Thursday, 27 February 2014

Spaghetti Junction

There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.
Theodore Roosevelt
We managed to get some of the new wiring spliced in, soldered and sealed last night.

It helps to have prehensile toes! The rear section has been matched up, labelled and soldered. We have wrapped up the individual joints with a sleeve of shrink-wrap, then the whole lot has been sleeved with a larger piece of shrink-wrap. This lot has been bound with a bit of insulation tape, then the whole lot has been bunged into a plastic conduit. Finally that conduit has been stuffed inside the hollow chassis rail.

Should be fairly well protected I reckon! That's the rear end finished, next week we'll do the front section joins.

In my spare time I have been tidying up a few loose parts, mostly plastic and rubber bits. I love rubber bits. They looked pretty rough to start with but a simple scrub with some soapy water already got them looking a bit nicer. Pictured are air vents, step rubbers, mirror, door handles and cubby door.

A lot of polishing and buffing with regular shoe polish and they all look like new! Loads of elbow grease but it's all worth while and these bits will look luvverly when I refit them.

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Staying On Course

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
C.S. Lewis
In our attempts to remove the old and useless ignition switch we also managed to damage the steering wheel quite badly. It'll still work but it looked a bit naff so I took it home for a bit of extra tlc.

The Plastic was a bit old and brittle and a couple of larger chunks had been dislodged, although the main metal frame is still strong and undamaged.

I filled it with a two-part epoxy putty and gave it a few hours to set. I filed it and sanded it until it resembled the original a little more. Re-fill the holes and low spots and sand it down again. Repeat a final time to fill in the blemishes caused by my own drunken careless file work. It's very much similar to the earlier work that I have done filling dents in body panels, but this putty sets really, really hard!

I sanded down the entire wheel after I had tidied the putty work. This to give it a bit of a key for the paint, which I applied from a rattle-can. Eight coats on the centre hub but just two on the outer ring 'cos I want to bind that with leather strips.

A few unfortunate slips with the rasp means that I left a couple of wee blemishes in the final finish but . . . so what? It looks pretty good to my weary eye and I have more important jobs to get on with right now. It looks okay fitted back in it's place and I think that I can learn to live with it as it is :)

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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Vague Steering

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are continuing the slow slog down the long list of loose ends and trying to tick off a couple or three each month. We have stripped and removed the steering mechanisms from both donor buses and will attempt to assemble a best-of-the-best setup from the selection of parts.

These are some of the steering bits, parked on my spare desk for now, a reminder of the work I need to do in my spare time this week. It's in pretty good nick, just needs cleaning and maybe a lick of paint and we'll be able to replace it next week.

We also managed to do some more work on the re-routing of the new wiring underneath the bus. We are using a combination of regular plastic conduit, plastic electrical sleeving, shrink-wrap and the natural chassis rails to route the new cables. Most of it is using existing holes and channels in the chassis, some of the newer holes are our own handiwork. Next week we can start the joining, soldering and wrapping.

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