General Maintenance - DIY

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by PP Bear, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    It's a bit of a long one I'm afraid :)

    I've been given the task of closing a number of "departments" within our Garrison, as part of the drawdown and move of the REME from both Arborfield and Bordon. We're off to an old RAF base in Lyneham which is nowhere near as good as the facilities we once had, but that's all another story.

    Im staying onsite throughout the close down. I shut the officers mess at the beginning of October, so I'm now into my 4th week of living in the motorhome and loving every minute of it. I say living, I mean 5 nights and home for the the Friday and Saturday, before heading back to camp on the Sunday evening to start my 5 day cycle again.

    So all this "wild" camping on a remote car park inside the Garrison, had me thinking about maintenance, the winter ahead, leisure batteries and insulation of the pipes around the chassis and how the wiring is holding up etc. I also wanted to adjust the handbreak and take a good look at the discs and pads to see how they're holding up.

    With the motor nearly 10 years old but only 25000 miles on the clock meant I didn't have an accurate state of the pads. Sure, I could just see the outer ones by looking through the wheels, but I wanted a full inspection, so I managed to find one of the doors open in the Garrison Workshop. Excellent!! I spent hours here tinkering on car servicing, but the place is now empty and my civilian friend who ran it, made redundant, which is all very sad for the many civilians this move to Lyneham effected, and were also made redundant.

    First job was to jack up one side of the rear and remove the wheel for a closer inspection. Now I carry a trolly jack that's rated at 2000kg. The vehicle jack that came with it, is rated at 1750kgs, so you would think that the trolly jack would be more than capable of lifting a corner to remove the wheel. It did it....just and only about high enough to squeeze an axle stand under. Not sure if you've ever tried to remove any of your wheels, either in anger or in practice, but it ain't an easy operation. I'd recommend everyone who would attempt such a task on a real breakdown, to try it first at home and see just how difficult the task can be. Factor in say the rain, at night, in a dark road and the task becomes so much harder. Think most would wait for the breakdown man to arrive to change the wheel, but if you're the type that would do it yourself like I am, then the practice is well worth the time. Just removing the wheel nuts with the issued leaver is near impossible. I used my socket set and a long extension to get the leverage, or I'd have never got them undone. I also needed to use the rubber mallet to force the wheel of the stud retainers as they were stuck fast.

    Did both a rear and a front wheel and copper slipped the bolts back home again. Pads and discs are fine.

    Next I removed the fridge vents and cleaned them in soapy water, including the mounts, hoovered out the back of the fridge and cleaned the green moss from around the edges of the mounts.

    Then out came the leisure batteries for their annual check up. All good there too.

    Then I put it over the pit and took a look underneath. The first thing I notice is the weeping sump gasket. Nothing so bad just yet, but now on my list of jobs to do. Also noticed the first signs of corrosion on the front chassis members, so there's another job on the list to underseal.

    I examined the many looms and wiring and was quite disappointed at how badly they were insulated. I found wires without any insulation, running across potential knife edges on the chassis, just waiting to be exposed and then shorting out at some point. I also examined the waste water pipes that ran across the upper floor without any form of insulation.

    I soon sourced some old pipe insulation and began to insulate all the water pipes, both fresh and waste. I also used it to insulate and secure much of the wiring and made an excellent job of ensuring it runs well clear of any sharp edges, or has the potential to short out at any stage. Also put large tie wraps around the exhaust rubbers. It an old bit of advice from one of the old MOT chappies I've been too. Good advice too, see picture.

    Last job was to check the spare wheel. Not an easy task on my Autotrail, as it involves lifting the cycle carrier and removing the large wheel cover at the rear. The tyre is brand new and in excellent condition, but down on pressure. Mine run at 80psi, so I had the chance to use my recently sourced Lidl mini compressor tyre inflator. However I was very disappointed, as it states that it's good for 10 Bar(145psi approx), but I only managed to get it to blow to 60psi, before it had a small hissy fit and simply wouldn't puff above that. So I guess it'll be ok in an emergency, or to blow up an air bed, or my beachball, but useless at maintaining my tyres at 80psi should the need arise.

    So that's it. Took me 6 happy hours to tinker around. I've also decided to stay inside the workshop tonight, so I can stay on EHU. Means I can save on some gas and have an electric kettle for faster brews.

    Ahhhh, life's sweet and the joys of owning a motorhome. Apologies that it's a long one, but lots to get in...:)
     

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  2. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Funster

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    Hi,
    Did you take the pads out completely the reason I ask is our van is also 10 years old with 26000m
    on the clock ,My pads looked great but when I removed them found the material was breaking up so replaced them. Pads become hard and brittle after time well worth the £22 spent for the better braking.
     
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  3. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Sounds like you learned a lot too. You have just reminded me I need to put ours in for a service.

