Monday, 28 November 2016

Garage sale = Danger

I don't think I should be allowed near garage sales unsupervised. This weekend was a fine example. I went just for a look, and possibly to get some woodworking hand tools. But this is what I came home with

A nice big pedastool drill press that came with 2 vices and a slightly dry drizabone. Both of which are things I've been thinking about getting, but don't need, critically anyway. However both will be getting a lot of use in the coming years I dare say and I will be happy to have bought them then.
Not quite it's final resting spot, but for now it makes a very good hat stand.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Which do you think was faster?

While up at my mate's farm where my Pulsar is. We decided to go for a little drive. He in his AWD Subaru and me in my FWD beat up Pulsar.
And who won? Me of course. Despite the nissan having this happen to it
Though it may have been like that before we started. We can't remember now. Thinking about it though, that may have had something to do with me not being able to turn particularly well. Especially the bottom corner, a big 180 bend. I could steer nicely through the first half, but then it would just go straight for the next couple of meters no matter what I did.

And we did our part for the environment. There are now a few less blackberry bushes standing in that paddock. They may still be there, but they are a lot flatter now.

With a big storm coming over the hill we decided to get a bit artsy with the car.
Credit has to go to my Mate for this one. I'm pretty happy with how it ended up so I might claim it. After all it was taken on my phone.

If we remember, next time we will get the Go-Pro out. It was sitting in the car we drove up there, but we completely forgot to get it out once we started the cars.


Monday, 21 November 2016

A ute will keep you in demand

Part of owning a ute is being the person who can move the big or heavy or dirty things around without an issue. So when my parents needed some help to get some concrete slabs home I had myself an excuse for a nice drive.
Here is the first one in place and ready to go. Having a quick breather before moving the second one. Each of these weighs about 80kg so I'm sure you're wondering how we moved them? Well thankfully we didn't have to just muscle them. In a pinch 2 of me could move one, however it would be quite hard work and slow going; with plenty of potential for hurting yourself.
This picture might help. You can just see what we used to make it so easy to move these.
Thankfully Mum & Dad have an engine hoist which easily lifts loads like these. We had a couple of proper lifting slings so with those under the slab and someone to steady the load it was very easy to roll the hoist over to where they needed to go. Once they were nearly there we could just slide the slabs sideways by their width and the lifting was done.

And why did we need to put in some big heavy slabs? In this box are a heap of big batteries for running the house. Batteries like these need a very solid base that ideally is slightly elevated so anything on the ground needs to climb a bit before getting to them. Hopefully these slabs will hold them for years to come.

So thank you Mum & Dad for giving me a reason for a nice drive out there and a chance to ogle at their new power system going together.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Parts on order

I'm back at a point where I can start buying more parts to get the Land Rover back on the road.

You may have noticed that there are some lights missing from it. Namely the indicators, park & brake lights.
If you hadn't, this picture shows where 2 of them go nicely.

I have ordered a set of replacements from Rover Parts which will look like this:
Image from

They are not quite exactly identical to the original parts. However they have just come off a later model. They will still fit in the same space and get wired up the same.

I have tested some of the wiring that is still in the back. The wire for one of the indicators is still good and works, but I'll need a helper to test the brake lights. Also I'm hoping a little more load from more lights will mean that the indicator flasher can has enough current going through it to cause the lights to actually flash.

Another post coming regarding the install.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Amazing how much difference having a clear space to work makes

Today I took a day of leave as recovery from the weekend I just spent training on the James Craig. I figured I would still be pretty tired and not having to get up too early would probably be a good thing.

With half a day to fill and it raining a bit too much to get the brakes finished on the Land Rover I decided to get the desk inside where I keep my radios & computer tidied up.
This is more or less what it looked like before I started to clean up. Actually probably worse as there has been a fair bit of time for junk to accumulate since that photo was taken.

I also turned the desk around. This means that I can access the back side where the 12V power supply is. And it also lets me plug & unplug anything into mains power depending on what my current project is.

This is what I have now. If I put my laptop away then I have a huge desk that can be used for whatever project I have at the time. This extra bench space will be very useful with the couple of electronics projects I have in the back of my mind coming up.


Monday, 7 November 2016

Back door now installed

I have had a door for my Land Rover since I bought it, however it was not installed, nor did it have enough bolts to just put it on. So on the weekend I fixed that.

In this photo you can just see a hand holding the door on. Before you could use the top hinge to locate it and hold it in place. This didn't really do much other then prove the door fitted. But it was a start.

The nuts I found were too small for the holes that have been drilled in the frame of the door. So I had to make up a backing plate to stop them from pulling through. This came from a piece of scrap angle I had sitting around. A few minutes with the grinder and the drill and it was ready to go.

It is still a mess inside. But that isn't as obvious now with the door shut. I'm not sure if it's supposed to, but the geometry of the hinges means that it half wants to open itself. Not a bad thing, but interesting.

Unfortunately for now this is my latch. I don't quite have a complete lock mechanism for the door so while I sort out how to lock it properly this will do.

This was a nice, fairly quick project that has definately helped make the car more weatherproof. Hopefully soon I will have the brakes sorted and then I can move onto the next part. Possibly the lights which are missing.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

It's not worth putting off an easy fix

I've had some trouble in the past with getting a white buildup around the negative terminal of the battery in my rodeo ute. I have always been able to get it going again, but it has always been some fiddling around when it gets bad.

When this happened the second time I bought a new battery terminal and put it in the car. Ready for me to install it. However because the problem didn't come back I didn't end up getting it installed.

Yesterday I had the same problem. I park on a slope at work and there is enough electricity getting through the terminal to hill start it, which I did. However when I got home there wasn't even enough getting through to run the central locking. So I had to fix it.
This is the old terminal. Just an extension of the crimp that gets bolted around the battery post. It looks pretty rubbish for a factory part, but I guess it's worked for the last 10 years.

This is the new part. I just cut the strap off the crimp and left the main body of the crimp alone so all of the little wires would stay in one bundle. According to the packet this terminal is lead which is the same material as the battery post so there should be no compatibility problems there. What will be interesting is if the problem goes away, or if it moves to where the wires meet the new terminal.