Saturday, January 30, 2010

4 more hours

Almost like the crowd cheering "4 more years" for a new President but in this case, it's me in my head, saying 4 more hours, 4 more hours.

In my case though, it takes so much longer than I know a skilled mechanic could do things. A case in point can be illustrated by the picture above whcih does show the front timing cover back on the engine but this took way too long to do.

The good thing, however, is that I can now take things steady and when things aren't right I take the time to find out what the problem is rather than just "banging it on". When I tried to fit the front cover, no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to close up and it seemed to "pivot" on a high spot.

So, I took it off several times and then spotted I had fitted one of the chain guides wrong. But to remove it and fit it correctly the tensioner had to come off again as well, then it was necessary to check the alignment of the jackshaft sprocket which I did and had to ease the chain away whilst I rotated it to the correct place.

Doing all of that and then putting it back correctly took at least an hour but that has saved a great deal of grief. The front cover still wouldn't go on though and I spent more time lieing over the engine bay with my head where the radiator should be trying to work out what the problem was. Found it though - I had fitted a bolt which shouldn't have been there!

After that it just was just a case of bolting everything back up - and remembering that the reason 2 of the bolts seemed too long was because the alternator bracketry had to be there and I had forgotten grrrr!!!!

There's also time for philosphy - like "why do many of the bolts which prove to be the most difficult have to be at full stretch for me?" Then there's a time for courage - I had removed the clutch slave cylinder to hold the ring gear and jam the engine whilst removing the crankshaft pulley bolt. It didn't help of course (!) but now the slave cylinder needed to go back on and it wouldn't co-operate when I ws lieing safely to the side of the car (at full stretch again of course). No, the only solution was to crawl under the car which is suspended on axle stands and just get on with it whilst ignoring the fact that if anything went wrong the whole car would crush me. It was good to be back "out from under" when that was done.

Finally, with all that done you can see in the pic below my attempt to establish TDC using a dial gauge on the top of an extension down number 1 plug hole.

Looks pretty good, almost like I now what I am doing but I have to say that I was not at all confident I was doing things right here so decided to remember " the right time to say enough for the day".

I will return to this next weekend.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Group 4 brakes again! + 2000 stuff

At last the machining is done - I had just about forgotten about this.

As a reminder, here is one of the group 4 AP discs fitted on it's bell to a strut complete with the extra long studs and a machined AP racing caliper - all the kit for the homologated "group 4" brakes.

Before diving into all this though, I'll finish the engine stuff on BRP. I need to now time the cam in, re-assemble it all and then fire it up which sounds easier than I fear it will be. This is all outside my comfort zone and if it goes wrong then I won't be happy (or competing in the Ilkley rally either).

Today though, I just put the brake stuff away and turned attention to the 2000.

With all the bits bought last week I pottered about a bit and made sure it's more ready for it's roadtrip into winter storage.

I fitted the boot seal simply as it was there and easy enough (makes a big difference to how the bott lid closes and should keep it watertight) but then moved on to replacing the rotor arm with the new one (the old one will be kept as a spare). The car wouldn't fire up initally so I checked and the new rotor arm hadn't seated properly but once this was done the car ran just fine.

Then on to replacing the outer headlight units which was straightforward enough and what a difference they make!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just a few bits

The 2000 doesn't need much you know, a few service items and a bit of tarting up that's all.

So how come I have just ordered £xxxs worth of bits then?Fainting

Well it's like this.

On the Alpine 50th birthday bash my daughter Michelle will be coming along which is greatBounce but that just made me even more aware of safety issues - I suppose that comes from being a dad. Anyway, the 2000 hasn't got any rear seat belts so that needs putting right. Come to think of it, the front ones are the original static type and aren't that great at engaging so I had my doubts about their reliability too.

Rimmer Brothers have this sale on you see, so why miss this opportunity? Result a full set of front and rear inertia reel seat belts on order.

Then there's the fact that Bryce will be driving the car over to it's winter storage in the next week or two and bearing in mind it has a second hand rotor arm in it (after the breakdown senario when I bought the car) it only seemed right I bought a new replacement (this time from Chris Witor).

Of course, if you do that then to save postage I thought I'd get a few other ignition bits and pieces (it's always the ignition side you know that lets a car downThinking. ) So I ordered a coil, points, condensor and distributor cap -oh and the boot lid weather seal (nothing to do with ignition but whilst I am about it and it's only a few £).

Meanwhile, all but one of the headlights are gone so I ordered 2 outer halogen ones (I already have bulbs so saved a bit there) and Craig has promised me a couple of the inner ones.

There you go then, safety, looking after people, and saving some money results in a rather large bill Thinking

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Not the Xmas meal

I don't want to say too much here as I have written an article for Club Torque and I feel that is where all should be revealed!

But a quick comment or two

That was probably the best night I have had at a Pendle and Pennine meeting and I would like to thank all my friends on the night for a great atmosphere and fun, as well as Jenny and the staff at the old Stone Trough.

