Thursday, 6 May 2010

"Hear the Lark and harken to the dog Fox..."

Forgive the reference to Pink Floyd there, but we have taken posession of our little car and it must be said, it hasn't all been easy going.
It buzzed along well enough on our way home from the garage where we bought it, near Snetterton. It allowed us to stop for fish and chips too.
Then it developed a bit of a raspberry nearer home and the exhaust had clearly started to blow.
So, over to my son's driveway and he crawled below for me and attached a premade repair patch in Gungum, sardine can and Jubilee clips.

All was well on the way home. The next day the Reliant 3 wheeler forum had organised a day at the Nene Valley railway and since that ain't so far from us we thought we 'd give the car a shakedown by attending.
Well, all went well over there, but half way back there was a terrible knocking noise and we freewheeled to a stop near Peterborough.
I thought it was something terminal in the clutch area. After being towed home on the end of a strap by the son-in-law the little car was picked up a week later by the sellers on a trailer and carted back from whence it had so lately come.
A week later it was ready. It WAS the clutch. The whole middle spring section of a brand new clutch had simply ripped out.

I went over to pick it up and drove it home again. Again the exhaust started to blow. Again a bigger, better repair with two sardine cans. It should be said that sardines cans are used instead of the traditional bean, because sardine cans don't have that annoying corrugation which is not helpful when bending a can round a very small pipe.
Alas, the car then refused to start or even fire and so the sellers came over again a week later and went through electrics, replacing coil and checking the fuel system, blowing through the whole pipe and replacing the old in-line filter at the tank end.
It seemed to work at last and they got it going nicely again, but said it needed a new ignition switch which they would send. Oh they'd also replaced the indicator switch because all the way home from the clutch debacle I had people waving and flashing me. I thought they were being friendly to the funny little car, but no, my indicators were on, but not flashing.

In the meantime of all this I had resolved to repair the rear nearside corner which some clown had started to cut about following a bump.
To cut a long story short, that was done by conventional means for GRP work and sprayed the colour we have decided upon for it, a nice pale green like Hillman Imps used to be.

Capping it off, I drove four miles the other day to get some aluminium (of which more anon) and on the way back it died again and we had to be towed home again. This time it seems to have been a failure of the previous repair to the fuel filter.
At present, it is running rather well, but the raspberry is back and I feel that something more permanent than a sardine can or two is needed!