So I reckon I'm sticking with the Navara for a while as there's no hope in getting her Worshipfulness to have it since she's got herself a Ranger, but actually I think thats just fine, despite breaking down it's been repaired now and running well, so I'm happy with it. The problem that caused me to end up sitting for hours on end waiting for the RAC to get me recovered just 90 miles home turned out to be that the EGR valve had decided to call it a day, which meant that all the exhaust was going back into the engine, and choking it to death. I must admit, that even after the RAC taking thirteen hours to get me recovered home, the news that my engine hadn't eaten it's self really did brighten my day. My mechanic collected the Navara for inspection the day after the RAC eventually brought it home, diagnosed the problem, but then there was another problem. There was no EGR valves for my Navara available anywhere, or atleast, no new ones. I could get a second hand one, but what was the point in that, I might end up replacing that one a few weeks down the line. The solution was to just leave mine in situ, and blank it off, which is what he did. How does it run? I think that it might be slightly down in power, but there's still plenty enough on hand to spin the rear wheels if I pull away too hard, so I guess that's OK.
It's been a couple of months now since it's been fixed, and I've been driving it around and it's been great. No strange noises, and no feelings of impending doom, it's pretty much perfect. Before it broke down I was thinking about selling it, or atleast, palming it off onto the wife to drive, but after it broke down I did lose a little bit of faith in it, and as her Worshipfulness had got me to buy her the Ranger, I figured that I'd make the best of what I had, and stick with the Navara
I remember thinking when I got this thing originally that I really liked the look of it. I'd only ever had one Super Cab before, and although not being as practical as a Crew Cab with four doors I thought that the D22 Navara Super Cab was quite a nice looking truck. Despite this I wasn't sure it was my favourite of all the pick ups I've had. I think it's certainly more agricultural than the Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, and Ford that preceeded it in my automotive back catalogue, that being said, Mrs Clints Ranger is even more agricultural to be honest. But maybe thats OK, as they were all Crew Cabs, and perhaps the Super Cab was designed more with work in mind. I dunno, I thought that maybe it would grow on me a bit more, but only time would tell. Well, several years, and one breakdown later, time did tell, and actually, as it turns out this probably is one of my favourite pick ups I've ever owned to date. I pretty much like everything about it, so maybe it's good that Mrs Clint didn't want it after all.
Anyway, as I said, it's been a few months since it was repaired, and I've been using it much as I did before, pottering around town, and collecting big things I've bought on fleabay that are relatively close by. Since being repaired the furthest I've driven it is maybe fifty miles, and I'm sure it'll go further, I've just not needed to yet...
But then it happened, I needed to go further afield, I needed to go into Wales again.
I'll be honest, my first thought was that maybe I'd take the Ranger, but then I thought, no, it's fine, I'll take the Navara. How bad could it be? The reason for my little jaunt across the Severn bridge was that since starting my StreetKa Named Desire project I had one wheel in mind for it, the 40th anniversary Wolfrace Slotmag. At one point they came up regularly on fleabay, but, as always seems to happen, now that I'm looking for a set, supply has dried up. I've been lookling for a set since July of last year, that's nearly eight months ago, so when a set showed up for sale on farcebook, I jumped on them.
With about 186 miles to go from BelongaClint to the sellers house in Carmarthen I figured that I'd need to set out early. I fuelled up the Navara, and set off, still thinking to myself that I should take the Ranger, the StreetKa, or pretty much anything else than the Navara. That little voice of doubt nattering away in the back of my mind. Nevermind, I've got breakdown cover right, how bad could it be? Although, past experience said that should I breakdown, I might be home the following day at the earliest if I was going to have to wait for the RAC to get me home. I kissed her Worshipfulness goodbye, and said see you later... Hopefully before tomorrow, and off I went. My ears straining to hear any new sound that I might notice as I drove along, crossing the Severn bridge all I kept thinking was, this is where it all started. I checked my gauges, nothing, it all looked good. But then it all looked good the last time too. I was in Wales, although probably only half way to my destination. Despite being a little bit nerve wracking the drive to Wales was quite uneventful, and four and a half hours or so later, I was pulling up outside the sellers house looking at a pretty scruffy, but fairly cheap set of Wolfrace Slotmags. With the funds handed over I loaded the wheels into the back of the Navara, and pointed the nose of the truck back towards BelongaClint crossing my fingers and hoping for the best as I did so.
