Sunday, February 21, 2010

Domestic Service

Back when I lived in Manchester I used to rent a room from my friend Lee. He was (and still is) a bit of a car nut. He has a much greater throughput than me and has owned a range of exotic VW's Fiats and a Ferrari. As you can imagine moving in with him was perfect for me. Car tips, advice and free welding. It was also an eye-opener in terms of living in a classic car supportive environment. For example, by the sink there were two scrubbing brushes, one for dishes, and one for really dirty things - like light lenses. For a while he stored his brand new VW engine in the kitchen (as he didn't want to get it dirty). So I learned that kitchens (and things you find in them) have a vital role to play in the classic car hobby.

Now Molly is out of the garage and getting used on a regular basis, I can think about making her a little smarter. Last week I took a look her sun visors and realised that they were pretty filthy, so a quick rummage under the sink came up with Lidl's version of Vanish - Adritt. Oh yeah check it out!

Spick and span - before and after

So I think its time to have another rummage under the sink to see what I can find. Next week - baby wipes reviewed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lightbulb moments

Many years ago when I started at University, I met a chap I now know as Gib. We met when I took his last ciggie in the Banshee night club in Manchester. It turned out that he was on the same course as me - and the rest is history...

He was a school chess champion and whilst he didn't teach me how to pay chess, he did give me a top tip (so I didn't loose so quickly) - sit on your hands - (don't tell anyone I told you). It stops you making rash decisions and means that you think about the moves a little longer (hopefully helping you win the game).

Anyway, while I'm not very good at chess (not good at all) I can do other things that require thinking about. One of which (can you guess what's coming up) is fixing old cars. Sometimes , usually with the electrics, a problem presents itself which could do with some thinking. This week's problem was that the van lights didn't work. Both side lights and one dipped beam. So what is the thought process... 3 bulbs out so find a common point of failure - maybe an earth (the working dipped beam could be earthing somewhere else). And the earth is connected to the heater mount (which I've had in bits). So that must be it mustn't it?

I took the lot apart. Fitted and re-fitted the earths, checked all the wiring - nothing - nada. So I had another think and waved a multimeter at it. So that's when I discovered the real problem - three blown bulbs - so much for sitting on your hands - meh...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Congratulations Jez and Ruth

Last weekend my little brother did the honorable thing and married his fiance. It was a really nice event at a very posh castle in Yorkshire with just the right amount of everything. I was an usher, which seems to be something I like to do (bossing people around and being in charge of things). At one point it seemed as though everywhere I turned there was an old school friend or relative I hadn't seem for years. Of course there was a lot of dressing up...

She's with him...

Grandad and Grandson - Me in 30 years and Me 30 years ago...

There weren't any classic cars involved though (I was sure the lannie could have been included somewhere!) , but saying that, they did get to the church on time...

So a quick Hi and congratulations to Jez and Ruth and if you're reading this from Barbados, what are you doing - you're supposed to be on honeymoon! And Griff, I'll try not to post after a few drinks OK!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wonderful World Wide Web

'tis a funny old place the web. One minute there are things like this, the next there are things like this.
Without the web, classic cars and vans would be rusting and mouldering unloved and unwanted. Then again kids would be kids for a little bit longer... you win some you loose some. Over all I think it kind of (only kind of) evens itself out.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010



Mother Earth

Mother F******* Bad Earth...

Yeah that manky old piece of earth strap was what has been stopping Jessica starting properly since I got her. Once I swapped it out for a proper shiny bit of copper everything was fine and dandy. The snow has come back (just as I was enjoying the dry weather) so I decided to switch the cars around before it got too bad. Guess what... Molly wouldn't start. It turned out that the points had closed up. One of my all time favourite classic classic ailments. I can usually get things sorted, however I like to slip in a little modern technology when I can, so I got one of these...

Its an electronic points conversion. It does away with mechanical points all together, I just wish I had fitted it before!

Now the cars are all nicely switched I can (maybe) put molly away for a bit of TLC - and fit those points.

Oh and I (re)discovered that driving rear wheel drive classic cars in the snow is rather challenging.