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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:51 am 
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Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 368
Location: Kent
Check these guys, they will make anything you want or copy your cable, make it a bit longer, shorter, whatever you need.

https://www.venhill.co.uk/custom-cables/

I was at a vintage motorcycle event a couple of Sundays ago and a stall had a table with a pile of control cables on. Take your pick £1 each.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Derek UK wrote:
Check these guys, they will make anything you want or copy your cable, make it a bit longer, shorter, whatever you need.

https://www.venhill.co.uk/custom-cables/

I was at a vintage motorcycle event a couple of Sundays ago and a stall had a table with a pile of control cables on. Take your pick £1 each.


Useful to know of that company if I'm in a pinch in future, though at their prices realistically I'll just make sure I have the kit on hand to make my own in future. There's absolutely nothing exotic about the cable I'm after other than it being quite long because the car is rear engined (plus another couple of feet because it's a hand control).

Definitely worth bookmarking though in case I do need anything less easily made at home in future though or need something turned around in a hurry.

I have kept my eyes open at a few auto jumbles as it's been on my "keeping an eye out" list for a while, not come across one there long enough yet though.

Annoyingly a Skoda Estelle throttle cable is about 6" too short...thought I was onto something there when I realised I had one in my spares stash! They save a lot of cable by taking a more direct route and only going to the front of the centre console (a rod transfers motion from the pedal not unlike a C900 brake pedal).

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
This afternoon I took an hour out to investigate a gremlin which has turned up on the Xantia in the last week or so - that the rear of the exhaust had taken up rattling somewhere. It's driving me round the twist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
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.

_________________
96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
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. 

_________________
96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:12 pm
Posts: 8853
Location: Portsmouth
Car Model: 96 V4 & 9-3 Turbo-X
Multiple thin layers are better than 1 or 2 thick ones. Takes longer but looks better.

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'75 96 V4 Anniversary Restoration Project
'09 9-3 Turbo-X Wagon No. 38
B204 Haynes Roadster Project


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:28 am 
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Posts: 257
Location: Royston Vasey
Car Model: 1987 SAAB 900i
Looks brilliant, love the colour. Crazy to think that you see a filter working.
The patience required for this this is not something that I possess, which makes this eels all the more impressive.

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Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes
Then you are a mile away and have their shoes!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:42 pm 
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Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Definitely struggling with the spray gun a bit. I don't seem to be able to get any sort of a wet edge laid down no matter what I've done with the settings and the paint doesn't seem to be atomising all that well, hence the pebbly texture we seem to be getting most of the time.

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

I think the £18 spray gun may need to be eyed as a possible contributor to these issues...I don't think air supply is an issue as I've verified I've got suitable pressure at the delivery point (not just shown on the regulator).

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

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

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We'll get there I'm sure...just going to take some time and experimentation I think.

_________________
96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:09 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Not a huge amount of progress from yesterday - though the rear of the roof is now the only bit which is now still in primer.

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A friend of mine who does quite a bit of painting of commercial vehicles has suggested that based on the type of paint I'm using the 1mm nozzle is likely to be sub optimal for doing full panel spraying. This ties in with my observations to be honest today when I was fiddling around with the settings on the paint gun. I got a nice finish on the little box I was using as my test piece, but turning back to the car it felt like I was puffing paint at the car through a drinking straw again.

About an hour after that conversation someone suggested that on another forum as well.

My friend has also suggested that this paint should behave well if rollered on, especially on a less than stellar surface like this where we want a bit thicker a coat than might normally be expected. So I'm going to give that a try tomorrow. Never tried it before, but curious to try it.

Should quickly be able to get the remaining bits of primer in colour quickly anyhow. I've not discounted the idea of getting it along to the National Microcar Rally next weekend yet...but there are a lot of things which would need to go right before that can happen yet.

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Unless I'm hallucinating, it looks like we might actually be making progress now.

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

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

Time will tell if it's a false start...but this feels like progress.

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:03 am 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Today was very much a game of two halves. Also can be read as "discovering the pitfalls you need to watch for when painting."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures hopefully speak a thousand words...

