March has been quite a manic month and with work and other projects, not a lot of time was spent on Lucie. At the beginning of the month I had another letter from Peter Vowles who was the chap who rebuilt Lucie and got her back on the road and he also sent a photo to (See Lucie’s History page).
My brother also lent me the DVDs of all the filming from the BFBS filming and so after going through it and recording lots of bits onto my PC I made up a little video of Lucie driving through the country side. The filming however had no sound track and so I had to add a bit of engine sound from old video clips.
One thing I’ve been meaning to do is fix the screen jet wash as this did not work. It is the old manual pump type system though the right hand side jet was not connected up and there were no non-return valves. Luckily I just needed to buy a T piece and some fresh hose as it the garage I found non-return valves and a top for the washer fluid bottle.
It took a bit of experimenting as to where the non-return valves should be but once all connected I found the passenger side jet was blocked. This was soon remedied by sticking a pin in it. The system now works though its only a trickle that it spurts onto the windscreen rather than a gush of water. That said, the wiper blades are only tiny and slow so I guess it doesn’t make that much difference really.
The MOT is also due on April 23rd though as you can take a vehicle for a retest up to four weeks before the MOT, the test was booked for 9:15am on Tuesday 24th March at S.R.Tomson and Son just round the corner from me. They used to be Reliant dealers for many years (they are now a CitroŽn dealership) and they are the only garage I’m aware of in Tamworth that still MOT 3-wheelers.
The MOT started well and one of the chaps taking it informed me that he started Reliant on the 27th December 1961, four days before Lucie was registered so that Regal Mk VI was the first vehicle he worked on.
Lucie was commended on her condition with then saying the chassis looked brand new and that the steering column was the most rigid they have seen in any Reliant 3-wheeler. However, they called me over to look at the steering box. When the steering was turned, a large crack opened up in the steering box and so that would be classed as a fail. The rest of the MOT was continued and she flew through it with flying colours though had to fail because of the steering box.
The weekend that followed, I took the steering box off (once I managed to get a 24mm socket for the steering wheel nut) and it came off in two pieces. I toyed with the idea of fixing it with JB Weld though many people on the r3w forum suggested I get it welded and so I cleaned up the steering box and took it to RSM Engineering in Two Gates, Tamworth on my way to work, within a couple of hours it was ready to fetch.
Back at home I took it round the garage and it fitted back on perfectly. Whilst it was off I also noticed that one of the rubbers on the track rod was starting to split so rather than reuse it, I have ordered two new Triumph Herald track rod ends off ebay. As soon as they arrive, I can reassemble the track rod and it can go back for its MOT.
Go to April 2009