Thursday, March 27, 2008

they were the best of times, they were the worst of times

Classic cars are ace aren't they? After a bank holiday (in England only) drive around on Monday night, Jessica decided to give up the ghost. I thought petrol, but a walk in the snow for a can of the stuff didn't fix things, so it was the job of the AA.

The usual wait ensued - (50 minutes), but I got to pass the time listening to radio 4, playing patience by the light of the handily stashed camping light. It was actually quite an enjoyable experience!

The AA bloke came and took a look and his first words were "What is this?" followed by "Where is the engine?" then "where is the battery?". I had figured out that it was an ignition problem, and to be honest, these things are pretty simple to sort, but he was stumped, and I couldn't be bothered so we got a tow home.

Q. How do you make a Commer quiet?
A. Tow it.

Anyway, tonight I went and took a look and within 15 minutes I had it sorted. The little plastic insulator at the end of the points spring had fallen off, causing an intermittent short, so I popped it back on - and we're cooking again! Oh the fun of old cars, you can't do that on a modern can you - then again they don't break down...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

And we're off!

Got the Exhaust on and the new K&N and what a transformation! Loads of torque and all the revs I want - superb! I still need to fasten the filter in properly as its currently fitted using retro car maintenance techniques.

The exhaust went on well, and sounds great, and so far has stayed on!

And we had a nice surprise when I removed the seat covers for washing - the originals underneath!

Granny chic or what?! What do you think?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Retro Commer Rod!

Got a chance to move the van around today and take some daylight piccies of the new wheels - me liky!

Unfortunately the other one has knacked the rim seal so I'll have to take it back to the fitting place - I wonder what they will make of the whitewalls?!

The new exhaust is fitted temporarily and looks and sounds the part! The blat up the driveway was pretty fast too! Some parts are on order from Pugh and Sanders to complete the fitting, then we can have a proper test. Oh and I've got meself a K&N too :o)))

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zoom zoom ...

The old pea shooter was annoying me so I took the advice of the CommerVanFan Dudes and invested in a Mini sports exhaust - an RC40 to be precise. This little number is cheap, small and good and doing what exhausts are for - exhausting!

As you can see, the original and the new one are a bit different:

A little minor adjustment was required as the new one was the wrong shape and a bit too long.

As this is the first exhaust I have ever welded - I was a little anxious, but as I'd fixed the welder, it turned out pretty good. (even though I say so myself)

Course I had to test the airtightness, which allowed for a little rubber glove silliness and gobbing on hot welds (I am a child at heart)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jesus build my Hotrod

oh yeah...

I'm seriously considering some flames to go with these babys!

In more sensible news... (Molly sensible - you gotta be kidding me!)
the todo list keeps getting shorter!
* seal the guttering
* paint the guttering and the doors
* paint the rear wing - LATER
* flat the paint - LATER
* install the fuel tank
* install the towbar - LATER
* install towbar electrics - LATER
* fit the wings x2
* refit the rear door
* add lots and lots of soundproofing
* lots and lots and lots of rustproofing - on its way
* carpets in
* seats in
* dash bits in
* bonnet on
* replace the loom
* get the engine running
* stick the back bumper on

I'm thinking "LATER" could mean Post MOT what do you think?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

and finally...

I got them thair belts in... it was a bit of a pain but they are now in, and being enjoyed!

I also sorted a problem with the throttle sticking and I've got plans to improve the fuel efficiency and the performance. I have an RC40 mini exhaust on order and I'm looking at electronic ignition.

I got a chance to head out into the hills behind the house for some moody photos - what do you think?

Oh and there's the old nighttime cruse (or popping to Tesco with the kids)

and the next project is...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bairns Bunked

Got the bunks in today. I still need to finish off the pole extension, but they work and as you can see are being appreciated by the occupants!

Other stuff got done today, like prepping the 15" wheels for the rear, and fitting the "new" door lock (thanks Jules!)

I also had a crack at greasing some of the 100000 grease nipples and discovered that the accelerator linkage had gone all stiff...

Oh and any plans of a quick weekend away were shattered by the weather :o(

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lazin on a Sunday afternoon

After yesterday's progress, not much to report today, I have mocked up the seat in place with cushions, a child seat and a willing assistant. They still need bolting down but I wanted to check that everything is as it should be before I go making holes. I just need to make sure that there is nothing critical in the floor below!

I fixed on a couple of missing bits of wood too, including the sink cover (which I'll have to shorten to make room for the seat frame) and the cooker door.

I've also had a crack at fitting the bunks. I'm always amazed at the terrible state of fasteners supplied in kits. The woodscrews for the bunks (which are kinda critical) were really low grade. The ones supplied are short but quite wide so you need to have a good swing on them to get them in, which of course takes the head off. I'll get in touch with a couple of blokes I know!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Proper Belter

So, for the last 2 weeks progress has been made in a BIG way.
Molly has had most of the dash wiring put back in. The wipers and lights now work as well as the starter (there really isn't much to get wrong!) . I am having a problem with the horn and indicators (label the wires before you disconnect them).

Now then there is the fuel pump and fuel gauge. The fuel gauge has fallen victim to my hamfistedness and the needle has got bent, and the fuel pump is working really well, but not pumping fuel! The Oracle has made some pronouncements, I still need to go and try them out (the MMOC board people have never been wrong!).

I even tried to start the engine, but I'll probably have more luck when the pump is sorted.

And so onto Jessica, I got bamboozled by rear seatbelts the Commer Van Fan Clan were very helpful, and I went to a local garage to see what they thought and they were after £400 to do the job. I politely declined and decided to use some lateral thinking.

The problem is the lack of the top seatbelt mount, so I managed to find some seats from a Transit minibus with have integral seatbelts. I can then mount

these inside the existing seats, without loosing too much bed space.

These come in pairs so I separated them (one for each side) so then its a case of making some mounts for them to bolt to the floor. The original mounts were a little too long, and there were only 2 of them (one for each end of the seat). So I had to shorten the existing ones and make up some new ones.

I have also stripped off the padding from the seats (again to save a much bed space as possible). This means I can re-use the original camper cusions for the seats

There a loads of little bits missing from the commer- which is really annoying - some bits though are quite important - like the sink and part of the engine cover/ passenger seat rail!
I've been buying parts from a chap down south who is breaking a commer and he sent up the wrong side engine cover - I hope he has the right one still!

I also bit the bullet and purchased some bunks from JustKampers they are 6 cm too short, but I have a cunning plan for that too :o)