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Old Jun 17 2019, 07:18 PM   #4961
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As of this afternoon´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ it feels like we're actually getting pretty close to the offside front corner being built up to a suitable standard to be ready for finishing.

The work from yesterday was extensively sanded back (I'll be finding dust for years) to help define the profile before laying down another layer of paste over it.



The´╗┐ swadge line is still a ´╗┐little wobbly, and I've got a plan´╗┐ to tidy that up whe´╗┐n doing´╗┐ the next stage of sanding. Likewise the radius needs to be cut back a bit further as it's still a bit too sharp a bend. Once that's done it will probably be´╗┐ a few coats of resin to toughen it up before throwing some paint at it.





It's not perfect by any means, but I think will´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ qualify as "passable" once finished up and painted with a bit of care. I still hope that at some point in the future I might be able to get a mould cast off a car with sound bodywork here to match the profile more precisely.

I've also started to build up the lower edge of the offside corner too. It doesn't need anywhere near as much work to get it to a usable state thankfully.



Really wish I'd discovered this glass´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ fibre loaded paste sooner as it's so much easier to use than the old school separate Matt and resin approach´╗┐. Having done a bit of anecdotal testing shows it to be more than strong enough for this job.

Hopefully I'll get time to get it finished tomorrow and start throwing some paint at it.
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Old Jun 18 2019, 02:39 PM   #4962
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The radius of that corner´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ being quite a ways off was bugging me...so out with the grinder´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ again.

´╗┐At close of play today this is where we were.´╗┐









Still not perfect, but is close´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ enough now that I think I can call it "good enough" given I started out with this. ´╗┐



I am going to be finding dust for months.



(Yes I was wearing a dust mask).
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Old Jun 20 2019, 06:08 PM   #4963
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I had a feeling this morning that´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ this was going to be one of "those" days, and indeed I was correct. Spent the entire day running around all over Hell chasing my own tail. As such was limited to about twenty minutes in the g´╗┐arage while dinner was in the oven. ´╗┐

This was however sufficient to move things along with the Invacar bodywork. The nearside corner was now showing roughly the correct profile following the wor´╗┐k a couple of days ago, however the surface was still quite rough as the underlying foam had been revealed in a few areas. The resin there had ensured that it was structurally fine, but the finish was obviously going to need work before we could even start to think about paint.

To remedy this I managed to scrape just about enough filler out of the ancient tin I stumbled across the other day an´╗┐d slathered it on, trying to do as much as I could to ensure that it was worked into the surface to leave as few pockets of air as possible (the same was done for the slight void left aroun´╗┐d the crack just below the indicator). ´╗┐



Then once that had just started´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to harden I hit it with the san´╗┐de´╗┐r´╗┐.





Will want a little bit more´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ sand´╗┐ing before a resin layer is laid down over it, however I had to abando´╗┐n things at that point as the timer telling me dinner had to come out the oven was beeping at me.

Not sure how much time I'll have for cars tomorrow, but if I have some I'll get that given a resin coat so it's soli´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐d, then the whole area will want another light skim of filler so it's v´╗┐aguely smooth before I start throwing high build primer and top´╗┐ ´╗┐co´╗┐at at it. ´╗┐
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Old Jun 21 2019, 09:59 PM   #4964
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I suspect that tomorrow is going to involve lots and lots and lots and lots of sanding.





Even before sanding the rear valance is looking a lot smoother now... I'd forgotten how roughly I'd just slapped the filler on there originally!

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Old Jun 22 2019, 07:48 PM   #4965
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Well that's been´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ a less productive afternoon than I'd have liked in terms of Invacar bodywork.

The primer I applied yesterday appears to have reacted with the paintwork underneath it and had dried to a crackled finish - but hadn't actually dried fully. So there's going to be a lot of work to remove that befo´╗┐re I can move forward with that. Kind of wish I just had some nice gloopy coach enamel to throw at it right now!

After a couple of hours of fighting with that I lost patience with it and moved onto other things. The moment that my sa´╗┐´╗┐nder decided to expire with an almighty bang I decided to take as an indication it was time to move on to something else. I'll drop by Toolstation tomorrow and pick up a more substantial sander...have a feeling that's something which I'll thank myself for in the long run.

Number one in "other stuff I need to do" ´╗┐was trying to track down the blasted clutch fluid reservoir cap which I'd in a spectacular show of hand-eye coordination dropped down the back of the engine. Thanks to the "busy" nature of the engine bay in the Activa I couldn't even see where it had ended up, never mind being able to get at it. ´╗┐

Attempt number one to coerce it to fall out the bottom was by poking an air line down the back of the engine and blasting it in various directions. No luck. This was then upgraded to the hose pipe, equally unsuccessful. Eventually I gave in and got the ramps out. ´╗┐

After a not inconsiderable amount of poking and prodding the cap eventually dropped out, not entirely sure where from actually as it just randomly landed n´╗┐ext to my head from somewhere else. ´╗┐



Managed to get´╗┐´╗┐ the thing back on this time. I suspect there's still some air in the system somewhere as the pedal isn't great. That will need some further thought as there's no provision for bleeding the system. For now th´╗┐ough it's driveable at least so I'm not going to worry too much.


Having finally sourced the correct fan belt for the van I figured it was time to see if I could get that on and see if´╗┐ it would resolve the extremely irritating squeaking at idle. In addition to a very dry squeaking which I'd initially thought to be a bearing in something disintegrating until I discovered it stopped if you sprayed water on the belt, it would also periodically do the slipping fanbelt screech, especially if you had the headlights on putting some load on the alternator. To be fair that's the only thing which really does pull power from the battery...glowplugs are usually on for <5 sec´╗┐onds and she usually fires first compression stroke so the starter motor doesn't really have time ´╗┐to drain any appreciable charge from it...I was pretty sure the belt was just old though. ´╗┐

For reference - here's the squeak we're talking about...not pleasant. ´╗┐

YouTube Video Link

This took far´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ longer than it really should have as it took me a good 45 minutes to work out how to release the belt tension. This is a bit more involved than in some cases as there's an automatic tensioner which needs to be backed off. That still doesn't give you enough slack though until you've also disconnected the vibration damper which is attached to the other side of the tensioner. Then there's *just* enough slack to wrestle the belt off.

While it's free of any damage the running surface is really quite badly glazed.



It was´╗┐ quite obvious´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ when trying to get it off that anything you did that made the belt move resulted in ear piercingly high pitched squeaking - fair sign the belt was the source of it squeaking at idle. Despite the new belt being 2mm shorter (according to GSF 6PK1015 is an obsolete size, nearest they could supply is 6PK1013) it slipped on without protest. I then spent the next half hour trying to reassemble the tensioner.

On the plus side, it will take me ten minutes next time I do it. Not difficult, there is just a very specific order you need to do things in. Hopefully I won't drop my socket set into the engine bay next time either.

So, after well over an hour...did we stop the squeak?

YouTube Video Link

Yes...we do now appear to have a squeak free van. Exhaust´╗┐ still rattles a little at idle from time to time but there's ´╗┐not much to be done about that as it seems to be something actually internal to the silencer, it doesn't always do it anyway and isn't audible from inside the cab at least

Quick road test supported my initial assessment that indeed we do now seem to be squeak free.

Finally... that's only been on the to do list since September.

Last task for the day was a "period bodge" for the Lada.

Yesterday we were in a hurry to try to get to a shop before they closed (we made it) and as such were "making´╗┐ goo´╗┐d progress" at a few points, much to the bafflement of a couple of Audi drivers. The car was quite happy to do this and actually feels a bit better for it - however the duct tape on the offside wing didn't survive the extreme velocities involved and started to disintegrate.

I'd never bothered messing with filler or anything as I'd always found it horrible stuff to work with and I reckoned I'd just make things worse. Plus I know the wings will be changed long term anyway. However as mentione´╗┐d a couple of days ago this Fibral stuff is far, far more user friendly...so I figured we'd give it a sho´╗┐t.

Stuffed a couple of foam offcuts under there ju´╗┐st to hold things in place while it sets, then set about filling the gaps.

End result (prior to sanding of course) was this. ´╗┐







I reckon once that's sanded back´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ and painted we should be able to get a perfectly acceptable repair there. If I can get it to a point where it's "inoffensive" rather than being the first thing you notice I'll consider that progress.

As far as the actual rust goes I'm not worried. I've absolutely drowned the area in Dinitrol and there's no sign of it having got any worse since I got the car. She's kept off the road when the salt is around too which I'm sure has helped ´╗┐too.

