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-   -   What is happening (http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=8098)

Zelandeth Jul 22 2019 07:57 PM

Re: What is happening
Never´╗┐ had a chance to do an update over the weekend as we've been massively busy, figured folks would want to know what had been going on.

I wanted to get the Invacar to a show on Saturday, 15 miles out of town, having just had the entire drive system in bits. No test run had been possible due to time constraints...so I felt I had two plans open to me. Get up really early and do some gentle testing a´╗┐round the block before heading to the event...or saying "I'm confident in my work" and just running with it.

So I pointed TPA towards Claydon House and cracked the throttle open. This marked the first time I had ever driven her out of town too, in addition to being the drive system test. ´╗┐

Knew I had the van as a backup if anything did go awry. H´╗┐a´╗┐ving booked in to the show ages in advance I was determined to get something there though. ´╗┐

´╗┐So...did we get there?


Of course we did!


On the way there I was somewhat amusingly stuck behind modern traffic doing 35-40mph all the way there. On the way home however I had a nice clear road...and all I can say is that I'm staggered by how well TPA drives. She's more than happy to cruis´╗┐e at the legal limit. Way happier than you'd expect from a tiny little three wheeler that wasn't even considered a real car when it was launched in 1971. In fact she's far happier sitting at 60mph than several normal cars I've owned from the late 80s. It's honestly startling.

One thing they're well renowned for is being tossed around alarmingly by crosswinds, and Saturday was a pretty windy day. The issue was far less pronounced ´╗┐(even at 70mph on a bit of dual carriageway) than I was expecting...definitely found driving a lot less unnerving than expected. Not sure if that's in some way due to the change from 12" to 10" wheels with wider tyres...but it's definitely nowhere near as bad as expected. The only other one I know in use is on the 12" wheels and the owner has indicated that it's quite scary on a windy day.

No car stuff on Sunday unsurprisingly, courtesy of collecting this ´╗┐idiot who has now officially joined our family.




She seems´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ so ´╗┐far to be settling in fine. In fact far more so than we'd hoped... apparently she hasn't been out for a walk of more than twenty or thirty minutes on a well known route due to her being so easily spooked. Both yesterday and today we've been out for a couple of miles, even including the pet store. Yes she is skittish, but she coped very well given the issues we had been told to expect.

I think she's just thriving on a house where she's sharing with one dog and four doting humans (she's a truly massive cuddlebug) rather than having a few hours of attention a day in a house where there are 30+ dogs...and the associated noise and smell.

Sure there's a caption just waiting for this expression...


Sure that you'll see plenty more of her as time moves on.

While I was at the car show on Saturday I was handed something else new to me, something I've wanted to add to my collection of random old computing technology since 1999 when I first saw one - An Acorn RiscPC.


It's scruffy as anything, is missing the lid, has broken retaining springs for the front drive bays (they all do that) and it won't even run the power on self test, much less actually boot. However it has a few very useful expansion cards fitted.

StrongARM CPU upgrade.


The somewhat legendary 486-PC-on-a-card. This is really handy as it allows you to properly run normal PC software without faffing around with emulation or anything (bearing in mind that the architecture is utterly different to a standard PC of the time), but as it shares the drives, video etc it's a far cheaper and saves a lot of space than having two totally separate machines on your desk.


It also still has a hard drive in (can tell you purely based on the noise at startup that it's a Conner made drive), so will be interesting to see if there's any software from the back in the day left on the drive.

I've been after one of these machines forever...but they rarely come up for sale at reasonable prices as owners when asked if they would part with them tend to respond with "you can have my RiscPC when you pry the mouse from my cold dead hands...". So I'd pretty much given up on finding one.

It does need work though. Though the failure to boot is most likely due to damage caused by this.


I can't see any broken traces yet, but I'd bet one or two are and that oscillator crystal has probably died.

Of course rather than investigate that I simply removed the old battery and cleaned up the residue...and then did the most important thing: Fixed the retaining springs on the flip up covers over the drive bays.


Needs a really good deep clean though.

mawra Jul 24 2019 02:24 AM

Re: What is happening
I'm taking my boys to the shelter July 1st. I know I have to do it, I know they will be better somewhere they can be outside more. But still the closer the day comes the more depressed I get. I don't want to do this. They don't deserve this. I feel like I have failed them. I'm going to miss them.

P'ter Jul 27 2019 06:14 AM

Re: What is happening
A Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Winc...s/?tn-str=%2AF, has just posted a picture of an Invacar in an accident in 1977.

mawra Jul 29 2019 07:18 PM

Re: What is happening
It's a closed group, couldn't see the pic, P'ter.

P'ter Jul 30 2019 03:44 AM

Re: What is happening
We'll have to get Zelandeth to join it :D

mawra Jul 30 2019 09:35 PM

Re: What is happening
Life should not be this hard.

granath Jul 31 2019 07:10 AM

Re: What is happening
Mawra, I'm so sorry that you couldn't keep your beloved furry friends.

Zelandeth Jul 31 2019 08:09 PM

Re: What is happening
It's a horrible situation to have wound up in, Mawra. There's no denying that, sometimes the best decisions are the hardest. Hopefully once some time has passed you'll be able to look back on it and see that it really has been for the best. I know that I spent a huge amount of time feeling terrible for moving out from my folks' place, leaving my mother (and my cat) to deal with my father's issues singlehandedly.

In the end though I think it did work out better for everyone - took me at least five years to stop torturing myself over it though.

-- -- --

Care package arrived for the van this morning.


Thumbs´╗┐ up ´╗┐for Simply´╗┐´╗┐ Car Parts...I on´╗┐ly ordered this on Monday evenin´╗┐g, so having it on my doorstep on Wednesday morning is pretty good going.

Here are the part numbers for those of you playing along at home.



You may be wondering why I didn't just get it from Mercedes themselves...as I've tended to use them before because their parts supply has always been so seamless and not usually much more expensive than eBay etc. This has been one of the stand out things about owning a Mercedes...that the dealers actually want to help, and at least the reception I've had in our branch has had me believe that they don't care if you're in a car that's 29 days old or 29 years. I was staggered when I walked in a couple of weeks into ownership and they in moments had managed to track down several normal service items and even a replacement lens for the indicator light on the dashboard to replace the cracked one I had.

