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Old Feb 22 2020, 09:14 PM   #5241
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Not a huge amount but I did get some time this afternoon to look at the cars at least.

Xantia battery is utterly, totally dead again so that will be needing replaced under warranty as it was only a year old in December.

I've added a complete coolant hose set to my shopping list for the Jag as a few are showing their age. The left hand top radiator hose and cross pipe bleed line in particular.





That top hose is just a little scary...getting to the bottom radiator hose(s?) looks like a barrel of laughs. Hoping it will be easier from underneath with the car on the ramps - just to make absolutely sure I get as much antifreeze in my hair, in my mouth or up my nose as possible. Looks like the oil cooler lines may be in the way though which is my only worry there. Guess I'll find out soon enough!

Speaking of pipes, I wanted to have a look at the tailpipes. They clearly weren't adjusted properly as they were both pointing somewhat skywards, like so.



This is annoying. For one it looks stupid. Secondly, it means that whenever it rains the rear silencers fill up with water (especially as the car is usually parked pointing downhill). It turns out that when the stainless exhaust was fitted they cheaped out a bit...rather than having new tailpipes made to suit they just stuck with the original swan neck tail pipe tips. This means that there's no way to make them sit quite right. If they're sitting level they wind up touching the bodywork. So for now I've flipped the offset by about 180 degrees so they tilt down a bit rather than up. Still looks stupid, but should at least put an end to the rain filling up the silencers!



While I was under the bonnet I also dropped the new air filters in. They weren't too bad but judging from the oily hand prints all over them they have been in and out a good few times.



I was reasonably happy with how the woodwork on the dash was looking (though I may give it another few coats in the summer when the weather is hotter and the clear coat will dry quickly) but the trims on the doors had yet to be touched...they were very much dragging the tone of the interior down.

Unlike the dashboard trims these aren't clipped in place but are held in by three small nuts which screw onto studs attached to the trim. To get to these you need to partly remove the door card. As I wanted to change the speaker as well and to reinstate the missing weatherproofing sheet in the door it just made sense to pull the card off and take it inside where I could work on it in more comfort. If you're just wanting to get the wooden trim off you can probably get away without actually pulling the card off the car entirely.

Unlike most things Jaguar, getting the door card off is dead easy. You need to undo one screw hidden under the trim front of the arm rest, the two little screws securing the interior light switch striker plate. Then the card just lifts off. Once you pull the various wiring connectors off the card can then be removed. Oh...and maybe the electric mirror control... can't recall if it's attached to the door itself or the door card.





Note that if you do this you'll need to either disconnect the battery or put the striker plate for the interior light switch back in place otherwise the interior lights will stay on indefinitely. Glad I spotted that before leaving the car overnight.

It's not hard to see where the door card has been getting wet.



The new speaker is slightly smaller than what's being removed (pretty close to the standard ones actually). Because of this and the respective corner of the door card having the structural integrity of a soggy teabag I had to get a little inventive to provide some additional braces. Not pretty but it will do the job. Long term I'll look to come up with a better solution.



I'd rather see the originals back in place, but these look better than the vibrant red things that have come out.



Speaker fitted it was time to turn my attention back to the trim.

Not a pretty sight.



The lacquer on here which wasn't just flaking off turned out to be a lot more firmly attached than it had been to the dash trims so it took a good hour or so of picking and scraping to get it all off. Got there in the end though.



Then it was off to the paint booth...I mean greenhouse to start applying the fresh clear coat. Many thin coats is the plan.

Before:



After only the first coat the difference is immediately obvious!





Nice to be actually able to see the inlay clearly now. Will make the interior look so much better once it's back in.
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Old Feb 25 2020, 07:04 PM   #5242
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As noted a few posts back a few of the coolant lines on the Jag are showing signs of failure. The left hand top radiator hose in particular was ballooning quite alarmingly. While this is probably at least in part just due to old age, it felt like the system was maybe pressurising more than it should. I'd also spotted a couple of drips from the outer seal on the expansion cap.

I had a sneaking feeling that these would prove to be connected. This is because the expansion setup on the Jag is a bit strange (no surprise there...the whole coolant system is a bit strange), with the overflow tank buried inside the nearside front wing. It's totally inaccessible without removing the wheel arch liner...and you could be forgiven for not even knowing it's there. Through this tank is the only route for pressure in the system to vent. Fine...except for the fact that the line between it and the cooling system is a thin rubber hose which is bent through a tight 90 degree bend right after it disappears from view from the engine bay. As such this hose is very prone to kinking. The bottle itself is also a cause of trouble as of course being totally hidden from view it never gets cleaned, even if the cooling system gets serviced regularly (let's ignore the fact that Jaguar *recommended* that two tins of Barr's stop leak be added after each coolant flush for now!). So it tends to end up full of horrible organic slime.

