Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where's the nearest scrapyard?

Just about had enough of this car now.

Took it out for a run to check out the various issues.

Clutch worked fine - so that's a good thing but I haven't yet checked the integrity of the slave cylinder couplings.

Overdrive worked with the switch nicely in position on the top of the gearkob - then it stopped working. Faffing about with it in a layby didn't help, the connections are too long/falloff/the wiring is too long holds the switch out of the top of the gearknob and then when I finally gave up the top of the knob flew off somewhere into the recesses of the car.

If I keep this car it will get a proper switch somewhere else. I used to have a TR3 overdrive switch on my Vitesse years ago and that would look good - or maybe one of those rally type ones on the gearlever but with a proper toggle switch.

Meanwhile, whilst in another layby I tried to sort out what was happening with the heater thanks to some tips from my mate Andy Pearce only to find the linkage on the heater valve on the inlet pipe is entirely missing! What joy. More faffing about there then.

There should be a linkage on the centre of the circular brass valve!

Finally to cap it all off when I left the second layby the car started hesitating and backfiring - now it was a case of if I could get it home. With much revving in low gears I got the car home and now it is under the car port in shame waiting for when/if I can be bothered to look at any of these different problems.

10CR in 2015 in this car looks a long way off right now.

In fact, why don't I sell my Triumph sand buy a reliable Z4 or something instead?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Not convinced

Slave cylinder now fitted the correct side of the bracket

So, returning to the clutch saga here's the slave cylinder fitted at the rear of the bracket  giving more of a "push" and maybe helping the loss of fluid problem.

I did take the car for an 8 mile run and the clutch worked just fine but will the fluid stay in the system?

Well, I have all the connections as tight as I can get them. I have cleaned them off and then left some kitchen towel tissue around them to see if there's any seepage visible in a day or so.

Leak detection system!

Meanwhile, there is visible leakage from the sump plug area too!! 

Now actually I don't think it's the sump plug itself especially as I have PTFE round it.

I think there may be a problem with the brazing on the threaded insert that the sump plug goes in to.

I could do without that really.

Having had enough of that though I then ventured inside the car to try and get the overdrive switch on top of the gear lever fitted properly. It just won't sit down as it should though so now I know why I have seen a fair few cars with insulation tape holding the switch on!

I thought a combination of pulling the wiring down the gear lever and pressing the switch into place would sort it out but no matter what I do I can't get it to co-operate. Thoughts of a normal gearknob and wiring another switch start to come to mind or buying a different type altogether as used to be fitted to works cars but that seems a bit drastic right at the moment.

Did I mention the heater still doesn't work?

Oh, and how about the fact that the weld broke on the bonnet stay so it went further forward than it should and marked the paint on the bonnet and slam panel?

Don't you just love classic cars?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Clutching at straws

Yes, the clutch problems continue.

There's a pool of hydraulic fluid under the slave cylinder area which looks to me to be the connections - no matter what I do I can't seem to sort it out.

Thanks to help from friends on the Club Triumph forum and a Triumph Facebook page I have a number of things to try next though.

The slave cylinder with pool of huydraulic fluid in evidence on the floor!
It has been pointed out that the slave cylinder is fitted the wrong side of the bracket which could give a risk of the push rod dropping out. That's another problem, never mind the fluid loss. It also probably explains why the clutch feels at the bottom of the pedal's travel so this will be one thing I'll deal with when I get to work on it over Christmas.

The view of the connections from underneath.    

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Into Overdrive - then!

Last week I had fitted a new overdrive gearlever wiring harness but the overdrive didn't work  :-(

This week I patiently worked through the wiring with my digital analyser as most overdrive probelms are electrical.

First check - power to the switch - yes.

OK - now time to dismantle the gearlever gaiter so I could get to the top of the gearbox.

That allowed me to check if there was  power from the switch. Yes.

OK good so far. I could see wiring to the inhibitor but that wouldn't be easy to get to and I didn't feel like pulling the connectors off to check if power was there as it wouldn't be easy to get them back on.

No matter - I could check if there was power reaching the solenoid with the the ignition on and the car in 3rd or 4th by jacking the car up and getting it on to axle stands.

This accomplished when I got under the car I saw the earth lead to the solenoid wasn't connected. Putting that back on and then checking the power said everything should be OK.