If this looks okay once I've tidied it up I'll probably do the same on the other side. Oh...and I reckon this stuff should do just fine to repair the rear windscreen washer bottle...so I can fix that and get the rear window washer going...only been broken since 1993...

Have a sneaking feeling I'll be roped into gardening all day tomorrow so probably won't be much to report then. ´╗┐

Last edited by Zelandeth; Jun 22 2019 at 08:09 PM.
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Old Jun 23 2019, 06:14 PM   #4966
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As predicted had hardly any time at all in the garage today´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ because this had to be sorted out.



Got´╗┐ started around 1000. Eventually fell back in through the door about 1900. Path still needs attacking with the pressure washer, but it's a lot better than it was.

I did get a couple of things done tho´╗┐ugh.

´╗┐Firstly was actually digging out a hole for the compressor to live in so I didn't keep falling over it every time I walked into the garage´╗┐.



Long term´╗┐´╗┐ it will go in the far end of the garage and I'll have piping installed to get the air to where it's needed. For now though this will do. It's a noisy sucker of a thing so I may well make a "shed" for it outside and just pipe the air in at some point.

Following the (violent) expiry of my detail sander yesterday I made a trip out to pick up something a bit more manly which hopefully won't go pop as soon as it gets worked hard.



That seems´╗┐ a bit more like it. Didn't realise when I picked it up that it's got an adjustable speed control, but that's quite a nice feature to have. It'll have a baptism of fire shifting that horrible undercoat that's been put on the Invacar! Obviously will need to either fix my existing detail sander or get a new one to deal with the fiddly bits as this one is obviously not a precision instrument!

Last edited by Zelandeth; Jun 23 2019 at 06:26 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Jun 24 2019, 05:53 PM   #4967
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I apologise for a few days absence: something totally unrelated to here triggered a load of repressed toxic memories over things that at school in the 50s. I've lined up some counselling but it'll take a fair time to work everything through so my attendance may be a bit spotty.
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Old Jun 24 2019, 08:21 PM   #4968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
I apologise for a few days absence: something totally unrelated to here triggered a load of repressed toxic memories over things that at school in the 50s. I've lined up some counselling but it'll take a fair time to work everything through so my attendance may be a bit spotty.
Oof, tough stuff P'ter.

If there's anything we can do, even if it's just an open ear to listen or have a natter with (whether openly or via PM) at any point we're here. If the location in your profile is in the UK we're not a million miles away either if you want someone to speak to. I've lost a couple of friends following stuff like this so can't emphasise enough that that offer remains open. Drop me a PM if you'd like any other contact details.

I know we don't really know each other...but we've all been on here for a good few years now so I feel quite invested in all of your well being!

I've actually been at a group therapy session today to attempt to deal with the generalised anxiety disorder I've been struggling with a lot since my husband had his stroke last year...there are a plethora of issues I've had over the years, but this has been the metaphorical straw that broke my back...

Not been much else going on here today (scheduling an appointment from 1330-1530 does a good job of destroying a day's productivity) aside from finishing up getting the path cleaned up...for all it's a minor task in the grand scheme of things, it makes a big difference in the first impressions when walking up to the house.








Need to get some mortar to touch up a few bits. Aside from a bit of lifting of the slab in one spot it's not looking too bad for a 38 year old brick path though.
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Old Jun 28 2019, 08:08 PM   #4969
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Got a few things´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ in this morn´╗┐ing.



Wow...that respirator is so much more comfortable than my old one (for which filters ceased´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to be readily available for a couple of years ago and I used the last one a while ago). It must be half the weight for one thing. ´╗┐

Mainly though it means I've got a decent variety of sanding discs on hand meaning I could make a meaningful start on mission "Remove all the horrible crinkly primer from the Invacar."

That's one mission... here's the biggest problem p´╗┐aint wise though. I have *not* painted this panel yet.




Some other panels have´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ even more layers on.

The top coat on there is ridiculously thick, poorly adhered to the undercoat (so it tends to chip off in chunks), and has quite a rubbery texture which appears to be precisely the right consistency to clog sanding discs.

I am seriously starting to consider attacking the thing with paint stripper...though I've no idea whether that's likely to be bad news for the fibreglass itself... anyone got any idea?

A good 80% of the spot repairs I've got to´╗┐ do are due to pits and chips in the top coat...just getting back to a more or less bare shell would probably save me a bunch of ti´╗┐me.

After an absolute hell of a couple of hours I got the bulk of the gunk off the offside front wing and was able to thro´╗┐w some more (decent!) primer at it so I could see what I was doing. Couple of bits needing some more filling but we're getting there. This primer is basically just a guide coat here and will mostly be sanded back off, I find it nigh on impossible to see what the surface is doing without a uniform colour laid down.



Remember what a´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ mess this looked like a week or so back?

We're getting there.

New sander is a great bit of kit. The speed control is an actual speed control too...so even at the lowest speed you've got the full 1200W on tap. Reckon this ´╗┐will be probably more useful when polishing than sanding, but it's a feature I wasn't expecting. Likewise the fact it's got a soft start system. Trigger is nicely weighted and well placed, and the latch is well positioned so it's easy to reach but hard to activate accidentally. Well happy with it so far. Item code 80451 from T´╗┐oolstation if you're looking for one.

While it's producing an order of magnitude less dust tha´╗┐n the old one was, it's still going absolutely everywhere.



I really need to have a good think about´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the Invacar paintwor´╗┐k. ´╗┐



It's just such a mess (even discounting the rubbish I've slathered on) that painting over it is going´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to get me nowhere. Sanding it *all* off will take forever...and given how fragile fibreglass is I'll probably mangle a bunch and require even more repairs... really wish I still had random bits of bodywork sitting around I could throw some Nitromors at to see what happened...

How *would* a body shop strip paint from ´╗┐a fibreglass car? Know media blasting would be the first stop for steel...but I'd assume that's too violent for fibreglass. ´╗┐
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Old Jun 29 2019, 06:07 AM   #4970
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Try talking to folk at your local sailing club; probably on the nearest reservoir. They have to clean down the fibreglass hulls before repainting.

I have a mad vision (
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Old Jun 29 2019, 06:09 AM   #4971
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Try talking to folk at your local sailing club; probably on the nearest reservoir. They have to clean down the fibreglass hulls before repainting.

I have a mad vision of the invacar painted with a cammo paint-job but in dayglow colours.
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Old Jun 30 2019, 05:47 AM   #4972
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P'ter, I hope you're feeling better after your therapy session.

Great progress on the Invacar, Z!

Sorry for the long absence but we went on our vacation trip, see below:

It was a great trip, but exhausting, and as always, I'm glad to be home. I'll add some pix later, when I get them stored online.

We started on Friday, June 21 at 5 a.m. We're pretty early birds anyway, so it wasn't a problem. Especially not at this time of year, as the sun was well up by then and it was almost broad daylight. We drove for about two hours to Turku, where we were in plenty of time to board the ferry to Stockholm. Luckily it wasn't too hot, so sitting in the car waiting to board wasn't too bad.

On the trip over, we sat on the sun deck to start with, but unfortunately our son had forgotten to pack his sunshades, and we had forgotten to remind him, so he complained of a headache (sun, sea and no shades is bad news) and we had to go to our cabin. They were selling hideously overpriced sunshades on board, but they were a lot too expensive for our budget. The trip was 11 hours, so we had a cabin even though it wasn't an overnight trip. He tried to get some sleep but his headache pill didn't help and he threw up on the cabin floor (common in glare-induced migraines). Luckily my husband managed to clean the mess while I tended to our son. Still the puking helped and he managed to take a nap and felt much better afterwards. We had lunch and dinner on the ferry and drove from Stockholm to Uppsala, a lovely university city probably best known for botanist Carl Linnaeus (or Carolus Linnaeus or Carl von LinnÚ). We got there around 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Eastern European DST) and just checked in to our hotel and took an early night, as our day started so early. Because it was the midsummer weekend, most places were shut.

The next day (June 22) we got up early enough to be the first guests in the breakfast room. We headed out to the University botanical garden and walked around the old city. The morning was sunny and warm, with temps hitting 25 C at lunchtime. So after a quick lunch, we were happy enough to sit in our air-conditioned car for the next leg of our trip to Gothenburg. When we got there, we checked in to our hotel, which was across the river from Ullevi Stadium. We took a quick walk and had some dinner and then bed.

The next morning (June 23) we walked some more, had lunch at KFC and visited the Volvo museum. In the afternoon we took the ferry to Frederikshavn in Denmark. First we visited Skagen, although we didn't walk to the tip of the cape, drove through a couple of idyllic small towns on the way and checked in to our hotel in Aalborg. There we had a drink each in the hotel bar. The waitress took to our son so much that she brought him some candy on the house.

