Friday, December 29, 2006

The finishing touch - if only!

Not the finishing touch yet but how about these BL motorsport stickers?

I have just got them this morning and placed them in the same position on BRP as on the works cars - they look great.

It wouldn't be a bad idea though if ClubTriumph had some made up but replaced with the British Leyland "L" with the club's logo - maybe only issued to CT members in competition?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bye bye Speakers!

Yes, the door speakers are now out of the TR7 and in my loft!

Also removed are the CDs I had in the car as they are clearly surplus to requirements. As a matter of interest I weighed the CDs and they were 2kgs alone.

Removing the radio-cassette, electric aerial, door speakers and the CDs (!) I have found a weight saving of 5kgs which can't be bad - it all counts.

What I must remember when this competiton lark gets semi serious is not to run with a full fuel tank - 12 gallons of petrol must weigh alot and have a performance penalty.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Brace yourself!

The navigators foot rest is now bolted in as can be seen here.

Each time I do something like this I can see the car getting closer to being ready - another milestone on the way.

In addition you may have noticed that the radio cassette has now been removed too. Whilst I did this I also removed the wiring to the electric aerial on the nearside rear wing.

The aerial had to go too and the hole filled with a suitable grommet.

Here are the said items and between them they weighed 2 kilos so it's a worthwhile weight saving.

I'll be keeping them tho just in case I ever get the spare TR7 back on the road.

In the meantime one thing logically leads to another in car prep - I will now be removing the door speakers as obviously they are not needed and that will be another weight saving. I have an idea for covering the holes which should work out nicely.

I also need to remove some of the excess wiring from where the radio cassette was and make up a panel - this will house the oil pressure gauge and the extinguisher pull switch in due course.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Into the interior

I have decided to leave the engine bay for a while and move to the interior for a bit of rally prep.

In the passenger footwell is an alloy navigator's footrest - or bracing panel! I need to site this properly and bolt it in.

It's essential for the navigator to be able to brace against this whilst holding maps etc on his/her knees as the car is bouncing around at high speed.

In the centre of the car in front of the gear lever is the lower part of the facia which I have plans for. At some point the stereo will have to go as it's not necessary in a rally car and adds weight but whether that is now or not we'll see.

I do need to do some modification tho so that I can get the cut off switch sorted and connected up. If the stereo goes I could make up a panel which would be a good location for the oil pressure gauge and the fire extinguisher pull switch..

Friday, December 22, 2006

Servicing a TR7 16V on the Manx rally

Oh yes! A friend who reads this blog (another Martin!) has just asked if I want to service for him on next year's historic Manx rally.

I certainly do if I possibly can - little does he know I will probably only be good for wiping the windscreen and taking videos.

I am also planning to go and spectate on the Tour of Flanders in September.

Both rallies are in my own plans for BRP in 2010.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Xmas presents fitted early

Here's my Xmas presents fitted a little early!

Actually my non existent rally budget has been hit too.

Still, I thought I would fit the Minilites I got from Chris 2 Toledos.

They are actually wider and sit further out than my others but there's still plenty of room around the wheel arches. That could be very handy when landing after a "yump" on Epynt or the Manx rally.

Those wheel arches will be filled a bit more tho when 70 series tyres are fitted (a requirement for historic rallying in the UK) as the profile will mean the tyres stand a bit taller and fatter.

In addition the current tyres on these wheels are 60 series and rather flat - I'll pump them up a bit more some time but getting them to 15PSI nearly burnt out my little compressor as it was!

I like the next photo - a nice aggressive stance to the car!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More money gone!

Here's the wheels I have now bought (thanks Chris).

I now have 14 alloy wheels for the TR7, I could probably do with buying a couple more and then I would be in a position to have full sets built up when that glorious day comes that I am competing on the Manx rally!

Of course, I'll need different tyres too.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Carb swap

Well I decided to swap the carbs over from my TR7 engine - what better way to spend an hour on a cold Saturday night?

I swapped only the front carb tonight so that I can keep the linkages in place and not disturb too much.

The car even started afterwards!

Update - the rear carbs is swapped over now.

I think it runs better but that was only on the drive - now for some work on the linkages to free them up etc

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another job done

This is the coil re-positioned up out of harm's way.

Another small job done.

What next? Well I could start swapping the carbs I had from the 8 valve engine over as they were re-conditioned and are not the dreaded waxstat type.

