Sunday, 29 November 2009

Camp Quality Christmas Party

Today was the Camp Quality Christmas Party at Bribie Island, and for the third year in a row, the poor, long-suffering attendees had to put up with Damian as their MC!!

So while Damian's kids played on the giant jumping castle/slide thingy,

Damian was out the front (and sometimes down the back) with his trusty wireless microphone and run-sheet that changed constantly throughout the day!! (Hey, that's how Camp Quality rolls - start with a plan, then go with the flow!!)

Damian was even a good boy and got to sit on Santa's knee!!

One of the graduating camper's this year (turned 18 during the year, so is no longer eligible for Camp Quality) got a lift with Damian... turns out she was pretty darn tired on the way home!!

Meanwhile, Damian posed for a photo while hurtling down the Bruce Highway...

Many thanks to the volunteers who made the day a success... the feedback from the camp families and the families of the Camp Quality volunteers were that the day was awesome!!

There was also enough time to give Booger Mobile a plug (it's easy when Damian was the one with the microphone!!), and there are rumours of some more sponsorship to help the boys get Booger Mobile on the road, so watch this space!!!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Brackets and bulldust...

After the boys had a weekend off last weekend, Scottie arrived bright and early ready to get down to business. On the agenda was the fabrication of some sort of bracket/linkage/white man magic to connect the accelerator cable to the carby.

While this was going on, Damian removed the rest of the suspension from the passenger side.

As Scottie was building the first of the brackets required, he discovered that the bracket was shaped a little like a car, so felt obliged to draw the rest of the car in!!

Sadly, once the bracket was completed, it didn't look much like a car any more... (there was a major design change from the first bracket above, but it's still there giving strength and support to the new bracket!!) The first bracket was to hold the linkages that worked the accelerator arm on the carby.

Once the first bracket was completed, it was onto the second bracket... Sadly there are no pictures of the first couple of designs. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, followed by throwing it into the too hard basket and having afternoon tea, Scottie completely changed tack and created a new design for the bracket... and the completed bracket was an absolute work of art!!

This is how the brackets work. The second bracket (to the left of the picture below) holds the accelerator cable, with the actual cable itself attaching to the linkage that is attached to the first bracket... confused? So were the boys!!

You may wonder what Damian did to occupy his time while Scottie spent all day making just TWO BRACKETS!! Well, he investigated the carby leaking issue and found a bit of gunge in the inlet, which was probably holding the needle and seat open and letting fuel through.

He also discovered that the carby screws to hold the top on are particularly dodgy, with four of them being stripped... That's a job for another day, replacing the dodgy screws with a set of bolt and nuts...

The rest of the time, Damian generally milled around and kept out of Scottie's way... also completing the removal and cleaning/painting of the passenger side suspension components, ready for reassembly with new ball joints etc next weekend!

With the new brackets in, and the carby fuel issue resolved, it was time for kicking Booger Mobile into life (it's a tradition now)!! Damian turned it over, and the engine fired into life, making an almighty crunch, crash, smash, bang noise!!

Turning the engine off quickly, Scottie discovered that the automatic gearbox had been kicked into gear, and without having completed the wiring, there was nothing to stop the engine from firing into life and turning the tailshaft, which was happily chewing a hole in Damian's shed floor!!

On the upside, the boys knew that that gearbox worked nicely... the downside was that Damian's shed floor now had a hole in it! No real damage done to the tailshaft, but the boys will always remember to check the gear selector is in PARK in future!! (Of course, once the switches are wired in, it won't turn over if it's in gear anyway!)

Another day, another exciting adventure!! Hopefully once these pesky brackets are done and dusted the boys will see some real progress (visible progress would be nice!) on Booger Mobile.

Damian will be at the Camp Quality christmas party at Bribie Island on Sunday, so if you are in the area, drop by and say hello!!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Getting down to the serious work!!

Damian was away at Mid Sibs camp last weekend, so there wasn't any work done on Booger Mobile! The startling realisation that there is only ELEVEN MONTHS TO GO got Scottie and Damian motivated to get some work done on Booger Mobile this weekend!

Scottie arrived early, and after a coffee, the boys got down to work. Today's agenda was to get the radiator mounts finished, and the BW35 t-bar auto installed.

Those of you who are regular blog followers might have noticed Damian getting rather woolly lately... well there's a reason for that! Some campers have suggested to Damian that he should grow his hair until the esCarpade - so not being one to back down from such shenanigans, Damian has made a vow not to cut his hair before esCarpade!

Here he is, looking woolly and a little sad after finding a lonely CQ balloon in the back of Booger Mobile while removing the seats ready to get to work!!

Scottie got to work finishing the driver's side top bracket for the VS Commodore (sacrilege!!) radiator that is now gracing the front of Booger Mobile's engine bay! It's rubber mounted, so the u-bolt is really to just hold the block of rubber still!

