Category: Video (Page 1 of 2)

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!

Taupo Tandem Skydive

No chance to back out

Originally, we had just “popped in” to talk about jumping options and book a slot in the coming days. We found ourselves quickly suited up, in the last few spaces on a plane before we could change our minds!

We chose to go from 15,000 feet to get more free fall time, and chose a freefall camera package so we could really get the perspective of our jump over any wrist mounted footage. This option was pricey but gave us some pretty wicked photos and a nice video too. Continue reading


Entering Another World

On visiting any of the sounds you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a Jurassic park style world. The cliffs here run straight into the water, continuing some hundred of metres below sea level. The water is dark, stained by the tannins carried in the water that runs off the trees on the hillsides. Bizarrely, this run off also means that the water is far less salty than imagined, forming a freshwater layer on top of the sea water. The dark water filters much of the sunlight, allowing deep water species to live much closer to the surface than usual. Continue reading

Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura

Encounter Kaikoura

This was one of the highlights of the trip so far, which we booked with Encounter Kaikoura. Despite being utterly amazing, it came with some significant seasickness drawbacks! Booking on the early 5.30am tour was perfect for us at it meant we could also make it to church “later” in the day. We arrived bleary eyed at ten past five ready to get suited up and were provided with a long john wetsuit, additional wetsuit jacket, neoprene hood, fins, face mask and snorkel. We chose to wear a rashy underneath in addition to our swimsuits. After a short video briefing we headed onto a bus for a short drive round the coast to the harbour, where we hopped on board our boat.

After reading plenty of reviews we had purchased some seasickness tablets and taken them ahead of time. Although the weather was fine, the sea was choppy and had a large swell. The dolphins in Kaikoura are completely wild, and aren’t enticed in any way, which means the first part of the trip is spent looking for them. We passed a small pod of dolphins, but continued on as our guides decided they weren’t in a playful mood. A few minutes later another group was spotted, and after donning our hoods and masks we were ushered into the water. Continue reading

Extreme Heli Hike on Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier/Te Moeka o Tuawe

The Fox Glacier sits within the Southern Alps on New Zealand West Coast. From it’s  nevé plummets steeply towards its terminal face, dropping 2,600m over 13 kilometres. This steep incline means that the glacier is incredibly fast moving, covering up to 5m in a single day – distances other glaciers struggle to reach in a year. The fast pace of the glacier and the amount of ice forced into the valley from the nevé means that features such as ice caves, pressure ridges are often seen.

Its Maori name, Te Moeka o Tuawe, means the final resting place of the ancestor Tuawe. He fell to his death whilst exploring the area, and his lover Hine Hukatere wept tears which formed the nearby Franz Joseph Glacier – also know as Kia Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Both glaciers are also unique because they end amidst rain forest which is considered unusual.

In recent years the glaciers in this region have begun to retreat, meaning hiking onto the ice from the terminal face is not safe, and instead tourists must be flown up onto the glacier itself. Despite this, it is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, and local company Fox Glacier Guiding, takes several hundred people up onto the face each day. Continue reading

Knife Making in Barrytown

A chance to learn new skills

We had the opportunity to try something new whilst on the west coast of the south island; Knife making. This is something that Jenny and I have been interested in for a while. A good quality bushcraft knife can cost £100’s. There are lots of different styles of knife and we weren’t sure exactly what we were in for with the course, but it came highly rated. So we booked in a few months before we left. Incidentally this was our first ‘hard’ date. Up until this point we’d given ourselves plenty of flexibility to allow for buying a van. Continue reading

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