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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:37 pm 
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Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; '71 VW Beetle
Zelandeth wrote:
Do wonder how long this has been causing issues with battery drain...


Probably since before the boot lights were disabled. This is often assumed to be the cause of slow battery drains in many cars so people disconnect them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:55 am 
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Let's have a look at the non functional full throttle kickdown.

Having done a bit of research I discovered that the kickdown system is meant to be triggered by a microswitch on the throttle cable right next to the throttle cable tower.

The way it works is that when the throttle itself hits the stop at full travel, if you press the pedal further it then pulls the sheath of the cable back against a strong spring, which then acts against a microswitch.

This relies on the cable being pretty much perfectly adjusted to get sufficient travel to activate the switch...and sure enough mine wasn't even close. It's a quick and easy thing to adjust though (probably the only easy to access adjustment in the whole engine bay!), so was a quick matter to correct that.

Sadly it hasn't apparently resolved the issue, though I've yet to confirm the switch itself is working (they're apparently not particularly reliable) as the meter was making a bid for freedom the moment I let go of it because of the wind. I gave up when the bonnet blew shut on me for the second time.

If that switch is working, there's a deeper issue...but I'm not going to worry too much about it just now. It really doesn't affect the driveability of the car (the normal "mild" kickdown feature works fine, it's just the "kick in the pants" mode that is acting up). On a car with more mild power availability it might be more of a headache.

Something a bit less involved needing looked at is the state of the wood trim. It's the first thing people notice in the car.

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The wood itself actually looks to be in good nick. It's just the lacquer layer that's peeling off - not unlike a Dante Red Citroen!

I've never dealt with anything like this but have a rough plan of attack in mind. The bit I'm expecting to be the biggest headache by far is physically detaching the bits of trim from the car so I can work on them.

Probably the trickiest bit with regards to the actual wood I reckon will be getting the remains of the old lacquer off. I'm not expecting it to just peel off nicely, and will probably have to get some paint stripper involved. I don't think sanding is an option as I reckon because it's patchy it would leave high and low spots...also I don't know how thick the veneer is and really don't want to risk rubbing through it.

Once I've got rid of the old manky lacquer it should be pretty simple I think. Quick coat of stain to give it some colour, a skim over with some really gentle sandpaper to key the surface, then a load of light coats of clear coat. I believe polyurethane varnish is normally used commercially...though part of me is wondering if normal automotive clear coat could be used? Both because it removes the requirement for brush painting (which I hate) and I have it in stock in the garage.

Open to suggestions from folks who actually know what they're doing there as this is a bit of a new challenge for me...is the first car I've had with actual wood trim for one thing!

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the lights in the boot which I had revived were pretty pathetic. Having a rummage through the box of "misc automotive bulbs" this morning I came across a couple of 5W LED festoon lamps which I'd stuffed in there a couple of years ago. They're a horrible 6000K bluish colour, which is why I had just stuffed them in the box and forgotten. However for a boot light I'm not so bothered about the colour temperature as it's purely practical.

With the first one in the difference in brightness is immediately obvious! The one on the left is barely even visible.

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Reckon that will be a bit more useful when digging things out in the dead of night.

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Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be slightly less ridiculous and I can get a couple more things done.

The brake judder should soon be sorted as a set of discs has been ordered. Was braced for eye watering prices but they weren't too bad, can't remember exactly what the number was, but I think the pair of discs and pads was around £100. Was bracing for several times that. Will be nice to get that done as it's really the only thing that's really obviously amiss from the driver's seat to be honest.

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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 Jan 15, 2020 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
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Location: Kent
Is the kick-down by vacuum? As in micro switch triggers an electric valve in a vacuum hose somewhere. Maybe a vacuum reservoir tucked away. What gearbox, GM400?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:48 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Correct, GM400.

I believe the full throttle kickdown is electronic, that switch directly switches a solenoid in the box, which switches it to a more aggressive shifting curve. I believe vacuum is involved in the "normal" kickdown which is working.