Each enough to check though, just disconnect the hose from the header tank overflow line and see if you can blow through it. It should be easy to do, accompanied by a gurgling noise from the dip tube in the hidden tank. There shouldn't be any real resistance.



Oh.

We had double that on there and still zero airflow.

Well that won't have been helping anything then!

Play was stopped at this point by marble sized hail. However I've cobbled together a temporary solution to allow me to drive the car locally for the next few days while minimising the risk of blowing coolant hoses.



Have also wrapped some cable ties around the hoses which are bulging to hopefully help keep them together until the replacements arrive (a full set has been ordered). It's a horrible bodge...but sometimes that's unavoidable!

Any guesses on how many inches of solid mud I find in the bottom of the expansion tank when I get to it?

Yesterday I threw the driver's door back together. I reinstated the weatherproofing behind the door card before refitting the card too of course.



I'll probably pull the wood off for several more coats at some point when the weather is better (now I know I can get it off without having to fully dismantle the door), but it looks massively better than it did.
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Old Feb 26 2020, 06:05 PM   #5243
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Courtesy of a gent in an AA truck earlier today I was made aware of the fact that the reversing lights on the XJ-S had stuck on again. They did this once a couple of days into my ownership but after a bit of exercise of the gearshift they sorted themselves out. I'll need to investigate where the switch is and look at either cleaning/lubricating or replacing it in due course.

Just now though I don't have time for that...so the reversing lights have been temporarily disabled. Didn't know off the top of my head if they have a dedicated fuse so just pulled the lamps out.



I'd also noticed that the voltmeter had been sitting a little lower at idle in the last couple of days. Now I know it under reads (presumably due to voltage regulation issues in the panel itself - it's on the to do list) so the actual value indicated isn't important, the fact that it's not sitting where it usually does is what's worthy of note.

I have been doing quite a few short journeys though, after dark and with the heater going (and the demister setting runs both blower fans flat out), so it's quite possible the battery is just getting a little low... I'll give it a night on the charger tomorrow.

Worth doing a quick alternator function check though...

Everything off.
Natural idle: 13.1V.
Fast idle (~1500rpm): 14.1V.

Headlights, heater blower, rear window demister and stereo on...
Natural idle: 12.1V.
Fast idle: 13.8V.

So it's looking a bit weak under full load maybe. However I do know the idle is a little low...so I think I'll give the battery a good charge, tweak the idle up to the proper 750rpm and then have another look at it.

The idle speed being low is something it's easy to miss on a V12 as they're so smooth. She was idling at about 400rpm when I first took ownership of the car and yet there was no sign of vibration or anything.
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Old Feb 27 2020, 05:43 PM   #5244
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Definitely need to look at tweaking the idle speed up a bit...450rpm is a little on the low side...book says 750.



That might be a job for tomorrow.

Today's task was to see if we could restore sanity to the reversing lights. A quick search on Google revealed that the switch is on the gear selector assembly inside the car rather than outside...surprisingly sensible!



It just screws into the side of the selector mechanism and there's no need to strip that down to remove it.



It was very obviously gummed up, requiring the plunger to be manually pulled back out rather than snapping back out under spring pressure.

Turns out all it needed was a good clean and a dose of fresh lubricant. Ten minutes later everything was back together and the lights behaving as they should.





Tiny little task in the grand scheme of things but nice to have it ticked off anyway.

Fuelled up again this morning...9.8MPG and £92!
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Old Feb 27 2020, 08:31 PM   #5245
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Don't you just love it when the universe & karma cooperate and things come together as they should, Zelandeth?

Today was a fair/good day for me as well. Started off by shutting down the electric at the pole outside and installing a new main breaker. Dealing with 8 gauge wire and a semi rare, almost obsolete 200 amp main breaker was not without a certain amount of concern, but with a minimal amount of swearing and sweating, I got them switched out.