The last couple of times I've been in though we've had some issues. I have to make it abundantly clear though, not issues with the gent on the parts desk, he's a legend and has gone above and beyond to the call of duty to be helpful.

The issue is due to instructions from corporate somewhere within Mercedes-Benz that the dealers are not allowed to have anything to do with parts supply for anything other than passenger cars - totally irrespective of what it's registered as, it's actually down to the vehicle platform...so being based on the 601 platform I'm out of luck. Instead of being able to sell me the parts, they instead refer me to a nearby commercial vehicle specialist who apparently they partner with.

Slight issue there: said specialist doesn't deal with non-trade customers. Even before we realised that, they literally laughed in my face when I went in looking for parts for a 29 year old van. Apparently I'm far from the only person to have been less than impressed with them, even in the trade.

The last couple of trips the gent on the parts desk managed to cross reference things and trick the system into letting him order parts for other models of passenger car...however we struck out on this occasion, so I had to pick it up myself. Credit to the parts manager though, he still printed off all the part numbers for me.

He also believes it's an utterly daft situation. Sure if someone comes in looking for parts for a Tourismo or Actros (coach and artic lorry respectively), then send them on to the relevant specialist...but where it's a light van clearly registered as a motor caravan...C'mon folks, use some common sense. Especially as heritage vehicles like this running around can surely only be a good advertisement for the longevity of your products...and let's face it the Merc T1 van is something of a design icon. Or is that just in my head? I know if when I was a kid if you'd asked me to draw a van you'd have ended up with something that looked far more like a Merc T1 than a Transit...

Not going to´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ let´╗┐ it spoil things though...doesn't mean I won't´╗┐ rant about it however! Just a shame as the excellent heritage parts support was one of the big plus sides of Mercedes ownership (and I don't doubt it still is if you own a passenger car).

Zelandeth Aug 1 2019 07:19 PM

Re: What is happening
Nothing´╗┐ massive to report other that than with use TPA seems to just keep running better. Had her out this afternoon to run a few errands, rubbing shoulders with rush hour traffic. No bother. ´╗┐

Have finally brought the PCV valves picked up last week inside for a clean up and fitting when I next get a chance. They're used examples but in a lot better state than the ones on the car currently´╗┐.´╗┐



No idea´╗┐ whether I should expect this to make any difference to running, but it certainly can't hurt I figure.

Should rid me of a minor oil leak though - the seal on the lower one on the car is perished so the join "sweats" at the moment. The seal on this one is in good shape so this should put an end to that leak.

P'ter Aug 2 2019 04:59 AM

Re: What is happening
Look like a pair of pears. :D

mawra Aug 2 2019 10:22 PM

Re: What is happening
We spent the day in New York City. This morning we went to Central Park. It reminded me of the square mile mentioned in on of the Pegasus' books. City everywhere, except for 1 square mile.

Zelandeth Aug 4 2019 02:07 PM

Re: What is happening
That was pretty´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ pai´╗┐nless.

New clutch master cylinder is now fitted ´╗┐to the v´╗┐´╗┐a´╗┐´╗┐n´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



Only slight´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ headache was discovering that the hose clip had cut into the hose to the reservoir meaning I had to trim the end back a little, so the hose is now a little too short. Not a major issue in the grand scheme of things, hose looks pretty crusty anyway so probably not a bad idea to change it anyway. ´╗┐

The test drive revealed quite how bad it had become. The gearchange is considerably more slick now which leads me to believe that we weren't seeing the full range of motion actually at the clutch end. The pedal is also a good deal lighter which is surprising given it was already surprisingly light for a design this old.

Next task there is probably going to be getting hold of some more fuel line and swapping out the tails which connect the rigid vacuum lines around the fuel pum´╗┐p together (I'm assuming they're something to do with the system which raises the idle speed slightly when the engine is cold) as they have perished a bit, and I figure it just makes sense to get them dealt with while I'm thinking of it´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐

mawra Aug 5 2019 08:30 AM

Re: What is happening
Made it home. All things considering it was a nice, much needed, break.
I have decided that if I pretend to be ok with giving boys up, maybe I'll will be ok with it. So far not working.

This is the only place no one else in family is on. Which is why I'm posting. I don't really have any R.L. friends to
talk to. I'm going to roll up in a ball & not move today.

mawra Aug 5 2019 08:33 AM

Re: What is happening
Kibby's birthday (24th) was Friday. She said spending it in NYC was a nice way to spend it. Even if the reason we were there was not good.

Zelandeth Aug 6 2019 06:39 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by mawra (Post 208610)
This is the only place no one else in family is on. Which is why I'm posting. I don't really have any R.L. friends to
talk to.

I've said it before I'm sure, but we're here for you...talk to, rant at, ramble utter nonsense any day of the day or night, we're here to listen!

Have been struggling for energy last couple of days so not been up to much. My daily driver, the Citroen has been starting to show some signs of stress in the last week or two...which given I've barely touched the thing in two years isn't in any way unexpected or begrudged. Nothing dire, but the hollow clonk from the offside front suspension (inevitably the "P" bush that would be the drop link on a conventionally sprung car). I've had a thorough poke around and there's nothing moving that has to be worried about... it's annoying rather than a problem. I've got every bush involved in the suspension in stock, so I will probably throw it at my trusted garage at some point soon with the simple instruction of "stop it fluffing clonking before it drives me mad." To be honest if it wasn't so quiet it wouldn't be anything like as noticeable. The downside of a really quiet car...any abnormal noise is painfully obvious! The other noise turned up yesterday...an obvious metallic clonk from the rear end when the engine stops. That will be the rear exhaust silencer having sheared off at the joint over the back axle then. It looked like it had been dredged off the Titanic when I got it, so no huge surprise. The rear silencer doesn't really do anything by way of silencing on a TCT engined Xantia so the rattle is usually the only clue you get when it fails.

