Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Latest addition

What's this then, a Triumph 2000 on the Rally TR7 blog?

Well I have purchsed this car with a particular mission in mind - going to the Alps and back 3 or 4 up in August next year (this trip is to replace the Manx rally which was my 50th birthday ambition).

The car has a very sweeet sounding engine, a fine overdrive gearbox that comes in and out very nicely and the diff has been changed to a 3.7 (this should make it a fine long distance car). The sills have been replaced, the car is structurally very sound and the interior is very good but needs a thorough clean first of all.

The plan is to give it a good clean, get everything working (like the headlamps, indicators etc), tidy up the bodywork and give it a very quick paint job, a very thorough service and then go into covered storage under a dustsheet over winter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ah - now I understand!

I don't mind admitting that I can be a bit slow on the uptake but eventually I get there.

No matter how many times I read manuals and looked at diagrams I just couldn't "get" this shimming thing so I decided to experiment with one of the spare cylinder heads I have. Terribly boring for those who know what's what but I followed the workshop manual and removed the rocker shaft assembly and the camshaft. Then it was blindingly obvious what these "shims" are - little discs of steel that sit on top of the valve stems so depending on how thick they are (could be very thick like me!) they affect the valve clearances.

Also the famous "buckets" now mean something to me - one is visible having been removed to the right of the head, next to the ratchet. This sits on top of the inlet valve stem with a "shim" in it.

Apologies to all those out there who know what they are doing but you must have come to know how mechanically challenged I am by now! Well, I know a bit more now so it's on to proper shimming shortly (but this will be delayed by a trip out tomorrow which is also Triumph related).

Friday, December 04, 2009

Off with a head to get to the prize

In order to source another component for the timing chain job I have had to remove the cylinder head from one of my spare engines. With that is a pair of carbs seen here which I am putting to one side for possible future refurbishment and use.

The important thing here is that the inlet manifold is not the same as the 8 valve engine as the carbs are further apart so keeping a Sprint inlet manifold is always worthwhile. Added to this the afficionados amongst you will have spotted that the carbs are 2" SUs which are very sought after - with a well sorted angine these can give nearly as much power as a pair of 45DCOes but cost much less (certainly in my case!).

It is possible in the future that the convertible will get a Sprint engine with the carbs from BRP whilst BRP gets thse 2 inchers.

Meanwhile, though, here's what I have liberated as a result of this effort - a vernier timing sprocket (fanfare!!)Holy Moly

The slots with bolts to secure them mean that some fine tuning can be had when it's all put together with the new timing chain gear so I can get the most out of that group 2 cam and the car will then flyConvertible

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In my garage

Got sorted - brought down an 80s "midi" hi-fi system form the loft and installed it in the garage. With the correct lead I can plug in my MP3 player so that I can have good music through a decent system whilst working on Triumph bits & pieces - good stuff!!

I then found out it has a karaoke option where it's possible to plug in a microphone and sing alongRolling Eyes

Here's the view Meanwhile, down the other end of the garage there's this view of (junk x) spares I have accumulatedThat's 2 Sprint engines, a Sprint overdrive gearbox, 2 "Pony" 4x4 gearboxes and a 1500 FWD short engine (not all visdible).

I sometimes wonder why I can't get a car in my garageRolling Eyes

Friday, November 27, 2009

Moving on to timing

After some discussion with a CT Sprint guru (you know who you are CS) I have bought a new timing chain kit and a crankshaft sprocket.

This will all go together with a vernier cam sprocket I have and then the cam will be timed in to the spec for a Triumph Tune "Sprint" cam along with all the valve clearances being shimmed up correctly.

The aim of all this is to improve reliability whilst upping performance. All very brave for a man of my limited talents.

Today has seen me remove the radiator, alternator and lots and lots of bolts on the front timing cover which is all well and good until I came up on the cranks shaft pulley nut and washer.

Of course, the engine rotates when you try to undo it so I waited for Bryce to pop over and we had a go at removing it with me locking the engine via a big screwdriver in the ring gear and him wielding a large bar and socket.

No dice so we stopped before we broke something!

