Author Topic: Getting home - got any good stories?  (Read 608 times)

Online Greybeard

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Getting home - got any good stories?
« on: 22.03. 2014 21:17 »
....he would drop the sump - complete with its oil, unbolt the rod caps then tin snip new shells directly from the [aluminium] body, bolt them in, pop the sump back on and head off with passengers still aboard.

All of the following tale is true.
I was 21 in 1971. I was a motor mechanic and had very little money. My father gave me his high mileage 1958 four cylinder Ford Consul as a 21st birthday gift. My wife and I decided to drive the Consul to the Scottish Highlands for a camping holiday; a distance of about 600 miles, (or 966 Km, which for the UK is quite a long journey).
On the way I started to hear a small rattle from the engine but could do nothing about it so topped up the engine oil and carried on.
The next day the water pump seal failed. I managed to find a Ford dealership so bought and fitted a new pump.
We got as far as the steep mountain roads in the Scottish Highlands before the radiator sprung a leak and the car was engulfed in steam again! We were a long way from any car repair shops. After getting a bit of local knowledge I hitch-hiked carrying the old radiator into the next town, (Kyle of Lochalsh). The radiator was sent off by train across Scotland to Inverness where there was a car radiator repair company. I got the overhauled radiator back a week later. Our holiday was now over so after fitting the radiator we set off for home on a chilly and wet Sunday morning.
We got as far as the English Scottish border when the engine seized up! I had no money left and no breakdown cover so despite the now heavy rain I had to try and do something. I first took the cylinder head off to have a look at the pistons. One of the piston tops was completely missing; I could see the little end, con-rod and crankshaft through the hole! I decided that if I drove carefully I might be able to continue the journey with only three cylinders but realised that I would have to remove the piston, con-rod and broken piston pieces from the sump. After taking the sump off, (carefully, as I had to re-use the old oil) I removed the dodgy parts and was just about to put the sump back on when I realised that the bare big-end journal would just leak oil pressure. To seal the journal I put a spare hose clip around it. I refitted the head and rockers. No new gaskets available!
There's more!
The road beneath the car was by now pretty oily. I asked my wife to take the car out of gear so I could push it to a cleaner part of the road. Unfortunately my wife put her foot on the clutch pedal and as the slave cylinder was not reattached it shot the clutch slave cylinder piston out losing the fluid. I had no spare hydraulic fluid so first filled the clutch system with water which almost immediately leaked out so I used engine oil which worked well.

I started the engine and of course running on only three cylinders it was pretty unbalanced but I took it easy and managed to get all the way back home to London, (240 miles, 386Km). By half way the mineral oil in the clutch hydraulics had swelled the piston rubbers so changing gear was a slow process waiting for the clutch pedal to come back up; I coasted around many roundabouts.


Online bsa-bill

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #1 on: 22.03. 2014 21:41 »
but apart from the above the journey was pretty uneventful I take it  *whistle*

a tale of triumph over adversity if ever there was  *wink2*
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Online muskrat

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #2 on: 22.03. 2014 21:47 »
Now imagine doing that to a new whiz bang auto. Not a chance.
I love old stories like this.
Cheers
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #3 on: 22.03. 2014 22:39 »
I left out the details of getting the sump off.
On those engines the oil pump strainer goes down into the sump and there is a cross member beneath the sump, so the cross member should be removed or the engine lifted out. I had to drop the sump as much as I could and unbolt the oil pump through the narrow gap until it dropped into the sump allowing me to remove the sump. Tricky but not nearly as tricky as getting the b*gger back in place!

Online Topdad

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #4 on: 23.03. 2014 10:37 »
Great story , just has it actually was. Strange to remember how basic life was in those days , my kids can't imagine a time without mobile phones ,well actually in the'60's you were posh if you had a home phone. My instructions from Dad were if in trouble find a cop station and they'd get a message to parents etc but pride tended to mean you'd try anything to sort it yourself. In those days nescesity really was the mother of invention!!! Glad to say it never stopped us travelling about this land,far and wide.
on my first run to London, november1966 to earls court for the bike show and brother in uni, uneventful run down marvellous Saturday with his mad mates and decide rather than go home at 12 noon I 'd go for drink at a pub in Brent bands etc ie girls made it late before getting back to action and my bike, left at about 3.30pm ie just light got along quite well but around Coventry it was pitch black and the rain startedwhich didn't stop til next day ,at Birmingham soaked the lights 6v 51 A10 , started to dim luckily I saw a transport cafe. Pulled and the owner allowed me to move the almost under cover, while is removed seat and set about drying the reg unit out (strangely this had happened before)  it must have taken a fair time as the owner placed it by his oven to help dry while I drank about a gallon of hot tea! I then was given a plastic carrier bag and after refitting it wrapped it in the bag and sealed the neck tight with tape. Bingo lights and away after thanking wonderful owner, going past Shrewsbury changed down , to find the gear change lever had dropped off god knew where, pulled in and fitted mole grips , by know I was past caring over 48hrs without sleep but with alcohol ???  Etc anyway at Warrington the exhaust bracket broke and I had to keep ramming the pipe back in  and by bootle she'd developed a misfifire at low revs ,only 3 miles to go and about 6am managed park the bike outside our shop and crawl into bed ,never been so tired in my life! Also couldn't,t be bothered with the bike for days. When I eventually looked her over ,the misfire was a missing carb stud and the bracket easily fixed ,ready for the next time! Oh the reg unit I left and worked like that til I blew the motor 6mths later! This doesn'compare with yours gray beard but result was the same cheers BobH
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Online cyclobutch

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #5 on: 03.04. 2014 12:32 »
Back in ’79 I’d just stepped up from a CD175 to my A10. My girlfriend booked a cottage down at the end of Cornwall for a week’s break in June, immediately after my engineering exams finished. We were to head out with my pal and his girlfriend on his ex-plod Triumph. I had problems with a slipping clutch but could only look at this in the Friday after my exams. We ended up riding out to Grays to buy a new clutch centre and plates. This was all installed late in to the night on Friday.

