When you have a small ute, or pick up it would appear that you will never be short of work, somebody, somewhere will always want you to collect something for them, or to take stuff away for them. Today was one of those days. I had been asked by one of my neighbours if I would collect some firewood in "my little pick up" It was a slow day and as I didn't have too much to do at "proper work" whatever that is, I decided that it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Since the addition of Steel Seal to my cooling system almost 1500 miles ago, I can report happily that things are going well! I must admit that when I first tipped it into my engine my mind was filled with doubt, and even when it appeared to be working in the back of my mind I was still waiting to pull over at the side of the road in a big cloud of steam. But so far, so good. With the success of the magic elixr in my engine one of my friends thought that he might try it on a car that he had recently bought, when upon checking it out before driving home he discovered enough mayonnaise to keep a sandwhich shop going for a week! He figured that he knew a man who’s done it and lived to tell the tale - so lets learn from him (me), he bought some and tipped it in! Unfortunately for him his magic elixr turned out to be snake oil, however 6hrs, 15mins and 302 miles after putting it in he did manage to get home. No dramas, no overheating, plenty of oil, but even more mayo! Well, it does say that it has a 99% success rate! Anyway, back to the Proton, I stuck some petrol into it, checked the oil and coolant levels, which havn't moved yet since its service and head gasket repair(!?) Had a look into the oil filler cap for mayonnaise, still none! I filled my fuel tank with petrol and headed off into the wilderness! I was given the directions and was soon happily blezzing along the country roads in the Proton still listening for any sound that might indicate the imminent failiure of my headgasket.
The destination was a farm about 30 or so miles from me, and the job was to collect some logs for the fire. I was told that the farmer was a friend of my neighbour, and knew I was coming, and he has the logs cut up for me ready to load. This was good news for me as I have hurt my back a little and didn't fancy picking up anything too heavy.
Upon arriving at the farm I was told that the logs were indeed cut up and ready to go, and the farm worker told me where to collect them from and gave me directions to their location on the farm. A bit of a trek along a muddy track through some fields and some woods and pretty soon I was by the pile of logs! Hmm... Cut up you say?
I think not! Or atleast, not as cut up as I would have liked! But I figured that I had come this far, and so I might as well finish the job. To be fair for the most part the logs were about five feet long, and so fitted into the bed of the Jumbuck quite well. However they were stil pretty heavy. I decided that I wasn't going to bother with anything that was over about 4" in diameter, as they go sort of start to get a bit weighty by then. I also decided that anything that was not easily accessable, for example anything that was not on the top or sides where I could pick it up easily would also not be selected as firewood for my neighbour!
Before too long I had had enough of being a lumberjack, and as the Jumbuck only has a maximum payload of just over half a tonne I was thinking that as it was looking a little low at the back, it was probably approaching its maximum payload limit even though the bed was not even full to the top!
Hmm, I must admit that it looks kinda cool lowered! However with the threat of rain looking ever more likely I didn't fancy being on a muddy and rutted track in a front wheel drive pick up that was possibly quite close to its weight limit! I pointed the nose of the Proton towards BelongaClint, and headed for home! Now to be fair to the magic elixr it has been working well, but its had about 1500 miles of fairly light duty stuff. Mostly running about town and a couple of short motorway jaunts. What it has not had to do since putting the stuff in the cooling system is pull a heavy load up and down steep hills on country roads! I figured that if anything was going to test it's capabilities this will probably be it! I eased out onto the twisty hilly country roads towards home. It all seemed to be going well, don't get me wrong, you knew that you were carrying a load because the up hill bits were a bit of a struggle to be honest, infact up one of the hills I had to change down to second gear for a bit! Also going around some of the tighter corners the steering felt quite light, and a little bit woolly, but all in all, not too bad. About fifty minutes later I was pulling up outside my neighbours house with his logs! Once more just happy not to be in a cloud of steam by the side of the road. My neighbour came out and gave me a hand to unload them, once they were unloaded he asked me what he owed me. As he's a neighbour I don't want to seem un-neighbourly so I said, I dunno mate, just give us a drink. Ok he said, and disappeared inside only to appear about thirty seconds later with a glass of orange squash! I chuckled and drank it down, then handed him back the glass. I was kinda thirsty. He took the glass and headed off towards the door saying cherio as he left. As he went inside and closed the door behind him I wondered if I had really only got a glass of squash for a mornings work, not to mention the petrol to get there and back! I knocked the door. He answered and asked me if everything was ok. Well, I said, no, how about a bit of re-imbersement for my morning of work? He said, with a straight face, you just said you wanted a drink! So I explained to him that "Just give us a drink" was sort of an expression, I was expecting him to then give me what he thought my morning of work was worth! So he said, well, what was it worth? How much will it cost me? I struggle with stuff like this. This is why I'm no businessman! I don't like to feel that I'm ripping someone off, so I said to him, oh, I dunno, how does fifty quid sound? FIFTY QUID!! He said, for what? So I said, well, I had to get some petrol to get there and back, plus there's the four and a half hours it took me to drive there, load up, drive home and unload! I went on that I thought that £50 was a very fair price. I think it's safe to say that he didn't think it was fair so much, but he begrudgingly gave me it, then slammed the door in my face! No cherio that time! My feeling is that he won't be asking me to help him out again, which kinda suits me fine, as I'm in no hurry to give him a hand either!
However, as urinated off by it all as I was some good has come out of this. I've checked the oil and water, and the oil is still brown, actually its very dark brown now, and the water is still blue with antifreeze. But best of all, there is still no evidence of head gasked failiure! 1500+ miles later, it's all still looking good! But, as much as I enjoy the Jumbuck, and I'm still not really done with it if I'm honest, my feeling is that it will be this one that is next for the chopping block. Not because I'm done with it, but mostly because I'm just a bit cheesed off with people trying to take advantage of me because I have access to a little pick up. It's not that I mind so much, it's just that a little gratitude would probably go a long way!