Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Little things that please

A series of little things done on the convertible but I am well pleased.

  1. I had a TR8 steering wheel fitted to BRP and as I won't be using it for months now I swapped it over on to UNJ and it's a better driving eperience for it.
  2. I have never been able to get the door/interior lights to work properly on a TR7 and UNJ was no exception but today's the day I cracked it. Thanks to help from people on http://www.forum.triumphtr7.com/default.asp as well as a PM on the Club Triumph forum and an email (you kow who you are) I have finally realised how thick I am

    Strangely,I thought that two wires both of which had purple in them would/should both be live whereas the one that was black would be the only earth.

    Hence I had the black earth wire to the single contact on the lamp and the two purple "live" ones to the other two connections. I was then wondering why there was no power to the purple/white wire

    Now I have realised there are two earth wires and only one power I have the lights connected correctly, I have cleaned up the courtesy light switches and guess what - yes, courtesy lights that work.

The correct way to wire the lights up! Purple is power to the single connection, the other two are earths

    3. Having done this I then thought about the annoying horns as they are more of a "peep" than a proper loud blast. It's one of those jobs that gets left as there are always more important things to do but today I had some time at looked at the problem.
One of them  just wasn't working so up into the loft for a replacement from my stash of hoarded second hand parts and it was replaced in a few minutes. Result is a proper blast from the horns as they should be.

  4. Adjusted the washer jets. Yes another small thing but like everything else, small niggly things spoil the experience of driving the car so it's good to get them fixed.

I'll have to return to the driver's seat though as the back isn't as fixed as it should be and then there'll be new bushes in the rear parallel trailing arms so there's more to do yet of course.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy for most of the time

Returned to UNJ this afternoon with all the nearside interior needing to be fettled and placed back in the car. Here's how it looks at the start of play, the carpets all pulled up, bits of trim missing and the passenger seat is not actually bolted in.

I found it all very satisfying actually. First I put the seat outside of the car and then went about finding and replacing the right screws where they were missing in the rear trim panel and also in the kickpad on the left. Then it was a case of putting the bulkhead sound proofing back on and refitting the original carpet.
The car has had another set of carpets fitted over the originals which are very faded and although the new set are black rather than the correct blue they look pretty good.
I did as a previous owner has done and fitted them on top of the originals so there's 2 layers which in theory gives good soundproofing although I like driving with the top down as much as possible which makes it all a bit academic.

Next I ran a bolt through all the captive nuts in the floor with copper grease on it to try and ease the refitting of the seat and this certainly helped as it went back in quite easily. I also took the opportunity to unbolt the the seat belt from the seat, unravel it and bolt it back on so that it will now fit much better and as intended.

Here's how it all looks and I must say I am very pleased.

So why does the post title say "happy most of the time"?

Well by comparing both seats it's obvious that the driver's seat's reclining mechanism isn't working properly, or even at all. It's in the one position and not firmly in that either so it looks like I need to do a bit of research and probably strip it down to make a repair.

It really is a shame as it's in very good condition otherwise, certainly better than the one that came out.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keep on going

A return to UNJ this time.

I wasn't in the best frame of mind though as I had been away on buysiness to Spain and spent the last two days sipping water as I couldn't face any food. This was all good for weight reduction but not for a day's work on a Triumph when I know they rarely co-operate.

First on the agenda was driving over to Bryce's where he was good enough to help me out again. Priority was getting at a hole I knew was lurking on the nearside bulkhead where it butts up to the back of the inner wheel arch in the engine bay. I had stripped out all the interior for a better view and found two other small areas of rot which were probably caused by water getting in via the first hole and then being held by the carpet.

To get at the bulkhead hole though the windscreen wiper motor needed to come out and then the combined battery tray/wiper motor panel moved out of the way. A combination of drilling the spot welds and then cutting through the horizontal part of it meant it could be bent away to reval the horror below.
Nice grot!
 Having done that it was all cleaned up, metal patches made up, welded in (including in the interior) and then suitably treated with sealer and preservative. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well it wasn't.

With a welder available Bryce and I returned to trying to remove an obstinate bolt putting up a hell of a fight on the removal of the driver's seat front, specifically the one at the front near the transmission tunnel. Of course this wasn't in a convenient place either, what a surprise.

Not to be denied, Bryce welded on another bolt which immediately broke off. Another attempt saw a slight bit of movement before it snapped off again.  By now there was too much weld getting in the way and we still hadn't won. I have to admire Bryce's determination though, we kept at it.

At this point I commented that the seat was completely shot with a broken back in it as well as the fabric being in bits and the fact that I had a good replacement which was the whole point of the exercise. So, Mr Bolt, fight all you like you are not going to win.

Don't look down for those of a nervous disposition.

Out comes the knife to remove the front quarter of the seat followed by an angle grinder to remove the interior seat metal frame so that we could see the bolt directly for the first time. What I should have taken a photo of was the very large old screwdriver we welded to the bolt next and the large molegrips used on it until that bolt finally gave in.
Sacrificial seat!
By now having fought the car all day it was time to put it back into a drivable state - the sacrificial seat went back in for the 17 mile drive home whilst the wiper motor was bolted back in but I wasn't keen to try the wipers until I had another day to check things over again.

Luckily the wipers weren't needed on the 17 mile drive home as it was a fine dry day going into dusk and then

and then

I remembered how great it is to drive the car with the top down, jacket zipped up, woolly hat on head and heater on full.