Next up is Bryce bringing over an air wrench so that we can "shock" the nut loose.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sprint shimming

I have had a look at the valve clearances on my Sprint engine today.

Now, I have never done this kind of thing before as I am used to tappets on old fashioned normal engines rather than this Sprint clever stuff with buckets and shims.

Consequently, I am not even sure if I am doing this right but if I am (see picture) then the clearances are way too tight. The clearance should be .46mm but I am finding between 0 (!) and .3mm.

Hmmm - time to think on

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Marathon Challenge

I am seriously considering entering one of the Classic Marathons now that the Manx is off the agenda for a few years.

It's not as "full on" as the Manx or stage rallying as such but it is still very much a challenge.

Over 6 or 7 days, only 6 tyres allowed and regs like this

"The competing crew, except for any breakdown assistance the Organisers may provide, must
undertake all servicing. Other than that provided by Rally Officials, ORGANISED SERVICE ASSISTANCE IS EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. The facilities of roadside garages and service stations may be used providing their services have not been pre-arranged. Competitors are encouraged to help each other, but only using components carried in a competing car or purchased locally."

The entry fee is steep at around £3000 too (gulp) but that does cover all accomodation, food etc etc as well as the rally itself.

With this kind of money though I was concerned about vehicle eligibilty as BRP has been set up for stage rallying. The regs also call for a "standard" car with "normal" colour schemes.

So, I e-mailed the organisers as follows


I have a historic stage rally car - 1977 TR7 16V.

I am looking at entering a Classic Marathon (either 2010 or 2011) and have read the regs for the 2009 event.

I am unsure about my car's eligibility, however.

4.6 says that all cars must be in standard condition, unless individual approval for modifications has been given.

The TR7 was never rallied with the 2 litre 8 valve engine, only with the 16V engine which mine has, consistent with the homologation papers.

Would this be a problem?

Kind regards"

And their reply is

Apologies for the delayed response.
There would be no problem with this.
If you'd like to send me your address I'll make up an information pack for you.

Woohoo .
Woohoo!- I thinkThinking

I will be looking at 2011 and ideally a Marathon that goes to the Alps.

A tough event for the navigator tho and the car would need to be very reliable - not forgetting it's a real challenge for the driver too but I was inspired by the original 1988 Classic Marathon. This could be my new aim.yes

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2010 calendar of events

Been planning 2010 campaign so here it is!

April 11th Ilkley Jubilee Run in BRP - a tour and autotest type of event which I will need a driver for. The driver will hopefully be Sarah so that we can keep the team togetherHappy

June 13th Stobs Classic - a series of tests against the clock at Stobs army base near Hawick. If the car has survived Sarah's driving on the Ilkley (she'll give me a good kicking for that) then she may be driving again if she can make it, or then again I may well have to drive again cos I love it so much.

July 4th - Lake District Classic based at Penrith with a series of tests in the surrounding area.

September 4th Yorkshire Revival rally - same format as the lake District Classic but based near York.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Club Triumph weekend

Getting involved in Club Triumph can certainly lead to some variety - and taking up an entire weekend!

Friday night was Pendle & Pennine night 22 people attending - an outstanding attendance for a November eveningHi-ya!

A few fireworks and a very enjoyable sociable evening thanks to all.

Saturday - a trip to the Club Triumph trackday at Oulton Park thanks to Steve Thompson who kindly gave ne a lift there (and back!). I also got to be passenger on the track with Dale Barker in his Herald, Tim Bancroft in his 2.5pI and Dave Langrick in his 2 litre Spitfire (the latter driver also having a proper accent which is a bonus)Roll

Today, Sunday again with Steve as taxi driver I have been representing the club at the NESCRO AGM in Carlisle. An interesting insight into how rallies are organised but I did land the job of challenge co-ordinator again for another yearThinking

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One question answered

Musing on my questions from yesterday I have thought through the engine side of BRP.

Going back a year now the number 1 plug was blown out of the engine whilst returning from a BCC autotest. Further investigation implied that the thread in the cylinder head for number 1 plug was suspect which would mean having a helicoil fitted.

