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Member postings for Steve Neighbour

Here is a list of all the postings Steve Neighbour has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Why mostly manual cars in UK
04/12/2019 15:49:22
Posted by Howard Lewis on 04/12/2019 15:20:47:

Automatics usually consume more fuel than a manual, important in these environmentally aware times.

Also, a manual can be controlled by use of the gears (Forget the DSA "Gears to go, brakes to slow" - For years, drivers of commercial vehicles were expected to be able to halt a vehicle in the event of a brake failure. Yes modern brakes are better and more reliable, but failures DO occur. hence the spring brakes, held off by air pressure, on commercial vehicles! )

If I have to control the vehicle by overriding the automatic transmission, I may as well have chosen a manual in the first place. And a manual does not change up when I lift off and want to slow gradually!

And under snow or ice, give me a manual anyday!

Also, with modern electronic engine management systems, closing the throttle, cuts off the fuel, again environmentally friendly. And reduced use of the brakes, means less harmful brake dust is released into the air, not to mention brake discs lasting longer, again, environmentally friendly.

Stop - start progress is more likely on overloaded motorways, such as M25. Non motorway roads can actually produce shorter journey times under those circumstances! Even the grossly over loaded A47 can produce better travel than on the M25, M25 seems to be cars cars cars, while A47 is lorries, lorries and more lorries; but at least the wheels tend to keep turning.

Climbs off hobby horse


Is your 'Hobby Horse' an auto then laugh

The cons of an auto are a lot less than ever nowadays, my car has a 9 speed triptronic gearbox (fancy name for fully electronically controlled) coupled to a 2 ltr EU6 diesel and easily achieves 50-55 mpg, on a longer run an a motorway at a steady 70 mph it will hit 60+ mpg, I travel in excess of 25k miles a year, in all weather conditions, and find it very easy to adapt to ice/snow etc, just select the correct mode and the electronics does the rest, it also has flappy paddles allowing quick and easy manual changing so I fail to see what the advantages of a manual are now !

On the flip side, my better half has a small car with a 900cc 3 cylinder petrol engine, and a 5 speed manual gearbox, it averages around 35mpg being nowhere near my car which has a bigger engine.

The old thinking of "Brakes to go, Gears to slow" - I was taught that very method when I learnt, has long been overtaken by new techniques (no pun intended) simply because using only your gears to slow down gives no rearward warning from brake lights that you are actually slowing down and brake pads are a lot cheaper than gear boxes and clutches (ROSPA advanced driving course recommendations)

Climbs off perch and getting my coat wink


04/12/2019 15:19:45
Posted by KWIL on 04/12/2019 15:08:13:

"More expensive to buy, more expensive to repair, more expensive on fuel. Is there another reason?"


I disagree, maybe a few years ago, when automatics were generally 3 speed Borg Warner, then the fuel mpg suffered and they were very expensive to repair, often also needing frequent transmission fluid changes, but that was then !!

Things have progressed significantly in the last 10-15 years, automatic gearboxes are now very reliable, are often 7, 8 or even 9 speed, no longer use a torque convertor system and are completely electronically controlled along with clever stop/start systems which can (and do) return mpg figures only dreamed of by those driving a manual car.

Example, when did you last see a manual bus, rubbish truck, or emergency services vehicle ?


I changed over 10 years+ ago, much to the horror of my father (always a manual man) and wouldn't drive a manual vehicle for all the tea in china now, simply there is no comparison with respect to mpg, ease of driving, ability to control the car effectively and overall comfort - in my mind (entirely my opinion I appreciate)

Obviously a few manufacturers think the same (JLR, MB to name but two) where it is no longer easy to buy a manual box model any more.

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 04/12/2019 15:22:44

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 04/12/2019 15:26:53

Thread: Today's 'Live Chat' with TalkTalk
20/11/2019 19:55:37

We dumped Talk Talk when they had the security breach . .

we're now with Sky (TV, Phone and broadband package) the continuity of service is better, and the TV is 100% better for picture quality etc, but any dealings with their customer 'non' service is a nightmare, wife and I both have mobile contracts with Vodafone, and they are NO better !!

It seems almost without exception the BIG utility providers all train at the same 'how to angry customers off' academy for customer service . . frown

Thread: Is Model Engineering in Decline
21/10/2019 11:09:00

I would suggest Model Engineering is like so many other hobbies or 'pastimes' go through decline, then become more fashionable, then decline and so on, so as Neil said, it is 'changing' or more accurately 'evolving' . .