I'll have a poke at it when I can next find five minutes. If it is indeed failing there it will be time to get a stainless system made for it I think. No it doesn't really make sense for a 26 year old Citroen with negligible value, but let's face it...conventional logic doesn't really come into it with this thing. It's expensive to insure, expensive to tax, drinks fuel like it's going out of fashion and it's an utter pig to work on. Yet I like it, so I keep putting up with it.

The Invacar has had the new PCV hardware fitted now.


Not expecting this to make any particular difference to the running of the engine, but will be nice to know it's working as the designer intended. Having completed a few decent runs now the moisture issue I used to have has been resolved judging from the state of the inside of the vapour separator.


This used to be full of mayo as you'd expect from a water cooled engine with a stuffed head gasket. Taken a while, but a few good runs has boiled the moisture off.

I'd quite like to pull the whole assembly off to give it a good scrub down internally...however apparently it's almost unheard of for the join between the oil filler and the crankcase to be oil tight on these engines...so given that mine is totally leak free I think I'm just going to leave it well alone and not tempt fate!

vyon Aug 8 2019 07:55 AM

Re: What is happening
I visited New Zealand's Supreme Court today with a group. To be honest, I hadn't realised that the building I passed in the bus a couple of times a week with a giant black fishing-net over it was the Supreme Court, leave alone that you can look right through the building and see our Chief Justice at her work from a bus-stop across the road. To be fair to the designers and constructors of the "giant fishing net" it's actually an 8 metre high, 90 tonne sculpture and security screen made of recycled bronze that represents a forest of pohutukawa and rata trees protecting the building. Inside the actual courthouse is in a dome of light-coloured diamond-shaped native beech panels angled to act as sound baffles. From the splendour and science of the modern building we went round the street to the craftsmanship and dark-stained kauri wood of the old High Court building. Although the craftsmanship is not that old, the entire Victorian building has been sliced off at ground level, raised, and base isolation put in to earthquake-proof it before the interior was restored.

mawra Aug 8 2019 09:49 PM

Re: What is happening
I'm wondering how is it possible for Kibby to actually be 24 years old? When did that happen?

Hans Aug 10 2019 03:35 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by mawra (Post 208615)
I'm wondering how is it possible for Kibby to actually be 24 years old? When did that happen?

LOL, that's a bit like I reacted when Caer Howes told us her son (by the immortal Bobbsy) is already 15 years old...he was actually born when we were still on Anne's bulletin board... How time flies.

I'll be in Dublin next week for the World Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention. I'll meet Gigi (again) and will probably be visiting Anne's grave (for the first time). It will be fun meeting old friends at the con (and some I've know for almost 20 years but never met) but also sad because it'll be the first time in Ireland with Anne not being alive and there. Last time I was there was in 2011 for her birthday on April 1st... later that year she died :(

I'll also be thinking of you old regulars when I'll be standing at her grave!

Allen Aug 11 2019 12:10 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Hans (Post 208624)
LOL, that's a bit like I reacted when Caer Howes told us her son (by the immortal Bobbsy) is already 15 years old...he was actually born when we were still on Anne's bulletin board... How time flies.

I'll be in Dublin next week for the World Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention. I'll meet Gigi (again) and will probably be visiting Anne's grave (for the first time). It will be fun meeting old friends at the con (and some I've know for almost 20 years but never met) but also sad because it'll be the first time in Ireland with Anne not being alive and there. Last time I was there was in 2011 for her birthday on April 1st... later that year she died :(

I'll also be thinking of you old regulars when I'll be standing at her grave!

Say a prayer over her for me, please.

mawra Aug 11 2019 04:02 PM

Re: What is happening
I've always wanted to go to a world fair & Ireland

Zelandeth Aug 11 2019 07:48 PM

Re: What is happening
Moderately irritating couple of days.

Really wanted to properly sort the throttle cable, I was astonished that my bodge had held a day, much less several weeks.

Now this sort of thing used to be simple...less so these days. Having been to the usual mainstream suspects along with three independent motor factors I only found that they've not kept stuff like cables on the reel "for years, mate." Already knew that was true for heater hose after I had a royal faff trying to find some a couple of years ago.

The thought occurred to try my usual bike shop, especially as the barrel type cable end was identical to the one used on the brake cables of the Sinclair C5.

Sadly they no longer stock stuff like that, rather than a reel of cable and a crimp tool to put the ends on,they now come pre-made in nice little cardboard packets. Sadly the longest one they have in stock is a brake cable for a tandem, at 2.75M. The cable which came off the car is roughly 3.5 metres long...so 2.75 isn't going to cut it.

Having struck out on everywhere locally to find cable am finally gave in and ordered it from the internet. From a seller proudly proclaiming to be UK based. Ordered 20 metres of cable and a shedload of ends to be soldered on. Twenty minutes later I received a text message from Royal Mail telling me there was a package on the way to me from China. Only one thing that could be...the throttle cable set I'd just bought.

Great, that'll be a couple of weeks then.

Really irks me that back when I started driving - even though I lived a 20 minute drive from civilisation - if I needed random stuff like that I could be home with it in my hand inside an hour. Yet now I've got to faff around waiting days or weeks for sundry items like this.

Sure there are plenty of independent motor factors who could still help, however I've yet to figure out where they are... especially as MK isn't exactly small firm friendly, it's mostly corporate chains round here. At least as far as I've generally found this far...only been here a few years so still tracking down useful places.

I'll let you know once I've actually got hold of a throttle cable and can get the car mobile again...annoying when what should have been a quick repair turns into a multi-day faff.

P'ter Aug 12 2019 03:13 AM

Re: What is happening
How about 2 shorter cables with a solid link between them?

Zelandeth Aug 13 2019 01:43 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by P'ter (Post 208632)
How about 2 shorter cables with a solid link between them?

In theory that could be done, though it's probably more work to engineer than it's really worth. I've got 20m of cable and a plethora of fittings en route, so it's really not worth messing with solutions to tide me over a few days at this point. It's just something I'll make a point of keeping in stock in the garage in future rather than assuming I can just walk into a shop and grab it.

This afternoon I took an hour out to investigate a gremlin which has turned up on the Xantia in the last week or so - that the rear of the exhaust had taken up rattling somewhere. It's driving me round the twist.

