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Old Jan 30 2021, 12:37 PM   #5681
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Wow, those are amazing!
Thank you. See anything that you'd like to own? Or maybe have a favorite photo that you'd like in silver and black or gold and black?

Just trying to drum up a little business.
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Old Jan 30 2021, 09:53 PM   #5682
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I got my checks, so I'll be able to order & pay next week..
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Old Jan 30 2021, 11:04 PM   #5683
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I got my checks, so I'll be able to order & pay next week..
No problem. Now I can do it on gold scratch art paper, as well as silver, like you saw. Your choice.
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Old Jan 31 2021, 06:05 PM   #5684
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Had hoped to get a good stint in the garage this afternoon...However it was not to be!

Literally as I was opening the garage door I got a panicked phone call from a friend informing me that they had lost electrical power to their garage (which contains their washing machine and tumble drier) and they can't get an electrician in before the middle of next week. To be honest the electrics in that house are an absolute nightmare and they know that. They are currently planning later on this year to move out for a few weeks, have the entire place emptied and have crews come in and basically gut and renovate the whole house. Including a *complete* rewire and re-plumb.

Didn't take long to figure out the problem...Tracing the wire heading out of the consumer unit from the garage breaker it immediately disappeared into a junction box and then to a fused switch (which has no maker's name or anything on it anywhere). Which I wasn't able to get the fuse out of to check. Immediate conclusion: It's over a period of years running both a washing machine and a (condensing) drier, has stressed either the fuse and/or holder and has overheated. Quick check showed we had power into the switch but nothing on the way out. What did I find when I pulled it off and took it to bits?



Yep, we have a winner! Exactly what I was expecting to find.

A better quality replacement switch was installed and they've been told to try to stagger use of the appliances in the meantime, if it causes any further issues in the next couple of months we'll arrange a beefier feed to the sockets in the garage. The duct that runs into there being a foot away from the consumer unit makes life a bit easier there. Beyond that the whole place will be getting re-wired anyway.

Having resolved that crisis I was left with half an hour or so to get car things done before dinner. Target was to get the front mud guard off the Invacar so I can straighten it out and paint behind it.

There are two bolts at the front and one at the rear of it - all of which were lumps of rust that were never going to move.



The angle grinder is too much of a blunt instrument for jobs like this, I'd most likely end up damaging the surrounding bodywork. Step forward the reciprocating multi-tool...it's much more of a scalpel than a sledgehammer and is one of those tools I curse myself for not buying about fifteen years earlier. It made light work of the front two bolts in a matter of seconds.



The rear one was a bit more of a hassle as I couldn't get quite far enough in to get to the bolt properly from any angle so I wound up cutting around it a bit. Will mean I need to put a small repair plate on there before it goes in but it won't be a difficult repair. The mudguard as a whole though needs "a little help" I think it's fair to say.



That *should* be pretty much a straight U shaped channel save for the bit that's folded up to form the keeper for the bonnet latch at the right hand end.

I reckon that with a bit of careful application of the hammer pictured there and a large chunk of wood to act as a former we'll be able to get it back to something far closer to the correct shape. It doesn't need to be absolutely perfect after all. I'd have done this a lot sooner but only relatively recently discovered that it could actually be removed.

The only other thing of note which has happened today is feeling that I've achieved something by actually using the 3D printer for something honestly useful.



This is the piece of test equipment that I lose in my room by far the most frequently, not least because it's an awkward shape...so I made a little bracket for it to live in. Hopefully it will stop vanishing quite so regularly now. Already planning similar solutions for some of the more awkwardly shaped tools in the garage which frequently vanish because there's nowhere truly out of the way for them to live, especially with my garage having a critical lack of flat surfaces on which things can sit.
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Old Jan 31 2021, 06:58 PM   #5685
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Allen, silver. Kibby is still saying no. We'll continue to ignore her.
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Old Feb 1 2021, 12:23 AM   #5686
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Allen, silver. Kibby is still saying no. We'll continue to ignore her.
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Old Feb 2 2021, 05:31 PM   #5687
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Finally got hold of the last couple of bits I'd been waiting on to allow me to proceed with the brake system upgrade on the Invacar.



Metric unions are needed because the master cylinder is metric, and the T is a replacement so I can replace the 4-way one the brake light switch is currently fitted to - which of course needed to be Imperial because the brake light switch is!

The switch was removed from the car and stored safely in the bag with the union it will be living in from now on while I removed the old T piece.



That's now been loosely refitted to the stud the T-piece lives on.

This has then allowed me to have a think about how I'll be routing the lines, shouldn't require too much plumbing. The line to the rear will be getting extended the couple of inches needed to reach the cylinder. I did think about remaking the whole line to avoid the need for a join...but the run is a single piece all the way to the T at the rear axle and routing it would require me to remove the fuel tank. It's getting extended!

Shouldn't take long to get things in here hooked up.



Just ran out of time today.

The mud guard will need a bit of careful attention, but even a couple of minutes has got it looking far closer to the correct shape again.





That was mostly achieved simply by standing on it! Shouldn't be too hard to save it.

I do alternatively have a couple of sheets of metal here I could probably fabricate a replacement out of if it came to that.
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Old Feb 3 2021, 04:55 PM   #5688
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Allen if you'll PM your info I can paypal or whatever the money to you.
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Old Feb 3 2021, 05:00 PM   #5689
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Now we're getting somewhere.



Front circuit is bled through, rear will have to wait till tomorrow. Everything seems fluid tight though, though everything will be given a bit of a tighten once it's sat overnight anyway.

Brake light switch is back in place. I'd have rather had it flipped through 90 degrees to make clearing the master cylinder bracket and speedometer cable less of a hassle. However the switch is just too bulky for that and would foul on the bulkhead.



Have encountered one slight snag though. I may need to source a longer pushrod for the master cylinder.

I didn't notice when I swapped it over that the new cylinder has the resting position further forward than the original one. Oops.



This results in the handlebars sitting depressed a couple of inches even when the brakes are fully released.



There is some adjustment available in the pushrod, but probably not enough. One possibility is that I *may* be able to drill an additional hole in the yoke. There are already three or four for different braking systems so one more won't be a problem. Will probably mean taking the whole handlebar assembly apart to gain access though. Won't that be fun...

Hoping this won't be too much of a headache to resolve. Ah, the joys of trying new things out.
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Old Feb 4 2021, 05:20 PM   #5690
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Few steps forward today.

Had a closer look to see how far out we were on the pushrod clearance issue. Not very much is the answer. This also really highlights the mechanical advantage in the handlebar setup. This equates to a little over 3" of travel at the bars.



With the adjuster backed as far off as I can without worrying about the nut backing off and coming loose (which would be bad), I was able to reduce the offset to this. The thing I've circled is the little rubber stop the handlebars usually rest on.



For reference, here's the same clearance at the same spot yesterday.



The loss of that bit of travel probably isn't the end of the world (keep in mind this cylinder has a slightly larger bore, so will require slightly less travel but be heavier to operate). That's plan C at this point. I don't like the fact that the return spring tension on the 'bars is resting on the pushrod, as that means any failure of the adjuster locknut or the pushrod retaining circlip on the master cylinder will result in the pushrod ejecting itself from the braking mechanism. This Would Be Bad.

Plan A is to pull the yoke out and drill a new pivot hole slightly above and forward of the existing one. Couple of reasons I prefer this.

[] Firstly is that it removes the aforementioned situation where it's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility that the master cylinder could spontaneously disassemble itself at 70mph on the sliproad coming off the A5. The resting position of the handlebars will keep everything under (light) compression. If the adjuster backs itself off you'll notice the brakes feeling sloppy and hear it rattling long before anything comes apart.

[] Secondly, shifting the pivot point slightly higher thanks to the geometry of the linkage will increase the mechanical advantage provided, so make the brakes lighter - providing an offset for the slightly larger bore cylinder. I'll be taking some careful measurements beforehand to make sure I've still got enough clearance to get a full usable stroke and that the pushrod isn't going to get pushed at too much of an angle. Stroke measurement is something I need to be particularly careful of too given that my knees are closer to the bars than in a standard car due to the upgraded seat. No, there's no way in hell I'm changing that back...I like being comfy!

