The team get further ahead whilst we are languishing in UB. We travelled to the outskirts with Boldo from Major Drilling to wave goodbye to Maggie and Roger in the new car 80 a Land Rover Discovery they bought as a replacement for their Cadillac LaSalle Coupe. Then it was out to Major's workshop to work on the car. Our parts had arrived during the night.
Mechanics Sam and Barnsey had unpacked the bits and checked them. The big end and end caps were removed from the replacement crankshaft and the good news was that shaft and bearings were in good condition to get us running again. The worn engine had been stripped down yesterday in readiness. The connecting rod and cap from number 5 cylinder had been damaged and required scraping and smoothing luckily it was OK otherwise we would have needed to remove the cylinder head to replace it, which would have delayed us further.
The mechanics patiently went about installing the half bearing shells into the block, then it was time to put the replacement crankshaft into place. It fitted perfectly. The other halves of the shells were placed and the end caps bolted into place and tensioned. Gaskets were made using Blue Goo and heat resistant silicone. The timing chain and sprockets fitted and the valve timing set. A new felt seal was made for the timing cover and the cover replaced. The oil pump was reassembled using the gears from the replacement bits and the housing from the original engine, it was installed then the sump replaced. On with the flywheel.
About midday Boldo arrived with the truck driver and relatively new Fuso 4.5 tonne flatbed truck to transport the Austin to the border. After discussion, checking of maps, it was agreed that he could make it by Wednesday morning. The price was agreed, with a bonus for on-time delivery. We all shook hands and agreed to meet tomorrow at ten when the repairs should be nearly complete.
Sam and Barnesy were concerned at the condition of the welch plugs and didn’t like the spares we had, so new plugs were turned up by the fitter on a lathe and installed: they are probably the best plugs in existence! The fitter also made a clutch aligning tool and the clutch plate and pressure plate fitted. At about 4:30 PM we had a "new" engine ready to install.
After about an hour of pushing and shoving and swearing it was juggled into position and bolted to the bell housing. Our spare engine mount was fitted as the rubber on one was split. During the afternoon the skies had become overcast and threatening, with rain and lightning in the distance getting progressively closer. At about 5:30 the rain and hail started and we called it a day with about 4-6 hours work to complete in the morning.
Major's Manager Rob had organised a barbecue for the staff and hapless competitors. During the morning a sheep and two big legs of pork were delivered, prepared and set up on two big gas-fired Aussie Roasters. Colin and Rob dissappeared and returned with many cartons of beer, soft drink, a carton of vodka and a flagon of bundy, plus marinade materials. About middday the gas was lit. The rotisserie chain drive on one roaster was proving troublesome and Rob assigned a mechanic to tend it lest the food would burn or cook unevenly. You could tell that the cooking was going well as the two workshop dogs hung around all day, not straying far from the roasters. At 5:00 PM the gas was turned off and the meat carved. Served with bread and salad it was a feast. Barbeques are apparently a favourite with the local Mongol staff. They certainly got stuck into the food and booze, vodka being drunk like water, and after an hour or so there were only a few bones left. The dogs had a field day with the trimmings and bones. About seven, Rob organised transport to take the local staff home - none were fit to drive and some could barely walk. Colin and I walked out to the street and caught a cab back to the hotel, exhausted.
Frank and Ross in car 101 are nervously awaiting the delivery of their parts tonight. Bruce and Ben in the Chrysler 75 have had to withdraw. Bruce has found a place as navigator in another car and is flying to Khovd tomorrow.
Colin and I returned to the Chingis Khaan Hotel exhausted but with real confidence that we would rejoin the Rally.
Ah, another eventful day in Ulaan Bataar.
Maggie & Roger on their way
Waiting for the engine
Replacing the Bearings
Rob & the Washingtons
Barnsey on right Sam centre
Rob preparing the BBQ
The big Aussie Roasta