Whilst under the car I noticed the clutch slave cylinder connection was weeping as was the sump plug so I tightened them up a tad. Note this for later reference.

With the car back on the ground I carefully reassembled the gear lever gaiter and associated trim, even replacing a missing clip and screw.

So, the moment of truth - would the overdrive work?

Out on a test drive and I can report yes it does - hurragh!

Which is just as well because the clutch failed but I managed to jam it in third and switch between third and overdrive third to limp back home.

The 2000 is now back under the car port in shame until next weekend. I think I will take a long hard look at the whole clutch hydraulics again and see if I can sort that one out next.

I am absolutely convinced there's a great car lurking behind all this grief and I'll get to it eventually.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Just a little bit more

So this weekend I fitted a new overdrive gearlever wiring harness.

The old one was completely shot at the gearknob end and I had bought a replacement some time ago but other things had got in the way - like getting the car to run, sort out a propshaft with a UJ that went AWOL and also clutch problems!

Anyway, I wondered how the fitting of the replacement would go and started off with taping the new one to the old and pulling through. That didn't work either way (from top or bottom) as there was too much of an obstruction.

So, with a sinking heart I pulled the old harness out completely. Now if I couldn't get the new one to co-operate there wouldn't be another one to guide it - gulp.

It wasn't a problem though and it went in from the bottom and up the gear lever shaft no problem. Then with unusual patience from me I refitted all the trim etc and went out on a test run.

No joy I am afraid as using the switch had no effect at all. I pulled over and found a blown fuse which I replaced but still no joy so I think I'll have to get my electric circuit tester out next week.

Meanwhile the car ran well apart from after about 15 miles it started to hesitate again - hmmm.  When it is running though I am using more of the revs, up to 4500 now and my goodness it sounds great with a real howl from the exhaust.

I also found out the heater doesn't work  which is no problem for the 10CR next September but is no good for use in the UK over winter.

So jobs to do now are
  1. Get the overdrive working
  2. See why the car is starting to hesitate again.
  3. Fix the heater (maybe the control isn't attached so that's where I'll start)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Follow up bits and pieces

After last week's efforts I ordered up some bits and pieces from Chris Witor.

Carb float chamber gasket, manifold bridging piece and second hand clock
So, just tidying up really. I replaced the big washer we put on last week as a temporary fixing for the manifolds with the correct bridging piece.

Then the front carb float chamber gasket had split so the 45p replacement fixed that!

Meanwhile, whilst on Chris's site I spotted a second hand working clock so bought that too. I have now fitted that and the car has a complete working PI dashboard as a result :-)

Replacement plugs will be with me from Chris in a few days.

I took the car another 8 mile test run on my favourite circuit of local roads and all seems well.

Next week I'll replace the overdrive wiring harness in the gearlever as it's well past it's best and then hopefully I'll ahve a working overdrive again.

If nothing goes wrong (!!!) I will suddenly have a fully functional 2000 2 years or more since I took it off the road.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Many little things

PMW hasn't been running anything like right as people reading this blog will know.

Well today two very nice chaps came over to help out and here they are

Andy Flexney and Paul Darbyshire working on PMW

So the guys came over and first started with cleaning up the plugs, regapping them and dismantling the carbs.  The carbs needed balancing and a general clean but otherwise were in good shape. The connection on the coil lead was a bit loose so that was tightened up and then out for a test run.

Better but still hesitating.

On investigation the plug lead to number 1 was actually broken so we replaced that with a second hand one and then fitted a shorter king lead which made sure there could be no arcing to the battery retaining clamp as we had found before.

Another test run found a slight improvement but still not right. On checking the plugs again and swapping them one by one for others we found number 6 to be very black and sooty - now why should only one be like that?

Maybe there was a problem with a valve so we decided to check all the tappet clearnaces and reset them. There were one or two rather loose but none on cylinder number 6 so that couldn't have been it.

Then the guys spotted there wasn't a nut holding the inlet manifold on towards the rear of the engine.This was because a "bridging piece" had always been missing. I had ordered another second hand one (they are made of unobtanium) so we decided to fit it but then I couldn't find it.

OK so I found a large thick washer which could do the job so we used this whilst making sure all the other fixings were in place and bolted up correctly. This in itself meant taking the carbs off and took about an hour. During all this it was noted that the carb linkage and cable wasn't allowing full throttle so some "fettling" was done on this too.

