Archive for November, 2013

Inside the Felder Industries Estate

Exclusive spy shot of the private service station in the beleaguered Felder Industries estate.

checkthetiresMegalomaniac industrialist J. “Feltzy” Felder  having tire pressure checked by child attendant

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Outboard motor mount for canoe

Success! I finally found the motor mount for my canoe. Eat your heart out Felder Industries! First, some old shots of my canoe. It’s an 18′ cedar canvas canoe made by Bill Greenwood in the early ’70’s. (I snagged the pics from my long neglected website. I really should move the stuff over to this blog).

And now the mount. I suspect it was made by Greenwood. IMG_2917 IMG_2918 IMG_2919 IMG_2920

Update: I climbed up and took a pic of the mount on the canoe, the dusty canoe. Hope this helps Paul, you can see the mount pinches the inwhales and is pushed as far back as the angles on the mount allow.



You never know what will be next

Pulling stuff out of my workshop, left right and centre. And now, may I present my Onager. I made it one afternoon, oh must heave been 10  8 years or so ago. Throws a golf ball a fair distance, but crikey it is a little nerve wracking to cock. Maybe someday I’ll take a vid of it in action.



More finds during my hunt

Still looking for the car amp and canoe motor mount, uncovering more forgotten things. This time, would you believe, Polish theatre and opera posters from the ’70s. I had to take some quick pics of some of them.


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Trenching tools – East meets West

So I’m searching high and low in the workshop for a couple of things, things I recall putting away but now can’t find. Driving me batty, but there was a silver lining – I found the W.German trenching tool that had gone awol for the last few years. It was a necessary bit of kit for the van and during it’s absence I was forced to use my back-up, an E. German trenching tool.

BTW, the pair are on my old sliding crosscut table on the table saw. It’s what I use when cutting aluminum on the saw.

OK, West on the left, East on the right. West uses a spring loaded push button mechanism to adjust/lock blade angle. East uses a threaded collar.


1965? Almost as old as me.


Western tool has an independently adjustable pick.


Only markings on the Eastern tool “Made in GDR”. This is strange, why would it be in English? An export model?


The wooden handle on the GDR tool looks like it is Beech. A more pronounced grain on the W. German model, perhaps Ash.

Addendum: for those out there questioning the “MADE IN GDR” stamp, here is a rubbing.



I’m thinking the shovel is an export item, made for the military surplus market.


Mercedes Benz L 319D

This last summer my neighbour bought this MB L319D from the son of the original owners. There are many stories attached to this van, obviously, if you read the back doors.









Vanagon – look what the cat dragged home

It’s a bit of a mess, a 2.0 litre ABA engine from, I think, a ’96 Jetta. I can’t confirm date yet, but what looks like a throttle position sensor on the throttle body makes me think it is an OBDII engine. Young guy, keen on cars, was selling it and I gave $70 to him to have the pleasure of taking it home and finding out just how nasty it is.

He had it stored outside and I think rain got in one spark plug hole and filled a cylinder with water. It was water, not coolant. I started taking it apart right out beside the van mainly to make moving it easier.




No chips or gouges but definite wear. Engine has I think around 200k km on it.


Head off and there you go, water.




Close up of water damaged cylinder.


one of the “dry” cylinders.



You might ask why would I buy such an engine? The explanation makes good friend Simon sigh and shake his head. Well it’s like this, I like I4 VW engines. The 1800 8V Digifant I had in my ’82 westy worked like a champ from ’94 until 2009 when the van got T-boned. I liked the simplicity and reliability of the engine, loved how it could run all day pushing a heavy van. I still have that engine and all the mounting gear and I am thinking of making some sort of attempt at building a new version for the syncro. The 2.0 block has the appeal of a bit more power and I think is a little smoother running.

Of course, some machining, bearing replacement, etc, etc, will need to be done. And the question of whether to put the counterflow Digifant head on the 2.0 block or keep the cross flow head is still up in the air. This is a long term project, no quick answers.

I hear you, I know. A stronger more powerful motor with good low end torque would be more suited to the syncro. There is the possibility of a low boost turbo option…