Being a hydraulic Citroen has pluses and minuses. Needing to pull the axle stands out to safely crawl under it to poke the exhaust is a minus. Not actually having to do the jacking up manually though is a plus.

Obligatory safety disclaimer:
Obviously it's essential to put the axle stands in as should there be any failure in the hydraulic system, the car could drop on you. There are far less stupid ways to die than get squished by a Citroen because you accidentally poked and annoyed the rear height corrector while inspecting the exhaust.

I've had a good poke around the exhaust end to end...I'm precisely none the wiser. All of the hangers are present and correct, the system hasn't split anywhere (nope, not even the usual joint on the front of the back box which usually rots out on Xantias), no obvious dents or anything. The hanger rubbers even look healthy.

The only thing resembling a theory I've got at this point is that someone has smacked my car in a car park, but they've managed to very specifically hit the tailpipe...just hard enough to either bend the system or one of the hangers slightly.

It's all I've got...the rear silencer is fouling on the rear chassis rail (okay fine...I know it's a monocoque, but you know what I mean) and boot floor quite firmly. It's never done this until the last couple of weeks, so either the car or the exhaust has changed shape!

I'd known the rear box was a bit crusty though so wanted to give it a good look over. Of course I'm a complete idiot, so I poked the crusty bits.


Now there are two holes in the box. This one and another one just by where the pipe joins on the front.

The centre section isn't bad, but it's not in its first flush of youth either and I know from prior experience that the flange at the rear (for those not familiar with PSA exhausts, these use a sort of spherical joint with a cup on each end of the joining pipes) is likely to be a mess once I remove the clamp and will then be a pain to seal again.

So I realistically need a rear box, probably a middle section...and four tyres. Fronts are worn out, rears have plenty of tread left but date from 2010 and are starting to perish. This is going to be an expensive month isn't it.

I attempted and failed to track down a local independent paint specialist today. After spending half an hour driving around in circles I abandoned that plan and reverted to plan B, heading over to LKQ Coatings. I've used them before a few years ago and was impressed with the service, so happy to give them more business. All the forms have been filled in and the paint details tracked down, and tomorrow we should get some paint made up for the Invacar in cellulose along with some decent high build primer. This should be a pretty big stepping stone towards getting the Invacar looking vaguely presentable.

Zelandeth Aug 15 2019 08:21 AM

Re: What is happening
I have´╗┐ paint!

Took a bit of discussion to come round to what was probably the best compromise in terms of being sprayable with the equipment I have, being suitable for the substrate, and not being horrifically dangerous so as to require a respirator with a remote air supply. We got there in the end though.


┬ú11 for a litre if I remember right´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ - and a litre should go a lot further in a proper spray gun than in rattle cans if my prior experience is´╗┐ anything to go by. The Halfords rattle cans were the best part of a tenner each. Yeah...this should save me a few quid. ´╗┐´╗┐

This paint has really good high build properties apparently, so all the better for scruffy fibreglass. ´╗┐

Picked up a suitable mask while I was there too´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐


Didn't even´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ come close to having time to get the spray gun out yesterday, but couldn't resist having a peek to see what the colour match looked like.


It's really´╗┐ hard´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to tell in the can obviously (especially under artificial light), but it looks a decently close match for my purposes. If anything it's slightly lighter than the Halfords paint, which if it's not a perfect match is what I'd prefer.

Worth noting that the engine cover in shot there has several coats of clearcoat on as well, which this paint shouldn't require. So that may also explain why it looks a bit darker.

No, there would have been nothing to stop me getting them to mix up the original colour at this point - sticking with this Ford colour is a purely personal choice at this stage. I just like it better.

No idea if I'll have a chance to get anything done today at this stage....but I'd obviously like to get some spraying done.

Another part for the Invacar arrived this morning in the post (which I'd totally forgotten ordering).



The blade I'd been´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ using was stuffed despite having been on there only a few months and nobody locally stocks 10" ones any more. Nor do any of the refill kits I have fit (the blade is too fat to fit in the retainers)...so I just o´╗┐rdered one. Figured if I was doing that anyway I may as well get something that looks vaguely in peri´╗┐od.

I'm not holding out much hope for it actually being even vaguely useful in terms of actually clearing the screen - but at least it won't scratch it when I forgot the e´╗┐xisting blade is knackered and turn the wiper on in error again. I've already got very lucky in that regard twi´╗┐ce´╗┐´╗┐.

mawra Aug 16 2019 07:24 AM

Re: What is happening
My 2 boys found a new home, together.

Allen Aug 16 2019 10:34 AM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by mawra (Post 208644)
My 2 boys found a new home, together.

Great news, Maw. Wonderful! Now you can miss them, but know that they have a new, loving home.

Zelandeth Aug 16 2019 05:58 PM

Re: What is happening
Had an opportunity´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to do a very quick test of the paint yesterday evening - which was basically 30 minutes setting up the spray gun, wip´╗┐ing the panel down, then the same to clean the spray gun out. Actually painting covered about five minute´╗┐´╗┐s.

It's pretty obvious that this is going to be an order of magnitude easier than messing around with rattle cans.




The green´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ blob´╗┐´╗┐ on the floor is a fair amount of the original paint matching test, spilled courtesy of next door's cat. ´╗┐She is a menace. No huge loss though given the neon peppermint colour didn't seem to really match anything well´╗┐ on the car.

´╗┐It's not been put down nearly thick enough, I'm fully aware of that. This was just a quick test - a bunch of masking and cleaning will be done bef´╗┐ore I hopefully do a reasonably complete run round the car. Shouldn't take me long to establish how far the paint is going too so I can see if I need to go and get more well before act´╗┐´╗┐ually run´╗┐ning short´╗┐. ´╗┐´╗┐

It's been a while since I've had a decent A2 rated respirator on. Having a bit of equipment which successfully totally filters out the smell of solvents is *weird* I tell you. Y´╗┐ou kind of expect goggles to restrict your vision, ear protectors to muffle sound...but to have a little plastic thing that does little to restrict air flow essentially be able to turn smell on and off is something which messes with my head a bit. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐

Effective though - was utterly oblivious to how strong the garage was smelling until I took the mask off (after airing the garage out a bit too)... should be effective though given that's why I bought it. ´╗┐

That was where we left things yesterday.

