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Everything posted by mat_the_cat

  1. Probably, yes. But I have to finish polishing it first! At the moment it feels like I'll have to start again once I've finished...
  2. This week has been dry, sunny and warm so I've made the most of it on the polishing. 4 days to get from this: Via this: To this: It's got to the stage where I close my eyes, and all I can visualise is the buffer, spinning in front of me. It looks better from a distance; close up you can still see the fine scratches which will (should!) be taken out by the second pass. I still need to go over the bits above window level, but am not going to polish the whole roof. Partly because I'm lazy, but partly because I want to paint it in heat-reflective paint as is done on modern Airstreams. This may also cure the odd water leak which we've yet been able to trace. It seemed a shame to get rid of the old stickers, but have taken a few photos. Today has been rainy as usual, so back inside. The original control panel had a set of lights to indicate the fresh water level. However, this was what I had at the tank end. Given the number of wires I was reasonably sure that it would be connected to a set of conductivity prongs, rather than a variable resistance sender. And as luck would have it, the gauge in the LT got damaged, and the replacement came with this which was now surplus to requirements! This was easily fitted in the top of one of the tanks, so once I had worked out the functions of each wire, I could connect up and test the system. So...moment of truth!
  3. When I was young I always wanted one of the special editions which had bright GREEN seats, which our next-door neighbours owned. I daydreamed about swapping them into a 4x4 version, which would probably be frowned upon nowadays!
  4. Remember I obtained a hard to find undertray around the turn of the year. I subsequently found I was missing the section which joins the front and rear halves together. I've finally got round to making up an ally sheet to bridge the gap, using the old door skin from the Series 3 Landy. Will this gain me any extra mpg? Another job ticked off the list was the sliding door lower roller. When I was putting it all back together I noticed it was a little worn, but another time the priority was getting it on so I could get an MOT. A new roller duly arrived (parts are shared with the Bay Window vans, so easy to get hold of still) and I fitted it this weekend. Barely any difference in closing the door, so I've caught it in time before the bearing collapses. Better that than it dropping off, miles from home! Earlier today I was a marshal for a local trail running race. So I took the van as a handy base, and to blast out some encouraging tunes. I counted 21 "Nice van" or similar, one "Can I borrow your bed?", and one "I thought it was a mid-race ice cream van".
  5. Their policy is that guests shouldn't travel if testing positive, but nowhere did it state where we stood if we cancelled the booking. Potentially we'd be fined, unable to have anyone else in for those dates, and lose the Superhost status. Phoned them up and was told that they can have a refund if they supply proof of the positive test, which is not what I wanted to hear! I asked if we would be penalised and they said they needed to escalate the query. 6 hours later, and half an hour before they were due to arrive, Airbnb messaged to say that if we got in touch with our local health department, they would be able to advise, or we could host them at our own risk. Decided on the latter, worried about being penalised. So now we're having to have a mammoth cleaning session when they leave, otherwise it's hardly fair on the next guests. There's disinfectant 'bombs' which can do a whole room, so have ordered a pack of those.
  6. We have a holiday let which we rent out via Airbnb. Nice cottage, with plenty of space around it for dogs to exercise. Got there for a changeover, to find 4 (very obvious) piles of dog shit they haven't bothered to clean up. Plus the bathroom bin was full of used sanitary towels (no bag), which blew all over the garden while I was taking them to the main bin. Worse still, they've already booked for a repeat week! Then to compound things, the couple who were arriving later that afternoon sent us a message at 10:30. Bearing in mind we clearly state a 4pm check-in time, the message stated that they were setting off now, and so expected to be there earlier, around 2-3pm. And they'd tested positive for Covid 2 days ago; were there any special precautions we'd like them to take? Yes, how about staying away!
  7. Bet you won't be saying that the first time you get in after it's been parked in the sun for a few hours
  8. I'm sure that a man of your calibre could fit a system I wonder if it was ever a factory option?
  9. mat_the_cat


    You aren't the only one!
  10. No way in the world is that going back in the same box! Yes - BS 7177 would be fine for domestic use, but for hospitality use has to pass the stricter Crib 5 tests. It makes sense, especially in a caravan where there will be cooking in close proximity.
