Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ready for the NEC

I spent a few hours on the estate this evening,  set the tickover to 800 rpm so it doesn't lurch into gear - as the engine has run in, the tickover had increased when hot to about 1300 rpm, due to less friction.

I still have a slight "hunting" at hot tickover which needs attention - maybe a little rich or the points need attention.

I also fitted the remaining window trim which has been absent for a very long time.

But I cannot locate the trim from the C pillar upright - does anyone have a spare one ? I have tried most of the usual suspects.

All it needs is a clean, some petrol, and its off to the NEC on Thursday. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Data Sheets


Its amazing what gets dug up after all this time. I was lucky enough to be given some copies of the FFD data sheets relating to two of the 4 wheel drive Stags, copies of which follow, the project numbers match the build card records that I was given some time ago.

Sadly my estate's records were not to be found. But these detail most of the modifications, part numbers of the GKN joints, fluid capacities (in imperial) and types. Camber, caster angles etc, and the increased weights of the vehicles, and the need to increase the front tyre pressures by 2 lbs.

Interestingly the Stags were fitted with 3.7 diffs, the estate has a 3.45.

It also reveals a weight increase of 244lbs

Really interesting documents.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Back on the Road

Got the repaired propshaft from Dave Macs today. One CV joint is fine, the other has been repaired, and should last a few thousand miles.

and 2 hours later fitted, all back together and the car is back on the road.

Drives well and all the nasty noises have gone.

I must thank Colin Radford tonight, after reading the blog about the propshaft, he has gone and found me one new CV joint, what a Star!

Another £90 spent and another 2 hours work.

Fixed just in time, as a Classic Car magazine are here tomorrow to do a photo shoot and article on the car. When I know when it is to be published I post the details

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ready for the Front Propshaft

Its all reassembled now, refilled with various oils and ready for the propshaft.

When I visited Dave Macs last week, they had been unable to build a new propshaft because those 2.5" CV joints have been out of production for years. The rear joint was ok, and just needs rebuilding with a new CV boot, but the front joint has a large "pit" in one of the slots that the ball bearings travel down. As an interim fix this is going to be welded up, and then ground back with a carbide cutter. Not perfect but it will work for a while, and the front prop is fairly quick to remove and refit.

If I cannot find any new CV joints anywhere, which is unlikely as they have all been used up, its a trawl through the various breakers to find 2 good ones, as they were used on Spitfire 1500 propshafts, TR7s and a few other vehicles. Long term I will probably have to have 2 made from scratch (expensive) as the angles of operation are too big for universal joints.

As to the diff breather, I finally drilled a hole in the top grub screw and brazed a piece of pipe into it, to which I have connected a plastic tube, which finds its way above the diff to the front of the engine for now. I'll see if any oil does drip from it, and if not, cut it back and form a simple U bend in it - to let it breath and stop dirt getting in.

I have not updated time and money in the last few months so the figures to date are now 1145 hours, and £23031

I really really hope it drives all right now with no more major issues, or it may find itself locked away in the garage unloved for a time.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Diff rebuild (again)

I split the output shafts again and pressed them apart so I could fit the seal savers - just stainless steel thinwall tubes really. I'd have done it the first time if I had time to source them.

Diff was then reasssembled

and fitted back to the car - the "breather grub screw" is accessible when fitted - its what the allen key is inserted into

The 1/2" UNF nut is for scale, as Nick Jones has kindly offered to look through his parts and see if he has one that will fit

Got the propshaft off too, and here are the split gaiters - old rubber! This will be off to Dave Macs tomorrow

Finally I got the starter motor back in and the front subframe, I'll leave the rest for next weekend.

It will be nice eventually to spend more time driving the car, than time spent fixing it - its a moment that I am looking forward to - I hope

Saturday, 13 October 2012

I might have aborted the RBRR if I had seen this

Before I start the saga of the diff removal a quick picture of the Estate exhausts after the RBRR

Biscuit colour, so a little rich, I would have preferred a greyer tinge, but not bad as the carbs and timing have never been set up. No traces of oil though which is good.

Anyway back to the front diff removal, exhaust manifolds off first, and the rest of the system back to the middle box. Then remove front hub carriers with drive shafts, disconnect steering rack from subframe, and suspend in place using wire, and the subframe comes out

However what I found wasn't so impressive. I though I had heard propshaft "clanging" hollow noises, and I had.

