Ma Blog‎ > ‎2007‎ > ‎


May 31st I got the door closed on the van, then put my bike lift under it, loosened everything up and jacked it until the lines in the bodywork all lined up. Then I pushed the door as far forward as it'd go, and tightened everything up. It looks good, and slides closed better than it ever has before. I'll call that done :o)

I also fitted the LED brake light. It keeps dropping off the roof, so I've tried sticky velcro. Oh, and soldered two of them together, so they'll be that bit brighter.

May 30th I decided to finally level the sliding door on the van, so I took the lining out of the door, and started twiddling. I got it closer than it was, but not perfect. Also, now the latch pin was in the wrong place. And 15mm. I don't own a 15mm ring spanner, do you? I used an adjustable to get that moved, and gave up for the night.

May 28th Today was Memorial Day, when Americans remember their war veterans by going shopping. A day off work, to me, but Jeff had a barbie, so we went over for the free food :o)

In the evening, Vic went to feed a friends' runny babbits, and I played a few hours of World of Warcraft, getting my warlock up to level 62. Still nowhere near getting my epic donkey though.

May 27th We took the van to Bugorama for the day. It was OK but all of the auto jumble stuff was for air cooled VWs, rather than anything we could use. I think Vic's decided she wants a slammed green splitty. Right, we'll put that on the "after the lottery win" pile, along with my Porsche running gear'd Vanagon :o)

May 26th I started the day playing with the YSR - it still won't change out of 1st, so I'll probably have to take the side case off again and look in there. Triffic :o( Oh well, it needs a new gasket on that side of the engine anyway, as it's leaking oil.

I had a friend of a member of the Hawk list come in to town to visit, with his family. Brett lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident 15 weeks ago. I was impressed, I think I was still in and out of hospital that soon after my accident, rather than flying across the country on vacation. Anyway, I showed them the Hawk, YSR and KLX, as he's interested in the conversions I've implemented to allow me to wobble around. He has a couple of Hawks, and while he didn't want to risk dropping any of my bikes, I can imagine that in a few weeks he'll be riding his own :o)

May 25th I played a little World of Warcraft, and while wandering around the Shimmering Flats with my hunter, found what seems to be Anakin Skywalker's Rocket speeder :o)

May 24th I pulled the dash out of the van, just to find that it was a loose connection I could have fixed without taking the dash out if I'd have known. But I didn't know, so I pulled the dash out, only to discover that it was just a loose connection. Still, that's fixed now :o)

Tana went back to the SPCA to stay. She needs to be in the general dog area to get looked at properly, so hopefully she'll get adopted quickly.

May 23rd I went to meet Vince for dinner, only to discover on the way home that the dash lights in the van don't. Hmmm... maybe I'm not finished yet.

May 21st I got the relays wired up for the central locking in the sliding door in the van. Eventually - I got the in and out signals the wrong way around at first, but that was soon sorted out :o) So, I'm calling that finished for the moment ;o)

May 20th After a little investigation, I wired the hatch release relay in the van a little differently, so that now works. I also wired the cigarette lighter / 12v accessory socket to run from the auxiliary battery, partly so that I can plug stuff in all the time and not worry about starting the van, but also because I needed a nice, fat power line from the main battery for the central locking relays for the sliding door.

We then took Tana to the SPCA.

In the afternoon, I watched the great, but disappointing MotoGP race from rainy France. It was cool to see Vermeulen win his first race, but it doesn't look like Valentino's going out of his way to make his job easy this year.

After the race, I put the van back together, and tidied it up. It sat outside with the stereo blaring while I looked at the YSR. I got that running, then put a little work into it to make it hopefully a bit rideable. It now has brakes, and footpegs. What it seems to be missing is a gearbox - I tried to ride it up and down the street, and it'll go into first, but not on into second. It's leaking oil a little, so I know it has gearbox oil. I guess I'll look into that next. Also, the indicators don't flash (even after changing the flasher relay), so I'll have to get my head around that. The spark plug cap seems to come off whenever it feels like it, so I'll get a new one of them too.

We took the van to get Tana, then filled up at $3.45 a gallon! It did, however, do around 20mpg to and from the Bay Area a few weeks ago, despite the awful stop and start traffic.

May 19th We ran Tana to the SPCA, then I got to work on the van. I managed to chase the wires for the driver's side through, then I plucked up the courage to drill the holes for the sliding door interconnect. Of course, it's hot in the garage, so I was wearing shorts, meaning I got lots of little burns from red-hot pieces of metal flying onto me. I painted the bare metal edges, and got the interconnect fitted. I've tested that that all works, but I can't get it finished until I get a couple of 5 post relays - the central locking controller doesn't send a powerful enough signal to unlock the door. At this point, I got the headlining back into the cab (having fixed the awful wiring that the previous owner did for the cab lights), and refitted one of the shelves.