Final test drive of the day was much better with only a slight possible bit of hesitation. Now it's a case of putting some more miles on the rebuilt engine as it has still only done about 150 miles and see how we go before further fine tuning.

I have to say it sounds relaly smooth now and picks up well with a gorgeous sound to it as it revs.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2000 miles

Last weekend I acted as a marshall for Club Triumph's Round Britain Run at Tebay Services - it's always a pleasure to do this as there is such a buzz as 100 plus cars and there crews come in, have their roadbooks signed, take part in lots of banter and then before I know it they are all on their way again.

The welcoming sign for the crews
Meanwhile, my 2000 has returned from Vicarage Motor Company with it's new propshaft and the differential bushes fitted. Less than 10 miles later I can say that the vibration has all gone but the car isn't running right although it is running! Next weekend myself and 2 friends are planning a fettling session on it so hopefully there'll be some progress to report next time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Over to someone else!

PMW is now with the Vicarage Motor Company in Barnoldswick for them to work on.

I have saved up a bit of dosh plus the proceeds from the sale of the Rover SD1 and other bits and pieces on ebay means I can actually pay someone else to work on one of my cars.

So it should come back with the propshaft sorted, new mounting bushes for the diff and maybe they can take a look at it's running issues too.

Mind you when it was towed away it really made me wince listening to the propshaft banging away - apologies to anyone on Skipton Road, Barnoldswick stuck behind a 2000 being towed very very slowly!

Not only that mind you but I have splashed out on what are apparently the bees knees (would have used another expression which I will leave you to guess at) of rotor arms - the "red ones" from the Distributor Doctor http://www.distributordoctor.com/red-rotor-arms.html

That's plural by the way as in two, not that I have twin distributors on the car but I decided to make damned sure this component is sorted once and for all.

It's all very important because a year from now I will be using the car on Club Triumph's 10 Countries Run.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Testing 2000

 I have been having all sorts of problems getting PMW to run anything like right, so much so that I need a recovery truck to get me home recently.

The engine was easy enough to turn when I assembled it and it starts easily so I don't think there's an issue there.

I have checked the timing out but whilst trying to adjust it I kept getting shocks off the dizzy cap so I put an old one on. Then I put the old coil on.

Then I realised that the clamp bolt had been really too easily undone - it was probably too loose and the timing had slipped.

So, re set it to 8 BTDC and went for a run.

Not bad, didn't want to tick over but picked up well and also pulled all the way up to 4500 RPM no problems - then "tinkle" and a massive vibration.

Still had drive though so cautiously got home having done only 5 miles and it's obvious a propshaft UJ has gone AWOL

The engine running issues have now moved down the priority list.

Next will be to remove the propshaft and get that sorted. Whilst the car is up on stands/ramps I'll also fit new diff mounting bushes I bought some time ago. I bet that will be fun!

This car is really beginning to test me now

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Border Raiders pics

It wasn't a food fest honest! This is at Restorante Adriano - very good too.
How to keep the cockpit dry when the hood is down and it's raining - or likely too!
The picture above is at the start of day 2 at Gretna Services but we had learned about the golf umbrella trick the day before.

The weather hadn't been very good but Deana and I kept the top down all the time as you only get wet even when it's raining hard if you have to stop. Well on one of the country roads just across the border in Scotland it was raining hard when a car came towards us and the driver flagged us down. She asked us to park up as a flock of sheep were coming along the road around the corner towards us - of course this meant we were getting soaked.

Deana reacted first by getting her easily to hand umbrella out which made me dive into the boot and get a golf umbrella out. As can be seen in the photo this is just big enough to go over the windscreen and door windows, covering the whole cockpit.

Great stuff. We made the guys on their quad bikes herding the sheep laugh too when they saw us :-)

Rover's gone, meanwhile the Border's been raided!

Yesterday my Rover SD1 was collected by the guy I bought it from - for the same price I paid 18 months ago.

I realised I was never going to get round to doing anything with it and it's back in good hands.

Last weekend though I took part in the Border Raiders put together by myself, Mik and Paul, This was a two day run from the Old Stone Trough, Kelbrook, Lancashire up through the Dales, the Eden Valley and into Scotland before overnighting in Carlisle and tehn returning to Kelbrook again.

