Special Effects Ahoy!

Well, it has been a long time hasn’t it? I know I should probably update this page more often, but since it has a staggering readership of like, one person ( hello Dad ) I suppose that it probably doesn’t matter too much if I don’t.

Still it has been a busy month or three within the world of Petro so I suppose I should start by winding back teh clock to where the last update occured.

Please note: I am currently quite hard up, and so I cannot afford any special effects for this miraculous attempt at time travel, so if you could bear with me and try to imagine some I’d be gratefull, I dunno if you could imagine that the screen went all fuzzy and wobbled like the camera man was drunk for a while then perhaps it would help….

Wow! wasn’t that a particularly good special effect, and it has placed us right back here when I was doing the last update, golly I think I had more hair back then, or back now, or whatever.

Ian has by this point gracously welded on my new dumb iron, (which means that the motor has temporarily developed a little list to one side till the spring settles, I have discovered that some complete berk of a flaming numpty dullard has replaced one of my outer wings with a fiberglass replacement ( I don’t know who, but the fact it is held on with Alan-key bolts is raising at least one suspisiohn ) oh, and my exhaust has finally given up the ghost.

I Descide to buy a replacement for the rear section, pre MOT so that it should have one less thing to fail on.

Swapping the exhast went without any real hitch, it being a case of bending yourself into a spendifoursly daft shape under the motor and attempting to unloosen bolts, which are clearly not designed to be unbolted. Clearly the exhaust has been attached for quite some time, a suspicous lack of welding and alan-key bolts lead me to suspect it has at least survived it’s two previous owners.

It is at this time that I spot *why* my gearbox has been more rattly than usual. I have had a little experience with the gearbox mounts falling appart, and therfore having a slight gap between the gearbox and the gearbox cross member. So I thought I should have a look and see if this had happened again. The engine also looses power going uphill, another sure sign that something is wrong with a mount, as the entire drivetrain moves a little and increases friction and so on when pointing in daft directions ( i.e. upwards ).

No problem there really, the gearbox is fastened quite steadily onto the gearbox cross member.

Of course the gearbox cross member is hanging some two inches shy of the chassis, but it is firmly bolted onto the gearbox. Anyhow, I place a trolly jack under the crossmemeber and lift it up to somewhere approaching the correct position and raid Ians scrap metal collection (and borrow his welder, since I am at Ians) to patch up the hole and re-attach the crossmember.

This all goes reasonably well, although it does remind me that the chassis on Petro has to a greater or lesser extent seen better days. Guess I should start saving up really.

Anyhow, Petro then goes for his MOT, which he promptly fails because the brakes are shit. I am reasonably happy about this, as it means nothing else is shagged too badly. But partly annoyed as well since this is the type of thing you really should notice. You’d be amazed at how bad the things can get without you actually spotting it, especially *if* the change is gradual.

Still, Tatty is up for the weekend, and Ian is as always a helpfull fella so we bleed the brakes, and adjust the master cylinder stop so that the pedal presses against the piston when you press it, rather than about half way down as it had been before.

Petro passes, with the brakes being as the bloke says “an improvement” anyhow, another 12 months tax is aquired and much jubilation abounds.

Petro is now MOT’d and so on, but there are as always still one or two niggles. The main one being that the back door has no handle, this is a slight problem as it means I can only open the blasted thing from inside, which is not entirely nice. Billing is coming up and I decide, in my own subtle way that I might try and do something about this down there, where I can by all likelyhood find bits and bobs to make it easier….

Petro doesn’t go to billing. I come to the rather obvious conclusion that I would rather spend the twenty brazillion pounds ( I know that’s not a number, but it should be, it sounds like one ) on fuel on various bits and bobs for Petro.

On a strange, and remarkable note, I actually find the bits that I was looking for, even if Susan’s shopping list leaves everyone baffled. ( have you ever tried to find “bucket seats which are wide enough to fit my fat arse” ? you should try it’s fun ;) ) Sadly I also spend a theoretical brazillion spondoolies ( see it should be a number ) on various bits and bobs. It does answer a lot of long term questions, where am I going? what am I doing? what is happening to petro and all the rest of it.

Current plan is to pay off all the debts I aquired as a student, half inch a nice towny drivey / go to work motor off Colin, and then to rebuild Petro at my ( or probably susan’s ) leasure, with new chassis, bulkhead, rollcage etc. Going for the straight S2 – S2 replacements where possible. This should mean that a) Petro remains 100% legal. b) will be playable in and c) should allow me to be happy with a fully fledged S2 playmobile whilst potentially having to drive to work on a daily basis ( which the 2.25 petrol is hardly suited for )

Anyhow that’s the long term plan, as to what might actually become of any of it is uncertain. The only thing that is likely is that both the details and the order are likely to change.

