Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Techie Week

Maybe to the confusion to most who read this and maybe it plays into those who say that I’m a bit of a strange cat but again I need to talk about the audio system going into this car. I know that it is rather a moot point as a stereo in a convertible is rather obsolete and I know that we all thought I had it put to bed with the Satellite on the dash and the amp under the passenger seat but I wasn’t happy with the volume control.

My plan was to install the volume knob where the dash light dimmer switch resides as the dimmer is not that important and could easily be bypassed without issue. The problem with that plan is that left me installing at radio-delete panel in where the radio used to reside. I didn’t love that situation but it seemed to be the best case at the time – until now…

It came to me in a dream the other night: What if I leverage the Blaupunkt radio to control the volume? I admit it was pretty far fetched but I did once turn a vintage Royal vacuum cleaner into a derby racer so I know I am sometime capable of strange things.

My first plan was to utilize the inline rheostat I had purchased for my system by sistering it to the radio’s volume knob internally. But once I removed the volume knob control shaft from the old Blaupunkt it became clear to be that I could simplify everything by using the Blaupunkt volume rheostat. It also became clear that I could also use the power switch on the Blaupunkt to turn the satellite head unit and amp on and off.

The advantage I had, and what also made so bold, was that I bought a second Blaupunkt on EBay last year just like the one salvaged from the car. This stereo is in great shape, I think it came out of a Porsche, but being that I have it I was able to take the old Blaupunkt apart to test all theory without fear.

Once I had the Volume shaft out of the old radio it didn’t take me long to map the functionality; as in: what was volume, what was, balance, tone and on/off. The hardest part of the whole thing was waiting for the soldering iron to heat up. Within an hour I had the volume rheostat soldered inline between the satellite head unit and the amp. It works like a charm!!! I haven’t soldered in the on/off switch yet but that will be simple compared to the rheostat.

This weekend I’ll install the modded shaft into the new Blaupunkt and drill some holes in the back of the radio casing to run all the wires out the back. The whole thing should look right-proper as the English say.

This past weekend, on the way through Red Deer on my way back from the Stampeders / Eskimos football game and drunkfest in Edmonton, I stopped by the acreage to pick up the remaining TR6 parts and leathers. Part of this pick up was the windshield sprayer jug and pump and the radiator overflow jug. After letting them soak in some CLR and cleaning up the pump motor, I installed them back on the car and they work great. I bought a new length of clear hose for the overflow but windshield sprayer worked with only plugging it in. I had to re-aim the sprayer nozzles but other than that it’s like new. My only issue was that the strap the holds the washer jug crumbled in my hand before I could re-install the unit so for now there is a strip of hockey tape holding the jug to the bracket – it looks not too bad… I’ll change it out at a later date.

To cap off last week’s post: I resealed the rear diff cover with grey silicone “The Good Stuff”. Then I let it to sit empty for more than 24 hours before I filled it with gear oil again. So far my leak is gone. Although refilling it sucked as I had a siphon tube with a bulb on it to do the job. I failed to notice when I bought it that it didn’t have a one-way valve. It took me more that an hour to pump two and a half liters of gear oil into the diff Saturday night. I had to keep pinching the line on each side of the bulb to suck fluid into the line then pinch it again on the other side of the bulb to push it into the diff. This is something I don’t want to do again for awhile.

Still waiting on my backordered dash panel.

Stay tuned…

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