"Spirit of the Event" was won by Theo Boonen and "Car of the event" by Chris Reynolds in his lovely gold TR7 V8.

Great roads to drive over, a very good tea room for lunch on Saturday and a real find in Ristorante Adriano in Carlisle for our evening meal. All very satisfying indeed.
A selection of the cars at the Old Stone Trough the night before

We just about filled the car park and the tea rooms!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2 Triumphs in 2 days

What great weather we are having so yesterday Deana and I went out in the TR7 for a 40 mile drive through the country. Top down in the sun with a stop off at the Anchor Inn in Gargrave - can't get much better than that.

Then over the two days I have been trying to fix the clutch on PMW and it seems like I might just ahve done it!

I rebuilt my 2000's engine and whilst putting it all back together also fitted braided hoses for the clutch, and brakes.
Anyway, the engine sounds real sweet but I had a real problem with the clutch which stopped engaging after about 100 miles.
I spotted a pool of clutch fluid under the slave cylinder so I have replaced that today.
Still having problems but on placing my foot on the clutch I have spotted clutch fluid spraying from where the braided hose mounts to the master cylinder - where there's a brass washer.

Thanks to everyone on Facebook Triumph 2000 page, the 2000 Register forum and Club Triumph's forum for various contributions. I think I have fixed the problem. Strange but when a kit is supplied with two brass/copper washers I tend to think they are to be used! Yet it was these washers that were not allowing the clutch hydraulic pipe to seal at both the master clylinder and the slave cylinder. Taking them both off, refitting the braided hose and then bleeding the clutch means I now have one! I have also comleted a 10 mile test drive and all seems well. Now we'll see if it stays that way.

Meanwhile, how about some nostalgia?

With this car I am not going the modified and improved route, well not overtly. I am going to do a tongue in cheek nostalgia theme so I have a 1960s "car coat", a trilby and various publications in the car like a guide to "the new decimal currency"
Here's a couple of photos though with more nostalgia - a 1960s AA badge just fitted to the front grille and a camping gaz set with kettle etc as well as a picnic basket.
These should come in useful at shows or on the 10 Countries Run in 2015, after all, why not stop for a brew like a true Brit instead of paying mega bucks for well known modern coffee at the various motorway service areas etc?
In the photo you can see the original supplying dealers sticker in the rear window too.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Upgrading v originality

Always a dilemma but I fitted a MK2 PI dashboard today and it's just "plug and play".

Actually I only gain a rev counter but it looks more upmarket and I think I'll have to fit the clock in the centre of the dash but I have the panel for that too.

And of course I am keeping the original dashboard so I can always return the car to how it came out the factory.

All in all though, I am planning to use the 2000 on Clyub Triumph's 10 Countries run next year and I think this is a more pleasing dashboard to look at - plus keeping an eye on the revs won't do any harm.

PI dashboard fitted today and everything works

Original interior from 2003 looks alot better today with different seats, steering wheel and dashboard

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rover survey

Apologies to my Club Triumph friends who will now find pictures of a Rover SD1 on the Club Triumph site!

It's been a long time since I looked over my Rover and I have actually decided to sell it so I thought I'd give it a visit and see if ti was accessible where I have it in storage.

Actually you know, it's not bad at all really. Very sound from what I can see and there's a real danger it could be bought just to have it's fuel injected V8 ripped out and then the rest scrapped or bought for use in banger racing.

The heartstrings were well and truly pulled so I can't let that happen. Unless I am convinced it's going to a good home it will be staying with me and one day it will be put back on the road.

Here's the pictures - as can be seen, pretty solid which is what really matters.
The scuttle panel below the windscreen is in good nick

Strut tops are good too

Dirty but no rot

Wheel arch looks good

Apart from a bit of rot on the tail gate good here too

Off side wheel arch looking good too

OK here as well

Again, looks solid enough under the engine bay - lovely V8 in there of course :-)

Scuffed bumper but that's not serious - front wing looks solid again

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Interior change on PMW

I have not been happy with the look of the Rover "Tomcat" seats I had fitted to the 2000; great for support and safety but really didn't go with the looks of the car.

So a couple of weeks ago I cleaned up a complete set of cloth seats from a later car which had head restraints so offered greater safety and were more in keeping but I wasn't quite sure about the colour. The original interior was tan but these seats are brown although nicely faded!

