Sunday, April 30, 2017

A bit of DIY and a positive result

Having got PMW back I changed the oil and filter. The family business from the 60s through to the turn of the century was a country garage in Derbyshire and part of the nostalgia for me is that the first petrol company we were associated with was Gulf so for that and if my brother is reading this - here's the oil I used.
After this was completed UNJ was at the local garage for MOT and needed some more bits and pieces including new front strut inserts.

The battery had been getting low though as when I came to start the car recently it was very sluggish so I also knew it needed another one.

Thinking outside the box the battery on PMW had always started very well but I have not been happy because the terminals are the engine side of the battery and should actually be on the inner wing side.

So, I decided to get a new battery for PMW and then put it's old battery on to UNJ.

Battery that has always been on PMW with terminals on engine side
I then did a fair bit of research on an appropriate battery asking for advice etc and found an 096R battery would do just the job so ordered a Lucas branded one. Now this was something I liked because it was both black as batteries always were in  the 60s and also Lucas is a brand  associated with Triumph and many other British car companies.

Not only that but it's specs are well on top of the job -   70 AH, 680CCA, 4 years guarantee.

I did need a new j bolt and decided to get a new bracket too so that the old naff cut down version (done by a previous owner no doubt to get a wrong battery to fit). Here's how it all looks now.

Sunday, April 09, 2017


I have recently decided to get work done on the cars and do less myself.

Different reasons in these two cases though.

PMW, the 2000 that didn't want to run properly.

Here I decided enough was enough with my limited availability in time and ability in skill so asked my local garage, Vicarage Motor Company of Barnoldswick to take a look to see if they could sort out the poor running.

Well, a couple of  carb gaskets, replacement split vacuum carb pipes but probably more importantly a replacement ballast rsistor and the car runs so much better. Not perfect yet but certainly pulls stongly up to 4000 revs and over testing of about 30 miles too so a big step forward.

Then there's UNJ, the TR7 DHC. As already reported this was much improved due to work done by TR7 specialists S&S Preparations but after this I spotted they had posted on facebook an almost brand new sports exhaust system and manifold. For the price of a brand new one supply only they fitted this nearly new one for me and I picked the car up on Saturday.

The car sounds GREAT and not only that but it goes even better now.

So, yes I am cheating on my old principles of doing work myself and my wallet is much lighter but I am very pleased with the results.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

An accumulation of things

Over time my TR7 DHC UNJ has been a pretty much OK kind of car, starts well, drives OK and generally does what you want it to.

It's been round Europe and done lots of other touring events nearly always with the top down whatever the weather. One Club Triumph Welsh tour was particularly bad as I remember it.

There's always been a bad vibration through the steering wheel though at 55ish which I put down to wheel weights always being knocked off by the large brake calipers so wheel balancing is pretty much impossible.

The car has also had a tendency to run pretty well but then start to hesitate or not pull properly. More recently it's also lost coolant although I couldn't find out from where.

So what's the point of this update then? Well I put the car into S&S Preparations over winter for the coolant problem to be identified and fixed as well as them fit an electronic ignition kit I had bought many years ago but never fitted which I hoped would solve the hesitation problem.

In addition I asked Steve to give a general look over the car to make sure I wasn't spending money on a wreck (which I didn't think I was but it's always worth having a professional's view) and give me a list of other work that might need doing.

Well the coolant loss was tracked down quickly as a heater hose perished at the bottom where it entered the bulkhead so I could be excused for not seeing that.

The electronic ignition was fitted but wouldn't work so back to points etc.

I then authorised work on tracking down what the problem was with the "occasional" poor running and hesitation.

Well, first Steve at S&S found sediment in the carb fuel bowls (rather like my 2000 problems) so these were cleaned and an in line fuel filter fitted before the fuel pump (as I had done on my 2000). In addition various fuel hoses were split,deriororated as were the rubber carb mounts which would have contributed to air leaks and said poor running. These were all replaced, the carb mounts being replaced by alloy versions.

All of that didn't cure the misfire/hesitation though so back to the ignition side and onto the analyser which showed one of the cylinders kept "going down". Further investigation found a worn distributor so this was replaced with a good second hand one. Meanwhile the dizzy cap and rotor arm had been worn/scored because of the worn distributor.

In fact I had seen these problems before, back in July last year but hadn't realsied the full implications.

So new dizzy cap, rotor arm, condensor,points, 4 plugs and a plug lead were fitted.

Somehow my thought that fitting an electronic ignition kit might solve the problem looked a little sick by now.

On to other issues diagnosed after a check through the car.

Remember the "wheel imbalance" problem?

Well, the front off side wheel bearing was on it's last legs, the upper and lower steering joints gone and the steering column to bulkhead bush had fallen apart. Oops! Now, should I bother having these replaced? Didn't take long to say yes with such safety critical parts so that's what was done there.

What else? Well, a split steering rack gaitor seemed a minor "whilst you are about it "decision so that was replaced too.

Meanwhile the bushes in the gearbox remote had also all failed and the remote was resting on the rotating propshaft which isn't quite how Triumph intended so all those were replaced too.

We agreed to call a halt at this point with other "advisories" having to wait for another winter when my bank balance may have recovered a bit.

Thankfully though the car was really good to drive when I collected it pulling away under acceleration well, no judder through the steering column and the gear change really tight.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

More overdrive

I didn't have much time today but did have enough time to use a borrowed 5/16 UNF die to rethread the gear lever (thanks Bryce for the loan of the die).

With that done I was able to fit another overdrive gearknob, but this one is like ones used in competition with a toggle switch. It fits very nicely and feels nice and solid. Next up is wiring it in.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Not used to this

I have bought a non overdrive gearlever and today I thought I would clean it up and out of curiosity see how it looked against the overdrive one n the car.

