Sunday, 26 September 2010

Wiring continues...

With the esCarpade getting closer by the day, Damian headed up to the shed to get some of the fiddly wiring tasks sorted out. first up was soldering in the thick wire for the orange rotator...

After attempting to make the super-thick wire that was specially purchased fit, Damian gave up and returned it to the auto store, swapping it for the next size down (which fit much better into the plugs).

Next cab off the rank was to make a mount for the three fixed sockets - these will be permanently connected to the roof rack, with sockets for the lights inside Booger's head to be plugged in to. That way, Booger's head is removeable without having to unsolder anything!!

And ready for painting...

While the bracket was painting, Damian installed the button for the windscreen washers (after running the wire to it), and a fused positive wire to the cigarette lighter.

The bracket was dry - time to work on the sockets!

Of course, it wouldn't be a day working on Booger Mobile if there wasn't some debacle. One of the sockets self destructed while Damian was testing it - turns out that there was a slight misalignment of the holes from the factory. After several attempts and a few minor modifications with a really small drill bit, the plug fit the socket beautifully.

The below image shows the results of all the wires that were sorted out today for the plugs and sockets...

Wiring is such a fiddly task, it was disappointing that Damian didn't manage to get more wiring completed - however it should simply be a case of hooking it all together, running the wires back to the fuse box and switches, then installing the lights into and onto Booger's head joining the appopriate sockets onto them!! After that, plug into the sockets and they should all work!!

Sounds simple when you say it quickly!!

Damian is away at Camp Quality Senior Camp this coming week, so there won't be any blog updates until Friday. Have a great week!!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Up on jack stands (again), but the head's started!!

Saturday rolled around (as it does with startling regularity) and Damian was getting all geared up for a day working on Booger Mobile without Scottie, who was going to be working on his Hilux... Then a message arrived from Scottie saying that he would be down to work on Booger Mobile instead!! Woohoo!!

First job of the day was to get the harnesses fitted. Should just bolt straight in, right? lolsigh...

Time for Scottie to climb into the boot to see how easy it's going to be to locate the backing plates and drill the necessary holes...

A debacle of course!! The subwoofer needed to be moved, but of course it's screwed in through the back of behind the rear seat... not to worry, a slight levering motion was sufficient to extract the screws from the wooden case...

The drilling could then commence!

These are the seat-belt spacers that are being used to get the rear straps to sit on a nicer angle due to the rear seat being higher than the parcel shelf.

This is where the fun began... of course, the bolts that come with the seatbelts were far too short, but there were other bolts that had been purchased earlier for just such an occasion... of course they were slightly too short also, so the boys headed off with shopping list in hand (including new bolts).

Naturally, they couldn't get hold of the exact bolts they required, so they got the next nearest size. Of course, this was ever so slightly larger, meaning the bolts no longer fit through the spacers... Time for Scottie to break out the drill and angle grinder!!

The first couple drilled out slightly rounder no problems... the next two wouldn't drill out at all - probably due to the slightly different style that they were, so Scottie drilled out some taller spacers before using the angle grinder to cut them to the correct length...

Damian then used fake chrome in a can to make them look shiny!!

There they are, lined up nicely along the rear parcel shelf...

And with harnesses attached!!

With that job finished, Scottie moved on to the mounting of the external oil cooler that Damian had previously made a bracket for...

This little shower-cap for the air cleaner is called a K&N Precharger, which is basically a washable pre-filter for the air cleaner.

This is the result of some cutting that Scottie was doing - pretty isn't it!!

This it the top bracket that Scottie made up. It's a work of art, really!

Scottie was back in the boot putting a few finishing touches on and getting a pic of the backing plate, when Damian heard a muffled cry for help... Seems Booger Mobile had attempted to eat Scottie!!

And here are the backing plates... beautiful!!

Scottie testing out the harnesses... They adjust up perfectly, and are very comfortable!

Serious Scottie with a close up of the harness.

Silly Scottie posing with the air freshener, because it has a smiley face on it!!

After his brief modelling stint, Scottie returned to installing the external oil cooler... Damian assisted with a nut that didn't want to play nicely...

Before moving on to painting the frame of the back half of Booger's head white. The shade cloth that Damian bought to cover it in is off white, so the white frame should be nicely hidden!!

Lunch time arrived, and Scottie decided he would try out one of the Aqualager's supplied by Silver Sponsor Aqualogical.

After lunch, it was back to the external oil cooler...

While Damian investigated why the horn had ceased working. Turns out the old relay had packed it in, however the connections for the relay were in a triangle configuration, so Damian got a new relay and made some double ended wires to connect them all through to the new relay.

Meanwhile, Scottie was cutting some old rubber hose with the angle grinder, creating far more smoke than the picture below shows!!

After that was completed, Scottie jacked up Booger Mobile and removed the rear leaf springs. Even though the heavy duty Lovell's springs were brand new, the boys are going to get them reset to add an extra 50mm to the height at the rear (that's 2 inches to you non-metric people)!!

After having a minor shorting out issue with the horn relay (honestly, what kind of bad design has the positive in at the rear of the plug, right were it touches the bolt holding the clip onto the negatively earthed car???), Damian rewrapped it, adding an extra few layers of protection and changing the bolt to a smaller one.

He even used the nice Booger green electrician's tape that Kane from Kerbside Car Sound left for the boys to use!

Damian then moved back onto the fire extinguisher mount. Here he is angle grinding... there are a pair of safety glasses somewhere under all that hair!!

