As published in Club Torque January 2007
Still mostly wearing overalls!
If you read my article in November’s Club Torque you will no doubt have been waiting with bated breath to find out how my TR7 Sprint (!) did on the RBRR. If you haven’t been in the least bit interested, here’s the story anyway!
To the Start
I left home on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border at about and drove straight to the premises of S&S Preparations. These chaps are TR7 specialists and have been very supportive with loads of advice, even on one occasion at 8.30 at night when I was trying to get the car to start in the frantic week before the RBRR.
Once at S&S in Bacup Simon (Simon and Steve are S&S) checked the car over for me, adjusted the carbs, freed off the linkages etc and then we stowed various spares before I hit the road again at for the Plough. Actually there was nothing to report apart from the very noisy top end which there was no time to work on. In the interests of preserving the unknown quantity that was the engine revs were kept down to below 4000.
At the Plough I met up with my co-driver and all seemed well with the car so it was a great occasion to meet up with old friends.
Here's the type of humour it's good to see - "The Acclaimers" at the Plough!
The Plough to Corbridge
Everything just fine, a nice steady run and our now traditional in car karaoke to Staus Quo on the A68!
Corbridge to John O Groats
A little bit of drama here as a TR7 went off the road and into a fence – not ours but we did stop and help pull it out back onto the road with no real damage (I am protecting the innocent here by not naming names!). No issues at all at
airport, Edinburgh Inverness or all the way to John O Groats other than checking oil levels etc which were fine.
After breakfast I pulled on those overalls (thanks for the comments Dale!) but only to check things over again before we headed off on the next leg.
In the picture here, outside the Seaview Hotel, JoG, are two fine TR7 enthusiasts, Malcolm Paris on the left and Chris Shaw on the right. That's Malcolm's car on the left and BRP of course on the right (both cars had visited S&S prior to the event!)
Thurso was a pain due to roadworks which caused a traffic jam the likes of which can surely never have been seen there before. A quick detour saw us back en route and carrying on our merry way. Surely all was well with the world and all that hard work before the event was going to pay off in a trouble free RBRR for us.
Then, coming into
The actual solution we opted for, however, was to bung some radweld in that Garry Mimer in another TR7 (not the one off the road after Corbridge!) donated and top up the radiator.
With some trepidation we set off from
At this time a screech developed from the engine which I diagnosed “on the hoof” as a slipping fan belt to be dealt with at
Guess what? Yes, on with the overalls again, pull out the tool box, grab the torch and investigate. It wasn’t the fan belt that was the problem; the alternator bearings had been on the way to seizing up and had now done so in a comprehensive manner. Two crews kindly offered spare alternators and I took up the offer from Mark McClain as I knew his was from a Sprint and should be fine.
I did have to swap over the pulley and fan from my alternator (thanks to Doug Foreman for assistance here) and then I found that it was “handed” wrong and wouldn’t fit as the mountings didn’t line up. OK, enough’s enough, time to retire and get the recovery company out.
Hearing this by chance, however, was that fine fellow Dave Langrick who said “Don’t you know you can move the casing round? Here, I’ll sort it”. The scene now was us working on the forecourt of Morrisons loosening bolts on the alternator in order to move the casing but we came up against a problem – we hadn’t got the right size socket to remove the bolts holding the plastic covering on. “No problem” says Dave,” have you got a knife? We’ll cut it back to get access”.
Response? Yours truly chucking everything out of the glove box to find my “multi-tool” which has been in there for years waiting for just such an opportunity. Then there was a moment that reminded me of the scene in Crocodile Dundee that goes “you call that a knife? This is a knife!” Dave’s reaction to this blade was in a similar vein “blimey, that looks like something the SAS would use!” or words to that effect.
It did prove very effective tho and sliced through the plastic no problem. Unfortunately it also sliced very deeply into Dave’s finger – I was mortified as there was plenty of blood about. Now it was a question of me throwing things around inside the car so that I could get to the first aid kit and slap a plaster round Dave’s finger – quickly followed by tank tape applied by someone else (thanks whoever you were) as the plaster wasn’t up to the task!
Dave left at this point (I feared he was on his way to casualty!) and suddenly we were left with an alternator to fit and no-one else around apart from one other crew having their own problems. I can’t say I was very happy at that time as I was feeling guilty about what had just happened to Dave (thankfully he was fine and I note that in his report he made very little comment about this incident).
Finally I fitted the alternator while Andy my co-driver restored some kind of order to the cockpit after all of the drama. How great it was to fire up the car and set off again, even though we were very late.
Part 3 , “Still wearing those overalls” continues in the next Club Torque