I'm going to do some testing with the setup as it is now though. Given that this is all very experimental it's entirely possible that I'll find that this cylinder just doesn't work...I wind up with impossibly grabby brakes, or it's like trying to brake a 1920s bus with cable brakes because they're so heavy. Might need to mess around with an adjustable bias valve to prevent the front wheel locking up...I just don't know at this point. I'd rather know the system is fundamentally sound before I go modifying things permanently. Plus I know that getting the handlebars out is going to be an absolute pig of a job.

I did look at removing the handlebars quite early in the restoration as it would have made cleaning them up and painting them massively easier. However they're (as you'd expect) very solidly mounted by a load of fasteners. All of which are to put it politely, disinclined to acquiesce to my request that they move. At least I am armed with a decent selection of Imperial tools now at least so I'm more likely to get there in the end. Plus one of the worst fasteners is on the ball joint, and that's about to be replaced anyway.

I'm half tempted to get the whole thing powder coated while it's off the car. It's such a visually striking bit of the interior that it would really help tidy it up I think. Not sure...either way it'll definitely get some better paint while off the car. Would be sticking with black, pretty sure that's what it was originally painted.

Got most of the system bled through this evening before running into a snag. The offside rear bleed nipple is thoroughly seized. I cheated when originally setting this up by filling the cylinder by hand, fitting it and then bleeding from the pipe union. However that union is also a little chewed up (the run between that cylinder and the axle flexible line is one that came on the car as it's spotless cupronickel), and rounded off the moment I touched it today. If I apply any more force to the bleep nipple it's going to either snap off or strip. I very much doubt it will crack off.

Fair enough. I'd pondered replacing the wheel cylinders since day one. I was frankly astonished they were serviceable given the age and conditions they'd been stored in. They're not expensive, so I think it's time to change them. The nearside one needs to be removed from the hub at some point to replace the rubber boot around the handbrake linkage as it's perished and torn anyway. So time to get three new cylinders in and just change them I think. That way the only ancient bits of the brakes left will be the drums, a few springs and the shoes. All good things from the perspective of long term reliability. I'd like to take the opportunity to dismantle, clean and grease the adjusters too. I didn't really know how they worked when I first got the car back on the road, but now I have that knowledge I'd like to do some preventative maintenance there. If I've got braking work to be done, may as well do the lot.

When I was first reviving the car I didn't really know whether it would be sticking around long term and whether it would be an occasional weekend toy to take to shows or actually see regular use. So there were a few instances of reusing older parts and semi-temporary bodges that I knew I'd likely end up revisiting at some point. As I've found I actually really enjoy driving the car now it's obvious to me now that it's well worth sorting those things out now once and for all.

On that list is also sorting out the metalwork in the engine bay. While the actually important bits of tin that route the cooling air are okay, the splash guard is in a right state. Not likely to find that sitting around anywhere so I'll probably need to make something up myself. That's one I've been putting off though as it's probably going to be an engine-out job because of how the shields are fitted. On the plus side, at least they're not critical to engine cooling like in a VW. The "snorkel" on the engine cover itself serves that purpose instead, ensuring that cooling air is drawn from outside to minimise the recirculation of warm air. I do still plan to fit a temperature gauge though...not having one just bothers me! Thanks to whoever suggested one of the types popular among the air cooled VW crowd that just clamps to a head under the spark plug, that's a way more elegant solution than a wet oil temperature sender that I was originally planning to use.

That's a way down the list yet though!

Even with there still being a bit of air in the brakes though I do have something of a pedal, albeit a very spongey one. Just pushing the car back and forth in the garage it feels like they're working properly and we've got braking from both ends. Doesn't mean much, but from a purely psychological standpoint it was nice to see!

On another forum someone had mentioned that it looked like there was a worrying lack of clearance between the front wheel and the brake master cylinder. They're right, in a lot of photos it does look quite close. That's more down to a bit of an optical illusion though just how things line up. Trying to get a photo from a lower angle (tricky with the body in the way!) shows there's a decent gap.





Really shouldn't be any worries of these making contact. Especially given how little weight there is on the front, even under heavy braking the nose doesn't dive much. Glad they asked the question though as it's the sort of thing which could well have been an issue with the new cylinder being so much longer. Glad they promoted me to check.
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Old Feb 5 2021, 06:10 PM   #5691
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Nothing done actually in the garage today, though yesterday evening a pair of wheel brake cylinders were ordered for the Invacar.



Went with the same supplier that I got the brake hoses from as their service was so good last time.

Also on the subject of buying things I'm keeping tabs on this, hoping it doesn't go for silly money.



Cylinder head temperature gauge. One of the three instruments which I'll have in the little pod under the dash. Other two will be a voltmeter and a clock. The lack of the latter I've found really irritating - though it will require routing of a dedicated battery feed which is a little annoying given it's basically the furthest point in the car from the battery more or less.
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Old Feb 6 2021, 06:25 PM   #5692
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Today's adventures start on the electronics workbench.

Our patient was a lovely little Prinztronic Mini7 calculator I picked up about a week ago.



While it powered on there was no response from the keypad (aside from the number 2) and there was clearly an intermittent issue with the power supply.

This isn't a particularly high end calculator...in fact it's very much built down to a price. No screws on the case, it all just clips together.

It is quite stylish though (especially in this two tone blue) and by the standards of the time was fairly compact. Though I'd probably have cursed the dependence on AAA batteries with no DC input jack back in the 1970s...

Took a while to figure out how to get it apart without damaging anything but wasn't that hard really.



No surprises to find a TI TMS series chip at the heart of a calculator from this era - that era being pinned down to mid 1975 thanks to this date code.



There is one other IC in here which I'm pretty sure is just a display driver given where it is in circuit.



Don't recognise that maker's logo. Anyone able to ID it?

The reason for the intermittent power was a dead simple cracked solder joint between a battery post and the PCB.



Easy repair.

The issue with the keypad became self explanatory the moment I started to dismantle it as the metal domes from the keypad switches started to cascade over the desk like metallic confetti.



Those domes should all be stuck to this PCB!



Getting these all back where they were supposed to be was a bit like trying to herd a scurry of squirrels who are all hyped up on Red Bull, but we got there in the end.



I was quite interested to see how the keypad legends were printed...I had assumed the legends were screen printed on the back of the keys themselves. Was quite surprised to find that it was actually just a printed sheet of paper behind the keypad. There are little lenses moulded into the back of the keys which makes the printed text look a little larger.



Quite clever actually. Means they only needed to make one standard type of keycaps for the whole range, just printing a bit of paper to accommodate different layouts or features.

Plus it looks really classy I reckon.



That alone was responsible for my deciding I needed one from this family in the collection the moment I saw one.

Glad to report that it now seems to be fully functional again. I do need to replace the decomposed foam behind the battery contacts, but that's a job for another day. For testing purposes this is absolutely fine.

It is a comically slow calculator though for the period...square root calculations take the best part of 1/2 a second. Division about 1/4 a second...which by 1975 is quite slow. It also doesn't have any logic to stop you taking the square root of negative numbers. It does correctly catch divide by zero though.



The small u at the far left is the arithmetic error indicator on this display.

Should be able to get a page put together for it on the website soon hopefully.


We were then able to move into the garage.

Knowing I was going to need access to the rear brake unions on the flexible lines I needed to remove the rear service hatch again, so decided it was a good opportunity to test something out.

The flashband I'd stuck to it as sound deadening did help, but I don't think it made nearly enough difference to be worth the weight. It pretty much doubled the weight of the hatch. It also added enough extra to the dimensions to make it even more awkward to remove. Additional mechanical noise was being added as well as the insulation never really adhered well to the underside so it was usually sitting directly on the CVT pulley cage.

So today I pulled off most of it (a few areas were thoroughly stuck and weren't going to come off without a huge fight) and gave it a few coats of rubberised truck bed liner.





