UKSaabs

THE site for UK Saab people!
It is currently Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:54 am

All times are UTC



Forum rules


The place for you to start a thread about and show us your car.

(Please stick to one thread, rather than starting several threads for the same vehicle).

Your Cars is the place for telling us about your new cars, minor upgrades and mini projects.
Full on restorations & major rebuilds should be posted in Restorations & Major Projects.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 693 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:37 am 
Offline
Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent
Does the handlebar need a good derust and shine along with some nice slippy grease? Is this twistgrip something special or can it be replaced by a motorcycle one of roughly that period? Tyres should clean up with celly thinners and a Scotch-Brite pad. She's looking good now I think. Just need to get some miles in.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:02 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Derek UK wrote:
Does the handlebar need a good derust and shine along with some nice slippy grease? Is this twistgrip something special or can it be replaced by a motorcycle one of roughly that period? Tyres should clean up with celly thinners and a Scotch-Brite pad. She's looking good now I think. Just need to get some miles in.


The grips are generic bike parts, they seem to vary from day to day on the production line depending on whatever was cheapest at the time.

I have given the area under it a clean up, it has definitely helped (removing it from the bars originally required a hammer) but it's still a bit scratchy. It's on the "will look at one day" list for now.

Getting miles under the wheels is absolutely the best thing for the car just now I think given how much time she's spent idle.

Image

Took the long way too and from the shops today which got another 40 or so miles done without missing a beat.

Few things make parking spaces look more comically oversized than this car.

I need to give the heater control box a going over. Currently the heater doesn't switch off fully, and the air coming out of the vents is honestly *painfully* hot. So there's no question really over the efficacy of the heat exchanger...but being able to turn it off would be nice.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:59 pm 
Offline
Active user
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:36 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Orpington, Kent
Car Model: 1987 SAAB 900i
Nice work, looks really good I have to say!

_________________
People have very low expectations of me... and I still disappoint them!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:25 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
CaptainBoom wrote:
Nice work, looks really good I have to say!


So long as you're more than twenty feet away anyway!

-- -- --

You know a while ago I gave some of the rusty and/or scruffy metalwork in the engine bay some paint? I really should of either held off doing that until after I painted the rest of the car or masked it off.

Image

Oops.

On the plus side it wasn't exactly a work of art, so not much to be replicated. Have already given the cowling a fresh coat of hammered black.

Image

I'd really like to get the fan off so I can give it a better clean up, but the bolt holding it onto the dynastart really doesn't want to budge. A six foot breaker bar and 3/8" socket extension resulted in zero movement and a bent socket extension. A task for a year or five down the line.

Had a few errands to run today and it would have been rude to take any other car wouldn't it.

Image

Enjoy the fact that it wouldn't take all that much editing to take thirty years off this photo.

Starting to get a bit of a better feel for the car now and can definitely vouch for it being very much at home darting around congested city streets. The only slight negative mark is that the initial launch between 0 and 5mph is a little sluggish. This is down to the centrifugal clutch and a relatively heavy flywheel for a small engine like this. It's not bad, just more like an old school automatic with a long first gear. Just needs a half second or so more forward planning than driving a modern car when you're pulling into a busy roundabout or turning right out of junctions.

Have been a little more daring today and can vouch now for this car having downright tenacious levels of grip compared to what you'd expect. Yes she wanders about in sidewinds a bit and wobbles in a strange way unique to three wheelers on uneven surfaces, but there's a lot more cornering ability than you'd think.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:35 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Had a spare hour this afternoon so figured it would be a good time to start tackling the snagging list on the Invacar.

The repainted engine cowl was reunited with the engine.

Image

Being such a visible thing in the engine bay this immediately makes it look far less decrepit.

I then turned my attention to the slow puncture on the nearside rear wheel. This has lost roughly 5psi per day ever since the tyres were fitted. As such my suspicion was always that there was a leak from the rim rather than in the tyre itself.

Five minutes with the leak detector spray later, we have a winner.

Image

Bubbling merrily from the bead right behind the larger balance weight. There's another smaller leak I spotted just after taking this photo just out of frame.

