Monday, March 14, 2011

Still pumping..

How hard can it possibly be to fit a power steering pump? A couple of bolts, a couple of hoses and Bob’s your uncle. If only life was that simple.

Turns out the pump reservoir wasn’t exactly made for this pulley, and the pulley fouls it, so I have to insert a washer behind the pulley to make everything fit. Then the pump has to be spaced off the block so the pulleys line up. Looks like about 10mm, so I get an aluminium spacer made up, which needs a bit of filing to make it fit round the bolt head which hold the existing plate onto the block. But of course then the pump retaining bolts are too short, and of course they are UNC thread which means I have to go hunting for them. Another hunt into darkest Awir produces the required 6-rib drive belt 2040mm long. But the plumbing turns out to be complicated enough to necessitate a house-call from the Hose Doctor, but at last it’s all working. A five minute job has taken almost 2 days.

Except – there’s a pool of oil under the car when I stop. And it’s not ATF, it’s engine oil. Remember the hose which failed in Hail? Well, its neighbour has decided to leak in exactly the same place, which is a bit of a coincidence. Inspection shows it has also been cut on the top surface. I’m now convinced that someone sabotaged the car while it was in Hail. If only they’d known how crap our power steering was, they could have saved themselves the trouble…

By now I’m on first name terms with the guys at Advanced Technical and Engineering Services (ATES) in Al Quoz, so they make me up a replacement hose while I wait, and finally everything works.

But why, you might ask, am I doing all this myself? Because, dear reader, a certain VIP visitor has been promised a passenger ride in the Beast the next day!

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