The CV joint gaiters on the front propshaft had split, and the grease distributed itself round the underneath of the car. Both CV joints have play now too, so its a new front propshaft to be made - that will be fun, because although one end has a flange, the other has a spline, straight into the transfer box. Next week will see what Dave Mac propshafts say, and can do.

Front diff, just hanging there, I also had to remove the starter motor to get it out

And here's the diff out.

No breather at all, just an allen headed socket screw on the top, but no sign of any holes for a breather.

I suspect I will drill the socket screw out and fit a split pin, like triumph diffs, but certainly no provision for an air vent.

So tomorrow, I will strip the diff, fit the seal savers to the shafts and reassemble. 

I will say that if I had seen the mess from the front propshaft under the car on the RBRR I would possibly have stopped and called a tow truck. I guess the subsequent gentle driving saved it.

I knew this wouldn't be easy, and I knew something would break on the RBRR, the car simply had not had enough driving trouble free prior to the event.

But we still got round.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Firstly let me say thanks to the organising team (with the possible exception of Jason - who got me into trouble with McJim) - more later on that, and to all the Marshals who gave their time at the Control Stops, and to all the spectators who turned up, it was fantastic to be welcomed by so many people at so many of the Control Stops.

Anne and I had a great time, and will be doing it again. Anne has added a few words of her own in the section at the end of this post.

As you know the car made it, and mainly trouble free. I never thought it would get round, as its longest trouble free journey to date was its run to the Plough of a 120 miles or so on Thursday night. First long run on a Motorway too. Through out the event I refused to answer questions on how the car was, as I thought it bad Karma to say it was fine and would probably make the finish.

On Friday night / Saturday morning I spent most of my driving thrashing the car unmercifully chasing Dave Pearson in his Courier van. By breakfast Saturday it started to occur to me that the car might actually make it, so we eased off, and completed most of the rest of the run at 60 mph, far more suited to a big estate with an autobox, and far more likely not to break anything.

Sorry for not chatting at the Control Points, I was keen to leave early, and be gentle on the car

The main problem that I had, was with the alternator drive belt, which kept needing re-tensioning. I had a spare, which I was reluctant to use, as it was purchased from the same supplier at the same time as the first one, and it was clearly a part of a defective batch - or a poor chinese copy. The belt finally let go a mile after Gordano services on the M5 in the dark with Anne driving. I wanted her to drive on side lamps to conserve battery life, so she switched high beam on, doubling the battery load!. Fortunately there was another off ramp in a mile or so, so we got off there and I replaced the belt with the other one - which also kept stretching. Finally Andy Roberts gave me another one at Bude.

By late Sunday afternoon, I was hearing a noise from the front offside wheel, so we really eased off, and finally made the Plough 2 minutes before the end of official check in. Still, a finish is a finish. The noise is the CV joint as it now clicks on tight lock.

The front diff was Ok, although I did keep checking the oil level at every stop. A simple job with an allen key and reaching into the front wheel well from under the car.

Consumption figures.

Engine oil - nothing really - dipstick level dropped a few mm
Front diff - 300mm of EP90
Autobox - nothing
Fuel £624 mpg 25.1 - ok for an auto big saloon with FF and fully loaded
Red Bull - 16 cans
Chocolate Chip Cookies - 2 packets
Fruit cake - 1
fig rolls - 1 packet
chicken burgers and chips - 2

Items to be fixed after the RBRR

Front Diff - remove it, unblock breather, and sleeve the shafts where the oil seals bear.
Front right CV joint - replace
Check entire car over
Clean car
Finally have time to set the carbs up and tweak the ignition timing

Not bad for a fresh from restoration car.

That said it wasn't the ideal RBRR car with the autobox and low overall gearing, it had to be worked quite hard to keep up with people driving like Dave. On the really twisty bits the suspension is a bit soft, but give it a good A road with sweeping bends and with the 4 wheel drive, it left many Stags and others behind on bends.  In the wet it is superb, you just cannot break traction, even with full throttle making a start at a T junction turning left or right.

Now its all Jason's fault about the Lamrini and McJim, and entirely Jason's idea to hand over a bottle to McJim, - although I will admit to purchasing extra Lambrini and handing it out to the other crews when we found that no one had bothered to purchase any such gifts! Carter Bar went ok, but when I signed in at Tebay McJim literally grabbed me by the throat, making dire threats of revenge. He was smiling at the time though, and having read his subsequent "Lambrini Anyone" posts is to be congratulated on the spirit (no not the Lambrini) in which he took the wind up.

