Tag Archives: lucas

A FIRST for team STIX & STONES

It’s official…

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As a challenge to get me fit again after injuries (ankle, back, and recently cellulitis in the elbow – yay me!), me and my physical trainer cousin Wendy are going to be taking part in the Grim Challenge at the very end of November.

woo

The Woo: Tougher than the Grim Challenge itself.

me

The Return of the Black: What doesn’t kill me better be able to outrun me…

Dirt, rocky roads, gravel, mud, man made mounds, obstacles, water holes, more mud, more hills, ditches, more muddy wet holes… 8 miles of tough challenge. She’s not used to the Nordic style which I really enjoy, and I’m not used to straight running… Hopefully we’ll learn the right things from each other…

We’re doing it for Cancer Research UK, and just to make it interesting we thought we’d attempt to do it using Nordic X-country poles.

Like it wasn’t going to be tough enough in the first place…

The thing is, the Grim is technically a run, although some folk do end up walking as it is a very tough course. We didn’t know if actually starting out ‘walking‘ was going to be a problem (albeit Nordic Walking, which is a different ball park to hiking or normal walking – especially how I do it…).

The organiser is not in favour of people who turn up just to walk the route… but in the organiser’s own words when I suggested about us using Nordic X-Country poles: “… I know all about Nordic walking and suspect you guys are not the strolling type!”

Team Stix & Stones

Team Stix & Stones.

Our TEAM PAGE is STIX & STONES – (Stix due to the poles and x-country, and stones, because it’s both off-road, and you need figuratively two of them to do the challenge…). Please visit it to make donations.

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It turns out that we are officially the first people to attempt the Grim Challenge using the Nordic method. I wonder why?

Course (taken from the Grim web page):

This land is used to test Army vehicles so expect it to be interesting!

You will reach a long hill shortly after the start before descending again eventually reaching a water filled ravine.

You will run on over puddle-strewn paths before having to crawl under camouflage netting.

You’ll eventually reach some man-made mounds before arriving at and running through some rather large puddles.

Expect to get very wet!

You’ll run on to the fast vehicle driving circuit where it is rocky underfoot.

This brings you to some more large areas of water and the finish area.

Sounds delightful!


Jesus people! Get an education!

This is the YouTube hosted version of a video from the Christian ‘YouTube‘ clone ‘GODVINE’… (no… I’m not kidding).

Here is the actual Godvine site:

Woman Drowning in her SUV is Miraculously Saved

No one at this scene can explain how this woman was able to be rescued. It defies everything we know, and it can only be seen as a miracle of God.

http://www.godvine.com/Woman-Drowning-in-her-SUV-is-Miraculously-Saved-1342.html

No one at the scene can explain how the woman was rescued?

Well, that PROVES one thing and one thing only…. that the people at the scene did not have a clue about real world physics.

It does NOT prove the existence of a God.

Simple physics.

  • She would have gone for the door handle, because the electric windows wouldn’t have worked due to water ingression.
  • The door wouldn’t have opened initially, due to the high water pressure keeping it shut.
  • She would have carried on trying the door as she saw people trying to get to her.
  • Once the car is submerged, the water pressure inside the car matches the pressure outside the car. The door is easily opened.
  • She puts her arm out and is grabbed.
  • As the car is pulled forward out of the water after the rescue, the doors would shut in the current.

Some people find God in the most dubious of circumstances, but this again shows people using ‘God‘ because they don’t understand physics.

As someone mentioned on the Facebook feed:

…a lot of faithful Christians are insulting their own intelligence by immediately declaring this to be a miracle, when it clearly was the work of men and physics that saved this idiotic woman…

It’s a ‘wonderful‘ bit of commentary too, what with the misdirection about the window not being broken…

Also of note is how all the video comments from the Christian site (not the attached Facebook comments underneath it) are all praising God… and then the comments were locked. Makes you wonder how many comments like mine, telling how it REALLY happened, were posted on the original clip….and deleted.

Pathetic… and not ONE word of thanks to the real heroes who swam out and rescued her.

Very nice and Christian… Screw you guys, I’m thanking GOD…..

Ah, yeah… I address the “Thank God” crap HERE.

Whilst I’m at it, please feel free to look at some more of my religious picture rants over at Pinterest.

As I state on the Pinterest page:

 If you find offence in religious humour or commentary, then back away now. I’m not forcing you to look, so don’t go going all preachy on me. Respect. Peace Out.

