Messing About With Cars - Mike BishopMessing About With Cars - Mike Bishop
HCR not as Planned!
Core Issues Again
Things Didn't Quite Go Exactly To Plan
A Reluctant Re-Awakening Day 3
A Reluctant Re-awakening Day 2
A Reluctant Re-awakening
Tinkering With The GT6
New Gearbox for the GT6
Goodbye Old Friend
Quality Time in The Shed
Bugger! Another Overdrive Bites the Dust
More Good Progress and a Proper Drive on the Road
Gearbox in and closer to the road
A New Years Resolution Gone With a Bang!
Poor Quality Parts But Another MOT In The Bag
The Only Way is Essex "1 - 2"
I Hope Trouble Will Not Come In Three's
A Cracking Modern and A Little Bit Of Help
Not Done Much For A While
Easier Than Expected!
And The Weather Was Kind Today
HCR not as Planned!
Having suffered yet another dose of backache following a couple of trips to work, I reluctantly decided that it would be folly to try and use it for the HCR. With it being an all night event, likely to cover over 400 miles, along with another 250 mile journey back home afterwards, common sense kicked in and I decided to use the Stag instead. The seats were not the only consideration in the decision, having put over 1800 miles on the GT6 since purchasing her, I'm getting to know all the little quirks & foibles now. The noisy diff and horrendous wind shriek at speed from the screen top to roof seal would have made motorway cruising tiresome, the low/hard suspension setup gives a bumpy time on the back roads and with a forecast of heavy rain, the sloppy screen wipers were less than ideal. I'm still loving the car though and are having loads of fun blasting around locally in it, I'll continue working through the issues over time.
So back to the HCR. Following a wash, polish, oil change and few general checks, I deemed the Stag to be fit to go. On Saturday afternoon, I drove up to Cambridge and picked up navigator Darren from the railway station, then we headed off to the start at Soham. There were already plenty of Triumphs there, with people varying from chilled to panicked! Darren soon had a route for us plotted, taking in most of the optional destinations.
Following a nice supper and the driver's briefing, we set off to the Test Venue. There were 3 tests - a simple reversing manoeuvre, a trick slalom where the navigator had to steer and a timed run around some cones. With a number of cars to get through, we sat around waiting for our turn for a bit but got through with no issues.
Out onto the road, we retraced our steps around the town to collect the code board we had missed, then headed for our first destination of Grimes Caves. We then dropped down into Suffolk before heading for Essex. We took a strategic decision to miss the Finchingfield and Castle Hedingham destinations to "bank" some time to give us more options later on in the night. Our one and only Essex stop was deemed to be Newport, located to the north of the county near to the Hertfordshire border. Across the border we picked up Cottered on the A507 for an extra point, before hitting the A1.
Once on the A1, we headed north picking up Bedfordshire, Notts, Rutland, Lincs and some random Golf Club that gleaned us extra points! Finally we deviated at Doncaster to collect N Yorkshire before reaching the half way point at Ferrybridge Services at around half past midnight. Here we had a mandatory 1 hour break where we recieved our instructions for the second half.
Sadly the second half didn't go to plan. York being a mandatory point, we were blasting through the lanes only to suffer alternator failure 5 miles away. With few tools and no spare, the only option was retirement and recovery.
We made the decision to get transported back to Darren's house in Morecombe, as he had both tools and spare alternator. Following a gruelling steady run on the back of a truck over the Pennines, we grabbed a few hours power nap, nipped down the local cafe for brekkie then set about the repair.
On the Stag the alternator is not in an accessible place - offside front, low down under exhaust manifold, power steering pump and tight to engine mount and radiator hose. In the end in good daylight with trolley jack and proper tools, the swapover took over an hour. Not really a viable roadside repair at 3am on a dark, rainy night! I'm tempted to look into a proprietary conversion which remounts the alternator on the nearside upper area of the engine bay!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 02nd May 2013 09:25am gmt
Core Issues Again
The GT6 has been off the road again. I had one issue with the new Mick Papworth gearbox in that I couldn't get the reversing lights to work. I changed switches, messed around with thick and thin gaskets but eventually came to the conclusion that the selector rod was not actuating the switch. Full credit to Mick, when I emailed him he sent me another gearbox top cover/selector assembly immediately. I promised to return the suspect assembly to him at the Stoneleigh Triumph Spares day last month.
With the onset of Stoneleigh looming, I popped the tunnel out and swapped the selector assemblies over - voila, problem cured, reversing lights worked as designed again. While the tunnel was out I decided to carry out some preventative maintenance and change the seals in the clutch master and slave cylinders. They had been filled with Dot 5 silicone fluid sometime in the past, not something that I am a big fan of, and it was looking rather black and dirty anyway which suggested pending seal failure.
The seal change itself didn't take long, however whilst that section of the bulkhead was clear, as the paint was badly cracked and flaky with visible rusting.
I sanded it all back, gave it a dose of rust killer and brush painted it Triumph White again before re-assembly.
Unfortunately a drive to work next day indicated that things were not all well, with the clutch biting point being much nearer to the floor than before. By the time I had driven back home again, I could barely engage 1st or reverse gears to manoeuvre into the garage.
A torchlight inspection revealed that I had not tightened up the hydraulic pipe connection into the slave cylinder properly, presumably allowing some air in. Unfortunately much to my annoyance I noticed that that another core plug under the manifold had started weeping. This time there was no way it could be repaired without stripping the manifolds off. So I bit the bullet and got the spanners out, to my surprise all all the nuts and fixings undone ok - I was half expecting to wring a stud or tow as is the norm! Been apart before perhaps?
With the manifolds out of the way, the leaky plug was easy to remove. Not wanting to be be caught out again, I popped out the remaining two old ones too. Close inspection of the backs showed one to be ok, the other to have some pitting so a good move there I think. Much to my surprise, unlike behind the front core plug that I'd changed a month or two ago, there was minimal sludge in the block waterways behind the others. For some reason it seemed to have been all confined to the front. The red core plug in the picture is one of the replacements. Although cadmium coated, I decided to etch prime and paint the insides to try and ensure longevity.
Given the pitting on the others, I worried a bit about the core plug on the rear of the block. After a bit of head scratching, I decided I would be able to access it from inside the car if the gearbox tunnel was out. So out it came again, not my favourite task but I'm getting good and quick at doing it now! Changing this plug was actually easier than expected, whacking the bent screwdriver through it soon had it out and using a socket on an extension bar as a drift soon had the new one in.
As a person who hates a scruffy engine bay, I took the opportunity to clean and re-paint the side of the block whilst it was exposed, looking much smarter now, well on that side anyway!