Why would anyone not have a Triumph??

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Coping mechanisms

Couldn't quite get to work on the 2000 engine this week so I changed tack and decided to replace the driver's seat in UNJ with one I bought from ebay.
The original driver's seat showing rip/wear to outer side section - there is something broken inside too!
The much better ebay seat.

So, a good plan then and I set off to remove the original seat only to find I could only get one retaining bolt out! Further attempts would probably result in getting absolutely nowhere and making things worse so I decided to call a halt on this project.

Never fear, next week I hope we can do some welding to the bulkhead in the passenger footwell and it would be a good idea to remove the passenger seat to give clearance room as well as to get a chance to dry the floorpan out! Much more progress with this seat; 3 bolts out and only one being a pig! Same decision made, leave it for another day.

My theory is that I am playing a long game and I know too well that if I let myself get impatient I only make things worse. I can even prove this theory as last week I replaced the viscous fan coupling. Now, when this is done it is easy to think there are only 3 bolts holding the mounting to the front of the block as one is lurking underneath.

Of course, this difficult to see bolt is also the one that is the most difficult to get to when bolting the mountiong back on, so much so that last week I left it off and decided I'd just make sure the others were tight by regular checking.

This week though, after the seat debacles I decided to return to the attack and succeeded with very little effort really. There you go you see, leave a difficult job alone for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes and attitude and "the job's a good un".

Check out next week's adventures to see if the theory works on those seat bolts.

The awkward bolt is the inner one at the bottom of the housing - much more visible in this photo than in real life!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Engine cleaning & fan replacement

It took 2 hours to steam clean all the 2000 engine components but at least it's a good base to start from.

Also, the flywheel fits in the lathe so we can machine it down from the current 13kg to a target weight of 8kg thanks to advice from the Club Triumph forum - that's one heck of a reduction and it should make a difference to low speed pick up.

That was yesterday but today whilst doing a check over UNJ back at home I decided to sort something else out.  There has been rather a strange noise develop which led me to believe the viscous fan was failing and it certainly did not rotate freely as it should. My plan had been to spend £100+ on an electric fan kit but then I remembered a viscous fan assembly I had removed from a Dolomite Sprint engine.

Best part of an hour later it was swapped over and all appears to be well. Subject to a roadtest that's a good way of earning £100 an hour!

I also rejoined Facebook today (against my better judgement) but here's a photo from my daughter Michelle's page showing me and PMW in the Alps last year which brings back happy memories.
PMW looking great with a tremendous background - not sure about me though!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stripping on a Friday

A racy title but actually 3 1/2 hours of stripping the 2000 engine down.

All very satisfying and it's now stripped right down to it's component parts ready for inspection and cleaning before further work to recondition it.

There should have been plenty of photos but due to a camera malfunction here's just the one that survived.

Here's the cam removed and sat loose on the sump. There's some marking on the lobes which is just about visible in this photo but as I am planning a new cam it's not of any concern.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Friday is Triumph day

A day off work and what can you do but spend it with Triumphs and Club Triumph - can't get much better than that.

First off down to ATS Euromaster in Colne to have a new Michelin fitted to the spare for UNJ. At last I have 5 of the same OE type wheels with 5 Michelins fitted. It gave me a chance to sort through some of the wheels and tyres I have and get three of the old tyres scrapped at the same time. Meanwhile ATS stripped and hopefully fixed 2 slow punctures which are down to 30 year old wheels. If this doesn't do it then refurbished wheels will be needed or I think Rimmers still have "new" ones although I doubt they will be cheap.

Next was over to Bryce's to start work on PMW's original engine, here seen on a pallet along with the original non-overdrive gearbox and cylinder head, rockers etc.
It took a while to lift the engine and get it secure on an engine stand but then we got the sump off for inspection. The crank looks pretty good with probably only shells and thrust washers needed. Having said that there was a fair bit of swarf in the oil pump pick up filter and I have decided to do a "proper job" so Bryce and I are going to strip the engine down completely and get it thoroughly clean first off.

Swarf in oil pick up pipe just visible
Bryce is fine with lightening the flywheel as he has a lathe etc available and then we'll get all the bottom end balanced. Enough for today though as I needed to get home ready for leg 3 of Triumph Friday!

It was 10CR video night at the Pendle and Pennine Area meeting so the projector, audio leads etc had to be found then transported down to the Old Stone Trough in UNJ for setting up before everyone arrived. Thanks to Andy Flexney for helping with this at the OST and Jenny of course for giving us the function room and reserving a table for us all to eat before the evening's entertainment began.

Another good night had by all but I was glad it was all over when my head finally hit the pillow!

I had to spend a fair bit of time on Saturday tidying away from the previous day's activity but did find time for one of those rare events, a small quick job that actually was small, quick and satisfying! There should be a gear lever shroud grommet but this was missing in UNJ which was a bit of a niggle. Rattling around in my loft though I found one, dismantled the shroud and fitted the grommett - cracking job!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Helping the country out of recession

Or - how to keep buying bits for old cars.

Recently I have ordered a spare tyre for UNJ - A Michelin of course due to be fitted on Friday. While I am there I'll get ATS to switch a couple of the existing tyres onto better TR7 alloys I have in an affort to stop two slow punctures.

I have also recently bought a "new old stock" distibutor for PMW and it certainly does look to be in excellent condition so I am really hoping for no more dizzy moments LOL.
Also I have been buying workshop manuals, service sheets and parts manuals like they are going out of fashion so that I must surely have all the information I need to rebuild the original engine. Thanks Mike Charlton for collecting the latest treasures for me.

