Skip to main content
See if you can find the skateboarding santa.

Everything I Know About Cars

This week I spent a couple of afternoons underneath a green 'frog' van (see photo) that my partner's brother got given and offered to my partner for her son to drive until he can afford something better.

The van its self is a 1989, Nissan, Vanette, ex-delivery vehicle. It had blown a head gasket and the owner didn't want the hassle of making the repair which, if done professionally, would have cost more than the van was worth.

My partner's brother and his backyard mechanic mate kindly offered to do the repairs which turned out to be a little more serious with the cylinder head having blown as well.

Now if you're not really an engine kind of person you're probably starting to scratch your head at words like 'gasket' and 'cylinder head'.

I'm not really an engine person either however I do know the 'broad strokes' of engine components and how they work. I learned most of what I know during my childhood years. Endlessly studying diagrams showing how various car components work so I could try and build scale model versions from my sizable Lego Technic collection.

I'm still fascinated with that particular challenge and have a new, smaller Lego Technic collection that I tinker with from time to time. See the animated photo on the right of a simple two speed gearbox I recently made.

Sure the gearbox seems simple enough but trying to make things like this with only the pieces you have is quite a challenge. I don't have a very wide selection of gear wheels.

The rest of what I know about cars I learnt from watching and assisting other people fixing my first car or from my own stumblings around various car engines since.

I'm rubbish at trying to fix modern car engines with their fuel injection systems and computer controlled components but anything with a basic engine like those of cars built in the nineteen seventies I'm willing to have a go. That's how I ended up under the frog van. It has a basic four cylinder engine, nothing fancy.

Although the van had been fixed it developed a problematic leak in the cooling system that meant it would overheat if you tried to drive at any kind of decent speed. I volunteered to 'see what I could do'.

Any real mechanic could have probably fixed the problem in under thirty minutes. It turned out it was just the position of a hose clamp that wasn't properly sealing off the end of the hose. It was the location of that hose that was difficult. Right at the back of the engine. I couldn't get to it from above and from below it was quite awkward to reach.

It took me two afternoons to fix because, initially, I thought it was a blockage causing the pipe to leak. I couldn't see anything actually wrong with the pipe its self but it did have quite a severe kink that appeared like it could be enough to cause a blockage. However shortening the pipe and straightening it out made no difference.

Anyhow, to cut this long story short, this is how I learn about things. I'm not the kind of person who throws up their hands and says 'I don't know' until I've really had a good look and applied whatever experience I have already to the problem. I'll even have a look at something and see if I can learn how it works to try and fix it.

It doesn't work all the time but each time I succeed it gives me just a little bit more confidence in myself.

As far as I know the van is no longer overheating but it does make a wonderful backfire noise from time to time. I think I'll leave that problem for when the van goes in for a tune up and service.

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

The Lego Man - He's got all that!

Who would have thought that owning one of the worlds largest, private Lego collections could take you so far. Tom Lucieer of Angaston, South Australia, not only has met the Queen (of England) but is a frequent guest of her majesty and family when they are in Australia. He's also met Prince Charles, Lady Diana and Camila Parker-Bowles. Not only that, he grew up with TV Vet, Dr Harry, and is a friend of the Irwin family (yes, that's Steve Irwin's family). Tom will happily tell you all this as part of the guided tour of his collection, which, aside from Lego, includes much railway memorabilia and colourful anecdotes about days gone by, his achievements and more. Frequently he will finish each particular monologue with the phrase, "Have you got that?", just to check that he hasn't confused you because, as he points out, his display and the stories behind it are a lot to take in at once. In the photo you can see Tom holding a special award, which I think is for b

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

Mother's Bed Art Board Print by TET. Available from RedBubble . How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for yourself. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you. Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age. Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen. Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an i

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured). At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop , Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self . As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside . Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme , was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2 , because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below. My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went now

How to Start From Nothing - a Video by Sorelle Amore Finance About Starting Any Kind of Business

Sorelle Amore. It's the million dollar question for many people wanting to start a business who feel they don't have the knowledge, money, skills, time, or all four, "How do I start from nothing?" If that's something you want to know too then the video below by  Sorelle Amore , an Australian photographer and social media entrepreneur success story, who is most known for literally writing the book on how to take an #AdvancedSelfie, has an answer well worth considering. Just in case you feel advice from a professional selfie photographer couldn't possibly be meaningful Sorelle's journey to financial freedom in just two years is well worth looking into. One takeaway for me is that at age 28 she was broke, but turned things around and was a millionaire by age 30. While that's an exceptional result of quite a lot of hard work, writing books, building courses, and more, what it says to me is, it's possible to be financially secure in less than two years

Course Review: Passive Income for Graphic Designers - Sell Your Designs, Graphics, Fonts & More

Passive Income is that somewhat elusive idea of earning a living even while you're sleeping. Often considered a 'scam' term used by charismatic marketers to sell you a dream of instant riches asterixed with, in very tiny print "results may vary". Passive Income Course for Graphic Designers is a Udemy course by Skybox Creative (a.k.a. designer, Angelina Samadhi) that guides you through the actual work you need to do (a point that is often glossed over by those charismatic marketers) to create a passive income business selling digital art and design products online. Note that I am an Udemy Affiliate and links within this article to the course are affiliate links. You don't have to use them but it does help keep this site free. Having said that, Passive Income for Graphic Designers is a course I have completed in full, not simply to write a review, but to actually learn from Angelina's experience... because I'm definitely not earning a living from affil