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Reliant North Cape Challenge 2008

Preparing for the journey - February 2007

Last month my brother (Geoff) bought a 1990 Reliant Robin LX for the journey. We are going to call the car New Blue as it will be a modern version of my Reliant - Ole Blue. The vehicle Geoff bought was off the road and in need of repair for the MOT.  As he has been doing all the hard work, it was only fair that he tell you about it ... so, over to you Geoff.

This month New Blue has had lots of work done for the MOT, she has had a new near side headlight and indicator, new brake assembly on the front axle and a new front tyre. I have also fitted new Polly bushes to the front shock absorber along with new rear dampers as the rear ones were leaking.

The rear brakes have been taken apart and cleaned checked and reset so that the hand brake locks on only 5 clicks. The old brake shoes were terrible and almost crumbled in my hand.  At the moment I am studying Auto-electrics at the City college in Birmingham so I was able to take the car in and use their hydraulic ramp which made changing the brakes a lot easier.

The rear lights have also been sorted as half the bulbs did not work as the holders were not earthling properly.  Strangely, the rear wiper arm was the wrong type so that has been removed until a replacement can be sourced.  The near side mirror was also removed for the MOT as this was cracked and a replacement glass was on back order.

The exhaust was also sorted out as the old one was that rotten that you could crush it in your hand so Pete, a friend of mine, gave me an old Reliant exhaust he had which had a rotten silencer but the pipe was OK. After sweet talking Darren,  I obtained a Micron back box of his old GSXR and welded up a plate to fit it on to the Robin exhaust. This gives quite a nice exhaust tone with a modest, yet distinctive undertone.

New Blue went for her MOT at the same place as Ole Blue (SR Tomson & Son in Tamworth) and she flew though with the only point being made that she burns a bit of oil. I believe this to be the valve stem seals as the engine had been standing for a long time and these tend to perish. This is not a major problem as in around six to eight months the engine and box will be removed to have new seals fitted as well as a new clutch kit and a replacement prop shaft.

Her first real run after passing the MOT was on a thick snowy day and she suddenly died, so I had to call the RAC man out. It looks like the carburetor will need replacing or have a real good clean out whilst also checking the in line fuel filter.  The RAC man gave me a lift home where I was then able to drive down in my other car with a trailer and recover the Reliant myself.

I would like to thank Keith, Sparesman and Pete from the r3w forum who all helped me with spare parts.

Geoff Payne. February 2007

Go to March / April


The old brakes were a bit crumbly.


I took her to College to wok on as they have a hydraulic ramp which makes life a bit easier.


Modified Micron motorbike exhaust.


Clean and shiny ready for the MOT.


Had to call the RAC man out on her first main test drive.