Really frustrating day today.
I've got a narrow window of opportunity to do this work.
Whenever I get any downtime between projects, my wife sees it as an opportunity to fill the time up with other things I need to do. I have to fight the vague sense that she's actually doing on purpose out of a deep seated resentment of my car hobby.
So yesterday was cut short because my wife needed me to do the school run, and now today got cut short too, because my wife was not able to do the school run again as she'd booked herself in at the hairdressers.
But that's not all. She wouldn't let me have the 'real' car this morning either. I needed it to go and get a few essential things for the Scim but oh no, she needed it, so I had to spend an hour of the morning walking to the autoparts and nut&bolt and back again.
So then, because I work in the street, I get a constant, unending stream of passers by who want to chat. There are about ten old blokes who live around me, all of whom are really nice old chaps that on a more relaxed day I like to chat to. They are always interested in what I'm doing, but they are also very lonely widowers living on their own, and whilst I don't mind having a chat and wouldn't dream of embarrassing them by cutting them short or telling them I'm too busy, they do always end up telling me, for the umpteenth time, their entire vehicle history including the make of the various engines that were in the old cars in the olden days. This morning I had Wobbly Will and his history of riding scooters around England for the MOD, followed by Shakin' Steven and his history of three wheeler cars which begins in 1937 and ends in his 2015 Hyundai i30 (which is a very very nice car and he has no complaints at all, but it does have four wheels).
And the thing is, these are nice people, they are a pleasure to chat to at any other time, and for the first few times their accounts of the old days and their vehicle histories are interesting. But after hearing them 100 times, I begin to feel like I want to drop to my knees and cry. There has to be a diplomatic way of saying hello, having a decent little five minute chat, and then moving on before they get choked up about their wives passing away and how they live alone... which seems to mysteriously lead seamlessly into the vehicle histories.
So today consisted of:
8am: Rattlng through various client emails to hold off any sudden demands for my time today
9am: Walking to the necessary shops to buy the necessary things for the day.
10:15: Get all my tools out ready.
10:30am: Lift the bonnet
10:33am: Wobbly Bob's geographic history of the British Isles on an MOD scooter
12pm: Wave goodbye to wobbly Bob, look under the hood
12:05: pack away tools and run indoors because of heavy rain
13:00: Back outside and prep for timing cover refit
13:05: Shakin Steven and his entire history of vehicle ownership from his 1937 Matchless through a series of Reliant Rialtos and on to the Hyundai i30 (which is a very very nice car and he has no complaints at all, but it does have four wheels)
14:30pm: Wave goodbye to Shakin Steven. Rain. Back indoors
14:45: Back out, prep the surfaces.
14:55: crank the cambolt, slap the hylomar and gaskets on, throw the cover and a few bolts in the general direction of the engine, attempt to refit the timing pulley, which didn't want to go back in (Roger advised me about centering the three timing cover notches around the crankshaft end, and I think that's the problem although I did eventually manage to wind the bolt in so we'll have to see)
15:00: Abandon all hope of actually getting anything done properly, slam the hood, pack the tools away, run to school to collect kids.
In a very unsatisfying way though, through all that I do seem to have managed to oil the new timing gears, clean the surfaces, hylomar the gaskets/surfaces, get the timing cover back on with all the cover bolts back in (time will tell how successfully I have done this as I had no time for my usual "worrying and screaming" process that I like to use) and I have managed to screw the timing pulley back on, but I haven't torqued it properly just yet.
I still have the sump bolts to put back, the cross brace to refit, and my home made rad cowling which was going to be painted while it was out, as was the timing cover, but these are things I've had to sacrifice in an attempt to get this finished. I also haven't changed the timing cover oil seal, so I am praying the old one is good for a while longer. I looks to be in good shape.
No chance of getting the water pump done now until my next period of downtime.
What a frustrating couple of days this has been. Not the car or the process, just the lack of time available. In theory I have entire days with no other obligations, but in reality they evaporate like magic before my very eyes.