Sunday, 30 December 2007

Coolair (GB) Ltd.

A couple of weeks ago Dave & Ray were in Volkspares in Barnehurst. They were after some of that stretchy aluminium pipe. Unfortunately the guy there didn't have any but kindly suggested they try Coolair. Well, Ray had seen the Coolair catalogue before but didn't realise the shop was local (Erith).

The shop (warehouse?) is in Bilton Road, Erith but the boys had never seen it before. Ray drove up and down the cul-de-sac which is Bilton Road about five times but could not find it. He asked a couple of locals (even some car mechanics about a hundred yards from where it eventually turned out to be. In fact it was right at the beginning of Bilton Road, but unless you knew it was there you would easily miss it. Come on chaps give us a clue who/where you are. Mind you inside it is a revelation. There are a few buses and a few bugs in there and loads of other bits and pieces. Ray was a bit disappointed that one assistant gave the reply to a question "Dunno mate, I know nuffin' about Beetles" Oh well c'est la vie, at least modern life.

Anyway it's useful to have another source of parts in the area, although Heritage has moved a bit closer to Ray's office in Crawley, which is also handy.

Tax exempt

Well, as I suppose most of you know, in the UK, vehicles manufactured (constructed) before 1st January 1973 are exempt from Road Fund Licence (Car tax). However you have to apply for a tax disc or, presumably, apply for a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). To apply for a Tax disc you need Insurance and an MOT. In my particular case, Ray had been the registered keeper since way back (pre SORN) but had not applied for the Tax, as the car was not being driven on the road. Those of you who have read this blog will know that Ray's son David is now using me for daily transport, so he recently applied for the tax disc (exempt).

Fortunately the local DVLA office is only a 15 minute drive away in Sidcup,Kent (near Sidcup railway station) so I popped Dave down there a couple of weeks ago. He was suitably armed with my new style registration document, insurance certificate and MOT.

The necesssary application form was filled in there and then. The chap behind the counter asked if there was a SORN but didn't seem interested in the answer. According to the DVLA you don't need a SORN if the vehicle was taken off the road before the law came out. Anyway it was all pretty simple in the end and as you can see Dave stuck the new disc on my front windscreen (bit too far over if you ask me). You should be able to read my new taxation class: HISTORIC..posh, eh what!?

Latest pics

Latest pics of Brian

Yeah, that's right, Brian. The family have dusted away the cobwebs from their collective memory and decided that I used to be called Brian. I can live with that: It's nice being wanted again after all these years!

Me after a good wash

Here are some pics of me. I know you have seen similar before, but these were taken on Holly's new camera she got for Christmas. Holly is Ray's youngest daughter. You remember me telling you about his other daughter Joanne? I mentioned she was having a baby in previous postings. Well she had a baby boy, Sammi, on 2nd Nov. I was going to say a little boy, but he was 10lb 2oz!
Anyway the camera is a Nikon D40 bought in Jessops, Crawley. Ray almost walked out of the shop without buying anything, the assistance was so bad (non existent). Can't say much about the camera yet as they have not really used it much, but seems pretty impressive.

Chit chat

Hi all, how are you? Don't get all shy I don't expect a response! It's quite pleasing to see so many visitors to the blog. Some of you look around for a bit and others go as quick as they came: I don't know what sort of beetle you are after. It was funny when the boys wrote about my oil consumption. A google search for "what sort of oil does a Beetle use?" produced, among others, a website about 'oil beetles'!!

Anyway, not much has happened over the last few weeks as I have been running very well. Although I am still losing a lot of oil and ATF as well. Can't do much about it before the spring and warmer weather, but Dave's grandmother has offered to pay for a new engine, so the boys are trying to work out the best plan of action.

The next couple of posts are on specific items so we have split them up for convenience and there are also some pics of me, after having had a bath! (more like a hose down! Brrrrr

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Dimensions of heater pipe

Having checked the details of the piping Ray & Dave used they have discovered that the smaller pipe is 50mm. This is the standard pipe people like VW Heritage etc. sell, that is used in the engine compartment. There is also a similar pipe in cardboard. When the boys first tried to 'fix' the heating they used this diam. pipe but found it went inside the heat exchanger outlet and could not be fixed securely. They then discovered the slightly larger pipe and the two sizes used in conjuctuction proved to be a perfect combination. They have plans, however to fix the heating properly using the correct Beetle components. The first hurdle is money. The two plastic pipes from the H/Es to inside the body are about £23 odd each (VW Heritage, GSF, Volkspares) although Ray saw them somewhere at half the price. (possibly Status)
Maybe they will pick some up secondhand-no rush I am keeping Dave fairly warm so far and I think they may try and get the left heater channel organised which should be OK.

Heater pipes

I notice Dave & Ray have put up some pictures of their handiwork.(see last post)
They were fiddling around for ages trying to get some of the heat produced by my engine to go into the cab. Hopefully you can see from the pics which is the view from under the rear seat. There is a length of aluminium stretchy pipe attached over the end pipe of the heat exchanger and fastened with plastic cable tie. This pipe is just over 3inches diameter and was purchased from Chastilian Motors in Crayford. Well actually it was free as it was the end of their stock. It was about 12 inches long but this stuff does stretch considerably, although you have to be careful as the aluminum can start to unwind. In the other end of this pipe, under the seat, a similar length of the stanadard VW aluminium hose, which I believe is 3inch diameter was fitted. The other end of this pipe fitted nicely over the pipe going into the heater channel. Although you cannot feel loads of heat coming out of the side vent it does have a noticeable effect on the overall warmth of the interior and I am much more comfortable to travel in now, so I hear.

The really important things to be done next are my oil leaks. My engine is, to say the least, a bit oily and drips when stationary after any trip, although I don't think it has ever been any different. Possibly more worrying is the leakage from the ATF system. It looks like one particular pipe from, or to, the ATF reservoir is very worn and oily looking and the "boys" think a lot of fluid is coming from there.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007