Car Trouble

Being a 28yr old car of dubious build quality Barney was bound to have some problems, the trouble seemed to be that we only found them as we fixed others.

The first surprise was the leak in the cooling system, water was pouring out of a bung on the engine. This was discovered on the M25 on the way home from picking it up, but the previous owners had kindly left a bottle of water in the boot. We applied a temporary fix using a pair of latex gloves and some glue, later we upgraded to a slightly more permenant fix using a cork, some pipe and a couple of jubilee clips.

Our next major problem was discovered on the way to a friend's house, as Barney steamed up a hill the throttle jammed open and the engine was unable to rev below 4000. Help was at hand though and a tow rope was soon found, our friend's range rover was put to work towing us to our destination (Andy's house, not Mongolia!)

Once again the problem was simple enough to find, we removed the carburetor and fished out a chunk of rubber seal from the throttle valve. Our day appeared to be getting better, but then Pat's car decided to drop the majority of its oil on the road and we spent the rest of the day trying to diagnose that instead.

It was on the way back to Vicki's garage that the clutch gave out, foot to the floor and nothing happened, we were definitely starting to regret buying Barney at all. Luckily the clutch was stuck in the engaged position and we were still able to drive it, albeit very carefully and with a lot of grinding noise.

It was around this time that Simon got in touch with us, he had heard about our plight from a discussion on the British Rally forum website. He asked us to take the car to his workshop so that he could take a look at it and offered some free work on it to help us out. It was an offer we couldn't refuse. Getting the car to Witney was attempted at 5:30am on a Friday in order to avoid any traffic and to allow Dominic a chance of getting there without having to stop as the clutch was still broken. Things didn't go entirely according to plan...more