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 shame this site doesn't really support blogs. Not for the 1st time it's decided that I've taken too long & required be to log-in again, by which time I've lost all my precious script.

Anyway off to do what I should've done in the first place (but I never learn, every time I think it'll be alright this time).: (re-)draft it as a Word document & copy & paste it.

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

Post by myglaren »

Drafting it in a text editor is definitely a safer bet - I have lost the odd one but suspect dumnity rather than a fault.

The reason being that when I put YouTube links in the Pickled Egg thread, I have to listen to each and every song start to finish* so a post can take well over an hour and I have only lost one - where it was just one song so only a few minutes and I suspect I neglected to hit the "Submit" button :(

*same in the car - I can't bear to shut a song off partway through so regularly leave the CD running and let the car go into economy mode when it is ready.

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

Post by van ordinaire »

I'm not sure I'm really still up to dropping & re-fitting gearboxes, but it was really the logistics that had me beat: C15 was in Devon, whereas I was in several other places AND there was the time factor!

Anyway, it must've been the right decision because, as a direct result, C15's in the carpark of a long abandoned, but recently re-purposed, E. Berlin office block - & I'm in the beergarden behind it typing this! Well, this is supposed, at least, in part, to be about travel; clue's in the title – remember?

I don't do photos (&, if I did, I'd have no idea how to upload them) but, I've kept the box of bits (except a few more ball bearings which escaped) & perhaps with assistance of a younger member of the family, something can be done at a later date.

Back to yesterday. Idea was to allow 6 hours to get 14:00 ferry at Dover. I'd consulted my SatNav for journey time, which suggested it was about 300 miles (I think), albeit by a route I had no intention of using but, in any event, I didn't expect to do it on a single tank of fuel. All this nonsense about 40,50 mpg is based on a similar cruising speed, whereas, at motorway speeds a C15's going to return real world consumption figures “but I digress” (Tom Lehrer). This was the plan: when low fuel light came on, stop at 1st garage & purchase, at an outrageous price, just enough to get to Dover, + a couple of miles. What happened? 52 miles out of Dover, on the M20, it dies (or, so I thought). Assume I've run out – although, far from a low fuel light, guage showed 1/4-full – but not time for analysis/diagnosis, have to coast of carriageway! Having gained sanctuary of hard shoulder, realise it's still ticking over – a bit raggedly. Kill it, really don't want that restart diesel that's been allowed to run out of fuel pantomime; while nothing like the horror it once was – I've got a ferry to catch (& fear I might already be a bit behind). Chuck in the 5 litres from the “can” I always carry (unless port security are being difficult/conscientious/observant) but, by no means, confident that, flat out, it'll do it on 5 litres, in go the 5 lites of sunflower oil that just happened to be in the back. I can live with it smelling like a chippy, as long as it gets me to Aucun's gazoil pump!
Back in the driver's seat, turn the key - & we're off! Barely regained carriageway than it becomes obvious something's still amiss. Cross the hardshoulder onto the grass beyond: a little further from the noise & slipstream of passing wagons. Under the bonnet, it won't rev. - then it will, but when the throttle's allowed to close, it cuts out. Now diesels are not my specialist subject & I felt a little like I did, at 17, with my first car - peering under the bonnet, hoping for divine inspiration: 9 times out of 10, if you wiggled enough things, eventually you'd turn the key & (providing the battery wasn't flat by then) it'd start. (I suspect today's 17 yr olds don't have it so easy). Anyway, back on the M20, attack the primer feverishly- this is with it doing its best impression of ticking over mind you!Engine note changes, revs rise, settle down - &, suddenly, it's ticking over as quietly & smoothly as any old diesel engine with a shot mounting can. Quick, shut the bonnet & get back on the road, as I lurched off the grass & started to accelerate down the hard shoulder, 3 artics in convoy pulled out into the centre lane, as if in formation. Yes, I was lucky that traffic was fairly light but those 3 really did make my triumphant return to mainstream traffic so much easier.

Get to ferry check-in, about 20 minutes late (although ½ of that must've been in the queue) – to be told there was about 1/2-hour delay!

Eventually we're at the gazoil pump, it's €1.18 a litre, so a lttle over £1 – but I got my €'s when they were still around €1.20:£ - BUT it'll only take about 36 litres, Now this is terribly scentific/accurate but if there was still the amount I'd added on the M20 in the tank, there was enough for about 55 miles when I thought I'd run out, i.e. 1/4-tank, just as the guage said. Answers on a postcard, please.