Hunting vacuum leaks on this car is going to be a nightmare as there are vacuum lines everywhere. Even the valve to turn on/off the water to the heater is vacuum controlled...

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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 Jan 15, 2020 11:06 pm 
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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
This really is a car which encourages you to go the long way to get places.

Like home to the charity shop over at Kiln Farm I check in on semi regularly as they usually have a good selection of vinyl that's mostly £0.50 apiece...a trip that's about four or five miles...but I ended up going via Buckingham, just because I could. Still didn't want to get out when I got there!

The windscreen washers have decided to pack in today. I'm guessing as with most cars of this age this is due to slime growing in the bottom of the washer bottle. It's easily accessible though so no problem. I'll pull it out tomorrow and give it a really good clean, then blow all the lines back through with compressed air. Sure it will be absolutely fine once that's done.

One modification I am definitely going to do is the deletion of the 15 minute "warm up timer" system. What this does is that if the coolant temperature is below 45C (measured by its own sensor to the rear of the right hand coolant manifold), for the first fifteen minutes it disables the vacuum advance system and retards the timing. This makes the engine less efficient, producing more heat and helping it heat up more quickly. It also means that for the first fifteen minutes it absolutely massacres your fuel economy. You'll be lucky to see the instantaneous MPG figure make it into double digits until this has timed out.

Given there is 5.3 litres of quite highly tuned V12 producing heat, it'll warm up in a perfectly reasonable amount of time, even though the engine weighs something ridiculous... there's really no need to deliberately make the thing use more petrol than it needs to!

Luckily this system can be disabled really simply by unplugging the appropriate temperature sensor. The associated hardware can also be removed to help improve space in what's possibly the most cluttered engine bay ever designed (I'm not sure designed is the right word..."happened" seems more accurate), though that's not strictly necessary.

Speaking of heating, the heater is something which needs help. Pretty certain that the tube has come adrift from the duct used to sample the cabin air temperature (or the thermistor value has drifted) as the only way to get any appreciable heat out of it is to set it to the demist mode. Bit of explanation needed here for those who have never used the heater in one of these. When it's set to anything other than demist the temperature is dialled in to a set value between 65 and 85F. There's no "as hot or cold as possible" setting. Which is fine and good when the system is correctly sampling the cabin...but a pain when it's not. The demist mode overrides this and just chucks out as much heat as possible, with the blowers set to maximum. It's also worth noting that there's no air distribution control like on most cars. So the only way to get air into the windscreen is to set it to demist...which puts the blower on full! I reckon that will be less of an issue once the air conditioning has been sorted as the cabin will then always be dehumidified...however it's currently a pain to keep it demisted - though the fact it's never stopped raining since I picked the car up hasn't probably helped. When it's set to demist you should get as much heat as possible, full power to both blower motors and air distribution set to 90% to the windscreen, 10% to the floor level vents. However the air coming out of the lower vents is never warm. So reckon there's an air distribution issue there. That's a job for another day though, I'm not pulling the dashboard apart yet.

Hard to believe I've done nearly 400 miles in it already! Wonder how many years of its previous life that would account for...

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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 Jan 16, 2020 9:25 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
450 miles in.

MPG on the last tank? Uuuuum...10.98MPG. Yeah, economy isn't her strong suit. That warmup timer needs to get in the sea and we'll see how much that helps. The trip computer is far more accurate than most modern ones seem to be. At least I can track it properly now... previously I was having issues there as I hadn't been able to get the tripometer to reset and the counter on the trip computer was getting wiped as I was disconnecting the battery overnight prior to sorting the stereo wiring issue.

Been busy most of today, so aside from briefly introducing a local friend to the Jag (yep, they were as surprised as I was to see it in my fleet!), I've not had a chance to do much with cars. Weather has been distinctly miserable anyway and not really conducive to working on cars.