I then popped the thermostat housing off, out of curiosity to see what was fitted and got another surprise. Really heavy corrosion, scale and hard deposits were present under the thermostat itself, to the point where flow must have been quite restricted. The drilling to the water pipe that runs through the manifold was totally bunged up. This may of course be historical, but I'm starting to have serious doubts about the anti-corrosion properties of the TSSC "waterless" antifreeze the cooling system was filled with
I then rolled the car out of the garage, got the hosepipe and airline out and flushed the heater core through in both directions, getting lots of crud out. Hopefully this may mean the heater puts out a bit more heat now as this GT6 is uncharacteristically cold!
Starting up after refitting the carbs and manifolds reminded me of the presence of a slight fuel leak from both carbs that dripped and collected on the heatshields below when cold starting. I had always put it down to weepy float chamber gaskets but close inspection concluded that the weepage was actually coming from the joints between carbs and heatshield. This may well also have been leaking air into the manifolds too and could explain the occasional spit back that I had been experiencing when cold. New gaskets and a smear of sealant has hopefully cured this.
She now starts and runs again, however the driving, comfort and handling are still not where I want them to be. I hope to use the car on the forthcoming CT Historic Counties Rally, but I need to sort out the crippling seats, cure the deafening shriek that emanates from the passenger side A-post/screen gutter/door frame at speed and finally raise the front suspension ride height. This still leaves the noisy diff and not entirely proven question of reliability! As the HCR is an all night endurance event, likely to cover a distance of around 400 miles, the car needs to be spot on!
The Herald finally arrived home yesterday, courtesy of Colin who had been "looking after it" since it's demise on the Woodbridge Targa Rally. In the back were a pair of really rough Mk1 GT6 seats finished in tan velour. Bizzarely they seem more comfortable than the ones in my car, so there may still be hope for the HCR yet!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 01st April 2013 10:23pm gmt
Things Didn't Quite Go Exactly To Plan
Well the big day came with a rude 5am awakening. A peek out of the curtains confirmed my expectation of snow, however the roads looked to have been well salted and were clear. Having packed up the car the previous day, we set off. Darren followed behind in my S2000 as I needed to leave for home as soon as the last drive had finished as I needed to babysit so that Ivi could to go to work.
With two spare wheels on the roof rack, I held a steady cruise of around 60mph and in just over an hour we arrived at the Targa Rally venue, RAF Woodbridge.
Upon arrival we were directed straight to the noise test, I was a bit surprised to find the Herald was louder than I had expected, with it only scraping a pass. From there on it was straight into an uneventful scrutineering and then into the queue for signing on. From there it was back to the Paddock to change the rear wheels for a pair with "sacrificial" tyres on. Several other Triumphs were taking part - Mike Helm in the TR6, Colin Wake in the 2.5PI and Clive Senior in his Toledo. Steve Radley was navigating for Colin who in turn was navigating for Mike!
Following the drivers's briefing, it was straight on to Test 1. The correct route around this course (and all the others) was denoted by lettered cones, which had to be passed in order. Penalties were to be awarded for missing cones, passing on the wrong side or in the wrong direction or hitting them! Darren was soon calling the turns from his map and a clean albeit rather slow run ensued. By the time we had completed Test 5, we had both settled down and were going well. Then it was time for a break to allow other groups to go out. We were quite amused to watch Clive drive in, misjudge his manoeuvre and park on a buddliea bush! He did redeem himself later on though by being one of only 2 Triumphs to finish the event and quickest CT car of the day!
A quick check of the car showed up nothing wrong and before long we were back to the start for Test 6. We were really starting to fly now, but disaster struck in Test 8. In the middle of a fast sideways drift around some cones, there was a big bang and the car lurched towards the drivers side. We had skidded across a large metal drainage channel and the o/s/r tyre had com off the rim.
At the marshalls direction we limped to a safe location where I was annoyed to find that the wheel brace and jack had been left in the Paddock - doh! So there was nothing else to do but wait for the lunch recess for a rescue. We took the opportunity to snap Colin in the 2.5PI almost mess up a turn!
Finally help arrived, the spare was fitted and we just made it back in time for lunch. Sadly closer investigations after lunch revealed that either the half shaft or hub flange had been bent in out incident so it was the end of our competition thereon. Mike too was out, having suffered terminal gearbox failure not long before our "moment". Shame, as we were all having a lot of fun!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 13th March 2013 10:24pm gmt
A Reluctant Re-Awakening Day 3
Having lost two days at the end of this week to work, little time was left to sort the car, so on Sat morning it was up from bed early and straight out to the garage for me!
It didn't take long in the daylight to find my box of carburettor bits, and a jet with a good fuel connecting pipe was soon tracked down. As the jet was for a different carburettor, I elected to transfer the connecting pipe to the original. These pipes can be removed from the jet by carefully wiggling off the brass collar where the pipe meets the jet with a pair of pliers, then the pipe will come straight out.
Pushing the collar back on grips the jet back around the pipe.
My to my surprise it all went back together again nicely first time and with no leaks. However a quick test run showed that there was still an occasional misfire of sorts. Setting up the carbs and mixture did not cure it so I turned my attention to the ignition timing. Again the garage tidy up caught me out, having to spend 20 mins searching high and low for the timing light. When it eventually turned up (in the first place I had looked - but just not carefully enough!), the timing was found to be spot on. Upon reaching under the plug leads to refit the vacuum advance pipe to the distributor, I was surprised to get a sharp shock. Problem found, dodgy plug leads! I borrowed 5 leads from the GT6, lo and behold the misfire was no more. Time to order a new set for the Herald I think!
Next on the job list was to remove the door roundels and cover over the various even and advertising stickers. this was a requirement of the event regs. Unfortunately as the roundels came off, so did most of the paint underneath them, so a frantic dose of touching up with a paintbrush had to follow. Our idea to cover the rest was to print off some body coloured paper on the laser printer and tape them up. Well when I was doing the colour match, I must have been colour blind - the match was terrible! Oh well it will have to do.
The last job was to round up some wheels and tyres from my various storage sheds, giving the ideal excuse for a decent test drive. With all running well, the last job was to pack up the car with tools and spares etc., and we're ready for the off!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 10th March 2013 5:41pm gmt
A Reluctant Re-awakening Day 2
Well day 2 didn't go much better than day 1.
I took the nearside rear radius arm off so that I could insert some shims behind the bracket to replace the ones that had fallen out. In the process of re-fitting the arm noticed that one of the bushes was knackered. Thankfully these are quick and easy to replace. I had previously purchased a stock of poly bushes, but typically having tidied up the garages last summer and moved everything around could not find them! So a new standard rubber bush went back in. I then changed over the rather hard and worn knobblies for road tyres, no issues there but I may need to take a couple more wheels/tyres as spares just in case the surface turns out to be abrasive.
