Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sills Finished

Had a good day on the car today, the work progressed really swiftly and I have completed a great deal.

Firstly, inner sill in place, together with a small patch in the bottom of the A pillar.

Front outrigger now present and correct.


And floor pan installed.


Welding completed on floor pan


As usual there are some welds to be ground back, but I shall have a session on this when the car is complete and the bird cage removed, as its really uncomfortable to lie on bits of the cage as you need to get access to parts of the car.

I am also bulding up a list of outstanding jobs that must be completed before certain panels go on. For instance I realised the other day that there is no mounting for the battery clamp on the inner wing side of the car. This must be fabricated and installed before the outer wing goes on the car, or I won't be able to secure the battery correctly. This would be a real nuisance to discover after the car is painted and I am fitting it up.

I am still leaving the wheel arch for now, because I want to do the rear wing next (and it was a pig at my first attempt!). Once the wing is done I can then have a go at the roof, as I have promised Anne that the donor estate will be gone by Christmas, so I really need to work hard at this.

I have formulated a cunning plan for the roof work, reliant on the new roof being in such good condition, but more of that when its time to do the work.

Hours worked 348   7 hours today.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A Tale of Two Estates.

I went and collected the other estate today and towed it back on an A frame.
As you can see the roof, and screen surround is in A1 condition

And the tailgate aperture also perfect no rust, and when I inspected the internal pillar sections at the back, and the lamp housings also no rust. What a car! 


I have however been concerned about ending the life of a Triumph Estate, and wanted to inspect the rest.
The rear wheel arches, inner arches, floor pan, spring mounts, shock absorber mounts are gone! The floor and sills are like this everywhere, so added to 4 rotten doors, and rusted out front wheel arches, I don't feel so bad about parting it out. At least it will live on in some other cars.


Back to the other estate, got the outer sill on today and welded in. Been playing with these cleco temporary fastners, they are a great help and so simple to use, beats self tappers anyday for temporary clamps.


Front of the sill and more clecos visible


Inside front of the innersill - sorry the picture is upside down - shows the jacking point and the plate I had to make up to replace some disappeared metal.


Should get the rest of the inner sill in tomorrow and the outrigger and floor pan back in

Hours worked now 341 - 8 hours today

Money £7153 - £350 on the donor estate, £50 on the steel for the spit

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Ran out of Gas!

Got the inner sill continuously seam welded in tonight, and the jacking point in, but ran out of Argonshield, so a quick trip to BOC tomorrow. You can see the penetration of the seam weld here, because it was all welded from the other side.

I received a nice present at work today, 8 of them and all shiny

They are the low compression version without the lump in the middle, but the +40 oversize gives an increase in capacity, and the heads need a light skim so the overall compression ratio will remain approximately as standard - which is good without the availability of 4 star fuel.

They are Hepolite, so they have the correct weight for the crank counter weights, and were original fitment.

3 hours work

Monday, 23 November 2009

Built a Spit tonight

I built a Spit tonight and here it is

I am slightly concerned about the centre of gravity of the car, if its top heavy, it will just flip upside down when attached to the spit, so when I fit it to the car I am also going to attach 2 ropes and pulleys to the garage roof timbers and to each side of the car, so I can control its rotation. It should be a good game! But it will have to wait a few weeks yet.

Also got the driverside doors back on, no trace of bending, so it will be time to finish welding the sills next.


I have also found a company who specialise in restoring old brake parts and servos, who are confident they can service and inspect the ABS servo without causing damage, so I am hoping to go and see them with the servo later this week.

Costs £50 for steel to be added to the total.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sills Again

Good progress today, cleaned up all the flanges, and removed the old jacking points

Trial fit of the middle sill

and now tack welded in place

I now need to fit the doors and check the gaps, it can them be seam welded, and the outer sill fitted.

I shall then fit the jacking points and the inner sill.

One piece of good news, I found the patch that fell down the A pillar, I couldn't get it out but I did get some weld on it, so it won't rattle

Its just visible in this picture its the silver metal visible in the slot above the sill below the A pillar.

Hours worked now 330

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Back on the Body Work

Had half a day on the bodywork today, chopped out the driver's side sill, outer, part middle, and front of the inner sill. This side had more rust, but in different places to the passenger side.

I now have a day or so to spend in cleaning up the flanges before welding the new sills back on, then its replace the outrigger and floorpan.

