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Reasons to be cheerful part seven

Sorry for my rather slim postings of late but I have been quite distracted by a bad trot in the back department,  a problem with my sports car and well just feeling a bit down over all.

To deal with the last first there are times when chronic pain just gets you down and no mater how well you have intellectualised that you have the right stoic attitude so that you can endure and still find purpose and meaning in your life it does not take much to tip you onto the unwelcome slippery slide. this time it was being told that I had to get a pain specialist to give me the tick of approval for the continuing prescription for Norspan patches, so like a good patient I duly contacted the pain clinic and after some weeks I got a letter back telling me that they did not want me to be a patient there. The upside is that  I have discovered that all I need is the approval of a second GP to continue to get the medication. I know very well that there has to be adequate controls on S8 drugs however its not as if I am asking for self injectable morphine here. Worse still though is the feeling of vulnerability you have when it looks like the medication that you need may suddenly become unavailable to you. Simply put its a worry I could well do without. It will probably surprise no one that as a consequence  it feel even more disgust and disdain for recreational users of opiates because its their propensity to lie cheat and steal that have made such control measures  a necessary impedimenta to those who have a real medical need to use this class of drugs.

My sports car  has been running like a total dog lately and it to has been doing my head in. There is a problem with the fuel injection system that means it just refuses to run smoothly and it just keeps cutting out and refusing to run at all  well above idle. I have tried mucking ar0und with the  the throttle position sensor as broken wires (since fixed) caused similar symptoms but  that has not solved the problem. It could be a wiring fault elsewhere but the complexity of the wiring from the donor car is mind bogglingly horrible. After much thought I have decided to seek a rather radical solution by going totally retro in the fuel delivery department which will mean that I can have an amazingly simple wiring loom in the car .  to make this happen I have just bought a Nissan N15 engine (the whole car for $100!) that will mate up to my transmission the same as my N16 motor does but instead of  a computer triggered ignition system it has a camshaft driven distributor  to provide the sparks. on the intake side I am going to completely remove the EFI manifold and replace it with the twin Carbs off a  91 Honda civic this will necessitate me having to make or modify an inlet manifold. My plan is to make a new manifold in steel because I can weld steel and fabricate the whole thing myself without having to shell out hard earned cash  to have it made in aluminium. This should not be that hard to do I will just have to cut two flange plates from 4mm sheet and then cut and shape the four tubes from each port to meet with the two carb throats . Living in Queensland there will be no real need to provide an coolant supply to the manifold and as my braking system is not  boosted I won’t even need to have a vacuum take off for that either will need a vacuum supply to the Trimatic  though and it seems that the wisdom is that there should be  a connection between the two pairs of inlet runners to equalise them .  Though there is a weight penalty for using steel the manifold and carbs air cleaner et al  will undoubtedly weigh less than intake runners and plenum that they will replace and as ditching the EFI for simple carbs will mean that my electrical system can likewise be minimised  I am thinking that I ought to be up to 10kg better off overall.

As for tuning the carbs to the Nissan engine  well I know that they were working fine in my brother’s Honda until it did its timing belt and went bang so I won’t fiddle with them any more than I have to and as the Honda engine is only 1oocc smaller  than my Nissan lump  I doubt that they will be that far off in terms of the jetting.either. The result I am looking for is a car that is much more amenable to user maintenance, that has some weight loss and better usability over all. Now that is not too much to ask now is it?

If all of this works then I will be a some what happier camper but at the moment I am feeling rather, to put it politely hacked off about life in general  there is not much joy when you have everything around you seems to be competing for my attention and requiring me to do so many things at the same time. Oh I will get over this temporary ennui as soon as I have something that is going my way  for a while…. speaking of which my better half has just come to me telling me that the damn washing machine is not doing the  right thing either! Its not my day today …

Wish I could find something to cheer about Comrades

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

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3.07am GMT

What we know so far

• Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has gone missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing

• Boeing 777 was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew

• About 160 passengers are believed to be Chinese nationals

• Plane left KL at 12.41am local time and lost contact with air traffic control about two hours later

Updated at 3.11am GMT

There is almost no chance at all that anyone has survived the crash of this plane, its just the simple truth that when an aircraft crashes its generally always fatal unlike cars there are almost no design features in aircraft to make crashes survivable. Cue the usual claims about the “safety” of air travel that is based upon how seldom they crash when the true measure of vehicle safety should be based upon your chances of walking away from a crash.

with respect for the dead Comrades

A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital ...

