Going to see XS458 Lightning at Cranfield

Taking 10 day old Emily to Cranfield airfield today to see her first Aeroplane, T5 Lightning, XS458.

It’ll be nice for the crew to meet her, and Tim is bringing his newborn daughter too! Looking forward to meeting her!


Axminster WD16B2 pillar drill assembly

I finally got to assemble my pillar drill last night. It’s been in bits under the bench for ages, glad to get it done at last.


Because it’s such a heavy bugger, especially the drill head, and I was on my own, I had to be a bit inventive trying to get the drill head on.

I first of all tried just straight lifting it ontop of the column, but I’m no muscle man, so no chance.

I then thought about assembling it on it’s side and then standing it up, I had to use my hydraulic car jack, but this only got so far and I had to give up again.


The method that did work was to lay it on it’s back, then I climbed onto the bench and lifted it up.

My advice is to get someone to help, these drills are really heavy!

It’s turned out to be quite big on my workbench, and kind of dominates the shed, so I think I’ll make a lower wooden stand to the side of the bench. Which of course means moving it again….


Gmail Search Filters


Use these following terms in the search bar to filter through your messages.

To display all unread emails type in the search bar and press enter:


To display all read emails type in the search bar and press enter:


To specify if you want to search only in a certain email area, ie: sender, subject or body etc, use these below filters followed by your search.

For example, I’ll use the word Badger as my search term:


To search for emails with attachments:


To search for a specific attachment called Greenhouse:


To show only emails sent after a specific date for example 16th of July 2010 (you must use this format: yyyy/mm/dd):


To only show emails sent before a specific date (you again must use this format: yyyy/mm/dd):


Cavalier Redtop 20XE Engine Conversion

Just found these old photos of when I installed a Redtop (20XE) into my M-Reg Cavalier GLS.The ‘XE came from a friends crashed Astra GTE.

I think this was September 2005.

The Cavalier had a rubbish 2.0L Ecotec engine, and at about 160,000 miles it started to cut out randomly and wouldn’t want to start now and again, so it was the perfect opportunity when sadly this GTE got written off in a smash.

Engine and F20 gearbox coming out of the GTE through the front, saved jacking up.

Cleaning up the engine, and replacing oil seals. Had to take the Gearbox and Flywheel off to get to the “rear” Crankshaft seal. 
Changed the Crankshaft and Camshaft seals, cambelt, water pump, idler and tensioner pulleys before fitting he engine, much easier out of the car! Made a tool to hold the Camshaft sprockets when tightening up the Camshaft sprocket bolts. Saved using a spanner on the flats on the camshaft inside the cam cover.
I noticed the clutch was no good when the gearbox came off, so I swapped it for another I had lying around.
Some of the M12 threads in the engine block casting had filled up with corrosion, so I re-tapped them. These holes hadn’t been used in the GTE, but were required for the Cavalier (down to engine mounts and brackets for driven accessories, like power steering etc..)

Cleaned up the CV joints and replaced boots on the bench too, beats doing it under the car!!
Dropping the engine in. Always very straightforward from above with the gearbox attached, quite a lot more tricky when leaving the box in the car.
Modifying the Cavalier GLS exhaust at the Catalytic converter to fit to the cavalier SRI (20XE) manifold I bought for the job. The manifold needed a spot of welding repair where the circular flexiable seal had worn through.

 Re-aligned the clutch at the end of the job, see home made slide-hammer, with uncommon M7 thread on the gearbox input shaft.