Below are two pictures so you can judge for yourself but actually I think it all looks just fine. The first picture shows one of the Rover seats still in and the second the view with all the seats now fitted.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Nothing for weeks and then two posts in an afternoon!

So, with the North Yorkshire Triumph Weekend behind me its time for other car related stuff to happen.

After all, it's a good antidote to work!

I have found myself contemplating selling my Rover SD1 in order to buy another classic that shouldn't need alot of work, how good would it be to just have a car I could turn the key on and take out?

Still, while I ponder that and the fact that I have no spare cash what to do?

I know, I have bought stuff for the 2000 which I haven't fitted yet. So, why not have a go at a job described as marginally less painfull than sticking pins in your eyeballs? The doorseal on the N/S/F was completely shot so I bought a replacement seal some time ago and spent a happy (not) 2 1/2 hours yesterday fitting it.

I know Triumph didn't make huge amounts of money back in the day but if they had worked at my level of competence the losses would have been huge! Oh well, managed it in the end with the help of WD40 and lots of patience.

Then today I had another bit of inspiration. I had fitted a pair of Rover seats as I didn't like the safety implications of whip lash with low back original seats. Over time though I wasn't completely satisfied as they looked out of place so I bought a full set of later 2000 seats in cloth trim with headrests.

Things is though they are brown rather than tan so I wasn't sure how they would look. Can't be as bad as the grey Rover seats though. I got them out from the loft and gave them a good clean and actually as they have faded over the years they look OK in the car. Got the rear seat in this weekend and the fronts will go in next weekend.

30 minutes in and learning!
That's more like it
Coming up nicely - the cloth seats ready to go in the car

North Yorks Triumph Weekend

A couple of weekends ago I attended the North Yorkshire Triumph weekend again at Runswick Bay - the weather was amazing and combined with excellent company it was certainly a great weekend.
Now that's what I call great weather

The weather was that good I left the hood down overnight - here's the view from my tent early morning

Monday, May 05, 2014

7 & 2000

With the clutch problem on the 2000 I decided to walk away from it for a while but I need a car for the North Yorkshire Triumph Weekend coming up soon.

Also Club Triumph Pendle and Pennine area are organising a 2 day tour on August 2nd and 3rd  called the Border Raiders (you can probably tell who is on the organising team LOL). Deana will join me on this event if we use the TR7 so it's UNJ's turn again.

After last year's European run I have pretty much sorted everything so I put it in for it's MOT last Friday. It needed some work doing on the brakes due to brake imbalance across the axles which I asked the Vicarage Car Company to do for me and with that it passed.

What I hadn't got round to doing was fit an electric fan after the second viscous coupling I have had on the car failed so driving it for any distance was still a nervous experience.

Anyway I used UNJ to go to the Pendle and Pennine meeting Friday night which was fine as it's only 2 miles away but then later we went on a 10 mile run driven in an enthusiastic manner. I began to wonder whether this was wise in a car rhat had just passed it's MOT having not been on the road for 7 months and without a fan fitted!

It was fine really and I have now fitted and wired in an electric fan. I always find it satisfying when having fitted it the fan cuts in just when you would want it to and cuts off again after a sensible time. Then with a bit of general tidying UNJ is back ready to put some more miles on it - I hope I don't have problems again like last year on the NYTW.

Meanwhile, over the weekend I have spotted a stain under the 2000 suspiciously close to the clutch slave cylinder and sure enough, there's no clutch fluid in the master cylinder. Looks like a new slave sylinder wouldn't go amiss and then I can see if the 2000's clutch problems are solved.

Outside the Old Stone Trough having done 2 miles after it's MOT

The photoshoot on our run out


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Engine's great, clutch not so!

An update on PMW.

After 100 miles I have changed the oil and filter, retorqued the head and set the tappets.

The rebuilt engine sounds lovely.

I do have another problem though, it's getting more and more difficult to select gears.When I do have gears the car can stall even with the clutch depressed - in this situation in first for example the car will continue to move slowly forward and then stall.

Similarly, I can have a problem getting reverse when the engine is running.

I have tried a number of things such as making sure all the pipework is tight and also bleeding the clutch hydraulic system but it's not helping.

It has been suggested to me that if the push rod and clutch link arm(not sure if that's the right term) are 90 degrees or less in relation to each other that indicates that it's very likely the taper pin has broken.