I then started work on the remote hatch release. I wired this all up, and found that I'd used a switched live wire, so I could only open the hatch when the engine's running (the Vanagon has no accessory position on the ignition switch). That's a lot less useful than you'd think. I fixed that, and put the other rear shelf back in. I then went to integrate the alarm, so the trunk release button on the remote would pop the hatch, but that's a ground switch, rather than a live switch. Great. I decided to leave it for the day.

May 18th The last of the rabbits went back to the SPCA, meaning we're down to just one foster, Tana. And the 3 guinea pigs. Tana goes to the shelter every day, but she's not getting adopted. Oh well. She loves going there though, so it's not like it's a bad thing.

One of the volunteers at the SPCA saw this about Duncan, one of the dogs we had who went to be a search and rescue dog.

In the evening, I managed to get the wires run through where I wanted them on the passenger side in the van. Excellent :o)

I couldn't get the driver's side wires run down the windscreen pillar, which was annoying, as I thought this would be the easy side. Still, little steps...

May 17th I took out the shelves and the headlining in the van, then found that I couldn't get a chaser wire down to where I need it. It gets caught up on a seam, about 2" past where I can get my fingers to in the door pillar. I'll play with that again maybe over the weekend, when I'm feeling stronger.

May 16th I started to look at wiring in the central locking unit in the sliding door of the van, but it looks like the can headlining needs to come out to see what I'm doing in there. Oh, and that means taking out the shelves. Great.

May 15th Vic took Tana to the SPCA in an effort to get her adopted.

I managed to get in a little time playing World of Warcraft in the evening, and managed to get my warlock up to level 61. And a half. It's still a long way to level 62 :o(

May 14th The final 2 rabbits were dropped at the vets. One's already adopted, but the other will be going back to the SPCA.

I finished adding anti-freeze to the Hawk, and managed to finish gluing the mosquito net to the roof in the van. I got Vic to cut out the glue I'd got in my hair doing this :o|

May 13th I spent the morning servicing the Hawk. I changed the oil, then found that the "chirp"ing I'd been hearing wasn't the exhaust gasket, it was the loose header - the bolts were loose. Still, I had new gaskets for the emissions plugs, so I put them in. I don't think I could get the TBR pipe in there with new gaskets, as it seems like there aren't any in there at the moment. I did, however, find a slight coolant leak, and I drained the radiator to hopefully fix that. Then found that I didn't have enough coolant to refill it. Oh well.

I also started refitting the mosquito screen in the van, as it had come unglued. I decided to use Gorilla glue, as it sounds like it'll stay up there pretty damned well. The thing is, you have to hold it there for a couple of hours while it dries. I ended up using a plywood plank and the shower rod from the guest bathroom. I have to glue 3 sides, and I think I'll do that in 3 sections.

May 12th It was Saturday, so SPCA. Vic had to work, and we were taking Tana in to try again and get her adopted, so I got dragged out of bed before 7am, which is most uncivilised on a weekend.

There were a couple of people interested in Tana, but she's still at the house. Maybe next week.

May 11th Vic took 5 of the 7 rabbits to the vets, so they can get spayed or neutered before going back to the SPCA to get adopted. Finally, so peace and quiet :o)

After work, I finally finished wiring in the reversing sensors on the van. Cool, now I can start wiring relays and running wire for the central locking in the sliding door, and the remote trunk release that might work :o)

May 7th As the wind was down under 10mph, we had our first barbecue of the year :o)

May 6th Scott and I went to a wrecker's yard, to look at a van they've actually sold since he saw it. We found another one in the back, and I spend $2 on some assorted door hardware I've been looking for, half-heartedly. I fitted one of the bits, but the other requires me to take the door apart, again, and unplug the wires that run through it. Maybe later,eh?

I spent the rest of the day hiding from the 20mph wind watching TV and programming a Harmony remote to control the entertainment centre. It seems to work quite well, and I like it. I'm tempted to get one for the bedroom, too, and junk all the other remotes I have lying around :o)

May 5th As there were only a couple of dogs available at the SPCA, I figured I'd stay home and work on the van a little - I'm fitting a reverse backing up system, that beeps as you get closer to hitting something. We'll see how that works out, as it's intended to be mounted in a bumper, and I'm not cutting holes in the steel bumpers to fit the sensors.

In the evening, we went to Jason's birthday dinner. Kirk had brought a big cake with lots of blue icing on it. As I looked at it staining my finger blue, I thought "this isn't good". We all laughed at our blue mouths and teeth, then gave the leftover cake to the waitresses. Then they walked around with blue mouths :o)

May 3rd I got up early and drove the van down to the Bay Area for work. The traffic was worse than normal because of this, but I eventually made it there. The return journey wasn't too bad. I think I'm getting desensitised to sitting in traffic :o)

May 2nd I got up early and ran Russ and Deeps to the airport in the van, then came home and started the new job at Scalix - basically another OpenMail spinoff.

In the evening, Jason dropped off the parts YSR for me to get together - looks like it's almost all there, it'll just take a bit of fiddling to get it all fixed up and out of my garage.

May 1st We ran around doing a little shopping, and went to the airfield to see the Rans before having an "early" night.