Category Archives: T2

How to improve on a classic!. The best selling version of the Transporter

Ask The Mechanic – Windscreen wiper condition

This issue, The Mechanic takes a look at
an often overlooked but important issue,
windscreen wiper condition.


Windscreen
wipers are an
invaluable part
of any vehicle,
providing
the driver
with a clear,
unobstructed
view of the
road when it
is needed most. Whether it is rain, sleet, snow or
leaves covering your windscreen, the wiper blades
will quickly and efficiently clear the obstruction,
meaning you can continue your journey in safety.
However, of all the parts of a car which are subject
to wear and tear, windscreen wipers are perhaps
the most fragile. Manufactured from thin rubber,
they are designed to operate smoothly on the
windscreen without damaging the surface of
the glass, yet despite their fragility they are often
required on a daily basis, possibly for long periods
of time during wet weather. In winter they
become frozen to the glass and in summer they
are used to help to clean the windscreen, while
being subjected to high temperatures. It is hardly
surprising then, that windscreen wipers do not
last indefinitely and require regular replacement.
Often the need to replace wipers is overlooked,
although regular servicing and MOT testing
should identify if they are becoming worn.
However, rather than relying on these tests to
assess the condition of the blades, car owners
should be aware of the common signs that the
windscreen wipers are failing, especially with
autumn upon us. So what are they?
Streaking: blades that are in good condition
should clear the rainwater from the windscreen
effortlessly, in one complete action.
This means there should be no streaks of water
where the blade has failed to make contact with
the glass.
Unusual noises: windscreen wipers should
operate with minimal noise or ideally should
be silent. Sounds such as squeaks, screeches
or scrapes could indicate that the blades have
become worn.
Irregular movement: wiper blades which are in
good condition will move smoothly across the
windscreen. As they become worn over time,
you may notice that the blades judder
on operation which is an indication that
replacement may be necessary.
Ragged or distorted blades: visually inspecting
the condition of the windscreen wipers should
be a weekly task for all vehicle owners. By
lifting the arms of the wipers away from the
windscreen, you can quickly assess the condition
of the rubber. Ragged, jagged or distorted edges,
where the blade makes contact with the glass,
should prompt you to replace them immediately.
Worn blades may not only hinder your vision, but
can also damage your windscreen, which will in
turn not only cost you dearly in a replacement
screen, but also hinder your vision even more,
making it dangerous to drive with the vehicle in
such a condition.
Replacement blades can be picked up very
cheaply for all types of van, so there is no excuse
not to check yours and change if required, but
remember… “Buy Nice or Buy Twice”.

Member’s motor – Paul and Vicki McManus – Beryl

For this edition of Member’s Motor, we look
at Paul and Vikki McManus’ recent purchase
of Beryl, their 1973 Early Bay Window.
I’m Paul, I work as a designer in the civil service
and Vikki works in HR with the NHS. We have 3
children: Ella 20, Dylan 18, Jonah 15 and Buxton,
our 3 year old Cockapoo.
I have always wanted to own a classic vehicle.
My dad was an engineering fitter by trade and
a talented mechanic. I have fond memories of
watching him work on the family cars and he took
myself and my siblings to the annual Steam Rally
at Shanes Castle in my native Northern Ireland.
My love of classic cars was nurtured there and a
favourite family photograph shows me sitting on
my Dads Citroen DS Safari! Vikki’s first car was a
VW Beetle which her mum christened, Baldrick!
We decided that we wanted to buy a VW camper
whilst we were walking Buxton in the grounds of
the local cricket club, when a gentleman pulled
up in his late bay.
The brief conversation we had with him
continued as we walked, and a seed was planted.
I tend to research things fairly thoroughly before
committing. It was important the van suited our
lifestyle and it was something we were both
keen on. My research led me to Westfalias, which
I understand were one of the few companies
that purchased mini buses to convert, others
opting to buy panel vans and cut their own
windows. I particularly liked the interior styling of
the Westfalias. It was then the question anyone
who’s bought a classic vehicle has to answer
what condition and how much?! We did consider
a project, but as we looked further, we came to
the conclusion that a fully restored Westfalia Bay
was what we wanted.
Our search criteria was fairly specific and I
was able to locate a few options online and
discovered our van on Facebook; it’s a 1973
Westfalia Continental, first registered in 1974.


