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.