It’s been a long road. Very long. Quite bumpy, too.
It was over a year ago now that we had to be rescued from just down the road.
The cause? A broken valve. Of course, things can never be that simple. The valve, a fairly cheap component, fell into the cylinder and was then hit by the piston, breaking all sorts of expensive components…
It looked a bit of a mess and a new cylinder head was fitted along with a new piston and conrod. We took the opportunity to do a few other jobs on the engine. And then we were back on the road. It was a glorious summer.
And yet, things were not quite right.
The engine ran just fine, it got us to foreign lands and across mountain passes. We cooked on campfires and watched Lancasters fly overhead. Which was all great, apart from one little detail, the gas that was getting into the van’s coolant system. We changed this and that. Found a few other problems and fixed those too. The head gasket was replaced, twice. The new head was checked. And still, gas continued to leak into the coolant system. Betty Bus was not in a happy place. She’d lost her cool.
Autumn arrived and the engine was removed, leaving a vast empty space under her stone chipped bonnet.
Time passed. Seasons passed. The leaves on the trees turned from vibrant green to deep reds and bright yellows before finally drying up and falling to the damp ground below, brown and crinkly. Autumn turned to winter and nothing could be found wrong with the engine.
A new year began and as winter released it’s icy grip the engine was stripped and the empty crank case sent to a specialist for testing.
New shoots started appearing and in the woodland the snow drops gave way to bluebells and wild garlic. The engine shop finally reported they’d found the slightest of depressions on the face of crank case. The tiniest of skims later the case was returned and now as the weather warms and spring slowly moves towards summer the engine is being reassembled, ready to go back in the van, ready for another glorious summer of adventures.
Are we there yet dad?
Nearly son. It’s just around the corner.