I'm heading for my overnight stop at a pub I know in Essen (I've done Berlin in one hit but it wasn't much fun - & that was in the Caddy: but Audi baiting palls after a while!). I said I'd be there about 9 o' clock but the ferry was even later docking than it was, eventually, leaving so by the time I'd re-fueled I was already 1½ hours late & what with the wheather, traffic, roadworks I was getting concerned about getting there before they closed - & the C15 hadn't finished with me yet. Suddenly, the high temperature warning light comes on, flickers, goes out, comes on again. With about 100 miles still to go, my 1st thought is “One thing I don't have is water”. Turn heater on full & it is hot, which suggests there's no great coolant loss, slow down, light goes out - & stays out 'til, within a mercifully short distance, I see a garage sign. Pull in, open bonnet, no obvious signs of overheating, wait a while& very gingerly remove pressure cap, produces a gentle sigh!Takes a pint of water, at very most – which must've over filled the expansion tank. Set off again, no light – but it comes on again, when I notice that the intensity fluctuates with the indicators, I quickly turned the headlights off, & back on, with a similar affect. Having convinced myself it was actually an electrical fault, I continued – but it is a very large, bright light – especially at night. It eventually went off, stayed off & has not reappeared.

Needless to say, I needn't have worried, the place WAS still open, in fact more people came into the bar after I arrived, than were there when I did. Couldn't access internet from their Wifi connection though.

Had a proper look under the bonnet this morning, couldn't find anything amiss, even the gear box leak has stopped! Was it over-filled? How? Is it empty now? Absent any symptoms that seems (as) unlikely. Set Satnav for Berlin address “avoiding motorways”, I have all day, will still get there early evening & will get to see a bit of Germany. If I thought French diesel was a good price, driving out through outskirts of Essen, I noticed it was €1.11. I thought when I was down to ¼ I'd start looking, 1st place I came to, it was €1.08. 318 miles from Dunkerque, it took 33+ litres. All that confirms is that at ¼ the fuel guage is rearkably accurate, i.e. about 11 litres.

So, mixed roads, even more mixed weather, although one cloudburst aside (never had to use wipers on fast before) nothing like as bad as yesterday (sorry, that'll be Thursday now) & really quite nice towards the end, bit too warm for city traffic, if anything.

Says much for the C15 that after, probably, best part of 500 miles one day, broken only by the ferry crossing, the following morning I was quite content to do another 350!
Last edited by van ordinaire on 14 May 2017, 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by CitroJim »

That's odd about the running problem Van. Sounds almost like fuel starvation... I'd be checking your fuel filters, especially the strainer in the tank...

Enjoy your trip and the weekend :D

I many not comment much but I do always enjoy reading your adventures enormously so keep up the good work!

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

Post by ekjdm14 »

van ordinaire wrote:It's a shame this site doesn't really support blogs. Not for the 1st time it's decided that I've taken too long & required be to log-in again, by which time I've lost all my precious script.

Anyway off to do what I should've done in the first place (but I never learn, every time I think it'll be alright this time).: (re-)draft it as a Word document & copy & paste it.



Oh :( that's a bugger. When you log in have you checked the "keep me logged in" box? I never have to log back in except for the very rare occasion when I either clear my cache or something similar... (I do have to pay mind to closing my laptop lid when leaving the room though when certain members of the family are about... )

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

Post by MikeT »

van ordinaire wrote:It's a shame this site doesn't really support blogs. Not for the 1st time it's decided that I've taken too long & required be to log-in again, by which time I've lost all my precious script.


Presumably you won't get caught out again but in case you do, simply click your browser's "Back" button to get your text back allowing you to copy it your clipboard. Then, when you log in again, you can simply paste it all back.

ekjdm14
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by ekjdm14 »

Very strange indeed that fuelling glitch, and strange electrical gremlins too... The latter of those and the clutch change done (possibly) in a rush, would have me searching for a loose/bad earth connection round the gearbox area or perhaps a bit of loom has been pulled/trapped and is being flexed more than usual by the dodgy engine mount?

