Friday, December 28, 2012

Just a little bit silly?

I have gone and bought another car. This really must be the last one!

It's just that a few months ago I came across a motor show car with only 17 miles on the clock for sale on ebay and had to bid on it. Glad I didn't "win" because I bid £4000 which is very rich for me and my car collecting habits.

The car? A Rover SD1. That got me into wanting one and I missed out on a sound (allegedly) rolling shell at £500 which is more my financial territory.

Well having a bit of time off work is a terrible thing and that left me surfing again and this time I have bought one and collected it today - a big thanks here to Bryce yet again for helping me out here.

It's a 3500 EFI Van Den Plas first registered in March 1987 which makes it one of the last built. Interestingly it was a 2600 originally but apparently when the cam seized the owner at the time paid for a professional conversion by Rovertec (now V8 developments) to the EFI 3.5 V8 engine.

Today it's solid, runs, nearly everything is there (!) and it looks very cosmetically challenged.

Having said all that I am well pleased as I have a 190 BHP car that could take 4 people all round Europe at high speed in comfort - potentially.

And the cost? Even less than £500.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A lovely big pair

Here we have a lovely pair of 1 3/4" Stromberg carburettors from a TR4. Dazzer reckons this is the way to go tuning a 2000 so I have taken his advice and bought this pair; they are in good condition and less than £40 delivered from ebay.

That's a pretty good buy I reckon - certainly cheaper than 3 DCOE Webers!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Away from the car front I have been taking part in Movember in support of men's health, in particular prostate cancer.

Here's my attempt at a moustache which I rather like - don't tell SWMBO, but I may well keep it.
If you would like to know more and maybe make a donation here's the link

Meanwhile, I haven't been completely away from tinkering with Triumphs.

I have over the last two weeks finally managed to get all the lights working as they should on UNJ - even the headlamps pop up when "flashed". Getting the switch panel back in to the dash with everything working and intact took some doing but has been achieved.

I have entered Club Triumph's 10CR and UNJ will be the car I use so it will get more attention from March on and will eb the one I use when I return to driving so that hopefully it will be reliable on the event itself.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Once more into the breach

Been a full week again at work so not at maximum enthusiasm level this week.

Then having to rely on buses and trains doesn't help. 2 hours for a journey that would take 45 minutes tops in a car is not funny.

Anyway, with Bryce's help PMW was moved into a place where the engine can be removed as seen in the photo.
I am going for the method in the official workshop manual which is dropping the front supsension and pulling the engine and gearbox out from under the front of the car on it's subframe.

That should make mating the engine and gearbox up much easier and I can swap bits over from one engine to another while it's out the car too.

All went OK removing bits in the engine bay - carbs etc and disconnecting the starter motor, clutch slave cylinder. Thanks to Andy Pearce and Tim Bancroft for giving me advice on how to remove the overdrive gearknob which is obvious when you know how. With that off and the gear lever shroud removed as well I needed to lift the car; disconnect the speedo and overdive cables/wiring before then unbolting the propshaft.

After that it's onto dropping the front suspension.

To be honest though, I ran out of motivation at that point and I think a break for a week or two wouldn't go amiss.In December I'll return to the attack and no doubt it won't take long for the engine and box to be out.

I am looking forward to the arrival of the next Club Torque though so I can get my entry in for 2013's 10 Countries Run. Mind you, I'll be using UNJ (the TR7 DHC) so that will need an MOT and taxing in March/April whcioh will probably mean a stop to work on PMW.

A bit of a race really to see what I can get done to PMW before March.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Engine built up

After today's work on the engine there is very little left to do other than fit and swap ancillaries over - oh and get it running of course! Easy then.
This is where I started today. The front timing chain cover needed cleaning and the oil seal replaced with a "heavy duty" leather one I had bought rather than the standard rubber type.

Once that was done it was just a case of fitting it whilst making sure the timing chain tensioner was kept in the right place, which is yet another thing I hope I have done right.

I had painted the rocker cover but actually preferred the scratched one fitted to PMW so got hold of that and at least made some attempt at cleaning it before fitting.

I would then have done the last job listed in the original workshop manual and fitted the distributor pedestal with it's shim gasket. Unfortunately, that little gasket has gone AWOL so I'll leave that until I find more bits needed which I am.bound to do once we start fitting the engine to the car. At that point I'll order the gasket with the other bits like hoses etc.

