I can't even remember if the passenger side door lock ever worked when you inserted the key. It wasn't until my recent road trip I discovered how annoying it was not being able to lock the passenger side door from the outside. With my recent interest in lock-picking and having seen many videos of locks been taken apart, I thought it was about time to tackle this challenging problem.
First was the matter of getting the lock out of the door. Luckily somebody made some really good instructions (see here). Most people seem to replace the locks on the car, but I was all up for restoring it. After carefully taking the lock core out of the bible (housing) I could properly check what was wrong. NOTE: be careful not to loose the tiny ball bearing used to index the resting position of the core in the bible when taking the two apart. I am now pretty sure that somewhere in in the last 27 years someone has tried to open the lock by jamming a screwdriver in it and forcefully trying to turn the core.
The effect was that now the first wafer was permanently stuck and thus preventing the opening or closing of the door by key. After taking all the wafers out, make sure you remember the order, first up was the cleaning of the bible, core and wafers. The wafers can be polished with very fine sandpaper. You will discover a number on each wafer, which you could write done in case you want a new key made.
When attempting to put the wafers back I found out that the first one still didn't move freely. The forceful attempt to open the lock had caused a burr in the core. After sanding that off and removing all other damage I could find it was time to carefully assemble the lock again. And behold, I have a working lock again. Getting it installed in the door is another challenge. Just take your time and follow the instructions in reverse order.
I have being using my Manfrotto Pixi tripod a lot but one feature was missing. The old gorilla tripod had a spirit level integrated in the tripod. So far I have been using the spirit level app on my phone but it is not as accurate as I would like it to be. So I designed a spirit level attachment (you can download the files to make your own here). It holds a 8mmx22.5mm spirit level which is readily available on eBay and works perfectly.
3D printing is awesome!
Recently firmware v1.4.7 became available for Netonix WS-150-DC. One of my favorite enhancements is the auto scaling of the input voltage graph (see image below). Before the range was always between 0V and 60V which made a 3V change during a few hours of the day very hard to see. But not anymore! This feature comes just in time to make some changes to account for the shorter days and lower temperatures during winter. As you can see the Voltage is dropping dangerously close to 24.7V The manufacturing recommends to not go below 50% if possible of your battery capacity. Which would be 24.7V in my case (see my explanation here).
I like trying out new things when designing parts that I will be 3D printing. For an upcoming road trip I require a new mount for my action camera. In the past I have used a bit of wood cut to the right angle, but now it was time to do it right.
I designed the mount so that the angle can be easily changed and even though is made out of two parts, it is printed as an assembled piece. This was a little bit challenging but the result is great. You can download the all the files to make your own here.
Soon I will be road-tripping around the North Island. I want to have the car in as good as possible condition. There where some little things that have been annoying me for some time.
After removing a broken cigarette lighter the lighter socket wasn't working. After taking it out I discovered that it had a fuse wire on the back of the socket which had burnt through. The fuse wire is not a very important wire because you have removable fuses protecting the same group. i removed the remainder of the fuse wire and put a copper wire in it's place. Now we have a working 12V outlet. Unfortunately the plastic housing was broken. Some measuring and 3D printing and now I have a "glow in the dark" outlet.
While working on the outlet I figured it was time to find out why my "reading" lights weren't working. After inspecting the light bulbs (which where fine) I discovered that it was the contacts that had corroded. So after cleaning them up I have perfectly working lights again. I will be replacing them with LEDs soon.
And last but not least, the glove compartment didn't latch particularly well. It required some taking apart, cleaning and assembling with grease to give it a second live.
I enjoyed fixing all these little things where everybody had accepted that it didn't work anymore. Looking forward to fixing the next thing that annoys me. Maybe the door latches (no more slamming the door shut!)
George Timmermans, Research Toolmaker, Software Engineer and Tinkerer