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Old Mar 19 2022, 10:40 AM   #201
Zelandeth
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Well there hasn't been much by way of updates since the inspection of the V123, simply because there hasn't been much going on. Between the weather being pretty dismal and my just generally lacking energy it's been difficult to find the enthusiasm to really do much. With the better weather over the last couple of days though I managed to kick myself into actually do something useful.

I really wanted to get this lot fitted to the Invacar.



I had no intention of having this turn into a complete carb rebuild given that it had been for the most part behaving itself. I just wanted to try to get rid of the habit it had of dribbling fuel all over itself and the inlet manifold. The main culprits for this I was pretty certain were the gaskets under the top cover and accelerator pump housing. Plenty of access to both of these with the carb in situ, just need to detach the choke cable and unthread the linkage between the choke flap and the throttle arm.



I took the opportunity to blow the float bowl out with the air line and to clean the main jet while the float bowl was empty. There was a fair bit of scaly residue on the jet which wouldn't have been helping anything. This is a pretty good demonstration of how even with a completely new fuel system over time just the normal evaporation of fuel will leave residues. Given how small the jets in this carb are it doesn't take much to cause issues.

When comparing the new and old gaskets next to each other it was pretty obvious visually how much the original top cover gasket had shrunk and distorted with age.



The new gasket is about twice the thickness of the old one too.

The gasket on the accelerator pump housing definitely shows evidence of the fact that it's the one thing I didn't take apart when I cleaned the carb (as I didn't have a replacement gasket or any gasket paper on hand). There was quite a bit of gunk in there.



That was blown out with substantial amounts of carb cleaner and compressed air before I put the cover back on.

With it all back together it was immediately apparent that this had made a difference. The engine started much more easily than usual from cold and the idle was more even. My hunch is that there was an air leak around that tiny drilling near the centre.

A quick test run round the block showed we had definitely improved the fuel seepage issue. The whole carb would have been wet before.



Still a little bit damp around the base of the carb which I think must be coming through the throttle shaft itself. There doesn't seem to be any excessive play in there so I'm inclined to just leave it alone for now.

I decided this was a good time to bust out this bit of kit and to see if I could get the idle mixture set a bit more accurately.





Imagine this can only be slightly newer than the car.

I've found this is a tricky one to set up by ear. There are two reasons for this: One is that there's about half a turn on the idle air screw between stinking rich and so lean it falls on its face and stalls if you so much as breathe on the throttle. Secondly is that because of the length of the intake path for such a small engine (I'm sure the hard 90 degree bend right after the carb does wonders for gas flow...) means that there's quite a substantial delay between you making an adjustment and the engine reacting. I also found that the idle tended to wander enough on its own to make it hard to judge. So "good enough" was where I left it before.

The hope was that this would allow me to see better what I was actually doing.



Turns out that at idle she was waaaaaaaaay lean, at about 2% CO. Which for an injected car wouldn't be far off, but for an old school engine like this is way off.

A bit of experimentation revealed that she seemed happiest with it set to around 5.5% - which if memory serves is about where my old Metros were happiest too (hence the ritual of having to back the mixture off a couple of turns before the MOT every year).



The emissions test for an engine of this age is simply a visual smoke check, the 4.5% limit not applying until a few years later. Though I will need to check after a couple of hundred miles to make sure we're not risking fouling plugs.

Throttle response off idle seems to be a lot snappier now - though still a bit slow compared to most engines simply on account of the heavy flywheel.

Something this car has always had a substantial dislike for was driving on a very light throttle, for example at a steady 30-40mph. This would tend to be interspersed now and then with a brief loss of power, a sneeze back through the carb then normal service being resumed. Even though I'm used to it it's something which never stopped being unnerving. It has tended to result in me using something of an "coast and burn" approach when driving at these speeds so as to avoid that behaviour.

Well I did upwards of 50 miles yesterday under various conditions and didn't have that happen once. Not calling it fixed yet, but definitely improved.

I think mainly due to the better sealed carb than my twiddling of things (which shouldn't affect anything much once the engine is under enough load to be drawing from the main rather than idle circuit in the carb, though there is some interaction) it definitely *feels* like she is able to maintain 50-60mph more easily. I guess the best test there will be to take a run up the hill towards Olney and see how far it drops. Absolutely feels zippier up to 40 or so though, despite I'm absolutely sure the difference on paper being minuscule.

One thing that is visible is that trundling around town she is definitely running a touch cooler, which ties in with the indication from the exhaust gas analyser that the engine was running lean.



Reckon we've knocked maybe 20C or so off, haven't been out on a longer high speed run to see if that's carried over to that sort of situation too - though expecting less change there.

One of my main jobs for this weekend definitely needs to be sourcing the missing bits for my air cleaner. I'm absolutely not proud of this bodge fest.



I've had two separate people who likely have one who have gone totally unresponsive for a couple of weeks now so I'm giving up and just going to pick one up from a commercial outfit. Have to admit I'm curious to try one of the "normal" air cleaner housings anyway and see if they tame down the induction noise a bit. It is quite obtrusive anywhere above 50 or so and is the sort of noise that gets quite tiresome after a while. I figure the larger internal volume of the normal housing might act as a bit of a muffler. We have never been able to figure out why TPA (well, KPL actually as that's the car the engine came from) was fitted with a shorter than standard air cleaner housing - nor have we ever found another car with the same one, though it doesn't *look* like it's been modified.

Was really nice to get the car out again though, spent too long just sitting in the garage.









Couple of hundred miles off the 3000 mile mark now. The current list of things in my head to be included with the service that will come up at that point.

[] Resecure nearside rear wheel tub to the chassis. I've noted that whole corner wobbles about a fair bit and I'm sure that's not helping with the amount of bodywork rattling going on.

[] Sort out the damage to the rear of said wheel tub to prevent the ignition coil getting drenched every time I hit a vaguely damp bit of road. How it's not protested yet I have no idea.

[] Go over the car end to end checking basically every fastener I can find - if the air cleaner worked itself loose there's every chance other things may have too. I'd rather not have mission critical things randomly falling off.

[] Adjust the valve clearances. I put that off at the last service because the weather was horrible...no excuse there other than pure laziness.

[] End-to-end check of the brake lines. I spotted one bit up front where one had been rubbing against the frame, I'd rather not have that going on. Deploy additional clips as necessary.

[] Adjust brake free play.

[] Order another indicator flasher unit. The one I fitted recently had a really annoying "feature" in that there was a good 2 second delay between you turning the indicators on and them doing anything...this made signalling on roundabouts an exercise in forward planning. So I nicked the one off the C5. I need to replace it now of course.

[] Actually check to see what my ignition timing is set to (not that I can do anything about it), but it would just be nice to know what the initial and total timing I have is set to. Really do wonder how much difference having vacuum advance available would make. Know it's something that 2CV folks suggest makes quite a big difference there. Moot point really given my distributor seems precisely as stuck in place in the block as seems to be standard on these engines.

[] Investigate an electronic voltage regulator for the charging system. I know the system is never going to be great just given the limitations of the dynastart, but I've heard a few people say the modern regulators have vastly improved the behaviour of systems on cars with traditional generators, so seems worth a look.

[] She really could do with a wash...honestly can't remember when that last happened! Hoping to get to at least one or two shows this year so would be nice to have the car clean at least.
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Old Mar 20 2022, 06:16 PM   #202
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Time to do a bit more investigation into the EGR system issue we've been having with the Caddy.

A friend came over with a half decent diagnostic tool a while ago and we confirmed that there were two codes stored.

01283 - Motor for intake manifold flap (V157) - Sporadic - Open/short circuit to ground.

Also P1441 - EGR Valve (N18) Open circuit or short to ground...but that's because I have unplugged it as the system is plainly misbehaving at the moment. So that code is expected.

Not expecting it to make any difference but it seemed worth cleaning up the intake manifold throttle valve which I'm assuming is something to do with the EGR system as I can't see why else you would have a throttle on the intake path on a diesel. Well other than the flapper on the old Detroit 2-strokes - but that was an emergency stop feature rather than something used in normal day to day operation.

If anyone knows these SDI engines inside out I'd be curious to know what the theory of operation for this and the whole EGR etc is. I've virtually zero experience with diesels involving any real level of electronic control and even less with direct injection systems...so I'm interested to learn.

The one thing I do know though is that diesel EGR systems make a horrible mess...like this.



Intake manifold itself looks somewhat grim too compared to what I'm used to, but to be honest isn't that bad - I've seen cars where there's like a half inch thick crust on all sides.



I will probably pull this at some point and give it a thorough clean as I want to give the top of the engine a good clean and the inlet manifold is kind of in the way.

I noticed when pulling the throttle assembly that it rather conspicuously rattles which is rarely a good sign.

I wouldn't really call it clean but it's a whole lot better than it was.



Unsurprisingly absolutely no different. The once-per-second engine speed "twitch" is back, and huge clouds of unburned diesel out the back on light throttle.



Until I unplug the EGR solenoid, at which point it goes into whatever fallback mode it has, just leaves that intake throttle open and idles smoothly and stops smoking.

Given that we have a definite fault code stored for this assembly I think it's the first thing we need to try to sort. One other reason I pulled it out was to find a part number, helpfully stamped on the front...but I completely missed and thought it was underneath. Derp.



A quick look at the internet did turn up a few immediately matches.



Ouch.

A bit further digging turned up a (supposedly) good used one for £30. We'll try that first I think. If that doesn't at least change the behaviour a bit of further digging will be needed. This may end up being a "get a specialist involved" job at that point, though at least VWs are reasonably well catered for in that department.

For now the EGR solenoid has been unplugged again to eliminate the James Bond style smoke screen - though obviously that's not a long term solution and I'm not a fan of running like that anyway.

One of the very first thing that happens to virtually every car to arrive on my driveway is a decent clean...the poor Caddy was washed for the first time since I got it this afternoon, two and a half months and nearly 3000 miles in. I feel guilty!







Getting a bit of paint on the wheels and the front bumper will make a big difference I reckon.

I don't think areas like the door shuts had ever been cleaned since the day it left the factory. Still needs properly wiped down in there, but looks a lot better.







There's a lot of light scratches in the paint all over, but I'm not too bothered about that given my intention once the few rusty bits have been attended to I'd like to get it either wrapped or painted anyway. The Harlequin idea is still my favourite. I'm still really quite liking the little van too so that's still very much on the cards.

This was the first real test for the new pressure washer.



I really wish I'd bought this thing about 15 years sooner. So, so much better than the cheap electric ones. Aside from the power available from an 8hp petrol engine, just having 20 odd metres of hose to work with makes life so much easier. Also doesn't matter if the odd bit of spray goes towards it, I don't have to worry about extension cables getting wet and our overly twitchy RCD plunging half the house into darkness.

The onboard detergent tank is definitely on the list of things you don't need but is really nice to have too. Especially if cleaning something the size of the camper where just drowning the whole thing in snowfoam is basically step one after a rinse.

I'm glad to report that having blasted a substantial amount of moss and organic slime out of the seal between the windscreen pillar and driver's door closure that the annoying whistling noise at speed from that general area has vanished. Wish I'd done that *before* driving all the way to Glasgow and back...
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Old Mar 21 2022, 06:40 PM   #203
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They clean brick driveways really well also.
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Old Mar 21 2022, 10:50 PM   #204
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I can feel for you, was thinking of you, and the rest of those 'acrosts the pod' and here in NA,. I have been getting reading some stuff set in UK, so its nice to be back on line for a bit.

I shall have to read therest of the post when I am not so tired, first day b back online after having my computer llaptop in the shop , and finding part of my problem was a burt oa port l,, and its wasn't lettingmy computer driver printer/scanner talk with my new text as prined text to spreach softweare, so That was making me b very unhappy. Glad to be back
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Old Mar 22 2022, 12:31 AM   #205
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Ginny, you're back! great to hear from you again!
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Old Mar 24 2022, 08:46 PM   #206
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

A suggestion was made on another forum that the issue I was having with the Caddy could be down to that throttle unit having lost track of its home position so was closing too far, choking off too much of the air supply. That fit pretty well with the symptoms I was seeing. The tinge of blue to the smoke as well, as it's basically resulting in a shedload of vacuum being applied to both the EGR and PCV systems.

The suggestion to try in that case was to physically remove the throttle plate from the assembly...figured I'd nothing to lose really as it will be getting replaced anyway.

What do you know? It only went and worked. We now have a non-surging, non-smoking engine even with this connected back up.



Which is nice as it means the engine is running the correct timing curve again. It was really obvious that when it was disconnected that the injection timing was significantly altered, making the engine far more clattery at idle/light throttle. When the new throttle assembly arrives we'll see if it behaves as the designer intended.

As the weather was nice today I had TPA out again. Probably the most unusual thing to pop up on the ANPR camera used for charging in the Brunel Centre car park today.



It really does seem that having tweaked the mixture more towards the rich side of things has got rid of the occasional tendency for the car to spit back through the carb. That's two afternoons of use now without it happening once, and I'd usually have expected it to have done it at least once or twice in that time. Throttle response under very light load feels far more predictable too (though the CVT always makes it feel a bit "strange" compared to a car with a conventional drive setup). So I'm tentatively calling that a win I think.

Before I put the car back in the garage I decided to satisfy my curiosity and see what the timing is actually set to. For all the time this takes there's really no reason for me not to have checked this before.

Dab of paint marker to make the marks easier to see. Especially as there's a nick in the outer pulley from me having to cut off the old engine mount which does a good job of looking like a timing mark.