Not least, I have just bought from ebay 2 seats for UNJ in the right colour which is not easy to get hold of. The driver's seat in the car is broken and ripped/worn so I plan to swap the new one in and keep the others as spares.

There you go you see, there's me doing my bit to keep the UK going!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Decision made - I think

I have thought when I would next use BRP and really it's quite some time. I would have used it for the CT Autotest but work will get in the way of that and there's nothing else on the horizon that "needs" a competition car so I will take it off the road.

I really like all my cars though, I enjoy driving them all although they are very different in the way they feel.

So, having decided to take BRP off the road I aim to get back to PMW, the 2000 saloon. It's currently in storage without a distributor and had various driveline vibration problems when put away too.

The cheapest route is to replace the distributor, fix the propshaft UJs (if they are the problem) and start driving it again. Thing is though, it seems to have a thing for eating distributors.

Meanwhile, I am trying to track down what work was done to the original engine and it seems to include work on the cylinder head including conversion to run on unleaded. For this reason and the fact that it would be good to re-unite the engine with the car I think I am going to rebuild that one, get a sutiable new (?) distributor and refit it.

After which I can move on to solving the driveline problems and fit an electrically heated windscreen I have ordered.

Meanwhile, today having decided to take BRP off the road I have swapped over the strut brace and one or two other bits to UNJ as it might as well have them ready for next month's CT 3 Counties rally.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Where to? UNJ

Whilst pondering my next move I have returned to UNJ.

Although it drives well it's always had a fair bit of "pinking" so this afternoon I got round to checking out the timing.

It's supposed to be 10btdc but when I checked it was off the marker! Must have been about 14+.

Adjusting isn't so easy due to the amazingly difficult to get at bolts that hold the distributor in but with some perseverance all came good and I reset it to 8degrees btdc eventually (not standard due to lower octane fuel nowadays) and it certainly has improved matters greatly.

Then I moved on to trying to fix the non cancelling indicators but wasn't so succesful - ho hum, another day maybe.

Meanwhile, with the other cars I continue to ponder although it could be the 2000 that gets attention first as I am starting to miss it!

Here's video of us on the Little Devils in BRP where it's certainly possible to hear the engine rattling away!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Where next??

BRP has been running really well and has plenty of go about it.

Unfortunatley it's also been burning oil on the inlet manifold and rattling alot.

I checked the cam cover and found a bolt missing which has allowed oil to seep past it onto the inlet manifold so that is probably sorted.

I then noticed though, a missing bolt holding the exhaust manifold on! Not good and after looking for another one and being unsuccessful I decided to make sure the others were not loose. The result was stripping a helicoil out - not good at all. So that means taking the head off again for this reason alone.

Then what about that rattle? Bryce and Harvey, my brother who were over for a family do and had a listen and they don't think it's the cam, could be the jack shaft or could be a little end.

Whatever, I think it's time to stop fannying about. Once and for all I think I need to rebuild an engine right from the start, after all I have enough spares to select the best bits from and then build from there. Whilst the engine is out the engine bay can also be cleaned up and some seam welding done.

The thing is though, should it be an engine for BRP or the original engine for the 2000 that I/we build first?

If the 2000 is worked on first that can be ready for road use winter of 2012 and then work on BRP for it to be used in 2013/2014. After all I am not going rallying in a big way anymore and if I select the right road/social events the convertible and the 2000 will do just fine.

Much to ponder over.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

After the Little Devils!

Well, we didn't cover ourselves in glory on this one coming 15th out of 15! It still means I am in a clear 4th place in the Club Triumph Driver Challenge though and as my aim is to be in the top 5 I am pleased enough with that.

The car was fine and very quick really but needs setting up or a service. It also rattles a fair bit and is burning oil off the exhaust manifold/down pipes so really needs some fettling.

This weekend though all I have done with it is get it up on ramps and hose all the muck and bullets off the underside. Next weekend I'll start the service and investigations although it might be wise to go round and touch up the paintwork where necessary first at the earliest opportunity.

Meanwhile, UNJ is at the front of the queue for use and will be the car Mrs R and I use in the next challenge round, the Club Triumph 3 Counties Rally in October.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Speedfair and prep for the Little Devils

Well, the Speedfair rally was really good actually.

10th out of 17 on day 1, ok 15th out of 20 on day 2 wasn't so good but our day one performance put us into the "Shoot out".

This was a bit of a surprise and given that we had a 4 to 5 hour drive home in some ways wasn't all that welcome!

The format though was that the top 12 cars from day 1 (and that included us!) took another run through the test and the top 6 would then run again. OK, let's have some fun we thought and set our fastest time of 92.3 seconds whcih amazingly got us through again.

Now the top 6 were to be narrowed down to the top 4 and of course we wanted to see how well we could do and we really attacked the test but right at the end we drifted off slightly onto some gravel and our time was 94.3 seconds - oh well, time to go home.

Great fun all the same and I'll post up the in car footage soon.

Today though I worked on BRP with a mind for the Little Devils next weekend. This is an all together rougher event which has included farm tracks in the past so with this in mind 2hours workl this afternoon resulted in the sumpguard back on.

More to do but so little time - what will next weekend bring I wonder?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Speedfair Rally day 1

Started the day by retorquing the cylinder head in the hotel car park.

Then over to Knockhill for signing on and scrutineering - thankfully no problems.

