It took a great deal of effort and willpower not to email Brickwerks workshop asking for updates while my van was in for the engine swap . Simon had sent me a few photos of the progress in the first week, but after the bank holiday they had a lot on getting orders out for the webshop. I thought after the initial panic and rocky start shortly after I dropped the van off, the lack of contact in the second week was a good sign. The old adage ‘no new is good news’ gave me some solace that things were going smoothly. Besides, i didn’t want to know if there were any issues so thought it prudent to just sever contact until the latest possible moment.
Friday was the agreed collection date, so I emailed on Thursday morning to make sure it was a green light for the trip over to Honley by train. The reply was ‘yes, the engine has been running, sounded well but still needed a road test’. Attached was an image of the rear end of my Wolfgang with a new Brickwerks graphic on the exhaust cover. This I thought was really cool as these guys are the bees knees when it comes to this particular type of van! It adds an element of kudos for people to know this van has been breathed on by people that really know what they are doing!
I responded for them to keep me posted in case of any issues, and ask if could I have the bill by the end of the day to avoid the look of shock on my face at the counter when i came to collect. 🙂
Friday morning Mandy and I walked to Derby Train station from our home and caught the 9.40 train to Sheffield for the connecting train to Honley village. We arrived just before midday, and got to the garage shortly afterwards. Simon’s white Atlantic and another calypso Atlantic were spotted in the garage, which made for the usual full compliment of colours from factory if you include mine in cherry red. This seems to be the norm when I visit.
The finances were sorted out, Angus (the mechanic) gave me an overview of the work done and off we tootled. First stop was the garage over the road to fill up with diesel. Before I went to pay I noticed a pool of coolant leaking from the engine under tray. So we headed back to the Brickwerks to point out my findings.
Angus was just about to sink his teeth into a pasty for lunch . Credit to the lad, he set to fixing the issue straight away. We spent the time chatting to Michael in the reception about the shop, garage & camp sites . This resulted in me purchasing a few extra parts for the van in the form of a new snorkel for the airbox, and a pair of door mirror plugs. Close on two hours later Angus returned to say it was fixed and explained that the LDA boost controller (a component that enriches the fuel as the van accelerates), was actually pushing against a plastic union attached to the cylinder head which induced the leak. So we left for a second time just as he sank his teeth into his pasty ?. What a star!
I was a little apprehensive on the way home after the earlier problem. I could tell that the engine has a lot more torque than the old worn out 1.6TD unit. The slightest incline had a massive impact on speed requiring down shifts into lower gears with the old engine. This new power plant was noticeably better. I could actually change up the gearbox as i climbed the hills out of Yorkshire into Derbyshire. I stopped at a car park to check all was well. Water was gushing from the under tray, and it looked like the injectors were leaking. This was really concerning and i had visions of having to drive back to Brickwerks again. I stopped and thought logically about this! The water was clear, and i could see no obvious leak from anywhere. What appeared to be leaking injectors could just be water boiling off after Angus had washed the pink coolant from the engine with fresh water. This could have pooled in the foam sound proofing attached to the inside of the under tray, which was still seeping out some time later. I hoped this was the case and we continued towards Derby, keeping an eye on the temp gauge and warning light. No cause for alarm as we pulled up to Mandy’s parents house in Ashbourne. I checked the back of the van and not a drop of fluid was seen to be leaking. My diagnosis was correct. Nothing to worry about 🙂
We eventually arrived home at 6.30pm with 65 miles now on the new engine. On reflection, the day had been pretty stressful. So once the old engine had been removed from the van and put in the garage, and the fridge had been switched on for a camp over at the weekend, it was a case of feet up and crack open a beer.
Mandy and I were up at 8am the following day. We had breakfast and started loading the van with the camping gear required for the weekends trip to King’s Linn. We chose the campsite via Pitchup.com mainly due to the distance. It was approximately 100 miles away from home, which would mean another 200 miles on the new engine by the time we got home. I needed to get to the magic 500 miles needed to run it in before I took the van back to Brickwerks on the 5th May for an oil & filter change and general check over. This round trip would put the total up to over 270. Happy days!
The weather was excellent all weekend. No rain, plenty of sun, but chilly with the northerly wind. The drive to Norfolk took us just over two hours. We arrived at the campsite at midday.
I was in a really good place and positively buzzing about the way the engine was performing. We pitched the van, turned the radio up and chilled for an hour or so. It was only going to be a matter of time before I got restless and wanted to tinker. Fortunately, I had something to occupy myself in the form of the new snorkel. The original one had perished and this was brought to my attention by Brickwerks during the engine swap. It sounded like it wasn’t going to be a particularly difficult job so out came the screwdrivers and away i went.
Half an hour later the old one was out and new in. Another job ticked off the list 🙂
The temperature dropped and by the time we got back to the van it was pretty chilly. The night heater went on as soon as the van door was opened. Great end to a fantastic day.
The following morning we headed of to Hunsatanton. It was only 15 miles down the road on the coast. We parked the van on a side street and walked to the shops where we had a coffee, then moved onto the beach. It had been many years since i had been to Hunstanton. 1983 was the last time or there abouts 🙁 .
We perused a market, and brought a small surf board bottle opener for the van, then decided on a steady mosey home around lunchtime which included a stop in a lay-by for a coffee and a sandwich.
We arrived home around 4pm. We had had a great weekend, and i couldn’t fault the new engine. It hadn’t used a drop of oil, and it hadn’t leaked any fluids (which was pretty much the opposite to what I had come to expect from Wolfgang). We just need to get a few more miles under our belt for the first oil change and we are good to go for the up and coming month long trip to Europe. Wolfgang has a new heart and clean bill of health at last 🙂