Sunday, February 01, 2015

One problem that wasn't-solved, then another appears

The joys of working on 45 year old cars.

When I identified the heater wasn't working a few weeks ago now I carried out one or two checks. The control was operating the levers but there was no hot water to the heater pipes from the engine bay.

I had actually missed a crucial bit here as I wasn't familiar with the 2000 heater system and I now know it's a stuck heater valve and there is no lever actually attached any more.

Not realising this though I contacted Chris Witor, talked it over with him and he suggested it was possibly the water return pipe connecting the inlet manifold to the water pump. As it looks like the original it could easily have become full of gunk and be restricting water flow and it isn't something I would like to have fail on the 10 Countries Run either so I ordered a replacement.

I removed the old pipe which was a bit of a faff as it runs between the exhaust manifold and the block but once I had it off the car there was a kink in it but other than that it didn't look too bad. Obviously I still replaced it with the new stainless steel pipe which should last another 45 years!

Of course that sounds easier than it was to do especially when things like ratchets, clips and olives fall on the floor and have to be found/retrieved.

Having completed this I then started the car to make sure there were no leaks and was pleased to see there weren't.

Strangely though the electric fan started immediately but cut off after about a couple of minutes. Getting the car thoroughly up to temperature it didn't come back on though as expected. I switched the engine off, restarted and the electric fan came on.

I'll have to investigate that next.It could be because the car isn't being used and old cars don't like that. For example petrol came out of the front carb float chamber too but a tap on it cured the sticking valve. Regular use tends to make sure these things don't happen.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

More light work

So after curing UNJ's light issues (hopefully) time to move on to PMW.

I had replaced the outer dip/main beam headlight sealed beams with halogen conversions some time ago and wired them up with relays etc. I had also relayed the inner main beams too although had left the sealed beams in place to save some money.

Today was the day to fix that. Having bought replacements from Chris Witor it's only a 30 minute job to sort out so off with the grille and swap in the offside one first. Now why won't it work I thought as it refused to light up as did the outer one on main beam - hmm.

Probably a bad earth I thought but cleaning things up didn't make a difference.

OK, systematic approach now and out with the digital tester. Power at the relay but not at the lights so what's going on? I next checked all the connections but there was no power all the way back to "out" of the the relay.

Off side now back in place - old sealed beam on the floor. Electric fan visible in centre.


Doh! A blown fuse, it's always the way it seems, when I try to do things the right way I might as well ahve gone straight to the simple thing first. So I replaced the fuse but then there still wasn't power to the headlight on main beam. Probably due to the wire being disconnected!!  Eventually with everything reconnected it all worked.

Fitting up the nearside didn't take anything like as long and all worked as it should. This is all very important for when we use PMW on Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run in September - a long overnight drive in the middle of the night in the Czech Republic and Croatia will be better with decent lights.

Proof it all works - now PMW has the lights of an 80s car!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Switching to light

Take the panel apart and then take the switch apart!
 For a change I have worked on UNJ today. During a venture sur le continent in 2013 the rear lights on the car stopped working, something helpfully pointed out by the French Police.

I have fixed this a couple of times by taking the light switch apart and using switch cleaner on it but the problem  keeps coming back.

So, thanks to a Christmas present of Rimmer Brothers vouchers I bought a new switch entirely and fitted it today. Mind you it is a bit fiddly to do and the new switch needed to be taken apart before it would fit the hole in the panel. Then it's just a  case of putting it all back together to find that yes all the lights work as they should - at least for now.

New switch back in and all re-assembled




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where's the nearest scrapyard?

Just about had enough of this car now.

Took it out for a run to check out the various issues.

Clutch worked fine - so that's a good thing but I haven't yet checked the integrity of the slave cylinder couplings.

Overdrive worked with the switch nicely in position on the top of the gearkob - then it stopped working. Faffing about with it in a layby didn't help, the connections are too long/falloff/the wiring is too long holds the switch out of the top of the gearknob and then when I finally gave up the top of the knob flew off somewhere into the recesses of the car.

If I keep this car it will get a proper switch somewhere else. I used to have a TR3 overdrive switch on my Vitesse years ago and that would look good - or maybe one of those rally type ones on the gearlever but with a proper toggle switch.

