Mat's BX Blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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mat_fenwick
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:54 pm

Too right! I might post up a video tomorrow showing how I do it!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:57 am

I'm afraid my method is simple, chain saw it, then get splitting axe out!. Many hours/days later enough for winter. Reckon we got through about half a single garage (in size terms) of timber last winter. Right old mix of stuff, leylandii, birch, alder, beech, holly, laurel, and cherry. Long as it burns OK I don't mind.
3 multifuel stoves fitted in house and a pellet boiler to be commissioned.
Invested in a Gransfors Bruks axe, good piece of kit well worth the money. Its done all the splitting for at least 4 winters now.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Dollywobbler » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:07 am

Yup. Having just collected a load of larch (it was free!) I've got a lot of chainsawing and mauling to do. I'm actually running out of time to go and collect more of the stuff!

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:46 pm

The splitting maul I've got is of unknown brand, but a decent hickory shaft. Lasted 7 seasons so far, although I have wrapped a bit of tape around the shaft to protect it from impact damage. My father in law bought a fibreglass shaft maul, which only lasted one season before the head slid off - on that basis I'll stick to the traditional type!

So this is how I do it with my manual firewood processing machine!



The splitting doesn't always go smoothly, as the spruce we are using is very knotty.



It is SO hot working in this weather, but I shouldn't complain as it's one job you just can't do in wet weather. I'll be glad when we've built up a decent stock and I can actually enjoy the sunshine though.

This lot will probably last us a 2 to 3 days (the caravan has been gutted inside and is our woodshed!)

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It's currently about 1/3 full by volume, and if we have it full to the roof by September, that will last us until March or April. This year we've been having the fire lit most evenings up until a week ago :(
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:28 am

Nice vids Mat. Looks like a decent maul. The Gransfors Bruks splitting maul has a piece of steel wrapped around the hickory shaft just under the head. Also I really like the dimensions of the hickory shaft quite slim with small 'grip' features. Nice to know each forger puts his initials on the head so it can be traced. I wore through its predecessor an Austrian one in 5 years. The steel protector is exactly what you need for minimal damage to shaft, you'll know exactly what I mean. Don't they say you get warm 3 times, 1. Cutting it 2. Splitting it and 3. Burning it!.
I have almost no stock at present so the BX will be out hunting withthe dinghy trailer for fallen trees etc and raiding some private land with a lot of fallen stuff, soon. My neighbour normally gets a couple of Transit (low truck version) fulls of leylandii for me (free) but this year the cutting work has been thin on the ground.
Probably stopped regular burn in June but it only takes a cold night or a lot of damp and its worth putting the burner to use. 2 Morso 5060 insets and 1 Owl (Soapstone) which replaced open fires and a Parkray. Definitely the best change I have made to my bungalow (mid 30s') and much much safer. Good hunting for your winter supply. Leylandii is a right sod to split and resiny so if it won't go I just chain saw it. Everything else is relatively easy though eucalyptus grows with a twisting grain like a helix so you have to adjust the strike angle to work with it!.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:12 am

I admit I did check out the Gransfors Bruks website; very impressive. Just one Clearview for us, but a big 12 kW output one which gets very hungry for wood. But the house is fairly open plan so it does a good job of heating a lot of it, leaving the boiler/radiators for morning an background heating.

Today saw some fettling to the mower (not used for a few years so I needed to clean the carb out and also the points. It started first pull but annoyingly it's still not running 100%; fine at idle and low revs but about half throttle it just coughs and misfires.

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Then onto the van - the hoses still haven't arrived (posted 1st class Thursday :roll: ) but I did managed to crack off most of the pipes in readiness. There was a bit of handbrake imbalance on the MOT test, not enough for an advisory but he mentioned it to me. So I whipped off the drum on the weak side to find the adjuster had seized.

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Easily sorted but frustrating to wait for the hoses :(
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:40 am

Last time I saw one of them 'funny drum things' twas rear of Sunbeam and covered in brake fluid. It was an interesting drive home about 15 miles through SW london and suburbs with rear handbrake only working!!!. Especially as the rear of the Sunbeam was pretty light and there was some snow on the roads too. Piston seal had gone.

12Kw is quite a hungry stove, but sounds like you got a nice layout with it central. Mine are nominally 7Kw and 6Kw and if we have the Owl and one of the insets running that will keep it a pretty good temperarature. The pellet boiler (Rika EvoAqua) is going where the old Parkray (horrible theing) used to go, very central and will give out 12Kw of which 1.7Kw is to the room in this case my central hall. At some point I will get round to properly insulating it - it means taking the plasterboard off in the dormers etc. Funny how none of the 'free' insulation government sponsored companies want to do it!.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:15 am

We considered a back boiler for our stove, but were put off by the fact it would burn less efficiently and would probably soot up the glass. Plus it would be a mammoth job connecting any pipework to it!