It was getting towards lunch time as I left the sellers house, and so, despite being in a bit of a hurry I decided that I'd leave ethe M4 for a bit, head across Swansea, get some food, then sit on the beach and eat it. If nothing else it might settle my nerves a little, besides, if I was going to break down on the M4 on the way home, I'd prefer to be broken down, and waiting for the RAC with a full belly, rather than waiting there starving to death!
When I moved to Swansea to fix up the secret hideout in the first place I had nothing with me, and so the first thing I did after unpacking my crap was to go and track down something to eat. I drove around for a bit, and with Fish 'n' Chips in mind the first place I came across that I thought could satisfy my desire was a place called Monni's fish bar on Brynymor Road in Swansea. I think that 20 odd years ago when I moved there it hadn't been open for very long, but I thought that the food was excellent. So much so that the whole time I lived there if it was Fish 'n' Chips (or that sort of thing) I was after I never went anywhere else. Infact even now, when I go there to the secret hideout for the weekend or whatever we always make a point of visiting Monni's fish bar for some tucker, it's still really good. I ordered a small Haddock, and Chips. I was starving, it had been about six hours since I'd eaten, and I think that while I was waiting for my fish to be cooked, my stomach got the better of me, or atleast, my eyes got the better of me. Sitting in the hot cabinet was a Rissole, before I'd been to Monni's I'd never even had a Rissole before, so I tried one, and I liked it. But... They don't like me! They always seem to give me indigestion, but like I said, I like them. The thing is, where I live they don't sell Rissoles in the chippy, and infact of all the places that we eat, I've never come across them anywhere, so, indigestion or not, my eyes had seen it, so I wanted it! I added it to my order, and ten minutes later I was sitting in the cab of the Navara eating it watching the waves as they crashed against the shore. I honestly don't know why I don't still live there, I loved living there, and I love living by the sea, perhaps I need to look into living near the sea again at some point. Anyway, twenty minutes or so later my food was eaten, and frankly I was feeling pretty stuffed, and a bit of a piggy too. But it was worth it, the food from Monni's was as ever, excellent. I got out of my Navara, plodded to the bin to put the rubbish in and get some fresh air, then plodded back to the Navara to head for home. I felt like Mr. Greedy, I really was stuffed, Monni's does a damn good portion, and despite just asking for small portions it was more than enough. I knew the Rissole was going to push me over the edge, but it was worth it. Besides, I figured that it could be the last thing I ate until the following day if my last trip home from Wales was anything to go by. I fired up the Navara, and headed for home while waiting for the indigestion to set in.
I'll be honest, I should learn really, but Rissoles do not like me, despite me being a huge fan of them. half an hour later I was thinking that what might go down well right now was a nice glass of Gaviscon on the rocks! I soldiered on regardless, and just three hours after leaving Swansea I completed my mission, and arrived back at the garage where the StreetKa Named Desire lives. £60 worth of Diesoleum, and nearly 400 miles later, the excellent Navara hadn't missed a beat all day. I unloaded the wheels and headed for home.
To be fair I had been a little stressed out about taking the Navara to Wales again. I knew it was probably OK, but still, I had that doubting little voice in my mind. That being said, I am glad that I didn't wimp out and take something else instead of the Navara, I think I had lost confidence in the thing, but this little trip had just proved to me just how good this truck is. It's a great little truck, I'm so glad that when it did break down it wasn't something catastrophically wrong, I'm glad it could be fixed cheaply, and I'm really glad I still have it. I'm not saying that I'll keep it forever, because as usual no doubt something else will come along that takes my eye. But for now I'm more than happy with it... Long live the mighty Navara!