It’s been a while since I’ve posted some nice photos, so I thought I’d put some up…
Okay, I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted, but I will be making a bunch of posts soon making up for it. : )
However, first off I need to post about some troubles I’m having with my turbo so I can go through my trouble shooting steps. Once I find the problem, I’ll post how it was fixed so it will help in future.
But first, the problems…
The above picture is the oil residue I found in the pipe that goes from the air intake tube to the BPV. In order, it goes air box, main intake tube and then turbo air inlet. This pipe comes off the side of the main intake tube. Although blurry, it shows pretty clearly that there is a bit of oil in there. I don’t think this is a good sign.
This shows clearly where the pipe comes from (not so much my explanation above :p ) – in this picture it is detached and sitting near where it joins the main intake tube.
This is also a bit of a grim picture. This is where the main intake tube is connected to the turbo intake pipe. There is a fair bit of oil here as well and I’m starting to think cause for concern. The other end of the pipe (not shown) connected to the air box (filter).
This is the side view of the metal tube that bolts onto the turbo itself. This tube leads to the cold side fan (as opposed to the fan that faces the exhaust). The main intake tube fits on here and it’s pretty obvious to see that there is an oil residue here as well. The bolt in the front of the picture holds the breather tube on which runs to the engine. The connector where it goes to the engine (near the throttle body – ish) has a lot of oil residue on it as well.
This is the view straight down the metal air intake to the turbo. The pipe itself doesn’t seem too messy, but you can see some pretty recent oil on the edge of the pipe there.
This is the panoramic shot. From left to right you can pretty clearly see: The metal intake pipe to turbo with oil on the side of it, it bolts to the turbo housing itself which seems to be okay. Moving to the right you can see where the manifold bolts on and then the downpipe – both look okay with no visible leaks – sure, they aren’t gleaming and shiny or anything, but okay. Underneath all of that, you can see the wastegate housing with the lever that opens and shuts it (rusty but working fine). Right down below you can see the blue silicon elbow that takes the turboed air to the intercooler. It’s tight – no leaks there.
Probably not that relevant, but just in case, here is the area around the throttle body with the cover removed. The IAC (I think it’s called?) is on the left there and outwardly seems to be in fine condition. I can clean that, but I don’t think it’s the main cause of the problem. I have also checked that silicon hoses and such are in place – just in case.
And finally this is the under car view looking up at the turbo area. From the top of the picture down (which is left to right on the car) – Blue silicon elbow going to the intercooler. It’s connected to the turbo housing. Next you can see what I think is the oil pipe in to the turbo? Looks a bit crappy… Next is where the turbo cold side fan attached to the other fan and the waste gate, etc – the waste gate lever/actuator is on the right hand side there. And lastly at the bottom you can see where the exhaust bolts on. There’s a lovely white stain there… don’t know what that’s from….
Okay, that’s all the photos for now. I’ll putting it out there to help solve my problems and I’ll see what the diagnosis is. I’ll post later as to what the result was.
Now that all the boards are finished it’s time to pretty up the backyard a bit, starting with adding a little bit of greenery.
When I first cleared out the gardens (way before construction of the frame for the deck) I kept all the plants I removed and put them in pots. This turned out to be a great idea as I had a lot of plants available to green up the place without having to buy any! Besides, the ones that survived in pots for a long time turned out to be the most hardy.
One of the plants that I had a lot of was clivias. They are a fairly small plant with large green leaves and pretty orange flowers. They also have berry looking seeds that add to the colour and appearance. You can find out more about them at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clivia
Before planting them I had to get the garden bed ready. As you may have noticed from my previous post, I had a half buried coppers log (treated pine log) to form the border of the pavers. I wanted to freshen this up a little so I removed the log and cast it aside here’s a picture of what it looks like (and where it ended up is a secret…)
Anyway, with that gone I decided to put a spare length of decking board as the border to hold the pavers and to hold the dirt back. You’ll see it in future photos, but here’s a close up of how it worked out. I also had a lot of containers holding dirt and used the dirt to fill in the area a bit.
A word about keeping dirt. Worms are awesome natural ways to add fertilizer and to aerate the soil, making it a fantastic start for replanted plants. To encourage worms going through the soil, I filled old pots with dirt that had various bits of natural detritus (like leaves and roots and sticks). The worms enter through the drainage holes of the pot and move through the soil eating the debris and adding fertilizer. It’s a good idea to put a layer of leaves and sticks on top of the pots to keep the moisture in and to provide extra food for the worms.
Once the bed was bordered and topped up with soil, it was time to plant the clivias. I didn’t have much room (width-wise) and wanted to make it look as full as possible. I therefore opted for a trench-style planting. Basically I dug a trench through the middle of the garden bed and then placed the clivias in the middle of the trench.