Have a look, but go tongue in cheek, if you catch my Tokyo Drift. Don’t get all Fast and Furious on me!!!


Rusty Gob Iron Blues

Once upon a time I used to be pretty nimble playing the blues harmonica (blues harp / gob iron). I’ve played a few impromptu gigs, jammed backstage with bands at concerts, and randomly joined in with street blues performers who noticed I had a harp in my pocket (shut up….you KNOW what I mean).

I haven’t played/practised for quite some time, but hey, It’s a bit like riding a bike…. At first it is a struggle to get going, but after a while – and a fair bit of frustration – you get the hang of it… and then you get good…. You start to pull a few tricks and the more you do it, the better you get.

You never forget how to do it, but after a break from doing it, you do lose the subtleties and wobble a bit… You need to keep practising.

So yeah…. Several years down the line I’m talking to a friend who is starting to play and foolishly say I’d post a clip of me playing.

First the excuses….

Rusty from lack of playing, cheap microphone and a cold… Yet I promised a twitter friend @AliQuant, that I’d lay down some bits and pieces of me on my old blues harps… I had no idea what I was going to play, so this was all off of the cuff.

Hence…. “Rusty Gob Iron Blues“….. Not exactly fast and furious… but then again, I like my blues dirty.

I like the Delta Blues scene. Simple call back blues – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson… A bit dirty, a bit gritty, but full of life.

This recording showed me that I have the right ideas still…. but Jeeeeeez, I need to practice and get it back together!


Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

An idiots guide…

(Just the guide, less the ‘how it all works’ bit)

Yes, the part came with instructions… but they were slightly incorrect in my case, so I figure an easy to use photo guide would help some people. Our old Landy has a Lucas 45D type distributor.

The module I chose is a Britpart component from MM-4×4.com I purchased for £12.75 (at time of writing). The first module they supplied to me had a manufacturing fault, so MM-4×4 replaced it. These things happen, but the customer service was fast and great, so no harm done.

  • All I really needed was a flat blade screwdriver and cross point screwdriver (No.2 size) (Or use one screwdriver with interchangeable heads…!).
  • The large screwdriver and 11mm spanner are for tweaking timing if required AFTER fitting the module.
  • The kit came with the module, an all in one rotor/trigger and a separate trigger (depending on your distributor type) all the required wires, coil tab (if required), cable tie, grease.

Parts and Tools

  • Loosen the small brass ‘wing nut’ on top of the air filter clamp and move the air filter to one side. This gives better access.
  • Don’t let the filter touch the battery terminals though…. unless you need waking up…

Move the air filter

  • Attach the supplied (red) wire to the coil. It should only fit one way due to the end fitting.

The coil

  • Un-clip the top of the distributor. (Leave all the spark plug leads plugged in, they don’t need to be touched).
  • Remove the black central rotor (the bit with the brass strip on top – It pulls straight up and off).
  • Disconnect the contact breakers black wire from the black extension wire that comes down from the coil.
  • Remove the old contact breaker and condenser (the little metal cylinder to the right).
  • Keep the screws safe – you’ll need them again. (Leave the wire that was attached to the condenser screw – you’ll attach this end again later).
  • Lift the old contact breaker and condenser out of the distributor and pull the black wire carefully out through the distributor body as you do so. (It is worth keeping this unit safe in the car somewhere, just in case you break down and need to fit it…. You probably will never need it, but hey, it doesn’t take up any weight or much space!).

Undo the old fixing screws, remove the central rotor.

  • Use the supplied white grease and coat the base of the new module. This makes sure it has a good contact with the distributor body.
  • Using the screws removed earlier, fit the module into the distributor body.
  • NOTE: Don’t forget to refit that wire that used to be on the condenser (under the cross head screw).

Splash it all over

  • Select the new supplied combined black rotor and trigger assembly (on the right in the photo below).

Choices...

  • Feed the black and red wires through the hole in the side of the distributor.
  • Connect the black and red wires up to the red and black wires coming down from the coil. They should only fit one way – red to red, black to black – (see note 1 in the photo below).
  • NOTE: The supplied instructions state to fit the new trigger (the black plastic ring) to the distributor, and refit the OLD rotor arm (the black plastic thing with the brass strip on top – Left on the photo above).
  • This DID NOT work for our Land Rover (the vehicle totally failed to start).
  • Instead, fit the combined rotor and trigger part into the distributor (the part on the RIGHT in the photo above).
  • Make sure the lugs line up. (see note 2 in the photo below).

