I had intended refitting the lower dash before getting to this stage so as to keep the vehicle as usable as possible but as the wiring needs tidying and there’s some surface rust on the bulkhead to treat I changed my mind and removed the upper dash (more on this in a later post). This assembly is quite rusty and the vinyl covering will need replacing so as it looks like another long job, I decided to temporarily fix the instrument panel in place and tidy the wiring.
To secure the instrument panel I made a bracket from an old aluminium coat hook covered with heatshrink tube to prevent damaging the plastic. I split a couple of lengths of convoluted flexible conduit to encase the loose wiring, and fixed it to existing holes in the bulkhead with some excellent cable tie bases from Vehicle Wiring Products and Lidls’ cable ties.
This temporary arrangement is quite tidy and will allow me to restore the upper dash panel at my leisure whilst keeping the vehicle on the road.
The speedo gives completely false readings due to the higher ratio diffs. As I would be driving through Norwich for this gig where there are numerous safety cameras I thought I’d better address this problem. A few years ago, the day after having this mod done to my lightweight, I received my first and only speeding fine. I had passed the camera with a speedo reading of 30 but was clocked at 38mph.
I downloaded the free GPS ‘DigiHUD Speedometer‘ app for my Android phone and gave it a test drive. This is the only speedometer app I’ve tried but it does everything I need, it has a clear display, keeps the screen awake and doesn’t seem to drain the battery. It seems that if the speedo reads 20mph, I’m doing 30mph, with a speedo reading of 40mph I’m doing about 53mph.
One day I will look at getting the speedo calibrated or maybe replace it with an electronic one but for now this app will keep me driving within the speed limit.
The gig, the band, the venue
I had been looking forward to this gig for which I’d been booked for months as it was slightly unusual. I had played with the well-established function band ‘Aftershock‘ before. Their normal set consists of good dance music, disco, ska and some up-to-date dance music aimed at the corporate and wedding circuit. They are a lovely bunch of people with a good mix of personalities and some high-end PA and lighting gear, professionally mixed and very well-presented, they attend to every detail in a well-organised business-like manner.
As well as the Aftershock package, the seven-plus-one-piece band (drums, bass, lead, keyboards, sax/rhythm guitar, two female vocalists and engineer), offers a glam-rock night and go out as ‘Muffy and the Misfits’. With this act they dress the part and cover material from the seventies by Slade, Sweet, T.Rex etc as well as later ‘glam’ material like Darkness and Bon Jovi. It’s loud, bright and good fun to play.
Tonight we were playing at a Broadlands Naturist Club (Possibly NSFW) near Poringland, Norwich. I was wondering what to expect. I found the place easily, set amongst woodlands and drove up the lane to the security gates. It seemed like another world at first with so many naked people wandering about in the late afternoon sunshine, but it didn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. The park has some good amenities and the people were welcoming.
We set up on a large stage in a marquee and after two hours or so the stage was set, sound-checked and ready to go. I had a good, loud but tight, ‘thumpy’ bass sound and the superb drummer Matt is a bass player’s dream. With a good level of kick-drum through the monitors it was easy to get a tight groove.
The crowd were amazing, with no inhibitions, from the first song to the last of the encores the dance floor was packed. It was a truly memorable night, and not for the reasons I’d been expecting. I do hope that regular bass player Steve has another holiday soon, I can’t wait to do this again.
The journey back was good, the speedo app proved invaluable as this vehicle is faster than I’d realised. Driving through the city without an accurate speedo is fine during the day as you are invariably in traffic, but at night it would be easy to mis-judge it.
It was to be expected tonight I suppose 🙂
Without the ‘vent levers’ the ‘air-con’ kept coming on all the way home so it was a bit draughty. I must take some insulation tape with me next time to tape them up…