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My New Zealand Shite - Yet Another Car Added

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One thing fixed, another thing broken today.



This is the state of the driver's door handle, as bought. It works but the handle doesn't spring back into place and honestly, as a user experience, it's akin to receiving one of those ominously weak handshakes. 



Cracked open the door panel and noticed that the return spring for the handle was all jaunty and obviously not properly housed.



Putting it back in place however highlighted the issue. When the handle is lifted, the 'lid' of the plastic shroud the spring sits in flexes, as it's snapped. 


A classic, textbook bout of procrastination took place, wondering how to sort it, until I whipped out my digital caliper, sharpie, drill, angry grinder and 1mm cutting disc and a bit of old metal from an office filing system.



I came up with this - a strip of metal, folded into a U shape (by hand! Grrr!), then cut the gap bit out with the grinder and drill bits. I'm as surprised as anyone that it actually flipping WORKS!



Yes! I don't want to brag but it feels like a premium car's door handle now, all springy and assertive. A nice firm handshake now, with direct eye contact and everything.


The downside is that I've somehow broken the central locking, which was the main reason why I had the door panel off. Previously, the solenoid activated with a key turn but now it doesn't. The rod between lock barrel is still connected, so it's not that. Lifting the door knob manually doesn't work either but if I use the auto lock switch on the door panel, the solenoid activates. I even took a video of me trying the lock/knob vs the switch and there seems to be no physical difference in rod travel between the two - it's just that one makes the solenoid do its job and the other doesn't.

Elecrtical issue, perhaps? Any suggestions would be greatly received! 




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Nice one Jon.  I was wondering why you had purchased such a forgettable appliance when the rear axle reveal made everything clear. I too am a sucker for 4wd in unlikely vehicles, makes everything more interesting.

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On 7/30/2020 at 11:58 PM, cort1977 said:

Nice one Jon.  I was wondering why you had purchased such a forgettable appliance when the rear axle reveal made everything clear. I too am a sucker for 4wd in unlikely vehicles, makes everything more interesting.

I know! I surprised myself with this one but it's got too much going for it (low price, low running costs, AWD, post 2000, compact for storage etc.) that the positives outweighed any worry over it being a bit dull. And in actual fact, it isn't really.


Anyway, a few more cosmetics:



Wiper arms before.



And after some etch primer and matt black spray paint. Easy peasy job, so if it doesn't stand the test of time, no worries! Just do it again.



Then I got a bit ambitious since it's been dry this week, so decided to whip out the driver's seat for a clean. 


I've lined up a few key detailing ingredients, carefully selected on the basis of their cleaning excellence and not just because that was what was in the laundry at the time. Precisely pour an unspecified amount of SARD stain remover into the clinically cleaned bucket, then add Reflect powder (suitable for front AND top loading machines). An over flowing scoop should do. One mixed into a bit of a half-arsed 'paste' using too much water, the beguiling aroma of tiger lilies should be bursting through.



Then slap the aforementioned 'paste' which is too runny/gritty equally* on to the seat, then pour on the bucket excess and desperately try to grind it round the whole seat in an equal fashion. Apply pressure washer.



Looking good! 


It's at this stage that the sun goes in, you remember previously having borrowed a carpet cleaner to suck up excess moisture and that yes, it's still bloody winter.  Great. Bang in front of the fire for a couple of nights, so it can simultaneously absorb much of the heat away from you and leave you with a damper home in the process. This being an adult thing is working out so well!


Regardless, it's all in the past now, so let's see a before and after shot:






Not bad, I'd say! I even stuffed an extra bit of foam into the squab, in an attempt to floomph up the right had side of it, which had been crushed to dust from drivers getting in and out. It was a free fix and used up a small piece of otherwise useless foam, so despite not being perfect, it is an actual improvement. It does highlight the grubbiness of the passenger seat but that can wait until it's actually good weather and I can borrow a carpet cleaner again. 



In a similar way, I was able to swap out the cruddy original gear knob dalek for some random one earmarked for the dump, liberated from a Japanese centre console of unknown origin, which was in the back of the Land Rover when it turned up. I think it adds to the '4WD' vibe rather well and am sure will add some perceived ground clearance/running gear robustness as a result.

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Mrs_Jon decided she'd like to spend a day off from work today watching awful television whilst crocheting, so I went outside to wash cars and fettle. After washing cars, I thought I'd tackle the other floppy door handles on the Vitz, so proceeded to crack open a door cover (2 screws and some plastic plugs - literally a 1 minute job), to discover that the spring was completely absent. Checked the door bottom too and no dice. Or even a missing door handle spring. Fail.

Next job was to try and get the interior light sensor/plunger for the driver's door to work, so I unscrewed it and swapped it over with a working one, from a rear door. With both swapped, neither now worked, so I decided to just put things back in their rightful places and worry about it another day. Reinstated the back door one and then whilst screwing the front one back in, all of a sudden a beeping sound is heard. Turns out it's at precisely this juncture that the annoying Toyota 'keys in ignition' beeper has reinstated itself. It had never worked before and I was very glad of the fact, as it's a personal irritant! So I turn the headlamp switch and all of a sudden that annoying alarm has decided to awaken, too! And then I look up.... and the interior light has started to work again in the 'door open' setting...

Flummoxed at this turn of events, I decide upon either divine intervention, or perhaps I've disturbed a poor earth somewhere. Whatever, time to go in. Put the key in the door lock and now the central locking is working again!!!


An utterly boring update here (to go along with my utterly boring day) and bereft of pictures, so have a giant fish on a Bedford:





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