108: Sunday 24th January 2010

No football training on Saturday as my daughter was ill, but every time I went to do something I started coughing again. Rubbish week! Today I felt a bit better, but still coughing a bit, I decided to push on and get some work done. First job to check out the power steering cooler pipe. I jacked the front of the car up, got my lead light and no sooner had I got on the floor to look, it started raining. I got out my rain cover and set it all up just in time for the rain to stop, go figure! The cooler pipe was absolutely rotten. I found that to renew this I will need to remove the front bumper. For now I re-routed the pipes and by-passed the cooler. I put the last of the fluid that I had into the reservoir, but it was not enough to fill it. It was too late in the day to get some more as the shops were then shut. Next job to replace the brake vacuum pump. When I took the vac pump off I realised how difficult it was to get to the nuts from under the brackets, as I had to remove the Anderson connector from the bracket. When I put the pump back, I put the bolts through from underneath and fixed them with a nut so there were 4 threads sticking up for the pump to drop on to. This was much easier to fit going back on. I re-fitted the Anderson connector and connected up the pipes to the vac pump. I had the vacuum gauge on the T piece and linked out the vacuum switch connection to see how much vacuum was being pulled. This was now pulling down to 20 inches mercury (0.065 MPa). The old pump would only pull 15 inches mercury this is the minimum needed for a good brake. So I removed the vacuum gauge and fitted the vacuum switch to the T piece and wired the switch connections. When I powered this up, the pump ran for about 15 seconds then cut-out as expected. When I pressed the brake pedal it took about 3 seconds to recharge the brakes. The switch is set to come on when the vacuum drops below 15 inches mercury and go off when 20 inches mercury is reached. This is what is happening. I routed everything and secured the pipe clips then had a quick run up-and-down the drive and the brakes feel really good (especially since the rear brakes are worn out). I also switched on the power steering and the for the first time I was able to get back on the driveway in one go as I could actually steer the car. I believe the 12v battery is dead or dying as it is not holding a charge. The power steering pump has quite a heavy current demand on the 12v system when the car is stationary. I will try this again when I have it topped-up with fluid. Finally I turned the car round and jacked up the back end of the car. I then removed the rear brake discs, pads and calipers. I will be putting new discs and pads on the rear. I had new ones on the front not so long ago. I am having the calipers checked to see if they are serviceable. The left caliper had the hand brake jammed on for quite some time. I hope it can be released or else I will need to replace the calipers as a pair. This is an expense I can do without, but there can be no compromise on the brakes. I shall receive the DC-DC converter on Friday. I got a friend in America to buy me a ceramic heater and send it to me. I should receive this some time this week. Next weekend I will need to remove the interior to get to the heater again, so I can fit the new heater ceramic core. The reason I had to get a friend to send me one was because I cannot buy 120v ceramic core in this country (for a reasonable price) and what I can get is a 240v ceramic core or a 110v infra-red heater, but this would melt the heater box. The 240v heater I have now just does not give enough heat when connected to 120v. I worked this out to be 375 watts, but with the new heater I should get about 1500 watts of heat. This should be nice and toasty, but more importantly it will keep the windscreen clear. After this I just need to get the windscreen replaced and I am all done. I can feel it getting closer now.

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