Mario II blossoms into life (-ish)

We’ve had a busy month or so preparing Mario II for the gruelling shitbox rally.  Preparations have included attending to a leaking rear caliper, and a leaking clutch slave cylinder, replacing shagged swaybar bushes, fitting of second hand rally tyres, alternator mounts, and various other bits and pieces.  Finally Mario was declared fit for the highway, and was granted a 45-day club permit.  We’ve also fitted a stereo with the all-important ipod line-in, and a pretty decent fixed-mount UHF radio.  Beyond that even, we lashed out on extra high quality matte black rattle can paint, and gave the bonnet and boot the 80s rally car look.  Fantastic!

However initial test driving revealed a few problems – a major overheating problem for starters.  Finally (after boiling the engine at least once!) we fixed the wiring to the thermofan, replaced the thermostat, and had the radiator cleaned out professionally.  Mario II now holds a lovely 78-83 degrees in all kinds of traffic and on the highway.  That’ll be important I think in the hot and dry of the Strzelecki Track and the humidity of far north Queensland.

One cylinder IS a little down on compression (rings) and Mario does blow a little smoke, but we’re feeling confident he’s up for the challenge.  A test drive to the bush on the weekend (about 130km out of town) showed he has no trouble munching up kilometres.  Oh, except that halfway home the distributor lunched itself and left Sheldon stranded on the side of the road in the dark waiting for a tow.  Oh well… two weeks to go!

This should be interesting…

Author: Evan

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