Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Well you know the problem, the weathers crap and you have just been told by a caring motorist that your offside brake lights blown. You do a quick check and sure enough, it is. So, on the way home you pick up a new bulb. You don’t do it that night but, decide next day on the way home, that as the sun is shining and its probably the last warm day of the year that tonight’s the night.

Armed with my trusty toolkit and new bulb, I carefully open the inspection hatch and peer in to the back of the dark hole revealed. Wires, plastic and bayonet fittings, behind which, presumably, lies a burnt out brake light. A swift attempt to turn the bayonet fixing anti-clockwise, reveals my first problem. It’s stuck!

I remembered Jon Wellingham’s post (at least I think it was he) about a screw driver to release it…god that Multi forums good, and using my back door key as a screwdriver quickly released the offending bulb.

Yep, black as the ace of spades, I had never changed it in nearly five years of ownership so, presumably, it’s the original and due a change which, as we all know, is only a matter of seconds.

Yeah right!

The bulb fitted in its sprung loaded bayonet fixing holder really easily, but, getting the plastic housing to marry up and turn to lock it in place (clockwise) was another thing. All I can assume is that Italian’s have very small double jointed fingers…my fat things just wouldn’t go into the available space. Of all the cars I have owned, and there has been a few, I have never, ever, had a problem changing any bulb. (Other than a badly corroded light fitting on my old Cortina which fell out off the body work whilst changing a sidelight…but that’s another story!)

Then…it happened! Remember the spring loaded bulb? It un-sprung and like a missile, the bulb projected itself into the lens cluster….bum!

Taken aback, I quickly recovered my composure and formulated a cunning plan.

No, I didn’t go up the pub!

In a matter of seconds I had a screwdriver and a can of grease and deftly putting a blob of the aforementioned on the end of the driver tried to fish out the bulb!

Bugger…I couldn’t get the screwdriver in because of the angle of the dangle. I lowered the backseat….I tilted the back seat….I gave up! There was nothing for it; the side panel trim had to come out!

I don’t want to bore you anymore…but do you remember the song, “your left legs connected to your ankle bone…your…ankle bone…” etc?

Yeah, you guessed it…all the various bits of trim are neatly clipped over each other and before you know it…half the interiors spread across the garden!

However, I now had ample access and in seconds, my blob of grease was deftly sticking itself to the offending bulb and carefully I removed it from the cluster.

Well…the rest was easy. Fit the bulb in the housing, fit the bayonet end of the housing into its socket, try the bulb out…it worked… and then put it all back together again!

Easy peasy lemon squeazy….so I took some pictures showing the way to do it so that if you too own a Fiat (Fix It Again Tomorrow) Multipla you may just save your self a bit of fun. Presumably, the nearside brake light will require the same sort of effort?

All done in 35 mins so not too bad.

Till next time....


Friday, June 13, 2008

Ahhh...I can sense it all now if I close my eyes. The acrid smell of burnt rubber, the waft of oil and high octane fumes, the screech of tortured tyres and the cacophonous sound of highly tuned exhausts from engines that scream at rev's so high if you stopped to think and work out how many times a second a piston goes up and down you would never believe it possible!

We managed to get free tickets to go to Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire last Sunday to see the Renault Challenge. The family Moriarty all jumped into the trusty Multipla and headed off to see "what's what" at the "Premier" F1 track in Britain.
Now over the years Silverstone, the home of F1 and the British Racing Drivers Association, BRDC, has had quite a torrid time from the likes of Bernie Ecclestone et al complaining about the complete lack of funding that Silverstone has recieved over the years.
There was the problems of traffic jams, a new road sorted that out, there was flooding if I recall, someone has put that right I presume as they don't do the power boat championships and there was the lack of decent public facilities for the likes of me and you and for the drivers good accommodation and track side amenities.
Now call me names if you wish but, right up until I got into the place I was very impressed and I must say that the "getting into" was well Marshalled and parking was a doddle. However and it hurts me to say this, I have to agree with Bernie Ecclestone on this...the amenities are frankly bloody awful.

I can see they are spending money on portable toilets and some tent like structures for, presumably, corporate entertaining but...pu...leeeease! Why don't they think of the poor paying punter? The cost of food and drink was, frankly, deplorable, talk about extortionate. The path ways were nothing but rubble, lumps, potholes and divots to amble along kicking up dust on a sunny day and muddy on wet days. There was banking all around to sit on but no grass just the aforementioned rubble. Seating was adequate, but, little to no cover from the elements. We burnt that day, but, other days we would have drowned!

