Sunday 24 June 2018

Rogue Runners '18 - Epilogue.

When I started looking at the car it was obvious the upper bush mounting had broken in fatigue, so really I was lucky it was broken by a pothole, otherwise it would've gone under braking & the results would've been much worse than a trip home on a truck.

Since then I've taken down the exhaust to get to the fuel tank to get to the wishbone bolts. This is a good thing because the tank was leaking when very full, so I had a look for the cause of that & cut a new access door in the boot floor so I can get to all the connections with the tank in place.

But the real problem remains the wishbones, which are over in Kent getting the apex cut out & replaced with a longer one & a rose joint. Unfortunately the guy doing it was at Brands Hatch one week, then hurt his back, so it's taking a while. But it's gone there because I trust them to do a good job

Perfect fatigue failure!

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Rogue Runners '18 - Day 8

Last day & time to pack in the last of the good miles, before heading back to the over-crowded south east. Three of our number had been out on the town again & were looking quite bleary eyed. As four of us left, the other two were about to begin changing the alternator. I of course was passenging, I’d called the RAC & been assured the car would be delivered home between 09:30 & 10:30, which was fine.
First item on the blatting agenda was heading north to do the Horseshoe Pass, then south through some more “unsuitable” roads (sorry Graham – they looked OK on street view) including one where a woman got out of her car to give Brian some firm instructions (which he appeared to enjoy immensely) & at last to Lake Vyrnwy & the opulent surroundings of the Hotel for a coffee stop.
I was called by the RAC & was assured my car would be delivered at 18:00. We also discovered that the alternator couldn’t be swapped because the pulley had to be pulled off & press-fitted to the new one. A local garage was being sought.
We then saw a gaggle of Morgans & a flock of MkII Escorts out for a drive, before reaching the lunch stop & after circumnavigating the medieval streets of Ludlow (possibly several times) we found the out-of-town retail park & the lunch stop.
I was told at 13:14 that my car would be delivered in 2 – 3 hours. We also discovered that the Westfield’s alternator had been fixed, but the clutch cable had broken.

So after waving a fond farewell to Linda, we headed home through the Cotswolds, cutting more & more of the waypoints until we were heading direct for my house. We arrived at 17:20 – at exactly the same time as my car.
So that was it – Rogue Runners over for another year.

Rogue Runners '18 - Day 7


Three countries in a day today as we left Scotland, passed through England & entered Wales.
Rain was forecast for our arrival, so I put the big windows on ready for the roof later – little did I know how soon I’d be putting it up.

Just like yesterday it was misty in Selkirk, just like yesterday it brightened up as we left. We were travelling the same road Linda & I arrived by yesterday & we also noticed the same change in Tarmac quality as we passed from “Borders” to “Dumfries & Galloway” This morning, what had been nice smooth blacktop became rutted & potholed as we crossed the border & not long after that there was a crash as the back of my car went down one of these for which “sink-hole” might be a better description. The car felt OK (ish) but didn’t sound right, I slowed & at the next left hand bend the back of the car felt as if it was on marbles.

I stopped & called over the radio, I got out & the near-side rear wheel was leaning in towards the car at an unhealthy angle.
Soon after, Graham & Linda arrived & shortly after that Brian & Steve re-appeared having turned round & even Woody shortly after that in spite of having an appointment at Demon Tweeks for a new alternator.

The very nice man from the house I’d stopped outside came out & said we could put the cars on his drive & even use his garage (with pit & welding gear) if it would help, then he made us drinks.

I called the RAC & said I needed a truck, not a patrol man, I built the car & knew it wasn’t a roadside fix. 90 mins later a patrol man arrived, said it wasn’t a road side fix & went away again. The other kit cars left at this stage, but GB generously stayed with me so I could at least complete the trip as a passenger. 90 minutes after that a flatbed arrived, but in the mean-time the cabaret started.
In scene one the police arrived & blocked the entrance to a dirt tack opposite the nice man’s house, stopping a car from immerging. Raised voiced suggested an altercation was happening, this was then upgraded to a fracas with full blown shouting coming from the car. The man inside was bellowing “I’M THE ONE BEING INTIMIDATED BY THEM” (which seemed unlikely given the shouting). The poice people calmed him down & after about ½ an hour they all departed.

Shortly after that came scene two, in which the recovery truck arrived. For one thing the driver was every bit as unintelligible as “Les” the welder yesterday, then he reversed the lorry up the nice man’s drive, applied the handbrake firmly, climbed out & extended the slide-out ramp, which lifted the braked wheels off the ground & the lorry rolled down the slope, across the road (with the unintelligible man flailing after it) & came to rest JUST before it went down a grassy bank into a field.
At this point I decided welding the wishbone myself looked like a reasonable option.

With the driver’s composure regained, the car was loaded, buttoned up weathertight & sent on its’ way. I then travelled to Llangollen with Graham in the MX5. Our hotel was easy enough to find & we were pleased to hear the bar would stay open as long as the residents wanted – what wasn’t made plain was that a Welsh male voice choir would be singing in it. Much like my car, we retired early!

Rogue Runners '18 - Day 6

More choices. Today there were three possible circular routes, based loosely on routes we did last year. I couldn’t honestly recommend any one over another, so we let the weather forecast do the selecting. Which meant we went west. We were one car down as the red Westfield had a blown regulator in the alternator & one of the alternator lugs was cracked, so Woody passenged with Steve in the supercharged Elise.
I collected some insects
We started off well enough, though some of the road surfaces were frankly appalling, but once again a closed road led to a sundering of the ways, as Linda’s car succumbed to the potholes with a broken wing stay (Brian drove off & left her – the bounder), so Gentlemen Graham & Tony, returning from an abortive attempt to find a way past the closed road (OK – we didn’t read the sign properly) performed a rapid amputation at the roadside & we adjourned to a local tea shop.
Baaaaa-sing Place
Once we’d all reformed (except of course for the bounder who was miles away by now) we restarted but were soon separated again, only meeting up at the next coffee & cake stop.
By this time it was properly hot, so at the next stop, two cars deleted all but the last waypoint, the other two stuck with the route & we all arrived at the petrol station near the hotel more or less together.

Linda’s car’s broken wing (stay) was taken to the local “motor engineer” a very large bloke in a very dingy workshop festooned with bits of broken cars - exactly what you want in these circumstances. He was far too butch to have any truck with namby-pamby things like safety glasses when angle grinding or a dark helmet when welding. He stuck the two parts back together with rather more weld than was strictly necessary & the car was re-assembled outside the hotel.