A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital …

Trucks of the future

One of my hot to trot issue when it comes to transportation is the gross mass of most cars , as I see it every extra kilo of a car is a reason for its  fuel inefficiency. You only have to look at the hyper sports cars to see the value of using light weight composites for making the body/chassis  both stronger and stiffer and more durable than steel or aluminium. The same rationale can be applied to heavy road  transport where most trucks are outrageously heavy and on top of that they tend to have the aerodynamics of a house brick. weight is a big deal but the majority of the energy used to move our goods on the roads is used to overcome aerodynamic drag the futuristic truck in this article claims a 20% reduction in drag from the shape of the truck and a huge weight saving from the use of carbon fibre to construct the trailer. While I have my doubts about the hybrid drive train everything else in this truck seems to be right on the money.

The vehicle features what Walmart describes as a “prototype advanced turbine-powered, range-extending series hybrid powertrain (or microturbine-hybrid powertrain) combined with an electric motor and battery storage system.” It can reportedly run on diesel, natural gas, biodiesel “and probably other fuels still to be developed.”

Additionally, it is said to be 20 percent more aerodynamic than the company’s existing trucks.

The cab of the tractor unit features a sliding door, a center-mounted driver’s seat, an all-LCD dash that can be customized to suit the driver’s preferences, and a full-sized sleeper.

The trailer is reportedly the first one to ever be built completely of carbon fiber, and also incorporates the first 53-foot-long (16 m) one-piece carbon fiber panels ever made. The use of that material results in claimed weight savings of approximately 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) over a conventional trailer. Both its aerodynamics and its cargo capacity are boosted by a convex nose that sits flush the concave backside of the tractor.

So, will we ever see one of the things on the highway? In a recent statement, Walmart President Doug McMillon wrote, “It may never make it to the road, but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches.”

If you like freaky-looking high-concept transport trucks, however, be sure to also check out the German Innotruck – which actually looks a bit like WAVE.

 

 

Efficient, quiet and  with better driver facilities and a greater payload and on top of that the longevity of the machines should be very good as much as I love trains and the concept of rail freight I can’t ignore the fact that for many things there will always be a need for heavy road haulage and if these innovations become common (as I expect that they will)there should be a lot of happy transport companies out there.
Cheers Comrades

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Toyota closure and the machine that goes ping

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As devastating as it will be for Victoria and south Australia the economic realities of the car industry can no longer be denied by the minions of the left who would have our government pump billions of dollars of borrowed money into keeping the car manufacturing industry alive. The whining from the Labor party about this is as unsurprising as it is self serving. Simply put with the end of car making in this country we will also see significant  decline in one of the countries larger unions, and where the unions decline so too does the power base for the ALP. Likewise the rhetoric from the ALP that the closure is the fault of the current government is sill beyond description if you ask me, its actually a bit like blaming the doctor who turns off life support for a road accident victim  for that persons death.

Not that I think that Australians are going to reject  Toyota cars into the future, many of the best selling models are already fully imported anyway. The thing is after both Ford and General Motors made similar decisions we all knew that Toyota would follow As other far more knowledgeable commentators have pointed out its the scale of our market and our sustained high dollar that has caused this death and there is absolutely nothing that the government could do to change those factors. and that is why we could never compete with the other countries when it comes to making cars. Like that imagined accident victim the time has come to turn off the machine that goes ping, to sing our eulogies and to then move on to the future.

Sad cheers Comrades

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Sitting to attention

Just a short vid to share my good luck yesterday at our local trash and treasure, who says that you have to spend a fortune when your hobby is old cars?

Cheers Comrades

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Morris Eight episode two

Here is the latest episode of my project car build diary for those who want a break from politics….

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I’m trying to make better vids for the  build diary which are a bit more concise and to the point . This episode shows the set up for the engine/gearbox install along with the  necessary set up of the cockpit. Rather than making things like the floor and seat base  structure part of the body I am building them into the chassis to make for a far more rigid frame. Its probably overkill for the modest performance of the Morris engine but I just want to make the best car that I can.

