Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The list

Sitting looking at Olivia recently, Favourite Man and I started to list the things we've sorted/fixed/added/taken away on Olivia. And it's absolutely incredible what we've achieved in 4 or so months!

I'm going to try list the things completed thus far here, though trawling my Picasa albums (here and here) might give a better indication of jobs we've done. Starting at the front:
  • Bumper modifications: cut down, sandblasted & galvanized, fog lights and fog light guards, tow hitch receiver and pin, vise securing point, new spotlight bar & spotlights (used the square ones originally on the roofrack), Moz triangle & reflective tape, re-inforcing inside
  • Lights: headlight grilles galvanized, new running light covers & bulbs, wiring sorted, light protectors secured with rivnuts, emergency flasher wiring connected to indicators
  • Grille area: grille repainted, ciggie lighter socket on exterior, new air horns, DIN plug just inside bonnet & cutoff switch for Anderson (Brad Harrison) plug in engine bay
  • Wings: holes closed with grommets, interior of wings painted black / protected, air intake for fan/heater painted and rivnutted in
  • Wheels/Tyres: all tyres & tubes checked & rotated, rims sandblasted and epoxy coated - including spares and one extra rim
  • Bonnet: spare carrier sandblasted and galvanized (and repaired), new support rubbers for spare, new sealing rubbers around bonnet, latch fixed, new rubbers for hinges
  • Windscreen: new windscreen acquired, sandblasted, epoxy-coated and inserted (with one new pane), new left windscreen wiper, new wiper blades, wiper washers work, air vents below windscreen got new rubber seals all round
  • Engine bay: Anderson (Brad Harrison) plug installed, new vacuum advance rubber, new oil hose/seal, carb sorted/cleaned, thicker wiring from alternator - upgraded alternator!, new wiring looms, assorted relays and a fuse box, new solenoid, heater/fan unit fixed & replaced, new washer pump, washer jets and tubes sorted out, wiring run in protective tubing, more wiring wrapped with insulation tape, clutch cylinder looked at (still to be sorted out), entire engine cleaned (by hand), oil changed (twice), radiator flushed, thermostat fixed/modified, new choke switch, choke secured
  • Axle/Hub level: everything cleaned, front leafsprings reconditioned, spring hanger bushes replaced (*shudder*), new steering damper, brakes adjusted, axle & diff oils replaced, axles & diffs painted/protected, back hub oil seal replaced, back axles checked, new back hub gaskets inserted
  • Underside: cleaned, painted/protected, petrol tanks sorted (main and spare removed and cleaned), sender units for tanks checked and/or replaced, tank gaskets on, spare tank modified and fabricated to be refit, wiring run all over the place in protective tubing
  • Back crossmember: modified to take new fog light, emergency flashers, re-aligned tow plug, brand new tow hitch (custom-made), extra strengthening inside, wiring redone and secured
  • Back door area: new door seals, back door interior floor strip galvanized, window guard removed, lock fixed, door height and lock adjusted to close properly, back side windows removed and replaced with chequerplate, new spare cover, numberplate light, reverse light, new light guard (custom-made), all light guards galvanized, high-level emergency flasher lights, old reflective tape removed, hi-lift jack back in its place, new stickers for "80", "ZA" and new call VHF sign "Z117", numberplate properly secured, exterior ciggie lighter socket on back side
  • Roofrack: removed, cut down, sandblasted, galvanized, ladder & attachments all round galvanized, wiring run inside back to front for lights etc., tripod mounts added, new support struts welded in, aerial supports welded in, back work light support plate and light attached, exterior ciggie lighter plug and switch on work light, supports for axe & spade crafted, axe & spade modified and pimped & securely attached, awning back on & checked, awning locked to roofrack, front spots (x4), front LEDs (custom-made! x4), aerials (VHF, 29MHz, 2x cellphone, GPS), numberplate moved to roofrack on galvanized plate & properly secured
  • Roof: new bolts for safari roof, old reflective tape removed, perished gutter mastic removed and replaced with silicone
  • Windows: all chequerplate removed, back right window glass removed & replaced with chequerplate, rivet holes sealed, stickers on side back window (overland.co.za, tracks4africa, LROC membership, ORRA membership), window locking mechanism on driver's side fixed
  • Doors: new rubber seals all round, new door bolts where necessary, new shims, all doors aligned as best possible, inside of doors painted black to match interior, handles etc painted silver with cold galv, mirrors tightened up and checked
  • Interior: roof lining removed & cleaned, interior roof painted with protectacoat & checked for leaks, all old storage removed along with aluminium runners and gutter-level shelving, stainless steel water tank removed & hole plugged, all old wiring removed (especially that to the second battery...). Second battery relocated into back wheel-arch along with fuse box (x2), inverter, Anderson (Brad Harrison) plug, interior ciggie lighter socket, switch for exterior ciggie lighter, relays and wiring points from the front. New back interior light and fixed above-seats light, new wiring to two points behind the C-pillar (one for inverter-fed 3-point plug, switch and indicator light, other for 3-point ciggie light socket). Everything including and forward of the back footwells protectacoated black. Seats reupholstered, under-seat panels sandblasted and painted black, panel above transfer box removed, new inertia-reel seatbelts and seatbelt stalks. Secure box made to fit over transfer box sunk into seat box (safe & cubby still being made), extra wiring run for future use inside box, temporary top made. All levers & pedal stalks repainted, new tops for red/yellow, reverse light switch wired in to gear lever, spring for clutch pedal. New centre dashboard made, wired up (with LOTS of stuff! see pic), new switches on main dash for washer units, fan/heater, all switches checked, a couple of bits replaced (sender unit), speedo cable removed & greased & works!, brights indicator light replaced, new oil pressure & temp guages, new dashboard plumbing for heating/cooling, dash top re-upholstered, GPS mount secured, new indicator stalk, steering wheel reconditioned & painted, connection point for laptop/GPS, LifeHammer attached to bulkhead, VIN plates re-attached, new cut-off switch on bulkhead for second-battery starting, torch mounts re-attached to bulkhead. Shelf above windscreen painted, strengthened, wiring run to front, 29Mhz radio with new speaker, map light on shelf bottom, rear-view mirror re-attached, wiring for cellphones and GPS run, WorldSpace radio wiring run & bracket secured.
  • Various: all locks checked and "smoothed" to operate properly, every bolt & nut that can be is galvanized, spares sorted - old stuff chucked and new stuff categorized, new toolbox (yay! :-) ), essential items in ammo boxes in Olivia for daily travel.
A lot of these seem like minor items - but typing out something like "wiring run for hazards" doesn't begin to cover the time and money spent, the hassles behind the job, the do and re-do that crops up or the "yet another problem" uncovered along the way. To have done all this in a mere few months is a Very Big Thing, and the fact that Favourite Man has done it basically single-handedly while I trudge off to the office each day is absolutely enormous!

The project's not done yet. There's rocksliders being manufactured as I type this, there's the cubby box to organize, there's storage and layout to sort still. There are issues with the engine (will have to replace it sooner rather than later) and tyres (new ones urgently required), there is a horrific fuel consumption to fix, and the main petrol tank remains in the back yard awaiting its turn at re-insertion. There are a few other goodies that will be added - a high-level brake light is required, the roofrack needs chequerplate flooring - and there's always something that needs fixing.

But that's the list off the top of my head. And what a list it is.

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