A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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22 February 2014

Being Helpful.

When I came back from Spain, my computer, despite all manner of inducements, refused to boot up. I went to PC World and bought a new tower - an expense I could have done without. I've used Windows XP for years; it's been excellent and, although I'd heard that XP was now effectively defunct, nothing prepared me for the nonsense that is Windows 8. I downloaded the update to 8.1 which allowed me to get something on the screen that I at least recognised. At the same time, ICANN, the organisation which seems to control domain names, decided to get everyone with a .com domain to re-register their contact details on Whois. Naturally, I hadn't a clue that this was happening so, after losing my address book on the old computer, I'd now lost all email comms and my domain was shut down. 3 days later, I've got comms back and I've come down from the ceiling.

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There was no two ways about it; the door had to be moved. I thought I might get away with it but I couldn't; the cockpit coaming was going to look like a dog's breakfast with the door where it was. Fortunately, I hadn't yet cut the top longeron so, all I had to do was,

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put in a new door post, suitably braced and,

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remake the door. Actually, I'm glad I've done it because I've made a better job of it this time round. The picture above shows what the problem was; the coaming was going to curve round on top of the door and stick out too far when the door was opened, By moving the door back about 6", everything will be flush. It's made less room between the front of the seat and the door post so getting in might be slightly less easy but, old cars are almost always awkward in this respect. The wing support (bolted to the chassis) that was to double as the step, was rather handily placed to pick up the gearbox support bolts which just happened to be below the middle of the door in the old configuration. I'll have to re-jig all that now and drill some new holes in the chassis a few inches further back - something I didn't really want to do.

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During the thinking time, I did a bit of wiring. I started with some of the stuff on the panel - the two cockpit lights are connected and switched and then I moved on to the alternator and starter motor.

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That was all very straightforward and while I was messing about on the floor, I sorted out a throttle return spring.

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By this time I was getting quite enthusiastic about wiring - something I generally haven't the foggiest about - and I got the horn out.

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After repairing the trumpet I hooked it up to the battery to see if it worked. It does, and rather well. It made Counsel jump!

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One little extra I've put behind the seats and that might come in handy is a 12v power supply. A Satnav can be used in emergencies and an inverter can, from time to time, accommodate other small accessories Miss X might consider essential - hair driers, phone chargers and whatnot.

Unlike the clowns who dreamt up Windows 8, I'm at least trying to be helpful.

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