Four tests today and the main decision to be made was whether to stay in 1st or try and go for 2nd gear! On the first test I decided early on I'd grab second as soon as I could and hold on to it all the way round which I did but the car "bogged down" too easily - 101 seconds was our time.

Next run I stayed in first and rev'd the engine up to to 6000 (ouch!) and came in with a time of 96 seconds.

After that it was first gear near enough the whole time - sorry BRP!

But at the end of day 1 we are in 10th out of 17 so not too shabby.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Speedfair Rally 2011 - getting there

Writing this from the bar of my hotel in Dunfermline with BRP parked outside looking rather damn good actually.

The drive up at a steady 70 mph where possible was uneventful and it kept it at 3500 rpm which is no bad thing given the reconditioned head that is fitted.

Tomorrow morning I'll retorque the head in the hotel car park before we go to Knockhill for scrutineering and 4 tests against the clock.

Meanwhile, BRP is certainly very very noisy on a long journey! Since I stripped out all the sound deadening and carpets etc I have not driven it any distance other than competitively so now I know I couldn't use it in it's present form for a RBRR or the 10CR.

Something that helps make up for it though is all the admiring looks from people on the roads - a guy at a filling station really liked it and at one point a whole taxi full were looking at us and smiling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BRP on the road again

Back from holiday and my first trip out in BRP.

Just about 10 miles and it seems fine so far but by eck it's noisy with no interior trim etc! It also feels very different to the soft top as it so much more rigid and firm on the road.

Power seems good but I am trying to look after the head by keeping the revs down for a while. I will have to look into the fact it keeps stalling as soon as it comes to a halt though.

Speedfair Rally in 10 days and not much time to check things over.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

A record for the Raider fleet!

As of today I have 3 Triumphs with MOTs, all insured and all taxed - WOW!

There are different degrees of "readiness" though.

UNJ - taxed, MOT and insured, radiator and dipstick tube replaced - completely roadworthy. In fact I was in UNJ at last night's Pendle and Pennine meeting. Probaly in use later today for a run out in the sun.

BRP - taxed on line today, MOT and insured, rear brakes freed off by the garage who did the MOT. Needs a good once over and a sump guard made up ready for the Speedfair rally and the Little Devils in August.

PMW - taxed, with MOT and insurance. Also with transmiaaion vibrations, without a distributor and under a dust cover! So not so ready to roll with this one.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back to BRP!

I have just been invited to take part in the Speedfair Rally at Scottish Classic Speedfair, Knockhill July 30th and 31st so this is another incentive to get back to BRP.

2 weeks after that though I am aiming to enter the Little Devils so it's a busy time ahead.

I had intended to get BRP entered for it's MOT this week but the wiper stalk simply broke, here it is removed from the car today and looking very sorry for itself as you can see.In amongst my second hand spares though was a replacement from an early TR7 but that was held in by one bolt and two rivets rather than 3 bolts as on BRP. So I carefully placed the column switches in my vice supported underneath by a block of wood and drilled out the rivets.
That all worked out well but the bolts from BRP had nothing to grip on in the replacement switch (where the rivets had been) so off came the steering wheel in order for me to fit two small thin screws through the mounting holes and into clips which has done the job very nicely. The fixings are visible below, one bolt at the base of the stalk and two black screw heads further in above and below.
Re-assemble everything and it all works!

Next was a problem with the front near side headlamp not coming on when on main beam. I had a suspicion it was down to my naff wiring and sure enough a scotch lock was the problem where I was taking feed off so as to be available for the Cibie driving lamps when fitted.

I decided to remove the scotch lock, break into the wire and fit bullet connectors which then went into a rubber insulated connector and has solved that one too.

I really must get the heater working too which I think is a cable connector come adrift but that will mean removing the centre console to get at which is more than I can do today. The heater is important as I will need some demisting at different times of the year after all.

I could do with adjusting the rear brakes as well but with time running short I might put it in for MOT and get the garage to adjust them.

Another thing to note is that the car runs OK as regards tick over etc but there's a fair bit of knock from the top end which I suspect is camshaft related. Not entirely happy about that but it was an unkown when I had the head reconditioned so I have no problems with Dale, I took the gamble. I'll see how it goes and decide what, if anything, to do about it later.

Friday, June 10, 2011

IAE update and on!

Completed the International AutoEcosse in UNJ which was very enjoyable ineed. Finished 10th out of 23 CT crews on the tests which again I am very pleased with. Also very happy that Mrs R joined me on this one and is already signed up to do next year's.

The car will need a reconditioned radiator as it was leaking but managed to hold out until we got home. We had the hood down all weekend by the way apart from about 30 minutes even though it was cold and blustery all weekend.

Here's video evidence of us on the test at Kames courtesy of Steve Thompson

I am now in joint 5th place in the CT Driver Challenge which is where I would like to be by year end!

As I said over the weekend, I had become so focussed on the Manx that I had forgotten how enjoyable Club Triumph events were so it's good to be out competing again.

I haven't forgotten the Manx though and the next event is both another round of the CT Driver Challenge and a significant step back to the plan for the Manx rally. I am intending to enter the "Little Devils" in BRP in August. This event is as close to a stage rally as you can get without it being one or without needing a competition licence. It's also the first event Sarah and I did together.

Not only that but the last time BRP was out was on the Roskirk Stage rally in 2009 so I am really looking forward to it.