Rested up a bit, then installed a new defrost-cycle switch in our refrigerator. This was necessary because the freezer was no longer staying frost-free, frosting up to the point where the cold air could no longer circulate, leading to the refrigerator side not being cool and the freezer not freezing at all. To get to the little switch, I have to unload the freezer, pull out all the shelving, and remove the back wall, which exposes the freezer coil, the air circulation fan, and the defrost switch, which operates a heating element to melt any frost off the coil at the end of the freezing cycle. Not knowing exactly what was causing my problem or where things were located, I had a repairman come out from 40 miles away to diagnose the problem. Once I saw where the offending switch was and what would be required to change it out (snap off old switch, cut wires, solder the new switch's wires in, and snap the new switch in place, I did the job myself, saving us about $100 in the process. I figured that since I've wired everything from Model T Fords to B-52 bombers and have been certified in soldering and crimping by 2 aircraft companies, I might be able to get the job done. It's in, now to see if things are back to the way they're supposed to work. It will be up to 2 weeks before I know for sure.
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Old Feb 28 2020, 08:19 PM   #5246
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Glad things didn't decide to be awkward for you there! Plenty of potential for simple jobs like that to be emphatically not simple!

Had a look at the temporary expansion bottle today after a decent run. About 3/4 full (and I put a bit of coolant in the bottom of it to help prevent air being drawn in as things cool anyway), so doesn't look like I need to worry about it overflowing.



The hoses also feel firm but not absolutely rock solid like they were, so it looks like the pressure is being managed correctly now. If the weather permits I'll try to get the inner wing metalwork off and strip out the proper expansion tank and its pipework to be cleaned at the weekend.

As fixing the reversing lights was deceptively easy, I'm sure this will be an utter pig of a job to make up for it...
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Old Mar 1 2020, 08:01 PM   #5247
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Courtesy of an idiot in an Audi RS6 who decided that headlights are for loosers and that they're too important to give way to mere mortals on roundabouts I wound up with a bit of a cleanup operation to do. I wound up with most of the meal I had just picked up and two milkshakes on the floor.



I had secured everything, but apparently not sufficiently to withstand full on evasive maneuveres.

On the plus side the main carpets in the Jag simply lift out. So getting those out wasn't a problem and they are now drying in my conservatory.



The thing about mid brown carpets is that they can hide quite a bit of grime! While most of them weren't too bad (save for the not inconsiderable amount of milkshake!) the driver's side front one took quite a while to get clean water running off.

The carpeting on the sills however appears to be glued in place so cleaning that will require a bit more effort...seems like this might finally be the excuse I need to actually get around to picking up a wet vacuum cleaner. Would be useful to have around, not least because Autotrail felt it necessary to fit pale beige long pile carpet in the cab of the van...and it's filthy.
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Old Mar 1 2020, 10:49 PM   #5248
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Well, that was a proper mess you made! Good luck with the rest of the deep cleaning.
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Old Mar 2 2020, 07:50 AM   #5249
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The Audi driver was probably practicing to drive a taxi.
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Old Mar 2 2020, 10:17 AM   #5250
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Well, I'm glad there was only a food mess created and damages did not included human flesh or car metal!
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Old Mar 2 2020, 03:17 PM   #5251
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That was only about half of it, the other one landed squarely in the footwell.

It could have very easily been a lot worse though. Black car, pitch dark, pouring rain and utterly ignoring the rules of the road. I ended up pointing the wrong way around the roundabout, a bus wound up on the verge and another car stopped about six inches from my driver's door.

Both the other car and the bus had dash cams running and the drivers both said that they would be reporting the incident. Having run the registration number of the car it's also showing as uninsured, untaxed and with an expired MOT. So hopefully if the police do find them they'll have the book thrown at them. Most likely it will be registered to a false address though I reckon and will never be heard from again.
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Old Mar 4 2020, 06:17 PM   #5252
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Still need to do something about the one sill (it's been sponged clean as far as I can manage so far) but the rest of the carpets were finally dry today and are now back in.



Really need to get some leather dye on the steering wheel I think. As the rest of the interior is getting more tidy it's letting things down more!
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Old Mar 5 2020, 08:15 PM   #5253
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Was tipping it down again this afternoon yet again.

Is the windscreen still leaking?



That will be a yes then.
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Old Mar 6 2020, 06:41 PM   #5254
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Today thanks to a friend I had the opportunity and honour to have a shot of something really rather special.

Not often you come across things which make the interior of the XJ-S seem Spartan and the seats seem conservatively padded!





Those seats are actually even more comfortable than they look.

I love the contrast with the Biturbo between the interior which is absolutely thoroughbred Italian luxury supercar, the soundtrack which matches...and the utterly understated exterior.

Excuse the crudely blanked out registration plates, it's a friend's car so I'd rather keep them covered - and I don't have a decent photo editor on my phone.



The rear in particular is very anonymous, and leaves people looking around trying to figure out where the howling V8 is hiding!



