Tuesday 14 June 2022

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

Sunday & an "out", a run from a garage on the A24 to the Chalet Cafe. 

As the crow flies just a few miles - we'd be doing 100, seven Elises, two Caterhams, a Westfield & a Stylus.

But even before that, one of the RogueRunners had got tee-shirts printed with the excellent artwork from the RR22 tour sticker emblazoned on the front. As luck would have it both he, I & a few of the other Rogues would be on this run to collect, though two would be at a car show. But wait! The Chalet is due south of one of the two & I had a 3D print to had over to him, the other lived not 1/2 mile from my Dad - who I was going to see before turning for home - job done!

The run went well, with the Stylus performing superbly, especially in the Hindhead tunnel. At the Chalet the car park was heaving with interesting stuff & the queue for breakfast was out the door & half way to the main road.

After that I rumbled to Reigate (finding petrol at "only" £1.78 / l) & handed over the shirt & print, then went on to Selsdon for more deliveries.

Nice day.

The following day - not so much. I was due to be the only person in the office as the others were either working from home or on a business trip, but I awoke far too early with a headache. By the time I arrived at work it was worse & by 11:30 I was feeling sick it was so bad. I took the Quantum home.

After quite a lot of painkillers & a walk on the heath I was feeling better & jacked up the Stylus to investigate improving the hand brake. I was prodding & poking at things when I felt a drip on my arm. I looked round & a three-way hydraulic fitting on the axle had a drip on it, but the trail of hydraulic oil down the pipe had just started, furthermore there were no drips on the carpet (yes, carpet) beneath it, so the first drip had landed on me.

The drippage seemed to be coming from the connector on the new pipe I'd made a few weeks back, so naturally I assumed I'd loused up the swaging or the tightening, I got another 1/4 turn on the fitting, but the dripping got worse.

Having had a good look round I found the oil was coming from above the fitting I'd done (so nothing to do with my workmanship), from a pipe I'd thought at the time was over-long, not attached & vulnerable to vibration & metal fatigue. I moved it, oil rushed out. Having stripped it, the pipe had indeed fatigued through, so how lucky was I that it survived the road trip & the blat, only to drip for the first time when I was there to feel it.

I cut & re-swaged the pipe less than half the length it had been & re-fitted it, bled the brakes through again & it all seems OK.

The irony is, I'm pretty certain it doesn't even need the rigid pipe that broke, the flexi line could go straight into the three-way fitting. I've put the shortened pipe back on for now because to confirm it wasn't required would've meant lowering the car, jacking it up again by the chassis & checking the hose at full axle droop. I'll do that when I refurbish the rear chassis over the winter.

I've thought before that this car likes being used (it's averaged 700 miles a year for 20 years before I bought it, so it must've been bored right? 

Now I'm convinced it's doing it's best to help me.

In more good news the Quantum has been my daily driver this week & is going just fine.

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