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Old May 8 2020, 10:27 PM   #5361
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Not really much to report today.

The indicators looked odd without the gasket behind them, even though they're not really needed to form a seal with how the new units are constructed. So I went out and set about removing as much of the paint from the old gaskets as I could then refitted everything.



Not totally sure why the one on the offside appears to have swollen up a bit (assuming it's reacted with the thinners in some way) but the other one hasn't...will have a dig through the boxes and see if there's a spare floating around in one of my boxes of assorted junk.

Sadly no sign of the new wheel bolts yet. Had hoped that they might turn up today, but sadly not, so she's still sitting on a jack.

I did think about tackling the brake disc change on the Jag - in fact I even hauled the tool boxes out to it, before realising that the trolley jack still has an Invacar sitting on it. Oh.

I could have faced around and dug it out, but I didn't honestly feel like it. Nor do I particularly want to jack 1700kgs of Jaguar (including 400+kg of drivetrain alone!) using the one in the boot toolkit if I don't have to.

Slightly irked I decided to revert to type and faff around clean things.

When I first started the paintwork I was grossly naive where quite how far the overspray would travel which had resulted in a bit finding its way onto the tail light lenses (I honestly have no idea why I didn't just remove the units entirely and put them somewhere well away from the painting).





A bit of a scrub with some G3 cutting paste sorted that out.





I assume there should be a gasket of some sort between the lens and the back plate, does anyone know if this is a flat gasket or just a tubular section rubber one?

Something worth bearing in mind - when folks say that that soda blasting media gets everywhere, they mean it! There must have been a quarter of an inch of it inside both tail lights! Gave everything a good clean, greased up all the contacts in there so as to prevent any issues with future corrosion.

When we were pulling down the trees a week or so back I slightly underestimated the flail range of one Leylandii tree when it came down and managed to swat the front of the van. It was just the brushy bit at the top so no damage done save for a scuff.



Nothing a quick bit of polish couldn't sort.

Glad there's no actual damage done. Lesson learned - everything gets *fully* removed from the driveway before we do anything like that again.

Quiet day really.
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Old May 9 2020, 03:44 PM   #5362
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I felt like I was trying to tell you what to do too much back then. Now I feel I should have shared more of my 40-odd years of mechanical, body working, and painting experience with you.

Then again, I sort of feel like "Bearc;aw" in the movie "Jeramiah Johnson" when he said, "Didn't put enough dirt over the coals. Saw it right off."
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Old May 9 2020, 08:47 PM   #5363
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I felt like I was trying to tell you what to do too much back then. Now I feel I should have shared more of my 40-odd years of mechanical, body working, and painting experience with you.

Then again, I sort of feel like "Bearc;aw" in the movie "Jeramiah Johnson" when he said, "Didn't put enough dirt over the coals. Saw it right off."
I really wouldn't worry! Especially when trying to convey things through words typed on a computer screen. My approach to a lot of things though is that there is no failure, just finding ways that don't work along the way. Though when working on the Jag I might appreciate not taking that approach given how much of it you need to dismantle to get to things...at least that is a car which is well documented...unlike the Invacar where it's very much a case of learning as we go. As with today's instalment.

-- -- --

*Bashes...head... against...wall*

Either the existing bolts I've got aren't actually 3/8" BSF as I ordered, or Morris Minor wheel bolts are not actually 3/8" BSF.



Ignore the damaged bit on the end of the thread on the longer bolt, because it's too long it fouled on the brake shoe when screwed in.

The Minor bolts are BSF, but not 3/8". Guessing 1/4"?



I was all set for this being a ten minute trip into the garage and this would be sorted sufficiently to leave alone for a while...so much for that.

At that point I was about ready to go full Basil Fawlty on the thing or toss a lot match into the garage.

A bit of further digging this evening revealed there was a front hub assembly still available on eBay. Been there for a while actually. I'd originally been dismissing that as I was sure I'd read somewhere that the front hub used conventional splined studs as per the Mini.

The parts manual however simply lists one part number for the wheel studs and shows a quantity of 12 per car...so they should be the same. Closer examination of the photographs on the listing shows that they are indeed screwed in. Suffice to say I clicked buy it now at that point without a moment's further hesitation. I'll still need to source new wheel nuts and figure out how to extract the studs from it without damaging them... that's half how we wound up in this mess!

Though I'm telling you right now that if everything wasn't closed, that hub would have been off and on its way to a machinist today to have all four holes drilled out to take M12 bolts! My only worry there is how close it is to the edge of the hub itself - and I'm wondering if that's why they used such an oddly small diameter stud.

So it's not going to be sorted this weekend...but we're getting closer. Hopefully!
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Old May 11 2020, 05:41 AM   #5364
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I know the Invacar is only a 3-wheeler; but if you are buying a set for a Morris Minor and have 4 studs per wheel; how come a full set is only 12?
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Old May 11 2020, 10:32 AM   #5365
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I know the Invacar is only a 3-wheeler; but if you are buying a set for a Morris Minor and have 4 studs per wheel; how come a full set is only 12?
Ah, probably wasn't clear in my original wording there. The parts catalogue entry I was quoting was from the Invacar parts list, where it lists 12 studs per vehicle, leading us to believe that they are indeed the same all round.

If the advice I had previously been given were correct there would be two separate entries in there for front and rear with 4 and 8 listed as required respectively.

The Morris Minor bolts I picked up were priced each, so I just picked up the three that I thought I needed.
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Old May 11 2020, 10:52 AM   #5366
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So, questions:
Was the Invacar produced in Britain? When?
What year was the Morris Minor listing for?
Reason I'm asking is because I remember back in the 60s & 70s there was Whitworth size hardware & threads. Not metric or American (fractions of an inch sizes), but what we who rode British machines like Triumph, BSA, and Norton called "the Whitworth bastard s**t." If one of the two, Morris or Invacar, were Whitworth and not the other, problem explained.
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Old May 11 2020, 10:50 PM   #5367
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I'm ready for 2020 to be over

The rehab center Mom is at is SUPPOSE to let someone, me or one of my sisters, know what is going on medically. We are all on the list of people they can talk to.

Mom had a Dr. appointment this morn that they did not tell anyone including Mom. At a cancer center. She was alone at the Dr. being told that the mass was colon cancer. They called Tammy, it was all removed, but will probably come back.

She is 83 years old, being told she had cancer, that will probably come back, alone. He did say it could be a year it could be 5 years. We are not happy with rehab center for not telling about the appt. One of should have been with her.
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Old May 12 2020, 09:47 AM   #5368
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...We are not happy with rehab center for not telling about the appt. One of should have been with her.
That's shocking behaviour...though sounds very familiar. I found out that my mother was in hospital with terminal cancer with probably days to live via a phone call from the hospital which must have been a grand total of about 20 seconds. Not so much as a "sorry."

My father ended up spending three months in hospital the following year because they kept losing his address details so were convinced he was homeless and wouldn't release him (he was out of it enough that he couldn't remember, and really should have been under continuous care - but that's a grumble for another time in itself!) despite having been given the correct details dozens of times by at least five different people.

