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Old 9th November 2020, 20:31   #751
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

"Having done some work, I decided to do some more work, and then get on with... "

Your work ethic is enviable. And utterly different to mine <BLUSH>

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Old 10th November 2020, 02:04   #752
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Your work ethic is enviable.
When it comes to working on my hobbies and or other interests, my work ethics are impeccable!

Having discovered rust on the paravan of the Spider I wanted to check how bad it really was:

As usual looked up the instructions.

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It is actually very simple. You need to take the wipers off, remove the rubber sealing around the wiper shaft. Remove the stainless steel trim at the bottom of the window. Undo some screws and it comes out.

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The good news: there is no rust, none whatsoever underneath the paravan!!

The bad news: The two sides of the paravan are badly rusted. They sit in these rubbers.

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These rubbers are full of rust. Actually, I remember fitting these rubbers. My Spider did not have these. It was one of the very first jobs, spanner Mate Peter and I did to our Spiders. I remember it well, must have been 25 years ago. Endless debate how the rubber should be fitted. It can fit in 2-3 different matters. I also remember somebody saying” leave them off, it will rust underneath no matter how you position them!

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I have already texted with Johan. He will be picking up the Jaguar later this month. I told him to expect a Spider Paravan too. I will check tomorrow, some rubbers and bolts I want to replace. I will check the availability of a new paravan too.

Everything cleaned and dried, waiting for the next steps, will be a few weeks at least.

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With the Spider cleaned and waxed, time to cover her up. I also buffed all the leather and then put her pyjamas on.

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Jeroen
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Old 13th November 2020, 00:54   #753
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Earlier this week I popped over to Johan to discuss the Spider paravan. I took the old one with me. There are two options:

1) Fix the old one:
Which means cutting off both sides and prefabricate the ends, weld them on, grind, sandblast, sand, repaint. It can be done that is the good news

2) Find a new paravan.
I could probably find a second hand one, but that is likely to have similar problems. But a quick phone call to my trusted Spider Garage and Parts Supplier Goos revealed we could still get them new.

So I am ordering everything new. Easy spray job for Johan, not sure if we can get all rubbers and fasteners. Goos will let me know next week.

In the meantime the list of things to do this winter is growing:

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Not much on the Jaguar, only respray the front registration plate holder

Only one major job on the W123, replace the steering knuckle. All the parts and tools have arrived. I just sprayed some penetration oil on all the bolts and the knuckle. I will repeat this every evening for at least a week.

The list on the Spider is growing:

I will replace the rear brakes (callipers), discs, pads and the brake flexible hoses. Similar job to last year on the front. Although replacing the rear discs should be easier as the wheel bearing remains untouched.

Replace the paravan. Lots of cleaning up to be done, on the car and the inlet air on top of the paravan. With the paravan off, I will also check the proper working and placement of the two drain hoses. These are knows problem areas on Spiders. If the hoses clog up, water will end up in the bottom of the Spider. More rust will follow.

Also with the paravan out of the way I have good access to the window wiper mechanism and motor. On intermediate wiping the mechanism is very slow. So I need to inspect. Hopefully nothing else than old grease that has gotten harder over time as dirt and grime cumulates in it.

Door card replacement has been done!! See earlier post

I probable need to replace the so called rebound straps on the rear axle. It says vangbanden on my white board. Which is the Dutch term, meaning, literally “catch-straps" These straps keep the axle in place if you would drive over a hump very quickly and unload the rear axle. Mine are still the original. Three layers of canvas strap. Some of it broken. I am on the look out for originals, but they might not be available anymore. Goos doesn’t have them anymore. I will do this in combination with the rear brakes. The Spider will be put on two axle stands and wheels removed for easy access.

