Mat's BX Blog

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

Post by electrokid » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:04 am

..that_ =D> beers

Many Happy Returns
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mat_fenwick
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:10 pm

Cheers guys :) Not sure how much longer I want to keep celebrating birthdays though...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:37 pm

A big milestone on the Stellar project has been reached, as I got a propshaft made up and for the first time in 10 years it's capable of moving under its own power!



The engine was originally from an SD1, although built into P6 spec. and I got it from an 80s Range Rover. Gearbox is a 2wd R380, fitted to Morgans and the MGB RV8, clutch operated by an SD1 slave cylinder, pushrod from a late TD5 Defender and a universal master cylinder fitted to the previously cable operated clutch. Running via a modified propshaft to drive a Cortina 2.3 rear axle. So a real mish-mash of bits!

There's still a fair bit to do to get it on the road (mainly welding) but the important thing is I know it's all doable. The custom stuff has all been done, although I may want to re-make the O/S exhaust manifold to get more clearance between it and the steering column/upper wishbone bush.

And another bit of good news is that Lana has got a new laptop, so she's kindly donated her old one to me so I no longer have to use my phone for internet access :) It's such a novelty being able to type on a proper keyboard!

Not had too much in the way of work for MJ Motors, but a recent job was changing the front caliper on an Isuzu pickup. Straightforward enough, but what surprised me was the amount of rust on the chassis!

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It's only 11 years old (still a new vehicle in my eyes :oops: ) and has only done 80 odd thousand miles. But I'd only give the chassis another year or two before structural welding is needed. Makes our Discovery look pristine!
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Gary » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:23 pm

We had an Isuzu pick up in that was used by the local council in the yard where they kept the road gritting salt , the chassis was so bad that it had to be replaced,and that was only a about 4 years old.
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mat_fenwick
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:54 pm

Another weekend gone, and I've finally felled all the trees I need to behind the house. This is the last one to go:

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Very glad it's done, as they have to be taken down in the opposite direction to the one they naturally want to fall in (hence the winch rope) and also felling uphill which is more dangerous. Had a bit of a scare too, as the last but one fell sideways, possibly due to the wind which had picked up a bit. Could have been quite nasty, as I was walking away from it (shouldn't have turned my back...) and looked round to see it had fallen straight in my direction but fortunately had snagged in the tree next to it! Should be OK for a few year's firewood now though once it's all cut and dried.

Also changed the exhaust on the Disco, and fitted new discs and pads to the Focus before we go away. More scrap for the recycling centre to moan about!
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
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Tinkley
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Anything that size round me now has a TPO on it...

Scots pine or larch are they? Looks more like former.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:27 am

Mainly larch, with a handful of (Sitka?) spruce. I wouldn't know about TPOs, but once the ones that were within range of the house were felled, the rest had to follow - as they were so tightly packed they don't seem to have the strength to stand without the outer ones breaking the wind. Already had 3 or 4 blow down this winter.

Plus most of the larches are dying around here, which is a shame. But we have some native trees to plant - oak, hornbeams and a few acers. Should be firewood for the next generation living there...
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1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Thread Bear » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:04 am

Number 3, The Larch

It has got a bit silly with trees in the home counties. We have two Limes over the school entrance. The trees need continual regular pruning as they are old. Needless to say they do not get it. The last time I hassled for this a branch went through the roof of my shed. No movement. Then a tree fell on a guy in Oxford so in with the publicity and at the end of the week it was pruned with great bad grace from the council overseers. It needs doing again, 10 years on.
It is pointless creating these rules if they are not applied intelligently. Yes, if the outer tree screen is lost for some reason the inner ones are more likely to fall in a gale. Is this why the 'terrible gales' in the South have caused such carnage? Firstly, yep a few big storms have taken out important trees, but no, the reaction to look after the rest, or down them, was not made, as the Southerners do not get so much bad weather to understand the nature of trees in extremes. Its more important to look pretty, pretend to be green while polluting Asia and not spend dosh. Its sad to take out healthy trees but if they are the wrong types in the wrong place, or weakly rooted, what real option do you have? Well round here you have to wait and hope they do not fall on someone as despite being banned for lopping them, strangely they remain your responsibility, not the twit who stopped you from preventing the incident. Its called responsible Government, for which there is, of course, a fee!
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:19 am

Clear larch was the boatbuilders choice, years back. It hardly rots at all in sea water and is pretty light. Got a few round here, including my neighbour at rear. The needles are a pain if it sheds in a nor'easter as it covers my garden not his!.