This evening I had a bit of time to do a bit of further testing.

Step one was to get everything masked off so I can stop worrying about getting paint where I don't want it.


Bit further spraying was done.

Definitely looking a million times better now the front end is mostly one colour.


If you ever wondered´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ if it'´╗┐s worth wearing a mask...well here's what the particulate filters look like now after about an hour and a half.


They were white´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ when we started, and this process has produced about a quarter of the amount of garage fog that the rattle c´╗┐ans do...so yes, make sure you´╗┐'re wearing the correct PPE. It's somehow reassuring to actually see evidence of the filters doing th´╗┐eir job.

The only issue I seem to be having is actually getting enough paint onto the car. Think I'll need to experiment with a bit more thinners than the instructions actual´╗┐ly recommend to see what happe´╗┐n´╗┐´╗┐s.´╗┐





Will do a bit´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ more experimentation with paint mix over the weekend and see if I can get a thicker layer put ´╗┐down (without ending up with runs of course). Feels like we're heading in the right direction, even though there's a fair way to go yet. ´╗┐

Zelandeth Aug 17 2019 04:00 PM

Re: What is happening
Definitely struggling´╗┐ with the spray gun a bit. I don't seem to be able to get any sort of a wet edge laid down no matter what I've done wit´╗┐h the settings and the paint d´╗┐oesn't seem to be atomising all that well, hence the pebbly texture we seem to be getting most of ´╗┐th´╗┐e ´╗┐tim´╗┐e´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐


When covering´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ other colours (like the grey primer on the roof front edge) it was immediately apparent how thinly the paint was going on too. I did a little experimentation with thinners and found that I could get a decently "wet" spray - but at such a point that the paint was watered down to the exte´╗┐nt I wound up with odd effects where the pigment had run...so not really a solutio´╗┐n´╗┐.

I think the´╗┐ ┬ú18 spray gun may need to be eyed as a possible contributor to these issues...I don't think air supply is an issue as I've verified I've got suitable pressure at the delivery point (not just shown on the regulator).

Every now and then it will sputter for a second then give me a few seconds of actually decent spray...so there are some spots where things are actually glossy.







Bit frustrating´╗┐ to be honest as so far I've not come close to matching the finish I was getting from rattle cans (admittedly at about ten times the price) beforehand. As demonstrated by the engine cover below, where it caught the rain a little yesterday evening when the back end was sticking out the garage door a bit.


We'll get there´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ I'm sure...just going to take some time and experimentation I thin´╗┐´╗┐k´╗┐.

mawra Aug 19 2019 04:16 PM

Re: What is happening
I just found out World Con 2021will be in Washington D.C. I WILL be there. Only 4 hours away from me. Time to start saving my pennies.

Zelandeth Aug 19 2019 06:23 PM

Re: What is happening
Unless I'm hallucinating, it looks like we might actually´╗┐ be ´╗┐maki´╗┐ng prog´╗┐ress ´╗┐no´╗┐w´╗┐.








Ten points to everyone who suggested that a 1mm nozzle was smaller than ideal for this paint and application. 1.5mm is working far better. It feels like far more of the paint is now actually ending up on the panel´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ now than just floating around in the garage. I had about 250ml left of the original litre...and it felt like it went way further than two refills of the original spray gun would have. There's probably room to open it up a bit more yet to be fair too. ´╗┐

Will get an additional two litres picked up tomorrow, get the last few bits of car masked up, then have another bash at it. It's behaving far closer to what I was expecting with this spray gun though, and is giving a finish which it's actual´╗┐ly worth flatting back for the next coat, rather than a finish that is rougher than the abrasive I'd plan to flat it with. ´╗┐

´╗┐´╗┐Time will tell if it's a false start...but this feels like progr´╗┐es´╗┐´╗┐s´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐

Zelandeth Aug 20 2019 10:15 PM

Re: What is happening
Today was very´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ much´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ a game of two halves. Also can be read as "discovering the pitfalls you need t´╗┐o watch for when pai´╗┐ntin´╗┐g´╗┐."´╗┐

Given I was going into this with precisely zero experience, not unexpected that days like this would happen.

Picked up the additional paint, got the gun ready, loaded up with an actually carefully measured 5:1 mix and did a quick test panel. All looked good. Regulator settings still seem well off the mark, but the spray looks good so I'm going ´╗┐with the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach there. Let's not make myself work. ´╗┐

Things were actually going well up until about the 80% mark. Though I REALLY need to tidy my garage up. Trying to mov´╗┐e around a car covered in wet paint in there is damned near impossible just now.

At that point something odd happened... suddenly the volume of paint I got out of the gun increased by a factor of about ten it felt like. It was very visible when that happened from the cloud and the change in sound. ´╗┐´╗┐

Best guess I have (also pointed to fro´╗┐m the visible evidence) is that I'd not done a good enough job of mixing the thinners in and I pulled in a pocket that was very thinners rich. Sadly this resulted in it looking like I'd dumped a bottle of thinners over the roof and offside door.

Am I disgruntled? Not really. It's a learning experience and I'd far rather make these mistakes on a car that's this cosmetically challenged with relatively cheap paint rather than respraying the Xantia or something like that where the fina´╗┐l finish is far more critical.

´╗┐ So I'll definitely need to give some areas´╗┐ another coat, but we're looking close to a point where I'm going to feel I can call it good enough for now on some areas now.

Pictures hopefully speak a thousand word´╗┐s.´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐


The target here is to get´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to a state which you'd not immediately think looked scruffy if you saw me driving past...and it feels like we're starting to get there´╗┐´╗┐.






