Driving a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 from Peking to Paris in the June 2019 ERA Rally.

Monday, 25 February 2019

0081 Gidget goes to Sydney

26th February 2019
Pack the boot, fix leaking axle seals, and lots of paperwork.

94 DAYS TO GO !!
But only 27 days till Gidget goes to China !!

Harry Hickling's great story
Yes, today marks just 4 weeks to go until Gidget goes on the ship to China !! It has been over 2 years since our first entry on this blog, but the countdown is now almost in single digits.  Woohooo! Simultaneously the "To Do" list just seems to get longer and longer, and the stress levels increase as well !  "What have we forgotten ?"   "What major items still need to be done ?"  "Have we got all the
spares we might need ?".   To top it off, when down at Ashton's in Sydney last weekend, he gave me a book by Harry Hickling, who successfully drove a 1938 MG SA to a Bronze Medal finish on the 2007 Peking to Paris, which celebrated the Centenary of the original event in 1907.  This is probably the most enjoyable P2P book of the many I have read, but I found it also the most daunting since it graphically details some of the
Ashton having fun !
breakdowns and effects of the never-ending pounding the cars will get when driving on the endless corrugations across the Gobi Desert and Russia.  Cracked chassis (twice); bumpers just falling off as the metal fatigued; cam followers actually splitting in two inside the engine; head gaskets failing; carburettor fuel bowl bolt strips the thread due to the endless corrugations !!  As the adventure draws ever closer, my mind is equally split between the excitement of participating, and the dawning realisation of the enormity of this awesome project that Ashton is allowing me to share with him.  "Onwards, ever onwards", as someone once said.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

0080 The exhuast falls off !

10th Feb 2019
Lots of things to do

Exhaust looks OK......
Well, the exhaust didn't exactly fall off, but it started "fluffing", and I knew there was a problem. Back in post 0077 I had noted that there was a small crack in the exhaust, but it wasn't blowing at that stage, although I still intended to get it welded up.   But over this past week I have driven the car quite a lot, and on Friday it was noticeably getting noisier.  So over the weekend I took the cover panel off, and set to removing the muffler itself.  Although annoying that it had to be done, I guess it was good for me to have to do it myself so that if it needs to be done at any other time during P2P, i know how to do it.
And the mount seems fine
Once I had the two mounts undone, I could see the problem - the front mount was broken ! (There was also still a lot of red dirt caked
in around the mounts !!)  The mounts used are Austin Healey Sprite exhaust mounts and are a hard rubber bushing sandwiched between two metal attachment plates, and are mounted in compression, not
But the mount was broken
shear, so there should be no problem. In this case the upper metal plate had just delaminated from the rubber.  Over the weekend I experimented with the broken mount and tried wirelocking it as a way of preventing, or at least limiting, de-lamination of other mounts, and it seemed to work quite well - At least it would minimse the chance of mounts literally falling apart in future.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

0079 Still so much to do !

3rd February 2019
Fixing fenders in the heat !

119 days to go !
But Gidget leaves Australia in 52 days !!

Before I start to discuss Gidget, I draw your attention to the fact that today, 4th February, is World Cancer Day, and I quote from the Cancer Council web site in that regard :-
"Each year on 4 February, World Cancer Day empowers all of us across the world to show support, raise our collective voice, take personal action and press our governments to do more. World Cancer Day is the only day on the global health calendar where we can all unite and rally under the one banner of cancer in a positive and inspiring way."

As most of you know, Ashton and I are using our trip to raise funds for both Beyond Blue, and for Cancer Research. So I take this opportunity to remind you all that we are desperately trying to ensure that our journey from Peking to Paris is not just a trip for Ashton and I, but something that benefits many people around the world.  It has a very real purpose.  So I draw your attention to the direct links at the bottom of the blog front page where we encourage you to support these worthy charities, however small - Even $1 will help someone, somewhere, who is suffering.  And since today is World Cancer Day, I make it easy for you to get to the Cancer Council site here :-  Cancer Council  
Thank you from both of us.