Tuesday 31 March 2015

Seat Belt Replacement

Services - review 

Yes, yes, I expect you all would love me to belt up. But you can't suppress the truth! That there is always something that can be changed on a car (although not necessarily improved). 

I got to thinking about an old MG Metro I once had. It had a mainly grey interior with red seat belts (this was a while back). So with my current less than exciting black belts, I started to wonder if it was possible to change them for something a bit more 'disco'. Firstly I had a look on eBay and yes there did appear to be generic belts for sale. Expensive and by no means guaranteed to fit. I also mooched about in the second hand market to see if I could find anything that fitted, but they were all, a bit 'second hand'. Lastly (Google being my friend) I did a search, low and behold, I was not the first one to think of this (link) and a forum user called Ms33 had already been here. So with thanks to this trail blazer I got in touch with Sue Taylor of FDTS Ltd. 

Turns out that FDTS do seat-belts... All kinds of belts, you have a classic car? No problem! Want something bespoke, Okay! A harness? Sure! Or like me, a change of colour? Go Crazy..
Courtesy of Ms33
In Ms33's instance, red would work well with the interior of a spec 3 GTR as this would already have red accents on the trim and seats. 

A quick exchange of emails and swatches were soon winging their way to me. I had been particularly annoying in the respect that I wanted red, but suspecting that it would not work had also asked for a blue selection as well. A few days later I had more swatches, in all shades than you could shake a poopy stick at!
Now all I needed to do was decide on a colour.. This actually was not so painful and soon I had a couple of candidates, one in a red and one in a blue/grey. The red blended  well, with more 'pop' and wow factor. Whereas the blue/grey blended in just like a factory finish. I decided I had enough wow factor and went for the safe look. 

I won't bore you with the actual process of belt removal. Although may do a Skyline interior strip out post at some point. Suffice to say if I can do it anyone can! 

So now all u had to do was get the belts up to FDTS and seeing as when packed up they are surprisingly heavy, I decided to take them in person (rather than pay postage).  
Belts being changed, note all hardware was left on.
After managing to finally find the place (it is well hidden) the lovely Sue Taylor insisted that they could make up the belts whilst I waited. It is always a joy to be able to watch something be made before your very eyes and this was a real treat! I would not call it a science however and sometimes simple is the way to go. Sue laid out the belts and made straight copies. Although with regard to the rears she actually improved on the original finish. 
A most exciting machine.
FDTS obviously have a selection of sewing machines, being a man I liked this one which does the main webbing stitching in a pre-determined pattern. 

Interior back in and belts in place. 

You don't have to go to the detail that I went to. For instance I removed all the belts from the back for replacement and you don't even see some of them. In addition I have the blacked out rear windows so you don't really see the shoulder belts in the back either. However I couldn't live with a mix! Perhaps you can though? 
All in with VAT added it set me back £191.40 which is actually pretty reasonable, coffee and biscuits were thrown in as well!

Contact details:
Susan Taylor - Managing Director
Highfield Works
Rear of 1-3 Parvis Road
West Byfleet
Surrey KT14 6LP
Tel +44 (0) 1932 342043

Monday 30 March 2015

Nismo Lighter Kill Switch


Accessory socket 'kill switch'

Asking price - £90 posted
Okay so I'm being silly now... Nissan made a pull out lighter/accessory socket in the shape of a kill switch as a accessory, in my opinion it is a bit of fun. However obviously that is if you can find one, although if you can, it is a world of supply and demand. A quick search on Google will lead you to the land of silly prices which somehow (to me at least) diminishes its value as a conversation piece and a 'bit of fun'. 

Note the use of the word 'accessory socket' is for the younger readers who don't know what smoking is..

A genuine kill switch worth about £2.00

Not having the required lack of sanity to search out and pay for this the rarest of items I had a look on that top auction web site ebay and searched for 'lighter kill switch' plenty came up starting at £6.00 

Mostly the only thing that actually gets plugged into the accessory socket is my phone and that is because it is where I have my sat nav installed. So actually as a review goes this is a bit rubbish considering I have not even tried it and to be brutally honest... My original never used to stay pressed in anyway! When I say what it is, what it then does is get laughs and to me that is more invaluable than being sensible any day! 

Rear Quarter Glass Surrounds Refresh

Product Review


Great little product this and I have yet to find a surface it does not stick to. As a plastic texture spray it does what it says on the tin, textures! Spray up close for more texture and further away for less. The colour dries matt black although this can easily be over-painted. I have known a few modders who have worked on dashboards etc then go to all the effort of flocking, with this product you can keep that OEM look.


The plastics around my rear side windows were looking a bit, um... worn. I had managed to 'damage' one with an orbital polisher some time back. I was young and naive back then! Additionally the hard plastic/rubber was tired and blotchy. I did a reasonably good job of cover up with some satin paint (nothing that would win an award). However after the glass had been removed for the cars respray this finish was cracked and crazed. Not the paint effect I was looking for! So something had to be done. 
Initially I had to clean up the plastics, removing the old paint I appreciate most of you won't have to do this, although I did find that the finish would have been probably good enough to leave without all the messing about with paint (I just wanted to try the paint method!). There was nothing special about my cleanup, fine grade wet and dry paper was used down to 800 Grit. and then the surfaces were cleaned up with thinners. The thinners actually do eat at the surface a little and this is where you can get a really good finish. 