I've faffed around fitting tyres at home before and have deemed it to be considerably more trouble than it's worth (until such time as I inevitably pick up a tyre fitting machine) so decided to entrust sorting this to Formula 1 over in Newport Pagnell. My usual go-to for tyre stuff, only reason they didn't get the job of fitting these originally was that they literally wanted double the price for what were inferior tyres.

Suffice to say this being in the workshop caused a few scratched heads.

Image

Image

The gent who was working on the car for me couldn't have been more than 18 and was really enthusiastic which was nice to see.

Once the tyre was off it was obvious that no effort had been made to clean the rim up beforehand...bit disappointing given the tyres were fitted by a specialist not Kwik-Fit. Five minutes with the wire wheel had things looking far healthier, and we flipped the tyre around (they're not sided) to hide my horrible overspray. Was all going great...right up until this happened.

Image

Gent doing the work was being careful and was doing everything by hand - that stud just decided it had had enough. They're happy to cover the cost of sourcing replacement and fitting no questions asked. So I'll have a dig later today (I still have the parts manual here waiting to be scanned because I'm so disorganised) to ascertain exactly what spec the studs are and will then get replacements ordered. Hopefully they're straight from the Mini as those will be plentifully and inexpensively available.

I'll plan on replacing all of them as a matter of course now. If one has failed without being abused in my time with the car there's no reason to believe the rest are in any better shape. I had one fail on a car before (can't recall which one) and the very next time I had the wheel off I recall a second stud snapping...so they're all getting done.

Once they're done they're done...one less thing to worry about.

Just hope access to the back of the hub isn't a problem.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:29 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
We all knew this was not going to be simple didn't we!

So far I've ascertained that the Model 70 does NOT use Mini wheel studs. They're screw in ones rather than the splined knock-through type.

It became immediately apparent once I pulled the wheel off that my intention to change all the studs was sensible. Despite knowing they had never been overtightened or otherwise abused during my ownership, one additional to the one which snapped was bent (and cracked I discovered on closer examination).

Image

Here's what came out. Going theory is that the thread is 3/8" UNF.

Image

Image

Image

Anyone who recognises what they're out of I'd welcome your input.

The first three - including the snapped one - wound out nicely. Of course this was going too smoothly...the last one immediately stripped the moment I applied any torque to it.

Image

Balls.

Picked up a tap and die set this afternoon in the hope I can possibly cut a smaller thread onto it and wind it out that way. I realise this is almost doomed to failure, and I'm going to wind up trying to weld a nut to it.

In slightly better news, a nice little improvement arrived today from Tipper's Classic & Vintage Plates.

Image

Image

Nicely retro reflective unlike the current ones which have become transparent!

Image

Looking forward to getting these fitted to the car, they'll look so much better than the current scruffy, delaminated acrylic plates.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:10 am 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 1461
Car Model: 9-5
May or may not be helpful but if you look HERE on the 4th row of images down, second picture across, there is something that looks very similar.......


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:23 am 
Offline
Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent
Perhaps try the Invacar place that Ian went to in Essex recently? When in doubt go to the manufacturer or what's left of it. They seemed to have lots of original stuff. Those studs look more like service items than would be the case with the press in type. Conversion to press in wouldn't be too difficult as long as there is clearance at the back.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:43 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Derek UK wrote:
Perhaps try the Invacar place that Ian went to in Essex recently? When in doubt go to the manufacturer or what's left of it. They seemed to have lots of original stuff. Those studs look more like service items than would be the case with the press in type. Conversion to press in wouldn't be too difficult as long as there is clearance at the back.


Sadly it doesn't appear that they've ever officially stocked the studs as an official spare. I have the full factory spares manual in front of me and it's not listed in there. Just the whole hub assembly complete with the studs pre-fitted.

That supplier so far has failed to respond to several emails from me nor has returned my phone calls - and given it's nearly three hour's drive away I'm not likely to just drop by in the off chance they have what I need unless I'm passing by for some other reason.

A little closer examination of a slightly less mangled stud has me now pretty certain that we're looking at 3/8" UNF. That would be 9.52mm when it came fresh off the cutter...