Problem is, I came to start the car and check things over prior to taking it for MOT and the headlight dip/main beam stalk broke! A bit of work needed then :-/

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Better and better

More work on UNJ and it's getting very satisfying now.

The car has been running fine but a hint of the misfire had returned, little things like faltering on the overrun, needing third gear at 30mph and 4th at 50mph. Then there was a fair amount of "pinking" if accelerating and putting the engine under a bit of load.

"It's always the ignition side" is my favourite saying to guide me under these circumstances but just on the off chance I checked the carb balance just in case one pair of cylinders were not getting the same fuelling as the other which would also cause the above. No, using the special tool of a length of fuel pipe stuck in my ear and then into the carbs in succession all was well there.

So, over to the ignition side.

With the engine warm and at tickover (which is also high at about 1200rpm) I pulled the plug leads off one by one using my special insulated grips and number 2 was making no contribution at all! Then testing with a spare plug showed no spark from this plug lead so I inspected it further and found the connector at the distributor cap end broken.

I didn't have a spare lead but managed to fix this with an end from an old lead. At the same time I put a small amount of grease on the distributor cam and lubricated it, along with cleaning up the dizzy cap.

The car performed much better on the next test run with much reduced pinking and no hesitation present so hopefully I have made a permanent cure. It's pretty good how well the car ran before though considering the poor/non existant input from number 2 cylinder.

This also gave me the chance to adjust the tickover speed and I was able to reduce it now to 850rpm but it does seem very reluctant to keep returning to this. Moving the loation of the throttle return spring helped as did oiling of the linkages. More use might help and the car is certaily going to get it with the International AutoEcosse next weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plunged in!

I know why the reversing lights were on all the time - the "plunger" in the reversing light wasn't working. You can see why in the photo where a replacement I got from S&S has the plunger tip standing much more proud than the original. I think the original wasn't releasing properly and despite WD40 it didn't improve followed by one of the wires breaking off anyway.

Fitting the replacement one didn't take too long even if it was fiddly and now the reversing lights come on when they are supposed to and only then.

Next I replaced the top hose which was decidedly dodgy (although in time honoured fashion I'll be keeping it as a spare).

With those all done I drove the car with the top down for 20 miles and it was a real treat. The car handles well and is surprisingly quick actually, although there is the occasional hesitation from it which could probably be cured by a check of points gap and timing etc. Thing is though, with only just over a week to the AutoEcosse maybe I should leave well alone and just get some more miles on the car.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Core plug fix

Not very easy to see here but this is the remains of the weeping core plug - not very much left. I had had quite a problem getting a replacement as all the suppliers had this item as "no longer available" but it seemed ridiculous for a £1 component to be the cause of such grief.

Bryce decided to buy a ouple of boxes of assorted core plugs as they will always come in handy so we felt confident we would be able to sort this one out.

Like may occasions, however, it didn't work out as straight forward as expected. The old core plug decided to make a fight of it, so much so that we took the bonnet off (!) to get at the core it. It was then much more simple to get in and tap it out.

It was then that we found the core plug required is a very odd size indeed and wasn't in ether the metric or imperial assorted core plugs Bryce had bought! Much hunting round and head scratching came up with an answer which was to thread the inlet manifold, screw into that an adaptor with loctite applied and screw into that a "sump plug" for want of a better word. Job sorted after which it was just a case of refitting the bonnet etc.

The solution can be seen in the photo below.

Once again a job that should have taken 40 minutes actually took much longer, 2 1/2 hours in fact!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ticking them off

I drove UNJ for the first time in 2 years last night - to the May Pendle and Pennine meeting. The car was pretty good and seems very different to the other Triumphs I have driven, more of a modern car for one thing and also a quiet cruising car with the top down in the sun - lovely!

I am now making a "snag" list of course and the picture here shows the first thing on it. At the front of the inlet manifold which is also the casting for the thermostat housing there is a small core plug which is "weeping". This will have to be fixed before I take the car any distance and certainly before the 2 day "AutoEcosse"!

Then after that there were some niggle really.
  1. The reversing lights didn't work as I found out when I got home in the dark.
  2. The fuel gauge still wasn't working although the low fuel light flickered on the way home (I had only put 10 litres in for now)
  3. The indicators don't cancel and there's a squeak from the steering column shroud on turning corners sometimes. I think these may be related with something not quite right in the assembly.
  4. The instrument light for the temperature gauge wasn't working.
  5. The choke warning light stays on all the time.

So this afternoon I set about these smaller niggles. Crawling under the car and swapping the connections on the tank sender unit didn't cure the fuel gauge problem.

Next thing then was to remove the fuel gauge itself and replace it with one from a spare instrument panel I have. Success! It's very satisfying when you cure something.

Whilst the instrument panel was apart I also cleaned it all and replaced one of the bulbs so all the instrument lights now work too.

So that's items 2 and 4 sorted.

I think I have sorted out item 5 too with the sensor for the choke cable removed and repositioned.

What about the non functioning reversing lights? Well I first checked to see if there was power to them by putting the live feed to the side lights instead and they lit up so power was getting through. OK, must be a duff bulb and actually 2 duff bulbs one either side so I removed the bulb holder from the offside and found no bulb in there at all! Same story nearside. Fitting a pair of bulbs I had in my spares cured the "problem".

That's probably the easiest fix I have ever had to do.

The core plug and the non cancelling indicators will have to wait for a little while but not a bad effort overall.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Don't like that much!