Putting it together...

  • You are almost done….
  • Make sure that the red and black wire have some slack in the distributor body. Pretty much make it look like the photo below, otherwise the wires can pull tight or foul the units operation when the engine is running.

That's the internals done

  • Clip the cap back on securely – Make sure you don’t trap and of the wires.
  • Double check that the black wire goes to the black wire, and the red to the red.
  • Make sure the red and black wires are secure on the coil.

Ready yet?..... Yup!

  • Now, you could drop the air filter back in place and tighten the brass wing nut up BEFORE trying to run the engine…. or you could now to run the engine, make sure it works, and THEN put the air filter back in place… It’s up to you!

Does it run?

From what I understand, and from ALL the data I have found on the internet, the part should just drop into place and bingo, job done. Nothing to set up and it should run straight away.

If it doesn’t, try re-checking all of your connections, wires and spark plug leads (you might have dislodged something). If it still doesn’t work you could try removing the rotor and fitting the supplied trigger (the black ring) and fitting the OLD rotor on top of that.

Failing that, maybe drop me an email or message via this blog and I’ll see if I can help.

11mm spanner and big screwdriver?

You might have been wondering what that was for. Well, lower down the distributor body (just below the catches that hold the cap on) there is a nut and bolt (a pinch bolt) that allows the distributor to be rotated to advance/retard the engine timing.

A bit more info HERE.

Very, very basically – This changes when the distributor sends the spark to the spark plugs – and therefore when it ignites the fuel in the engine. Too soon or too late can effect performance and economy – and damage the engine.

Our Landy (and for all I know, all early Landies) can be set reasonably well by just using the charge light on the dashboard as a guide.

If the engine ticks over and the light is on, or flickering, then you have too low an idle speed.

From what I have learnt the best thing is for the engine tick over (once warmed up) to be just fast enough to not have the charge light illuminate or flicker.

So…

  • Run your engine until it is at normal operating temperature (about midway on your temperature gauge).
  • Turn your engine off and carefully (it is HOT now), loosen the distributor pinch bolt. Just enough so that the distributor can be rotated.
  • Turn the engine ON again and let it run.
  • Wear insulated gloves to rotate the distributor so the engine slows until the charge light flickers or comes on.
  • Now rotate it the other way until the light just goes out.
  • Tighten up the pinch bolt.
  • Job done.

The reason you wear insulated gloves is because you don’t want to wet yourself, burn your hair off or kill yourself whilst touching the distributor, which is full of angry electricity that doesn’t mind giving a loving Landy owner a bastard kick last time I did it…. ahem….

I don’t actually use gloves myself, I use the LONG INSULATED HANDLED SCREWDRIVER to gently tap on the distributor cap catch lugs to carefully rotate the distributor clockwise or anti-clockwise. This way I can stay away from the HOT engine and easily get to the distributor without reaching over all of the engine components, wires, muck etc…

Safe....

Well, if that hasn’t confused you too much, I think I’m done!

If you have any comments/improvements or techniques you’d like to add, please feel free.


A Pointless Exercise

In which I try to explain things that you can’t see, and I fit a new ignition thing to the 1977 Land Rover…

Go straight to the ‘how to’ guide HERE.

Christine was driving with Alex (now 5 years old) when the old Series 3 Land Rover decided to breakdown at the side of the M3 motorway, junction 6….

The points had failed…

“Points?” –  you might ask… Well hold on – I’ll try to give a simple explanation of what they are, and how you can put something in place that’ll avoid some of the issues you get with a ‘Points Ignition’ system.

Older car engines mainly use a really simple electromechanical ignition system. Very basically an electric charge is sent to a distributor which then ‘distributes’ this electricity to each of the engines spark plugs – in the right order and at the right time.

There is a good write-up in more depth HERE.

This has to be set up so that the sparks fire off at the right time. If the sparks fire off too soon or too late then the engine will run really poorly… or not at all. A great deal of this set up is based on gaps and sparks and electricity zapping across between bits of metal at the right time.