Image

A friend locally has a set of imperial thread gauges which should help us confirm the details when I get a chance to swing by their place. Once we've confirmed that sourcing replacement studs or bolts shouldn't be hard or expensive.

Another little accessory arrived for TPA today which I had honestly forgotten ordering.

Image

Got to have a marque appropriate keyring...which reminds me that I really need to find a nice Mercedes one for the van sometime...

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:15 am 
Offline
Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent
Are these studs like the ones used on trailers? There might be a major trailer dealer near you who could help. Getting imperial rather than metric may be the stumbling block.
Sorry to read that the "Factory" is reluctant to respond but it may just be the holiday season.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:32 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Having a quick look around, it seems that pretty much all the 3/8" trailer wheel studs are the splined type which would require quite a bit of re-engineering of the hubs (refitting of which requires special tools, so I'd rather not take them off if I can avoid it). The back of the hub is currently chamfered at a roughly 30 degree angle, so I'd need to get flats milled into the back face there for the heads of splined studs to sit in.

Just getting hold of some good quality 3/8" UNF screw in wheel studs sounds far more simple, even if it does involve a bit of poking around to find the right supplier - though there was one linked to a short time back who looked to have quite an exhaustive stock list...so hopefully that will be all that's needed.

I don't feel the need to do a bunch of re-engineering here unless parts do turn out to be really hard to find. We're talking a softly sprung 410kg car here on 145 section tyres with 20bhp...so it's not going to be subjected to any particularly punishing forces that might be present on higher performance vehicles...I'm sure the stock parts are more than up to the task.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:20 pm 
Offline
Light Pressure Turbo

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:17 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent
Maybe try https://www.mistertee.co.uk/products/wheel-studs/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:10 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Have heard back from a couple of companies now... nothing positive. Apparently 3/8" threaded end is quite normal - but having a stud which is 3/8" at both ends is odd and they reckon was probably a special order back in the day.

Not unreasonable...as back then they bought the whole rear suspension assembly in as a unit from Fiat, however they didn't want to pay for the brakes as they already had thousands of complete 7" Girling drum assemblies in stock...so adapted the hubs to allow them to use the existing brake drums and wheels. Hence the hub being re-drilled with a fractionally different PCD to what it was originally made for.

It does mean while what I'm after isn't unobtainable, it would require quite a bit of luck to find someone who actually has it in stock sitting on a shelf for me. One company did have a 3/8" dual ended stud (was too long so I'd have had to trim it), but it was just mild steel...fine for bolting on an exhaust manifold...not so great for attaching wheels. So that's something I need to be careful of.

I've already had some work done by a fabricator who does quite a bit of Motorsport work, so I'll give them a shot next. While a bit time consuming, sure they could make some up for me...at least I know they'll be made of the right material so I'm not likely to randomly lose a wheel.

Hopefully they could alter my battery clamp too so I could do away with the bungee cord...have wanted to send some more work their way after having the fuel tank made anyway.

In other fleet news, a little bit of attention was given to the Activa in the last couple of days.

One of the cosmetic issues this car has faced since I picked it up was that the window seal was lifting at the rear edge of the front and front edge of the rear door on the offside. This looks unsightly at the best of times, and quite often you would find that someone walking past the car had snagged on it in a car park so you'd come back to this.

Image

I seem to recall this being a really common issue even back when we were selling these cars at the garage 20 years ago. There should be a couple of little locating pegs in there, but they're long gone here.

My solution here was to gloop a bunch of Sikaflex behind the seal and clamp things in place...

Image

...Then forgot about it for three or four days!

Once the clamps were removed things look far better.

Image

Especially looking in the wing mirror where you used to be able to see it sticking out all the time.

Image

The unexpected bonus of this has been a very noticeable reduction in wind noise at motorway speeds. Mostly though it just looks a hundred times better.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:51 am 
Offline
UKS Addict

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:46 am
Posts: 5485
Location: suffolk
Car Model: 1993 9000 2.0 cse
renault 19s used to do that too well rust badly then bend outwards
everyone i bought new ones and every buyer would coment oh look there not bent and rusty and they look black
french do suspension speed and comfort added trims there not so hot on

not many decent low mile zantias offered up for 500 quid thesdays :( well not diesel ones anyway
i saw a v6 mk1 laguna today wizzing along nicely he was
never had a mk1 laguna dunno why
id buy an estate one if it came up now but all the window cleaners have em nowadays

_________________
never underestimate the predictability of stupidity


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:46 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
They do seem to be starting to get harder to find now as the folks who have them and know what capable cars they are are holding on to them.

