QOTD #53: What Right Hand Drive options are available in northeastern Ohio?

Being that my father was stationed in England during his time in the USAF, I have always been curious about the British accent and driving on the wrong side of the road. I’ve not had the privilege of visiting Great Britain or driving from the passenger side but I may soon have that opportunity. I say that because the US Postal Service recently interviewed me for a part-time position as a rural route delivery person. If offered the job, I have decided to take it. However, there is one slight wrinkle to the plan. This position would require me to drive my own car from the passenger seat to deliver mail.

As you may recall, I currently own two vehicles. My daily driver is a 1995 Jaguar XJ6 and my wife’s is a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Both of these are Left Hand Drive (LHD) vehicles. So, using one of them would require some modifications or some clever shenanigans to reach mail boxes through the passenger side window. Someone suggested reaching my leg across the car to use the pedals. This isn’t a very good idea since the transmission/drive shaft tunnel is in the way. I think I would be visiting the chiropractor more frequently if that were a daily occurrence. So, here are the two ideas I am considering should I be offered the job.

MODIFICATION

Using the steering wheel from the passenger seat shouldn’t be too big of a deal. But the pedals would be almost impossible to operate from that position. So, the best idea would be to have some pedals installed on the passenger side flooring. A Google search revealed that driver training cars have a brake pedal installed for the trainer to use when necessary. But can you have duplicate gas and braked pedals added for postal work?

kit1DualBrake.com offers a FAT dual control kit. From what I can tell, this kit could be installed in my vehicle and allow me to accelerate and brake from the passenger seat. The cost is fairly reasonable at $378.24 plus shipping. I’m not sure how much installation would cost but would expect about that much to get it done right. I’ll be asking my mechanic and the local upfitter for ideas later this week.

USED RHD VEHICLES

With my reputation for purchasing a car every other month, you already know that I have been investigating what Right Hand Drive (RHD) cars are available in the area. At the present there are several possibilities.

  • 1960 Jaguar Mark II
  • 1960-jagNow wouldn’t that be a sight to see every day when your mail was delivered? Obviously, this is not a reasonable possibility for the job or my bank account. The starting bid of $2000 will probably reach a much higher price and I am sure that the weekly repairs would eventually double the purchase price. But it is a fun car to think about.

  • 1983 AM General Postal Jeep
  • 83-jeepThis vehicle might be a short term solution. The price is definitely attractive but would a 2WD Jeep work in Ohio winters. And would the lack of power steering and power brakes get older fast? I don’t know. If it were located in Ohio, I think I would take it for a test drive. But it’s not. It’s for sale on a lot in Missouri which is about 10 driving hours away from where I live.

  • 1999 Jeep Cherokee
  • 99-jeepThis vehicle has 4WD, factory RHD, and a good description. I like that it has working AC and runs well. I don’t like the rust and the price seems a but high. But it might be a good vehicle to consider if the other options don’t pan out.

  • 1989 Nissan S-Cargo Van
  • nissan panel van 2Now if this one ends up with a decent price, I may have to take a drive back from the West Coast in it. This would definitely be a fun one to own and drive. According to the description, it is a legally imported unit. And it is 25 years old so would probably pass as a Classic car. I wonder how small it actually is and if I would fit in it. In any case, this one makes me smile.

At this point, I don’t know whether this job will be offered to me. So, this is all conjecture. The Post Master who interviewed me told me that she would let me know Wednesday or Thursday of this week whether I am chosen for the job. Until then, I am going to see what options are available to me so that I am ready to make a well educated decision. If you have any ideas or know of any postal jeeps available in northeastern Ohio, feel free to let me know.

Redneck or Resourceful? — Broken Door Handles

redneck-resourceful

As we drove back from the Ohio Bible Fellowship conference last weekend, we stopped at McDonald’s for a bite to eat. When we returned to the van, I asked our pastor to wait a moment while I took this picture. The owner wasn’t present to explain things, but I noticed that both driver’s side doors were rigged this way. Apparently, the door handles had broken off and this was his method for opening either door.

Hmm… if you find yourself locked out of your car due to broken door handles, would this solution work for you? Tell me what you think. Is this redneck or resourceful?

Cat in a Coil Spring

Cats are known for hiding in a car’s warm engine bay but I’ve never seen something like this before.

Redneck or Resourceful? — Home Made Car Ramps

ramps

While perusing the latest X300 articles at the JaguarForums.com, I came across this link to a clever set of home made car ramps for working under your car. They are made of 2x10s and seem to be well supported. My only concern would be that they might flip over once weight is put on them. But with proper bracing, this might be a good thing to have if you (like me and most other people) don’t have your own hydraulic lift in the garage.

Redneck or Resourceful? I vote for the latter.

What’s the Scoop? — Motorcycle Edition

whatsthescoop

Today, I was given the opportunity to drive this Ford F250 Dually Flatbed to deliver seed to four different farmers. Driving that truck reminds me of maneuvering a full size school bus through a construction zone. It was wide enough to make you check both mirrors quite often. Thankfully, God gave me a safe trip with no problems whatsoever. However, something interesting did happen.

Dually

After dropping the last load in Ashville, Ohio, I drove as far as I could before refueling. I took this picture in Lodi after filling the tank and washing the windshield. Then it happened. A motorcycle rider walked up to me with his helmet on and the clear plastic visor down. “Hey, buddy, give me a few scrubs!” In other words, he wanted me to clean his visor. So, I smiled real big and did it. I scrubbed up and down while he moved his helmet from right to left. One of the female riders said, “That was so cool!”

I’m still smiling just thinking about that. It’s not every day (actually it’s never happened before) that someone asks you to wash their helmet visor. You just never know what will happen when you drive through Ohio.

Synchronized Silliness

Remember the synchronized swimming that was all the rage a while back. It was interesting how the swimmers could stick limbs out of the water at the exact angle, speed, and time as the others. I’m not much a fan of dancing but the synchronized part was impressive. Move forward a few years to today.

WP_20140804_20_35_34_Pro

I’m not sure whether my two oldest were thinking of that sport on our ride home, but they decided to do some synchronized arm thrusts out of the moonroof and side windows of the Jag all the way home beginning in downtown Chardon. No music was playing. They just decided to do it — laughing the entire time. Where do they get this stuff? :-)

QOTD #53: Why would a Jaguar XJ6 lean to one side?

During my last visit to the Jaguar Forums, I came across this helpful post. The owner of a 1997 Jaguar XJ6 L complained that the right side of his car rode lower than the left. After replacing the front shocks, nothing changed. The right side was still about 1/4″ lower than the left side.

Why would a Jaguar XJ6 lean a little lower on one side?

Several people came up with suggestions, but Don B. offered the most probable solution to the problem.

jaguar xj6 shock diagram“It is not unheard of for springs to sag with age, but the most common cause of sagging ride height is deterioration of the big foam rubber ‘donut’ spring isolator bushes, Part 5 in the diagram below. Since the bushes are more than an inch thick, there is a lot of ride height to be lost as they lose their resilience and compress with age.”

Hunting down a problem is the hardest part of working on cars — especially a Jaguar XJ6 (X300). If it had been my problem, I probably would have bought new springs, shock absorbers, tires, and then sold the car to relieve my frustration before realizing what the real problem was. That’s the beauty of visiting the forum when a problem arises.