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cobblers last won the day on April 10 2017

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    Hoisin Crispy Owl

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  1. My van was in at a local bodyshop for the tailgate painting and a few touchups before I sell it. As usual it took them three times longer than they said and it's not a particularly fantastic job. I picked it up yesterday lunchtime, drove straight down the M1 back to work. Home from work after, and there and back today. A bit after I got home I went upstairs to the bog and looked out of the window - there's a flipping roll of masking tape left on the roof! It's been there for two days and about 80 miles!
  2. Last night I went camping, found a new site and it's absolutely idyllic. see here (the talbot is center right in the shot). But that's not the grin. There's a pub 2 miles along the Pennine way (Nags head) so I obviously went and had some tea and a few pints of stout, it's their own special (Nag's 1577). It's lovely, you can't get it anywhere else so I always have one more than I would otherwise. Plus, this time I had one for the road seeing as it was a long way back to the van. Unsurprisinly I had a decent nights kip, up at 6:30 am, a quick shower and got to my unit for 8 am after the obligatory bacon sandwich and large coffee from the Spar at Calver which is about halfway here. By 10 am I'm farting like something not right, to the point where I basically stank out the whole unit and had to open the windows. Now there's some work going off outside, they're digging the carpark up to resurface it and two people walked past one of my windows and started worrying that the builders had broken into one of the drains. I'm not proud of myself. Nag's 1577 though, cracking stuff.
  3. A mate of mine has a field near Blyth which by the sounds of things is quite close by, if you get a grass cutting attachment he'll probably rent it off you cos he was on about buying something like this himself
  4. I need to sell my VW T5, so I stuck my head up underneath to see where the slight oil leak is coming from. Obviously it's the turbo-block seal, which means taking the turbo off and dealing with snapped bolts and studs and laying on my back under the fucker. Ah man I've really not got the time or money for this right now, but I can't in good conscience just jet wash the block and undertray and hope the buyer doesn't notice for a few days (like the bloke who sold it me did)
  5. I put a new mount on, adjusted the linkages and it now changes gear perfectly, no rattling, no baggyness, it's perfect. Plus there's loads less NVH, I need to do the opposite side one too but that can wait for a while.
  6. Yeah, they're the same light, It's a DAF 45. There were none available at all for years, but they recently started making LHD ones again. Apparently swapping the glasses over will work to convert the light to RHD, but luckily I didn't have to do that.
  7. In between other stuff today at work I took off the relay thingy to strip it, clean it up and see what I needed to order. The plan was a couple of oilite bushings to replace the plastic ones, then ream them out to suit the unthreaded section of a long M10 bolt, instead of the M8 that's here. It came off the van quite easily, I thought I'd be on my back scratting around but it's about a 15 minute job from on top. Cleaned in the parts washing sink, I really inspected it and there's really very little play in it side to side, but there's about 2mm of endfloat. Stripped down you can see what we've got: Basically the nylon bushes need replacing. I didn't realise there was a central collar, but it makes sense. That collar is what the bolt tightens against and it stops the whole thing crushing. I couldn't immediately find new nylon bushes, but I can get oilite ones roughly correct, however really, all I need to do is sort out the endfloat. I gave the parts a 15 minute wazz over in the media blaster, because why not? I masked the balls off, they're still in good fettle, the cups on the link rods aren't ace, but they're not too bad really. So since I'd blasted them I etch primed and gave them a coat of "custom crackle black" which is basically a mega thick coat of sprayable stonechip shield immediately followed by a coat of satin black. The paints react a bit and it leaves a pleasing finish. On the right you can see a washer, that's another "spacer" to fix the endfloat - I opened the hole of an m8 repair washer out to 12mm so it fit over the central collar, and then sanded it down to the right thickness. Obviously I only had a stainless steel washer, so it took absolutely bastard ages even with a belt sander. With the spacer in one end, it all pivots freely but had basically no endfloat at all. With it all together, there was still very slight side to side play, but basically sod all. I cheated here - I stretched some 5mm O rings over the (12mm) central collar. With plenty of grease on, these are pushed down into the housing by the nylon collars and take some of the axial load. Not all of it, but with them there's no perceptible play whatsover. When refitting all this, I noticed the pivot bolt under the gear stick was loose. It's got fresh copper grease on so somebody has been here not too long ago. I tightened it up and the whole mechanism bound up, so somethings amiss here too. That can be the next job. I'm very pleased to report that even with baggy engine mounts, the gearchange is now absolutely transformed, for a total of £nothing. While I was at all this, I noticed the passenger headlamp glass was misting up a bit. RHD lamps for these are unobtanium, so I was keen to sort this before the reflector was ruined - I was going to remove the glass, dry it all out and reseal it. However, when taking the headlamp off the van the glass fell off the front, I managed to catch it on my foot and save it from breaking thankfully, otherwise it'd probably be getting a pair of 7" round lamps bodged on. Overall the reflector is pretty much spot on, so I stuck the glass back on with some neutral cure sealant and I'll refit the light tomorrow. I probably should have a poke at the drivers side light too because I really could do without the lense falling out and smashing.