Oh...the same went for the dozen or so regular medications he was on - which probably went some way to explain his confusion.

My regular experiences (which started when my father first fell ill in 1994) with the medical system here, both for my parents and myself, has basically eroded any faith or respect whatsoever for the health care system here.

Now that does not mean for a second that I do not respect the vast, vast majority of the healthcare professionals who work in it, not for a millisecond. However the system as a whole is only as strong as the weakest link - and it's when things go wrong that you remember. The problem is not the professionals involved, it's a far more systemic issue with the way the whole system is arranged - and ever decreasing funding making things worse year on year.

It's also acutely obvious that the "system" in England is very, very prescriptive. There's a pre-defined diagnosis and treatment pathway which every patient must follow, completely irrespective of whether their case is a stubbed for or complex mental health issue. Aside from being maddeningly frustrating at times it makes everything take so, so long. Getting *referred* to the mental health team took me over a year, never mind actually seeing anyone there...and even then you need to attend the group therapy sessions (such fun when one of the problems you have are serious social anxiety problems) and get tossed out of them because they're not a useful fit for the issues at hand, get thrown back into the melting pot and join another multiple month waiting list to see a consultant to decide what to do with you next before after spending three months thinking about it, finally decide you need to see someone one-on-one...and puts you in the 18 month waiting list for that.

Back in Scotland there was far more flexibility for GPs to say "I think we should try..." based on each individual patient's needs rather than just following a predefined process. Granted how catastrophically over-subscribed things are down here plays a huge part. The waiting time between booking one and actually getting a routine appointment with *anyone* at my GP surgery, much less a specific person, is 8-12 weeks.

Given they're that overwhelmed under normal circumstances you do have to wonder how on earth they're meant to cope with the current situation with any efficiency...

Sorry, that turned into far more of a rant than it was meant to!

Really hope that things go as well for you and yours as they can.

-- -- --

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So, questions:
Was the Invacar produced in Britain? When?
What year was the Morris Minor listing for?
Reason I'm asking is because I remember back in the 60s & 70s there was Whitworth size hardware & threads. Not metric or American (fractions of an inch sizes), but what we who rode British machines like Triumph, BSA, and Norton called "the Whitworth bastard s**t." If one of the two, Morris or Invacar, were Whitworth and not the other, problem explained.
*Bits* of the Invacar are British. The car as a whole is, the model having been launched in 1971. However the engine is Austrian, the rear suspension and final drive is Italian and the CVT system is American. It's made even more confusing as quite a few of the components (particularly interior bits like driver control brackets, the seat etc) were carried over from earlier models which go back up to another 40 years. So you do come across pretty much every type of fastener somewhere on the car!

The Morris wheel bolts are the result of an assumption on my part based on someone else's advice and a vague catalogue listing which doesn't specifically state the size. I don't doubt for a second that the supplied bolts are BSF as the listing claims, they're just not 3/8" as I'd expected. Pretty sure they're 1/4" which is a common size for wheel bolts in 60s/70s cars over here before metric really took over.

The Jag is similarly confusing. Being essentially an early 70s design, the majority of things on the car are Imperial (AF mostly I believe). However as a result of a drive to standardise things some metric parts crept in as far as the engine was concerned...which just made a mess. Basically anything attached to the engine block will use imperial fasteners... anything attached to the heads will be Metric. Oh, and there are a few *really* evil fasteners in there which have an AF Imperial head but a metric thread. That's just mean!

The interior seems to be held together entirely by whatever they found rolling around on the factory floor the day my car was built...which sounds about right for Jaguar!
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Old May 12 2020, 01:12 PM   #5369
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So if I read that correctly, then the wheel bolts on Inva may or may not be, but by date of manufacture, I'd lean toward probably. Meanwhile, Morris is almost certainly. So there's part of your discrepancy, at the least. In a side note, we moved away from lug bolts in the 1950s. My '53 Plymouth had lug bolts and that was a rarity at the time. Almost everyone else had gone to studs/nuts already. Chrysler Corp was the holdout among the big manufacturers. I don't really remember much about the "orphan brands" from the '50s and so on.

Our cars suffer from the same confusion of metric and American sizes still. But at least that cussed Whitworth (is that what you refer to as British?) disappeared in the mid-early '70s.
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Old May 12 2020, 10:33 PM   #5370
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It's interesting to see that bolts are still pretty common over here. The Citroen has bolts, as does the van (though being a commercial vehicle chassis, no idea if that changes things).

I personally prefer studs as it makes getting the wheel back on far easier. The Citroen wheel bolt holes are really deeply recessed and trying to get the bolts back in while holding the wheel on the hub is really awkward.

We know what the threads in the Invacar hubs are (it's been confirmed both by my use of a thread gauge and confirmed by a machine shop I sent one of my removed studs to to see if they could make me replacements). It's just finding a proper wheel bolt in an appropriate size that's the problem.

I've hopefully got a set of studs on the way now (albeit attached to a new old stock front hub assembly...but we'll see!) so might hopefully be closer to sorting this out! Long term though I'll definitely look to get the hubs machined to take something slightly less obscure as I don't want to have to play this game again in the future!

-- -- --

Today's target: Distributor examination & Replacement of the cap and rotor arm on the Jag.

No surprises it's a bit awkward to get at.



Not insurmountable to be honest, just a bit fiddly. Removing the cruise control actuator (three easily accessible 11mm bolts and one vacuum hose) makes it entirely doable.



Helpfully the HT leads were all already labelled as that saved me having to do it! The direction of rotation and the socket for the lead for cylinder 1A is helpfully marked on the outside of the distributor cap too and the firing order is noted in at least two locations in the engine bay, so you've really no excuse for getting too lost.

Having pulled half the HT leads off it started to become apparent how much of an issue being able to reach things was. This wider angle shot shows just how far away from you the thing is...



Eventually I wound up climbing into the engine bay and kneeling on the left hand inlet manifold. This would have been far less uncomfortable if those ridges weren't cast into the top of it and if that blasted fuel return line cooler wasn't in just the wrong place.

Once the cap was off...which took a not insignificant amount of force...it became immediately apparent that something wasn't quite right.



While it's not immediately visible in this photograph because of how things are sitting, the centre portion of the plastic cover below the rotor arm has completely detached from the outer part and has been spinning freely around with the rotor arm, there's also a big crack in the central portion currently hidden behind that HT lead. This I suspect may have been the source of a rattling noise I'd been hearing on and off from this region of the engine bay.

One of the biggest issues I was aware of was that the distributor breather line had become detached from the outside of the cap. Someone apparently has tried (unsuccessfully) to superglue it back on at some point in the past.



You can see the marker for plug lead 1A next to what's left of the breather line attachment, and the arrow at roughly 12 o'clock showing the direction that the rotor travels.

Underneath it's not looking too bad really. Not much fouling at least really (the powder is bits of the plastic cover mentioned above which has been getting finely atomised and bits of which are everywhere).