Next I built up a pair of K&N filters, using the two sets I had and the bits that Mike Helm had given me. The stub stacks just fitted inside of them, although bolting tham up was a faf. I couldn't find my K&N cleaning fluid so I had to pick the cleanest looking pair of elements and hope for the best. The old foam Piper Cross elements previously fitted obviously hadn't been doing a lot of filtering as the inside of the carbs themselves looked quite dirty.
In the process of refitting them I noticed that the fuel hoses on the carb tops were badly cracked, further investigation resulted in on crack turning into a break as I bent the rubber. Not good as they were new only a couple of years ago. There is usually plenty of spare fuel pipe in the garage for such eventualities, but you guessed it, they too had disappeared in the tidy-up so I had to make a trip to the motor factor to aquire some more.
A good test drive to set the carbs up to the new filters started ok, until I revved the car hard and picked up a misfire. This rapidly turned into what felt like two cylinder single carb running. Pulling the choke out killed the misfire, leading me to conclude that a bit of the dirt I had noticed earlier and done nothing about had found it's way into a jet!
Back at home I pulled the dashpot, piston and float chanber top off the first carb, cleaning them all up. Then I made my mistake; wanting to clean the jet out I unbolted it it from the bottom of the float chamber to blow it through with carb cleaner. When I went to re-assemble, I found the rubber seal on the end of the connecting pipe had swollen and would not go back into the hole. Tired and getting late now I tried to assist it back with the aid of a small, sharp screwdriver, promptly slipped and put a hole in the side of the connecting fuel pipe.
"Oh deah" were not the word I said! With two 12 hour days of work to follow, I gave up and went to bed. Not much time left to sort things out now, I hope my next update will have better news.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 09th March 2013 07:29am gmt
A Reluctant Re-awakening
Next weekend, Chelmsford Motor Club will be running a Targa Rally. This is a fairly new type of event, run as far as I can understand on a similar basis to the old Gymkhana's they used to run. Having driven the Sprint in one of the last Gymkhana's to be held, I had always hankered doing one in the Herald, however the stickers and decals it sports had always precluded this.
I had decided to email some photos of the Herald to the organisers to see if things were different in the new format, I was delighted this week to get a positive response. I will have to cover some if not most of the stickers and remove the roundels from the doors, but I can live with that. So with only a few days to go, the Herald had to come out of it's winter storage asap! Unfortunately all did not go completely to plan.
As always, I drive another car around to the lock up, drive the Herald out and leave the other car behind. Except the Herald did not want to start. This is not completely unusual after a reasonable period of inactivity - I think that there may be a bad earth somewhere that causes the starter to run slow. However this time, despite being disconnected, the battery was completely flat. Jump starting from the Sprint didn't work so after a bit of head scratching I removed the batteries from both cars, put the dead one in the Sprint and jump started it from the other. The Sprint started and ran fine so the good battery then went into the Herald, with jump leads back on the engine turned but still didn't fire.
A bit more head scratching later deduced that the fuel was not reaching the currently dry float chambers. So followed a quick disconnection of fuel lines and pressurisation of the tank by blowing down the filler neck! This pushed fuel into and beyond the fuel pump (which I suspect may have been the culprit, maybe sticky non-returns valves caused by evaporated fuel perhaps?) Finally a bit more churning over on the key had fuel passing into the carbs and with a few coughs she sprung into life.
The next issue came to light when I tried to drive away - no clutch! Plenty of fluid and some feeling in the pedal led me to conclude the drive plate had stuck to the flywheel. Having then started the car in gear and kangarooed around the parking lot with the clutch pedal depressed, it eventually freed off.
Back at home I had a small list of jobs to do, but as I parked on the driveway noticed that the handbrake wasn't really working very effectively. So wanting to check inside the drums anyway, I jacked the car up, pulled them apart, cleaned everything and put it back together. With the handbrake cables disconnected, I attempted to adjust the shoes up only to find that not just one but both of the adjusting mechanisms were suffering from stripped threads. So it all had to come apart again!
With the shoes now wound up tightly in the drums, the handbrake adjusted up nicely and the test drive confirmed all was well. Unfortunately it also confirmed all was NOT well the handling. A sharp and constant pull to the left reminded me of the missing shims that had dropped out of the nearside rear trailing arm on a previous rally! Of course I could not find my spares so a quick phone call to Mike Helm had some waiting for me.
Before setting off to collect, I thought that I had better clean the sponge air-filter elements that had ended up caked during a particularly dusty rally late last year. Much to my annoyance, they promptly fell apart as i removed them - doh! Another call to Mike Helm found a "spares or repair" set of K&N's waiting for me - not a problem as I had a couple of other sets myself to cannibalise bits from - thanks Mike!
With regard to the trailing arms, I had decided to stick in a shim or two, then drive the car and check for improvement. As all had been apart before, a straightforward job I thought - err no! With the radius arm removed, a knackered bush was revealed, this had to be changed too!
Maybe tomorrow I will be able to start the prep work I had actually planned to do!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 05th March 2013 10:10pm gmt
With all the bad weather we have been suffering this winter, the roads around here have been deteriorating fast. I cannot remember any time before when the roads had been worse than now.
Whilst out for a drive the other day, as the car crashed into a particuarly large and unavoidable hole, the shock through the steering ejected the horn push which fell into my lap and the spring loaded brass contact pencil which flew past my ear! A little further down the road when the horn started tooting itself I realised that pencil had come apart and a piece had remained, becoming trapped between the boss and the column. Back at home I concluded that I had no choice but to remove the steering wheel to extract the offending piece!
The first hiccup occurred when I tried to put a socket on the centre nut. As someone in the past had butchered it with a chisel so there was no way a socket was going to go on over the burrs. However after a bit of careful work with a centre punch, the nut came off.
Next I found that the wheel was stuck fast on its splines. Normally a bit of brute force and wiggling does the trick however Mk1 steering wheels are somewhat flimsy, rather rare and hence unfortunately expensive to replace! Luckily due to the design the wheel and spokes can be removed from the boss.
A small puller soon had the boss off and the stray brass contact dropped out!
With everthing apart, I took the opportunity to have a good clean and polish up before re-assembly. The nut filed smooth again and was able to re-used and the finishing touch was the fitment of a "correct" horn push to replace the later one that had been fitted previously. With the wheel now sitting straight in relation to the wheel, I was also able to cross another task off my snagging list!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 16th February 2013 11:00pm gmt
Have continued to enjoy putting miles on the GT6, making the most of the relatively dry salt free days we have been enjoying down here in the mild south!
However during routine checks under the bonnet, I noticed that the front core plug under the exhaust manifold was looking decidedly the worse for wear.
A quick peek under the manifold at the adjacent two found them looking ok, so I decided to have a go at replacing the offending one without removing the manifolds etc. As the engine had been filled with a "waterless" coolant, I took great care to drain the radiator and block into a bucket.