Where sparks occur, you will get erosion, so these gaps get slowly bigger as the sparks wear away the metal, and the engine starts to falter. Some of these gaps are designed to open and close (like a switch) as the engine runs. Where sparking bits of metal touch you will find that the metal bits can end up welding/sticking to each other… and that means the engine won’t run because the switch has stuck…

The ‘switch’ is a major component in the ignition system – and is known as a contact breaker or ‘the points‘. The points are the bits at one end of the contact breaker that open and close to allow the electricity to do its stuff… or not… on/off/on/off etc…

Adapted by L.Black from original Wiki image by Frédéric MICHEL. Click image to go to Wiki 'Ignition' pages.

In this video you can see the metal arm going up and down causing a small spark at the end. It’s this opening and closing part that can weld and stick shut. It is totally manic in here as the engine is running, with the points opening, closing and sparking thousands of times per minute, so you can see why they are very prone to wearing out. (Note: The big spark to the top right represents the engine spark plug).

You would often find that if your car broke down on a journey and you had to call a breakdown truck, the breakdown truck driver would be able to swap out a set of points at the side of the road to get you motoring again – or at least he’d be able to un-stick the points and set them up to get you home or to a garage where they could be replaced. They are really simple and pretty easy to work with…. not like the modern electronic computer controlled units…. If they go wrong, then you are likely to be towed home and then face a big garage bill…

To make setting the ignition timing up easier, and to avoid points wearing out and ending up stuck at the side of a busy motorway (as happened to my wife and our little 5 year old lad in our Land Rover) there are several solutions.

There are many electronic conversion kits available that remove the contact breaker/points, although some require lots of work and cost quite a bit of cash. Some swap out entire chunks of your ignition system with new parts. They pretty much all do the same thing in the end though, so rather than going down this route I was suggested by a good friend a way can be done cheaply if you have a little bit of sense and some very basic tools.

I checked. I had a little bit of sense and basic tools…. so I looked into his recommended route…

There is a ‘pointless’ module that can fit straight into where the original points unit sat. It is a very simple module that uses the Hall effect to trigger the electrical signal to the spark plugs, rather than using points (this is too much information, but there if you want to confuse yourself)

Contact Breaker/Points unit (left) and 'Pointless' module (right)

Very simply put: 4 magnets in a black plastic ring (the trigger) spin and as they pass the red electronic ‘pointless’ module, the module releases bursts of electricity. There are no switches or parts touching each other, so there is nothing that can wear out or weld/stick together. Also this means setting the timing doesn’t require having to reset the point gap if you rotate the distributor  – because there are no gaps to set… in fact there is nothing to adjust as it can only attach in one place.

From this video you can see the spark to the top right that represents the feed to the engine spark plugs… but there are no points or touching parts in the unit itself. It’s like magic or something…

Fitting ‘Pointless’ Ignition

An idiots guide…

Yes, the part came with instructions… but they were slightly incorrect in my case, so I figure an easy to use photo guide would help some people. Our old Landy has a Lucas 45D type distributor.

The module I chose is a Britpart component from MM-4×4.com I purchased for £12.75 (at time of writing). The first module they supplied to me had a manufacturing fault, so MM-4×4 replaced it. These things happen, but the customer service was fast and great, so no harm done.

  • All I really needed was a flat blade screwdriver and cross point screwdriver (No.2 size) (Or use one screwdriver with interchangeable heads…!).
  • The large screwdriver and 11mm spanner are for tweaking timing if required AFTER fitting the module.
  • The kit came with the module, an all in one rotor/trigger and a separate trigger (depending on your distributor type) all the required wires, coil tab (if required), cable tie, grease.

Parts and Tools

  • Loosen the small brass ‘wing nut’ on top of the air filter clamp and move the air filter to one side. This gives better access.
  • Don’t let the filter touch the battery terminals though…. unless you need waking up…

Move the air filter

  • Attach the supplied (red) wire to the coil. It should only fit one way due to the end fitting.

The coil

  • Un-clip the top of the distributor. (Leave all the spark plug leads plugged in, they don’t need to be touched).
  • Remove the black central rotor (the bit with the brass strip on top – It pulls straight up and off).
  • Disconnect the contact breakers black wire from the black extension wire that comes down from the coil.
  • Remove the old contact breaker and condenser (the little metal cylinder to the right).
  • Keep the screws safe – you’ll need them again. (Leave the wire that was attached to the condenser screw – you’ll attach this end again later).
  • Lift the old contact breaker and condenser out of the distributor and pull the black wire carefully out through the distributor body as you do so. (It is worth keeping this unit safe in the car somewhere, just in case you break down and need to fit it…. You probably will never need it, but hey, it doesn’t take up any weight or much space!).