Not sure if your pump is de-armoured or not but in a case of full on electrical failure progress can still be made in emergencies via a bit of speaker wire to the stop solenoid & jump leads to spin the starter... I trust you won't need to resort to such butchery but worth remembering if your trust for the electrics is waning ;) I do reckon on it being a dodgy earth though more like than not.

The oil leak thing could just have been residual oil being thrown off the seal, so if it's still got oil in the 'box then just take it as a win that it's stopped dripping :)

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

Post by van ordinaire »

myglaren wrote:Drafting it in a text editor is definitely a safer bet - I have lost the odd one but suspect dumnity rather than a fault.

The reason being that when I put YouTube links in the Pickled Egg thread, I have to listen to each and every song start to finish* so a post can take well over an hour and I have only lost one - where it was just one song so only a few minutes and I suspect I neglected to hit the "Submit" button :(

*same in the car - I can't bear to shut a song off partway through so regularly leave the CD running and let the car go into economy mode when it is ready.


What usually happens is that hitting "Submit" produces the reprimand that i have to be logged on to post - & it's in the course of doing it, that the post is lost. Sometimes it's not even how long it's taken me to draft a missive - but simply the length of time I've been on the site.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

van ordinaire wrote:What usually happens is that hitting "Submit" produces the reprimand that i have to be logged on to post - & it's in the course of doing it, that the post is lost. Sometimes it's not even how long it's taken me to draft a missive - but simply the length of time I've been on the site.


I've learned the hard way that composing anything beyond a few line post in a text editor is the best idea.

My tendency to ramble isn't exactly unknown, but there have been a couple of occasions where someone has been foolish enough to ask me a question that actually *needs* a pretty in depth response, which results in the epic novel of a response you'd expect.

...Ain't half frustrating after typing out a couple of thousand words when it disappears into the aether with a message stating that the submitted form was invalid...Learned my lesson!

I don't actually usually use a separate editor though - but I make a point of selecting everything I've just typed and copying it to the clipboard before I actually click submit, so it it does get eaten by the forum software all I have to do is press ctrl+V to instantly "re-type" everything rather than start over.

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

Post by van ordinaire »

CitroJim wrote:That's odd about the running problem Van. Sounds almost like fuel starvation... I'd be checking your fuel filters, especially the strainer in the tank...

Enjoy your trip and the weekend :D

I many not comment much but I do always enjoy reading your adventures enormously so keep up the good work!


I suppose I've been spoiled: until the clutch went, I'd never actually had a problem on the road - even when the throttle pedal sheared I managed to nurse it home (it was only about 6 miles away) with the aid of a piece of string! So I was completely caught out & as I've freely admitted I'm as much at a loss with diesels as I am with the electronics in the Caddy! It happened suddenly, now about 600 miles ago, & not re-occured - mind you, I'm not home yet! fuel filter IS (over)due for replacement, in fact, I tripied to order one earlier this evening, without success. I won't go into details because it's set out in some details elsewhere on the forum. BUT, strainer in the tank? Don't think I like the idea of that!

The trip so far, the few hiccups aside, has been fine & I'm enjoying the weekend: I'm here for a classic car show, which I'll probably deal with separately but to give you an idea, driving along the road alongside the venue, looking for somewhere to park, I saw a DS, 2 H-vans (one a hearse), an Estafette camper (with roof windows, like the VW Type 2 "Samba") & a 504.

Anyway, it got me thinking about photos, my earlier comments & the slow realisation that as I've now got people to share them with (things have moved on from boring family & friends with holiday snaps) perhaps I should reconsider - especially as what I term my spare phone (long story) does have a camera function, not that I've worked out how to save any pictures!

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

Post by van ordinaire »

ekjdm14 wrote:
van ordinaire wrote:It's a shame this site doesn't really support blogs. Not for the 1st time it's decided that I've taken too long & required be to log-in again, by which time I've lost all my precious script.

Anyway off to do what I should've done in the first place (but I never learn, every time I think it'll be alright this time).: (re-)draft it as a Word document & copy & paste it.



Oh :( that's a bugger. When you log in have you checked the "keep me logged in" box? I never have to log back in except for the very rare occasion when I either clear my cache or something similar... (I do have to pay mind to closing my laptop lid when leaving the room though when certain members of the family are about... )


No, I haven't done that because I was used to accessing the forum from work - & it's not recommended from a networked terminal but based on my my experience on another forum, I'm not sure I ..understand what its purpose is. Still, if it prevents tis happening again, perhaps I ought to get into the habit. :wink:

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

Post by van ordinaire »

MikeT wrote:
van ordinaire wrote:It's a shame this site doesn't really support blogs. Not for the 1st time it's decided that I've taken too long & required be to log-in again, by which time I've lost all my precious script.