  11. FFS. The new mattress has a sticker on it saying that it's only fire retardant to BS 7177. This is despite ordering (and paying for!) Crib 5 fire rated fabric for commercial use. Sometimes it feels like we'll never get this finished! I just hope the manufacturer can sort this quickly, as there was something like a 6 week lead time for the mattress. At least it has stopped raining, so I can continue with the polishing.
  12. I love this kind of daft stuff! What's your daily sort of mileage? Solo will give you freedom, so I find it enjoyable in a different kind of way.
  13. That Metro is starting to look better and better value! 😜
  14. I've not been able to do much more polishing, as the weather has been against us, so focus switched to the interior. We'd been scratching our heads for quite some time on how to fix a shower curtain. The ceiling is curved in two directions, and just to complicate matters, neither is a constant radius curve! Plus the bath is also curved, although not as critical to match the curvature precisely. The solution was a section of aluminium rail, which with careful heating I was able to form into the required 3D curve. The other bit of fun with variable radius curves was the mattress; fortunately my better half is a design engineer, so made a drawing to get a mattress made. It arrived in a worryingly small box, but only because it was vacuum packed. Remove the packaging and wait... Not yet tested it, but feels good! Still need to build up around the top and bottom edges so there are no gaps. The curtains are now all complete too, and blinds for the kitchen and bathroom windows are on order.
  15. The end result wasn't too bad TBH. Certainly smarter than before! Inbetween coats of paint I did one or two little jobs, including sorting out the LED strip above the sliding door step. Id bought a roll purely on price around 10 years ago, and it didn't last at all! The strip from Toolstation seems to last, so have soldered that in (a bit longer than the original too). Once the paintwork was done I wanted to wax it. I've been using Armor All for a couple of years now, and it's really easy for someone lazy like me. It needs very little buffing, and the biggest plus point is that if you get it on the trim, it doesn't leave white residue all over it! In fact it does a possible job of a plastic trim restorer, so an added bonus. It'd been a while since I'd used it, so the nozzle on the bottle was slightly blocked. I gave it an extra squeeze, and... Once I had cleaned myself up, it probably only took about an hour to do the whole van, and it was back on the road today. There's a couple of spots on the white paintwork which could do with tidying at some point, and one of the wheels is a lot rustier than the rest, but on the whole it's an improvement. I do have a brand new never used spare wheel somewhere, complete with 1980s tyre which I don't think I'm ever going to use on the road So may swap that tyre over.
  16. It's more likely I'm just a weirdo TBF. Although the seats do seem different on mine (more sculpted), although I would doubt enough to make anything other than a cosmetic difference.
  17. Now there's the weird thing. I may* be odd, but I don't actually find it that bad! It's a bit more upright than I'd like for relaxing travelling, and a touch more space would be welcome - but it's strangely appealing. The soundproofing makes a difference, but I don't think the parabolic springs increase the comfort levels significantly over un-seized originals.
  18. As usual, jobs spiral to become bigger than first intended. There was a couple of pinholed areas around the wheel arch, so had to let in new metal. Not a pretty job, and as new arches are available I think it'll be getting a pair in the next 5 years or so. Then the laborious task of flatting back, guide coat (using up my random off-white aerosol cans), flatting back again etc. The repaired areas were given a coat of green for better coverage, then the whole lower half was rollered. Starting to look a bit better now, but when I came to reattach the front grille, it looked a bit too tatty! This earlier photo shows it, and also that it doesn't match the grey of the bumper. So I got a can of dark grey plastic paint, and started to spray... ...no way in the world is that dark grey, and totally different to the cap colour! Wary of getting into a minefield of 50 shades of grey, I bought a couple of black cans from Amazon prime which arrived today. I'm not totally convinced, as it seems to be drying rather blotchy looking, but we'll see in the morning.
