Saturday, 8 June 2013

REDEX Peugeot rerun - the road repairs

Today, Saturday 8th June, the 60th Anniversary Peugeot Redex  Rerun is on its last day after leaving Maitland on May 14th travelling to far north Queensland, across to Darwin, down to Port Augusta, across the south coast before the final run into Sydney.

Fun and games on day 5.
 We have been able to follow the progress of this adventure through the words of friend & contributor of this site, Ian Hampton, in his The Peugeot #53 Diaries
This is a long trip in a modern car but how did the old Peugeot's handle it. From Ian's dairy we can gain the following insights of the mechanical repairs along the road.

Photos sourced from Ian Hampton
Fri May 17 - Day 4 Bundaberg
Day started just fine, although there was a rattle from the front of the engine, interpreted as a lose timing chain- rattling….. Anyhow - “not so serious” - so blast away in a north-west direction heading for Mount Morgan for lunch - 205 km…. no problem…..
SHOCKER #1 - didn’t miss a pothole on right side and immediately a squeak rattle emanating from left rear… s**t… -skilfully diagnosed at Bororen as “shot” lever arm type shock absorber by guru John Vagg… will have to disconnect the lever arm to test, and most likely replace (spares are available)… OK, not so bad….
SHOCKER #2 - gained advice at railway station lunch that adjusting loose timing chain is easy - done from the outside - don’t even have to remover fan belt…. but on the way driving WEST to Mount Morgan…. The rattle becomes more and more intrusive, and THEN there are rain drops on the windscreen on a sunny-warm day… s***t, know the signs -looks like water pump is “gone”… Not so, thermostat improperly fitted in top radiator hose has caused the fan belt to rub on and cut through the hose… But Peter (super mechanic) very unhappy with wobbly front pulley of water pump - crap not looking good… So - Peter does temporary fox including temporary fix includes removing cooling fan and tightening the front bolt on the water pump pulley and fitting old-ish replacement top radiator hose….. drive on but the front rattle sounds more and more like a death rattle… So FULL STOP… And really quick roadside replacement of dead water pump by Peter, assisted by Stephen Waddington and Josh Frttichot driving the spare parts truck

Day 6 Longreach
Brothers Boyd had solidarity and bonding session replacing busted diff in Keith’s 203 Van

Day 8 Mt Isa
Next task - needed repairs at one stage nearly every Pug along our row of cabins had body and two legs sticking out from under jacked up rear ends…. funny, quaint
Apart from car fixing and tours and looking around the town, our guys spent a great deal of time talking cars, cars, cars - lots of really knowledgeable car guys here, lots of guys who are/have worked in the business…

Day 9 Tennant Creek
Car feels strong…. Annoying rattle from right at but we know is NON structural…. Roll on MB….
Repeat again - what a great event this is…. PCCV take a bow…. The whole thing - the love of the old cars, the little bit of history, the landscapes, the places and the interest of these places, the camaraderie and fun… All priceless…. This event could not be purchased for any money and I expect is not for sale….

Day 12 - maintenance in Darwin day
Today was designated as a rest day and car maintenance day in Darwin
In the case of Maggie Bleu (MB), this turned out to be a pretty long day of toil including one really unwanted event…. Replace water pump - now for the fourth time. MB not the first or only one on this rally/tour…. Opinion is that main reason is that as many of us are running with alternators, there is extra load on the old water pump bearings leading to failures. This was pretty serious work for the apprentice mechanic now without mechanic mentor Peter D. Anyhow he got some help and completed that task along with change engine oil +filter, top up gearbox oil (200 ml), check diff oil level (no problem), and grease as many grease nipples as possible - some refusing to take-on grease. Guru opinion is that this is unlikely to be terminal…

P1100100 (Large)
Day 14 Wycliffe Wells
At the meeting this night - there is some talk about Rod Farrell’s “famous” 1957 VW Beetle, now adorned with a sign on the back window “Peugeot Tow Vehicle”. Most of the talk is from Rod himself.

Day 15 Alice Springs
And now we return to the Rod Farrell VW - confidently styled and labelled by its owner the previous day as the “Peugeot Tow Vehicle”…. How the mighty can “fall” - a stopped VW cannot tow the skin of a banana…. Today Rod loudly blamed some bad fuel purchased the previous day - sourced from near the bottom of the fuel storage tank…. nevertheless he had the great sense to have spare fuel filter/s…. A number of incredibly sympathetic Pug drivers stopped to offer help and sympathy :-)

Day 16 - 17  Yulara
The organisers have provided a spare parts truck which rolls along in the midst of the cars, with just about everything once could think of, just about an engine re-build could be attempted…. There are also another 3 vehicles carrying the officials - 2 later model Pugs and a Toyota Prado which has an a-frame towing device which can be used to tow a vehicle to the next end control/overnight stop. These people are great - always with advice, really expert helping hands and spare parts as/when required…. We are also able to put some our stuff in the truck to create space/lighten the load on the old cars. Net result - lots of amazing major maintenance rebuilds and just about all the cars are still rolling…. Only one complete retirement (I think) - the John Vagg/Mike Jolley P203 with burnt out engine valves….

