It's been a long time in-between drinks, I know and I can explain.
Greaser update: The shop is no more.
So what happened? LIFE. The thing is, we are on different paths, sometimes those paths cross one another and beautiful things happen. But, ultimately life calls, decisions have to be made and when it came to renewing our building lease, two of the guys couldn't invest any more time into Greaser, we had to let the lease go. So, everything got put on pause and I took time off to re-evaluate.
So are you guys cool? Yep, we still hang, we're still bros and we're still wrenching like aways.
And how about Greaser? The dream is still alive and I'm on a mission. My work space has been reduce from a workshop back to the home garage. I'm on the floor instead of under a hoist and everything takes three times longer. On the plus side, not having to pay rent means I get to funnel the money into developing Greaser 2.0, so it's not the end, just a bump on the road.
Onto mushroom hunting...
We have a double car garage at home but with the AE86 already occupying one space (and not being easily moved outside), I only had one car space to work on the DC2R.
The DC2R is a tank of a workhorse. It does everything, it takes me to work, takes me to school, it's a parts getter, and a track car. It does everything and never complains. I noticed a minor oil leak at the beginning of 2017, which progressively got worst over the year. It got to the point where topping up the engine with fresh oil wasn't cutting it anymore, something more permanent had to be done.
I had several weeks off during Christmas and decided this would be the best time to perform a major service on the car. New Parts included a Sony head unit, Pioneer speakers, Motul Fluids, NGK Spark plugs, OEM HONDA top and bottom engine seal kits and Hardrace Engine mounts.
Both torque side mounts fell apart as soon I removed it off the car.
I took the engine and gearbox out from the car, this allowed me to re-seal the entire engine. The engine bay along with the engine, greasy brackets and crossmember got hit with the gerni, it took over 2 days of scrubbing and degreasing to get everything clean.
Oil Seals and o-rings that got replaced were:
A/C, PS and Alternator belt were also replaced.
At this point I thought of changing the oil pump, water pump and timing belt, but looking through the DC2Rs service history I found old receipts from a couple of years back. Working out the maths they were still within the service intervals, so I left them alone.
I spent a couple of hours each day working on the car. It took me a week from start to finish. Now that the car was done and not leaking oil, I was hanging for a short road trip
Julia sent me a text asking if I'd like to go on a mushroom hunt and before she could finish, I already said yes. I picked her up at sunrise, we got coffees and headed out west into the Blue mountains
We met up with some other friends at Katoomba (part of Blue mountains) an hour from Sydney, picked up supplies and drove for another hour on gravel roads into the woods. Our guide for the day was Alex "The Russian Mushroom man" (thats what I'm calling him). His a super chilled, quietly witty, no fuss and knowledgeable on all things mother nature kind of guy. If I had to choose someone to be on my team on "Survivor", he would be it.
When he said we were going into the woods to gather wild mushrooms, I thought it was like strawberry picking or apple haversting... I WAS SOOOO WRONG...IT WAS SO MUCH MORE COOLER!
The opening scene for any classic horror story
Walking into the dark woods.
We walk about 50 meters in and Alex spots a Wombat den. He then gets closer and shines a light inside. I'm standing back thinking "What happens if the wombat comes out charging?"
More wondering and minutes later, the girls and Alex are crowded around this one spot, I come over and they are looking at a set of old bones. Not far from the skull was another set of bones, stained with days old blood. Alex reckons we were in the middle of a feeding area for a pack of wild dogs, not wanting to find out if this was true or not, we left quick smart.
I never really understood how someone could get lost in the woods, BUT when it's super dense and everything looks the same, I can see how and why this happens. Every-time we turn around to go back, we would always end up about 50 to 100 metres away from where we had parked our cars. We had a good sense of direction, but not having a clear line of sight, a direct path or being able to point out any identifiable features made it so much harder to accurately retrace our steps. Add in fear, hunger, stress dehydration, coldness, fading light and its a recipe for a missing person in the woods.
After Alex found this giant Termite mound, he looks up, turns his head and says "I can smell mushrooms, this way" ... Ok mushroom man.
Unfortunately, the wild pigs had got there first and we were left with old dried mushrooms. The rest of the day was very much like this, so we gave up and went for lunch.
Julia was such a trooper (and such an awesome road trip partner), she worked the night before and made an effort to get up before sunrise to sit in a loud, uncomfortable car all day long. Worst of all she put up with my 3 hour long karaoke session.
We went home empty handed, but the drive through the Blue Mountains made it worth while. The DC2R is playful through the twisty fast sections and off camber corners. Where it lacks power it makes up in pure slow car fast momentum, it really feels at home on a mountain road. DC2R, you the MVP!