Several more will be added next time we get a break in the weather. It's already noticeably dulled down the sound of you tap it so mission accomplished hopefully. I'll report back on whether I notice any difference when driving.

The main mission for the day was getting these fitted.



Delivery was once again ridiculously quick from MEV Spares. Ordered at 23:55 on Thursday, parts dropped into my letter box before midday on Saturday.

Nothing particularly complicated here, just fiddly.

I knew I couldn't easily get the union on the back of the cylinder off so didn't even bother. Just pulled it at the Flexi end and planned on feeding the whole lot out through the backing plate in one piece.

Went pretty smoothly. Getting those U clips off the back of the cylinder is a heck of a lot easier when you know how they work! I must have wasted hours on it when I took the first wheel cylinder off KPL, this took me about ten minutes.



Before going any further I made a point of double checking what the threads in the wheel cylinders were *before* I had flared the new brake line... I'd already been very nearly caught out when the master cylinder turned out to be metric. These aren't.



Once I'd suitably plugged the brake line off the old cylinder so it could spray brake fluid into my eye, I was then able to use it to give me an idea how much pipe I needed.



Also checked very carefully to ensure they were indeed as close to identical as possible.



All indications were good.

It was at this stage I ran into a slight snag. These new cylinders are much more of a snug fit through the slot in the back plate. This wouldn't be a problem with the hub on most cars where you can slide it in straight...however thanks to the rather bulky hub on the Invacar you have to slot it in at a slight angle to clear the wheel mounting flange. Just enough to make it bind up. After a bit of head scratching I eventually chose to very gently tap it past the tightest point with a hammer and block of wood. Hopefully nothing was harmed...but short of removing the whole hub I couldn't see an alternative.

I then had a mental foul up and convinced myself I'd fitted it upside-down and spent 20 minutes pulling the cylinder out again to compare to the original. Of course it was absolutely fine so I had to put it all together again.

By this point it was getting dark...and right about the point it got properly dark, my work light decided that this was an ideal opportunity to run out of charge.

Cylinder is in, horseshoe clips are both in, hydraulic line is connected at both ends and the rubber boot is correctly seated around the cylinder and handbrake linkage.



The original pipe had been touching the suspension arm at the lower corner so I deliberately made the new pipe a bit longer so it could be routed better. May see about adding a clip roughly level with the shock absorber to ensure the new pipe can't vibrate.

I really do need to get a wire brush and some paint on that rear suspension at some point, it just looks horrendous.

Sadly thanks to having run out of daylight (it started raining while I was tidying up too), I've a few things left to fit...



No way I was trying to refit those springs in the dark. They're fiddly enough in full daylight, trying to fit them in the dark is just asking to get a spring in the eye!

Hopefully get this side finished and the other one done tomorrow. At least the nearside one I can get to with the car in the garage, offside one requires me to wheel it outside first.
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Old Feb 6 2021, 08:10 PM   #5693
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Curious, What happened to the other games?
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Old Feb 8 2021, 07:16 PM   #5694
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Today the weather was *perfect* for crawling around on the ground messing around with brakes!



Before I started to reassemble the offside brake I wanted to address the fact that the shoes were really quite badly glazed.



To address this I made sure everything was wet, working upwind, and while wearing a mask gave them a bit of a scrub up.



Not perfect but a whole lot better. I really should just treat it to a full set of new brakes shoes to be fair, the ones on there came from one of the many boxes of random spares I got with KPL.

Built the brake assembly back up...



You can see there how much the wide hub really gets in the way.

Got the free play adjusted...



The system bled...



Then a quick walking pace test done in the garage. I couldn't start the engine as I'd end up asphyxiating Chris who was working in the room that backs onto the garage, but it was enough to give us a bit of a test to see how things were behaving.

YouTube Video

Still too much free play - but I've not touched the nearside or front brakes yet, and given how useless the handbrake had become I'm certain that the nearside at the very least needs adjusting. It's immediately obvious though that when you "stamp" on the pedal that the response is a lot more positive now. The brakes before always felt quite wooden. Will be curious to see how things are once they've all been done.

The nearside wheel cylinder WILL be getting replaced, it's just going to get done at some point when it's not -2C outside. The offside one was replaced because I couldn't bleed it, the nearside one is actually working just fine and is basically being changed as a bit of future proofing. It can wait for warmer weather!

Last job for the day was to see if I could do something with the front mud guard, which as can be seen a few posts back was thoroughly mangled. Fifteen minutes bashing it with a 4lb lump hammer against a tree stump later we had this.



Which while still not pretty, will be absolutely fine once it's painted up and buried under the front body moulding.



That paint will dry to a satin hammered finish which should help hide a lot of the imperfections.

I'm not bothering to repair the original mounting point. It's an annoying, fiddly arrangement which basically requires removal of the brake master cylinder to get the guard off...So instead I'm going to fit a couple of 90 degree brackets to it and run a couple of bolts through the bulkhead.

Hopefully get the rest of the brakes cleaned up and adjusted tomorrow.
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Old Feb 9 2021, 05:51 PM   #5695
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As expected the nearside brake shoes were quite glazed so were given a scrub up just as the ones on the other side were. My prediction that the adjustment was "drastically in need of attention" was also correct. I think I got a full three turns on it before we got to the point where the shoes came anywhere close to touching the drum. Beyond that it was just a case of "reassemble like yesterday" and to tweak the adjustment of the offside one so they felt even.

This has vastly improved things, there's far less dead travel in the brakes now - though it's still closer to my knees than I'd like because of the essentially lost travel as the bars are starting slightly depressed.

The paint on the mudguard has dried up pretty much as I'd hoped.





Once it's in place I think it will be perfectly presentable in the context of the overall appearance of the car.



I have now attached a bracket to it (but totally forgot to take a photo of it), so should be able to get it refitted soon. I'm probably going to leave that be until I'm finished all the work up front as it gives me a bit more room to work having it out of the way.

I think the plan for next time I'm in the garage is to see if I can get the handlebars detached to experiment with drilling a new pivot point to attach the brake cylinder clevis pin to. See if I can get back that bit of lost motion. *Hoping* that won't be too massive a mission.

To do list before the road test I think:

[] Modify brake lever pivot point to suit new master cylinder.

[] Replace the furthest forward ball joint. I've identified that's where most of the play is - you can hear and feel it going "clonk" when you shake the drag link.

[] Fit foam padding around the top fuel tank strap.

[] Refit front mud guard.

Then I think we'll be good to go.

-- -- --

EDIT:

The webpage for the Prinztronic Mini 7 Calculator is now live over on my website.



Quite a striking looking thing I reckon.

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Old Feb 10 2021, 07:01 PM   #5696
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Noted today that the handlebars in TPA are sitting correctly on the brake stop now. I'll need to investigate tomorrow to see what's moved or settled. There's still more travel in the brakes than I'd like - though I think I need to clear the drive so I can actually test it under engine power as the feel is completely different. There used to be a certain amount of dead travel then a very firm point where all the braking effort was done in virtually no actual travel - whereas it feels far more progressive now. Proper testing needed.

Another parcel arrived for TPA this morning which contained this.



Probably paid a bit over the odds for it as they're sought after by the air-cooled VW crowd, but to be honest I was willing to pay a few quid extra for a halfway decent instrument that doesn't look totally out of place anyway. This is a thermocouple type which saves me a bit of wiring and came with the sender too, whereas most of the modern automotive ones use a conventional thermistor and require a 12V feed.

The sender was looking a little sorry for itself though.



Nothing a few minutes and some heat shrink tubing couldn't sort though.



A quick bench test showed that both the sender and the gauge itself both seem to work just fine. A bit of a relief given how sensitive the gauge movement must be...sure far too many of these have been zapped over the years by being connected to 12V.



Fitting the sender is a dead easy procedure here as the ring terminal simply clamps down under the spark plug. It seemed the obvious choice to me to put it on the nearside cylinder as that's the one which is shaded by the oil cooler so in theory should always run the warmest (same reason that cylinder number 3 is always the most likely one to overheat on air cooled VWs). With it in place I ran the engine for a few minutes to make sure I was getting a reading. All seems good.



