Sunday, September 20, 2015

Things that go bump in the night

Our 10CR was going so well, the car performed absolutely fine all the first morning and, after a lunch in a cafe at Treysa, Germany, we set off on a cunning plan to go “off piste” and visit Colditz. We drove through some epic downpours and lightning storms later on the Autobahns and reached Colditz Castle, which is certainly an impressive site – even from the Lidl car park!

By now it was late afternoon with no time for a visit, so we made our escape towards the Czech border, regaining the route as we actually crossed the border at about 10.30pm. Little did we know what was about to happen and how our adventure would be a very different one from the one we planned.

I was navigating whilst Dave was driving on the road north of Plana in the Czech Republic when I heard and felt a huge “thud”. “What the eff was that?” was my question and the reply was “3 pigs just ran out in front of the car and we hit at least one of them”.

Immediately the ignition light came on so we switched the main beam off and it went back out again. Scanning the volt meter and the temperature gauge, to start with they seemed OK but soon the temparatue gauge started going up. At least all the lights were still working and the car still drove OK.

Now, what would you least like to happen next? Oh yes, the Czech Police waving us down. They didn't speak any English and we certainly didn't speak any Czech but after showing them that we had papers for the car and they had seen our passports they waved us on. They were probably more interested in the trucks that were passing and wanted to stop them instead.

It was at this time, though, that we noticed the steam coming out from under the bonnet. I didn't want to investigate in the presence of the Czech Police, however, so I took over the driving and we drove on a short distance into the next village and pulled up next to a pond. We lifted the bonnet and, by the light of torches, we could see a hole punched in the centre of the radiator where it had been pushed back into the pulley.

So, what to do next? First thing make sure we are safe, so put the emergency triangle out and pull on the hi-viz. Next, remove everything out the boot so I could see if we had any Radweld, to which the answer was no. Maybe we could keep going if we could just stop every few kms and refill the radiator? We tried putting in a bottle full of pond water but it came out from the radiator as fast as we poured it in.

I next made a phone call through to Dale Barker of Club Triumph asking if anyone had a spare radiator, unlikely as it may seem, or any Radweld. Unfortunately not, so we decided to try and get into the next town rather than stay in a small village. We drove on to Plana and just made it into the town square with the car “pinking”. Not good, and any thoughts of trying to limp to Cortina, for example, were clearly off the agenda.

I had hoped that if we could cut the route and get to Cortina then we could have done some panel beating with a lump hammer and, with the help of other Club Triumph members, sourced another radiator or found somewhere to get a repair made.

By now though it was around midnight and I made the decision to call for breakdown assistance under my insurance policy with Peter James and that was only the beginning of a heck of a saga!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Just about there

With the Club Triumph 10 Countries Run fast approaching and me working away from home so much I delegated remaining work on PMW to my local garage, Vicarage Car Company in Barnoldswick, Lancashire.

Having replaced all the springs, shock absorbers and bushes in the rear suspension myself I didn't like the way the car now rolled around at the front even more than it did before. With lots of miles to do including mountain passes in the Alps I wanted to get things right.

So I bit the bullet and bought completely refurbished front struts with new inserts and appropriate fast road springs to match the rears from
Also threw in an order for fast road drag strut plybushes too.

They didn't arrive though until Wednesday of last week which didn't give Vicarage long to fit them after my wife Deana dropped them off. I also asked them to investigate a "bearing" noise, replace some perished fuel pipe and fit an inline fuel filter just before the fuel pump.

All of that was done and the car returned Friday afternoon just before I got home and I then used PMW to go to the Club Triumph Pendle and Pennine area meeting. I must say the ride is vastly improved so I am well pleased with that.

The bearing noise is still there even though the diff oil has been changed but we are just going to have to live with that and drive at a speed when it's not so obvious - or turn the music up!

So, this weekend it's been packing spares, sorting out what tools I want to take and then generally cleaning the car applying Rain X etc.

If anyone wants to follow our 10CR we are car 34 and reports should be on the Club Triumph message diary
(as well as Facebook for my Facebook friends)