Author: Jenny Jordan (Page 1 of 5)

Driver’s Swivel Seat – Instructional

This theoretically “easy” task is made more complicated in a Transit van, owing to the need to first lower the handbrake to allow room for the seat to swivel. The scopema drivers side seat swivel, comes with no instructions, other than a simplistic diagram of how to fit it on the website. Whilst we did video the whole process, this is just in case you are if you are like me and also like a written list.

Tools Required

Torx Bits – T50, T40, T25

Socket – 7mm, 10mm, 13mm

Spanner – 13mm

Allen Key – 5mm


Removing the Seat
  1. Unbolt the Seat Belt. To do this, you first need to unsnap the plastic cover and then use a T50 Torx bit to unbolt the seat belt.
  2. Unbolt the seat electrical connecter using a 7mm socket. This is located under the seat. Unclip the cable from the bottom of the seat.
  3. Unbolt the Seat using a T40 Torx Bit; there are four bolts. To get at the front bolts, slide the seat back all the way. Slide the seat all the way forward and undo the rear bolts. Remove the Seat and place out of the way.
  4. Now remove Battery Terminals using 10mm socket. Remove the negative terminal first and then the positive. This is good practice as otherwise you may cause the system to short. Ian does this the wrong way round in the video – when we put it back together you can see it short as he touches the metal seat base! You can then remove the battery and the plastic casing that houses that.
  5. Remove the battery connection loom (or whatever the technical term for this is) that sits behind the battery. There are two 10mm nuts to remove one on door side and one in the back.
Removing the Handbrake
  1. Remove the two pieces of plastic that make up the handbrake base. These lift up and over the handle – some wiggling is required to get the second bit out! We didn’t put this back on afterwards, as it was too big.
  2. Unbolt the handbrake bracket. There are three fasteners – use a 13mm socket. When this is loose you can disconnect the handbrake switch wire, including the clip holding the wire onto the bracket.
  3. Pull the handbrake back behind the seats, giving you access to the fasteners which hold the shell together. There are two covers over the bolts that can be pushed out from behind. Then remove the two T25 Torx screws. The shell can now be pulled apart.
  4. Loosen the handbrake cable. To do this you need to crawl under the van, near the rear axle. Use a 13mm spanner to loosen it until it is completely loose. You can now remove the handbrake cable from the lever – it should be loose. If it is not, get back under the van and loosen it some more!
  5. Now remove the outer cable from the lever. Press the two prongs of the white clip in towards the centre of the cable. At the same time, push the cable outer through the bracket.
  6. Now you will be able to removed the hand brake lever mechanism.
  7. There is a metal bracket which held the handbrake cover in place. This needs to be removed. Remove the four nuts with a 13mm socket. The bracket can be lifted out and is no longer required.
  8. Remove the two weld studs on the hand brake lever mechanism. To do this grind the back of each stud off and tap the remainder of the stud back through the hole with a hammer. The weld nut can be left in place and reused.
  9. There is one weld stud attached to the seat base that gets in the way. This was used to hold the cover bracket in place – it is no longer required. This stud needs to be ground off. We did this from the back and then knocked the remaining threaded section back through the hole. Ensure that the battery wiring loom is adequately protected from hot sparks. We used a couple of old curtains which did start to burn. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand for this job!
Reattach (lowered) handbrake
  1. Attach the handbrake lowering bracket (supplied with kit). There are three countersunk bolts and two nyloc nuts (we’re reusing one existing weld nut). Tighten these with a 5mm Allen Key and a 13mm Spanner.
  2. Before putting the handbrake lever into its new lowered position, the handbrake cable needs pushing down through the floor.
  3. Feed the handbrake cable back through the handbrake bracket ensuring that the white clip reseats correctly. Feed the handbrake cable inner back into position on the handbrake lever (make sure lever is released whilst doing this).
  4. Reattach the handbrake wire to the handbrake lever. Then plug the wire back into the switch.
  5. Reattach the handbrake lever shell. Snap the two halves together and then use the T25 self tapping screws. Push the screw covers over the top.
  6. Attach the lowered handbrake bracket to the seat base using the supplied fasteners.
  7. Go back underneath the van and check that the cable is clear of the prop shaft. Move the rubber handbrake cable sheath so that it protects the cable from rubbing on entry into the van body. Then re-tighten the handbrake cable and locking nut – you will need to check the tension is correct by pulling the handbrake on. Five clicks is a reasonable tension.
Reattach Driver’s Seat (with swivel plate)
  1. Relocate the battery connection loom and bolt back into place using the 10mm nuts removed earlier.
  2. Put the battery tray back in and then place the battery in. Check that the seat swivel fits on top without touching the battery – if it does you may need to remove the tray. Reattach the terminals, positive first. (Ian did this the wrong way round – you can see the sparks as it shorted in the video – luckily no damage done!)
  3. Position the seat swivel and then thread the seat wiring loom through the center hole.
  4. Use the red unlatching lever to swivel the top plate clear, revealing the four bolt holes. Bolt the plate into place using the countersunk bolts provided and a 5mm Allen Key.
  5. Attach the seat rails to the seat swivel using the bolt washer and nyloc nuts supplied with the seat base. To access the rear holes slide the seat forward, and to access the front, slide backwards. Ensure the bolts are tight.
  6. Reattach the seat electrical connector and do up the bolt with a 7mm socket.
  7. Reattach the seat belt using the T50 Torx Bit and snap the cover back into place.
Try out your new seat swivel!