I *know* how thermocouples work...but there's still something somewhat magical about seeing something electrical working purely because you're making something hot.

Unfortunately I can't fully wire it in just now as I don't have enough wire in stock. Have got some on order. The gauge has been loosely fitted where it will live though. Doesn't it look so much better than the mid 2000s Cheap 'n' Nasty (TM) gauges that it's currently sitting next to?



The matte finish to the glass is an immediately obvious advantage...the others generally have done a great job of reflecting the sky from above my right shoulder. I'll be replacing the other two with something a bit more period appropriate shortly.

I think it's fair to say that TPA does have a bit of an issue with leaky valve stem oil seals. She's absolutely fine if used regularly, but the first startup after sitting for more than a few days usually results in quite an impressive smoke screen.



Honestly not worried about it though as I've never noticed anything while driving and she doesn't use a drop of engine oil between services going by the dipstick. Just filed under "note and monitor" for the foreseeable future unless it gets massively worse.

Having satisfied myself that the rear brake circuit is fluid-tight I buttoned back up the service hatch - finally got around to swapping out the 8mm nuts for wing nuts so I don't need tools to open it up any more.



Yes, where possible I did go back and line them up with the edge of the hatch outline to satisfy my OCD.

It's a tiny thing, but should save me a couple of minute every time I start or finish a CVT servicing session.

Last job was to try to change one of the ball joints. Decided to go for the one on the handlebars as it's by far the easiest to get to, despite it being one that didn't have any obvious issues.

Getting the locknut free did require a good belt from the big hammer but somewhat to my surprise everything came apart without much fuss at all. One good whack on the spindle and it was free. Didn't even need to break out the ball joint splitter.



Comparing the new and old ones shows the newer one to have a far longer tapered section...though I'm not sure if this might be to some extent the manufacturer trying to get away with using one part for a few different applications. Shouldn't be a problem at all in this case, will just mean that the body of the joint will sit a little lower. The actual size and profile of the taper at the narrow end is exactly the same as on the old joint.



The only headache was the seemingly inevitable moment when the spindle started to rotate while trying to tighten up the nyloc nut. Pair of pliers were able to provide enough friction though to get things tightened up. Job done!





Here are the markings from the original one in case they're useful to anyone.







To be honest with a new clip for the boot and some fresh grease this one could probably do further service. I originally thought the rubber was perished, though that turns out to just be the paint and gunk stuck to the outside of it - though when they're so cheap you do have to wonder if it's worth servicing one rather than just replacing it! It can go into the box of serviceable spares though in case I have one that disintegrates at short notice or something.

Not too bad for an hour and a bit. Also gave the interior a hoover out and cleared out the plethora of tools which had built up in the cabin.

This evening I had a bit of a reorganise - which involved removing basically every single thing from the shelf above my workstation. The reason was simple...I'm sick of not being able to listen to music properly! The room where the best audio setup in the house lives is currently being occupied by someone working from home...so I've been unable to use it since this time last year. My little Bose Wave does a cracking job at filling the room at normal listening levels...but it has its limits. Sometimes I like to just lose myself in music a bit, and for me at least part of that is feeling a fair amount of the music as well as hearing it when you've cranked it up a bit...and the little Bose just can't cut it there.

These can though...



These are the smaller brothers to the big suckers downstairs which can just about knock the wind out of your lungs when Spotify helpfully decides to kick the volume up to 100% the moment you click play (a bug which they *seem* to have finally fixed).



The brackets holding that shelf up by the way are screwed directly into the wall studs aside from the first from the left - so there's no worry about load capacity there. Think I've actually taken more weight OFF than I added this evening.

Driving the show is the world's most scruffy Sony LBT-LX5.



I have no idea *what* the previous owner did to this poor stereo system, but it is absolutely ruined from a cosmetic perspective - to the extent that I have actually considered dismantling it to repaint the facia. However I know that I have the big brother of this system (the LBT-LX9 AV - which is what the speakers downstairs came from) in absolutely immaculate condition waiting for collection next time I'm up in Aberdeenshire...so it seems a bit pointless as this will probably get retired to the garage then. Just a shame it's visually such a state as it's absolutely fine from a functional perspective...and it works very, very well. My ability to rattle the windows has been restored.

Given the amount of things in this room that are precariously stacked this may prove to be a bad thing!
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Old Feb 11 2021, 06:41 PM   #5697
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Busy day with boring "real life things" today so didn't really have much time for tinkering on the cars - however there was one job which I really wanted to take advantage of the weather for - finishing putting together the paving I've currently got the Xantia parked on. I got one side done a couple of weeks ago but stopped at that point as I was close to death. The big issue is that the ground between where the paving slabs are currently stacked and the driveway has been completely dug up while the bamboo removal was underway and is basically a clay bog at the moment. Currently however it's all frozen solid so far easier to walk over and wheel equipment carrying paving slabs. The *downside* I discovered however was that the slabs were all thoroughly frozen together in the stacks, so freeing those was a bit of a battle.

After an hour or so though I was done, and my temporary (Um...Two years and counting...) overflow parking spaces were looking a little less dodgy.



I need to split a couple of slabs to fill in at the end, but that's something I can do later.

There's going to be some pretty major landscaping work done here at some point in the future so an *actual* driveway extension will probably happen then so this isn't intended to be any way permanent. If we crack a slab or two in the interim I'm really not too bothered - though to be honest those on the nearside of the car have been there for a while now without any issues. The fact that it elevates the car a bit above the grass I like too as it should help with ventilation and reduce the usual tendency for cars to rust so quickly when parked over grass.

Having a tidy space here has suddenly become a little more important as despite me needing another project about as much as I need a hole in the head it looks like another car *might* be arriving here shortly. This is honestly more a case of an automotive refugee in need of a safe harbour though than something that I was looking for so I feel a little less guilty!

The wiring supplies I'd been waiting for arrived today so I should be able to finish wiring in the temperature gauge in the Invacar next time I get a spare hour in the garage.
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Old Feb 12 2021, 05:19 PM   #5698
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This afternoon it was far, far too cold for anyone with even the slightest shred of common sense to be outside. So of course I was crawling around on the floor in the garage feeding wiring through the car for the temperature gauge in the Invacar.

Fed it all through the car from the gauge end to ensure I had it looped through all the holes and such it needed to go through and to make sure I had enough slack to work with, then hooked up the engine end and started backwards fastening the wiring properly in place working back towards the gauge. The connections to the sender here have been done using those crimp connectors which also have heat-shrink tubing pre-fitted so hopefully should be reasonably weatherproof.

Routed it along the HT leads then jumped to the main loom that runs under the battery tray.



I really need to get around to fabricating a proper battery bracket (the original form factor of battery is now nearly impossible to get hold of unless you want to pay many hundreds of pounds for one) so I can dispense with the bungee cords. It's absolutely going nowhere, but it looks an awful mess.

I then continued to follow the main front-rear vehicle loom where it vanishes down under the floor.



It is cable tied to the loom where it passes through grommets in the chassis braces under the floor, before popping back up following the handbrake cable and fuel lines as appropriate before rejoining the loom in this corner. I'd have preferred to follow the main loom all the way up there but that would have required removal of the fuel tank to get to...so we took the long way around.



The gauge wiring enters the cabin through the convenient huge wiring grommet just to the left of the handbrake cable.



The pre-existing red wire there is the feed to the fuel pump. I'll be labelling these with cable flags to avoid future confusion...Though the wiring on this thing isn't exactly complex.

Then I spent about half an hour standing on my head finding a clean and tidy way to route it over behind the dash and hooking it up at the gauge end. Once the engine was fired up we almost immediately confirmed the gauge was working - this photo was taken literally about 30 seconds after the engine started.



If ever you needed a demonstration of how much less thermal mass you have to play with on an air cooled engine, there you go.

After running at a fast idle for about 25 minutes while I put things back together and tidied up the gauge had settled here.