Not long now till Xantia prices will have gone the way of the BX.

Still bargains to be had though... especially if you know how well they can wear their miles. Not many cars that I'd not give a second thought to buying with north of 200K on the clock, but the Xantia is one of them. My previous one had 198K on it when I got it, even the pedal rubbers were in decent shape...

To be fair, aside from the clearcoat peel mine isn't at all bad cosmetically for a 26 year old 135K mile car, given that the first word folks usually associate with French cars is "fragile." At least the Xantia doesn't suffer the bubbling under the rubber of the seals like Renaults of the same era did.

I'm giving serious thought to looking for a GSA in the not too distant future...that strikes me as the epitome of Citroen doing their own thing and just ignoring automotive convention. Finding a good one, that will be the tricky bit - oh, and affording it!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:19 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Very quick evening update.

New number plates are now on.

Image

Image

The ones which came with the car were truly wrecked.

Image

The front one looks only scruffy at a glance... though the flash shows how awful a condition it too was in.

Image

Just need to get some proper fasteners non the front one to tidy that up.

Small job in the grand scheme of things but it's nice to have it ticked off.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:08 am 
Offline
UKS Addict

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:46 am
Posts: 5485
Location: suffolk
Car Model: 1993 9000 2.0 cse
yeah if i have a zantia its not gonna be a 1.8 and the others folk keep dammit

given that the first word folks usually associate with French cars is "fragile

well my renaults jumped many a humpback bridge followed by a ford that had to be towed home

first car i remember is a gs me old man had a few one was so shiny you could see your face in the black paint
the other 2 were brown and duck egg blue

my mum attacked one when he got a bit too friendly with a lady at work luckily the brown one :D
hes got 4 traction avants now one nice one and a few er in bits ones

i saw a zx volcane 2 door yesterday i nearly bought a brand new one back in the 90s
then said eh it dont go up and down sod that
then got a renault 25 monaco for 225 quid with 39k mileage :D comfy
essex boys dont be buying big browny cars back then

_________________
never underestimate the predictability of stupidity


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:42 am 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Renault 25 Monaco is the most comfortable car I've ever sat in, bar none. That's including several Bentleys and Rollers. Like them or not, it's hard not to argue that the French are very good at making cars comfortable.

My first Xantia was a 1.9TD which was a trade in to clear, which went far better than I expected and was a supremely capable motorway weapon. I'd never had a car which I could leave Milton Keynes with a full tank of fuel, bomb up the M6 etc to Aberdeen (this was when my mother was revealed to be dying so I wasn't hanging around) and find when I got there that I still had just under half a tank of diesel left.

The Activa doesn't do so well there sadly...she is a bit thirsty if you're using the available performance...and given the old school lag followed by addictive mid-range turbo shove it's kinda hard not to. Especially as the available performance has surprised quite a lot of folks. They had 150bhp from the factory with a *very* conservative boost map...fitting a manual boost controller and turning it up to a more sensible level ups that to somewhere around 180 and utterly transforms the character of the car.

I'd expected the novelty of the performance to wear off after a while, but it still hasn't!

The only thing she lacks is any sort of voice. The engine is supremely quiet, but there's also absolutely no exhaust note whatsoever anywhere in the rev or power band. While I absolutely don't want anything obtrusive, it would be nice to be able to hear something... that's a conversation I'll need to have with an exhaust fabricator some day.

The other shortcoming is the lack of cruise control...which was for some reason best known to Citroen was never even an option on the Activa. Given the downright alarming ability of this car to float along the motorway at very illegal speeds and the ability to in a matter of a couple of seconds to from fifty to licence-loosingly fast with the slightest squeeze with your right foot, it would be nice to have! I have managed to track down a complete system though, just need to find the time to actually install it.

