Saturday, 9 May 2009

A day on the road.

Right, I'm home, and Bitsa is cooling down in the car park, and so I can finally put together a report on todays events...

7Am this morning, and Bitsa is sat outside the yard, ready to go for the MOT.
I spent most of friday night in a mad panic, putting the final details together, trying to work out why dip beam had vanished on one headlight, swapping the wheels round for a legal set. The moment I jacked her up in the middle of the yard and removed one of the rear wheels the heavens opened, and I was soaked pretty comprehensively before she was back rolling again.

I was up at 6.30AM this morning, and had a worrying moment when I found that one of the tyres was flat... a rapid sesion with the high lift and the really long breaker bar saw the wheel swapped, and I was on my way...

Pulled into the MOT station at about 7.30AM, they were open, but the tester wasn't there yet... waited until about quater past eight, when the tester arrived, told me to back her onto the ramps, and logged her on. A long and anxious dose of prodding and pokeing followed, and it was found that there was a bit of play in the steering relay and one wheelbearing, but not enough to merit a fail.
There was a comic classic moment, when the tester having pluged the driver seatbelt togther, it totally refused to be coaxed apart, needing almost my entire strength before finally undoing. The brake test was a near run thing - the all the brakes were powerfull enough, but the fronts were almost outside the permitted imbalance...

Finally the tester (a really nice friendly young bloke) decided that there was nothing major wrong, and went into the office, from which he emerged shortly afterwards bearing a nice green pass ticket.

I thanked him, and shot into town to get a tax disk and some diesel, then headed back up the farm, in order to change the alternator for one that worked. That didn't take too long, although the "new" alternator isn't quite right - currently its working is rather erratic - occasionally it fails to kick in, no matter how fast I rev the engine.

I then decided to try and put some oil in the gearbox, as on the way back from the test station the box had gone stiff to change in a way that suggested it was a little short on oil. I crawlled underneath to remove the filler plug, and found to my great joy that it had been brutally attacked by a previous owner, and was more or less rounded off. How you round off a square filler plug is more or less beyond me, but they had managed it somehow. I tried various spanners hit onto it, with no success at-all - clearly it was very tight as well as dammaged. eventually I got bored, and got the gas out.

I was thinking of running a poll on here, to see how long readers thought before I had some part of her on fire - from what I recall, I used to have an electrial fire a month with the original version, thanks mostly to having done the first wiring loom with house mains wire. However, it seems that I've beaten my own efforts, but ending up with the oil round the gearbox burning merrily before I had even had time to put a poll up. However, as well as setting the gearbox on fire, the heat losened the plug, and I finally got it out. Having filled the box with EP90, I raided my scrap gearbox collection, and found another filler plug as a replacement.

This afternoon was mostly spend trying to fit a tow hitch to a mates Gay Landcruser, and then it was time to give Bitsa her first decent run since the old engine died in Aug 2007. It seems that for all that it doesn't have a turbo, the 200 does like stink anyway. Coming up the hill out of Whaley Bridge towards Maccesfield (for those who know it), saw her accerating in top from about 25mph on a hill that used to keep the old 2.25D screaming in third. She even almost made it up the really long steep climb from Kettleshume to the summit on the same road - I only changed down into 3rd about 30 yards from the top.

She does need an overdrive - she sounds more than a little busy at 55mph, never mind the 70mph which she touched at one point on the way home. Possibly she may be a candidate for a 3.5 Salisbury as well as NOG - anyone got another spare 110 back axle?

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