Looking closer however it looks as though the rotor arm has been sitting lower than it really should and has only just been making contact with the posts.



This however is where the fun and games really started. Quite simply the rotor arm was completely and utterly disinterested in parting company with the distributor shaft.

The plastic cover being broken at this point was helpful as it meant I could just pull it off. The outer section just lifted off once the four screws were removed, and I decided to just snap the inner bit given that it needs to be replaced anyway.





It appears that the advance mechanism surprisingly doesn't seem to be bound up, this was quite a surprise. Vacuum one is definitely moving freely, I'll stick a timing light on it and double check that the centrifugal one is also moving. I was originally planning to strip this all down to clean and lubricate that - but given I need to get things apart again to replace that plastic cover I can do that when I have the replacement for that in stock.

So started roughly an hour long fight with the rotor arm. Somewhat awkward fighting as well as I obviously didn't want to pull up too hard on the whole distributor shaft as I know on some cars that can damage the drive (no idea if that includes the Jag, so I'm just going to assume "yes" unless told otherwise).

*Eventually* after a not insignificant amount of swearing...



There are several cracks in this arm...though it's impossible to say if they've been there for ages or are a result of the sheer amount of brute force that was needed to remove it.

Then as they say reassembly is simply the reverse of removal.

I gave the distributor post a bit of a clean up to remove the surface rust on there which was probably why it was such a pain to remove the rotor arm. Then also very carefully made sure all the HT leads went back in the correct place.



Doesn't that look better than the bright blue thing?

Yes, I'll get some proper insulated spade connectors for the coil when I'm next in here, those are bugging me.

There's really no possible way I think to route the HT leads which doesn't result in them criss-crossing over themselves to at least some extent.

I discovered another potential issue at this point which might also have been responsible for the very slight intermittent idle misfire I've noticed...About half of the plug leads weren't actually clipped onto the spark plugs. I discovered this when the one for 5B came off in my hand. This is of course one of the ones buried under the throttle tower, so getting it back onto the plug took me about ten minutes of contortions. Got there in the end.

Has this helped smooth things out at all? She's always been a little lumpy at idle for the first couple of minutes, especially from the left bank (and the idle speed is a bit high sometimes - the IAC valve needs a thorough clean)...How's this for an improvement?

YouTube Link (0:15)

It's worth noting that the sound which seems to come across on the camera like timing chain rattle is actually the "ringing" noise coming from the stainless exhaust. The camera just seems to pick this up way louder than it is in reality.

I'll take that. It's hard to say which is most responsible...The new rotor arm & cap or actually having all 12 HT leads attached to their respective plugs properly. Haven't had a good reason to go out today so haven't been able to leave the drive - but just blipping the throttle when stationary it *definitely* feels more responsive. To the extent it's now making the exhaust rattle against the floor when you blip the throttle...That's never happened before, so I think is definitely a sign that we've got more urgency. We'll have to wait until I've got a valid reason for going out to see if that translates into any perceptible difference on the road.

Now to update the maintenance log and get a replacement for the distributor internal cover/shield/whatever they call it in Jag lingo ordered.

Should have been a 45-min to 1 hour job...right up until the rotor arm decided to fight us!
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Old May 13 2020, 11:05 AM   #5371
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Fun Fact: Over there you call it a rotor arm. Over here we just say rotor. Nickname: bug. That's it. Older mechanics will call it the bug. Every once in a while, rotor bug.
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Old May 13 2020, 08:42 PM   #5372
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Fun Fact: Over there you call it a rotor arm. Over here we just say rotor. Nickname: bug. That's it. Older mechanics will call it the bug. Every once in a while, rotor bug.
Pretty sure I've heard "rotor button" used over there sometimes too.

-- -- --

A little package arrived for the Invacar this morning.



For those of you who don't know what you're looking at, that's a front hub assembly. That fits over the stub axle and wheel bearings and is what the brake drum and wheel are actually attached to.

I only actually need the studs from it...but buying the whole hub assembly seemed to be the only way of getting hold of any without having them custom machined (with the obvious difficulties involved in that given the current restrictions).

It's still looking like new despite sitting on a shelf for goodness knows how many years thanks to a thick wax coating. Not much I can do with this until the new wheel nuts arrive though. They have been dispatched though so hopefully should arrive tomorrow or Friday.

While digging around in the back of the garage for something totally unrelated I did find a good old stock set of front indicator lenses for it which look far better than the modern ones which came with the new lamp housings. Modern one is on the left in the photo below.



The apparent actual size difference is just an artefact because of how I was holding the camera.

The older style ones look far better on the car.



On the same note I do have a proper set of headlights on the way too. These modern ones are bugging me enough that they have to go. I will keep them around though as they actually work *really* well, so if/when I do the epic country-wide road trip I'll probably refit them for that. It's just a five minute job to swap them. These were floating around in the loft though and did just fine for testing.

Not really much else I can do here until we've got the new wheel nuts here though.


I then turned my attention to the van. Today's target was the hob - not least because I'm sick of tripping over it.

It did need a good clean though before I was going to handle it any more than I had to. The whole thing was sticky and just generally horrible.









Yes, I do have the missing knob, it's missing the spring clip which holds it on though so I've just left it in the box of random van parts for now.

After a good old scrub though it was looking much more presentable.



I've moved the missing knob to the grill position as I've yet to build the box below for it to sit in. Though being honest I'm less bothered about that as it's not something we're really likely to use often.

After a bit of carpentry it was in place.



I've got a couple of metal plates which I'll install underneath as a heat shield. Plus I've insulated everything even vaguely near to it with aluminium foil tape as well.

No it's not perfectly straight...but neither is the whole worktop relative to the wall of the van. This whole worktop will be coming out and being rebuilt at some point in the future as it's an utterly unsuitable material for use in a van and really isn't fitted well (it does slope back towards the offside wall as much as it looks like it does in the photo).

The fact that the kitchen layout has been completely changed is obvious by virtue of the cover opening the "wrong" way. Obviously the hob originally would have been recessed as well so this would have been flush with the rest of the work surface when closed.



Initially I thought that the hob might have originally been where the sink now is - but if that was the case the grill would have been totally inaccessible. Hmm.

We'll figure out things like that somewhere down the road though - for now it can live where it is, it's ugly but having a working hob will be worth that when we're using the van. Just having it functional again will be good enough for me for now. Should have it up and running tomorrow, just need to hook it back up at the manifold end and obviously leak check etc. Just ran out of daylight today.
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Old May 13 2020, 08:52 PM   #5373
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I'm not to sure but I think both the hob and sink need to be moved over to the left. I can't picture how you would reach the sink if you are using the right side burners on the hob there's not enough room reaching over the front one. Of course I've never been in that type of camper so I could be reacting to the angle.




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Pretty sure I've heard "rotor button" used over there sometimes too.

-- -- --

A little package arrived for the Invacar this morning.



For those of you who don't know what you're looking at, that's a front hub assembly. That fits over the stub axle and wheel bearings and is what the brake drum and wheel are actually attached to.