Then out with the timing light.

Our results show that at idle we have 15° advance.



By sheer fluke I managed to catch the marks aligned in that photo if you look closely.

Rising to a maximum of 43° at somewhere around 4000rpm. I didn't actually have the tach set up so that's based purely on Mark I Ear. That actual number is less critical anyway as I recalled the manual didn't actually give a total timing measurement anyway, but it was a good opportunity to make sure the centrifugal advance mechanism was working smoothly.



That 15° is rather a lot more advanced than the manual calls for...



Especially as the amendment there seems to suggest they were basically setting things up for zero advance...I know they were running on two star fuel, but even so...

15° sounds a reasonable number to me, though I've not a huge amount of experience messing with this sort of thing. Definitely sounds better than zero!

Not a lot I can do by way of adjustment anyway given the distributor housing is well seized into the crankcase, but nice to know the timing is in a sane looking ballpark. Given she seems to be running well I don't see much reason to worry about that bit of the system any further other than keeping tabs on maintaining it.
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Old Mar 25 2022, 10:15 AM   #207
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Just took one of our cars down the road to a good place called Car Care Clinic for an oil change and tire rotation. In the small parking lot was a rather small Rolls Royce with a lovely hood ornament. I said to Jeff that I wonder if that is real or if the owners removed the original and put on a reproduction. I would think those things could be expensive and collector's items. A few years back Jeff found me an original Jaguar hood ornament mounted on a piece of black marble, my Christmas gift. I always wanted a Jaguar and asked for the ornament as a cheaper and easier to maintain alternative. I will not be asking for a Rolls hood ornament!
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Old Mar 25 2022, 09:57 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla View Post
Just took one of our cars down the road to a good place called Car Care Clinic for an oil change and tire rotation. In the small parking lot was a rather small Rolls Royce with a lovely hood ornament. I said to Jeff that I wonder if that is real or if the owners removed the original and put on a reproduction. I would think those things could be expensive and collector's items. A few years back Jeff found me an original Jaguar hood ornament mounted on a piece of black marble, my Christmas gift. I always wanted a Jaguar and asked for the ornament as a cheaper and easier to maintain alternative. I will not be asking for a Rolls hood ornament!
It's slightly scary how massive a Rolls doesn't look these days compared to modern cars. The hood ornament though is worth a pretty penny - which is why so many project cars don't have them as they tend to get sold off first!

-- -- --

Can you spot what's different in this picture?



Probably not...I finally went and got the tracking reset so the steering wheel is now straight. This also means I'm not fighting continually with the indicator self cancelling mechanism every time I'm trying to turn right at a roundabout.

Thanks to VW's genius decision to position all the warning lights along the very bottom edge of the instrument panel that also meant I couldn't see any of them to the left of the brake warning light before when travelling straight ahead. Given that included things like the oil pressure and coolant temperature warnings I was somewhat enthusiastic to sort that. While I hope I never see those while driving, if they ever were to pop up I'd far rather see them than miss them.

This also gave me my first chance to get a proper look at the underside of the van. It's actually astonishingly fresh under there for the most part. The only area that's crusty unsurprisingly for a wheelchair conversion is the dropped floor section which needs some TLC.



Those rear axle brake hoses are looking quite crusty on the ferrules as well, kind of surprised they didn't get at least a mention on the last MOT.

Definitely need to get that rear area cleaned back and protected, but overall I'm quite happy with how she looked underneath.

The design of the modified exhaust is daft though. All of the hangers are just of the straight bar type rather than hooks, so there's nothing to stop it from sliding left to right - which is why it does clank against the floor sometimes, especially turning sharp left. Have to have a think about that somewhere down the line (as I'll probably want to drop the tailpipe at least to deal with the rust around it), just heating up and bending the hangers a little to put a bit of preload on it should do it I think.
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Old Mar 26 2022, 06:39 PM   #209
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Had the opportunity to have a very brief look over the Cavalier today. I'd not seen the car since the end of September if I remember rightly, so wanted to see how kind the winter hadn't been. I also hoped to get it running for a few minutes as I'd only had about 30 seconds run time before before we ran out of fuel.

Not too bad seemed to be the assessment. The interior I had expected to be mouldy and musty as I know there's a hole in the battery tray, but seemed absolutely fine.

The bulge in the nearside front tyre has evidently gone "pop" at some point over the winter so that wasn't holding air. Other three seem fine. Can't say I'm too surprised as it looked pretty nasty when I last saw it.

We dug the spare out for examination and it seems to be holding air just fine, so will get that swapped over shortly.

In retrieving the spare wheel I had to retract my comment about the interior having stayed surprisingly dry as the boot was a different story!



Well at least we know there aren't holes in the boot floor! It had been draining via the bung for the fuel line it looks like.

With bungs pushed out on both sides the water was convinced to vacate the premises.



Took an impressively long time to drain through two 1" holes.

With a bit of fresh fuel she started right up just fine, though we did find a fuel leak on the line from the tank to the plastic (nylon?) line under the car. Cutting back the end and stuffing it back on didn't sort it as the line has had it - attempting to do that resulted in me ending up wearing probably about a gallon of fuel. It tastes precisely as unpleasant as I remembered. Six hours, much scrubbing of hands, a hot shower and complete change of clothing and I still smell of petrol.

Will just need to replace that bit of flexible hose. All of it will want changing in due course anyway (including the plastic semi-rigid lines as I don't know what sort of plastic they are or whether they will play nicely with ethanol) so it's a good place to start.

Not properly checking for leaks after putting the first half a can of fuel in was a rookie mistake. Though in fairness I didn't realise the tank is tapped off the bottom until after I spotted the drip.

Didn't stop us being able to let the engine run for a bit though, just long enough for the thermostat to start opening - at which point I noted the (automatic) choke was still on a bit so blipped the throttle...and the engine cut out and refused to restart.

A little detective work quickly revealed that we had lost spark, apparently because the points were stuck open. Sadly I was out of time then so had to head for home. Right up till then though she seemed to be running happily, though quite tappety as I remembered from last time. Anyone remember if these have adjustable rockers, or do you need to faff about with shims?

I'll make a run over there in the next few days to get the wheel swapped over, replace that bit of dodgy fuel line and clean the points - that should be the car pretty much ready for transportation then I think.

I mean it could be moved now, but having four inflated tyres and being actually running always makes things easier.
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Old Mar 28 2022, 07:12 AM   #210
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Put together a bit of a to do/shopping list for the Cavalier. Very high level really at this point.

[] Sort brakes - unless they're hard to find figuring on just replacing both front calipers as at least one of them is thoroughly seized. Discs are shot too. I'll measure them, but there's a substantial lip so I'm guessing they're beyond refacing.

Rears I'll wait and see. Personally I've had pretty good luck so far with drums surviving disuse, but they'll need to come apart for inspection anyway.

All flexible lines will be changed, along with any rigid lines that look in any way suspect.

[] Replace all rubber and plastic fuel lines. No idea if the plastic section is ethanol safe, so it'll have to go.

[] Carb *at least* given a thorough clean.

[] Ignition system full service. We know the points are finicky as they caused headaches when it was being revived in the summer and have just dropped out on me again. It'll get an externally mounted polypropylene film condenser fitted like I did on the Invacar so I don't need to faff about with the modern automotive ones which last about five minutes.

[] Figure out where the ten gallons of so of water I just drained out of the boot got in and convince it to cut it out.

[] Try to come up with a more period correct looking solution for the centre console/gear lever as the bits of 80s Manta just look ridiculous.

[] Install a stereo. There's already been holes cut in the parcel shelf so I've no reason not to use them. Won't be anything daft don't worry.

[] Weld up the hole in the front chassis rail.

[] Replace missing exhaust tailpipe.

[] Try to get the worst dents out of the nearside doors. For the benefit of our neighbours that'll probably be one of the first things done.

[] Four new tyres (the spare actually looks fine, and having been stored in the boot hasn't been exposed to UV etc, so it will probably be left alone) as even though they generally look fine aside from the NSF they're 15 years old. Being probably the single most safety critical part of the car, just doesn't make sense to take chances.

[] Road test, see what that adds to the snagging list.

-- Borrow (or buy) a car roller so I can get at the underside better

[] Weld up the hole on the inner sill.

[] Thoroughly rust proof the underbody.

[] MOT.

... Hopefully enjoy driving it!


-- -- --

Got the new intake throttle body installed on the Caddy yesterday.



This is behaving very differently to the one I took off, so there was definitely something amiss with it. This sharply flips open/closed precisely in time with the EGR solenoid cycling - though you can only tell it's doing this if the intake hose is off. So the old one was definitely acting up. It used to close fully and then just twitch open very slightly (which was the surging you could hear). That's why it was smoking, as the air intake was basically being totally cut off.

With everything assembled as the factory intended we had a smooth idle and no smoke.

For reference, this part number looks to be used on a plethora of models in 1.9SDI, 1.9TDi and 2.0TDi versions.

Everything was then put back together properly and we went out for a longer test drive. Shown here just before I put the air intake hose back on for the second time as I got it misaligned the first time.



I did manage to launch the intake hose clip for the air filter end a good twenty or thirty feet straight up in the air while trying to compress it. I still hate those spring clips. Thankfully this one just went vertically up so I caught it. I did have a moment of panic where I thought it was going to land on the company car parked next to me.

That throttle plate sitting on the battery is definitely from the old throttle body, by the way...

Be interesting to see with it running the correct timing map without logging sporadic error codes etc if the economy changes at all, though it's managing mid 40s already which around here I consider to be pretty good anyway.
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Old Mar 28 2022, 06:25 PM   #211
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Just curious, Zel. did you folks get the Scion xB/Toyota BB imported over there? I don't know much about the Toyota BB other than it wasn't imported to the US and a lot of the parts interchange with the Scion xB, but are not the same. When BB parts like front end and grilles can be found, they make a change-up in style for the xB. The xB first generation was 2004 to '06, and they have an almost cult-like following. I think they would be quite the car for use over there.

We've had all 3 years of the first gen... guess you could say we've collected the set, just not at the same time. I really like the cars. I think they're like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside than the outside.
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Old Mar 28 2022, 06:43 PM   #212
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Well I have have loved how mymy dad has used his 'Cheap" Jeep, its a '84 c4 Wanger I think, I wish I could recall right, JCWittlly was catolog that he used he needs a new door for it, on thenot on the driver side, sorry my calm spell is starting to loose some steam, starmy weather is effecting me, but getting back to my post, He has used it, and a different car to learn how to used his paint gun, and roofing tin scraps, to fix it, with a bit o other stuff and a lot of pop ribits, He has turn old m old mudflaps that couldn't fit a big rig, but fit his jeep , added a few 'outlines of ladys' and their you go, He has also used trucking light s in other spots, running lights ,, boatwriering too. the type that you connect a trailer to your car or truck. its ended up in a few different places along the way. Note I think I shall stop here, before I say more, outside the first try to paint with his gun, the car looked like a blue golf ball was covering it LOL at that memory, got the paint not quite right, much better on the Jeep.
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Old Mar 30 2022, 06:55 AM   #213
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Just curious, Zel. did you folks get the Scion xB/Toyota BB imported over there? I don't know much about the Toyota BB other than it wasn't imported to the US and a lot of the parts interchange with the Scion xB, but are not the same. When BB parts like front end and grilles can be found, they make a change-up in style for the xB. The xB first generation was 2004 to '06, and they have an almost cult-like following. I think they would be quite the car for use over there.

We've had all 3 years of the first gen... guess you could say we've collected the set, just not at the same time. I really like the cars. I think they're like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside than the outside.
That's not one we ever got officially imported here. There are a few privately imported examples around but it was never actually sold here.

They have always looked well thought out cars to me. Kind of like a bigger version of the Nissan Cube (which was also never sold here, yet were privately imported from Japan in sufficient numbers that they're not that rare a sight).
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Old Mar 30 2022, 11:10 AM   #214
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That's not one we ever got officially imported here. There are a few privately imported examples around but it was never actually sold here.

They have always looked well thought out cars to me. Kind of like a bigger version of the Nissan Cube (which was also never sold here, yet were privately imported from Japan in sufficient numbers that they're not that rare a sight).
The Nissan was AFTER the Scion, as was the Kia and one or two others. The Scion was the original Toaster on Wheels. The first gen. cars, the ones with the almost cult-like following (2004 to 2006) are the ones that inspired ALL the others. The Nissan Cube didn't appear until 2009.

As I said, it's a Toyota product. Toyota did well; they thought about the design, looked at everything they had done up to that point, and followed the First Law of Mechanics: If It Works, DON'T Fix It! They used the engine/drivetrain that had been in production the longest, tried and true, did the minimal changes necessary to make it work in their new vehicle, and work, it did. It's basically a Toyota Camry in disguise. You treat a Camry properly, give it regular oil changes, keep to the recommended maintenance schedules, and they're good for 300,000+ miles.

Our Box (as aficionados call the xB) has over 220,000 on it and shows no sign of giving up any time in the foreseeable future. Just took it from our Ozark Mountains home to Kansas. Remember, this is a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder SOHC in a package that has a frontal area like a small barn door, so heading into the wind in almost horizontal rain WILL reduce the fuel efficiency. Trust me, it did. But other than that, we regularly get 30 MPG and up out of our TARDIS.
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Old Apr 2 2022, 10:59 PM   #215
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Finally getting around to addressing one of the things which has been bugging the heck out of me in the Caddy since day one.