To explain the best way to plant clivias, I’ll go through step by step how to remove them from the pots. The best thing about clivias is that if you put one in a pot, it will grow other shoots which then grow into mature plants in the same pot. I ended up having sometimes 5 or 6 clivias in the one pot! So because I had left these in pots for some time, they looked pretty haggard due to leaves and sticks falling from them out of a nearby tree as well as weeds taking root in the pot.
The first step was to remove all of the unwanted stuff in the pot to clean it up a bit. The leaves and weeds can be kept aside and either used in compost or use it to make a nice leaf litter for a mulch.
Much better! Now the next step is to remove it from the pot. For this step you can’t be gentle, you’ve just got to shake the pot until the whole thing falls out. Ideally, shake it in a horizontal way so the plant comes out without damaging the leaves too much. If it’s hard to come out, tap the bottom of the pot to loosen it away from the pot.
You can see that the plants were becoming quite root bound – that is filling the pot with roots instead of dirt. The best thing you can do to prepare for replanting it to remove a lot of the roots. They will grow back quickly, though so don’t worry too much. My theory is that plants distribute energy in growth equally to their leaves and roots. If the roots are damaged or if there isn’t enough water, the plant concentrates on the roots more than the leaves. When you replant, you want the clivia to concentrate on building new roots to become more solid in the ground. Therefore, if you get rid of some of the roots, the plant will put all it’s energy into making itself more solid in it’s new environment. To do this, just grab a shovel and chop at it. Keep the excess roots and dirt and put them in a pot to let the worms do their magic. They love clivia roots, by the way.
Although this looks butchered, the root ball size here is more than enough to start the planting. I guess the root ball itself is about the size of your fist. If there are multiple plants in the one pot, just get the blade of the shovel in there and separate them at the roots. Then cut each one back to a similar sized root ball and plant them as individual plants. You can then put them straight into the trench we dug earlier and then cover them with dirt.
Just continue doing this until the trench if filled. As I said earlier, I planted them quite close together to give it a bushy look. If you plant them further apart, they will grow over time to fill up the bed. Don’t forget that once you have put them all in to give them a really good water and then stand back and admire your handy work. You can sprinkle some slow release fertilizer through the bed if you wish (like Osmocote) but in my case, the worms helped me with that for free!
All that’s left now is to clean up and move onto the next section of the garden (to the left in this picture), but that’s another blog post.
Now that the material is cut for the inside and outside of each face of the bag, the next step is to put the padding in the middle and sew each panel up, ready for assembly. The padding I used is in the picture below, and I used two layers in each panel. The padding was fairly cheap – I think around $15, from memory.
So the first step is to cut the padding out. This doesn’t have to be too exact as the padding is very expandable and moves around a fair bit. To do this, I lay the padding down on the table – two layers – and then put the inner material on top of it to get the shape.
I then used my sharp scissors to cut around the shape.
Once that’s done, flip the whole thing over and lay the outer material for the panel on top of it to make a material, padding, padding, material sandwich.
Next I need to hold the layers in place while I sew them together. I used pins to do this and made sure the padding was right at the edge of the panel. This way, when sewn, the padding shouldn’t move around at all.
Putting the pins in at the angle shown means that you can sew over them easily and then remove them once the sewing is done. Continue doing this the whole way around the panel ready to sew. In the picture below, I use many more pins than I did for the other panels, but you only really need to put in enough pins to hold it all together. It doesn’t have to be perfect either, it’s only to hold it while it’s being sewn.
Once you have all the pins in place, it’s time to hit the sewing machine. Essentially, it’s just a matter of sewing right around the edge of the panel to hold it all together. Since I left some extra room around the poweriser when I traced the outline, I’ve chosen to sew in about the width of the foot on the sewing machine. I just used a straight stitch to hold it together as each panel will be sewn again later and that will add strength then.
Sew all the way around the panel and when you’re finished, remove the pins and cut off any threads that are hanging around. The finished product should look like this.
Once that’s done, it’s a good idea to quickly test and make sure that the poweriser still fits in there. The more testing the better, otherwise you may find a problem way too late to fix it.
Yep, we’re all good. Now to repeat another three times.
And then when that’s done, a little more testing…
Perfect! Now, I just need to make the sides of the bag and it’s almost ready to be sewn together. Stay tuned to the next exciting blog!
Now that the side boards are done near the steps and the capping and frame are in place for the boards under the balcony, the only thing left to do is to put the boards up.
I had a big advantage with most of the deck in that my brother-in-law, Jake, gave me quite a lot of help. Two sets of hands are so much better than one and I do suggest if you’re doing any sort of decking that you get an extra pair.
To compensate for being able to get someone to hold the other end, I had to use clamps to hold the board instead. I found the easiest way to do this was to clamp things under the board on the frame holding them up, but not necessarily in place. This way I could put one screw in and then do the rest fairly easily. Here’s a picture of how I set up the clamps.
