President's Report - August 2004

Greetings All,

About this time of year I often find an excuse to go somewhere warmer than Canberra. Indeed, as I have discovered in previous years, you only have to go north of Bourke to enjoy non-winter weather. As luck would have it, my work is taking me well north of Bourke for a couple of weeks, to attend a conference in Florence (Italy). I'll be away from 18 to 31 August, returning about the same time as our club technical officer, Bill McNamee, and his wife Geraldine depart for a couple of months in Europe.

Needless to say, we enjoy a rather sheltered mechanical life in the club courtesy of the terrific service that Bill McNamee provides to members. Thanks to Bill, few of us need to deal, unaided, with the Canberra motor trade jungle for most aspects of car maintenance. However, even SuperBill needs a break and his absence, during September and October, will see some disruption to club technical services. 

To assist in minimising the disruption to technical services during his absence, Bill will explain the strategies he has devised at our next club meeting at the Italo-Australian Club on Tuesday 24 August. I'm sure that many of you will be eager to be at this "must-hear" event. Although I will be unable to attend the August club meeting, I will be able to get the "goss" direct from Bill when he services the Pillans' 405 this week.

The much-talked-about (in this column, at least) 405 has been running without incident since the heater-core failure a few months ago. At that time, Bill added a magic potion to the coolant to seal the leaks, and thus far there has been no recurrence of the problem. Meanwhile I have given 3 failed heater cores to my son, John, for engineering assessment - news on that front as it comes to hand.

The 405 needed two new front tyres last month, and I was somewhat disappointed that the Michelins had not lasted all that well. However, when Sue took the car to Woden Tyre & Exhaust, she was told that they had been on the car for 3 years. According to WT&E, front tyres on a front-wheel drive car only last about half as long as those on the back, so we are looking to get about 100,000 km from the rear tyres - much more in keeping with my expectations!

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad