Mirror, signal, manoeuvre … was that not the rule of passing one’s driving test? However this all depends on the quality and function of the actual signals on our cars which, as I discovered recently, do need a watchful eye. Whether you use standard glass light bulbs or LED alternatives, there is no time for complacency. But more of that later.
Firstly many thanks for the much appreciated favourable comments regarding the new SPOG web-site. As you will have read previously, setting up such a location is not without its difficulties and as some of you know only too well from your own personal experiences, such work does take up a lot of time. But the benefits are now there for you all to see. In fact dot .. dot .. dash, you can even “look” at our parts list in a field from the boot of a 2cv.
Also my thanks to those of you who came along to the TROY Camp at Breighton Ferry recently. Besides a private 2CV visit to nearby Wressle Castle, we had a scenic drive out to the Humber Estuary before returning to Breighton Aerodrome for a buffet lunch. This Second World War bomber base is now home to a club of enthusiasts being recognised as the Classic Aircraft facility of the North. Indeed several of us had a tour of the hangars with a detailed explanation of the various aircraft in store by one of the club’s volunteers who just happens to own a 2cv. Thanks John.
We also watched in awe as folk climbed onto the top of a bi-plane in order to do a spot of wing-walking, raising funds for a dementia charity. How brave are you? And talking about charity … we did it! Our little grand-daughter Molly needed £12k for a new electric wheel-chair. With the help of the “Just Giving” web-site, in just a few weeks the necessary sum was reached with this new disability aid now on order. My thanks to all of you who have helped with your most generous financial support.
Back to bulbs. Many of you approached me at the SPOG Stand during Registers weekend to tell of your decision to fit LED head-light bulbs as discussed in my previous SPOG Articles. Good to know that one’s efforts are actually being read. Indeed the “Cold White” examples would seem to be favourite. However a potential problem in that I heard one person complaining that this caused interference, buzz etc on the fitted radio. Anybody know why and a possible remedy?
LED bulbs are not without their problems though. I use multi-faceted 4 watt equivalent side-light examples in my square head-light drummer. But these bulbs, although emitting a satisfactory white light, do gradually go dim. Investigation has discovered that, for some unknown reason, the individual light spots on the bulb head stop working. Are there any better LED side-light bulbs available than the ones I’m currently using?
Alternatively the rear-light clusters of my 87 disc-brake 2cv have the standard array of normal bulbs. Indeed this car had recently passed its MOT prior to TROY’s Breighton camp. However after the scenic drive which did start off in rather gloomy conditions, my friend behind commented that my off-side rear-light was rather dim. After the camp I checked this. Although the light did seem to work, removing the lens cover revealed all. The 5 watt bulb in question had gone black!
In the accompanying photograph you can see the comparison of this duff bulb and a new one. How does that happen? No matter, I popped in the new one and binned the dud. As ever I used a clean rag to hold the bulb during insertion as I’m told that leaving one’s fingerprints on the glass, particularly with halogen examples, reduces the bulb’s life expectancy. Also I painted the metal part of the bulb and inside the bulb holder with Vaseline petroleum jelly using an old make-up brush … nothing wasted in this household! This keeps corrosion at bay, helps with the earth mechanism plus prevents the spring electrical contact inside from getting stuck.
Perhaps one ought to regularly walk around our cars at night with the lights on checking everything is working OK and as bright as it should be. But it has also come to my attention via TROY Club night (thanks Ken) that something else is worthy of regular inspection, namely the rear engine mount. With this rubber/metal plate sitting well hidden behind the gearbox close up to the lower bulkhead, you might need a torch. Indeed as I’ve come to learn through my involvement with SPOG products (351309 rear bump stop cone) rubber is a varied material of differing quality, hardness, durability and cost.
As you can see from the engine mount pictured, its rubber core does perish. And becoming blathered in engine/gearbox oil customary with A Series engines doesn’t help. Replacement of this part is a rather tricky in situ with having to raise/support the gearbox from underneath with a jack. Better this though than leaving the mount to totally collapse causing difficulty with engaging the gears. Alternatively why not renew all three engine mounts as a matter of routine when changing a chassis? As ever, prevention is always better than cure.