Mat's BX Blog

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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MULLEY
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Post by MULLEY » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:10 pm

I think i've spotted BXClub headquarters :lol: :lol:
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
2002 Mini Cooper S - SOLD - i miss this car
1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

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

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:18 pm

Philip Chidlow wrote:Are horses moving in?
That's the plan Phil. There's a garage/workshop, a stable, and the bit in the corner is a hay store. Having said that though, there's a car in the garage, tools in the hay store and my bike in the stable! :oops:

I'm not in too much trouble(!) for taking it over because the building was ordered (and the deposit paid!) while Lana still had a job. Now she's out of work there's no way we can support another mouth to fed so the horse will have to wait...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:35 pm

Is the Stellar moving in morelike?! :lol:

Looks awesome mate, truly jealous!

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MULLEY
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Post by MULLEY » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:02 pm

It's not bad, but you should see my Rabbits Hutch :wink: :lol: :lol:
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
2002 Mini Cooper S - SOLD - i miss this car
1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

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

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:15 am

Kitch wrote:Is the Stellar moving in morelike?! :lol:
I wish! It's actually in danger of losing its storage soon, so I am looking out for a garage to rent for it. I have been told that "No way is it living in the new garage" and I can kind of see her point. Until I make a new propshaft it can't move under its own power so would be a real hassle to move in and out every time I wanted to work on a different vehicle.
The propshaft is a bit of a head scratcher really - the old Hyundai gearbox had a splined output shaft, so the prop was free to move in and out as the rear axle moved in and out. The new gearbox has a fixed flange, so will have to get a propshaft with a built in sliding section to take up the movement (from a Discovery maybe, that may even fit the new gearbox!) and make up something from that. But first I need to make up a new cross member to support the new 'box so I know what length I've got...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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docchevron
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Post by docchevron » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:14 pm

I've got several spare Dennis Lance propshafts, actually quite short (for bus sized things) but they probably weigh more than the Stellar complete. You'd never wear it out though....
Smokes lots, because enough's enough already!

Far too many BX's, a bus, an ambulance a few trucks, not enough time and never enough cash...

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:26 pm

docchevron1472 wrote:I've got several spare Dennis Lance propshafts, actually quite short (for bus sized things) but they probably weigh more than the Stellar complete. You'd never wear it out though....
C.O.G would be immense though :lol:

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:55 pm

:lol: May slow down the throttle response though!

Thought I'd better write a bit about the BXagon, for my own recollection as much as anything! Be warned, it's turned out to be a long old read and is picture heavy so if you have heard enough about the even then read no further...

Started off from North Wales on Saturday 17th October - my wife's birthday(!) so I have to say a big thanks to her for being very understanding about the whole thing. Maybe she was glad to get rid of me for two weeks? An uneventful drive down to Dover, apart from the sheer number of dawdling drivers about. I then met up with Mike E and his co-driver Alan, in the ferry queue where we did a spot of CB fiddling - even to the extent that Mike (who's a bit of an electronics whizz) opened up my radio and started adjusting various pots to try and improve the performance of my set!
Once over in France we met up with the other teams, I sampled a glass of the house red before the drive to my Formula 1 bed for the night (I was planning to sleep in the car most nights but with the long day ahead of me I thought it best to get a decent night's sleep).
The following morning we set off at 15 minute intervals, and I almost immediately came a cropper when I realised that the junction numbers on the motorway to Dunkerque had been changed, so I had a slight detour. I was the only one on the trip without sat-nav (which wasn't such a disadvantage as I found later!) En route I met up with Mike and Alan, and we did the rest of the stage to Saverne in convoy. Had a brief repair stop while Mike rebuilt his brakelight switch (I was following him for a while and at first I thought what a skilled driver he was, seemingly never having to use his brakes!) Once in Saverne we met up with Todd, who very kindly brought a crate of beer for us to drink in the icy car park while we waited for the Phils. Once they arrived we ended the display of Brits on holiday drinking in the car park, and headed for a local bar/restaurant. After the initial embarrassment of me trying to order a bottle of wine as an aperitif(!) we had a great meal. For some reason we had been given a room to ourselves at the back of the building, and as the evening was quietening down each of the waitresses came in to say goodbye. After we'd eaten Todd found a guitar behind a cupboard (which amazingly was in tune) and started playing and singing. At which point people (including the owners) started to stream in to listen. We then got chatting, the wine was flowing freely and we had a spot of England versus France table football, and I scored the winning goal in one of the games!
Next morning I had begun to think they may have put too much salt in the food, as a number of people (myself included) were feeling a tad dehydrated. Nevertheless we set off to meet Remy (BX19GTi) and travel to a decent scrapyard on the way to Pontalier. My windscreen washer pump had died before we set off, and I was (and still am!) on the lookout for a decent ABS driveshaft, as mine is a bit vibey under load. Got the pump no problem, but sadly no driveshaft. Had an enjoyable drive over a few small mountains to arrive at Pontalier, where we met up with Andy (in his 1985 GT) in a McDonalds of all places! Team Green Tiger had a noisy arrival in the car park, as their rear disc shield had corroded through and partially jammed in the wheel. A quick tug and all was silent. Me and Andy set out to try and find somewhere to get a drink, but after an hours walking all we had found is a hotel that would only serve residents...
Next stage was to Albertville, and the Alps proper. More flowing bends and a spot of snow that was melting in the sunshine.