After the Lambrini challenge we are considering other gifts for McJim (or others)  in 2 years time, assuming that he is foolish enough to run Carter Bar again!

To conclude this post I am attaching a blog post from Anne which I thought many of you would like to read.


I was not too sure what to expect when I agreed to be a co-driver for Mike.
He had at last finished the Triumph Estate and it was all ready to go.
I was a little nervous about driving his car (being so rare and so recently finished).
I am also a rubbish navigator and do not like driving at night, but despite all this he said yes that was fine and that he wanted me go with him.
Before we arrived at the Plough Mike made a very strange request. I was to go to Sainsbury’ and purchase 12 bottles of Lambrini. He explained why and I then decided that some tartan ribbon round them would just finish them off nicely!
We arrived at the Plough; the car was going very well.
I was chatting to various crews and what really struck me was what a lovely bunch they all are. I felt very welcome even though I did not know a lot of them.
Off we went (Mike was driving as it was dark!)
Got to Carter Bar, where we handed over our bottle of Lambrini complete with tartan bow. I was a little worried why Mc Jim was wearing yellow marigold gloves (any ideas anyone) but he seemed delighted to receive a bottle of Lambrini! He and Mike had a banter ending with Jim saying that he had keyed the car!
We motored on to Edinburgh Airport where Bill Murray had come specially to see Mike’s car, he had travelled a long way and it was very late too! I thought then how nice that someone was prepared to make such an effort. This is occurred at quite a few of the checkpoints. Mike had told do not chat, get the book signed and go – but he ended up chatting – which was the right thing to so as people had made the effort to see him!
The car was going very well except the fan belt was slipping (sounded dreadful!) but we carried on regardless with Mike saying ‘it’s a new belt and ‘I tightened it before we left’ many times!
We made it up to John O Groats, where there was the most beautiful rainbow. We had breakfast, cleaned teeth and reapplied lipstick (that’s me not Mike!).
Got to Conan Bridge early so we decided to both get a bit of sleep. I was straight off but Mike said that I kept him awake snoring. Well, he has snored always and the nights that I have been kept awake I have lost count. I do not believe that I snore, and I was telling another driver this when he helpfully told me about an app that you can get for your phone. It is called sleep talk and you can set it and it will record any sound that you make. He gleefully let me listen to his recording of his wife snoring – who says that she does not snore either. I am going to try this tonight. I will let you know at the end of the blog the results!
We were motoring on well, got to Gordano services where the local Triumph Club had turned out and was clapping everyone as they arrived – I thought again what effort and how lovely. It really spurred you on.
 We filled up with fuel and left. Mike was very tired, so I was driving even though it was dark. I was feeling quite proud of myself, however not for long. The fan belt snapped. Mike said go on to side lights. I said do not be so silly, I cannot see that well on headlights, let alone side lights on an unlit motorway at night! He was saying put your foot down, go faster, get off the motorway. I was not happy!!! (Nor was he actually!)
Anyway got off the motorway (using headlights) did go onto high beam once – told off straightaway!
I told him yes I do know that you cannot push start an automatic, and yes I did realise that the battery would not charge without the fan belt. (Not been married to him for 33 years not to know that).
Things were a little fraught but to his credit he did not shout or swear at me.
Told to get off the road and bump up a curb and stop the car half on grass with the pathway under the middle of the car. Honestly! Could not see why this mattered, then saw that he wanted the tarmac to lie on under the car.
I thought that I would be super helpful and clean the windscreen – wrong- when I got in the car whilst Mike was underneath (I hasten to add that it was not jacked up) the number plate dug in him and the exhaust burnt his hand. Still no shouting or swearing, but I felt really dreadful 
Well, all fixed and we were off again. I was still driving! But this time I could I have side, dipped or main beam on – fantastic! 
Got to Lands End ok had breakfast and applied lipstick again!
Got to Bude and met up with Chris Allen. He was taking photos and I pretended to pose, he said that would it be topless I said no too cold! He then topped up his oil.  Met him at next checkpoint when he told me about how he wondered why the car in front was smoking, then smoke came in his car he then discovered that he had forgotten to put his oil cap back on. Told it was my fault because I distracted him at Bude.
 He had his bonnet up at the next stop so I helpfully told him to put it down before he left. He did find that quite funny!
Got to the TR Register check point – got the book signed and the visited the ladies and applied lipstick again. I could not believe it – there was queue for the GENTS! The ladies non – in and out! That was a first for me!
If anyone had asked me would I do it again at 2.30 am Saturday morning I would have said no, but now I think that I might. Not too sure if Mike could though with me – due to my lacking skill of night driving.
I must mention all the Marshalls at the check points, they were all so cheerful and lovely, the drinks and cakes and biscuits were very much appreciated.
The spirit of the event was wonderful.
I cannot explain the feeling of joy when we arrived back at the Plough. Mike has worried the whole way that we would not make it – I KNEW that we would.
It was quite an emotional moment.
I am very proud of what he has done to the car.
 The hours of work, the cold days in the garage, the sourcing of the parts, the endless jobs to be done it, is such an achievement.
I am very proud of him and feel very privileged to have shared the RBRR with him in his special car.
10 countries next perhaps?  Yes, but in daylight please!
Anne Weaver
P.S. The sleep talk app did work and sadly it had proved that I do snore.
I have told Mike that I purr not snore compared to him!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Brakes Done

