Work on Harvey has actually continued apace over the past few weeks – despite the lack of blog entries about it. If something doesn’t appear on a blog, has it actually happened? Discuss. Anyway the green golfball on my forehead is testament to my efforts in this regard, if not my expertise… I was lying under the “black tank” using a spanner to pull on a reluctant nut holding the dump valve, when it flew off and whacked me in the head. Lying, grime-smeared on a piece of cardboard, head throbbing and effluent dripping murkily into the gravel beside me I did momentarily wonder if there weren’t easier ways to have fun… Anyway, it all came off in the end – quite literally in fact. I won the battle of the bolts and even fixed the tank level sender in the process, so it was a good afternoon.
I drove Harvey out to a sheet metal place in Woodbridge to commission a new house-battery compartment cover from aloominum (as we must call it here), and bumped into Tom Phipps who is a fellow owner in Woodbridge and someone I have exchanged emails with a few times. It was great to put a face to the name and nice to meet you Tom. It was quite a sociable day in fact as when I pulled up into the Home Depot carpark an elderly gent in a beaten-up pickup stopped right in front of me in order to come over and ask me what I thought of the GMC experience. “Haven’t seen one of these for years” he told me. He was quite a character, with three fingers missing on his right hand as a result of an argument with some kind of machine, and a glass eye replacing “the one I lost last year”. He was a spry 81 and “what’s between the hairline and the eyebrows still works pretty good”. Old vehicles. They do bring out a reaction that the new ones very rarely do.
My sheet metalists were in a classic small factory. It was mostly full of silent oil-smeared machines in that vaguely 1950s pale green. I had sent plans of this battery cover (courtesty of Bob on GMC.net of course) to a few places in the area. All the ones with websites replied somewhat sniffily that they didn’t do that sort of thing. It needed a been-there-for-years kind of place with no web presence and not much going on; pokey offices stuffed with creaky leather chairs, piles of curling paper obscuring all available surfaces, and a receptionist of a certain age called Tammy. Nirvana. Yes they could do it, said big Ken. How about Monday. Actually they did it that afternoon.
So now I have ordered a new dump valve which I must put on next week, before we head up to Maryland for a weekend of camping with other GMCers. Its our last chance for a camping roadtest before the big road trip…