There are a lot of little details though which bely how special a car she is. The door handles to name one.



She is a very Italian car. Only they can make a car feel like such a real living, breathing creature rather than just a machine. Plus they tend to produce cars where there is a hilarious blend of luxury and downright shonky. Such as the wing mirrors which are utterly incapable of staying where you point them behind the first bump. Oh, or the warning lights on the dash...which are comprehensive to say the least.



...However they may as well not be there as they are all entirely hidden behind the top of the steering wheel when driving. Oh, and that Italian thing where half the gauges don't sit at zero. The Lada carried that over from its Fiat routes too.

It's probably nearly 20 years since I wqs last in a Biturbo and I had honestly forgotten what gorgeous cars they are. This sort of uber-luxureous performance car has started to appeal to me more as I've got older...I used to gloss over cars like these as unnecessary and pointless...however the high velocity squidgy leather sofa category is really growing on me.

When (if) I decide it's time to move on from the Jag I think one of these will definitely be high on the list to take that position in the fleet. Especially as it comfortably seats four and doesn't require you to descend to several inches below bedrock to climb onboard...which are two areas where the Jag does lose points. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not in any way shape or form thinking of moving her on any time soon given how I've meshed so well with the car...this is purely a thought experiment for the hypothetical fleet.

Here's why I love this guy's garage so much though...having dropped that off, I was then able to jump into this.



Which is in my view every bit as interesting a car in its own way and as much fun to drive. Especially being a first generation AX she has the interior with the comedy ergonomics.

I can't think of any other car where I have to reach *around* part of the dash itself to get to the power window switches...



The AX/late Visa/C15 dash however is almost timeless though isn't it?



I thought it was a messy design when I first came across it but it's really grown on me and it seems quite charming to me these days.

Do wonder how many other models this ended up in...the Talbot Samba and the Umm four wheel drive immediately spring to mind...

Later on in the day I decided to set about de-fluffing the van. I'll be using it actually to sleep in for a couple of days this coming week so really wanted to reduce the volume of dog hair in there!

I've been considering picking up a carpet cleaner or wet vacuum cleaner this week. The cab of the van I think makes a very good case for it.

Can you see where the mat sits?



Nevertheless, the living area has been effectively de-fuzzed.





Just need to give the water system a flush through so it's ready for use (as it had been drained down and blown through with compressed air to eliminate any freezing risk over the winter).

Will be a good opportunity to test out the heating system in the real world and I'm quite looking forward to testing it out.
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Old Mar 7 2020, 11:47 AM   #5255
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You realize of course that you never did give the actual brand of the car. Not everyone will know what the trident symbol represents. Having worked on restoring a Maserati or two, I wasn't to be counted among the uninitiated.

"Can you see where the mat sits?" you asked. Nope, couldn't see a thing. LOL. Ah, the curse of light colored carpet in a vehicle. But overall, you do good work.

One thing gets me, even after a few decades of experiencing it. Even though our vehicles operate from the other side from each other (RHD versus LHD), the controls are in the same spots. Clutch, brake, accelerator are the same, in that order reading left to right. Same with the controls on the steering column. Shifter in the middle. Although I've seen Bentleys from 1948 to 1950s with the manual transmission floor shift on the right side, between the driver's seat and the door. Putting the car in reverse (Which is the way I was taught to park a manual anyway) moves the stick out of the way for exit/entry.

Speaking of those Bentleys, I loved the semaphore turn indicators that they had. Non-blinking, popped up out of the door post with an electromagnetic switch. Had to get them working for the restoration. My friend had a 1950 with a sun roof. That was fun. I'll tell you a funny story about it if you're interested.
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Old Mar 7 2020, 04:28 PM   #5256
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Oops. I did totally miss that didn't I...

It's a Maserati Biturbo.

Maserati are a bit of an also-ran in the luxury car market these days...but in the early days they were up there with Bugatti and Ferrari in the racing scene...they made some gorgeous motors. The Biturbo was considered by many as their low point...but I think that's mainly down to the looks. Under the skin it's a truly excellent motor.

The XJ-S does a clever thing with the parking brake in that it's to the right of the driver's seat (in an RHD car, it's to the left on an LHD car) so it's between you and the door. However the mechanism is such that after you have pulled it up to apply the brakes the lever itself then drops back down. Releasing it is done by lifting the lever to take up the tension, push the release button and then lower it as normal.

It confuses the heck out of folks who haven't come across it before though.