2011's "Not the Xmas meal" will have a lot of living up to do"

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The virtues of patience

Did a bit more - in fact nearly another 2 hours and didn't seem to get that far.

Basically I got the pistons at TDC and got the cylinder head fully torqued down with the camshaft and rocker arms. How the heck did that take 2 hours?

It's always satisfying to see things going back together though and this gave me an opportunity to retorque the cylinder head whcih is always a good thing on these engines. The cylinder head nuts in the centre of the rocker shaft had to be done of course, but I still retorqued the cylinder head bolts which hadn't been touched and it was surprising that a couple of them "nipped" up.

Next step is to get the new timing chain and tenisioner on as well as fit the camshaft vernier sprocket after which I'll pause whilst I get my head round "timing in the cam" and will probably need Bryce's help on this anyway.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Know when to stop

Know when to stop - that's what I have been trying to learn for years now. I have done some more work on BRP which generally went very well but it's important to stop and put tools away etc before things start to go wrong, usually when my concentration starts to waver a bit!

First off I have done the dreaded shimming which actually doesn't seem to be too bad. I had quite a few shims but not quite enough of the right sizes of course, in fact I had plenty for if the gaps had been too much but not enough for how they were (too tight).

It's all done now though so we'll see what it's like when I fire her up.

Having done that though I moved on to removing the timing chain, tensioner and crankshaft sprocket which you can see here in the pics with the puller attached and nearly off.

Having replaced that it was then back to the top of the engine to refit the camshaft and rocker assembly. Getting this in was a bit if a fiddle and it was now that I realised I should stop - my concentration was falling and impatience growing! This was especially the case when I knocked shims off the top of the exhaust valves so once it was back on and lightly tightened down I called it a day.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Voyage of discovery

First the 2000.

Some more time spent today means I at least know where I am with the headlights.

When I started they wouldn't work on dip or main but 2 out of 4 would work on headlamp flash.

Cleaning connections at the lamps and the earths brought back full beam on 3 out of 4 (near side inner clearly gone).

After advice on the Club Triumph forum I cleaned the contacts at the light switch and the main./dip - checked for current and found power going into the switch and back out again to the dip/main switch which also works fine. Back to the lamps and there's power at the connections for dip beam so really it's down to 3 sealed beams gone (2 outer on dip and one inner on main).

As I have bought the car for a continental trip which will involve overnight drving I'll look at halogen conversions.

Then back on to BRP - here the plan is to re-shim the valve clearances, replace the crankshaft sprocket, the timing chain and tensioner followed by timing the cam in. Then it all goes back together with no problems whatsover with less rattles, more reliability and more power - yeah right!

Anyway, thanks to assistance from Bryce the other day and a new whirly gun we got the crankshaft bolt off which had been very very reluctant to let go. Actually, what also probably helped was a product got for me by Burnerboy - "shock and unlock" which we sprayed on ( it is a combination of WD40 and a freezing agent).

Today though, after working on the 2000 I removed the front timing chain cover of BRP, the rocker shaft and the camshaft so that I can get on to actually shimming the valve clearances and be ready to procede with the timing chain shennanigans. Well it wasn't as easy as that sentence makes it sound but perseverance and patience won through in the end.

Here though I think I may have found 2 sources of all the rattles. Part of the timing chain tensioner (the bit that's on a piston with something looking like a wedgeshaped hammer head) actually fell out when I removed the front cover. Now this might just be because tension had been released but, looking at this component, there are a number of areas where gouges/wear have been made in the metal of it which doesn't seem right to me - could this have just been rattling around inside the front cover instead of doing it's job?

Then at the camshaft end the sprocket is held away from the camshaf during removal by the use of a "slave" nut. When it all goes back together this slave nut isn't needed and should be removed - only I still found it in pace but with the internal thread completely stripped so it has probably been rattling around for months at the front end of the camshaft sprocket!

All of this is no doubt down to my incompetence and there's plenty more where that came from!

I decided a couple of hours was enough so called it a day as I think that being patient might just help me do a better job and I am not in a huge rush anyway.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Poking about

I have spent a bit of time "poking about" the 2000 and am rather pleased with the results. Although the photos don't do it justice the boot spare wheel well is solid (surface rust and wet though), underneath the rear seat it's also solid with a little surface rust and the interior generally is in good condition with everything in place but needing a good clean.

So, what needs doing first?

When we brought the car home, apart from the breakdown due to a dodgy rotor arm, the plan was to take it straight into winter storage but by the time we got back it was dropping dark and the offside indicator as well as the headlights weren't working. It wasn't sensible to drive it in the dark like this so the car is at my house and these are the priorities to sort out.

After that there are one or two grommets to seal the floor, a boot seal to stop water getting in and a steering column lower bush (where it goes through the bulkead). There are some repair panels for the front wings needed too and a thorough service/check over.

I suppose a new rotor arm and a maybe a distributor cap wouldn't go amiss sooner rather than leter too!