Cheers Comrades

 

 

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Peter Beattie and that telling grin

Yesterday I was a man on a mission off to the wilds to pick up an engine and a gearbox for my Morris project, these are not the parts that I will actually use in the car, rather they are just parts that I have borrowed from my long suffering brother to work out  the mountings and other details of the installation in my car. Anyway it was that away mission that found me missing out on the Peter Beattie chapter of the sad and sorry saga  of the Federal Labor party yesterday .  Unlike my other regular commentators I know Beattie pretty well, in fact when I was a student  he used to be a regular at the Mexican restaurant that I worked at in Milton. So I can honestly say that I have known of him well before he even rose to star status up here in Queensland. and to be honest I have always thought that he is a “good bloke”. So when I heard on the radio that he was going to stand in Forde for the ALP my initial reaction was to think that he could be a good man to have in the parliament.

Then I gave the matter some thought and I was a little less sure. You see I began  to remember that this good bloke had made a few rather big calls that were less than wonderful. Things like privatising electricity distribution which promised a new era of lower energy prices (my current bill in next to me on the desk ere and its twice what it was this time last year ) I remember too that while he was a competent Premier he steeped down so that Anna Bligh could become premier and she was a bloody disaster creating the financial mess that Campbell Newman is working so hard to fix even though it is at the cost of his popularity.   Then there is his famous “water grid” a net work of pipelines pumping stations and water recycling systems that was built during the last big  decade long drought that we endured.  The idea may yet prove to be of value should we have another long dry spell but now that the weather has swung back to its more normal rain fall levels its hard to see the whole thing as anything other than a global warming hysteria white elephant, which, like the mega expensive desalination plant at Tugan  on the Gold Coast just sits idle.

 Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, with his wife, Heather, announces his Labor candidacy for a Brisbane seat yesterday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: TheAustralian

Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, with his wife, Heather, announces his Labor candidacy for a Brisbane seat yesterday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: TheAustralian

Beattie is without doubt a consummate media performer he is an utter and unashamed “media tart” who can play the “chooks” with the sort of talent that most political candidates enviously aspire to. He even leaves the would be Labor Messiah  Kevin Rudd for  dead in his ability to play the media to his political advantage, however he does have one very obvious “tell” when what he is doing is a bit  less than sincere and that is his tendency to crack the biggest toothy and undimable smile when he is playing the media game. Its like some part of him is self-conscious of t he stunt  and he then over compensates in trying to sell the contrived message. That  “tell” was very much in evidence yesterday at the media  appearances that he put in with Rudd. He was trying just a bit too hard to prove how much he endorsed the new again Dear Leader even though it was only a matter of a couple of months ago that he was dressing Rudd down for destabilising Gillard.

What it boils down to for me is that while at an emotional level  I like the man, and I even respect him for his time as premier I just don’t think that he is as sincere about his enthusiasm for federal politics. You know how I see politics as a game? Well deep down I think that Peter Beattie does as well and he is playing this move for all that its worth. He may even win the seat but if he doesn’t then I think that he will still  enjoy the journey , if he does win Forde then The ALP may benefit from having a “good bloke” in its parliamentary ranks but I can’t see the faux friendship with Rudd lasting long  into either Government or opposition after September 7.

Cheers Comrades

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Bling and a wheeled fat-man’s coffin

Here at Chez Hall I hobble around and try to make the things that I can’t afford to buy and one of my long term projects has been to refurbish/rebuild my trailer. Find below some pictures of the project which I have felt moved to finish recently because I need it to pick up some parts for the Morris. The final result does look rather funereal, in fact I make jokes about it being a fat-man’s coffin.

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How is this Mascot for a bit of bling on the Morris? $45 on ebay

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I have been building my trailer  for a while now and mainly it has been languishing unfinished behind the shed

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The point of the exercise was to make something that was light weight and totally recycled, in fact the only thing that is new on this project is a few fasteners and some welding supplies .I will be fitting the lights today and they are all sourced from a motorcycle

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The steel came from here and there , some courtesy of my brother’s scrap heap , the skin was from a couple of steel doors . The guards are from an old ford tyre ,the axle and springs   from the back of a Barina , The Jockey wheel came from the recycling shed at my local tip . the floor is a sheet of form ply from a ute -load of the stuff that I was given by a friend.  There are eight trunk handles that I have had in the cupboard for the last decade that will provide tie down points to secure  any load,

Cheers Comrades

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