Gave UNJ a quick wash today and realised there was then water in the passenger footwell.

Investigation found two causes

  1. The foam "seal" where the heater pipes go through into the engine bay is perished and allowing a trickle of water to get in. This may or may not be too difficult to sort out but I have nightmares about removing TR7 heaters so I don't want to think about that too much.
  2. There's a flipping big hole under the battery tray where the bulkead meets the inner wing - chewing gum won't fix it! That's going to need some proper work with cutting out the battery tray, fabricating new metal patches and then welding them in followed by seam sealer and painting. Flipping 'eck !!!
The plan for now though is to try and only use the car in the hot dry summer we are sure to get and then fix this during the winter months - now who can I ask to help me with that one I wonder?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Difficult no more

Thanks to Bryce again two of us on the job sorted out the suspension.

So now the polybushes are in on the upper links (spare lower links being worked on for later installation), new uprated springs in and KYB shocks fitted.

Road fund licence bought this morning on line so we are nearly there with UNJ.

Meanwhile, PMW is in summer storage and the dizzy loaned by Radders removed to hand over to him on the AutoEcosse.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Being difficult

Being difficult - that's what the rear suspension is being. Here is how far away the bush is on one of the trailing arms and it's not easy at the moment to see how I can persuade it to go where I want it to!

There's a few tricks left yet though so I will not be defeated.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

UNJ has an MOT - hurragh!

Yes, MOT passed today! Only one or two minor things which the MOT station sorted.

So, on to taxing the car for May 1st on line and taking it to the May Pendle and Pennine meeting. I'll fit new rear springs, shock absorbers and polybushes this weekend as well as checking the fuel sender whilst I'm under there as it permanently reads empty.

Alos in the plan is taking the 2000 over to summer storage so we have one less car at Raider Towers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sealing, rebuilding and shuffling

I left off last week saying the plan was to seal the block paving at the front of our house if the weather was good enough.

Well it was and here's the frontage swept clean and Club Triumph cones out to keep vehicles off whilst the task is completed. All our Triumphs were under the carport as they wouldn't be going anywhere and our everyday cars relocated on a neighbour's drive - thanks Andrew.

It certainly was a full day's job on Friday. After sweeping the blocks I was then down on my hands and knees scrubbing away (no jokes about being an old scrubber please!) at any bird mess and also a couple of oil deposits left by Triumphs.

Then Deana swept again just in front of me as I put the sealant on with a roller. The first coat took a long time, a good 2 1/2 hours and then we had to wait 3 hours before putting the second coat on. We both had plenty of aches and pains after that!

Moving on though, I continued on Saturday polybushing the front suspension on the convertible and fitting the uprated struts. Getting the front anti-roll bar on though was not a one man job so I waited for Bryce's help on Sunday to complete that bit.

Finally today straight out there finishing off with refitting the front brakes (no time for the upgrade which will have to wait) and finishing off all the front supsension until finally the car was back on it's own four wheels.

A quick reshuffle of the cars means BRP is right at the back (but certainly not forgotten) and UNJ is now further up the drive and nearer the road!

A little bit of tidying was called for then and here is a sight TR7 owners hope for - removing a trim panel at the base of the windscreen and finding the metal below it is in fact sound thank goodness.

I had removed it as I feared the worst because water is getting into the front nearside footwell.This can't be the reason though so further investigation will be needed.

First though I'll book the car in for MOT on Thursday and see where I go from there. I notice Jason Chinn is booking his 2.5Pi in for MOT on Thurssday too so let's hope we both have good luck.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Like the sign says!

Mind you, it's not that easy to see the sign but it says "Triumph parking only - all others will be crushed".

Well that's the entire Triumph fleet parked up under my carport so all's well then.

They'll stay there for now until I have sealed the block paving we have had done, ideally next weekend if the weather is OK. Good job it's a 4 day weekend though as there's plenty to do on the DHC just visible third in line.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Over to UNJ

As can be seen here, attention is now switched to UNJ.

A "new" strut with uprated spring and insert ready for the nearside along with polybushes on the anti rollbar.

The track arm is now with Bryce for the ball joint to be pressed out and a new one fitted whilst there will also be a new polybush for the inner end where it meets the subframe.

After it's all bolted back together I'll take the car for MOT and if there is time then I'll be replacing the rear springs, shock absorbers and polybushing it all.

The car has to be ready for the International AutoEcosse and I only have 4 more weekends to work on it - gulp!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The HCR and PMW

Pictures from car 21, Martin Randle/Sarah Johnson Triumph 2000 PMW 400H. The one above is quite atmospheric with Triumphs parked just as light fades at Widdop Reservoir (photo of sign below!)

Next photo Fewston reservoir near Harrogate on the A59.

Obviously evidence of another county through the night.

Here's getting to the half way halt at Telford! Ho ho Dale, start in Lancashire, finish near Ipswich via Telford! Oh on the sign below on the right is Sarah, not that you can see much of her! She was modelling Dale's glasses he had left on PMW right back in Kelbrook at the start.

Into the second half and a bonus point for Powis Castle.

Followed by another bonus point at a castle I had never heard of but the "courting couples" in the castle car park at 3.30 in the morning must have been really pleased with 29 Triumphs turning up and taking photos!!

And finally back at base having completed the HCR and now with a fresh MOT as well - sounds all very good doesn't it, well read on then.

To give a less upbeat view here's a clue from a post I made on the CT forum

"A big big thanks to everyone who helped us (Car 21, Randle and Johnson) on the HCR.

