Thursday, 25 November 2010

86 - Rain Rain Go Away

Blimey I have never seen so much rain. For the last month it has been just peeing down night and day. Even the frogs are wearing flippers.!!!

Been about a week since my last post, and we have to report fairly positive progress on the Val. Early this week I went out to see the RetroLiner....poor beggar....sitting in a paddock looking very forlorn and depressed, however its turn for some sort of a touch up should be within the next week or so. The only problem is it has been so wet.

Anyway the drive out and back was just a breeze. The Val performed with unbelievable power...scary stuff....but still quite lumpy in the idol position.

Ross the mechanic asked me to drop it back to him last Tuesday anyway, as the rough idle was a concern.

To cut a long story short, the problem associated with the rough idle and the poor brakes was as expected, even by me, to be the brake in a vacuum leak. 

So back to the operating table for the Val...this time to have a new brake booster fitted along with a new fuel pump. Now I will not comment on that (fuel pump) till we see the end result of the jobbie; as after market pumps wont fit, due to the larger alternator. Doesn't seem to concern Ross, so I will wait and see for that one.

Okay lets hope we get through that drama next week, and the only thing left then is a rear airbag, reversing  & head light. 

Once again no pikkies till we find some more exciting things.

Till next time stay toooooooned.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

85 - Yaaaaaaa!

Well here it is Friday the 18th of November 20010 and we have had a win!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You guess it folks, the might Mopar Muscle is again a Mighty Muscle Car. Also our web site, has been given a new lease of life, and my  seeing eye dogs, (glasses) which I broke two weeks ago, have also arrived back here in Mackay fixed. So we have had a real win, win today.

Continuing on, and as per arrangement, we picked up the Val this morning to bring it home for a visit to the motel for the weekend, and boy or boy, the Val just went animal.

We have waited over 2 years for this day........the Val just performed beyond expectations. Ross Torrosi was the mechanic, McAllister Street Mackay, and this guy sure does knows his stuff. In saying that the Val still goes back the workshop on Toooooooosday for a bit of fine toooooning.

However with the re-aligned cam, the compression jumped back up to where it should be, the noisy lifters, were once again quiet, new jets in the Holey Carby, enabled the fuel to be directed properly, and the new coil increased the spark. Although Ross said The Val was a little lumpy when cold, she should settle down once warm. 

"Settle down" was an understatement. Once I drove the Val out of the workshop, and the motor got up the operating temperature...geeeeeezus it took off like a scalded cat. As soon as I put my foot down....yahooooooo, it thundered down the highway, at such a break neck speed.....I felt like a hoon in a "doof doof" machine.......scary stuff. Now that is what it should have done when we had the motor changed.

O'h well, no good living in the past. We have had a lot of fun - albeit very frustrated in the towing performance. But now it's time to move forward, and look ahead to more adventures, without the hassle of an under performing vehicle. WA here we come.....there is no stopping us know...I hope.

We still have some braking issues, fuel pump needs replacing, and the split air bag also has to be attended too. All that is not pressing, and as we still have another 6 weeks of this contract to go, it will get done.

On Monday I am going out to the caravan man to prioritise the repairs on the RetroLiner. We did have a big wish list, but because of the unexpected cost of repairs to the Val.....(worth every cent may I add) the jobs on the RetroLiner will be reduced to the necessary items to get us back on the road. We will leave that for another post.

Sorry no photies folks, however we are havging a BBQ here at the motel on Sunday for the brides' 59th birthday, and some friends from our time here, in the 80's, are coming around to celebrate the occassion. Hopefully some photies if that occassion.

Hope the weather clears.....feeeerk, it hasn't stopped raining since we've been here.

Stay toooooooned.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

84 - Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Yep here it is 14th November 2010, and we have just completed week 5  of 12 at this motel.  So far so good. It is a very busy property, however we are really enjoying it, now that I have broken the back of the finance system. These challengers just keep the brian box on the roll.

But where I am quite excited, is it looks like after two years of battling with the Val under perfoming, I have finally found here in Mackay, a real professional in the mechanical domain, who builds race engines.

After the trial and tribulations of the previous episode in Mackay, this is a refreshing change to  find someone who really cares about the Val.

Lets turn the clock back till July two years ago. We were managing a property in Kilcoy, and our goal was to have the Val re-motored with all the trick gear, so it could tow a reasonably heavy van. All the trick gear was ordered especially the towing cam.

So I took the Val to the local yokal in Kilcoy, who progressively re-built the moter, mmmmmmmm. From the time I got the Val back up until last week, I have never been happy with the performance. For such a large motor, the Val should have pulled the Retro Liner with ease, but not the case. 

So for two years I have had every so called expert, from carburation to timing, to whom ever, who reconded they new the problem. They plied their wares to see where they thought the problem was, however every time I took possesion of the Val  from whoever, it just didn't seem to be right. Then hooking up the RetroLiner, the Val performed so bad, it was getting to the stage of just selling the lot, and walking away.

Now I did mention, when in Winton I did find a mechanic that drag races, and he retuned the Val, but his comments were "the motor is a problem child" mmmmmmmmmmmm said I.

Even though I did say on our run out of Winton the Val seemed to be better, its performance soon deterioted, to the point....this caravaning thing was now on the nose and a real chore. We struggled into Sarina first, then Mackay, where the Retroliner is just sitting waiting for some work to be done on it. Now that story I will leave to another post.

