The weekend started perfectly, car fired up first time, made it no problems to the petrol station, filled with fuel with no leaks and then made it to the first meeting point without any issues! I think there was more surprise than anything else! Anyway, onwards we went. It was our first stop however around 100miles later that I realised I may have an issue. This was not something majorly apparent until we stopped for fuel and I noticed a lovely trail of oil drops following the approximate route of my car. When I investigated, I noticed there was a nice puddle forming under the car. My previous oil leak was not 100% fixed. Thankfully the leak was minor. I was a drip every few seconds, more of a bad seep than leak. I had anticipated this and luckily had 5 litres of oil with me. A quick check of the dipstick and we would be good til the lunch stop. I could let it cool and settle back and assess the problem there.
The first stage was complete, the Zero made it!
Saturday morning we met at Richy's house. He had a jack so I could get under the car and see if I could solve the leak as I was losing oil at around 1 litre per 100 miles....yikes. Thankfully I managed to tighten it up but the issue was due to monumental engine rock (clearly the mounts from GBS can't handle the V6 torque!) this meant the oil cooler was catching on the chassis rail pulling it away from the block, hence the leak.
Undeterred we continued through the rain. Oil became as consumable as fuel and I kept on top of it. The harder I drove the more I lost, so kept my driving rather sedate, helped further as it was the first time in the rain with the new engine and these cars are a handful in the wet at the best of times!
Lunch on Saturday came round fairly quickly, and still no breakdowns! Some might say it was as good as sorted! No more issues and definitely no show stoppers. So on we drove!
One of the far back action shots of the day. Best part about these runs is seeing all the kits in convoy, especially in the hills where you can capture a number in a single shot!
Our final stop on Saturday meant taking over a car park and photo shoot. A successful day driving with the weather picking up in the afternoon and still all the cars going strong! Even I was still going....despite the obvious oil issue.
On Sunday there was an opportunity to have a further run out taking a scenic route back towards home. With the obvious oil leak needing a permanent repair and my oil loss meaning every extra mile meant extra cost to replace the oil lost, I decided it would be best to head straight home. The aim of the trip was to survive without breakdowns and ensure I made it to Wales as I didn't wish to miss out another year of this fantastic trip.
Clearly the best option after all this was to swing by Nandos and pick up a well deserved dinner so I could collapse on the sofa. One thing I have learnt from this trip is the stress and experience this car now provides is exhausting!
However the trooper made it home and straight into the garage without any new problems. Here it will stay for a while as I recuperate and begin making the 'Post Wales Fix List'... it could be extensive!
Nevertheless, mission accomplished! The V6 swap took longer than anticipated and as the Robin Hood spirit goes, it was bodged together to get it round the 600 mile trip. Other than the oil leak and deafening exhausts, it was overall a successful shakedown ready to refine things over winter. Time for a rest though!