My local Porsche Dealer spent 3 hours or so skimming the discs on the car, and they are now perfect. I am so grateful to him. But he has asked NOT to see another Triumph! so I won't give his details. But well done Mr Porsche Dealer and your workshop staff.

If anyone wants to track our progress on the RBRR I have added a Google lattitude app to the blog, so our progress can be tracked. Scroll down to the section below add a comment, and there I will be with the FF estate. Although it doesn't display on the CT blog section due to the feed system, you need to go to the original blog at http://standardtriumphcars.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Game On

And this morning on to the other side which revealed this

After application of emery cloth strips, it ended up like this, still a few marks, but the seals should last a few thousand miles

It could really do with refacing in a lath, but no time for that now.

Upon re assembly, I noticed the CV joint boot on this side was also touching the cross member - hard to see in this picture, but with the suspension on full droop the folds on the CV were catching

A trip to my local motor factor saw me with a selection of different boots to try and get clearance, needless to say it was the third one that fitted well and cleared the body work - so that was 3 CV joint strips and rebuilds just to get the boots on and off. Doing the CV joints took nearly as long as the diff drive shaft seals this side.

Anyway all done, short test drive done and all seems well, we will see what a gentle Motorway Thrash does tomorrow.

So its RBRR game on.

The Range Rover has a split inlet manifold (they are made of plastic now) so it resides at the Dealers Workshop for a few days, glad I am not picking the bill up for that job, when you see what the manifold is buried under.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Team 47 down but NOT out.

I had my suspicions about a front diff leak for some time - if you remember the CV joint rubbing saga.  Anyway today when I got to work there was oil dripping from both front drive shaft flanges - just visible on the part of the crossmember by the sump.

There's no way to risk the RBRR with leaks like this, as I am sure a new front diff would be very expensive.

So what to do?

When I removed the drive shaft and front hub this was visible

No nut inside the flange like with Triumph Diff flanges, but the whole assembly was held in with 5 nuts, which soon came undone, revealing this

The inner race supports the crown wheel, so I didn't remove the other side at this point.

Stripped down you get this

When looking at the output shaft its easy to spot the rust that caused the seal to fail

Now one advantage of living in Birmingham is that after 6 or 7 phone calls I had located new seals and outer bearings, and set off to purchase them.

Heading home at 3pm with the parts an 18 month old Range Rover (Anne's) decides to call it a day - dash flashes red warning triangle and Reduced Power mode enabled. I was on the M5 at the time, and reduced power was good for 10 mph - not safe on a Motorway so its a 1 hour wait for recovery. You can imagine how happy I was.... especially as when the recovery driver arrived the car had reset itself and now worked. he still took me home and the car onto a Dealer, but said they sometimes do this, and no one knows why!!  Even more anger £80k on a car and it does this - the dealer had better find the cause and fix it.

Anyway I cleaned the rust off with emery paper and reassembled the shaft

It slots into the diff here - which I didn't have to remove after all

Anyway 9pm and this side all finished

The caliper still has to go on but I want to degrease the disc first.

The other side is also stripped bar 2 nuts that I cannot get at that may require removal of the steering rack or exhaust manifold but that's for tomorrow.

I also need to refit the diff sump. It doesn't appear to be a breather issue, but simply worn seals - I may yet add another breather, but it looks like the RBRR is still on

Friday, 28 September 2012

Final Preparations

My jobs list is down to one item - get the discs skimmed on the car, but apart from that assuming nothing else breaks, the car, if not me, is ready for the RBRR.