Quite curious to see how it behaves under normal driving conditions...As I've said the actual numbers I'm not particularly worried about really unless they're massively out of the correct ball park, I just want to draw up a picture in my head of what's normal for this car, and it's if we suddenly see a departure from that I know I need to investigate something. It will be interesting to see how scary the numbers I see during sustained high speed driving are though, given that's really not what this car was designed for! Between the size of the oil cooler and the fan though I don't think we should have too much trouble really.

After being on the charger overnight the Jag decided that it would actually start today so I was finally able to rearrange the fleet to all be pointing the same direction. The van being the wrong way around was something I'd been meaning to fix for ages.



Please ignore the Audi in the background...That's nothing to do with me! Especially in grey...Nearly as unfashionable a colour as what I've got on the way...

Annoyingly the interior of the Jag is absolutely soaking wet again.



I think I have sorted most of the major sources of water ingress, though there are still some minor ones. Not least the doors - the weather sheet in both of them is wrecked. I've recently got some thick polythene sheet in stock which should be perfect to make replacements out of. Hopefully that will stop most of this problem. I'm currently waiting on the arrival of a new fan for my dehumidifier...though with it being on a slow boat from China summer will probably get here first. At least I had the sense to take the carpets out when I first saw it was getting damp again though so they're not in there to just act as giant sponges like last time.

EDIT:
As a few people on a couple of forums had expressed concerns about my using the HT leads as a convenient thing to tether nearby wiring to so I went and removed 3928236348 cable ties and had a bit of a reshuffle of that whole corner of the engine bay.

HT leads are now completely clear of anything else.





Really should give them a clean too to get rid of the dust from the bodywork as I'm sure that's just waiting to behave like a sponge first time they get wet.

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Old Feb 14 2021, 10:29 AM   #5699
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I HATE ice. Snow I can deal with. Ice sucks.
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Old Feb 14 2021, 11:27 AM   #5700
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I HATE ice. Snow I can deal with. Ice sucks.

I hear you! I'm so glad we're having a proper winter this year. No ice, just a decent amount of snow (30 cm or about a foot).
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Old Feb 15 2021, 12:08 AM   #5701
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We're getting some snow, this last storm was freezing rail & sleet. We didn't lose power, but a lot of people did.
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Old Feb 15 2021, 06:07 AM   #5702
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I HATE ice. Snow I can deal with. Ice sucks.
Amen to that!

The only time I've seen Aberdeen grind to a complete and total standstill due to weather was back in (I think) 2009. We had heavy rain for a good 3/4 of a day, then in the space of about an hour the temperature dropped from just above freezing down to about -10C and everything pretty much immediately flash froze. Turned anything and everything into a skating rink.

It took me nearly an hour to *walk* from work back to the flat I stayed in at the time, which was about 1/4 a mile away! Had never seen anything like that before or since, but it caused absolute and complete mayhem.
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Old Feb 15 2021, 11:51 AM   #5703
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As this freeze spell moved in on us a little over a week ago, we started getting freezing mist to go along with the falling temperatures. By last Monday it got so bad that when we tried to make a local trip from our town to another to yet another (Licking to Salem to Rolla MO), we ran into a frozen hiway that got block by some sort of traffic condition. We were stopped at the top of a big hill and could see all the way to the next hilltop, probably 2 or 3 miles away. We saw oncoming traffic at a standstill also. We had already passed an SUV that had been going the other way, ended up in the ditch after doing a complete 180 skid. I suppose the woman discovered thee hard way that 4 Wheel Drive means 4 Wheel Skid when the roads are a sheet of ice. She had officers on the scene who had things under control so we didn't stop.
Well, the only way we were going to get back home was to reverse course and go back the way we had come. I did just that and had a FUN time getting back to the town we had just left so we could take the other hiway back to home. Well over 20 miles out of our way, but we made it without incident, other than getting around people driving too slow on wet, but not icy roads. Saw some surprised faces as we passed SUVs, trucks and pickups in our tiny Aveo. I've been driving on roads far worse than that longer than most of the people we passed have been alive.

So there's ice under snow in spots now, but the main roads were clear and dry before the snowfall started late Friday/ Saturday AM. We've only had one day in the last week that temps got into the 20s F.
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Old Feb 16 2021, 06:17 PM   #5704
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Before I could conduct a test drive of the Invacar (which involved a run out to get essential supplies) I had a couple of minor jobs to finish. Reattaching the front mud guard and draining off a bit of brake fluid as the pressure bleeder as usual left the reservoir too full.

Job done.



Mud guard is still a bit scruffy but given the location I think it's absolutely fine.

Also found an ideal stowage location for my cover prop (which is actually one of the old floor mat retaining strips).



So on to the test drive. Well, after ten minutes of car Tetris anyway. Slightly concerned by whatever on earth this is under the Jag that it left behind when moved.



Nothing has visibly dropped, though given the capacity of most of the fluids on this thing that doesn't mean much!

Answers on a post card? Wondering if there's just enough oil leakage that it's emulsified with the recent rain?

I have proven that there's ample room to park the inbound project car behind the Xantia.



If the Jag and Xantia can fit there, Xantia and a slightly smaller car should have room to spare.

In the Invacar we got almost exactly 20 miles covered today.



Which I think gives the game away that the test was successful as otherwise I'd have turned around pretty much immediately and headed back to base.

Instead we got all the errands run without incident. Yes I diverted by 1/4 a mile to take a couple of photos to prove she's actually moved.





Observations:

Really wish I'd done this sooner. The difference in braking performance really is night and day. Previously you had a degree of free travel followed by an inch or so of very firm travel where all braking effort took place.

Now there's more travel - but delivering progressive braking throughout. It used to be just about possible to lock a wheel if you absolutely threw your weight on the bars, but it took a lot of effort. Now I'd say the effort required to deliver that amount of braking force is on par with any other car that doesn't have ABS. The overall feel of the brakes is *massively* more confidence inspiring.

Regarding locking up the wheels that was something I was most concerned about, so one of the first things I did was find a deserted bit of industrial estate and do a bunch of 30mph emergency stop tests. She isn't any more prone to locking up than anything else without ABS, and there doesn't seem to be any tendency for the front to lock up overly easily. I think the forward weight shift under heavy braking helps there. I wasn't able to detect any tendency for control to be compromised at all.

Limited to 50mph at the moment while the new belt is run in, but braking down from that sort of speed for a roundabout/junction is no more effort than in the Jag or van. The brakes honestly feel pretty decent now.

Handbrake is fully applied seven clicks out it seems, and is quite capable of stopping the car, no slower than in any other car really.



Obviously she's not been worked particularly hard given I've got to obey a 50mph speed limit for the first 50 miles of the life of the new belt, but I was pleased at the cylinder head temperatures we were seeing. Bumbling around at low speeds it sits pretty solidly at about 125C.



Highest I saw on a long uphill stretch was 165C. Perfectly reasonable numbers, and it seems to be pretty stable.

Interesting to see that - I'm assuming because it's bristling with cooling fins - that this engine doesn't seem to suffer the sort of heat soak issues I'm used to seeing with water cooled engines. The Xantia is particularly bad for that, the temperature on that if you come back to start it up after a brief stop can be quite alarming. This just seems to immediately start dropping in temperature from the moment the engine stops. Which being a thermocouple gauge you can actually see as it's self-powered, so doesn't shut off with the ignition.

Speaking of confidence inspiring...I honestly had no idea how much the seat was moving around before! That actually staying put really does make the handling feel far less wayward, as I'm not subjected to an inch or two of what feels like oversteer every time I change direction. It was also apparently a source of several rattles.

I can't say I noticed a huge difference in the steering, though it *might* be slightly more stable in a straight line. Hard to say how much of that is just placebo effect though.

Brake fluid level reassuringly hasn't moved at all during the journey.



Glad that fluid is staying where it belongs!

On the subject of fluids, it looks like I might have also been successful in sorting the gearbox oil leak. Bit hard to tell because of historic deposits, but this area would normally be visibly wet after a run, rather than just "a bit oily." The upper part in particular you could usually see where it was running down from the top cover plate join.