I contacted Adam, who had restored the van and
was very impressed by his knowledge and the
work he’d done. I asked if it was possible for him
to send me a video and he and his partner Alex
kindly did so a few days later.
I kept Vikki fully informed on the vans I’d found
and we both agreed Adams van was one we
wanted to go and view ourselves. We set off
to Doncaster in August 2021 and met up with
Adam, one of the pictures shows Vikki standing
next to the driver’s door and her smile says it all.
It was love at first sight!
I had a slight concern that Vikki might find driving
a classic off putting, but it brought back lovely
memories of her Beetle and she was hooked.
The van looked even better in real life too, Alex,
Adam’s partner, had chosen the upholstery and
we loved the nod to the plaid interiors of the late
70’s bays and how it toned with the overall colour
scheme. The interior is completely original aside
from the upholstery, the floor and the fridge.
I agreed a price with Adam subject to an
independent review, but was somewhat
embarrassed to get a second opinion, as to
my untrained eye it appeared to be a stunning
restoration. Adam was more than happy to have
someone review his work however and Nick, an
aircooled specialist in Doncaster, put the van on
the ramp and inspected it thoroughly.
Nick was so impressed by the van that he refused
to take any payment for the review, saying he
was delighted to find someone with Adam’s
expertise locally and reviewing such a van had
been an absolute pleasure. This was my first taste
of the special bunch of people that VW owners
are. Nick runs a Splitty and his mate has a show
winning bay. Nick said Adam’s van would provide
stiff competition for his mate’s van, so I was more
than happy!

Some of the work carried out during the restoration includes:
‹ Paintwork taken back to a bare shell.
‹ Welding repairs to body and chassis.
‹ Running gear and steering overhauled with
new parts where necessary.
‹ Braking system has had a full replacement of
all hydraulic and friction components.
‹ Engine stripped down to bare casings,
cleaned, inspected, and rebuilt with all new
bearings, seals, refurbished cylinders and
pistons, reconditioned genuine cylinder
heads and finished off with a genuine
Ernst exhaust.
‹ The original Solex carburettor has benefited
from a strip, clean, and rebuild.
‹ The fuel pump has been upgraded to an
electric version with safety cut off.
‹ The ignition has been replaced with an
electric item to eliminate the constant and
often problematic maintenance of the
points and condenser.
‹ A large, fully functioning fridge is in place of
the old cool box.
‹ Underslung fresh water storage tank twice
the size of the original has been fitted.
‹ 240v mains hook up with the addition of a
leisure battery for off-site camping.
‹ All seating has been recovered and the
rear bench seat has been fitted with three
seat belts.
‹ 12v socket for charging of phones etc
and an iPod compatible stereo.
‹ New pop top canvas with side
opening windows

As soon as Nick confirmed the van was indeed
the superb restoration we believed it was, we
paid the deposit and I began clearing the garage
to ensure she had a new home. We drove over to
Doncaster again in late August 2021 and I drove
the van home over the M62, which I understand
is the highest motorway in England.
I have to admit, I was slightly nervous, having
only had a brief test drive up to that point, but
she never missed a beat and coped with the hills
without issue!
Strangely enough, I saw 3 other cars at the
roadside that day with overheated engines and
another on fire!
Since getting her home we have named
her Beryl. She is painted Beryl Green and Lotus
White, so ‘Beryl’ seemed like a good fit. I have
installed a period VW Stereo and the batteries
are linked to a Noco Genius 2 x 2 to keep them
in tip top condition.
We bought Beryl at the end of the season but
have managed a day trip to see Vikki’s parents
in Thornton Cleveleys and an overnight stay
with Buxton our Cockapoo at Bolton Abbey in
Yorkshire. We loved staying in Beryl and look
forward to many more trips and shows in the
coming years, perhaps we will meet a few of you
along the way.
Paul and Vikki

Club Event – RAF Odiham Family Day 2021

Can it be a year already?

