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Andy Cook

Cookie's Blog

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Internationl GT6 weekend, Cookie's 5 countries run

D Day Beach Tour in the GT6

GT6 Photoshoot

Nice run out in the GT6 to Incarnation Brighton

Vibrating Brakes

RBRR report

Successfully Finished

Cornish Coast

End to End

Butty time

Butty time

3rd Nation of the weekend

Southward bound

Pie time

Up the top and on the way back down

Past Inverness

1st control

Nearly time

And the there were 2

Ready to Go - Britain here we come

Being fair to the GT6

Getting the "Flying Log" ready for the RBRR

Sacrificial clamps!!!

A busy few weeks and a set back for the "Flying Log"

Vibrating Propshaft and replacement woes

Internationl GT6 weekend, Cookie's 5 countries run

I had a very enjoyable trip into mainland Europe with the GT6 with a visit to the International GT6 weekend at Bad Vilbel, near Frankfurt.

I decided to make a bit of a tour around my visit with overnight stops in Dover, Aachen (Germany), Kerkrade (Holland) and Ashford to break the journey up into an enjoyable break.
The GT6 ran faultlessly covering 1125 miles, although I made a check under the bonnet each day the only attention being required during the whole trip topping up the washer bottle and fuel tank. A bit of preparation with a full service, check over and attention to a few bits and pieces before the journey really paid off.

On the way through I called in on a Triumph friend at his place of work near Brussels. Wim de Pus works at a college where they run automotive courses and it was great to see a number of classics being worked on in the workshop there. I also introduced the GT6 to Wim’s Spitfire, known as “ The Fox”, Wim does a serious amount of mileage in his car having covered 123,000km in the 4 years he has owned it.

My GT6 meets "The Fox"

The International GT6 weekend 
The GT6 weekend is independently run by enthusiasts rather than being associated with any individual Triumph club and moves location each time with new local organisers putting on the event. It was in it’s 4th year this year.
This year the main organisers were Harald and Natascha Hummel although they were ably assisted by many of the other local German GT6 owners.
This year the event centred on a Hotel in Bad Vilbel just outside Frankfurt and attracted GT6 owners and their cars from Germany, Holland, Switzerland and the UK. I’ve realised now that I didn’t actually count up the cars but there were approximately 20’ish GT6s in attendance. When you consider there are a lot more GT6s located in the UK and we got around 70 at the TriumFest 50th anniversary, 20 GT6s at a mainland European gathering is quite an impressive number.

GT6s getting ready for a Trip out at the City Hotel Bad Vilbel our base for the weekend.

On the continent, convertible GT6s (AKA Gitfires, Spit6s etc) are pretty popular and I reckon around a 3rd of the GT6s at the meet were soft top conversions including Harald’s one.

Harald's GT6 Convertible

Most people arrived on the Friday and after a meet and greet in the Hotel Bar we went off to a nearby Restaurant situated in a nearby park overlooking Frankfurt City for a meal.

Some of the cars lined up in the restaurant car park.
On the Saturday we had a drive out during the day, with stop offs at a campsite restaurant for lunch and a tour of “Burg Ronneburg” Castle.

Various GT6s on Saturday getting ready for the drive out.

Cars parked up at the lunch stop

GT6s in convoy in the German countryside
GT6s at Castle Ronneburg

After the convoy back there was a dinner arranged in the Hotel Restaurant. During the meal an announcement was made regarding next year’s event, which will be held at Großenkneten near Bremen in Germany between 5th and 7th October.
On the Sunday we had a trip into Frankfurt to a classic and sportscar meet up at “Klassikststadt”. Translated Klassikststadt = Classic City, it’s an old factory complex converted into high end classic and sports car dealers, classic restorers and servicing, and high value classic and sports car storage. once a month they have a classic and sports car meet which is rather impressive...

Parking Spaces had been reserved for our GT6s although I must admit the GT6s looked a bit downmarket compared to some of the exotic machinery there. I got told off by one of the more exclusive dealerships for taking photos as there was a no photography sign, the cheapest car I saw in that particular dealer was a Triumph Italia at €120,000, most over the other cars for sale there were €200,000 upwards. There were a few less valuable cars for sale in other dealerships in the complex but nothing as cheap as our Triumphs! Some of the cars in storage in glass partitioned walls were pretty rare. Some of the repair work going on looked good to, like a modern Lamborghini having an Engine change! Outside there were loads of classics too look around, some live music, a bar and food outlets. A really nice way to end the GT6 meet.

GT6s lined up at Klassikstadt

Panoramic view across the centre of the Klassikstadt complex
Inside the Klassikstadt complex

Some of the other visiting Triumphs

This rear engined BMW 700 convertible shares a lot of the looks of a Triumph Herald, not surprising actually as it is also  Michelotti designed.
A few of the other non Triumph Classics at Klassikstadt

After Klassikstadt most of the GT6 owners went on their way, there were a few of us (including Mike and Sue from TSSC Essex) at the Hotel for one more evening and we met up with Harald and Natasha and a Swiss couple for a meal in a Pizzeria that evening.
Part of my journey back took me along the Rhine.

My GT6 parked up by the Rhine at Lahnstein.

That evening I stayed at Rolduc Abbey in Holland, this is normally the finish for the Club Triumph 10 countries run and is a nice place to stay so I had booked in there.

