Sunday, July 01, 2012

In disgrace

Old cars only make sense on an emotional level - certainly not practical and rarely financial. We love them when we're building or driving them, and feel betrayed when they let us down. My Herald has given me twenty years of pretty reliable service and I love it for that. But right now I can't help scowling at it. It's sick, I've tried to cure it and it hasn't worked. Bastard!

When I moved back to Brisbane from Moranbah it was running perfectly. We enjoyed a two-day drive through half of Queensland, camping along the way. But once back in Brisbane it hasn't been so happy.

  • First the diff seal failed, the oil escaped and the diff was damaged.
  • The diff was replaced with a new alloy case and new gears which were lapped to ensure they ran quietly. Of course I also repainted and rebushed the rear suspension - can't go putting dirty bits in my Precious!
  • Then the clutch slave cylinder failed, in traffic and a huge cloud of smoke and humiliation. New cylinders are cheap, and I also rekitted the master cylinder and changed the clutch to silicone fluid. Was the wee darling appeased? Like hell!
  • While its Carcoon is getting fixed it has to sit on the drive in all weathers. The cat thinks the sunroof is a perfect hammock, and now the sunroof is stretched and letting in water. Removing the floor drain plugs has helped slightly but I am looking into the water-proofing properties of cats.
  • Now the car has developed some sort of 'dragging' problem. It feels as though the brakes are half on, but I'm at a loss to explain how. I've replaced the master cylinder - no change. I disabled the servo by disconnecting the vacuum hose - no change. It had better not be a half-seized diff.
It doesn't help that it's hard to work on the car on my drive because of the slope.. But at the moment I have had a gutsful of its poor reliability and expensive taste in parts. It's just begging to be sent to Greg Tunstall's School for Recalcitrant Triumphs.

Meanwhile the GT6 is slowly taking shape. The headlining is in, I've established that the upholsterer with the seats is still alive and the wiring is getting sorted. One of my children is therefore making me happy.


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