts (well - Manchester, in the first instance!) & I get an e-mail from Neilsen's advising due to exceptional demand (nothing to do with getting a plug here, of course) they are out of stock & offering a later delivery date - or immediate refund. Not surprisingly, in all the circumstances, I accept refund but am impressed with their prompt & professional dealing with the situation; fingers crossed the refund will be as prompt.
Can't now order the cheap stuff now as the firm's IT security blocks buying on Ebay, going to the vendor's site reveals a £5 price increase - AND, I'm going to Manc straight from work! Still should have enough time when I get there to do the business on son's computer - but Virgin Trains & a "jumper" on the Stockport viaduct had other ideas (& we're leaving for the airport at 8:00)!

The Caddy DOES have underbonnet terminals for jumpstarting, but (on "STS1" - which is afflicted with parasitic battery drain: flat in 3 hours!) I've only known it work once, ironically after 2 earlier failed attempts connecting direct to the battery!

Minis had the battery in the boot: not easy to remove/replace simply because they were so far inboard, as it meant reaching over the dropdown bootlid. P6B Rovers too, a tight fit in a box recessed in the floor, a real pain, in those days before batteries had handles, because the lifting strap was either missing - or rotten! However, with a strategically positioned relay + some serious cable you could have a HRW that almost glowed in the dark!

Seized boot locks, pah! Try this scenario: come out to your (probably) late '60's Caddy in the supermarket parking lot, to find car has flat (conventionally located) battery - & Caddy's latest feature? The electric hood release!

I have one of those Lidl's trolley jacks (somewhat bizzarely, they were a little dearer in Germany) it's fine as a supplement to/backup for a proper 2,3 ton(ne) garage jack, it'll even lift the Caddy (well, one corner) but with a bit of a struggle, in severeal respects. With a little care/caution it'll more likely get you out of, rather than into, trouble - & it's quite portable (I remember my original, serious, trolley jack wouldn't go in the boot of my Rover 3500S.

Now moving on: 27 March, our little party set off, in a Hyundai coach (first vehicle worth a mention, simply 'cos I didn't know there was such a thing) to get our Vietnamese driving licences - just so we can thumb our collective nose at Clarkson & Co!

After 2 days playing with the traffic in Hanoi, or so it seemed, we finally (courtesy of another biiiiig Hyundai) arrive at the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum for some more Soviet era propoganda - & to be randomly allocated one of a motley assortment of (so-called) Jeeps (but actually ginn-u-ine USAF surplus (i.e. abandoned) M151 MUTTs we were going to take, via the scenic route, to Da Nang. A couple were (almost) original but most were not, to a greater or lesser extent, both cosmetically & mechanically. I was surprised to find "ours" had a 5-speed box, but it was some time before I realised that also meant it didn't have 4WD BUT it did have discs at the front - & we were using paved roads for the whole trip - allegedly! If anything, I was even more surprised at the metric speedo (but then the S. Vietnamese ones would've been so equipped). However, before my son/navigator/food taster/long suffering travel companion could guestimate the extent of the odometer's obvious inaccuracy, the speedo failed completely. Can't remember now whether that was before or after we stopped for fuel - & discovered the hand brake had failed! (no problem, on a previous trip we'd done 2,000 miles in a Hindustan Ambassador that didn't have a handbrake!).
The following morning (after finding the hotel's internet room - but, too late0, the handbrake was on - & you could see a bright shiny cable. The replacement speedo however wasn't so new, the cracked glass was a bit of a give away - & it was imperial, well American - presumably. This required some frantic recalculations before we set off, especially as the fuel guage didn't seem to work at all (it later became apparent that the more fuel there was in the tank, the more damping there was to the erratic swinging of the needle). This speedo was really not much better as it seemed to read 20 as soon as you started to roll - & never went above 40! It is largely thanks to my son that we only missed 2 turns in the 1,000-odd miles & never ran out of fuel, despite the constantly changing layout of road junctions, having to guess when each landmark/turn in the roadbook would come up & petrol stations not being so obvious, even when there were any. On 5 April the handbrake went again but, to my surprise, was fixed overnight, even though the 6th was our last driving day, & only about 50 miles (albeit mainly on mountain roads). After that it was downhill all the way, as far as I was concerned, as the holiday ended when the driving stopped. I'm glad we finished in Saigon, but just wish we could have driven that last 100 miles there.

So, come Saturday morning we're stuck in Hong Kong with time to kill &, at last, I find free computer terminals. I suppose, had I thought of it, I could've, at least, started this post then but my mind was on trying to get that hypoid, so I could still change the oil before driving down to Devon, hopefully, on Thursday. Wasting my time though, Ebay didn't like me using another computer & wanted me to jump through all sorts of hoops - & give them more inforamtion I don't want them to have - before letting me make the purchase. Still, it's done now - & should arrive tomorrow; we'll see.

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

Post by CitroJim »

I'd love to visit Vietnam... Sadly it'll now just be a dream but I do hear it's a brilliant place to visit...

I'd love to sample the food there...