I will obviously monitor that to make sure the oil continues to stay where it belongs.

While I'm still treating it gently at the moment I can't say I can tell any difference so far between the HP2020 belt and the NOS actual Invacar one which came off. Will keep you up to date on that.

Here's a brief snippet from the first few minutes of the run out. This was done by attaching the phone to the rear view mirror with rubber bands...better than the actual proper phone mount, but still horribly shaky. Plus it meant the mirror wouldn't stay put. That was the main reason I called time on video and pulled over to stop it, I wanted my mirror to behave given I was going to be doing a lot of stops/starts for a few minutes.

YouTube Link

It's early days but the initial impressions are that these improvements have been precisely that. The braking performance improvement in particular and having a seat that stays put both make a *huge* difference in the overall driving experience.

Can't say I notice any real difference in the noise levels having pulled the flashband off the service hatch. Definitely not worth the few kilograms of extra weight for all the difference it was making.

Today also gave me the opportunity to do something I'd meant to for ages... actually get a photo of all of the cars together in one shot.



They're all filthy...but better than nothing!

Of course in two days this group will be out of date and I'll need to get an updated one!

Given there's been quite a bit of work done there it feels quite good to actually have tangible improvements coming out of it.
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Old Feb 17 2021, 10:32 AM   #5705
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We had freezing fog the other night.
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Old Feb 18 2021, 06:47 PM   #5706
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We had freezing fog the other night.
Oh that's *always* fun...Not all that often, but that's something we did get from time to time up in Aberdeenshire.

-- -- --

So this morning my unplanned, unexpected and very, very beige project turned up.

First job for the afternoon was to replace the knackered battery - which meant I needed to have a quick look to see what type I need, giving an opportunity for a 30 second look around the engine bay for issues.



Nice simple looking engine bay.

Things immediately spotted.

[] Vacuum advance unit on the distributor isn't attached to anything.



[] What looks to be the fuel tank return line isn't attached.



[] Random 5mm pipe flapping around in the breeze which looks like it should attach to the hose stub on the back of the carb which is missing it's hose.



[] Several hose clips are loose.

[] Oil level is quite a bit too high and stinks of fuel.

[] Coolant is low.

Nothing that's making me run away screaming...We had to pause at that point as I had to go to pick up groceries - which involved a run to Costco anyway so adding a battery collection to that run was easy enough.

Fast forward a couple of hours and I was back and could actually take a bit of a better look around.

Initial impression: While rough around the edges, I reckon there's the makings of a good car here. A good valet and a set of seat covers would go a long way to making it look better.

The bodywork seems astonishingly free of dents and scrapes for a 150K mile car. Quite likely more than that actually given the exact same mileage is still showing from the previous MOT...



I'm betting the speedometer and/or odometer doesn't work.





Can you get more definitively 80s than these graphics?



The interior to be honest needs more help than the exterior and is looking a little sad.

Aside from just being generally grubby and dusty in that way all old, disused cars are the single biggest issue seems to be decomposing fabrics. It looks like the seats and door cards all suffer from degradation under UV exposure in the same way as seats on Skoda Estelles do.

Not sure what state the front seats are in under the slip covers currently in place (which are fit only for the bin), but I'm guessing not great. The cover seems to have been completely removed from the upright of the rear seat.





While that looks quite dramatic, the foam doesn't seem to be in too bad shape so re-covering them shouldn't be too difficult.

The cloth on the door cards is clearly going the same way. They're flat though so should be easy enough to restore. The headlining looks in honestly miraculously good shape.

Given the reputation these series 1 cars have for plastics with the structural integrity of cardboard there are surprisingly few things that are obviously broken.

All of the driver controls are present and aside from a few scratchy contacts due to disuse seem to work fine.

Looking forward to actually getting to use these in the real world.





They will look a lot better once they've been given a good wipe over to get a bit of life back into them.

The engine bay is filthy but seemingly pretty clear of the usual maze of wiring hacks I'm kind of used to on cars of this age.



Mmm...crusty...



Cleaning this engine bay is going to be immensely satisfying...

Right, let's actually get some things done. First up, new battery in as the one that came with the car seems to have had it.



New one is annoyingly slightly larger than the plastic tray...so much for their fancy cross reference chart...It'll do just fine though, clamp still secures just fine.

My earlier glance around the engine bay revealed a few things disconnected due to prior investigation into poor running.

This one I initially thought was a vacuum line.



Turned out that this was actually hooked up to the fuel pump inlet...my guess folks were trying to run the car from a can.

Figuring this out was helpful as it meant I wasn't missing a hook-up point for the connection for the distributor vacuum advance unit, that had me scratching my head a bit initially.

Sadly the line for that was beyond help.



I didn't have nearly enough 3mm pipe in stock to run a whole new line...so being me it was time to improvise!

Two flexible elbows made line I did have, then connect the two with a bit of copper brake line.



Not pretty but will do the job.

With everything put back where it belonged it was time to do a bit of experimentation. Before I went any further we did a bit of cranking to confirm we had oil pressure - we did. Know she's been running relatively recently, but it's just one of those things I like to do with any car it's the first time I try to start it.



Didn't have any idea how much fuel was in the tank or how old it was, so stuck a can of nice ethanol free Esso Supreme 99 in the tank while I can still get it.

No interest in starting though, feeling like we weren't getting fuel. Turns out that I was right, a blast of brake cleaner down the carb throat would immediately result in the engine springing to life, sounding quite sweet. I was astonished how quickly the car sprang up to running height - far too used to the Activa which takes the best part of a minute to sort itself out.

After this started a good hour or two of experimentation while I tried to get the thing to take fuel. However no matter what I did I couldn't get any fuel into the float bowl.

I've proved the line to the tank as I was able to pull a good stream of fuel through under vacuum. Seems there's an issue with one/both of the check valves in the fuel pump so it's just not delivering any pressure whatsoever. Most likely it's got gritty rusty particles in it.

Will pull the pump apart tomorrow for s clean and then see where we are.

Once it was dark I was able to have a look at how much of the dash lighting works.



Ah.

We have *one* working illumination lamp it looks...above the blanked off space above the fuel gauge. Zip from anything else. Yep...that will need to come apart then!

Speaking of lights that are out, noted that we have no light working in the hazard switch or dash tell tale for the fog lights.

The light in the glove box is working though!

The dash light for the indicators initially wasn't working, but I blinked and it came back to life without requiring any intervention.



The radio works... though a car with only an AM radio really tells you how long ago this car was made and that it wasn't a high trim level!




Things which so far I've found don't work/have issues.

[] Fuel pump doesn't.

[] Dash lighting 99% dead.

[] Fog light tell tale dead.

[] Hazard Light switch tell tale dead.

[] Fuel gauge showing nothing... though there may just not be enough in the tank.

[] Heater blower inoperative. Doesn't seem to pull any current so hopefully just sticky brushes.

[] Slight blow from exhaust somewhere towards the rear it sounded like. Looks brand new so probably just needs a clamp given a tweak.

Expect more tomorrow. Hopefully the fuel pump will respond to a good clean out.

If the folks working on this car have been fighting a low fuel pressure issue all along they could have been chasing their tails for a while. It's helpful in that it now won't start at all as it gives me a solid fault to hunt down rather than hunting a random intermittent issue!

Cautiously optimistic at this stage. She sounded sweet when she was running, even though it was only on brake cleaner!

Proof she has run though as the suspension has raised!



Watch this space! There will be more.
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Old Feb 19 2021, 09:43 AM   #5707
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A Citroen with a ".....VW" number plate?
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Old Feb 19 2021, 10:15 AM   #5708
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Old Feb 19 2021, 03:31 PM   #5709
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The reg number is probably worth several orders of magnitude more than the car!

-- -- --

Annoyingly today I had barely any time to look at the cars, though I did drop the last two instruments into their holder on the Invacar when they arrived. Not wired up yet, but they look far better than the cheap modern tat I had previously in there.