The day started with a check of all suspension nuts and bolts and fluid levels in the transmission - all done.

I then inspected the disc run out with a dial gauge - its less than 5 thou per disc so I am surprised at the brake vibration I am getting. We'll see what a skim and new pads achieve.

I repaired the drivers seat, here's the old webbing straps

they fix across the seat from the metal rod visible on the left.

When I stripped the seat down they had all come adrift because they are supposed to be glued to the internal hessian. The glue had failed and they had fallen off, which does account for the discomfort. All repaired now and a comfortable seat is the result.

I have fixed the rear window trim on the driver's side now,

but I cannot get the trim onto the clips on the passenger side so I have left that for another day.

And especially for Tim Bancroft the car now sports a Club Triumph strip at the top of the windscreen.

RBRR stickers will be affixed later, probably at the Plough.

I managed to get the ABS to function today, its gives a nasty kick at the brake pedal, about 4 times a second, the pedal is forced back towards you by about an inch. No mistaking the ABS has come on!

Filled with petrol again, and its still returning 30mpg, amazing as its now had a few motorway trips at 70 ish,
and its still averaging 30, I don't know why I was worried about epic fuel consumption.

I inspected the spark plugs too, nice biscuit colour, so the mixtures about right, although its hunting a little at tick over.

And I finally found the squeak from the driver's door, or rather cured it. It was simple I had not tightened up the door striker plate, so when you went over bumps the door squeaked. It was annoying, and I had assumed that I had tightened all the striker plates. That's why I went and checked all the suspension bolts today.

Even got a spare set of keys cut.

So that I hope is it, a few more days as a daily driver and I hope no more issues, so RBRR here we come

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Today's Niggle

The estate reached the 530 mile point yesterday, so it was time for an oil and filter change. Now got VR1 fitted. I had been slightly concerned about low oil pressure during running in, but I had forgotten the Millers Running in oil is only an SAE30. Fitted VR1 now got 25psi tickover hot, and 45 psi at 2500 rpm, so all is well.

When I last filled the car with petrol at 420 miles, it had done 245 miles since the last fill up, and I only put 8 gallons in, so that's a creditable 30 mpg, I know that's with gentle driving, but Ok for a big saloon.

I have attended to all items on my existing snag list. Headlamps are aligned, service done, - I also had to re gap both sets of points as they had closed a little.

During this driving the brake vibration has got worse, so I have persuaded my local Porsche dealer to skim the disks on the car, this is being done the Thursday morning before the RBRR - a little late I know, but the first slot in their workshop, and the skim isn't likely to cause any issues - I have another set of NOS Ferrodo pads to fit too, so hopefully nice brakes for the RBRR.

What's gone wrong during the past few days, as I have used it as my daily driver, alternator belt went slack again, so I have tightened it again - I hope this is the last time, if not its another new belt to go on as its reaching the end of its adjustment.

The driver's seat back membrane has collapsed - that's the trouble with old seats, I will have to redo this with Pirelli webbing, as I do not have a rubber membrane for this.

And today the turn indicator, flasher unit ceased to work - another new item that's made of cheese from india or china - I shall fit an electronic module from a modern today and fix this forever.

Otherwise and its famous last words, but its running well, and no fluid leaks or use of oil or cooland.

Alan Chatterton visited last night to collect a spare BW35 autobox that I have for Steve. Took him for a run in the car, and used quite a large amount of throttle too (well it has done 500 miles and is nearly completely run in), it pulls very very well - its faster than my Stag in acceleration terms, quite a bit faster in fact. I suspect its those exhaust manifolds. I may get it on a rolling road in time, as it must have somewhat over the nominal 150 bhp - certainly feels like it.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

More progress

I did this work on Saturday, but been to busy to update the blog until now after the RBRR driver's meet at Gaydon.

Had a good drive down there in the sunshine and torrential rain on the way back. The car went well and now has 410 miles on the clock, 2 more runs to work and  its 500 mile service time.

The drive back in the rain has proved that the windscreen sealant has worked, no more drips from the screen in the wet.

I did a number of jobs on the estate on Saturday, and it now has a rear bumper.

I got Michelin Energy Saver (well I need all the help that I can to improve the mpg!) 195/70/14 tyres fitted to the new S Alloys.

