Thursday, 18 July 2013

Meet You at the Reservoir

He who would travel happily must travel light.
Antoine de St. Exupery

Making slow progress this week. Clumsy old me managed to poke my thumb through the side of the original brake fluid reservoir from Marigold. It was fitted behind the seat and had become very brittle with age and exposure.

It shattered (unexpectedly, and startled the cr@p out of me) while I was trying to fit it beneath the dash. The one that was originally in the white Kombi was melted beyond use by the fire that caused so much other damage to the front end.

I found a suitable substitute in my collection of motorbike spares - this reservoir pictured above is from a 1982 Suzuki GS1000. It is made of thicker plastic than the original VW part and is still strong and rigid. I made a simple bracket to fit it into position and we topped it up with the correct brake fluid. We started to bleed the brakes but it was getting late so we called it a night. Slow progress but any step forward is a step in the right direction, I suppose.

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Saturday, 13 July 2013


We are always getting ready to live but never living.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As mentioned in my previous post, thanks to my having become half a century old, the budget for the project has grown slightly and I could spend a bit on some bits.

It's hard to see in this pic but I had an extra-length section of hydraulic brake pipe made up to fit the extended distance from front to back. It has all the bends in the right places and brand new fittings and connectors all over. (It's the long, skinny, metallic thing on the floor there.) I was visiting the Midas spares shop in Witpoortjie to look for rubber grommets** and saw the hydraulic specialists next door. Super quick and reasonable in the pricing department too, they made up the length while I waited. Excellent service!

 It took a fair amount of jiggling and fiddling but I managed to wrangle the new length of pipe into place between all the existing pipes and cables. I have attached short pieces of clear plastic tube around the length of it to protect it where it comes into contact with other metal parts. I have also succeeded in getting it to pass through the inside of the new chassis beam so it shall be well protected from both weather and physical damage. Nice job. Sorry for the poor pic of only the one end but it's tough to get a decent snap while lying under the project with the old camera.

I discovered (by accidentally shattering it with my clumsy fist!) that the storage container for the brake fluid has become brittle and perished . I'll use one of my old Suzuki motorbike containers, they are still in good condition and I do have a spare. I'll just have to modify the bracket slightly to make it fit properly.

The plaster has dried out somewhat on the wall that I extended so I managed to prepare it nicely and get a couple of good coats of primer laid on.

The next big challenge is to sort out the mess of old wheels and tyres of different ages and sizes to get a set of four matching rims to fit.

** They don't stock rubber grommets, none of the motor-spares shops seem to do so either. And the staff at all of my local hardware stores just stare blankly at me, even when I show them a sample.

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