I think this was more done by necessity than trying to be clever though...there's no room for it in the usual spot between the seats thanks to the room taken up by the GM400 transmission, substantial propshaft and both exhausts...so they needed somewhere to stuff the thing.
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Old Mar 7 2020, 11:52 PM   #5257
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Since you didn't ask, here's the story about the Bentley sunroof.
It was a 1950 Bentley, maroon & black in color, right hand drive, of course. Owned by my best friend, my brother-from-another-mother. I had done a bit of work on it for him/with him, and he was going to take it for a drive with me and a couple of his other friends. The couple were in the spacious back seat while I got to sit up front, in the left seat. This was about 1978, Wichita, Kansas, USA.

Now for those of you who don't know, a 1950 Bentley has styling that makes the car look more like something out of the USA's 1930s. So here we are, driving up a 2-lane street on the outskirts of Wichita, a beautiful, clear, bright sunny day, windows down, sunroof open, sunlight streaming in, lighting up the interior and of course its front seat occupants. Bob is wearing his cowboy hat in the right seat, driving. Traffic is light, and as I notice a few cars approaching, I had a flash of inspiration, said, "Watch the cars that are coming." With that, I then turned around and leaned over the back of the seat, facing away from oncoming traffic. Remember, this is America, where this car attracts EVERYONE'S attention anyway, and we drive on the right side of the road from the left side of the car.

Everyone burst out laughing. Seems the first car almost took the ditch, thinking the driver of this Whatever-It-Is just turned around and was hanging over the seat back.

To this day, I still remember the look on that driver's face as he went by. He was not happy about my sense of humor.
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Old Mar 8 2020, 10:26 AM   #5258
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Ah, reactions like that are always good for a laugh. It's astonishing how utterly befuddled people can be when they encounter something unexpected on the road.
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Old Mar 8 2020, 05:35 PM   #5259
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When I were young lad . . . (1950ish) . . . there was a German living near us who drove a very early model Volkswagen, left-hand drive of course. He used to wear a hat and tweed great-coat that just about matched his Great Dane. People used to worry about who was driving.
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Old Mar 8 2020, 10:51 PM   #5260
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There has been one area that the van has struggled a bit ever since I got it: Audio.

Having upgraded the drivers in the cab they were just about passable - though the dash cutouts only allow for 10cm drivers so there's only so much that we can do there.

In the back though we had bigger problems with these.





Again they're only 10cm drivers...but the issue here isn't the diameter (it wouldn't be hard to widen the cutout) it's the depth. The roof panel is only about an inch and a bit behind there so any serious upgrade is likely to involve a bigger enclosure that will stand proud of the ceiling.

Had a bit of an epiphany this afternoon though and realised that there's absolutely nothing to say that the speakers need to stay in the ceiling. There's plenty of other places they can go where depth isn't a problem.

Grabbed a 5x7" speaker I had laying around and went to have a look.



Nearside one can go here, helpfully it can actually hide below the floor in the wardrobe I believe.

Offside is a little more awkward, but here looks to be the best spot.



It backs onto the side of the oven, but the outer skin of it barely gets warm so I'm not too worried about that. If depth is an issue there I can probably get away with using a little spacer without it being too obvious.

A 6x9" should work just as well as this in these locations and give us a bit more punch.

Have a plan to get things a bit beefier in the cab too. What I reckon I'm going to try is getting a decent set of drivers installed down here forward facing behind the seats in the end of the lockers...



The important thing though is that I'd keep a pair of tweeters in the place of the current cab speakers to help keep a decent soundstage in the cab. Bass is relatively non-directional, it's the treble you need to place carefully as that's what will give you the stereo separation.

It's either this or in the front of the box under the seats, but those boxes are full of battery and it involves cutting metalwork with I'd rather avoid.



I'll keep the original speakers in the back of the van, but what I'll do is hook those into the TV as they're absolutely perfectly serviceable for that sort of duty...just not providing music above an OM.601 with a straight through exhaust being worked hard!

That's been a bit of a fly in the ointment ever since I got it as I do like my music, but I really didn't know quite what to do about it as the original speaker placements left little room for improvement. Quite why moving them didn't occur to me until now I've no idea. Well the obvious answer is that I'm an idiot I think!

It's a low priority thing really in the grand scheme of things but will impact a lot on my enjoyment of it, especially on longer runs.

A sub is something that might join the party one day...I know what a difference it can make, and unlike in a car it's not like I'm struggling for anywhere to fit one without eating half the boot or anything.
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Old Mar 11 2020, 03:57 PM   #5261
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Not content with averaging 13MPG the Jag apparently decided this morning that merely using its fuel wasn't bankrupting me quick enough!



