Monday 13th May 2013, Coonabarabran.
We now have the car back and can make a move from here tomorrow. The repairs were rather expensive, but that happens, and the car does seem to be going exceptionally well with the short test run I gave it, tomorrow will tell. I am reasonably happy with the end result with the mechanics, but then with the amount of money I spent there one would expect a bit better service. They did provide good service, such as the rental vehicle was provided by them and it was provided on the basis that it was ours until we got our car back at a charge of only what RAC covered, we had it for 9 days. The report on the repairs and other things I asked them to do was very extensive and much more informative than any other from anybody else, so I guess if I had to I would recommend them.
I now have the car repacked and ready for a hitch up and move tomorrow so we can get to Beachmere later this week. It is raining at the moment, and forecast for tonight, so it is hopeful that tonight will be another night not being as cold as it has been, then we will be in warmer areas.
Friday 10th May 2013, Coonabarabran.
There are more woes with the vehicle. It was much hoped that the car would be ready today so we could head off tomorrow, but a small incident this afternoon saw a delay of three hours in the repair, so the end result was that they could not complete the repairs by knock off time, and they are not open on the weekend, so it is now wait until they can complete the job on Monday. The small incident was the dropping of a small ‘pin’ in the engine, and it had to be found before continuing, it was supposedly one of the very last things that had to be done before job completion. It really has not been one of my better weeks this week. One thing that may help, one day, is the manager at the workshop has agreed to undertake a claim for me against Ford for recompense for damages caused by the obviously faulty part. Whether this will be fruitful is probably doubtful but one can only try. I guess we have no option now but to go and pay for another three days stay here and continue waiting.
Tuesday 7th May 2013, Coonabarabran.
Here is another report on the mechanical situation. It appears that there is enough damage to the head and associated parts to require a new complete head replacement, and fortunately, at this stage, there does not seem to be any damage with the lower portion of the engine, but all will be ultimately revealed on completion of head replacement. This hopefully being the case, we will still be up for a substantial repair bill, but nowhere near as much as if there was lower engine damage. We will be here in Coonabarabran until at least Saturday, repairs are dependent on parts delivery, and then attaining the finances in time will ultimately dictate our departure date. We have accepted now that we will just have to grin and bear the cold nights we are experiencing while here.
Monday 6th May 2013, Coonabarabran.
It was not good news at all this morning, when a call from the mechanic revealed some of the extent of damage. Removal of the rocker cover revealed several broken rockers, so now it is suspected that the head itself may be damaged. Removal of the head, the next thing to be done, will reveal any further damage, including if a piston suffered at all. It will not make my day at all if there is damage to the pistons because that will mean a very expensive repair job with the entire motor having to be removed, and it is going to cost enough already. One of the biggest problems at this stage is that we are stuck in Coonabarabran and the nights here would have to be the coldest for this entire area, looking at the weather site just now shows that it has been as low as 0 and -1 the last couple of nights, but at least it does warm up to 20 plus during the day. RAC paid for the towing and is going to provide us with a rental car and other benefits for a few days so this has taken off a bit of the pressure. Now it is wait to find out what other damage has been done.
Saturday 4th May 2013, Coonabarabran.
How does one start the stories of events of the day? We had mechanical problems 25K south of Coonabarabran with a broken timing belt on the car, theoretical at this point, and we had to call on the RAC again. The ironic part of the event is that with normal servicing of the car, the timing belt is to be changed every 120,000 Kilometres, the car has done 118,500 Kilometres with the 120K service planned to be done when we arrived at Beachmere, didn’t quite make it did it. The car has now been towed off to the workshop after they dropped us and the van at the caravan park at Coonabarabran. We had intended to go to Narrabri today, another 150K north, but it now looks like we will be here for several unplanned days, which will throw out any plans we had for the remaining legs to Beachmere. More later.