From Aalborg (June 24) we drove to LŘbeck in Germany, it's a nice Hanseatic town. We had a great view from our hotel room on the 7th storey. We walked around in the old city for a bit. By this time the European heatwave was making itself felt, we had temperatures around 30 C that afternoon. At 10 p.m. we sat in shirtsleeves on the roof terrace.

The next day (June 25) we drove to Berlin, and when we got there, checked in for two nights at our hotel as early as it was possible to do so and spent much of the day walking around in the city, in spite of the heat. My husband and I must have drunk around 5 liters of water each, our son with his smaller body size about 3). In the afternoon, it was 36 C in the shade. Luckily there was a bit of wind or else I wouldn't have wanted to get out of our air-conditioned hotel room! And we stuck to the shade wherever we found it... It was my first time in Germany and Berlin, and it was quite interesting to walk around and seeing places of historical significance, such as Alexanderplatz (the main square in East Berlin) and Potsdamerplatz (the central square in West Berlin), Brandenburger Tor (which was a lot smaller than I expected) and Unter den Linden (the main street of the city, literally Under the linden trees (lime tree or basswood)). The linden trees were in bloom and the scent was sometimes overpowering, certainly stronger than traffic exhaust fumes. Another, much less pleasant smell was sewage. I'd been warned that Berlin smelled bad, but I hadn't expected quite this. Of course, the heat didn't improve things at all... We had dinner at an outdoor restaurant serving Bavarian cuisine. It was the closest thing you could get to Oktoberfest without attending the event in Munich in October. It was loud, but people weren't rowdy, and there were lots of families with school-age children.

Our hotel was quite close to Checkpoint Charlie, so we went there first thing following breakfast on June 26. I'm old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall quite vividly, it was rather awesome at times to just step across a former border. They had forecast daytime highs of 37 C (99 F), so during the hottest part of the day, we visited the German Museum of Technology. Interesting, if rather exhausting because the air conditioning couldn't keep up with the demand. We had eaten a reasonably filling lunch at the museum, and when we finally got to our hotel around 7 p.m. after an exhausting walk in the late afternoon heat, both my son and I refused to go further than the grocery store on the other side of the street from our hotel to get a snack before bed and to buy more bottles of water.

The next morning (June 27) we had a long drive ahead of us, as we went from Berlin through Poland to Kaunas, Lithuania (nearly 1,000 kilometers). There we had a room in a tiny hotel (20 rooms), which was very difficult to find, because our satnav kept trying to get us to use streets that were blocked for repairs, in spite of us having updated the software just before we left for our trip. Well, finally we got there with the help of Google Maps and a bit of luck. Fortunately temperatures were much more reasonable, around 22 C during the day. But we took a fairly early start the next day as well, so I mostly got to see Kaunas through the windscreen of our car...

The next morning (June 28) we left right after breakfast for our final long drive to Tallinn. We paused for lunch in Latvia, and at the border with Estonia, we stopped at a liquor store catering mainly to tourists. Latvia has a lower alcohol tax than even Estonia, so booze was cheap. We had to put our suitcases on the back seat, because the trunk of our car was full of beer and cider. :P/> Once we'd arrived in Tallinn, we checked in to our hotel and went for a walk in Old Town. It's been wonderfully restored following the end of the Soviet era, some of the houses look like they're made of candy. We had pizza in an outdoor restaurant in the central square. It was quite chilly, really, but that didn't bother me following the heat of Berlin.

This morning (June 29), we had a banana each for breakfast and headed for the ferry home... The trip was uneventful, although we had to take a circuitous route home, because the city center of Helsinki was pretty much blocked by the Helsinki Pride parade, with 100,000 attendees expected.

My Impressions

This was just a taste of most of the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. I'd definitely like to go back, certainly Latvia and Poland deserve a second look, as we barely stopped there.

We've visited Denmark once before, three years ago, and Sweden, mainly Stockholm, several times, and my son and husband visited Tallinn last year without me. Of course, I've also traveled in Europe in my youth before meeting my husband. But Latvia Lithuania, Poland, and Germany were new places for me. I'd like to go again when our son is a bit older, and hopefully willing to try more exotic foods. For me, half the fun of visiting a new place is discovering its cuisine, but you can't do that if you stick to hamburgers, chicken nuggets and pizza for most of the trip...

I liked traveling this early in the season, when the crowds aren't overwhelming and you can easily book a hotel room at a day's notice. We literally decided our itinerary during our trip. Thank goodness for a portable computer and complementary Wi-fi in pretty much all hotels!

One thing that really struck me is the almost complete absence of English on signs and even ads in the Baltic states and Poland. I've heard foreigners say that English is just about the third official language of Finland (and Sweden, Norway and Denmark), and now I believe it. You see lots of English ads in the streets here, and even some official bulletins and signs, say when a street or popular tourist attraction has been closed for repairs.

I love, love, love the freedom of travel in the Schengen area. Driving from one country to the next was just as easy as crossing a state line in the US, no formalities at all. They only wanted to see my husband's passport at each hotel (because the rooms were booked in his name), and all of our travel documentation before boarding each ferry.
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Old Jun 30 2019, 11:41 AM   #4973
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Great to read about your travel adventures Granath. You staued at Aalborg, in which I stayed just a few weeks ago and from which I drove to Skagen It was the four of us, Marjon, Niels and his wife and our Danish holiday was to celebrate out 40th wedding aniversary, We've been to all the other places you mentioned (so we can relate to that) and, like you, loved all the Baltic states. From there we went to St. Petersburg and Helsinki! Before taking the ferry from Turku to Stockholm, driving to G÷teborg from there and taking the ferry to Kiel. That was in 2014 Great to hear you are enjoying yourselves. How old is Jacob now? Time flies
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Old Jul 1 2019, 04:34 AM   #4974
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Marcus is ten now, old enough to really enjoy the trip, and to remember it as an adult. I wish you'd contacted me before your trip, it would have been lovely to catch up with you over a drink or coffee... Glad you had a good time, though! And I suppose your schedule was busy, it usually is when you're on a tour like this, with one or two nights in each city.
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Old Jul 1 2019, 08:29 PM   #4975
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We've got family´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ staying at the moment and I'm designated taxi driver so my car time is generally going to be quite sketchy over this coming week until next Tuesday. Not that my time in the garage is ever exactly reliable at the´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ best of times.

Today I had a brief quiet h´╗┐alf hour though and I had a nice plan in place for what I wanted to do.

Paint stripper test. ´╗┐

Further to what a few folks have said regarding "just paint over it," I'm afraid that really isn'´╗┐t an option. This is what the finish is like in several places. Ther´╗┐e's just no way you'll ever get it smooth - and those bubbl´╗┐es a´╗┐re going to cause more trouble as time goes on´╗┐´╗┐.





That paint needs to go.

There was some questions over whether paint stripper would dissolve the surface´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ of the fibreglass as well as the paint...I was 90% sure it would be fine, but obviously wanted to be sure before slathering the car in it. ´╗┐

Conveniently there's one bit of the body which´╗┐ is both easily accessed and well hidden - under the engine cover. So´╗┐ ´╗┐l´╗┐et's throw a bit at it there and see what happens´╗┐´╗┐.



Results were good´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. It didn't seem to show any interest in attacking either the resin I'd applied´╗┐ or the gel coat on the fibreglass, excellent. Yes that whole area nee´╗┐ds to be rebuilt, but that's a fair ways down the to do ´╗┐list´╗┐.

Encouraged by this, we slapped a bit of it over the top of the rear quarter´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. These are very important areas in terms of paint finish as the sort of vestigial tail fins are so integral to the styling of the car.



Then attacked it with a stiff brush.



Pretty quickly the top coat started´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to come apart, revealing biblical amounts of high build primer´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐



Which also´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ came off without any particular effort, revealing the gel coat below.



As predicted there's a lot´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ of crazing and ancient repairs present, hence why the car has been painted in the first place.

Interesting to see how much the removal of the paint has improved the definition of the lin´╗┐e along the top of the "fin" compared to beforehand...not surprising how many layers there were´╗┐.´╗┐



Other side was treated´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to the same routin´╗┐e´╗┐.







I think this is definitely the right´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ approach based on these findings and the faffing about I've already wasted time on. I've far more chance of getting a halfway decent finish if I get rid of the existing paint first. Obviously I'll need to rework a few repairs first and then actually need to properly paint it all at the end of the day...how good a finish I'll get will be entirely down to ´╗┐my prep and my work. Reckon this will be an easier road than trying to get anything to sit flat over what's already on there.

