The missus is out at Pizza Express - sounds like an excuse for some carage. Gear linkages and strut bolts also arrived (cheers Swampy and Miles(?)).
It's important at this point that you nearly schoolboy and fit the strut brace first, which would be sitting right where you need to get in order to do the linkages. Realise just in time, move along. So these linkages:
What a monsterous pain in the ass they are. New ones - brilliant. Well machined, easy to fit. Old ones - rotting old European tat. The two smaller ones were bad enough, but managed to get those out by ramming a 10mm (of course) spanner underneath them to pop them off.
But holy mumma, that long one. One end has nothing to lever against, the other end has very little access. Not only that, but if you're lucky there'll be a big alarming bang at one point. We'll leave that be, and hope for the best.
Eventually I managed to remove the nearside end by grabbing it with an adjustable spanner and twisting it off. I then unscrewed the rod and after generally swearing and bleeding a lot managed to loop the end of a ring spanner over the other end and pull it back on itself until it popped off, allowing my arm to scrape further along something sharp.
Eventually got the little shitters on, so thought I'd check how the stick felt now.
Oh good, it's flopped over backwards and just wobbles around like a p*ssed-up tramp. Ideal. Let's have a look at that.
Turns out the always-harmless bang that came from the gearbox was simply some kind of thing, that another thing goes into. I had to remove one end of the linkage then dick around a bit, but managed to get it in without any bother. Have another go with the stick, all now seems fine. Not as much of an improvement as I'd have hoped if I'm honest.
Not really sure why I took a picture, but still - it's something shiny.
I've devised a new scale for measuring these jobs - it's called the BS, or the Ballache Scale. To estimate it, you multiply its [D]ifficulty on a scale of 1-10 by its [C]ost, also on a scale of 1-10. Multiply that by the amount of [T]ime taken for the job in hours, and you've got its BS value. Ideally a job would be Simplicity 1, Cost 1 and Time 1, giving you a BS of 1, which is as good as they get. An engine swap, for another example would be cost 6 maybe, simplicity 8 and time maybe 8 - so that'd be a BS of 384. I'll reserve fitting superchargers and turbos for the 10's.
So for the linkages I'd say difficulty 3, cost 2 and about an hour's work. That's a BS of 6. Not bad going at all.
Next for the strut brace, simple simple job except for the holes not quite lining up on the OMP brace, but then that's just par for the course when it comes to aftermarket parts. Because of this you'll never be entirely sure whether you're tightening the bolts or simply cutting a new thread - either way it's going in so let's not lose too much sleep there.
All done - C3, D1, T1 = BS of 3. Let's take the car for a quick drive to see how it goes.
Holy cow, now that's what I call understeer.
Nearly managed to spin on a roundabout, which is always excellent. Massive understeer which then caught and sent me back the other way, just managed to steer it back on course. Yes the roads are pretty wet today and my tyres are only budgets but still, fresh pants all round. To be fair to the car I've never had it in the proper wet yet and it's still on the standard suspension, so we'll reserve judgement for now. However if my new suspension isn't on before Oulton Park in a couple of weeks I'll be taking that brace back off.
Tomorrow I should be eventually getting a new clutch cable after the couriers ECP use "couldn't find my house" so decided it best to just not say anything and wait five days for me to call them up, despite ECP having both my home and mobile phone numbers.
There's only room for one idiot round here.