I only actually need the studs from it...but buying the whole hub assembly seemed to be the only way of getting hold of any without having them custom machined (with the obvious difficulties involved in that given the current restrictions).

It's still looking like new despite sitting on a shelf for goodness knows how many years thanks to a thick wax coating. Not much I can do with this until the new wheel nuts arrive though. They have been dispatched though so hopefully should arrive tomorrow or Friday.

While digging around in the back of the garage for something totally unrelated I did find a good old stock set of front indicator lenses for it which look far better than the modern ones which came with the new lamp housings. Modern one is on the left in the photo below.



The apparent actual size difference is just an artefact because of how I was holding the camera.

The older style ones look far better on the car.



On the same note I do have a proper set of headlights on the way too. These modern ones are bugging me enough that they have to go. I will keep them around though as they actually work *really* well, so if/when I do the epic country-wide road trip I'll probably refit them for that. It's just a five minute job to swap them. These were floating around in the loft though and did just fine for testing.

Not really much else I can do here until we've got the new wheel nuts here though.


I then turned my attention to the van. Today's target was the hob - not least because I'm sick of tripping over it.

It did need a good clean though before I was going to handle it any more than I had to. The whole thing was sticky and just generally horrible.









Yes, I do have the missing knob, it's missing the spring clip which holds it on though so I've just left it in the box of random van parts for now.

After a good old scrub though it was looking much more presentable.



I've moved the missing knob to the grill position as I've yet to build the box below for it to sit in. Though being honest I'm less bothered about that as it's not something we're really likely to use often.

After a bit of carpentry it was in place.



I've got a couple of metal plates which I'll install underneath as a heat shield. Plus I've insulated everything even vaguely near to it with aluminium foil tape as well.

No it's not perfectly straight...but neither is the whole worktop relative to the wall of the van. This whole worktop will be coming out and being rebuilt at some point in the future as it's an utterly unsuitable material for use in a van and really isn't fitted well (it does slope back towards the offside wall as much as it looks like it does in the photo).

The fact that the kitchen layout has been completely changed is obvious by virtue of the cover opening the "wrong" way. Obviously the hob originally would have been recessed as well so this would have been flush with the rest of the work surface when closed.



Initially I thought that the hob might have originally been where the sink now is - but if that was the case the grill would have been totally inaccessible. Hmm.

We'll figure out things like that somewhere down the road though - for now it can live where it is, it's ugly but having a working hob will be worth that when we're using the van. Just having it functional again will be good enough for me for now. Should have it up and running tomorrow, just need to hook it back up at the manifold end and obviously leak check etc. Just ran out of daylight today.
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Old May 14 2020, 07:58 AM   #5374
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The whole kitchen layout will be redone at some point when I find some slightly more appropriate worktop material. For the limited use the kitchen in a camper sees though it will work for now. I really wish I had a photo of it before it was hacked about as knowing the original layout would be really helpful.

The hob can't have been that far from where it is now purely based on where certain other things which haven't moved are. Not least the oven, extractor hood and some surrounding structure...so it must have been in that general area. It's a bit of a puzzle. The spot which probably would have made most sense would have been above the fridge (where the draining board currently is), though that's obviously nowhere near the extractor hood, and I'm not sure if the cover would be able to lift given the slant of the back wall. No idea!
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Old May 14 2020, 01:37 PM   #5375
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I guess you've thought to Google for interior photos by year,make, and model.
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Old May 14 2020, 04:53 PM   #5376
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Things would work quite well with the sink and hob swapping location.
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Old May 14 2020, 09:30 PM   #5377
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I guess you've thought to Google for interior photos by year,make, and model.
Yes, sadly it doesn't get me very far because the results are simply swamped by current AutoTrail models - and even the one I have was available in about a dozen different layouts.

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Things would work quite well with the sink and hob swapping location.
Sadly that's not really an option. The issue is that the grill is directly attached to the underside of the hob - so I need an accessible void below there for it. Also directly below the sink is the gas locker...so not an ideal place to put hot things!

-- -- --

A month or so back one of the computers in my distributed computing cluster here packed in. Despite a reasonable amount of faffing around with it revival appears to be off the cards. As best we can tell it's either a component level fault on the motherboard itself or a badly corrupt BIOS.

It was a cheap and nasty piece of plastic anyway and not all that powerful, so no great loss. It was only in there because it was free. It's never a good sign when the chassis doesn't contain any metal nor does the CPU heatsink even contain a heat pipe.



Nevertheless a few parts have been salvaged. The memory has been transferred into another laptop, the hard drive has been added to the standby stash, but most usefully right now it had a spotless display.

I had a plan for the monitor. Replacing this thing in the van.



This was installed about a year ago, replacing the little 9" portable thing that was in here when I got it, which was frankly unwatchable because the panel was of such poor quality - plus the only inputs it had were composite and RF so not really useful these days. This upgrade was useful for one trip but I never really saw it as a permanent fixture for a few reasons. Firstly, it needs mains power. Secondly being quite an old LCD TV (with an inbuilt DVD player), it weighs a tonne. It makes the whole side of the wardrobe it's attached to flex. Thirdly it's really too big for the van anyway. Finally...it's terribly scruffy...not massively surprised given it was a kerbside find...but it bugged me. The lack of a 12V option and the sheer weight were probably the two biggest things against it though - oh, and the horrible image quality wasn't exactly a bonus feature either.

Laptop panels have the advantage of being made to be light. This one is also recent enough to have an LED backlight so no faffing around with high voltage supplies for that needed. There was a time when panels like this were basically useless unless you had the smarts to build your own interface board or were willing to pay big money for one. These days though they're common as mud on eBay for most common panels. Just find the model of the actual LCD panel itself, and stick that plus "LVDS HDMI adaptor" into a search engine and you'll probably find one. Going rate seems to be about £15-20.

So this overly heavy piece of nonsense was removed.



Few holes were drilled in the back of the monitor case to attach it to the mount. I went for six rather than four because it's such a cheap plasticy thing that it has virtually no strength to it to speak of. I wound up having to remove the top two though as they fouled on the display panel frame.





I'm keeping my eyes open for something I can cannibalise to make a cover for the controller PCB - though to be honest you can't actually see this when it's stowed or in use!



Obviously yes, those cable ties have since been trimmed. I need to tidy up the power supply cable as well - that's the one which came with the van from the TV that was originally here - the plug I'll retain as that's handy...but the hugely over-long cable and taped together joins need to go. The cigar lighter type socket will go as well as it's just not needed. What I WILL be doing at some point in the future is stuffing USB charging sockets in various corners, as pretty much every device I'm likely to want to plug in these days charges by USB. Doing that largely does away with anything directly reliant on the mains to be honest as well and starts making solar far more attractive an option...I don't reckon it's unreasonable to think that we might wind up with solar panels on the roof at some point in the future feeding into the charging system. I'm pondering some experiments with lithium-iron-phosphate batteries too. Mainly because of the weight and space saving, I could cram a lot more of them into the battery box currently occupying the single boat anchor of a leisure battery. They're also far better from a self-discharge perspective so there's less of the "oh I wonder if there's enough juice in there?" if I were to need to use it at short notice...though that would of course be less of an issue if I ever got around to investigating why the split charging system doesn't work!