So, calling it a day this is what a built up 2000 engine looks like.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The best and worst of it

One of the best things about TR7s are the ace cool pop up headlamps.

Unfortunately, they are also one of the worst things on the car as they are so temperamental and having them work as they should in all the ways they should is a TR7 owner's dream.

On UNJ they have always come up and gone down as well as actually lit up properly. They have even worked when "flashed" but only when the sidelights are on.

This isn't ideal as normally during the day people don't/didn't drive with side lights on; they just drove with lights off and then "flashed" when needed. Well, this couldn't happen with UNJ because the pods wouldn't come up although the tarmac below the front of the car would be lit up by the flashed headlamps!

Running on sidelights as modern cars now run with driving lights was sort of OK but I was terrified of not remembering to turn the lights off and coming back to a flat battery.

So, today was the day to sort things out.

Luckily I not only have a Haynes manual but also an original Triumph workshop manual which clearly showed the location of the prime suspect I had identified, the headlamp flash relay. OK, relatively easy to pull this off and disconnect. Then I replaced it with one from BRP wich has the lamps bolted up all the time anyway so doesn't need a relay.

Made no difference, hmm.

Could be the "Pertronix" component? Swapped one over from BRP and still no difference.


OK, let's look at a wiring diagram. "Why does this relay not have the right coloured wires going to it?" I wondered. Carefully checking I found another relay did have the correct wires.

Great, some-one else had been here before and put the relays in the wrong location!

Grrr rather tham hmmm this time.

Now I swapped the correct relay over and still no difference.

OK - clean all the contacts with switch cleaner and surely that would do it - NO!!!

Then I looked at the wiring diagram some more and thought "There's clearly no power getting to the relay when the lights are switched off and yet the diagram shows it going through the main light switch". Right then, main light switch next.

So I took the light switch out of the panel, carefully took it apart and cleaned the contacts up with a combination of emery cloth and switch cleaner again. It worked - OH YES!!!

Yes, it even worked under all possible combinations including flashing the lights complete with the pods rising (and going back down!) without the sidelights on.

Then just a simple case or reassembly of the switch panel which of course wasn't simple at all but was finally achieved.

Now, will those pop up headlamps keep working as they should?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What can I say?

I forgot to take my camera so I can't show any evidence but progress continues.

Since the last update I have been building up the engine, new cam followers in, dizzy drive and getting the cylinder head studs fitted.

Unfortunately one cylinder head stud was missing and I couldn't easily get one from the current engine in PMW (in fact they were very stubborn and it looked like I would need to liberate the cylinder head as well).

This called a halt whilst I ordered a new stud and there's no sense in doing that along with post and packing for one stud. Thinking on this, I therefore ordered something I know I will need/want at some point for the car and that was an electric fan kit.

Progress was also held up by me missing a weekend working on PMW so that I could marshall on the Round Britain at Tebay which was thoroughly enjoyable.

Yesterday, I returned to the build though and with the new stud was able to fit the cylinder head. Carefull torqueing up followed of course. Next the rocker gear whilst making sure the push rods were correctly in place and all of a sudden the engine really does look like an engine again.

It was at this point though that I again had doubts. I have been using a combination of a Haynes manual for a Vitesse/GT6 (same engine in essence) and an original Triumph workshop manual for a MK1 2000. Usng the Haynes manual I had fitted the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets with alignment marks in them funnily enough aligned!

The Triumph manual though told me to not have the sprockets fitted and set the tappets for cylinders 1 to 5 at 10 thou with no 6 at 40 thou. This was all with the tdc marker on the flywheel 45 degrees before the tdc marker on the back plate.

Confused? I being a thickie certainly was. Of course, this can't be done with the engine in the car as the marks are covered by the gearbox bellhousing.

Anyway, it then goes on to say line up the tdc marks and have the number 6 cylinder valves in a particular position and at this point the cam shaft and crankshaft will be in perfect relationship with each other - that is, correct cam timing.

Well, I removed the sprockets and timing chain (again) followed all this process and then spent ages agonising over whether I had the cam in the right place. Finally deciding yes the sprockets then went back on but the camshaft sprocket would only fit reversed from how it had been when I had fit it before using the Hayned manual.

