Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ein en mein Mercedes… Idle problem solved
Date Created: August 30, 2012  Date Modified: August 30, 2012

I would really love to link to the forum post that ever so helped me solve this issue; The unfortunate thing is the site owner has yet to process my registration so Im not giving him any SEO love just yet. Anyway the thread basically outlined some of the engineering features (software developer voice “features”) in the fuel system, and gave some of the usual suspects to check. It also gave some 380SE K-Jet specific to Australia (only we and Sweden share the same spec, tho right hand drive). Much more helpful than a repear manual I purchased which was for “All US and Canadian Models”. So after some time troubleshooting the vacuum lines, changing the plugs (history of intermittent fire on 7 we found!) and timing-by-ear and not she is running great.

Have ordered the break pads and managed to save $60 by going thru a regular distributor, which is a shame because I was hoping to get it to a certain stare of repair by the end of this week. Tomorrow I aim to take it up to El-Slugo Del Torro’s Street Machine Workshop so he can look over the work so far, and complain that it is not fast enough to be parked within 500m of the joint.

I know I will mention this unlinked to thread sometime in the future–its sole topic is about a guy in the eastern states rebuilding the exact same car as I am; and I will be using it as a benchmark, the poster is an experienced Mercedes enthusiast and this is my first MB after a lifetime of basically Ford, Nissan and some other “quirky” marques (Sweden, again I am looking at you!). An old Pug 505 we had was an eye-opener when I pulled the head off–it was the first time I saw a wet sleeve block; this MB–its not the first time I have seen a K-Jet, but its IS the most beautiful–and everything about the engineering seems to have that same art to it.

This is not a classical art; this its Bauhaus theory at its most practical application. Function over form–its pretty because its useful; its pretty because it works. I hold my Beck’s in salute to the skilled craftspeople who designed and built my car, and I will try and continue that tradition by restoring it with the same eye for detail that conceived it almost 30 years ago.

Since google will no doubt direct unsuspecting users here that just want their dam Mercedes fixed, I will provide this short checklist for you if you are having idle issues with your 1980’s Mercedes V8 (may apply to other cars using a Bosch K-jet):

  • Check/Replace Air filter. The O2 sensor on these systems determines mixture, lets not have that screwing with us while we fix…
  • Vacuum lines. check for cracks/leaks. replacement is inexpensive so do this early on as it might save you some $
  • Inspect spark plugs, replace if in bad condition. I failed to do this first thing as spark wasnt my major concern when I bought the car home, but I should have checked ALL the spark plugs earlier as one was that congested with oil and shit that it was clear this car had an intermittent firing issue on that cylender in the past. Good to know for future trouble shooting.
  • Cables. you do need a specialised tool to test if a cable is working–the current running thru will destroy any multi-meter, but you can sitll inspect the connections for corrosion and the leads themselves for cracks around the insulation–cracked == throw it back. the current can jump small cracks in insulation which can be a lot worse than a car not running properly. (read: fire hazzard)
  • timing… On the 380SE you will need an 8mm hex (allen key for those of the old school) to loosen the distributor bolt to do the timing AND be warned that the fan is so close to where you are working that if you are doing this adjustment that you take care not to touch the moving fan blades. If you know about doing timing by ear: then why are you reading this i can offer you no more than you know, if you know how to use a timing light/gun then again, I can offer you not too much advice. If you do have a timing gun/light and dont know how to use it, then read the instructions. If you think you can do the timing by ear and have never done this before–please seek good advice (which will tell you not to, or at least show you how you shouldn’t do it).
  • timing (supplemental). Rotating the distributor is how you actually adjust (advance/retard) the timing, and to do this you need the above bolt loosened (not removed) to rotate the distributor; AKA “Dizzy”. you will notice a change in the way the car sounds, more revs is usually advance, less is usually retarded (as in “slowed” not as in “this is the internet you retards”).
  • I make no guarantee the above information is factual, will not get you killed/arrested/labeled as a heretic. It worked for me.

This rant was posted in Cars, Mercedes-Benz on by .

Update and revert
Date Created: August 20, 2012  Date Modified: May 12, 2013

I decided that my customisations to the twentyeleven theme were getting a bit unmanageable and my timeline for putting the CSS together in a child theme is running out. Back to square one, goodbye funky CSS3 styles (they will be back). I will have a new theme coming in the new year, but for now its OOTB wordpress.