Or I could pull the rocker cover off and start learning about the 16 valve wizardry under there to solve the rattly top end.

I also need to sort the radiator out but I think that will be a new uprated one so it can wait until more money is available.

In a similar vein I need to replace the alternator with an uprated one so that I can return Mark McLain's spare he loaned me on the RBRR. I don't think he's in a hurry for it though and I don't intened putting the car back on the road until May 2007 so there's plenty of time for that too.

One thing I have done today though is post my entry off for the 2007 10CR. At this moment I have no idea who my co-driver will be but that's not an issue, making sure I get an entry is!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Proof of principle

A couple of hours on the car tonight - what better way to spend a November evening than under your carport working on a TR7?

Anyway, leaving philosophy aside I had a problem driving through a ford earlier in the year with water on the coil. This was fixed by covering it with a rubber glove but in the change to Sprint power all this went by the wayside.

On the RBRR h I had the same problems over Glencoe so it's time to sort this out.

Later TR7s have the coil mounted high up on the inner wing so that's what I have been doing this evening. I have done this step by step though. The wiring needed extending so I did one at a time and then started the car to make sure all was OK - it was, thank goodness.

I repositioned the coil and it looks fine but I need to tidy things up and mount the fixing bracket - this will be done tomorrow as well as taking my time carefully wrapping the wiring and securing it all properly.

Another small improvement made and reliability improved.

I must get round to investigating the rattly top end some time tho!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pottering about

A month after the RBRR I am working my way up to getting motivated again!

It's almost as if I have to skirt round it and surprise myself that I am working on the car again.

So, today I spent some time tidying the garage, putting two wheels up into storage. Talking of wheels - I'll be buying the Minilites which do the job I wanted them for. Photos don't do them justice really.

Next up was tidying away some of the debris in the boot from the RBRR spannering.

Then, and only then, I looked at fixing the oil pressure gauge and getting a feel for the health of this Sprint engine. I had fitted an oil pressure gauge before but the oil pipe came off the back and I had to stop oil filling the driver's footwell by putting my finger over the end! There was no time to fix rhis before the RBRR so I left it disconnected and relied on the oil pressure light.

On the RBRR of course I also had the oil sender unit fail which resulted in a massive oil leak which I fixed with a replacement brought to the Asburton halt by Tony Francis - thanks Tony.

In with the sender unit was another oil pipe and fixings so today I thought I would plumb it all back in.

Unlike the mad activity to get BRP ready for the RBRR I now have some time so I spent at least half an hour assembling the best combination of tee pieces and unions when I connected the oil pressure gauge. This time I also tried it in loose in the engine bay where it wouldn't be so bad if leaks developed.

Here's the result - 40PSI at tickover is certainly OK.

Having proven that there were no leaks it was time to fit it in the cockpit. Again, I fitted and removed it several times before I was happy and also took the time to locate all the pipework correctly - even with spirap for goodness sake.

I would have taken another photo but the camera batteries ran out! The gauge is now just to the right of the steering wheel but this is a temporary position I think - if it's OK in practice I'll wire up the oil temp gauge element too as well as some illumination.

Next up will be moving the coil up out of the way of any water that could be thrown up - a lesson learned on the RBRR.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The wheel thing

I asked for advice on Minilite type wheels on the forum as I want to build up another set for later rallying exploits.

Not only do I get advice but also an offer on a set of nearly new ones!

So I have borrowed one to trial fit and see if I like them.

Well, I wanted 6J wheels with more offset to fill out the wheel arches a bit more and widen the track a little. These are 5.5J wheels and you can see them in the photos (new ones black, old ones 5J silver).

They do stand about 10mm further out than my 5J wheels so they widen the track but still don't fill those wheel arches much more - that's not too bad tho you as there will be alot of suspension travel during rallies and clearance is a good thing.

Anyway, I am thinking over whether to buy them or not at the moment. It's probably better to wait to the weekend when I can see the effect in daylight.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nothing much to report

Well, nothing much Triumph wise anyway.

After the RBRR I have been on holiday to Corfu which was great but there hasn't been much time for the TR7.

Anyway, I have now surrendered the tax on it so it's now SORNed and I should get a few £ back.

I think I have just about emptied the car out now and this evening spent 30 minutes cleaning and putting the tools away that I used on the event - some of them still wet and slightly beginning to rust!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Recovering from the RBRR

Photos are courtesy of "McJim" - here we are arriving at Conon Bridge. What you can't tell from this is that the car is very near boiling over!