This display is much more in scale with the interior I think, the other one was just way too big for where it was.



Especially when not in use as it can actually be stowed away properly.



That looks far, far better I think!

I'm going to install a Raspberry Pi in the locker just above it which will provide a media source for us should we want it. Plus the interface board has VGA & DVI-D in addition to the HDMI input which is the main one I'll be using. Audio isn't sorted for definite yet, but I reckon I'll probably route a line down to the head unit in the dash and re-wire that to run off the leisure battery rather than the vehicle one. It won't be *too* difficult to route from here. Into the wardrobe, down into the service hatch below there where there is already some ducting running along the length of the vehicle. Just a shame there's no way to really do that any other way without dismantling massive amounts of the interior.

Just nice to keep making improvements, small though they may be.
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Old May 15 2020, 12:31 AM   #5378
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You said the vent hood as we call it was still in its original location. If shown in old advertising photos, that might at least give you an idea as to what goes where.
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Old May 15 2020, 09:21 PM   #5379
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You said the vent hood as we call it was still in its original location. If shown in old advertising photos, that might at least give you an idea as to what goes where.
That's pretty much directly above where the hob currently is...which doesn't make sense given the location of things - though that *is* making the assumption that the hinged cover is original.

I'd left the recommissioning of the hob "mostly done" a couple of days ago, got back to it today.

There we go.



Rear left could do with a couple of the jets cleaning it looks like, but everything works. Thermocouples all cut in within 30 seconds which is nice to know. What is the "spec" on flame failure devices these days? Pretty sure it was 45 seconds when I last read up on things like this.



Nice to know it works though and will be ready to go once the enclosure is done.

While I was working in the area and had the joint compound and leak test spray out I capped off at the manifold the gas line to the cabin heater which is obviously no longer needed following the fitment of a diesel fired one.

Now all the lines have been installed I'll get them tidied up and properly clamped in place without relying on quite so many cable ties. Make sure there's provision made to ensure the lines can't rub through on anything is high on the list too. Will see if I get time after dinner this evening.

A new regulator and hose tail are also on the way as this hose looks like it's seen better days and I'm pretty sure is way older than the five years or whatever it is they're meant to be changed.
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Old May 17 2020, 07:39 PM   #5380
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Well having that hooked up didn't last long! Discovered when I went to actually get the pipework properly clipped in place that two of the lines (hob and oven) were several inches too short...so had to faff around extending them. Added all of ten minutes work but was irritating nevertheless. As was realising that the clips I'd got were for smaller pipe than I'd used...so I wound up using larger ones with a bit of rubber hose cut to size as a sleeve.

There's more under there than you'd think.



It's not tidy but working in such cramped quarters (getting far enough back to take that photo involved the camera effectively being in a drawer) I'll take it. Everything is well secured and routed so nothing can vibrate and rub against anything else. The other thing I'm keeping very much in mind is that the work surfaces will be getting replaced in the not too distant future. Once the worktop is out I'll have far, far better access. This also means that the appliances may well be moving somewhat so I don't want to go too overboard when I'll likely want to take a lot of it apart again. My patience is somewhat limited when I'm bodily folded into a small cupboard, sitting on a bracing rib and working left handed!

As it stands though everything is now hooked up, leak tested and working.

This is good because it means that I'll be able to complete the gas locker properly. I'd had that lashed together pretty crudely before as I knew there was still plumbing to be done and I didn't want to wind up having to dismantle and rebuild it a dozen times. The fuel tank for the heater will be moving from where you can currently see it, I'll be tucking that away in the gas locker as well, it's essentially outside the cabin then but will still be readily accessible for refilling. Once that's done I can finish off the cupboards and drawers (one of which hides the grill - the metal box for which I managed to unearth again today having not seen it in about a year).

Speaking of things I've not seen in a long while, I also found the missing knob from the hob, so that's been reinstated.



Getting there.

Figured I'd stick the camera in place to show how the Jag is behaving following the work on the ignition system a couple of days ago. I was already out picking up and delivering medical supplies to some of our friends who can't get out and figured adding just under two miles to the trip wasn't going to end the world.

YouTube Link

She feels far more eager when moving off and definitely sounds smoother.

Has obviously barely left our block recently so a few boots away from roundabouts has probably done the world of good too.

Ps: From 4:20 is more representative of my normal driving. I was deliberately provoking some revs here as I was wanting to see how things were behaving under load. Plus it's the first time she has been able to go above 40mph in several weeks so helped running in itself... suffice to say a big V12 isn't too much of a fan of bumbling around for only a couple of miles at a time week on end.
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Old May 18 2020, 07:59 PM   #5381
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Dogs need to go in for their vaccinations tomorrow so I needed to get things in the van buttoned back up and hoover out all the sawdust as it's the only vehicle which is really suitable for taking them both out.

Spot the difference?



Yep, the gas locker is now boxed off. The cable tie is currently holding the heater fuel tank upright (tied to the oven front panel) as I've still got to pull that out and relocate it. The aluminium foil tape you can see is just a belt and braces approach to sealing off any gaps.

It's not pretty, but it will be covered by an insulation sheet then buried behind the back of a cupboard so honestly I'm not too bothered what it looks like.

Unsurprisingly given that there's no longer a direct path between the cabin and the outside world (the gas locker is of course vented to the outside) it's noticeably quieter in there. Should help with the insulation too, not that the van really seems to struggle with that. Nice to see it starting to come together properly inside though. The last few bits and pieces should be pretty quick to get sorted.
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Old May 20 2020, 11:54 AM   #5382
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I got see Mom yesterday. She had Dr. appt, my sister & I met her there. She's doing well & got her staples out. She's going to go back to the cancer center & talk about her options.
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Old May 21 2020, 09:25 PM   #5383
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I got see Mom yesterday. She had Dr. appt, my sister & I met her there. She's doing well & got her staples out. She's going to go back to the cancer center & talk about her options.
That's good to hear, hope things keep going as well as they can.

-- -- --

Had a couple of errands to run today, about ten minutes into the day the Jag was ditched on the drive and the van taken out. It was just too hot and sticky in the Jag. Getting the air conditioning sorted needs to move up the list. Without it the ventilation system is essentially useless.



Opening the windows generates epic levels of noise but doesn't actually seem to get much air into the cabin. Thus far I've had no luck tracking down a pulley/clutch assembly on its own. Looking like a whole new compressor may well be the route we need to take. With a £3-400 pricetag...before getting the system recharged which will be another £50+, assuming there are no leaks elsewhere! Bearing in mind that I trust the jubilee-clipped line between the condenser and compressor about as far as I can throw it, even if the jubilee clips are factory! They just don't belong on HVAC systems!



It became quite apparent after a few minutes of driving the van that in addition to the not inconsiderable amount of noise exiting the tailpipe that there was a fair racket emanating from directly underneath the driver's seat.