The gear lever gaiter has had it. It's shrunk so there's no way to get it to stay on the clip at the top and there are two holes in it anyway. It's just past it. The interior is generally really surprisingly tidy so this really sticks out like a sore thumb.

Used ones are generally all just as bad, yet eBay sellers still want £30-50 for for some reason.

So we've gone for a third party one priced at a more reasonable £15. We'll see how awful quality it is or isn't when it gets here. If it's hopeless I will probably just end up making a new one, it's hardly a complicated bit of construction. Basically just four triangular pieces of fake leather stitched together. Nothing I can't recreate with a sewing machine and a tatty leather jacket from a charity shop.

This is the other matter I need to investigate in more depth.

https://youtu.be/8ZHJGSk_t9I

There's a bit of free play in the steering. This feels like in the column rather than rack or track rod ends. So I need to get the trim under the dash out so I can see the UJs down there while I get a helper to move the wheel.

I will do that checking the track rod ends first though as they're easier to get to!

I do need to check it's not something dead simple like the steering wheel being slightly loose on the splines too as there is a little fore and aft play in it.

I wouldn't say no to finding a leather trimmed wheel either, as the Caddy has the really hard plastic one which A: isn't that nice to hold, and B: Is really quite slippery. Shouldn't be too hard to find one at least given the amount of vehicles it was shared with.
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Old Apr 6 2022, 01:30 PM   #216
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This arrived in the post this morning.



Given the state of the fasteners I opted to leave it soaking in penetrating oil for a few hours while I got on with other things.



After a few hours I returned to it. Took a lot of very careful backwards and forwards spinning of the nut to clean the threads, but it did come off without snapping or stripping anything.

What felt like an eternity huge of shaking and blowing through the housing with the air line then followed. There was a lot of crud floating around inside it and there's no way to dismantle it to really gain access. Eventually it stopped rattling or producing clouds of rust and was in a state I was happy enough to fit it.



Will want a bit of paint at some point but that's hardly a priority.

One last detail I needed to deal with was the support rod which should sit between a tab on the filter housing and an eye on the inlet manifold below it. My original filter didn't have this and it had rusted away to nothing on the replacement.

This doesn't need to be massively strong, it's mainly there I think to discourage the filter assembly from vibrating too much. After a bit of a rummage round the garage I opted for a bit of 10mm microbore copper pipe.



Couple of holes drilled to match the mounting points and that's a job done.







Engine bay looking a bit more like most people expect now.

Goes without saying that copper pipe isn't something to be used for anything structurally important, but for a small anti-vibration brace it'll be fine. The housing is clamped directly metal to metal on the carb, so it's not like there's any real degree of flex available anyway.

The support will get a coat of paint as well when I give the air cleaner housing a going over. I don't actually have any suitable paint in stock just now, so it'll just have to wait.

The end result though is the air cleaner assembly being robustly held in place, which is what we were after.

It was interesting to compare the original air cleaner to the "normal" Steyr Puch/Invacar one.

Well, *nearly* normal Steyr Puch one anyway. In pretty much all other applications the filter seems to face to the right rather than left. My guess as to why this was done is for packaging reasons. If it faced to the left it would make installation of the engine as a pre-assembled unit more difficult. The proximity of that brace I've got my fuel filter attached to would make changing the filter a real faff too.

The "stubby" filter I have does seem to be something of an anomaly though.



My gut feeling is that someone modified this housing sometime goodness only knows how many years ago. Possibly in the search for more power, given how much smaller the intake port on the original style housing is.





A lot of work to go to though...and if you're doing that why would you leave a ridge round the edge still shading half the filter element surface?

It's a lot of effort for someone to have gone to though. There is definitely at least one sign of differences to the standard filter assembly too, in the form of the filter retaining plate.

The original one I had (which made the successful break for freedom a few weeks ago) just sat in the centre of the air cleaner element, the outer edges were left exposed.



Whereas the one I just fitted completely covers the outer face of the filter element.



You can also see how much of the filter element was tucked away behind the housing before.

Would be really interesting to know if someone had altered the old filter housing, and if so to what end. We'll never know, but you have to wonder.

Suffice to say I *have* now fitted a jam-nut on the cleaner retaining bolt! Ensuring it isn't winding itself off will become part of the regular checks.

I will be curious to see if this makes any difference to behaviour when driving. Both in terms of power delivery and in helping calm the intake noise a bit as at speed that could be really quite obtrusive.

Time will tell I suppose!
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Old Apr 6 2022, 10:26 PM   #217
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Well my folks have done a bit of DYI sewing mmostly my mom, boy do I recall her with some aid from me or dad replacing the cover on a snowbeamal and making the cover of a Ice fishing fishing sshacke , which goes from a sled to a what it needs to be and hold s three folks and fits on the boat trailer real nice,, sometime I am going to have to post that one for I get a bbig grin out of that one. Even affter all these years its working nice. more later.
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Old Apr 8 2022, 10:25 PM   #218
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

As I've mentioned before something which had been bothering me on the Caddy for a while was that something in the vicinity of the aux belt was quite noisy. The belt while only a year old was also looking quite tired, with a lot of scuffing on the outer surface.



It actually looked quite a bit worse in person than the photo makes it look.

My main suspect was the tensioner, both because the pulley looked really badly rust pitted and because it seemed to get red hot when the engine was running.



There's also a very distinct groove worn where the belt runs. I'm pretty certain it was sitting cock eyed too and that's not just a trick of the camera. I could never quite decide looking at it in person.

A new tensioner assembly, idler pulley (I figured if you're pulling things apart and taking the belt off it just made sense to do both) and belt weren't expensive, and were available within an hour from my usual motor factor.



I did take a look at fitting it myself, but with how limited access is I could see it being the sort of job I'd run out of patience with in a hurry. Especially given how stupidly strong the spring is. So that was farmed out to a local garage that was recommended by a friend.

That was fitted earlier today, and that area looks a good deal more respectable now.



It's made things much quieter...I hadn't realised there was a distinct rattle coming from that area as well as the whiney hiss of an unhappy bearing. I forgot to grab the box from behind the passenger seat to actually take a look at the old parts to see how knackered they were, that'll have to wait until tomorrow.

This did present me with a slight logistical challenge though as my intended lift to get back from the garage became unavailable at quite short notice, and it's a place that's just a random industrial warehouse in the middle of a farm, so not exactly well connected to public transport.

Helpfully a friend had a car in there that was ready to pick up having just had some work done, and they suggested I just swap them over and we could figure out the automotive Tetris to get everyone and every car back in the right driveways at our leisure afterwards.

Some of you who've been reading my waffling for a while may remember this one.



It's the rules that you're not allowed to show a photo of this car without the interior too...





That dash is utterly bonkers but actually works really well in practice.

Despite being really rough in a few areas, I absolutely love this thing. It's that perfect blend of having a lovely wafty comfy ride and nice squidgy seats, yet somehow the moment you present it with a corner just seems to dig in and grip like hell. Really has a surprising turn of pace too if you call for it - even despite this one having lost the original twin carb setup during its long hibernation prior to being resurrected a couple of years ago.

This Lancia visited me a year or so back to try to address a running issue and to replace all the instrument panel illumination bulbs as only about 20% of them were working.

The illumination issue was easily sorted, but I never did fully get to the bottom of the running issue, which I had assumed to be carb related. I did get it running *better* but not right.

Turns out I had been a complete and utter idiot in fixating on the carb. For no particularly good reason my brain had just decided that someone must already have been through the ignition system, but the carb was known to have relatively recently been dragged out of a long hibernation in a box in a garage...yes, you guessed it...we had an ignition problem.

This was mostly fixed by someone working on the car after me. I noticed pretty much as soon as I set off from the garage today though that it still wasn't quite right. It would pull like a train if you gave it a decent press of the throttle, but was really lumpy on light throttle and was obviously still missing erratically at idle. Nevertheless, it was more than driveable...and I was quite enjoying wafting about for about an hour.

Right up until about 30 seconds away from home, at which point things went all Lancia.



The engine cut out. No stuttering, just off as though I'd turned the key. Conveniently I was heading downhill at the time so just rolled the last 30 seconds or so and slotted into the driveway under gravity.

My hunch based on how it felt was that we had lost spark. A quick check confirmed this hypothesis as correct. Absolutely nothing. The question of course then became *why* there wasn't any spark. Didn't take long for me to find a prime suspect as touching the ignition coil resulted in me just about losing my fingerprints as it was absolutely roasting hot (I hadn't left it sitting with the ignition on or anything). Time to grab a meter and see what it could tell us about the condition of the coil.

While it varies depending on the exact setup, as a rule the vast majority of 12V ignition coils will have a primary winding resistance of less than 5 ohms. For a basic go/no go test the exact number isn't important...just a number in that sort of ballpark.



Our suspect coil here had a primary resistance of 95K ohms...as in 95,000. That's rather a lot more than 5. Pretty conclusively dead.

It's no big secret that my garage is full of junk. As such I was pretty sure I still had a spare coil floating around from back from when I did the fuel injection conversion on the Lada (I mean, who doesn't?). Question was whether it would still be where I thought it was after three or four years...



Drumroll...



Yay!

No idea precisely how closely matched to the original it is, but they're both from cars with hall effect and amplifier based systems so should be close enough for testing purposes anyway. Given the shared Fiat DNA I'd be surprised if they're not pretty much a direct match anyway.

Cue a bit of improvisation to find a convenient bolt to secure it to (the secondary winding grounds through the case so that's important) for testing.



This had indeed restored spark, albeit not a very strong one. The car did now run, but very roughly. What was getting to the plugs seemed far worse than what we had from the coil though...so a bit more investigation was needed.

Few things were found to be an issue right off the bat.

Firstly, the distributor cap terminals aren't the right type for these HT leads.



Secondly there's clearly damage to one of the wiper contacts in the connector to the distributor pickup.



This doesn't actually seem to be affecting it, but if I can lay my hands on the bag of random scavenged connectors and wiring "misc" in the garage I'll replace this. While it's working now that sort of thing is just asking to be a liability longer term. Especially as it no longer securely clips together in addition to the damaged contact.

I very nearly wasted a lot of time then...but just caught myself and told myself to check the basics first...and actually pull the distributor cap off for a proper look. Just because it's nearly new doesn't mean it can't be faulty.

Anyone see something wrong with this picture?



Uuuh...



Well that won't be helping anything. There should be a spring loaded graphite contact post in the middle there, like the one in the original cap which helpfully was in the boot still.



Comparing the two caps side by side shows the new one to be a hair taller than the original (though it's possible that is just in the external moulding), and the new rotor arm was a good 1mm shorter from the contact point to tip.



The old cap also has the correct terminals to receive this type of HT lead.



Swapping these back over resulted in the car running the best I've seen so far, but still not right. Especially at lower engine speeds the spark is still slightly intermittent, and just generally seems weaker than I would expect from this type of system. I did try running without the coil ballast resistor in circuit and that actually made it worse if anything.

My suspicion now lays pretty evenly between the ignition amplifier module or the actual pickup in the distributor. HT leads are near new, I've verified we have solid power to the coil etc, so it's not something that simple.

We're going to try to track down a spare ignition module. Even if it's not guilty in this case it's a good thing to have a spare of.



Looks to be a Bosch 0 227 130 014 if I'm reading it right from the photo. Will have a look in better light tomorrow.



If it's not that it doesn't leave much but the distributor itself...which will be a barrel of laughs to change I'm sure as access to it is absolutely horrible.



So looks like it will be staying on for slightly longer than I'd originally planned. Just makes sense to get the parts sent here so I can try swapping out the ignition module at least.

If that and sorting that dodgy looking connector don't sort it, it'll likely be time for someone else or a garage to get involved...but that's a last resort. This car bested me once, there's a certain degree of pride (or stubbornness!) involved in being determined not to be beaten by it twice. Will update on how we get on as and when it happens.
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Old Apr 9 2022, 11:09 AM   #219
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelandeth View Post
As I've mentioned before something which had been bothering me on the Caddy for a while was that something in the vicinity of the aux belt was quite noisy. The belt while only a year old was also looking quite tired, with a lot of scuffing on the outer surface.

It actually looked quite a bit worse in person than the photo makes it look.

My main suspect was the tensioner, both because the pulley looked really badly rust pitted and because it seemed to get red hot when the engine was running.

There's also a very distinct groove worn where the belt runs. I'm pretty certain it was sitting cock eyed too and that's not just a trick of the camera. I could never quite decide looking at it in person.

A new tensioner assembly, idler pulley (I figured if you're pulling things apart and taking the belt off it just made sense to do both) and belt weren't expensive, and were available within an hour from my usual motor factor.

I did take a look at fitting it myself, but with how limited access is I could see it being the sort of job I'd run out of patience with in a hurry. Especially given how stupidly strong the spring is. So that was farmed out to a local garage that was recommended by a friend.

That was fitted earlier today, and that area looks a good deal more respectable now.

It's made things much quieter...I hadn't realised there was a distinct rattle coming from that area as well as the whiney hiss of an unhappy bearing. I forgot to grab the box from behind the passenger seat to actually take a look at the old parts to see how knackered they were, that'll have to wait until tomorrow.

This did present me with a slight logistical challenge though as my intended lift to get back from the garage became unavailable at quite short notice, and it's a place that's just a random industrial warehouse in the middle of a farm, so not exactly well connected to public transport.

Helpfully a friend had a car in there that was ready to pick up having just had some work done, and they suggested I just swap them over and we could figure out the automotive Tetris to get everyone and every car back in the right driveways at our leisure afterwards.

