Early April update

A little delayed but with good reason, Riley Blue has a bit of a mechanical problem. It ‘hibernates’ over the winter, snug in its garage away from salted roads and winter weather. Unfortunately, when I looked in a while back, the first time after its last outing, I was greeted by an oil slick across the garage floor – Riley Blue had sprung a leak!

Investigation showed the sump had cracked, most likely due to a biff from a sleeping policeman a.k.a. a speed bump though I don’t remember that having happened on its final pre-winter trip. Whatever the cause, the engine had lost all its five litres of oil but when? After it had been parked in the garage or as I’d been driving along? If the latter, had there been any damage to the engine?

I scoured the internet for a replacement sump and found two. One was in California but the other was closer, in north Wales. I bought and collected it and took it to Steve McKie who will give the engine a ‘once over’. The sump didn’t fit, it was from a different version of the same engine but the seller was adamant it was right. Fortunately Steve had a contact who he thought might have the right sump – he did (hurrah!) – and was also willing to do a straight swap for the wrong ‘un.

As I type, Steve is painting and fitting the sump. I’ll go for a drive tomorrow and listen acutely for strange rattles and knocking sounds – I really hope there won’t be any…

That apart, preparations are going according to plan. In addition to being able to track our progress, supporters will be able to watch video footage from our journey provided I can master the technology and we’re putting together a package of prizes for the supporters’ ‘Guess the Mileage’ competition.

Stay tuned….

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