Euro Tour – 14/9/09 – Echternach to Obernai (France) 240km – Generator failed again
Today was an early start to look at rear wheel and brakes in general. Got to the hotel reception, but could not find anybody to give me the key to the garage. I wondered into the kitchen to find somebody and bumped into the female hotel owner on the way out – she visibly jumped out of her skin and was less than impressed. She was surly and unpleasant for the rest of the morning, so I was not that concerned mid afternoon when I found the key to the garage in my jacket pocket ! I started with the rear o/s wheel that had rather loose lookig spokes, really struggled to get the wheel off, even with the special puller, eventually it came off and at that point I was convinced that the trip was over as the spokes were very loose. I turned the wheel over to have a look at the nuts that secure the spoke to the hub (about a dozen) and most were loose ! Having tightened them up the wheel felt solid again. I then turned my attention to the brakes, lining on one side of the rear n/s is completely worn away, the bands were not adjusted correctly when refitted and have worn very unevenly. I loosened off the band so that it did not touch the hub when applying the brakes and asked somebody in the UK to courier out a second set of bands to our next stopover. Then adjusted the front brakes, there seemed to be a lot of slack on the cables. It started to rain heavily as we left, so the roof went up – the rain was to prove an omen for the day. The front brakes were binding so there were frequent stops to adjust them whilst still trying to maximise braking, with rears not contributing much. We left Luxembourg, crossed briefly into Germany and then France. It continued to rain on and off and the first 100km were very slow going, difficult roads and worried about having to stop suddenly. Got onto a good N road and then heard a “new” noise from the engine bay, on investigation it was the water pump, noise cured with a good pump from grease gun. Restarted the car – my face dropped as I saw the ignition light still on and the ammeter showing no charge. Long story short – the generator had overheated again, solder all over the inside of the housing, the Euro Tour was effectively over ! We ran the remaining 120km to our planned overnight stop on the battery, with long faces, feeling rather down. There is no alternative to having the car recovered back to the UK, we cannot do anything about the generator here, so I am writing this sitting on the Eurostar back to London to get our “every day” car to continue the holiday. Julie is making arrangements to get Benson back to the UK, we’ll ship him direct to RPS.