But, one saving grace...the track itself is still superb! You can't see all the way round but some of the spectating points give a very good view even if cars do flash past at what seems the speed of light!

But why do the cars have to be so noisy? Even with ear plugs it hurt and you can't hold a conversation with the person next to you....ok, you call me old now!

Silverstone...get your act together, you only need to look at Rockingham raceway some twenty miles away to see how much better it could be...now that is a superb racetrack that is...
Ok, so why do we "blog"?
Me, I have an ego to satisfy I suppose. I enjoy talking and chatting like most people, but, you can't beat a good old chin wag that plumbs depths so deep as not to have been seen since last Friday night in the pub and five pints of "wife beater"!

So what has made me think of this sad subject today? Well my new "Techie", we will call him "Stephen" has seen me blogging on here and decided to right his memoirs from University life in a blog. He has quietly set it up and has been diligently bashing away on his keyboard for a few days. "So", I hear you cry..."whats wrong with that?" Well nothing really as it stands...but, he is publishing it to the web as he goes along and NOT allowing anyone to read it!! WHY? He doesn't want anyone to know his innermost secrets. So....why bother? He feels, and I think I understand what he is thinking, that it is a way of getting it off his chest...possibly somewhat cathartic, but surely the whole point of blogging or writing memoirs is to have someone read it at least!
Ahh well....it's his choice I suppose...me I can't wait to tell the world what I have to say!
Taraa a bit...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Well I sat and watched for the first time in three years, for me, the most God awful venue for a formula one motor race. I am sorry but "Motor Race" and "Monaco" are words that should seldom be used in the same sentence!
Why?...I hear you cry...

Because it is NOT a race it is a procession! The Guru's of F1 will tell you how hard they have worked to make overtaking better in F1 over the last few years and how tracks like Silverstone that are sub standard drastically need to improve or lose their race and then they allow "racing" on this totally crap circuit!

So, if I say it is "crap", I ought to justify the statement. So, here goes:

Narrow, poor run off areas, littered with Armco barriers, slippery when wet due to white lines, poor visibitlity in the dry, never alone the wet...the list could go on....but, ends sadly with, if it wasn't for the rain and the crashes...then it would have been even more boring!

So, why do I think it is allowed to continue?
Corporate entertaining, probably some high class hookers, the chance for the rich and famous to be seen, or worse, the chance for the rich and hardly heard of to be pandered to on tv!

I suspect, obviously I cannot possibly know being a mere nonentity, that a lot of influential people are pandered to in a way that will suitably extricate valued funds for the upkeep of the sport. So to keep costs down we have rule changes and to get the money in we corporate entertain which starts a vicious cycle...(oh and yes £10,000 a time nose cones! How was that cost effective then?)

Sad, but for me a long time F1 fan, the highlight of the whole weekend was a) watching Lewis stuff the red pointy cars and b) knowing that "never in a million years" would the driver of a red pointy car ever be blamed/docked points for what was a ridiculous attempt to overtake poor Adrian Sutil!

Kimi R the red pointy thing driver in question may be a world champion, but, even me in my Fiat Multipla knew I would not have attempted a stupid balls out pass on a wet track with cold tyres!

I also agree with the ITV - F1 team...man of the day, Adrian Sutil!
May he get his chance to "interfere" with KR's next points tally!
Ooooh....naughty me! Fixing races never, ever, goes on in F1, does it? Could be a future posting on that....watch this space!

p.s. If I have pinched/used your picture off the net then sorry...but please feel free to think "Hey, he chose mine, they must be good" Be smug...be happy!

PPS....Its just over a fortnight later and look what's happened! Poor old Lewis H has parked his McLaren into the back of KR's red pointy thing and yes it was a stupid mistake, and yes, it is/was dangerous just like KR's Monaco shunt....so why the ten place penalty? If I believed in conspiracy theories, as some of you may do...one might just wonder who actually does run F1!!

I bet he/she/they all drive bright red cars....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hi all,
Well it starts tonight and goes on all weekend with Sunday being the big day.
Yes, its the 5th annual Ugly Bug Ball or Fiat Multipla Owners Club Rally.
Shame it wasn't last weekend when it was hot but...c'est la vie!
All monies raised on the day will be going to Autism this years nominated charity unless advised otherwise.

So whats gonna happen then?