Investigation in the car park showed the bottom of the radiator to be disintegrating.

This was only the start of a whole series of problems but I will write these up as an article for Club Torque and post that here too.

Suffice it to say that BRP now needs a new radiator, all new hoses and a new alternator. It doesn't need an oil change as we went through about 15 litrres of oil (!) until I finally identified the oil pressure sender unit as the cause of a massive oil leak. This was cured when tony Francis brought a replacement to Ashburton for me - thanks Tony.
At least I am in good spirits here. The cap was not there to annoy McJim (altho that was a welcome bonus) :P

I had been wearing an England cap and was planning on wearing a Wales one too but sadly that never came to pass as we had to bypass Wales!

About to set off again - alternator swaps, fan belt replacement, much topping up of oil and water to follow!

Here we are working on BRP at Ashburton (thanks to Andy F for the photo).

BRP is now safely tucked up under the car port. I have only just got round to doing something with it again today - just a wash and touching up of stone chips.

I have all winter to do lots more.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Not bad at all (I hope!)

Checked the oil and fluid levels on BRP this evening as prep for the Round Britain.

Then took it for a 20 mile drive, never going over 4000 RPM to nurse the unknown engine a bit.

I have to say I am growing in confidence now - I hope it's not misplaced tho. Everything seems to work as it should (or thereabouts) and the car has a nice amount of extra power.

What will the RBRR bring I wonder?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Looking good again

There's the CT RBRR log0 next to the rear light unit and then a side on view - pretty good huh!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

RBRR - good to go!

All stickered up ready for the Round Britain!

The oil leak was cured with a new oil filter and I also found the sump plug loose! That was obviously tightened up and now I have about 20 miles on the Spreint engine.

I am a bit bothered by the fact that it seems rather rattly but it hasn't overheated which is a very good sign.

I'll be calling in at S&S en route to the RBRR so we'll see what they think. There's not much that will stop me tho, even if the diagnosis is that it's another sick engine - I'll just see how far it will go before I call the recovery service!

What a slide hammer is for

Thanks to S&S who loaned me their slide hammer as mine still hasn't arrived.

Two minutes and the brass cage came out the block - that's it on the right. It's not true that a poor workman blames his tools - withou the correct tool some jobs just can't be done.

So, now the water pump has been replaced and I ahve been out for a test drive.

The oil pipe came off the back of the new oil presure gauge so oil was pumped into the driver's footwell Finger over the end stopped it until I could pull over and take the tee piece off so I could just fit the oil pressure switch Still, the gauge showed 40PSI cold until then

The electric fan cuts in OK but there's an oil leak I need to sort out - it may be the hydraulic pipe from the slave cylinder wearing through the oil filter

Oh and the engine revs too high and rattles a fair bit

Apart from that it should be just fine

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A bit at a time or "Patience is a virtue"

Patience is a virtue so they say.

I picked up a new water pump from S&S yesterday. In the meantime I have ordered a slide hammer which is needed to complete the job.

Went to the RBRR driver's meeting last night and got home this evening.

No slide hammer- so all I could do was "wire up" the oil pressure gauge but then I noticed I was missing a small pipe from the water pump cover. This was rectified by removing one from the old TR7 engine but that has a dodgy seal - ho hum!

8 days to go.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Water pump removal

Less than an hour's work has seen the water pump out.

Apart from the brass "cage" which I need a slide hammer for (ordered on-line today).

I have been planning to overhaul the water pump but I ahve decided not to chance it with less than 2 weeks to the RBRR so, if you are reading this Steve, I'll be in S&S on Tuesday morning to buy a new water pump.

Oh and a spare dizzy cap and rotor arm.

I have washed the car tho after all this as it was covered in oily fingerprints etc! I'll need to clean it out inside too before the RBRR.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Woo-hoo & oh no!


Driven the car around the "test route" this evening and wow, what a noticeable increase in power and responsiveness. I will have to be careful until I get used to the engine characteristics but wheelspin in first and second is pretty good.

Oh no! I took a gamble with the water pump and it hasn't paid off. A tell tale weeping of water from the pump says it's got to come out and have the seals replaced.

Still, after 4 days swapping engines it should be a piece of cake.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

At last!

I have had a local auto-electrician round this evening - he's a fine fellow with an interest in classic cars.

