Monday, March 24, 2014


I collected PMW from storage today and drove to the Vicarage Motor Company in Barnoldswick for MOT. That was a tad nerve wracking as obviously the car hadn't been on the road since 2011.

Positives were that the brakes worked (!) and so did the overdrive even if the gear knob switch kept popping off as expected.

Not so good was  a vibration at 50MPH and the steering felt rather "loose" which didn't inspire confidence.

Anyway, made it to Barnoldswick and left it with my favourite classic friendly garage (as you can see they know about classics as that's an MGB downstairs and Reliant Scimitar upstairs). They found a few problems but fixed them for me - a flexi brake pipe was leaking, one of the headlamp bulbs had dis-assembled itself and so not surprisingly the aim was out.

No water in the washer bottle (what a pillock!) and the steering rack was "insecure" - that'll be why the steering felt a bit dodgy then. Again, even more of a pillock for not checking everything over.

Advisory that the front propshaft UJ needs relacement which would certainly explain the  vibration.

All in all though a very good result and here's the photo to prove it (even though I can't load it the right way up :-).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Should I? Yeah might as well, I know I want to!

No, not buying another car!

Spent a good day today on the 2000.

Alot of tidying up and finishing off really. Trouble is most of the finishing off isn't really finished!

I have taken loads of stuff, spares etc out of the car and brought home.This included a brand new heated front screen which I will fit in the summer rather than before getting the car back on the road - I may do this at a Pendle and Pennine meeting in the Old STone TRough car park.

Drove the car about in the mill yard and it seems fine - all freed off etc.

Thanks to Bryce had heat shrink put on the wires for the overdrive in the gearstick - unfortunately I can't seem to get the loom far enough down the stick for the switch to stay on top of the gearknob. Don't need that for the MOT tho!

Wired up the electric fan and got a headlamp working that had decided to be awkward.

Then ran the car for a few minutes and when the temparature got up hot water was escaping past the radiator cap and being pumped into the expansion bottle before escaping from there! And the electric fan didn't cut in either.

I have an MOT booked for Monday though and it's a 17 mile trip but I really want the car back at home. Now I have to decide what to do - well right now my plan is to drive it to the MOT station and just take a couple of 5 litre bottles of water to top up the radiator if needed.

After the MOT I can sort out these problems one by one on my drive rather than have a 34 mile trip every time I want to work on the car.

Saturday, March 01, 2014


Nearly two litres of DOT4 brake and clutch fluid later I have bled the brakes and the clutch.

I wasn't looking forward to this as I expected the bleed nipples to snap off but all the brake bleed nipples loosened off OK - wow! No fluid actually came out of the ends though, just from where the nipples screwed in to the rear wheel cylinders and the front calipers.

I used an easy bleed to do this and just collected the fluid in a jar as it was pumped out and cleaned up afterwards of course.

The clutch slave cylinder wasn't as easy.

The bleed nipple was right up next to the oil filter so I unbolted the clutch slave cylinder and let it "dangle". Unfortunately the cylinder within it along with the spring then came out when the easy bleed was attached. No doubt an experienced Triumph tinkerer would have expected this but not me. By now the whole clutch pipework etc was full of air.

To get round the problem I put the spring and cylinder back in and used a cable tie to restrain the cylinder next time round. Success on that front so I got a good 250 ml of flluid thorugh the system and out the nipple. Then it was just a case of bolting it all back on of course.

At the end of the day I started the car, selected gears and moved it back and forward whilst stopping it with the brakes.

Starty,move and stop you see :-)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A right good day

Here's the 2000 lifted nice and high on axles stands so I could get under to get the propshaft attached.
At this point you can see the propshaft still hanging down loose at the front and also at the side of the car is the centre section of the exhaust which still needed fixing too.

With the propshaft bolted up though I pumped up the tyres and got the car back down on the ground so that at last I could get it moved out of the bus garage where it has really been taking space up and isn't the easiest location for the next part.

Mind you, it was tricky to get it out but manage it we did thanks to help from Bryce and a fork lift to tow it.

Here it is, seeing the light of day for the first time in more than 2 years.

From here we towed it round the block and into a workshop where I could get it onto a lift.

That's where I got the exhaust back on and fitted up properly. Along with getting the accelerator linkage sorted and then the air filter housing back on yet again it was time to start the car and see how it all is.

Well, it starts very very well now, almost as if it's now remembered how to run and shrugs it off in a "of course I'll start, no problemo way".

Even better though was that now there's an exhaust on it I could rev the engine a little and by eck I now remember how gorgeous it sounds.

On that note (!) time to quit whilst ahead and come back next week for the bleeding of brakes and the clutch.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Smooth running

Last time I updated the blog I wasn't counting any chickens.