Undo the old fixing screws, remove the central rotor.

  •  Use the supplied white grease and coat the base of the new module. This makes sure it has a good contact with the distributor body.
  • Using the screws removed earlier, fit the module into the distributor body.
  • NOTE: Don’t forget to refit that wire that used to be on the condenser (under the cross head screw).

Splash it all over

  • Select the new supplied combined black rotor and trigger assembly (on the right in the photo below).

Choices...

  • Feed the black and red wires through the hole in the side of the distributor.
  • Connect the black and red wires up to the red and black wires coming down from the coil. They should only fit one way – red to red, black to black – (see note 1 in the photo below).
  • NOTE: The supplied instructions state to fit the new trigger (the black plastic ring) to the distributor, and refit the OLD rotor arm (the black plastic thing with the brass strip on top – Left on the photo above).
  • This DID NOT work for our Land Rover (the vehicle totally failed to start).
  • Instead, fit the combined rotor and trigger part into the distributor (the part on the RIGHT in the photo above).
  • Make sure the lugs line up. (see note 2 in the photo below).

Putting it together...

  • You are almost done….
  • Make sure that the red and black wire have some slack in the distributor body. Pretty much make it look like the photo below, otherwise the wires can pull tight or foul the units operation when the engine is running.

That's the internals done

  • Clip the cap back on securely – Make sure you don’t trap and of the wires.
  • Double check that the black wire goes to the black wire, and the red to the red.
  • Make sure the red and black wires are secure on the coil.

Ready yet?..... Yup!

  • Now, you could drop the air filter back in place and tighten the brass wing nut up BEFORE trying to run the engine…. or you could now to run the engine, make sure it works, and THEN put the air filter back in place… It’s up to you!

Does it run?

From what I understand, and from ALL the data I have found on the internet, the part should just drop into place and bingo, job done. Nothing to set up and it should run straight away.

If it doesn’t, try re-checking all of your connections, wires and spark plug leads (you might have dislodged something). If it still doesn’t work you could try removing the rotor and fitting the supplied trigger (the black ring) and fitting the OLD rotor on top of that.

Failing that, maybe drop me an email or message via this blog and I’ll see if I can help.

11mm spanner and big screwdriver?

You might have been wondering what that was for. Well, lower down the distributor body (just below the catches that hold the cap on) there is a nut and bolt (a pinch bolt) that allows the distributor to be rotated to advance/retard the engine timing.

A bit more info HERE.

Very, very basically – This changes when the distributor sends the spark to the spark plugs – and therefore when it ignites the fuel in the engine. Too soon or too late can effect performance and economy – and damage the engine.

Our Landy (and for all I know, all early Landies) can be set reasonably well by just using the charge light on the dashboard as a guide.

If the engine ticks over and the light is on, or flickering, then you have too low an idle speed.

From what I have learnt the best thing is for the engine tick over (once warmed up) to be just fast enough to not have the charge light illuminate or flicker.

So…

  • Run your engine until it is at normal operating temperature (about midway on your temperature gauge).
  • Turn your engine off and carefully (it is HOT now), loosen the distributor pinch bolt. Just enough so that the distributor can be rotated.
  • Turn the engine ON again and let it run.
  • Wear insulated gloves to rotate the distributor so the engine slows until the charge light flickers or comes on.
  • Now rotate it the other way until the light just goes out.
  • Tighten up the pinch bolt.
  • Job done.

The reason you wear insulated gloves is because you don’t want to wet yourself, burn your hair off or kill yourself whilst touching the distributor, which is full of angry electricity that doesn’t mind giving a loving Landy owner a bastard kick last time I did it…. ahem….

I don’t actually use gloves myself, I use the LONG INSULATED HANDLED SCREWDRIVER to gently tap on the distributor cap catch lugs to carefully rotate the distributor clockwise or anti-clockwise. This way I can stay away from the HOT engine and easily get to the distributor without reaching over all of the engine components, wires, muck etc…

Safe....

Well, if that hasn’t confused you too much, I think I’m done!

If you have any comments/improvements or techniques you’d like to add, please feel free.


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