I have also purchased some steel sections to make up a "spit" for the car, and I am contemplating building the spit and getting the car up and on its side as it will make work on the sill a great deal more pleasant. The garage floor is very cold to lie on at this time of year!

Hours of work now 323 (8 on the engine strip, and 5 on the body today)

Costs £6573 (£550 on hepolite pistons, £100 on NOS water pump)

I also purchased an MOT failed estate today. It was cheap, and it has all the remaining body parts that I need to complete this car with - basically rear lamp housings and associated parts around the tailgate aperture. The roof on it is also excellent, no traces of rust at all, and far better than the one I got from Cornwall. I can also get all the little bits of trim from it that I am missing - mainly boot trim items. It also has some parts that Dave Pearson was after for one of his projects.

But, the car is recoverable, and I am having second thoughts about breaking it - it wants door skins, some sill welding, and front wheel arch repairs on a quick inspection, plus a brake overhaul. Its tax exempt too, with a nice 2000 engine and overdrive gearbox. If anyone is interested in it, or would like some parts please send me an email to mike @ (without the spaces) - if I find someone who is really interested in the complete car I may reconsider, on the other hand if there is demand for the parts it will make me feel less guilty about breaking it.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Engine Progress

Its all been delivered to the machine shop, just a waiting game now - they are quoting 4 weeks or so.

I have managed to source 8 Hepolite pistons at +40, so thats one problem sorted. (LDparts).

I have a NOS Unipart Water pump too. (Wins)

I stripped the oil pump last night, and with a little care and some emery paper on a glass sheet this can be made as good as new - the score marks are light, and fortunately on the bottom of the rotors.

So all I really need are some Vandervall bearings main and big ends at +10 - any ideas anyone, as I really don't want to use County if I can avoid it.

I may be allowed to get on with the bodywork tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Better get a move on

Having committed to Jason that I am going to try and take the estate on the RBRR next year I had better get a move on with the project. A few of you know I have had the flu followed by a chest infection so I haven't felt well enough to do much recently, plus I don't think that grinding dust will be very good for me at present, so I decided to proceed with the engine. I took the heads off it a few weeks ago, so a full strip down commenced. Once the cams were out it was apparent that there were a few seized valves as you can see from the cam buckets in this picture.

Once the valve was removed the reason became apparent in the corrosion which filled the entire intake area.

With a similar problem on the other head

Anyway, got them fully stripped, core plugs removed etc, so off to the machine shop for a light surface grind and a good clean in a chemical bath. Valve seats look ok, and probably just need a light grind with paste. All the cam bearings were good so thats a bonus.

On to the block and piston removal, turned it over to get the sump off, and another FF modification became apparent, they have grinded away the edge of the sump pan and the bolts - these were fun to remove!


Crank still won't rotate, but some big ends are undone and the pistons hammered out. To get at the other bolts I cut the end of a 13mm socket, and welded it to a 8mm bar, which I could then use to get at the remaining big end nuts, and then remove all the pistons


Here are the pistons, not a pretty sight, the rings are all stuck in them, and some are very tight on the little ends. There's an interesting water mark on the flywheel too.


Biggest upset of the day - the state of the bearings, standard size VP, but absolutely wrecked due to lack of oil changes, the shells here should look silver like the thrusts, below, but all the top coating has been worn off in all the shells on every bearing, with some traces of debris - simply down to no oil changes and a blocked filter, what a shame as I had managed to source some NOS VP bearings in std size, but the crank does now need a grind if it is to last. The state of the crud in the oil pan is witness to the lack of maintenance, 10mm of jelly like oil at the bottom.


 Anyway these bits are now ready for the machine shop, the block isn't, because even the water pump is seized (its an early 6 vane type), and I need to remove that and the jackshaft before everything is ready for the machine shop. The little end bearings look OK, so I shall simply fit new big end nuts and bolts. The crank will be ground and tuftrided, and I will have it all balanced. The shaft on the front pulleys needs a seal saver fitting (its basically a sleeve fitted where the oil seal rubs). Pistons, I will probably go to plus 20 size.


I reckon that little lot will be about a grand, and it will be ready in 4 weeks or so, so I can then build it once, check the piston heights, and then probably strip it again to have the block faces corrected to the piston heights. I might port the heads a little too, as there are some very nasty lumps in the ports where stag heads have the valve inserts fitted.

I also have a pile more parts that now need to go to the powder coaters, so a few visits to make in the next couple of days

Where am I?