Scotland or Bust!
It’s several months later now, and I’m happy living in Edinburgh. Petro’s little headlights opened in amazement at all the hills and the prospect of snow, even if he was on a trailer (thanks dad)
I settle in to the new job, and decide to meet Ian, now for those of you who don’t already know, Ian and I “met” via the UK-LRO mailing list, and it is he who is responsible for getting me the job interview in Edinburgh.
Finally I get to meet the man in person, and we do something to Petro that I can’t quite remember. Things happen (I get roped into doing the Scottish Land Rover Club website for a start) and we eventually end up going to a trial.
Well, after foot an mouth, Manchester, the flattest shithole in England (Essex) and two years of looking at Petro I get to do some off-roading in him! Wee, admittedly I don’t enter the trial (hell, I’m a coward) but I do get to at least get my tires mucky afterwards, including attempting one of the trials courses. This takes place a little known bit of Scottish hillage called Candie, which curiosly enough was the name of family pet who expired earlier this year :( Although the dog, in an effort to upstage herself insisted it be spelt “Kandy”, she sulked if we didn’t put the correct spelling on the christmas cards, well she sulked anyway, but whatever.. back to the story….
Firstly however, I meet Frank, (not that Frank) who also owns a pretty series 2, included here is a little photo that I had taken to mark the ocassion. The Series 2 in question is the “Offender” and was (re) built by Bob Webster amongst others. Offender is, I guess Petro’s Big or little brother, you can just about tell from the photo but the registration plates for Petrovich and his elder sibling are “PTE 958L” and “PTE 535L” respectively, all together now… “It’s a small world after all…”
The Trial itself goes off without much of a hitch. Ian drives and I Nagivate (navigate), asside from hitting the odd 12 gate and missing the odd set of gates (whoopsie) we do reasonably well. We weren’t actually last at any rate. After said event, which due to numbers finishes at 1 o’clock, we decide to to do some playing, repeating one of the courses in a Bowler-Special V8 compy thing-a-ma-gig, then in Petro :)
The Course in question goes up a nice steep hill, then sharply off the left, round some ickle lumpy bits, back round to the right, and down the hill to the left of where we came up.
Give it some welly! Says Ian, and being one to oblige I do so… When we land again we’re at the top of the hill having cleared the top by around three feet with he front wheels I do the rest of the course (which had by this time been cleared away) however, by Ian’s reckoning and mine I got a four. I drive round for a little longer, before driving back to Ian’s (to drop him off)
This is where the fun starts, fifteen hundred or so meters down the road, Petro makes a funny noise, we stop and pull the passenger side wing back into place (the SATS had grabbed the inner wing, such as there is and bent it outwards, meaning it was catching the tire). We set off again.
As we stop at Ian’s there is a funny clunky noise, which we believe to be a prop shaft or so on, we drive into the garage (it is now quite dark) and proceed to prod / push / pull at all the bits which make the wheels go round before we decide that we can’t work out what is wrong and potter off to lean on the front to ponder what is wrong.
Staring at the front of the motor, something strikes me as odd, “Ian?” I ask, “Is there supposed to be a two inch gap between the radiator bulkhead and the wing?” This we decide might be causing issues. Now, somewhere up the top of this page, I pointed out that Petro was originally a positive earth beastie. The radiator bulkhead is steel, as are the bolts, the wing is ally and the electrics are earthed through the chassis, up the bulkhead into the wing and back to the battery. Which probably explains why the bolt holes for the wing are about 1/2 and inch in diameter.
Petro’s rather impressive impersonation of a high jumper, and rather noisy landing at the Candie trial probably explains why the 1/2 inch bolts fell through bizarrely (and chemically induced) same sized holes…
Still, Ian comes to the rescue (tin is very useful isn’t it) and I set off again.
A few weeks later, and many trips to Sainsburys (which is at least better than Tesco’s, even if bloody expensive at least the know what cheese is) and we are once again playing. This time at a site called Bathgate, where Ian and I are scoping out land for an idea we have, brum goes Petro, however on the way back it goes brum rather more noisily and clanks a lot.
The next day, I drive back over to Ian’s, and we re-attach the exhaust.
Now, it should be noted that my family has issues with exhausts, My father was a dab hand at breaking the things, he could hardly pull out of ASDA car park without removing the one on the 109, and it looks like the condition is hereditary anyhow, several days pass (seven in fact, it was the next week) and I decide that you can smell exhaust fumes in the cab.
This is not especially new, however there is a definite problem, and having to drive around with both windows and front vents open make me suspicious.
We take another look at the exhaust and decide that what is probably happening is that fumes are being sucked back into the cab from the end of the exhaust, since it is now around 3 inches shorter than it should be. Another hour later and we have removed the rear hanger (Mr Weldy does it again) and fabricated a replacement rear section from the silencer back. Problem solved.