Thursday, 21 March 2019

Ever Wished You'd Never Started Something?

Today I set about fitting the new stalks, though I’ve already lost one of the switches & had to order TWO more, the screenwash stalk went on just fine, the hooter stalk – less so.
It was the usual story, I got impatient & in spite of not having the hooter button I ploughed on, then thought I’d look at the hazard warning switch. It’s always been a pain, the red bit popping off with the least provocation, so I took off the left stalk switch – into which the hazard switch is totally integrated. “how complicated can it be?” I thought, well, once I'd broken it apart, really quite complicated is the answer, with the switch turning out to have four separate poles switching between seven contacts. More to the point, the indicators were now dead as they rely on one of the poles to power them.
I took the Haynes-book-of-lies upstairs along with the switch & a multi-meter & started working out which contacts did what. Having more-or-less understood the workings, I reasoned that a jumper wire between two of the terminals should see the indicators working again – and indeed they did. So I’ve now worked out what I need to buy to have the hazards worked by a single conventional toggle switch & will put that order in tomorrow.
Also on the order books is a 1963 registration, so the car will lose "G 789 BBK" & become
"AFW 817 A". I may fit black & white No. Plates – strictly for shows of course.
Did I mention I also fitted another four USB ports, two at the back to charge the phone & drive the I-pod & one hidden under the dash to drive the SatNav. This means the charger point in the middle of the dash is redundant & will be replaced by a switch panel for the screen heater & rear fogs, their place to the right of the steering wheel being taken by the new hazard switch & a mute for the indicator buzzer.

Keeping up?

Friday, 15 March 2019

Latest News

Two interviews, one rejection & one long silence - rejection assumed, one interview in the diary & four more applications gone in.

One session with the mediator & an appointment with a solicitor in the diary.

Tintop - Cactus seen & approved awaiting word from the garage that it's been serviced.
Fury - lots of minor jobs done while I've been on "gardening leave".

I'll just expand on the Fury stuff as that's why you're reading this. When I moved the exhaust exit to the rear of the car I had intended to take the tail pipes out through the bodywork, in the event I chickened out & put them though an existing hole in the rear valence. I now took a brave pill & cut the holes where they were always meant to be.

Having marked roughly where they needed to be I started cutting.

Chain drilling the holes & then dremelling out to size showed that the tail pipes would be pointing upwards, so I shortened the pipe in the wheelarch & the strap that holds the last exhaust section to move the pipe upwards & they came out pretty much spot on, but chattered on the body, so the next stage was to dremel the holes bigger & put rubber trim round them & all is now good.

 This picture is pre-enlargement, but you get the idea of how it looks.

That under the left hand side is not a wheely caster, it's the trolley jack.

I wasn't convinced to begin with, thinking it was a bit "Max Power" but I've got used to it now.

The other things I've been up to are all about disguising it's age. On the Zetec the plug leads all sit in a "valley" in the cam cover with the coil pack at the back of the engine, this is all very neat & tidy, but also very modern, so I bought a set of plug leads without the coil ends "made off", made up a plate to sit below the inlet manifold & ran the new (RED) leads to the now hidden coil pack, giving the impression there's a distributer under there somewhere.

Mounting the coil pack on an aluminium plate allows me to dispose of the large steel mounting bracket & three M6 bolts at the back of the engine, saving a little weight & cleaning it up visually, as a bonus the wiring run to the coil pack is now all hidden as well.

You'd now have to be something of an expert on Ford engines to know it's a Zetec, most of the clues have gone.

On the same subject, about the only thing in the cockpit to give the game away (apart from the many many USB ports) are the Sierra stalk switches.

Some time ago someone was selling stainless stalks to replace the Sierra plastic ones, they looked nice but they were just "dumb" stalks, so you needed to add dash switches for hooter & screen wash. I've tried to keep the dash as free of switches as possible, so I made up a set of aluminium ends & mounted them on waffer-thin wall titanium tubing I "happened" to have.

I've bought two chrome-on-brass, waterproof (allegedly) momentary switches & when they arrive I'll machine the alloy ends to take the switches, run the wired through the tube & bob is your uncle.

The smaller light stalk has no switches, so that one's fitted already.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Blustery Day

We'd been trying to do an Edenbridge to Isfield run for a few weeks, but the weather was against us & indeed it looked as if we'd be rained off again right up to the Saturday evening when the forecast suggested it should stop just before the off.

The alarm chimed at 05:30 & I made my way out to the garage, I had a bag packed as it was my Dad's 90th birthday bash & I would be going straight there - it was also my Dad & his wife's 23th wedding anniversary & as the "thing" for that is china, I'd bough them a very expensive teapot - which I would have in the car on the blatt - what could possibly go wrong eh?

As I left the house is was still just drizzling, but I went roofless & it soon stopped. We all arrived at the meet point more-or-less together & set off promptly, the roads were wet & strewn with twigs & lumps of dead branch, but the new tyres (Uniroyal RainExpert IIIs) coped admirably, I was very impressed by them. There were the inevitable satnav issues & closed roads to contend with, but soon enough were in the cafĂ© beakfasting & chatting.

