20th April 2015
I had to get the intercooler pipe off the Mercedes engine tonight as the inlet manifold joint was covered in red silicone sealant, and when it finally came off, there was a huge ring of the sealant hanging inside the manifold, waiting to drop into the engine.
New gasket on the right.
DON'T use great gobs of sealant, the manufacturer's didn't, so no need for you to.
You can just see one of the four injection pumps poking under the back of the engine cover.
28th April 2015
Starting to wind down a bit now, as we need to get the trailer down from storage to give it its annual inspection and clean-up prior to going to Holland and France in May/June.
The 2nd and third window sheets I will have tomorrow evening, I'm going down to collect them from darkest Sussex, the internal bathroom obscure glass window turned up today, that is going to go in the internal bathroom wall to let light into the bathroom.
Other things have been done, I have finished the lighting renewal and all is back together. I have to do an oil and filter change, but may put that off until we get back from France. If I change it now it isn't exactly going to go far.
I will have some time before we go, but we'll be getting the trailer up to scratch and giving the Discoveries a service.
16th May 2015
The Mercedes has been put up at the farm, we have fitted the ali cover sheets over the top of the polythene to secure the poly sheets from flapping about.
We are off to Holland with the big trailer on Thursday, all checked out OK, just got to empty the cassette before we depart (we used the trailer for some visiting relatives last week)
Also heard from the hospital, my heart valve operation is definitely going ahead, so I've got that to plan for as well.
10th June 2015
Since the last entry we have been to Holland, to the Nuenen Engine Show, then after leaving the Ruston engine with a good friend we drove down to France and had a very nice holiday break. We came back in time to spend a week at Plasmolen in the Eldorado Marina campsite, only spoiled by Rita having a gall bladder stone problem, but we had excellent treatment from the A&E staff at the Nijmegen main hospital.
Brought the Mercedes back down from the farm this morning, set up SORN for it as the MOT runs out on the 17th and it isn't ready for having its motorhome label yet.
The Mercedes started in half a turn and apart from getting the air pressure up, was ready to roll.
I've got hospital on Monday, two days non-driving, MOT for the Discovery on the 18th.
Hope to get an idea of when the heart op is going to be scheduled, might get a choice of hospital as well, although there aren't that many that specialise in open-heart surgery. Papworth is nearest to us and most convenient.
11th August 2015
Seems like ages ago now, but I am back home after the heart operation, came out after 6 days which my GP reckons was pretty remarkable, given that most are in for 10 days at my age.
Feel OK, gets a bit better each day, have had to start on Warfarin to help with an irregular heartbeat, and I'm also on a cocktail of pills each day, gradually reducing as time goes by.
Been looking at the Mercedes, which hasn't been touched for a long time, hoping to get back onto it soon, probably another week or so before SWMBO will allow me out there
One job I did think about while in hospital was to change the passenger opening door to a conventional slam door from the swinging type that is fitted now. There is a stiffening frame around the door area which I should be able to attached three hinges to, and the existing lock and striker will likely be reused.
I'm on blood tests every week for the Warfarin dose and various visits to outpatient department for physio and other stuff, but I have a bit of spare time still.
19th September 2015
Nearly 8 weeks since the operation and I've been out in the Mercedes getting started on some jobs that I have been planning.
Missing almost the whole summer is a bit of a blow, but couldn't be helped.
I have taken the ceiling down and done a couple of modifications to the wiring and to the ceiling attachment, it's nearly all back up again now, and no signs of any water ingress anywhere.
It took a couple of days to do, but I'm happier now that it is done. Neither was particularly problematical but I felt it was worth doing.
Today I'll be putting the interior lights onto the batteries to give them a bit of work to do, the solar panels have been operational for 4 months but the batteries have no load at present.
Small puddle of water on the front step inside the cab, trying to work out where that came from! There were three radio aerial holes that we plugged with M10 flange cap heads and thick rubber washers, so unlikely to be those, but nothing in the roof lining so a bit of a mystery.
24th September 2015
The entrance door is going to be a side hinged conventional door, replacing the parallel hinge arrangement which is a bit ungainly and takes up a lot of space with its vertical pole and pivots in the entrance area. It also traps your legs if you're not careful!
The Bongo seat has been replaced by two VW Sharan rear row middle seats. These have integral lap belts.
The layout of the living area is pretty much defined, just a few odds and ends to clear up.
The main job to do is get the windows sorted out before winter sets it. As luck would have it we are busy at work and one of the boys is away on leave, so not a lot of spare time!
26th September 2015
Spent a bit of time looking at scooter-carrying arrangements for the Mercedes.
Calculating the effect on the vehicle is interesting:
Scooter weight 222kg plus we allowed 78kg for the carrier.
Distance behind the rear axle = 2425mm (Assuming 400mm behind the bumpers)
Wheelbase = 4250mm
Weight added to the rear axle = 470kg
Weight taken off the front axle = 171kg
Weight of the empty vehicle as it is now = 4000kg (250kg approx to come out when the floor framing is removed)
Axle Rating Front axle = 2300kg
Axle rating Rear Axle = 4300kg
Gross weight = 5990kg
Train weight = 13000kg (Not a mistake, the 614D can tow up to 7000kg with powered trailer brakes)
SVTech can uprate our gross weight to 6400kg from 5990kg as a paper exercise.
26th September 2015
Working on the scooter carrier at present, went out and took some reference pictures of the rear underside to use for planning how I'm going to attach it to the chassis.
10th October 2015
Loads of stuff turned up this week, a new small compressor as the one in the workshop is too big and ugly to move through the house, RAL5010 Gentian Blue cellulose paint (2litres) Acid-etch primer (2 litres) a box of decent 3M masking tape, two rolls of brown masking paper, 50 sheets of wet & dry.
I also sent the spare alternator and starter down to Vince in Luton for him to wave his magic wand over.
Picked up a new belt tensioner for the engine, boxed as a Gates product but was Dayco inside!
Hoping to get some time on the bus before the clocks change.
18th October 2015
We are going to fit a combined services panel on the side of the bus, it will have all of the 'plug-in' services plus the BBQ point:
There are a few jobs waiting to be done, but we have probably missed getting the window frames fitted, it's too cold for painting now, so we are going to bring foward the floor renewal which we can do in almost any weather with a heater in the bus.