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It's a Chilly Bin Bro! XR4 Daily Novelty FiST

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    Random dude on the XR4 Facepalm Group (yes there’s a Facepalm Group) was parting out a car. I saw the passenger window window trim/belt strip looked pretty good. Did a deal, agreed a price and got some bank details.

    3 days later this tube arrives via courier. Yep. One belt strip I had forgotten to pay for. Made good on that and added it to the pile of parts to stare at while the weather is shit.
    Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


      Lovely day outside, and Mother’s Day is time to hide in the garage or driveway.

      Belt strip was dirty and a bit aged. These kind of trims can be cleaned up quite well with a melamine sponge (ie Magic Eraser). It will remove a layer of rubber and give a smooth uniform finish under.

      There’s no magic to the install, just wind down the window and pop the old one off by lifting in the middle and it slides out from under the mirror housing and the B-pillar trim.

      Reinstall goes in behind the mirror housing about 15mm, then very gently it’s arced from there to line up to slip a couple of mm under the B-pillar trim before being eased into place. It’s easy to kink and impossible to straighten.

      A tiny waver in it and a couple of shallow scratches but way better then the dented one I had.
      Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


        Next “easy” task. Exhaust hanger.

        The starting point. I’ll be fair, the exhaust was done a couple of owners ago and I think from there use subsequent owners have been chasing our tails. The mufflers aren’t the restrictive part of the system and while I have the “sports muffler” for it I’m not exactly wanting to try and make it work.

        The sports muffler and it’s interesting rigid mount.

        So I pulled out the old mount and cut the wire.

        There’s definitely a difference in them. The old one has a bit more “gape” and shows a lot of stretch. Honestly it’s like the demo dildos in a porn shop, it works but it’s nasty.

        Do a dry fit into the rail and it looks like it should.

        About now I realise that the modifications to flange the exhaust has issues.

        Factory there’s a slip-joint just to the right end of the over axle beam kink. This has been welded up. Then a flange welded in. Then I think gbanger had to adapt the factory muffler back to this flange.

        Ultimately you can see where the flange strikes the floor and that’s why the wire was there previously to pull the joint away.

        I lubed up the mount and slipped it on anyway. It does pull the muffler back a bit but not enough. I’ll add some fresh wire for now.

        So my choices are:
        - Find a stock exhaust from cat-back and be happy, but it’ll probably be a rusty and shit as mine anyway.
        - Take to exhaust shop and have them cut out the joint and move on with life.
        - Buy or have built a complete exhaust and then whine about the noise.

        I wasn’t planning on doing anything except the header to cat “choke point” because there’s a lazy few hp in that and a bolt in solution is sub $300.

        Oh well.
        Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


          On a roll so it’s into the cabin and the bellows around the gear stick.

          Stock one fits about and well as you’d expect.

          New one has a more satin finish to the dress ring. It actually matches the door handles etc better than the stock one!

          One of the holes in the stock bellows.

          The lifting finish.

          The replacement fits fine, but the clips don’t lock in like the factory one (I can adjust them) but probably the bigger problem is the bellows doesn’t grip the bottom of the gear know as well.

          Worst case I swap bits between them and end up with a nicer result.
          Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


            Worse case is the case. ChinaBay shift boot is really annoying so it’s going to be stripped of the silver ring and I’ll stick with the Ford bits. Functionally the clips on the base are rubbish and the bellows wants to be “flat” so every gear shift tugs it loose.

            But I got another thing from China today!

            A new bonnet prop rod grommet! Although I ordered it about 2 months ago (I’d given up on ever seeing it) for about $3 it eventually turned up.

            Small thing but probably good to have because on at least one occasion I’ve not “carefully” propped the bonnet and the rods come out at the end. Was this close to denting the bonnet with my head.
            Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


              OCD time!

              Pulled the power window switches out and installed blue PLCC2 LEDs.

              Stock arrangement is 3mm green. It would be easier to use 3mm blue in their place but I want consistent colour temperature around the car, so the pack of 50 PLCC2 from eBay is being used everywhere.

              Passenger side is deceptively easy because there’s only one LED.

              Drivers side sucked as the LEDs and in series and space/lead length is tighter. Drivers side is also 12v direct feed without a current limiting resistor so will probably roast a LED or two over time.

              Still feeling good about the operation. Will do the headlight switch next.
              Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                What a fucking mission.

                Remove headlight switch. Take apart the slightly wrong bit, Fire a ball bearing and spring across the workbench, put the slightly wrong bit back together.

                Take the right bit apart.

                Discover I had no chance of the LEDs I had handy doing the “right” job. Buy more LEDs.

                New LEDs are great for fitment, but different shade of boy-racer-blue than the LEDs in the window switches. They’re also quite bright.

                Headlight switch out of car. Probably the easiest part of this operation.

