by Mike Peake
It’s April 2016. Poppy has ventured out a couple of times this year but with an MOT and the group's first meet of 2016 at Crich looming, it was time I prepared Poppy for the upcoming - and very exciting - season.
My box of service parts arrived and I set about a full service which all went very smoothly apart from being a tad disappointed with the quality of parts I had received.
To be fair most of the parts were OK, but the distributor cap feels appallingly cheap and poor quality. So much so, I decided to keep the old one on the car and just use the new one as a “get me home” spare. Needless to say, I won’t be buying service kits again but choosing carefully named parts.
Next job on the list was to find out why my horn was not working at all any more. Last year, I’d fitted a new slip ring and brush, so I suspected my own incompetence.
I removed the steering wheel to inspect the suspect connections and gave myself a black eye in the process due to the steering wheel’s initial reluctance to release followed suddenly by full and very fast compliance with my request.
When I could see clearly again through the stars everything seemed to be functioning as it should in this area, other than the horn actually working. So I gave the slip ring and brush quick clean. A word of caution to my fellow fettlers, ALWAYS disconnect the battery when working on the electrics and don’t use wire wool. Otherwise the wire wool catches fire when it shorts across the connections and burns your fingers.
Obviously, I had cleaned my contacts with abrasive paper knowing of these pitfalls in advance (ahem) and all was reassembled. The horn still didn’t work though, so I tested the horn itself by connecting it directly to the battery and was met with complete and utter silence. Suspecting I had found the culprit, I ordered a new horn.
It was now time to turn my attention to the gaping hole in my soft top roof which used to be the rear quarter window. You may remember from a previous blo… “Oi! …What you doing?...No! …It’s my blog!...Ouch!...........................”
Right, Mrs Fatbloke here, Or as I prefer to be known, Mrs Anita Peake MSC and 2 DIPs. Don’t worry about him. He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t bleed on my carpet!
Anyway, to business. I think Mr FB may have told you about his utter failure to complete this repair properly before he went off to play with his little friends in Coventry. This time, I decided I needed to take full charge of the situation for 2 reasons.
I placed the new sheet of clear vinyl over the area it would need to cover and cut a slightly over size patch. Glue was then applied round the hole and the patch securely taped into place and padding applied behind to force the 2 surfaces to remain pressed together while the glue cured. Once the glue was cured the excess clear vinyl was trimmed away and an efficient, functional repair was easily completed. The roof of OUR Poppy is now whole again and I really don’t know what all the fuss was about. It may not be pretty because Mr FB insisted we follow the instruction on the glue which were clearly wrong, but it is functional until we can afford to have the hood replaced.
Now that I have made sure that my work has been reported correctly, I shall allow Mr FB back on the PC. Though why anybody would want to read his about his bumbling incompetence I really don’t know!
…….”Er yes…thank you dear….yes yes I’m sure they will appreciate your contribution as much as I do….”
Now. Where was I? Oh yes. The loving Mrs FB came to my rescue and very quickly repaired the window on Poppies soft top while I gazed on in wonder at her efficiency. I then quickly fitted the transfer stickers to the steering cowling so I know how to work the lights and indicators for the 1st time in my ownership..
The new horn also arrived and was fitted in time for the inspection the next day.
It is Saturday 30th April 2016 and the all-important day of the MOT had arrived. Poppy was nervously presented up for inspection. I then indulged in some aversion therapy arranged by Mrs FB to take my mind off the indignity Poppy was suffering. Yes, we went shopping.
55 Minutes later my phone rang. It was the garage… “All ok mate! Pick it up when you’re ready” and the phone clicked off before I could stammer any questions. Had it really passed? The MOT inspector sounded far too cheerful for that. I rushed back to the garage where I was cheerfully presented with my new certificate and more cheerful banter from the manager. “Been doing this motor for some years now ‘aven’t I? Bl**dy glad you fixed the seat, that was ‘orrible. An’ I got the ‘orn to work first time! You fixed that an’all? Fank gawd for that! Used to wind me up that did!”
Somewhat confused and bewildered, I parted with the requisite cash and drove off never having got the bottom of my mechanics cheerfulness. However it was obviously contagious as I was now cheerful too and went for a short celebratory drive.
The next day was spent ankle deep in cleaning materials trying to get her tired bodywork at least fairly presentable. (NOOOO! I meant Poppy!… definitely not Mrs FB!...How could you think that?....... “What was that dear? … No, no, nothing to see here I promise.” …Phew, think we might have got away with that one! Shhhh!)
See you all at Crich, boys and girls. I will be looking for material for future blogs so please feel free to expose your adventures of the day to me.
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