Presumably you won't get caught out again but in case you do, simply click your browser's "Back" button to get your text back allowing you to copy it your clipboard. Then, when you log in again, you can simply paste it all back.


No guarantees, it's a lesson I seem to have some difficulty learning.

I have tried that trick, all I can say is that when it's worked, it's been a great relief to me!

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Ah, the fun of fixing a broken accelerator with string.

There was one vintage coach incident at a location I'd rather not disclose where nursing the vehicle home - it was a manual as well I might add which had long since lost any claim to have syncromesh on anything save for maybe fifth gear - involved the driver managing the actual driving of the vehicle - with me laying flat on my stomach on the floor with my arm disappearing into the bowels of the vehicle clutching the shattered remains of where the governor linkage had snapped off the fuel pump - with me effectively being the throttle control.

The plan had been for me to receive vocal instructions - but I ended up having to do it by ear from the engine as it turns out that it's kind of hard to hear what someone shouting to you with (from memory) a Gardner 6LXW engine with a blowing exhaust and shot gearbox thrashing away about a foot away from your left ear. Apparently I did okay!

You'd have thought that we'd have been able to find a bit of string, a cable-tie, some duct tape or similar somewhere in the vehicle...but nope...not a chance that evening! So I ended up hanging through the access panel for several miles instead!

Funny, it's really not many years ago, but you wouldn't even consider antics like that now would you?

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

Post by van ordinaire »

ekjdm14 wrote:Very strange indeed that fuelling glitch, and strange electrical gremlins too... The latter of those and the clutch change done (possibly) in a rush, would have me searching for a loose/bad earth connection round the gearbox area or perhaps a bit of loom has been pulled/trapped and is being flexed more than usual by the dodgy engine mount?

Not sure if your pump is de-armoured or not but in a case of full on electrical failure progress can still be made in emergencies via a bit of speaker wire to the stop solenoid & jump leads to spin the starter... I trust you won't need to resort to such butchery but worth remembering if your trust for the electrics is waning ;) I do reckon on it being a dodgy earth though more like than not.

The oil leak thing could just have been residual oil being thrown off the seal, so if it's still got oil in the 'box then just take it as a win that it's stopped dripping :)


Once I realised that the problem wasn't with the cooling system but the warning light, I was thinking: sender unit, bad connection but you say makes sense - does anyone know where the sender unit is/what it looks like? By coincidence, one thing I did check was the main earth cable - because I'd disconnected that as part of prelimary preparation. Do have to remove battery, to replace the retaining clamp, which I'd not put with the other bits I'd removed, so that will give me opportunity to check all the cabling that runs in that area. Really will have to find/make opportunity to check gearbox oil level before I set off for home - fingers crossed!

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Zelandeth wrote:
van ordinaire wrote:What usually happens is that hitting "Submit" produces the reprimand that i have to be logged on to post - & it's in the course of doing it, that the post is lost. Sometimes it's not even how long it's taken me to draft a missive - but simply the length of time I've been on the site.


I've learned the hard way that composing anything beyond a few line post in a text editor is the best idea.

My tendency to ramble isn't exactly unknown, but there have been a couple of occasions where someone has been foolish enough to ask me a question that actually *needs* a pretty in depth response, which results in the epic novel of a response you'd expect.

...Ain't half frustrating after typing out a couple of thousand words when it disappears into the aether with a message stating that the submitted form was invalid...Learned my lesson!

I don't actually usually use a separate editor though - but I make a point of selecting everything I've just typed and copying it to the clipboard before I actually click submit, so it it does get eaten by the forum software all I have to do is press ctrl+V to instantly "re-type" everything rather than start over.


You're obviously quicker on the uptake than me. I have tried to remember to "copy" before submitting - & a couple of times, grateful I did, but I'm not convinced that will always save the day. Sometimes, if I'm just adding my 3 penn'th to a thread & I lose it, I just give up but with the blog I can't do that: it is a rather different discipline, so I'll take the precaution, if it's going to be a marathon effort, to draft it off-line.