                Split the switch at the PCB not the front panel . The rotate for lights and pull for Fog light mechanism is the blue but. The little grey-white key above it drives a PCB mounted potentiometer that sets the headlight angle. The headlight switch is actually in the back half of the unit. Reassembly involves indexing the leveller dial, the potentiometer and the headlight switch through the PCB.

                Back half of the unit which is actually the headlight switch. The PCB mounts to those brass terminals and is sandwiched by the front assembly.

                PCB with green LEDs. Those wire jumpers are what engage with the brass terminals on the back half. The potentiometer has to be exactly lined up with the drive pin on the front of the housing or there’s problems.

                Jaycar 1500mcd blue LEDs. Next time I do this I’ll source a matched set of LEDs that will be closer in colour and for these maybe 500mcd is enough. Still I paid 55c each for these on a Sunday and it still will be better than green

                Complete and working.

                That’s all the blue conversion for a bit as I need to get a few parts to convert at my leisure as Chilly is now the primary (aka only) vehicle in operation in the household.
                Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                  The blue looks sooo much better. The factory green looks shit in comparison.




                    It’s fair to say that I’ve hit a snag in the AC controls on the mission to go blue.

                    The colour lens for the lettering of the fan position and vent position is moulded into the plastic! It’s sandwiches between layers of white.

                    The UK fix is to cut out the dials and replace with the dials from a Focus. Then one of the vent positions becomes transposed too. So that would drive OCD a different way.

                    It’s one piece with everything fused or moulded together. A scrape test proves that it’s not a screen print either being about 1mm thick.

                    The recirc and AC buttons aren’t tinted so They will end up blue. From pics I’ve seen online flooding blue light behind does give a more aqua than green hue and that will do for now.

                    That’s a lot of circuitry to control the recirc vent and AC button (it has no connection to the heater, fan speed or vent positions!)

                    An LED tell-tale and a PLCC2 for illumination. Now blue!

                    The rest of the assembly is flood lit by T5 wedge globes. So Jaycar provided some drop-in replacements for $1.80 each. I will add some extra bare LEDs to the housing if these don’t drop the green-tinge enough.

                    But it’s not that easy, the LEDs are slightly chubbier, and the mount holes are slightly too small even for the incandescent T5s so they will be redrilled first. The power traces are moulded into the housing as well!

                    Tubby LED...

                    I bought a used control unit to do this on so I can test LED polarity and so on before taking the time to wrestle it into the car.

                    That will mean down the track I could invest another $100 into a Focus control assembly, then do surgery. Maybe.
                    Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                      I love this kind of stuff. Keep going!
                      Previously known as Lobster, Chuss's brother's anus, Chuss's brother, Lobsook, Lobstersock, Socks, Sockz, MissAmericaImportGirl, ClutchCLobster

                      CJM 4 Life yo!


                        Shit, but slightly less shit.

                        This is with the factory LED positions used. To the human eye the red sector is almost invisible (expected as there’s not much red wavelength to pass through the filter) and the green is a very light ghostly aqua.

                        With the faceplate removed there’s a really nice even distribution of light. The end caps over the LEDs are part of the moulding and make filing out the bulb holes a nightmare.

                        In dim light it doesn’t look that bad.

                        Now the idea of where I’m going to go with this is sketched on. I’ll add a red LED to bring up the brightness of that part of the panel. The green filter will knock most of that from bleeding through.

                        Then I’ll make a LED daisy chain around the dial points to end up with a result more like this

                        Not terrible.
                        Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                          Remembered I have a reel of (white) 12v LED strip. Much easier to swap blue LEDs onto this than create something else. Also means I can use a single white below the red heater quadrant and sort that

                          All I need to do is get about double the light intensity behind the face and it’ll be the same shade of aqua and be bright enough to see. At least that’s what my rudimentary understanding of light filters tells me.
                          Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                            Progress is progress.

                            I’ve done the fan-speed dial and heater dial additional back lights. This is without the 4 diffused factory LEDs running.

                            It’s also in a dim garage to test visibility. I’d call the aqua a success, it’s not blue that I wanted, but it will be properly visible and legible and not starkly green.

                            In the much darker times it’s still aqua enough, and importantly the Red heater sector lights much better.

                            There’s 5 blue LEDs and a single white making that happen. The white bleeds more green out on the vent position, but I’ll put blue right behind it and see how that goes, worst case I can put a bit of a wall inside.
                            Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                              Back together, this fascia is in better co diction than the one in the car, so conveniently I get better lighting, and a less worn piece of trim!

                              You can’t be green if all you get is blue! 15 blue LEDs to do the backlighting, and two more for the buttons - the lone white for the heater quadrant.

                              This is is lit and the photo tweaked to get closer to what the eye sees.

                              Overall I’m happy enough with the results, and it’s consistent enough in the illumination that it looks deliberate but not half-arsed.
                              Shed Project: 1994 Laser Lynx with BP-T


                                I really admire your dedication to this cause! Does look much better.