Disconnection of the water pipe gave plenty of space to attack the core plug with an old screwdriver and drift, before long the it (or what was left of it!) was out. Unfortunately the waterway underneath it was completely blocked with rust and sludge. I don't know what is is with the 6 cylinder blocks (poorer flow due to greater area of waterways perhaps?) but they always seem to sludge up more than the 4's.
A fair bit of digging with hooked picks and bent bits of wire had it cleared as far as I could reach, but I was amazed at what came out - there was even more that cannot be seen in the photo as it ended up on the floor!
All clear now and looking good, however I've resigned myself to taking the manfolds off sometime in the future and removing the other core plugs too as inevitably they will be blocked up the same.
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 01st February 2013 8:08pm gmt
Tinkering With The GT6
With a good gearbox/overdrive now running well in the car, I’ve started ironing out some of the minor faults and niggles that I have discovered. For me the highest priority by far, was to try and improve the rather uncomfortable driving position.
As I had mentioned before, the sun visors and associated bracketry obscured the top 5cm of the windscreen. Given that a Mk1 screen isn’t the tallest in the world, I found this to be a big problem, ending up with back and neck ache due to craning/slumping around it! I had decided that the easiest solution was to remove the visors and brackets completely, however whilst doing so I noticed that swapping the outer brackets left to right would change the angles so decided to give it a try. Bingo – a perfect fit with the visors and brackets now sitting above the screen when folded, they must have been accidently transposed sometime in the past!
Adjustment of the column was the next job as the steering wheel was too close to the dashboard for my short arms! An easy hit one minute job which entailed slackening off two clamps via four nuts saw the column adjusted up nearer to the driver, job done. I can now sit straight whilst driving the car, which makes a massive difference.
The post adjustment test drive around the bumpy lanes reminded me of my perceived skittishness of the car, that I had noted the first time I drove it. Time for a little experimentation – the car is running 175/70/13 modern tyres and when checked were pressurised to around 30psi. As the GT is a relatively light car and the tyres not an especially low profile, I dropped the pressure down to 25psi in each tyre. Result, much more confident road holding on bumpy bends. As the shocks are adjustable, I might soften up the rears a little sometime in the future, but will see how I go for now.
Onto the niceties now. The driver’s door glass had popped out of its channels, something John had warned me about. The door card on this side also didn’t fit properly with half the retaining clips not holding, allowing the it to bulge out.
With the door card off, another issue was revealed – no plastic on the inside of the door shells, meaning the hardboard door card backing was saturated! A quick inspection found that the passenger side was the same so the cards were whisked off inside to dry with fingers crossed that they wouldn’t warp.
Back to the window, I was able to undo the bottom fixing bolt on one of the runners and pop the glass back into place. However when winding back down, it jammed and popped out of the channel again. The issue seemed to be caused by the cross bar between the regulator rollers flexing and catching on a bolt. I’ve re-bent it to clear for now but I think the problem will re-occur so may need to find a way of reinforcing or keeping it straight.
Next I turned my attention to the door locks. John had said these had never worked throughout his ownership. The problem seemed to be mainly down to lack of lubrication, with a bit of release agent, a lot of exercising then a liberal application of oil, everything except the driver’s door external lock was working as it should. The link bar between the key lock and latch was missing so I’ll need to source a replacement.
I finished the task by applying copious quantities of Bilt Hamber Dynax wax protection before making up a pair of plastic protective sheets then refitting the now dry and thankfully still straight door cards along with new clips.
Finally I had a look at the accelerator pedal. Depending on what shoes I was wearing, it seemed very sticky at first push, causing a jerky throttle response. It appeared that the pedal was sitting too high in it's off/slack position. The stiction was caused by a funny angle of contact between it and my shoe! A quick tweak (1cm length reduction actually!) of the adjustable carb linkage soon sorted that.
I'm really starting to enjoy driving the car now, building on my confidence with it as the mileage increases.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 19th December 2012 9:57pm gmt
New Gearbox for the GT6
I’ve had a couple of good results recently, associated with sorting out my gearbox/overdrive issues. Firstly fellow club member Darren Sharp phoned me to say he was taking some stuff up to Mike Papworth and offered to courier mine up via the CT Pony Express! Big thanks to Darren.
Secondly, I did not expect Mike to be able to sort out the box etc much before Christmas as he had already told me he had a backlog of work, however another one of his jobs got unexpectedly delayed, so he was able to turn around my bits in record time.
I sent him one gearbox and three overdrive units, in the hope of getting a good overdrive box back. The box was the new Jigsaw Racing one that John had sold me with the car. One overdrive was the damaged unit from the original gearbox, another was a Spitfire unit of unknown condition that I had taken off a gearbox stashed in my shed and the third was a worn out MG overdrive donated by fellow CT member Floyd, hopefully good for spares.
There were more good results with the overdrives. Mike was able to save the original unit by de-burring the splines and fully overhauling it. The Spitfire unit was checked over, cleaned out and pronounced to be in good health so can be reunited with its gearbox. The MG unit was confirmed to be worn out but will still yield useful spares, possibly to fix the buggered one that I had temporarily fitted in the car.
Mick also inspected the new gearbox and after discussion re-assembled it with an uprated second gear and one of his special layshafts.
Darren came to visit last weekend so I made good use of his extra pair of hands, removing the temporary gearbox/overdrive and fitting the new. Apart from the lack of a working reversing light, all is good with the new unit. I’ll have look at that in a few weeks’ time when I will take the tunnel out again to carry out a precautionary rebuild on the clutch hydraulics.
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 28th November 2012 09:52am gmt
Goodbye Old Friend
Today I said goodbye to one of my best friends. We had been together for over 13 years, through good times and bad.
Life is a funny old thing. One moment it can be there, then next moment it's not.
It can be happy, it can be sad. It can be fun, it can be filled with pain. It can be peaceful, it can be burdened with pressure or stress. In reality it is a complex mixture of everything, isn't it.
RIP, Whizzer - sadly missed, always loved and never forgotten.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 21st November 2012 09:53am gmt
Quality Time in The Shed
Last weekend I should have been up north participating in the Kirkby Lonsdale Motor Club "Devil's Own Rally". Sadly with less than a week to go, we received notice that it had been cancelled due to lack of entries.
This event had clashed with the Dutch Nachtrit night rally in the Netherlands, so with arrangements already made not to be at home, we turned out efforts into planning a last minute dash there instead. This would not have been our usual relaxed long weekend away that is the norm for these events as I was due to finish the last of 3 nights on the Sat morning of the event, so it would have been a balst down to Folkstone, cross on the train, drive to the night rally, participate and come back.
