Sunday, May 01, 2016

Progress on two fronts

UNJ has had a service and passed it's MOT. I have decided to do less of the work on cars than in the past myself so less to report I suppose. UNJ did need a bit of work with fuel pipes needing replacing, brakes needing freeing off and the K&N filter replacing as it had become contaminated.

Meanwhile, I have done a bit of work on PMW.

The picture shows the old head gasket and clearly where it had blown. I decided to make absolutley sure all was well with the cooling system though and replaced the thermostat and temp sender unit which had stopped working.

Something else that wasn't working was the electric fan so I needed to do a bit of checking until I found a poor earth. Occe the earth was fixed and with a bit of fine tuning to the controller it now seems to be working fine although resetting the controller may need to be done in due course.

Sunday, April 03, 2016


I can't get to grips with me actually washing a car, cleaning it and actually getting into it.

That's so not me.

My Rover though is so good to start with and I am going to a show with it in a couple of weeks so I am trying to learn how to at least make it presentable.

I even considered briefly cleaning the boot floor and polishing it!

Here's a picture of said boot floor which shows how solid it is and also  pics of the interior.

Never sat on?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

At least one Triumph wants to play!

That's UNJ, the TR7 convertible.

Well, after a little coaxing anyway. I tried to start it for the first time this year earlier this week and it didn't want to know even with a freshly charged battery. It didn't even "cough". I checked and there was a spark at the plugs but I left it at that as attention switched to other cars in the fleet!

Today though I looked at the fuel side and the carburettor fuel bowls were bone dry. I refilled them with fresh superunleaded as a treat, put some fuel in the tank just in case the fuel gauge was not reading corrrect (I have had that before) and then for good measure squirted some Easy Start down the cars.

A turn of the key and UNJ started like a good un - hurragh!

I had to switch it off fairly quickly though due to a leaking fuel pipe from the pump but having fixed that it ran very happily again. I let it warm up and the electric fan cut in as it should.

Even the clutch hasn't siezed which very often happens.

So I will now tax the car from April 1st and then it can join the queue for servicing and an MOT.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Certainly a problem!

I left the last entry saying the engine would get hot but not the radiator, probably due to a stuck thermostat.

Well I have now cured that with the radiator getting warm to hot and the top hose likewise so the thermostat is opening. What is happening now though is alot of white smoke from the exhaust and the coolant level dropping regularly.

This is at a steady 900 RPM. Also the oil looks very light in colour but I can't actually see any "mayonnaise" but I suspect head gasket failure.

This would be from either us driving the car in the Czech Republic for a few miles after the wild boar collision with low/no water when it got very hot or from me running it recently when I couldn't get water to flow around the system properly (see last entry).

It's probably a combination of the two and I fear a replacement head gasket along with maybe a skim of the cylinder head.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Radiator and fan on - next problem to solve

I realised the only way really to get the fan on was to take the radiator off again - ho hum. Well with it off at least it was easy to fit the fan.

Then a case of fitting the radiator again, attaching the wiring and filling the system up with water. I always use water first until I am sure everything is as it should be and then I drain and refill with a water/antifreeze mix.

This time one of the hose clips didn't want to play ball so I replaced that.

After this though running the car got the engine hot but the radiator not at all although there was plenty of pressure when I took the cap off.

I reckon the thermostat is stuck or there's an airlock but that was enough for today. I put all the tools away and lowered the car back down onto it's tyres again for the first time in weeks.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

It's never easy

So today I went back to trying to fit the radiator.

A big problem here was that the front panel had been pushed back which was interfering with the fit of the radiator so first I used a length of wood and a big hammer (!) to bash out the front panel from the engine side.

Next I fitted up the radiator with cardboard covering the front of the engine initially to protect the radiator. The two pictures show the start and end of the process whcih looks straight forward enough but it was far from it. I needed to do a great deal of "fettling" to get the mounting points in a position where the radiator could be fitted.

I checked and found that there was clearance between the bottom of the radiator and the panel work this time but was not quite satisfied there was enough. I solved this by fitting spacers between the radiator side plates at the bottom and the mounting points on the panelwork which was tricky but manageable.

Having acheived this I then went to fit the elctric fan which mounts the grille side of the radiator. Amazingly I couldn't get it in from the front and even loosening the top bolts on the radiator wasn't going to give enough room to slide it in from the top on the engine side.

Now I know when to call things a day and this was one of those times! I'll return to this another time and that large hammer may come into play again.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

On off radiator

From last time's update I have now bolted up the drag struts.

For me this takes a bit of courage or is that stupidity as I have to lie under the car knowing that if it came of the exle stands I would be trapped under the engine - gulp! Oh well, with 6 axle stands, 2 spare wheels, a plastic bin and the jack as well I braved it and accomplished said task.

From there I looked to fit the new radiator. As I am planning just to get the car roadworthy again I am not too bothered about the dents at the front of car in fact I might make a feature of them and leave them there just painted over to preserve the structure.

What this means though is that the frame that the radiator bolts up to is not as "square" as it should be and that two of the retaining nuts had been left back in the Czech Republic. I had bought new nuts and a replacement bolt too from Chris Witor so I set to bolting the new radiator in.

It wouldn't pull up square but I had been expecting this. The gaps didn't look too bad though so I got 3 of the 4 bolts in and started to tighten them up hoping this would pull everything into line. Well that 4th fixing just wouldn't quite pull up close enough and then I noticed the bottom of the radiator was hard up against the cross part of the inner front panel which can't be right.

Realising this I decided to take the radiator off before it became damaged and store it safely away again in the boot. I will have to think what I do next but I think it will involve a big lump of wood and a bigger hammer! The aim being to push the front panel back out sufficiently to get the radiator in and mounted again.

The photos show from inside of the engine bay the bent lower panel and then the lower one is from outside the car showing one of the new captive nuts fitted but also another view of bent metal work!

Meanwhile, here below is a picture of the offside front wing and how the wheel arch lip has been split away with the impact. I have a complete new repair panel on order at the moment to replace all this.

After all of this though I switched back to other matters mechanical. Having lowered all the suspension to fit the "new" sump I had taken the opportunity to change the engine oil and filter. From experience I know it takes time for the engine to get oil pressure up after this kind of work so I took the coil lead off in order to make sure the engine wouldn't fire and cranked it over.

Sure enough over 2 minutes of cranking (or it seemed like it) and the oil light was still on. So, take out the oil pressure sender unit and prime the oil way with oil from an oil can and try again after refitting the sender unit.

Still the oil light wouldn't go out.

Next I removed the oil pressure relief valve and filled the oil way there with oil again from an oil can and after refitting tried again. Still the oil light wouldn't go out and the battery was getting very low.

With the aid of another battery and jump leads I tried again and eventually the oil light went out so at least now I know we have oil pressure and when the car starts the internals won't be starved of oil for the first minute or two.

I did then go on to try and start the car even without any water in it (having replaced the king lead) but although it tried it wasn't going to go, probably due to too much fuel on the plugs by now so I called it a day and put a battery on slow charge for next weekend.