After a bit of a set-back earlier in the week with Neddy, my new cooling fan arrived in the post this morning. Dad and I duly set about taking the engine apart to fit it, but unfortunately hit on more problems than we had expected.
Replacing the fan *should* have been relatively straightforward. The first job is draining the water from the radiator by removing the hose at the bottom; we’d done that earlier in the week so we knew we could do that. Next we had to remove two hoses from the top of the radiator, one being where the water came in and the other being the overflow pipe. Then there is a bracket at the top and one long bolt at the bottom holding the cowling, to which the radiator is attached by another couple of bolts. The top bracket came off nicely, but at that point it all started getting silly. The two bolts holding the radiator to the cowling turned but didn’t come out, and the same happened with the long bolt at the bottom.
Dad and I have tried all sorts to try to get the bolts out, but to no avail. We think we know why we’re having problems, but they’re not things we can do much about, unfortunately. The two short bolts screw into a nut that’s welded to the casing of the radiator, and it appears that the weld has come undone, so the nut is just going round with the bolt and not undoing. The long bolt at the bottom has unscrewed from it’s nut (which is also welded to the other end of the bottom bracket), but is refusing to come out. In this case we think the bolt must have got corroded and has got itself stuck inside the shaft, so although it’s not screwed into anything it’s still gripping onto something and refusing to come out of the hole. We’ve pulled and pushed and turned and bashed and squirted with easing oil, but it’s still being stubborn.
So we’ve had to admit defeat on this one, which is highly frustrating. It’s too late to do anything this week, so I shall have to leave it to Dad to get it to a garage next week to see if someone with more resources can do something with it! Unfortunately the local Mini centre (which is a fantastic place) is on its annual holiday and won’t be back until Thursday of next week. We’ll get something sorted I’m sure, but I don’t know how soon it will be! It’s frustrating, because I was going to be driving to Gloucester next week, and back to Wivenhoe the following week, not to mention going to Mini In The Park on the way! Now I’m not sure what’s going to happen, or when it will happen, so I’m just going to have to keep praying that God lends a hand at some point!! Oh yes, and the MOT runs out at the end of this month. At this rate I’ll be late. Not great.