Staples2Naples 2005: Preparations, part eight


THE prosects of us getting to Naples are up and down like nobody’s business at the moment.

After several exploratory pokes around the front suspension, we found that the nearside front CV joint was well and truly up the duff – and needed replacement. So that was done – and a badly buckled wheel replaced. That cured the clonking and knocking from the front, and improved the vibrations coming from the front end of the car.

It didn’t eliminate them, though.

I took the car to work on Friday, and found that over 70mph the vibration returned. The faster we went, the worse the vibration became – and although you could say that’s no problem as we’re not going to be driving too quickly on our way to Italy, I still don’t like the idea of being limited to such a sedate speed on day one, when we have at least 600 miles to cover.

So, I took the car to another garage in order to get the wheels balanced on the car… and after a bit of work, the vibrations were finally ironed out.

Relief and victory!

On the way home, I took Molly down out local by-pass, and unleashed the awesome power of the single-carb 1500cc E-Series engine. In no time, we were well above the limit, and there was nary a vibration to worry about. However, as I pulled out to pass a dawdling pick-up, I floored the throttle, the revs soared skywards, and the sickening realisation hit me: the clutch was slipping. Molly had grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory – and I let out a roar of frustration…

By the time I got home (a couple of miles from when the slipping first kicked in), the car had become almost impossible to drive. In fact, I have to say I’m really impressed with how quickly the clutch has let go! BL engineering at its finest…

So, we now have to find a clutch, then fit it before the close of play, Wednesday. Well, actually I have set myself a deadline of 3.00pm Tuesday, to have it done. If it isn’t, ‘Plan B’ comes into play.

What’s ‘Plan B’, I hear you ask?

Well, it would have involved me taking one of my other cars, but now that I don’t have any other cars, it means going to the car auctions at Northampton on Tuesday evening and picking up something with an MoT for less than £100. Do-able, but a little scary…

We’ll keep you posted…

Keith Adams

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