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Old 25-08-2019   #1306
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Having replaced the front struts and springs, it will need the tracking done. Can't be spending loads of time making Jock's wonderful measuring tools, so will entrust to my local garage.
Thought it a good idea to ensure track rod ends were free to adjust. Good grief, their locknuts were tight. Soaked in Plus Gas and wire brushed, one still needed heat. When they let go, it was because they had been done up too tight, not due to rust. So last time they were adjusted they were victim to the dumb mechanic thinking that things need to be tight enough to support the forth bridge. (Not the garage it'll be going to this time.)
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Old 26-08-2019   #1307
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Is that the Bergen ones or the Welzh ones you've got?

Bergen is a UK brand name, not as we are supposed to think a German company. Their stuff is often at car shows and the like, and seems to be good quality. I think mostly made in China, but China will jsut as readily make good stuff as rubbish, depending on what the customer wants.
It's the Bergen ones PB. For once in my life I seem to have landed a real bargain! I'm afraid I'm one of those people who find it difficult to chose when there are a number of apparently similar products on offer. This "affliction" invariably means I spend (and waste) inordinate amounts of time researching the different options. (which, as I'm now retired, can actually be quite good fun).

I think I looked seriously at about half a dozen options all seemingly of similar quality before settling on the Bergen. There seemed to be no quality difference I could establish indeed many looked absolutely identical which would lead me to agree with you that they are probably all (or mostly) made in places like China and boxed and branded as required? (and I also agree that quality seems to be generally good but you do need to be a little careful). Many of these sets are priced within a few quid of each other and that was the case with the Bergen too (around the £50 to £60 -or so - mark). Then I saw the ones I actually bought, advertised elsewhere for £59.99, for £38.95! By this time I was down to just a couple of brands so I jumped on this and bought it. Of course then, me being me, I started wondering "Oh dear, what if this is cheap because it's some sort of inferior 'seconds' quality". This then escalated into further doubts - I know, there's no hope for me! - So, feeling just a little foolish, I emailed the vendor with my concerns. (all this of course before the item arrived.) I received a very nice letter back reassuring me that I'd bought "the real deal" and thanking me for bringing to their attention that they had miss-priced this item! Of course when the tools arrived they were indeed exactly as advertised, indeed the packing was so good there is not even the smallest mark on the, very substantial, storage case. I now have to overcome my indecision over whether to keep them in this case - which means finding somewhere to store it - or mount them all on a couple of socket rails which will require a reorganization of the top compartment in my tool stack. I'm inclined towards the rails at this moment as it will make for easier use.

PS Bergen seems to imply Scandinavian to me more than German? Isn't psychology interesting?
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Last edited by Pugglt Auld Jock; 26-08-2019 at 10:04. Reason: add PS
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Old 26-08-2019   #1308
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
So last time they were adjusted they were victim to the dumb mechanic thinking that things need to be tight enough to support the forth bridge.
This made me think of the first workshop I was in charge of. We were very much cars and light vans and when a couple of the older chaps retired I approved the employment of an ex HGV mechanic - my first appointment. I was working foreman and on this day we were very very busy and I hadn't road tested a mini which this chap had fitted new top and bottom ball joints to (most unusual as I liked to road test all vehicles that had been through my workshop - I would take the mechanic with me).

At the end of the day I settled the bill with the young lady collecting her car and went on to the next customer. Less than 5 minutes later this poor lass appeared back in the reception with a very white face and trembly hands. Luckily our wee road was a quiet dead end and she'd noticed the steering seemed "stiff" as she drove the few yards to the main road at the end. She attempted to turn left onto this road but found she couldn't! luckily she only stuck it's short bonnet out into the traffic before, very sensibly, stopping and walking back to me.

The older members on here will be way ahead of me now as to what was wrong? Yes, My heavy handed exHGV guy had wrongly shimmed up the swivels and effectively locked the balls inside the cups of the ball joints! Luckily the young lady was very nice and accepted my apologies. My head mechanic and I stayed back and we took a side each whilst the branch manager plied her with tea and sympathy. We had her off on her way home in record time. Of course we waved the bill and gave her a voucher for a free service. I counted myself very fortunate that she decided not to take things further. (perhaps because we had previously done work for her and she had been very happy with that) Next day we had a workshop meeting which became a regular Monday morning 1/2 hour feature of our week. I'm afraid the HGV guy just didn't make the transition to light vehicles as we had a small, but steady, trail of customers with wheel nuts done up too tight to be slackened and other similar problems. Unfortunately he also stripped out sump plugs etc and in the end I had to let him go. I never let a car go back to the customer without a road test from then on, even if it meant delaying the customer.
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Old 26-08-2019   #1309
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

I worked in heavy engineering where a 1 inch BSF High tensile was a small bolt. The lads who worked there all did their own car maintenance but their wheels were not falling off though sheared bolts and stripped threads.

Any mechanic who knows his job also knows what is tight enough for all bolts big and small. If he cannot do that, he should always use the torque wrench. Special bolts which are usually tighter than expected should always be torqued.

By the sounds of it the HGV mechanic who nearly trashed Jock's business was available because his previous employer had put up with enough of his crap.
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Old 26-08-2019   #1310
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
Any mechanic who knows his job also knows what is tight enough for all bolts big and small. If he cannot do that, he should always use the torque wrench. Special bolts which are usually tighter than expected should always be torqued.

By the sounds of it the HGV mechanic who nearly trashed Jock's business was available because his previous employer had put up with enough of his crap.
Been thinking about "intuitive tightening" (for want of a better description) and how it might be described. I think it, broadly speaking, takes place in 3 stages. The first is when the fixing is freely run down the thread until it just "snugs" up, (finger tight?) Then, using a tool (spanner, socket and handle or whatever) an initial "crushing" force is applied. This is, I think, the most important bit to get a "feel" for. The fixing will be quite easy to turn initially, then, it will suddenly become quite resistant to turning. The angle of turning to achieve this varies from application to application and it's this point, where significant resistance to turning is felt, that needs to be learned. Perhaps you could liken it to running up an increasingly steep hill until you run into a wall at the top? Once you've run into the "wall" a further wee tweak sees the job done. It's definitely a "feel" thing and you're probably only going to get confident with it by doing it repeatedly.

Of course with stretch bolts this doesn't work. I personally like to torque (or angle tighten) engine, gearbox, suspension and brake components (anything safety related or subject to a lot of vibration/high loads) but I'm happy to exercise my own judgement on most other things.

I should clarify for you that I was workshop manager/working foreman of that workshop, the business was not mine. But, as I quickly found out, when you move into managing people and workload the business becomes much more "yours" than when you're "just" wielding the tools. - and boy do the hours go up!
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Old 26-08-2019   #1311
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

The opposite can be true too, some people 'intuitively' don't quite tighten things up enough. When working on my brother's cars I'm often surprised at how easily things come apart, so little effort.
When he's tightened things up I have occasionally then put a torque wrench on them and shown him how much more should be done. He won't change, as nothing has yet fallen off.

My first girlfriend's dad had worked as a quarryman all his life. Big guy, hands like hams, etc. I've seen him take the head off a screw just by turning a screwdriver in his hand. It took me a long time to get him to call me first whenever anything needed mending on his moped, before he broke it.
A funny moment with him though was years later, when she (now ex-girlfriend) and her husband (still both my best friends) were moving house. I'd brought a van, Dad was walking down the path from the house carrying the fridge-freezer, just with his arms wrapped around it, with her calling after him that she had'nt emptied it yet. Both fridge and freezer still full so very heavy. Carried it like it was an empty cardboard box. Yet a very calm and gentle man. Lovely memories.
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Last edited by portland_bill; 26-08-2019 at 22:39.
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Old 27-08-2019   #1312
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

My brother habitually under-tightens everything. His car has not fallen apart but I don't know how it's managed it. I have persuaded him to use a torque wrench in the hopes he will learn what is needed, but he never has. Interestingly he is equally fey with undoing tight fasteners. If using a hammer he just taps at it and never really leans on a spanner.
Many times he struggles for hours to get stuff apart. I turn up and it's job done.

I can count on one hand the number of fasteners I've broken - including yesterday an M6 stud holding the inner wheel arch cover. Easing oil did nothing and heat was not an option. Problem solved with a Rivnut.

PS - Sorry to be such a smart arse.
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Old 31-08-2019   #1313
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

£4,000 on fuel in 2 years, done some serious distance in this wee thing!

