Break Down Story Number 4

Break Down Story Number 4.

The Broken Clutch Slave Cylinder

During the years 1988 to 1992/3 I used to travel from Sydney to Grafton 4 or 5 times a year, for most of that time I was working for a TAFE College (and I still am) and I would go home every term break. I considered life in the city to be only temporary so things at home were much how I had left them, including a pen full of chooks, so I had to go home every three months to feed the chooks. I had six very large feed hopers which held a 40kg bag of chook feed each and their water supply was from a turkey nest dam up hill of the chooks, running through automatic drinkers. I also paid one of my neighbour’s kids to check on them every few days.

On the way back to Sydney from one of these trips, me in the Dolly and my Father in his Rover 2000, I pulled into a garage for petrol in Taree, but when I pushed the clutch in, nothing happened. The Dolly came to a shuddering stop in the garage. Looking underneath I could see a large puddle of fluid around about where the slave cylinder is, well I thought, this is going to be fun.

Some years before, in the early 80’s, I had driven my Fathers Triumph 2000 MK I from Grafton to Brisbane and back again without a clutch and it had a box trailer full of racing pigeons on the back, so Taree to Sydney should be a piece of cake.

The difference between the MK I and the Dolly being two cylinders and the Dolly has a higher first gear, luckily the garage sloped towards the road so once there was a brake in the traffic I put it in first gear and turned the key. The Dolly lurched forward very reluctantly but eventually fired up and we were off. Changing gears once on the move was not much of a problem, and as luck would have it, I got a great run with traffic lights and did not stop again until the end of the expressway. The toll gates (they’re not there any more) at the end of the expressway had me worried as they were on an uphill run, so I slowed to first gear and tried to give the toll gate attendant the money, but it ended up all over the road. The Old Man was the next car behind me and he explained the problem.

Now it was going to get interesting as I had to drive right the way across Sydney to Fairfield. Again I was very lucky and got a good run with the traffic and the traffic lights, but I did have to stop on many occasions but none of these turned out to be on an uphill run.

The following week end I again braved the clutch less Dolly and drove it from Fairfield to Lane Cove to my Fathers place where I could work on it. On MK I’s, TR7’s, Marina’s and even Mini’s the clutch slave cylinder is a pretty easy job, but no not on Dolly’s. This proved to be one of the real hard jobs on a Dolly, of which there are a few. So ended another Dolly Break Down Adventure.

Jim Pope

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