Will pull the engine cover and tail lights off next and try to get the rear moulding stripped back tomorrow or shortly. At least then I should hopefully be able to see what I'm wor´╗┐king with. Might actually have a shot at getting her looking hal´╗┐fway reasonable by the time the Festival of the Unexceptional rolls round...´╗┐

´╗┐Maybe... ´╗┐
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Old Jul 2 2019, 05:43 PM   #4976
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Getting´╗┐ the impression that there are two types of paint on this car: the stuff which will come right off and that which is utterly immovable.

I think I'll just go round th´╗┐e car getting the easier stuff off then will have a look what's left.

Again today I didn't really have much time to play with but was determined to make at least some headway. ´╗┐

So played automotive Tetris so I could get the Invacar actually out of the garage and see what I was doing. ´╗┐

´╗┐Set about slathering things with paint stripper again.









Then ensued´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ a good amount of waiting patiently followed by s´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐crubbing and scraping. Finally the pressure washer was employed to get rid of the residue so I could see what I was left wit´╗┐h´╗┐.´╗┐











I need to´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ pick up a better paint scraper, this one is so blunt as to be essentially useless. Think I need to be a bit more patient too to just see if it will slowly eat through the sections which have refused to budge so fa´╗┐r.

Nice to see the roof to bulkhead seal showing through again...feels like we are seeing progress though.

I'd really like to get a couple of hours in a stretch where I could just leave the stripper to work and hopefully get a couple of panels properly cleared.

´╗┐

In other news, with the van having ceased squeaking at idle a really horrible sounding rattle/buzz was´╗┐ brought to the forefront.

Initially this sounded like it might be related to the belt tensioner, but a bit of digging revealed a far simpler and easily resolved issue. The U-bolt holding the exhaust downpipe onto the bracket on the gearbox had stripped the threads´╗┐ so it had worked loose. This clamp was reused because the one supplied with the exhaust was fractionally too small.

I made up a spacer with a few washers to pack it out returning the nuts to a solid bit of thread, allowing it to be tightened back up properly.



Nice simple´╗┐´╗┐ fix.

While I was under there I had a look at all the joints on the system for any signs o´╗┐f leaks now it'´╗┐s got a few miles on.´╗┐







No tell tale sooty marks anywhere´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ that I can see, nor could I hear anything chuffing so I'll take that as a win.



So the Invacar still needs paintwork, but at least the van is quieter at idle now. I hadn't realised quite how awful it was until sorting this! ´╗┐

Edit: Yes I know the front exhaust hanger is missing the rubber. This is another "things I've had to do to make a really cheap exhaust fit without touching stuff it shouldn't" and not buzzing. Think this being fitted made it lift another hanger elsewhere off so the whole thing wound up sitting squint. Just removing the rubber block seemed to be the easiest solution..´╗┐.the system is more than sufficiently supported.
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Old Jul 4 2019, 07:38 PM   #4977
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Decided to investigate whether the old cling film over paint stripper trick could help us shift any of the stubborn paint on the Invacar.

While not entirely successful, it was a worth´╗┐y experiment. Using the cling film didn´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐'t seem to make a huge difference. We d´╗┐id get a bit more p´╗┐aint off the rear moulding though. It's a tricky balance with the scraper... there's about a 3% difference betw´╗┐een the pressure needed to shift the paint and needed to dig into the gel coat, which is annoyi´╗┐ng´╗┐.









Did a little experiment later in the day with leaving´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the´╗┐ stripper on one of the really stubborn areas for a bit longer. The results were... annoying.

Turns out that if you leave this stuff long enough it will attack the gel c´╗┐oat´╗┐.



In spite of that´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ though´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the´╗┐ paint ain't any more interested in moving than it was before. This is going to come down to a sharp scraper and p´╗┐atience it loo´╗┐ks like´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐
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Old Jul 5 2019, 08:07 PM   #4978
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Very tired, new job works a 12hour schedule, I am used to an 8 hr. schedule. Also if someone else needs a day off, I have to go in and cover the shift for them so I loose a regularly scheduled day off. At least it is paid at time and a half.
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Old Jul 6 2019, 03:49 AM   #4979
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My daughter's working week as a nurse consists of three 13 hour shifts a week so she gets 12 hours on the ward and 1/2 hour hand over time at each end.
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Old Jul 6 2019, 05:49 PM   #4980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Fan View Post
Very tired, new job works a 12hour schedule, I am used to an 8 hr. schedule. Also if someone else needs a day off, I have to go in and cover the shift for them so I loose a regularly scheduled day off. At least it is paid at time and a half.
Ouch.. that's quite a punishing schedule... especially at the start!

I still remember the unpleasant discovery one month when I worked a bunch of overtime that due to the unique way in which the student loan repayment calculation bands are set up that it actually wound up with me about fifty quid worse off when pay day rolled around. I was not best pleased...

-- -- --

This paint´╗┐´╗┐ removal process I think is just going to be a long slog.

Got a few better scrapers today and they're precisely zero help. With the sharper blades they're just digging in and going straight through the paint and the gel coat, it's just too soft. On a few of the larger flatter panels where there's a nice clean edge to the paint as it's been removed, using the blunt edge it's possible to work away at it...but I was successfully´╗┐ doing that with my old blunt scraper already.

Heat lifts the gel coat before the paint too, as I did poke it with the heat gun just to eliminate it as a potentially helpful tool. ´╗┐

I did bust the sander out again today just to see if I could flat back the area below the rear window where the surface was damaged by the paint stripper. Look´╗┐s like there's plenty of thickness to the gel coat to sort that out at least´╗┐´╗┐.



There's quite a bit of pitting on the´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ one panel...you can ´╗┐clearly see the line where the paint stripper was sitting the longest´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐



No huge issue, it'´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐s no´╗┐thing a really tiny amount of filler can't ´╗┐hide...just annoying to have made more work.

Next stop will be investigating soda blasting. Eithe´╗┐r getting the kit to do it myself or getting someone in to d´╗┐o it´╗┐.´╗┐
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Old Jul 7 2019, 01:44 PM   #4981
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Today we made our´╗┐ first trip over to the foster home currently caring for a rescue dog we're looking to adopt. We really feel that this will do a lot to enrich the life of the one we already have, especially given the issues we've had with the communal dog club meaning that he doesn't get to social´╗┐ise any where near as much as we'd like. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐

It's quite a long drawn out process (rightly so I think), especially for a dog who is as timid as the one we've currently got our heart set on, but tod´╗┐ay was the first time we got to meet her. Despite apparently usually being petrified of new people for ages, she ´╗┐was happily seeking affection and wanting to play with us in about twenty minutes. ´╗┐

Our hearts were immediately melted as she's absolutely adorable´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐



More importantly than her taking to us, she seemed to get along´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ well with Tesla, and wasn't afraid to tell him off when he was being a butt. He doesn't really know how to play with other dogs as he's just never really had the chance...so we're hoping she can help there. She's also very, very affectionate, whereas he really isn't interested in fuss. He wants to be *near* to people, but has little interest in actually touching them...whereas if you stand still for five seconds around her she starts nosing at your hand for pets. So the two hopefully can teach each other different aspects of how to be a dog.

While she looks far more pure husky, she's actually a husky/German Shepherd cross just the same as Tesla.

How could anyone not love this face?



Likely to be´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ several´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ months before she joins us (obviously assuming future visits and everything go well too), but it felt like the initial introduction to both us and of the two dogs to each other went about as well as it could. It seems that she's a really good fit for what we're looking for in this household.´╗┐ I think the rescue charity have been struggling to find a home for her (she's been with them for nearly a year now) purely because she's not a pure husky and they deal primarily with rescued sled dogs,´╗┐ so pure huskies & malamutes are easier for them to find homes for.


Hasn't left me much day to play with cars though...but I did have a dig through the box of random "air tool stuff" I picked up a few weeks back. Found three things ´╗┐which may well each be useful for different stages of the paint stripping process.



Not honestly´╗┐ sure how to tell if the gun is a spray gun or soda/sand blaster. Answers on a post card?

Edit: this has now been identified as a paraffin spray gun, so no use for this...but will be really useful for painting our fences which need doing every few years.
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Old Jul 8 2019, 02:57 PM   #4982
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Oh, I do hope you can adopt the dog, she looks like a real sweetie.
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Old Jul 8 2019, 08:27 PM   #4983
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Had a bit of an experiment with the paraffin gun this afternoon. I still had some old underbody wax´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ floating around, so I let it down a bit to a more spray friendly consistency then had a mess around with it.