August 14th 2021 saw the return of RAF Odiham’s Family
Day. The club had several vans in attendance as
part of the show’s classic car event and members
camped for the weekend at a nearby pub.
The day involved displays from resident
Chinooks, Typhoons and also the Red Arrows,
who put on an excellent 40 minute display.
This event is getting better and better each
year and we are privileged as a club to be invited
to attend.
Photo credit to David Eaton.

Tales from the driving seat – Wonderful Wales Part 3

Continuing our 2020 Social Distance Summer
Road Trip, we left Wales and headed north to
Scotland, but we had to reach the border first
and decided to spend a night in the Lake District
on our way north to break up the journey.
The journey from Wales to the Lake District was
long and uneventful. 200 miles in a VW Camper
at 55mph is quite a slog, but we are used to
long durations on the road and somehow in
the camper it never seems as bad as being in a
car. Maybe that’s because the camper feels like
being at home? At least you can pull over pretty
much whenever you like and make a cuppa!
On arrival at the Lake District, we hit
Windermere. We aren’t staying here, but it’s the
starting point for a road through the mountains
that I have wanted to drive ever since coming
to this location by accident four years ago; the
Kirkstone Pass!
For those who know the Lake District well
enough, you may know there are two places
called Troutbeck.
One of them is close to Penrith and has a
campsite, the other is near to Windermere and
doesn’t! Four years ago I drove to the wrong
Troutbeck and haven’t been able to live it down.
The Kirkstone pass pretty much runs between
the two, but we weren’t brave enough to take
on the pass last time we visited (first time towing
the camping trailer and didn’t know if we would
make it!… bearing in mind one of the roads on
the pass is called “The Struggle!” and so we took
the long way round instead.
From the Windermere side of the pass in
the south, it’s a long uphill jaunt along harsh
mountain roads with tall, threatening, exposed
rock faces, narrow sections and tight bends.
After what seems like a lifetime with my foot
flat on the throttle (I don’t dare back off incase
we can’t get going again!) we make it up to the
summit of the road, which is surrounded by
even taller mountain peaks and rocky landscape

The area is partly submerged in cloud, but there
is a cafe at the top and there are bikers gathered
(cars too) who have been enjoying the twisty
black stuff.
The road back down the other side towards the
North is very similar; steep, twisty and narrow!
One main difference now is the pedal choice.
Instead of the right one being hard to the floor,
I am covering and pumping the middle one in
the hope that we don’t get brake fade! (That’s
a story for another day!) The route down treats
you to magnificent views over Ullswater in the
distance and when you do eventually reach it,
the road follows the undulating contours of the
shoreline, providing a few places along the way
where you can stop and enjoy the views over
the water, maybe even have a paddle.
We don’t stop as we are keen to get a decent
pitch secured for the night and head to our
campsite at Troutbeck Head. To get to the site
from Ullswater you have to climb the hill at Aira
Force waterfall, which is understated at steep.
Don’t forget to look in your mirrors to appreciate
the stunning views!
We have visited Aira Force waterfall in the past.
It’s a very popular National Trust attraction and
has a sizeable car park, but on a day with decent
weather it gets extremely busy.
Here’s a top tip: Visit the waterfall on a really rainy
day. It will be virtually empty and the falls will be
even more spectacular! Just make sure you pack
your waterproofs as you will get wet!
After checking into the site and enjoying a
cuppa, we head back out down to Ullswater and
see if we can find a spot to stop on the shoreline
to let Ruby (our springer spaniel) have a paddle.
It’s rammed. It’s summer, it’s the school holidays
and people have been in a covid lockdown for
4 months!
We follow the road around Ullswater and
up to Penrith to get some supplies. If you’re in
the area, this is a great spot to pick up essentials
before heading off into the wilderness for a few
nights. Within 5 minutes of each other, there
is a Morrisons, an Aldi and a Booths! There’s
also a Pets At Home and a Go Outdoors. So
everyone, including travelling pets, should be
well catered for.
With stocks of essential supplies and the fridge
filled with dog food (should really be cold
alcoholic beverages in there), we head back
down to Ullswater again and Bingo!.. The crowds
and families have now left as it’s tea time, so we
park up and head down to the shore. I pack a
towel and my swim shorts… just in case.