Maggie Bleu/Number 53 woes
There has been a rattle and some clack clack noise from the rear end of the car since “hitting” a pothole - way back in the early days of the rally. This has defied a few attempts to find what the real problem is…. Graham Wallis advised last night - he thinks is the rear end structure of the car where the shock absorbers are attached (well known weakness in the early 203s

First thing was to remove carpet from boot and find evidence of ,the crack in right rear shocker mount. Then off to Ayers Rock Automotive to line up a welding fix… back to campsite - remove the shock absorber - back to Ayers Rock automotive for a good weld along the crack, some grinding for better fit, quick spray paint job and refit the shocker

Day 21 - Mon 3 June, Barossa Valley Rest Day
Keeping these old girls rolling and powering along over 8,000 km so far has taken a fair amount of work on nearly every car…. this has been facilitated by the spare parts truck and its personnel (spare parts, tools and expert help), by Darwin Auto Club making available their excellent workshop facilities for the rest day/maintenance day in Darwin, and by people on the rally freely volunteering and providing expert advice and assistance whenever required. Some outstanding work has been done along the road, in motel and caravan park yards, and in workshops.
Some of the outstanding mechanical repairs done so far has included:
> Keith and Geoff Boyd replacing differential in Keith’s Peugeot 203 van
» Douglas Fernie and Rowland Tidd replacing gearbox in Doug’s rally P203 in Darwin
»> Peter Nash and Phil Challinor straightening body of Peter’s “true believers” P203 with two pieces of timber and a jack after collision with kangaroo (see photograph) - OUTSTANDING
»» Geoff Boyd and Flash Flanagan replacing throw out bearing in thrust plate of the pressure plate (clutch) in Darwin (required removing the engine) of Geoff’s canary yellow (yellow peril) P203, they also replaced a fuel pump as the key part of the fix for a series of confusing and apparently serious engine problems.
»»> Dave Rowell and Suzanne Moor replacing rear horse shoe mount at the back of gear box which required removing the differential.
»»» This afternoon - Geoff Boyd and Flash Flanagan are replacing their brake booster and re-kitting a front brake calliper.
»»»> As well as the above - a number of water pumps have been replaced, including on MB on the road, in the dark by Peter Dowling with some able assistance, including by Josh from the Spare Parts Truck who also provided a decent fluorescent light to work by.

There are a lot more photos on the official site - 60th Anniversary Peugeot Redex  Rerun

Look forward to Ian filling us in with more on what must have been an adventure of a lifetime

Previous related posts60th Anniversary REDEX Peugeot Rerun. - Day 1
REDEX Peugeot Rerun. - Days 6 & 7
REDEX Peugot rerun, Day 11, to Darwin


    Arrived home today after staying 2 days with our 3 kids in Northern Beaches of Sydney. Old car travelled well Sydney-Cooma and I temporarily parked in driveway.... then thought I should put her away in garage considering possibilty of overnight frost..... went out to start the old girl and.... the starter knob and cable came away in my hand.... luckily this old car has a fully manual crankhandle starter which we employed to get her started and park her away for a well earned rest and a fair bit of maintenance and improvement work including reinstating the starter cable connection.

    > the Rerun was a great experience.... hard to believe now, but I have the blog and plenty of photographs by self and others to go through. -

    >> a trip through the outback is something that everyone from the SE of Australia should make (I reckon), and this one had the additional layers of driving these outstanding old cars, in great company with a fine camaraderie of good humour, expert advice and a helping hand whenever needed...

    >>> I am going to miss many things - the early morning discipline of quick shower, quick breakfast, quick pack the bags and pack the car, check the engine oil and water, some banter with neighbour doing all the same stuff, start and warm up the engine - "sign out" at start control, and then out out onto the road for the days adventures....

    >>>> Just about every day there was something completely unexpected and outstanding....

    >>>>> Future will (I think and hope) be some more travelling to the outback.... gotta see more and experience more of this great big country....

    >>>>>> Also, I want to keep on with this "game" of restoring, maintaining and driving these great old cars....

  2. Good to hear Ian, I have enjoyed reading about your drive but to experience a long rally like this one would really be something else.
    Looks like instead of getting it out of your system the travel & old car restoration bugs have firmly taken hold.


Welcome to a place that has a focus (but not exclusively) on regional and rural Australia open for anyone living anywhere to read, learn and interact. Please feel free to make a comment.

You can use some HTML codes such as, a for active; b for bold; i for italics

Active code - substitute a for @
<@ href="web address">linked words

[Click Here] for a link to another site where there is a very good simple explanation.