You may or may not know that we (the wife and I) use 2500 saloons as our every day cars, always have, always will. There might be the odd dalliance with other cars in the collection, we have just used the Stag on the CT 10CR for instance, and it's not unusual to drag a Vitesse, or a TR out for a blast in the summer, or a CT track day. By and large though you will see us as happy as Larry tooling around in a 2.5. This love affair with the big saloon's received a minor blow last week when both the current cars decided to throw their teddies out of the pram.
The wife had been moaning about erratic clutch release issues for some time (read months), oh thought I, no problem its just that conical spring in the master cylinder broke again. As we are due a break in Devon shortly, and we always take the wife's car, I thought I would muscle it into the workshop schedule and give it the once over, and sort that master cylinder out at the same time. Part way through the service I drained the sump only to find a crank thrust washer attached to the magnetic sump plug, but no sign of the other one. A quick tug on the crank revealed 1/4" of end float, that's it game over, engine required.
While I pondered my options the wife took over driving the Chicane demoting yours truly to the works Transit (the Stag has gone into hibernation, and the rest of the fleet are out of MOT/tax). Only the day after this things got worse! The wife popped into the village to get some milk and upon her return mentioned that there had been a large bang, and then the steering felt 'funny'. A quick look under the car and all was obvious, the passenger side radius arm (drag strut some call it) had ripped itself out of the chassis, bushes, washers and all, and was dangling in mid air. Where it is normally attached through the chassis was now a hole at least as big as the washer that is supposed to hold it in place. Ive never seen that before says I, or words to that effect!
The Chicane was fixed pronto, I had to fix it to get home that night as the wife had taken the Transit. The wife's 2.5 is nearly fixed, but it got a bit more complicated than a simple engine change as I thought a gearbox swap, a new prop, and a re-cored radiator should happen as well. Oh and while I was under it there was the rest of that pre holiday service, including a steering rack gaiter, a steering column rubber u/j, yet another front bottom ball joint, and the odd drive-shaft u/j. It's been in the workshop for nearly a week, better hurry up it's got 300 miles to do next week!