Friday, December 31, 2010

Finishing as I mean to go on

After the philosophy of the last blog entry here's my update on working on Triumphs - again!

Yes, back to BRP and bolting everything back together again. There we are - cylinder head on and the front cover on temporarilywith the front pulley whilst I set it to TDC.

Then, following the works manual the front cover comes off to check that the jackshaft is in the right place. It's not possible to see here but there's a scribed line on the jackshaft sprocket that is at 9 o'clock but should be at 3 0'clock so just 180 out then. Setting it right meant though that the rotor arm is pointing at number 4 not number 1 - ho hum, if I remember rightly now come to think of it we did move the distributor back in April to get the car running. More of this kind of stuff to come!

Still, for now I contented myself with bolting the inlet manifold on and getting back into the swing of things. Not sure when I'll get back to the task though as there's Pendle and Pennine "Not the Xmas meal" coming up followed by the Essex Winter rally in the 2000. Kevin, if you are reading this I will probably be giving you a ring in a couple of weeks to see if you fancy helping out again!

Meanwhile, having mentioned the 2000 Bryce and I collected the original engine for it from Craig along with the manual non overdrive gearbox. It would need cleaning, some investigation and some bearing shells but these earlier "flat top" piston 2000 engines have slightly more power according to Chris Witor (the 2000 guru) and it would be nice one day to restore the original engine back into the car - just not anytime soon!!

I have bought a good secondhand distributor though from him, suitable for the later 2000 engine fitted and without the wear of the one that's in it - just a question of dropping it off with my brothers and seeing if we can get it fitted and the car running as reliably as I would like.

Round and round

Now and again I start reflecting on all this Triumph business. This is usually when one of the cars is acting up or when I have some time out of the usual routine to think - both have happened recently!

This week we also took my wife's Peugeot in to the main dealers for a recall which was no big deal but I couldn't help but notice they had for sale a 53 plate Mazda MX5 £4995. Just downthe road from us there's another one at £3800 ish complete with very smart hardtop.

Now, if I sold all my Triumphs and their spares I could buy an MX5 and enjoy reliable fun motoring for years without having to spend at least 2 hours every weekend working on a car under my carport (as I will be again later today).

Sounds good to me - all those roadtrips just enjoying the driving.

But then - what about the part Club Triumph plays in my life. Sure I wouldn't have to own a Triumph to be a member but how much of an "enthusiast" would I be if I had sold all the cars I owned? Not much!

It would also be the end of entering the Club Triumph driving events which quite rightly must be done in a Triumph car - I can't see myself coming to terms with that.

What about the historic rallying? Did Tony Pond drive a Maxda MX5? That answers that one then.

So it's back to "I just need to do this to the 2000, rebuild BRP and fit the group 4 brakes followed by upgrading the suspension and brakes on UNJ before sorting out the misfire". Not much there really (!) after which I will experience trouble free driving in 3 Triumphs - oh yeah!

In all seriousness though, in normal driving a TR7 convertible is perfectly capable of modern motoring and is far more striking than any MX5 so I have made the right decision again - haven't I?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Brian Hanrahan - a real memory

Sad to hear that Brian Hanrahan, BBC correspondent has died at the young age of 61.

His reporting from the Falklands War in 1982 will always be a strong memory for me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Rally & back to BRP

I completed my first competitive event last Sunday for nearly 2 years as a driver - the Bedford Car Club "Santa" 12 car rally.

It was good to have my daughter Rebecca alongside and she did really well for a complete novice (and she doesn't seem to have been put off).

We did it in PMW as it's the only Triumph I have available for use and it was absolutely fine until the return back up the M1 when it started losing power. This got worse and worse and although I checked a few things over at a service area I couldn't sort it out.

Thankfully we got back to my sister's in Derbyshire just before 1Am but I still couldn't get to the bottom of the problem with the car the next day. I eventually returned home by train and left PMW for my brothers to have a look at.

Thanks Malcolm and Harvey for checking it over in the freezing cold - it seems there is so much wear in the distributor that it allowed the timing to go miles out. Now it's back where it should be the car runs fine again but the question is "will it happen again?" Sourcing a replacement distributor may be on the cards.

Meanwhile, I always try and do some work on a Triumph each weekend to keep on top of things. If you are not making progress then you are going backwards! So, small progress as it was, I torqued up the cylinder head on BRP.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alternator fixed at last

Finally got a new alternator on - an A127 with 55AMP output instead of the original 15ACR with 35 amps. Much better! The indicators actually flash now evenwhen the headlights and heater are on.

I have also done as advised and fitted an extra thick brown wire from the spare feed on the alternator direct to the positive terminal on the battery as can be seen in the picture which will help with the charging as well.

Next was fitting a fuse box for the headlamp relays butI ran out of time and also found the washers had packed up working! I'll sort that tomorrow before getting all the kit for the 12 car rally in the car and setting off for Milton Keynes.

My competition career restarts after nearly 2 years!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Not quite finished then!

I intended sorting out some relays for the headlights on PMW today but ....

Yes, the nearside wheel bearing had too much play in it when I checked it today so I had to adjust that first.

Then I noticed the speedo cable hanging a long way under the car; in fact it had been rubbing on the road surface. I spent alot of time on this rerouting it inside the car and cable tieing it up. It's much better now but not perfect by any means. What I need really is a large heated workshop to sort this kind of thing out!

I made it to the Pendle and Pennine meeting last night and was well pleased how much better the car is running - checking and adjusting the points was well worth while.

And the relays? Well, it was so cold under the carport I called it a day!