The rather wet ground here in the SE has allowed a lot of trees to fall because the roots have no grip rather than poor cutting. At least round here. Some of the oaks were massive, even the 1200mm Stihl would not cut through the lower part in one cut!. If you examine a lot of fallen trees here on Surrey/Hants border it is the roots that have snapped, though the storme before Christmas eve snapped 90' pines in two in a few places where the roots held. I hope to collect a few birches for next years firewod, we are not done for storms yet and I expect any serious breeze 50mph + will cause another load to go.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Thread Bear » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:54 am

Whiplashed pines are always a bit sad, as they got their roots in, but failed ultimately.

Indeed, not taking the wet ground into account. Rewind that rant slightly. The South East has had a lot more rain than normal. It would seem the weather stream has slipped about 300 miles south as the Solway coast has had the rainfall we normally get here in Oxfordshire. If that is true for Lakeland then unbelievably the north might be short of water in the summer!
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:35 pm

Thread Bear wrote:they got their roots in, but failed ultimately.
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Most had been uprooted, as there is only a reltively thin covering of soil over rock, but one just snapped.
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Way2go » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:59 pm

In the picture, it looks like weevils or some type of burrowing insect has caused damage to the tree and
caused it to start to fail along a generated fault line? :? Gravity & leverage has done the rest. :)
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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Tinkley » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:38 am

Nah, not weevils, just the little internal ends of branches heading inwards for strength. That is the problem with larch, great timber but you need a managed tree to get really good knot free timber. If the trees are managed the small branches can be pruned off early so the knots don't develop in the heartwood when the tree is older. For all that, the tree pictured IS a pretty clean example.

You could actually make something quite nice with that size and quality of timber. It is just big enough to quarter saw it up to get stable grain. Even if it is just house stuff, framing, a table, door or whatever. Cheap high quality stuff compared to the usual rubbish most DIYs' sell....just needs drying after cutting. My Doug Fir was pretty dry after 18 months in stick, but her planks are around 55-60mm thick X 200mm wide X 4meters.

Top part just gets too small, firewood only.

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by Thread Bear » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:09 am

I plan to ship lap my house with rough cut Larch boards, insulated behind and to stop the walls spalling. Very green, so controversial, as looking green is more important than being green. They used to use Elm for this in a traditional style of construction round here. The council prevented me from building a large new house in this style 'as it was not traditional for the area'. I took 47 pictures of property in the Vale to prove them wrong, but off course they then got arsey, so refused anyway on other issues. By that time I was looking at other projects so dropped the argument. The houses built in place of my green design are frankly modern slums, poor quality, suffer from damp and out of keeping with the area. Well done idiots. Though I note since I did this several people have got timber buildings passed, so maybe I made my point for others benefit.

However this time its permitted development so up their kilts! Going to be very woody round here.
Miguel - 16 TRS Auto S, light blue, 43k miles - £450
Pluto - 14 E S, White, 105k Miles - in work
Egbert - 19 16v Gti, White, A/C & Leather, - Keeper
Walt - 17 TZD Turbo S, graphite, 70k miles, good op extras - Keeper
Scraper- 17 TZD Turbo E, blue, 208k miles - parts
Homer - 19 TXD E, Red, 189k miles - £250
Gary - 17 TZD Turbo E, 118k miles - in work

'87 Trooper, Borgwards, Saabs, MG ZB, Bellamy Trials, Fiat Jolly & Bianchina, Goggo Dart, Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Bubblecars

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Re: Mat's BX Blog

Post by mat_fenwick » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:29 am

It's funny, I've had 3 months to do stuff to the BX while I've not been using it - one of the jobs being to change the rear height corrector, then rebuild the old one to put on the front. Yet it's only now I've taxed it that I'm starting to do things! I pulled the front bumper off to put cavity wax in all the seams underneath it. Still looking good under there so hopefully I'll keep it that way.

I've got a pair of new OE headlamps to go on, but I noticed that one of my indicators had cracked. As luck would have it I have many for the opposite side, but the one driver's side spare I have is also cracked although less so. I've got one on the way from catsinthewelder so I'll wait until I have that before putting the headlights on and going for a spin.
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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