Daytime temperatures of the mid-20's C and minimal rain makes time to enjoy outdoor activities. Sadly, motorcycling isn't one of them at present as my tyres are down to the wear bars and need replacing. I could probably order them online and fit them myself but that involves a hassle and there's plenty of work on the task list already. With lockdown restrictions shortly being lifted where my favourite dealer is located, that problem can be sorted fairly quickly provided that there aren't any supply chain problems for my favourite tyres, the Michelin Road 5's. The KTM also needs a service. Since writing up the end of life review HERE , I've been for a couple more rides and Road 5 effective life is better than 11,000 km. That will do just fine, considering that they haven't had an easy time.
Owning the MG is still providing a steep learning path. Even with eyes wide open before purchase, routine maintenance is substantially greater than with modern cars; particularly lubrication of engine and drivetrain plus suspension and steering. I'm finding that many automotive workshops excepting specialists aren't keen to work on classic vehicles. There aren't any specialists within a 2.5 hour drive so the routine stuff is down to me. A fair bit of the lubrication schedule involves access to the underside of the car and I haven't got a pit or proper hoist. Fortunately, the car doesn't need lifting very high and jacking it onto axle stands is fine for routine work. Hoisting it with a scissor jack is tedious and time-consuming so a trolley jack was an obvious solution.
Perusing ones for sale at NZ's major automotive parts outlets didn't fill me with confidence. By and large, they looked cheap and nasty. On-line reviews weren't confidence-inspiring either with a surprising number of purchasers mentioning hydraulic failures and other breakages in an unacceptably short time. Purely by chance when looking at a classic car parts website, I found one which was made from substantial steel plate that was CE/ANSI/ASME certified. With a 3 tonne capacity which I didn't really need, it wasn't vastly more expensive than the crappy ones at the main automotive outlets. The only downside was that it weighed 35kg and was too heavy for NZ Post, so had to be couriered to us from Auckland. Service from Hawkswood Classic Car Parts was outstanding with it arriving the day after purchase. As an amusing aside, it was delivered by large truck and the driver wasn't keen to tackle our steep drive. Instead, he left it in a safe place near the bottom. Just about had a hernia loading it into our 4x4 for the trip up the drive as it was in a slippery box with an absence of handholds! In summary, it's an absolute cracker - a quality build. Makes life so much easier and can lift to 495mm. Great to deal with Hawkswood too, exceptional hassle-free service.
In a previous post, I mentioned the need fit a USB plug for smartphone charging. The first attempt failed as I'd incorrectly identified an earth return wire. This was easily fixed by earthing it to the body behind the instrument cluster . The blue LED inside the inside the USB plug looks quite pleasing too!
AliExpress have been good at supplying various peripherals I need at very sharp prices and considering the current world-wide supply chain problems, delivery is consistently good too. One of my most useful purchases has been an extremely bright rechargable inspection lamp. Equipped with a swivelling base, clamp and additional magnets, it can be positioned virtually anywhere. Delivered price to NZ? Around NZ$20 which is great value for money.
Currently awaiting a timing gun as I gave mine away at least 2 decades ago, a 500 ml syringe for doing an oil change on the diff and an LED replacement for the standard internal car lightbulb which at 5W, is nigh on useless for seeing anything. All the extras when owning an old vehicle sure do add up. Still, as getting one was Jennie's idea, she can hardly complain!
We've covered around 800km so far and fuel consumption has been about 11.5 lt/100 km or 25 imperial miles to the gallon. This is in line with expectations at moderate speeds and should give a range over 500 km which is quite reasonable. Adding the anti-valve recession additive at the same time as refilling the tank is no big deal.
We also managed to get out fishing in the boat for the first time in months and for once, I caught more than Jennie. It's not so much being able to catch your own dinner as fishing in spectacular surroundings - good for the soul.
With the summer weather upon us, gardening is the other activity which soaks up time. Most of our property is in trees, shrubs and other plants which require minimal maintenance as we love gardens but not gardening if that makes sense. Here are a few of the items in the garden at present.
One thing is for sure, at 74; finding stuff to keep active isn't a problem!