As you can see from the next picture, I also made sure the boards butted up against the side part to hold that whole frame in. Once in place, it is impossible for the side frame to move and everything fits together nicely. The lines of the boards don’t match up perfectly, but I found that to be more of a feature than a problem.
I just kept adding boards in exactly the same way each time until I reached the ground. The last board, in fact resting on the ground in a few places. I wasn’t too concerned about being exactly on the ground the whole way because I wanted to make sure that if some small creature got in, it could also get out.
This left a large gap in one area, but the gap was covered near the fence. This meant that I needed to do a shorter board to finish it off. Here’s the gap.
Once I put the last board on, all that is left is to put some extra dirt in the ground and plant some cliveas in front of the boards to make it look nice. Below is the finished pic before I started on the garden bit.
And with that, I packed up. Next post, the garden!
Last post I ended with the outside material cut for the poweriser bag. Next we need to do the inside material for the bag.
Because no one is actually going to see the inside very clearly, I decided to use some material that I had left lying around from other projects. It’s not bad material, it’s thick enough and does have a pattern, however some of it is not big enough for the whole size of the bag. This means I may need to cut it and sew together parts to make it big enough.
For the parts that are big enough, it’s just a matter of getting one of the outer pieces and lying it on top of the material and cutting around it. If it isn’t big enough the first step is similar. Lie the largest piece down on the table and then cover it with the outer material.
Then cut around the parts that are over hanging to be able to make as much of the shape as you can. Once you’ve got the first part of the shape, the next step is to find another piece that’s going to fit in the gap. When you place it on the table, over lap the old piece with the new piece as below…
Lay the outer material down again and cut around the edges so that the new piece also is trimmed to the right size.
Once this is done, we’re ready to sew the two pieces together to make the whole thing like one piece of material. Remove the outer material altogether and any scraps let over from cutting.
As you can see above, the next step is to put pins through the two pieces where they overlap so that we can then lift the piece of material up and take it to the sewing machine to join then together.
Once on the sewing machine, it’s just a matter of sewing along the edge of the join with a wide zig zag stitch to ensure that the two pieces are held together. Ideally, we want to over lap the stitch a little so the fabric doesn’t fray. To make sure the join is very strong, we’ll do three rows of stitching.
Then flip the material over and do exactly the same thing, but on the patterned side this time…
Then (and you can see this in the above pic as well), run the same stitch right through the middle of the two other stitches. This probably isn’t necessary, but I wanted to be sure that with the weight of the powerisers I wasn’t going to have any problems with seams coming apart.
Each join was done the same way and I was able to get all four pieces out of the left over material I had. Here’s a view of the other side of the material.
The key thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to look great, no one will see this side of the bag. Secondly, it has to be strong. And thirdly, remember that the pattern part should face out on each part you sew together.
Finally, cut off the loose cotton where you’ve sewed and then put it aside then start on the next one. Once all four pieces are done, I’ll continue on with the next steps in the next blog post.
Now that the frame is set up to attach the boards to, the next step is to complete the side part on the stairs. This is difficult because I need to essentially build a triangle. But it needs to be done before the boards as the boards will hold the whole stair side framework in place.
The first step is to measure how long the next board needs to be. The bottom part of the end needs to be the right length so that when it’s cut, it reaches the right point. It’s important to ensure that the gap between each board is the same and that the board you’re measuring is the right spacing. As you can see in the photo below, I have used a couple of off cuts to enforce the gap – the width of a board.
The board then needs to be cut to the correct length (it can go over a little at the back) and then cut to have the right angle on the end. You can see in the above photo that I have laid a capping board on top of the frame and I got behind this and sketched a line for the cut under the capping board, directly onto the board about to be cut. This gives me the correct angle.
The next part should come with a disclaimer. I will be using the drop saw in a way that it wasn’t supposed to be used. It can be dangerous so you probably shouldn’t try this at home.
Because of the steepness of the angle, it’s impossible to cut it as normal. Therefore I have put the board in at right angles to the drop saw and lined up the blade with the pencil line.
This cut doesn’t have to be perfect, but as close as you can get it. The capping board in the end will cover any sins, but the closer the better. Each board should be cut in this fashion and then attached to the frame. The boards are attached to the frame with two screws the same as everywhere else on the deck. Once all the boards are completed, it should look like this.
Once all the boards are on, the capping board then needs to go on to top. I clamped it in place and then went through and drilled and counter sunk each of the holes. It is EXTREMELY important to note that I had to drill all the way through the other boards or the board will crack when the screw goes in.
Once the capping board is on top, the whole frame then needs to be moved into place. This mostly takes patience and effort. Once in, it’s not a bad idea to wedge something in between the frame and the wood of the support to ensure it’s in the right position before starting the boards.
Now that the side is done, the next step is to do the boards under the balcony.