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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Thanks to input from the Microcar World group on Facebook (which I've extremely begrudgingly made use of simply because not doing so was proving to be a major pain in the tail in resource terms) I've finally been in touch with a fabrication shop who are actually interested in making me a fuel tank.

Fusion Fabrication over in Oxfordshire have agreed to make me one up that will be as close as possibly a direct replica of the original tank but in aluminium (because lightness counts of course!). £230 was the price quoted which is precisely the sort of ball park I'd been expecting really - not the £850 one other lot quoted... Will let you know how it turns out obviously.

Next step, order fuel gauge sender...Need to dig back through the various threads I've got on this I think as I'm sure someone mentioned which one I needed somewhere. The gauge reads full scale full with no sender attached if that means anything to anyone - it will no doubt be shared with some BMC models from the early to mid 70s I'm sure.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
So we've made a start on the bodywork.

I've not done any real work with fibreglass like this before so it's an exercise in experimentation. Main target at this stage is "presentable at twenty paces and acceptable at the MOT.". I'm under no illusions that I won't wind up reworking this at some point in the future. Someone is currently looking at the possibility of making some moulds as well so it's entirely possible that repair sections may become available a year or two down the line too.

We started with this.

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Which when I left the garage this evening looked like this.

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Still scruffy by any standards, but scruffy is preferable to missing, so feels like progress.

Definitely reverting to the application method I've seen a friend using though (wetting the mat in a tray then applying that to the bodywork rather than holding the mat in place and "painting" over it) as doing it the way illustrated on the tin was a gigantic pain in the tail as the mat even when properly wetted through was far more interested in sticking to the brush than the bodywork.

Also highlighted how well insulated from the house our garage isn't. The whole house now stinks to high heaven of resin.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:00 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Was expecting a couple of parts for the Invacar in the post yesterday. Still waiting for them...however something far more exciting turned up instead.

They were all scrapped in 2003, and we all know once that happens the car is doomed, right?

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Had expected this to require far more arguing with the DVLA, however all that wound up being required was a V62, a cheque for £25, a covering letter and a bundle of photos showing the car as a whole and the chassis, body and engine numbers.

Suffice to say, having the V5C turn up is a massive step forward. It however can't just be taxed like that...you need to do this first...

[] Fill in section 7 on the V5.
- Wheel plan/body type, change from "invalid vehicle/not recorded" to "3-wheel/tricycle."
- Engine size, 493cc. They all show 9999cc as that seems to be the default value the system put in when the records were digitised if the field was blank.
- Engine number, self explanatory.
- Number of seats, 1.
- Tax class, change "disabled" to "historic."

[] Go to Post Office. Have them change the tax class there (no MOT needed, V112 exemption certificate is sufficient). They retained the V5C for onward transmission directly to the DVLA.

So for the first time since at least 2001, she is taxed.

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Then rang up my insurer (Hagerty) to get it on cover (all of £50 a year), as I wanted to take the van off cover as it's laid up for winter anyhow...so wound up getting a nice little refund.

So now the only thing between it and the road is my own to do list...suffice to say this should make for a good incentive to get my tail in gear and finish it.

Lack of requiring an MOT is a bonus (it will still get one) as it will mean the first testing can be gently trundling around our neighborhood rather than a mad dash all the way across town to the MOT centre.

The evening task was to reattach the nearside gutter...job done.

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The self tapping screws are temporary, nuts and bolts will be used - I discovered after applying the sealant that I couldn't fit the rivet gun in, so needed to find a way to hold the gutter on while the sealant set.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Turns out my determination to get the trim panel above the windscreen off was well founded given this is what greeted me when I finally drilled out the seized screw and got it off.

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Thankfully the occupants were no longer present and as I've seen no other evidence of them I'm happy to believe that they're gone.

Annoyingly I'll need to pick up a second 1/8" Whitworth spanner to get the heater control box (for painting) and the windscreen demister assembly (to ensure it's free of rodent nests and to improve the degree to which it's sealed as a heap of air currently exits in unhelpful directions). So that's a job for the future.

This is what the trim panel looked like with the rotten cloth and foam removed.

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Once I've managed to remove the adhesive (and the remaining sun visor hinge) it will be given a coat of hammered finish black paint. I reckon that will look as though it was as intended by the factory. The original cloth actually looks oddly out of place I think.

The bolts I'd planned to use on the roof gutters unfortunately have heads too big to fit in the channel. I'll try to find something more appropriate tomorrow. That's not a massively high priority.

Nice little package of stuff arrived this morning.

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That's a fuel gauge sender, new air filter (finally!) and one of the later Curtis/Veglia fuel gauges. So irrespective of which type of sender is in the box I should be able to make that work. Also means I can now take measurements of the sender unit and send those to the gent who is making the fuel tank for me.

Probably get tyres ordered this week...the first test run (even though it will just be a third of a mile loop round our neighborhood) is getting tantalisingly close now...

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
I think it's fair to say that the old air filter was "due for replacement" on this occasion...

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Much better.

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The rest of the day's tasks came under the heading of "unexciting but important" given the steadily approaching point at which I'll want to venture beyond the end of the driveway.

The driver's seat still had the seat belt buckle and pretensioner assembly from its previous life in a Xantia attached. This was annoying in that I repeatedly sat on it when climbing aboard and that it got in the way of the seat belt. So that got removed (anyone need a spare for an S2 Xantia?). This meant that it was time to remove the original mangled seat belt buckle though - which I was staggered to find actually unbolted without too much protest.

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Obviously that was destined only for the bin!

Nice new old stock eye bolt was installed...