So, either it was out before or it's out now - or maybe it's still not right!

At least I have followed the Triumph procedure though and the dizzy drive looks to be pointing in the right place (although it was before!). With that I called it a day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Half and half

Continuing to make progress on the 2000's engine but on a steady basis.

Here's the bottom half fully built up (less front timing chain and cover) on the engine stand.
Looking good I think and now it's on the stand it feels like it's more of an engine again rather than just a collection of parts.

The sump is now back on but I can't put the new timing chain on until the head is refitted with all the valves and rocker gear etc so it can be timed in correctly.

I removed all the valves one by one, cleaned them up and then refitted with new valve springs. I had been told some work had been done on the head but as I am not really that clever I can't be sure! The valves all look very good though and some may even be new.

Here's a picture of "half and half" - half the valve springs replaced and half still to go.
It took ages to do the first one getting the colletts in but by the end I felt I could do another head!

OK - so close of business, all cam followers in, all valve springs replaced.

Next time cylinder head fitted, rocker gear and push rods fitted - that's the aim.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A right mixed bag!

A weekend of different aspects Triumph wise.

First, a little bit sad was removing bits from BRP. As the car is not going to be used for a long time now and at some point will go into storage when PMW comes back out to play it makes sense to do some moving of stuff.

The front brakes had already come off and are now on UNJ.

Then I fitted some old wheels to the front so I could take off the pair of very good Michelins fitted to original TR7 alloys so that they could go into storage.

Then I removed the rally computer as there's no reason to leave a useful bit of kit in the car. Same with an Avanti map reading light, a tow rope and medical kit which are now in UNJ (and can be used in PMW too when it resumes first line duty).

Yesterday was a return to building up PMW's original engine.

The biggest amount of time was cleaning up the front plate removing old gaskets but once that was over it was bolted on and attention moved to the new camshaft seen in the picture prior to fitment.

A liberal coating of lubricant and then with a careful insertion (!) it was in the block and all secure.

Next was the rear crankshaft oil seal and rear engine plate going on in quick succession. The oil pump filter was seriously blocked but the use of Fairy power spray, rinsing out and blowing through with an airline cleared that soon enough.

All of a sudden the end is in sight - OK plenty to do yet but real progress at last. I couldn't get any further though as the engine stand wasn't available so with time available I moved on to PMW itself to start stripping the engine down for it's removal.

Here's PMW coming out of hibernation.

Off with the radiator, battery, alternator, fuel pump and coil leaving the engine bay a little bare. Mind you the inlet manifold refused to play ball so that was it for this week.

Next week it's the Raider's Triumph (event, not car!) so no progress for a couple of weeks or so.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Mini triumph

Today I spent the entire afternoon spannering etc but not on a Triumph.

In fact I made no progress on the 2000 engine rebuild at all.

No, I spent the afternoon waxoyling and generally fettling my wife's new car - a 1992 Mini as seen below.

Lovely car with only 18000 miles on the clock.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Possible addition

There could be a new addition to the fleet and this time not a Triumph!

Actually it's my wife looking to buy a small car to nip about in when the Peugeot 308 really isn't needed. Maybe a quick trip to the coast in the sun as well perhaps.

So we have looked at a 1992 Rover Mini today and it seems really good, very solid and with only 18000 miles on the clock. Lots of history with it and sitting on Rover "minilite" wheels - oh, and it's a very tasty shade of red too.

Real shades of the Italian Job!

Other than that though, a steady 3 hours again. Initially helping Bryce in his latest project which is a BMW Compact for a one make race series. Track rod ends proved very reluctant to come off but did so eventually.

Back on the engine rebuild for PMW it's slow and steady - old gaskets take some getting off I can tell you.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pendle & Pennine - the Raider's Triumph

A Club Triumph weekend this one.

Friday night was the Pendle and Pennine Area Meeting which, as always, was  a great night with lots of chat and banter.

Then on Saturday morning  Andy Flexney and I visited one of the secret locations for tests on the "Raider's Triumph". Andy will be in charge of this location and we spent a fair bit of time planning the tests which will be interesting and fun, but not too difficult for newcomers.

Then we spent some more time talking cars with persons unknown (for now as it could give the game away).

