Not much driving weather this year, however I did manage to get a trip to spain with some friends, they were flying from all over the place, so I drove down through france on my own. The weather was forecast to be wet (Imagine my surprise) so I decided to take it easy over a few days as it can be pretty miserable driving when the water is coming in through the drain holes.
The first day was mainly getting through the Netherlands and Belgium, which is miserable at best, but the rain was just damp rather than biblical, so quite good fun. Northern france got a bit wetter, but started to dry up by the time I got to Dijon. I had a bit of a moment when there was a horrible metalic noise, I thought at first the alternator had come off again, which was surprising as its threadlocked, and lockwired, but alas it was only the number plate which had come off at one side. I just undid it and threw it in the boot where it will stay for the time being.
I went through about half a litre of oil on the way to dijon, so apparently I still have a major oil leak out the sump. Grumble.
The next day was towards the Tarn, the morning was very wet, and very slow, but the roads were nice, and fairly quiet, in the afternoon it turned to random showers, and the scenery changed into some nice twisty mountain roads, i went over numerous cols, and found I far prefer the Yokohama A048 tyres over the Toyos, it just feels more planted.
The sun came out just in time for Mende, so I spent a few hours going up and down Cols and mountain roads, the car is really on form, traffic is minimal and i’m enjoying every second. I stop for some groceries, and go out for another our or so before stopping for the night in a camping.
The next day I followed to Tarn gorge, before heading up the side, and over the Millau bridge. At this point I noticed that the alternator output was lower than it should, and the ignition light was flickering. Having had an alternator fail a year ago I know all about the tell tales signs, but the ammeter was flickering all over the place. I also know that David ashurst has been plagued with ignition light flickering recently and that its caused by an electrical connection in the lucas plug. I pulled over and cleaned it up, and squashed the connector a little to provide a better connection, and the problem was solved.
Traffic was obnoxiously bad so I just followed the coast down to spain and then cutting off a pininsula and coming over an amazing bit of road into calonge.
The week was spent driving shorted distances over some great stretches of road in the costas, with a different passenger for every trip. The car was in great form for the most part, with a crack in one of the vaccum connectors forming and causing an air leak which was a bit of a pain for the rest of the day until I got back home and resolved it.
The way back I went pretty much dead straight home, doing around 130kph most of the way up the peage, everything was fine till belgium when I noticed a small water leak when refuelling, there was a pinhole in one of the hoses, so I just cut it off and shuffled it up a little which got me home. I also noticed the fuel consumption was up for the last tank, which turns out was a fuel leak in the tank (again) so I’ll add that to the list of jobs to do which is currently:
- Adjust the position of the gear box so it doesn’t vibrate against the crossmember on hard left turns.
- Fix the fuel leaks from the tank
- Replace the rear wheel bearings which are getting a little noisy
- Make the speedo work again.