When we get down there, the views are
simply stunning. There are some beautiful and
picturesque places in the UK, but this has got
to be up there. It is hard to believe that we are
still in England, this could easily be the Italian
lakes! The sun is shining on the mountains on
the other side of Ullswater, which is flat calm and
quiet. Ruby needs no persuasion and is straight
in the water. I follow in my flip flops… wow! That
is seriously cold!!
Feeling brave, or possibly just delirious from
driving all day, I don my swim shorts and head
in. After 5 mins of walking up and down up to
my waist with excuses about how it’s too cold
and how I will develop hypothermia, I go for the
dunk. I’m in. It’s freezing! As I paddle I start to
loosen up and feel the refreshing water washing
over me. After 5 minutes or so I realise that the
water is so cold it is making my skin tingle and
I feel bits of me going numb. I carry on a while
before making the decision to get out whilst I
am not shivering with teeth chattering together
like one of those wind up toys!
I dried myself off and we headed back to the
camper. Ruby got to have her favourite towel
dry and we head back to base at the campsite
for dinner. We have a short walk in some nearby
footpaths before the sun goes down and head
to bed in preparation of another long day that
will take us further north and across the border
into Scotland!
Phil Aldridge
“Tales From The Driving Seat” is on Instagram
@talesfromthedrivingseat and blogspot
www.talesfromthedrivingseat.blogspot.com

Ask The Mechanic – Fitting a hot start relay

If you have an air-cooled van and experience
the dreaded “click” when trying to start your van,
it could be that the original wiring and ignition
switch now has a higher resistance than it did
back in the 70’s and cannot cope with the current
required to turn the engine over using the starter
motor.
One way to counteract this is to fit a relay that
takes the current load and the ignition switch
activates the relay.
A relay sourced for this application can be
purchased from Just Kampers; JK part number
J12928.
Parts required
‹ Suitable cable for wiring the relay – suggest
Halfords 12v 17A cable sold in 4m reels
‹ Several crimp connectors
‹ The relay itself – JK part number J12928
Method
It is advisable to always disconnect the vehicle’s
battery before carrying out any work on the
electrical system.

  1. Mount the relay in a safe place as close to the
    starter motor as possible.
  2. Take the existing wire from terminal 50 on
    the solenoid and extend it to reach the relay
    position.
  3. Connect this extension from terminal 50 on
    the solenoid to terminal 86 on the relay.
  4. Now connect terminal 85 on the relay to a
    good earth on the vehicle body/chassis.
  5. Connect terminal 87 of the relay to the live
    terminal of the vehicle’s battery.
  6. Now connect terminal 30 on the relay back
    to terminal 50 on the starter solenoid.

Whilst every attempt is made to ensure that
these instructions are as accurate and clear as
possible, the author or club itself cannot be
held responsible for misinterpretation of these
instructions or for any subsequent accident or
damage caused through mis-fitted parts.

Eric the Viking – a restoration in many parts – October 2021

Spend since last report: £427. Total hours labour since last report: 52

Last time I had finished the offside suspension and the brakes were in progress. This time I’ve managed to do rather a lot!

In order: The front suspension and front brake is back together on the offside, the gearbox is out, the underside of the fuel tank was then accessible to get its rust removed.


The steering box has mostly been cleaned up, so has the gearbox and Eric is back on his wheels.

A large chunk of the current work was the cab floor. The driver’s side was pretty ropey and the outer half needed replacing. I chose to remove more good metal than was really necessary to give a straight line of seam weld to reduce the visible change. I was also able to rust proof the tops of the chassis rails at the same time. The passenger side was less rotten and was a smaller patch plus a final rectangle in the middle just behind the handbrake and we have good strong metal all welded in.

Then primer time but my spray gun had a fault and it looked rubbish and will need smoothing before top coat. Nonetheless rather improved!

The next part of the project is going to be interesting! The offside middle panel opposite the sliding door is a fixed panel. Several years ago I replaced the lower part of that panel and the outer sill with a cheat panel that is all joined together. It looks ok but the top of the original panel had been damaged in an accident many years ago and there was a lot of filler. I also cut the edge off the lower replacement panel as it was slightly too large but welding that cut in looked rubbish.