Yes I'll clean all the finger prints off once the wiring has been done. I'll need to pull them out again to so that so it would be pointless doing it now.



Location seems a good blend between out of the way and clearly visible.



My garage is about a worst case scenario where reflections are concerned because of the lighting. If I have issues with that on the road I can adjust the angle of the bracket a bit as required.

Once I was finally released from my boring actual responsibilities I really was only left with just over half an hour of usable daylight to look at the BX. Based on yesterday's testing first task was to remove the fuel pump.



Pretty trivial to get to, all of those coolant lines nearby have enough give that you can push them out of the way as needed.

Five minutes later we had the pump off and in bits on the workbench.



Not too dirty actually. The diaphragm isn't as supple as I'd like but I've seen far worse still working. I couldn't actually find any cracks or pinholes in it.

After it was cleaned and put back into the car...absolutely nothing changed.

Best I can tell one of the valves is damaged or the diaphragm has a pinhole I can't detect. It just doesn't seem to be able to generate any decent pressure. I've checked again and can get a solid flow of fuel from the tank under vacuum, so this pump looks to be to blame.

I did note that the oil smells quite strongly of petrol, I had put that down initially to the reported miss and lack of a decent run in forever, but if the pump has been leaking internally that could also explain it.

If I'm not mistaken This looks to be the right part even though the body design is slightly different.

There is at least some electrical oddness going on too. The clock resets every time you turn the ignition off, so looks as though the permanent 12V feed for that has gone walkies somewhere. Also there's no side light position on the switch - first click takes it straight to dipped beam. Would have thought 84 would have been early enough to escape the need for dim/dip devices wouldn't it?
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Old Feb 20 2021, 07:15 PM   #5710
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I was determined that today the BX was going to run.

Borrowed the fuel pump from the Invacar.



This got a decent amount of fuel flowing through the filter. Still no interest in starting though. I did block off the return line just in case the pump was having issues with the return. No difference.

Pulling the top off the carb revealed we *did* actually have fuel in the float bowl which was progress from yesterday. I was able to blast a bit of gunk out of a few of the passages. There's definitely something amiss with the accelerator pump though... doesn't feel like the plunger is moving at all. So I'll need to pull the carb and do some detective work there. Hopefully I can find a decent exploded diagram so I don't need to reverse engineer it in my head.

Back together and we tried again. Result?

YouTube Link

That's progress. Huge progress. She still dies if you give her any real throttle because there's no accelerator pump working, but other than that she seems happy enough. Bit of a miss now and then, but the fuel coming through the filter is the colour of weak black tea, so think we need to put a couple more gallons of fresh fuel in the tank before we read too much into that. No smoke whatsoever, no rattles, she sounds pretty good. Even though that puff from the front to mid exhaust join is going to drive my OCD mad now I've noticed it.

With the engine actually running I could check things out better. Clutch seems okay. Brakes (based on 3 feet of movement) are working.

Suspension comes up very quickly and settles down fine. Based on the regulator tick rate I think the accumulator sphere is fine. The bounce test seems to show the front spheres are fine...very floaty - the amount of travel is huge compared to the Xantia. The rear ones...not so much. No notable travel. We'll need some new spheres for the rear then.

Yeah, these have been on there for a while.



I was pretty happy with where we got to today. Meant I could move the car forward a couple of feet so she wasn't blocking the path.

Oh, and I put the wheel trims back on, which has vastly improved things.





This was the first time I was able in decent weather conditions to have a look at the car.

The bodywork on this car is (aside from the one obvious dent just forward of the nearside rear wheel which looks repairable) is astonishingly straight. Like ridiculously so. The lack of scrapes and dings just blows my mind.





I didn't realise that the front bumper is actually brown rather than beige!



I couldn't resist hitting one tiny bit with the polish. I reckon she's going to look decent once she's had a polish.



The exterior has an appointment with the pressure washer then a load of polish soon.













I knew I wasn't going to have time for that today though, had about an hour of daylight left at that point. That was plenty of time for a first shot at the interior though.

First order of business there was to get rid of the disintegrating slip covers on the seats. Front seats aren't in terrible condition under them, though they're grubby as all hell and the fabric has come away from the foam which is why they look so baggy.

After an hour or so, some attention with the vacuum cleaner and a first wipe down of the plastics this is where we were.











Still a huge amount to do but it's got rid of a lot of grime, and the dash looks so much better.

Did spot one area I'll need to break out the welder for though... hardly catastrophic though!



Only real grumble there will be the sheer amount of interior I'll need to dismantle to get to it without melting things.

Looks like the weather will be going downhill again tomorrow, if it does stay dry I'll try to get some exterior cleanup started.

Finally made a point of noting the paint code as well so I can get some made up for touch in purposes.



Quite happy with the progress so far.
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Old Feb 23 2021, 05:38 PM   #5711
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What's so special about about VW plate?

This weather is driving me bonkers, ice yesterday morning, upper 50s today, more ice latter in the week. I wonder why I'm getting so many sinus headaches.
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Old Feb 23 2021, 09:03 PM   #5712
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What's so special about about VW plate?

This weather is driving me bonkers, ice yesterday morning, upper 50s today, more ice latter in the week. I wonder why I'm getting so many sinus headaches.
Weather is all over the place here as well. Had to just defrost the door to get into the car at the end of last week - was out in a T shirt walking the dogs today.

As far as the number plate goes...mainly that VW enthusiasts seem often to be people who truly have money to burn and will happily pay five times more for things which are absolutely identical aside from the eBay listing saying "for classic VW" in the description...

It's a huge generalisation...but that mentality was one of the reasons I really didn't get along well with the crowd when I had my T25. The frankly ridiculous price of simple parts (see previous paragraph) was another reason I was glad to see the back of it.

My current van is a far rarer vehicle, yet spares for that are generally half (or less) the price that things from so called classic VW specialists were for the T25...and that's with me getting them from the main Mercedes dealer.
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Old Feb 24 2021, 07:36 AM   #5713
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When it comes to plates, your XAN71A (or XAN7IA?) vanity plate is one of the coolest I've seen in a while.
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Old Feb 26 2021, 05:44 PM   #5714
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When it comes to plates, your XAN71A (or XAN7IA?) vanity plate is one of the coolest I've seen in a while.
XAN71A is one of the better ones I've seen - though I can't claim any credit for it, the plate came with the car!

Today saw a big milestone passed by TPA.



Which doesn't mean anything unless you really remember things usually well from two years ago. When she first arrived on my driveway looking like this...



The odometer was reading 11353 miles.



That's us now over the 1000 mile mark. I'm gutted that I was keeping an eye out for the big 1K that I totally missed 12345!

We actually ended the day on somewhere around 12380 as I seem to have been running around all over the shop today thanks to an utter and complete failure to plan out the day's missions in anything resembling an efficient manner. Not limited to but including picking up our week's groceries.



Reckon that was the most unusual car to appear in the customer collection point at Tesco today?

Another fuel up today showed 33.1mpg, so it seems to have settled down to mid 30s fairly consistently. Would like to see what the figures were on a run out of town, but obviously can't do that at the moment. I'm pretty sure I'd be seeing into the 40s if I was anywhere other than Milton Keynes - this place is just murder on fuel economy - especially in a car with a small engine. It's a bit like driving a 2CV, conservation of momentum is the name of the game.

Service coming up at the weekend. Engine oil, oil filter, gearbox oil, diff oil will all be changed, plugs will be checked and all grease points will be gone over. Oil pickup strainer will also be checked and cleaned as she had quite a bit of sludge in after the first oil change. Never really seen any since, but better safe than sorry.

Oh...and clean the rear windscreen. I've managed to leave a hand print right in the middle of it and it's driving me mad!

There are probably other far more important things that I *should* get done this weekend, but currently at the top of my "I really want to do..." list is polishing the poor BX. I reckon she will look so much less sorry for herself after that. Found a tube of Sikaflex yesterday evening too so I'll hopefully get the fresh air vents re-sealed too and see if that helps keep the weather outside.
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Old Feb 27 2021, 07:06 PM   #5715
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Few bits and pieces done today. First up was seeing if I could figure out what was up with the dash lighting on the BX.

