Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren » 12 Aug 2019, 10:52

It may not be that long coming Zel. I've had stuff come in four days, last package took six.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 12 Aug 2019, 19:35

Shelltune in N'mptn might be more convenient - last of the old school parts shops.

I share your frustration with the downside of internet shopping, but all this kind of stuff is still available from some well established traders on the classsic show/autojumble circuit & there's a couple of cable specialists that advertise in the classic press.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 14 Aug 2019, 00:08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 14 Aug 2019, 20:29

Surely that fragile rear box wouldn't have survived an impact to the tailpipe?

Actually I do have a box going begging - BUT, as it's for a 2.1TD Estate I doubt it'll be much use to you.

After the price of tyres for the Invacar, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at those for the Xantia - providing you avoid Michelins (& a couple of other premium brands). At the other extreme, of course, are any product from the Hong Kong & Shanghai French Letter & Cab Tyre Co. (now far more readily available than when that wonderful name was dreamed up) which, at mates' rates, worked out at £50 for 3 - IIRC; not my choice but as my step-son was paying - & he uses the car most - I wasn't going to tell him I didn't want them fitted.
Last edited by van ordinaire on 14 Aug 2019, 20:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 14 Aug 2019, 20:30

I believe that CitroJim rather liked tyres from BF Goodrich.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 15 Aug 2019, 13:16

I've no idea what's up with the exhaust...I just know what somehow it's now not the same shape that it was when I checked it over prior to the last MOT, and it's not a failed hanger that's to blame.

Tyres will be Uniroyal RainExpert (3 I think they're on these days), they have been my go to tyre for a number of years now.

In other news, I have paint!

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

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£11 for a litre if I remember right - and a litre should go a lot further in a proper spray gun than in rattle cans if my prior experience is anything to go by. The Halfords rattle cans were the best part of a tenner each. Yeah...this should save me a few quid. 

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

Picked up a suitable mask while I was there too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren » 15 Aug 2019, 14:53

It will dry darker, blues always drop.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by van ordinaire » 16 Aug 2019, 00:28

I think pre-facelift Cherokee rear wipers are 10" but anyway it's the shortest standard Wipac replacement, readily available from Trago's - about £1 (usually cheaper still over Christmas/New Year). Next time, or if you want a spare, you only have to ask. Mind you, I've offered to pick up a job lot of blades before - & had absolutely no response!

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Michel » 16 Aug 2019, 12:04

van ordinaire wrote:
14 Aug 2019, 20:29
Surely that fragile rear box wouldn't have survived an impact to the tailpipe?

Actually I do have a box going begging - BUT, as it's for a 2.1TD Estate I doubt it'll be much use to you.
I believe it's actually the same box on the 2.1TD saloon, so it may actually be ok...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by RichardW » 16 Aug 2019, 14:14

Estate box is longer to reflect the extra car length. Can't remember if it's in the box or tail pipe...

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Michel » 16 Aug 2019, 14:24

RichardW wrote:
16 Aug 2019, 14:14
Estate box is longer to reflect the extra car length. Can't remember if it's in the box or tail pipe...
I think it's in the box itself Richard, I fitted one on my Activa and I recall having to be "inventive" with the hanger nearest the centre of the car as the rubber wouldn't reach as the hook on the box was out of place.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur » 16 Aug 2019, 19:54

van ordinaire wrote:
27 Jul 2019, 20:58
Several Citroëns there which really should've been a couple of 100 miles away, among the other 5,000-odd celebrating the marque's centenary.
Catching up on this Thread, so a bit 'out of date'. Have you guys seen Hub Nut's 2CV to Croatia videos on YouTube, which included a visit to the Citroen Centenary? Superb! Could seriously fancy a Tissier CX (in my Dreams!)

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur » 16 Aug 2019, 20:00

Zelandeth wrote:
14 Aug 2019, 00:08
I'd known the rear box was a bit crusty though so wanted to give it a good look over. Of course I'm a complete idiot, so I poked the crusty bits...
I noted in the course of sourcing Exhausts for Mum In Law's 2011 Micra and daughter's C3 (which both failed in the same week) that it seems nowadays they're made to order.

That being the case, perhaps its just as easy to get the rare stuff as it is to get the common as mustard stuff... I was shocked at how few options I had for an 8 year old Micra back box!

I was a bit underwhelmed that none of the welds had been properly cleaned, or painted, but a quick blast with the Rotary wire brush and a bit of Silver VHT soon remedied that.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 16 Aug 2019, 20:06

It might be worth considering getting a stainless steel exhaust made up. I recall a couple of members have done so.

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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - Xantia Activa, Lada Riva, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth » 16 Aug 2019, 22:51

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
16 Aug 2019, 20:06
It might be worth considering getting a stainless steel exhaust made up. I recall a couple of members have done so.
That's the plan. Will probably wind up being done by the same company who made my fuel tank.

Had an opportunity to do a very quick test of the paint yesterday evening - which was basically 30 minutes setting up the spray gun, wiping the panel down, then the same to clean the spray gun out. Actually painting covered about five minutes.

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

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

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

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

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

That was where we left things yesterday.

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

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

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Bit further spraying was done.

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

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

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

The only issue I seem to be having is actually getting enough paint onto the car. Think I'll need to experiment with a bit more thinners than the instructions actually recommend to see what happens.

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