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29th January 2018
Old Romanian Truck
A week ago I found myself inspecting 3 Cold War trucks: one clearly used for parts, one looked perfectly usable but neglected, and one that looked like it definitely was a runner.
Sure enough, with 1000 Dalasi changing hands (I could have got it for half that, however I was excited), the driver and mechanic fired up the Praga aircooled straight 6 diesel, and off I drove for an hour's jolly around the sand tracks of Tendabe.
It really is a delight, that engine, the airbrakes, no other fluids at all, all combine to make it a perfect vehicle for the African bush: which explains why it fires up on the button so sweelty. The gearshift gate was pretty much shot, making it easy to find reverse, but the remaining 4 gears were a little frustrating - although I did manage a perfect double declutch from 4th to 3rd for one of the dry river crossings.
Given a week's work, and a clutch disc, I reckon this would be a lovely vehicle to drive back up to Morocco and across to Gibraltar, to then ship home - I would truly love to have one of these. In fact, I suspect with one hour's practice one could do reasonable clutchless gearchanges, and therefore not worry about the clutch disc - the gearbox itself seemed very sweet.
As for that gorgeous engine: I can't help wondering if it is genetically related to the Deutz diesels?

As for real work, the PV544 is pretty much ready to rally again, having dried out from its immersion on the Winter Classic, I just need to refit the passenger door, as soon as the paint has dried. It has 4 new wheel bearings, and the Monit Hall-effect sensor had (surprisingly) failed during its immersion: it looks for all the world entirely sealed, yet I guess the potting wasn't perfect after all.
As for today, the Electricity Board was working on the 3 phase, so we had no power all day - however the wee 240v generator meant that we appeared to be open all day, despite the lack of internet when the UPS gave up at lunchtime.
Amy's 145: I removed the rear side glass trims, and Jenolite'd liberally - ideally we'd whip out the glass and repair the metal lips, however there just isn't time, so we'll try and slow the rot, and run a bead of Sikaflex 291i around the seal to prevent further water ingress.
As for trying to fit a lock to the tailgate (missing when we bought it), I needed the compressor running to (delicately) grind out the locking profile, so that will have to wait now till tomorrow late pm.

First of all I need to build up Mike Harrison's competition B18, then whip out the engine of the C-reg 120 which is getting a stock A-cam rebuild...
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