Saturday, March 21, 2015

We have (electronic) ignition - car confidence level holding at 30%

So today I fitted Aldon Ignitor electronic ignition and I have to say knowing my luck with this car I was mega surprised when it started!

I do still need to time it with my strobe light but it was set "close enough" for an initial trial and the car didn't half hesitate a few times on setting off. After a few hiccups though it completed the 8 mile test run with no further problems and ran really smooth with a good pick up and good levels of power.  Now let's see how long it lasts.

Strangely though I started to notice a new noise develop on acceleration during the run which sounded like maybe a wheel bearing or perhaps the clutch release bearing. When I got back home though I didn't think too much about it and as I was getting out the car I picked up the new MOT certificate the car got this week.
On this was an advisory which caught my eye: "Front prop shaft joint excessive play". Hmmm. This could be the noise I had heard developing.

Looking back in my records though the car had a new front UJ in March last year which failed big time in October so I decided to relace the whole propshaft with a reconditioned one and now the front UJ is showing excessive wear? There's something not right here and the car has only done about 400 miles in a year!!

What about the clutch? Well it's worked now for 16 miles but the fluid is half way down the master cylinder so I am not convinced on this front either.

Maybe 30% is too high a confidence level.


Sunday, March 08, 2015

Clutch fixed, engine running fine. Confidence level 30%

Copper washer in place
I have returned to the ungrateful PMW today and fitted a copper washer to the clutch hydraulic pipework at the slave cylinder as advised. Then after refilling and bleeding the hydraulics I took it for a run on my usual route.

I can report that 8 miles were completed with the clutch working correctly and the engine running just fine which is great as far as it goes. I have been "bit" many times before though so I am reserving judgement and at this time would only say I am 30% confident in the car.

Meanwhile, the curious electric fan issue has returned in that it comes on as the car is started, cuts off later and then refuses to cut in when the engine temperature rises and it's needed. It will restart though if I turn the car off and then immediately put the ignition back on.

If and it's a big if, the clutch is now OK then I need to be reassured that the engine problems are resolved. To this end I have bought an Aldon Ignitor electonic ignition kit which should arrive next week. Yes I know there are cheaper kits out there but I have always had good experiences with Aldon's goods so I am taking no chances (or at least as few as possible).

When that is fitted and the engine running is sorted (as well as the clutch problems) I will move on to the overdrive switch, the electric fan problems and at some point the seized heater valve. Higher on the priority list though is an MOT this month as in theory I am using PMW for the North Yorkshire Triumph Weekend although I did day that last year too and couldn't!

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?