It never ceases to surprise me how many people regard the oliopneumatic bits as pure witchcraft...they really aren't and hold no particular fearful jobs. Once you've learned the ins and outs of it there are few things to scare you off. Even if the Activa does lose a few points there as the extra systems it had fitted were essentially grafted onto a car already fitted with the Hydractive 2 system, so there are a number of issues unique to the Activa where a simple job ceases to be simple just because that pipe is in the way...and to remove that you need to remove this...and to remove that you need to dismantle the whole car.

Being able to go round roundabouts in a manner which baffles folks in Imprezas and Skylines while in supreme comfort though is absolutely worth it.

I've got very used to having a high velocity squidgy leather sofa on fleet. Can't really see it being replaced by anything save for a Rolls, GSA (because let's face it... that's peak Citroen oddness), maybe one of the really plush Volvo's like a 262C or something. Other oddball choice is an early Jeep Cherokee just because I've wanted one since I was five...and at least once I've had one I can tick the box. These all have fantastic opportunities to bankrupt me!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:42 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
We've a friend staying with us this week due to poor health while their partner is away on an important business trip, so I'm in a situation where I'm a bit stuck really in that I can't go anywhere or really get involved in anything too in depth in case I'm needed to assist.

Still, there's no shortage of small things I can get done.

[] Van Headlight Reassembly.

Those of you who have known me for a while will be aware that the general field of lighting technology has been an interest of mine going back a couple of decades. There are no shortage of terrible and downright dangerous headlight "upgrade" kits out there, most of which seem to have the sole purpose of blinding as many oncoming drivers as possible. However when an LED "drop in H4 upgrade" popped up on Wish for £3 delivered, curiosity got the better of me and I ordered it. Not long after, a pair of these arrived on my doorstep.

Image

Before I go any further it's worth mentioning that I am completely, fully aware that these are not legal for on road use in the UK. I have no intention of actually using them for general vehicle lighting - they have been bought out of pure scientific curiosity and a wish to see how terrible they actually are. The intention has always for once the testing was completed for them to most likely disappear into the endless pit of despair, otherwise known as the box of miscellaneous lighting technology in the loft.

I had to admit to being really rather surprised. Unlike the vast majority of HID conversions I've seen done over the years, the beam control here isn't actually bad. They've done a surprisingly good job of getting the LED arrays arranged to work well with the standard reflector.

Image

It's worth noting that the nearside headlight is an aftermarket "Depo" branded replacement, and further investigation has shown that the beam from that is pretty poor even with a normal H4 lamp in, despite the headlight having only been fitted for a couple of months - so a proper Hella replacement is now on my wish list.

I did quite a bit of testing walking around in front of the van and asking my housemate to drive past me, and we both came to the conclusion that these headlights don't have any issues with regards to blinding oncoming traffic when they're fitted properly. It's important to note though that the lamps do fit into the collars which locate them in the headlights in four different orientations, so you need to make sure you're putting it in the right way up. I did note in the beam profile on the wall there does seem to be a bit of stray upward light above and beyond what you'd expect normally, but that didn't seem to actually translate into anything noticeable in the real world.

They seem to do a decent job of actually getting light on the road as well. Our streets around here are very well lit since the new LED streetlights were installed, so it's actually not that easy to see the spread of light on the road in front of you with the standard headlights in the van...these seem to do a better job there.

Image

I don't actually think there is any more light hitting the ground from these lamps than the standard H4 ones, I think the light being a nice crisp pure white (I reckon around 5000K - it's a very clean white rather than strongly blue tinted) makes it seem brighter than it otherwise would.

I do reckon that one area (the legality obviously aside) these are going to fail though is longevity. To my eyes the provided heatsinking just isn't close to adequate for the intended application - especially sealed inside a headlight enclosure. The handbook which comes with these actually suggests leaving the back cover off...which is obviously a horrendous idea unless you really do want to destroy your reflectors in ten minutes flat. I'd love to be proven wrong there...and as I do still have the original nearside headlight from the van, I am tempted to stick one in there and set it running somewhere in a corner and just see how long the LED lamp takes to either go pop or to drop in brightness to the point that it can be considered to have failed. I just can't see these having a long life.

