Sunday, 31 August 2014

August 31st- Not a great weekend.

I had a free weekend this weekend, so now that the garage is almost finished I decided to finally start work on Gertie's RBRR preparations. The first job was to replace the nearside track rod arm that was advised on the last MOT and while I had the wheels off, I fitted the hub spacers that I bought off of James Shackford god knows how long ago. While I was doing this I checked and adjusted the front wheel bearing and repacked them with grease.

I then fitted the new oil pressure relief valve that I ordered  last week. Gertie's fluctuating oil pressure has been of some concern of late and I was hoping that this was going to cure my problems. 
As i was covered in oil and grease I left test driving Gertie for later and had a quick play with the new PI. After finding her with a puncture, then flooding her and making the battery go flat, I finally got her started and moved into the garage. When I collected her she had a god awful boot rack that had been drilled and bolted through the boot, and a tow bar that had been drilled and bolted through the spare wheel well. 

Needless to say, I wont be needing either of these for my purposes so they were removed and abandoned to the corner of the shed. I had had to remove the rear bumper to get rid of the tow bar and I did then toy with the idea of going for the bumper-less look with this car as well as Gertie, but have decided to keep it standard looking. 
I have also removed the 15 inch revolution alloys for now while I get the puncture fixed and have put my 14 inch minilites on. I've also discovered while doing this that the car has Mk2 trailing arms and drive shafts which give it a wider track. I'm not keen on this so I'm now on the look out for some Mk1 items. 

Sunday Morning.

Today saw the test drive of Gertie with her new oil pressure relief  valve. Although the oil pressure was higher, it was still fluctuating wildly. Most disappointing. A lot of suggestions I've had is that it could be the oil pump coming loose in the sump, or just the oil pump beginning to give out. The last thing I need on  the RBRR is oil pump failure, so I decided to pull the engine out. According to the Haynes manual, you can remove the sump from underneath, but seeing as I was going to pull the engine and change the cam after the RBRR anyway, I may as well  go the whole hog now. It was also damn annoying that I managed to snap a manifold stud in the process too. 
So with the RBRR just over a month away, Gertie's engine is currently sitting on the garage floor. Is it time to panic yet??

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August 23rd A new stable mate for Gertie

With the recent sale of my Mk2 estate and what had become a very unreliable Mini, I had decided not buy anything else and just concentrate on Gertie.
So there I was the other night in garage running cables for the impending electrics when I received a text saying 'want a cheap Mk1 PI?'. Well naturally the vagueness of the text aroused my curiosity and before I knew it I was on the phone discussing said car. By the following night I had been sent pictures and by Friday lunch time I had spoken to the owner and arranged to go and the view the car Saturday morning. 
The only snag was that the car was in Bristol, so I decided that if I was going all that way (173 miles!) then I would go with the option of buying it there and then and bringing it away with me. So, Friday evening I borrowed a lovely four wheel car trailer and made preparations for my long journey. 
I was aware that the Saturday morning was the start of a Bank Holiday weekend and the traffic could be horrendous, so I set the alarm for the ungodly hour of 3.30am. As it happens, I woke up at 2am and thought 'sod it, that's close enough, I'll sleep when I get there.
A nice trouble free run saw me arrive at outside the sellers work unit at Bristol at 6am and I went to sleep until he arrived at 07.30. After a couple of coffee's and a good chat, the sale was agreed, the car was loaded up and I left there at 08.45. 

I was lucky enough to have another trouble free run home, with only a bit slow going traffic around Heathrow where the M4 meets the M25. I arrived home at 12.45 where the car was unloaded and I then returned the trailer. 
The car itself is 'cosmetically challenged' but very, very solid underneath. It has MOT and tax until June 2015 and has been fitted with power steering and a front anti roll bar. It also came with 15 inch revolution 5 spoke alloys. (Even a spare one in the boot!) The seats aren't so clever, but as most people know I don't run standard triumph seats anyway so this area will be addressed at at later date. It also still has it's full injection system. (Something I now need to learn all about!)
I also have to sing words of praise for my Landrover Discovery on this trip as well. It was the first time I'd ever used it for towing and I was very impressed. it's a 2.5 TDI and it's fuel consumption was very reasonable considering what it was pulling. I was trying to keep at around 60 mph, but even on the hills she never dropped below 50mph. (and there's some long climbs on that M4!) 

As I said at the beginning, I wasn't looking for another car, but the price was very good and the car has a lot of potential. I didn't think I'd ever the get the chance to own a genuine Mk1 PI so  I feel quite privileged. :)