Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hannibal Lecter

We will come to the good Doctor in a minute, spent the morning fabricating and then welding into the car a series of re-inforcing bars, 4 running front to back, parallel with the sills, and 5 left to right, complete with triangulation to stiffen up the car pending surgery.

Left the drivers side doors in place to check for sag or movement, and can still refit the passenger side doors if required.

Then roof removal, reminded me of the Doctor removing the cranium in the Brain eating scene.

There is extensive rust arount the rear tailgate aperture too, and this will require parts from the other roof that I have.

Next job repair all the rain gutters as large areas are like this

Then I can look to fitting the replacement roof.

The Stag has the starter motor on the opposite side to the Standard engine, but when I inspected the wiring loom there are no signs of modification, it looks like the factory had special modified looms made for all the Stag engined conversions that they made.

Its worth noting from the recent pictures on the forum of the Del Lines modified cars, he did not modify the front of the car to take the stag radiator or air intake, unlike this car which has similar arrangements to the other known factory converted cars.

Thats it now for about 2 weeks as work commitments will probably prevent me working on the cars for a while.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Convertible Estate

9 hours driving to North Cornwall and back, 1.5 hours with a hacksaw and a screwdriver and this was the result, alfresco motoring in a 2500 estate

Its surprising how much the shell moves and wobbles with out the roof.

And here is how we transported it - got lots of strange looks on the M5

The roof, although the wrong colour (its primrose) is perfect down the driver's side, and the rear. It has a small 10mm corrosion hole at the front, and sadly on the passenger side 3 areas 10 - 15cm long which need repair. Most of the cant rails are good too.

However much much better than the existing roof which has rusted completely down both sides and the rear.

The flexibility of the donor car, has confirmed my thoughts of creating an internal birdcage of angle iron in the estate before the transplant.

The difficulties of storing this roof, may move the transplant forward in my plans.

Watch this space

Monday, 13 July 2009

Wing and a Prayer

Here is the wing, its a secondhand original wing, with some rust in the usual places, but I can use it if necessary, I still think the estate deserves a new one, but I can use this to fit the wheel arch repair sections. Here is a view of the back of it, with the flanges cleaned up ready for fitting.

I pray it fits, and it does. As a bonus its even the correct colour !

Trial fit of the wheel arch repair panel - it doesn't fit very well

The curve and shape is wrong in 4 areas. It doesn't follow the curve of the wheel arch around the lip, and its depth on the flange is wrong.

So I cut it up, down the main curve, reshaped it where necessary, and tack welded it back together. So you can see it now fits

Here it is ready for seam welding, about 13 mm cut out of it, and reshaped. Ready for refitting.

Work stops here for the night, and indeed the estate won't see any more work until the weekend, its the turn of the 5 now.

I shall discuss the wheel arch repair section with my supplier, as I don't want to have to rework the other 3 sections, as none of them look like they will fit. I suspect I have been given incorrect parts by mistake as the other items that I have from them are super.

Sunday, 12 July 2009


Decided to strip the car out today, as there is soon to be some serious welding in the floor pan areas, etc, and I wanted to remove any fire risk.

After removing the interior, I wanted to check the replacement doors, to ensure they fitted correctly after the sills were replaced. The existing doors have rusted at the bottom, with the result that the door frame rubbers push the bottom of the doors out, as shown here.

I put the good blue doors on, but the bottom door gap is like this.
Upon measurement the door is 5mm shorter than the original, and tapers down from the top. Also the top right of the window frame also slightly fouls the B post.
Now I know that I can correct this when I reskin these doors - indeed the doorskins are 5mm wider than this door, but I now have to consider if I need to repair the old doors, which at least fit properly. Seems not all Triumph doors are the same.

View of rusty hole in floor near passenger inner sill

Some good news. I had always assumed the car had 86000 miles on the clock, with the instruments out I can see it is 36000. (pity the engine has seized). This accords with the lack of wear on the original tyres, and the disk brakes. This at least settles the decision on the transmission strip down. At this mileage I won't rebuild it, but simply remove the various diff and transmission sumps, clean them out and put new oil in. Some money saved! No wonder the diffs have so little backlash and the bearings feel good, its barely run in. If I can get the engine apart, this probably only needs rings and bearings and a hone of the bores.

Rust behind the front sill cover plate, showing the internal structure of the sill.

Modified pedal box assembly - note the second arm attaching to the main pedal, with the servo fork and clevis pin attached.

Another internal modification I had not noticed before , although its not too clear, there is a "hump" beaten into the transmission tunnel in front of the handbrake. Like all the other modifications no attempt at rust proofing, its obvious they didn't think this car would be around for long.

Modified pedal box removed, you can see the additional plate welded into the box, to relocate the servo, (from under the original area of the brake light switch) to its new position where the clutch master cylinder would have been. A car with the FF modifications could never be a manual, as there is simply no room for a clutch master cylinder.

This view inside the car shows the original Saloon Servo hole to the right and up of the new servo. It was left like this, not filled and open to the engine bay, with only the new servo partially blocking the hole. I think I will fill this with a plate upon rebuild.

The reverse view from the engine bay.

And 2 pictures of the servo, with the pump that varies the vacuum pressure to make the ABS work. Again no labels or manufacturers plates on any of this.

