Friday, July 27, 2007

All is not well after all

The answer to the petrol smell was quite straightforward. Checking under my bonnetThere is an overflow pipe for when my carburettor gets a little over-enthusiastic and has excess petrol. This should normally be piped away and vented safely. At the moment this little pipe is broken off so John is going to re-instate it the way it should be.

The other problem is more worrying. I mentioned the rather high water consumption and John could find no leak in my coolant system. My engine, before the work startsThis means the water must be venting through my engine somewhere. This could be due to a damaged head gasket, cracked head, cracked block or cracked cylinder sleeve. None of which are trivial matters.

So, my engine is coming out and I will be spending quite a bit of time with John and the boys at Bewley Motors.

So, perhaps it was that bad after all!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Guests join us for a picnic

Chalfont St GilesAlthough great swathes of southern England were under floodwaters, the London area enjoyed a rare dose of sunshine so Murray & Christine decided it was time for another picnic, this time with guests.

Stuart and Ngaire arrived and we all set off to the northwest, stopping first at Chalfont St Giles. After that it was off to a picnic spot near Amersham where I had a rest while they enjoyed their lunch.

Picnic spotAfter driving through Amersham Old Town, a common backdrop to ‘Midsommer Murders’ we carried on to Wendover. They had coffee and I got another radiator top up. Murray is a bit concerned about the amount of water he has had to replenish on this short run so is going to speak to John about that and also the number of times that there was a strong smell of petrol. He wasn’t too happy about this new development.

At one stop, he had to screw the nut on the top of my carburettor back on, as it had worked completely loose, but even after that there was still the occasional strong petrol smell.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finally, we get to go on an outing!

Although John still has a couple of bits and pieces to sort out, he had my brakes all fixed so Murray & Christine could take me out for a spin in the country. England is being deluged at the moment, even though it is meant to be summer, so it was a case of dodging the rain.Enjoying some rare sunshineAll in all, we managed to do so quite successfully and enjoyed a pleasant drive around the Denham area.

We stopped for lunch at a small picnic area near the Denham airfield and then set off for home by way of the Bayhurst Wood Country Park. It was all a bit damp and dismal so we did not stay long, simply headed for home.

Murray gave me a wash and dry and wrapped me up in my snug new cover with just a few minutes to spare before the deluge returned.Snug and dry as the rain pours down

Monday, July 16, 2007

It wasn't all that bad, after all

It seems the AA man was a little to pessimistic with his diagnosis. John has given me a thorough going over and has found that the trouble was no seal on the radiator cap, allowing all the coolant to escape and I simply overheated.

So, no new head gasket, which is a great relief to Murray, I am sure.

However, John has discovered that the last mechanic to work on my brakes was a little to enthusiastic when tightening a union on one of my rear brake lines and has cracked the fitting allowing brake fluid to escape. Obviously this is not a good thing. Replacements are available so John will fit one, bleed my brakes and make sure I am all road-worthy so Murray can come and collect me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

London at last

I have finally arrived in London, albeit on the back of a truck. I was delivered to Murray's friendly local garage, Bewley Motors, where John and Peter are taking excellent care of me and will soon have me fit and well, and back on the road. John and Peter love old cars and have a few other old MG friends so I am confident that I am in good hands.

Here's a picture of us all that another Peter (Peter Sharp) took at the Saloon Day and sent to Murray.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I let them down

They finally came to get me today and we were properly introduced. The nice lady who admired my colour and trim is Christine and the man who decided to buy me is Murray.

They came up to Birmingham where I was and collected me around 9 in the morning. After checking my oil and water were fine they stopped at a garage to fill then tank and then set off - straight on to the M6!

Murray was obviously fairly apprehensive about me and my performance as he took quite a few miles to slowly increase the cruising speed to just over 50 m.p.h. where he decided I was running along happily.

Proud as punch at the showThey got off the M6 and onto the A14 before exiting to the A5199 down to Northampton. Just before Northampton at a little village called Chapel Brampton they turned off to the Northampton & Lamport Railway Museum; where there was an MG Saloon day, a day for the 'non-sports car' types to get together.

When we arrived at the event there was a 1952 MG YB there so, when we parked alongside, I stole the honour of being the oldest MG at the gathering. I reckon that since Murray had only, officially, owned me 3 hours at this point he must have had the honour of being the newest MG owner at the show.

Lots of people stopped by to take photos and then Murray & Christine decided it was time to head off home. The M1 was madder than usual as they were demolishing an over-bridge and the motorway was closed in both directions. So, they decided to take the A43 down to the M40 and avoid the traffic.

All was going well until just after the start of the A43 when I felt all the power go from my engine. Murray also said that he saw what looked like electrical smoke coming from under my dashboard. Murray quickly pulled off into what was a disused services on-ramp; a very convenient place to stop as this section of the A43 has no hard shoulder.

The AA man arrivedOh, the ignominy! Murray had to call the AA and I sat there, forlornly, as all these flash modern cars roared by without a care in the world.

The AA man arrived in about 40 minutes, listened to Murray's tale, poked and prodded, ran a test and pronounced that I had "blown a head gasket". Oh, the shame of it, these nice people had owned me just 5 hours and already I have let them down so badly. We had only done 70 miles together: I am so disappointed in myself.

Carted away on a truck!The AA man decided that the rest of my journey home should be on the back of a truck so he called in the reinforcements, who took an awfully long time to come. They did not want to take me to London as the roads were mad and there was a big concert on for another grand lady called Diana. So, I am sitting in a garage in Northampton until Murray can arrange an appointment with a garage to see what I need to get me back in ship-shape order.
I'll let you know the details later.