Some of you who've been reading my waffling for a while may remember this one.

It's the rules that you're not allowed to show a photo of this car without the interior too...

That dash is utterly bonkers but actually works really well in practice.

Despite being really rough in a few areas, I absolutely love this thing. It's that perfect blend of having a lovely wafty comfy ride and nice squidgy seats, yet somehow the moment you present it with a corner just seems to dig in and grip like hell. Really has a surprising turn of pace too if you call for it - even despite this one having lost the original twin carb setup during its long hibernation prior to being resurrected a couple of years ago.

This Lancia visited me a year or so back to try to address a running issue and to replace all the instrument panel illumination bulbs as only about 20% of them were working.

The illumination issue was easily sorted, but I never did fully get to the bottom of the running issue, which I had assumed to be carb related. I did get it running *better* but not right.

Turns out I had been a complete and utter idiot in fixating on the carb. For no particularly good reason my brain had just decided that someone must already have been through the ignition system, but the carb was known to have relatively recently been dragged out of a long hibernation in a box in a garage...yes, you guessed it...we had an ignition problem.

This was mostly fixed by someone working on the car after me. I noticed pretty much as soon as I set off from the garage today though that it still wasn't quite right. It would pull like a train if you gave it a decent press of the throttle, but was really lumpy on light throttle and was obviously still missing erratically at idle. Nevertheless, it was more than driveable...and I was quite enjoying wafting about for about an hour.

Right up until about 30 seconds away from home, at which point things went all Lancia.

The engine cut out. No stuttering, just off as though I'd turned the key. Conveniently I was heading downhill at the time so just rolled the last 30 seconds or so and slotted into the driveway under gravity.

My hunch based on how it felt was that we had lost spark. A quick check confirmed this hypothesis as correct. Absolutely nothing. The question of course then became *why* there wasn't any spark. Didn't take long for me to find a prime suspect as touching the ignition coil resulted in me just about losing my fingerprints as it was absolutely roasting hot (I hadn't left it sitting with the ignition on or anything). Time to grab a meter and see what it could tell us about the condition of the coil.

While it varies depending on the exact setup, as a rule the vast majority of 12V ignition coils will have a primary winding resistance of less than 5 ohms. For a basic go/no go test the exact number isn't important...just a number in that sort of ballpark.

Our suspect coil here had a primary resistance of 95K ohms...as in 95,000. That's rather a lot more than 5. Pretty conclusively dead.

It's no big secret that my garage is full of junk. As such I was pretty sure I still had a spare coil floating around from back from when I did the fuel injection conversion on the Lada (I mean, who doesn't?). Question was whether it would still be where I thought it was after three or four years...

Drumroll...

Yay!

No idea precisely how closely matched to the original it is, but they're both from cars with hall effect and amplifier based systems so should be close enough for testing purposes anyway. Given the shared Fiat DNA I'd be surprised if they're not pretty much a direct match anyway.

Cue a bit of improvisation to find a convenient bolt to secure it to (the secondary winding grounds through the case so that's important) for testing.

This had indeed restored spark, albeit not a very strong one. The car did now run, but very roughly. What was getting to the plugs seemed far worse than what we had from the coil though...so a bit more investigation was needed.

Few things were found to be an issue right off the bat.

Firstly, the distributor cap terminals aren't the right type for these HT leads.

Secondly there's clearly damage to one of the wiper contacts in the connector to the distributor pickup.

This doesn't actually seem to be affecting it, but if I can lay my hands on the bag of random scavenged connectors and wiring "misc" in the garage I'll replace this. While it's working now that sort of thing is just asking to be a liability longer term. Especially as it no longer securely clips together in addition to the damaged contact.

I very nearly wasted a lot of time then...but just caught myself and told myself to check the basics first...and actually pull the distributor cap off for a proper look. Just because it's nearly new doesn't mean it can't be faulty.

Anyone see something wrong with this picture?

Uuuh...

Well that won't be helping anything. There should be a spring loaded graphite contact post in the middle there, like the one in the original cap which helpfully was in the boot still.

Comparing the two caps side by side shows the new one to be a hair taller than the original (though it's possible that is just in the external moulding), and the new rotor arm was a good 1mm shorter from the contact point to tip.

The old cap also has the correct terminals to receive this type of HT lead.

Swapping these back over resulted in the car running the best I've seen so far, but still not right. Especially at lower engine speeds the spark is still slightly intermittent, and just generally seems weaker than I would expect from this type of system. I did try running without the coil ballast resistor in circuit and that actually made it worse if anything.

My suspicion now lays pretty evenly between the ignition amplifier module or the actual pickup in the distributor. HT leads are near new, I've verified we have solid power to the coil etc, so it's not something that simple.

We're going to try to track down a spare ignition module. Even if it's not guilty in this case it's a good thing to have a spare of.

Looks to be a Bosch 0 227 130 014 if I'm reading it right from the photo. Will have a look in better light tomorrow.

If it's not that it doesn't leave much but the distributor itself...which will be a barrel of laughs to change I'm sure as access to it is absolutely horrible.

So looks like it will be staying on for slightly longer than I'd originally planned. Just makes sense to get the parts sent here so I can try swapping out the ignition module at least.

If that and sorting that dodgy looking connector don't sort it, it'll likely be time for someone else or a garage to get involved...but that's a last resort. This car bested me once, there's a certain degree of pride (or stubbornness!) involved in being determined not to be beaten by it twice. Will update on how we get on as and when it happens.
I've had similar problems over the years with these same things. It amazes me just how bad a belt tensioner can be and still stay on the engine. After I fought against that ridiculously strong spring and got the thing off, it almost fell apart in my hands.

The distributor problems I've had are almost legendary. They date back to my 1967 Dodge Charger. It had a 383 cu. in. engine, which meant at least the distributor was right up front, on top, where it was easy to get to. I was working part time in a gas station (old fashioned station, with repair garage, full service pumps, and so on). The garage had a Sun engine diagnostic machine with oscilloscope, pretty high tech in the early 1970s. I ran the Charger through, and found the distributor spark lines on the scope didn't line up properly, indicating distributor shaft/bushing wear. Removing the cap and shaking the shaft by hand showed the tiniest bit of side to side play, but evidently enough to keep things from performing at the optimum level. I replaced the distributor with a Mallory dual point unit. Best move I could have made for that problem. Only thing was, the easiest way to set the gap on the dual points was to have the distributor out of the engine. It only took me 2 or 3 tries at setting them IN the car to figure that out (I read the instructions, and that's what they said to do!). From what you are describing, aside from the cap contact problem, you might have the same bushing/shaft wear problem. Yours will be much more entertaining to check and fix, looking at your photo of the distributor location. About as much fun as a slap on the belly with a wet trout, right?
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Old Apr 9 2022, 07:45 PM   #220
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

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Originally Posted by Zelandeth View Post
As I've mentioned before something which had been bothering me on the Caddy for a while was that something in the vicinity of the aux belt was quite noisy. The belt while only a year old was also looking quite tired, with a lot of scuffing on the outer surface.



It actually looked quite a bit worse in person than the photo makes it look.

My main suspect was the tensioner, both because the pulley looked really badly rust pitted and because it seemed to get red hot when the engine was running.



There's also a very distinct groove worn where the belt runs. I'm pretty certain it was sitting cock eyed too and that's not just a trick of the camera. I could never quite decide looking at it in person.

A new tensioner assembly, idler pulley (I figured if you're pulling things apart and taking the belt off it just made sense to do both) and belt weren't expensive, and were available within an hour from my usual motor factor.



I did take a look at fitting it myself, but with how limited access is I could see it being the sort of job I'd run out of patience with in a hurry. Especially given how stupidly strong the spring is. So that was farmed out to a local garage that was recommended by a friend.

That was fitted earlier today, and that area looks a good deal more respectable now.



It's made things much quieter...I hadn't realised there was a distinct rattle coming from that area as well as the whiney hiss of an unhappy bearing. I forgot to grab the box from behind the passenger seat to actually take a look at the old parts to see how knackered they were, that'll have to wait until tomorrow.

This did present me with a slight logistical challenge though as my intended lift to get back from the garage became unavailable at quite short notice, and it's a place that's just a random industrial warehouse in the middle of a farm, so not exactly well connected to public transport.

Helpfully a friend had a car in there that was ready to pick up having just had some work done, and they suggested I just swap them over and we could figure out the automotive Tetris to get everyone and every car back in the right driveways at our leisure afterwards.

Some of you who've been reading my waffling for a while may remember this one.



It's the rules that you're not allowed to show a photo of this car without the interior too...





That dash is utterly bonkers but actually works really well in practice.

Despite being really rough in a few areas, I absolutely love this thing. It's that perfect blend of having a lovely wafty comfy ride and nice squidgy seats, yet somehow the moment you present it with a corner just seems to dig in and grip like hell. Really has a surprising turn of pace too if you call for it - even despite this one having lost the original twin carb setup during its long hibernation prior to being resurrected a couple of years ago.

This Lancia visited me a year or so back to try to address a running issue and to replace all the instrument panel illumination bulbs as only about 20% of them were working.

The illumination issue was easily sorted, but I never did fully get to the bottom of the running issue, which I had assumed to be carb related. I did get it running *better* but not right.

Turns out I had been a complete and utter idiot in fixating on the carb. For no particularly good reason my brain had just decided that someone must already have been through the ignition system, but the carb was known to have relatively recently been dragged out of a long hibernation in a box in a garage...yes, you guessed it...we had an ignition problem.

This was mostly fixed by someone working on the car after me. I noticed pretty much as soon as I set off from the garage today though that it still wasn't quite right. It would pull like a train if you gave it a decent press of the throttle, but was really lumpy on light throttle and was obviously still missing erratically at idle. Nevertheless, it was more than driveable...and I was quite enjoying wafting about for about an hour.

Right up until about 30 seconds away from home, at which point things went all Lancia.



The engine cut out. No stuttering, just off as though I'd turned the key. Conveniently I was heading downhill at the time so just rolled the last 30 seconds or so and slotted into the driveway under gravity.

My hunch based on how it felt was that we had lost spark. A quick check confirmed this hypothesis as correct. Absolutely nothing. The question of course then became *why* there wasn't any spark. Didn't take long for me to find a prime suspect as touching the ignition coil resulted in me just about losing my fingerprints as it was absolutely roasting hot (I hadn't left it sitting with the ignition on or anything). Time to grab a meter and see what it could tell us about the condition of the coil.

While it varies depending on the exact setup, as a rule the vast majority of 12V ignition coils will have a primary winding resistance of less than 5 ohms. For a basic go/no go test the exact number isn't important...just a number in that sort of ballpark.



Our suspect coil here had a primary resistance of 95K ohms...as in 95,000. That's rather a lot more than 5. Pretty conclusively dead.

It's no big secret that my garage is full of junk. As such I was pretty sure I still had a spare coil floating around from back from when I did the fuel injection conversion on the Lada (I mean, who doesn't?). Question was whether it would still be where I thought it was after three or four years...



Drumroll...



Yay!

No idea precisely how closely matched to the original it is, but they're both from cars with hall effect and amplifier based systems so should be close enough for testing purposes anyway. Given the shared Fiat DNA I'd be surprised if they're not pretty much a direct match anyway.

Cue a bit of improvisation to find a convenient bolt to secure it to (the secondary winding grounds through the case so that's important) for testing.



This had indeed restored spark, albeit not a very strong one. The car did now run, but very roughly. What was getting to the plugs seemed far worse than what we had from the coil though...so a bit more investigation was needed.

Few things were found to be an issue right off the bat.

Firstly, the distributor cap terminals aren't the right type for these HT leads.



Secondly there's clearly damage to one of the wiper contacts in the connector to the distributor pickup.



This doesn't actually seem to be affecting it, but if I can lay my hands on the bag of random scavenged connectors and wiring "misc" in the garage I'll replace this. While it's working now that sort of thing is just asking to be a liability longer term. Especially as it no longer securely clips together in addition to the damaged contact.

I very nearly wasted a lot of time then...but just caught myself and told myself to check the basics first...and actually pull the distributor cap off for a proper look. Just because it's nearly new doesn't mean it can't be faulty.

Anyone see something wrong with this picture?



Uuuh...



Well that won't be helping anything. There should be a spring loaded graphite contact post in the middle there, like the one in the original cap which helpfully was in the boot still.



Comparing the two caps side by side shows the new one to be a hair taller than the original (though it's possible that is just in the external moulding), and the new rotor arm was a good 1mm shorter from the contact point to tip.



The old cap also has the correct terminals to receive this type of HT lead.



Swapping these back over resulted in the car running the best I've seen so far, but still not right. Especially at lower engine speeds the spark is still slightly intermittent, and just generally seems weaker than I would expect from this type of system. I did try running without the coil ballast resistor in circuit and that actually made it worse if anything.

My suspicion now lays pretty evenly between the ignition amplifier module or the actual pickup in the distributor. HT leads are near new, I've verified we have solid power to the coil etc, so it's not something that simple.

We're going to try to track down a spare ignition module. Even if it's not guilty in this case it's a good thing to have a spare of.



Looks to be a Bosch 0 227 130 014 if I'm reading it right from the photo. Will have a look in better light tomorrow.



If it's not that it doesn't leave much but the distributor itself...which will be a barrel of laughs to change I'm sure as access to it is absolutely horrible.



So looks like it will be staying on for slightly longer than I'd originally planned. Just makes sense to get the parts sent here so I can try swapping out the ignition module at least.

