Saturday, 10 October 2020

Fixing squeaky bike brakes... or not

 I spent the afternoon trying to stop my rear brakes making a screeching sound when fully applied.

The usual reason suggested for the noise is contamination on the pads however, some people say it can also be caused by vibration due to the caliper being out of alignment.

I tried all the various methods that I have read about that people claim fix noisy brakes:

  • Carefully aligned the brake caliper
  • Sanded the pads on a flat surface
  • Cleaned the pads with brake cleaner
  • Soaked the pads in brake cleaner
  • Cleaned the pads with engine cleaner
  • Smeared a thin layer of copper grease on the back of the pads

In addition to the above, at each attempt, I thoroughly cleaned the disc rotor with brake cleaner and a clean paper towel.

None of those stopped the squeak.

The final solution was to replace the pads with new ones. That worked. No more noise.

My conclusion is, that the rotor is easy to clean but if the pads don't stop screeching after a quick sand and wipe over with brake cleaner, they are probably going to need to be replaced.


Sunday, 5 July 2020

Maintaining pedals

I had a clonk from one of my pedals every revolution so I took them apart to give them a clean.

The pedals are DMR V8 v2.1 and are easy enough to take apart. The difficulty comes when putting them back together.

They use an 11mm nut which is locked against a 9mm nut. It is necessary to tighten the 11mm on to the nylon bush, then add the 9mm and back off the 11mm against the 9mm to lock the two together. That needs a special tool to fit in the recess at the end of the pedal.

I fitted the pedals back together with the nuts locked as best I could. After a ride the right pedal had worked a little loose and the left pedal had tightened to the point where the pedal barely rotated. I needed a better method to lock the nuts.

DMR V8 v2.1 specialist tool

I tried to buy the specialist tool that DMR supply but everywhere was out of stock. I decided to make my own.

Mine does the same job but is a completely different design to the DMR supplied tool.

I used an 11mm extra long socket that was small enough to fit the pedal and a 9mm extra long socket.

I ground both to shape so that the 9mm could fit on the nut at the same time the 11mm was on it's nut.

It's worked well. Easy enough to back off the 11mm on to the 9mm and keep the tension, about right, on the bushings.
So far the pedals have been working well.


Saturday, 4 July 2020

Quick Bike Support

Sometimes I want to carry out simple bike maintenance with the bike still on the ground.

Things like pumping up tyres and oiling the chain just need the bike held still. This can be done by leaning up against a wall but invariably the bike falls over.

This simple hook makes it a little more stable so it is easier to work on the bike.


Friday, 3 July 2020

Thetford Forest

High Lodge, Thetford Forest with Shelley.

We did the red route, twice. 18 miles in all. Great fun, such an excellent place to ride off-road.


Sunday, 21 June 2020

Upgraded the stereo in the Defender

It's been a long time in the planning. When I started looking at fitting a better car stereo in a Defender, the first thing that came up, and was repeated numerous times, was that the best improvement is to fit sound proofing. We had that fitted a few months ago, along with thick fitted rubber mats.

At long last, I have got together all the other bits, and fitted them, to upgrade the stereo.

Bigger speakers, a sub-woofer and a Raptor console dash.

Getting the old radio mount and cable trim out is more difficult than fitting the new console.

I managed to knock the top mount sideways just far enough to reveal the screws holding the lower trim in place.

With the lower trim out of the way, it was possible to bend and pull the old radio mount until it came out. Not very elegant but the alternative was to take most of the dash apart!

Fitting the Raptor dash, was as easy as they say. It fits so well that the two bolts at the top are sufficient to hold it securely in place.

Defenders do not have much space to route cables. Deciding the route took longer than threading the cables. The lower lip of the Raptor dash gave me the opportunity to hide the cable between the foam of the dash trim and the metal under it. I just forced a screwdriver down to make the space. The fuse box cover hides the drop down to where it goes under the rubber matting past the gear sticks.

My home made switch panel for the heated seats hides where the cable goes under the centre console between the seats.

I had very few switches to fit in the console but I didn't want to waste the space. I, therefore,  deliberately ordered a Raptor console dash with two DIN radio mounting holes. There is not enough space behind to fit two stereos but I had plans to use the lower one for a cubbyhole.

My own two part cable gland in the same style as the switch I was fitting.

The new speakers are larger. They need a deeper spacer and offset mounting holes. The prototype was evenly spaced but I soon changed that to an angled version.

The Land Rover mounting holes are 117mm diameter spacing.

The new speakers are Pioneer TS-R1350S 13cm full range 3-way speakers. They have two sets of fixing holes, at 120mm and 137mm diameter. The spacer, that I designed, has holes at 117mm to fix the adaptor to the dash and holes at 137mm to secure the speaker and the grill to the spacer.

The 5" speakers fitted where the Land Rover 4" ones were.

I needed a bit of trim round the head unit to hide the bracket.

The head unit is a Sony XAV-AX100. It has a double DIN screen but only a single DIN component housing sticking out the back. This makes it ideal for a Defender where there is limited space in the dash area. The Sony is one of the few I could find, a couple of years ago, where the DIN part was at the top and the screen overlapped the bottom and also supported ApplePlay for Shelley's iPhone.

The sub-woofer had to be fairly small as there is next to no space in a pickup Defender cab. Sub-woofers, by their very nature, tend to be large! The Pioneer TS-WX130EA does the job in a relative small housing.

I usually favour more positive mounting. Ideally, a nut and bolt, however, the bulkhead behind the drivers seat is just in front of the fuel filler pipe. It looked a little trickier than it was worth to fit brackets. The sub-woofer sits on the floor and the seat back is very close, so the Velcro does not need to take any weight.

I do like my cables well protected and tidy.

Much nicer looking dash, in my opinion.
Music sounds so much better.