Judge for yourself!

Monday, March 24, 2014


I collected PMW from storage today and drove to the Vicarage Motor Company in Barnoldswick for MOT. That was a tad nerve wracking as obviously the car hadn't been on the road since 2011.

Positives were that the brakes worked (!) and so did the overdrive even if the gear knob switch kept popping off as expected.

Not so good was  a vibration at 50MPH and the steering felt rather "loose" which didn't inspire confidence.

Anyway, made it to Barnoldswick and left it with my favourite classic friendly garage (as you can see they know about classics as that's an MGB downstairs and Reliant Scimitar upstairs). They found a few problems but fixed them for me - a flexi brake pipe was leaking, one of the headlamp bulbs had dis-assembled itself and so not surprisingly the aim was out.

No water in the washer bottle (what a pillock!) and the steering rack was "insecure" - that'll be why the steering felt a bit dodgy then. Again, even more of a pillock for not checking everything over.

Advisory that the front propshaft UJ needs relacement which would certainly explain the  vibration.

All in all though a very good result and here's the photo to prove it (even though I can't load it the right way up :-).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Should I? Yeah might as well, I know I want to!

No, not buying another car!

Spent a good day today on the 2000.

Alot of tidying up and finishing off really. Trouble is most of the finishing off isn't really finished!

I have taken loads of stuff, spares etc out of the car and brought home.This included a brand new heated front screen which I will fit in the summer rather than before getting the car back on the road - I may do this at a Pendle and Pennine meeting in the Old STone TRough car park.

Drove the car about in the mill yard and it seems fine - all freed off etc.

Thanks to Bryce had heat shrink put on the wires for the overdrive in the gearstick - unfortunately I can't seem to get the loom far enough down the stick for the switch to stay on top of the gearknob. Don't need that for the MOT tho!

Wired up the electric fan and got a headlamp working that had decided to be awkward.

Then ran the car for a few minutes and when the temparature got up hot water was escaping past the radiator cap and being pumped into the expansion bottle before escaping from there! And the electric fan didn't cut in either.

I have an MOT booked for Monday though and it's a 17 mile trip but I really want the car back at home. Now I have to decide what to do - well right now my plan is to drive it to the MOT station and just take a couple of 5 litre bottles of water to top up the radiator if needed.

After the MOT I can sort out these problems one by one on my drive rather than have a 34 mile trip every time I want to work on the car.

Saturday, March 01, 2014


Nearly two litres of DOT4 brake and clutch fluid later I have bled the brakes and the clutch.

I wasn't looking forward to this as I expected the bleed nipples to snap off but all the brake bleed nipples loosened off OK - wow! No fluid actually came out of the ends though, just from where the nipples screwed in to the rear wheel cylinders and the front calipers.

I used an easy bleed to do this and just collected the fluid in a jar as it was pumped out and cleaned up afterwards of course.

The clutch slave cylinder wasn't as easy.

The bleed nipple was right up next to the oil filter so I unbolted the clutch slave cylinder and let it "dangle". Unfortunately the cylinder within it along with the spring then came out when the easy bleed was attached. No doubt an experienced Triumph tinkerer would have expected this but not me. By now the whole clutch pipework etc was full of air.

To get round the problem I put the spring and cylinder back in and used a cable tie to restrain the cylinder next time round. Success on that front so I got a good 250 ml of flluid thorugh the system and out the nipple. Then it was just a case of bolting it all back on of course.

At the end of the day I started the car, selected gears and moved it back and forward whilst stopping it with the brakes.

Starty,move and stop you see :-)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A right good day

Here's the 2000 lifted nice and high on axles stands so I could get under to get the propshaft attached.
At this point you can see the propshaft still hanging down loose at the front and also at the side of the car is the centre section of the exhaust which still needed fixing too.

With the propshaft bolted up though I pumped up the tyres and got the car back down on the ground so that at last I could get it moved out of the bus garage where it has really been taking space up and isn't the easiest location for the next part.

Mind you, it was tricky to get it out but manage it we did thanks to help from Bryce and a fork lift to tow it.

Here it is, seeing the light of day for the first time in more than 2 years.

From here we towed it round the block and into a workshop where I could get it onto a lift.

