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.