Can't see me ever messing´╗┐ around with aerosol cans for this sort of job again. The spray is far finer and just generally well behaved. ´╗┐

Didn't do a huge amount, just gave the front wheel ar´╗┐c´╗┐hes and engine bay a blow over. It's a bit hard to see as it's clear wax that's gone on over the black stuff alread´╗┐y there´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐



The top dust cover on the shock absorber has fallen off again. I'll need to get inventive with a cable´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ tie to make it stay in place I think as it's obviously not going to behave´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐







Hopefully this should keep the rust in the bulkhead under the windscreen from getting worse too´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ quickly until it can be cut out and replace´╗┐d´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐









Worked into all the little gaps under the struts and the cavities thoroughly misted. Bonnet´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ really needs replacing in the long term, but hopefully this shoul´╗┐d help it remain stable for a bit longer´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐


The Invacar has had a little more sanding work. Have been going very gently with the P120 discs on the sander at low speed over the front of the car. Unlike´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the rear this has no coloured gel coat... it's been painted from the factory. It's also far thinner, so I'm aiming to just remove the loose are´╗┐as here then I'll see how things look with some high build primer on there´╗┐´╗┐.



While it looks horrible, this is actually´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ smooth to the ´╗┐touch.´╗┐



Bonnet is still a mess, but is far closer´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to flat tha´╗┐n it was´╗┐!´╗┐



Then forgot to dust myself´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ off b´╗┐efore sitting in the driver's seat.



Just a bit of dust´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ about...



Going to give one of´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ those cheap soda blasters a shot for the rear body and roof...if it works i´╗┐t works...if not it's no huge loss and I'll just need to perse´╗┐v´╗┐er´╗┐e.´╗┐.´╗┐.

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Old Jul 9 2019, 05:44 PM   #4984
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Here's a question for you lot.

Heater and windscreen demister switch will be getting fitted in the not too distant´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ future. It's of a type which is visually identical to those already on the dash so should look like it's meant to be there. ´╗┐

The question is where to put it.

There are three options as I see it: ´╗┐´╗┐

[] Immediately to the right of the speedomete´╗┐r´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐



[] To the far right over by the´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ no passenger´╗┐s sign´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



[] To the far left, between´╗┐ the handbrak´╗┐e and door.´╗┐



I'm currently leaning towards the´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ first option...seems most in keeping with the original switchgear.´╗┐ Should still leave me room to add the brake fluid warning lamp when the hardware for it is fitted.


Any votes for other locations?

May well fit this to my spare dash as I want t´╗┐o take the dash out to sort a couple of wiring bodges I've seen under there. Will make it a lot easier though as being off the c´╗┐´╗┐ar will vastly improve acces´╗┐s.
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Old Jul 10 2019, 12:40 PM   #4985
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Looks like you're discovering the Wonderful World of Fiberglas. I'm sure you've checked, and the immovable paint isn't the Glass' gel-coat. Factory fiberglass is usually not clear, but has the product's final color in it, whether it's a boat, car, or airplane. In the case of boats, here in the US they have the metallic and metalflake in the gel-coat with clear gel over that. Point is, as you've said, gel-coat does not react to strippers. It could easily be that the Inva has a color-infused top gel-coat. I had an experience years ago where I did body and paint work on a 1966 Corvette that someone else had started stripping and screwed it up before quitting. There was one spot on the right front fender that I had problems with, similar to the bubbles you found on your car. The spot took primer just fine, looked perfect, but when the top coat of black lacquer was applied, it bubbled up in a spot a bit bigger than our quarter dollar coin. Reworked the area about 4 times and finally got it down to less than an eigth of an inch diameter, and the owner was satisfied when a body shop owner told him he had a paint job (bad spot not withstanding) worth over $3,000. He was trading me my labor for a pistol worth about $400 to $500 at that time.

By the way, something weird has been happening with your posts, at least on my computer, tablet, and phone. I'm seeing a bunch of extra symbols at certain places, indicating a different form of formatting? Or something.

I vote for the first option on the demister switch.

Now for news events in my life:
One year down the road from my colon cancer surgery, and I was told I'm still cancer-free after I quit chemotherapy after the first infusion, against the advice of my oncologist. Went to the VA and saw a totally different oncologist, tests were performed, and the above results were given to me, all in one day. Along with the news that I needed immediate "surgery" of sorts for kidney stones. Aren't CAT scans wonderful? Especially when done in a facility where it's big enough to get same-day results. (The VA facility in Columbia, MO. is rated number 2 in the nation. That's great for me, except that it's a 2 to 2 2/2 hour drive each way to get there.)

Had that procedure, the removal of two stones blocking the ureter on the right side. There were no knives involved, but since they invaded my body while I was under general anesthetic, it's considered surgery. Went back Monday to have the stint they installed removed, and now I'm waiting for them to call to schedule REAL surgery to remove the staghorn stone filling up my left kidney.

Took my wife on a 7-day cruise to celebrate her 70th birthday. Went to Cozumel, Belize (more about that below), Mahogany Bay (Roatan Island, Honduras), and Costa Maya. At Belize, we went on a "shore excursion"; a helmet dive. We had 70lb. helmets placed over our heads, and walked out into the sea until we were 30 feet below the surface. We handled anemones, sea urchins, the guide found a conch shell with the conch animal still in it, alive and well. Quite an adventure. At Roatan, or Mahogany Bay, we went on a dolphin encounter where we got to interact with a dolphin. We have pictures of that, and movies of the helmet dive.

The original bathroom's remodel is almost complete. All the hard parts are done; built the roughly 5-foot by 5-foot free-standing shower wall out of 8x8x4 inch glass block. Got the tile on the floor. All that's remaining is the trim; baseboards, crown moulding, some grout here and there, and perhaps a shower door. You would think that having a rainfall shower head with the hand-held attachment 5 feet from the opening would be enough, but my dear wife, without thinking about which way she should aim, soaked the brand-new tile on the bathroom floor. Oh well, life goes on.

That's enough for now. I'll save the saga of Kitt Katt and Baby Ruth, fondly referred to as our Crazy Cat-People Starter Kit for another time.
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Old Jul 10 2019, 07:35 PM   #4986
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Really good to hear that it sounds positive on the medical front. Must be quite a relief to have the all clear after a year.

Pretty certain it's not the gel coat I've found as it's clearly flaking away...there seems to be a 50/50 mix between these panels as to whether they had a coloured gel coat or were painted. The front moulding definitely was painted from the factory - you can scrape the paint off that with your fingernail in places, revealing a glossy but more or less clear gel coat.

Zip by way of stuff actually done today as I've spent the whole day running around in circles getting the house back in order (and wasting two hours stuck in traffic on the M25). As the van has a busy few days coming up it made sense to top up the fuel...



(24.0mpg for that tank, so average is staying pretty solidly in the mid 20s mpg, tending toward high 20s if out on a decent run - I managed 32mpg once which was frankly staggering for such a huge brick of a van with an engine from the 1970s).

I always feel better when heading out of my local area if I'm starting out with a full tank, even if I know that I'd have comfortably made it with well over a hundred miles to spare on what was already in there (this is a 75 litre tank)...force of habit I guess.

In the interests of saving some weight I figured it was time to start actually shifting some of the crap which has been rattling around in the boxes of stuff I picked up out of the van. Box of tools no 1 contained:

[] Herma Combination Whitworth/AF/Metric socket set. That will be useful with the Invacar given the completely random selection of fasteners it features.



[] Nice little Wanner grease gun. This will no doubt still be going decades after the cheap one already in the garage has turned to dust.



[] Proper set of De-Walt branded impact sockets. Useful given I bought an impact wrench a few weeks ago.



Also dragged in the second Core2 Duo based HP Server (complete with new, never opened monitor and keyboard), and what must be another couple of gallons of LHM. If anyone on here needs any LHM please just ask...I've about four lifetimes worth here now!

Was just about to close the garage up when this arrived in the most comically oversized box I've seen in a while. I should have taken a photo of it, the thing was nearly the size of the wheelie bin.



Hopefully will have some soda blasting media arriving in the next day or two so will be able to give it a test run then. Just didn't seem worth not giving this kit a shot at less than £40 delivered. If it works, aside from saving me a lot of grief on the Invacar it will be an all round useful thing to have. Bit like having a compressor...I doubt it's a tool I'll really appreciate until I've got used to having it around.