Little fixes done, the cigar lighter socket (and its light) now function, fixed the rev counter - that was paint under the earthing screw where the internals are held into the case. Fixed the gear linkage length so it now starts in Park. Fitted a bulb holder and lamp to the gear selector gate so you can see what gear you are in when its dark. Fixed the drooping driver's side sun visor, I had to bend the arm a little to locate the far end of the visor in the rubber block. Greased the door catches so the front doors open and close easily. Fitted the seal to the air filter box - where the airfilter sits inside. Tightened up the squealing drive belts. Did the windscreen and rear estate windows with screen sealant. Finished the stereo fitment. Driving headlamps have been tweaked and aligned against measured marks on the garage doors, but still need checking at night.

I am left with fitting an elbow to the fuel pipe where it exits the underbody (ordered but not arrived) replacing the fuel tank fuel filler hose - it was a new one, but again probably Chinese or other crap, and its split already around the tank vent - I'll try and get an old one from a Stag, and the brake disks. They are still juddering, I have found a local garage that surfaces them on the car, so I might look at getting that done.

So I think the car is just about ready for the RBRR, even if I am not. I am greatly looking forward to the challenge, but still nervous about the car lasting the journey - there's a lot to go wrong, and the niggles with replacement parts are not good

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

It gets better everytime I drive it

I took the car to work again today, and then on to Nottingham to collect some new Stag wheels from Lee Sellars, a round tip of 125 miles. I pottered up the A roads to Nottingham, but confidence growing returned down the A38 at 60 ish the whole way. The way it drove tonight, I could have kept going and done the RBRR, it felt that good and refined with no strange noises.

It needed petrol too 174 miles and 34 litres from the original full tank, so that's about 25mpg but I have been driving gently - I think its a little rich, but I would rather it run rich and cool for now, I'll lean it off a little later

Didn't miss a beat, water temp stays normal even at speed, rises a bit in town as you would expect. Exhaust is quiet at speed, no boom, just induction roar as you put your foot down. Gearbox has gone really quiet too, it only rattles a tiny bit over large bumps and even that is decreasing as the mounts settle down. The VC was making a loud clicking noise when it worked, but that is now just a gentle "whoosh" I think it was the fluid not being mixed having stood for so long, well its mixed now and works as it should..

The brakes are a bit "grabby" too - a little like disc run out (but its not that I checked with a dial gauge - I think its the disk surface bedding in. The pads are NOS ferrodo (with asbestos - so they don't wear the discs), the effect is reducing with use, but if it doesn't go I will put some normal EBC pads in to wear the disc surfaces a little and then change back.

Haven't tested the ABS yet.

Little niggles, both the alternator and power steering belts are slipping a little now so need a tweak. The rev counter stopped working, but I noticed tonight it wasn't illuminated either so its probably the earth connection that needs cleaning.

On Saturday before I drive the car again, I am going to check all the nuts and bolts in the suspension for tightness, and check for fluid leaks - but there's never any witness marks under the car, so the signs are all good.

I have a few jobs left to complete for the RBRR as follows:-

Headlamp alignment
Fuel pipe joint under boot
Seal windscreen and side windows
Cut spare keys
Adjust handbrake
Adjust gear change linkage - doesn't start in park - linkage needs extending
Get spare Stromberg diaphragms
Dust seal for airfilter
tighten drive belts
get tyres transferred to the new wheels
500 mile service

The headlamps are silly, I paid the MOT garage to do them, but they have aligned the inner high beam lamps as if they are dipping headlamps! Driving lamps that point to the floor are not much good.

So I hope to do all this bar the 500 mile oil change on Saturday before Gaydon, so we'll see all the other RBRR entrants there and we'll be in the estate.

And Mr Chatterton, you really must get DEL33 finished, the TV8 in an estate is fantastic, even though mine's an auto

Next Tuesday a major Classic Car magazine are coming to do a photo shoot and article about the car, hopefully for publication in November - I'll update you when allowed.

Monday, 17 September 2012

I'm back in love with my Triumph again

Left work early today, and had a look underneath to see where the transmission was catching the tunnel. Surprise surprise, it was the side where FF had already fitted a packing piece under the gearbox mount. So they must have had the problem too.

They had fitted a 5mm spacer, so I created another of a further 5mm, trouble was that the gearbox mounting bolts were then too short. A rummage in my garage found a pair of longer ones, so I just needed to weld a strap across them to stop them rotating when the nuts were tightened.

That done, bolts in place and spacers fitted, gearbox re bolted back up to the mount, and near silence. It catches very occasionally, mainly over bumps, but I am leaving it for now, some sag in the mounts and it will be perfect.