That's where I got the exhaust back on and fitted up properly. Along with getting the accelerator linkage sorted and then the air filter housing back on yet again it was time to start the car and see how it all is.

Well, it starts very very well now, almost as if it's now remembered how to run and shrugs it off in a "of course I'll start, no problemo way".

Even better though was that now there's an exhaust on it I could rev the engine a little and by eck I now remember how gorgeous it sounds.

On that note (!) time to quit whilst ahead and come back next week for the bleeding of brakes and the clutch.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Smooth running

Last time I updated the blog I wasn't counting any chickens.

Well since then PMW has been running more than once so that's good.

Latest is that I have checked and adjusted the tappets as well as draining the oil and replacing it with fresh 20/50 whilst swapping for a new filter of course.

The good news is that this time the oil coming out the sump looked much more like oil with only a slight trace of emusification from water contamination. I think the flushing oil has done it's job and now it's onto normal running in when I aim to swap the oil and filter after about 100 miles of driving the car.

Starts to sound like I am getting close doesn't it?

Still a bit to do yet though including fixing the exhaust, reconnecting the propshaft, bleeding the brakes and clutch so that I have them working and wiring up that electric fan. That's what I know about of course.

There will be the small matter of extricating the car from the big shed it's in hemmed in by buses and trucks. One step at a time.

I do need to get under the car though and it's not pleasant jacking the car up and getting it on to axle stand so I can grub around under it on a dirty concrete floor. Not so good when I can't find the propshaft nuts and bolts either.  These are the kinds of things that happen when a car is stripped over so many months (years even), things go missing and then hold you up putting it all back together.

I have learned patience though so a few more bits and pieces have been ordered from Chris Witor and I can come back to the car next weekend.

I must be prepared to be disappointed as bleed nipples break off no doubt too!

On balance though, progress continues to be made and PMW starts now easily enough without Easy Start. I think is very smooth too which I should be able to confirm when I have the exhaust all coupled up.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Not counting chickens

A week later and it's back to PMW.

Last week the haad was back on and the manifolds fitted.Well there was still some awkward buggers of nuts to fit on the inlet manifold baulked by the manifold itself so I had to loosen the studs and nuts I had struggled with last week before I could get access to finish fitting all of them. What joy.

Next was fitting all the hoses again and filling up with water.

Connecting up the fuel line. Easy enough as I have now done this several times. Erm, no! I can't describe how much of a sod this was to work out where the brackets went, not to mention then trying to fit the alternator back on and finding that combinations of the fuel pipe, alternator bracket and fan belt all caught up on each other in one combination or another!

Oh well, patience won through and all of that was put back together OK.

By now I was on the ignition side of the engine bay. Now where do these wires go? And what's the firing order again? Which one of the 2 dizzy cap and plug lead combinations is the right one? Got it right in the end though and fitted the freshly charged battery.

Remembered to leave the king lead off though when I spun the engine over hoping to get oil pressure. Crikey it took a long time again but eventually the oil light went out around the time the battery was starting to slow down.

All of a sudden I was in a position to try and start the old git. Well it was reluctant again and then coughed a couple of times when I more or less poured Easy Start down it's throat.

I know when to call it quits though so I decided to pack things away and come back next week but first I checked the dipstick and it did seem like it was oil rather than mayonnaisse on it. OK I thought, why not take the rocker cover off and see what it's like under there.

No immediate horrors so I decided to turn the engine over to make sure it wasn't throwing water all over the rocker covers again! You know what? It very nearly started.

OK, more Easy Start and let's see what happens.

I tell you what happened - it only went and started and kept running. I kept it running for about 3 minutes and then switched off to check things over.

All appeared OK so I started it again and this time it ran by itself even without choke or throttle - here's the proof

I am not counting any chickens though. There does appear to be some "milky oil" but then that's quite possible as I couldn't clear all the water out from before.

Also there is some water loss down the front offside of the block which I dread to think is a head gasket issue - it's more likely to be a leak at the water pump or thermostat housing so I'll be checking that out next.

Good news is that the oil on the dipstick looks like oil (which is another reason to think the water leak isn't a head gasket problem).

I think I'll retorque the head, check the tappets and investigate that water leak next.

If all is OK then I'll change the flushing oil and the oil filter when it's been run for about an hour in total.