    Nice photos and its good to see what OPs look like.
     
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  4. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    Good job(y)
    Ah there's nothing like a pit for a good look around underneath (y) I had a go at putting some Waxoil underneath mine in the summer but no pit had to squirm around on me back, got more on me than the van. So make good use of it PP cos the alternative ain't so sweet:confused:
     
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  5. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    Hi PP, I've always understood that it is not good practice to put copper slip or similar on wheel bolts. I thought they should always be replaced clean and dry so that the torque settings were accurate and there is less chance of them coming undone., However, if I'm wrong I apologise for butting in!
     
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  6. mariner

    mariner Funster Life Member

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    Basic training at Popperhinge and trade training at first Havannah and then Martinique.

    This was back in the mid sixties so I imagine it's all different now.

    What are they going to do with all the purpose built training buildings?

    :cooler:
     
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  7. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    Ah yes the joy of working from a pit! I changed the exhaust on ours the other week and what a joy that was lying on my back on our damp gravel drive. I could hear my old Nan saying "you will regret lying under that old car when you're old and the rheumatism has set in"

    Guess what Nan, you were right :rolleyes:.
     
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  8. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    I didn't remove them, they're the OE set and in excellent condition. I take your advice and thanks :)
     
  9. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    There are 2 tiny areas that are showing signs of corrosion, so I need to seal these areas, but I'll do it with spray tar underseal, once I've cleaned the area up :)

    I remember the advertising for WaxOil and will consider getting it into the inner chassis. Messy stuff like you mentioned :)
     
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  10. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Copperslip is perfect for wheel studs and nuts. It doesn't effect torque and prevents corrosion and ease of future removal. Used it for many years, both on our military equipment and my own vehicles. Well recommended. In fact I use it on almost every single nut and bolt I remove, it's that good :)

    Would never use anything other than copperslip :)
     
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  11. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Got a lot of our civilian instructors who joined in the mid 60's. Wouldn't be surprised if you knew some of them :)

    All the old buildings are condemned for asbestos and haven't been used for some time. The entire camp is going to be demolished and plans to build houses on the site. Same at Bordon :(
     
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  12. Cavs

    Cavs Funster

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    Thanks for that, PP. I agree with you about the merits of copperslip and I've used it frequently (just not on wheel nuts:rolleyes:). Thanks for the advice.:)
     
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  13. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Yes Dave Newell always says that he finds more breaking up than are worn out on motorhomes. I changed mine earlier in the year & they were starting to break up & detach from the backing plates.

    I had to open my last tin earlier in the year. Only been carrying it round since 1976.:D Hopefully I'll die before I actually have to buy some. :LOL:
     
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  14. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    The big MOD fire sale continues....:swear2:

    How the hell can Lyneham ever replace the TTA and heath at Bordon?:doh:

    Lots more houses for the uncontrolled mass of immigrants I suppose.....
     
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  15. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Nice one PPB oh to have the luxury of pit/hoist garage facilities (y)
    Just took advantage of sunny/dry weather and done a full winter inspection oil and filters change and also renewed break fluid .and a couple of minor adjustments/tinkering jobs all outside ,and the jack 2 ton trolley that i carry just about copes as you say ,even my big 2.5 ton (getting on a bit) does it but complains a bit and all under ideal conditions .
    Different matter as you say in the wet ,midnight ,dark narrow road ...fingers crossed :)
     
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  16. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Don't forget to check your Sump for Rust, It's a common failing on Ducatos I give mine a sand and spray on Hammerlight every year. I think it was @chaser that had a sump that only lasted 5 years afore it rusted out
     
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  17. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Now that is good advice, thanks.....I've never thought of spraying or painting a sump, but makes soooooo much sense!! :)
     
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  18. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Absolutely, there could never be a replacement for the TTA and there's nothing even near it at Lyneham....it's a blooming RAF camp for goodness sake....we all hate the place. Proper messed over by the flipping government :(

    We've lost all our identity as a Corps. That beautiful Westcourt Mess (first mentioned in the history books as being gifted to King Harold) has gone, the camp gone and all the training areas too. The Reccy Mechs have a wonderful replacement.....the runway no less. Utter, utter rubbish and madness.

    The camp was all but run down, so lots of plaster covering the cracks, which have already began to appear. Hot waters failed, toilets backing up, no wifi or phone signal. Rubbish accommodation and the worst Mess I've ever had to live in for the past 30 years of service :swear:
     
  19. Masman

    Masman Funster

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    PP check front wheel arch for rust.Right at the top.mines 11 years old this year.both just starting.wire brushed back to bare metal.two coats of cure rust two coats of hammerite.Then a coat of hammerite underseal.
     
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  20. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for the tip, it's on my new list to do and look at. I usually get the hose and flush up the wheel arches, but I'm bound to miss so much. I'll have a look as see :)
     
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