My old Spider mate Joost has a spare set, but I am not sure they are the right ones. I did find these in this German Spider Catalogue. I will ask them to send me a picture.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-rebound-straps.jpeg

Next week I will pop over to Goos to pick up all the Spider parts. Everything else I need I think I have in stock. Next time when visiting HBM I must remember to pick up another set of Q-bond. You have seen me using it on various things and it is the only super glue that will work on any surface. Hugely expensive, but at least it works!

Not on the list, but I still need to do some more work on my two engine testers! (and also my oscilloscope, never got around to that yet)

So enough to keep me busy for quite some hours this winter!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 13th November 2020 at 00:55.
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Old 14th November 2020, 05:06   #754
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

I am very fond of superglue. I used to find it useless, but what I use now is dangerously good!

I learnt a superglue trick from the internet. Did you know you can make that thin liquid into a space filler? Fill the space with sodium bicarbonate and then add the glue. Might need to build up with layers.

I'm also a fan of JB Weld.
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Old 17th November 2020, 21:42   #755
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The rebound straps I found on line are not the original ones, but they come close. At least they are made of canvas. And very cool; painted red.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_3719.jpg

I ordered these online last Friday afternoon around 15.00pm. By 1800pm I got a mail that they were shipped and they arrived this very morning!

Excellent service, considering these come from Germany too.

I should be hearing from Goos about all the other parts I need, this week as well.

More parts should be arriving in a steady flow! All ready for a nice couple of evenings/weekends spannering on the Spider!

Jeroen
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Old 22nd November 2020, 00:32   #756
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

With the rusty paravan removed, I thought it would also be a good idea to check the wiper mechanism. My wipers are working fine, although on the interval setting they are very slow. That is more likely to be an electrical problem than a mechanical. Still, lets just rip everything out and see what is what:

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Pretty easy. One nut undoes the complete linkage to the wipers, three screw bolts undo the mounting plate of the e-motor and gear.

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The complete e-motor, gear and wiring assembly on the workbench

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If anything, the contacts in this connector are badly corroded!

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Opened up the gearing:

Definitely needs cleaning out of the old grease. Some of it rock solid!

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The Spider also has two drain underneath the paravan. If these get blocked, you are looking at some major problems. Water will accumulated and rust will be everywhere. So I felt and checked for debris in both of these drains.

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The passenger side had something stuck inside. Took a bit of fiddling to get it out. Managed eventually with my little “grabber”. This is one of the bolts of the air inlet of the air intake on top of the paravan.

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Blew compressed air through both drains. These drains are at least a good size. Easily 12-14mm across and they end up in the front wheel well. No blockages, none whatsoever.

I need to check my manual and the internet on how to take the wiper motor and gear apart. I want to do a proper job. On these old parts it is always a bit of balancing act. Taking things apart might mean you will break stuff. And these sort of parts might not be easily available. On the other hand, this is the first time in 34 years these parts have been taken apart. So expect some maintenance is required.

To be continued!

Jeroen
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Old 22nd November 2020, 22:41   #757
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Rather than to finish work on the Spider wiper motor, I decided to spend my Sunday working on the W123. As I mentioned the left lower steering knuckle had some play.

Time to replace it. A word of caution. When working on car’s suspension always be careful. Make sure the car is well supported on multiple axle stands. Suspension bits always require lots of force to undo, so you will be pulling and pushing against the car all the time. Also, when in doubt, put a spring retainer on the spring! It can be very difficult to tell what will happen when you undo a strut or so. Better safe than sorry, compress the spring with a proper spring retainer tool. Get the best money can buy. Don’t use those cheap threaded rods with two hooks. They are pretty lethal!

When doing suspension work, eat lots of spinach the night before. Break out all the heavy big tools. Suspension works is hefty work, requiring special heavy duty tools, a bag full of tricks, lots of muscle power. Of course, knowing how to swear helps a lot too!

Out comes the tools: At the bottom in the blue box my new spring retainer

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Both rear wheels blocked front and rear. Hand brake on and car in gear (the is a rear wheel driven car)

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Jack up the car and put two axle stands underneath. I always keep the jack in place too. But it is the axle stands that are taking the weight.

