Friday night saw me having to make a trip over to Coggeshall to meet a man in a hi-viz vest in a pitch black lay-by! (Very pitch black in fact!) The man concerned was Colin Wake who was marshaling a rally for Chelmsford Motor Club and he had some brake drums for me for Gertie. I took the estate for a run over there as my BMW was loaded up with parts.
Having a very long day planned Saturday, an early start was required. I awoke an hour before the alarm was due to go off and so found myself bored at 4am in the morning. The days plan was to drive to Coventry with Davemate and collect my newly rebuilt gearbox and differential for the estate (as well as other bits for Davemate and Dave Picton) then come back to mine to get them both fitted.
Seeing as I had an hour to kill, I went into the garage and disconnected the battery on the estate and removed the gearstick to save us time later. So, once it hit 5am I jumped in my BMW estate to go to Dave’s and ….disaster! The car started and ran for 2 seconds and then just died. Trying to start it again revealed that there appeared to be no compression on the engine at all, so it wouldn’t be going anywhere. Bugger!
Gertie was still on axle stands minus her brake shoes, drums and drive shaft and I had just removed the battery, air cleaner box and gearstick from the estate. Double Bugger!!!!!!!
With haste I went back into the garage and fitted the new shoes, drum and drive shaft to Gertie and then had to tranship the two cylinder heads and gearbox from the BMW into Gertie's boot area.
I met Dave near the M25 at Enfield at around 6am and we proceeded Northwards to Mike Papworth's in Coventry. After a brief stop at junction 2 of the M6 to deliver the two 2.5S cylinder heads I had sold on ebay we arrived at Mikes at around 8.15. Mike is a great guy and after making us a drink he gave a tour of his workshop and a peak of his vast amount of spares. With all deals completed (and a few extra ones!) we left to head back home.
We had a brief stop to deliver a gearbox to Dave Picton and we arrived back at mine at about 1pm. A very brief inspection of the sulking BMW led us to suspect that the timing chain has broken and dropped into the sump. After making a phone call to the garage that does my MOT's, I was told 'Scrap it. The cost of repairing that will be more than the car's worth!' Treble Bugger! So it looks like I now have a piece of worthless junk sitting outside my house. :( (who said another one?)
So with it being game over for the beemer, we cracked on with the estate which will now have to undertake 'daily driver' duties for the time being.
Davemate playing with thrust bearing!
With no time wasted, the gearbox was quickly changed and except for the gearbox mount which we managed to get round the wrong way several different times and in several different positions, all went well. With this done we lowered the front of the car down and raised the back up ready to fit the nice shiny rebuilt diff.
Once the diff was all bolted up in place we called it a night as it was now 8.45pm. All I have left to do is refit the driveshafts, back box and propshaft and put the speedo cable and dash back in.
I also noticed in my haste early this morning, that I had refitted Gertie with one new brake show and one old one as well, so that will be done once the estate is finished.
I cant fault Gertie though, she went up to Coventry with 1 gearbox, 1 overdrive unit, and 2 cylinder heads in the boot and came back with 2 gearboxes, 1 diff, 2 towsure shocks and loads of PAS bits for Dave. She probably averaged about 70mph and returned somewhere between 25 & 30 to the gallon. (we didn't do exact figures)
I do need to raise the rear suspension for the RBRR though. She's lowered with fast road springs anyway, but with all that weight in the boot, she sits down a bit too much. However, Colin has managed to borrow a set of facelift estate rear springs for me and Mike yesterday gave me a pair of towsure (I think that's what he called them?) shocks to try. So these are going to be fitted prior to the event for testing.
I also now need to look out for another everyday car. This could give me an excuse to have another toy. As I said to Dave when discussing the beemer, 'If I'm going to have something unreliable, I might as well get another Triumph!' :)