The other question for me was "are they an upgrade?" The simple answer there honestly, unless the ability to pick your colour temperature is critically important for your application...No. They don't actually give out any additional light it appears compared to a good quality H4 lamp provided your power supply is in good order.

As for are they terrible and dangerous? Not really...They're certainly a million times more friendly for other drivers than any aftermarket HID kit I've seen...Only real downside I can see possibly there relates to my concerns about longevity and they might fail on you after only a few hours...Though having said that as they're simply a drop in replacement...it's hardly the end of the world (assuming your car isn't one you need to remove the engine from to change a headlight bulb!) to resolve that situation by just sticking a new lamp in, and at least H4 bulbs haven't become too hard to find yet. From the perspective of another driver though, if the colour temperature of these was in the 2700-3500K range, you probably wouldn't be aware that they weren't conventional lamps...it's only the colour which gives it away externally.

Obviously though, they're completely illegal for road use over here, so these are destined for the box of "interesting but useless" lighting stuff. It does give me some hope though that we might some day see a retrofit provided by one of the big lighting companies which might offer a legal drop in H4 replacement. I'd always assumed it was impossible due to the difficulties in getting things to line up optically - but high power COB LEDs have advanced to the point now that it's getting pretty close to being doable now. Provided the output levels were limited to those provided by a conventional H4 lamp and the beam was correct...don't see any reason it couldn't have the relevant approval marks stamped on it. Though the cost of the approvals process for an ever shrinking market may well preclude it ever been deemed worthwhile by the manufacturers...I'll be curious to watch though.

I'm keeping my eyes open for similar H1/H7 retrofits appearing at similarly silly prices...and if/when that turns up I might need to do a similar experiment with the Xantia. Especially given it has headlamps which barely manage to scrape "adequate" as a description on a good day...

First task for today therefore was to return things to original. Despite this requiring removal of the radiator grill and the headlights themselves, this is a five minute job on the van because it's designed sensibly. While I was there though seemed a good time to clean up the offside headlight a bit. This is original to the van and was visibly quite internally grubby, and I was under the impression that the reflector was quite tarnished.

This can't have been helping anything...

Image

Looking closer...

Image

Image

Conveniently as with most things on this vehicle, the headlights themselves are designed with service in mind, and as such the lens can be removed simply by removing four screws. With the lens off I was pleasantly surprised to see that the reflector was in a lot better condition than I was expecting.

Image

Sure it's not perfect; there is a bit of clouding in general and the coating is flaking on the very top and bottom of the housing, but it's perfectly serviceable until such time as I track down a new headlight.

Five minutes scrubbing later had things looking much healthier.

Image

Even more visible with the headlight turned on, it was really obviously cloudy before - and that indicated light that was being scattered and going places other than where it's designed to.

Image

I really like this sort of image...It really does go to show how the reflector, lamp and diffractor design all work together to produce the desired beam profile.

Image

There we go. Everything buttoned back up and tested. Beam alignment was checked just in case anything had moved, which it hadn't.

Image

[] Dog Guard De-Bodging.

Some considerable time ago I needed to take the (then singular, now there are two of them) dog out on my own, so needed a way of keeping him where he belonged in the back of the van...This resulted in me grabbing a cheap and nasty dog guard that I'd discarded long ago from the scrap pile and wedging it in the space behind the seats. Ugly as sin, but it worked.

Image

There were a few drawbacks though...Not least the fact that it rocked backwards and forwards every time you accelerated or braked, it rattled incessantly and made it a royal pain to try to get between the cab and living area. Today I decided to address a few of these issues. The dogs aren't going anywhere...so the dog guard needs to stay...and I'm not really likely to find a bespoke solution at a reasonable price that's going to fit a nearly 30 year old camper...so let's adapt what we've got.

A bit of thinking, a bit of realignment and a quick raid of the plumbing fittings box yielded the necessary hardware and we pretty quickly got things sorted out.

Image

One of the main differences now is that there is a distinct "stowed" and "deployed" position for things.

Stowed, allowing relatively unhindered access between the front and rear of the van. You still need to step over it, but it's a much more sensible height.