Due to two shagged distributors our event was going nowhere but then, and here's the roll call, the following all played their part in getting us to the start.

Dale and Andy Flexney (identified that the dizzys were well and truly shagged and started trying to build one good one out of two), Steve Thompson who brought along a Delco dizzzy and manfully worked to get it to work and then Radders who donated a Lucas 25D6 which Dave Aspinall worked on and along with Tim Bancroft who's car we needed to jump start PMW (as well as providing critical components - that's Tim, not his car!).)

Not forgetting Ellis who sorted out our rally plate when I was all for throwing things as far as I possibly could - thanks Sarah for taking me off to one side to eat something and calm down

Anyway, thanks to all these mates we got to the start, completed both gymkhanas and made it all the way round (not without a few other issues mind).

For anyone who doesn't understand why they should join this club - if they read this and still don't understand they'll never get it!"

The other "issues" were the nuts (yes both of them) working loose off the bottom of a rear shock absorber which resulted in a now familiar banging from the rear and very twitchy handling. I took the shock absorber off completely at the finish until we could get back to Sarah's where her husband Berkely had spare bushes and nuts so we could refit it. There was also a growing transmission rumble/vibration probably propshaft related and Berkeley also spotted differential mounting problems too.

Ho hum - all good stuff isn't it?

Isn't it???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Back from hols and back to PMW!

Back from holiday at 1.45 this morning but with only a week to go to the HCR I felt the need to work on PMW anyway.

So, a spanner check on the ball joint and inner track arm bush proved fine and a "feel" of the front wheels seems OK for wheel bearing play too.

Then managed to bolt up the exhaust to a bracket from the gearbox now I understand what it's there for!

Finally wired up the nearside full beams via a relay too so I am pleased with that.

Not so pleasing are modern petrol stations, or more accurately, mini supermarkets that happen to have fuel pumps attached! I just needed a side light bulb, not much to ask for but both local garages didn't stock any (or any sizable amount of motoring stuff at all). Solution for now was to rob one from one of the TR7s for PMW and I'll replace it during the week hopefully.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Doesn't get much better - a sad insight

A sad insight into the mind of a travelling sales manager!

Driving down the A34 with fuel getting a little low and also some email needing to get sent somewhere.

Cruise control at 72MPH gives 59+ mpg and 60 at one point.

Meanwhile the Tom Tom with extra "points of interest" loaded solves my 2 needs - off at a services to a Shell fuel station (where I an get air miles with my fill up) and right next to it is a McDonalds from where I am posting this using their wifi!

Now back to work.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Alot of time for what was achieved?

Well I made the Pendle and Pennine meeting as I was able with Jon's assistance to bolt the track arm back on with it's new ball joint and polybush.

Then Saturday first I painted cure rust on the inside of repair panels made for the front lower wings and on other areas of surface rust under the front end.

Then onto wiring relays in for the main beam. I followed a suggestion I had read to use links from the original connections to the headlamps to supply the feed to the relay and then back again. That means putting a link wire in for the earth and for the dip beam too.

It does mean quite a few wires though and took far longer than I expected to wire up just the offside. Then the lights wouldn't work - oh good!! It took me ages to work out I had put the wires the wrong way round at the relay. Once that was fixed it was all fine thank goodness.

Next was wiring up the second relay but I ran out of connectors to finish it all so that's still to be done with little time left really before the HCR as I am away on holiday soon as well as attending the Club Triumph dinner.

Remember the cure rust applied earlier? At the end of the day I sprayed Dinitrol all over it and into the rear of the front panel and inside of the wings so with a bit of luck that will help preserve the car.

Finally today I have done a little bit of painting and touching up all the various bits of rust spots and stone chips - again it's all about preservation of the car rather than being a question of show condition!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Will I make the Pendle & Pennine Meeting?

The ball joint has been pressed out and new one fitted by Bryce with apparently no problems. I'll be picking it up tomorrow but I still keep working on a Triumph every weekend if I can.

I had thought about putting some time in on UNJ but then thought about wiring up the relays on PMW so that the headlight switch doesn't burn out on the HCR.

So that's what today's efforts were about - maybe an hour's work and then just do a bit on UNJ I thought.

I had wired up a new fuse box to feed the relays but the source I had chosen to feed this was from the starter motor connections - the wrong one of course so there was no power. Getting at these connections is not the easiest thing in the world but I did manage to swap the wiring over and at last had power to the fuse box.

At the same time though, I carefully made sure the main battery cable to the starter motor was secured away from the steering column (which it wasn't before) and then cable tied my power feed cables for the fuse box safely out of the way too.

Next was mounting a relay and supplying it with power from the now working fusebox and supplying it with an earth lead which I paced on the earth side of the offside horn.

Now, for the rest of wiring - it is possible to hack into the wiring loom and link power from the light switch to the relay and then abck from there to the loom where it was broked into so as to supply the lights. Someone on the 2000 register forum suggested something different though and although he seems a bit of a lone voice on this one I agree with him. Why not connect into the connector at the lamps to supply the feeds atc and then put the supply back again - that way there's no hacking into the loom and it could be put back standard with no harm done.

So, off with the grill to get at the back of the headlamps and disconnect the wiring. OK this looks do-able but I also then notice that there's some rust proofing needed in this area too!

Hmm - enough for today though I think.

Best part of 3 hours work and not even one relay wired up. Nothing done on UNJ either of course.