Yep...it was caught dribbling fuel all over the floor.

I had fuelled up in the last hour, our drive slopes slightly downhill towards the camera and it's been quite nice and sunny here so far today.

As such I reckon things have expanded in the tank and it's forced fuel bank out the filler, probably due to a compromised tank vent line (which I've suspected for a while on account of a distinct pong of fuel in the boot). Though I've never noted and excessive pressure/vacuum in there really. It was weeping out around the cap seal itself then draining down the spill line in the filler surround today. Turning the car through 180 degrees so the filler was at the high rather than the low side sorted things.

Obviously only an issue when the tank is really full (so about 3 miles worth of driving then probably!) and on a warm day, but something I'll need to be aware of until I can investigate the venting system properly, and possibly renew the seal in the filler cap as it's a little perished in a couple of spots.

Have to wonder if this happened unknown to me at some point during the random sub-10MPG tank a couple of weeks ago...hard to say as the evidence is gone minutes later!
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Old Mar 13 2020, 02:44 PM   #5262
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Not been here in awhile. Not much happening. We think my grand nephew maybe having seizures again. He was really out of it for a few days, which is a symptom. Also had weakness on one side. He's doing better now.
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Old Mar 13 2020, 08:53 PM   #5263
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All Virgina schools K-12 are closed for 2 weeks.
No toilet paper any where. We're almost out. Why are people hording toilet paper?
No chocolate cover marshmallows, the kind that come in an egg carton.
No major problems.
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Old Mar 13 2020, 09:01 PM   #5264
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I was out shopping yesterday.

No toilet paper. No kitchen towel. No pasta. No coffee.

A friend got mugged earlier this week...for a bottle of hand sanitizer. It's gone mad out there.

-- -- --

Pretty sure we've got a developing issue with either the alternator or the regulator on the Jag. While the light goes out as normal when the engine starts, it doesn't seem to properly start charging until the engine is brought up to around 3000rpm and held there for a couple of seconds. Then the system seems to wake up and start charging properly. It will then stay there until the engine is next stopped. Before that point the system voltage will hover around 13V - so it is still generating power, just at a reduced level. Once the system "wakes up" it jumps up to a normal charging voltage.

Need to do some research on the likely cause and get the necessary things ordered in. At least alternators don't look to be massively expensive if a new one is needed. This one has been rebuilt - but that was back in 1998 so it's not really undue some attention.

I will obviously have a crawl under that corner (I *think* it's relatively accessible from underneath) and get myself covered in oil and clean up the connections to the alternator as it wouldn't be the first time I've fixed odd charging behaviour with naught but jiggling a connection.
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Old Mar 14 2020, 12:05 PM   #5265
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The problem with hand sanitizer is that it's anti-bacterial; it does no good against a virus. So if you got active coronavirus on your hands, all sanitizer would do is smear it around.
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Old Mar 14 2020, 12:29 PM   #5266
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The problem with hand sanitizer is that it's anti-bacterial; it does no good against a virus. So if you got active coronavirus on your hands, all sanitizer would do is smear it around.
Aye. Hasn't stopped folks buying every one in the country though...must be the best part of a fortnight since I've seen a pharmacy or supermarket without a sign saying "we don't have any hand sanitizer or face masks!" in the window.
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Old Mar 14 2020, 08:27 PM   #5267
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An alcohol based hand sanitizer will kill the Virus, But, As Allen notes, most hand sanitizers do not contain alcohol and will not help you, Also Baby wipes will not kill viruses either.
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Old Mar 15 2020, 06:00 AM   #5268
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Wash your hands in Gin!
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Old Mar 15 2020, 08:04 AM   #5269
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I haven't seen hand sanitiser for a month. Then, when I was looking to see if the one I usually use was alcohol based (It is) I noticed that it is also made in Thailand. Now that's a country that we haven't heard from at all. I can't see the point in the toilet paper panic either. Firstly it's made locally and we aren't about to run out of it. And secondly, all our supermarkets have online shopping, which is what the people who are in isolation are doing.
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Old Mar 15 2020, 11:46 AM   #5270
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You haven't seen much from Thailand recently? Maybe it's different there, but I see things from Thailand frequently. I get some nice gemstones from there occasionally. However I get most from India. I've been burned two or three times on stones out of China; when you get a stone that's supposed to be Moissanite and it turns out to be quartz, I get a tad bit upset. Big difference in value, carat for carat, and I don't care how pretty of a chunk of quartz it is.
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Old Mar 15 2020, 01:22 PM   #5271
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Yesterday evening I finally made a start on something that I've been meaning to do literally for months - trying to get the garage tidied into a vaguely user-friendly state.

