Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post of 2007

Last night we had another look at starting BRP. 2 dodgy plug leads aren't helping plus we need to pull the dizzy out and re-install it as suspected. That can be done another day.

So, in the meantime, I have fitted the later cooling system which can be seen here.

In effect it's a metal header tank for the radiator although for the moment at least I have left in the original expansion tank too for the overflow from the header tank.

So, in order toget this beast to run without overheating it now has a new thicker headgasket to go with the later header tank system, a new thermostat, an uprated new radiator,a brand new electric fan and all new hoses.

Next, I'll move on to sorting a problem left over from Ictober 2006 - replacing the alternator with the new upgraded one.

I also have a few bits and pieces on order for the SU carbs too just to hopefully add a little more performance using what little knowledge I gained from a chap called David Vizard in his tuning books.

Of course, the engine needs to run and then not overheat yet!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A mixed bag

First of all, back to trying to get the car running.

The camshaft is aligned correctly with the crankshaft - that's a good thing.

The rotor arm is pointing at number 1 in the distributor cap when at TDC - again a good thing.

Oh,. what's this big crack in the dizzy cap? So, we replace the dizzy cap with a new one and then wonder why it won't run when we initially put the plug leads on wrong.

Put that right tho and it still won't run.

So, next we check the static timing and find we can't get enough adjustment on the dizzy to put it right. oh, right - time to pack away for a re-think.

Maybe we should pull the dizzy out and relocate it.

On the co-driver/service crew front tho there's progress. The list of possible co-drivers is being refined, one off it, another one contacted to see if he would like to restart after a layoff and anothre one contacted from the classicrallychat forum.

Regarding service crews - Tim Bancroft, Andy Pearce, Jon Ranwell and Neil Dowie have all offered help of some kind or another. AP has even promised an estate car as service barge

Meanwhile, I have just sold a pair of DCOes and the sports exhaust manifold for an 8 valve engine on e-bay which has raised alot of the funds needed for the roll cage. Good luck Simon with the racing by the way - I hope the DCOEs play a full part.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

No volunteers then?

Just kidding but if anyone fancies the co-driver role or helping out as service crew please let me know.

Co-drivers should be able to read a map, be good at organisation and not get upset when I shout at them! If you are very good this may not be the right opportunity tho as you will find me rather lacking in talent.

I would also expect co-drivers to share costs -entry fees (unless I can find a nice sponsor), fuel, accomodation costs etc.

Ideally a 20 stone 6'10" co-driver wouldn't be ideal either.

There, not asking much am I?

Service crew.

Let me make one thing clear - I have no budget so there's no pay involved altho I could probably run to fish and chips with a beer or two!

Anyone that would like to help would be welcome - ideally well versed in mechanics and diagnostics of course but any Club Triumph enthusiast for example would be very welcome.
Checking the car over after stages would certainly be involved, cleaning windscreens, handing the crew refreshments etc are all worthwhile. Even taking video and "interviewing" us at each service halt would be fine - a good record of the day is always great to look back on and learn from.

So - a pretty attractive pitch I reckon

Oh and if you can provide a van and trailer even better!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

So what next?

Well, having realised the first rally is less than 18 months away the next thought process is to review where I stand now.

Car - not running! So that needs sorting. Then it needs a roll cage, a fire extinguisher system, harnesses, the cut out switch wiring up and various official bits of paperwork.

In addition a helmet and flameproof suit for both driver and co-driver.

Going back to the engine, or tuning there of. I have been thinking about building a relatively high spec engine and fitting twin Webers or Dellortos.

Well, actually I reckon a standard running engine will be fine. If the one that's in can do this, fine but if not then rather than fanny about maybe I'll just buy a built engine form S&S.

Regarding carburration - well twin Webers , properly bought, installed and set up could easily cost £600 to gain how much BHP over slightly tuned standard 1 3/4" SUs? Not many I reckon, maybe 10BHP especially if the engine remains pretty standard.

I haven't got a huge budget so that £600 could be spent on buying a full set of Avon or Dunlop competition tyres - now in my view they will get me a bigger performance increase than the carbs.

Regarding the crew. Well at the moment I am still not legally allowed to drive until August due to medical reasons but that's hopefully only a question of time.

I do need to sort out a co-driver though and will be applying my thoughts to this important person over the next few days; like Santa, I'll be making a list and checking it twice!

Oh, and a service crew would be good too - more thought needed on that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Declaration update

In my "declaration of intent" I set the goal of competing in the Manx Historic rally in 2010.

Well that is getting much closer now so I am going to work through what needs to be done here on my blog.

Working back from the "goal".

