Fleet update – Nov 2017

Right. Winter is pretty much upon us, so let’s wrap up fleet happenings.

I’ll start with the Honda, as it has been by far the busiest car on the fleet this month, ferrying me up to Hinckley for a photoshoot, then to Birmingham for the NEC Classic Motor Show. It came back from Birmingham carrying a washing machine.

The trip wasn’t without fault, as the Honda managed to pick up a screw in the nearside rear tyre. I was forced to take desperate action. I went to ATS.

ATS offered quick and pleasant service to be fair.

However, it was otherwise problem free bar the fact that it’s still drinking oil. The cam cover gasket is leaking, but I’ve managed to break a captive thread, so I can’t actually remove it at the moment. For now, it’s rust-proofing the front subframe my spreading oil all over it. There are worse problems to have.

The Nippa has been working fairly hard too, having clocked up 3000 miles since MOT in March – which is quite a lot by Nippa standards. It has a windscreen wiper bush problem – as in the bush is turning in its housing. It’s not meant to do that. The spindle is meant to turn in the bush. However, it still works, so that’s a job for another day. It is due a service, but that just means draining the oil and putting another 2.5 litres of 5w30 in. No problem. He says. I did get given a lovely brochure for it at the weekend, which was nice!

A rather lovely gift.

The 2CV hasn’t turned a wheel in November. She’s hibernating, and I promised I’d finally sort out the paintwork I’ve been meaning to do since January. Elly has covered 5000 miles since then, including trips to Ireland and France, and once I started driving her again, I rather lost interest in paintwork. I must sort this out.

The Lexus has mostly been broken, as it repaid me for the recent cambelt job by breaking its alternator. I had a lovely 600-mile trip to see the Invacars, but then the Lexus decided it needed a rest. I swallowed a brave pill and, as the Lexus won’t go on my ramps, had to improvise.

Makeshift ramps – an old Dyane wheel!

A wooden ramp to get the car sitting on a Dyane wheel. Yeah, ok. Not ideal, but it’s not going anywhere. Yes, it is in park and yes, the parking brake is applied too. It’s just lifted the Lexus enough for me to get at the alternator. You can’t get at it from above really. Well, you can undo one of the fixing bolts from above, but then you’ve got to crawl underneath, while swearing, as you try to disconnect the wiring and free the thing from an impossible place.

Once out, the failure point was pretty obvious to be fair.

Broken brushes dot com.

One of the brushes seems to be melted into place. It wasn’t for shifting and the slip rings on the shaft of the alternator (just visible) are toast too. I need the car back on the road for a trip to Devon, so a recon alternator was ordered online with next day delivery. It arrived today. I must fit it tomorrow.

All this has served as a bit of a distraction from Invacar collection, but don’t worry. Next week, I will finally hire a truck and go and collect them! I’m pretty excited. Christmas may not be necessary this year. Nothing will top this.

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