Greetings Trannies, here's an update of the Italian Transit I'm trying to bring back to the UK for some TLC.
The story so far:
After a bit of work in Paris (RIP XL.com) I jumped on the bike with me Snap-on's and rode down to Italy (near Monte Cassino) in 1 hit. 1240 miles in 16hrs.
Picked up a puncture in Lyon. Bunged and pumped in 20 mins! Borrowed some air from these guys. Cheers.
Crossing the Alps at Cenis.
Caught up with the Monkey.
Next morning on seeing the van for the first time, I discovered that the indicators had gone AWOL and wasps love living in it! But first impressions in the flesh it don't look too bad.
After getting stung a couple of times the garage owner showed me the 'method' of wasp extermination. Take a 6ft long pole stick a petrol soaked burning rag into nest. Job done.
Negotiation for this van has taken a few months and the story behind it is that it belonged to a middle aged couple who farmed olives and the van was used to ferry the olives from the groves to the market. Unfortunately the Husband died in a tractor accident and the widow let the farm slide. So the van sat around for a couple of years on a bit of land at the back of the village garage.
An Albanian offered her e800 last year but she said NO. In the end, due to the other half's Old Mans' bargaining skills I got it for half that. But life in Italy is not that simple. I want to keep it registered legitimately in Italy in my name. Not a problem as I'm married to an Italian and we have an address there. Road tax is e50 a year so that's a bonus as well but to transfer the registration costs over e400. Just to put the registration on hold for 60 days costs e15, the widow wouldn't even pay for that to get her name off the docs and, even though she'd been paid, she wouldn't let me take it away. In the end we compromised and moved it half a km away to the Old Mans place for security.
Getting it running
After sitting for over a year I stuck a new battery on it and it started in under 5 secs of turning the key!
I left it running for a bit and drained the oil and changed the filter, topped up the coolant, bled the brakes and put some fresh 90w in the diff.
Next time I'm down I'll take the grease gun and do the front beam but steering is nicely freed off.
Exhaust is like new and just needed some rubbers.
Electrics were wobbly but just cleaning the fuse panel got nearly everything back to life.
Dodgy bits are dip/main switch and home made wiper switch.
I replaced a broken rear light cluster and replaced some wheel nuts. Got the LH ones from a Ford dealer no problem.
Overdrive works, though wiring's a bit 'Heath Robinson'
I think it needs a couple of new tyres on the front. (I reckon someones had them away in the past as the back is on matching Conties in decent nick)
Now I needed some indicators so I started exploring the local scrapyard. No luck but some interesting stuff sitting around.
This out front.
Gawd knows what this was.
Next time down should see me driving it back now all the paperwork is sorted, just the Italian equivalent of an MOT to do but I just might flee to the border and do that next year!
Did I mention the headlight glass falling into my hand and the 'indicators' (Mk1s this time!) turning up?
As I was running out of time another marathon dash home of 1240 miles in 19 hrs ensued.
Back down next week I'll keep you posted.
This is for sale by the way to fund the Transit.