After all that I went over to the workshop to continue the rebuild of PMWs engine. Thanks to Mike Charlton obtaining two more shells for me the crank ald pistons are now in place and fully torqued up.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bearing up

So, with new main bearings and big end shells purchased I could actually start building the engine - hurragh!

One thing I have learned though is that if something doesn't feel right, stop, consult, think and make sure all is well. I had to do this a number of times as various components have to go on in the right order and they all have to be there!

Putting the crankshaft main bearing shells in seemed to go OK after I found one of the thrust washers has been spun back out whilst rotating the crank - no wonder it all tightened up. So, fixed that and then proceeded to lightly nip up all the main bearing bolts at a low torque wrench setting to start with.

I proceeded by tightening number 3 up first and rotating the crank to make sure it was OK. With this OK I moved on to number 2 (I always start from the centre and work out as instructed by my brother too many years ago) but this time the crank wouldn't budge - and this was with only 40 lbs/ft instead off 55.

On removal of the end cap I found one of the brand new Vandervell main bearing shells had been squashed as I obviously hadn't seated it right. I was not happy but at least it can be fixed now, even if it does mean buying a replacement and waiting until I can work on the engine again.

Numbers 1 & 4 went on all OK though.

Then all six pistons went in with new big end bearings after I had honed the bores and there was no problems with the crank rotating.

The clutch cover and flywheel have now been removed so that next time the build up can continue.

Interesting to see where metal has been removed from the piston connecting rods to balance them all out aswell as on the crankshaft itself.

Here's a picture of the bottom end build up in process with the missing end cap.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2000 engine assembly

Now started re-assembly of the original engine from PMW.

Here's a picture of the block and then the crank etc lightened and balanced. If you look closely it's quite clear where a fair bit of metal has been removed from the crankshaft!
Next step was to partially assemble the crank into the block using the old shells etc so that we could measure the end float with the exisiting thrust washers. The result was that actually end float was bang in the middle of the factory tolerances.
Then we took it apart again, gave the block a thorough cleaning and panted it - that's a shock given my normal way of going about things!
During the coming week I'll order the main and big end bearings so that reassembly can start properly next weekend.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


TR21- that's not what Triumph would have reached by now!

It's what 3 x TR7s equal.

Here are 3 on my drive on the day before the International AutoEcosse.

Paul (AKA Diesel Dave, Burnerboy, Ginger or all of the above) and I were fitting a Kenlowe fan to his TR7 seen here at the front.

Of course, all the bonnets were up!

In the far distance at the back is BRP so there's proof it still exists. In this instance it was donating it's short fan belt so that we could ditch the viscous fan housing from Paul's car.

I can't remember why UNJ's bonnet was up but it's always good to have a car to refer to.

And finally, here's a picture of Ginger.

Ready for the off yet Squiffy?

The spannering and electrickery must have gone OK as we made it all the way round the IAE and came in 8th overall - not a bad result at all.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On the Toledo front

With only 3 weekends left before the AutoEcosse Bryce has been working on his Toledo to get it better prepared for it's first long distance event.

At the same time, other than buying bits of ebay there's nothing I can do to the 2000 until I get the crankshaft etc back fully balanced from Drakes (must contact them by the end of next week if I haven't heard anything). So, with that in mind I have been over to help out Bryce on the Toledo.

He has successfully (but not irreversibly) fitted the twin headlight Dolomite front and is currently awaiting a full set of halogen conversion lamps complete with relays etc.

He has really gone for it on the suspension by fitting Sprint suspension including anti roll bars etc.Along with this also he has a full set of polybushes and AVO shocks/springs. Most of the work I was involved in today was the two man job of fittng the front suspension which as usual was a bit tricky but we got there.

Below are pictures of all of this.

Those Sprint wheels have to go though, Bryce isn't happy with them so we needed something more "period". As I have a set of miniltes spare at the moment these are now on permanent loan to the Toledo project.

I reckon the car is going to look pretty damned cool, in addition to handling well. There's more on the braking side of things to come as well as other developments.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Testing times in September

Away from actually working on cars and competing myself I am trying to put something back in to the club.

I am organising a new entry level competitive event for September 2nd. The full regs and entry form will be in this month's Club Torque and I will then put them on line.

It's quite a bit of work calculating all sorts of things out and the logistics of this simple event are not easy so I take my hat off to those who organise much bigger ones.

