My queendom for a flange

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Well, not really.

But if you heard an anguished wail from the general direction of Olympia at about 2 o’clock today, that was me. See, it’s been so long since I’ve driven her, that you may not remember I have a Morris Minor. I’ve been planning to convert her to electric for about 4 years now.

But I’ve not had her on the road <em>at all</em> for…lord knows how long. There was a brief, <em>brief</em> period when we first moved to the US when she was running. And then… it all went wrong.

The very brief summary is that the brand new differential failed. The one rebuilt and inserted just before we moved to the US. The one that I got maybe 1000 miles out of, perhaps, before it disintegrated.

Eventually after much back and forth with the company who rebuilt it for the company that restored her, it turned out they decided not to honour any kind of warranty on it, and I ended up carrying it back in my luggage to the UK. Then I popped it in the mail back to JLH, who’d rebuilt the car and sent the diff off to their favoured specialists (the ones who were now declining any kind of liability because it was >6 months since it was rebuilt. The fact it’d spent 3 of those months in a shipping container not moving seemed not to interest them). He found someone else to look at the diff who proclaimed it beyond salvage. Then we found a replacement diff which was (again) rebuilt – this time to a much higher standard (we hope).

It was shipped to the US – where… we found they’d installed the wrong flange on it. It wouldn’t mate to the propshaft (driveshaft) that was with the car.


Cue a year of struggle by the lovely folks at the garage where it’s sat having missed connections with JLH, and trying local people to find a solution. But it’s tricky, because the car has a back axle from a modified Ford Escort, and a Type 9 Ford gearbox all made bespoke for JLH.

And after a year the garage called and said ‘we pretty much give in’. So then I took the measurements, and I called Jonathon, and I sent e-mails, and I got what we all thought would be the parts ordered.

Only someone, somewhere fucked up. And what they sent is the same bloody flange we’ve already got:


At the moment I’m $360 down, and no further along.

I e-mailed Jonathon and he got right back to me with a “oh, no… I’ll come up with a plan” e-mail. But at the moment I’m super frustrated. Probably not as frustrated as the guys who’ve had my car sat in their garage for a year, but still, super frustrated. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some good news.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.