Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Puffin Ahoy

The newly refurbished brake master cylinder arrived at work by fedex yesterday. Luckily I had a nice early finish and was home by 5. Despite the wind and rain I got under and two filthy, cold, wet and extremely uncomfortable hours later it was back in position. The brakes system will need a few tweeks but it's all good now. So it's Cosmic Puffin here we come.

I bought the roof of an old marquee (30x15 feet) of very heavy duty canvas with eyelets in all the right places. Along with some willow poles and rope this will make an awesome awning.

Toby, Ramjac, Himeko, and I will be playing some music during the day and I will be doing some video projections in the psychedelic rock tent in the evenings. We are also going to launch the Lilac Fur Band with a totally unrehearsed jam at some point during the weekend. This will be Toby, Ramjac and me on guitar, drums and various electronic devices. I've packed a tambourine, cow bell and finger piano too.

The whole thing will come under the banner (literally) of aHulaBula sound system. The banner being something I made at the weekend with some spray paint and a strip of vinyl off cut from a huge billboard at what used to be The Millenium Dome.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Lights and lining

Being the first day if nice weather this year I spent a few hours fitting the lovely new chrome spotlights. As often happens with Althea, two things from completely different sources just fit together as if they were made for eavhither. In this case I had taken a chance on some yellow plastic covers for the lights which have a logo designed to look like a smiley face. Fully expecting to have to persuade them to fit I tried them for size and "click" they just fitted perfectly.

Now that the windscreen doesn't leak and the weather us dryer I can start to finish fur lining the cab. I managed yi get the passenger side done and it's looking great.

No good photos yet but here's one I took on my phone last night.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Give us a brake 2

Brake master cylinder

This is what I spent half my weekend, (ending up in a 4 hour session on my back under the ambulance, so cold that when I hit my thumb with the hammer I didn't feel it) extracting. It's the reason my brakes totally failed last week. Luckily there wasn't any traffic coming when I rolled out into the main road.

I would have a look, decide it was too big a job, go back inside, have a think about it, go back out and try again, until I eventually went for it. This is without a doubt the hardest job I have done on Althea. Though it may seem relatively small it was extremely uncomfortable

Tools used, three sockets, one worn nut extractor socket, one hammer, three screwdrivers, one socket set ratchet handle extender, one adjustable spanner, one pair goggles (brake fluid and eyes don't mix), one torch, one can WD40, one pair snipe nosed pliers (now broken).

I had to chip, scrape, dig and spray through 42 years of rust, grease and dirt to get to it. Once I'd got to where it should have just slid out I was up against the fact that the new floor had been welded into the way.

Hopefully that's the hard part done. I've traced a couple of places on the Internet who could have it in stock as a replacement part. If not then I will try sending it to the guy who refurbished the rest of the brake system.