If that and sorting that dodgy looking connector don't sort it, it'll likely be time for someone else or a garage to get involved...but that's a last resort. This car bested me once, there's a certain degree of pride (or stubbornness!) involved in being determined not to be beaten by it twice. Will update on how we get on as and when it happens.
We had something like that but right now I don't recall what the problem was something about getting the right part did help, what you are talking about, agfter this long week and have ing a sleepless night my mind is not firing on all bits. more later, good you are getting it sorted out.
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Old Apr 9 2022, 09:28 PM   #221
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

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We had something like that but right now I don't recall what the problem was something about getting the right part did help, what you are talking about, agfter this long week and have ing a sleepless night my mind is not firing on all bits. more later, good you are getting it sorted out.
I had one even better than this on my last Saab!

I'd done a routine service on it. So oil, oil filter, distributor cap, rotor arm (rotor button I believe is the usual term in the US), checked spark plugs but left them well alone as they were fine, usual stuff. Car was running fine up till then and ran exactly the same afterwards as I was usually pretty good about keeping on top of things on that one.

It ran fine for about two weeks afterwards, until dying on me in the middle of a survey job at work. Even more embarrassing I had a coworker in the car with me.

It felt like classic fuel starvation. Car would start up fine, but die as soon as you put it under any load or tried to bring the revs up quickly. When it cooled down it would start and run for about ten minutes before starting to stutter and would eventually cut out.

Just the way it acted shouted fuel starvation.

I replaced the fuel pump (twice), the warm up regulator, tested the injectors, and dismantled, cleaned, reassembled and adjusted the fuel distributor (this car had the Bosch K-Jet mechanical injection system...so yes it had fuel injection, but no electronics involved)...and it still was doing exactly the same thing.

By this point the car had been sitting outside the apartment for over a month, and I'd thrown probably £500 or so of parts at it and made zero progress.

While I was shuffling stuff in the boot around a bit, the old rotor arm dropped out of the box I'd stuffed it in. I sort of shrugged and figured for the sake of 30 seconds I'd chuck it on and see if it changed anything...

Car ran perfectly...and continued to run perfectly...

Upon closer inspection the new rotor arm was a good 1mm shorter than the old one...so must have been causing a weak spark. Of course, the leaner the mixture is the stronger a spark you need to ignite it...which is why it was still starting up fine from cold. My guess for why it took a couple of weeks to show up is that there was probably enough of a burr on the contact edge that it worked until that wore away.

The moment I realised what had just wasted me countless hours and more money than I had paid for the car in the first place I (loudly) uttered some unprintable curses and hurled the offending rotor arm into the car corner of the car park in an uncharacteristic fit of rage.

I never did find where the thing landed!

Never did find out if the Intermotor catalogue was wrong or if the parts store had just given me the wrong thing. My guess is they gave me the one for the 16v version as the older 8v engine went out of production in 1989, so mine was one of the very last 8 valve cars I think. I know that the 16 valve engine uses a Lucas rather than Bosch ignition system, so stands to reason the rotor arm would be different.

Finding parts for this Lancia is always a bit of a game given we believe it is one of a total of two left on the road in the UK!

Which is a real shame as it's a lovely thing to drive, even if calling the styling "awkward" is probably being generous and the interior is utterly mad. It actually works quite well, but definitely does have a learning curve. Things like the lack of any visible door handles or door pulls is a good example! They're tucked away under the strip of trim at the top of the door, a ledge under there also serves as the handle to pull the door shut. Actually quite a good way of keeping the component count down, and obviously very carefully designed to look tidy.

This car was peak Lancia I feel. Comfortable, surprisingly rapid, and just a little bit strange. I miss that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post
I've had similar problems over the years with these same things. It amazes me just how bad a belt tensioner can be and still stay on the engine. After I fought against that ridiculously strong spring and got the thing off, it almost fell apart in my hands.

The distributor problems I've had are almost legendary. They date back to my 1967 Dodge Charger. It had a 383 cu. in. engine, which meant at least the distributor was right up front, on top, where it was easy to get to. I was working part time in a gas station (old fashioned station, with repair garage, full service pumps, and so on). The garage had a Sun engine diagnostic machine with oscilloscope, pretty high tech in the early 1970s. I ran the Charger through, and found the distributor spark lines on the scope didn't line up properly, indicating distributor shaft/bushing wear. Removing the cap and shaking the shaft by hand showed the tiniest bit of side to side play, but evidently enough to keep things from performing at the optimum level. I replaced the distributor with a Mallory dual point unit. Best move I could have made for that problem. Only thing was, the easiest way to set the gap on the dual points was to have the distributor out of the engine. It only took me 2 or 3 tries at setting them IN the car to figure that out (I read the instructions, and that's what they said to do!). From what you are describing, aside from the cap contact problem, you might have the same bushing/shaft wear problem. Yours will be much more entertaining to check and fix, looking at your photo of the distributor location. About as much fun as a slap on the belly with a wet trout, right?
Those Dodge distributors were notorious for wear if I remember rightly.

Funny you should mention diagnostic equipment like that...this thing is still sitting in our conservatory waiting for a hole to be made so I can move it into the garage.



Which gives quite a lot of data in addition to a scope trace for the ignition and charging systems.



This is to take the place of an older unit I rescued a few years ago.



That one has been sold on to someone else...just waiting for them to come and collect it so I can slot the new one into the space it leaves. COVID kind of got in the way of that happening at the time.

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Old Apr 12 2022, 10:18 PM   #222
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Thanks for the fond memories folks, the cap was the part I was thinking of, more of a made for TVMovie and a last car rase , and finding the right or near to the right year one, for a truck and new spark plugs for it, and we used it alot , it served us a lot,.


My relation is retireing this year, which is good, he has worked many different jobs, and hads many ddifferent fun times with us, , more later I havfe a eearly apointment so I am going to bed early stay safe all.
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Old Apr 13 2022, 09:17 PM   #223
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Been a couple very little jobs done to make the Caddy a nicer place to be ticked off during the last few days.

The old floor mats were driving me mad as the driver's side one kept insistently ending up jammed under the accelerator.

Before:



Solution of course is to get some properly shaped ones made up.

After:





Could have gone with all sorts of lurid colours, but figured black and grey made most sense so it didn't clash with the rest of the interior.

Great service from Simply Car Mats, they really went out of their way to make sure I got the right parts - even down to getting in touch querying what type of retainers were needed as apparently it's unusual for a Caddy of this age not to have any. The grippy backing on the mats seems decent too, they've not shifted at all in the best part of a week.

Second on the list was sorting this.



Which has been making my teeth itch for months.



Much better. It's a very snug fit so I reckon will end up pulling itself off...for £5 though it was worth a shot.

While I had the gaiter off it made sense to grease up the gear selector linkage as it was a bit stiff. While doing that I did spot where the play in the linkage is...



I don't think there's meant to be daylight visible through the bush between the lever and selector rod. Will need to get one of those ordered in then.

Having greased the bushing where the selector rod goes through the bulkhead alone has made a massive difference to the gearchange, it's way, way lighter and smoother now. Doesn't creak going into reverse now either!

A replacement ignition amplifier has been ordered for the Trevi so I'll provide an update on that when that turns up - and hopefully a report of it being safely returned to the owner actually running properly for the first time since it was put back on the road a couple of years ago.

While on several occasions I've covered well over a hundred miles on a day in the Invacar, about 20 miles from home is about the furthest I've actually gone in one direction. That will finally change at the end of May when I'll be making a run over to Birmingham for another event which includes a sort of mini car show as part of the program. Will feel like quite a big achievement ticked off to get the first drive that's not just local errand running done. Good reason to give the car a decent once over first too given that whichever way I go will involve a decent amount of running on faster roads. Will most likely be up the A5, A45 then a few hundred yards of the M42 and I'm pretty much at the door. Wonder how deaf I'll be by the time I get there.
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Old Apr 15 2022, 08:13 PM   #224
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Sound s like a Made in the USA plase I've hheard here, Weathertech don't know if I have it spelling right but they have a system to do alot of laser measured stuff, and no drillled mudflaps , i don't know how my dad's jeep ones were put on, I was't home them, but I have been wondering if he would like a sset for hththis GMC Seara Truck ? If they are not that hard mmaybe I can ask my curetiring to help to put them on, for us, for that is his main transportation , I am a very pratical person so is my family, like in What is Happening II thread about tireds on car. and note on tree. I think talking shop is starting sto help me out just a bit. TThanks for this Thread,
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Old Apr 16 2022, 05:16 PM   #225
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Had the opportunity to get a few things ticked off on the Cavalier today to bring it into a more user friendly state for transportation.

[] Replace the very flat nearside front wheel with the spare.

Old one off...



Good spare on. Job done.



Not including the walking the whole way back to the far end of the field and back because I forgot to pick the key up before walking up to the car, just over six minutes work.

The spare has highlighted that I appear to be missing chrome wheel rings from three other wheels. Sure they grow on trees these days...

[] Replace dissolved fuel line tail between the tank and the main nylon line to the front of the car. No photos of this as it was an awkward and messy job. Especially at the point where I made the discovery that a lot less of the fuel had leaked out of the tank since I left it a few weeks ago than I'd expected. Of course I found this out with my face as I pulled the line off under the car as I ended up wearing a significant amount of the contents of the tank. Again.

Congratulations to Vauxhall for having positioned that connection precisely so that the rear axle and exhaust are *precisely* in the way. Nevertheless, it only took a few minutes to do. Hardest part was getting the old hose tail off the tank as it had welded itself to the stub, though it did eventually release.

I thought I had a photo of the new line in place but my phone claims otherwise.

[] Non Running State. Last time I was at the car it seemed to be running quite well, right up to when I blipped the throttle at one point when it died. A quick bit of diagnosis revealed that we had no spark, and that the points were staying resolutely open circuit. However we were short on time and didn't have the screwdriver needed to get the distributor cap off, so just left it be.

I was initially quite worried as the screws on the distributor cap appeared to have been tightened up by the Incredible Hulk and one was threatening to round out on me. After no small amount of very careful perseverance I did get the cap off. Bit of a scrub of the points with some Emery cloth seemed to sort things out. Flicking the points to see if we got any sparkage proved two things. One, we did have spark. Two, that screwdriver was far less well insulated than I thought it was. That's the third time I've been belted by a HT system in the last 48 hours. The Trevi has got me twice so far!

That sorted she started first touch. Meant I was finally able to move the car (albeit very carefully as the only brakes I have are provided by a very poor handbrake on one wheel it seems). This has also highlighted that the clutch release bearing sounds distinctly unhappy. Guess I'll be doing or getting a clutch done in the not too distant future then.

This is assuming it's a sealed bearing and doesn't need to be periodically lubricated as per the old Skoda ones. Can't really see how you would access it for that though.

First time I've had a look at it not tucked into a corner.







That's very much the good side.



Standing back from the car it's more obvious that the damage to the doors is from the fork lift/loader that was used to move the car around when the previous storage location was being cleared. A shame as it is damage that could easily have been avoided, but on the flip side it's nothing too hard to fix. I'm just grateful it wasn't plucked out by a strap under the roof.

I also seem to be missing the "Vauxhall" text which should be between the tail lights. Hopefully that won't be too hard to track down. I imagine it should be easier than the more model-specific bits at least.

I let her run for a while to get up to temperature...top radiator hose started to get warm after a while...



The temperature gauge apparently thinks otherwise.

Now there are plenty of things I will happily do without in a car, but a working temperature gauge is not one of them. Thankfully 90 seconds of detective work under the bonnet found a stray wire with a spade terminal and a post for it to attach to on the thermostat housing. Result?



Much better!

I still love that dash design. I'm a sucker for anything which doesn't just have boring rectangular or square lights on the dash.



Very much looking forward to getting this home and starting to get properly stuck into recommissioning it.



Such a rarity these days despite being such a common sight in its day.

So stuff I'm missing, seems worth mentioning as I know these cars do have their fans and they're the sort of things someone might have floating around in a box in a shed in some cases.

[] Rear silencer.

[] NSR door rubbing strip.

[] 3 X Chrome wheel rings.

[] 4 X Wheel centre caps.

[] Vauxhall badging from rear panel.

Of course if I have the car in working order and the bugs shaken out by then the big question would be whether I took this or TPA to the Festival of the Unexceptional in July.

Probably still TPA really, as there's inevitably going to be at least a couple of other early Cavaliers there. Granted though there might be another couple of Invacars too given how they seem to have come out of the woodwork over the last couple of years!
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Old Apr 25 2022, 09:36 PM   #226
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TPA has been out quite a bit over the last week. Have a few photos...well just because I like documenting things.

A bunch of massive oversized nonsense, and one sensible little city car...











The replacement air cleaner has definitely reduced the induction noise a lot at speed. There's still quite a growl there, but it's nowhere near as boomy. I think any apparent performance increase is purely psychological as the car is quieter so it feels like you're maintaining the same speed with less effort just because of the improvement in refinement.

Oh, and I remembered to put the clock forward at long last.



I did have a bit of a wobble though, just as I was getting back home last time we were out it became obvious I was having a fuelling issue. Felt like she was generally running lean, and the accelerator pump definitely wasn't doing its job.

Followed some advice given by a few different folk and have ditched the glass and metal screen fuel filter. Several folks have expressed concern that it's likely to unscrew itself and I'll die in a blazing inferno at the side of the A5. Given all three components were fixed in place I don't see how it could unscrew itself, but a paper element one definitely will do a better job of filtration, so probably for the best. Looks less blingy too.



