Tuesday, 30 March 2010

All for free

I got a 2" nail in one of the rear tyres tonight. Needless to say it was raining, and I was hacked off and miserable by the time the spare was on.

In other really great news, insurance renewal is due in about a month, so I started looking for quotes. Paid about £350 last year... this year, I can't find under £1k. Makes no sense, particularly as all that's changed over the year is I've got one years no claims bonus. Still, insurance is pretty much legalised extortion.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Just ordered new front brake bits from Paddocks, as the wheel cylinder(s) seem to be leaking...
4x delphi cylinders, and a set of the mintex shoes - £63 all in.

[boundless optimism]Looking forward to owning a truck that actually stops in a straight line, for as much as a week after fitting them [/boundless optimism]

Not sure when they are going in mind - I've a load of university stuff to do over Easter, and I've still a zillon nasty little MOT jobs left...


...three years since it became apparent it was rather on its way out, I've finally replaced the steering relay. In the process, I've also replaced two ball joints, fitted a proper air cleaner tray rather than the bodged one, done some repairs to a couple of developing cracks in the passengers main chassis rail... Oh, and replaced the front crossmember...

Someone's stolen my crossmember... rough looking bloke with gas axe suspected.

Not sure there was meant to be a hole in the main rail behind it... that may be why I was having problems with the main rail cracking there...

So remove all the suspect metal, and start again...

Fitted, just needs welds finishing (was waiting for the welder to catch up with me when I took this - I'd tripped it out as over its duty cycle... not often I manage to do that on a job)

Twas dark by the time it was all back together...

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Out with the camera

Been out today grabbing some rather nice piccys for a LRM feature... they can stay under wraps for the minute, but here is a quickie mostly of Bitsa.

Mission for tomorrow is to sort out that wretched front Crossmember/steering relay...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Someone needs to get their SPECS on [rant]

Yours truly drove to Buxton tonight, over the Cat and Fiddle, and found to his intense joy and delight that the morons have been at work, and it has sprouted a crop of SPECS average speed cameras.

Now, I'm actually generally in favour of average speed cameras - they are both fairer, and more effective than the usual Gatso's. But the current system seems to be badly thought out, badly installed, and on the wrong sort of road. Taking these points in reverse order...

Firstly, almost all the fatalities up there are bikers, certainly all the ones that this system is aimed at. I really don't understand why people care about biker fatalities - unlike stupid car drivers, bikers very rarely take any innocent victims with them when committing suicide. I have no issue with people taking risks that only affect themselves, so if you want to ride like a twit, then be my guest. Drive like one, and you may kill me, so I'm less keen on the idea. If people want to install SPECS on the A6 through central Stockport, go for it - its full of speeding morons in cars, not on bikes.

Secondly, the installs are more than a tad ugly - they seem to have decided its now a motorway, and hence installed motorway sized gantries. Guys - this was a beautiful part of the world once - adding a dozen steel masts with bright yellow camera's is hardly adding to the beauty of scenes...

Thirdly, the install seems to have been done by a half brained moron. There are three camera's in close succession on the long straight, which is the only bit a normal person would want to break the limit on, in order say to safely pass a lorry.
By comparison, the long twisty stretch where all the bikers commit suicide has no camera's at-all, apart from at each end. Given that there is a much shorter straighter parallel route for most of that with a 60mph limit, and no camera's to tell them which way you've been, its not like its going to be possible to prosecute anyone until they are averaging a lot more than 50mph on the twisty bit. Not that they won't try of course.

As a parting shot, I've done a quick Google, and found that apparently the whole thing has cost a tidy two million quid. The country is going bust, and they are spending £2,000,000 in order to save the lives of half a dozen suicidal bikes... its not like they will get that back in fines any time soon either - they need to bag nearly 35,000 people at £60 a pop just to get the face value back in fines... doubt 35,000 people a year drive it. Given that each fine probably costs £30 to administer, that's actually 70,000 people to bag. Frankly, we will have all evolved into aeroplanes some time before they manage to book 70,000 people...

From the achive...

..or rather facebook - this photo has come to light, thanks to Rudd of OLLR... EOD09, and me looking very studiously at some mud.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


Had a good time, but seem to have wrecked the tow hitch on the big step halfway down Roych... thats yet another MOT job then...

A pleasant evening

Met up with a couple of other series owners last night for a pint (of coke each, as we were all driving). Good to see that the youth of today all drive IIA's.

Friday, 19 March 2010

To win a crossmember...

First find a brew, and the donor motor.

Then remove the rad, rad panel, and oil cooler (if fitted). Note: oil is always present in side the cooler before removal, and is always present down your sleve afterwards.

Finally, remove crossmember with an angle grinder.

Put tools and donor vehicle away, and go back to worrying about getting the new crossmember fitted in the right place...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

More photos... this time countryside type ones.

You'd never think I've just got a new camera now, would you ;-)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Photo update

Normal service may be resumed...

Those odd folks who look at this page (apparently there are some, or the stat counter wouldn't keep climbing - 8K hits to date), may have noticed a bit of a lack of posts this year. (Well, a total lack actually)

Hopefuly, that is going to change, now I'm not fixing Bitsa 24/7. Its been a rough ride the last couple of months, the original engine died on 3rd January, after running a big end (root cause of the problem was low oil pressure, because of a problem with a camshaft bearing).

That engine came out, and in its place went another 200di, this one from Landranger. That lasted two weeks, and then ran two big ends. It seemed that while fitting, we had left the oil thermostat in place, while blanking off the oil cooler feeds. Somewhat predictably, this had led to it opening while headed up the M6, and totally cutting off the oil supply to the big ends... this got rebuilt with another crank, and new shells, also some bits from the other engine. Finally it was back properly on the road in late February.

There has also been a major program of repair works, focused on getting her through the next MOT. Work has been done on everything from the handbrake, to the cab floor.
Still outstanding is to:

Change the rear shocker bottom bushes (not looking forward to this one),
Sort the screenwashers
Fit a new flasher relay (I don't think manually flicking the lever is allowed in the test)
Change the steering relay, and 1 ball joint. Not looking forward to this at-all - I'm not just swapping the relay, but the front cross-member as well, due to the fact the relay refuses to come out. The upside is I can remove several dodgy welding jobs from previous owners and replace them with decent repairs while I'm at it. I'm hoping that will finally sort the issues with cracks appearing round the bump stops. (I've repaired several now, and am getting a bit bored with it).

Not sure how often I'll manage to update this page - the MPG count has been reset, and that at least is dealt with reasonably regularly. (Not sure what will happen once WMO testing resumes, but that's on hold until I've at least a bit more time.)