I have emailed MSA officials today for their approval so hopefully all will be well there.

Something that has been very interesting and good fun though is designing the tests to be driven along with the fact that I have given each test a name as well. They start off easy enough and then get progressively more challenging as people's confidence grows on the day, or at least that's the plan. I also think the names of the tests are relevant and there's some humour there - we'll see if everyone agrees when it comes to it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Something is happening - honest!

Not much reported but I have been "helping" Bryce on non Triumph car stuff recently.

Fitting a 190BHP K Series engine to his special for example (mainly holding stuff on my part really) and bleeding the brakes on his Mini (mainly pumping the brake pedal this time).

There is something happening on my cars though.

A cleaned up steering wheel from our collection of spares for example fitted to the 2000. I am keeping an eye out for a centre pad marked up as "Triumph" for this.

The big and expensive news though is regarding PMW's original engine. The crank, lightened flywheel, pistons, clutch cover and front pulley are all away for balancing. At the moment the crank is being reground.

This engine will have had about £1000 spent on it by the time I am finished and it will still be only a refreshed 2000 engine, no firebreather or anything but it is the car's original engine so I will be pleased to have it reunited with the car.

I have never had a bottom end balanced or a crank reground before so it's all new to me. I just hope I assemble it all correctly with all the new bits and it runs sweet and smooth!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Somewhat unexpected

So, to the nearside today on the brake dancing front.

Actually this went very very well. Both calipers came over quite happily as did both discs and hubs. I then bled the uprated brakes on UNJ and all was looking rosy.

So, on the wheels and give it a little test.

But then came the unexpected bit. Both cars have 13" alloy wheels on with UNJ having it's OE standard wheels but they fouled the Volvo calipers. That was quite a surprise so I had to swap over the black "minilites" and put the standard wheels on BRP.

I think UNJ looks pretty good though with the minilites so I am happy enough at the end of it all. Oh, and the brakes work (but not on BRP so that has a notice in it to remind me it only has a hanbrake).

Here's UNJ with the minilites

Monday, April 02, 2012

Brake dancing

I have a number of brake set ups on/for my TR7s and always seem to be in tranisition to where I want to end up - two steps forward and one step back, or is it the other way round?

Well, with no driving to be done for 50 weeks now seemed a good time to make some more moves.

Here's the standard disc set up on UNJ which doesn't look too bad until you see the comparison with --
the uprated BMW/Volvo combo I have on BRP
Apart from the surface rust of course, the major differences are the much bigger dimensions of both the vented disc and the 4 pot calipers giving much improved fade resistance.

I had hoped originally that this set up would be fine for historic rallying but it was not to be. "Proper Group 4" brakes were necessary and so these were purchased and the necessary machining done etc. I have never actually fitted them though due to the interruption to my rallying plans but they are going on to BRP at some point as I still aim to compete in stage rallying co-driving in the car.

My plan now though, was to fit the BMW/Volvo combo to UNJ and so uprate that car's brakes from standard and ideally fit the Group 4 brakes to BRP. If I actually did the last bit though they would then be on a car that is unlikely to turn a wheel in anger for maybe 2 or 3 years which wouldn't do them any good.

So, still going down this route I removed the offside brakes from UNJ and BRP and whilst I was at it put all three set ups next to each other as a comparison - see below
I then trial fitted the Group 4 brakes on BRP and they do look the business

It was good to make sure all the bolt holes lined up - that was quite a relief! As I said though, it wasn't my intention to leave the Group 4 brakes on so I packed the disc and caliper away into their packaging and back into storage for the day when they finally do get fitted.

What was actually accomplished was the offside BMW/Volvo combo removed from BRP and fitted to UNJ and the standard set up fitted temporarialy to BRP so that it can still roll (but not brake!).

Alot of work but as always, getting closer to the end result.

The nearside will be the next job.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One week on

Unfortunately I had another epileptic seizure a week ago. It's a bit of a blow as it's been more than two years since the last one and it now means I have to have a year off driving again.

Still, it's now down to 51 weeks!

I have already surrendered the road fund licence on UNJ so we might as well have some money back in the bank.

Next I'll fit the upgraded brakes from BRP onto UNJ, save some money from events etc and get back to working on the engine for the 2000.