Have tried yet another provider, let's see if this one doesn't fall apart internally like the last two.

Place your bets...

Someone asked where it was that I'd got my emergency toolkit stashed these days. Answer is right here.





That bag contains a spare CVT belt, the tools needed to change it, and selection of basic tools. There's a really convenient little void down there that it sits securely in which isn't wasting any valuable actual storage in the car.

The same space on the nearside is where the heater booster fan I plan to fit one day will go.

I really do need to do something about the engine bay splash guards at some point.



Thankfully these aren't critical to the correct operation of the cooling system like one an air cooled VW at least, but they do want patching up. Actually replacing them is an engine out job so that ain't happening in the near future - plus good tinware is really hard to come by so I'd like need to make it from scratch.

I had opportunity to investigate the fuelling issue properly today, especially as I wanted to pull the air cleaner housing off for painting anyway. Didn't take long to figure out the issue...

Remember a couple of weeks ago I had the carb apart to change a couple of gaskets? Yeah... apparently I never properly screwed the top cover back onto the carb. Oops.

Pure dumb user error that one.

Oh well, at least it was a simple fix!

Air cleaner has had a splash of etch primer...



Then a couple of coats of hammered black topcoat.



Stuff in this engine bay gets dusty in a hurry because of the amount of airflow through it, so it'll dull down to being less in your face shiny pretty quickly.

Hopefully get it refitted tomorrow. Not sure if I'll have time to get a test run done to see if screwing the carb back together has sorted my fuelling issues or not. Sadly the school is back from the holiday now so it's back to being a nightmare to try to find enough room to get into or out of the garage.
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Old Apr 26 2022, 03:27 PM   #227
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

What happen can happen to anyone, I recall a TV show that a crew was out in Mongolia and they made a gasket out of a box a carboard one if I recalled , for what I don't recall right now, but if I find it I shal let you know, a very important one, and not a part stor , for they were in the mmimiddle of a nature park at the time I think. 'shrug shoulders'
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Old Apr 26 2022, 06:57 PM   #228
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While I had the painting supplies out I gave the engine cover stay a going over too as it was very conspicuously rusty.

Makes things look a bit tidier.



Carb is better but definitely still not 100% happy, will need to investigate further. I really hope that my leaving the top cover loose accidentally hasn't wrecked the new gasket I just put in there...the £30 odd the kit cost was moderately irritating for what it was, but the month it took to get here from Italy far more so.

I did spot something after the test run today though which had the potential to be really "exciting" if I hadn't noticed it.



See anything amiss there? See the line between the driveshaft and the back of the hub? That's a gap. That should not be there. All four bolts on one side and three on the other were several turns less than finger tight. Now I admit to probably have forgotten to properly tighten the carb top cover screws last week, but making sure the driveshaft couplings were torqued up properly was *definitely* done when I installed the engine. So they have loosened themselves over time.

Given the vibration and shock loading that coupler will be subject to running 10" wheels with the state of the roads around here that's not necessarily a massive surprise, but the potential for Bad Things to Happen if a driveshaft came adrift means it's a checklist item that has definitely been added to the regular service regime. I think I will look to add some locking tabs to there too (there are already spring washers under the heads). Just glad I spotted this as the nearside is pretty much entirely hidden from view unless you're under the car as the battery tray and heater ducting obscure your view. I've put a mark on there with a paint marker now so I can easily visually check if they have moved now.

Think I basically need to just spend a day going over every single nut, bolt, screw, clip or other fastener on this car and make sure it's not managed to shake itself loose based on my experiences over the last week!
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Old Apr 27 2022, 06:28 PM   #229
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Had a bit of a downer of a day today because of the general public being inconsiderate morons, then wasting several hours trying to fix things that an Android update that installed itself last night managed to break.

Oh, and the engine bay undertray of the Caddy decided to eject itself somewhere just north of J13 on the M1 this afternoon. Irked there as it was securely attached when I last looked (albeit with a few fasteners replaced with cable ties - but that's expected on a 20 year old car) and it was likely last disturbed last week when a garage changed the aux belt pulleys for me. My bad there for not checking it was properly secured when I got it back I guess. Hardly the end of the world, just annoying.

I had a couple of jobs which were low hanging fruit to get done on the Caddy so figured I'd tackle those to hopefully lift my mood a bit.

First up was dealing with the missing foglight blanking cover on the offside of the front bumper.



Needless to say that's been bugging me no end ever since I bought it.

The replacement blanking panel turned up a couple of weeks ago, I'd just not got around to fitting it.



Next to it is the replacement expansion valve which will hopefully sort the air con properly.

If you know this model better than me you'll have spotted the problem there. That blanking plate didn't have a recess or cutout in it to accommodate the towing eye.

Well not until I attacked it with the angle grinder anyway.



Not pretty, but it's one of those things you'll never notice once it's in situ, and my patience was already frayed at that point by yet another part being wrong despite my having triple checked the part numbers cross referenced correctly.

That's better.





Next up for the front end has to be getting some paint on the bumper and wheels. Not having a gaping hole in the front though is a definite improvement.

Flushed with success I moved on to the next job, installing this leather wrapped steering wheel fitted to replace the nasty - extremely slippery - factory one. I believe this comes from a Mk III Golf.



Being an identical style to the original one on here meant it was a really simple job.

First step given this car is equipped with an airbag of course is to disconnect the battery. I unhooked both terminals and wedged a roll of tape in between the positive post and the terminal just to make absolutely certain it couldn't drop back into place as the negative was very reluctant to stay clear of the battery post. Made sure to note down the reading on the trip meter as that's digital on this dash so would be wiped when the battery was unhooked.



This serves a double purpose here...one I obviously don't want the airbag to deploy in my face, though the odds of that happening are really small in reality. The second is that I really don't want to trigger a fault in the system as there's no way to reset the warning light without VAGCOM apparently.

Two hex head bolts on the rear of the wheel release the centre/airbag module from the steering wheel itself.



That gives plenty of room to pull the push fit connector out the back of the airbag module and put aside somewhere safe. The ribbon cable and the clock spring assembly is quite fragile so care needs to be taken doing that.





I chose to refit my existing airbag module into the new wheel as I don't know the history of the one that came with the new wheel - see my earlier comment about fault codes. They're an identical type in this case as aside from the one having a leather wrapped rim the wheels are otherwise identical. If they were different styles obviously that wouldn't be possible.

The wiring to the horn buttons could then be unplugged.



The three small Torx screws holding the clock spring housing to the back of the wheel are unscrewed next. Then the main steering wheel retaining nut (24mm) can be undone. In theory.

Turns out it was biblically tight. Not necessarily a bad thing given the application, but a problem nevertheless. Helpfully I do own exactly the tool for this job.



Which proceeded to spin the nut off as though it was less than finger tight. Impact guns are extremely useful tools. This one is heavily and unwieldy in tight spaces, but it's one of the most useful bits of kit I've ever bought. When you need one you really need one.

That step leaves the wheel itself ready to be removed. What you want to do here however is to thread that nut back on a few turns so you can remove the wheel in a controlled way. Give it a firm tug towards you and it should slip off the splines. If you didn't have the nut there you'd probably smack yourself in the face with the wheel and tear the airbag clock spring assembly to bits.

With the wheel loose the airbag and horn wiring can then be carefully threaded out through the old wheel as it's removed.

Reassembly as the manuals love to say is simply the reverse of disassembly. Though unlike VW originally I did take the time to tuck the horn wiring into the grooves clearly intended to keep it tidily out of the way.



Just because nobody will ever see something is not a reason not to do things tidily.

Once the wheel was all back together (after making ABSOLUTELY sure the keys were in my pocket) the battery was reconnected.



Not sure what the deal is with all the residue on top of the battery is, it's definitely not overcharging or anything like that...though being a Euro Car Parts special I don't really have huge faith in its prospects for longevity anyway.

Initially when turning the ignition on I made sure to stand to the side - there's no reason for the airbag to misbehave, but figure there is no reason not to be careful.

This was the thing I was looking very carefully at.



I do enjoy the solution that VW came up with for there being no SRS system warning light on the dash, just sticking it in a switch blank rather than updating the silk screen in the instrument cluster itself.

Thankfully after the self test it did turn back off exactly as it should do.



Then the rigmarole of resetting the clock and everything.



Thankfully the stereo retained everything aside from the time and date data. That's a big positive as doing all the configuration from scratch again is quite a chore.

Doesn't really look any different!



However is far, far more pleasant to hold than the old one. Given it's your main driver control having a nice wheel is kinda high on the wish list. Given that the old one was really quite unpleasant to hold it's an upgrade I'm glad I made.

Nice easy job which has a very tangible positive impact on the driving experience, I'll tick that off as a win I think.
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Old Apr 28 2022, 04:10 PM   #230
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Thanks for the nice image discription, I think my dad used a high heat form of Lock Tigh® please let me know if my TM show up? on some that were giving hhim a lot of problems., years back.

Sorry 'happy dance' see What is Happinging Part II post for more information, but o once I learn to use it, I hope to be able to regame some of my lost mobility and have a new pen and paper that don't pulls out its head while recording, and charging. too,, 'quite irking' to me.
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Old May 2 2022, 07:50 PM   #231
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Yesterday the replacement distributor cap and rotor arm for the Trevi arrived.

Not often I can visually show how worn out a distributor cap is with a couple of photographs...



Those contact post surfaces should be flat.



That's the best part of a millimetre of material that has been worn away. It's no surprise the car wasn't running well.

New cap and rotor were fitted without incident (getting to this is merely awkward when the engine is cold...it rises to moderately torturous once it's hot).



Labelled the leads while I was in there as the new cap doesn't have markers for them. They're pretty easy to trace on this engine but I figure it can't hurt.

This resulted in the engine bursting into life and sounding far more healthy.

For about 1/4 of a mile into the test run. At which point I spluttered to a halt in a bus stop. Managed to get going again for about 30 seconds and ended up having to push the car out of the way off a busy road. Yeah...that went well.

Initially I thought we might have got a fuelling problem as we still had a solid spark from the coil. However checking a HT lead showed zip coming out of the cap. So time to burn my knuckles and get the cap off.

Well that lasted well.



No idea if it's a case of the part being wrong or just poor plastic that started breaking down in ten seconds flat. Either way, it's scrap now.

Stuffed the old rotor arm back on and the engine immediately burst back into life and I was able to get back to my driveway to do a bit more fine tuning. While the old distributor cap was obviously wrecked the rotor arm didn't look anywhere near as worn. No idea if it's been changed at some point, or if it's just the cap that tends to wear more.

With a reasonably solid spark at least I coukd start to see where we were at. It was obvious how much better the engine was running as the idle had raised from a stumbling barely 500rpm mess to about 2000rpm.

https://youtu.be/6W4lQNhKEFs

This was the starting point.

https://youtu.be/mknuRd2Tmuc

It turns out that when you've been trying to get a carb set up while the ignition system is barely working that you end up miles off the mark.

I'm not 100% sure that this carb is in fact properly jetted for this engine (on the idle circuit at least) as this is absolutely the highest CO% reading I can get on the exhaust gas analyser, about 1.8%.



For an engine of this sort of age (especially given that Lancia would have set this up with a lean towards performance rather than economy I'd expect) I'd really be looking for 4-6%. While I'm sure about the absolute accuracy of the numbers on my meter it shows the right ballpark when hooked up to TPA, so it definitely gives a good ballpark indication at least. A proper modern exhaust gas analyser is something I really should pick up at some point*.

*The Sun 1215 has a good optical CO and HC meter if I can ever get it going properly.

I reckon based on what I've felt when driving the car that the main is probably okay, but the idle jet could do with being bigger (or smaller if it's metering air rather than fuel - I don't know the method of operation of this carb well enough to say). I decided to ignore the numbers for now and just go for where we had the smoothest idle. The engine responce when you crack the throttle open is nice and snappy, just feels on a light throttle that she's starving for fuel a little.

Nevertheless we got to a point where the car was driving reasonably well and we *successfully* completed a couple of mile test drive.

Given the history it has of stalling at inopportune moments and the low reported oil pressure at idle I've opted to keep the idle a little on the high side anyway.

Fast forwarding to today we picked up where we left off.

Something I wanted to check before running it too much further was see what state the oil was in, given I know this car has had ignition issues for the last two years there was every likelihood of it being badly fuel contaminated. Didn't really seem too bad on that count but was definitely dirty and due a change. I've since had the go ahead from the owner to get that changed.

Then did a bit of gentle bumbling around our neighborhood for half an hour or so. All continued well, so I switched out to the dual carriageway - and then (within reason, I know what state the radiator is in) spent half an hour or so caning the snot out of it.

Couple of reasons...one being that if it was going to play up I wanted to provoke it. Secondly given that this car has had ignition issues for some time I figured there was every chance that the plugs and combustion chambers could be fouled up.

Observations. Firstly, this car is a heck of a quicker than it looks. It really can get a shift on. Secondly, when you've got your foot in it it's absolutely happy. Thirdly... something that's really not obvious from outside...this is a driver's car.

The seats are squidgy. The ride is - honestly incredibly - compliant. The cabin is nicely finished. Yet it can *handle.* On a good road this thing would be an absolute joy.

Why is it that the luxury sports saloon has become extinct? This car is a brilliant example that handling and ride comfort aren't mutually exclusive - even without needing to use Citroen's levels of sophistication as seen on the Xantia Activa.

The level of composure and refinement really can't be overstated. This thing is one of those cars that you really could jump into, do a several hundred mile drive and step out still feeling absolutely fresh.