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

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Here's the two shots where there's evidence of my "paint flow anomaly" which I'll need to resolve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:12 pm
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Location: Portsmouth
Car Model: 96 V4 & 9-3 Turbo-X
Definitely. Theres a thread on here about the dangers of paint funes and ISOCYANATES.

Looks like those filters are near needing changing.



I just wish the wife would stop giving me other work to do so I could get on with the painting on my 96.

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'75 96 V4 Anniversary Restoration Project
'09 9-3 Turbo-X Wagon No. 38
B204 Haynes Roadster Project


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:03 am 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
beardydave wrote:
Definitely. Theres a thread on here about the dangers of paint funes and ISOCYANATES.

Looks like those filters are near needing changing.

I just wish the wife would stop giving me other work to do so I could get on with the painting on my 96.


No isocyanates here. Quite specifically made the point of not using 2K paint so as to avoid needing to invest in a remote air supply etc - not to mention the fact that my garage is far from gas tight relative to the rest of the house. Nothing in this stuff that the A2 filters can't deal with. I spent a good fifteen minutes talking this through with the gent at LKQ to make sure I had the right material and equipment to get this done safely.

If I were buying paint for a newer vehicle it would have been trickier as I would then have had to deal with modern paint formulation...but as it's for a vehicle over 30 years old they're able to sell me more user-friendly (albeit probably less environmentally friendly) paint. I did have to provide evidence in the form of the V5C of the vehicle age.

Will definitely be looking to change the filters before too much longer, though I'm hopeful that I'm nearing the end of standing around in a fog of paint fumes for a while now, so they should see me through. New ones will be fitted before I attack the underside of the van with the rust proofing goop.

Still astonishes me that there's not more of an effort made to warn about the dangers of isocyanates beyond the usual "don't snort the fumes" warning on the back of the cans from Halfords etc.

Makes me roll my eyes in that I can't buy Irn-Bru any more because they've taken the sugar out because it's bad for us...but I can buy paint packed full of isocyanates without anyone batting an eye lid or anything beyond a bunch of warning text that nobody reads being printed on the can.

If it's useful/interesting to anyone, I was provided with the material data sheet with this paint and can scan it, just let me know.

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:00 am 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Definitely feel I'm somewhat getting the feel of this now. Got the spray gun working nicely within a few minutes today, and it behaved perfectly throughout the whole loading of paint.

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

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

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

Here's a bit of before & after fun.

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

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

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

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:37 am 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Today was quite gratifying in that it has seen TPA suddenly starting to look like a car again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDIT:

Quick addendum:

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

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

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:20 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
With the paint stripping, sanding, soda blasting and painting that has been going on over the last couple of months, TPA's interior was in a right royal state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:56 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Apparently I missed an update yesterday...so have a double update.

Today I Managed about half an hour outside before retreating inside due to passing out becoming an increasingly real hazard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- -- --

Throttle cable refitting was an utter fail.

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

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

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

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

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

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:44 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Took some measurements today for future reference if I decide to go down the route of adding carpet of trimming any areas. Roof is the obvious one along with the shelf on the transmission cover. The purpose there is twofold in that it would both help with sound deadening and help stop stuff sliding around so much. Lining the roof should do a lot to help dampen the general echoes in the cabin.

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Front bulkhead is probably quite bad for drumming too as it's one huge flat surface.

Would probably make sense to do the floor and front bulkhead in one section.

Not putting too much thought and time into this right now as there are way higher priority tasks...just interesting to plan for what might be future improvements. Most carpet rolls are 4m wide I believe so need to factor in any wastage to the calculations for how much would need to be bought. Guessing two metres from a 4m roll would be sensible. Will give plenty of wriggle room, even taking into account the inevitable wastage, even of I were to do the lot.

I've forbidden myself from going near anything with a repeating pattern as trying to ensure everything is facing the same direction in such close quarters sounds like a recipe for insanity. Plus most patterns would look daft in a car. We'll be going with plain, solid colour short pile. Probably black or very dark grey for the floor, roof and rest of the panels will go for a more neutral mid grey.

Just a shame there are a lot of very rusty fasteners holding the roof on as that would be so much easier with it in the ground.

Not too worried about most of it, but I'd like to get the floor done as the existing flooring is in such poor condition. Imagine it would improve the refinement quite a bit too.