The source was this nuisance of an exhaust joint.



I've already had issues with this joint working itself loose and rattling. So it was dismantled today, cleaned up, thoroughly slathered in Firegum and the clamp then tightened up as far as I dare before risking snapping the bolt. Hopefully it will stay that way this time. If it does it again the clamp is getting replaced.


After a not inconsiderable search of the pile of junk out the back of the house and the garage I eventually found the base for the grill, which was absolutely *not* where I thought I'd left it.



I've had a bit more of a think about the hob in the van. This has caused quite a considerable amount of head scratching while I've been trying to figure out where it originally was.

Originally I had assumed it was directly above the oven, this would make the most sense. This isn't an option though as there's nowhere near enough depth available.



The other thought was at the rear of the van where the draining rack currently is. However there's no way that can work either as the hob is about 19" deep, and the work surface here is far less than that!



If the hob was installed there you'd no longer be able to open the bathroom door which would be...suboptimal.

The only thought I do have is that the hob *might* be able to fit below the water heater if it were turned through 90 degrees... I'll need to take some more measurements tomorrow.

Really wish I had a photo of the kitchen before things got moved around!


In other news the new wheel nuts for the Invacar have arrived.



While sorting the one hub is still a work in progress, at least I'll be able to get a properly matched, non-mangled set fitted to the other two wheels which should hopefully help reduce the potential for future issues due to dodgy threads.
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Old May 24 2020, 07:11 PM   #5384
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Today I made a horrific mess.

My foul up with the hob positioning had prompted me to do something about the ridiculous worktops in the van kitchen.



These were just normal household worktops and aside from being about five times the weight of what you'd normally use in a van they were also about twice the thickness of normal camper/caravan ones. This causes a few problems as the fasteners that hold the sink and hob down are captive in the units - and aren't long enough to reach all the way through. It also meant I'd had to resort to bodges like this with the taps.



After a bit of messing around and three online sellers failing to deliver, finally picked up some slightly less stupid board to remake the worktops.



It's just furniture board so nothing special, but it will do the job. That panel even before it's trimmed down etc is lighter than what has been taken out by a fair chunk.

Of course the next step was to start tearing things to pieces.



Before going anywhere further however I'm taking the opportunity to tidy up a lot of the stuff I bodged together when I was trying to get the van ready for the first outing with us. I've got a good stock of laminated ply ready to rebuild the gas locker and the drawer/cupboard framework in there.

The fridge will be getting raised up about 1/2" so it fits the surround properly, the pipework & wiring tidied up, then we'll start putting things back together.

...Once I've figured out how on earth the bits of metalwork which I'm assuming originate from around the oven fit together.
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Old May 25 2020, 06:46 AM   #5385
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Are you going to lift the new top a bit or retile the walls??
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Old May 25 2020, 10:39 AM   #5386
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Are you going to lift the new top a bit or retile the walls??
Look closer at that second picture, P'ter, and you will notice that's not truly tile on the walls. There's a pair of staples on either side of the seam. Real tile wouldn't work too well in a van because of the movement and flexing of the walls. That's why the old mobile homes relied heavily on paneling instead of sheet rock for their walls, and they didn't get moved anywhere near as much as a motor home or van.
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Old May 25 2020, 10:59 AM   #5387
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The tiles are vinyl normally intended for floors. The staples are a result of them peeling off the walls during the heat of the summer. It basically wants to be redone as a result of that. The tiling was basically a result of me really wanting to avoid having to fight with wallpaper or similar products in such a confined space. It didn't work!

The gap will probably be covered by a bit of trim I'll fit along the back of the worktops so it shouldn't be visible anyway.
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Old May 25 2020, 08:49 PM   #5388
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Bit of work done in the van today to start putting back together what I pulled to bits yesterday.

First up was to extend the top of the countertop over the fridge so we didn't have two different heights to work with. Luckily I found a couple of offcuts floating around which were exactly the right size to get the height right.



By complete and utter random chance it turned out that I had a thin MDF offcut floating around that was almost the exact right size to close this off. It's a bit warped from sitting in the back of the shed for about three years but that's hardly a problem here.



Yes I did make sure to leave enough of a drop so the drawer can latch closed.

Those little metal L brackets will feature heavily in this job, and are a favourite of mine for many tasks.

I decided against bothering to elevate the fridge. Doing that would have required me to dismantle and completely redo the flue and I really didn't want to take that apart again.

Having thought on it overnight I decided that the fuel tank for the heater was going back more or less where I had first put it. It was just going to be awkward having it inside the gas locker and there was always the worry of it getting bashed while putting the gas bottle in - though it is really sturdy.



I prefer this as well in that it means that the fuel level can be checked visually from inside the van without needing to go outside. It's positioned such that filling can be easily done through the gas locker door though.

While I was working in that area I finally got the water pipes into the two brackets right in the corner. I didn't have enough hand strength to do that when I was standing on my head under there when I did the plumbing! The clips are really intended for 15mm copper pipe so these hoses are a really snug fit, it takes quite a bit of effort to get them to snap closed.



I need to tidy up the tail light wiring. That's probably going to be a job for tomorrow. That's what all that spaghetti is, the feeds for the high level tail lights.

Also, yes. That is a patio gas cylinder. I've got a proper one in the garage waiting to go in along with a new regulator and hose tail. This was the only one I had to hand for testing a year and a half ago (nicked from the barbeque) and I had honestly forgotten about that until seeing the "patio gas" logo on it today. Not sure what the difference is mind you, the ratings on the regulator are identical to the one which will be going in, just a different fitting.

I'll be sealing around the tank so it doesn't leave a gaping hole in the gas locker. I will be constructing things a bit differently to how they were originally as well as I'm not bothering having a separate lid on it.

This got me to an a stage I was dreading...starting to rebuild.

There are some things I am good at and some things I am not good at. Carpentry is one of the latter. Generally no matter how much care, patience and care I put into jobs involving woodwork things degenerate into a complete farce in no time flat and the results make the dimensional control on the Lada production line on a Monday morning look like something from the space program. Even if all I was cutting out was a simple square.

With that in mind I didn't have great hopes for making things like this.



How far away from fitting was it then?



I nearly died of shock...aside from some slight wobble on the long edge that I was aware of and really isn't a problem here, it's pretty much a perfect fit. I didn't need to take it back out to be altered, which means it's nanometre perfect in my book!

How about the other side?





Now I'm getting a little scared...that fit too!

The joins along all the edges will be sealed carefully to ensure that the cabinet is as close to sealed from the rest of the van as possible. I'll be cutting bigger vents in the floor as well before everything is buttoned up. I've got appropriate grills to cover them. Around where the pipework passes know if out will also be treated with tape and/or expanding foam.

I'll add a buffer next to the edge of the heater fuel tank where it protrudes into the locker to protect it from getting bashed when inserting or removing the cylinder. I could have set it back a bit further but that would have made filling more awkward.