My wife is a prolific knitter, how many young girls (or boys to tick the 'pc' box) take up such crafts, although having said that she is trying to teach one of our granddaughters to knit and crochet . . hopefully when she is older she may take this up, only time will tell.

I started model engineering way back in the '60's . . . being taught to use a lathe by my late Grandfather when I had to stand on a step up to reach the controls, my own late Father showed no interest, and nor have I until since I made my own way in the world, raising a family and following a career.

I have always had interests in model and full size steam, and ironically when I was a small lad of about 8,9 or 10, those that made, owned or operated model steam engines and trains all seemed to be in their 'senior years' . . . and having visited the MIdlands Show this weekend, they are still of the same age !!

I 'played with' RC aircraft, helicopters, PC games, and even recently a quad-copter (primarily for aerial photography) but like all technology the novelty can quickly wain.

Time has passed quicker than I would like, I am now very much in my 60's and busy building my 'man cave' to house a lathe, milling machine etc such that I can follow my dream and passion for model engineering.

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 21/10/2019 11:11:49

21/10/2019 10:27:57

I attended the show on Sunday, which I thought was really very good, I was as always very impressed with the exhibits, there are certainly some very talented folk about.

One reason I went (but there were many) was to look at the Myford stand, which was as usual really good, and the staff were well informed and very helpful, I compared the refurbished super 7 to a new 'made in Asia' equivalent, and the quality is no where near that of the Myford machines, so it certainly proves that you get what you pay for ! (not detracting that the 'Asia origin' machines are more than capable of producing some very accurate results !

It was also great that the sun decided to come out, the rain stopped, and the live steam Traction engines showed how good they are at managing to remain mobile in quite soggy conditions.

In particular I thought the 'Young Engineers' displays were top notch, it is so nice to see that the younger generations still enjoy Model Engineering as a pastime


Edited By Steve Neighbour on 21/10/2019 10:40:50

Thread: What are these pliers for
14/10/2019 18:09:25

More precisely, they look very like a pair of Telephone specific 'GPO' quick-grip pliers, manufactured by GEO Plumpton Ltd around 1965-70

Thread: The Chocolate Fireguard as designed by Mercedes Benz
27/04/2019 11:11:37
Posted by Vic on 27/04/2019 09:57:21:

I’m not sure Mercedes is a particularly good choice these days, well not if you want reliability. cheeky


I have to disagree (tempting fate maybe) I'm on my 2nd Mercedes (No 1 was a C class estate) I now have a E class estate and it is nothing less than superb, it it by far the best car I have driven, it is very economical, easily achieving 50+ mpg, (the best I have managed is 62.7 surprise)

My local MB dealers service is second to none, and always go that extra mile to ensure I'm a 'happy customer' - maybe I'm just lucky, but for me (at the moment) there is no other car I would consider !!

27/04/2019 11:04:19
Posted by Plasma on 26/04/2019 09:42:57:

"Still surprising to see folk driving in pitch black without their lights on, or conversely driving what looks like a stage light show when its dusk.

I put it down to the lack of bobbies on patrol."


Folk driving with their rear 'fog' light on weeks after they actually used it !

my other pet hate (there's too many to mention) driving on a motorway with the RH indicator on in lane 1 or 2 and they have no intention of moving to their right disgust


Edited By Steve Neighbour on 27/04/2019 11:04:48

Thread: Mystery Tool
24/04/2019 18:30:00

100% antique saw-setting tool wink

video on how to use it - **LINK**

Thread: Changing Broadband
10/04/2019 18:10:16

I changed from Talk Talk to Sky about a year ago, mainly because I was fed up with poor bandwidth and non existant customer service from TT

The actual change over went smoothly enough, and the service from Sky was certainly faster and more relieable, but could I get TT to realise I wasn't their customer anymore, firstly they took another payment (so I was now paying TT AND Sky) when I did eventually get through to ask them to a, stop, and b to refund the payment taken in error, the word 'refund' didn't seem to register with them.

I immediately contacted our bank and made sure the direct debit was stopped and told the bank what had happened and that they had taken (and the bank had paid) another payment in error, the bank agreed and they arranged the refund . . .I actually have never heard if the bank managed to get a refund from TT ?

I have had similar very poor customer service from a very well known mobile phone operator (who's name begins with a V !!)

It would seem to me that these companies are so big that customers no longer seem to actually matter anymore !!

Thread: Just desserts
07/04/2019 18:45:53

get burnt !!!