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We stopped at a Citroen dealers on the way (the Phils needed some decent brake pads) and we bought these after looking very interestedly at the 4x4 AX in the forecourt.
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We got to Albertville fairly early on, to be joined by a limping Green Tiger with a steady stream of coolant leaking from the offside wheelarch. The top of the drop link had worn through the hose, and a frantic trip to a dealer and scrapyard didn't yield a hose. Temporarily fixed with some self amalgamating tape, then we went to have a top quality meal and some fantastic wine from a recommended restaurant. Not the best night's sleep in the hotel car park due to floodlighting and a main road next to me.
An early start the next morning to meet Jaba and hopefully tackle the Col du Galibier (2600m). Unfortunately it was closed due to heavy snow (although Jaba had managed to cross it just before it closed on his way to meet us), so I managed to find an alternative lower route that still took us up to about 2000m.

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You can just make out the Phils at the bottom

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All of us noticed an improvement in front suspension suppleness after the fairly bumpy climb. I was enjoying the low down torque from my engine, which didn't seem to be too badly down on power due to the altitude. I would say it was slightly more smoky than usual, but that was only a matter of concern for those behind... A few hours later, and we were at the Col du Lauteret (at the other end of the Col du Galibier) and we had a fair amount of settling snow!

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This turned to heavy rain as we got towards Digne les Bains, and I pitied the Phils who were being led by their sat nav to an unknown destination where no hotel existed, and whose heater fan had packed up. When they did eventually make it to the hotel the fact they were given the wrong room key didn't seem to improve their mood... After a meal on the hotel bar me and Andy set off to find a spot of woodland to sleep in our cars, away from the bright lights of the hotel.

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Next day was sunny again, and we set off for Montpellier via Nice and Monaco. I had a bit of a stupid moment when I took the right road in the wrong direction, only realising after about 10 miles. One very scenic short cut (on a tiny road over a mountain ridge) later, passing The Tigers and Andy, and I had caught up with the Phils and Mike. We got to Nice, which wasn't, and after blindly following the (sat nav 'guided') Phils off the main road and through a tunnel towards Nice town centre I decide to go it alone and trust my instincts. I met up with Mike and Alan on the outskirts, whose sat nav had kept them on the main road...

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Off to Monaco, and round the Grand Prix circuit. The whole place was gridlocked, full of shiny rich people with shiny expensive cars. I hated it. As Mike was in danger of overheating in the traffic, and his fuel light was on we decided to leave before we effectively brought an entire principality to a standstill.

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We then had torrential rain on the peage to Montpellier, so once we got there I abandoned my plan to sleep in the car and splashed out on a Formula 1 instead, economising by knocking up a spot of haute cuisine in my room.
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Next morning was scorching, and we tried in vain to get Jaba's BX running properly again. We replaced just about every component of the engine electrical system, but it turned out later to be water in the fuel. We dropped it off at the dealers, and I pressed on to have a paddle in the Med (too windy to fancy a swim)
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and take in a route through the Pyrenees whilst the others had lunch. That was probably my favourite driving day of the trip - perfect weather, deserted roads, lush scenery, snow at 2100m
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and a bit of a change (good though it can be) from driving in convoy. I could just stop whenever I wanted, without thinking that the others may not want to stop. Towards the end of the day, I passed the Tigers who were doing very respectable speeds for a N/A diesel on 165 section tyres! I stopped to meet up with them and we drove the last 30 minutes to Alaigne when we had a welcome committee of drinks and food waiting for us at Chez Dyna, the village B&B. I was camping in my tent in a field behind some old buildings so a bit of a change from the car. Or so I thought, as after an excellent duck meal and perhaps the odd glass of local wine I spent half the night passed out on the front seats with the height lever and handbrake digging me in the ribs.
Next day was the rest day, which saw us visiting a scrapyard which had opened up specially for us. I got a few bits of trim, one of which being the parcel shelf support/boot side panel which I had been after for 5 years. And a front fold down armrest/box, which seems to be quite a rare find. Following a delicious barbecue
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the afternoon was spent banging my head on a low tree branch outside John Rolfe's workshop, and a spot of tinkering in-between. I'd used no measurable amount of oil or water - which given that I'd replaced the head a couple of weeks before the trip, and not driven further than 25 miles distance from home until the journey to Dover - was quite a relief. In the evening the village had laid on a motoring quiz, which the Tigers won hands down! We came third, and got a couple of bottles as a prize.
The following day after meeting with the Limoux car club for breakfast in the morning, we drove up on the Plateau de Sault, which was a huge plateau in the mountains that had a real feel of wild west America.