I do have a cylinder securing kit in the garage too, will be nice to switch to that and ditch the bungee cords and ratchet strap system!

While it looks tight it's not bad actually.



Probably the most annoying thing when inserting/removing the cylinder is the kitchen sink waste - however I can't really move it any further back due to the position of the chassis outrigger this corner of the van sits on. It would have been flush with the wall if there wasn't a 3mm thick steel plate under there!

I'd like to ditch as much of the flexible drain pipe as possible somewhere down the line anyway, so that may be revisited.

Yes, the tail light wiring is running through a ventilation hole... it's already on my list (and has been since it was lashed up like that). Pretty much everything in this corner was done to prove things worked and fully expecting to come back to it (which I now am) to do a proper job of it.

I had to stop at this point as I have run out of fixing brackets, and nearly run out of woodscrews of an appropriate size...will need to make a Toolstation run to restock.

Next steps (in no particular order):

[] Tidy high level tail light wiring.

[] Replace gas cylinder regulator & hose.

[] Install gas cylinder fixing kit.

[] Install buffer adjacent to heater fuel tank.

[] Seal gas locker.

[] Add further ventilation to floor of locker.

[] Add further hole for sink draining rack drain line.

[] Trim screws where they protrude into the locker (not strictly necessary but feels the right thing to do).

[] Pick up more brackets, screws & gas fittings.

[] Paint everything under there white once it's all fitted.

[] Install cupboard and gas locker (remotely switched obviously) lights.

[] Properly figure out where sink, hob and draining rack are going!

[] Refit oven heat shielding.

Speaking of the heat shield... I'm *assuming* that's what these bits of pressed metal are. There are two identical ones there.



Has anyone who's done work on something like this have the foggiest idea how they're meant to be fitted...it really isn't obvious! To be honest the outside of the oven doesn't really get all that hot so I'm not sure how necessary they are. I've had it running for a full hour flat out during testing and it never got to a point where the surface temperature was worrying. It's double skinned as it is. The panelling between it and the cupboard will be lined with foil for heat reflection anyway and there will be a decent air space around it on all sides.

Feels like progress is being made...was a bit disheartening seeing the mess I'd made yesterday and the amount of things I'd out together that I had just pulled apart again. Nice to see proper panelling going in rather than paper thin chipboard you can cut with scissors or Foamex which was used for a lot of "this will do for two trips I've one afternoon to prep for" too.
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Old May 26 2020, 09:40 PM   #5389
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This is one of those days where there's depressingly little visible to show for a lot of work at a glance!

While I didn't do a direct before and after, here's the general area a couple of days ago before work really started beyond pulling off the worktops.



Here's where we left things today.



Prior to this working the oven was basically just floating. It was held in purely by the four screws in the surround (which in itself had about as much structural rigidity as silly string).

Step one for today was to remove the oven so I can get into the area behind it unhindered.

Step two was further carpentry to make the divider that separates it from the cupboard.



Again, this fitted with surprisingly little hassle...the only fettling that was needed was to make the cutout for the pipes a little deeper as I hadn't taken account for the fact that I had bent the gas lines for the hob and oven back a bit to keep them out of the way.

This then allowed me to locate a shelf beneath the oven for it to sit on, and to properly tie the front of the worktop frame to the wall of the van again. This was where I also discovered that it wasn't actually screwed onto the floor anywhere except for right at the one end. Once this had been corrected it actually felt sturdy for the first time ever. This is relevant as the oven is by far the biggest source of squeaks and rattles while driving, so anything I can do to reduce its ability to wobble and bounce independently of the van itself is to be taken advantage of.

After probably an hour of faffing around with the L shaped metal panels which I have to guess originally formed a box around the oven I ran out of patience. I have to assume that there was an additional piece or a load of battens or something that went with them that I just don't have. I decided to just use them to line the enclosure the oven was going to live in and call it good. I've no idea how they were originally used and I'm sorry if the designers see this and tear their hair out. One is mounted underneath the oven and to the rear, the other is to the front and left. The little strip left in the one corner has been covered with aluminium tape to offer a bit of thermal reflection too.



I think this is probably a bit overkill given the amount of heat that isn't chucked out of the back and sides of the unit (most of the output comes out of the vent below the control panel at the front), but I figure the more heat that's kept away from wood the better. The underside of the shelf which was then put in to close this area off (after leak-checking the reconnected gas line of course) was also foil lined.

The liner for the grill was then attached to the shelf - this shelf was reused from the original setup - I know it's what the liner was originally attached to as all the holes line up!



I've no idea what the rear of this was originally closed of with - if anything. I'm going to slot a piece of steel sheet in here though. Already have it marked out, just need to get the grinder out to cut it out. I'm planning to make a couple of plates to go over the top as well either side of the burner to keep the heat off the frame and keep it as completely enclosed as I can. Not going to make those until I've decided precisely where the hob assembly will sit as it will obviously affect the geometry. Just the fun and games of trying to make something that is designed to get hot with a frame out of what's essentially low grade plywood! The oven is pretty easy as it's inside a pretty well insulated metal box, the grill needs a bit more care taken, which means I need to do some metalwork.

That's where we left off today though.



Doesn't look like much for more or less a full afternoon of work does it!
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Old May 27 2020, 08:19 PM   #5390
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Only had an hour after dinner today, but as per my recently set out rules, I always want to get at least one thing on the to do list ticked off. So out we went.

Today I wanted to start getting the void in between the oven and the gas locker actually starting to look like a cupboard for the first time since I'd owned the van. This whole area was just an empty void when I got it.

Out with some high quality drafting materials for our template...



Which was then translated into actual material.



I have moved away from the chipboard now and will be using this laminated chipboard going forward. It's a lot stronger and cuts more cleanly. I didn't start out with this as I had yet to have confirmation that these panels were actually fair game to be used or I would probably have gone with this to start with.

This was then assembled into an actual shelf.



The battens along the front and rear edges serve a dual purpose of helping add a little additional rigidity to the shelf and also giving us an edge to prevent things from being able to fall off. Bearing in mind this *is* a van, so there's always the chance of things moving around in transit - even though I will be putting non-slip rubber matting on the shelves and the door will have the ability to be secured closed.

I will be adding a panel to cover most of the heater fuel tank (being careful of screw length - I'm aware that there are quite a few I need to cut back in this area as it is - nowhere local had anything shorter than 1" long in stock, so I just figured I'd spend half an hour with a Dremel trimming back some screws where necessary) to protect it, just leaving myself a "window" to observe the fuel level through. Another identical shelf will go in above this one, just above the fuel tank. As the door itself is quite narrow (about half the width of the opening here) it will be quite a black hole, so I will be fitting lighting in here so that you can actually find anything.

While it's a small thing it feels like quite a big step forward as it is the first time that this space has actually been starting to take shape. Feels like I am actually starting to put things back together now rather than pulling stuff to bits.
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Old May 28 2020, 09:35 PM   #5391
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Just a bit more progress today.

