I wonder if anyone has ever bought a vehicle and saved money. A friend of mine purchased an old jaguar in the UK when he was on holiday for 990 pounds, and two months later sold it for a 1000, which to me is tantamount to witchcraft.
This week it was the turn of the clutch. It had long been giving me problems in the low gears, so thought I’d set about changing it up now whilst I have time and money coming in the door rather than trying to find a mechanic in the middle of an Eskimo’s back yard whilst being chased by a big hungry polar bear. The excellent Wodonga Brake and Clutch in, surprise-surprise, Wodonga, provided the necessary man-power and skills, taking the piece apart and showing me where the problems were. It’s the small things like that, to me at least, that make a service worthwhile. Whilst in theory anyone can change a clutch, it’s a professional that explains what was wrong, shows you pictures, explains the finer details of the new clutch and its advantages of the old, recommends you come back for a free check in 1000km time, and then gives you some promotional mugs, t-towels and tim-tams as part of the deal. As any Australian knows, you make friends instantly by providing tim-tams, it’s like outback currency.
I’ve also been keeping electronic logs constantly of my vehicle and the costs associated, including the entire vehicle history: what changes were made, when they were made, who made them, at what mileage and how much they cost. I’ve been a little scared to work out exactly the total of how much things have cost, like opening the door to a murderous bloodbath. I’ll keep that surprise for a rainy day when I’m fully supported by a strong chair and a stronger mug of Scotch. The advantage of having those electronic logs, as well as the original invoices from numerous mechanics (as well as photocopies of them and digital scanned copies) means that if I ever need to make changes or check when something was done, I can look it up on my phone, iPad or laptop in a blink of an eye.
What else happened this week? I finally tried out my new camping bed in a local park. As luck would have it, the mattress is hard as nails, I slept barely at all, it rained constantly all night, and I woke up to try some filming and photography only to find the rain just kept coming down. So that was nice. Please see my post from a few weeks ago about constantly winning. I did find one camping spot with just a burnt-out car and a small brown pond . . . no amount of tim-tams can save you from being hacked to death and chucked in a pond, so I went onwards to the next camp spot with two other vehicles. It’s about simply spreading risk of imminent death, you see.
Quick Paint Job
This week I also spray-painted the cover of the water-pump taking about twenty years off it, re-created the fridge stand with some additional tie-downs, applied silicone to the hinges at the front of the vehicle (for the camping tent) along with more silicone above the windscreen. This was due to some leaking that is coming through from ‘somewhere’ and through into the cabin, much to my chagrin. Naturally it was all cleaned beforehand with what is effectively a bloody large electric toothbrush stolen from a giant, no doubt. I’ve also been toying with far longer than necessary with my flyscreens . . . urghhh, what an event this has turned out to be.
So magnetic flyscreens for a vehicle cost about $80 a piece. Would need two to get some air-flow, so that’s $160. I figured I could make my own with some mesh that as literally floating down the street and into my arms. With some magnetic tape from e-bay for $15 and a friend stitching some fabric onto the sides, I had myself the beginnings of a flyscreen. The super-glue though was too brittle and came away at a pinch, so now I’m using silicone. Fingers crossed this time, as I’m getting bloody sick of these flyscreens already! When on the Antipodean Adventure with Dwyer, one of the things we hated doing was opening the window. If we did this, it immediately let alone beautiful cold air (sometimes) but also a myriad of mosquitos. This will allow us to open up the windows in peace, relatively. Although I’m still taking my mosquito net.
We also hosed down the old girl and started to give her a bit of a polish. I brought some new wax & polish to give her a good clean, and finally I christened my new machine as well which I’m very happy about. Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Izzy (short for ‘issues’).
The blog will be a record of everything - from idea conception to old age in making this adventure happen
You can find the excellent 2006 Antipodean Adventure blog by Dwyer Rooney here