While Scottie was doing this, Damian finished clearing the inside of the car, then got the rear of Booger Mobile up on jack-stands ready for diff and suspension removal. Now that there are no further car shows or events to attend until February, Booger Mobile can be up on the stands and the serious mechanical work can be undertaken.

Wheels off, and diff out!!

Meanwhile, Scottie completed the passenger side radiator mount while Damian's dog Tonka had a snooze in front of Booger Mobile.

After removing some more bits and pieces, the diff from Booger Mobile was lined up with the 5-stud ute diff that is to be its replacement. If you look carefully, you can see how much bigger the 5-stud ute diff's drum brakes are compared to the original from Booger Mobile!

Scottie, having finished the radiator mounts, had embarked on the mounting plate for the t-bar auto gear shifter... it wasn't quite the right shape for the XM tunnel (hardly surprising since it came from an XD that was built 17 years later), so he notched it with the grinder... top notch job Scottie!! *groan*

At the other end of the car, Damian was continuing to remove the suspension - out came the leaf springs!!

While Scottie continued to beat some sense into the t-bar auto mounting plate...

Having spent the morning supervising the boys, Tonka decided sleeping under the front wheels of Booger Mobile was a good option!

Scottie was doing his level best to cut a large enough hole in the tunnel for the shifter to poke through... after several times up and down under the car, he drew out some more cutting to be done... would it be enough?

And then wearing the finest Japanese Safety Boots, the tunnel hole was made ever so much larger!!

The XD linkage for the gear shifter was found to be ridiculously long, so Scottie cut it in half so that each end could be joined to their respective points, to see where they met in the middle!

Meanwhile, the rest of the suspension disappeared, only to be replaced by Tonka who was wondering why Damian was taking pictures and decided to investigate!

Just in case you can't remember what colour Booger Mobile is really, Damian took a photo without the flash...

Then jacked up the front of Booger Mobile and put it on jack-stands, immediately providing Scottie with more room to swing a hammer!

Another stack of tyres and rims - these are the four original 13" 4-stud rims that are no longer required... Maybe they will make a special guest appearance on eBay!!

After some instructions from Scottie, Damian removed the front stub-axles and drum brakes.

Meanwhile, Scottie had cut, welded and tidied up the linkage arm, reducing it to a much more reasonable size!

And what blog post would be complete without a gratuitous shot of Booger Mobile showing the blog address, with Camp Quality giggle face in the background!! (Of course, the irony isn't lost on Damian that advertising the blog address on the blog is kind of pointless - after all, if people are reading the blog then they have already found the blog address... but anyway!!)

Scottie had some special goop to seal the gear-shifter mount into place - I'm sure Scottie could tell everyone what it is, but Damian can't remember to put it on the blog!!

And the t-bar auto shifter is complete! Of course, there are a few finishing touches to the surround, and carpet etc to be sorted out, but the shifter itself is complete and working!!

Late in the afternoon, Damian removed one of the coil springs from Booger Mobile to compare it to the coil springs removed from the XD... the XM coil spring is on the left... the XD coil spring is made of thicker (read that stronger/stiffer) metal, and is one coil higher. These things combined should give Booger Mobile the 2" of lift in the front end that the boys are after!!

Amongst all this, Damian's friends Elli and Steve arrived with some new sponsor stickers to attach to Booger Mobile... Jason Sheather Plumbing (sshhhhh still to be officially announced)...

And the eagerly awaited Special K from WA sticker!! My lord does it stand out!!!!!! Advice to future sponsors - look how effective simple block lettering can be!! ;-)

Of course, what day would be complete without actually starting Booger Mobile... a few pumps of the throttle (directly via the carby - accelerator linkages are next on the agenda) and the Booger Mobile's 250 pre-crossflow sprang to life!!

While Tricia, Elli and Steve eagerly watched on, the return of the dreaded fuel overflow occurred!! Damian will have to pull the carby apart again and check the needle and seat - it would appear to be sticking open...

As you can see, a massive day was had working on Booger Mobile... The boys really achieved a lot, and plenty of good preparation work for the next lot of mechanical work was performed.

With only eleven months to go, it seems that time is flying by ever more quickly!! The boys fundraising total stands at just over $1500, still $3000 short of the minimum donation amout to actually attend the 2010 esCarpade. Stay tuned for the official Booger Mobile fundraising launch, due in early 2010. In the mean time, why not share this blog with your friends and family, or have a morning tea at your work to collect money for Camp Quality.

Contact Damian via the information at the top right of this blog if you can help!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Fundraising total reaches $1500

Counting of donations from the Cooroy Car Show and the Qld Police Golf Club Cops and Robbers golf day have been completed, and have pushed Team Booger Mobile's fundraising total to...


This is a fabulous result, and Team Booger Mobile are now 1/3 of the way to their minimum donation total of $4500, and around 7% of the way to their ultimate target of $20000.

Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and if you haven't donated yet, feel free to click that big, yellow "Donate Now" button on the right hand side and help Team Booger Mobile reach their goal.