Post breakfast we set off for home and there in lies a tale. I saw Tony B coming back, he pointed at a fallen tree blocking a road we'd come along about 3/4 of an hour before & I decided to turn around. So I went forwards across the road, stopped, went backwards across the road, stopped & just as I engaged 1st again, I felt the car roll back a further inch & drop into a ditch - there was a thud as chassis hit tarmac. I radioed GB but he was away on his tyres (I guess he didn't have his radio on), 1st gear did nothing, reverse just showered me & the car with mud. :evil:

So I called the fallen tree into the police as well as the other road blockage - me, then a nice man in a merc stopped & we considered ways of extricating my car. He suggested we could lift it, but a short test said that wasn't going to work, he said he had a tractor that would pull it out - but it wasn't road legal & the police were on their way, I'd got the tow rope round a front wishbone & we were going to try to pull the front sideways to lift one rear wheel back onto the road & then the other, when another couple turned up, so after a brief planning session my new best friends lifted the rear wheel arches, while I (braced against a fence post) pushed on the roll bar & ........ it came out of the ditch! :D :D :D

I thanked them profusely & headed back to my Dad's, finding another fallen tree blocking the A23 (I think) & another between Westerham & Farliegh where a curved tree had fallen right across the road, but because it was a curved tree the traffic was just driving under the arch it had made - quite surreal.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Where Was I?

Had I mentioned being made redundant AGAIN? I'm having what I can only describe as a crap time of it. Three months ago I had a job I loved, a house I loved & a wife I loved, now that's all turned to dust.

Oh well.

Today I went to Titchfield for an interview, I set off early & took the Fury along the back roads. Arriving in Titchfield I saw this & had to stop for a photo:-

Titchfield Haven was particularly nice, with a tiny harbour, a wildlife reserve & a visitor centre - exactly the kind of place my wife & I always dreamed of living.

Oh well.

The job was the sort of thing I was doing at Dunsfold, production line queries & product improvements, a little more technical as they wanted basic calculations done, but a little revision & I'd be refreshed on that score. However, while it would be a nice place for me & Mrs Blatter to live, with lots of walks / scenery / seaside etc, it's a good 1 1/2 hours from the nearest of my friends & relatives, so being there on my own looks to be out of the question.

Oh well.

It was a nice place though, all the following pics were taken within about 100ft of each other


Saturday, 9 February 2019

Viva La Revolution!

I've always wanted a set of Revolution wheels - the five spokes for preference, but they only did them in 14" for a short while & now only do them in 15". So four spokes it would have to be. I've been scanning Ebay for a while & a few days ago spied these. The colour is fantastic & if my car was white I'd be adding a stripe or two in this colour & calling that it. But the car's yellow & red, so the deep turquoise -nice as it was - wasn't going to work.

After establishing that they do actually fit on the car (a spacer on the front will give the brake callipers a little more room to breath) I set about ordering the special wheel nuts, a forth centre cap & changing the colour. The outside edge of all the rims was turquoise, so I rubbed that off with a scotchbright wheel, used the same to key the surface of the paint, masked up the rim & squirted some red on. I was quite pleased with the result, so after adding a coat of lacquer, I did the other three.

As always I was rather too eager to take the masking off & had to re-work one, but overall, surprisingly easy & I'm sure the taste of paint in my mouth will wear off after a while.

When the tyres & other bits & bobs turn up & are fitted it'll look like this:-

Monday, 4 February 2019

Starts with "Div" Rhymes With Sauce"

Another attempt at chrome wrapping the minor clocks. I think I’ve met with some success, they are not entirely wrinkle-free (not many of us are) & in this photo the fuel gauge hasn’t been wrapped & the volt meter needs doing again, but with experience comes quality & they are a lot better than my first attempts. The two main clocks should be easier & there’s another roll of vinyl in the post as I write.
Of more concern at the moment is the alternator not working because the exciter wire that energises the coil (or so I’m told) doesn’t have any volts in it. No idea why, but finding out isn’t going to be a pleasant job.
What? Oh, the title? Yes, my wife wants a divorce, it's the depression I suffer from (& always have). I can't say I noticed her fingers crossed behind her back when she got to the "in sickness & in health" bit of the marriage ceremony, but I guess she must have. 30 years together, down the toilet in three months.
Not a happy time then, compounded by me being put at risk if redundancy (again), so who knows where I'll be living in three months time (sigh).

Friday, 18 January 2019

Bezel Is A Good Word

Today I took the driver’s side pod off & mended the screenwash – it was just a blocked valve, Then I thought I’d clean off the peeling powder coat & repaint it with red hammerite, this meant taking the screenwash tank off – no problem & I did the painting, put the tank back on, then the side pod, THEN thought to test the screenwash. It wasn’t working – I’d forgotten to put the earth back on one of the mounting bolts (sigh).
So, pod back off, cut the wire-locking, fit the earth, re-wire-lock the bolt, put the pod back on. I then took it round to Sainsburys to fill the tank. On the way home both the speedo AND the tacho stopped working. On getting home I took the dash out & found the earth had separated in a connector (bad day for earths obviously), but while the dash was out I removed the clocks & attempted to chrome wrap the rims. It is NOT as easy as it looks on the TV, however after many many failed attempts where the wrap just wrinkled up or tore, I did achieve this >>>
It’s nowhere near as good as it looks in the photo & the small clocks will need to be a great deal better (they're not shaded by the dashboard "peak"), but I am learning.