Defintiely not counting any chickens though - did I say that already?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On the way back - with PMW

Back to PMW and the unfortunate incident of fitting the wrong head gasket! This meant the mixing of oil and water so that had to be got rid of - see the evidence below as it drained from the sump, looks more like milk than oil doesn't it.

Once that was out of the way then a general clean up and I replaced the oil filter which was contaminated as well of course.

OK, then it was put it all back together and here's a picture of what I sincerely hope is the right gasket fitted the right way up!
 From that point I refitted the head and torqued it down, hopefully correctly as I am getting really paranoid now. Once the pushrods were back in I fitted the valve gear and rocker cover before putting in flushing oil. The plan is to run the car for about an hour with flushing oil then drain that, replace the oil filter with another fresh one and refill with new 20/50.

The rest of today's action was refitting the inlet and exhaust manifolds which is much easier to say than do. I actually called it a day about 5PM after struggling with a particularly difficult fixing but it gave in in the end.

Next weekend should see it all back together and an attempt made to get it running again.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Yes, but for how long?

A change from PMW this weekend.

Mrs R's Mini had refused to start last week but I wasn't concerned as it was down to the fact that it hadn't run for a while and being also cold the battery didn't have enough life in it to turn the engine over fast enough (come to think of it this reminds me of PMW).

One week later though with the battery having been on a trickle charge Lil Min sprang into life when I refitted the battery and turned the key.

So next was UNJ our TR7 convertible. The repairs to the starter motor connections and the replacement second hand starter motor are still doing the trick as it fired up no problem either - I am getting to like this!

I suspected the clutch would be stuck though as it has been months since the car has moved and I was right. Having moved Lil Min well out the way I started UNJ in gear with the clutch depressed to free of the clutch which it eventually did. Now I will be starting and moving both cars every two weeks so hopefully that will keep them both OK through the winter.

Now on a roll I moved on to the problem with the interior lights and rear sidelights not working as helpfully pointed out by the French Police back in September (oops).

I checked for poor earths but then moved on to removing the light switch from the dashboard. I had done this in a car park in a small French town in the early hours back in September to try and clean it up but hadn't fixed the problem.

This time I could take my time in my garage and stripped the switch down, cleaned the contacts and then used switch cleaner, re-assembled the switch, put it back in the car and success :-)

See below

But for how long?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A game of two halves or - we were winning at half time!

Retrunmed to the attack on mission PMW with two mates of mine, Paul Darbyshire and Andy Flexney.
Here they are taking a moment to consider the next move!

Well the main problem was getting the engine to turn over anything like quick enough even with another battery to jump start it and then with a fully charged booster pack. Taking much longer to get to than it does to type we sorted this out by using a jump lead to go from one of the starter motor bolts to the battery earth lead and then with battery booster in place it was much better.

OK - no sign of it firing though. So we took the rocker cover off so that we could make sure the timing was right at top dead centre and that we had the plug leads the right way round (well one of the two dizzy lay outs we had put together before was right so we put that one on).

We also took out the carb dampers so the pistons would lift easier ready for Easy Start. Then with cranking the engine over, full throttle and the aforementioned Easy Start in use PMW actually fired up to much cheering from me!

Sounded pretty good to me too but it wouldn't keep running on anything other than Easy Start so next was to take 5 gallons of 3 year old fuel out  of the car and put fresh SuperUnleaded back in.

Now PMW ran happily on petrol rather than Easy Start.

So, as Andy said, if this was a football match we were going in to half time winning!

Coming back out for the second half though we had been concerned that the top end was dry with little oil there but with the rocker cover off of course when the car was now running we saw what looked like water instead of oil being sprayed on the rockers. Checking the dipstick showed an oil/water mix from the sump.

Not what was wanted at all! I was/am fairly sure that there's more than one cylinder head gasket so it was possible I had the wrong one and this was allowing the fluids to mix. Only thing for it was to remove the cylinder head which we got stuck into.

My goodness there was alot of water about including in the cam followers etc.
Water can be seen in the picture above of the block after we removed the cylinder head.

It also shows though that the cylinderhead gasket is the right one in that the holes line up with the holes in the block - at least that's what logic says to me.

First conclusion is that the head wasn't torqued down correctly so I'll be getting all the oil/water mix out of the sump then taking it off to clean it all out. After that another cylinder head gasket can be fitted and we try again.