Posts Tagged ‘Away’

Mazda 323f BA 1.5 GLX (1994), slow pulling away, help?

Hi I’m based in UK, just bought this car from a garage, 1 lady owner from new with FSH, test drove and was happy, deal done. Its a 323f 1.5 Glx, 5 door fastback, 1994, manual gearbox, 75k miles.

I know its only a 1.5 so its not a performance car, but driving it recently it seems to get caned off the lights by just about everything, especially in first gear. I’m a little worried…once under steam it goes well enough, especially between 2500-4000 rpm.

I always let it warm up for at least 10 mins before taking it above 2500, but sometimes you wanna give it a bit of stick.

When I saw the car the exhaust was blowing, so for MOT the garage replaced the exhaust for me, but its a “generic” looking thing and I’m wondering if this could be strangling the performance a bit? I mean its not an official Mada product, could this be the issue? Or is it just a heavy car for the size of the engine? I’ve got Nissan Micras in front of me pulling away with no fuss, and I have to take it to 4000 rpm just to keep up! At which point the car is making a lot of engine noise, rather than exhaust noise.

The previous lady owner had FSh with the car, and receipts for clutch, fuel filter, spark plugs, clutch assembly, air filter, all within last 10-20k miles.

Also how reliable are these cars in general? If I maintain it, will driving it with a few revs damage it? The redline is 7000rpm on the gauge, I usually change at 5000 max cos I dont want to blow the gearbox/engine/my bank balance. I use it for deliveries on country roads every day, so I need to look after it as my workhorse as well as some fun.

Please help…and any forums where I can get into conversations in a bit more depth.

Looking at the car front on makes me tingle, what a beautiful looking thing with the bonnet contour lines! Cheers
The idle is roughly 750 revs

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by - June 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Categories: UK Steam   Tags: , , , , , ,

How to prepare for a new cat? What to clean…throw away?

My wife and I are preparing for the worst, putting our current cat to sleep. She’s facing chronic renal failure, arthritis, and some other issues – after meeting with the Vet they confirmed they can make her somewhat comfortable…but never “whole.”

She’s our baby and we love her, but nothing lasts forever and we don’t want her last few months to be in pain.

…so lets skip forward. We’re going to get another cat (probably adopt) around Christmas time – this will give us our time to grieve, and clean up for a new critter. Before our cat got this bad, she would miss the littler box every so often – I’ve already decided we need to replace the pad/carpet and clean the concrete below. Living in an apartment that could be tricky, but I’ll figure that part out.

Aside from that all I can think of is throwing away old toys, the old litter box and steam cleaning the rest of the carpet.

Anything else I can do to make our home prepared for a new Cat? I know cat’s can be sensitive about territory that is new – so am I forgetting anything else I should do?

6 comments - What do you think?  Posted by - April 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Categories: Vintage Steam Toys   Tags: , ,

Howl Aboard! Let a Spooky Halloween Train Ride Spirit You Away

Booo… chooo… chooooooo… there’s an eerie express on the horizon… it’s a haunted Halloween train ride… trolling down a track near you!

Halloween train rides are super, natural choices for celebrating the year’s spookiest season. Trains are as varied as the ghosts that haunt them, from quaint narrow-gauge steam trains to diesel-powered streamliners. Pumpkin trains head out into sun-baked fields, their passengers in pursuit of the perfect jack-o-lantern. Party trains assemble a masked mob of witches, warlocks, super heroes and storybook characters to compete for best costume prizes. Night trains venture down isolated rail beds and through shadowy landscapes lit only by the light of the moon.

Among the range of Halloween themed trains, trick-or-treating and haunted house excursions are favorites. Unique rides featuring on-train dining and murder mystery performances are not uncommon. And pick-your-own-pumpkin excursions are always full. In any event, costumes are always encouraged.

Conjuring up a Halloween train ride event in your area doesn’t require a lot of hocus pocus. Scenic and heritage railways offering hosting Spook-tacular celebrations can be found in dozens of states. The 2009 guide to Halloween train rides (, posted on, features an extensive list of such railways.

Western U.S.A.

Hollywood-style magic cranks up the Halloween mojo at railways across the Western U.S.