Certainly can't see me voluntarily switching back to a garage without air on tap...and I've not even got an air powered rattle gun or anything yet! Do need a proper tyre inflator though. The one I've got works just fine...but the sort of thing you used to see in garage forecourts just seems more "correct" somehow.

Regarding formatting issues? No idea... I've always had some issues on this forum with the E in cafe not being displayed correctly for as long as I can remember...see below.



There may well be some funky formatting being input from my end...99% of my posts are written up on my phone these days as it's so rare that I actually have the luxury of being able to sit down at my desktop PC for long enough to do anything useful. To say I miss an actual keyboard would be an understatement...but it's just how things are these days unfortunately.
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Old Jul 11 2019, 12:30 AM   #4987
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Zelandeth, your post above was fine, but the one before that looks like this to me:

Going to give one of´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ those cheap soda blasters a shot for the rear body and roof...if it works i´╗┐t works...if not it's no huge loss and I'll just need to perse´╗┐v´╗┐er´╗┐e.´╗┐.´╗┐.

That's a copy and paste from one part of it.
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Old Jul 11 2019, 12:02 PM   #4988
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Just to say I also have the same problem when reading your posts Zelandeth but if you mostly use your phone then that could be the answer
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Old Jul 12 2019, 06:13 PM   #4989
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Never got´╗┐ around to putting an update up yesterday as by the time I was able to actually sit down for long enough it was just too late. ´╗┐

Felt that I had to *make* some time in the late afternoon to have a look into an issue which had become painfully obvious in the van on the way back home yesterday - an absoltely maddeningly intrusive boomy resonance from the engine. This is an issue which it had when I originally picked it up and had been bodged a couple of times so I knew the likely cause was the fact that there's a stinking great hole in th´╗┐e ´╗┐air cleaner resonator chamber.

Being a normally aspirated diesel, Mercedes have done quite a lot of work to ensure that as much air as possible is forced into the engine, hence there´╗┐ being a not insubstantially sized box in the air cleaner assembly. The effectiveness of this is immediately apparent when you try to patch up a hole in the wall of said box. Initially I went for duct tape (as you do), which lasted all of about ten seconds before being blown off. Putting your hand over the hole honestly feels like you're blocking off the exhaust rather than th´╗┐e intake. The aluminium foil tape I tried next last lasted longer but the racket I was hearing s´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐uggested that it too had failed. Let's take a look´╗┐´╗┐.



Yep, that´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ would do it.

Actually getting the airbox out of the van was a little more involved than I expected as Mercedes seemed to think´╗┐ that bolting it to the bulkhead by no less than four M6 bolts was necessary. Three of these are accessible once the fuse box is removed (four screws), the final one however is low enough down that you also need to remove the kick plate in the passenger footwell, which means another two nuts b´╗┐eing removed, peeling the carpet back and disconnecting the electronic box which lives under t´╗┐here which is something to do with the brake lights.

Then I just had to disconnect t´╗┐he air intake hose (which came off at the engine end first...apparently whoever had that off last didn't tighten up the hose clip) and wrestle the thing out of the engine bay, which was actually harder than expected as it's a far bigger assembly than it looks when in place. It just fits into the´╗┐ gap between the slam panel and bulkhead when rotated in exactly the right way´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐



The big difference´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ between me now and when I originally bodged this up is that I've got more materials to hand now. My intention this time was to go with the fibreglass loaded resin I've been using to do a lot of ´╗┐the repairs to the Invacar bodywork. If that doesn't work I'll just have to take the whole thing apart and either bolt a panel onto it or mess around plastic welding a patch over the hole.

Step one (fine, step two...One was to remove all the foil and clean the area in question up) was to apply a small duct tape patch. This isn't actually go´╗┐ing to play any part in the final repair, it's just to stop the resin fro´╗┐m falling straight through the hole I'm trying to cove´╗┐r´╗┐´╗┐.



I then roughened the area around´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ it up with the wire wheel to give me the best chance of getting the repair to stick - though I'd done a test before with this and the resi´╗┐n seemed to adhere to the surface just fine.

Then slathered the area with a liberal helping of res´╗┐in.



While this was setting I took the opportunity to give the area behind the air cleaner a clean and to thoroughly blast the areas it's normally in the way of with rustproofing´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ wax. Also tidied up the wiring a bit as whoever did the repairs to the cab floor in that corner obviously never put anything back in´╗┐ the clips so the wiring was all flapping around everywhere´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐



The photo´╗┐´╗┐ there is obviously the "before" image for the work mentioned above.

Once the resin had set I gave it a very ´╗┐quick and dirty blast of matt black paint just so it doesn't stick out so obviously - if it proves durable I'll sand it back smoother at a l´╗┐a´╗┐ter date. Not going to worry about that just now though´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



It's really interesting´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to see how much effort they went to to optimise gas flow here. Looking into the inlet manifold you can clearly see how things taper as you pass the branch for each cylinder, meaning that while the volume of air being carried drops by 25% for each cylinder they've clearly tried to ensure that the velocity remains constant.



Given I wasn't 100% sure of whether´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the intake pipe had actually been properly attached I was glad to see ´╗┐this wasn't full of dust and gunk like the rest of the engine bay.

Then was just a relatively simple matter of putting everything back together again.



Definitely want to´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ think about using some modern sound proofing under the carpets here. The stuff attached to the kick plate under the carpets here must weigh the best part of 5kg - it honestly feels like the plate is made of cast iron it's that heavy. Pretty sure there are alternatives available now which will do as good (or better) a job for a ´╗┐fraction of the weight. There's also absolutely zip by way of soundproofing on the actual bulkhead itself. ´╗┐

Airbox back in place a´╗┐nd reconnecte´╗┐´╗┐d´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



I came to the conclusion´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ that the hose between the airbox and the intake manifold had been fitted backwards before. The logic behind this was that it was always pressed up against the top radiator hose. I didn't like this as I've had issues with hoses failing due to rubbing against stuff in the engine bay before. Rotating it 180 degrees left a ´╗┐good inch or so clearance under it. Much better.



You can see the witness mark on´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the radiator hose where it's been rubbing for goodness only knows how many years.

Finally, air cleaner reattached as well and we can ca´╗┐ll it a d´╗┐ay´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐



A quick test run revealed that this has´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ indeed got rid of the horrible boominess. Hard to tell if there's any improvement in power delivery, though I wouldn't really expect it to be that obvious given the power to weight ratio deli´╗┐vered here at the best of times. It can't hurt though!

Yes I did of course snap a quick idle video for those of you who like a bit of old school diesel clatter. Even if I did get momentarily distracted by discovering where one of the worst buzzes in the van at idle was coming from - the awning. I'll ´╗┐need to get another couple of straps to secure it when not in use.

YouTube Video Link

The camera seems to pick up a´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ lot more belt noise from the f´╗┐ront of the engine noise than the´╗┐re really is in person. First time I think I've managed to actually get the camera's mic to pick up the nice deep burble at idle from the exhaust. You'll probably need either headphones or decent speakers to really hear that though.

Just have to wait and see if the repair to the airbox holds or if I'm going to need to get more inventive. There's no risk of anything getting sucked into the engine if it fails by th´╗┐e way, the hole is on the atomospheric side of the air filter. Prior experience has shown that it's more likely to blow it off too rather than actually suck it into the engine anyway. If this were dow´╗┐nstream of the filter I'd have been being a LOT more careful´╗┐.

Got a busy day lined up tomorrow helping a friend collect a car, so have just got things loaded up. Fresh water in the tank, tea & coffee making supplies, jump leads, Easy Start, duct tape, socket set, screwdrivers, big hammer and some oil. If we need anything beyond that lot, that's what the professionals are for!

Yesterday we also had our second visit to the current foster home of the dog we'll hopefully be adopting soon.



Nice to see´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ that she was pretty happy in less than five minutes today. Definit´╗┐ely remembered us ´╗┐it seeme´╗┐d lik´╗┐e.´╗┐



This is probably the silliest´╗┐ photo of the d´╗┐ay though.



We're heading back over on´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ Tuesday to see how things go when out on a walk with her, basically so that the foster keeper can be sure we're able to deal with her if/when she gets panicked while out and about. They've said based on what they've seen of us and how she's taken to us though that so long as that goes well that there should be no reason we couldn't adopt he´╗┐r´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. All being well that could be a week on Sunday.

As for post formatting...curiouser and curiouser... definitely seems to be a browser/system specific text encoding issue...this is how your post appears to me.