Image

Deployed, keeping any wandering dogs from straying into the cab. Not really too much of an issue these days as they know where they're meant to be, but it's nice to know.

Image

No this wouldn't do a thing to keep some dogs in there - but ours are both largish and know where they're meant to be, so it's a visual deterrent as much as anything. We do hope that one day we might be able to employ harnesses, but that's still a ways off as they *really* don't like them...and trying to restrain a husky who doesn't want to be is an act in futility.

Both of the uprights need to have some rubber or similar caps fitted so I don't take my eye out the first time I fall over a dog, and I'll probably trim the one on the nearside down a bit. The offside one can stay at the current height though as it's where I usually have a stash of bags for shopping (which I remember maybe 1 time in 10 to actually take into the shop with me) and similar things left hanging.

Image

Will be handy to help prevent the ongoing problem we have of pillows disappearing into the cab from the bed too, which I've found to be a recurring issue for me.

Haven't had a chance to actually go for a test drive yet, but there's no signs of buzzes or rattles at idle, which is a good start at least.

I'd like to switch to a sliding gate arrangement at some point, though I'm not sure if I'll ever get enough time to sufficiently engineer that...especially as it would need to be rattle free given my hate of all things which rattle! Haven't been able to go for a test run today, but it doesn't buzz due to the engine vibration at idle, so is already an improvement on the original arrangement. Obviously a coat of paint wouldn't go amiss either...

[] Continuation of the Invacar wheel stud saga.

You know some jobs are ones you just know are going to fight you every step of the way? Yes...this is definitely one of those.

I had decided that my first (in this episode!) line of attack to get the one remaining stud out was to tap a new thread on it and try backing it out the same way I did the others.

After a not insignificant amount of swearing due to poor access (due to the proximity of the central mounting flange on the hub which wanted to occupy the same space as my tap), I eventually got a new thread cut in the mangled remains of the stripped stud. Got a locknut fitted, got everything good and hot (it's been soaking in Plusgas for several days now) and...

Image

Cue more swearing.

Scratching my head for ideas which didn't involve drilling the thing out as I don't rate my chances of managing that without damaging the threads, I grabbed the grinder and set about cutting flats into it in the hope that I might be able to get decent purchase on it with the Stilson's - no dice. The hub flange gets in the way of the head before I can get things to lock up to grab the stud...and things just keep sliding off.

I did notice that the two flats I'd cut into it weren't far off the right size to fit a 5/16" brake drum adjuster tool...so set about cutting a matching pair of flats into the remaining sides and put that on there (after applying even more heat). Result: One broken brake drum adjuster spanner.

Given the proximity of large amounts of fibreglass and the inability to move the car out of the garage in its current state I had really been hoping to avoid getting the welder involved...However I was out of better ideas by this point, so got it out, cleaned everything up and welded a nut onto the remains of the stud. Made a point of getting it as hot as I could before starting welding as I was thoroughly expecting the hub to behave as a massive heatsink and make it nigh on impossible to get a strong weld without melting the nut. My weld it turned out held just fine...the stud didn't, and snapped off yet closer to the face of the hub.

By this point I was quite royally hacked off with the thing so got distinctly medieval on it. I grabbed the nearest sized socket from the beat up cheap and nasty set, and hammered it on there with a 4lb lump hammer. I expected this to just slip off - nope. It just sheared the remains of the stud off almost completely flush with the hub.

Next best idea was to cut a reasonably deep slot in it and smack it with the impact driver. Unsurprisingly given that all indications suggested the stud was in fact made of cheese, it just mangled it the first smack of the hammer.

Grinder was busted back out again and the remains of the stud have been ground back flush with the face of the hub. I'll get a couple of new drill bits tomorrow and we'll just drill the sucker out. Have ordered an imperial tap & die kit in the thorough expectation that I'm probably going to need to sort the threads out afterwards...hopefully that forward planning will mean I don't need to!

I do find myself wondering at this point if this stud was ever actually made of an appropriate material from day one...so far this one seems to have behaved as though it's made of monkey metal!