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Stopped off at an agricultural fair, drooled over the large tractors and tried not to vomit as several others enthusiastically devoured their box of snails for lunch. This was to be our last day in the mountains, so me and Mike took in a detour over the Col du Tormalet which would have been fantastic had it not been misty, rainy and going dark.

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Still, it was an epic drive if a little scary descending. The evening's stopover was in Pau, where we experienced the delights of a Buffalo Grill. It was actually a lot better than I'd thought it might be, and the service was not too bad either! :wink: As a potential quiet spot to spend the night I had selected from the map the amusingly named Foret Bastard,
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which turned out to have rather more people clustered in the corner of the car park than I felt comfortable with. Hmmm. The spot we ended up in was a bit of a mud bath after several days rain; I briefly got stuck after my rear wheelarches jammed solid with clay. However, after a bit of rocking the car between 1st and reverse I was able to climb out of the hole the wheels had sunk into.

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It was at this point that I made the comment that the hotel dwellers didn't know the meaning of the word fun, although there might have been a trace of sarcasm involved.
Next morning was fairly misty and dull to start with as we headed up north towards Bordeaux. Around lunchtime it brightened up and we all met up at a beach where me, Andy and Matt took a dip in the (surprisingly warm) Atlantic, which included getting knocked over by the forceful waves.

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After a while we left to try and visit a scrapyard I had seen but not been to on a previous trip. Sadly I arrived just as the owner was leaving - I think he was suggesting returning tomorrow but my French wasn't up to understanding him. Back on the road to La Rochelle I had a spot of poetic justice - behind me was an aggressive tailgater in a Megane Scenic. I couldn't go faster until the car in front of me moved over, and as he edged to within a few feet of my rear bumper a large lump of dried mud and stones dropped out of my wheelarch and exploded in his windscreen. He kept his distance after that... Onwards to La Rochelle, and another fairly late arrival followed by a walk into the old town for a meal with a view of the old harbour and boats.

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Another night in a dodgy car park followed, but no problems and I slept so soundly I didn’t here people parking next to me!
Dinan was the destination the next day, via the wonderful Loheac motor museum.

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Well worth a visit as it is absolutely huge with an amazing variety of cars.
The general scenery now was pretty rather than dramatic, and we made speedy progress onto Dinan.

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This is a medieval town with a bit of a traffic problem it seemed, but we made it in the end and found another car park to kip in. Andy, who was also cutting costs by avoiding hotels, had a bit of bad luck by selecting his ‘peaceful’ spot next to a loading bay for one of the hotels, and was kept awake from 5 am onwards with constant deliveries. Met up with some locals in a bar who expressed astonishment at our journey, and were very interested in the cars.
The next day was spent exploring Normandy. For me it was a very sobering experience to see the D Day landing sites and war cemeteries. Something I’d never seen before and although not a ‘feel good’ experience, I’m glad I did it. After most of the day feeling like a tourist it was onto the motorway for a blast to Dieppe. Most of us were feeling fairly worn out by this stage and not up for a big night out in Calais the following night, so this became the last meal we would have as a group. As my wife was feeling ill I decided to travel through the night and catch a ferry in the morning.
Changing the ferry times proved a bit of a problem – previously I’ve just turned up at the port and they’ve put me on the next ferry. This time I was met with a 90 Euro amendment charge, bearing in mind the return ticket only cost £42!!! Apparently no the only way to change it for free is by going one ferry earlier than your booking. That didn’t help me, as I was a day early. I phoned up the company I’d booked with, and they weren’t able to transfer me onto the ferry I could see, as loading had already started. But they could put me on one in 2 hours time, for ‘only’ £21. So I changed the booking, and once that was done I went back into the ticket office, and changed it again to the ferry that was present, as he’d previously explained that there was no extra charge for that!
I arrived back in Wales that evening, and surprised my wife with presents of wine and cheese. Me coming through the door did startle her somewhat, as she wasn’t expecting me for another 24 hours. I’d managed 3793 trouble free miles, which have left me with some great memories.