I is for Ice Skating

Ice Skating in Leicester’s Jubilee Square

When we thought about ice skating, it took us a while to decide where to go. Both the National Ice Centre in Nottingham and the Snowdome in Tamworth off year round public skating sessions for around £9 for two hours. As winter was in full swing, we opted to go for the more festive ice rink in Leicester.  At £9 for a fifty minute slot, is less value-for-money than the other two options, but was much easier to get to. If you are going with a group, there is some discount so make sure you check this out online! Continue reading

Know before You Go:

 Ten Things to Know:

Here is our NC500 top ten tips. Have fun planning and enjoy the ride!

1. Weather

I’m going to go for the stereotypical British thing here and talk about the weather. You can’t predict it, and you can’t control it, so you may as well embrace it. We barely saw the sun for a whole week during our NC500 trip, and although this didn’t make the scenery any less beautiful, it did mean we missed out on a lot of opportunities!  The photos we did take represent the best weather of the week! Particularly disappointing was the “aurora alerts” that buzzed in our pockets (when we had signal!). The cloud filled sky  sabotaged any of our efforts to glimpse the northern lights or take any stunning sunset, sunrise or starry night shots! The wind, which wouldn’t necessarily affect car drivers, meant that we were often riding at an angle just to continue in a straight line! You can read and watch about our windy Balach na Ba experience here. Our advice would be; go prepared and invest in good quality, warm, waterproof clothing!

Continue reading

NC500 Day Six: Helmsdale to Inverness

Day Six: Helmsdale – Inverness

Route: Helmsdale – Inverness (via Inland route)

Distance: 163 Miles

Weather: Overcast with rain

Drop Counter: Jenny 0 (6) Ian 2 (4)

Another Detour

Today we planned to leave the A9 for a more exciting route! As we were low on fuel, we dropped down to Brora because the petrol station in Helmsdale wasn’t open. From Brora, we intended to ride all the way back to Helmsdale before cutting inland, but Sat Nav had different ideas! It took us on some even smaller roads than we had intended – so unused that grass was growing up the middle. A word of warning if you follow our route: the only other vehicles we saw were 4×4’s. Continue reading

NC500 Day Five: East Mey – Helmsdale (Orkney)

Day Five

Route: East Mey – Helmsdale (Via Orkney)

NC500 Day Five

NC500 Day Five

Distance: 172 miles (842)

Weather: Very Windy, Overcast, Showers.

Drops: Jenny 0 (8) Ian 2 (4)


With little interesting riding to be found heading between Mey and Helmsdale, we opted for a day visit to Orkney. Whilst this is a rather expensive option, costing us £128 for the return trip, it did give us a fascinating insight into Neolithic history and an opportunity to experience riding in some staggering wind conditions! Had we visited in the right season, we would also been able to visit more puffin colonies!

During the summer months it is possible to get a passenger ferry straight from John O’ Groats, this is often combined with a day tour bus trip on Orkney. At £64 per person (Summer 2017) this may well be worth it depending on the vehicle you are travelling in. If you are set on visiting and driving yourself, the options catch the Scabaster-Stromness ferry or the Gills Bay-St. Margaret’s Hope. The latter is cheaper, and with a approximate sailing time of one hour is also a half hour quicker than the former option. We managed to get tickets simply by turning up on the day, but in high season advanced booking is required to guarantee a trip. We payed £16 per bike, plus £16 per person each way. Continue reading

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