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I tried to get my new spring tensioner in position. But for some reason it would not fit as advertised. Still I managed to get the lower plate into the spring, the top plate on top inside the engine compartment and with my pneumatic wrench attached I can very carefully take the load of the spring. Perfectly safe!

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First thing is to remove the brake calliper. Two big bolts and they were very very tight. I had to use all my might to undo them. Note to self: must get a breaker bar!

Calliper is hung up with a piece of metal wire. Make sure no tension on the electrical wire or the brake hose.

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Next of comes the little cap on the main shaft:

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Have a close look; there is a little electrical contact mounted in the centre of the shaft! This is a contact spring for Radio suppression.

Undo the hex socket screw of the clamping nut. Unscrew the clamping nut. Next the whole disc / bearing assembly comes off!

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Next the dust brake covering plate needs to come off, thee hex socket screws

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Lastly the steering linkage needs to removed. Two large M19 bolts, almost impossible to loosen up!

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Parts everywhere!

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Now comes the fun part. Popping the knuckles. Top one went pretty smoothly, I always loosen up the nut, about one turn. Then try and crack it open with one of these ball joint removers.

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As I tightened it up, it popped off with a very satisfying “tak”.

Next the bottom one. Not so easy.

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I could not get my tool in properly. Tried a pickle fork. Then I decided to remove the rubber boot to get better access.

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That did the trick!! You need to take this whole strut out.

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Clearly visible, the offending part. It was very loose, but with very little play. But then again, there is supposed to be no play at all on these ball joint. Once you have a little play, usually within a few thousands of kilometers it will become a lot worse. More than 1mm play is also a MOT failure!

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The big challenge with these W123 struts / knuckles is there are pressed together. And the strut is a very odd shape, very little room on the inside. And you can’t clamp the strut down at all. Wont fit properly in a vice in any shape.

I modified some of the bushings of my new ball joint remover/installation tools. But it was to no avail. Could not get it to butch at all.

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Which meant I had to resort to the last trick in my little book: Take a shovel and dig a hole in the garden!!!!

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Next put the whole strut upside down in the hole, fill with earth and sand and stamp it down properly. This makes for a very sturdy hold on the strut!

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Next, get your sledgehammer and a large socket out and start pounding away!!

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It took 4 or 5 whacks and then the knuckle came free of the strut. Very satisfying. I have had cases where I was pounding (and swearing) away for 10-15 minutes. But in the end it will pop out!!

Next a very careful cleaning of all the sand and dirt. I keep the nut on the thread of the axle, just as protection. Used my pneumatic tools to brush the surfaces really clean.

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Getting the new knuckle pressed into the strut was a bit of a challenge as well. Again, lots of patience, muscle, swearing and various tool bits will see you through!

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Time to take stock and get ready for re-assmebly

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Strut went back on without any problems

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All the bolts get brushed/cleaned and I put anti seize paste on too.

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Always check upon the correct torque values for all these bolts. Really important to tighten them correctly!!

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More bits going back on

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Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd November 2020 at 22:47.
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Old 22nd November 2020, 22:55   #758
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I cleaned and repacked the bearings with fresh grease.

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The installation of these bearings is very similar to the ones of the Spider. You essentially tighten up the nut to the point where the hub is difficult to spin around. Then you turn it 1/3 back:

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Running perfectly

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Some technical details of this whole assembly:

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Cleaning all the bolts, one by one. Notice some blue stuff on these bolts? In fact all of them had it. Someone had these bolts out before and refitted them with lactate. No wonder they were so difficult to undo. When properly cleaned and tightened to the correct specification you really should not be using loctite, unless specifically mentioned in the manual.

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Almost done again:

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time to release the spring again:

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All done!!

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In order to install the spring tensioner I had to take off the air inlet bellow from the air inlet filter to the carburator intake. Back on again!

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Torquing the wheel nuts, or lug nuts as the Americans call them.