The seams around the panel above the fridge were sealed off with ally tape. There's a large vent to the outside open to the area below this panel so I wanted to make sure it was well draught proofed. I've found this aluminium self adhesive tape to be really good for this sort of job where no real mechanical strength is important.



It looks messy, but does a good job of sealing. I blocked off a couple of gaps in the floor and such when I first got the van and they were all still there fine a year and a half later when I removed it to put proper seam sealer in there.

The next shelf was made up and installed.



Yes, the bottom one is slightly off level. Not totally sure how I managed that given that I measured it three times. Easy fix though.

The framework for the cupboard door was added.



Then the gap between the door and the corner was panelled in.



Don't worry about the tiny gap in the corner. I'll be putting a little L shaped trim in there anyway.

So we actually have a proper cupboard now.



The grill has now been lined with foil tape for heat reflection. I was originally planning to fully panel this, but thinking about it a bit more, for all the time it will be running to heat up the odd piece of toast once every few years, it should be absolutely fine. I've done some experiments with the grill and the heat distribution from the burner is very directional and focused on the centre of the pan with very little actually reaching the sides. With the heat reflective foil on there, it will be absolutely fine I think. I may well still add some metal plates though...nothing to stop me from doing that later. I'm not holding up the rebuild of the kitchen on it anyway. We've been out with the van a few times so far and to be honest haven't missed the grill anyway so I don't mind if we need to come back to that.



Before I closed things up for the day I propped the new worktop material up on top of the cabinets. This gives a better idea of the finish on it than the earlier photos.



Should look nice I think. You can see how much thinner it is than the surface that was in here before looking at the gap under the panels by the water heater. That was cut back to allow the previous work surface to fit. It's a good 3/4" thinner.

The thinner top on there should mean I can actually properly reinstate the rear window lower trim. Previously this was all bent out of shape around the worktop as you can see here. This also meant that you couldn't use the fly screen on this window as there was no way to secure it in the lowered position.



...Which does a good job of highlighting how messily the work surface was installed and one of the many reasons I wanted to change them!

I'll need to find a new lower window channel trim as this one has been cracked in a few places, but that shouldn't be too hard.
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Old May 29 2020, 07:38 PM   #5392
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Seams around the gas locker have now been sealed and the grating has been refitted over the floor vent.



Obviously the top ones will be done once the worktop is in place.

After a search covering about 80% of the house I've managed to track down the wiring conduit and the connectors so I can get the tail light wiring in there tidied up. I also need to tidy things up a bit as there's a horrible goopy mess of sealant around some of the areas where the pipework passes into the locker...but we'll get there in due course. I'm having to fight the temptation to box the pipework in in the interests of tidiness, reminding myself that it's in the gas locker...you won't be able to see any of that once things are finished...I've gone for overkill as far as sealing things are concerned, even if that does mean it's messy.

Also installed the first of the cabinet lights. There will be one of these on each shelf in the cupboard.



This one however is positioned so I can see what I'm doing when connecting/disconnecting the gas cylinder and turning it on/off.

They're dirt cheap little LED things, but work well for occasional use applications like this. I think they're actually meant to be number plate lights, but are about 7,000 times too bright for that application really.

The switch will obviously be in the cabin, not having switches in the gas locker...
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Old May 30 2020, 07:38 PM   #5393
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Picking up where we left off yesterday it was time to start trial fitting things. At the very least I wanted to get the main chunk of the worktop into a position where I could have it in place as trying to work around a 2.5 metre long chunk of board on the floor in the back of the van was getting on my nerves. I also didn't want to have to try to get it *out* of the van again as it only just fit through the door.



I may well take the edge back a bit further yet, this is the full 600mm depth that the board was supplied in. There's a balance to be struck between floorspace, workspace and the edge of the worktop not getting in the way of accessing things below it. The one at the rear will have to be shallower so that the bathroom door can still be opened.

I think that this is *approximately* where things will be going.



That will leave the whole area at the rear of the van clear as a workspace. The sink isn't stuffed away awkwardly in the corner and nothing's situated in a way that will be a pain to hook up. I am finding myself tempted to take the opportunity to get rid of the convolute hose for the drain pipework while I've got a lot of things apart though. It doesn't flow well, Getting the joins water tight is an exercise in frustration and while it's not a problem I've had in this van I know it's prone to causing smelly drains as the ridges in the pipework tend to hold both soapy gunge and water - obviously of course there are no proper traps on the sinks here either which make that more likely to be an issue. I'd use waterless traps here anyway to reduce the odds of problems with freezing in the winter.

Before I finalise anything though I'm going to borrow Abby and see what she thinks. She's the most proficient and enthusiastic cook in the household so I'm happy to bow to her guidance on what will work best in terms of kitchen layout.

Once everything has been properly situated the worktop will be glued down to the framework in addition to the screws to hopefully reduce any potential for squeaks or rattles in the future.
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Old May 31 2020, 06:40 AM   #5394
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If I remember rightly: most caravan and boat worktops are 500mm deep. As are many in OAP dwellings: easier for the old dears to reach the back!
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Old May 31 2020, 04:22 PM   #5395
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Infected wisdom tooth & virus symptoms are about the same. I maybe lucky enough to have both. A week on meds & still not better. I got tested, no results yet.
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Old May 31 2020, 08:18 PM   #5396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
If I remember rightly: most caravan and boat worktops are 500mm deep. As are many in OAP dwellings: easier for the old dears to reach the back!
I'm pretty sure the original ones here would have been 500mm deep, which is why the hob was mounted sideways originally. I'm probably not going to take much off this though now I've thought about it. Though the corner needs a radius on it or that's going to murder knuckles and clothing. The extra depth should allow the hob to be fitted the right way around, that helps me to compact things towards the front of the van, which helps keep as much of the area across the back clear as the working area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mawra View Post
Infected wisdom tooth & virus symptoms are about the same. I maybe lucky enough to have both. A week on meds & still not better. I got tested, no results yet.
Oh that sounds nasty... really hope you're feeling better soon.

Even relatively low level pain can become pure torture when it's as inescapable as toothache can be. It's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. Well...some very special individuals now I think about it I might...

-- -- --

Moving on from yesterday the last bit of the worktop has been fitted.



The last bit was a lot more awkward as the gap it had to fit into was far from square.

Starting to look more like a room again.



Annoyingly the gas line for the water heater is now looks to be about 1/8" too short! So I'll probably need to cut it and add a coupler in there. Frustrating...but that's the way these things go sometimes.

Appliances going in will be the next thing on the list.
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Old Jun 1 2020, 12:11 AM   #5397
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Looking great!
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Old Jun 1 2020, 12:18 PM   #5398
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No virus. Just infected, impacted wisdom tooth.
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Old Jun 1 2020, 05:46 PM   #5399
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O I am so happy to read that Mawra !!!. Here in the Netherlands we can ask for a test now if we think we are infected.
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Old Jun 1 2020, 07:51 PM   #5400
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Here you HAVE to have the symptoms. It can be hard to get tested, even if you have some symptoms, if you're don't have a fever of 101 or higher, you're not going to get tested.
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