Maybe it's worth taking a screen capture? It's been a long time since I've had to try to get to the bottom of an issue like this. Really wish I didn't have to use my phone so much, but time just doesn't permit me to use the desktop these days!
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Old Jul 12 2019, 06:13 PM   #4990
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Never got´╗┐ around to putting an update up yesterday as by the time I was able to actually sit down for long enough it was just too late. ´╗┐

Felt that I had to *make* some time in the late afternoon to have a look into an issue which had become painfully obvious in the van on the way back home yesterday - an absoltely maddeningly intrusive boomy resonance from the engine. This is an issue which it had when I originally picked it up and had been bodged a couple of times so I knew the likely cause was the fact that there's a stinking great hole in th´╗┐e ´╗┐air cleaner resonator chamber.

Being a normally aspirated diesel, Mercedes have done quite a lot of work to ensure that as much air as possible is forced into the engine, hence there´╗┐ being a not insubstantially sized box in the air cleaner assembly. The effectiveness of this is immediately apparent when you try to patch up a hole in the wall of said box. Initially I went for duct tape (as you do), which lasted all of about ten seconds before being blown off. Putting your hand over the hole honestly feels like you're blocking off the exhaust rather than th´╗┐e intake. The aluminium foil tape I tried next last lasted longer but the racket I was hearing s´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐uggested that it too had failed. Let's take a look´╗┐´╗┐.



Yep, that´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ would do it.

Actually getting the airbox out of the van was a little more involved than I expected as Mercedes seemed to think´╗┐ that bolting it to the bulkhead by no less than four M6 bolts was necessary. Three of these are accessible once the fuse box is removed (four screws), the final one however is low enough down that you also need to remove the kick plate in the passenger footwell, which means another two nuts b´╗┐eing removed, peeling the carpet back and disconnecting the electronic box which lives under t´╗┐here which is something to do with the brake lights.

Then I just had to disconnect t´╗┐he air intake hose (which came off at the engine end first...apparently whoever had that off last didn't tighten up the hose clip) and wrestle the thing out of the engine bay, which was actually harder than expected as it's a far bigger assembly than it looks when in place. It just fits into the´╗┐ gap between the slam panel and bulkhead when rotated in exactly the right way´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐



The big difference´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ between me now and when I originally bodged this up is that I've got more materials to hand now. My intention this time was to go with the fibreglass loaded resin I've been using to do a lot of ´╗┐the repairs to the Invacar bodywork. If that doesn't work I'll just have to take the whole thing apart and either bolt a panel onto it or mess around plastic welding a patch over the hole.

Step one (fine, step two...One was to remove all the foil and clean the area in question up) was to apply a small duct tape patch. This isn't actually go´╗┐ing to play any part in the final repair, it's just to stop the resin fro´╗┐m falling straight through the hole I'm trying to cove´╗┐r´╗┐´╗┐.



I then roughened the area around´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ it up with the wire wheel to give me the best chance of getting the repair to stick - though I'd done a test before with this and the resi´╗┐n seemed to adhere to the surface just fine.

Then slathered the area with a liberal helping of res´╗┐in.



While this was setting I took the opportunity to give the area behind the air cleaner a clean and to thoroughly blast the areas it's normally in the way of with rustproofing´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ wax. Also tidied up the wiring a bit as whoever did the repairs to the cab floor in that corner obviously never put anything back in´╗┐ the clips so the wiring was all flapping around everywhere´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐



The photo´╗┐´╗┐ there is obviously the "before" image for the work mentioned above.

Once the resin had set I gave it a very ´╗┐quick and dirty blast of matt black paint just so it doesn't stick out so obviously - if it proves durable I'll sand it back smoother at a l´╗┐a´╗┐ter date. Not going to worry about that just now though´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



It's really interesting´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to see how much effort they went to to optimise gas flow here. Looking into the inlet manifold you can clearly see how things taper as you pass the branch for each cylinder, meaning that while the volume of air being carried drops by 25% for each cylinder they've clearly tried to ensure that the velocity remains constant.



Given I wasn't 100% sure of whether´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the intake pipe had actually been properly attached I was glad to see ´╗┐this wasn't full of dust and gunk like the rest of the engine bay.

Then was just a relatively simple matter of putting everything back together again.



Definitely want to´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ think about using some modern sound proofing under the carpets here. The stuff attached to the kick plate under the carpets here must weigh the best part of 5kg - it honestly feels like the plate is made of cast iron it's that heavy. Pretty sure there are alternatives available now which will do as good (or better) a job for a ´╗┐fraction of the weight. There's also absolutely zip by way of soundproofing on the actual bulkhead itself. ´╗┐

Airbox back in place a´╗┐nd reconnecte´╗┐´╗┐d´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐.



I came to the conclusion´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ that the hose between the airbox and the intake manifold had been fitted backwards before. The logic behind this was that it was always pressed up against the top radiator hose. I didn't like this as I've had issues with hoses failing due to rubbing against stuff in the engine bay before. Rotating it 180 degrees left a ´╗┐good inch or so clearance under it. Much better.



You can see the witness mark on´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the radiator hose where it's been rubbing for goodness only knows how many years.

Finally, air cleaner reattached as well and we can ca´╗┐ll it a d´╗┐ay´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐



A quick test run revealed that this has´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ indeed got rid of the horrible boominess. Hard to tell if there's any improvement in power delivery, though I wouldn't really expect it to be that obvious given the power to weight ratio deli´╗┐vered here at the best of times. It can't hurt though!

Yes I did of course snap a quick idle video for those of you who like a bit of old school diesel clatter. Even if I did get momentarily distracted by discovering where one of the worst buzzes in the van at idle was coming from - the awning. I'll ´╗┐need to get another couple of straps to secure it when not in use.

YouTube Video Link

The camera seems to pick up a´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ lot more belt noise from the f´╗┐ront of the engine noise than the´╗┐re really is in person. First time I think I've managed to actually get the camera's mic to pick up the nice deep burble at idle from the exhaust. You'll probably need either headphones or decent speakers to really hear that though.

Just have to wait and see if the repair to the airbox holds or if I'm going to need to get more inventive. There's no risk of anything getting sucked into the engine if it fails by th´╗┐e way, the hole is on the atomospheric side of the air filter. Prior experience has shown that it's more likely to blow it off too rather than actually suck it into the engine anyway. If this were dow´╗┐nstream of the filter I'd have been being a LOT more careful´╗┐.

Got a busy day lined up tomorrow helping a friend collect a car, so have just got things loaded up. Fresh water in the tank, tea & coffee making supplies, jump leads, Easy Start, duct tape, socket set, screwdrivers, big hammer and some oil. If we need anything beyond that lot, that's what the professionals are for!

Yesterday we also had our second visit to the current foster home of the dog we'll hopefully be adopting soon.



Nice to see´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ that she was pretty happy in less than five minutes today. Definit´╗┐ely remembered us ´╗┐it seeme´╗┐d lik´╗┐e.´╗┐



This is probably the silliest´╗┐ photo of the d´╗┐ay though.



We're heading back over on´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ Tuesday to see how things go when out on a walk with her, basically so that the foster keeper can be sure we're able to deal with her if/when she gets panicked while out and about. They've said based on what they've seen of us and how she's taken to us though that so long as that goes well that there should be no reason we couldn't adopt he´╗┐r´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. All being well that could be a week on Sunday.

As for post formatting...curiouser and curiouser... definitely seems to be a browser/system specific text encoding issue...this is how your post appears to me.



Maybe it's worth taking a screen capture? It's been a long time since I've had to try to get to the bottom of an issue like this. Really wish I didn't have to use my phone so much, but time just doesn't permit me to use the desktop these days!
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Old Jul 12 2019, 09:57 PM   #4991
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Deans eyes look just like the dog you're going to adopt, zelandeth.
I finally found a no- kill shelter that will take my boys. It's about 12 hours away, but worth it. They said they would try to adopt them out together.
Bittersweet, I'm glad I found a place. I wish I didn't have to. I know they'll be better off. Across the road from us to be 200 acres of woods. That has all been clear cut. 3 houses have been started. Once real construction begins, I won't be able to let the boys out while they're working, or once we have 200 new neighbors.
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Old Jul 13 2019, 07:14 PM   #4992
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In addition to helping a friend collect their car, today I finally was able to get hold of something I've been after for the Invacar for a while to deal with the unhappiness of the transmission at speed.



That's a pair of new old stock CVT pulleys. The primary one is cast aluminium and the little bit of oxide will clean off that no bother. The secondary one is just pressed steel though, and that's the one which is badly pitted on mine due to rust. That's effectively acting as a transmission brake over 40mph and is making the thing vibrate badly and unsurprisingly is chewing the belt up.

