Sunday, September 28, 2008

One last summer jaunt and another adventure

The MG Car Club Abingdon Works Centre’s final summer run was set to leave Abingdon at 10 a.m. so we had an early start from London in order to make it there on time.

Murray with his head under my bonnetDropping over the Chilterns into the Oxford valley plunged us into quite dense fog and Murray was still not sure about whether my regulator was working and charging my battery, so turned on the headlights and wipers with some trepidation.

It was still quite foggy as we passed Dorchester when he noticed a problem on my gauges, not the charging but the oil pressure: there was none!

Fortunately a sign indicated a parking area ½ mile ahead so Murray pulled in there to have a look and it was not too difficult for him to locate the problem, he simply had to look above the The AA arrive againdrips that were rapidly covering the ground. The pipe that takes the oil from the oil filter and into my engine block was leaking.

After checking that it was not something really simple like a loose fitting, Murray called up his good friends at the AA; fully expecting that the day was over before it had begun and that we would all be going home on the back of an AA truck.

In 30 minutes the AA man arrived and had a look and said he thought he could make a temporary fix. The MGs assembled in Abingdon Town SquareHe removed the pipe, which had a hairline crack across it, and after cleaning it up moulded some two-part epoxy metal weld putty and wrapped it around the pipe over the crack. He covered this with self-amalgamating tape and then wrapped the lot in another layer of tape.

After refitting the pipe Murray started my engine and the pressure gauge shot back up to 40 psi and there were no leaks from the repair.

Me, in front of the Handley Page Herald 100Fortunately Murray had a 5-litre tin of 20-50W oil in the boot so he was able to replace all the oil I had so carelessly spread along the road and we were off again.

We pulled into the centre of Abingdon just in time to catch the other cars before they left. Once Murray had the route book, it was time to find a petrol station and head off for the run.

The MGs at the Berkshire Aviation MuseumKeeping a close eye on my oil gauge for the 32-mile run we arrived to find the other 25 cars already there with their owners’ picnic lunches well underway. However, the trail of oil drips told another tale; the repair was leaking. So, after lunch and a look around the Museum of Berkshire Aviation, we set of early to find a Halfords and some more oil. Murray poured about a litre in to get the level showing again on my dipstick.

Murray checks out the Handley Page Herald 100The pressure held for the 38 miles home to London but the rest of the 5-litre tin had to be used to restore the level. Clearly a permanent part replacement is required but the AA man made a wonderful job of the temporary repair and enabled us to enjoy the day almost as planned.

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