The list of mechanical problems occurring on the trip (not too bad given the age and mileage of the cars entering) was as follows, and all were sorted without problems, apart from Jaba’s:
Philibusters: Intermittent heater fan motor
Red Leader: Faulty brake light switch
Green Tiger: Coolant hose, rear brake shield, and sticking starter
Andy: Carb icing while descending some of the mountains
Jaba: Water in fuel
Last edited by mat_fenwick on Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:40 am

A brilliant summary, Matt. Brings it all back to life. It surprises me how quickly, looking back, it seemed to pass. We must do something similar again one day!
• 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:56 am

Given the recent cold weather it was a bit of a kick for me to finish off installing the central heating...I'd started it a couple of years ago but only done half the house as there was too much stuff in the other rooms to take up the floorboards.
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Now we have a nice warm house throughout, not just the rooms that were connected previously.

We haven't had as much snow as the rest of the UK by the sounds of things, but here are a few photos of my drive to work this morning.
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I find it quite annoying that even when the roads are clear, everyone drives so slowly just because there's a bit of snow next to the road! Even down to walking pace on a gritted and clear road.
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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MULLEY
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Post by MULLEY » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:01 pm

Nice piccies, i empathise with you about the slow pace of traffic on uncleared & cleared roads when there is sight of the white stuff :cry: On the other hand i'm sure they always get a shock when a scruffy looking old car overtakes them :lol: :lol: (I'm on about my one).
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
2002 Mini Cooper S - SOLD - i miss this car
1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014

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

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toddao
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Post by toddao » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:29 pm

I just got round to reading your BXagon report Mat - very enjoyable. Also the pictures of your central heating - why have you stepped down from the standard gauge copper pipe to a finer one? Easier to 'work?' Does that cause any pressure issues?
And lovely landscape and snow views - your daily commute doesn't really feature any other signs of life!
Todd


this yellow writing is really hard to read

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:54 pm

I've used microbore for a couple of reasons - firstly it's a lot easier to hide (the downstairs radiators are fed from above) and secondly the system takes less time to heat up as there's less volume of water. The boiler connections are the standard 22mm, so I've put in a 'spine' of 22mm feed and return pipe the length of the house, and spurred off that with 8mm, as the 8mm pipe only flows enough for one radiator.

Funny you should mention the lack of signs of life - it reminds me of a funny incident a few months back when I was driving to work on the same road that often has sheep wandering onto it (open moorland with no fences) when coming towards me I see a medium sized road roller, probably on its way to the next job. About half a mile further down the road I see a flat white patch on the tarmac, with an irregular white shape about a foot high sticking up from one side of it. FFS I thought, the heartless bastard has just completely flattened a sheep, and not even bothered stopping to clear up the mess.
I was about to turn round and ask what the hell he was playing at, when I noticed it wasn't a sheep at all. It was a can of expanding foam that he had run over...
I did have a good laugh about it afterwards!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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mat_fenwick
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Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:47 pm

Time for another update - there have been quite a few things happening recently! Biggest new is that my wife has now found a job after 8-9 months out of work. She's working as a designer for a motorhome company about 15 minutes away. Hoping we can borrow one at some point - they are pretty top end as prices start at about £200k!!!
The BX is now resting for a few months as I've put the Discovery back on the road, which given the snow we have had is probably a good thing. The BX is fine with chains on, but the problem in this country is the road surfaces are never consistent, so you're forever taking them on and off. Even managed a spot of skiing with me and a mate acting as vehicular drag lifts - unfortunately he ended up in a ditch that was hidden by snow!
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MOTing the Disco took slightly longer than expected - 2 small patches in the inner wings turned into a lot of metal removal, 3 days work and 7 cutting discs!
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A couple of weekends ago I went to the Dragon Rally, which is a motorbike meet where about 1000-2000 bikers camp in North Wales in February. This year it was back to nature, and we all took over a large area of woodland. The K100 I had borrowed from my father in law for the weekend (mine wasn't road legal) was not the best choice (at nearly 300kg plus drinks) for off roading down narrow tracks, which were covered with wet and icy leaves, on top of a sticky clay.
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Managed to keep it upright though, and had a cracking evening!
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Then a bit of fun last weekend with a hired digger, digging for a power line to our new shed. Some of the rocks were huge, and the little 3.5 ton machine really struggled to loosen them.
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Bizarrely there are several left over which didn't fit back in the trench - hopefully the ground won't open up and swallow any vehicles going over it!
Can any electrical whizz spot the wiring detail in the box below that goes against current recommendations? To me in this instance there is a conflict between the recommendation and common sense, not for the first time...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

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toddao
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Post by toddao » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:02 pm

Camping in February! Brrrr! I was going to suggest that you're a hard man but then I see you drinking that small bottle of wine! :D
I can't really see what's going on with your electrical situation but if you do have any problems I suggest you switch that big grey button to 'ON'
Todd


this yellow writing is really hard to read