We were making our journey from Ringwood with the aptly named by Henk and Pien, the “Ugly Van” sadly the condition it was in, the name was very fitting. The original name was the “Crib Point Hilton” it’s now getting the name Rhombus Explora although this name took some time to come up with. Originally it was supposed to be a clean and a tidy up and then she was going to be sold, so at this point we were preparing to take her home, tidy her up and get her ready for sale……………
We were not even halfway through the long journey home with “Ugly Van”, she is an old girl so she does not go very fast. Slowly up the hill Bill and her went, putt, putt, chugga, chugga. BANG, CRUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Something was seriously wrong, Bill limped her home, and I followed. What should have been a 1 hour trip took over two. We put her on the front lawn and here began the nightmare…………………………….
The head gasket had broken, this was very strange as the engine had been rebuilt not that long ago. We knew that the rebuilt engine had been done properly, all new pistons had gone in, new rings, new timing chain new valves…… EVERYTHING. It should be purring like a kitten and certainly not screaming like a beast, this engine had only done about 5000kms. This is something that just should not have happened, so we were somewhat confused. In fact we didn’t believe that this was wrong as the thought was just so absurd!
Bill and the neighbour tinkered and tinkered, back and forth and then they confirmed that it was the head gasket in amongst a big list of things they found needing repair.
They also had to get to the bottom of why it blew as it was really an odd thing to have happened. They did eventually find out why it blew and it was something that was very much avoidable. The van was supposed to have been taken to the mechanics and have the head re tightened at the 1000kms mark or a few weeks after the new engine had gone in, well we were now years down the track and 5000kms later! No wonder she blew!!
The van was not driven a lot, however it still needed maintaining! This is a basic really, oil does go rancid and spark plugs and chains and so on all get fouled up by environment. Leaving a vehicle unused and only using it on occasion without any sort of basic maintenance is asking for trouble. Sadly it was us that got the wrong end of the stick as it blew on our watch!
This was a task that was going to take many, many months so much was wrong, so much had been left neglected nothing had been attended to for many years, because after all, “it only went a short distance”!
The Repair list!
Adjust the Carburettor
New radiator hoses
As we go deeper and deeper into this blog you will see that everything goes full circle to care and maintenance, vehicles no matter how much or how little that they travel need care. Don’t take for granted that your vehicle has not gone far, it still needs to be looked after! It does not take long and realistically even if you do not drive it, it is still recommended that you service your vehicle at least once a year. The van had not been serviced in 5 years, so that is 5 services that it missed out on and one major engine check up. It’s any wonder that it did not blow earlier!!!