Using a rag and turps the new old stock gearlever cleaned up a treat but I knew there were some parts I would need so I referred to my parts book.  Well everything I needed looked like should be in place on the one already fitted as they didn't seem different where they locate so I decided to partly dismantle things to take a look.

Here's the assembly and yes it looks like everything should be able to be switched over. Well, having come this far I might as well check it out a bit more eh?

So, I undid the bolt at 6 o'clock in ths photo and removed it. Then there's nuts at 3 and 9 o'clock but if I remove them that would still leave studs in place surely so how would the metal cover come off?

Well, only one way to find out so I undid them and out came the studs too. Then the cover lifts off with an "inverted saucer" that holds a spring below it. With those out of the way the gearlever came out and I could compare with the non overdrive gearlever.

They looked exactly the same at the gearbox end so rather than describe the blow by blow of reassembly it was in the tradition of the Haynes manual a reversal of what I had just done and here's the "new" non overdrive gearlever in place.
Before fully replacing all the trim I then took the car for a test run and all is well with gear selection and how great it is to have a proper "knob" to get hold of!

Meanwhile the car ran well for a good 12 miles or so but then started to bog down and struggle again. I think this could easily be more fuel problems as on a light throttle it pulled quite well so next weekend it will be checking the fuel pump again.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Confidence improving

Having identified a problem with debris blocking the fuel pump a number of friends recommended not replacing the plastic inline fuel filter I had used with another one of the same type.

This being on the basis that they can collapse where the fuel pipe clamps up.

So, I followed advice from Colin Wake and fitted a filter from a V6 Vauxhall Vectra which should certainly cope with the fuel flow on a 2 litre carb fed Triumph. Here it is in place on PMW.

Don't be alarmed by the fluid on the bulkhead as I had just spilled some water whilst topping up the washer bottle.
PMW fired up no problem afterwards and having checked for fuel leaks (non found) I took the car on the extended test circuit and all appears well. That's 40 miles now with just a small amount of hesitation at the top end of the rev range and the overdrive working too :-)

Back home I left the car running with the bonnet up so that I could look over the engine. I just found one leak and that wasn't anything to do with the fuel pipes or filter, it was a small weep from a heater pipe fixed by nipping up the clamp.

I think the next job will probably be fitting the non overdrive gearlever and nob so that I can do away with the annoying overdrive version.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Setting fire to PMW?

That is a rag stuck into the petrol filler neck but not with the inention of setting fire to the car even if it has been proving a pain.

No, this is part of a plan following various dicussions and thoughts on how to get the car to run like it wants to actually drive somewhere.

It will now start OK and run happily on the drive but out on the road it doesn't want to accelerate at all and hesitates.

Like fuel starvation but using my saying of 95% of all fuel issues are actually on the ignition side I have been working my way through different possible causes.

One being a non standard cam which meant that putting a strobe light on the car showed the timing to be miles out from the standard marks.

I followed through advice from Andy Pearce and basically after doing all this, establishing true top dead centre, marking this up and then going back 8 degrees btdc from this the car was running in pretty much exactly the same place timing wise as before with the same level of non performance.

Talking this through at the Cheshire and Staffs meeting I was advised it sounded very much like a fuel problem. Well I was reluctant to go down what I expected to be a blind alley but then my mate Andy Flexney suggested that yes it might be.

So today I got the car up on axle stands and checked the fuel pipe all the way through from the tank to the engine bay just to check that during the wild boar incident it hadn't been flattened anywhere. That proved OK so I then got my airline out, disconnected the fuel pipe at the engine bay end and blew air back through it to the tank. This is where the rag comes in as Andy had told me of a time he did this and fuel was ejected out of the filler neck all over a wall! Not this time having been forewarned but I could certainly hear air being blown through the fuel line and into the tank.

Next I checked out the inline filter which I lways like to have fitted just before the fuel pump. There was certainly signs of gunge in there as can be seen in the photo so I removed it all together.
Now this was not fitted by me but by my local garage. I just have a suspicion that it might have been fitted the wrong way round too as the clean part is on the "inlet" side which is not where it should be if it had been fitted the way the arrow shows the flow should be.  If it was fitted the wrong way round then could that also cause a restriction? Mind you, it was OK all round the 10CR until the wild boar incident.

Not being content with this though I took the glass bowl off the top of the fuel pump to get at it's own filter and found quite alot of muck in there too as can be seen in the next photo. In fact it looks like a tea leaf strainer and not a fuel pump :-(

Using the airline I cleaned all this out too and cleaned the inside of the glass bowl as well before reassembling.

So that was the fuel side worked through but whilst the car was up on axle stands I did a few other jobs too like topping up the reconditioned diff  with gear oil, tidied up a few connections and rotated the tyres.

Now would all of this improve the way the car drove? Would it drive?

Well initially I was just glad it started and then didn't pump fuel all over the engine bay. Then I ventured out on to the roads and it seemed a bit unhappy initially but then it was cold and hadn't run properly for a while so I took it all with a pinch of salt and checked everything over after a couple of miles. This in itself was much better than recently so Idecided to give it another couple of miles which turned into 10.

There's still some hesitation but in general the car is so much better. It pulled up a fair hill at 2500rpm in overdrive top for example and in the last couple of miles I deliberately left in 4th at 30mph and it was pretty much OK.

In fact  it was not bad at all, no sign of overheating either and I don't know if you noticed but I quoted overdrive too - yes my new knob (!) and wiring seems to have done the trick and overdrive is working too.

I know when to take a few wins out of a day's work so I put the car away, the tools away and spent the afternoon watching Derby County win again. That's the best blog update in many a long time.