Friday, 14 September 2018

Tanks for the memories

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Nelson Mandela

We have been struggling for a long long time to get the rebuilt engine set up properly. It wouldn't idle right, then it wouldn't pull properly, then it kept stalling out...extremely frustrating. Eventually it went back to the engine builder for him to double-check everything.

After extensive checking and testing, the only oddity seemed to be that the valves were gunked up with some sort of crud. A good clean and rinse was sufficient to get the engine running smoothly and with apparent good power output. But the builder says to check the fuel in the tank, it's probably contaminated with something 'orrid.

Welcome back :)
So we drained the fuel tank into a few containers - it resembles muddy water, oh crap! That's forty litres of expensive fuel that will have to be disposed of, buggerit. I have removed the tank previously to give it a good clean but it looks as if it should come out again for a rinse.

Looks okay on the outside...

...but there's a swamp inside :(

So I asked around on the old interweb thingy for some help with proper cleaning and possibly lining or coating the inside of the tank if necessary. And Silverton Radiators in Strydom Park were recommended. I blagged a ride from a family member with a working car (thanks Keegan) and popped over to have a look.

Not only were they willing and able, they were also speedy and very reasonable on the pricing. Less than 24 hours after dropping off the sludgy tank it was ready for collection.


They have given it some kind of acid bath and chemically cleaned it, inside and out. The exterior has been re-painted with a protective coating while the interior is mud-free and shiny. A rust preventing liquid has been sloshed around inside to finish it off and it looks properly lovely - good result!

Next we can refit the tank, refit the engine and perhaps get this project mobile at last.

Thanks for keeping up, come again soon for the next episode :)
CooP

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Recovering

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Charles Bukowski

I know that I'm looking forward a long way here--all the way to the interior finishing touches--but I spotted some interesting fabric at the local habby and I just had to get some.


Surprise! When I got to the register I was told that this material was on a special offer - half price. Brilliant :) It'll go well with the existing orange and grey scheme that I've planned.

The original Westfalia plaid cushion covers are in a sad and sorry state. They are dark blue and never did fit with the old burnt orange paint scheme of the original camper. No idea who designed the  scheme back in 1972, but it's high time for a change of colour.




Faded, stained, worn and old. The foam is not going to survive either I fear, I'll be looking to replace it too.

I am, as usual, going to try to do the job myself - I reckon I should have this covered, haha.

The staples holding the fabric in place are badly rusted, right down into the wooden base. It's taken most of an afternoon and evening but I have managed to dig 'em out. Lots have snapped and mangled and I spent ages picking out little rusty, spiky bits from their forty-four year homes in the wood.




Are we helping?

I was right about the foam - it's crumbly, crusty and a little manky. I need to find a source of good quality foam for the padding and then I can get cracking with the re-upholstery.

Thank you for coming by, see ya soon,
CooP

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The no-light skylights

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
Herman Melville

My skylights in the Dormobile pop-top have been missing for ages. My Dad busted one off thirty-odd years ago by crashing it into a low-hanging fire extinguisher nozzle in a mall parking lot. I lost the other one on the motorway fifteen years ago on the way to a music festival in Heidelberg. I'd forgotten to close it properly. Sigh.

Since then I have used various odd plastic items such as Tupperware-type food containers and tea trays. I have been struggling to find an affordable substitute for the real thing, which is over three grand to import a pair of originals with the correct seals and fittings, gulp. The "proper" ones look like those in the pic below:

They are designed with an adjustable hinged tilting bracket that can open them and lock them in any stage between fully open and shut.

Here's a pic of my new substitute skylights:



If you think that they resemble catering dishes then you'd be right - that's exactly what they were designed for. The newspaper is my cutout template of the hole which I used as a sample. They are a perfect fit for the vacant spaces in the fibre-glass roof, placed here on a red wooden table:


Yeah yeah it's not ideal, I know, but the "proper" ones arrive from abroad with the respective seals and fittings for over R3000 for the pair. These are under R400 for the two, with another R150 for some nice screws and glues. So, on my budget that will have to be good enough.



So that's it for another step in the project, I am properly delighted to have found these at last. They are waterproof, weatherproof and should last for a very long time without much maintenance - proper result!


Thank you for reading, pop in again soon,
CooP

Saturday, 21 July 2018

When you need body

I am thankful to all who said no to me. It is because of them that I’m doing it myself.
Albert Einstein
I reported back in January that I had found a fit young helper who was as keen as mustard to work on the project. Sadly he was far too bright and ambitious to remain available for long - he has started his own small printing business and is pretty tied up with it full-time. Good luck Patton.

This means that the ongoing bodywork for the project has taken a virtual back seat, and I have focussed on other minor tasks in the interim. But the body is rusting away faster than it's being fixed, so I simply must get on with it.

I got myself some fresh body-filler, loads of sandpaper and sanding discs. Oh and a new rotary sander, powered by compressed air - flippin' awesome!

Following advice from someone far wiser than I, I am going to try to complete one panel or section at a time, before moving on to the next bit, Starting at the back, let's see how that goes...


There are loads of flimsy bits, some of which were previously drilled for reflectors and other ornaments, some of which has just rusted away gently by itself.


The new MiG welder is roped in to fill the blanks and then I'll cake on a bit of the new body filler to test it out.



Thank you for visiting, pop in again soon,
CooP

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Have a seat

Linger not on the way, stray not from your aim. Always strive, always move on, always advance.
St Augustine

I went to fit the newly re-upholstered seats and realised something that I really should have realised sooner...I have two driver's seats and no passenger seat! They are styled and shaped slightly differently and the mounting points underneath do not correspond. The driver's seat is on a fore-and-aft slider where the passenger side is designed to be fixed in one position. I shall have to modify something, somewhere.



I made some new brackets and painted them up nicely before fitting to support the seat on the passenger side. The driver's seat still fits nicely into the original runners and as otherwise unmodified.



Bish bash bosh and that'll do for now. Check in again for the latest updates,
CooP

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Restart

All happiness depends on courage and work.
Balzac

So the New Year has brought new motivation ... I have made a lot of life-changes recently, including a lovely new girlfriend and a move to a new home. So I am spending a lot of my time packing, moving, unpacking, tidying and cleaning. And building wardrobes from flat-packs.



I am keen to tidy up a lot of loose ends, this Marigold Project being a (ten year!) outstanding example.

In that vein I have started afresh on the outstanding bodywork and dent repair jobs that have been neglected and waiting for so long. I have recruited an assistant who is inexperienced but enthusiastic and energetic. He is happy to perform hard labour in the heat of the South African summer for hours on end - what a find!


My ever-helpful neighbour who is storing the project for me has kindly extended my access hours to allow me to work on the occasional Saturday too. This is going to speed the project up and bring the painting deadline ever closer. Watch this space as I hope to bring more regular progress updates.

Thanks for coming by,
CooP

Friday, 1 December 2017

Christmas came early!

When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must find himself a good and sufficient reason for going.
John Steinbeck


Thanks to the lovely people at Just Kampers in the UK (https://www.justkampers.com/) I received a few lovely goodies for the project. The proper foam seal for the engine bay, plastic seals for the three-part front bumper, exhaust clamps, indicator lenses, new accelerator hinge with spring and pin, and a lovely new carpet for the cab. Sweeeeeet!

We still have a tuning issue with the new carburettor, the jetting seems to be incorrect. But she starts and runs. We are making progress, slowly.

Thanks for coming by, hopefully by early next year we'll be looking at paint again.
CooP
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...