Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The rush was now on to get her out of the garden before the rain and snow settled in. Luckily, in our search for a condenser, we had chanced upon a Landrover and classics restoration centre just next door. The chaps there were apparently all too happy to let Molly stay a week or two while we tried to find a way of getting her moved down to Somerset. This meant we only had to traverse about 100ft of lawn and 300ft of A-Road to get her to relative safety. The important thing, however, was not to chew up Mrs Canavan’s lawn.

Firstly the configuration of the column shift boggled us; namely where in the hell the Bedford company had put reverse. Once we had established that, I tentivley put her in gear and tested the clutch with a few revs. She shuddered a moved about 10mm. A success I'd say. Now we tried to gently rock her out of the ditches that had appeared beneath her tyresover the last ten years. Each time the engine began to come under load it would try and cut out. A finger down the carb mouth revealed a puddle of fuel in the manifold. The float valve was presumed to be not seating properly so I decided to rebuild the carb as a matter of course. A kit was about £15 I think, same Zenith downdraft as the series Landrovers.

Then the spark disappeared again. Bugger knows where because it was back again a few hours later. Electronics is not my forte. In fact, my ad-hoc wiring seemed to have bypassed the ignition switch, so as soon as the batt earth was connected that was it, she was ready to go. This meant shutting her down was a matter of pulling off the battery strap and waiting for her to wind down.

The exhaust manifolds had decades of oil and dirt on them so as soon as a bit of temperature got threw them they began bellowing out with smoke that made your head feel spooky.

We decided to test the brakes at this point. The pedal was very stiff and then, worryingly, went very floppy. No brakes then. Or, more significantly, brakes fully on.

Thus began the circus act of trying to move her from what was meant to be her final resting place. I saddled up while Rachel filled her Fairy liquid bottle. The battery strapped was tapped lightly on so it could be released with a nudge of a toe. Pump primed, ignition on and she jumped into life once again. The exhaust manifolds promptly started profusely smoking. We got loose of the ditches in one great lunge. She would only move in bursts so we roared our way back across the garden. The cabin was now full of smoke and noise and petrol. I signalled for Rachel to jump out. I took the key out the ignition but nothing happened. Rach knocked off the battery strapped but Molly continued to run. We stood by her side perplexed (probably from the fumes) as she slowly wound down. It was a grand moment, we'd moved 13 1/2ft.

No comments:

Post a Comment