The car is even nicer to drive now, transmission really quiet, a few more rattles to sort, but its getting there.

I am going to take it to work tomorrow to get another 50 miles on it, I am beginning to think again that it will make the RBRR.

And I am collecting some new S type alloys on Wednesday night - that had better fix the leaking tyre syndrome.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sometimes I hate my Triumph

I went to my local motor factor today to get some parts for our moderns to find that he had some NOS Cortina gearbox mounts on the shelf - that's New Old Stock! He was glad to sell them and I was pleased to buy them.

So back home, jacked the car up and replaced the old ones. Took it for a drive, its getting better and better, heavy clunks from the gearbox moving about now gone, yes it still has squeaks and rattles but I am getting to them.

Had a nice drive, did 25 miles or so pottering about, and towards the end heard an intermittent ticking noise from the front end, and when I got back found black oil stains coming from the front diff nearside flange. oh bugger that's the drive shaft seal gone I thought - I thought I'd check the front diff oil level, and to my surprise it was full. Cannot be that then.

sorry about the picture quality

Then I remembered that the inner CV joint on that side did not have a seal at the rear, but bolted straight to the output shaft flange. I had never worried about this, because I always thought the CV joint grease remained as grease and wouldn't leak, still I split the CV joint from the flange and applied gasket sealant and bolted it up.

It was at this point I noticed that there was very little clearance (none!) between the CV joint housing and the crossmember. There was a witness mark where all the paint had rubbed off the CV joint housing. The friction was melting the grease and caused it to leak.

On investigation the original NOS engine mount had sagged (much like the originals,) but the engine in its original form would only sag so far before the exhaust manifolds hit the chassis rails - hence stopping the CV joint rubbing. My "improvement" of tubular manifolds cured this, but the unintended consequence is that there is now nothing to stop the engine dropping enough to foul the CV joint.

Nos engine mount (with the hollow rubber) and replacement

So for the third time this weekend vacuum tank and exhaust manifold off, this time to replace the engine mount.

That lifted the engine about 3/4" and there is now 1/2" of clearance under the CV joint. So after reassembly out for a quick drive. Ticking noise gone, but now the FF box is fouling the transmission tunnel somewhere. Grrrr, Constant transmission noise vibrating through the car. So tomorrow I am going to have a look and see if I can space out the gearbox mount enough to drop the transmission out of contact with the body shell, its either that or leave it a month or too and let the engine mount sag enough to drop the engine a little and fix the issue. Notice the diff sump is now level with the crossmember

I knew that commissioning this car wouldn't be easy, but it is starting to bug me a little and time is running out.

Triumph knew what they were doing when they built these cars, its all our "improvements" that cause unreliability and problems.

I also have to put a right angle joint in the fuel pipe where I had to reroute it, because of the exhaust, as the pipe is tending to flatten, so that remains to be done.

Otherwise when its working its getting quite nice to drive, the engine is responsive, no oil or coolant leaks. transmission is smooth (and was quiet), and on a run the TV8 stay nice and cool, so if I can fix all these niggles the car will still get to do the RBRR, but expect me to be doing a first service at the Plough at this rate!

The Evans synthetic coolant is strange, it expands to a huge degree when hot, so much so that the coolant overflow bottle is empty when cold, but when the engine is to temperature, nearly full. They do mention this, but I never thought the effect would be so pronounced.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Those first jobs after the first drive

I spent a few hours on the estate this morning attending to those annoying first drive faults.

The power steering pump got swapped for a spare one from under the garage bench - that fixed that, no more leaks, I still don't know why the seals are failing on the old one, the shaft is good, probably the seals themselves (chinese ??) anyway I haven't got time to mess with it anymore.

The clunks from the front suspension turned out to be the large nuts on top of the strut inserts were not tight enough, so a quick spanner job fixed them. The rear was also loose damper bushes so that was easily done too.

The rear gearbox mounts are contributing to the noise too, as there is a large thump from the rear of the box on the tunnel floor when you go over bumps, so I have ordered a pair (as it uses 2) of cortina mounts - which is the item that FF used when they built the car, so hopefully when they arrive that will be another issue solved.

The original water temp gauge also wasn't working, but that turned out to be a wire that I had dislodged when removing the dash to fit the speedo cable. I also connected up the lamp in the capillary water / oil pressure gauge, so I can now read that at night.

The V has stayed dry today too, and it doesn't seem to be using coolant, so that's a good sign.

