A day of two halves

Written by ralph on May 1st, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

This morning the driveway was full of people installing a gps tracker and collecting a roof tent and a water tank recently sold on ebay.

This afternoon was spent tidying up the spagetti bolognese of wiring underneath the dashboard and fitting a new stereo.

I have bought a Kenwood KDC-BT60U which has direct ipod control and bluetooth.

The ipod sits in the glovebox and is accessed from the front control of the unit which works in a similar way to the ipod itself and is very easy to use and sounds fantastic.

It also has a bluetooth hands free kit built in.  Once again this is very easy to use, it uploads all you numbers and automatically mutes the music when in use.

P5010027One other nice touch is the fact that the display and button colour can be changed to match the rest of the instruments.  Sad but I prefer it all to match.

This picture also shows the 3 Carling switches which operate the rooflights (front and rear) and the changeover and purge switches for the veg oil system.

The microphone is for the VHF/UHF set.

I also managed to wire up the compass illumination and run the main cables from the battery to the boot.

As it’s a bank holiday I hope to make some progress with the elctrics in the boot before I go back to work.

Snagging list

Written by ralph on April 29th, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

Working at home this week has given me a bit more time in the evenings to finish some of the articles of older activities and consider what’s left to do.

My current snagging list looks like this:

  • Complete relay installation in rear for rooflights, inverter, etc.
  • Connect up the rear worklights
  • Connect up the front spotlights
  • Fix the upper snorkel bracket
  • Add some side supports to the front bumper
  • Fix the protective cover over the water bag
  • Extend the fuel tank breathers
  • Wire up and calibrate the compass
  • Wire up the FW pump
  • Add a protective grill in front of the intercooler
  • Optimise the fuel pump
  • Add net pockets where needed
  • Fix the ‘safe’ in place
  • Secure down the boot storage system
  • Add window screens
  • Fit the new stereo and dashboard controls
  • Add the EGT, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp and water temp guages
  • Sort out bottle storage for oils etc.

Phew.  there’s a couple of hours work there.Undecided

All will be documented here.  I bet you can’t waitWink

More fiddling

Written by ralph on April 24th, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

Today was spent mostly fitting the solar panel and window ‘blank’ on the drivers side.

The solar panel connector was run across the top of the dog guard and tie wrapped down.  Before fitting I pulled out all the wiring for the rooflights, and working light and re-routed tham to above the window.  I have added some photos here and will add additional words during the week while I am away this week.

I took the time to secure the roof toolbox better and add my recovery kit, fix a broken plastic ‘buckle’ on the rooftent cover and fit a locking wheel nut to the roof spare wheel carrier.  I also added some pipeclips to secure the freshwater pipes better.

I have created a new category on the links page for overland travellers blogs and added some links to a couple of good sites that I am following and have pinched some ideas from.

Next week I shall ‘attack’ the electrics in earnest.

The website is now averaging over 25 ‘unique’ hits per day with some days reaching over 80.  There are 20 subscribers and links being added in other websites.  This is great news for me as sharing this info is what this is all about.


Firing blanks

Written by ralph on April 18th, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

Days to go : 167

More progress in the boot today.  I finished the window blanks yesterday and sprayed them last night.  Today the paint was dry so I was able to fit the first solar panel and fix the ‘blank’ in the passenger side rear window.  The second panel should be here during the week and I hope to get this fitted next weekend.

I carpeted the inside and built a shelf below it and fitted a storage net above.

I have added pictures here and will be adding more words later.

Sunshine & progress

Written by ralph on April 17th, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

Days to go : 168

Today was beautiful day and a reasonable amount of progress was achieved.

Alan let me have the old wheel mount from his rear door and I fitted this (after a good scrub and a coat of hammerite) onto the ‘lower deck of the roofrack so that my second spare would be bolted down rather than strapped.

Alongside this I mounted a Stanley ‘Fat Max’ 28″ watertight toolbox to hold my recovery kit.  Pictures can be seen here.

I also managed to make the two rear window ‘blanks’ from 12mm MDF.  These were cut to shape and painted black on one side, which will face outwards and will be carpeted on the other to face inward and match the rest of the interior.

Apart from adding security by obscuring everything in the boot, they will also add shade, hoepfully keeping the interior cooler.  I plan to mount a solar panel on each of these (2 x 7.5 Watt) and use the inside to mount various electrical items.

Tomorrow I hope to do a bit more work on the electrics and window ‘blanks’

I shall add an article on this once complete.

Yesterday I dropped the rooftent mattress off with Janet, my Sister, who is going to make a cover for it and some fitted sheets.  This will make it a lot more comfortable.

Water works

Written by ralph on April 9th, 2010. Posted in Ralph's blog

Today I managed to finish of the trim nd paint the inside of the boot system.  it’s not really necessary but it does look a lot better.

I also plumbed in the water bag, pump and shower.  I hope to fill it and try it out soon.  Article is here.