However after a particularly busy first night shift, with the prospect of the other two being busy subsequently, I reluctantly made the decision to stay at home.
With both sets of plans for a weekend's enjoyable automotive activities in tatters, I decided to make the best of it and use the spare time to clear up the car shed. With 5 cars and an awful lot of bits and pieces sitting on the floor, there was barely enough room to swing a wheelbrace. So with tea, coffee and provisions all packed, I decamped to the shed and got to work.
Just before the RBRR, I had aquired a load of redundant heavy duty racking from work. I decided the way forwards would be to erect it and fill it one bay at a time, clearing each space as I progressed.
So with cars and spares all shuffled around, I soon had the first bay up.
Sunday proved to be cold and wet, so unable to pile stuff up outside I refilled and bled the brakes on the PI, which had managed to lose all it's fluid whilst being laid up, then heading back to the relative warmth of home for the rest of the day.
Monday was brighter, so it was back to the shed. With bits and pieces moved out into the yard, the next bay was tackled. I had to call assistance in the form of Mike Helm (thanks Mike!) for the next uprights, although only a metre higher than the others, they felt significantly heavier and a lot harder to manoeuvre.
Two pairs of hands made short work, with two more bays up on the opposite side of the shed, Mike left me to reorganise all stuff at floor level. By the end of the day, the majority of this was done, leaving me enough space to walk around most of the cars, and most importantly access to the lift clear.
A very productive weekend I think!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 11th November 2012 10:24pm gmt
Bugger! Another Overdrive Bites the Dust
The GT6 had it's first commuting trip last Tuesday. Having stuck my head out of the door at 6am to check for ice (none) then decision was made to put her to work. At 6:30am I loaded up and drove out of the gate, however much to my annoyance 0.5 mile down the road, the inside of the windscreen froze up. Not impressed! Having scraped and wiped, this happened a further four times until I had put a few miles on the car and the cabin began to warm up. Definitely not a shorts day, brrrr! Although the heater got nice and hot, the blower fan seemed rather pitiful with barely a light draft hitting the screen. Another job on the snagging list, and potentially a good candidate for an upgrade!
As the car reached temperature, she began to run like a dog. A quick roadside stop found that the outer sheath of the choke cable had jumped out of it's rest on the side of the carb, causing the chokes to remain on even though the knob in the cabin was pushed fully in. A quick tweak and she was all running fine again and the rest of the journey was rather good fun!
I have a reserved spot in the works car park, a nice wide bay near to the site gate, on a slight slope. When reversing up the slope I was surprised to experience a little of what felt like clutch slippage. I thought no more of it, had lots of favourable comments from colleagues who had passed by and liked the car, and got on with the duties of the day!
The ambient had warmed up a fair bit by home time and I had an excellent blast back during the 22 mile journey, starting to get to know the car a bit by then. But disaster struck upon my arrival home, upon selecting reverse to back into the driveway, I found all drive to be lost. Re-selecting forward gears turned out not to be a problem so I drove around the block and parked up forwards at home instead.
My suspicion is that the overdrive had been partly or maybe even fully engaged (even though not wired up electrically), becoming terminally damaged during reversing manoeuvres. I had noticed a judder from the transmission a couple of times when driving spiritedly, with hindsight, this may have been the overdrive trying to decide whether it should be in or out. it was always going to be a risk fitting an unknown box, but as the original unit was already out of the car along with tunnel etc when I bought it, it didn't take long. At least I know the condition now!
So now it's back to Plan A, the new gearbox and selection of tired overdrives are going up to Mike Papworth this weekend, for remedial action.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 08th November 2012 10:40pm gmt
More Good Progress and a Proper Drive on the Road
First job - investigate the misfire; With electronic ignition, new quality plug leads, new carbs etc. I had thought this would be a tricky one to pin down. As it happened, I spotted the cause pretty quickly - with distributor cap removed, there was evidence of burning/arcing on the centre carbon brush and on the rotor arm spring contact that bears on it. A quick brush up with a nylon cleaning stick removed the soot and revealed no obvious longer lasting effects so I elected to replace and test run again. The result - engine revved really well, pulling even stronger over the higher rev ranges with no misfire. The rotor arm (County brand I think) did however look flimsy and perhaps poorly manufactured. I know that better quality items have been remade for the Lucas dizzys but need to look into whether anything is available for a Delco.
Onto the brakes; It was pretty obvious that somehow air had got into the system, so it was off with the wheels to check the pad/shoe linings and to look for caliper/cylinder leaks. All looked good so having enlisted help from Ivi, each wheel was beld in turn. Lots of bubbles in the pot indicated my diagnosis of air was correct. Small chassis Triumphs can be a little tricky to bleed sometimes, the best way to ensure all air is expelled from the rear cylinders is to disconnect the handbrake cables and wind the adjusters up tight before bleeding. Road test number two was another success with the brake pedal feeling greatly improved, although still not as firm as I would have liked. As the system is filled with silicon fluid it may be just down to that, however the actual stopping force is not a sharp as I know it could be, so a little more work may yet be needed. For now I will drive the car for a bit and see if it improves with use.
So with with a bit more confidence in my ability to stop when required, I took the car out for a good blat this afternoon, doing a round trip of approx 20 miles around the lanes. Even though I was a little more restrained than usual, the roads were wet and I'm not fully used to the car yet, it was seriously good fun. You can't beat looking down that bonnet bulge and listening to the growl of "the six". Plenty of head turning in the villages too!
So I'm now starting to formulate some impressions of the car. When pushed she seems a bit too jittery on the bumps. This may be just down to the standard fixed rear spring, or possibly the suspension settings are adjusted a touch too hard. I may try them off slightly, if that doesn't work then a swing spring conversion could be on the cards.
I'm also not totally comfortable with the driving position. The right hand offset pedals I will get used to (the Herald & Spit Mk3 are the same), however the steering wheel is too far away and I felt that I was sitting too high. Strange, as in a GT6 you sit pretty much with your bum on the floor. I'm not especially tall either! The column is adjustable (with the help of a spanner) so this should not be a problem, however the seat looked pretty much as it should do, with no possibility of sitting lower. After a bit of pondering I realised that the sunvisor brackets kinked down 4cm lower than the top of the windscreen, therefore the sunvisors even when folded up part obscured the top of the screen. I can't really do without them but will pop the drivers one off just to see if it does make a difference or not.
Finally a few more things to add to the snagging list - the fuel gauge doesn't seem to work, the drivers door glass has popped out of it's channels and the passenger door catch doesn't always seem to latch closed. All part of the joys of driving an old car!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 04th November 2012 10:00pm gmt
Gearbox in and closer to the road
Been working on the GT6 on and off in my spare time since my last post. With a bit of help from Darren, a gearbox is now back in. I had found this unit buried in my gearbox stash - had no idea it was there, nor what condition it was in! It's a Vitesse box with a D-Type Overdrive. I was looking for a non overdrive box I thought I had got!