Lately getting into the garage to access the chest freezer at the back has required me to physically climb over the nearside rear wing of the Invacar because of how cluttered the place was.

After three or four hours I managed to get to this stage.





Which doesn't look like much, but at least means I can actually get in now!

Doesn't do anything to address this disaster area though.



Basically the problem I have in here (aside from too much utter junk) is a chronic lack of storage or any space to go through some of the boxed things to figure out what's worth keeping and what is honestly just useless detritus which is fit only for the bin.

While in there yesterday evening though I did finally make a point of having a look around and coming up with a proper plan of attack.

Along both sides of the garage I will install a more or less full length shelf slightly above standing head height. Those will hold a lot of the consumables and light weight items that are used on a more or less daily basis in a way that's relatively easily accessible but doesn't impinge on the actual working area. The intention there is to leave the floor either side of the car completely free to allow me to shift it to the left or right a little to suit whatever I'm doing. As it stands even on the clear side there isn't enough room for me to sit comfortably to access anything, much less see what I'm doing. I've got a couple of old coat racks from some old wardrobes which will go on the wall to the offside of the Invacar which any spray bottles with triggers can be hooked onto. There's no need for them to take up shelf space when they can hang on the wall.

At the far end things will be completely reconfigured.

The far wall will be pretty much entirely given over to full width, full height shelving. Right up to the ceiling as there is going to be quite a bit of stuff in here that I only use now and then, so I don't mind having to grab the little stepladder occasionally.

The Sun diagnostic machine will be positioned pretty much directly in front of where the Invacar is currently parked (the Crypton one has been sold and will be collected by its new owner shortly hopefully), between it and the wall (to the offside) I will hopefully then have room for a small workbench. Nothing huge, but at least somewhere I can finally fit a vice as not having access to one is really annoying. I've lost count over the last few years of how many times I've sliced, hammered, wire-wheeled, frozen, set fire to or sanded my fingers because I was holding onto the thing I was working on rather than having it firmly held in a vice.

Behind that I'm hoping to then have at least two ranks of free standing shelving running right to the wall on the right, just leaving room to the left for a comfortable access passage.

This should give me masses more storage than I've ever had access to before which should then hopefully be sufficient to allow me to get rid of all the piles of things on the ground and the disintegrating cardboard boxes. Once that's done hopefully it will give me enough room to actually go through a lot of the stuff that was brought down from Aberdeenshire in a hurry when I had to clear out my folk's house at short notice and decide what's to be kept, what's to be donated to the charity shops and what is honestly fit for nowhere other than the recycling centre.

All previous attempts to tidy this place up have just consisted of picking up the piles of stuff from one place, moving them somewhere else then putting them down again without actually achieving anything, so having an actual plan in mind to deal with it feels like progress.

I've a few things that I'd like to get stuck into over the next few years, but step one before I can even think about any of these has to be "get my stuff sorted out!" if things have any hope whatsoever of getting off the ground.

Not least a few of the jobs coming up on the Jag...They're going to be far more pleasant with access to a reasonable work area than doing it sitting cross legged on the driveway while being eaten alive by the ants which inevitably get everywhere here in the summer.
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Old Mar 15 2020, 08:46 PM   #5272
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I wanted to confirm the garage dimensions so I could start planning out how much shelving I can fit in there. However I didn't want to go out in the rain for a fifth time to measure it. So I dug out the floor plan saved from the original property listing when we were looking at buying this place.



It's an oddly long narrow space (the door is so narrow that to get the Lada in I had to fold both wing mirrors in). Granted, the whole layout of this house is a bit odd!

I'll have a play around with a few possible layouts in CAD tomorrow afternoon if I have time. I'd like to know roughly how much shelving I can actually fit in before I start buying things. Should allow me to figure out roughly how much square footage of storage I'll gain through the project too.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 12:55 AM   #5273
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How old is the house? I'm asking because that doesn't look like it was originally planned to be a garage. Or alternatively looks like a car port that was enclosed and turned into one.



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I wanted to confirm the garage dimensions so I could start planning out how much shelving I can fit in there. However I didn't want to go out in the rain for a fifth time to measure it. So I dug out the floor plan saved from the original property listing when we were looking at buying this place.



It's an oddly long narrow space (the door is so narrow that to get the Lada in I had to fold both wing mirrors in). Granted, the whole layout of this house is a bit odd!