FINALLY, the hoses for the van arrived today - so much for next day delivery! Some of the steel lines looked a bit fragile, so while I'm replacing the hoses I thought I'd put in new copper pipes:

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Rear hose in place...

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...and the fronts, complete with new bleed nipple which was an absolute bastard to get out!

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Should be able to bleed it tomorrow evening and take it for the retest Thursday. Sorry for the poor photos - my camera has developed a lens fault, only about a week or so after I had it in bits replacing the LCD screen which I'd cracked. Never had these problems with a film camera...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:40 am

Happy days! :D Well kind of. The van now has a fresh MOT, although there is still air in the system somewhere. I reckon one of the rear wheel cylinders, as the bleed nipple had crumbled to dust and was impossible to undo. New cylinder should be here by the weekend.

Had a little break tonight and went down to the beach for a barbecue, which was lovely. So warm, even the sea wasn't cold.

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Then came back and fitted electronic ignition to the mower - result! Starts and runs beautifully. I suspect there is a little bit of wear to the points pushrod hole after 40 odd years, allowing the timing to alter at high revs. They're now done away with, so problem solved!

And I got a job offer yesterday too :) I've not handed my notice in yet as there are a few details I need to finalise, but I should be starting back in my previous job at the old Quinton Hazell factory. (Although the name is no more - bit of news here.) I'm quite flattered that after 7 years my old boss still thought of me for the job, although it may be that everybody else said no...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Dollywobbler » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Good news on the job - hope it works out. We had a beach barbie on Monday night. Was absolutely lovely. We even saw dolphins!

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:56 pm

Thanks, fingers crossed!

Back to the BX now, and I have it a service last week to find the air filter was dirtier than I'd expect. On looking back when it was last changed I'd missed changing it at a service, so it was now 30k miles old and looking it! I (and others!) had noticed that at full throttle there was quite a bit of black smoke, and if anything the absolute top end felt a bit flat - i.e. mashing the pedal into the floor didn't really have any extra effect over the mid range surge.

On the journey over to the National I noticed it went noticeably better at the top end, which is nice, and Doc commented that smoke was less than previously, which is less embarrassing. I'm guessing that with increased boost a clogged air filter will become the limiting factor that bit sooner.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by MULLEY » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:57 pm

Was it one of mine that you fitted? If it was, result :)
2002 C5 2.0 HDI Estate - Remapped - It goes better
2011 Mini Cooper D Clubman - it does over 60mpg
1992 TZD Turbo - SORN - slowly getting there
1991 Gti 16V - Blaze is back on the road since 2008
1990 Gti 8Valve SOLD - looks like it's been scrapped
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1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

I'm not just a username, i'm also called Matthew.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:31 pm

Not yet, it was the last of the ones I had in stock so yours came in handy...wish I'd remembered about the oil filters a week earlier though! Mind you, I'd have felt bad going 400 miles over the service internal, and at least I have plenty of oil filters now :lol:

I fitted the new wheel cylinder to the van on Friday and bled it but to no avail. My next thought was that it was trapped in the front calipers, as they had two bleed screws and I'd only been able to loosen one on each of them. The others had pretty much crumbled away, so I set about trying to remove them.

The first side I hammered a Torx bit into to try and turn it. My mistake was to use a cheap bit, which snapped off and was too hard to realistically drill. On the second side I progressively drilled out the screw with larger drill bits, however my mistake on this side was not realising the original hole was drilled at a slight angle. Once the remains of the bleed screw came out I could see that the threads on one side were damaged, and even if I drilled and tapped the next side up the hole was no longer central to the sealing face so wouldn't have sealed. Another fail!

So new calipers on order, which is a little bit frustrating for such a small problem. I'm not sure there would be enough material to put a helicoil into as it's quite close to the edge. One corroded ferrule on the rear flexi hose has turned into almost a complete re-pipe of the entire braking system, two new calipers and one rear wheel cylinder!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by citsncycles » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:39 pm

Sounds like my mate's 2CV - resealing the windscreen turned into a new lower windscreen frame, plus repairs to the A panels, sills, floors, 1 rear seatbelt mount and C post, 2 replacement wings, new chassis and interior and a complete respray!
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:59 pm

Partly my own fault, as I've never changed the brake fluid on the van despite owning it 7 years. I normally do it shortly after buying a vehicle unless there's recent evidence of it being done, but I took one look at the crusty bleed screws and thought I would wait until something needs replacing! And their condition hadn't improved in the meantime...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
2006 Renault Kangoo
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2004 MINI Cooper (hers)