With the box bolted in, we went for the inaugural test drive only to find we could not select 3rd & 4th. So back home, gear selector and remote housings were swapped but but the problem remained. With the remote back off again, all gears could be selected with a screwdriver, with the (different) remote back on, no 3rd & 4th!! Eventually we realised that the cam lever on the front of the remote linkage was jamming on the overdrive inhibit switch that it was supposed to be operating! Removal of switch and mounting bracket gave us third and fourth back again. I'm still puzzling over the Overdrive electrical wiring (extra relays and non standard cable colours have been used in the past) so I'll worry about that another day.
The next road test revealed some good and bad points. The car spluttered and misfired over 3k rpm and the brakes were atrocious with several pedal pumps required to apply stopping power. However she steered and cornered really well, feeling firm, precise and well planted - an obvious good testament to some of the work that previous owner John had done.
So brakes next I think.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 04th November 2012 08:40am gmt
A New Years Resolution Gone With a Bang!
Well, I 've not done too well with any of them to date actually!
1) Mend my Triumphs - due to the pressures of fatherhood, babysitting and ongoing house projectst - I've just about managed to keep the ones on the road going!
2) Sell some of my modern cars - with an S2000, an Impreza, an Audi TT and a BMW in the household, at least two need to go - still have all four!
3) Don't buy any more - massive fail!
Back in July, fellow CT member John Martin aka "GT6John" posted on facebook that he was considering selling his car. His car was (in my opinion anyway) one of the sexiest Triumphs ever produced - a 45 year old GT6 Mk1. Well we exchanged a few messages and texts then subsequently I took the Stag for a blat down to West Sussex to have a look. I wasn't disappointed so a deal was done and Triumph number 14 joined the fleet!
A few days ago I collected the car with the help of good friend Mike Helm, shown above leaving West Sussex Restorations where it was stored. We had a gentle drive home with the trailer, stopping at a nice pub for a sausage-fest lunch at the The Nevill Crest and Gun , Eridge Green near Tunbridge Wells - highly recommended!
Back at home the car was swiftly unloaded.
And now sits resplendantly on my drive!
John being the thoroughly decent chap his is, went to great lengths to tell me the history and all the little troubles with the car, the biggest issue being the gearbox.
This had failed catestrophically when John was driving along at around 40mph, locking the rear wheels up before grinding (literally!) to a halt. John had procured a new box from Jigsaw Racing but found that the overdrive had also been damaged and would not slip back on. At this point he decided enough was enough and I became the new proud owner of the car.
So I have a gearbox/overdrive to sort out. Another friend from the Club, Floyd, kindly let me have an old MG overdrive with knackered clutches so all the bits will be going into a big box for delivery to Triumph gearbox guru Mike Papworth! Hopefully I will soon have a decent unit to fit back in.
I can't wait!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 29th October 2012 8:49pm gmt
Poor Quality Parts But Another MOT In The Bag
For the umpteenth time this year, I took my finger off the ball and missed the expiry of another MOT. This time was the Sprint. The only trouble is that I knew it needed work to pass - namely replacement of the upper steering coupling. I was rather slow to getting around to order and when I finally remember to ring around suppliers, found that it was out of stock. A couple of weeks later I finally managed to purchase one, it duly turned up in the post and was fitted. All well and good until the test drive - for every rotation of the steering wheel, a stiff spot could be felt.
With the car jacked up, closer investigation revealed that under articualtion, as is the norm when fitted to a Dolomite, at one point the two halves of the universal joint rubbed.
So it was out with the file to round off the corners on the lower bit until the shaft turned freely.
Once this was sorted, it was off the to the MOT bay, returning some time later with a pass certificate in hand. Good for another year! However the jobs list on the car is now mounting up. I have some paintwork to touch up - a lot of the new paint I put onto the front of the car two years ago is peeling off, not sure why - but it's getting too cold to spray now so I think that the paintbrush will have to come out. Also the timing chain has started to rattle a bit, I think that it is still original so with over 100k miles on the clock is well due to be replaced.
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 26th October 2012 8:23pm gmt
A year ago, following the birth of my daughter, I had decided not to put an entry in for the 2012 RBRR, mainly due to not knowing what lay ahead on the road of parenthood and the potential lack of time to prepare a car (those who know me will remember that I spend at least a solid month in the garage!).
As the year past by, I toyed with the idea of offering my services as a co-driver but eventually changed my plan to volunteering to marshall. One factor that helped me to this was finding out that my good Scottish friend Graham (the previous owner of my Herald Rally car) had been rather unwell for some time. So a plan was hatched - up to Scotland we would go to visit Graham and marshall some of the more far flung stops on the RBRR!
Although I had desparately wanted to do the trip in the Stag, as I had not found time to prepare the car and as it was to be a family affair with Ivi & Miya in tow, I opted for the comfort of the BMW. This car just eats up the miles without drama and being diesel is pretty economical too.
We had decided to split the journey to Graham's house in Fife with an overnight stop, as we were unsure how well Miya would travel over a long time period. So having despatched her to nursery on the Thursday morning, we tidied up, packed up and departed at around mid-day, picking her up again on the way. I had even found time to wash the car!
The first leg was up the A1 to Scotch Corner, then off to a B&B just up the A66. After a pitstop somewhere north of Sawtry on the A1, we pressed on and had a pretty clear run. Our final destination that night was a place called Barnard Castle, just a short distance west along the A66. Just before arriving in the town, we passed the haunting remains of Egglestone Abbey.
Our accomodation for the night was at a pub in the town centre called The Old Well Inn - and very nice it was too. Ivi was dead chuffed to be surprised by a 4 poster bed and a jacuzzi in the en-suite and I was rather pleased to see a nice selection of real ales at the bar!
The following morning, suitably refreshed, we commenced the second leg to Scotland. I had been looking forwards to this drive as the chosen route was up the A68, a fantastic driving road. Not only was this part of the RBRR route but I had actually never driven this section on the RBRR before so was looking forwards to doing it in the daylight. I was not disappointed!
We arrived at Graham's house mid afternoon - or to be more accurate we arrived at where the satnav thought it was, based on the postcode. Nothing around but a field of sheep - uh oh! After a quick phone call for directions and a reality check, we turned around, drove back 50yds and turned into what looked like an overgrown field gateway. This turned into a narrow track up the side of a railway line. A short while later we crossed the line via an old stone bridge that looked just like the one from "The Railway Children" then followed the track ascending steeply up the hillside. Next we came to a near 180 degree hairpin that would not been out of place on the Stelvio and continued up the hillside eventually reaching Graham's house. Wow I'd love a driveway like that!