Meanwhile, whilst in another layby I tried to sort out what was happening with the heater thanks to some tips from my mate Andy Pearce only to find the linkage on the heater valve on the inlet pipe is entirely missing! What joy. More faffing about there then.

There should be a linkage on the centre of the circular brass valve!


Finally to cap it all off when I left the second layby the car started hesitating and backfiring - now it was a case of if I could get it home. With much revving in low gears I got the car home and now it is under the car port in shame waiting for when/if I can be bothered to look at any of these different problems.

10CR in 2015 in this car looks a long way off right now.

In fact, why don't I sell my Triumph sand buy a reliable Z4 or something instead?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Not convinced

Slave cylinder now fitted the correct side of the bracket

So, returning to the clutch saga here's the slave cylinder fitted at the rear of the bracket  giving more of a "push" and maybe helping the loss of fluid problem.

I did take the car for an 8 mile run and the clutch worked just fine but will the fluid stay in the system?

Well, I have all the connections as tight as I can get them. I have cleaned them off and then left some kitchen towel tissue around them to see if there's any seepage visible in a day or so.

Leak detection system!



Meanwhile, there is visible leakage from the sump plug area too!! 

Now actually I don't think it's the sump plug itself especially as I have PTFE round it.

I think there may be a problem with the brazing on the threaded insert that the sump plug goes in to.

I could do without that really.


















Having had enough of that though I then ventured inside the car to try and get the overdrive switch on top of the gear lever fitted properly. It just won't sit down as it should though so now I know why I have seen a fair few cars with insulation tape holding the switch on!

I thought a combination of pulling the wiring down the gear lever and pressing the switch into place would sort it out but no matter what I do I can't get it to co-operate. Thoughts of a normal gearknob and wiring another switch start to come to mind or buying a different type altogether as used to be fitted to works cars but that seems a bit drastic right at the moment.

Did I mention the heater still doesn't work?

Oh, and how about the fact that the weld broke on the bonnet stay so it went further forward than it should and marked the paint on the bonnet and slam panel?

Don't you just love classic cars?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Clutching at straws

Yes, the clutch problems continue.

There's a pool of hydraulic fluid under the slave cylinder area which looks to me to be the connections - no matter what I do I can't seem to sort it out.

Thanks to help from friends on the Club Triumph forum and a Triumph Facebook page I have a number of things to try next though.

The slave cylinder with pool of huydraulic fluid in evidence on the floor!
It has been pointed out that the slave cylinder is fitted the wrong side of the bracket which could give a risk of the push rod dropping out. That's another problem, never mind the fluid loss. It also probably explains why the clutch feels at the bottom of the pedal's travel so this will be one thing I'll deal with when I get to work on it over Christmas.

The view of the connections from underneath.    

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Into Overdrive - then!

Last week I had fitted a new overdrive gearlever wiring harness but the overdrive didn't work  :-(

This week I patiently worked through the wiring with my digital analyser as most overdrive probelms are electrical.

First check - power to the switch - yes.

OK - now time to dismantle the gearlever gaiter so I could get to the top of the gearbox.

That allowed me to check if there was  power from the switch. Yes.

OK good so far. I could see wiring to the inhibitor but that wouldn't be easy to get to and I didn't feel like pulling the connectors off to check if power was there as it wouldn't be easy to get them back on.

No matter - I could check if there was power reaching the solenoid with the the ignition on and the car in 3rd or 4th by jacking the car up and getting it on to axle stands.

This accomplished when I got under the car I saw the earth lead to the solenoid wasn't connected. Putting that back on and then checking the power said everything should be OK.

Whilst under the car I noticed the clutch slave cylinder connection was weeping as was the sump plug so I tightened them up a tad. Note this for later reference.

With the car back on the ground I carefully reassembled the gear lever gaiter and associated trim, even replacing a missing clip and screw.

So, the moment of truth - would the overdrive work?

Out on a test drive and I can report yes it does - hurragh!

Which is just as well because the clutch failed but I managed to jam it in third and switch between third and overdrive third to limp back home.

The 2000 is now back under the car port in shame until next weekend. I think I will take a long hard look at the whole clutch hydraulics again and see if I can sort that one out next.

I am absolutely convinced there's a great car lurking behind all this grief and I'll get to it eventually.