I got a couple of hours sleep on his floor and then we were up at first light Saturday heading out. Running from Chelmsford (mid Essex) down the A12 I’m getting problems before we even hit town. After several stops and plug swaps we decide, based on the smell, that I’ve picked up some bad fuel (???). So we pour that into the ground and stick some from his in. Out at Eddy Grimsteads we wait for the shop to open and then stock up with more plugs. In town the clutch is dragging and things are substantially overheating.

For some reason we’d elected to head out on the M4, but on the approach to that I have the head gasket let go. As we’re standing around scratching our heads a couple of diamond geezers pull up in a van and offer a ride to Bristol. So the bike is slung in the back and off we go. Lucky we’re on Bit bikes they say or they wouldn’t have stopped. If I’d been on the CD I’d have been over half way there and still running thinks I. Probably driving around 80 plus now with my pal hanging on for grim death in our slipstream. I’m in the back supporting the bike with the girl friend up front sitting between them. The van is a tip with a lot of scruffy copies of Easyriders lying about. We’re soon enjoying the conviviality of dense smoke from the spliffs they keep on the go. I doze.

Down in Bristol on some grotty estate they park up and open a garage to reveal an A7 chop and a late model but seemingly all chromed Bonneville. The girls head indoors for sleep while we set about fitting the (composite) head gasket they give us. The Bonneville is clearly a work in progress but the guy slings a seat foam on the frame rails and goes racing off somewhere. He’s back within 15 minutes in a similar hurry. If anyone follow him in he says – tell them he hasn’t been out. We have some weirdness with the neighbour who wants us to cut rocker box gaskets from some cork sheet he has and it’s real difficult talking him out of that. Meanwhile the guys missus has found our girlfriends in one of the beds and is throwing a wobbler. And one of the local kids has ridden a bicycle into my tank that’s on the ground and busted the tank badge.   

So 9:30 in the evening and it’s time to go. We make it down to St Just by around 7:30 on the Sunday morning having had to stop at an automatic dispensing filling station during the night. We couldn’t use all of the fuel between us from the £10 note that we had to insert. So belligerently poured the rest of it on the forecourt to get our money’s worth. The head gasket was just beginning to squeak again too.

On the Wednesday, the clutch centre which as supplied had been the wrong one and I’d taken a file to let go, so we stripped out and put the old one back in.

The following Saturday we headed back for the Essex bad lands and the motor finally let go with a big bang on the far side of Plymouth still. The guys in Bristol had given us a length of rope so we tied onto the 120P. Next up I had a tyre deflate and the tyre weld stuff was no good at all – of course. My pal headed off and found a new inner tube. So we set about the back end with a set of levers and eventually got things shipshape.

At Exeter we pooled our resources and put the girls on the train with as much of the luggage as they could manage, then we set off to tow through the night, firstly up the M5 I guess. I don’t recollect why now but we were running a really long line. At one point, riding the slow lane and with nothing about my pal moved off into the middle lane. I shrugged and followed him over. Then he moved to the fast lane. This didn’t look right to me so I moved back to the slow lane and dabbed the brakes to jolt him. He moved back over. At the next stop he demanded to know what the hell I thought I was doing. Hmmm.

Early next morning and with less than 20 miles to go I finally misjudged and ran over the tow line, with the front then being dragged away from me. Down I went. Seems to be taking a long time to stop sliding. Looking up I see my boot stuck under the bike and my pal pushing on regardless. A big plume of sparks flying up from under the bike somewhere – like one of those alpine snow clearing trucks. I pull my boot free and watch him head on for another half mile before he twigs.

Finally put the bike back on the road about 5 years ago.

Tell the kids today and they just won’t believe you.
Various, including ...
'58 Iron Head Flash Bitza


Online Greybeard

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #6 on: 03.04. 2014 12:46 »
Back in ’79.....

SNIP

Tell the kids today and they just won’t believe you.

Wow, what an experience!

Online cyclobutch

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #7 on: 03.04. 2014 13:25 »
And I still got to marry the gal. Result.

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Online RichardL

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #8 on: 03.04. 2014 14:36 »
So, basically, no real troubles? ;)
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020 (if it's not cancelled and we are free to move about by then). Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Offline WozzA

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Re: Getting home - got any good stories?
« Reply #9 on: 04.04. 2014 06:35 »
Was fuelling up the bike after a ride when an old codger approached and struck up a conversation.

Been out riding ???

Yep sure have.

It's alright for you, I aint been for a ride fa years...how abouts ya slip a bloke some moolah, so he can have a hot feed???

I was about to reach into my pocket when I hesitated.
how do I know you won't spend my money on Alcohol???

I aint had a drop since the new millenium!

What about Tobacco, how do I know you won't buy smokes with my money???

I gave em up when they cost $1.00 a pack!

Well, in that case, I'll go one better,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I'll take you home with me, run you a hot bath, give you some clean clothes,
then we'll sit down to a terrific Baked Dinner, the wifes a great cook!

But wouldn't the little lady be ***** at ya for bringin a filthy beggar like me home with ya???

Leave that to me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I think it's very important she sees what a bloke looks like who gives up Riding, Smoking and Drinking...     *whistle*
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