Graham and his partner Mandy welcomed us in, and we soon met their houseful of pets. Miya loved the dogs and spent most of the time following them around (and vice versa!) But with a job to do, soon it was time for Graham and I to leave as we were to drive up to The Conan Bridge Hotel to prepare for our RBRR marshalling. On route we stopped off at Pitlochry where Graham knew of a fantastic Fish and Chip Shop. I wasn't disappointed, getting a massive portion of the nicest fish & chips I had eaten in ages, although the owner did raise an eyebrow when I asked for cod, as haddock seemed to be the preferred dish there! I have never seen such an extensive menu before either, including salmon and chips, haggis and chips, spam and chips to name but a few.
Suitably refreshed we continued out drive up the A9 to the hotel, again back on the RBRR route. I was a little surprised when the ice warning sounded in the car as the outside temperature had dropped to 3 degrees - brrrr! At the hotel, with an early start looming we had a swift beverage and bedded down for the night.
At 4am the unwelcome sound of the alarm clock was heard and soon we were driving the 15 minute journey to our first RBRR marshall point at Skiach Services, near to Dingwall. Arriving at 0445hrs, we were surprised to see more than 10 Triumphs in the car park already as the control was not due to open until 0521hrs! Another club member, Glenn turned up to help, hving driven a couple of hours through the night to be there. It wasn't long before all the particpants started streaming in, some looking worse for wear than others! For a period of nearly an hour, the forecourt was filled with nothing but the fantastic sight of Truimphs, driving in, refulling and driving off again into the night.
Soon it was time to close the Control, with only 4 cars having not passed through. Then it was back to the hotel for a slap up Scottish breakfast then back to bed for a couple of hours kip before getting ready for our second marshall stint of the day at the Hotel itself.
At 1130hrs the first couple of cars turned up, Glenn along with his friend Dan arrived too and took charge of organising the parking as space was at a premium. Soon the majority of participants had arrived some 30 mins or more before control official opening time and heartily tucked into burgers, sausage butties and sandwiches kindly provided by the Hotel.
With a bit of time to relax, it was great to talk to friends old and new and listen to some of the tales of driving experiences and mechanical malady. It was particularly nice to see the 4 missing cars from the Skiach Control pass through. But soon it was time for everyone to press on to their next control stop at Stirling. So we packed up and headed back to Grahams, passing a lone Vitesse on the A9 as we went.
Back at Graham's we bored the ladies with our tales of a good time , relaxed for a bit before going out for a fantastic meal together in a local pub. Miya enjoyed toddling around socialising with the locals and dancing to the live music that was playing. Another great night had by all.
The next morning we after a frenzied and unsuccesufull hour on the phone and internet trying to but Glastonbury Festival tickets, we chilled out on the farm and slowly packed up. Miya went to say goodbye to the ducks then we said our goodbyes and headed off to St Andrews to drive a bit of the International Auto Ecosse route that we had missed out back in June.
Then it was time to do the long slog down to Manchester, calling in at Ivi's sister for an overnight stop before picking up the final leg of the journey down south and back to home on Monday. Over 1300 miles travelled with the Beemer doing 42mpg overall!
What a great weekend and thanks Graham and Mandy for making it that bit more special!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 21st October 2012 2:29pm gmt
The Only Way is Essex "1 - 2"
As the title implies, a highly and enjoyable weekend has just passed!
After last Friday's troubles I'm pleased that the Sprint behaved impeccably. With a full tank of Shell V-Power, we stormed up the A1 then cross country via Harrogate, Skipton etc. to Morecombe. All in all a pretty good journey. Having departed from a mini heatwave back home in the south, Darren was pretty amused when I turned up on his door in wind and rain, shivering in shorts and flip-flops a few hours later!
With surprise sunshine and time on our hands Saturday, we turned our attention to Darren's TR7. This poor old car had seen better days and had not only sunk on flat tyres into the tarmac but was rapidly crumbling in the hostile salt air. Well past restoration, it's fate is sealed, but it had a fair few fancy bits left on it that needed to be recovered before it's final trip out of the drive. It was also fairly and squarely in the way of progress for Darren's planned new garage, so before anything else, it had to move.
With a couple of trolley jacks and four wheel dollies, this actually proved easier than we thought, so with time in hand we commenced the strip down.
After a successful day's stripping, we were up bright and early on a damp Sunday moring, we drove the hour or so to the Old Stone Trough near Barnoldswick for the very first "Raider's Triumph" event. This was a multi-venue autotest, split between two locations approx 20 miles apart. The stages started simple and became more complex as the day progressed. Thankfully the weather also dried up, so with confidence building our times steadily improved. That was until on Test 7 when during a perfectly executed and singularly spectacular hand brake turn (photo anyone?), I pulled a bit to hard, with the handbrake lever reaching the top of it's ratchet and jamming on. With the car now embarrassingly at a standstill, it took several frenzied two handed attempts to get it off. Result 15 secs slower than we should have been!
Annoyingly I did exactly the same again on the final test, this time I managed to release it a bit quicker and whilst turning the air blue, caught a dose of red mist and stonked it to the finish at a fair old rate. Result this time, a good quick time, on pace with everyone else.
Given that we started a little off pace and had the two handbrake incidents (earning me the new nickname of "Handbrake Bishop"), we were somewhat surprised to end up in 2nd place. With the unstoppable Mike Helm coming in some 30 seconds ahead of me, it was a 1, 2 victory for Essex!
A brilliant day was finished perfectly with a cracking drive back to Morecombe via the lanes cross country through the stunning scenery of the Trough of Bowland. The Sprint was really on song in the cooler late afternoon air. No economy run this time!
Jolly good show!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 04th September 2012 10:11pm gmt
I Hope Trouble Will Not Come In Three's
I've been preparing the Sprint to drive up to Lancashire this week to participate in the "Raider's Triumph" event. This will be a multi venue autotest along similar lines to the Little Devils.
I'd changed the engine oil & filter, checked and topped up all the other levels and generally given the car a good look over and clean up.
Last job before departure today was to pop down the local tyre bay and get the front wheels balanced. I usually do it myself but due to my stock of previously used steel wheel balance weights, I'm fed up with them dropping off half way up the motorway! I've bit the bullet and ordered an assortment of new, but that's for another time.
So all good untill the fitter hand tightened the wheel nuts - SNAP! Result - one broken stud, bugger!
When I bought the Trackerjack front brake conversion a couple of years ago, they came with the smaller 5/16 unf studs, something I had always meant to change. This job now jumped to the top of the priority task list!
Back at home, I quickly located the old hubs, knocked the studs out and jacked the car up. t\his is where it all went wrong again - distracted by the dustmen, I took my eyes off the jack which promptly slipped and crushed the front valance - doh!
