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Monday, 25 May 2020

Austin A55 Pickup revisited

 Remember this 1969 Austin pickup? We visited this car in 2011. At that time I had just started the Wolseley Ten project, so I decided not to adopt the pickup as one project was enough. The car was sold to a trader and then ended up with a friendly couple up north. The trader had fixed a few issues and the gave the car a good polish. He also changed the Austin A60 facelift front to the older a55 version. The strange thing is that it should have been registered as an A60 pickup, but it seems that from new it was registered as an A55. The car was offered for sale again.
 Having a soft spot for pickups and British cars we went to see it and before I knew it I was driving the car home a week later. It was a fairly long motorway run, but the car coped very well and arrived on our drive without drama. I did find the brakes were not as they should be. I expected the rear wheel adjustment to be completely out, so off came the rear wheels.

It turned out the left rear adjuster had broken and someone had made a clever fix by fitting a large bolt. It probably worked for a while, but now the thread in the adjuster had completely stripped, so the brake shoes were as far away from the drum as they could be. The pedal was almost on the floor before engaging the brakes. 

 I did not have an adjuster available, so I ordered a new one.
 But as I did want to drive the car while waiting for the part, I threaded an M10 thread and bolt as a (very) temporary solution. Now I could adjust the rear brakes again and this made a big difference. The next job will be a full brake service as soon as I have the parts I need.
Though I have a little list of things to do, the car is fully operational and great fun to drive.
 On the saloon cars the dash was an off white colour while the van and pickup were black. Maybe I'll change it.
Our "Bakkie"is already running errands for us.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Coffee to go

Obviously we could not go out for lunch,  but we could take the Mini out after lunch to pick up two 'coffee to go' and enjoy them at a scenic spot.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Friday, 24 April 2020

Goodbye baby Wagoneer

We could say we have arrived at the end of an era.  In 2002 when we went to pick up our "new" Wagoneer, we thought we'd just drive the car for a few years, but we never imagined it would be so many. It was such a big and compicated car, compared to the other cars. But it just kept going and it was such a strong and useful vehicle, after some years we couldn't imagine going without.
 We drove it to Spain in 2003 with the rooftop tent.
 We drove the car to spots no car was supposed to go
 It often transported kayaks on the roof rack
 In dry and wet weather.
Living outdoors and being used on the salted winter roads too, rust was inevitable and rust repairs were necessary once in a while. I knew this couldn't last for ever like this.
 The car was a good tow vehicle and  the Seven was trailered to events annually as well as other cars that needed to be hauled out of trouble or hibernation.
This time car just stopped in the middle of the road and would not start again. For the first time it left us stranded with no way to restart. An extensive electric short disabled the car thoroughly as if telling us it was enough. Together with a list of rust and mechanical repairs and rising cost of taxes and fuel it was just not practical to fix, so now it was time to say goodbye to the old Wagon. They don't make them like that anymore. 

Friday, 17 April 2020

Beaver splash

Great paddle day. Even met Mr Beaver. He made a big splash when he noticed me. Probably happy to see me.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Spring paddle

Once on the water social distancing comes naturally.
The animals don't mind.
They bathe in the still cold water and care for their young.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

XJ Baby Wagoneer Jeep rear sill repair

When you use a car in all weathers, drive muddy tracks and leave it outside for many years, you can expect rust to attack the vehicle. Our Wagoneer has suffered all that, and it has needed a fair share of rust repair already. Now the rear of the sills were crying out for attention. Of course those small holes turned into slightly bigger holes after some prodding.


Wednesday, 25 March 2020

MGF leaky Hydragas connection

After replacing the displacers, I found that after a few days the suspension of the car went down a little. That is usually nothing to worry about, but when I found a little puddle of suspension fluid under the rear of the car, I was not happy.   
  Peering through the letterbox shaped aperture called the engine lid, I could see the fluid was dripping from the connection. As there are rubber seals on those pipes, I thought that the seals might have deteriorated. So I depressurized the suspension, and with some contortionist skills checked the seals.
And sure enough: both of the rear seals were leaking and one front seal was weeping a little.
After replacement of the 4 seals, I pumped up the suspension again. Now the suspension stays up and I can enjoy the comfortable Hydragas ride again.