The speedo reads well under, GPS shows that at 25mph the car is doing 30, and at 33 mph 40, but this can wait, I'll send the speedo off for recalibration later in the year.

I made a start on fixing the stereo too, but ran out of time because we are going out this afternoon, but I am now thinking that the car will be fit for the RBRR, after some doubts and worries in the last few weeks.

20 miles now done in the car, a few trips to work, and Gaydon for the drivers meet should see the car up to 500 miles, with time to spare.

Friday, 14 September 2012

I got to drive it on the road today

At about 8pm I finally got to drive the FF estate legally on the road. Taxed (free) and MOT with its original plates.

I didn't take it far, just round the block a few times, but the gearbox is quiet and as it should be, there's a little noise from the Morse chain on the overrun, but FF owners had warned me that you would hear this because there is no chain tensioner. Its not a loud noise but you can hear it.

The brakes are viciously powerful, steering good, a few clunks and bangs as you go over bumps, but I suspect that's the springs and poly bushes settling down. Great V8 engine noise. No boom, but TV8 roar and burble.

The speedo now works too with the new long cable - not sure if it is accurate, need to check it with a GPS

You can tell its 4 wheel drive, it does pull round corners.

Dead pleased I was still worried about the gearbox.

I thought I had only a few hours left to finish it off, but it took all day, there's a few nuts and bolts that are a sod to get at, and worse still it wouldn't start tonight, no starter motor, no reversing lights either. The gearbox inhibitor switch had failed - still better now than on the RBRR, as I needed to remove the vacuum tank, nearside manifold, front propshaft, and drop the gearbox mounts (again) to replace it with a NOS unit that I had, 3 hours work, that would have put us out of the RBRR, anyway all done.

The gear change linkage needs adjustment, as the park brake only engages if the gearstick is pushed forward with a little force - the linkage must be a little short.

The carbs need mixture and airflow at idle adjusting.

The power steering pump is leaking again, so I will get a secondhand one to replace this.

And there may be some water in the V, I need to look at these items tomorrow, as I must attend to them before I put many miles on the car.

But its still possible to get the car to the RBRR, even if I take a few days off work to run it in.

Anyway a happy day to have actually driven it at last.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Its YKV201L Again

I had a day off work today and restarted the gearbox replacement, sadly I could not get to the top bell housing bolts what ever I did. So I removed the gearbox (again), and reversed the original removal process.

By the end of the day, all that remains before engine start again, is propshaft refitting (x2) gearbox crossmember and the autobox strengthener straps. Everything else is back together - and I need to fill the box with ATF

The postman delivered the mail after lunch and I ignored him - wish I hadn't because in the postbox were two letters from the DVLA - first one confirming the registration application had been granted and the second the V5.

They have reunited the car with its original GKN registration YKV201L fffantastic - so happy.

Thanks to Chris Allen, who did the Club Report and Derek Pollock who agreed the application for the old registration - a couple of beers owed there I think

Before I can drive it, I have to finish the gearbox work, and get the insurers to move the insurance from the chassis number to the registration - I have already written to the insurance, so with a little luck and a day or two off work next week, I'll be driving it next weekend.

500 miles to do to get it run in before the RBRR

Monday, 27 August 2012

Box back in

Today, I reassembled the transmission and replaced the gearbox - sounds simple, but it has taken 8 hours so far.

The gearbox jack did make life very simple, and it was far easier to align than a manual box. All the lower engine to gearbox bolts are done up, the breather pipe is connected (so I shouldn't have an incontinent box anymore) wiring to the starter inhibit switch is done, gear change linkage etc etc, BUT I haven't been able to get at the top bell housing bolts to the engine. There is clearance above the box, but the issue is that even with 3 socket extensions I cannot reach the bolts, its a trip to Halford's to get a fourth one - the length of the FF parts causes this issue. Anyway, when I have these done up a final day should see it all back together and ready for road test.

I am also going to change the quill shaft bearing - I had replaced it with an el cheapo one, but reading Nick's postings on the CT forum about a cheap bearing failing within 2500 miles has made me recall that I did purchase a new RHP one, which is in my box of spares, and while the propshaft is out, its easy to change, better now than while doing the RBRR.

One other small issue while refitting the box, an oil cooler pipe fractured - internal rust - the walls were paper thin, better now though, than when on the road, as the fluid would soon pump out

I made up a replacement with 8mm copper pipe

Where am I?