Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A Load of Hot Air.

A recent addition of a space heater to the Overland Preparation Barn, a thoughtful Christmas present from Liz, Matt’s wife, raised the temperature from -20º to a tropical -5º and made an evenings work on the Jeep almost enjoyable. I was trusted with wire brushing bits of chassis whilst Matt fitted new; engine mounting rubbers, gearbox mounting rubbers, and a new rear wheel bearing. In an evening we achieved a lot. Prior to my visit, Matt had already fitted a completely new brake system, rebuilt the steering box (yet to be fitted) and replaced all the seals in both the gearboxes and both diffs. I’m optimistic that it will hit the tarmac in June.

Monday, 25 February 2008

The Lights Arrive.

These are probably the least convenient Jeep parts yet. A photo last summer showed a Jeep tail lamp on a trailer in Italy. The genuine article, not some Filipino copy, and it turned out there were a pair. The trailer was in Guileo’s yard. The Italy v. Wales Six Nations Rugby Match was coming up. Tickets were purchased for both the match and flights from Milan to Bristol. Beer drinking trousers were dug out of wardrobes and we all met up in Cardiff. Frazer and Delores threw a party and the tail lamps were exchanged, then the singing started. It was quite a night and the following day Wales triumphed, though it was anybody's game at half time (he added politely!) Great weekend!!!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Pop that top.

The Jeep will never have a Pop Top, but it seems my life has featured cars with lifting roofs for a long time. I photographed the Bedford CA in 1964 on the first roll of film I ever shot. Kodak Bantam Colorsnap 2, 828 Kodachrome 2 film, set to ‘cloudy, but bright’. Life was so simple then. Dad had borrowed the Dormobile from a colleague at work and four of us went to a campsite in Manorbier, near Tenby. Easter from memory and unusually clement weather for both the time of year and Wales. The Bedford was both cramped and slow, but in 1964 most things were. The Land Rover was shot last month in Libya. How plain the colours look in comparison and yet its Pop Top dates back to 1970. Perhaps I should fit it with some nice flowery curtains.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel.

There has been a bit of a break in proceedings whilst I’ve been swanning around in the desert and Matt has had more pressing matters to attend to, such as keeping warm in both his workshop and his Toyota Land Cruiser. The good news is that it’s back on track and the engine is nearly ready to go in. I bought this engine from Jeeparts UK back in November. Graham, at Jeeparts, confirmed in had been rebuild by the French Military about 20 years ago for one of their Hotchkiss Jeeps. He whipped the head off and declared in a ‘good one’. As it had no flywheel I bought a new one of those too. Back at the Overland Preparation Barn it looked very much as though the flywheel on the existing, later type, engine was the same. A curse, since I’d shelled out a ton on a new one. However, on closer inspection the starter ring was very worn and subsequently the new flywheel has gone on, along with a new clutch assembly. The aim is to fit it and fire it up later in February.