So after the pain and misery of braking down 30/40 metres away from the ferry, it’s safe to say neither of us slept well that night. We did however, wake with a plan and steely determination to track down a new fuel pump.
We decided to all call around multiple suppliers, in the hope that we could discover the part locally. A few days earlier, Willow had spoken to a local company about a fuel pump, but the guy she spoke to wasn’t sure of the specifications. She phoned the company back, and was reassured that the fuel pump they sold would be sufficient for our engine needs. I contacted a local supplier based on a recommendation from a family mechanic. He was very polite, but ultimately didn’t have the part that we needed.
With one fuel pump sourced, Willow was about to fly off to bring it back to fit it. Just before leaving, the gentleman I spoke to called back to say he had found a pump and had sent it to the family mechanic. This was fortunate, as we now had a back up if all went wrong. It is Ruby, so we were planning for the worst.
With a new fuel pump to hand, we went to work once again dismantling the fuel system, wary not to be covered in petrol once again.
Surprisingly, we were very efficient, and hardly a drop of petrol was lost. Eager to see the vast improvements to the fuel system by the new pump, we turned the key. Ruby spluttered and splattered, but did not start. It’s safe to say, we we not best impressed by this point. Maybe, it wasn’t a fueling issue after all.
We ran other tests on the battery and spark plugs to see if it was an electrical issue, but could not find anything to suggest that it was the electrics playing up. Willow was still convinced that it was a fuel pump complication, so she phoned up the company we bought the pump from. As we have a modern water cooled engine, we require a fuel pump that can produce 3 bar of pressure. Even though Willow had told the company this multiple times when she first spoke to them, it turned out that they had provided us a fuel pump for a carburettor engine. One that would only produce about 0.8 bar pressure.
At least aware that it was still a fuel pumpn issue, Willow set off once again, this time to the family mechanic to collect fuel pump replacement number 2.
I am pleased to say the fitting of fuel pump 2 went just as smoothly as the first pump, and even more pleased to say that Ruby fired up gloriously when we turned the key. The holiday to France was back on!
And so went set off to Newhaven again, excited to have Ruby running again, but anxious of another repeat of yesterday. Luckily we made it to the ferry port without any issues from Ruby. We did have a problem with the ferry company, as the previous night we were informed that we could change our ticket details for a £20 admin charge, which we were fine with. On arrival however, I was informed that because of different tarrifs, we would have to pay £99 to change our ticket details. Unfortunately I can talk about the events, but I can’t capture the anger raging through me as I argued that they were being unreasonable. The women dealing with me told me multiple times that it was impossible to change this. 5/10 minutes later, after speaking to the senior manager in charge for the evening, we settled on a rate 50% less than that. I wasn’t completely happy, as I was informed differently the night before, but could not see this price being reduced any lower, and we were both desperate to just get onto the ferry.
Tickets ammended, we repeated the queueing from the previous night(mare).
This time, we did not have a shambolic breakdown just before the ferry. We actually made it on board.
I swear holidays shouldn’t be this stressful.
With Ruby on board, we went to the deck to say goodbye to England.
The ferry journey is only 4 hours, and so we didn’t really have enough time for a decent night’s sleep. Although, that didn’t stop us lying on the floor desperate for some shut eye.
When we finally reached Dieppe, we decided to park at a camp spot 3 minutes the port. It was €5 for 5 hours, which would give us more than enough sleep before we made are way west.
After all the stress from the previous two days of events, I drifted off to dreams of driving Ruby through some of France’s most beautiful country roads.