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Old 31-08-2019   #1314
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

1 reason vegans can't drive cars
Car tyres manufacturers use stearic acid as an additive to help "cure" the rubber in the tyres and make them strong enough to hold their shape while under steady friction yet flexible enough to grip the road.

Oh, and that "stearic" in stearic acid is derived from the Greek word "stear" which means tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.
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Old 05-09-2019   #1315
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
1 reason vegans can't drive cars
Car tyres manufacturers use stearic acid as an additive to help "cure" the rubber in the tyres and make them strong enough to hold their shape while under steady friction yet flexible enough to grip the road.

Oh, and that "stearic" in stearic acid is derived from the Greek word "stear" which means tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.
The excellent news is that when cars go electric - absolutely nothing will change on that front . Yay!
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Old 06-09-2019   #1316
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
1 reason vegans can't drive cars
Car tyres manufacturers use stearic acid as an additive to help "cure" the rubber in the tyres and make them strong enough to hold their shape while under steady friction yet flexible enough to grip the road.

Oh, and that "stearic" in stearic acid is derived from the Greek word "stear" which means tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.
Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
The excellent news is that when cars go electric - absolutely nothing will change on that front . Yay!
Steric acid can be derived from animal fat or plant fat, as it turns out Michelin make their tyres using plant derived steric acid and therefore any vegan can drive a car if it has Michelin tyres, depending on the country the tyres may or may not be marked and certified as vegan friendly, there are other manufacturers as well who don’t use animal fats in their tyres but have not been certified. But in any case you can drive a car if you are so vegan you care about the tyres, assuming the leather steering wheel and gear gaitor didn’t put you off.

So it makes this a completely pointless tale..... 3 second google search would have confirmed this...
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Old 07-09-2019   #1317
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

I've said it many times (and I know its boring to some) but new nuclear power and electric cars solve all of the green environmentalist arguments. They undercut fossil fuels and are CHEAPER even than coal. The big emitters all have nuke weapons so bomb proliferation is also no problem.
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Old 11-09-2019   #1318
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
I've said it many times (and I know its boring to some) but new nuclear power and electric cars solve all of the green environmentalist arguments. They undercut fossil fuels and are CHEAPER even than coal. The big emitters all have nuke weapons so bomb proliferation is also no problem.
but uk nuclear power stations would be Chinese, other countries don't even trust the Chinese mobile phones because they threaten national security'

batteries are housed in plastic and run off lithium that is mined in a very non environmentally friendly way.
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Old 13-09-2019   #1319
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
but uk nuclear power stations would be Chinese, other countries don't even trust the Chinese mobile phones because they threaten national security'

batteries are housed in plastic and run off lithium that is mined in a very non environmentally friendly way.
The Chinese can only build Westinghouse PWRs under licence. They are not inherently safe therefore massively expensive whoever builds them.

Moltex Energy Ltd, a UK company has developed the design and hold the patents for a molten salt nuclear reactor.

The fuel is a uranium salt - liquid at operating temperatures so can expand and contract with heat. That causes the reaction to stall naturally if it overheats. It also allows the fuel to be fully burnt as it cannot build up pressure in the fuel tubes. Its this over-pressure that causes so many problems when a PWR overheats.
Neutron poisons like Xenon can escape avoiding the huge fuel tube pressures we get in solid fuels use in "normal" reactors.
It cannot melt down because the nuke reaction stops long before it gets to harmful temperatures.
There can be no hydrogen explosions as there is no water in the reactor containment.
There can be no hydrogen explosions (aka Chernobyl) as there is no pressurised water in the reactor containment.
They use uranium salts as fuel in tubes. Similar salts (without the fuel) are used in the reaction vessel to remove heat by convection. A third salt extracts heat for use in steam generators. All of the steam and pressure vessel kit is outside the nuclear zone. Any failures there will not impact nuclear safety.
A plant is being built in Canada. The design patents are British.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1320
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Re: What's made you not grumpy but not smile either today?

Whilst Germany are still doing this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garzweiler_surface_mine

and nearby this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hambach_surface_mine

It matters little what we do in the UK.

That's around 100 square km of open cast coal mining - or around the size of Bristol - to feed nearby power stations.

We drove through the Garzweiler mine last week (it's so big, a motorway runs through it) - you can't really appreciate the scale of the operation until you are physically there.
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