The only lighting inside which is tied to the headlights is in the rear window heater and hazard light switches, the rest all comes on with the ignition. The only light I found that was working was the one in the glove box - but investigation of the schematics shows that it's on a different circuit. The rest should all run through a rheostat - missing on mine. I'd originally assumed just being basically a base spec car it just didn't have the rheostat...however I fully expected the wiring to be there just with a link in its place. Kind of expected they would have fitted a blanking plug too rather than just leaving a hole in the lower steering cowl.

Peering down inside the cowling I could see this.



Hmm...Green and green with a purple trace. Let's consult the schematics.



Would you look at that...the dash lighting rheostat (number 50 in the diagram) has that colour of wiring.

Quick rummage around in my box of bits of Xantia turned up this.



Thanks to PSA being big fans of not changing parts bin items for decades this has exactly the same connector and slotted perfectly into place. Did this fix the dash lighting?



That's a yes.

Thankfully the rest all seem to still work too.



Remembered seeing this floating around in the boxes in the boot...



Which today I realised I had spotted the home for - it's the trim which should go between the ignition barrel and the cowling.



Doesn't that look better?



Speaking of looking better, treating the front bumper has made a heck of a difference!





Work has started on the polishing.



As I had kind of expected, the metal badge on the boot lid fell off pretty much as soon as I touched it. Leaving a horrible mess behind it.



Which required the best part of an hour carefully picking away at it to clean up. It has left a mark but you wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking for it.



I'll keep it with the car obviously.

I'm torn about the dealer decals...They're part of the car's story, which makes me inclined to leave them be. However they're in quite poor condition, and the cleanliness of the design on the BX really makes them stick out...so I'm tending towards removing them. If they weren't already flaking off I'd probably just leave them be.

We're getting there, though it's time consuming as polishing a car always is. I'd hoped to get most of the doors done but only got the tailgate and one rear quarter done because of the amount of time dealing with that badge lost me.



Looking a lot better already I think though, we're getting there.

Does anyone know how the little spoiler is attached? If removing it isn't a huge pain it would make repainting it far less of a faff (it should be satin black, but it's worn away badly like the paint on the door tops has).

I noticed this afternoon that despite 38 years and 150K miles the protective film is still on the metallic label with the gearchange pattern on it.

l

Once it was dark this meant I could finally get a dash at night photo.



...At which point I immediately news that the light behind the fuel gauge has gone out again. That's going on the "deal with later" list.

Does look the part though.







It's interesting to see that Citroen apparently got in there a couple of decades early with the whole gentle general background night time cabin lighting. I never saw this on other cars until around 2000 (think it was a Skoda Superb).



With a bit of luck I might get the polish and wax finished tomorrow.
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Old Feb 28 2021, 03:26 PM   #5716
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Last night driving home from picking Kibby up from work, we got, rain, sleet, rain mixed with sleet, & snow. All in a 20 min drive.
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Old Feb 28 2021, 06:03 PM   #5717
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Last night driving home from picking Kibby up from work, we got, rain, sleet, rain mixed with sleet, & snow. All in a 20 min drive.
The weather here this weekend has been the total opposite - massively warmer than it should be at this time of the year. I was outside in a T shirt today while I was working on the cars.

-- -- --

Reasonably productive day today. Main task was to hit the BX (not literally) with the polish and wax.

I'd been hovering over whether to remove the dealer decals for a while, though as they were in pretty poor condition was leaning towards removing them...Especially as the BX being such a clean design doesn't suit them.



Decision was made far easier however when they started to disintegrate pretty much as soon as I started polishing around them...Off they come then!





Also giving me a tiny glimpse of the actual colour of the bonnet.

A couple of hours of elbow grease ensued...The difference was immediately obvious!

Can you spot where I'd got to?

YouTube Link (0:08)

The weather today was pretty much perfect for it. The effort was very much worth it I think...The results speak for themselves really.

















The bonnet and roof still have a bit of a haze to them so could probably do with going over again, but overall I think she's looking a huge amount more presentable. She looks far better for having lost the random stickers and badge from the bootlid and bonnet I think.

I'm waiting on some proper 3M double sided foam tape so I can redo all the rubbing strips (two are coming away in addition to the two missing on the front wings), which will be a good opportunity to deal with the ingrained grime right next to them I just couldn't get to today. The bootlid badges look to be metal rather than plastic, so removing to clean behind them shouldn't be a problem.

Getting the missing bit of rubbing strip back on the front wings will help a lot I think as your eye is drawn to the gap there immediately I find.


Once I was satisfied with my progress there I decided to finish up wiring in the new instruments in TPA. This took longer than it really should have mostly thanks to poor process planning on my part but we got nearly there in the end, and the voltmeter now works. I just need to hook up the permanent live for the clock at the battery end and tidy up my wiring a bit.



What ended up taking the longest was tying into the existing dash lighting circuit and sorting out the grounds - as we had a mish-mash between the gauges of common grounds for the gauge and lighting, grounded through the case and totally separate connections - and I was trying to keep the spaghetti to a minimum. Got there though.





Really need to lose that horrible blue filter on the speedometer illumination...Will probably try to match it to the fuel gauge (as the filter on that is built into the gauge). Don't mind the main instruments being different to the lower set...but the mismatch between instruments actually grouped together bugs me.

Finishing off the clock wiring tomorrow should only be a ten minute job. Only took a while because I've got a battery isolator switch fitted so need a dedicated live for it run all the way back to the battery itself (via a 2A fuse of course, right at the battery side). That adds a lot of extra work as the wiring all has to run underneath the car. Nice to be still getting things ticked off though.

Really happy with how the BX is looking now. I was right that the colour was really going to look the part once it had a good shine to it, really does suit the car I think - even though I'd never have thought to choose beige at the showroom, I do like it.
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Old Mar 1 2021, 09:18 AM   #5718
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Last night driving home from picking Kibby up from work, we got, rain, sleet, rain mixed with sleet, & snow. All in a 20 min drive.
That sounds like Missouri Ozarks weather! Are you sure you didn't get moved here by the storms? I can drive 15 miles to Walmart and back and go through stuff like that. Yesterday it was just off and on drizzle and mist both ways, luckily. Today is nice and sunny as forecast. But tomorrow is forecast to be snow in the wee small hours of the AM, changing to rain as it warms up. Then back to sunshine Wednesday, maybe up to the 60s.

Round here, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will probably change.
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Old Mar 1 2021, 05:42 PM   #5719
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Resting battery voltage looks a bit healthier when I've not been faffing about with the headlights for half an hour.



The clock now works too.

I keep forgetting how well this thing picks up when you've got a decently long stretch of road on the level. Think the folks in the convertible Golf were slightly baffled when I came hurtling past them on the dual carriageway earlier.

Unfortunately one of my old gremlins resurfaced later in the day when the throttle cable came away from the retainer in the twist grip. I initially thought it had snapped, but it's just pulled out. That's the third time this has happened.

Getting the rest of the way home required a little ingenuity.



Really wasn't a problem, though my hand was getting really tired by the time I got home - there's a wicked strong return spring on that cable!

Think it's time to get a new twist grip ordered that doesn't rely on an odd sized mounting peg that I have to improvise. Be nice to get one that's not just hard plastic anyway as it gets horrible and sweaty after half an hour or so.
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Old Mar 2 2021, 10:52 PM   #5720
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That sounds like Missouri Ozarks weather! Are you sure you didn't get moved here by the storms? I can drive 15 miles to Walmart and back and go through stuff like that. Yesterday it was just off and on drizzle and mist both ways, luckily. Today is nice and sunny as forecast. But tomorrow is forecast to be snow in the wee small hours of the AM, changing to rain as it warms up. Then back to sunshine Wednesday, maybe up to the 60s.

Round here, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will probably change.
Still in Virginia. The weather has been crazier than normal this year.
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