Given that my throttle cable package passed through a distribution centre less than 50 miles away yesterday evening I'm hoping it might arrive tomorrow.

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:42 am 
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Posts: 368
Location: Kent
You could check out kitchen or patio carpet. It can be cut to size without fraying if you get the right stuff, so no edging needed. It can handle dirt and spills and is stiff enough to enable it to be popped back out for washing. Its utilitarian looks will be a better match for the car than a slab of Wilton. Adhesive anti drum pads are always useful and thin enough to hide under a headlining or carpets. Use in the door too. No need to cover the whole panel.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:04 am 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Things today started out in a frustrating way.

The throttle cable kit I had been waiting for since the sixth of August finally arrived today. However it immediately became apparent that it did not contain the parts I needed.

What I thought were the small barrel shaped cable ends in the tiny blurry images on the listing actually turned out to be ferrules (left on the image below), and the actual cable ends were the larger type. Shown to the right.

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By this point I was thoroughly irked given how long I had waited for it. This quite quickly turned into me refusing to be beaten given that I was holding a new length of decent cable in my hand.

The issue I had was that the barrel type cable ends supplied while correct in their length were roughly twice the required diameter. So they wouldn't fit into the proper retainer in the twist grip. I couldn't even wedge one in behind the holder because the clamshell sections which cover it wouldn't close with the cable end sitting so much prouder than the original.

That was until I gave it some thought and brandished an angle grinder at it. I cut a new slot just to one side of the original cable retainer like so...

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Which allows the larger cable end to sit like this...

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This drops the height of things to a point where the covers can be correctly reassembled. Having left the original retainer untouched means I will have the option to revert to the other type of cable end in the future if needed.

With the new end soldered onto the cable everything was put together and it worked. Action still isn't great so I may well change the cable outer as well at some point, but it is actually working now. The twist grip itself isn't the nicest thing ever anyway, so that too might be replaced in the future.

Which meant I could finally get the car out of the garage for the first time in several weeks.

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Answers on a postcard for the best way to shift overspray from tyres?

Before heading out though I made a point of properly setting the CVT belt tension - spacing the pulley centres 10.25" apart as per the manual (I'll probably find I've remembered the value wrong now) as I was pretty certain the belt was too loose when I was last out. It was very snatchy moving off from a standstill and sounded like it was flapping around a lot at speed.

Still a bit juddery moving off from a standstill, but definitely better. I suspect the engine/gearbox mounts I have are a bit last their best so may look to replace those at some point. It does to some extent seem to be something they are a bit prone to though from what I remember seeing.

Drive is definitely happier though, *far* quieter and especially so at cruising speed. Much less of a noticeable shunt when coming off the power too. Several points while out today I was having to back off the throttle due to the 60mph speed limit rather than due to running out of road or other traffic.

Fuelling up has shown us nearly touching 30mpg on that last tank - half of which was prior to fitting the new pulleys, so it's definitely heading the right way. Not expecting to ever see particularly great figures locally as MK is murderous on fuel economy because of there being a roundabout every 0.9 miles. Would be nice to see over 30mpg though, which hopefully we will on the next tank.

Obviously had to snap a few photos while out and about.

The heavens did open at one point, which revealed that I owe an apology to this windscreen wiper blade.

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I had expected it to be nothing but a pointless shiny bit of tat...but it actually works just fine, better than the Bosch one which was on there before anyway.

Even when the surface is horribly rough, you still get water beading on new paint which is always satisfying to see.

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At least I now have a few reasonable "stock" images of TPA I can throw at people when they ask what a Model 70 is now. Obviously I'll need to re-take these once the new number plates arrive though.

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...And back home after all the excitement of an actual run.

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The sliding doors still amuse me and seem to utterly confuse passers by.

I'll need to find an excuse to head out of town shortly so I can properly assess how the drive is behaving. Definitely seems far happier now though and there wasn't anything which felt like it gave me cause for concern during the drive. Never mind nothing actually falling off, it didn't feel like anything was even in danger of falling off this time.

Looking at those photos now it is slightly hard to believe that's the same car that arrived wedged in the back of a Transit van about a year ago...

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She's undergone a bit of a transformation I think it's fair to say!

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96 Xantia Activa, 90 Merc 208D, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model 70


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