Bought a lift…

After seeing a ready made garage pit at the NEC 20 years ago, I have been thinking about getting a pit or two-post lift. It always seemed too complicated, too expensive, just too much…

I started following “Seaside Garage” on Youtube, who described the difference his mid-rise scissor had made. It’s not a full height lift, but cheaper and much more convenient! I started looking around and found Strongman and their apparently popular “Clifton” lift (previously “Montford”?).

Link to Seaside Garage: Seaside Garage – YouTube

It wasn’t the cheapest lift, but fitted the bill perfectly. Delivered within two days, and despite weighing 500Kg, I set it up myself. Here it is in situ (yes, I fitted the ramps to the wrong sides, handles need to be on the outside):

Still not hooked up to the “Control Tower” and it needs a commando socket installed. Will post a video of the first test run. (EDIT: Now posted below)

First run of lift.

The red lamp on the Control Tower, and the manual does not mention this at all, is not a fault indicator as I first thought. It is a warning to everyone in the shop (and my neighbours) that the lift is lowering, and it is LOUD! So loud that I put some Duck tape over it, which brought it down to a more pleasant sound level.

I swapped the control tower connection side to be by the wall, which, TBH, I don’t think it was really designed for. The only slight issue is that the cable bracket for the stop switch has no holes to be screwed into on the other side. Double-sided tape should hold it in place.

The Chinese Google-translated manual is awful. Poor quality photos, lack of information, and written in bad English. The hydraulic line joins were not tightened from the factory, so oil leaked everywhere the first time I ran it. The dip-stick for the oil reservoir is also shiny metal, so useless. I will try to mark min and max with permanent marker on the reservoir itself.

The motor is a 3HP motor and uses 18A at cos φ .54 as seen below.

Rebuilding my old Commodore 64 setup

Back in the late eighties, I had a Commodore 64C, a 1541-II floppy drive, Okimate 20 colour printer, light pen, two joysticks, and most importantly, a COMAL80 cartridge. I’m obviously getting old, as I suddenly felt a desperation to get all this back.

I have bought a COMAL80 cartridge, a very rare item, which should be on the way, and the 1541-II I bought has just arrived, photo below. I have not dared power it up using the old power supply. I will get a modern power supply for it.

My new, old 1541-II

I’m bidding on a C64C and have to my surprise found several Okimate 20’s in the US but shipping costs are prohibitively expensive. I will keep you posted.

Volvo VEA D4 cambelt fitting trick

(Or how to get Volvo D4 cambelt on)

I just quickly wanted to share an easier way of slipping the cambelt over the last pulley to what VIDA or Youtube suggests. I did this on a Volvo VEA D4 D4204T5 2.0 diesel engine in a V70 from 2014.

VIDA says to pull the belt over the cam pulley last, but it’s not very easy. Instead, feed the belt up on both sides as tightly as you can and leave the belt running across the top idler (pointed to in the photo).

Put a small breakerbar or similar on to one of the bolts on the cam pulley and pull down, and as it turns, the section of belt across the top will slacken and you can easily push it under the centre idler.

Just make sure, as I spent an hour before realising this, that the bottom of the belt is tightly looped around the crankshaft pulley and not hanging down below the pulley. You won’t ever get it on if that is the case.

Anthony Dunkley

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Don’t visit, it is very well done but don’t fall for it.

Anthony Dunkley will send you a glasses case from China no matter what you order and pay for.


B230E valvetrain refresh

After 250 000 miles, I finally got around to renewing the valvetrain components of my Volvo 240. Springs and hushers being the main items to replace. I also adjusted the fuel distributor system pressure, control pressure, flow plate and CO mixture.

Cam out and new valve springs in

My new valve compressor tool

All back in!

Next up, tuning fual distributor system pressure

System pressure was only 4.6 (not shown in photo), so I carefully got the pressure regulator out and added shims to it. Quite a lot of shims was needed, I think the spring had gone weak.

After that, I centered the air flow sensor plate and checked the rest height. To be able to tighten the flow plate nut without it moving, fold over a piece of A4 paper and slot it down all round the plate. This has the right thickness to keep the plate centered.
Next, CO tuning. Incidentally, if you can’t find a photo of this either, this is what the bung down the CO adjuster screw tube looks like:
I screwed a little screw down the tube and pulled it out.

That’s it. Next, replacing the power steering pump…

Laying lower track

I’ve realised I probably did this in the wrong order as I have had to disconnect and flip up the upper station layer. Lower track is near down, and once the stattion is back down, I can fit the Woodland Scenics riser and track all the way round.

My CS3 is still off for repairs, but hopefully it will all be ready to run some trains when it comes back…

I have also secretly ordered McK’s new IC3 (litra MF) model to arrive next spring.

Re-generate Lightroom DNG files

I accidentally deleted the folder with the DNG files after importing files and editing them in Adobe Lightroom. Played around a bit and managed to re-generate them without losing my editing and tagging, using the following procedure:

1) Select all the raw photos for import (again)

2) Tick (if not already ticked) “Do not import suspected duplicates”

3) The dimmed thumbnails are the ones you want to import as those are the ones you imported last time

4) Un-tick all

5) Un-tick “Do not import suspected duplicates”

6) Tick the ones that were dimmed down

7) Un-tick “Add to collection”

8) Import

That re-generated the DNGs

I then generated a new web-catalogue and watched the file sizes as it built the files and the were all 30-40% bigger, so it definitely made a difference.