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I spend the next 10 minutes cleaning up my garage. These jobs are always messy, there will be dirt and grease everywhere.

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time for a little test drive!!

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Cars drives very nicely. Steers well, bearing running well. It still pulls a little to the right. But definitely less than before. So I suspect the worn steering knuckle was the cause of the steering problems to begin with. Have to get an alignment done one more time. Not sure if I will get around to it this week. And as from 1st of December this car can not go on the public road till 1st of March 2021.

No hurry though.

Very pleased I managed this job. Took most of my Sunday, but hey I enjoy fiddling with my cars, so a perfect Sunday as far as I am concerned!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd November 2020 at 22:59.
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Old 23rd November 2020, 16:39   #759
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Managed to secure an appointment with the allignement shop for this coming Saturday. Will be interesting to see, if the new steering knuckle has made any difference.

But now for something a bit different; those of you who have followed this and some of my other contributions on the forum, will know that since 3 years we will in a rural part of the Netherlands. On a dike along the prettiest and longest river in the Netherlands, de Linge.

Traffic is very minimal here. These dike road are very well maintained. All tarmacced. But they can be narrow and twisty. Perfect for touring on your bicycle, bike or (classic) car.

We have a few friends that don’t like driving on these sort of narrow, twisty roads. Too date I had not seen anybody driving off the dike by accident.

But this morning we heard a lot of sirens and several fire engines and cop cars drove past our farm.

I was working, but I went after them on my bicycle 10-15 minutes later. A lot of the farms have thatched roofs and we have had several fires in the last three years already. So I was expecting a roof on fire. But this is what I found:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_3727.jpg

This car had come off the dike somehow, crashed through a gate/fence, managed to not hit a couple of trees and ended up in somebodies pond!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_3728.jpg

I did not have much time, so I did not stop to chat, did not have a mask on me either. There were no skid marks on the dike. Looks like he/she just missed the turn, went of the dike, down the dike into the pond. The dikes here are about 6-7 meters high with steep embankments.

I did hear the driver had already been taken away by ambulance. It might have been somebody who became unwell and lost control or so. In this part of the Netherlands likely to be front page news in our weekly local newspaper.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 23rd November 2020 at 16:40.
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Old 30th November 2020, 15:46   #760
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Sure enough the local paper carried an article on the car in the pond I mentioned earlier. No cause stated, but it did mention that the driver was taken to the hospital with sign of hypothermia. Which I suppose means he did not manage to get out of the car himself and was stuck in that pond for some time?

Today is the last day my W123 can be on the public road. From 1st of december till the 1st of March it needs to be off the public road. I wanted to clean it properly over the weekend. Never got around to it. Too much other stuff going on. Also, winter is now approaching and that meant doing some stuff in the garden and the house. Final time of the year to mow the grass, rake the leaves, clean out all the gutters. Also, as night frost was forecasted I closed off both outside taps and drained them.

So this morning a quick drive to the local car wash.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_3734.jpg

Drove home in the drizzly rain, so I had to wipe it down again!

On Saturday I also had the W123 alignment checked. Its definitely pulling less to the right, But it is still not perfect. I am done with these guys. Now they are saying it must be the tires. But when alignment guys start blaming the tires, you know they are out of their depth.

These days with all these fancy laser and computer controlled allignement machines, the art of understanding the technology behind a wheel alignment is rapidly declining. If a car still does not steer properly, even though your little computer print out says everything is in the green, it means you need to investigate further. It will have to wait till the spring.

Goos mailed and he should have all my Spider parts ready for me to pick up later this week. I will have to chase Johan to come and get my Jaguar and the new paravan.