UPDATE 13-5-2013: Well it’s certainly into the new year and I have been doing a bit of site maintenance, so Im linking any posts mentioning an earlier theme to the GreenScreen Theme page.

A sad week for freedom(s)…
Date Created: August 16, 2012  Date Modified: August 20, 2012

Earlier today I noticed a tweet from Wikileaks press mentioning a helicopter above the Ecuadorian Embassy. I had bee at uni all morning and had been in communication with business stakeholders most afternoon (tho I DID get time to do some work on the car). I had not checked Google Reader, Heard a television, smelled a newspaper of digested any form of media other than the multitude of billboard advertising decorating the bus shelters along South Street. This tweet was the first I had heard of what was part of one of the worst weeks for our online freedoms. I was aware earlier in the week of the governments willingness to push through parliament the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 on Wednesday (turns out I had the date incorrect, its Wednesday the 22nd). But then to have one of, not only Australia’s, but the worlds pioneering hacktivists this was surely one sad week for online freedom.

The implications extend beyond the protocol, IRL will suffer too. The implications of the UK revoking the Ecuadorian Embassy’s status, not only would be seen as an act of war by the Ecuadorians; As their Foreign Minister was quoted on the BBC as saying:

“If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond.

But also this action, the evoking of the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 UK, would in effect undermining the authority of protection offered to all diplomatic envoys, regardless of host nation or nation of origin. I would like to follow this story more but am a bit time precious tonight, I hope I dont start consuming media again on the weekend and find out that–EVERYTHING IS FINE, PLEASE CARRY ON WITH YOUR DAILY ROUTINE.

UPDATE: the following url is to the wikileaks insurance file, all 64Gb of it!: I will be following this story on twitter and be re-tweeting support messages for Assange (While trying to fit some required reading form my Law workshop tomorrow.)

Some work so far
Date Created: August 15, 2012  Date Modified: September 26, 2012

The first issue i needed to deal with the Benz I needed to fix was the steering; the inner tie rod end had worn on the drivers side and this was doing no favors to the ride quality. I aimed to have this done last week on Friday, but other commitments and wet weather over the weekend made it that I had to postpone the work till Monday. I had ordered the parts from Repco the previous Thursday, so I knew they were in stock, and it was only an hour or so to put the new ends on and have the car on the road again.

The next issue I wanted to tackle was the slack in the throttle cable” as I thought when test driving the car prior to purchase–these cars I discovered dont have throttle cables, but I managed to take up some of the slack. There would be about half an inch of slack on the peddle, down from a whole inch. Doing this required the removal of the air filter to get to the throttle assembly; I didnt take any pics yesterday with the air-filter removed but your not missing much.

Today I aimed to have a rest day from working on the car, but the urge to die-gring got the better of me and I polished the top of the air-filter, which really does highlight how dirty the rest of the engine bay is.

In case you are searching for parts, you are welcome to try the parts finder below:

This rant was posted in Cars, Mercedes-Benz on by .

So I thought WE were just special…
Date Created: August 13, 2012  Date Modified: August 16, 2012

I once was a Z car driver, I had a z31; Gold, like Brucie Willis in Blind Date. The car was destroyed as Z cars unfortunately tend to be, but one thing stuck with me about that relationship: Z car owners recognized other Z car owners. The year, the badge; Because some we know were decorated with the “Fairlady” and Datsun branding depending on their original market, it did not matter, all Z car owners would acknowledge each other when encountering in traffic. It was like some secret Z car club that the first rule of was…

And this I continued to see was true, even after my z31 was put to pasture. A friend who also owns a Z car, his z32; is one of the most anti-social people in existence, but he too participate–even instigating, the Z car secret handshake.

So after driving around in a Falcon Ute for a few years I never encountered quite so much mutual respect; too many people drive Falcon Utes by obligation rather than choice. After getting the Benz last week and properly getting it on the road, I got my first Mercedes wave today. I thought it was funny; Z waves were from… Z car drivers; this wave was from an old, balding, grey, Mercedes-Benz driver. Am I really that guy?, I guess its better than driving round in an old gold z31?.