Among the country’s dozens of pumpkin trains, Peanuts™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express Train events are standouts. Both, the Texas State Railroad and Colorado’s Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad host Great Pumpkin trains. Highlights include meet and greet opportunities with Peanuts stars Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy — plus train rides and the chance to choose a pumpkin straight from the patch (the Peanuts crew makes an additional appearance in North Carolina, see below).

In California, the “Home of the Movie Trains” stages a blockbuster Halloween bash. The Golden State’s Fillmore & Western Railway rounds out its Headless Horseman excursions with an old-fashioned hay ride and BBQ feast.

Not for the faint of heart, Idaho’s Thunder Mountain Line plays host to the scary Wild West Haunted Express; destination: nowhere! After sunset, Utah’s Heber Valley Railroad disappears into the haunted recesses of Provo Canyon.

Midwestern U.S.A.

Railways across America’s heartland treat Halloween merrymakers to a cauldron of dire delights and frightful fun.

There’s fun for everyone at the Walled Lake Scenic Railway. The Michigan railway’s age-appropriate Halloween calendar features scary Moonlight Ghost Trains for adults and older kids, plus nightmare-free Hobo Halloween Express Trains for the little ones. Across the state, ghosts and goodies are in store for visitors to the Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad, in Flint. Doughnuts, cider and more await trick-or-treating train passengers who make their way door-to-door through the 19th century heritage site.

The Midwest Central Railroad’s Ghost Train of No Return shares billing with Old Threshers’ Midwest Electric Railway’s Ghostly Trolley to offer Iowans a night of Haunted Rails. When the Indiana Railway Museum rolls out its Legend of the Lost Train event, goblins chase the French Lick Scenic Railway’s train through a ghostly forest and into a haunted tunnel.

Southern U.S.A.

For Halloween train lovers across the Southern U.S., North Carolina’s Blue Ridge holds the charm, with celebrations hosted by two separate mountain railroads. At the Smoky Mountain Railroad, Charlie Brown and the gang will be on board The Great Pumpkin Patch Express to welcome Halloween merrymakers who come for train rides, hay rides and to take home a pumpkin.

The Blue Ridge is also home to what is, arguably, America’s premiere spooky-season destination: the Tweetsie Railroad Ghost Train Halloween Festival. The month-long event attracts enthusiastic crowds with a range of attractions including train rides, a haunted house, a “freaky forest” and much more!

In Kentucky, Big South Fork Scenic Railway runs both Haunted Hollow Express Trains for big kids and Trick or Treat Trains for tots.

Northeastern U.S.A.

Railways in the Northeast U.S. offer up a range of chilling choices.

Big Apple residents and visitors need only hop a Metro North train to Sleepy Hollow where a string of pre-Halloween events celebrate the Headless Horseman. From Boston, Salem-bound MBTA Commuter Rail passengers get to join in the town’s month-long Haunted Happenings celebrations.

Rolling over track that crosses the site of a former cemetery, the Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Rails to the Darkside takes passengers on a scary ride into the night. A daytime Pumpkin Patch Train gives folks the chance to select a pumpkin fresh from the field.

New Jersey’s Black River & Western Railroad is home to the Crazy Train Maze at Pumpkin Junction, a Halloween triple-play that combines a train ride with opportunities to buy a pumpkin and to get lost in a 10-acre pumpkin field maze — accessible only by train. In Maryland, the Walkersville Southern Railroad transforms its popular Murder Mystery Dinner Train into an adult’s only Halloween Costume Party on wheels.

Ready to Go

Halloween events calendars vary with a number of railways limiting Halloween trips to the last weekend in October. Many, however — including those highlighted in the preceding paragraphs — host special Halloween events on selected days throughout the month. The website features a complete 2009 guide to Halloween train rides (

Not all trains are appropriate for all ages and some Halloween events may be deemed too frightening for younger children. Check with individual railways in advance to verify age restrictions and warnings. In cases of inclement weather, train ride events incorporating outdoor activities, may be altered, postponed or cancelled. Advance reservations are generally advisable and required in many instances. Remember to dress appropriately: many Halloween trains operate at higher altitudes or after sunset in conditions where colder temperatures may prevail.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - February 28, 2010 at 3:57 am

Categories: Vintage Steam Trains   Tags: , , , , , , ,