I borrowed my other half as a cameraman to get a bit of footage from a little later on.

https://youtu.be/eEvpjBM4IvI

The camera really makes it look shaky...it absolutely isn't.

I had been asked by the owner of the car to get some slip covers fitted to the seats. The material of the seats is quite fragile, and the offside bolster on the driver's seat was basically disintegrating more every time you got in or out of the car.

They weren't *tidily* installed, but they were installed. The issue was basically that the seats in the Trevi area a really odd shape, and are about 20% too big for the covers. Nevertheless, they will protect the seats under the covers which is the reason they're there.



I did manage to get them to sit a bit better than this, but they're still not exactly tidy.

The rear ones are worse, because they are really intended to be fitted to a car where you can get to the back of the seat. However the rear seats in the Trevi are fixed, so I just had to tuck them in as best I could.



In getting the bits and pieces for this out of the boot I nearly dropped the boot lid on my head for about the fifteenth time due to the faulty gas strut. The boot lid is really rather heavy and this was getting old. There was a replacement gas strut in the boot, so figured I'd fit it. Just two split pins to remove, then pull it out.

Of course as is basically standard with the Trevi, it turned out that the new part was wrong.



New on the left, old on the right. The new struts had far smaller eyes than the old ones. I did figure out that that the eyelets on both struts unscrewed, though unhelpfully the threaded section on the new struts were significantly larger than the original one. They were plastic however, so five minutes with the drill and a tap solved that problem and the old eyelets were fitted to the new gas strut. Sorted.



Not before I wasted about half an hour looking for the second split pin...which turned out to be in my left pocket.

Had a few errands to run this afternoon and took the Trevi out for that.

She definitely feels like she's slightly lean especially when cold, but once fully up to temperature seems absolutely fine.

Tomorrow I will be doing an oil and filter change. Then give the interior a quick vacuum out as it's full of dead spiders from the winter lay up. Then we'll hopefully get the car dropped back off with its owner sometime later in the week.

It's been an absolute nuisance at times, but I still love this car.



If it weren't for the rarity, parts supply challenges and tendency for them to dissolve at such alarming rates I would seriously consider looking for one of these cars. It just suits me so well.

In news relating to my actual fleet, another package for the Cavalier has turned up.

Not sure if you noticed something very conspicuously missing from the back in previous photos or not...



The Vauxhall badging from the rear panel was missing.

This was very kindly sent my way by a member on another forum.



Perfect. The badge was a surprise, but yes I will absolutely wear that the first time I get the car to a show. I expected those letters to be plastic, but no they're metal. Quite heavy too actually. That will help tidy the back of the car up a lot.
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Old May 4 2022, 04:24 PM   #232
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Couple of updates together from yesterday when I couldn't access the forum.

-- -- --

Simple job to start out with for today, oil and filter change.

This really was overdue a change.



It was basically jet black before the engine was run.

Draining the oil was relatively uneventful, though it was demonstrated to be very thin. Didn't smell badly fuel contaminated, just seemed a very light grade.

Which given this oil pressure reading at idle is less than ideal.



That's with the idle bumped up a bit too. It doesn't sound bad though, and I've learned not to put too much faith in Fiat/Lancia/Lada instrumentation of this era. The light behaves exactly as I'd expect.

Then came the oil filter. I've only dealt with this engine in longitudinal configuration before...however the Trevi has it set up transverse. Meaning the oil filter is roughly here.



Wonderful access.



No access from underneath as there's a cross member in the way. There's no clearance between that and the engine on one side or the radiator on the other. I discovered that you can't manipulate the filter to the left that it doesn't fit between the radiator and gearbox to come out that way.

If you pull the whole air cleaner housing off the carb there's just enough room to squeeze the filter out up the front. It really is a royal pig to get at.

New filter on and fresh oil in, and once back fully up to temperature we definitely have an improvement on the reported oil pressure, albeit not a massive change. Shows it was worth doing at least.



When you're actually driving it seems to float around an indicated 30psi or thereabouts.

Even with a proper oil jug it's a faff to get oil into without spilling it either.



I didn't manage to get the retaining screws for the ignition coil fully out, but I did manage to loosen them enough to get the old coil out and my replacement into it. Meant I could get rid of my horrible jury rigged nonsense hanging off the slam panel.

Much better.



Part number was noted down to assist in tracking down a proper replacement.



0 221 122 012 I make that.

The old one was labelled to prevent any future confusion before being stowed in the boot along with the old ignition amplifier module.





Learned long ago that not labelling defective parts was a recipe for much confusion down the line.

Topped off the coolant which had got a bit low, then called it done under here for now.



It's still not absolutely 100%, I'm not convinced the distributor pickup is in perfect health, and I'm absolutely not convinced the carb is jetted right, but it's running a thousand times better than it ever has in my experience so far and is absolutely driveable now.

Just slightly lumpy on light throttle, and the idle should be smoother, especially when cold. It gets vastly better once up to temperature.

The carb we know could do with some TLC anyway (we had to manually jam open a solenoid plunger because the coil was open circuit (and as I recall mostly missing) last time the car was here), so I'm stopping here before I wind up spending another month trying to get us that last 10% of improvement.

If a known good carb or full overhaul kit for it turns up at some point I'll happily come back for round 3. Though I reckon having someone with the knowledge and equipment to actually say whether the carb is set up correctly for the engine would be worthwhile. I simply lack the experience and kit to really do that.

The ideal thing of course would be to return this car to the original twin carb setup it was fitted with from the factory. Sadly I suspect that cost will prevent that happening any time soon.

Last job for the day was to give it a quick vacuum out. Not a full valet or anything, but I wanted to get the worst of the dust and the dead bugs from the winter lay up out.



Hopefully get her dropped back off with her owner in the next couple of days.

-- -- --

Fast forward to today...

We all knew I wouldn't be able to leave this alone didn't we?

Wanted to double check the rotor arm, mainly because I couldn't actually remember which one we had ended up with on the car out of the three in play.

The answer was the first new one. I wanted to compare it more carefully with the old one as I've started to develop an inherent distrust for "equivalent" parts listed in catalogues these days, especially for somewhat oddball cars like these.

The original rotor arm is a Bosch 1234 332 215.



A part that I couldn't immediately find in stock anywhere, and the alternative suggested by the usual suspects was the one on the car.

Comparison of the distance between the centre of the rotor and the contact tip however shows them to be rather less identical than the catalogue would have you believe. The Bosch one has at least a millimetre longer reach. The tip of the cable tie here represents how long the Bosch rotor arm is.

I did use rather more sophisticated methods to take the measurement by the way, this was just a nice easy way to show the difference on camera.





Which probably explains why the replacements appear to be burning up at the tip. It's hard to see in the photo, but this one shows evidence of charring of the plastic near the tip just like the black one.

Sure enough, fitting the old old one back to the car improved running still further...so that equivilant rotor arm clearly isn't equivilant.

I then got a surprise when the HT system belted me several times in very quick succession. This puzzled me given that nothing wasn't securely connected up and the HT leads were all brand new...so the leakage of electrons was rather a shock. Pun entirely intended.

Yeah...about those brand new HT leads.

https://youtu.be/2DXdYa40tzQ

I guess the Lucas branding on the box should have been a warning...

Turns out that the terminal at the coil end of the king lead wasn't actually crimped onto the conductor, rather just the outer insulator. A few of the strands of the core were poking out round the edge of the rubber boot, and that's what zapped me.

On the plus side, we can see that there's no shortage of spark from the coil now! Originally it was struggling to jump 1/8", that first belt got me from the best part of an inch away.

I swapped this lead out for a nice good quality Bougecord one from my spares stash.

Why is it so hard to get good spares these days?
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Old May 11 2022, 08:03 PM   #233
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Have been doing a bit more of a detailed look at the rotor arm on the Trevi because it seems like there's some incorrect data out there in the catalogues.

Here are the three rotor arms we currently have.



The top one is what we believe to be the correct one. The lower two are more recent replacements. Part numbers below.



The black one appears to match the current Intermotor listing at least visually.

The difference in contact profile is quite visible.



That started to break down to the point that we completely lost spark within ten minutes of installation.

The Vemo one lasted better, and it's hard to see in the photos but it's burning around the tip too.



The one which is resulting in the best running is the ancient and probably badly worn Bosch one.

Here appears to be why.

Dimensions of the Bosch one:



That's from the centre of the mark made by the centre contact post to the outer edge of the contact tip. Wouldn't surprise me if that was a round 1" when made given it's a whole five and a half thou out.



If this is as old as the distributor cap which came off, it's probably very worn. Remember we had lost about a millimetre of the posts in the cap this is likely as old as.

Both of the new ones are noticeably shorter. I could see this with my eyes, but having instrumentation confirming it is nice.





This will have been more than doubling the effective plug gap so no wonder it wouldn't run right. We really need to find the correct rotor.

I had pretty much decided to leave that slightly dodgy connector between the distributor and vehicle loom alone as it didn't seem to be causing any issues when poked, shaken, wiggled, flexed etc...however I've changed that decision today on seeing the insulation is worn through on the underside of one of the wires and that bare conductor is visible at the entry point to the connector block.



Will get that connector deleted... it's only two wires to remake connections between if the distributor has to come out in future. Hardly the end of the world.

There was a local classic car meet a week or so back which I wanted to make an effort to get to. This was a good catalyst for me actually tidying up the front half of the garage. The work that's been going on with the Trevi this last week or two had resulted in TPA getting a bit buried.

This is why the garage being so narrow is such a pain... it's so much of a faff to get around the car to get at things that stuff inevitably just ends up getting piled up on top of the car.

It's a good thing I'm not bothered about the finish on the paintwork.

I had a bit of a dig around too regarding the slight running issue we'd had. Decided to clean and gap the points simply because it's been quite a while since they were last done. No horror stories there, and the distributor cap posts were given a gentle clean too to scrape off the oxide layer that inevitably builds up.

A bit of investigation I think has tracked down the issue. I think we've got an intake vacuum leak! It's only a little one, but carb cleaner sprayed around the nearside base of the carb results in a drop in engine speed. It's not worked itself loose of the manifold (again), so I'm not sure whether the base gasket has issues or if it's an issue with the throttle spindle. It has always seeped fuel from somewhere in that vicinity, so might be connected.

It's not bad, and I feel I can rest a bit easier knowing the occasional carburetion hiccup is because of a small vacuum leak rather than something which is likely to suddenly degenerate and leave me stranded. I'll have a closer look soon to see if I can confirm exactly where the leak is.

Had a bit of a run round the car as well, making sure the wheel nuts/bolts were all still tight, greased up the front end checked tyre pressures etc.

All seemed fine, so off we went to the get together. I think the driveshaft coupling bolts being properly tightened has reduced the vibration at speed and seems to have reduced the driveline shunt when taking up drive a bit, though the nature of the system means there's always a bit of slop in there.

Some nice motors there, though car of the day for me was probably this little Micra.



So nice to see one (a really early one at that) in such original condition.

Speaking of things which are rarely seen as the factory originally intended...



Rather at the other end of the scale, this was also truly splendid.







Sounded every bit as good as it looked too.

The US in general was pretty well represented.









I wasn't in the only two cylinder air cooled car there either.





The vast majority of my photos from this meet up are on film though so it will be a couple of weeks before I get that film finished and off for processing.

I completely forgot to actually take any photos on my phone of my own car there. Derp.


After a search covering approximately 80% of the far end of the garage I finally managed to locate this nondescript black plastic case.



Plan being to let me see better what's going on with the AC on the Caddy.

Reading with the system fully equalised, having sat overnight.



Then with the engine running and AC turned on... exactly the same!

Yeah...the reading on the blue gauge should have dropped, target being the 30-40psi range, and the reading in the red gauge should have gone up, probably to 130-150psi.

They should absolutely *not* stay exactly where they were. What this means is that the compressor isn't pumping. Either one of the valves isn't seating properly or something has failed mechanically in the compressor. It does drop the low side a fraction when the clutch first pulls in, but by like 1 or 2 psi, and creeps back up over the course of the next few seconds.

So basically we need a new compressor.

Really glad I've found my gauge manifold though. Not knowing where that was was really annoying me. Obviously I don't have access to refrigerant so I can't charge it myself and I don't have access to a recovery machine any more, but being able to properly see what's going on is really useful.

These are only cheap gauges and would fall apart in a couple of days in a commercial setting I'm sure, but for occasional use they're just fine. We compared the readings to a set of decent quality (Fieldpiece I think) gauges back when I got them and the accuracy was spot on at least.

Will need to get the system evacuated so we can get a new compressor fitted...hopefully that (and getting it recharged for the *third* time) will finally get the air con working again.

As the Trevi is still here waiting on the arrival of the correct rotor arm that the owner has now tracked down a source of I figured it was a good time to get a couple of other minor niggles sorted.

The reason it was here last time was to resolve the almost completely dead dash lighting. Which was successful, though we had issues with quite a few scratchy contacts.

Since then while the illumination still seems fine, we were missing several warning lights.



There should be lights showing there next to the fuel and temperature gauges.

A scan over the rest of the dash showed we were also missing the indicators for the handbrake and rear fog lights.

Strip down time.



However further investigation shows the issue there to be other than in the dash. The rear fogs work, just no light on the dash.

There was an issue with the little lamp failure display too which was convinced there was always a lamp out in the offside rear cluster.

Further strip down needed to get to that.



There were a couple of spare PCBs in the boot and sure enough swapping it out for one of those (getting the ribbon cable back in was an absolute pig) got rid of the spurious lamp failure warning.