  8. Last night I was at a proper timewarp flat roof working mens club for a friends daughters 18th party. Disco, karaoke, knockoff cigs, two or three dead motors in the carpark, faded 25 year old "stones" livery all over the place etc, flipping ace. The most drinkable thing on tap was John Smiths, I think I had about 8 pints, maybe more. In my youth I'd have been in a fair state the next day, now mid 30s I'd expected to write today off. But they must be watering the beer down cos I'm somehow fresh as a daisy today, to the extent that I've come in to work to get some stuff done. My guts aren't right though, but I think that could be down to the tray of devilled eggs I snaffled off the buffet.
  9. Right so, gearchanges have been getting a bit more cumbersome on this as of late. These vans were designed to be LHD column change, so when they converted them to RHD with a floor shifter, they made some ridiculous setup to turn the gearchange through eleventy degrees, It's all very compromised and it all wears at each pivot, and the angle at which it directs force onto the selector rod that pokes out of the gearbox is wrong so it wears that bush out too. I've not got a lot of money to spend at the moment on account of not earning any money at the moment, so I thought I'd see what I could do for free or cheap to tide me over. I noticed the selector rod that comes out of the box was wobbly and loose and stiff. I can get JKtowers man to rebush this collar for £50, but I figured it wears oval, so all I really need to do is turn it 90 degrees and I've got another "fresh" wear face, plus put a new O ring in it. It all came out easy enough - the thread pitch is 1.5mm, so I need something a quarter of this (0.375mm) to use as a shim. This airfilter box will do: So some vernier action and scissors later I had a shim: a new slightly thicker O ring and some fresh grease, I refitted the lot. My calculations were correct, and it's rotated the bush more or less exactly 90 degrees: Gearchange is improved, but still not brilliant, so I took a video of all the mechanisms while I went in the cab and waggled the stick; No fucking wonder I can't get gears, the whole bastard engine is moving half an inch side to side! That explains why 2nd gear is a right nightmare to get when turning left sharp too. Unfortunately, this means spending £70 on some engine mounts so it'll have to wait while I sell my other van. In the mean time I'm going to DIY rebush the idler relay too. Again JKtowers man will do this for me for £60, but I just need a long bolt, some bushes and a cheap chinese adjustable reamer so I should be able to do it for about a tenner.
  10. Ran this up some old manky roads and it does seem to plod along OK but I've hardly gone green laning in it. MPG is 17/18, which is within 10% of normal, which seems impossible considering how much speed these tyres have knocked off. It stops pretty well in the wet, I couldn't lock the wheels up so I'll take that. My arse does twitch a bit on wet winding bends, but there genuinely hasn't been anything to make me feel wary other than what people have said. # The front tyres flick muck up the side of the van and somehow cover the wing mirror glasses in shit so I can't see behind me, but when I'm in first gear going up Winnats pass with half a dozen cars behind me it's probably for the best.
  11. Ordered a touchscreen panel from China last week. a 1mm thick glass panel for an 8" LCD - I need it for a £400 repair job that I need to get out of the door ASAP to get some money in. It arrived very quickly, in a plain envelope, in over 9000 pieces. I was going to order a few, I knew I should have.
  12. They feel nice and "bitey" on tarmac in the dry, certainly seem a soft compound. I'll make sure to go very steady in the wet, You're far from the first person to say this. I wonder why they're so crap? I think there's 4 wheel weights in a row on the worst one, It only seems a lot to me cos I'm comparing them to low profile car tyres where there's 25g on each wheel. Still can't work out why the first bloke didn't want to balance them, he was leaning on a flipping balancing machine while saying it, the second place had them all sorted out in no time at all.
  13. Well, they're all on! The bloke that fitted the tyres said "Oh there's no fucking point balancing them cunts mate" so he didn't, and it was horrible. 45mph and the van got some mega death wobble, the bog door popped open, all the beer in the fridge fizzed up and the lids popped off. I was genuinely terrified to go any faster. So today I went to a more professional tyre place and they balanced them up for me, they were obviously all flipping miles out (one wheel needed 130g on the inside, 110g on the outside). £20 later, it drives like a dream! The noise I don't mind. What I wasn't expecting was how much power they sap! It's like driving with the handbrake left on a click! My MPG will be down to single figures and the van is even slower than before. It looks flipping cool though so they're staying for a while at least, I might just put some slightly less aggressive Insa-Turbo ones on next. Somehow they don't catch the arches, not even on full lock, and the sliding door just clears too. Success!
  14. It's nearly as fast as a Raleigh Grifter, so I'll take that
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