The more I drive her, the more I enjoy it !
Gidget is an absolute hoot to drive - I am stunned by just what an easy car it is to enjoy. The steering is light, the (Toyota) gearbox is a delight, the exhaust note is muted but declares its presence with a few revs on board, and she has so much torque that you just plant your right foot and she goes !! On the downside, there still isn't mushroom inside, and when the roof is up, it is positively claustrophobic and neck-spasm inducing. So I am getting the feeling that barring absolute downpours, most of Gidget's future will be open top driving, with clothing worn by the occupants to suit the prevailing weather conditions ! So with this in mind, I have pulled out all my Arctic trip thermals and other clothing, and made sure they all still fitted and didn't have too many moth holes in them. Result, all present and ready for minus 2 deg C in Alice next month !! And my new fur lined leather flying helmet is superb. Game on !!!! But first I need to get the car to Sydney so Ashton can have a play with it - After all, he is the driver !!
However, this past week has not been all roses. After our drive last weekend, Steve and I knew we had a few issues to deal with, and as usual, not one of them turned out to be either straightforward or easy or quick ! Althrough the tyres rubbing on the front guards was most urgent, Andrew was busy until Wednesday, so I spent the next couple of days working on other issues at home.
|Hot air on the spotlights|
|Meat pies or spotlights|
|Straps on the boot|
|Setting up a wing mirror|
|Cargo net over the parcel shelf|
|Map light fitted|
For the map reading light my original plan was to make a bracketthat would be held in place by one of the screws on the front trim alloy strip. However, I eventually realised that this just would not be stable enough, and ditched that idea, and instead mounted it directly onto the (increasingly crowded) dashboard. I eventually found a place where it would fit, and bolted it on. I then wired it up so that it will work even when the ignition is off - It has its own on/off switch.
|Clothes peg choke|
|Maps for our trip|
|Andrew cutting the wheel arch|
Andrew set to work, taking about another centimetre out. Once he had tacked the edging back into place, we put the wheels back in and went for a test before we proceeded any further. Right outside Andrew's workshop is a dead end turn around which is plenty big enough to accomodate Gidget's excellent turning circle. I gradually built up speed in a right hand turn, leaning harder and harder on to the left front corner, and braking occasionally in order to load up the corner further. Andrew stood and watched and listened, and agreed we still had a problem, so suggested a different approach.
|Road testing the wheel arch !|
Doing the right hand guard was easy and quick compared to the lengthy work on the left, and an hour or so later we had the right hand guard matching the left, and the metal sealed with primer to prevent any rust forming before I can get the filler in there to smooth the surfaces off before re-painting. I then had a wet drive home - The first one, roof up, and no sidescreens ! It actually wasn't too bad, athough I did get a bit wet ! Good news was that the windscreen wipers with their spring fitted to keep the pressure on the screen worked REALLY well ! Well, they each only wiped the LH side of the screen, but that is a minor adjustment.
Thursday saw me back at Classic Car Clinic where Steve had some bits to work on. Our high oil pressure (80 psi when running) was suggested to be caused by a blocked oil return line - Apparently the sump gasket needs a V cut into it to enable this return line to work. Having (once again) removed all the oil and removed the sump, the gasket was found to have the required V cut in it, so this was obviously not the cause of the pressure. So the sump was put back on and the oil put back in. Next issue was the brakes - The master cylinder seemingly building up pressure gradually, eventually causing the brakes to bind on. We have discussed this with Wayne at Better Brakes and, unlike Steve, he is of the opinion that these is no problem with the master cylinder (which he rebuilt 2 months ago). So to resolve the issue we have ordered a new master cylinder from the UK which will hopefully be here next Monday, and we will then find out where the problem is, and we can then carry the other brake cylinder as a spare part. Steve also reset and tuned the carbs again, and when I got to CCC, the engine was purring beautifully.
|Mini Moke seats|
|3 different oil filters|
|Fitting new door hinges|
round, we eventually succeeded in geting them on, which made the door much better. It still isn't a perfect fit, but is much better. The driver's door also had some fit issues, which Ashton had fixed some time ago by taking the grinder to it ! Problem was that this action removed the metal "fold" on the edge, which exposed the individual layers to the elements. So Andrew carefully ground away slightly more material, then carefully re-welded the edge to that the individual sheets were no longer exposed. Doors now shut.......But still need a firm hand to do so !!
|Making up the new sidescreens|
|Bodyfiller time again|
|Fitting rubber to door frames|
|Foam knee pad for driver|
Once the tyres are sorted, it will be a rush to get the car packed roughly in "competition rig", with all spare parts and tools in either underfoor storage boxes or in boot boxes, and everything else as close to "P2P ready" as possible. Then I will set off on Thursday for the first long run in Gidget - Watch this spot to find out how we get on.
Remainder of the pics are here :- https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZcDh63CMrAmpPjvg7