Now we are in the "whilst you're at it" realm.

Having a helicoil fitted would mean removing the cylinder head and whilst it's off then it would make sense to replace the timing chain and tensioner whilst I could also fitt a vernier sprocket which would enable finer tuning of the timing.

Meanwhile, if I shimmed the valve clearances I would optimise performance and quieten the whole thing down.

Result - a more reliable fully sorted cylinder head and valve train etc.

But then I thought "hold on, the plug hasn't blown out again so maybe it was just loose". The other thing is, the engine hasn't been overheating and the oil pressure is fine. Removing the cylinder head could would obviously disturb the head/block seal and that's not something I am keen on doing if all is well otherwise.

So? Simple really - take the rocker cover off and investigate that "plug hole".
That "plug hole" seems fine to me - it looks OK when a light is shone down it and there is no difference in feel between number 1 and number 2 when I tried removing and replacing plugs.

So now I am moving from "whilst you're at it territory" to "leave well alone you idiot/if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Next step is to shim the valve clearances and then put it back together with the aim of leaving well alone. Having said that, maybe I am doing something wrong but the valve/tappet clearances seem way too tight.

Further investigation next week I reckon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Strut to a question or two

Thanks to Bryce who came over to give me a hand, the front off side strut is now located along with the lower link back in place with an inner polybush.

What to do next?

Well I need to think about that.

When the group 4 brakes come back I can fit the nearside strut to UNJ.

Then the group 4 brakes will go on BRP and the Volvo/BMW brake combination will be fitted to UNJ.

Once that's done I'll fit uprated springs and a pair of spax shocks to the rear of UNJ which by then will have had a fair bit of suspension work front and rear along with uprated brakes - just right for a trip to the Alps next year.

I can then switch attention back to BRP for some engine work.

Friday, October 09, 2009

One thing leads to another

Here's the offside strut removed from the convertible today, lieing next to the refurbished replacement.

Of course, it didn't come off without a fight in that the ball joint nut needed the attentions of a saw and a chisel! So that means replacement ball joint needed so I might as well get one for the other side too as no doubt that will be a pig too.

And whilst I am about it 2 replacement inner polybushes too!

Oh, and as the front struts have uprated springs then 2 new 200lbs lowered springs for the rear are on order as well.

That little lot should keep me occupied for a while.

Oh, and S&S preps are pleased I have started working on my TR7s again - there'll be more parts ordered from them soon enough no doubt.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Group 4 brakes again

Now back to the car prep.

I removed the front hubs off the convertible to place the group 4 hub/disc assemblies and ensure everything looked OK.

Well, here's a couple of pictures of the difference between standard TR7 brakes and the rally group 4 ones - massive isn't an understatement!

I also found some rather disturbing things whilst I was about all this though - see the pic of the nearside strut etc of the convertible.
The inner wheel bearing stayed on the stub axle but of more concern is the split gaiter on the strut and the bump stop which isn't so much u/s as crumbling away in front of my eyes! Given that the standard discs are pretty weedy and the discs looked well worn this is leading me to a new plan.

1. Get the group 4 brakes machined so that they can be fitted to BRP.

2. Plumb them in and make sure all is well.

3. Replace the struts on the convertible with a pair of built up refurbished struts I have (thanks Martin Knapp).

4. Fit the vented discs and 4 pot calipers that come off BRP to the convertible.

5. Plumb them in and make sure they work in time for it's MOT in May and a holiday I am planning in the Alps for my 50th birthday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A new modelling career!

Inspired by the TR7 launch material I thought maybe I could have a new career as a model.

After all, I look pretty good in a similar setting to the original.

Well, OK, my carport in Barnoldswick isn't Spain and I may not be as young as the lady in the original and my TR7 is a soft top and 27 years old instead of brand new but, apart from that pretty good I think you'll agree!

Dead chuffed!

Dead chuffed - that's what I am with my new carport.

A bit of painting and general tidying up and then on with the group 4 brakes project.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Extension - more "under the carport"

Here's pictures of the extension to my car port under construction.

