May 15th, 2008

Working on it

Minor update

This weekend I gave Fenchurch a service (at 74010 miles). While I was underneath I noticed the exhaust was on its last legs - I poked at the rusty silencer with a screwdriver and it developed a big hole. So I ordered a new two-part stainless steel exhaust from ESM. At £107 it wasn't the cheapest one available, but it is made by GS Exhausts who have a good reputation for quality and offer a lifetime guarantee. The most expensive standard exhaust I found (high-performance ones can cost even more) was £250 from P D Gough, who sounded very surprised that I could get one elsewhere for about £100. I didn't have the heart to tell him there are cheaper imported stainless systems available for £65 and mild steel ones for £40.

The new exhaust system arrived yesterday and I fitted it last night. It seems well made and it went on OK; the only fettling required was to shorten one of the mounting straps by an inch or so. As others had predicted, it is slightly louder than the old mild steel exhaust, even with the rotten silencer. I'm not too bothered (I just turn the stereo up another notch) but some people might be irritated by it. Two good things compared to the old one are the pipe doesn't touch the edge of the hole it passes through in the engine bay, and it has a good downpipe flange that hopefully won't start blowing every few hundred miles.

The plans for my Around Ireland Rally are proceeding nicely. I've put up a web page about it and have had adverts in various places. I'm working on a joint AIR/LEO flyer to hand out at MOT and the National Rally. I have been corresponding with someone from the Irish Morris Minor Owner's Club who has previously done a slightly shorter rally around southern Ireland and is interested in coming on the AIR. A couple more people sound very keen on coming with us but haven't definitely committed yet. Most of my friends list will no doubt be envious to learn that we are planning to visit The Cliffs of Insanity (AKA The Cliffs of Moher, where part of The Princess Bride movie was filmed). I've also decided we will visit Mizen Head and Malin Head (Ireland's equivalents of Land's End and John O'Groats).