Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ABCD: will YOU take Part ?

Here's a challenge from Gary France

Gary France ABCD

Maybe you would like to join in with this.....

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on http://garysusatour.blogspot.com/2011/04/abcd-will-you-take-part.html and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture.

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.


Sounds easy enough

Grab a tripod, calculate where you are going to sit, aim your camera in the appropriate direction, set the self timer or remote control and sit there in the middle of the road waiting for the traffic to stop around you waiting for the camera to fire.


Just to let you know how proficient I am at a simple task such as changing a burnt out light bulb. The other day I noticed Mrs Skoot returning home and backing the WRX Subaru into the carport and the left, rear brake light was not lit. Well you never know what type of bulb is in there. There was a time where all double filament bulbs were 3057 type with double offset bayonnet which had to be installed in the right orientation. I thought it would be a good idea to remove the bulb and find out what the part number was so I could get a replacement.

Well, firstly on the Subaru there are two plastic type clickable rivets to remove to get the cover panel removed. These have an expanding centre where you lift the centre post out a bit to unmount the rivet. Upon assembly you click the centre which is like an expanding cam to spread the plastic at the bottom which holds it in.

2nd step is to get out the socket set to remove the threaded metric bolts which fasten the plastic lens assembly to the body. 10mm, extension, and 1/4" drive needed to remove the two bolts. Now there are no other bolts to remove and the lens is still attached on the left side, somehow. I didn't want to "force" the unit for fear of breaking a plastic tab. On the Subaru forum they say to just gently PULL and it will be freed of the rubber grommet. Luckily I didn't do this as I found that this grommet needed to be "pushed" farther left to clear the body. There was an expandable plastic tab which locked it in place through a rubber body grommet. I then got some grease to smear on this rubber piece to make it easier to remove the next time.

finally the plastic lens assembly was removed and an 1/8 turn to remove the bulb socket and found that the bulb was a glass bayonet type with NO visible Number. Sure enough it was a double filament (running light + brake light), and one filament was burnt out.

I then re-assembled everything but now I know what the bulb looked like. The complete operation took around 5-8 minutes. Everything is now back together but still the brake light was burnt out.

How easy it is to find information by using the internet to find the bulb number. All the google searches gave results pertaining to complete brake light assemblies for different models but none gave the bulb number. Eventually after about a half an hour I found the number was 7443 .

Now I was off on my V-strom to the large car parts distributor to find "the Bulb". There was a place for the bulbs on the wall, there was a place for these 7443's but both rows were SOLD OUT.

I then went to Canadian Tire to find that all theirs were sold out too.

In desperation I decided to go to the Subaru dealer and get the bulb. I left them to last as I didn't wish to pay their inflated price. I got there, parked my bike and noticed it didn't seem very busy, for some reason. The windows were darker than normal and when I got to the door there was a sign which stated that they were closed on Saturdays . With luck I managed to get a new "friend" to get these bulbs from the village of Steveston.

That evening when Mrs Skoot comes home I am ready to finally install this rear brake light bulb. It was slightly raining but I thought I could endure a little wetness to do this simple 5 minute job.

Off comes the plastic rivets and the cover. Socket set in hand I remove the two 10mm flat head bolts and push the lens assembly to the left to POP out the plastic retainer. In about 1 minute I have the bulb out and the new one snapped in. I am now smirking to myself that so far this is going very smoothly. Mrs Skoot is going to think that I am now a master mechanic.

I go to thread the first of the two bolts and it slips out of the socket and falls between the body and bumper. I look all over the ground hoping it fell out, but NO, it is somewhere inside the bumper assembly. I get my magnetic tool out and try to fish it out. Now I have spend over 10 minutes crawling all over the dirty ground and trying to squeeze my hand between the bumper "feeling" for the bolt, which I never found. I install the 2nd bolt just to hold the assembly in place, but I have botched the job and I need another bolt.

I can't sleep all night trying to figure out where I am going to get this bolt. I assume that it is metric, perhaps M6, maybe even M5 x about 25mm long. I visit my friend Gary, my scooter mechanic for I know he has a whole drawer full of metric bolts of varying sizes. On Sunday I go and meet up with Gary and he tells me he only carries M6 bolts and nothing smaller. The M6 bolt is too large in diameter. I ask him if he has an M5, he says NO. We look around in in junk box and he finds a smaller diameter one which seems to fit but smaller 8mm hex head, instead of the factory 10mm hex which came with the car.

At least everything is bolted back the best I can do, and the brake lights are now all working.

So this 5 minute job has taken me around 2 or more hours (to get the bulb) and has involved 2 people and now to remove the plastic lens assembly you will now need 2 different sockets to remove (10mm & 8mm), and I am not finished yet. I still need to find the correct 10mm hex head bolt to put the car back to OEM specs.

Mrs Skoot was right, take it to the mechanic next time.


  1. Hey Bob, maybe we should make the centerline challenge a joint effort... ;-) We will be both out there that day.

    As for the bulb... Mrs Scoot has a point ;-) I have to admit I never change it myself. It takes me 15 mins to take my car to the Merc shop, 10 mins of waiting and a free coffee, 8 bucks to pay, and off I go... just saying ;-)

  2. im in! so will we be seeing a pink croc? :)

  3. Pretty entertaining saga of replacing a bulb on a Subaru. I'm reluctant to take a any vehicle to a dealer even for a light bulb. I used to work as a mechanic and for things like a bulb, they will send the most inexperienced person to do the job. "Dealer" doesn't automatically translate to competence. You probably would get it back with half of the hardware missing and some of the plastic tabs cracked. I'm sure that there are many competent, trained mechanics at dealers but it isn't a sure thing...


  4. I've seen this in a couple of places. If I can remember and if it's not raining... I'm in.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  5. I'll play, too. Even if it is raining. :-)

    Now THAT was a lightbulb story...

  6. SonjaM:

    I don't know why they don't make front or rear panels with access holes to replace bulbs without having to remove anything, like they did in the "ole days" . I do have a photo idea that requires a human remote control

    Mrs M:

    Hmmmm, let me ponder . . . Hmmmm.


    Lucky I don't work for the dealer, otherwise I would have to charge at least for 2 hours @ $80./hr, plus the $20. for the bulb, and hope the coffee break doesn't come inbetween


    Imagine my surprise when all the blogs on my sidebar started to display the same blog title.


    Rain makes it a bit more challenging as electronic things aren't meant to be posed on tripods getting wet

  7. Thanks for re-posting this on your blog. I am expecting great things from your picture Bob.