However on departing the house to run one of many errands I was presented with this:

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The way the lamp failure system works in the Jag is that if an appropriate amount of current flows through the lamp, a bimetallic switch in closes after 10-20 seconds after the respective lighting circuit is turned on to tell the system that the lamp is good, at which point the indicator on the dash goes out. If it doesn't detect this "lamp good" signal, the indicator stays lit.

In this case examination revealed that a number plate light was indeed out. Simply tapping the fitting restored it to operation though rather than the lamp needing replaced. So I'll add "clean number plate light contacts" to the to do list.

Good, because I could have done without standing in the pouring rain sorting that!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:18 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Made a quick run out of town today, partly for a change of scenery and partly as it's an excuse to drive on slightly nicer roads.

This has definitely improved my average fuel consumption from the previous 11mpg, but is still "far from frugal."

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I think one of my jobs for this weekend will be getting stuck into the distributor and making sure the vacuum advance system is working properly. Apparently the old grease dries up and causes the system to lock up. The obvious consequences of this being an engine that's down on power and horrific fuel economy. The former is quite hard to detect given the abundance of torque available from this power unit!

This also has a huge impact on the exhaust gas temperature which really isn't great for the exhaust valves, which is something we want to rectify sooner than later I think given my reading seems to suggest that these engines dropping valve seats isn't unknown if the heads get unduly hot.

Now, to figure out how to get at the distributor without having to remove the cruise control assembly and half of the fuel injection system...

The "Hey, that's a lovely looking car...wait...that's *my* car!" reaction when walking back to it in car parks definitely has hasn't worn off yet.

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Managed to get it a very quick blast over at the jet wash today (hoping to do it by hand at the weekend so mainly wanted to get the moss out of the window seals etc), get the impression this won't come up bad with a bit of work.

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At least I've got rid of the huge greasy hand print I left on the bonnet a few days ago now.

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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 Jan 17, 2020 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:05 pm
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Location: Crewe, Cheshire
Car Model: 2002 Saab 9-5 Aero Estate
That's a nice looking Jag Zelandeth, a V12 too, it must sound lovely, my XJ8 returned around 25 on the motorway, and about 18 in town (the little it did there ...). They sure are a lovely place to be though aren't they.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:48 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
The cabin is an incredibly nice place to be, even with the slightly scabby wood trim at the moment. I was really surprised how much more comfortable the seats are than the ones in the XJ6s I've been in. They're far softer. Really is like sitting in a lovely squidgy leather armchair. Of course there's the smell of old leather and wood which greets you as soon as you open the door.

The sound is interesting. At the lower end of the rev band it's just a lovely understated rumble, but the moment you go north of 4000rpm it transitions into a spine tingling howl. Still almost turbine smooth and utterly refined, but very much the sort of noise that says "I mean business, don't mess with me."

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:10 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Finally had an opportunity to give the Jag a proper wash today.

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Which gave me the chance to give the bodywork a bit of a better appraisal.

The rear arches definitely need some attention sooner rather than later. Probably not a massive job to sort now, but give it a few years and it will be far harder.

Not quite sure what's going on with the number plate lights. Looks like the lenses have sort of disintegrated (and half painted over during the respray).

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There are a couple of wide washers on the original screws which are sort of wedging the lens half in place. Methinks replacing these will be on the cards. Though they're £25 apiece so might not be particularly high on the list just now.

Spotted something which I'll need to attend to at some point shortly. Looks like the seals under the feed hoses to the brake master cylinder need changed.

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I'll make sure it's not the hose weeping first though.

While the car was actually clean for ten seconds I decided to grab a couple of better photos.

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Figured that the next thing it would be sensible to do would be to throw some wax on to protect the paint until I have time to fully polish it. This it turned out was a mistake. I didn't spot the words "new and improved formula" on the bottle of aqua wax until after I'd sprayed half the car with it. Being new and apparently improved of course translates to "no longer behaves as I expect it to." As such I then spent nearly two hours trying to buff it off, without seeming to get anywhere.

