Le Mans or Bust

Archive for the 'Technical' Category

Further Progress

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

The bulb holder that was inside the sign is totally shot, probably due to the bulb heat and fire.

True to the spirit of Dyk I have shoe-horned in a 12v neon tube from an old light in there. Its a very snug fit although I’m going to look at popping some sort of padding to reduce the risk of it breaking during the journey (bubble wrap, the tube shouldn’t get hot right ?)

The light can run off any working 12v we find, or from the cigarette adapter as we shouldnt need the laptop running much.
I popped in the the old taxi sign and lit it up, it looks great even if I do say so myself.


Sign Progress

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

My first major task was getting the thing apart, years of outdoor exposure had left all the main bolts holding the thing together completely rusted solid.

I decided to cut my losses and drill out the bolts, not something i’ve ever done before but I got away with all my limbs and vital organ still intact.

This left me with the following heap of pieces, including the original burnt out taxi sign behind the mysterious filthy yellow plastic.


I’m pretty convinced this isn’t Dyks original taxi sign, the bolts that secure it to the roof are not in the original holes and more importantly under the layer of tatty black paintwork its clearly from one of those burgandy coloured taxis, you can just about make it out if you squint at this picture.


I invested in a sanding flap wheel and quickly got rid of most of the loose paint and rust (admitted onto the spare bedroom floor much to my taxi widows dismay)

Then today I got busy with the spray paint and gave it all a lovely new shiny coat of black


A belated update

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

A brief run-down of Saturday’s achievements following on from what Chris has said was roughly as follows:

  1. Finally fixed the air intake (for the moment)
  2. Tightened the alternator belt
  3. Secured the wing bolts (to make sure the off-side front one stays attached)
  4. Fixed the door handles so they now open from the inside.  Not exactly an OEM solution mind you, but it worked perfectly and only cost £1.50.
  5. Removed part of the dashboard to replace blown bulbs and investigate wiper.
  6. Re-positioned speaker on rear parcel shelf to provide in-car ents once wired in.
  7. Vacuumed the inside (including the last kg or so of broken glass from inside the doors.
  8. The ‘For Hire’ and ‘Taxi’ signs have been removed for working on separately.

 It wasn’t all wonderful however, as we still have:

  1.  The wiring.  Put in by a sensless simian using handfuls of random wires linked to whatever could be found.  The off-side headlight just shouldn’t work!  It’s not possible!  But it does, so I’ll leave it alone
  2. The radio.  It was working in the morning, but now has no power.  Hmmm….
  3. The near-side windscreen wiper.  The cause has been established, as the arm is shot and not gripping the spindle.  After a couple of attempted bodges, I think we need a new arm….
  4. Did I mention the wiring?  There’s more to that than a simple statement would have you believe…
  5. The Supercharger.  Strangely enough, no-one else seems keen on this….

A Successful Day - Part 2

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Further to Chris’ post on yesterday afternoon’s work, we managed to achieve a few good things all over:

  • The air intake pipe is now fitted, although the top speed has subsequently gone down (see below), possibly because there’s a slight kink in the new pipe. More investigation required….
  • The near side headlight now functions properly, thanks to Phil and Chris’ sterling effort.
  • The near side wiper now functions(ish) following Ian’s judicious use of molegrips.
  • The near side front wing is now actually attached properly (see left hand photo in Chris’ post below)
  • The drivers’ seat is comfortable! Probably because the bottom of it was taken out and replaced with that from a Hyundai, which does make the driving position slightly higher, but I’m a short-arse, so that’s quite beneficial.
  • The partition between driver and passenger has been removed to allow us to actually talk to each other en-route.

All in all, pretty good, and if it keeps coughing up money at this rate we’ll be rich!

It also has has a wash and coat of polish for the first time in its life, and looked so good, that I gatecrashed Tadcaster car show in it today. There was plenty of fancy metal there, but it got its fair share of attention, especially when I mentioned the plan to take it to Le Mans… While there I aquired some 1″ x 2.5″ union flag stickers to go on the wings (photos to follow), and a steering wheel cover to replace the monstrosity that was on there before (mmm…fake walnut formed from plastic.)

I think the door mechanisms might have to be the next priority, as I’m getting tired of opening the driver’s door from the outside…

Clean!Top Speed.jpg

It lives!

