4 Dec 1998
Mobile again, the wiring is finished, the
spray painting is finished and I'm keen to do some driving. I've
boarded up the hole in the rear of the cab (so we won't be sucked
out by the vortex, a common problem with high speed vehicles), installed
the seats, bolted in the windows and I'm ready to roll. I'll take
it home tonight as a short trial.
I start the engine and move the truck out of
the workshop, hmmm, it seems to be idling a bit fast. Then I remember
that the cowling was pressing on part of the throttle linkage.
I was supposed to fix that. Not to worry, the cowling is hinged
to allow access to the engine so I pack one of the hinges to raise
it from the linkage. Let's go home.
My first priority is to get some fuel, I've
already run out once before and once is enough. I've still got
the tiny fuel tank and no working gauge so I'm a bit paranoid
about this. The fuel tank has a spout that extends from the tank
for refuelling. I never really saw the point for this device but
used it anyway. This time it refused to be pushed back into the
tank. Luckily I had a tool kit with me and that kit included a
hammer, a tool I once heard described as "A device used for
changing the shape and/or position of an object". That sounds
like just the thing. I certainly want to change the spout's position,
and I don't much care about it's shape. A few minutes later the
spout is safely inside the tank and I'm on my way. That's a handy
tool, I think I'll be using it again before this project is done.
5 Dec 1998
It's time to ditch the truck's old tray,
I've offered it to Steve as part payment for the work he did on
the motor and chassis extension so we must drive back to Goulburn.
I'm looking forward to being on the road, even if it is only for
a few of hours. On leaving Canberra I spot what looks like a green
4x4 truck-based motor home travelling south on Northbourne Ave.
There's nowhere to turn and anyway we must get to Goulburn. Bugger,
I'd really like to check out that rig.
The engine cowling is not finished and the noise
is uncomfortable (actually I think Chris used the term "excruciating"),
fortunately I had the forethought to bring two pairs of ear muffs.
They're bright yellow and don't really co-ordinate with the purple
of the cab but what the heck. We can't hear the engine much now
but also can't hear each other, still that didn't stop us yelling
and nodding replies for a few hours. Who knows what I agreed to.
Too late I realised that this would have been a good time to ask
if I can buy that new colour scanner.
This vehicle sure draws attention, on returning
to Canberra we drive down Northbourne Avenue and receive strange
looks and smiles at each intersection. One couple appeared particularly
dumb founded and I think I now realise why. They were struck by
our appalling lack of fashion sense, yellow ear muffs and a purple
truck. It just isn't done.
So anyway we're cruising down Northbourne Avenue
when Chris tells me to turn right, "It's a short cut"
she says. Why the alarm bells didn't set off with those words
I'll never know. Maybe they did but I just didn't hear them through
the ear muffs. I turn right, pass a street or two until she tells
me to turn left. It's a really tight corner and one I could do
without after hours of driving. We pass several houses then the
road sweeps left. We pass several more houses and come across
a T intersection. Chris looks puzzled, "What road is this"
she asks. "Northbourne bloody Avenue" was my measured
response as I make a left turn and proceed in the direction from
which we came.
On returning to the workshop I decided to see
how badly covered in bugs the truck's face was. Walking to the
front I start to count them. As it happens there was 13. Not bad
for several hours of driving, then I realised why there were so
few. Have I mentioned how slow this truck is? It's very slow.
How slow? Well let me put it this way, the only place I'll ever
get booked for speeding is in a school zone...between the hours
of 8 'till 4. Anyway, it's extremely slow and thereby hangs the
answer to the bug-free truck face.
Most of them were going in the same direction
I know this because I saw several of the faster
ones pass by. The proof then should be at the rear of the vehicle,
I saunter down and sure enough, it's covered in splattered insects.
30 Dec 1998
I've been a bit slack haven't I, still
it's the holiday season so what the heck. Anyhow I have done some
work, most notably I've replaced the old manual handbrake with
an air operated spring chamber.