Well, he sorted it - basically the points needed cleaning/adjusting (and I thought I had done that!) followed by towing the car which got it running.

It will start just fine now but I need to go through it now tidying up little "bodges" that were done to try and get it running. Then a few confidence building miles will follow.

But - what a relief!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No difference

An hour on the car this evening found the following.

There's definitely fuel through as a hose split on the front carb and petrol sprayed out ;D

There isn't a spark at the plugs tho :-/.

Tried a brand new plug, no difference.

Swapped leads and dizzy cap over from the spare TR7 Sprint - no difference

That surely means no power reaching the distributor - then I noticed the spare TR7 had different connections at the coil so I put BRP to the same configuration and


Monday, September 18, 2006

End of play day 4

End of day 4 and it's all wired up, oil's in it, the new electric fan is fitted, water's in (but needs checking once it'a run a bit) and time to fire it up!

Only, it won't - it'll turn over but no sign of it firing up.

Having given 4 days of my life to this I couldn't face trying to sort it out so that's it for a while.

No doubt I will return to the fight in a couple of days or so but for now, I know when it's time to take a break.

Concerns - the water pump looks dodgy but we couldn't get the cover off so we left it. I may well pay for that.

There's a bolt on the exhaust manifold that just turns rather than tighten so there'll probably be some blowing by that.

The damned broken bolt in the inlet manifold is a recipe for air leaks.

The carbs are the infamous waxstat type.

It still won't run.

In addition there's far too many "bodges" for my liking.

The pluses - it really looks the business! It turns over so we must have got the wiring right to some extent!

It has really been brought home to me what great friends I have - thanks for their help to Jon Ranwell, Dave Marshall, Andrew Rapson (and his dad!), Paul Darbyshire and several others who ahve helped with advice over the Club Triumph forum.

Mid-afternoon. Carbs are good for you

So, having faffed about for too long I decided to build it all back up and ahve a go at starting the car.

I have to say that fitting the carbs was a moprale booster.

Still quite a struggle sorting out linkages, hoses etc but satisfying too.

Plus it certainly looks more businesslike.

Sprint power day 4 - return of the Stud!

So, day 4 and it's a marathon not a sprint - get it? Oh well, it's the best attempt at humour I can manage right now.

Still, I started off determined to do things right so I went in search of stud removers or "easy outs". It took 3 motor factors before I got the little rascals.

Back at base I drilled, blow torched and used the "easy outs" but still that damned stud wouldn't budge. By now I was reckoning that there's plenty of other fixings on the inlet manifold so stuff it!

Moving on - my mate Tim Bancroft had advsied me to fit an oil pressure gauge to see how this unknown engine was. Fair enough and those nice chaps at S&S had sold me a second hand Racetech combined oil pressure/oil temperature gauge so I next tackled fitting this. The temp side of it was always going to be left off for the moment but I persevered with the oil pressure side and found out a T piece and new pipe I had bought about a year ago.

Much time was spent fitting this, drilling holes in the bulkhead for the pipe etc only to find the pipe had the wrong fittings. Oh great, another good idea that had turned into a timewaster.

By now it was time to take a short lunch break.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

End of play day 3 or "The Stud"

I managed to fit an oil filter and then fill the engine with oil - at least it didn't run straight out the bottom of the engine!

Finally, last action of the day was to try to remove that stud. Here it is, surrounded by it's well of blu-tack holding WD40 in place. Did this co-operate? What do you think!

A blow torch and mole grips wouldn't shift it so by using my Dremel we filed 2 flats onto it so that we could get a 6mm spanner on.

No, it wouldn't move then either! So, it's still there in another WD40 bath.

Let's see what tomorrow, the fourth and final full day on this will bring.

Sprint power day 3 - not the best one!

This has proven to be a long hard struggle.

First off today I worked on bolting up the engine and gearbox. The gearbox mounting went in fine, then the off side engine mounting but when it came to the nearside one I realised I would have more room if the exhaust manifold was removed.

Well, this exhaust manifold needed to come out because it wouldn't mate up to the Sprint engine anyway so fair enough.

Immediately tho, there wasn't enough clearance -see the photo where it is jammed.

So, to gain clearance I removed the starter motor, which had been fitted yesterday to the engine whilst it was out so as to make things easier!

Still no progress so I had to unbolt the engine mountings and lift the engine again - joy of joys!