Front wing removal reveals this

And this

I have some arch repair panels which I got from Earlparts, which will fit here. I also have a better wing (which just has 2 frilly areas, and is repairable if I don't find a NOS), so I will trial fit that, and then adjust the arch repair panels to suit. I have left the large under bonnet flange attached as the replacement wing does not have this.

I also need to fix this damage above the plenum, before the new wing is finally fitted, and one other small hole just above the wheel arch.

Many thanks also to Dave for the NOS Driver's side wing, which will "fit a treat" when I get to that side of the car.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Front Valence Complete

Front Valence welded in tonight, spot welds every inch - its a lot of spot welds, but so easy with the proper tool. Engine bay view.

And from the front.

Quick spray of primer on the welds to stop rusting and its done.

I have now reached a halt at the front. I still need 1 battery box panel, so that I can fabricate the battery box and fit it in the radiator panel, and then make up the oil cooler brackets. I think that the battery box will interfere with the normal oil cooler bracket, which is probably why one was not fitted on the driver's side, and the original oil cooler rested on the pipes, I'd like to do it properly, so until the battery box is complete and fitted, I cannot do the oil cooler mounts and hence I cannot fit the top closing panel as I need access behind the radiator panel. The top closing panel needs a few mods too to accomodate the Stag air intake.

On a brighter note I collected a very good drivers door today, and some quarter lights with good rubbers, so thats a few more items off the wanted list.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Construction is better than Dismantling.

Back to the panel work at last. So tonight I did another trial fit of the front end panels, and managed to weld in the radiator support panel. I "let into this" the Stag radiator / air intake support - seen in orange below and the radiator to headlamp panel stiffeners. These in turn are spot welded to the headlamp panel.

This shows the spot welds on the right hand seam of the radiator support, to inner wing, and mig welds where it joins the chassis rails

On the other side both the stiffener and the radiator support panel are pop riveted in the areas that will be removed when I get the rest of the Stag battery box.

People have commented that they are surprised at the speed of progress that I have made, but a great deal of this is due to the support and parts that I have received from other Triumph owners and enthusiasts.

So thanks are due (in no particular order) to the following who have sourced panels and parts for me:-

Mick Dolphin (look him up on the web, he carries a lot of NOS Stanpart parts)
Nigel Gair
Dave Harvey
Chris B
and Alan Chatterton for encouragement

If I have forgotten anyone I apologise.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Engine and Box - Out at last

This was day 3 ( yes 3 days to get an engine out) of the engine removal project, the cross member was off, and I thought it would be easy, all I had to do was remove the CV joints under the chassis rails and lift the engine out. So using an oil filter removal chain to hold the CV joint I then undid the 13mm nuts. But would the CV joint split from the flange ? not a chance ! another snag to overcome. The other side was the same.

So Plan B, remove the front diff. First snag, its mountings were under the engine mounts, so I had to support the engine, remove the engine mounts, then undo the diff mountings, and its input shaft and at last off it came, and here it is with one of the engine mounts. While trying to rotate the input shaft, to undo the propshaft bolts, you could feel the resistance of the viscous coupling, even though the rear wheels were on the ground, the shaft would rotate but only with a great deal of leverage, so the Viscous Coupling seems to be functional.

Although the diff is out, there is no support under the engine because I found the V8 exhaust manifolds rested nicely on top of the chassis rails, and it was not going to drop any further. This shows the cut away modifications to the sump. The flange hanging down is on the drive shaft to the front diff.

In that flange was some clean transmission oil, it looks like it is leaking past the splines on the diff input shaft

And here you can see some more oil in the diff input flange.

Just to prove the engine is out !

Side view of the gearbox, the lead you see to the middle of the picture, goes to the electronic pickup in the transfer box, for the ABS brakes.

The engine mounts on the body, even though they have bolts in them through the chassis rails have been welded to the rails on top. Drivers side here.

And passenger side, as you can see I did try to remove them, but its pointless undoing the bolts due to the weld.

View of the modifications to the passenger side tunnel to incorporate the driveshaft and transfer box.

Here is the diff after a good pressure wash, I was hoping to see a FF plate or similar, but it just has a few casting numbers.

Front suspension parts stripped and ready for blasting. When I have all the old parts together I will send them for blasting, then zinc plating, and finally powder coat.

Close up view of the electronic sensor input in the transfer box after a pressure wash.

Again casting numbers visible on the FF parts, but nothing else.

And another view of the transfer box

Starter motor with top bolt missing !! and look at the welding, its flange has been separated from it, and the orientation of the starter and its solenoid changed. On a Stag the solenoid is normally above the starter, but this is where the drive shaft goes.

Close up of the welding, I guess I will have to get this starter fixed, you cannot buy them like this!

I bet this rattles, look at the tiny clearance between the engine mount and the manifold. I suppose it was Ok at first, but as the mounts sag with age, contact is made. Custom tubular manifolds will sort this.

Finally some investigation of the passenger inner wing. No trace of a battery box ever been fitted here, which is strange, but again confirms the engine mods were done at the factory. The large lozenge shaped indent was done to allow the vacuum cylinder to be fitted and clear the V8 heads.

The gearbox number is 383 1698, and that's not what is on the heritage certificate (9202). I cannot read the engine number yet.

After the grief of the engine removal, I am not looking forward to its replacement, which can only be more difficult with a completed engine bay and front panels on the car. Better have some touch up paint to hand. At least it should be clean and dirt free, at the moment I am getting through a set of overalls every day, which please's Anne no end!

So back to the body work next.

Where am I?