Anyhow back to the now ( well actually back to the past narative, remember it was the one with the really fancy special effect on the intro )

I have a replacement handle for the rear door ( the old one got accidentily removed when I drove out of the garage with the tailgate up. Father still hasn’t noticed the dent in the top of the up and over garage door, but I can also not open the door from the outside.
Anyhow, I also have a spare rear top tailgate, so strip it down and get it ready to fit the new lock and so on, prior to taking the old one off ( no fool me ).
Stripping it down is easy, things usually are with powertools, putting it back together prooves more entertaining however. Basically ( to those who don’t know ) locking mechanism ( which houses the arse end of the handle ) is held to the back door via some pretty little rivet thingies. No real problem, and the drill took them out with ease.

I now need to re-attach it.

Simple thinks I, pop-rivet it back on and the jobs a good one.

Would be simple says I, ‘cept I haven’t got any pop-rivets big enough.

Well, it is sunny, I shall for a walk goeth, on an adventure towards yonder shopping center ponder.

Yonder Shopping center has the following.

  • 1 Sainsburys
  • A homebase
  • A halfords
  • other shops that sell clothes and things that don’t require petrol / electricity and which are by definition boring

What it doesn’t have is a shop that sells what I need.

Homebase was my first port of call ( the switches of much shiteness from a previous chapter having put my off other place ) and low and behold they have an entire range of fastenings for all sorts of occasions. Plaster Board Screws, Wood Nails, Masonary Screws, Duck-Tape, Eliphant tape, you name it, they have it.

What they fail to sell in packets that do not include a 20quid rivet gun is rivets.

This annoys me a little, and I spend a good five or ten minutes fuming about a world that makes me walk five miles because of excessive petrol prices to a shop where the purchasers can envisage a situation where I would need to attach the largest known non seabound mammal to a webfooted facist and then dangle both of them from a plasterboard roof which is in turn supported on a brick wall, and strenghened by large quantaties of two-by-four ( which I also notice you have to buy in metric lenghts ?!?!? ) but CANNOT picture ANYONE wanting to attach two peices of metal WITHOUT buying a damn rivet gun!!!

After a good fume, a short rant, and a rather vivid attack of imagination, I descide to try the other shop. Now my experience with this certain company are not, shall we say successful.. Indeed they are usually as successfull at keeping me happy as a BT employee is on a Turin test. But, never being one to hold a grudge, ( or at least, forever being one who won’t let a good grudge get in the way of looking for more ammunition to back it up untill it becomes the mother of all grudges…. ) I potter in and see if they have any.

Now, to be honest, I kinda thought that they would have what I needed, which I should iterate at this point was eight ( i.e. not the largest quantity ) of short ( or long, or medium ) 4mm rivets. I was a little miffed when it transpired that they only had three mil rivets, although this wasn’t as miffed as I got when I asked a sales assistant and got told that he failed to understand why anyone would want a FOUR millimeter rivet. This level of miffedosity was replaced, very rapidly when a different assistant told me that a three millimeter rivet would work in a four millimeter hole, as it would expand out to fill the gap.

Shortly after demonstrating that a three quarter inch bicycle pump didn’t expand to fill the hole he was talking out of, and the relative comparisons between it an a rivet I descided to go home, and never lighten their doors again ( untill I need oil / that rather sexy looking LED torch )

Next day comes along and I descide, that since Susan hasn’t the required parts either that I should pop out to a rivet retailing place ( formally known as B&Q ) and should pop into Borders to top up the Rankin collection ( this is a bookshop ) and then watch a flick while I’m at it.

B and Q ( what do those letters stand for ? ) have rivets a plenty, admittedly they are kept with “tools” rather than with, “fasteners” where any sane person would put them, but staff in these places are rarely sane ( most of them try to stir wood and have paint cut to length, don’t they H ? ) so this comes as no real shock.

It’s about this time that I also descide that the “I’ve jsut finished a shortish blast down a motorway so I’m going to stall” antics of Petro are getting annoying, as is the habit of coasting upto Craighill roundabout with the motor in first, and the clutch down ready to bump start the blooming thing. ( I can’t reach the ignition with the seatbelt on)
So I order a new carb….