Also pictured there is a FULL workshop repair & service manual there waiting to be digitised and a proper part catalogue.
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Old Jul 14 2019, 07:43 PM   #4993
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Pretty´╗┐ quiet day today, which was a nice change as the last couple of weeks have been almost non stop. ´╗┐

Despite having a day off I tend to feel that it's necessary to achieve something in a day, even if it's something small. Having a new set of Invacar pulleys sitting in front of me it was obvious what this afternoon was going to involve. ´╗┐

While the secondary pulley was ready "out of the box" so to speak, the primary one ´╗┐n´╗┐eeded a quick clean up first to deal with some aluminium oxide on the running surfa´╗┐ce´╗┐.



Five minutes with´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the wire br´╗┐ush later it was much´╗┐ be´╗┐tte´╗┐r´╗┐.



For those playing along at home, here's a clear photo of the markings on the new primary´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ pull´╗┐ey´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐





Getting the primary pulley off was precisely as much of a pain as I'd expected it to be. Simple reason: there is no easy way to lock the thing in place while you try to crack´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the retaining nut off. After snapping one large screwdriver and bending another, I finally managed to get it to coopera´╗┐te.



Yes, that is a crowbar wedging the pulley in place. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐It later came into its own again while I battered it with a hammer to get the pulley off the shaft. The secondary one slid off pretty easily once unbolted, the primary was really quite a snug fit.

With it off it immediately became apparent that something wasn't right. The reason it rattled was ´╗┐because it appears to be completely devoid of any springs´╗┐.



It never ceases to amaze me how knackered´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ this sort of setup can be while still working to at least some degree...this felt absolutely fine anywhere below about 40mph!

The new secondary pulley looks to be a different type...but given the source I'm going to give it a shot.



Belt tension was checked after´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ I'd rolled the car up and down the´╗┐ driveway a couple of times (yay...it no longer goes *click-squeak...click-squeak...click-squeak...* whil´╗┐e moving at low speed. Seems reasonable.

Was only able to get out for a ten minute test drive this evening before dinner, but immediate impressions:

[] At low speeds the noise levels are hugely reduced. The actual noise you can mostly hear now is nice subdued tuneful transmission whine rather than howling belt.

[] Low speed responsiveness is slightly better. Though I think the tension is a little loose as it's a bit snatchy moving off.

[] Only did one higher speed run, but at 40mph plus thi´╗┐ngs seem massively improved. I'm used to being able to just abo´╗┐ut hit 40mph between the one roundabout and our turnoff. Today an indicated 62mph (which I imagine is somewhat optimistic) w´╗┐as achieved with less than full throttle and leaving me plenty of time to brake.

Hopefully I'll have the chance to do a better test tomorrow. Initial impressions though are that it's improved things.

Oh, and while halfway round a roundabout the brake fluid ´╗┐warning light which I'd lost was spotted skittering across the floor. It has now been safely stuck in the box of random´╗┐ Invacar bits´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐

Reassembly was relatively painless, only slightly awkwar´╗┐d discovery was that the keyway cutout in the new primary was shallower than on the old one, requiring a rectangular rather than square key. Luckily I've quite a few random shaft keys in the "drawer of random fasteners and similar stuff" and was a´╗┐ble to find one that was a perfect fit in a couple of minut´╗┐e´╗┐s.´╗┐



Looking forward to a proper test drive tomorrow...after I've cleaned the windows! I did wipe them´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ down briefly...but obviously not very well, and I totally forgot about the wing mirror.

Will 70mph be doable? Let's find out. Not worrying too much about breaking the belt in. Just isn't practical to drive gently for more than a couple of miles here...it's 20-30mph in housing estates or busy distributor roads where you need really to be able to get up to 50mph or so pretty rapidly if you ´╗┐don't want to be flattened.

Do have to wonder what anyone who saw me on the t´╗┐´╗┐e´╗┐st run thought given the current cosmetic state of th´╗┐e c´╗┐´╗┐ar´╗┐´╗┐!´╗┐
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Old Jul 15 2019, 06:19 PM   #4994
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Initial experimentation with the soda blaster has yielded an absolutely´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ godawful mess but little progress in terms of shifting the original paint on the Invacar.

Hard to tell if that's just my air supply not being up to spec or if it's just further evidence of the paint on there being able to withstand a tactical nuclear strike. The paperwork says the blaster wants air supplied at 50psi, and we had that shown solidly on the output from the regulator... I did experiment with setting it higher, which definitely increased the amount of mess generated, not sure if it actually improved the rate at which stuff was removed.

My entire garage is now about 1/2" deep in finely powdered sodium bicarbonate...oh well, at least it will smell fresh for the foreseeable future!

Guessing professional outfits would have a system in place to retrieve and reuse a lot of the media...
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Old Jul 16 2019, 01:10 AM   #4995
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If you can change media, possibly by changing nozzles, you can try corncob or ground walnut shell. Both are coarser than soda without being as harsh as bead or sand. I use a walnut media for polishing ammunition cases for reloading.

As for recycling, when using sand, we recycled with a shovel and broom. same should apply. If you use a large enough plastic tarp, you could spread it out, put the Invacar in the middle, then roll it off and pick up the used media* run it again. Trouble is, all media sooner or later is reduced to powder or dust from the same impact that removes rust and paint, etc. Softer the media, sooner it's dust.
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Old Jul 16 2019, 07:22 PM   #4996
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Today was our´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ third´╗┐ visit with Star, the rescue dog we're looking to adopt. Today we actually took her out´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ for a wal´╗┐k, helping convince the foster that we weren't going to do something absolutely daft the first time we left the house.

´╗┐Everything went well, and it's been agreed t´╗┐hat we will be ad´╗┐opting her. She will be coming home on Sunday morning. ´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐

´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐A few photos from today - though they all seem to convey seriously huge levels ´╗┐of´╗┐ de´╗┐rp´╗┐´╗┐!´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐











Wasn't deliberate...they just came out looking utterly silly!

Obviously nothing to show´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ car wise as this took up pretty much the whole day. However I've a few things planned for tomorrow all being well. Given FotU is only a f´╗┐ew d´╗┐ays away I need to get my tail in gear to get TPA read´╗┐y´╗┐!
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 PM   #4997
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Have made an executive decision regarding the paintwork´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ on ´╗┐TPA. Simply that I've had enough faffing about. I'm getting things into a vaguely flat state then throwing paint on it. I could spend weeks (or months) trying to get a mirror smooth surface, but I think that's a task for another time. The most important thing I need to do with the car at this point in time is simple: Drive it!´╗┐´╗┐

Okay...step one. Remo´╗┐´╗┐ve all the residue from the soda blasting experiment. Just a bit left to deal with.´╗┐.´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐







Gave the van a quick wash too while I had the hose out as it was getting difficult to see through´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ the windscreen again. The joys of brick wall aerodynamics. ´╗┐

Have had another shot at clearing the fuel tank breather, I've tried several times so far but it's only in the las´╗┐t f´╗┐ew weeks I've had access to compressed air, so could try zapping it with this.



Will remain to be seen if it's´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ actually made any difference.

Back to the Invacar paintwork. Worst bit of the car was this wheel arch I thin´╗┐k´╗┐.



I just went after it with the sander´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ to get it vaguely smoothed out, then set about chucking some primer at th´╗┐i´╗┐´╗┐n´╗┐gs.´╗┐´╗┐



Followed by some top coat´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐. Still obviously needs a few more coats (and in fact covering the rem´╗┐ainder of the car), but I think it will wind up looking better than it started out.´╗┐





Really do need to get hold of a´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ spray gun for the compressor though...this is costing an absolute fortune in rattle cans! Hopefully will get it to a state whic´╗┐h would classify as "inoffensive from ten paces" in time for Saturday.

Had a brief moment of worry whe´╗┐n I was just packing up when I spotted this under the v´╗┐a´╗┐´╗┐n´╗┐´╗┐.´╗┐´╗┐



Despite the engine being a little´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ oily, she never usually actually leaves anything behind so the leak definitely required investigatio´╗┐n´╗┐´╗┐.



The oily residue I think is mainly leftover from the leaky cam box cover. She doesn't seem to use a´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ drop between services (granted, there are nearly eight litres of oil in there!)...and this didn't look to be oil. First thought was brake or clutch fluid...however there was no visible source in the engine bay, and hydraulic fluid was still sitting happily on the max mark. ´╗┐

Eventually I tracked down the source - that vertical tube to the left of the alternator. Looks to be a drain from the heater intake box, so just a bit of water draining off from´╗┐ the earlier wash... nothing to worry about thankfull´╗┐´╗┐y.
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