I had bought a replacement lower sliding door panel which is the same on both sides and I picked up a new outer sill at Busfest because otherwise it was £17 for the sill and £7 postage!

Outer sill joins the middle sill which is new metal, so it was quite a quick win. More on this next time as I have a plan so cunning that it could be a fox who has just been made Professor of Cunning at Cambridge University.

Finally, I was on Facebook one evening and someone that I did not know called Jon was asking for more information about this picture. He and I got chatting, and that’s Eric in the picture with Jon’s Grandad at some point in the 80s. That roof was changed to the Paris roof that arrived with Eric, the paintwork had mostly been replaced with primer and rust, and the front grill was missing. The louvre windows I have and the rust hole from the aerial on the roof was quite extensive! I am not currently looking to sell Eric as I want to finish him and then use him, but Jon has first dibs if that day should ever arrive. Talk about a small world – only 15 more owners to find and I will know the whole history.

Members motor – Mel Gulliford – Platybus

For this edition of Member’s Motor, we look
at Mel’s Bay, called “Platybus”. This is what she
had to say about it.
Back in 2010, my husband Mark announced
one day that he’d always fancied getting an old
camper van. This was news to me, but I figured
it was just a passing fancy and that he’d soon get
over it! Anyway, to cut a long story short, he did
some research and after a couple of false starts,
eventually found a van that someone in North
Wales was selling.

The van had originally been imported from
Australia and had eventually ended up in sunny
Wales. She’d been converted to run on both
petrol and LPG. Bearing in mind that Mark had
never driven a camper van before, he persuaded
a mate to drive him to Wales and then Mark
would drive the van back! As you can imagine,
my main concern was that the van would break
down on the way back and I would have to go
and fetch him from goodness knows where.
Fortunately, the van behaved itself and he got
safely home, after an epic 5 hour journey.
Over the next 3 or 4 years, our family had a
couple of trips in it down to Wales and 2 trips to
Devon. Despite a couple of hiccups, we got there
and back in one piece. Then about 5 years ago,
we went to an open day at Just Kampers down in
Hampshire. We’d already discussed having a full
restoration on the van and we met a chap from
a company called Voodoo VW. We duly agreed to
take the van down to his workshop in Newbury
so we could talk about what we wanted done on
the van. We felt totally reassured that they would
carry out the work we wanted done and basically
left them to get on with it. You know the saying
“be careful what you wish for?”.

Well, unfortunately things didn’t pan out the
way we wanted them to; the company went
bust and we had to fetch the van from down
near Newbury and pay someone to fix the bits
that hadn’t been done properly. We eventually
got the van back and at present it’s sitting on
the forecourt of a friend’s garage, waiting for the
engine to be taken out to investigate an issue
with the hydraulics. We love the van, she’s been
brilliant when she works, but it’s like they say, it’s
been a labour of love.

She’s called the Platybus, because when we were
cleaning out the glove compartment, we found
an Australian coin with what we thought had
a platypus on it. It transpired that it’s actually a
Spiny Anteater, but we decided to stick with
Platybus.
I really hope that one day soon we can get to go
camping again in the bus and that we can iron
out all the little niggles we’ve discovered since
the van was “restored “. We’ve since discovered
that the chap who ran Voodoo VW is back
running a company restoring camper vans, after
declaring to us that he wanted nothing more to
do with the VW scene… ! Hey ho…”
Best wishes,
Mel

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Odiham

The Club on tour – Just Kampers, Odiham, Hampshire

June 10 to 12 2022

6 members were in the dedicated club field with more coming over to say Hello. 15 new members joined on the day, lots of money raised for charity for the Phyllis Tuckwell hospice. Live music from multiple bands, open air cinema on Friday (Breakdance) and Saturday (Karate kid), a big raffle with prizes worth up to £700 each.

Another great weekend at JK.