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Which finally meant I could clip the seatbelt into place correctly.

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The seatbelt now in a functional state I figured it made sense to sort the seat itself next. The main issue I had was that it wobbled because the clamps I'd used to secure the seat to the original framework were slightly too big - so I ran out of thread on the bolts before everything was properly secured. It couldn't actually *go* anywhere, just wobbled by a couple of millimetres.

I suddenly had the brainwave telling me that I didn't actually need to replace the clamps, instead just stick a few washers under the securing nuts to act as spacers, giving me the extra 1.8" or so of thread I needed. Worked perfectly, and the seat is now more securely fastened in place than the original was I reckon.

Knowing I was done with messing for that for now I drilled a couple of holes in and reattached the trim that used to be on the side of it, hiding the somewhat ugly mounting hardware from the nearside.

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Having a seat that doesn't go "clonk" alarmingly every time you sit down and having a working seatbelt definitely seem things it was worth ticking off the to do list.

The eagle eyed among you might have spotted in the above photo that the offside interior door release has also been refitted.

Nothing I've thrown at it so far has any impact on the glue from the sun visor trim panel, so looks like that will need to be removed by brute force and an andle grinder.

The absolutely disgusting sun visor (I'm not kidding, it was gross)...

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Cleaned up quite nicely overnight with a trip through my "parts washer" so is now ready to be refitted once the panel it attaches to is ready.

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I didn't want to tackle the brake pipes while the car is in the garage as having access to all sides of the car will make that a fair bit easier, so might try to pull it out the garage and do that tomorrow if the weather co-operates.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Sometimes you have to take what look superficially like a few steps backward to move forward.

You know that thing I did bolting the seat in place yesterday? Yep, went and pulled it out again today.

To be fair I knew I was going to be doing that, I've got a list of things on the whiteboard which basically come under the heading of "stuff I bodged when I was wanting to just get the car going" and "stuff I couldn't get at earlier."

The transmission access hatch needed to come off. Of course there was the obligatory *one* screw that wouldn't come out. There's always one.

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Out with the drill again. Then half an hour of very, very carefully peeling the gasket off as it was well and truly stuck to the bulkhead.

So there were a few things I wanted this off for.

Firstly, the offside engine mount. I'd only managed to get one bolt into it when the engine went in, and the nut wouldn't do up fully because the bolt was partly cross threaded. Access was awkward from the back of the car, but a doddle when approaching from inside the car. Note to self: next time you need to change one, do it from that side.

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While I was back there I rerouted the throttle cable properly through the eye on the gearbox which has helped stop it sticking. Also took the opportunity to adjust the gear selector which is far easier with the seat out the way.

While rummaging around I found two battery clamps, so have replaced the missing one.

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I've also been pondering my seat attachment setup and reckon that I can improve on my original solution...which worked but was exceedingly inelegant. I can do better.

Other reason I wanted that cover off was to get better access for routing the rear axle brake lines. Once that's done everything will be getting buttoned back up.

Edit: nearly forgot, the C5 was out for its first run of the year a couple of days back - totally by random chance it turned out to be on the anniversary of its launch.

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It still never ceases to amaze me how many people think it's some futuristic new thing that's just hit the streets, not just having turned 34...I used it far too little last year, need to do better this year.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Have been struggling for enthusiasm today given I got basically zero sleep last night and have had a raging headache all day, but I was determined to tick at least one thing off.

Today's one was what I reckon is a sensible addition to any classic car, but is almost essential on one with as rudimentary an approach to fuse protection as this - a battery cut off switch.

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This will mean I no longer need to physically remove one of the battery leads every night so I'm not worried about it spontaneously combusting in the garage overnight.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
Today I've been trying to work out what battery I need for the Invacar. It's currently got an 038 in (read: nicked from the C5) but that's too long to be secured by the battery clamps.

Here's a close up of the battery tray.

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The hard limits are the distance between the two posts which the clamps fit into at 210mm (8 1/4") and the width at 140mm (5 1/2") as the brackets wrap around the end of the battery.

Looking through my extremely dog eared battery cross reference table, it looks like the 054/5 size is the best match at 187mm (7 1/3") long by 127mm (5") wide and 220mm (8 2/3") tall. Height is irrelevant as there's bags of room above.

Longer term I'll be looking at moving the battery up front to provide some additional front wheel ballast, but that's at least months if not years away yet!

Have been doing some further digging and it looks - depending on where the measurements are taken from a 063 (S4 001 in current Bosch talk) might *just about* fit, so I think I'm just going to wander into Costco tomorrow and take some actual measurements. It seems that for all the type numbers should be standards - there's a huge variance from maker to maker looking at data sheets.

So tape measure and bracket in hands I'm just going to go take a look and see if they've got one that fits. Hoping so as it will probably be cheaper than even a U1 or lawn tractor battery will be elsewhere.

All being well the fuel tank should be done next week so getting stuff like this ticked off is getting more important!

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1553
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activ
After a rummage round a few places locally who stock batteries today I wound up picking up a U1-R.

Aside from a lack of a flange round the base I don't reckon this can be all that far off the size of the original. Heck of a lot lighter than most car batteries as well at just under 8kg, which in a car with less than 20bhp can only be a good thing!

It might not be a long, long term solution but it should get me mobile at least.

I'll need to make up a bit of a spacer to fill out the brackets but that's nothing too difficult.

Here's a quick snap of the new battery in place before it was hooked up.

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At some point in the future I'll probably look at relocation of the battery to the front of the car and will have more options to play with then.

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96 Xantia Activa, 93 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate, 90 Merc 208D, Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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