Here's the two shots where´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ there's evidence of my "paint flow anomaly" which I'll need to resol´╗┐ve´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



Nothing a quick rub down to smooth out the resulting runs and a recoat can't sort though´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. Will have done a decent job of sealing the surface at least. ´╗┐

I don't think I'm being too forward in saying that I think TPA is looking a heck of a lot better than she did a couple of weeks ago. Just a shame I didn't get this done before the FotU! ´╗┐

I've not bothered masking the indicator surrounds up front as they're badly perished and will be replaced shortly. Likewise the lock on the engine cover - it's seized beyond all redemption so will be getting changed. ´╗┐

I'll be getting a small brush out and doing a few details by hand. The edges of the door frames yo´╗┐u can't see with the doors closed (I can't be bothered taking the doors off or masking the whole interior off!) for one, and applying some "steel wheel silver" to the engine cover hinges and the air intake grill. Wheels will be getting hammered metallic black (one is already done) as well.

Then next up will be sorting a few items on the snagging list I think. High on that list is to get the dash out to sort some wiring "repairs" I've seen which I don't like. The screw terminal strip which is carrying the full primary circuit current (including battery charge I believe - so theoretically up to 35A) which I really don't like. The ignition switch gets qu´╗┐ite warm too, so I'd really like to get some relays fitted to take the strain off it.

...Or I've been spending too much time work´╗┐ing on PSA vehicles with their self destructing ignition switch contacts and it's made me paranoid!

That's obviously the ideal time to get the switch for my heater blower fan wired up as the dash will be out and I'll h´╗┐ave the soldering iron and heat shrink out.

Feels like I've made more steps forward today than in a while though. ´╗┐
I continue to be very glad I bought the proper mask for this job.


Far prefer that blue paint to be in the filters there than in me!

Allen Aug 21 2019 10:01 AM

Re: What is happening
Something Zelandeth said made me wonder about the word "disgruntled". It means dissatisfied or angry. So if you're not angry about something or satisfied with it, are you "gruntled"?

Zelandeth Aug 21 2019 08:13 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Allen (Post 208671)
Something Zelandeth said made me wonder about the word "disgruntled". It means dissatisfied or angry. So if you're not angry about something or satisfied with it, are you "gruntled"?

Are you sure you didn't know my mother? That's exactly the sort of thing she would have thrown my way when I was about a quarter of the way through my first coffee of the day...


Definitely feel I'm somewhat getting the feel of this now. Got the spray gun working nicely within a few minutes today, and it behaved perfectly throughout the whole loading of paint.

I think we're pretty much at the stage now where I'm happy to more or less to call the paintwork "good enough for now."

The aim has always been to get the car into a state where it looked like a somewhat scruffy but well loved creaky old classic car rather than something which looked like it had literally just been driven out of a scrap yard. That's a state which we're getting towards now I think.

The bodywork will be seeing professional attention at some point in the future - but it shouldn't be a barrier to the car actually being used in the real world now.

Here's a bit of before & after fun.









No, it's not fantastic...but it's a means to an end. I want to use the car...and hopefully this should scream "there's no way this is road legal!" slightly less loudly at any passing traffic police having a bad day that might otherwise see me as a target.

The engine cover and doors might want another coat ideally as they're still a bit patchy. Realistically I'll get a better finish on the doors if I lay them flat for the last coat anyway. The rest of it I'm calling done for now - at the very most I might throw one more coat on.

Tomorrow's task will be to pull all the masking tape off and put stuff back together. The interior is still half full of blasting soda too, so an interior clean will also be on the cards. Keeping fingers very much crossed that the paint hasn't found its way in through too many gaps as I'd rather not have to go over everything with the thinners! I did throw a sheet over the seat at least though...so hopefully that will still be black.

Allen Aug 21 2019 11:53 PM

Re: What is happening
I've been wondering, and now I take it that this paint is just a tiny bit on the old-fashion side, because I now gather that it's a one-shot paint.. Most modern paint "systems" are base/clear sets. I take it that this one is not.

There's a big difference in the base (color) when compared to one-shot paints. The main differences are that A, they never lay down as smooth as one-shot paints since they're made to have a clear topcoat for gloss and depth, and 2, the color base will need to be wet-sanded if not clear coated within a rather narrow window of time.

That's why I've been wondering, since you were having problems with it flowing out, dry lines, etc. I didn't think about spray nozzle size until you mentioned it, since I have a self-contained HVLP paint system that does not use a compressor. It uses a turbine fan, a pressurized cup, and a rather large delivery nozzle, except for fine lacquers, for which I have a separate 1.0 needle and nozzle set.

Plus, I haven't used it in quite a few years now.

Oh, and I'm reasonably sure I've never even met your mother. I just have a rather bizarre sense of humor, and an equally bizarre way of looking at every day things such as words and phrases.

Like "eyesight". What is that? Isn't that the same as "vision"? If you use eyesight, shouldn't "earhear" be a word? Or "mouthspeak"?

Zelandeth Aug 22 2019 11:29 PM

Re: What is happening
Things with paint over here underwent a massive shake up a few years ago when they tightened up the rules on solvent based paints for vehicles. This dodges a lot of those as you're still allowed to provide solvent based stuff for motorcycles, agricultural equipment or for passenger cars *if* they're over 30 years old.

If you're wanting to paint a vehicle newer than that you need to deal with water based base coats and a clear top coat, or "two pack" paint which is essentially a two part system which chemically sets when combined. This system (and somewhat terrifyingly) has one huge drawback - that the stuff is packed full of isocyanates...these are horrifically toxic (cumulatively as well just to add to the fun) chemicals which you CANNOT reasonably filter out with any mask. The ONLY SAFE way to use isocyanate containing paints is to have a full face respirator with a remote air supply. While a lot of the base coats will be safe, almost any modern off-the-shelf clear coat over here will be isocyanate based.

What's downright terrifying is that when the cans on the shelves in the auto parts stores over here changed from acrylic or cellulose based (which you could use quite safely with an A2 filter - or as most of us did - just making sure you had decent air flow and try not to get too high on the fumes!), there was precisely ZERO fanfare. A few words changed on the side of the cans...that was it.

I knew that isocyanates were a danger using two-pack (commonly referred to as 2K) paints you saw at professional body shops, but I only realised in the last couple of months that the clearcoat I'd been using for years contains the horrible stuff as well...and I was aware of the existence of the hazards in principle. The warning is there...buried in the three or four paragraphs...but it's not in any way made clear that it's something you actually need to pay attention to in the real world, and that they really don't just mean "make sure you leave the garage door open while you're painting stuff."