I have to have the TR7 at the start line mid July 2010 which is only just over 2 1/2 years away.

Now, working back from this I and my co-driver (note to self, co-driver needs to be sorted out yet!) need to have "National A" competition licences to enter.

How do you get them? Well you apply to the MSA but first you have to get signatures on your "national B" licence from four lower level events.

That leads on to the next bit in the timescale then. If we need four signatures then we need to have entered and completed four rallies before July 2010. They also need to be tarmac rallies as that's all I am setting the car up for.

Hmm - what should they be? Well, it seems to me that doing the tarmac rounds of the HRCR Northern rally championship should cover it.

So that looks like The John Overend memorial rally near York in mid May 2009, the Torque Bac stages at Swinderby airfield in June 2009, the Thor Hammer Stages in mid September 2009 and then the Cheviot/keith Knox stages at Otterburn in October 2009.

Crikey, the first one is less than 18 months away!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

That same old feeling

Got used to it by now!

BRP is all back together but won't start. Not even using jump leads or towing it made it want to run.

The rotor arm is pointing at number 1 when the car is at TDC, there's a spark and there's fuel but other than a few "gasps" it doesn't want to know.

So, the battery is now on charge and I am waiting for another day when it's not so damp and it's a bit warmer. Also when I have a bit more inspiration.

The Toledo on the other hand started fine even though it's stood out in the cold and rain - what a great little car it is.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

NESCRO & the 10CR

Well they are not related actually other than by my video skills.

Let me explain, as I said in my earlier post today I have been putting together some video for NESCRO.

That's the Northern England and Scotland Rally Organisers who offer a series of "entry level" events for anyone interested in driving rather than polishing their cars (A Club Triumph in joke I am afraid). I was asked to put some footage together from my competition in their events and send it off as a contribution to a promotional DVD they are making.

I am very pleased to do so - anything to spread the word. That's why I have just added them to a new links section on this blog; why not give it a go.

Which has reminded me, I have also finished the 10CR 2003 video so Tim, Doug, Graham,Mat, Andy,Sarah, Paul et al take a look!

So, another weekend over and back to work. More updates next weekend and over Christmas!

The real thing

After the "model" incident it was good to get back to the real thing today.

Unfortunately not for very long tho as household chores got in the way. Still, a snatched 30 minutes made a big difference as can be seen here. Should be running again over Xmas and then I can upgrade the alternator and coolant systems as planned.

Must dash now tho as I promised to produce some video for NESCRO (another task I seem to have taken on).

Imitation is?

As mentioned before, Corgi have introduced and are selling a limited edition TR7 model with the same registration as mine.

It is near identical to the car when I bought it - you be the judge, here's a photo of the model (bought by me) and the car, also bought by me (!) but in this picture is my good friend Kevin Makin at the start of the Round Britain Reliability Run.

Really frustrating though is that Corgi are not replying to e-mails or phone calls from me about this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Great days

Here's a video of the start of the original 10CR back in 2003.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I should have been working on BRP this weekend and I suppose I could have been but I didn't.

I have, however, been out all day on Club Triumph business with my mate Paul. This should pay off very nicely for the competitivet types amongst us but more details will follow in due course.

As an aside, a curious thing has come to my attention this week. Corgi have released a special edition model of a white TR7 with my car's registration number on! More on this later too.

What I have done tho is produce two videos from some years ago now - here's one of a rally in a Mini I used to part own back in the 80s.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

2 hours more

Another weekend, another 2 hours.

The patient approach is proving it's worth tho as that troublesome bolt is back in it's rightful place!
An enjoyable afternoon really as my mate Kevin came round too and we worked on the car, an escape from work and all the other stuff that goes on.

Anyway, I would have taken a picture but yet another one of engine components going back together isn't really necessary. I was reminded though of the perennial problem I always seem to have when fitting these engines etc - the exhaust manifold bolts. There are 5 of them and I usually get 4 to co-operate out of 5, sometimes a different 4 out of 5 as well!

This is where it helps having patience and another person's point of view. On Kevin's advice I "felt" where the holes were lining up with a small screwdriver and discovered a "lip" on the bottom of the hole. The deduction then was that the manifold wasn't quite high enough so I got a scissor jack under the exhaust downpipe and lifted it slightly - voila, bolt goes in

And that was at the end of the 2 hours I had set aside so tools away, bonnet down and adjourn for another cup of tea.

Once more into the breach next weekend when we will see what another 2 hours brings - should be the inlet manifold on and an attempt to start the car. If it co-operates I will follow the advice I have been given of running it without water until up to temp, switching off and then re-torqueing the head.