Roughly pulled out for now, the radiator will have to come out to do it properly :-(
Oh well fingers crossed!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 31st August 2012 2:20pm gmt
A Cracking Modern and A Little Bit Of Help
With 13 Triumphs and 4 "moderns" in our household, a vehicular clearout was well overdue! I'd been pondering for some time where to start, and have finally decided that my beloved Scooby (Subaru) will be the first to go.
This car is a little bit special, being an Impreza P1, the only UK 2 door model. It had been massaged by Prodrive, sporting aluminium wishbones & bonnet, a great big turbo and better brakes. I've owned the car for 10 years now, with 300bhp and a 0-60 of around 5 seconds it is by far the quickest thing I have ever driven!
It's in pretty good shape but had inevitably picked up a few supermarket type dings and bumper scrapes over time - and a nasty crack in the front bumper where I hit a metal box that I had left laying around, when driving into the garage.
The crack had to be repaired before offering the car for sale, so I booked in a slot at the paintshop and set about removing the bumper. As with most modern cars, half the front had to come off with it.
Ably assisted by my 14 month old daughter, Miya. (Good job her Mum doesn't read this!)
With a bit of help from my good friend Mike Helm, the car and bumper were duly delivered to the paintshop, I look forwards to bringing back an immaculate P1 again!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 01st August 2012 9:37pm gmt
Not Done Much For A While
Since MOT'ing the Herald, not a lot has happened. I was due to drive it in a Delado Rallysprint a few weeks back, but having spent half a day driving, checking and prepping the car, it annoyingly failed to start when the time to leave came! The fault turned out to be a failed contact in the engine cut-off switch, easily sorted but not in time to start the rally.
A couple of weeks later, I drove the Sprint (with whole family in tow!) in the International Auto Ecosse, taking in some fabulous Scottish scenery, interspersed with some competitive autotests. It was a great social weekend with lots of other friendly Triumph crews taking part, however with my one year old daughter with us, we had to cut the route on occasions to keep up the pace!
Finally, as we were "local" at the time visiting my sister, we dropped in at the Club Triumph National Day at Hollycombe Steam Museum. What an absolutely fascinating place, can highly recommend a visit to everyone!
Ivi has now gone back to work full time, which has meant that my babysitting duties have become more frequent, so little time has been spent in the garage recently. I am also in the throes of starting another couple of major house projects, so these will no doubt sap even more of my time.
However I was pleased to be able to drop in on Sam, another club member yesterday and collect a Herald fibreglass rear valance that he had been keeping for me for some time. It has a little bit of damage, probably caused by reversing into a towbar or something, but this will be easily repaired.
With a bout of enthusiasm, I attacked it tonight with a sanding disc, removing the dirt and gel coat from the damaged area.
And the exposed damage from behind.
I then laid a couple of layers of fibreglass matting from behind, soaking well with resin. I shall let this go hard overnight, then probably do the same on the outside. Then with a skim of filler and a rub down it should be good to go!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 28th June 2012 7:56pm gmt
In between garage re-arrangement I dragged the Herald out from the lockup where it spent the winter slumbering, as the MOT only had a couple of weeks left to run. After a quick wash, a cursory look around found nothing obviously amiss apart from a blocked screen washer jet and and over-rich fuel mixture - both easily sorted.
The 15 mile drive to the MOT bay was uneventful, apart from being reminded of the raucous squeal from the brakes. With new Mintex 1144 pads and discs, this had been present since fitting - I had hoped it would disappear as they bed in. Obviously not!
Happily the car passed, then only minor fault being found was the start of a little play in the n/s track rod end.
Once back at home I decided to sort the brakes once and for all, so off came the wheels and out came the pads. As can be seen in the photo, they had come from the box with what looked like soft anti-squeal backing. Because of this, I had left the ususal Triumph stainless steel shims out.
Despite having not done many miles, these backings looked to have fared poorly so I decided to peel one off to see why.
I was quite surprised to find the moulding holes for the lining not to be filled flush, in fact the worst was a good 2-3mm deep.
The Triumph shims can be seen above. As an experiment, I decided to remove the sticky backing from one pair of pads only before refitting them with the original shims. For the other side I left the sticky backing in situ but again refitted with the stainless steel shims.
A quick trip around the block showed the squeal to have completely gone. We'll see how they perform over time now!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 17th May 2012 10:03pm gmt
Easier Than Expected!
Colin had arranged to come over on Saturday to assist with the bench move. Bright and early, I awoke to find the sun streaming through the curtains. Oh happy days!
It wasn't long before I was outside, ready to move the last of the stuff. Annoyingly both the Herald and Spitfire declined to start, so after a bit of huffing and puffing I pushed them both out onto the drive.
By 10 o'clock, I had dismantled the shelving that had been sitting on the bench, emptied the cupboards and removed the drawers, so all was ready.
With no sign yet of Colin (he'd decided to have a lay in!), I turned my attention to the other garage. Luckily the Stag started ok, once clear I was able to drag out the now empty racking. A quick poke proved the new concrete to be nice and hard, ready for the big lump to be dropped on top of it!
Once Colin had arrived, we dragged the bench out of it's position and spun it round ready for movement out of the garage. To move it out, we used the old Roman roller trick, sliding it along on 4 short scaffold poles. This worked even better than I had hoped, even doing two 90 degree turns on the gravel driveway.
It wasn't long before the bench was safely parked in it's new resting place in the new garage. I can't wait to start using it in anger. I think I'll even give it a fresh coat of paint, but first all the stuff that had been moved or disturbed needs to be sorted out and put back!
As the bench move had taken significantly less time than expected, We decided to jump ahead of ourselves and stripped out the opposite corner of the old garage, moving the remaining bench over to the right. This will enable me to knock a doorway through the wall to provide access between the two garages.
Oh where did I get all that stuff! Next job is to sort it all out and file it in some sort of order - not looking forwards to that task!
posted by mikeybhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org 13th May 2012 9:13pm gmt
And The Weather Was Kind Today
Back from work and off to the local Wickes bright and early this morning to collect some ballast and cement dust.
I'd calculated the volume needing to be filled as 0.2 cubic metres, this equating to approx 12 bags of ballast and 2 bags of cement dust for a 6:1 mix. How I came home with 10 bags of ballast and 5 bags of dust is anybodies guess - doh!
With the sun shining, the Stag came out, the last few bits at pieces shifted to the other side of the garage and the mixing began.
It wasn't long before this . . . . . .
Looked like this!
Quite pleased with the result, and all done, cleared, tidied and put away before the next band of rain came along. Just hope it goes hard enough in time for Saturday, which is bench moving day!
posted by mikeybhttp://email@example.com 10th May 2012 6:15pm gmt
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