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Venus & Jupiter

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Been busy working on the mechanical side in preparation for its mot and road trip to have the self leveling system fitted , probably in the first week or two of February, a round trip of around 300 miles which should be enough to blow away the cobwebs! As far as mechanical work goes its looking pretty easy thus far, with just a few minor things needing done. Will be replacing the rear discs and pads at the weekend and perhaps skim the fronts I'll see how they perform on a brake test. Also been busy removing the unnecessary oxygen piping and valves, brackets etc and making some headway inside the "observation area", that sounds good doesn't it !


Also been busy removing all the Emergency Ambulance stickers and logos, nasty stuff the damn adhesive... and the disconnecting the blues and twos as well incase temptation gets in the way.


Had a sparky check out some visible wiring and the mains sockets which don't appear to be working, im hoping the auxilliary batteries are just needing charged up as the invertor unit lights up but not got any output.....


No pics on this update bit will take some for next time round.


Thanks for looking and taking an interest.


After finding the ideal solution to an observation hatch, the idea of having a large sliding roof system seemed very appealing and ticked all the boxes it was supplied basically ready to fit and could be powered by 12 volts so a push button to open and close sounded very posh. (See American Military unit at 1.38s)



The quotation arrived and I nearly fell off my stool!,, £3500 for manual and £5500 for an electrically operated one, all plus VODKA AND TONIC aka VAT. So that's scuppered the plan of a ready to fit unit. I'm now planning on using my fabrication and technical skill to make the hatch myself. so off to the drawing board to plan the process. I'm thinking of having a stainless steel hatch made to plan at a sheet metal works who specialise in stainless steel fabrications, this would be a piece of cake to them. I also need to source heavy guage telescopic runners to allow the slide action, the motorised part may have to wait while i think of a way to do it without breaking the bank.


Well a productive week and weekend, new piston arrived and was fitted and then the engine refitted on Saturday afternoon / evening. A transmission fault, being stuck in reverse gear ( automatic gearbox) meant i couldnt start. So Monday morning the diagnostics was connected and the gearbox error sorted out, much to my relief the engine has started as run up to temperature and all ok.


I contacted the supplier and manufacturer of the self levelling system EP hydraulics and i now need copious quantities of single malt after they told me the price to supply and fit. hmmmmmmmmmm will need a serious rethink or a donor vehicle.. unabated I continue, next will be the aircon repairs which were damaged when the van was originally recovered.


The Engine issue




Well today I removed the engine to strip and find the cause of the misfire and excess backpressure. Once the cylinder head was removed the cause was obvious, a holed and cracked piston on cylinder 4 and luckily no other damage to the cylinder, This should be a straight forward repair for me to do. As a precautionary measure I will have the diesel injectors checked and also check so se if there is a cooling oil jet when I remove the sump and piston.


IMG 1831


IMG 1828



Day 1 12/10/2015 Well Ive decided to build a mobile Observatory to allow easy movement and hopefully set up on sites quicker.This Blog will record the process in the various stages of the build conversion project.


Donor vehicle is A 2004 Mercedes Benz frontline Ambulance with 200k on the clock. The engine is misfiring and preliminary checks would indicate piston trouble, as the engine is misfiring / lumpy and has excess back pressure at the oil filler cap.


First job is to remove the engine from the vehicle as sump access is not good, I will likely need to drop the sump . Hopefully there will not be any major damage to the engine bores as that will mean a replacement engine.


The conversion will take approx 6 stages to completion and a build time due to costs of around 10 months.


1/ Repair Engine unit.

2/ Install additional imobiliser,security lock upgrades and tracker system.

3/ Fit large sliding roof

4/ Fit an elevating Pier

5/ Fit a self leveling system to enable stability on site

6/ Re Enable Power supplies and safety check on electrics





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