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I expect there are readers of the Sandpit who are waiting for my next words of wisdom. Well I’m it a bit of a waiting mode too. I have finally connected up our new water-tank I have set it up  so that it can both equalize with the house tank and with a bypass that allows me to fill it above what would be the full to the brim level of the house tank. So naturally I’m waiting for it to rain now and the Gods are trying hard to mock my hubris.

In terms of my car building hobby its been a case of one step forward and a couple back. I want to swap out the Honda carbs I have on my sports car for a pair of SUs which I naturally want to rebuild. Naturally enough the mob I order a full kit form have the kit I want on back-order, due late this month. Likewise after a great deal of thought I have decided to fit a manual gearbox . The normal wisdom would be to go for a five speed but I have a very limited budget so I’ve bought a 4 speed out of a KE70 Corolla and guess what I’m waiting for that to be delivered by courier from the importer I bought it from. Those of you who are familiar with my car  may be wondering why I chose that particular gearbox well its the manual alternative to the Auto that I currently have in the car which means the adapter plate I made for that box will work for the manual. All I have to do is get a Pulsar flywheel, a Corolla clutch plate make a clutch peddle  and of coarse that will all need a bit of finessing . Which means you guessed it more waiting as I try to source all that I will need and waiting between the small amount of time that my pain issues will allow me to tinker with this stuff. What this all means is more waiting…

Hell is the eternal sojourn in a waiting room, where   the magazines are filled with print that is just a tiny bit to small to read  and the TV plays eternal advertorials for consumer  crap that promises far more than it can ever deliver.

Cheers Comrades


Absolutely Retro Minimalist Simplification revisited

Cheers Comrades



The cuteness factor trumps all else

I thought that it would be nice to share with the Sandpits readers  the good news that we we have a new resident here at Chez Hall, after much badgering from my daughter I have  got us a cute kitty cat which of course means that I am going to give our readers a long series of posts about this cute rascal as he bounces around our house and our hearts. I just hope that I can live up to the fine tradition of cat blogging as demonstrated by the likes of our learned friend.

meow Comrades

Isn't he a cute addition to Chez Hall?

Isn’t he a cute addition to Chez Hall?

PS did many eagle eyed readers notice that I got a tweet up onto the screen of QandA last night? its not easy to do so while maintaining your conservative street-cred. anyway this is the tweet:

Bits and Bobs


Its been rather amusing to watch minions of the left spinning the by-election in the seat of Griffith, Its seems most likely that Labor will retain the seat but with a noticeably slimmer margin than was the case under the recently departed Brother Number one. This salient t fact makes it very hard for them to claim that the by election is a slap in the face for Tony Abbott or his  candidate in the seat, Bill Glasson.

The lesson that we conservatives can take form the whole experience is that the Abbott government, and the state  government led by Campbell Newman  must therefore be far less unpopular  that the pundits of the left  would have us believe.


As for the winter Olympics well in this house its a total non starter, If I have seen half a second its been a case of reacting like a scalded rabbit to get the remote to send the pictures to another channel, even a shopping channel,rather than watch any of the inanity, I must be getting even more cynical about the Olympic games as a concept because I just can’t get excite d about meat heads spending years practicing silly activities that have no meaning and then trying to out do each other. Yawn-full does not come close to describing how I feel about such things especially as we seem to have an unstoppable and eternal cacophony of raving about one sport on the TV. Heck since I got the T-Box we even have a channel devoted to AFL. Now if anyone knows how to permanently skip that one and the “cartoon Network I would really appreciate you sharing…


Ive been committing one of my periodic redesigns of the arrangements of my room here at Chez Hall  with the aim of de-cluttering and giving myself a greater feeling of space to that end I think that I will need to make some shelves to house my collection of DVDs and PS3 games. I have been looking at just buying a ready-made bookshelf but every one that I have seen seems to be far too deep, too heavy for me to move and too expensive. Looks like the best option will be to use metal brackets screwed to the wall  There is a spot where I think that I can have half a dozen shelves that are nearly 2m long which should hold quite few disc cases. This should do the trick for a while. Hopefully it won’t take me months to finish this.


One of the ironies of my condition is that its a rather long drive to visit the pain clinic, in fact that drive is a bit longer that my driving threshold but its probably worth it to get the opinion and advice of the experts on the best way to manage. I have been having rather more bad than good days of late so I am going to inquire about just how I will know when to ask for a higher dosage of my Norspan patches. I am most reluctant to do an Oliver Twist and ask for more but I also want to avoid  taking too much paracetamol /codeine for breakthrough pain because that has serious effects on your liver, further I don’t want to be so medicated that I can’t drive or look after my children’s needs. Thirdly each step to a higher dose is one less step that you can take if things get really bad.


Just finished watching Season three of Haven which has been the best one yet in this franchise. I love DVD box sets because they allow you to get fully immersed into an imagined universe without the intrusion of ads or having to wait for each new episode to screen. There are however some shows that are just awful, We have abandoned watching “Broadchurch” its well made and all that but strewth its bleak and so angst riven that I think it fails as any sort of entertainment, you really should not have to work that hard to enjoy something.


