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Old 08-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #1
Exterminator
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Default Engine maintenance ... B7 style!!

Hello all,

As you've probably seen on here, I was lucky enough to buy the original Stardrive prop a few months ago. Andy (clanger68 on here) is taking some stuff to exhibit at the BritSciFi 2013 event, and this is going with him, so it was a good excuse to do a bit of light restoration of the prop.

Here is the "before" photo:



Basically, it's all there, and it's not in bad condition for a 30-odd year old prop that was only used once. It's a bit dusty and dirty, some of the metal strips are coming off and the pierced cylindrical piece is loose, and that's it.

Before I started, I thought I'd have a naughty look inside! It's a big metal box, quite heavy, so perhaps there's something inside?



There is - quite a lot! The Stardrive started off as a piece of a large Honeywell mainframe computer, and as you can see, all the wiring and circuitry has been left in. The circuit boards are dated January and February 1970, 43 years old!



This bit of electronics has been added by Visual Effects - there is a fluorescent light tube inside the pink tube, so I am guessing it is to do with this, maybe ballast or a power transformer for it? You can also see the label on one of the battery wires.

That's enough naughty peeking for now, back to the restoration! Luckily, there was no damage to repair, it just needed a good clean:



... and there was a lot of dust and fluff trapped around the buttons. I had just the thing for this:



Look out, the Andromedans are stealing it ... no, wait! It's just a hairdryer, which, along with a clean paintbrush, dislodged all the loose dust, dirt and fluff!

With all the big stuff shifted, it was time to get scrubbing!



I always keep old toothbrushes in the workshop they're handy for jobs like this - I scrubbed the whole thing with mildly soapy water, small patches at a time, wiping off the excess with kitchen cloth as I went.

A couple of the small polished aluminium strips on the top surface of the prop had become detatched:



You can see why they are there, to cover the legends under the buttons. That brown glue looks like Araldite, an epoxy glue - two equal parts mixed together and setting in 15 minutes. I marked the strips' locations with masking tape and scraped all the old glue off. A quick application of new Araldite, and the strips were back in place again:



I did the same with the other strips, and also to the wider "D" profile strip:



The Araldite on this was beginning to fail, so I helped it on a bit!



There, now you can see what it used to be! No damage was done, the glue just fell off:



The strip was Araldited back on, so everything on the top of the prop was secure.

Another bit of exploration - what's behind this bit of diffuse light panel plastic?



Off came the domed covers, and out came the screws:



Fluorescent pink Perspex, which has been lightly sprayed with silver paint. And behind that?



Looks like a torch reflector glued to a car bulb socket. The bulb (an indicator or sidelight, 12V - 21W) still looks intact. Everything was cleaned, and before I put it all back together, I thought I'd shine a torch through the plastic bits, just for laughs - look familiar?



The last thing to tackle was the tall cylindrical thing. It sits inside a "well" in the aluminium casting, and has been bolted/screwed in from underneath but it is loose. I could see that it had been Araldited in place, but this has also come away over the years. I got rid of as much of the old glue as I could, and masked off a considerable area:



I mixed up quite a bit of Araldite and poured it into the well. Once it started to set, I carefully removed all the masking:



All done! Here's a few shots of the restored prop:









There, good for another 30 years or more!!
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:34 AM   #2
T.F.U.
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Dont instal it in your car or you might overshoot your destination mate.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
Ham Salad
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Be careful not to do the final connections inflight.
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Old 14-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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As Avon might say, "Who?"
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Old 16-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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Well, now it's nice and shiny, I hope to get it (and a few other bits I've got knocking around the place) out and about on exhibition ... no point hiding it all in a cupboard, eh??!!
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Old 16-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exterminator View Post


Well, now it's nice and shiny, I hope to get it (and a few other bits I've got knocking around the place) out and about on exhibition ... no point hiding it all in a cupboard, eh??!!
Not unless you want the cupboard to go really, really fast.
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