Steering wheel, indicator stalk, pub gig

Just a catch-up post for a wet Sunday afternoon….

Whilst fiddling around in the dashboard area a few days ago I was fitting the plastic shroud onto the top of the steering column assembly, with some difficulty. I had noticed that the indicators would cancel erratically and there was some resistance when flashing the headlights. On examination, the stalk wasn’t lining up with the aperture in the shroud because the cancelling striker wasn’t seated in the steering wheel properly. I really didn’t want to remove the steering wheel but now I had to, thinking I could just reseat the striker and move on….

The problem was soon revealed, a tab was broken off the striker allowing it to skew.

I often find the phone camera a useful tool for seeing places that would otherwise be difficult
I often find the phone camera a useful tool for seeing places that would otherwise be difficult
With missing tab
With missing tab

I ordered a replacement striker (589553) and a spare lock-washer (NRC5385) from Dingocroft and was pleased that they arrived less than 24 hours later.

I should really just refit these parts, but… that steering wheel does look rough, especially compared to the smart refurbished dashboard, and a coat of paint wouldn’t take long….

I gave it a quick rub down with Scotchbrite, then a coat of etch-primer. This revealed some splits in the soft plastic, I guess where the steel has rusted beneath.

There were lots of these
There were lots of these

For the wider splits as in the picture above I used a hot glue gun to force melted adhesive as deep as I could then removed the excess with a sharp blade. I found that the hot glue was too thick to enter the more superficial splits so I dribbled superglue into them. Another rub down and although far from perfect, it will do. I will spray it with PlastiKote black gloss when the next dry day comes along.

Rather scruffy
Rather scruffy

The centre cap was a bit scruffy so I scraped off the ‘crackle-finish’ black paint, removed the rust from the underside and sprayed it marine blue which I thought would look better.

Edit 21-Oct-2015

Yesterday was dry and sunny most of the time so each time I stopped for a tea-break I popped outside to spray a few coats of ‘PlastiKote’ black gloss. By the time the dampness of the evening descended it was dry enough to bring indoors. Not the best job but I’m impressed with the coverage of this paint, the splits are now completely  invisible but other imperfections show up in the high gloss. It looks much better than before though, I didn’t have to buy anything specially and probably spent no more than a couple of hours on it in total so I’ll be happy with it for now. It’s now in the airing cupboard (yes, I live alone!) to harden off for a few days.

Wheel, striker and centre cap
Wheel, striker and centre cap

How can you possibly LOSE a steering wheel?

The steering wheel repaint is a bit of a distraction but it hasn’t taken long. I’m annoyed as somewhere I have a Mountney steering wheel, not to everyone’s taste but I really liked it, especially on an 88. Being a 40th birthday gift (too many years ago) made it more special but lost it certainly is.

Pub gig

Last night I depped on bass with a band that I’d never met – ‘Sidewalk’ from the Kings Lynn area. They posted me a hand-written set list and I skimmed through to check that I was familiar with the material. Just a couple (from ‘Chumbawumba’ and Spandau Ballet) needed a quick run through, otherwise it was an easy busk. I purchased a red tie especially – £2.65 from Amazon!

Still feeling rough from my post flu-jab illness I made my way to the venue, ‘The Swan Inn’ in Downham Market and introduced myself to the lads. Very nice chaps, easy going and the pub had a few local characters and nice staff, all very friendly. The drummer, Jim is a bit of a joker. Rhythm guitarist Nick was trying to explain to me the theory behind ‘spread betting’, his new hobby.

As I didn't know anyone at this venue to take a photo I just snapped this before going on
As I didn’t know anyone at this venue to take a photo I just snapped this before going on

The gig was OK, except that the landlord decided to screen a rugby match so we’d have to start an hour later. This sounds like an easy night I thought, one set and we’re done. Not the case! It just meant that we had to play until 12.30. Luckily the crowd were appreciative and friendly and were singing along and even dancing at the bar towards the end, otherwise it would have been a slog.

Singer and lead guitarist Martin has a nice smooth voice, can play well and obviously has many years of experience behind him. Nothing seemed to phase him and his warm friendly personality comes across well. He uses a Strat with a vintage ‘Session’ combo, from the 1980s I believe, an amp that I’ve long admired for its versatility in a tiny package.

It’s a completely different circuit that I’m used to. Pubs can’t afford to pay a decent rate and financially it’s hardly worth doing, add to that having to get changed in the gents (complete with wet floor) and then negotiating drunk people crowding the exit when trying to pack up at the end, it’s a different world.

I have played some fantastic pub gigs for little financial reward in the past, but playing musicians’ music. This is strictly punters’ music that requires proper payment. I have accepted a couple more deps with the boys to help them out of a muddle but this is not how it should be, they deserve much better for their considerable efforts.

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