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

I took a trip out tonight, to grab the battery and charge it up before Saturday, but my impatience meant that I had to try and jump start it from the Audi instead.

Confession time:  There is a fuel primer, but not a self primer as on the Audi.  Hidden in the grime on the top of the fuel filter (alright, alright, it was obvious but I didn’t see it) was a large black button.  Once pumped repeatedly, it primes the fuel filter and the lines, and then DYK started first turn of the key.  That’s the new thing I’ve learned for the day, although I still feel like an amateur.

Once out and running, a top speed of 60mph was obtained…after about a mile on the flat with my foot to the floor.  It doesn’t sound like it’s revving overly highly, so I shall check that the throttle cable is properly adjusted come Saturday.  Also, I now have the ducting for the air intake, so you never know, we might yet obtain 61mph!

Donor Vehicle

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

My brother-in-law is very good at breaking cars. There’s a Hyundai Accent on my mother-in-law’s drive thats been there for over three years rotting into the tarmac.

Tom and Orde came to Redcar one weekend and we proceeded to take it apart to see if we could fix it. (More for fun that with any real intention of fixing it.)

We knew we wouldn’t manage when we found a six inch hole in the side of the engine where a broken piston had punched through it. Anyway, this means there’s a car full of spares just sat there ready to use. The wrong car admittedly but lets forget that for the moment.

I have extracted the stereo and four speakers and I’m going back tonight to try and get as much of the stereo wiring out as I can with resorting to my mate Stanley (the knife).

I think I could easily have a pop at getting the rear wiper motor out, no idea if it will fit but what the heck: I dont have any other plans.

Dyk is a bit underdeveloped in the drivers seat department, I’m going to try to unbolt the whole Hyundai seat from the floor and take it along to York on Saturday.

Posting on the move

Monday, April 24th, 2006

A short message to test whether i can add posts via my mobile phone.

Satnav works.

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Those nice people at Maplin sold me a cigarette lighter adapter for the laptop, and the Satnav works like a dream, so thats my first task completed.

Looking forward to seeing the taxi for the first time on Saturday, when hopefully I can pick up the challenge of the stereo/headlights/taxi sign.

I’ve got a little list…

Monday, April 24th, 2006

…they’ll most of them be missed probably, but I couldn’t resist the chance to quote G&S.

There’ll be tinkering next weekend, and so far I have the following to look at with the help of Matt, Chris, Phil , Ian, hell…whoever’s about.

1) Get my DYK started (did you see what I did there) by ensuring a fully charged battery, a primed fuel filter, and double checking that the glow plugs (at £40 a set) are not causing any starting difficulties.

2) The headlight. Hopefully just a matter of a bad earth, and after cleaning off some verdigris, all will be well.

3) The wiper. This is a dashboard out job, and apparently, if it’s anything like a Series 2 Landrover from which the mechanism is half-inched, a complete swine of a job.

4) The rust-proofing work (Matt, you’re doing a sterling job, keep it up!)
5) The stereo (but I’ll leave that to Chris I think)

6) The TAXI light

7) The sponsorship (although that’s really one for the week and not of paramount importance. We’re doing it anyway for fun, but if anyone wants to give us money/parts/stuff in exchange for 2000 miles of mobile advertising to some of the most enthusiastic car owners in Europe, then do let us know)

.I've see tidier balls of spagetti

Blimey, I’ve seen more well ordered bowls of pasta, and, I’m not sure if I should be worried or not by the presence of a fire extinguisher…

Obstacles are only there to be destroyed

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

The “ghetto satnav” system is now fully jury rigged and operational.

Technical problems and solutions for geeks and spods :-

Fooling Autoroute into thinking it’s installing from a CDROM when you don’t have a CDROM - MagicISO and DaemonTools.

Fooling Autoroute into using a signal from a Fortuna GPSmart which uses a fixed non-standard baud rate - Franson GPSGate.

Although in the end I ditched the Fortuna which is horribly unreliable and keeps turning itself off in favour of my Garmin Geko 201 which has a cigarette lighter power lead of its own too..

And there I am, at my house ! The next challenge is to take it out and let it direct me as a test.

Ghetto Satnav

J885 DYK