I must say I am now starting to miss the 2000 so it will be good to get back onto it and have it ready for when I start driving again on March 20th 2013.

Looks like the rallying will be put back even further though so the next big adventure will be the 2013 10CR in UNJ.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You can almost feel it!

Wired up the relay for one of the headlight mainbeams and it still works - amazing!

Only did one though as I didn't actually have all the wiring I need etc so one side at a time is fine.

Then moved on to the steering wheel and non cancelling indicators. The steering wheel I had fitted is on loan from BRP and is an original TR8 type. The boss though had flaking black paint and I have been having trouble lining it up straight.

So first I removed it and took it apart. Then cleaned up the boss and gave it a few coats of matt black paint as below.

Meanwhile, I gave a thorough clean of the wheel itself with oven cleaner (!) on the spokes where there was some dirt that didn't want to be removed. Having cleaned the rim I then used hide food on the leather and my goodness it feels great as a result - so good you can almost feel it from the picture below!
And the non cancelling indicators? Well I removed the cowling over the steering column, loosened the bolt holding the indicator and wiper stalk mechanism and slid it further up the steering column so that the collar would engage with the steering wheel boss.

Then put it all together and no, the indicators still don't cancel :-)

The steering wheel looks and feels great though :-)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A light serving of swarf sir?

Well, at least things have improved since the last time I updated the blog.

Charging the battery on a slow battery conditioner for a week did the trick and UNJ started no problem.

Next was a service and I started with an oil and filter change for the engine which went along quite OK and I didn't even spill too much!

This weekend I thought I would drain the gearbox and replace the ATF in it. This is the first time I have done this on a TR7 and the photo shows the swarf held on the magnetic drain plug. I cleaned it off, inserted it again and got some more out before filling the gearbox back up.

It's no fun lying under the car getting the ATF back in. I had the car up on axle stands and removed the exhaust mounting bracket which is "handily" in the way of the plug hole you fill up from. Then for me with no clever pump or anything it was just a question of filling up a hypoy type oil bottle and squeezing it uintil I had got the necessary 2 litres in.

Followed by re-assembly of course.

The diff level was fine, oil immediately dribbling out as I loosened the plug. This was EP80/90 dropping straight onto a halogen light I was using - ah, the smell of burning EP80/90!

Also retorqued the bolts holding the hubs on at the front and then all good to go.

Next week is wiring up the relays for the headlights.

I have had the chance to find out how good they are though on the short trip to the Old Stone Trough last Friday for the Pendle and Pennine meeting and they certainly are so much better than the original sealed beams.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Not a great afternoon

I returned to UNJ on a cold afternon up here in the Pennines but I was kept quite warm by events!

Plus side - fitted the Xenon bulbs I bought into the headlamp conversions and they certainly look brighter.
Mounted the relays quite cleverly I thought to where the two earthing points are behind the front panel either side of the radiator in the engine bay.
Started a service - drained the oil and replaced it and changed the filter.
Checked the gearbox oil level.
Fitted another speedo drive to see if I can rectify the speedo over-reading.
Fitted the tyre and wheel from the spare wheel well to the rear nearside, rear nearside to front nearside and so on until the rear offside wheel/tyre assembly was in the spare wheel well.

Down side - The frigging car won't start! Either the battery has been drained whilst fitting and testing the new bulbs or the earths have been disturbed by my removing and fitting the relays. Tried to resolve this by removing the relays and cleaning up the earthing points. No joy so the battery is now on a slow charge until next weekend.

Oil change OK as far I know but I can't run the engine to make sure all is well (no oil leaks around the oil filter for example).
Gearbox oil level seems OK but I need to buy some more ATF really so that I can really pump some in and make damned sure.
That speedo drive replacement - a 5 minute easy job once the car is in the air. Or at least that what I was assured by someone - you know who you are Burnerboy! Well, not on this one and I had to resort to gripping the end of the shaft with a pair of molegrips and then hitting those with a hammer. Thank you very much you git! Of course I can't see if it has made a difference as the car won't start so I can't take it out on the road - grrr! I don't think it will actually as the drive looks the same as the one that came out.
Rotating the tyres around the car is a good idea - why let a brand new tyre on a spare wheel sit unused for years. It did mean however that I found this.

What you see here is one of the bolts holding the front hub to the disc on the floor when it fell out as I removed the wheel! Followed by one of the other bolts being loose.

