So, Friday 24 March, my last at the fun factory before leaving for distant parts (well - Manchester, in the first instance!) & I get an e-mail from Neilsen's advising due to exceptional demand (nothing to do with getting a plug here, of course) they are out of stock & offering a later delivery date - or immediate refund. Not surprisingly, in all the circumstances, I accept refund but am impressed with their prompt & professional dealing with the situation; fingers crossed the refund will be as prompt.
Can't now order the cheap stuff now as the firm's IT security blocks buying on Ebay, going to the vendor's site reveals a £5 price increase - AND, I'm going to Manc straight from work! Still should have enough time when I get there to do the business on son's computer - but Virgin Trains & a "jumper" on the Stockport viaduct had other ideas (& we're leaving for the airport at 8:00)!
The Caddy DOES have underbonnet terminals for jumpstarting, but (on "STS1" - which is afflicted with parasitic battery drain: flat in 3 hours!) I've only known it work once, ironically after 2 earlier failed attempts connecting direct to the battery!
Minis had the battery in the boot: not easy to remove/replace simply because they were so far inboard, as it meant reaching over the dropdown bootlid. P6B Rovers too, a tight fit in a box recessed in the floor, a real pain, in those days before batteries had handles, because the lifting strap was either missing - or rotten! However, with a strategically positioned relay + some serious cable you could have a HRW that almost glowed in the dark!
Seized boot locks, pah! Try this scenario: come out to your (probably) late '60's Caddy in the supermarket parking lot, to find car has flat (conventionally located) battery - & Caddy's latest feature? The electric hood release!
I have one of those Lidl's trolley jacks (somewhat bizzarely, they were a little dearer in Germany) it's fine as a supplement to/backup for a proper 2,3 ton(ne) garage jack, it'll even lift the Caddy (well, one corner) but with a bit of a struggle, in severeal respects. With a little care/caution it'll more likely get you out of, rather than into, trouble - & it's quite portable (I remember my original, serious, trolley jack wouldn't go in the boot of my Rover 3500S.
Now moving on: 27 March, our little party set off, in a Hyundai coach (first vehicle worth a mention, simply 'cos I didn't know there was such a thing) to get our Vietnamese driving licences - just so we can thumb our collective nose at Clarkson & Co!
After 2 days playing with the traffic in Hanoi, or so it seemed, we finally (courtesy of another biiiiig Hyundai) arrive at the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum for some more Soviet era propoganda - & to be randomly allocated one of a motley assortment of (so-called) Jeeps (but actually ginn-u-ine USAF surplus (i.e. abandoned) M151 MUTTs we were going to take, via the scenic route, to Da Nang. A couple were (almost) original but most were not, to a greater or lesser extent, both cosmetically & mechanically. I was surprised to find "ours" had a 5-speed box, but it was some time before I realised that also meant it didn't have 4WD BUT it did have discs at the front - & we were using paved roads for the whole trip - allegedly! If anything, I was even more surprised at the metric speedo (but then the S. Vietnamese ones would've been so equipped). However, before my son/navigator/food taster/long suffering travel companion could guestimate the extent of the odometer's obvious inaccuracy, the speedo failed completely. Can't remember now whether that was before or after we stopped for fuel - & discovered the hand brake had failed! (no problem, on a previous trip we'd done 2,000 miles in a Hindustan Ambassador that didn't have a handbrake!).
The following morning (after finding the hotel's internet room - but, too late0, the handbrake was on - & you could see a bright shiny cable. The replacement speedo however wasn't so new, the cracked glass was a bit of a give away - & it was imperial, well American - presumably. This required some frantic recalculations before we set off, especially as the fuel guage didn't seem to work at all (it later became apparent that the more fuel there was in the tank, the more damping there was to the erratic swinging of the needle). This speedo was really not much better as it seemed to read 20 as soon as you started to roll - & never went above 40! It is largely thanks to my son that we only missed 2 turns in the 1,000-odd miles & never ran out of fuel, despite the constantly changing layout of road junctions, having to guess when each landmark/turn in the roadbook would come up & petrol stations not being so obvious, even when there were any. On 5 April the handbrake went again but, to my surprise, was fixed overnight, even though the 6th was our last driving day, & only about 50 miles (albeit mainly on mountain roads). After that it was downhill all the way, as far as I was concerned, as the holiday ended when the driving stopped. I'm glad we finished in Saigon, but just wish we could have driven that last 100 miles there.
So, come Saturday morning we're stuck in Hong Kong with time to kill &, at last, I find free computer terminals. I suppose, had I thought of it, I could've, at least, started this post then but my mind was on trying to get that hypoid, so I could still change the oil before driving down to Devon, hopefully, on Thursday. Wasting my time though, Ebay didn't like me using another computer & wanted me to jump through all sorts of hoops - & give them more inforamtion I don't want them to have - before letting me make the purchase. Still, it's done now - & should arrive tomorrow; we'll see.