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

Where am I?