Those of you who follow me on twitter may have noticed a small spike in my output of late which is largely due to me having got a new phone that allows me to connect to the net via our home Wi-fi this has allowed me to do things like check Twitter on the toot or when I have had to cede access to the computer to the wife and kids. I am sort of getting the attraction and potential for addiction to 140 characters and the challenge to be witty and clever in the shorter form of the social media game.    Currently able to resist posting pictures of trouser draped feet taken while emptying my bowels though. 🙂


Not been up too doing much on the Morris of late but I did go to the Toowoomba swap meet and even though it cost me a couple of days flat on my back zonked out on painkillers I had a good time and bought a few things like spare carburetors, at a couple of bucks each, a heater assembly  from a Mini Moke at $10 and a lovely air filter assembly from a Mini for $10, As many who tinker with old cars will understand its the thrill of the chase rather than completion of a project that gives you the satisfaction with these sorts of projects. But I do feel that I am getting close to the point at which I will lift the entire body off the chassis so that It can have the skin properly welded to it and then it can be finished well enough for it to be painted I am planning to make a rotisserie for the body welding job though because If I don’t want too much heat distortion then I am going to have to dance around doing lots of very small tacks that are allows to cool before the welder touches down next to them again.


My wife would dearly love it if one of our offspring were to become as dedicated to music as she is but so far my daughter has disavowed formal lessons even though she has some natural  talent and obvious musical ability, she actually plays the recorder very well and sings nicely so maybe there is hope yet but I also think that, mother daughter rivalry is in play and that her disinterest in music is an artifact of that inevitable teenage desire for differentiation. My son has begun having lessons to learn the electric guitar and I have been been hoping that he will stick too it more than he did with piano and acoustic guitar. So to help things along I’m planning to buy a PS3 game that I have heard  about called “Rocksmith”  that allows you to plug in any real guitar into your PS3 and play along. If it works for the boy I may just earn a few brownie points with the wife as well, heck the boy may even be able to join GD in his eternal quest for falafals!

Signing Off

As usual I offer a hearty Cheers to all of my blogging Comrades


Extractors fitting update

Beauty in stainless steel

Beauty in stainless steel

Regular petrol head readers may recall  me posting about my anticipation of the arrival of a set of stainless steel headers from the USA well they arrived about a week ago and it has taken me a while to find the time and good weather to fit them to the car.  Well I had a window of opportunity on Monday and I was able to fit them but firstly I had to cut them just beyond the final merge and my collection of “come in handy goodies ” had a nicely made slip joint of the right size which then had to welded to the cut down  connector piece that runs between the original  manifold  and my 2 ½ inch external exhaust. With a bit of eye-balling ,  cutting and tack welding while the car  was propped on one side (on ramps , I’m very safety conscious) I then took it right off the car and  welded the connection gas tight and  I then had to rush to reassemble the car before it was time to pick up my children form the bus stop.  I made it with only a few minutes to spare.

its amazing what a bit of heat does to a shiny header

its amazing what a bit of heat does to a shiny header

Of course the headers have not stayed the same shiny silver colour because as soon as the engine was started they first turned a straw brown  and then a slightly blueish/purplsih tone its all good though as there does seem to be a distinctly different feel to the engine when it is asked the question. While I don’t really rate my “seat of the pants”  dyno for specific accuracy the engine does rev  out more smoothly  and with more vigour so I think that the headers have made a worthwhile difference. They promise 10% power increase which would take my engine’s 86KW to 94.6KW which probably won’t make much difference in the real world but as they say too much power is never enough so I will take whatever gains the headers give as a bonus.

There are many problems inherent in the stock manifold. Firstly it is bad practice to pair cylinders 1&2 and 3&4 . Secondly it is restrictive in the amount of air it can flow and finally it weighs a motza.

There are many problems inherent in the stock manifold. Firstly it is bad practice to pair cylinders 1&2 and 3&4 (1&4 and 2&3 is the ideal). Secondly it is restrictive in the amount of air it can flow and finally it weighs a motza.

As  for the all important  exhaust note there is a distinct difference  to the stock manifold but it is not at all excessively noisy the sound is deeper and more meaty without being anti-social. However I doubt that they will improve my fuel consumption because the car now just sounds SOOOOOO nice when I give it some welly that I just want to give it more welly all the time just to hear that glorious noise*.

Cheers Comrades


*I have some video to share the new note but I have been having some difficulty in uploading this to you-tube

Old vs new Leonard Nimoy takes on newbie Zachary Quinto and his all-new Audi S7

On a lighter note this ad for Audi is quite funny and most timely given the opening yesterday of the new Star Trek  “Into darkness”  movie:

live long and prosper Comrades


The Happy Wanderer


“Valdarie” is a 1954 model

As an unashamed petrol-head I notice the interesting or old motor vehicle,and today while I was out on a grocery run I came across this lovely old Austin A30, its lady owner was gracious enough to let me take a couple of pictures of her pride and joy. “Valdarie” is a 1954 model that she has owned from new and its clear that the car has been extremely well cared for its paint and jewellery does have a bit of patina that just adds to its charm.
I would have loved to find out more about the car’s history but having often seen it around Lawton and Strathpine I do know that its still a work horse rather than a pampered show pony. Of course this begs the question of how many cars of today will we see still serving their owners after 59 years?

Cheers Comrades


Just for a change of pace here I’m going to share with my dear readers what I’m waiting for the postman to deliver…

When you have to spend time lying down there is not much better than pretending that you are a badass street racer especially if its in cars that you would love to own or drive in the real world …

Cheers Comrades

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