Farm - 13-15th August 2005
1500 miles under the wheels since last year, I was a bit more confident about
the 300 mile round-trip this time. The weather was better too - no roof needed
for the trip down.
I brimmed the tank for the first time and had half left after the 160 mile journey - it still does about 16mpg.
Peter and I made pretty good time and arrived about 6 o'clock - thanks to Pete for some of the pics.
Not everyone had a great trip to Wales - Tom's windscreen fell out, Mike & Sharon's water pump failed and a few others got caught up in a big jam on the M4. All except Mike and Sharon (they had to abandon) made it by 10pm, which is still earlier than I was last year!
Saturday it rained..... hard..... all day - the roof waterproofing just about held up. It did leak but not too much.
We all headed into the off-road site and I got stuck more or less immediately - I thrashed around for a while before Simon pulled me out. He then drove into the same hole and... er.... got stuck. He thrashed around for a while and then I pulled him out - fair's fair after all. It was a good test of my towing points anyway.
The rest of
the day was fairly uneventful for us (although somewhat damp) except for knocking
off my front diff guard - I've since read that these clamp-on guards aren't
that great, so I might change it.
Part-way through the day I noticed George no longer had a spare on the back - succumbed to the infamous broken carrier!
After a while we decided to see where everyone had got to and found Martin's bobtailed Rangie stuck with a broken clutch - he later discovered that the clutch slave cylinder bolts had pulled out of the bellhousing, so that was that.
A guy called Ben with a yellow 90 hybrid also came to grief with two blown diffs. Apparently that's 9 this year - ouch.
out wet but got gradually better - no real problems for anyone either.
I spent a good while trying (and failing) to get up one particular hill, only to watch George sail up it - those 35" tyres and 5" lift give it some ability. The only consolation was that nobody else managed it, not even Tom.
My spring clamps worked well - got some major articulation with no problems, although I think I should change the front brake flexi-pipes ASAP as they were worryingly taut occasionally.
As we headed back to the farm, I was surprised to see Tom stuck in a hollow with no rear-drive - it was looking serious until he realised the centre-lock had jumped out ;)
After a clean up, Pete and I headed for home. We got about half a mile before hearing a worrying clang-clang-clang noise when coasting. A look underneath revealed the exhaust was about half a millimeter away from the prop yoke and it was catching on overrun - a quick fix and a sigh of relief.
The trip (including off-roading and other pottering) averaged about 14mpg which is not bad (by Dakar standards).
All in all, a good weekend - thanks to Jon and Hilary for organising it.