Well since then PMW has been running more than once so that's good.

Latest is that I have checked and adjusted the tappets as well as draining the oil and replacing it with fresh 20/50 whilst swapping for a new filter of course.

The good news is that this time the oil coming out the sump looked much more like oil with only a slight trace of emusification from water contamination. I think the flushing oil has done it's job and now it's onto normal running in when I aim to swap the oil and filter after about 100 miles of driving the car.

Starts to sound like I am getting close doesn't it?

Still a bit to do yet though including fixing the exhaust, reconnecting the propshaft, bleeding the brakes and clutch so that I have them working and wiring up that electric fan. That's what I know about of course.

There will be the small matter of extricating the car from the big shed it's in hemmed in by buses and trucks. One step at a time.

I do need to get under the car though and it's not pleasant jacking the car up and getting it on to axle stand so I can grub around under it on a dirty concrete floor. Not so good when I can't find the propshaft nuts and bolts either.  These are the kinds of things that happen when a car is stripped over so many months (years even), things go missing and then hold you up putting it all back together.

I have learned patience though so a few more bits and pieces have been ordered from Chris Witor and I can come back to the car next weekend.

I must be prepared to be disappointed as bleed nipples break off no doubt too!

On balance though, progress continues to be made and PMW starts now easily enough without Easy Start. I think is very smooth too which I should be able to confirm when I have the exhaust all coupled up.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Not counting chickens

A week later and it's back to PMW.

Last week the haad was back on and the manifolds fitted.Well there was still some awkward buggers of nuts to fit on the inlet manifold baulked by the manifold itself so I had to loosen the studs and nuts I had struggled with last week before I could get access to finish fitting all of them. What joy.

Next was fitting all the hoses again and filling up with water.

Connecting up the fuel line. Easy enough as I have now done this several times. Erm, no! I can't describe how much of a sod this was to work out where the brackets went, not to mention then trying to fit the alternator back on and finding that combinations of the fuel pipe, alternator bracket and fan belt all caught up on each other in one combination or another!

Oh well, patience won through and all of that was put back together OK.

By now I was on the ignition side of the engine bay. Now where do these wires go? And what's the firing order again? Which one of the 2 dizzy cap and plug lead combinations is the right one? Got it right in the end though and fitted the freshly charged battery.

Remembered to leave the king lead off though when I spun the engine over hoping to get oil pressure. Crikey it took a long time again but eventually the oil light went out around the time the battery was starting to slow down.

All of a sudden I was in a position to try and start the old git. Well it was reluctant again and then coughed a couple of times when I more or less poured Easy Start down it's throat.

I know when to call it quits though so I decided to pack things away and come back next week but first I checked the dipstick and it did seem like it was oil rather than mayonnaisse on it. OK I thought, why not take the rocker cover off and see what it's like under there.

No immediate horrors so I decided to turn the engine over to make sure it wasn't throwing water all over the rocker covers again! You know what? It very nearly started.

OK, more Easy Start and let's see what happens.

I tell you what happened - it only went and started and kept running. I kept it running for about 3 minutes and then switched off to check things over.

All appeared OK so I started it again and this time it ran by itself even without choke or throttle - here's the proof

I am not counting any chickens though. There does appear to be some "milky oil" but then that's quite possible as I couldn't clear all the water out from before.

Also there is some water loss down the front offside of the block which I dread to think is a head gasket issue - it's more likely to be a leak at the water pump or thermostat housing so I'll be checking that out next.

Good news is that the oil on the dipstick looks like oil (which is another reason to think the water leak isn't a head gasket problem).

I think I'll retorque the head, check the tappets and investigate that water leak next.

If all is OK then I'll change the flushing oil and the oil filter when it's been run for about an hour in total.

Defintiely not counting any chickens though - did I say that already?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On the way back - with PMW

Back to PMW and the unfortunate incident of fitting the wrong head gasket! This meant the mixing of oil and water so that had to be got rid of - see the evidence below as it drained from the sump, looks more like milk than oil doesn't it.

Once that was out of the way then a general clean up and I replaced the oil filter which was contaminated as well of course.

OK, then it was put it all back together and here's a picture of what I sincerely hope is the right gasket fitted the right way up!
 From that point I refitted the head and torqued it down, hopefully correctly as I am getting really paranoid now. Once the pushrods were back in I fitted the valve gear and rocker cover before putting in flushing oil. The plan is to run the car for about an hour with flushing oil then drain that, replace the oil filter with another fresh one and refill with new 20/50.

The rest of today's action was refitting the inlet and exhaust manifolds which is much easier to say than do. I actually called it a day about 5PM after struggling with a particularly difficult fixing but it gave in in the end.

Next weekend should see it all back together and an attempt made to get it running again.