So, will I make the Pendle and Pennine meeting? Well I will but points are at stake and I'll sacrifice 2 if I don't go in a Triumph and as it stands none of them are on the road!

I need to just put the wires back on the offside headlamps even if I don't get a relay wired up for Friday night and I need to get that track arm back on. All of this should be achievable but then again?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ZOO Spartans!

A trip down memory lane today.

As it happens I was working in Loughborough this afternoon and that's where I went to University from 1978 to 1980.

A favourite chipshop for us students was the "300 Spartans" but because of the font we always called it the "Zoo Spartans". Well at the end of the day I needed to eat something before travelling to Stoke so I had to see if it was still there didn't I?

And itwas! The fish chips and peas eaten in my car were a real nostalgia trip and then, and then, whilst driving away I had Tom Robinson on the car stereo - great stuff!

There you go http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22119474368

If any of you guys from Elvin Richards Hall back then happen to be reading this I am sure you will smile too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bushing on

Sorry about the title!

Here's the traditional way of helping on the process of removing a bush from suspension components; in this case the inner bush from the front nearside track control arm on the 2000.The assembly has been removed so that the ball joint can be replaced. As always PMW reminded me that it is a 42 year old car and doesn't like being messed about with! There were certainly times during this afternoon's activity that I was close to saying enough!

Given that I have persevered though I hope to get someone with a press to remove the old ball joint and the remains of the burnt rubber bush too - Bryce, are you reading this?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a shock!

Yes, quite a shock to see BRP out from under the car port! It has moved under it's own steam so I can get PMW in to place for work on those rear shock absorbersThe next shock of course, as seen last week was the rear offside shock absorber snapped off and waving in the wind. At least it wasn't too difficult to remove this one.

Here's the "new" shock absorbers. Actually they are a pair of used but good Spax given to me some time ago and destined for the convertible - that will get new KYBs in good time. Menahwile, only one of them had an adjuster that worked - ho hum, better than what was there before!

I had to open out the washers to fit these but other than that the fitting went just fine.Here's the proof, one fitted to replace the snapped offside one. The nearside was in one piece but absorbing it was not!

Whilst at it I adjusted up the rear brakes, greased the handbrake cables and then took PMW for a run round the "test track" - much better but that ball joint is next week's task.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Fire up BRP!

Yes, here are pictures of a full engine bay with an engine that runs!
Last week was "the click of death" and as I said I needed to check the earthleads and starter motor connections. Well I cleaned the starter motor connections and then moved on to an earth lead next to the battery.

This seemed a bit small though and then I noticed the large earth lead dangling in the engine bay - ah ha! That was quickly bolted on to the engine and BRP fired up after a few sessions of turning over.

Success but by 'eck there was alot of smoke and quite a bit of a rattle.

The smoke and the rattle died away and then thanks to Kevin who checked the carbs and timing BRP actually ran relatively smoothly on tickover at about 1000RPM. Then it was time for a quick run down our street and all was well, the clutch hadn't even stuck.

Thanks Kevin for sticking with it for the last year!

Now though I still have to make a decision as to which car to use on the HCR on April 2nd/3rd. There's only 4 weekends I can work on cars before then really and BRP needs an MOT and taxing along with what might be called "recommissioning". Allied to this with a reconditioned cylinder head that needs looking after for the first few hundred miles makes me wonder.

Meanwhile, PMW has an MOT, is taxed and has now proved reliable (if not without a few difficulties!). This car needs a pair of rear shock absorbers (already have a spare pair of Spax and just bought all the bushes), a ball joint (bought this week but I bet the job will be a pig) and relays for the headlights (all the gear bought, just needs doing).

There is a lingering concern about a "rumble" that might be propshaft or driveshaft UJ issues but then again all those suspension problems can't have helped driveline smoothness!

I think I'll be fitting the Spax next weekend to PMW and see how we go from there but it's looking to me that PMW will be the car for the HCR.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not a surprise!

It's not a surprise the 2000 was making a "clonk" on the run back from the Essex Winter Rally - see below!
Yes, that's a completely snapped shock absorber on the offside rear. PMW hasn't seen anything like the kind of use it's getting now in a long long time and bits are starting to complain!

So I'll be using the Rimmer Bros vouchers I got at Christmas to buy a pair of rear shock absorbers and a ball joint for the front.

Meanwhile, BRP is closer to running but not yet there - we are getting first a very slow engine turnover (but at least with no nasty noises) and then only the dreaded click of death! Further investigation of earth leads and starter motor connections next week.

Soon though, if it's not running I'll be switching the focus on to PMW and making that ready for the HCR.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Standard TR7 Sprint

Standard - that's what I am aiming for after previous experience! Well, as standard in the engine department as a 16valve TR7 can be anyway.

So here's the standard camshaft sprocket - the vernier one is in the boot!

Having a day off work gave me the chance to carry on with the build and the picture below is at a very good place in proceedings; putting oil in.

What it can't show though, is that I had got on well with bolting up the front engine cover only to have that sinking feeling I get when I think thoughts like "I think there's a couple of gaskets missing".

Yes, there was so it had to come off again! Still, it was worthwhile as the sump gasket had been moved out of place where it joins the front engine cover so I was able to get that fixed as well.

After all that and putting the oil in I fitted the radiator and filled that with coolant too. Along with the alternator and fan belt back on it's looking close to an effort to start it this weekend.

Just the exhaust manifold to go on and then it's finger's crossed - wish me luck!