Tomorrow I'll set about polishing and waxing it properly if the weather plays ball.

Planning to get into the distributor in the week when I should have a couple of afternoons with a decent chunk of time without interruption. Don't want to do that tomorrow as there's too much chance of me getting dragged off for other tasks and it's a job I'd rather get done in one shot rather than having to down tools and come back having forgotten half of what I'm doing.

Last little job I had a look at before tidying up was to see if the foggy reversing light lenses would clean up. It's a small detail but their being milky, dull and yellowed is quite obvious when looking at the rear of the car.

Before:

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After:

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That scrubbed up nicely, could probably do with a second pass (and the polish residue cleaning out of the lettering), but looks far better. I'll probably do all of the tail light lenses as even though they're not as bad as the reversing light ones they're all quite dull.

Speaking of tail lights, I do wonder how much of the US spec running lights is present in the cluster...I believe over there the little retro reflector in the side facing part of the indicator would have had a little 5W lamp behind it.

Sorry, I will stop spamming the thread with photos of this car eventually...

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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: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:26 pm
Posts: 4437
Location: South Oxfordshire
Car Model: 9-3ss Aero 2.0T; '71 VW Beetle
Keep the photos coming!

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2007(57) 9-3 Aero 2.0T
1971 (K) VW Beetle 1300
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:24 am 
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Location: Crewe, Cheshire
Car Model: 2002 Saab 9-5 Aero Estate
Wait a minute, the last two photos show a right, then a left, reversing light, one could be forgiven into thinking that a small trick was being played here :D

Nice job Zelandeth but come on sir, photos of the engine and interior are needed, stop teasing us with photos of the boot and the outside and get some porn on here .......

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'02' 9-5 Aero wagon
'98' 9-5 SE 2.3LPT
'98' 9000 CSE 2.0LPT
'01' 9-5 2.0L LPT
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:09 am 
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Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
That's because some idiot forgot to take a photo of the lens he removed to polish up before he started...

I'll see about grabbing a few more interior shots and some from the engine bay. It's hellishly grubby just now though and looks really rough as there's a lot of surface oxidisation on things from the time the car spent in the lockup with a damp problem. Likewise the interior is waiting on me refinishing all of the wood as the clear coat is peeling off it all.

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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: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:56 pm 
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Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
masonmjs wrote:
...Nice job Zelandeth but come on sir, photos of the engine and interior are needed...


All right, here you go...

The engine bay is grubby but generally unmolested it seems.

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Wouldn't be a British car without a couple of oil leaks would it.

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Not actually marking it's territory though or smelling of oil so not worrying about that sort of thing. If I do have the cam cover(s) off at any point I'll obviously reseal things properly using the improved modern gaskets rather than the old cardboard ones which always leak.

I'm missing the soundproofing from the underside of the bonnet too, which is a bit annoying as it's surprisingly expensive to replace.

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Though to be honest she's so quiet that I don't really think it's needed. I'll probably just clean the underside of the bonnet off and leave it be. Anything that can help knock a degree or two off the underbonnet temperature can't be a bad thing.

The interior is precisely as welcoming as you would expect. In surprisingly good order for the most part too.

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She has had a replacement headlining at some point, which is good as they're as prone to sagging as the ones in C900s.

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The only real issue in there is that pretty much all the wood trim needs to be refinished.

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Luckily with the exception of the trim next to the trip computer it all just needs the clear coat removing and reapplying. The bits by the trip computer need a bit of repair as they have delaminated but it shouldn't be too hard to sort.

The outside is where I'm working right now though.

Yesterday I ended the day with a car covered in smeary, hazy wax marks that refused to buff off. This was highly annoying.

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That bottle has now been binned. I'm not playing that game again.

Step one for today, after a bit of experimentation, was to polish the car end to end to get rid of that residue.

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Much better. Though having just made the car shiny again, it was immediately made un-shiny again by throwing lots of (probably a bit much to be honest, but I struggled to get this to go on thinly) wax at it.