So with the Val, the timing was the major point. "No we tune this thing in retard", said one. "Now wait a minute,  this timing is so far out it needs to be timed in advance." said another. "But wait your carby is out of tune, it needs spacers and new jets" came another piece of advise.

So you can imagine all this came at a cost, big cost!!!!! Was it or is it all worth it!!!!!!Up till last Friday week, this was going to be the last throw of the dice. I even had a look at fourby's....Good God!!!!!! this can't be happening!!!!!! Geeeeeeezus a lease for a vehilce for another four years...that will make me near on 68....not going there. See I  will be taking up a government job in January 2012, (for the pension department), and I am sure I won't be able to afford the payments on that wage.

Back to the Val. On Tooooosday morning the 9th of November. I said goodbye to the Val. with heavy heart, as I knew deep down, the conclusion was not going to be good.  With heart in mouth, will this be the death knell!!!!!, the saying of goodbye!!!!O'h no this can't be happening.
Now Tooooosday afternoon I took a call from the mechanic, who advised I should come to the shop as soon as possible! Good God I thought, is this the death of the Val....nooooooooo it can't be. The last rights!!!!!!! Feeeerk don't do it us.

Arriving at the shop, one walked into the work area with heavy heart. The boot was open, the bonnet was up, oil on the floor....feeeerk again! Looking closer the rocker cover was off, the timing chain and the radiator was out.......was I there to identify a dead car.............nooooooo I wailed!!!!

No silly, the car was being operated on, to bring it back to what it should have been with the new motor. The dick that put the new motor in, didn't line up the towing cam with the crankshaft, hence the timing of the unit was so far out of whack, it was down at least a third on power. Plus the sparking system was as useless as tits on bull.

So all this week the man (expert in building race engines) has actually re-aligned the towing cam, and made sure that everyything works in unison, as it should have done from day one. I go down to the shop every morning, and he gives me an update. 

At this stage he is happy with the alignment of the cam, pistons and fire sequence. He will be ading a new coil and ignition system. Then replacing the radiator, tappet cover, for the next test.

So as of Friday arvo 12th November, until he does a compression test, which will determine whether or not the head needs to be removed; as the 2 years running with a cam out of alignment may have stuffed the head....we wait for news on that one!

So one is hoping that with the realignment of the cam, all the vacuum problems wil be solved........I live it hope.

However we still need to look at the brakes, refit another fuel pump, repair the split air bag.

The saga continues and I will keep all up dated, with the progress.

Phew..............and stay tooooned

Thursday, 4 November 2010

83 - Mackay NQ

Well we are four weeks into this current "tour of duty". Have a look at the property.

A busy property, mainly during the week, with all the corporate and working guests.
Weekends much quieter, as per normal for any motel, but as usual, one is on guard as the clientele can degenerate big time, not in volume so much, but attitude.

Anyway, I will leave that alone....and being a Friday arvo just gearing up for the weekend.

As I have said earlier as we are not traveling, not much to report, but I will touch basis about the Val and the RetroLiner.

Firstly the RetroLiner. Nothing has happened. No repairs, no news, no nothing!!!! But we knew the repair man was not able to go near the RetroLiner for at least a month, and guess what the month is up today. Will make a call on Monday!

Now the news on the Val.

I put the Val in for an investigation to see why the brakes are so hard to put on. To mine it seemed a booster problem. Of course I advised the repair people, to check out a few other issues, with the intention of having the Val back to its usual self within a week or two.

Well four weeks later and I have removed the vehicle from the repairer before it was to late!!!!!!

The brakes never got repaired at all, nor did the other issues that it was sent in to get looked at. After four weeks all that was done was my seat was repaired, timing re-adjusted, and a new part put on the starter motor. The rest of the time I was being told about what a heap of shit it was, and it is going to cost gazzillions to get fixed, right from a new head to a complete engine system.....GET A LIFE.

To add to this because they had sooooooooo much work, they didn't have the time to spend on my unit anyway. They should have told me in the first place, that they couldn't find the time to work on it. I could have made other arrangements.

Three hundred and forty feeeeeerk'n dollars later, and four weeks wasted time, the Val is now back at the motel, looking quite sad. I have booked the Val into another guy, who seems to be more genuine. I know his business and has been around for a zillion years. This business was actually trading during my time here in Mackay 82 - 94. Have since found out the shop has been trading from the same address for the last fifty years. The owner (now) is the son of the original owner. Now that's got to be a bit of assurity.

Once I advised him of the drama I have just had, his reply, "I have heard it all before" Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

So one would like to think some progress will now be forth coming with the Val, over the next couple of weeks. Hope so, because before we know it, it will be Xmas and all these places will be shutting down for the Christmas break, and we at this stage are hear only till 11th January.

See this is what I have found. Every bugger who wants to make a quid, just shuts up shop and heads to the mines. Joe blogs can get a $100000 a year driving a truck. So what remains is local businesses stretched to the limit and really it seems no one can handle the demand.

Pity, cause as I said before, Mackay the once neato, friendly, tropical north Queensland sugar town, is now the industrial hub for the Bowen Basin for coal production.

When we were here, everybody would talk to you, and they were friendly, and even when we arrived '82, we were southerners. Geeeeeeezus no one is local that I can see anymore, and that friendly warm fuzzy feeling the town had, is gooooooooooon for ever.

Sorry folks just having another whinge. Maybe I can't handle progress.

Stay tooned!!!!!!!!!