Monday 29 January 2018

Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8CRD rear drum backing plate

Here's a quick one after a recent panic with my Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8CRD (This will be the same on all caravan/models up to and around the 2006 facelift change). At the rear the handbrake operates an ancient style drum brake.
The drum brake is adjusted through a small toothed wheel you access from the inside of the backing plate, and often will be seized up or just plain useless, so taking the whole thing apart cleaning it, freeing it and sorting will help you achieve better hand brake operation (And help you pass MOT) however there is something that seems to rust and fail. The backing plate.

On here you can see the two brake pads at either side. These have a pivot point in the middle which is held in by a spring and a pin with a forked end and spade fitting. The idea is you push it on (allen key) against the spring push through a slot and twist to lock it.

That's the spring and the pin you can see the wide end to the top of the photo that pushes into the backing plate to secure it.
And now on mine below you'll see the problem:

That hole rusts and becomes wider, eventually the pin just pushes straight through and stops holding the brake pad in place, rendering it useless.

Panic then sets in as you need to replace the whole backing plate, which would be a pain as taking the hub off and all sorts! Replacements are also difficult to find and expensive as it's a whole chunk of metal and depending on what you can find may require the bearing or not. Either way it would be tricky to replace and could be pricey.
Below is one I'd found on ebay:

So what is the solution? Some cars have a similar design but have a slotted washer that goes on the rear of this backing plate to act as the binding point, this seemed ideal as a retro-fit, so a slight modification of it (Flattening it out) and that works great. At the same time using different springs helped as the standard fitting kit for rear brakes has a spring that at fully compressed is only just the right length to let the pin push through, a different compression spring works better allowing the pin to push through further and get a better purchase without as much tension on the spring.

This is what we used, unfortunately I don't have a reference for them as they were in my dads pile of bits from other cars and jobs in the past. We flattened them in the vice and they worked great for this!

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Youtube removing my monetisation

This came out of the blue, I've had an email from Youtube stating they're applying changes to the YouTube partner program. This is a program that Youtube users can sign into and apply banner adverts, etc, to their videos and make a small revenue from that.

To give you an idea, my videos aren't doing huge numbers of hits, but over the years they've done OK, and every few months I do receive payment from Youtube. It's only around £50 but it's a welcome addition, and a bit of a thank you from all those people watching my HOWTO videos and information, so makes me enthusiastic to make more.

So now, Youtube has stated:

"Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, Andy Brown, is no longer eligible for monetisation because it does not meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetisation tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on 20 February 2018"

Which is a little sad. I believe I'm getting the number of hours watching (at times), but unfortunately up until now I've not chased after subscribers really because it's not been important to me. I'm happy that people search and find my videos, repairing cars, dishwashers, washing machines, talking about electronics and generally just whatever I'm working on features.

So now I need to gain subscribers and don't really know how other than pleading with the general public, or anybody that watches my videos to subscribe so I can receive this very small advertising revenue to help pay for the video cameras, tripods, microphones and other kit that I use for making my videos!

And YouTube if you're listening, this is a pretty poor move. The smaller providers are the ones that grow and provide you with good revenue, why cut off the people just starting off? Surely incentivising us small content producers will make us WANT to do more on your platform? I'm seriously looking at alternative distribution platforms now, such as Patreon which is gaining momentum now.

So if you do want to help me along, please do subscribe to my YouTube channel and hopefully I can meet their targets!

Also, support me on Patreon to help me create more videos and content you want!