I'll write up a full trip report after work today but this picture was too cool not to share:
It's been great having this new radio in the Pajero because I finally have Bluetooth and, well, US radio stations above 95 MHz ...
BUT, because I cheaped out on radio choice, I got one that deploys the power antenna whenever it's on (as opposed to when the FM/AM are selected). I guess they saved 5 cents on transistors or something.
So, this means I can't listen to the radio if I'm driving under low hanging branches, or I risk damaging a hard-to-source power antenna.
So I have some options:
Option 0, do nothing as I've been doing all along. Turn off the radio when wheeling.
Option 1, swap for a whip antenna. Attractive option, but I'd have to source parts, etc.
Option 2, add and inline switch to the signal line from the radio so I can deploy the antenna when I want it deployed, and stow it all other times.
I decided to go with option 2 because I already had a switch glued to the side of the turbo timer that no longer has any function (presumably it powered some accessory lights that were removed by a previous owner).
This is one of those switches that has a red LED when it's open and green when it's closed. Because the power antenna signal is 12V, I was actually able to retain the lights!
So now it's green when the antenna is up:
Red when the antenna is down:
And off when the radio is off:
So simple, so useful.
My friend has been borrowing another friend's 2006 Z4 while he replaces the motor in his 2013 328. As a way of showing his gratitude for the long-term loaner, he's been doing some maintenance and little repairs on the Z4 along the way.
One of the more annoying broken things on the Z4 was the rear-view mirror. Something in the ball and socket mechanism had come loose and the mirror would fall down on the slightest bump (and the Z4's stiff suspension means there are a lot of slight bumps).
I offered to attempt to fix this, since a new, or even used, mirror assembly is pretty expensive.
Once you pull off some shrouding and get the assembly free, you're greeted with this. A cast metal arm acting as cable track and holding the ball part of the ball and socket.
The mirror floats between the front bezel (which pops off easily) and those four whiteish rubber inserts. Don't lose one. The electrical cable pops out, the zip tie is snipped, then you can yank the ball out of the socket and feed the connector through the hole to separate the arm from the mirror housing. That window is where the auto-dimming light sensor would go If_I_Had_One.meme
The socket consists of a number of plastic fingers, with a metal C-ring applying spring force. You can see here that two of those fingers broke off. With those missing, there was no force in the joint, so no friction to hold the mirror in position. You can also see some of the repairs I made because I forgot to take "before" pictures.
If you're wondering why the mirror assembly is so expensive, here's why. That's a PCB antenna for the security system. The manual adjustment mechanism is also integrate in to this big piece, and the shaft that it pivots on is swaged in place. Minus the electronics, this is one big inseparable assembly. Impossible to find and difficult to repair. There is no chance that any epoxy or adhesive or even plastic welding will hold up to the force of that ring.
My repair involves using some safety wire on the top and bottom of the ring pull it down in to the fingers. I slowly twisted the wire in steps to keep even tension on each side, and pulled the ring down to about where the marks on the fingers indicate it originally rested. One wire is anchored by the guide pin for the tilting mechanism, the other wire is anchored by the shaft that it pivots on. It should hold up but time will tell. I also put three patches of cloth tape in the base of the mechanism to take up any remaining tolerance. I then colored the wire with sharpie just to blend it in a bit.
A view of the wire from the other side. After twisting, excess wire is snipped off and it's folded over. This shouldn't get in the way of anything.
Once the repair is complete, the electrical wires are fed through the socket and the ball is pushed in with a LOT more force than you'll be comfortable with. Then everything is plugged back in, the mirror is cleaned just for the heck of it, and it's reassembled.
Pro-tip - this is NOT an auto-dimming mirror. That means you dim it by twisting the translucent plastic dome under the mirror. Yes, that dome is a knob, and it's clear because the security LED is in there. It is not a sensor. Neither my friend nor the owner of the vehicle knew this - we discovered it by accident. They both assumed it was auto-dimming because it has a little window on the back of the mirror housing. Turns out there's nothing in there. BMW uses the same rear housing with window for both versions of their several hundred dollar assembly. Thanks BMW.
Did it work? Yep. The mirror can be adjusted to any position and will resist moving with even the most aggressive shakes, rattles, and rolls. This DIY repair will probably last for quite a while and saved at least $150.
... in my bathroom.
The cruddy old fan was as loud as hell and was dumping straight in to the area behind the knee wall in the attic, instead of venting outside like it was supposed to.
This ancient thing was rated at 100 CFM and 4.0 Sones when new. It is very much not new.
So out with that piece of crap and in with a schmancy Panasonic. Look at this UNIT:
110 CFM and 0.4 Sones. I don't know what a Sone is but it's 10x less so that HAS to be good.
Oh also I drilled a hole through my roof.
There happened to be a roofer inspecting the neighbor's house so when he was done I asked him if he wouldn't mind taking a look at my vent install. He said it looked pretty good but he went ahead and added some more caulk in a couple spots. He also wouldn't let me pay him and get me the tube of caulk. Nice guy.
It's not the prettiest (mostly my fault) but it should stay dry.
I did a little before and after sound measurement in the bathroom just to see if it made much of a difference.
HVAC off, child not present, and door closed - 17 dB
Old exhaust fan running - 61 dB !!!
New exhaust fan running - 29 dB
That's like 1,000 bels! Or 8x quieter.
So it's gone from "inside a car at highway speeds" to "leaves rustling/soft whisper" and I get 10 more CFM (nominal) of fart-sucking power. I'd call that a win.
@MybirdIStheword @e90m3 @Roadkilled yes, and this is why we can't have anything nice. Those are all very nice and reasonable justifications and clearly it appears to have played out exactly that way. But who's to say that was the ONLY way to get where we are (which, really ... where are we really?).
My take is - they still would have made the Explorer a couple years later. Even if somebody else made it first and they had to play catch. I really don't think it would have made all that much of a difference. Everything would have played out exactly the same as it did, but maybe we'd be watching people overpay for GN34's on Bring A Transporter instead of '93 Bronco IIs.
Really good synopsis of the development and ultimate demise of the Ford GN34 - a mid-engine SHO-powered Ghia-designed British-chassised Ferrari-fighter, stoked to life by rumors of the upcoming Honda NSX, that was sacrificed by Bob Lutz to bring us the Ford Explorer.
There are many great pictures but this has got to be my favorite:
I like the idea of a Ford NSX. Imagine a world where this car was built instead of the Explorer.