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Car Fully Stickered Up!

Car with decalsThe car now has plenty of sponsors decals on it and as you can see there isn’t much room left but we can squeeze a couple more sponsors in there. It is a shame that these photos don’t do the car justice, to be fair the car does sound nice… sort of like a kitten… that smokes… about 60 Churchill cigars a day!

.And at last, with only a few days before we leave, Royal Mail have finally delivered the replacement shocks so I will take them with me as spares!




Test Run to Glasgow

Well, time to confess. I took advice from Bowser who suggested that as the car is working and handles well and that there is no reason to put the best part of 1,000 high speed & unnecessary miles on the clock, so I didn’t. But I did take it part of the way… to Luton Airport to be exact, again it handled well as long as you didn’t ask it to go over 55mph. Minor problems finding reverse, I know where it should be but sometimes it just isn’t there!

First test run 

60 miles up the M40 to my parents place and then back. 120 miles with no problems to speak of. It didn’t even need to be jump started (as is usually the case) in order to get home.

Well these shocks still haven’t arrived, I believe this to be down to the postal system so I managed to “find” a pair of incorrect but suitable alternatives. Friday evening Bowser yet again volunteered to help fit them and guess what… yup the Daihatsu fought back again! this time the mounting at the bottom of the damper broke. Many expletives were said and options discussed. The favoured option was to ask an engineering friend if he could manufacture a piece to replace the damaged bar. All done Saturday morning and Bowser kindly fitted it Sunday afternoon. We took it for a test drive and everything seems to be in order. I will be driving up to Glasgow next weekend to give it a proper shakedown no problems expected – watch this space 🙂 In the meantime I’ll take it up to Northamptonshire one evening to see if any problems materialise and of course to find out what falls off!

Ahhh, guess what… another problem. One of the rear shock absorbers has gone to the great scrapyard in the sky and the other isn’t too far behind it. A quick phone call to Ian in Notts and fortunately he has a couple of reasonably priced spares – PHEW! The replacements should be here at the beginning of next week. If only he was a professional car breaker I’d be pleased to recommend him to all.

Now we were down to the more minor tasks –

  • Fitting the second battery and extra power points – nearly completed. All the engine wiring has been done (just not connected), a 600 amp battery has been obtained and 3 extra power points have been fitted in the front dashboard. I just need to finish off the battery box and fit some power points in the back. For safety I have also obtained a battery cut out switch so if we use power without the engine running we don’t risk killing both batteries – could be a real bummer not being able to start the car after a night camping in the Sahara!
  • Fitting the replacement windscreen – DONE.
  • Making and fitting a roof rack – not actually started yet and not too sure how to do it, but I have now managed to obtain what looks like some really useful Aluminium bars so I am all ready to give this a bash. – DONE.
  • Provide a custom paint job – well due to the weather this summer and time available this probably won’t happen, but I live in hope.


At long last the turbo unit was fitted and the engine now sounded incredibly sweet. I changed the sludge that was trying to do an impression of oil and took it for a test drive. To be fair the acceleration wouldn’t scare an F1 team but hey – it moves the car.


The new turbo, which was entirely wrong for this engine, has now been fitted by Bowser.




Finding a Car

This was a really difficult choice, not least because of the Rally’s budget restrictions which say that the team can only spend a maximum of £100 buying the vehicle and £15 in rally preparations.Landrover After asking a whole two or three people we were offered a specially adapted land-rover… not too sure what it was specially adapted for, but it sure was adapted. This beauty would have been ideal apart from two “minor” points – firstly it’s “potential” top speed of 50 miles per hour (down hill with a following wind) and secondly it’s lack of leg room – 4,000 miles with my knees wrapped around my ears just isn’t my idea of fun!

Then, after searching the likes of eBay for a couple of weeks, up popped what looked like the ideal motor – Daihatsua 2.8 litre turbo diesel Daihatsu Fourtrak.  According to the advert it was perfect so we drove down to Kent to pick it up and yes it did look good – comfy, fast and best of all four wheel drive. Driving back to base around the M25 the first minor problem, namely that the suspension settings were too soft, was easily sorted by pressing a couple of buttons – magically it worked a treat. But then a second, and somewhat larger, problem materialised – the turbo unit blew up – however we did manage to limp it home. Now have you ever tried to get parts for a Daihatsu? No – well don’t bother, every car spares place I went to smiled but were less than helpful. Eventually I found a really helpful bloke on eBay who supplied most of the parts that I should have needed to get the thing working – a new turbo unit, windscreen & 2 spare wheels with good tyres ready fitted and all at a bargain price! Then the next problem reared it’s ugly head – this nice chap Ian from the Nottingham area had given me exactly what I asked for, but not what I actually needed! Unknown to me, in it’s previous life, this car had a new engine and the new turbo unit didn’t fit. If it could be made to work there is only one person that could do it… an SOS call was needed to an old friend, who just happens to have been one of the main competitors on Channel 4’s Scrap Heap Challenge & Scrappy Races… Bowser Munson!