  19. Yesterday I phoned up to book an MOT, expecting it to be after the BH weekend. I was surprised to find they had a cancellation for today, as they're normally booked up for a while. I only use this garage for LT MOTs, as they're about 20 miles away but my normal local garage can't fit the van in. Bearing in mind I only see them once a year, I was even more surprised when I gave them the reg: "Ah, a proper LT! Is it green?" "Yes, partly..." "Yeah, I remember testing it before. It's the biggest Transporter I've seen!" So last night I was putting back together, in readiness for taking it in (half-painted!) The only photo I have, is of the mains inlet being fitted. The sealant I'd previously used had cracked, so have gone with a strip of butyl sealant which never really sets. Time will tell! And......another pass 😀 The nearside rear brake is rubbing ever so slightly I think, not enough to give a significant resistance, but enough to hear. I've probably just wound the adjuster out too far. Will pop off the wheel and take a look. The front and nearside are painted, so am planning to do the rest before the weekend is out. Unfortunately working Friday though :-(
  20. The cable I ordered was the right-hand cable, which I checked and double checked in order to get the correct part number, 281 609 702 D. However, I didn't take note of the length. The handbrake rod runs down the right-hand side of the van, hence the right cable is the shorter one. It looks like every single listing I can find has this wrong for a RHD van! So I had to re-order the correct cable, and pay postage again Still, both sides are now fitted, and wheels back on. Next job was the fuel pump. I'd previously noticed a bitbof rough running under certain conditions only. At 2k rpm under load it will hunt a bit, but if you ease off from full throttle, or drive through the problem to higher revs, all settles out again. Similar at 2.5k rpm, but only with a light load, i.e. cruising at 50mph. A light load at other revs is fine, and if you accelerate, it stops the uneven running. Chatting to @Talbot at the FoD a couple of weeks back, he suggested it could be the on-boost fuel compensator diaphragm starting to break up, as both scenarios are when the turbo is starting to spin up properly. This made sense, and given that I changed it around 13 years ago seems plausible. A new one was fairly cheap, so I ordered it anyway before taking the top off the boost capsule. There was no visual failure, but it felt slightly stiffer than the new one so think the rubber is hardening. Plus, the bottom of the boost pin was all gummed up - looking down into the pump you can make it out. I reckon that the combination of the two factors meant there was a bit of resistance to movement, changing the point at which it starts to respond to the initial change in manifold pressure. Hence not enough fuel as the turbo starts to spool up. As soon as more boost is generated, the pin moves as it should and fuelling is OK. I took it out for a test run, and all is perfect again 😀 Which means, using man maths, that the 380 mile round trip to the FoD actually saved me £300 on a rebuilt pump! Another job was the fuel hoses, which I'd noticed during the recent service had started to perish. All were replaced with Gates Barricade from a known supplier, and the crimped banjo fitting swapped with a standard push-on type. Back onto the bodywork, and I've started to strip it down for paint. There's a couple of spots which needed primer, but it actually looks around 80% better after just flatting the paint back, and solvent wiping to remove the engraved grime!
  21. I've actually been able to trim the opening slightly, and with a little directional enlargement of the socket mounting holes, the alignment is much better. Onto another section of bodywork: Also dating from before purchase, it had been hammered out Father Ted style. I'd already replaced the lower panel in 2007, but had thought little point in doing more with a mahoosive dent in the door! I managed to flatten out the metal to some degree, so it was no longer proud in places. Then applied sone filler, although more than I'd like to have done. The upper part of the repair, the metal has actually been pushed into the door shut aperture slightly, exaggerated by this photo above. It's not so visible from straight on, as it's simply a squarer edge than the original edge below. But it's hugely improved, and is perfectly acceptable to my eyes given the amount of minor dents all over the rest of the van. It's a good sign that VW now appear to be supporting the LT more spares-wise. I hadn't been able to find a genuine handbrake cable previously, only one side from a dealer clearing out old stock. But now both sides are available via VW Classic Parts, and postage from Germany is probably faster than Hermes in this country! Hopefully I'll get it in for an MOT next week.
  22. Likewise. I've never been a fan of the later dash, but recently its Frenchness is growing on me quite a bit. @dollywobblerIf you ever sell at a time which coincides with me having actual money...
  23. Is that a tyre pressure monitoring system on the right of the dash?
  24. It's probably a yearly job, but should be significantly quicker keeping on top of the shine rather than dealing with neglect. A light buffing with the final stage polish should be all that's required, although weather is going to limit when I can do it! We're thinking of painting the roof with a heat-reflective paint, as they do on modern Airstreams. You can get stuff to slow down the deterioration, but the flip side is that they then need removal before polishing. Good point about the windows - I may just allow the front and rear windows to function. They are flat pieces, so at least possible to get toughened sheets made to suit without requiring a mould! Those, plus 3 roof vents, and AC should keep the inside well-ventilated and cool enough. It is possible to replace the curved windows with a polycarbonate sheet, but it's a bit too flexible really.
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