Investigation has revealed that the other wheel nut holes in the hubs have M12x1.5 threads in them. These however only go in approximately 10mm, the thread doesn't run all the way through - even though the hole does go all the way through the hub. So wheel bolt length must have been critical in the original application. The PCD does look to be smaller than the one used by the wheels on there, albeit by the tiniest of amounts, it's barely visible lining the spacer ring which usually sits between the brake drum and the wheel up with the holes.

Stay tuned to find out how this probably goes even more spectacularly wrong and I continue to make an utter meal of what should be a dead simple job!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:56 pm 
Offline
Saab Nut
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 1789
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Model: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T
Being stuck dealing with gardening most of the day again today I was only left with an hour or so to do anything car related.

I decided to investigate something which had been mentioned yesterday on another forum as to whether it might be possible in the absence of a plentiful supply of RHD Merc T1 headlights at sensible prices, to adapt an LHD one. While I know that's not really an easy option as you'd need to both swap over the lens and modify the lamp holder, it set an idea rolling in my head. Most notably that I was pretty sure that the somewhat poor beam image I had from my nearside aftermarket headlight was most likely down to the lens rather than anything else...and I still had a good original lens, it was the reflector that was stuffed and resulted in the headlight being changed. Could I improve things by swapping the OEM lens across to the aftermarket unit?

A quick rummage revealed that the old headlight was indeed still in the scrap pile. Was a bit buried but didn't take too long to unearth.

Image

Pulling the lens off did indeed confirm my original assumption that a replacement had been bought by the previous owner because the reflector was knackered...I've seen worse and it could be refurbished, but it's definitely past its best. Pretty colours though...

Note that this still has the R2-H4 upgrade lamp in it. That's since been retrieved and stored safely as it's the same as is currently still used in the O/S light on the van.

When I got the van this headlight had the bung the wiring loom passes through in the back cover dislodged, so I suspect that there has been historically an issue with water ingress due to that which has lead to this one being in a far worse condition than the offside one (still in service).

Image

Ten minutes scrubbing with some warm soapy water followed by some glass cleaner had the lens looking like new. Testament to how tough glass really is I suppose.

Image

Comparing the OEM Hella lens and the one from the aftermarket Depo headlight next to each other, there is quite a clear difference between the two in that the details in the Hella lens are far more sharply defined, in comparison the Depo one looks very "soft" for want of a better term. You obviously can't tell in the photos, but the Hella lens is nearly twice the weight of the Depo one too. Similar story with the seals, the Hella one is a properly contoured item which fits into a groove in the housing, whereas the Depo one just uses a (not particularly well fitted) bit of square foam. They had also put the join in that seal at the top rather than the bottom of the headlight...that's just asking for future water ingress issues.

Image

With the Hella lens in place, the headlights now visually matching each other pleases my OCD tendencies. No it's not something that anyone else would ever notice...but I *knew* they were different...

Image

Quick test (after a quick beam adjustment) shows a far improved beam that far closer matches the offside one. Given they're running two different lamps (offside is a Halfords own brand R2-H4 upgrade, nearside is a somewhat ancient Osram H4 I dug out of my spares stash) I'd still expect there to be a little difference between the two anyway.

Image

Looking at the beam image with the camera you can see how much better defined it is too.

Image

This image obviously is flipped the other way up by the time it gets to the road due to the wonders of optics (the downward kink to the left of the image is what actually forms the kick up to the left of the beam on the road).

Quite happy with that result, having made one good headlight out of one knackered old one and one distinctly mediocre modern one...So hats off to the gent on the other forum who mentioned the thought which set this idea in motion.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 693 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

follow UKSaabs on Twitter



UKSaabs silhouette logo images by Mark Green www.greenphotos.com
"subsilver2" slightly bodged by UKSaabs for our own use.

:: Disclaimer ::
Comments posted here are the views of their individual authors and are not necessarily shared by the owners of this Web site.
Authors assume all responsibility for comments posted here.

UKSaabs The biggest and best privately owned UK based independent Saab forum for all SAAB enthusiasts.
Whilst we encourage our users to support our advertisers the site wishes to remain independent and therefore does not endorse any particular advertiser(s)
UKSaabs is not affiliated with Saab Cars UK or Saab Automobile AB