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This behaved much more as expected and didn't cause me any headaches.

I did give the tail light lenses a skim over with the cutting paste to bring them back to life a bit as they were quite matt and hazy, they came up pretty decent. They're still a bit tired but look way better than they did.

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This is the reflector which in the US would have a small lamp behind it serving as one of the position lights I believe. There's an obvious space for a 5W capless lamp but sadly no lamp holder.

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Thinking I may retrofit this as these days I'm all for anything which makes the car more visible. I don't believe there's a roadworthiness issue with a steady amber light being shown to the side of the vehicle when the headlights are lit.

At the end of the day once all the wax was buffed off and the bumpers etc given a going over with the rubber treatment this is what we were left with. Need to do that again as they absorbed the rubber treatment like a sponge - guessing it's a while since they saw attention. Looking better though.

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Ignore the puddle under the back of the car... that's from the bottle of antifreeze I knocked over in the boot earlier that started leaking unknown to me until I noticed that puddle forming. Oops.

Starting to look like a Jag deserves to.

Last task for the day before I ran out of daylight was to investigate the utterly horrendous reproduction from the stereo. Attempting to turn the bass control up anywhere above zero resulted in it sounding like a gazoo being played through a guitar distortion pedal...

I knew that something looked off about the speaker installation even before I picked up any tools.

The moment I went to remove the covers it became abundantly clear why things were sounding so laughably poor.

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Firstly, the speaker isn't fastened to anything aside from the flimsy fibreboard door card. Secondly, it's fastened to the wrong side of it, so the cutout (which I am assuming is sized for the stock speakers...which were probably better than this rubbish) is leaving the door card actively pressed up against the periphery of the speaker cone. Thirdly, the door card is flapping around in the breeze because whoever installed this broke half the trim clips and never replaced the adhesive tape around the edge. Fourthly, they never put a weather shield over the speaker, so it was full of water and consequently is knackered.

While the covers said Kenwood, what came out is Sony badged...but it's clearly a bargain basement piece of Chinesium with a Sony badge on.

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The fact that it weighs less than half what the little 100mm drivers I installed in the van last year says a lot I think...only place these are headed is the electronic recycling bin.

It's a shame they've marked the door cards so badly (and I think cut it away a bit on closer inspection) as otherwise I'd look to find a replacement for the original speaker covers and replacement drivers in the original size. As it is, the damage is already done so no point worrying about it. I did wonder about putting these 5x7s in as they've been looking for a home for a few years now (bought for something else where I discovered they were too deep for).

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However that will involve hacking away more of the door card which I'd really rather avoid. Plus I'd need to buy a cover for them anyway as I've no idea whatsoever where the ones that came with these speakers have gone.

So I'll pick up something new. Based on what's available locally and at a sensible price, will probably be a pair of Pioneer TS-R1350S units I think as they should fit in the existing cutout (properly fitted this time!). I'll probably get a cheap set of generic plain black mesh covers for them to make it blend in and look a bit less obviously aftermarket. I'll then take a better look at the setup in the back and decide what to do there. It looks like identical speakers have been fitted, and I'm expecting them to have been just as poorly fitted. They're a bit less mission critical though as once the front ones are sorted at least the stereo will be listenable.

I'll obviously take the opportunity to resecure the door cards properly as well and reinstate the weatherproofing shield that I'm sure should be in there. May as well cavity wax the inside of the doors while I'm in there.

Had a shot at getting the washer bottle out for cleaning just before closing up for the evening, however the fasteners are utterly disinterested in moving, so they have been doused in Plusgas and I'll try again tomorrow. At least it's one of the few things in the engine bay that are easy to get to!

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So this evening I am finally roughly where I had hoped to be this time yesterday before the nonsense with that horrible Aqua Wax stuff. On the plus side, at least the car has now had at least a quick polish. The bonnet I reckon in particular would benefit from a proper going over with the machine polisher at some point, but the rest of the car hasn't come up badly at all.

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