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1983 505 TD Project

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I've just picked up an 83 505 TD, auto. I had been looking for a diesel for some time, and had only managed to find one non-running 5-speed car in reasonable distance. Maybe

if I love this car, I'll try to convert it to manual. This car was cheap, basically scrap price, and based on the low miles and condition, I decided to take a chance on it. We had to go a considerable distance to pick it up, however. The car was missing its keys and had locked steering. 4 friendly helpers got in onto a trailer, which was tricky, as well as unloading.

The car has only about 80k miles on it, was handed down to a family member after having sat in a barn since the late 90's. Not much else was known about it, other than the engine was possibly seized, and the turbo may have blown...

On the positive side, the interior isn't in bad shape. The paint isn't great, and other than a couple dents the car is about as rust free as any I've looked at.

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My first task was getting a set of keys for the car. Someone had already taken the cover off of the steering column and has messed around inside for unknown reasons. The ignition lock was scratched and bent up, looking like someone was trying to remove it. I took out a door lock cylinder, as well as the whole steering column, to a nearby locksmith. It was impressive to watch someone with the traditional skills to hand file a key impression. I know have a full set of working keys.

As you can see for the pic, there are a lot of loose wires, and the large white cable containing multiple wires appears to have been cut. I really need to get my hands on a wiring diagram, to start sorting out these issues.

 

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A good locksmith should be able to make a key for it if you can take the lock into them.  Not sure if the door tumbler would suffice for making a key that would work in ignition however.

Metric rims are tough - I ended up just recycling mine.  I actually tried to see if they could be machined down to 15”, or welded into 16” barrels - but neither we’re feasible.

Finding a 5sp was a great move, and I’m guessing this is an XD2s car?

Rabin

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Indeed the engine did not want to turn over by hand, so I removed the glow plugs and squirted Mystery Oil into the cylinders. I allowed that to soak for about a week. The engine has a full supply of oil, and there's nothing unusual to see there, no chunks of anything or signs of coolant mixing with oil. Hooking a jumper battery up to the car, almost everything inside works! The sunroof motor turns and there is no movement, so I'm assuming it has the usual problems. The power windows work very weakly. After the week of soaking, the car now turns over with the starter freely. My next plan will be to try to run this thing.

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5 minutes ago, Bean said:

A good locksmith should be able to make a key for it if you can take the lock into them.  Not sure if the door tumbler would suffice for making a key that would work in ignition however.

Metric rims are tough - I ended up just recycling mine.  I actually tried to see if they could be machined down to 15”, or welded into 16” barrels - but neither we’re feasible.

Finding a 5sp was a great move, and I’m guessing this is an XD2s car?

Rabin

The door tumbler indeed did not suffice to fit the ignition. I figured I needed door keys anyway so I would try that before removing the whole steering column, which is what I ended up doing.

The TRX tires still hold air pretty well which is impressive, although they are cracking in places.

You're correct, its an XD2s, although automatic, sadly. The 5-speed TD I looked at over the summer was in worse shape and I wasn't able to do a deal with them. If I continue to love this car and fix all of its issues I will at least dream about converting it.

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I’d read the first version of your post thinking it was a 5sp.  The early series 1 505’s with the simple dash and the slim door mounted mirrors are very cool.

Good to hear keys are sorted already, and it definitely sounds promising to get it running.  My first job as a mechanic I’d commented on an old diesel tractor in a field being too far gone to fix up.  My boss laughed and said we could get it running in 30m with fresh diesel, can of ether, and a fresh battery - He was right!  
 

Engine looks very complete, so hopefully once you get it sorted she fires right up.  80K miles is very low for these, so it’s still a baby!

Rabin

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I agree, I didn't love the early dash at first, but its really grown on me.

People seemed genuinely shocked that I wanted to try to resurrect this old French car. It seems the owner planned on scrapping it as it wasn't getting much interest.

Going over my plan to try to get the engine started, I'm debating whether or not I should remove the tank and drain it, or simply fill it with fresh diesel and treatment, and change the filter afterwards. The fuel gauge shows its close to reserve. Speaking of the filter, I'm wondering if the filter on this car was changed, or was ever original on the 505?

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The large spin on WIX filter is nice and cheap. I don't seem to see the obvious knob or plunger to prime the pump. I guess I just remove the top bolt and pour in diesel? Once I can get some proper manuals for this car I can tackle some other jobs more confidently.

 

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That’s not a stock filter head - but looks decent!  I’d personally just drain the tank and refill with fresh.  

I’ve found drawing fuel through the system via the return line primes everything nicely before firing it.

I’d also recommend testing the glow plugs and ensuring the glow plug relay is working - Looks like it’s still there which is nice.

Rabin

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