Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Today was cold - very cold. The Bathgate permafrost is back again and I love it! I've booked 3 days off for Christmas which has given me a full week and a half off, but I really haven't been using it to full advantage. We (all four of us) have been staying in our pyjamas till mid-day (or later, Daria is still in hers at 10:30 pm - she's feeling ill...). So in order to combat this slovenly behaviour, I took little Rory for a walk down into town in the frost. I really enjoy spending time with him like that. He doesn't say much and trots along nicely holding my hand. We went and looked at the stripped bare carcass of Woolies, while munching on Cheese and Onion pasties from Greggs. After a little while he started lagging behind, and whinging a bit so up he came on my shoulders. By the time we got back (unbeknownst to me) he was fast asleep. Thats quality time for you.

Tonight I got out to the garage again and tonights mission was to move Molly to the other side of the garage so I could fit the other 2 wheels and door seals. It took around 5 goes backwards and forwards to do it as there is very little space between the garage and Jessica and I didn't want to drive her as its a little late and Molly is a little noisy. Plus the garage would have been filled with nasty over-rich exhaust fumes (should add that to the to-do list).

Finally I started doing a dry run of the gearbox rebuild, just so I know how to do it when it comes to the real rebuild (not that I'm scared or anything...).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not working but playing

Not being at work is ok... I quite like my job but is does take a lot of my time. Today has been A Good Day. The done list includes:
  • strip down the "new" gearbox
  • have a general tidy up
  • fit the off side rear seatbelt properly
  • fit the rear wing properly
  • get Molly's engine running
  • free off the rear brakes
  • fit a new wheel
The temperature today has been mostly frosty (it was -1 when I came in tonight), but I did manage to get a few hours in the garage this morning. It was bittersweet though, fun playing with cars, but Rory had his little nose squished up against the patio windows wanting to play.

Stripping the new 'box was a bit weird - perfectly good box in bits on the bench is not a good feeling. I have a big shopping list for speedy spares when they open (not until the 5th of January?!) and keep wondering how much to replace. All the bearings and seals or just the stuff I really want to? And I'm quite scared of the massive quantities of the needle bearings that I have in little tubs on the bench now. Ah well no going back.

Molly's rear wing is now on with the piping - still needs painting though, but it'll do until after the MOT. Getting her engine running was a bit of a whim thing, she'll not get past Jessica (what with wheels being in the air and the gearbox being in lots of tiny bits on the bench) buts its an emotional thing.

As the back wheels wheels were in the air, the brakes got freed off and, well there's no point putting the old wheel back on is there?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas schmishmas

Well whats that all about. Lots of food, bad films and general overindulgence. Not good I hear you say. Well there is one redeeming feature of Christmas (especially this Christmas). Its the other 3. Daria, Megan and Rory. My family, beautiful wife and kids. Now I have finally chilled out a little bit and got myself used to not being at work, the kids and Daria can have a little quality time with me. Thanks to Granny, Rory has a great new train set, a Thomas the Tank engine one, with batteries and automatic features. If fits perfectly on the dining room table, and has been a great source of fun for the three of us for a good few hours over the last couple of days. Its amazing how much fun can be had with a train set. Toast delivery for example. And I keep wanting to nip to ToysRUs to get some more bits for it!
station master and chief engineer

From my own point of view, it was a rather good car related Christmas. I got a jolly good morris minor book from Dad and Sue (one I don't already have which is impressive in itself!), and the skull gearknob I asked for from my Brother much to his bemusement! Mum came up with the goods too and I now have a slightly better stocked took kit.

Skoda, Morris or Commer....?

Now of course any time off must have some garage time associated with it, and Molly has been a little neglected recently so she has had some special attention lavished upon her. This years project has been seats and seatbelts.

Of course there's a Commer gearbox to worry about so I took a few minutes to learn about how the gears should be swapped onto the overdrive mainshaft. Its pretty straight forward really, I need to just be brave now and do it.

I'm starting to like this Christian festival, good stuff happens. Shame about all the religous iconography, and it being in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Archeology - its just old stuff in the ground

I was thinking today, while walking past a building site, about archeology. I quite like archeology (in a time-team and museum kind of way - I don't actually want to do the digging). When the archeologists find stuff, I can imagine they get pretty excited, wondering who owned it before, what it's story was, that kind of thing. And then theres the question of what they find. Its always the big stuff, the hard stuff, the things inbetween the things (bowls and stuff). And the archeologists are very proud of it, proud of the pieces of bowl and bone. Now thats fine, they do lots of cool stuff in mud and have archeology degrees and and that, but I can't help feeling the pride they have in finding the artifacts is more than the artifacts have ever had bestowed on them before. Imagine thousands of years ago someone cobbled together a nice bowl used it a bit, then it broke and then it got lost and forgotten about. Then many (thousands) of years later an archeologist finds it and is over the moon. Why do some people get excited about things just because they are old....

Anyway cars....

I've been sneaking out to the garage over the past few nights (while fighting the jetlag) and have got a few things done. First Molly now has a rear windscreen, some doorseals and a few other bits of trim, all looks rather good to me, some of the trim could do with a good scrub though.

looking good - if a little grubby

screen in - still capable of low speed persuit

Jessica has had some attention lavished upon her too. Well her gearbox has. After I killed the original one and managed to precure a new one from Martin (thanks Martin!) I have been having thoughts of overdrives.

spare teeth

where the teeth came from

where do all these cogs go?

main shaft needs to be swapped to fit the overdrive

mmmm overdrive

Friday, December 05, 2008

Leaving on a Jetplane...

..but I'll be back next Saturday! Working away in Denver (and preparing for it) has put paid to most Commorris related fun recently, however last week I did manage to sneak out for a couple of very productive hours.

One hour was spent finishing Molly's head lining, looking so good now (even though I say so myself) now I can get the rear screen in, rear seatbelts and start putting the door seals on. Then we're really cooking. The rest of the seatbelts can go in and then maybe (just maybe) some seats!

then thats it... not much else, swap the wheels, fit the rear wings properly, finalise the front headlights, replace the rear brakepipes.... sort the engine, fit the electronic ignition....

so should I book the MOT?

Then... I popped out (in the snow) to remove Jessica's dead gearbox. It took loads of wiggling (and unhooking from the handbrake cables) but it was off in the end. Being a kid at heart, I had to perform an autopsy... didn't really get time to do that much (gotta go to Denver doncha know) but I did find myself with a large pile of broken teeth in my hand... so thats what happened BOO!