Isocyanate poisoning is a horrible, horrible way to die. I'm utterly staggered - especially given the UK's tendency to be such a horrendous nanny state - that they just overnight made the switch to such a dangerous chemical cocktail on the grounds that it was less environmentally damaging, and yet have left everything still available to the general public.

...I can't go and buy a can of soda with actual sugar in here without hunting down the three or four varieties left because sugar is bad for us and the government have stuck a tax on it so everyone switched to artificial sweeteners...but I can walk into any hardware or auto parts store and walk out with a basket full of cans is isocyanate containing paint without question...that just doesn't sound right somehow.

A gent on one of the forums I'm on found out a year or two that he was suffering from isocyanate poisoning - having totally missed the introduction of these chemicals, and was basically told that the damage is done and there's nothing we can do. His nervous system is essentially being eaten from the inside out, and it will eventually kill him. He's not someone doing this every day, just your average car enthusiast who messes about with things at the weekend and had done the odd bit of paint here and there.

It's frightening as well that it seems to be a complete lottery as to how sensitive folks are to it as well...some people - including the example I just cited - can get very sick from very little exposure. As his doctors said, "some people are just unlucky." In my view, if the stuff is that dangerous, it should be difficult to get hold of for the general public...not on the shelf in every hardware store.

I'm relatively safety conscious...but I only found out about this because I specifically went looking for the information...most people aren't going to do that.

So when I was getting this paint I was very careful to ensure I was getting something that was safe to use with my equipment...and yes, it does behave like old school paint. It's quite thick (recommended dilution with thinners for spraying is 5:1) by modern standards, but that means it also covers quite well. Being a single coat paint it does go on a bit dull, but I suspect will buff up quite nicely when I hit it with the cutting paste and power polisher. I'll be leaving it a week or two to fully harden first though before I even think about that. These cars originally had a very slightly satin finish anyway rather than high gloss...so this isn't actually far from the mark anyway if you're after pure originality in appearance.

One thing I'll need to watch with this if I do give it a polish is to not overheat the paint...metal is a good conductor of heat, so anything built up by the contact between the mop and the surface of the panel tends to dissipate quite rapidly...when polishing a fibreglass car that's not true...fibreglass is quite a good insulator, so it's entirely possible to wind up melting plastic based paints if you're not careful...which would be sub optimal having just spent all that time painting things!

The painting for the most part is done now though! Today was quite gratifying in that it has seen TPA suddenly starting to look like a car again.

While the finish is still abominable up close, at a glance from a distance she almost looks respectable now!




She desperately needs a new set of number plates as they're utterly past it. Being relatively early examples of the "modern style" acrylic plates, they've not weathered terribly well and the originally reflective backing has turned transparent with age.


It's an odd effect I don't think I've seen happen before. Once they're changed though (keeping with the correct pre-2001 typeface of course) and I've cleaned the not inconsiderable amount of overspray from the rear tyres...


...She should pass muster as looking like she belongs on the road rather than the scrap heap I think it's fair to say.

Once the throttle cable turns up I'll get her out and take some better photos in actual daylight.

Or I get fed up of waiting for the new cable (ordered on August 8th...) to turn up and I re-bodge the already bodged cable back on.

The National Microcar Rally is this weekend. It's 120 miles away, on roads I've never seen. The longest trip I've done in TPA so far is 17 miles on roads I know. I have not completely dismissed the possibility of my throwing caution to the wind and trying to drive her there. Especially as I believe that TWC, the car she donated many spares to the restoration of before I took ownership of her, will be there...and it's always great to get the pair back together whenever possible I think as it's just a great conversation starter and a great story. Just goes to show that sometimes no matter how slim a chance a car has of being brought back to life, there can still be hope. This pair of little blue beasties now buzzing (well, screaming is more accurate...the cooling fan sounds like a supercharger!) about the countryside is testament to that.

The photo below was taken when TWC dropped by here on the way to another event a couple of months ago.


Another one has recently been bought by another friend, pictured below, will also hopefully become a somewhat regular visitor to the area.


This car was actually one of a pair that were sold together, the other (I don't have a photo to hand of that one) bought by another friend should bring our numbers to turn up at a few shows when we can coordinate it next year to four...should raise a few eyebrows!

The fun thing I think is that both of that pair look to be cars which their owners actually want to drive and use rather than just lock away in a garage never to be seen again, which sadly is the fate of a lot of survivors of this type of vehicle.

The more miles we get covered the more urban myths about them we can bust hopefully.

Quick addendum:

The National Microcar Rally is actually September 5th-8th. I've no idea where I got this weekend from...

This does make TPA making an appearance *slightly* more feasible.

Hans Aug 23 2019 10:40 AM

Re: What is happening
That's great news about the dogs. Michelle! I hop they will be happy in their new home.

When attending the World Science Fiction Convention Dublin2019 in Dublin, Ireland, last week, I finally had the chance to doa 'pilgrimage' and visit Anne's grave together with her daughter, my wife and two dear friends. Just when we arrived, the sky started to cry and some gentle rain started to fall. What was even more appropriate (and Irish) was that, when we arrived at her final resting place and started reminiscing, talking about the great memories we have of her, a rainbow appeared at exactly the right spot...
I never visit graves, not even of relatives. I'm just not that kind of guy. But since she is not a relative and I only attended her birthday (April 2011) in the year she died (November) 2011, I can now close this chapter. Thank you Anne. You will be forever in my heart and especially remembered by the many, many friendships I made with people all over the world because you came into my life.


Zelandeth Aug 24 2019 07:34 PM

Re: What is happening
With the paint stripping, sanding, soda blasting and painting that has been going on over the last couple of months, TPA's interior was in a right royal state.



While I'm not always that fussy about the state of the outside of a car, a grubby interior will drive me spare in no time flat.

I'm honestly embarrassed to have had to display the car at the Festival of the Unexceptional with the interior in this state, but I just didn't have time to deal with it before that event.

We've some time now though, so let's sort it out.

You think rubber floor mats, you think "easy to clean."