We have been sponsored by Coventry garages Group to the tune of £500 so we have a new gazebo and other stuff to help keep us warm dry the kids occupied. I know JC Seatcovers will be attending along with Angel Tuning and Tracy will be there with Usborne's children's books.

Nigel from Angel Tuning will be doing a remap on Keith and Sues 'Bugsy' and if anyone else wishes a remap then talk to Nigel. Remaps this year are priced at £200 which is cheaper then last year. This will take a 110 Multi up to 140 bhp or 155/160 bhp with similar MPG as a normal Multi!

If you require a full diagnostics check only, it will cost you £10. If you think about what it costs to have it done at a Fiat main dealer...thats a cracking saving!
Last year Nigel fixed a number of problems on site like Maf sensors etc and most went home happyAll monies from this are to go to Nigel.
Other members will be running the car clinic which has a time skilled mechanic heading it and a band of willing DIY 'ers who can talk you through any Multi related problems you may have.

On the fun side...
Don't forget to jot down your total distance traveled plus your average MPG readings. Best to reset your 'B' trip before you leave. I will be on site from approx 4pm on the Friday.

We have a meal on the Saturday night. It is not pre-booked, if you are coming along I suggest you place something in the centre of your table, i.e a little flag saying that you are an 'ugly bugger' so that we can all play at table swapping, having chats etc.

On the Sunday there is my driving skills test...so pit yourself against the husband or wife and lets watch the sparks fly!

For the kiddies...well they can emulate mom and dad and try to drive a remote controlled car around a track or play on a PS2 driving game and race their mates!

There's colouring competitions, and other assorted things to make the day go along for the kiddies and adults alike.

Have a safe journey and we will see you all at Billing for this years UBB 2008!
Lets make it a good one!


Friday, May 02, 2008

When I was a kid....

Many years ago when I was a kid we used try and try to see if the light on the fridge really did go out when you shut the door. You never really knew did you? You just accepted that it made sense that it did go out but....you never got the chance to actually see it happen. its like the tree in the middle of a forest. If the tree died and collapsed would it make a noise if no one was there? Of course it would, you know it would and so you accept it. But, does it? Obviously you will never know....
So....back to the fridge...
You'd stoop down in front of the door and carefully....oh so slowly....move the door a fraction at a time to see the exact point when the light went out. BUT IT NEVER DID!!
Why is that? Is it a conspiracy, is it design or, is it just a childish thing that you do when young?

Well no, actually I don't think it is!

Hands up all the adults who have either had a new fridge or perhaps had a new kitchen and hence a fridge.
Ok put them back down again...

You know that feeling when you have something new...you just have to have a play don't you. You touch it, wiggle it, tap it, open /close it, lift it, put it down or whatever, until finally, you are sort of satisfied. And then...you do it again!

Well we had a new kitchen and hence a new fridge a few years ago and I distinctly remember opening and closing the door, like any normal 50 year old kid would, just to see if I could see the light go out. Obviously, as I am now much older and less childish, I only did it once or twice (about 36 times actually) before I got bored. And yes...still I could not see the bloody light go out!

Now, I know you are in two camps here. Some of you will no doubt think..."what a nutter"...but when the rest of you have got back from testing your fridges, and it works on some freezers too, I am sure that most of you will side with me on this important piece of "Mundanery".

So, imagine my surprise today when having acquired a "new" fridge for the office at school yesterday, I was absolutely overcome with emulsion to find out that if you close this fridge door slowly...you can actually see the light go out! RESULT!!

When I think of all the fridge doors I have opened in 52 1/4 years....this is the only one that I have ever seen that does that!

Well I never....
Back to the grindstone then...plenty to do, lots to see...
Have a good bank holiday weekend all...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ok, this looks bad, my last post last year said I will be blogging more but sadly it just never happened. Cest la vie!

So whats gone on this year?
Normal mundane stuff really, still fixing pc's in school, still helping out at the ladies only running club (www.dudleyladies.co.uk) still organising this years Ugly Bug Ball at Northampton (www.multiplaowners.co.uk) and the carnival in July (www.wombournecarnival.co.uk) that reminds me, I must update the carnival site.

The wifes eye problem has now been finally sorted thank goodness, but, no the mother in laws crocked! Not sure whats going on with her but time will tell...

Ah well, must go, now I have found my password and worked out how to blog again, this is a test, I must think of some more mundanery to keep you informed off!
Bye all....