Even regardless of the driver demographic, I’m still impressed by the acknowledgement. Would it be the case if I told him I paid more for the tyres on my Ute than I paid for the Merc? I dont care, I’m happy to have a sedan; the only other [4 door] sedan I have owned was my old Cortina. But this Merc is my first V8!.

Dont compare Z cars to Mercs, its different. A Z car will always and only be a Z car. A Merc will only and always be a Merc. If you have the luxury to own both, then do.

This rant was posted in Cars, Mercedes-Benz on by .

My Mercedes
Date Created: August 7, 2012  Date Modified: August 16, 2012

I had bee looking for a project car for a while, ideally a 1976 TC Cotina Ghia (Calypso Green) like my first car, but those beasts are an illusive breed. My more realistic vision was to pick up a cheap Falcon–I have a Falcon ute, so projecting a sedan with with the same donk could have worked out nice for my wallet. I found after a few weeks of searching that cheap Falcons sell quick, no matter what condition. I needed to look beyond the blue oval and even considered a… Commodore. I held my morals and looked beyond the typical project base vehicles of the Ford/GM/Nissan ilk and was tempted by a 1970 Austin 1800, a land-crab as I found out they are affectionately known by. But when I saw the ad for the Merc I knew I had found my next car: a 1984 380SE Mercedes-Benz.

I picked the car up from Armidale and it showed signs of being un-garaged for a few seasons, the paint was faded and the interior had a nice mildew aroma. I drove the car back to Freo, stopping to pick up fuel, coolant (it was low), an oil filter, Penrite 10-40 (I wasnt willing to spend the xtra on thicker oil at this stage), and an ice coffee. Typically the sump plug was rounded so I couldn’t drain the old muck out, but the Merc has a cartridge oil filter so I could still change it without slicking the driveway.

There was also a small spot of chipped paint on the drivers side fender that I regret now brushing out and covering with pirmer. One, because the paint job wasnt as bad as it looked and could cut/polish most of it back. Secondly, I think Im going to have trouble finding Mercedes paint to touch up the primed spot.

I will post more pics as I do more work to her, but for now this is how she looks:

This rant was posted in Cars, Mercedes-Benz, Web on by .

Lawyers hate HTML
Date Created: August 1, 2012  Date Modified: December 27, 2012

I had my first Law lecture this morning, prior I was in the Murdoch Bookshop stacking up on some tomes I will be needing on this endeavour (and a couple more I just wanted to get). I got home enthused to start reading this new type of littérateur that I will be battling over the next few years, and heeding the advice of my lecturer: That it takes a little bit of a learning curve to get use to legal writing, I decided to start on one of the law books that wasnt part of my required reading material, but was something that I felt more palatable for someone with my background in web–Internet and E-Commerce Law, Business and Policy.

Imediatly I scanned the contents for a topic that I could relate to; Chapter 6 – Domain names and trade marks. Reading the section on WHOIS was where I started. Everyone who works web knows WHOIS, so reading this very legal run-down of something that we as webbys take for granted is… refreshing in a sense. Then I got all academic on the shit and I saw the real problem–well from my pedantic web paradigm anyway. I went to look up one of the references in the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Art 17.3.2 and clicking on that link you see why Im pissed off. Numbered paragraphs that should be ordered lists!, no text anchors!, emphasis where it should be italic!. These things matter if this were a published print document; all hell would break loose if this were printed like this. But on the web, do the document custodians care? Are they even aware that HTML markup can be used to present the information in a more accessible manner?.

I am yet to look into W3C giudelines for web content; due however to the differing nature of legal style requirements in jurisdictions arount the world, I doubt an international standard could be reached specifically relating to Acts. Surely tho, the same W3C guidelines for ordered lists on other web content would apply to the layout of a legal document?. Emphasis and Italic however I see it as a breach, an Act must be written in italics by legal style convention (law?), not emphasised when read or interpreted by a text reader. What this neglect in the article of the USAFTA linked is a clear neglect the legal community have for the web community, or at least HTML.

UPDATE: When going over some online sesources provided for the unit, I came accross the below image. Please feel free to comment.

Image to point out the Short Title of an Act

There was no Alt text , title, or description of this image on the LMS.

An image to outline the correct citing of cases

This image was much worse not only did it not contain any attributes in the HTML to assist, it could have been built as a simple interactive app that would be able to meet an accessable standard