I will be much happier with the convertible under cover over winter. There will also be that bit more cover for BRP too so I can then work on that in a bit more comfort.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hold on tight

This was the track I was going to use for my in-car Manx video.

Oh well, might as well use it now and also hold onto the sentiment

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your nuts mi'Lord

I have finally got hold of some wheel nuts for the Compomotive wheels I bought from that other TR7 16V rally man, Martin Knapp.

The thing is, they needed to have a flat end and fit a 12mm x 1.5 mm stud whilst also being open ended. Martin has used standard nuts with the ends taken off on a lathe and then threaded with a tap but he's more resourceful than me!

Anyway, Steve at really did the business for me - sourced a rare nut (typical of me I suppose) and supplied them within 48 hours - excellent serviceClapping HandsThe two types of mut can be seen in the top picture whilst the bottom one shows the wheel on the car - plenty of stud thread showing through there.

Incidentally, the tyres are 20mm narrower than the usual tyres and also are of a snow type pattern (a remould ripping off a Michelin pattern). The theory is that with suitable lower pressures on loose tests they'll help get the car's tail out (hopefully with me controlling it!) whilst giving some real traction when needed - we'll see!

Oh, and for those like Harvey, who are wondering what the DVD turned out like.

Well, it's better now I have watched it a few times!

In fact, I have used some of it in an edited short video which I am rather pleased with. I am letting Sarah take a look first but, if she's OK with it, I'll be publishing it on here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A bit of a tease!

It's my birthday on Saturday and this is what I have as a present.
It's a DVD of us on the Roskirk Stages - as it's going to be the only time I drive on a stage rally now an indulgence on a professional DVD of the day seemed fair enough.

MAD Video reckon there should be plenty of us on it as they had 3 cameras there on the day so the DVD is now on my mantlepiece waiting for me to view it on Saturday!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What have I been up to?

Last weekend - Woodvale Show with Club Triumph friends.

First day a bit quiet, then a good overnight camping on site with Paul Darbyshire (thanks for the lift too!), Steve Thompson, Andy & Julie Heeley complete with BBQ, fire basket and a few drinks.

The second day was busier with some great model planes flying too - an amazing Vulcan and 3 Lancasters carrying out a Dam Buster raid.

Then last night, the Pendle & Pennine meeting whenn the usual suspects were messing about with potatoes! See picture
Today - a bit of cleaning up of the DHC and painting the mountings of the sun visors. A small touch but makes a big difference as, after all, this will be a road car.

You can try and guess which the bits are from the photo!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A good night out

Do I need to say more?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Made me smile

Coming up the A1 northbound today near Wetherby - a Triton green TR7 with the top down.

The guy was driving it in a spirited manner and it looked great amongst the "moderns".

Thanks whoever you were diving KBA ***V - you certainly made me smile

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On the Group4 brakes front

I am now back on track - the group 4 calipers were returned to me "un-machined" with the thought that maybe I wouldn't want to carry on after the epilepsy incident.

They would be worth more for re-sale blank so that the Mk2 Escort boys could use them whereas machining for a TR7 would limit their market.

Well, I am going rallying again at some point co-driving on stage rallies and in my car so I am determined to have BRP as a properly authenticated historic rally car by the MSA.

Shortly the calipers will be back with the machinist after respective holidays have happened and I'll then fit them to BRP. One that's done I'll go through the process of getting the car a Historic Vehicle Identity Form from the MSA.

Over winter I think I'll be shimming the cylinder head (with Rumpith's help as he volunteered before!), getting the number one plug hole helicoiled, replacing the timing chain and tensioner.

That should mean a refreshed car ready for some NESCRO events next year (no comp licences needed) with either myself or Sarah in the driver's seat

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Size matters for a stud

Yes it does! Rally scrutineers like to see plenty of thread so the solution is to replace the standard wheel studs with much longer ones and the wheel nuts with new "open ended" ones.

All of this is apparent in the photos including the differences in stud length (ooh-err)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I feel like an adventure!

Yes, I can feel the need for a foreign trip coming on.

Nothing organised - just a silly trip in a Triumph (or 2) to somewhere.

