Wednesday, 19 December 2012

3 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Matthew Broderick in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Not a nifty dance move I'm afraid, rather a description of the slow and often repetitve moves that we have to make in order to cross this uncharted territory. While looking ahead and attempting an uncharacteristic shot at being proactive we realised that an obvious problem lay on the horizon. The gear linkage consists of a steel tube running inside a second, protective tube which doubles as a guide to keep the linkage straight and true. We have not extended the linkage yet but have realised that we shall not be able to slide it into the guide tube while the engine and gearbox are in place! Bother, bother, bother. So it's time yet again to remove the engine, and the gearbox will join it this time too.

It really does seem to get easier every time that we do it - practise makes perfect I guess, we are down to half an hour or so. I have been under an onslaught of the dreaded flu and have felt a bit weak and bunged up this past few days. I have counter-attacked with doses of medicine in the form of brandy which gave me strength and motivation (to a point anyway!).

The gearbox is oozing a little oil from here and there but seems to be in generally good condition. I'll give it a good clean during the week and examine it more carefully. I'll check around for the availability of new seals and perhaps do a mini service on it while it's out. Now that these parts have been removed I can see down the gear linkage guide tube and I'm sure that the next step, making and fitting the gear linkage, will run smoothly.

That's about it for, it's late and my "medicine" seems to be doing more harm than good so I'm off to bed. Happy new year everyone, updates to follow in the new year :)

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Slip Sliding Away

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way.
Benjamin Franklin

Not much to report this week but we did make a little progress between the slurping supping of some of Cape Town's finest export brandy. The sliding door "slider" has had a damaged spring on it for the past ten years or so. It prevented the sliding door from popping open smoothly when the catch was released and also did not hold the door away from the body panel. This has resulted in awkward opening requiring two hands, and a nasty gouge down the right-hand panel that will need a smear of filler. So we popped the door off and removed the suspect part. I also cleaned and lubricated all of the other moving parts for convenience while we had it all in bits.

After some exhaustive searching around the house, garden and shed I managed to find the unused slider from the left-hand sliding door that was fixed in place (see SlidingDoor? No More). Couldn't remember where I had put it - they say that the memory is the second thing to go, hee hee. Despite it's grotty appearance it was all in good condition and came up lovely and clean after being attacked with an old toothbrush dipped in petrol. A few of the individual parts are individually made for either the left OR right side but the spring and fastener that I needed was universal. Fixed, fitted and replaced with a dollop of grease and the job's a good 'un. It's working perfectly now, opens smartly and slides just right - it feels like new and is a testament to the original build quality of 40 years ago :)

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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Trendy Gear

Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.
Henry Thoreau

I missed my regular Wednesday get-together but I managed to do some work on the gear stick. I assembled all of the parts that I could find from the two cars and gave them a good cleaning. I sanded off some light rust and then primed and painted them with rattle-cans.

The result was a smart gear stick with spotless fittings, very tidy!

Close up of the bottom end. This was caked with congealed grease and 40 year's worth of road muck but it came clean with some petrol and a wire brush. I accidentally managed to knock out the sprung pin while I was cleaning. It landed in a pile of leaves and took me half an hour to find again, clumsy oaf! I located it with a magnet eventually.

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