Texture spraying
As with everything, preparation is king and I went for a super masking session, in the UK we have what are called broadsheet newspapers, I favour one called the Telegraph for my masking up as it covers large areas easily and I can also expand my mind whilst doing it! For the fine masking work I have adopted the use of green 'frog' masking tape as this eliminates any paint bleed, generally everywhere else I use standard masking tape that you can pick up anywhere. 

Top Tip!
The plastic texture spray has a wide angle spray jet which projects at about a million miles an hour. Test it first and mask very wide and well!

So after the application of a fine surface texture and just 30 minutes later the surface had dried to a matt finish. To this I applied some standard Satin black acrylic. 

Finished product. It may be difficult to see in the photo but the surrounds really do look like new. As with every untried method, it is always a bit of a risk although on this occasion I am going to call it a win! 

Sunday 29 March 2015

Tool Corner

Hello and welcome to 'Daft Tool Corner' 
No it isn't the local ale house's care in the community old Master Well Hard, the mumbling mad beggar a quivering in the corner supping his cider. 
No this is the first in my shiny but not necessarily useful tool time reviews!

First off is my CoTech LED work light. I have a couple of work lights now all as bad as each other, one that takes a conventional light bulb (which always blows), an LED magnetic affair that of course I can never find enough metal for it to stick to and something similar to that which I'm always wiggling the batteries around in. 

So anyway I was in my local town and thought I would search for something more suitable at my Clas Olson store. 
I love this store and sometimes dread going in there for this, as I always come out with that! Anyway this time I actually got what I wanted (along with what I didn't want). 

The Work Light is reasonably powerful only mildly blinding me and giving me a Close Encounters of the Third Kind suntan when turning it on. It features 5-6 hours of use/charge Rechargeable, 60 powerful LEDs. Long life. Rotatable hanging hook. On/off switch on handle. Length incl. hook: 43cm. Comes with charger for 230V and 12V so is fully portable and can run of a car accessory socket.

If you don't live in Sweden or don't have a local store, then follow this link (correct at time of posting).

As you can see from the packaging this Work Light can be used by men or women! The scope here for comments can be compared to a scale of a fleet of JCB heavy diggers scooping their way to China. So will leave that one there. 

Adjustable ring spanner 5 -19mm (link)
I don't know if I will ever find a nut I can crack with this. It has a large head, not great for squeezing in the most awkward of places and it looks like it would be great for slipping.. However, it is a thing of 'lovelyness' and I needed it in my Toolbox! 

Olfa SVR-2 Snap-Off Blade Knife (Link)
We all need knifes in our tool box don't we? Being a clumsy oaf I primarily use mine to cut myself with, although on rare occasion I do some things constructively. My preference is for this snap off type blade as I hate loading up the 'Stanley' variety with blades and they blunt very quickly. 
However ignoring all of it's practical considerations, what I really like about this knife (apart from it is just sexy looking) is its title, what a great name for a humble knife with a disposable blade!

Mechanics 8 Drawer Tool Box Chest & Roller Cabinet (Link)
Everything that you would expect from a tool chest, lined drawers, lovely bearing smooth closing drawers and lockable lid...  Yes it's very good. However there is a problem with this tool chest and that is it's very cheap! I simply don't understand why tool chests are so overpriced although put a lot of it down to 'tool snobbery', come on people a spanner is a spanner (although I do have my favourites!). So do yourself a favour and check these tool chests out, for my garage it is perfect,

Summer Blogging

Hello Folks! 

Well Spring is officially here and all of us sleepy motor heads are staggering once more out into the strange new world made of tarmac, potholes and hopefully at some point, Sun. Yes that’s right (at the time of writing) it’s the yearly hurrah of having to change our watches to British Summer Time. Naturally being so, Mother Nature wants to join in with the celebration and it has been chucking rain down, with bonus, great gusts of wind thrown in for good measure. These have just enough force to catch the garage door, slamming it down. Usually on my head; just randomly enough that I forget what happened right on time to catch another face full of door!

So apparently the king of car shows is dead due to Jeremy Clarkson being mostly a buffoon (this is an English term for complete idiot). Possibly more sympathy would go out to the receiver of Clarkson’s right hook Oisin Tymon if (in his photograph doing the rounds) he didn't look so damn ‘odd’. It has since been reported that he will not press charges, presumably because he has already had enough of the (insert hated group here) knuckle dragging fraternity who love to hand out a death threat or two. 

I myself have had a few threats this year and my own share of internet trolling offered up. It certainly can be a drag and gets you to the point of saying ‘to hell with it’ and keeping my head down. However some considerable thought later, I have decided that this is my interest and I shouldn't be put off by trolls!

I feel disappointment in Clarkson really, I mean we all know he is a fool and a dinosaur (even he admits it), but in a world where it is fashionable for the general media to hate the motorist, he let all petrol heads down.
You see it really does not matter who you are, black, white, pink, green even a Honda driver; do not let small minded bullies rule your life. You just have to learn to live with the paranoia and feeling that everyone hates you! 

My other disappointment over the Winter months was my failure in collecting Shell Lego cars. You have to buy Shell 'Nitro' TM fuel. Which although for the Skyline, no problem. Is a bit of a drag for a diesel chug a lug. So I managed to get two before the 'deal' ended.. Not only did you have to buy fuel but you had to pay for the cars too. I'm still not sure why I have two of them and it must be my inner 12 year old demanding to be entertained!
Shell 'Lego' Racing Garage.
Anyway enough internal navel gazing there is a motoring blog to write!