Doesn't bear thinking about really. This might be why I have sometimes felt a "pulsing" under braking through the brake pedal and a knocking from the front end recently too - so much so that I had done a spanner check of all suspension components to make sure nothing was amiss.

Of course I replaced the bolt and retightened everything but this is something I will be checking again for a while!

By now I had had enough for the day so all tools etc were put away and I managed to get in the house just in time to catch up with the FA Cup match between Sunderland and Arsenal before the goals had been scored. Some consolation then for a very frustrating afternoon.

This morning it's just been a little tidying and getting that battery on charge.

Looking forward to Stevenage v Tottenham on the TV this afternoon, again in the FA Cup. I used to live in Stevenage from 1996 to 1998 and remember the buzz in the town when they played 
 Newcastle in the cup so let's see if they can have a good game this afternoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Twitch ye not!

The week after the last post I did indeed return to the offside rear and, if anything, the bushes that side were even worse. By now of course I knew what was what so it didn't take too long to replace and I can report UNJ now behaves much more like it should.

This is all just as well because I have entered Club Triumph's Historic Counties Run with the car so I am focussing work on UNJ as much as I can. This weekend I fitted halogen headlamps which should have been easy enough apart from the nearside one refused to work on main beam.

I got my digital analyser out and there was power to the connection under the bonnet so I then suspected a dodgy brand new bulb. I reconneceted the old seal beam but that didn't work either. So, after a little thought I checked and there was power at the headlamp if  I used another earthing point. All I needed then was to do some work on the connections under the bonnet and all was well.

In addition I have now ordered some Ring Xenon bulbs so that should certainly make a huge difference over the original sealed beams whiich will be well worthwhile on an overnight event like the HCR as well as on the 2013 10CR I plan to take part in with the car.

I also intended to fit two fused relays but I seem to have lost one of them - grrr!

Leaving my cars aside for a moment though I also found time last week to help Bryce collect a new car he has bought. It seems driving my Toledo round Europe in 2007 left a deep impression so he has now bought an early 2 door white Toledo for himself. I have contributed a Sprint engine and overdrive gearbox, a pair of 2" SUs, 4 tyres and an exhaust manifold. He then went and bought a donor Dolomite Sprint too. The plan is to build a standard looking Toledo with Sprint running gear which he is planning to use on club events including the 2013 10CR - looks like a 2 car team then.

Finally, PMW has not been forgotten with more debate and advice sought on the engine rebuild. This week I also collected a heated front windscreen for the car and this is now safely stored on it's back seat. This will be installed in due course along with the brand new screen rubber I bought a couple of years ago. Ideally I would like PMW available for transporting me to my marshalling posts on the RBRR in October but we'll have to see if that deadline is made.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A bit twitchy

UNJ had been a bit "twitchy" for a while now. Lifting off the accelerator I could feel the rear of the car twitch from side to side and sometimes under acceleration too.

I had never got round to fitting the polybushes in the rear trailing arms so now's the time.

It was also a good time to drive over to the workshop with the top down in bright sunlight but with a temperature of just above freezing!

Anyway, onto the lift and start to remove the nearside trailing arm using the tried and trusted method of a spanner wedged on one side whilst using a ratchet and socket on the other.

Then when removed it's quite obvious one of the bushes was completely shot.

I already had some spare trailing arms so with a lick of paint (far from perfect!) and new bushes the nearside one  was ready to go back on.
The next two photos show it with the new bushes next to the removed one with the old bushes - quite a contrast! Then it all wentback together with a bit of a struggle but I got there in the end.

And the result?

Well actually the car is even more twitchy than it was before.

Under acceleration and especially when changing gear it really twitches on the offside. I think it's because the nearside is now so well located the offside is really taking a hammering so that's the next step as I ran out of time today.

Oh, and I still drove home topless as the light was fading at about 5PM so if you saw a blue TR7 with the top down between Keighley and Barnoldswick yesterday around that time it was me!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sitting comfortably

After fitting the "new" driver seat to UNJ I found the back flexed quite alot and was certainly not fixed.

So, out it came again and after a partial strip down this is what was found - a broken weld.
So we cleaned it up and here's Bryce welding it back up
And the result
Refitting to the car today and all is well.