Um...no...the ribbed texture does a fantastic job of capturing every bit of grime and even with a brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner it takes ridiculous amounts of scrubbing to get everything out of the grooves.

I've not discounted the idea of carpeting the floor in future. Nothing showy, would just be a dark neutral coloured cord carpet, same as I'll probably line the roof and transmission cover with to cut down on noise. Now I know of several cars in our neck of the woods all of which are in better shape than mine makes me a bit less reticent to make small improvements like that. Especially keeping in mind a possible long trip next year.

Speaking of long trips - I will NOT be able to make it to the National Microcar Rally. The date clashes with a family birthday and I'm very much required at home on the Sunday as a result. Saturday isn't an option as I've a dentist appointment 75 miles in the wrong direction from here. So it would be at least 1600 in the afternoon before I could get there, even being optimistic about travel times...and I wouldn't be able to stay overnight as I'm needed as of Sunday morning here. So just not happening sadly. Definitely an event I'll keep in the calendar though for next year.

After a couple of hours scrubbing the interior was looking a little more presentable.


Somehow it appeared that the interior surfaces of the doors had been missed when I gave the car the first quick scrub over...much better now.



The area inside the "door pocket" is another area which might get the carpet treatment in the future - not least to reduce the tendency for me to find up with glass fibres embedded in my knuckles when putting stuff in there. Any reduction in drumming would be a coincidental bonus.

I really wish I had a wet and dry vacuum cleaner as the driver's seat could really do with the attention of one. Though given how warm it's forecast to be over the next week I'm considering just taking it out and hitting it with the pressure washer and leaving it in the sun for a few days to dry.

A couple of the cushions in the van lack removable covers too, so it would be really helpful for cleaning those. Oh, and the velour door cards, the driver's one is a bit grey at knee height.

While I had the cleaning supplies out I took the opportunity to give all the glass a good polish to help get rid of any remaining overspray (it got under the paper in a few locations).


This windscreen wiper blade does look much more in keeping with the stylistic period of the car.

Given how much the sweat was pouring off me today (the garage is actually one of the coolest places in the house in the summer due to the lack of windows) and we've got a local forecast even worse at 32C tomorrow, I can't honestly see me getting much done. Might see about getting the silver paint out to touch in a couple of details as I can probably retreat to somewhere cool to do that. Engine cover hinges and air intake grill being the main targets there. Would like to get the bulkhead down at foot level cleaned up from where I dripped paint a while ago when I was tidying up the handlebar yoke.

Really looking forward to getting some driving done again...will be interesting to see how much psychological effect knowing the car is less scruffy at a glance will have on me...reckon it will make it feel far less stressful for me as I won't be silently having to remind myself that the car really is roadworthy, irrespective of what it may have looked like. Bit less shy of showing people the interior now it's less of a tip now.

If I don't immediately die of heatstroke when I step out the front door of the house I may see about refitting my throttle cable. I've soldered my bodged end onto it now, so am declaring it good enough to serve until my package of new cable eventually materialises... assuming it ever does. The end is very slightly frayed though, so not 100% certain it will be possible to get it back through the liner...we'll just have to see.

Enjoyed getting to do some interior valet work though, I always enjoy that sort of thing even though it's something which a lot of folk hate doing.

Zelandeth Aug 25 2019 02:20 PM

Re: What is happening
Today I Managed about half an hour outside before retreating inside due to passing out becoming an increasingly real hazard due to the heat.

Offside rear wheel was target number one. This had lost a lot of paint while on KPL due to a leaking brake wheel cylinder. Nearside one was painted a couple of months ago


Painted and back on the car. Sorry, forgot to get a photo at the intermediary stage.


Next up was the grill covering the engine cooling fan air intake. This was originally bare aluminium, and if I'd realised how easy it was to remove I'd have just taken it off before painting the engine cover...every day's a school day!


It was a bit tarnished anyway so a quick blast of alloy wheel silver wouldn't have gone amiss anyhow. While I had the silver paint out I used a small brush to touch in the hinges on the engine cover silver too. Small details, but they all add up.


That photo does a good job of showing how knackered the rear plate is.


I may switch those hinges out for chromed ones at some point for no reason other than because I can...and so they would match what is on the front.

One thing I cannot seem to find for love nor money is the little metal cap for the number plate light...I know it's in the garage. Somewhere. That is the extent of my knowledge!

Zelandeth Aug 26 2019 06:22 PM

Re: What is happening
Throttle cable refitting was an utter fail.

Turned out that having now soldered my end onto the cable it wouldn't fit in the twist grip any more. De-soldering it to adjust then made the previously crimped on end fall off.

I then managed to drop the back part of the twist grip and watch it disappear down behind a pile of stuff in the garage. Retrieval of this took about half an hour.

I decided to call time at this point before I made things any worse!

Literally as I was walking back inside though I got a notification from Royal Mail saying that my package from China (which I have to assume is my throttle cable kit) has finally been received and is now passing through the UK network...so hopefully I'll have the bits in hand in the next day or so to properly change it anyway rather than bodging things.

Still kicking myself for not just bailing on that order and reverting to an actual UK based seller rather than one which just has UK in their name...never dreamt it would take so long to arrive.

mawra Aug 26 2019 07:51 PM

Re: What is happening
Hope you can make it to the 2021 Worldcon, Hans.

Not a good day. I stepped on glass 7 weeks ago, local Er said glass not still in foot 2 weeks later. Reg Dr said it was it was. Doesn't show up on X ray. Went back to ER a few days ago, foot worse. Once again told something there, but nothing shows up so not glass. I was told clear glass would show up on X rays. Cutting things outnof a foot is not something they do. This time they did tell me that there was 1 podiatrist in Lynchburg that took Medicaid. You have to go through orthopedics clinic. Hospital does NOT refer people there, because they are not part of company that owns hospital.

Ortho says clear glass will NOT show up on X ray. Their podiatrist will remove glass on Friday.

I have not been walking right for 7 weeks, so left knee is hurting. I have bad headache & miss my boys. Spent of the day in bed. As soon as I get Mom settled I am going back to bed.
I just don't want to people today, or most days.

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