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 07/04/2019 18:46:46

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 07/04/2019 18:47:16

07/04/2019 18:45:52

It is most certainly not a joking matter . . . but maybe . . just maybe the message will get out to those who are considering carrying out such a despicable act in killing a beautiful wild animal for no more than a few hundred dollars (I actually doubt the poachers get anything like that amount) that they are in grave danger of being killed themselves, not just by the volunteer game wardens but also by a twist of fate from the animals defending themselves.

My wife and I were privileged to travel to South Africa last year and went on a trip to see the Elephants at a reserve (one the size of Wales !!) it was amazing, and we saw literally 100's of beautiful Elephants having fun in as near a natural environment as is possible, but . . . . . we were horrified and saddened to learn from our guide that they have to cut off the tusks as soon as they grow and keep them trimmed to stop the poachers from killing the animals (and that's in a game reserve)

So, although it is always sad when a human loses their life, I make no apology for thinking that if you play with fire, every now and then someone will get burnt !!!

07/04/2019 16:04:45
Posted by Samsaranda on 07/04/2019 15:08:44:

"This post appears under the heading of “Tea Room” which is the correct placing for frivolous and /or non engineering items"

Well said that man !!

(I suppose that really should be 'person' to avoid the PC police)


Edited By Steve Neighbour on 07/04/2019 16:05:13

Thread: Have your fathers habits rubbed off on you. Just for fun
31/03/2019 16:56:18

laugh when requesting my cuppa, should I 'order' a nice juicy steak ?

(I'm told they are good for soothing the enevatible black eye) crook

Thread: Dishwasher detergents
30/03/2019 18:44:18
Posted by martin perman on 30/03/2019 15:04:57:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2019 10:44:02:

"I think it was the Jaguar X type which was a complete Mondeo with a different body fitted."

Martin P

Definitely, it has 'Ford' embossed inside the fuel filler 'flap' !!

I used to own a Landrover Discovery '3' it had a 2.7 litre V6 engine made by Ford, the gear box was German, and most of the electrical stuff was made in Slovakia or Poland - but . . . it was marketed as a British thoroughbred vehicle !

And the 'van' story - Fiat make the Ducato (familiar to most motor home users) which is also sold as the Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Relay - only the badges are different !

So, going back to dishwasher tablets they are probably all made in a factory in China, next door to the one that makes all the mini lathes for all I know !!

Thread: Chinese 7x10 lathe
30/03/2019 18:18:17

To try and shed some light (no pun intended) on the electricity voltage discussion, the UK electricity voltage was 'harmonised' in 2003 at 230 volts (415 / 3 phase) but the UK regulated supply can run at +10% / -6% (of 230V)

Therefore the 'actual' measured supply in a domestic property could be anywhere between 216 and 253, so quite a wide range in reality !

The only real downside if your own supply was on the lower end of the scale would be a very small reduction in a lathe motor performance, but I doubt you would actually notice this when using the lathe (or mill)

Thread: Have your fathers habits rubbed off on you. Just for fun
30/03/2019 18:01:55

My late father was an absolute stippler for doing 'anything' properly - which is why my wife says I procrastinate for ages before doing what to her appears to be a simple job - well, I have to consider all the 1000 & 1 things that could 'go wrong' !!

I like an earlier post didn't have a very happy childhood, Father was very strict and discipline was always delivered via a leather belt or ruler . . thankfully a trait I didn't copy when raising my kids !

I suppose the one person who I owe much to was my Grandfather, he had a workshop and a very ancient 3 speed lathe, which with an abundance of patience taught me the basic principles of machining, I honed these fledgling skills further by completing an 'indentured engineering apprenticeship' (what ever happened to those ?)

Now that I too approach retirement, I'm busy building my dream 'man cave' and will soon install a nice lathe of my own (my wife suggested that I should also put a phone in it, so she can call me when she is off to bed) !!

Would she be offended if I got one with an answering machine I wonder ?

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 30/03/2019 18:02:45

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 30/03/2019 18:03:26

Thread: I want one!
20/03/2019 19:20:37
Posted by Rik Shaw on 19/03/2019 17:49:15:

"You'll be wanting a rat for that"

Rats only do files of small tail types I'm told

But in practice these vermin keep learning

They always start small but as they get old

A big bastard ratty is yearning.

If a 'RAT' tidied up the spanners then surely it must be a RAT-ch-ET . . . . (I'll get my coat then !!)

Thread: Myford Lathe on Ebay
05/03/2019 21:39:06

Hmm . . . I've been looking for a while and the seem to average over £1k as fizzy mentions !

Hope the seller doesn't leave it outside when it rains !!

05/03/2019 21:39:06

Hmm . . . I've been looking for a while and the seem to average over £1k as fizzy mentions !

Hope the seller doesn't leave it outside when it rains !!

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