Just put together a couple of videos of work we've done to our Micra.
The first is Josh putting together our sump guard. I think we need a bit more talking/commentary, but you get the idea.
The second is me attempting to change the oil and oil filter.
How it ended up doing
All we need now is the car! We are looking to purchase a 2002/2003 Nissan Micra Tempest by the end of the month.
The K10/K11 generations of Micra were known for reliability, excellent build quality, and user friendliness.
In What Car's Reliability Supertest in 2007, Nissan was ranked 6th out of 26 manufacturers overall, with the K11 Micra (1998–2002) being its most reliable model.
We got it on the 22nd of May! ~10 days until the deadline...
We've been getting lots of (well, two) scary emails from the Adventurists regarding all the official, bureaucratic stuff that we need to get done before the start of the Rally, exactly 29 days away now, especially the Carnet de Passage. The Carnet is basically a passport for the car, which we need in order to get through Iran, and to be able to leave the Micra in Mongolia. I sent the form off a couple of days ago along with a colour copy of the details pages of my passport and the V5. Yesterday I realised that I had not ticketed one of the boxes, and after all the dire warnings from the Adventurists and the RAC (for example, if the colour of the upholstery changes, or the make of the radio, you have to get a new Carnet) and the cost of the damn thing I rang the RAC in a panic expecting some boring official to tell me in a nasal voice that I would have to do the whole thing again. But no, to my surprise a very nice, helpful and relaxed guy answered and told me they'd received my application that morning and not to worry, everything was fine.
In other news the Iranian embassy cancelled my first visa appointment. We have used the Adventurists' visa service (the "Visa Machine") to get our visas, which seems to be going well, despite initial hiccups with the website (it kept forgetting our dates) and confusion over what we actually had to do (I assumed, wrongly, that they would even fill in the forms for us, it didn't seem that clear what we had to do once we'd finished the website bit). My rearranged appointment is now on Wednesday, which will apparently be quicker than the more popular Sunday at 9am slot, which I didn't fancy much anyway. I think the reason we need to be there is to get our finger prints taken, something the Adventurists really couldn't have done for us.
Since I last wrote much has happened, but not much seems to have changed. I got a new passport, at great expense. My old passport, containing four of my seven required visas has had a very large corner cut off the data page, meaning there's no way I'll be able to fool border guards into thinking that it's valid. I've been told I don't need to return to the Iranian Embassy, Masha'Allah, as their finger print machine is broken. I've been told various things about the validity of the four visas in my old passport, ranging from the Kyrgyzstan Embassy telling me that I needed to get a completely new visa, through the Adventurists telling me that the Kyrgyzstan border guards are very relaxed to a very chilled Uzbek Embassy worker telling me that everything would be fine. I've had to pay for my Russian and Mongolian visas to be expedited. The amount of money this is costing is getting ridiculous. Apparently there is much nervousness over at the Facebook group as no one seems to have their Russian, Iranian or Mongolian visas, according to the website.
Parcel upon parcel has been arriving at my parents' house, mostly technology that Kai has ordered, I am wondering whether we will be able to fit it all in the car. I got a distinctly old fashioned Kelly Kettle for my birthday from Mum, which at least we don't need another cigarette lighter adapter for.
I came back to my parent's this weekend hoping to do a last shop for tools and spares, but unfortunately Pete at Steyning Motor Spares hasn't had his delivery yet and doesn't know what he will/won't have. And Hove Motor Spares still doesn't have an extra spare for us. Being a teacher my mum is on holiday from Tuesday, so I might be calling on her time somewhat as I am working right up until we leave.
So I spent much of Saturday looking for bits and pieces for the car, and anything else that could be generally useful. I started by looking for breaker's yards in the Yellow Pages, hoping for a bit of a Scrapheap Challenge job: looking around, finding a Micra in surprisingly good condition stacked on top of two other cars, clambering up and ripping the thing apart with an angle grinder. Back in the real world the only place I could find with any Micra spares was Hove Car Spares. They said they could sell me a suspension unit complete with wheel hub for £30 and could find me a second spare wheel. I went and picked up the unit, but unfortunately no wheel, they said they'd have them in this week. They also gave me some handy tips about what might be useful and sold me an ignition coil and recommended some liquid metal and a new fan belt. I was also told that the drive shafts on Micra's were weak, eek.
We'll probably take the hub off before we go, it's quite heavy and would only fit one side.
On the way back to Steyning is a B&Q and Halford's in the same lot. I stopped, felt depressed by the superstore anonymity of it all and left. In Steyning is a lovely little shop called Steyning Motor Spares run by Pete. I stopped off and spent probably the better part of an hour wandering around finding useful stuff, pictured above. I left him a list of things to see if he could get including a pump and a cheap tool set.
Back at my mum's I found my sister Maddy and her boyfriend Josh, who is a bit of a mechanic. Showing him around the car getting tips and advice we reached the engine, he was pointing things out to me, tapping this and that, when there was a crunch and a "Whoops", he'd put his finger through the coolant reservoir. Which I was able to quickly repair using my newly acquired duct tape.
While at Mum's I checked out the tent situation. Not good. Both tents had many broken poles, which makes dome tents difficult, to say the least. It seems like we might as well buy a new cheapo one, that will at least be quick to put up.
In other news Kai and I have been "discussing" the new Adventurists website. For the record I like the new site, it's nice and bright, it looks good, it's easy to get around and I completely understand why they have chosen to compile the handbook into a PDF.