That sorted it and the Sprint manifold I had bought went in no problem - that was £20 well spent anyway when I bought the engine.

Now all OK to bolt up the engine, re-connect the propshaft and put in the gearlever - all quicker to type than do!

It was about now that Paul Darbyshire arrived to lend a hand. Paul is a real mate I met through the club, veteran of 2 10CRs and an all round top bloke.

Next problem we found was that the manifold downpipe was far too long to mate up to the exhaust centre section. There was no way we could make it fit. An alternative was to take off the exhaust manifold again (!) but that hadn't been particularly easy to bolt up so we wanted to avoid that if at all possible.

Solution? Cut back the down pipe to give us clearance. Even then it took alot of "drifting" in Paul speak ( bashing with a lump hammer or two in mine) to get the exhaust to mate up. I tell you what, there is no way there will be any leaks from that joint!

Back to the engine bay and its' refitting the starter motor. Rumpith popped round at this point as he had had rather a late night and was feeling a bit off (code for hang over!). Between us we got the starter back on after yet more struggle.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

6PM in at last

In at last !!!

Another view

Nearly there now

5PM about to go back

All on the engine crane - about to go in

2.40 PM Sprint engine & a bit of luck

Now we swap over onto the Sprint engine.

I reckon this has been in a TR7 before - the sump was a TR7 one by the look of it, the backplate was the same as the TR7 and this water housing is a real gem - this is correct for a TR7 Sprint conversion but not for a Dolly Sprint!

2PM - Toledoman and Rumpith

Yes, that's Toledoman and Rumpith swapping stuff over - clutch plates etc

11.30 the gearbox is off

That's Dave Toledoman Marshal and we have separated the gearbox from the TR7 engine. Now we are onto swapping stuff over to the Sprint engine.

10 AM and my mate Andrew shows off the progress

On the schedule I expected the engine's out!

A big thanks here to my neighbour Andrew and his dad who at a moment's notice came over to help out.

In fact, his dad was expecting a normal family visit - he certainly wasn't expecting to be taking an engine out of a TR7!

Sprint power day 2

The scene at start of play - what will it be like at the end of play?

Friday, September 15, 2006

End day 1 - close of play

OK - everything packed away for the night.

Tomorrow should see the engine out pretty quickly.

Then I'll be cleaning up the engine bay and painting up a few scruffy areas.

After that it's a question of splitting the gearbox from the TR7 engine, swapping bits over as necessary to the Sprint engine, bolting up the gearbox to it and then putting the whole assembly back in the car.

That will then leave Sunday to get everything connected up and then the moment of truth - firing it up (hopefully!).

I wonder what progress will have been made by close of play in day 2?

5PM and we are nearly there!

Crane assembled and not far off now - the gearbox mounting is off the car, and the engine is only held in by one engine mounting.

4PM - Rumpith gets stuck in

4PM and "Rumpith" starts wielding spanners - the radiator is off now and we are well into disconnecting evrything we can!

3PM - looking serious

Bonnet's off now, sump guard off, engine oil and antifreeze drained off

2PM - one hour in

Starting to see some results - battery's out, airbox off etc

1PM day 1- Sprint power

All spares and tools laid out ready for the kick off

Time in prep is never wasted

So now I am starting the weekend engine swap.

Here's the borrowed engine crane - thanks to Jon (Rumpith) for arranging this and collecting it on Wednesday.

On it are two sets of guidance notes from friends in Club triumph - thanks to Ellis Stokes, Paul Swindells and Malcolm Paris.

I have spent this morning at S&S Preps getting this collection of spares - new shells, oil filter, electric fan kit, water pump repair kit etc etc.

So now it's a question of getting the garage and car port sorted out and organised. I'll be laying out tools and assorted second hand spares I have etc and then we begin!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Save my RBRR entry - options

I have taken the sump off my spare Sprint engine to take a quick look at the bottom end.

Here's a picture of the crank with one of the big end shells - all looks OK to me but then I am an amateur!

One possibility is to spend next week-end taking the TR7 engine out, swapping the sump over (the Dolly Sprint sump won't fit) and ancillaries etc and then putting the Sprint engine in BRP.

Here's another picture of the shell - looks pretty good to me.

So, if I swap the engines over next weekend, that gives 3 weeks to see if it's OK and get it running right or find it isn't going to work and then borrow a car I have already been offered - thanks Andy!