Tales from the driving seat – Wonderful Wales Part 2

We head into Aberystwyth to pick up some
essentials; dog food, milk and petrol! Not
wanting to waste the trip into town, we head
to the seafront and take a drive along the
promenade. We are pleasantly surprised by the
lovely Victorian buildings and a funicular cliff
railway too!
Stocked up with supplies and the tank full to
bursting with petrol, we head north and are
looking forward to today’s route which will take
us on a B road that follows the coast around the
southern part of Snowdonia rather than going
through it and then into the National Park to
camp for the night.
The start of the coastal road happens
immediately after crossing the river/estuary at
Machynlleth via an old stone bridge and then
turning left off the main A road and following
the river on your left. As roads go, this one is
beautiful. The surface is smooth, with a stone
wall on one side and a cliff face the other, it
undulates over and around the coastal features,
giving us amazing views over the river and sea.
As we get closer to the coast, the road becomes
lined with old oak trees, growing out of the cliff
and hanging over the edge.
Our first stop on this route is a small seaside
town called Aberdovey. There is a golf club, a
beach and beach related stuff. We drive through,
noticing people pointing and commenting at
the camper… this often happens and I sometimes
wonder if they are pointing at something falling
off! But you get used to it and you soon realise
that driving a bright blue camper van with an
exhaust that announces your arrival everywhere
you go is going to get you attention.
The road picks up as it comes out of Aberdovey,
but its only a short run before the next small
town called Tywyn. On our way in we notice
the large amount of static caravans surrounding
the area. The town is pleasant and has all the
makings of a seaside location, with a decent
looking Co-Op if you need supplies! The beach
is clean and there is also a narrow gauge steam
railway here too.

From Tywyn the road heads inland to avoid
another river estuary and make the crossing via
a bridge.

There is a ferry that can take you across, but
we took the road to save time. Once you cross
over the river, the road heads back towards the
coast and is it does, starts to climb. As the road
meets the coast you are met with one of the
most beautiful coastal roads we have driven.
There are numerous lay by areas to pull over and
appreciate the view, which we did.
We followed the coastal road until reaching
the larger town of Fairbourne. To continue
from here there are a few options; a ferry direct
to Barmouth, a modern road bridge several
miles inland or an old rickety wooden bridge
that resembles a seaside pier… guess which
option we went for?! The old wooden bridge
at Penmaenpool is a toll bridge, costing 80p for
cars and £1 for motorhomes. We are technically
driving a Motorhome, despite being car sized,
but I don’t mind paying the extra 20p to keep
the bridge maintained. The crossing is bumpy as
the wooden sections are uneven, but we make
it across safely without encountering any trolls
who want to eat us for their supper!
After crossing the bridge we head into Barmouth.
Barmouth is a seaside resort with everything
you would expect; amusements, chip shops,
sandy beaches and a long promenade. It was
busy. Really busy. We stopped for a while on the
promenade and watched the crowds but didn’t
venture out of our own space inside the camper.
From Barmouth we follow the road all
the way to the end of the coastal route at
Penrhyndeudraeth and make our way up to the
campsite which is only 5 minutes up the road.
Nearby is the village of Portmeirion; a tourist
village, designed and built by Sir Clough
Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village,
which is now owned by a charitable trust. We
didn’t visit as we didn’t have any time left in the
day, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the area!

In the evening we pop back into
Penrhyndeudraeth to look for some dinner
and find several takeaway options including
a Chinese, Indian, kebab and chippy. What a
fantastic selection. We opt for the Indian and
head back to the site to rest up in preparation
for the next day – Snowdonia!

We set off from our site the next morning
heading for Anglesey. It’s a shorter trip today,
taking in the sites that Snowdonia has to offer.
On the route we pass through Beddgelert,
which has an interesting story. The town is home
to a legendary site called Gelert’s Grave. In the
legend, Llywelyn The Great returns from hunting
to find his baby missing, the cradle overturned,
and his dog Gelert, with a blood-smeared
mouth. Believing the dog had savaged the child,
Llywelyn draws his sword and kills Gelert. After
the dog’s dying yelp Llywelyn hears the cries
of the baby, unharmed under the cradle, along
with a dead wolf which had attacked the child
and been killed by Gelert. Llywelyn is overcome
with remorse and buries the dog with great
ceremony, but can still hear its dying yelp. After
that day Llywelyn never smiles again.
You can park in the village and walk to the site,
however the morning has brought much rain
with it and so we decide to carry on with a
journey.