I re-replaced any lamps I put in last time given I've had horrendous reliability issues with that batch. These will hopefully prove more reliable.



We now have a full compliment of the four main warning lights on the dash during the self test.



We still have a red warning light (the big circle below the side/main beam indicator had a red and green LED in, it shows green now with the ignition on as the dash lights are all OK, and lights red to draw attention to a fault) when the headlights are turned on - though there *is* a lamp out in the front fog lights, so that may actually be telling the truth.



So I'll get that changed and see where we are then.

I may end up with the dash apart again as I'd like to beef up the ground(s) for the panel. Currently turning the headlights on raises the reading on the fuel and temperature gauges by about an eighth...to me that just smells like a grounding issue. Especially with prior experience on Fiats (and relatives) where they have almost invariably had issues with grounding in or around the instrument panel. Easy enough thing to improve though. Have to admit I'm tempted for the sake of less than £10 to add a known good engine to body and body to battery ground strap for future proofing...

It looks wacky and you'd think it was a nightmare to work on, but the dash is actually really easy to get apart. Stripping it down as you see above, changing a bunch of lamps, voltage testing to see what was and wasn't working, replacing the lamp failure module and putting it all back together took me less well less than an hour.

Finally got around to investigation of where the little bit of free play in the steering on the Caddy is. It is only a tiny bit but is really noticeable if I've not driven it for a few days.

I had a suspicion that the culprit was this universal joint at the base of the steering column.



Having an assistant wobble the steering wheel for me (requiring a helper was one reason I'd not done this yet) revealed that I was correct. There is definitely some free play between the two halves.

Wonder how much of a pain that will be to change...

Something else which had been on my to do list for a while was installation of a bit of easily removable equipment in the back.



Big plastic bin with a non-slip mat in the bottom of it. This is now basically the boot, saves stuff sliding around all over the place. It's tethered in place by the straps there for hooking the dog's travel harnesses to which wrap around the front of it and hook to each other.

Bigger than it looks, can get a week's shopping for us in there with a bit of Tetris action. Can just unhook the straps and lift it out to stow in the garage or stuff in the passenger seat when I want to take the dogs out.

Last edited by Zelandeth; May 12 2022 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Removed repeated paragraph.
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Old May 20 2022, 09:07 PM   #234
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

TPA was out and about a few days ago and following on from the recent trend something else fell off.

Albeit rather less important than the last couple of things.



Just a bit of trim. Only myself to blame, don't think I used anywhere near enough glue when putting those panels in (I think about half of the ones in the door cavities have fallen off at some point now). This was then absolutely slathered in adhesive then wedged in place overnight.



Sorted.



Don't really have anything visible to show for it, but I've adjusted how the engine cover is sitting to try to reduce the tendency for it to rattle quite so much. It is now actually sitting on the latch pin rather than the bodywork. Only real visible difference is that there's now clearance where it used to rub.



At least the witness marks made spotting the contact points easy!

Has definitely reduced the tendency for there to be a godawful crash from the back end on bumps now. Has meant I can get rid of the horrible strip of weatherstripping which was across the bottom of the closure too (an earlier - and *briefly* successful - attempt to shut it up).

I do need to touch up a couple of bits of the glass fibre work on that nearside corner though.

-- -- --

I sense that the Caddy will be making another trip to a garage shortly. It's wearing the outside shoulder on both front tyres.



I did have the alignment checked not all that long ago. However it has always felt somewhat fidgety to me. I know the one lower control arm was changed shortly before I got the car and I have a feeling that its partner may also now be in need of attention. I don't do suspension work, that's getting attention from a garage...sadly it will be a few weeks before it can be fitted in because of how busy my garage are.

A detail which has been driving me somewhat round the bend is the gear change. The bush between the gear lever and the gear linkage itself is worn out to the point of basically being missing. This resulted in about 1 1/2" slop in all directions, to the extent that the lever flopped from side to side when turning corners - which around here means it did that a lot.

A proper replacement bush will be ordered when I next get a shipment of things from Autodoc or similar, but it would be daft to just order the bush. The postage would be probably three times the cost of the part. In the meantime though it was *really* bugging me...so time for some improvisation.

My original plan was to see if I could sleeve the offending bush out with a bit of heater hose or something, but that turned out to be too thick. Some further head scratching and rummaging through the garage was needed.

I am simultaneously both utterly ashamed and somewhat proud of the resulting bodge.



Yes, that's about two dozen cable ties wrapped around the outer ring which is the bit actually attached to the linkage to the gearbox. Obviously the ends were trimmed before the gaiter was put back on. This is purely to help preserve my sanity until I can get a new bush.

It may be an utter lash up, but it's worked...the gear change is utterly transformed. There is still a little bit of play in the linkages, but the sort of play that you'd have expected from the factory rather than feeling worn out. Has made the vehicle a whole lot nicer to drive.

My feeling pleased with myself was short lived however. Just as I pulled out of my driveway a few day ago it started beeping (loudly, seriously it scared the living daylights out of me) and flashing this angry red light at me.



Well that's not good...thankfully it was a simple "turn engine off and roll back onto drive" job.

Turns out the oil was indeed very low, barely reading on the bottom of the dipstick. I had checked it a few days (and admittedly about 400 miles) previously and it looked fine. Not having used a drop in the preceding 4000 miles or so. Wondered if I had just mis-read it as our drive is on a slope in not one but two directions. Topped it up and off we went.

Then it did the same again this morning. Oil again was very low. That's the best part of a litre that's vanished in less than 200 miles this time. That's a lot of oil to just vanish.

Given I'd not noticed any smoke - and at a pint per 100 miles I would have expected stone cold Deltic levels of clag - first thought was a leak. Though again I'd kind of expected to have noticed it. The underside would be soaked in it and I'd have smelled it burning off the exhaust. Nothing visible on the rear of the body either where I'd have expected oil mist to be sucked up onto aerodynamically. Anyhow... let's have a look.

Cover off the engine and see if we can see anything.



Nothing there.



Bit damp on the offside around the timing cover, but I think that's more just 20 years worth of spillage from the filler rather than an actual leak.

Underside of the engine also supports the theory that it's not leaking externally.



Which is bad news as that would have been by far the easiest fix...

It's not ending up in the coolant either. That's lovely and clean.





Which means I guess that it *must* be burning it. Though the lack of smoke if that's the case is a real surprise.

https://youtu.be/7o14qpiIblc

Little puff of black initially when you blip the throttle, but nothing major. I'd be expecting a cloud you could see from low earth orbit with the rate of usage if I'm not totally misreading that.

This weekend I will do an oil and filter change (due in about two weeks anyway) so we can start from a known correct level and then check it daily to get a read on how fast it's really using it.

As a starting point I did clean out the PCV vapor separator in case that was clogged. A little bit of gunk in, but really not bad at all for a 20 year old 100K mile engine.

Really odd how it's just gone from using none to using a lot seemingly overnight.

Answers on a postcard please?
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Old May 21 2022, 11:02 AM   #235
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Our daughter stopped by after work yesterday. She drives a little Subaru Impreza 4 door sedan, about 5 years old. She mentioned it is all paid off!
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Old May 21 2022, 05:27 PM   #236
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Our daughter stopped by after work yesterday. She drives a little Subaru Impreza 4 door sedan, about 5 years old. She mentioned it is all paid off!
Would definitely be in the minority around here! About 85% of the cars in this area are virtually new VW/Audis which change every year or two...the idea of actually owning their own car seems to be an increasingly foreign concept.

Subarus never used to be bad cars, though the diesel engine they brought out back around 2010 I seem to recall having a terrible reputation for reliability. Other than that though they seem decent enough. The only real headache with them is rust, especially as they seem to have a tendency to look absolutely spotless on the outside while the underbody has virtually dissolved. Slightly less critical when you don't have a yearly inspection like here at least.

-- -- --

Am I seriously going to end up with two vehicles in succession with reputedly highly reliable engines with severe mechanical maladies?

A couple of minutes into driving this morning I had another oil pressure warning ping up - which vanished about five seconds later. I knew the level was fine this time as I checked it prior to setting out. It hasn't done it again for the rest of the day.

Dodgy sensor? Actually low oil pressure? I've got a test gauge on the way now so I can confirm what the oil pressure is actually doing.

Annoyingly the oil pressure light on this is ECU controlled, so you don't have any real indication of how quickly it builds (or being able to do the old trick of seeing how long it takes to come back on when cold). The light comes on for a self test when you turn the ignition on, but then goes out along with the temperature/coolant level light and the service indicator. I think it then needs to see a low pressure for a period of time plus the engine speed above a set level before it will show the warning light. Even when there's the delay in the pressure coming up following an oil change where it has to prime the filter housing the light never appears.

I've done an oil and filter change this evening so we're back on a known level with good, clean oil of the right grade, a clean filter etc. I'll disect the filter element tomorrow to make sure there aren't any signs of impending doom in it.



No obvious glitter in the oil that was drained (once I got the sump plug out, which had been done up biblically tight - I drained it with the Pela last time) didn't have any obvious glitter in - but being the black ink that comes out of a diesel it would be hard to tell I imagine. Not like when I had the S123 though which left metal particles in the drain pan though...

Hopefully this will turn out to be something relatively benign... though I'm not counting on it. I'm not going to drive it again if I can avoid it until we've had the opportunity to prove the oil pressure at least.

Looks like TPA might be on front line duty this week...when I was meant to be prepping her for a trip at the end of the week. The van is out of MOT and I can't get it in until the middle of next month because of availability of test slots (and it was last week I booked it in)...This is all going perfectly to plan. Great!

Oh, and the mission to try to find the correct rotor arm for the Trevi continues. We're really, really struggling to find one. Which is really annoying as I reckon that's the last bit preventing it from being sorted and handed back to the owner.
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Old May 21 2022, 05:46 PM   #237
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There is a wide range of vehicles where we are. Far fewer VW/Audi/BMW/Mercedes as they tend to not only be more expensive in the initial purchase but routine maintenance or other repairs I understand are also too high.

Lots of various sorts of SUV's, from small Subaru Foresters to enormous Cadillac, Lincoln and others. There are a reasonable number of what I consider "normal" sized cars. We currently have a Mazda3, a Mazda6, and a year old Honda Accord. Why do we have 3 vehicles for 2 people you ask? The 6 is 15 years old, costs nearly nothing in tax and insurance and as such is the winter "sloppy weather" vehicle. The 3 is what we will keep along with the Honda when we finally get rid of the 6. Besides, we have a three car garage, may as well fill it up!
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Old May 21 2022, 08:06 PM   #238
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

The area in Fort Wayne where I live has a wide variety of cars used by the residents. From tiny little 2 door coupes to full size pickups like my stepdad drives (silver Ram Bighorn crew cab). I usually get an UBER and have rode in everything from a classic 70something Sedan
de Ville to a Toyota Prius. My favorite is the Chevy Equinox SUV that I have riden in 9 times with same driver. The Cadillac was a one time thing because the gentleman's regular UBER car was in the shop having routine maintenance. Loved that one because it fit a big guy like me perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla View Post
There is a wide range of vehicles where we are. Far fewer VW/Audi/BMW/Mercedes as they tend to not only be more expensive in the initial purchase but routine maintenance or other repairs I understand are also too high.

Lots of various sorts of SUV's, from small Subaru Foresters to enormous Cadillac, Lincoln and others. There are a reasonable number of what I consider "normal" sized cars. We currently have a Mazda3, a Mazda6, and a year old Honda Accord. Why do we have 3 vehicles for 2 people you ask? The 6 is 15 years old, costs nearly nothing in tax and insurance and as such is the winter "sloppy weather" vehicle. The 3 is what we will keep along with the Honda when we finally get rid of the 6. Besides, we have a three car garage, may as well fill it up!
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Old May 26 2022, 08:49 PM   #239
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

The oil pressure test gauge turned up this morning.



Time to (hopefully!) confirm that the oil pressure light in the Caddy is telling lies.

Cold startup suggests yes.



Shot up to about 80psi before settling down to a smidge under 60.

While out and about driving it seems to sit right around 70psi which seems to be where the pressure relief valve is set.



Hot idle is about 19psi - though there doesn't look to an actual idle pressure listed - minimum quoted allowed pressure is 30psi at 2000rpm - at which point we have around 60psi. The oil pressure light will actually never be triggered below 2000rpm...which seems like a really strange arrangement to me...but apparently VW thought it was a good idea.

Long story short - there's nothing wrong with the oil pressure. I'll get a new pressure switch ordered and hopefully that will put a stop to it scaring the living daylights out of me.

-- -- --

Got a little more glass fibre laid down on the repair on the Invacar then attacked the corner with some paint. It's astonishing what sins you can hide in shadows with a bit of matt black paint!



Fluids etc have all been checked. Tomorrow I'll give the car a quick clean, remove anything that doesn't absolutely need to be onboard (as the car park I'll be in doesn't have the best reputation for security and we all know how secure the cabin is), then be on my way.

My brain is making this seem a far longer trip than it is...it's like an hour, and I've regularly been out bumbling around for entire afternoons. Nevertheless, it's the furthest I've ever gone in one direction so feels like quite a big milestone.

Really hoping it's less windy tomorrow as it has been quite breezy today and if that continues it'll be a very wobbly journey...
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Old May 26 2022, 09:55 PM   #240
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Default Re: Zel's Automotive Antics & Occasional Distractions.

Good to hear that eveything is OK, Good luck on your trip,
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