Like maybe Gibraltar or a bit further like TangiersThinking

But then again there are a few places I have been now with a Triumph that would be good to visit again - like the Stelvio, or Furka, but obviously I need to drive through Vitry le Francois and Bar sur Aube.

I have always wanted to visit Rome too.

Or what about Route 66?

A few things to ponder over - May/June 2010 should be a decent time to aim for. What better way to celebrate getting my driving licence back than taling a TR7 on a daft driving adventure?

Watch out playmates - I'll be on the phone. You know who you areHi-ya!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's worse than I thought

It's worse than I thought

Here is what the Blue Book says

Epilepsy is incompatible with fitness to Race, Kart, Kart Endurance, Kart Tyro,
Rallycross or Stage Rally. If a person with epilepsy has not had a fit or
medication to prevent or control fits for a period of ten years they may present
that case to the MSA’s Medical Consultant for consideration. For other events a
person with epilepsy may be considered for a competition licence providing
they can show that they have not had a fit for five years whether on or off

A translation after having spoken to the MSA is that I cannot have a stage rally licence and hence can't drive on a stage rally unless I have had not seizures for 10 years without medication.

As I said to them - so that means never really

I can get a competition licence for other events after being seizure free for 5 years even on medication.

So, where from here?

Well there's no way I am selling BRP so it looks like back to stage rallying with me co-driving and reading the pace notes for Sarah in BRP. Manx rally 2015 then

Monday, June 01, 2009

Suggestions welcome

I have seen the consultant today and he has confirmed I have epilepsy so that confirms I won't be able to drive on stage rallies for a minimum of 10 years - bugger!

I am checking to see if I can co-drive but I am not too hopeful ablout that either!

It's been a great experience for me having set myself a challenge over the last few years to compete on the Manx rally so now I need another challenge.

Suggestions are welcome but they must include Triumphs and TR7s so - any ideas?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stuff you!

Stuff you! - time for a bit of defiance in adversity I reckon.

So, for some reason today felt the right day to put some graphics on BRP I was planning to do just before the last stage rally. In fact this task was on my to do list for that morning before the seizure got in the way.

I had decided to just put the graphics on and wait for people to notice but as the rallying is somewhat curtailed due to circumstances beyond my control - here it is.

Yes, my motto! We'll have the car out again competing and it will still raise a smile or two I hope. I moved the car today and just looked around it and it struck me that I finally have BRP in a position to be used so it would be rude not to!First off though I'll probably have to be navigating.

I won't let just anyone drive it though but I have every confidence in Sarah so she's first choice driver. It's strange really as I have never been in a car she has driven but we have hit it off as novices together. Both of us have the interest and same enthusiasm so Sarah, over to you anytime you like.

A little thing like another seizure and how the MSA feels about it won't stop me in my ultimate aim though - if it has to be 2020 before I drive on the Manx then so be it, I'll be there, make no mistake. In BRP too!

Anyway, just under the rear window you may just be able to see a second graphic which refers to another gentleman, not Mr Pond though.

Here's what it looks like close up.
I'm just a sentimental old git really you see. When I started rallying again this year I realised I would be visiting alot of old RAF airfields and my dad did this in WW2 as an instructor so it felt like I was following in his footsteps.

So, why not a tribute to him in his RAF days on my car was my thought.

Daft, sentimental, soppy? I don't care, it's there because I wanted it there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Title change

Now it's Project Manx 2020!

It looks like the MSA will let me compete in stage rallies again in 2019 providing my health has been good for 10 years so, that's what the new aim is.

Never say Never.

In the meantime there'll be other motorpsort to do so watch this space

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's all over

I am very sad to day that I think the Project Manx dream is over

Yesterday, whilst collecting the spares and tools together for the Jack Neal Memorial Rally I collapsed in my garage.

I am "fine" now after a visit to hospital but I expect that after further investigations I will be diagnosed with epilepsy (after a similar incident 18 months ago) - the MSA will not allow anyone with this to take part in stage rallying.

It's going to take some time to come to terms with this if it all pans out as I expect but, rest assured, there'll be some other cunning plan in due course