We follow a road that takes us past a beautiful
lake called Llyn Dinas, there are a few spots
along the side of the road to stop and if you’re
brave enough, take a paddle

The road starts to meander and climb slowly,
this becomes more apparent as you come past
Llyn Gwynant. There are some tight bends on
the climb and I notice views in my mirrors!
We eventually come to a small car park
which boasts a view of Snowdon. The Peak of
Snowdonia and the highest peak in England
and Wales at 1085m. We get a few snaps here
as the clouds break over the mountain and also
take advantage of the ice cream van parked here
too… it’s never too cold or wet for an ice cream!
We continue our journey through Snowdonia,
past Snowdon, and Pen y Pass, where there were
many cars being turned away as it was so busy.
We climb up and over the pass that flows in the
valley on what started as a miners track, down to
the village of Llanberis. You can walk Snowdon
from here as well and if your legs aren’t up to it,
take the train up too!
From Llanberis we make our way out of
Snowdonia, the landscape changes quickly
from Mountains to flat land and trees. We arrive
at Bangor, singing the famous song as we do
and then travel over to Anglesey on the Brittania
Bridge. We notice the large amount of farming
and gorgeous rolling countryside. We stop at
some beaches at Cemaes in the northern part of
the island and on our way to our campsite stop
off at a lovely harbour in Amlwch Port.
The next part of our journey will see us leaving
Wales and heading north towards the Scottish
border, stopping over in the Lake District
en route.
Phil Aldridge
“Tales From The Driving Seat” is on Instagram
@talesfromthedrivingseat and blogspot
www.talesfromthedrvingseat.blogspot.com

Ask The Mechanic – Aircooled engine cooling

The summer is here and that hopefully means that
we are experiencing warmer air temperatures.
With warmer air temperatures, comes warmer
engines. Those using aircooled engines will find it
even harder to keep the engine cool during the
summer months and we have all seen the odd VW
at the side of the motorway! Don’t let that be you
(not through overheating anyway!)


Although it may seem like a small detail, to ensure
cooler engine temperatures, it is absolutely vital
that the tinware and engine compartment rubber
seals are all present and intact. This ensures that
there is cool air above the engine and hot air
below it. These are known as the cool and warm
zones. If tinware parts are missing, or the seals
around the front and back of the engine are torn
or broken, hot air will be drawn from the cylinder
heads and exhaust back into the cool zone around
the top of the engine and then sucked in by the
cooling fan and re-circulated over the cylinders
and heads, causing the engine temperature to
rise, potentially to a critical level. This can cause all
kinds of problems over time, some of which may
not be immediately obvious, from hot starting
troubles, to cracked cylinder heads, up to and
including a seized engine.
If you’ve just bought a car/bus, it is well worth
checking the condition of the tinware and seals
and also making sure that there are no foreign
bodies stuck in the cooling fan (remember to do
this with the engine turned off!)
If you are fitting a reconditioned or new engine,
don’t just rely on refitting the parts that were on
the old engine, as they may not be correct either.
The thermostat is another vital piece in the cooling
system. There is a set of flaps inside the fan shroud,
that actually block cooling air when the engine
is cold, in order to warm up the engine more
quickly. These are opened by the thermostat,
located between the cylinder barrels and if this
part is defective your engine will very quickly
overheat. Check the function of the thermostat
and flaps and if required, replace. The alternative
is to completely remove the thermostat and
flaps, which while it certainly simplifies matters,
is not ideal. It means that your engine may never
reach the correct operating temperature in cold
weather conditions.
The last few points to consider are your ignition
timing, air leaks and fuelling. Poor ignition timing
can cause your engine to run too hot, it’s unlikely
to be visible if it’s wrong but you should hear
it. Fuel mixture is equally important, so ensure
the carburettor jetting is correct for the size of
the engine, fuel starvation will raise the engine
temperature internally. Your fuel system could be
setup perfectly, but if your engine is sucking air in
elsewhere through a split hose or a broken gasket,
then the whole fuel/air mixture is compromised
and the chances of running lean and therefore
hot, are increased too. Spraying the intake system
with Wd40 whilst running will help to detect this,
an air leak will suck the spray in, using it as fuel and
changing the engine note at the same time.
I hope there are some helpful tips for members to
help stay cool this summer.