Tidying up lots of loose ends.
77 days to go
But only 11 before Gidget goes on the ship !
|Packages arrive from around the world|
|Plan for embroidery on clothng|
|Our embroidered patch|
Also trying to get our stickers finalized. Apart from the place names of the route that we plan to put on the rear fenders, we also have some small P2P stickers that we will also be able to give away en route. Craig has been really busy recently so I paid him a quick visit this week to make sure everything will be finished by the time Gidget gets back to Queensland on the 9th March. He assured me that everything was in hand.
It was the same situation with Andrew who is making the mounting base for the spare tyre on the boot. Several visits to his workshop to make sure he also will be ready by the 11th March, because he will only have 1-2 days to fit the rack AND to spray paint the front fenders which are currently just in grey primer. It all has to run like clockwork once Gidget gets back to Queensland.
|Spinner spanner kit|
|Spinner spanner outside|
|Spinner spanner protective inside|
|ERA support vehicles|
just 92 (sic) days until the 110 Intrepid Competitors embark on the 2019
Peking to Paris rally, preparations are now reaching an advanced stage.
includes those in the massed ranks of the ERA support team, who
yesterday, under the watchful eyes of Competition Director Guy Woodcock,
loaded the 16 Toyota Hi-Lux trucks that will keep pace with the
competitors for the duration of the event, to be shipped
out to the start. The
list of vehicles
included nine support trucks, two dedicated medical
vehicles and five mechanical assistance trucks, who along with their
will be doing everything they can to keep the competitors safe,
maintained and moving in the right direction on the arduous 9000 mile,
36 day long endurance adventure. Big
thanks must go to Maulden Garage Ltd and Owen Turner – Complete Rally
Services, for doing such a wonderful job in preparing the vehicles for
the task ahead." Unquote.
Mechanical support trucks
I think we are going to become VERY familiar with those red Toyotas as they follow us every day half way across the world!
|Australian AH Magazine|
|Qld on-line AH Magazine|
The Australian Austin-Healey magazine, through their editor Patrick Quinn, have been running a regular series of articles detailing the rebuild of Gidget over the past 2 years. This month saw the next installment in the recent 4th Q 2018 issue, while the Austin-Healey Owners Club of Queensland on-line magazine (titled "Healey Torque") also came out this week - And Ashton and I, along with Gidget, found ourselves on the front cover ! There was also a report by Editor Alwyn Keepence about the Club's lunchtime Fish and Chip run which we had attended while Ashton
|What I started with - Name tag clips !|
When driving to Sydney last week, one issue that came to light was the frequency of times that my hat nearly blew off in the high winds, or when passing big trucks. Time lost stopping to pick up errant hats is not something we plan to include on the P2P, so I set about looking for hat "ropes" that we could use. I have often seen tourists using such devices, just a short string with a clip on each end, so I imagined they would be available to buy off the shelf from adventure clothing or fishing stores. Wrong !! No one had anything like it - So it was time to make them myself. I search for suitable clips in hardward stores everywhere, but everything was too big. Next I looked as small alligator clips in electrical stores, but they were a bit too long too. Eventually I hit on the solution -
the small clips that are used on the back of conference i.d. badges ! A quick check on the internet showed that Office Works had them, so off I went, finding them in aisle 3. While there, I also picked up a stylus because if you use your finger on the small screen Garmin GPS we have, it leads to all sorts of errors due to the size of my finger ! Once home, I found that I could easily remove the safety pin, drill out the small rivet that holds the clip to the badge holder, and with some suitable cord knotted into the same hole the rivet came out of, a perfect hat "ropes" for each of us, with a spare just in case !! Problem solved ! (Stop press - After doing all this, Ashton later told me he has some and they are available from ship's chandlers like Whitworths !! Never thought of trying them !)
Finished hat tether
|Crumpled stickers mailed from UK|
Our replacement 3/4 size P2P stickers also arrived from ERA today. The original metal plates are just too big for Gidget as they cover half the radiator, so while we were anticipating that ERA would provide us with some 3/4 size metal plates once we got to Beijing, I ordered these decal versions while I was at the brieifing in England at the end of last year. Unfortunately they put them in a non-stiffened envelope so they arrived here pretty scrumpled up - Hopefully they will go on to the car ok. But then I realised that, unlike our personalised metal plates that have our car number (77) on them, these are just generic stickers for everyone, so they don't have the car number on there. This has subsequently been fixed by having some 3/4 size stickers made locally, so we will be OK !
|New small canvas bags|
During the Alice Springs event last August, and throughout our trial packing, we have found that tools and spares packed into small canvas bags and then labelled as to contents are a very effective way to handle the storage issue. Big tool boxes (or even small ones !) just aren't practical in Gidget, either space wise or weight wise, but these small bags can be stored within a larger canvas bag for storage, and just the bag required for the task in hand can be removed. Having bought 10 of these small bags on eBay from China, we found we needed another 5, and these arrived this week - At about $1 each including delivery, they are also cost effective !!
|Axle & lock nut from Healey Factory|
We also managed to get some axle spares from the Healey Factory this week - Our normal UK supplier had none in stock, but the Melbourne Healey Factory still had some (ironically supplied by our usual UK supplier !) and they arrived up her promptly. Stuart at the Healey Factory has been most helpful over the past months, digging up hard to find parts for us, and being very understanding when I ordered incorrect parts which had to be susequently returned. Thanks guys - Refreshingly good service in today's automated and impersonal world. Garth Selig in Sydney (who has been working on Gidget) also used Healey Factory, and they immediately knew the car and helped him accordingly.
|Ashton & Garth "thinking"|
While the plan had been for Garth to go through the brakes (again), double check the timing, and also to install new engine mounts to replace those that had delaminated, during the first week Garth felt there was a "clutch issue", and we quickly agreed that it needed to be addressed, even though we had put a new clutch in there during the rebuild. However this meant that half the interior had to be removed, and the engine supported and moved forwards, in order to get to the gearbox and clutch. On closer inspection, it turned out that the throwout bearing was the issue - It was NOT new and was disintegrating. In discussions with CCC it turned out that after I had just bought (in my ignorance) the clutch plate and not a full "kit", they had decided the existing unit was good and to leave it in. Obviously in hindsight this was a case of saving $50 but in the end costing a lot more, but at least now Garth has managed to sort it out and we now have a good clutch system. The down side was that this work delayed us by another week, and it was the 15th March before the car was ready and I was able to fly down to bring her back to Queensland.
|Gidget on the dyno|