I aim to do some more work on the Spider wiper motor and mechanism later this week. On Saturday night we finished my good friend Berndt. He has quite the collection of classic cars (and more than 7000 model cars in his museum too). Couple of his car need a few big jobs, some brake work and a gear box replacement. We had a look at what and how to tackle these jobs. Berndt has a proper lift, so that will make it a lot easier. But he doesn’t like working in his garage in the winter. Too cold. Well, he is almost 14 years my senior. Maybe I will be like that too in 14 years. As it is, I can still work in my garage, dress up warm. And I have my space heater too, which helps, but only a bit.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 30th November 2020 at 15:48.
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Old 30th November 2020, 23:37   #761
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A few hours in my garages after work. First thing I wanted to check is how effective my heater is. So I took a measurement. Outside temperature is about 3oC, with a chilling wind.

Inside not too bad, yet:

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Mercedes all dry and shiny after this morning wash.

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I put some additional pressure in all tyres of the W123 and the Spider, about 2,7-2.8 bar. That helps prevent the tyres going square during the winter months where they are not used at all.

Next put the pyjama on the W123

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Working on classic cars is often about cleaning stuff, before repairing/restoring.

Got going on the Spider wiper motor and gearing. Lots and lots of very thick old hardened grease. First I had to disassembly the gearing and the motor a bit more. Not too difficult. All the bits came apart quite easily.

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I am happy to report that the electrical motor seems to be a quite good condition!

Look at the amount of grease. It was rock rock hard. Had to scrape it off

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Spend a lot of time, scraping all the grease of the various parts. Next I rinsed them in my special rinsing/cleaning kit. Dried them with compressed air.

Looks quite good!

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All is ready to be put back together again.

Finally after about 2,3 hours I checked the temperature again. Happy to see a 4oC in temperature around the workbench

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Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 30th November 2020 at 23:39.
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Old 1st December 2020, 09:44   #762
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

On Saturday I also had the W123 alignment checked. Its definitely pulling less to the right, But it is still not perfect. I am done with these guys. Now they are saying it must be the tires. But when alignment guys start blaming the tires, you know they are out of their depth.
Just a thought - maybe you would have looked at it. Did you check the ride height whether it is meeting the specifications or it has sagged? This can wreak havoc on the handling.
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Old 1st December 2020, 12:41   #763
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Just a thought - maybe you would have looked at it. Did you check the ride height whether it is meeting the specifications or it has sagged? This can wreak havoc on the handling.

Thanks for the suggestion. The ride height is perfect. Springs and the spring saddles are all fine, as far as I can tell all the rubbers are in good order. No play whatsoever. I replaced all shocks a few years ago (see the beginning of this thread).

Back to the drawing board.

Jeroen
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Old 1st December 2020, 23:09   #764
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

I know that Facebook is not everybody’s cup of tea so to speak. I would be the first to agree it has some “darker” sides. But on the whole I am a very keen Facebook user and poster.

If anything it allows me to keep in touch with many friends and people we met over the years all over the world.

Today I got this message from a Swedish Guy, Wille. Wille is the driving force behind the Alfa Spider Duetto Register; http://www.duettoregister.com

Wille and I first met probably more than 20 years ago. Wille became a member of the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register and would come along mostly on our weekend and annual trip abroad. He and his wife own and drive a gorgeous Duetto and they have been all over Europe in it.

Wille send me the link to this little video he took in 2006. We were on our Italian tour that year with about 25 Alfa Spiders. We stayed in various hotel around some of the very famous lakes in Italy. See if you can spot me, 14 years younger. Same for the Spider. Spanner mate Peter and his Spider are in there too!



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Old 2nd December 2020, 13:54   #765
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

I have been on the lookout for a very special tool. It wasn’t easy to find these days. You can get regular variants of this particular piece of kit. My wife has one, but I needed a special version.

Here it is:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_3735.jpg

It cost less than a Euro, which probably makes it one of the cheapest, if not cheapest tool, in my garage.

Who knows what it is, or more importantly what its application is. I have a very specific job in mind, and no it does not require pencil and paper.
The answer can be deduced from some of my latest little jobs as shown earlier

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 2nd December 2020 at 14:03.
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