I'll have a play around with a few possible layouts in CAD tomorrow afternoon if I have time. I'd like to know roughly how much shelving I can actually fit in before I start buying things. Should allow me to figure out roughly how much square footage of storage I'll gain through the project too.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 11:25 AM   #5274
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How old is the house? I'm asking because that doesn't look like it was originally planned to be a garage. Or alternatively looks like a car port that was enclosed and turned into one.
If it's from the 1940s or 1950s, while you could be right, you have to remember that the average English car was quite a bit smaller than its U.S. counterpart.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 11:45 AM   #5275
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If it's from the 1940s or 1950s, while you could be right, you have to remember that the average English car was quite a bit smaller than its U.S. counterpart.
1981. The house was planned as an testbed for various technologies to be incorporated into eco homes of the future, and was commissioned by the BBC to investigate that. They got a lot of things right...except for the assumption that "cars will be smaller in the future."

The garage is very much integral to the house so there's really nothing that can be done to extend it.

Here's the whole floor plan for a bit more context.



It's an odd house.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 12:19 PM   #5276
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Odd looking floor plan indeed. Seeing the garage in context also helps and they forgot that even if cars did get smaller you would still need room in it for storage and larger older cars. Of course at least they included a garage I am not sure that the DIY network's home of the future even has one.


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1981. The house was planned as an testbed for various technologies to be incorporated into eco homes of the future, and was commissioned by the BBC to investigate that. They got a lot of things right...except for the assumption that "cars will be smaller in the future."

The garage is very much integral to the house so there's really nothing that can be done to extend it.

Here's the whole floor plan for a bit more context.



It's an odd house.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 04:48 PM   #5277
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KFC, where Kibby works, has closed the lobby. Only managers are working. No telling how long she'll be out of work.
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Old Mar 17 2020, 07:37 PM   #5278
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Hope things work out for her and hopefully they will allow people who are out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis get unemployment immediately.

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KFC, where Kibby works, has closed the lobby. Only managers are working. No telling how long she'll be out of work.
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Old Mar 18 2020, 08:57 AM   #5279
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Over here McDonalds are only doing take-aways, drive-throughs and deliveries.
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Old Mar 18 2020, 12:55 PM   #5280
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A friend of mine back up in Aberdeenshire is a self employed HVAC technician. He suffers from COPD so has been advised by his doctor to immediately self isolate for at least the next 12 weeks.

Problem he has is that as with many sole traders, he runs pretty much from invoice to invoice. If he doesn't work, the lights don't stay on and the cupboards don't get restocked.

He doesn't qualify for benefits as he's not unwell enough to work. Obviously there's no employer to provide paid sick leave in this case as he's his own employer. Equally obviously, no way he can work from home when 99.9% of his job is physically fixing stuff on site.

Really feel bad for the guy as he's utterly stuck between a rock and a hard place.

A lot of small businesses like this aren't going to survive the next couple of months unless our government does something pretty drastic to throw them a lifeline.

Also feel bad for the organisers of one of the big events I've been looking forward to this year. They're getting dragged over the coals by a or of people for continuing to push the stance of "the event goes ahead until we're instructed otherwise by the government." What most people don't seem to understand is that if they were to voluntarily cancel the event at this stage, they'd end up sufficiently out of pocket due to the contracts in place between the venues and vendors that it would undoubtedly bankrupt the event and that would be the end of that for good.

Obviously once (if) official measures are put in place which would prohibit the event being able to take place, that gives them a valid reason contractually to be able to cancel without incurring massive costs.

The fact that cancelling is probably the sensible and responsible thing to do is somewhat immaterial when you're tied into contracts like that.

It staggers me as well how many people seem to think that it's a five minute job to "just postpone it for a couple of months.". This is an event bringing in north of 3,000 people, booking out two of the biggest hotels in Birmingham (including the massive one attached to the exhibition centre). The fact that these venues book up years in advance and would charge an order of magnitude more for the exhibition space in the peak season compared to when we use it seem to be points which completely escape them. Aside from the issues of course with any new date potentially conflicting with other events in the country or abroad. As it is they're quite carefully scheduled currently to try to minimise that. Even if those points could be mitigated, the logistics of rearranging an event of this size at shirt notice (bearing in mind as well that the vast majority of the staff are volunteers rather than full time employees) would be mind boggling. If it were delayed for say 4-6 months that means 4-6 months less time to get ready for the next time the event rolls round too. That's not good given that the usual routine is frantic activity behind the scenes to prep for the next year pretty much from the second the closing ceremonies end at one event. Realistically cancellation for this year I think is the only practical way for them to go..once they're given the ability to do so anyway!
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