The height that Booger Mobile is sitting at in this picture is about 100mm higher at the rear than it was... the springs are only going to be adjusted by 50mm, so it will be a bit lower than this, but hopefully there will be a noticeable increase in ground clearance at the back!!

Scottie went home at this point, taking the rear leaf springs with him. He will get them dropped off to the spring resetters up near where he lives, ready to put them back in next weekend!!

Damian painted the front half of Booger's head with the white paint.

And continued with the fire extinguisher mount. Camp Quality esCarpade rules state that there must be an extinguisher that can be reached by both driver and navigator.

This shot gives a good indication of just how much extra clearance there is (while jacked up).

And a pic of the installed external oil cooler.

Damian painted some bits for holding on the fire extinguisher mount...

And once they were dry, the fire extinguisher was installed!!

With the fire extinguisher installed and the kids in bed, Damian moved the back half of Booger's head to the lounge room along with the shade cloth, to see how it might work.

Ably assisted by his beautiful wife Tricia, Damian decided the best way was to start with a semi-circle and see how that goes!! First, mark out a semi-circle!!

Cut it out and drape it over the frame to see how it fits!!

Start by attaching the top middle.

Then pull tight and attach the bottom middle... Then continue around the bottom of the frame to the upright - this is where the gathering of the spare material will happen!

A bit more thinking and stretching to see how it all works...

Then sew down from the top middle to the bottom.

Sew back along the bottom towards the back, then pull the material tight and fold over so that it follows the vertical frame. This will be hidden by clever painting later!!

And after two hours of painful stretching and hand stitching, half of the back half of Booger's head (ie: a quarter of a circle) was completely sewn!!

This is the easy half too!! Hopefully the next part of it will be even easier... then there's the front half, which is going to be very interesting indeed!!

You may note that Scottie didn't take Booger Mobile home tonight... He had decided that it was best to follow the advice given regarding the front shims not being correct on the outer tie-rod ends - this advice was basically not to drive Booger Mobile until the problem was corrected. Damian will take the outer tie-rod end to the engineer on Monday morning on the way to the bus stop (Camp Quality Senior Camp is on this coming Monday to Friday), so that he can use it to measure up for the new shims.

The list had several items ticked off it today, but also had a bunch of things added... some days it seems the boys are busy all day, but the list is busier!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

The debacles continue...

Well, it's been an interesting day or two at Team Booger Mobile headquarters...

Debacles galore with Booger Mobile - sent it away to have a wheel alignment only to find that the special shims that were purchased to adapt between XM (outer tie rod end) and XD (stub axle) didn't work, and the wheel alignment can't be completed until that is rectified, and the advice was not to actually drive Booger Mobile at all...

After much chasing around, Damian found that the only option at this late stage of the game was to have custom shims engineered - so Damian pulled one of the outer tie rod ends off Booger Mobile and one from the XD falcon for comparison, and took them to a local engineering firm.

The engineer wanted to keep both tie rod ends so he could ensure the shims fit perfectly, however this would have meant that Booger Mobile was not able to be driven, and not wanting Scottie to miss out on his turn with Booger Mobile while Damian is at camp the coming week, Damian took the outer tie rod end back again to reinstall. Apparently the custom shims are going to be quite expensive... Damian's response was "I guess it all depends what you call expensive!!" lolsigh...

Nothing else worth blogging about tonight, other than the excitement is all but gone right at this point in time - nothing like a bit of added stress with under 3 weeks to go!!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Vibration fix and new headlight!

Tuesday rolled around, and Damian had to go onsite to work, but when he returned home, Booger Mobile was waiting to be worked on. Tasks for tonight were to try to resolve the busted driver's front window (again), remove the new bracket that the boys put on on Sunday as it was causing some geometry issues for the transmission, and making an awful vibration and noise, fix the headlight, and anything else that doesn't take too long!

There is also one startling piece of news to share - Damian measured the distance travelled and the litres of fuel used while driving around on Monday, and it turns out that Booger Mobile is currently performing at an ATTROCIOUS 23 litres per 100km. This is insanely high, and indicates that something's not right.

Damian noticed on Monday while Booger Mobile was up on jack stands that the front wheels didn't spin freely - it actually took two hands to rotate them. Scottie suggested this is possibly an indication that the brake calipers on the front need reconditioning... Damian will drop Booger Mobile to a brake shop in the near future to get that resolved... more money flying out the door!!

First job tonight was to remove the underbody protection plate, as it's in the way of the bracket Damian needed to remove!! Once all the nuts and bolts were removed...

Damian painted them black!!

He also took the opportunity to remove the door trim etc and look into why the window kept dropping it's winder track...

Here's the underbody protection plate removed - an easy job even for one person!

Headlight repair going on - because Damian noticed on Monday that the driver's side headlight had blown it's low beam...

Works a treat now though!!

With the new headlight installed, Damian took Booger Mobile for a test drive - the geometry of the transmission shifter was greatly improved, and the vibration and noise was gone!!

He took the opportunity to check and tighten the sump bolts on both the engine and the transmission (the transmission ones were particularly loose - they probably vibrated loose on Monday), before reinstalling the underbody protection plate!

This last shot is for Scottie, and shows the gap between the engine sump and the underbody protection plate... about 10-15mm.

The list of tasks doesn't seem to be getting any smaller, but some items are being crossed off... problem is, new items are being added at the same time!!