My GT6 at Rolduc Abbey
On the way back home I stayed in Ashford which was very close to where I purchased my GT6 from just under 30 years ago so I thought I’d swing by to take a picture.
I bought my car at the Lenham Motor Company in Harrietsham, Kent  back in March 1988. The more observant of you will recognise the company name as they used to manufacture GT fast back hardtops and bonnets for Triumph Spitfires back in the day.
At the time I paid the princely sum of £1700 for the car having knocked the dealer down from £1795. It’s increased in value somewhat since then by about 650%, I’ve just checked on line and inflation over that same period is a mere 150% so not a bad investment as long as you ignore the thousands of pounds I’ve spent on the car over the years!

Original Lenham Motor Comapny advert from 1988, my car is at the bottom of the list

At The Lenham Motor Company the day I bought the car in 1988

At The Lenham Motor Company the day I bought the car in 1988

Back to the future, visiting Lenham Sports Cars October 2017

posted by Andy Cook 16th October 2017 00:05am gmt

D Day Beach Tour in the GT6

Just got back from a very enjoyable D Day beaches tour with my son James in the GT6. We certainly packed a lot in during the 6 days we had over in Normandy, here's our itinerary.

Thursday 20/8/17

Merville Gun Battery Museum

Pegasus Bridge

We then had lunch at Cafe Gondree, the first building to be liberated run by Arlette Gondree, who was a young girl present when the Brits arrived.

Pegasus Bridge Memorial Museum

Friday 21/8/17

Azeville Battery Museum

Sainte Mere Eglise

Airborne Museum

Utah Beach

Utah Beach Museum

Saturday 22/8/17

Pointe Du Hoc

Omaha Beach Memorial

Overlord Museum Omaha Beach

Normandy American Cemetery Colleville Su Mer

Sunday 23/8/17

War Journalists Memorial Bayeux
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery Bayeux

Museum of the Battle of Normandy Bayeux

Bayeux City

D Day Museum Arromanches

Mullberry Harbour remains Arromanches

Monday 24/8/17

Gold Beach

Juno Beach

Juno Beach French Memorial

Juno Beach Centre and Canadian Memorial

Longues Sur Mer Battery

Museum of Undersea Wrecks Port En Bessin

Tuesday 25/8/17

Radar Museum Douvres-la-Delivrande

Sword Beach Memorial Lion Sur Mer

Sword Beach Piper Bill Millin Statue Lion Sur Mer

Sword Beach Montgomery Statue Lion Sur Mer

Atlantic Wall Museum le Grand Bunker Ouistreham

French Commando Museum Ouistreham

We stayed at a great B and B run by Adrian Cox who owns 2 GT6 MK1s under restoration. Normandy Beach B and B is a converted farm in the centre of Arromanches. Adrian specialises in accommodation for Bikers and Classic Car owners, he is a real petrol head and also owns a Ferret APC, bikes and is restoring a Split Screen Moggy Minor convertible for his wife Karen. As well as lovely rooms in the converted Barn (above his workshop), he lay's on free beer, wine and Cidre for his guests and does a great full English breakfast every morning. There is secure parking within a gated courtyard too to keep classics and bikes safe.
One of Adrian's GT6s

posted by Andy Cook 26th July 2017 6:36pm gmt

GT6 Photoshoot

I went to the “InCarNation” car show organised by the Ace Café in Brighton back in April and my GT6 had a note left on the windscreen asking me to get in touch from a Classic car media company called “The Toms”. Out of intrigue I gave them a call and turns out they rather liked my car and wanted to do an article on it for their on line car magazine. Having looked at previous articles on their site the photo’s looked really great so I thought what have I got to lose so I’m looking forward to seeing the results plus I'll get high resolution copies of the pictures. Lots of static and driving pictures were taken plus a bit of an interview about me and my car. The article  be on line within a couple of weeks at http://tomeditorial.ukand will also will be on TCL (the classic life) on

My GT6 getting the photo treatment

posted by Andy Cook 29th May 2017 11:39am gmt

Nice run out in the GT6 to Incarnation Brighton

Had a nice couple of day's away in the GT6. Clive Senior had invited me along to put my GT6 on the Club Triumph Stand he had arranged at Incarnation which is an annual event organised by the Ace Cafe at Madeira Drive (the sea front) in Brighton.

It's mainly a modified car show with lots of boy racer modified, lowered, noisy ICE stuff but there are a few classics and sports cars as well.

As it was an early start on the Saturday I decided to stay over part way there in a travelodge in Littlehampton. The run down on Friday afternoon was great in the GT6, I used the Hogs Back, the A283 through Petworth and the back roads through Arundel, lots of fast stretched with sweeping bends and straights to overtake, a real GT6 suitable road!

Got to the show nice and early on Saturday and then went for a big Wetherspoons Brekkie with the Sussex Club Triumph Lot.

The GT6 from above at the show

The GT6 parked up on the Club Triumph Stand

A Few Pictures of the Club Triumph Stand

A few of the other Classic and Sports Cars, no pics of the modern boy racer cars as they don't do much for me!

After the show it was back to Clive and Gill's for a nice bit of scoff followed by a spirited drive home along the same route. The GT6 ran well and didn't miss a beat.

posted by Andy Cook 22nd April 2017 11:09pm gmt

Vibrating Brakes

I had an issue develop on the GT6 last week, I was getting a vibration coming from the nearside rear of the car on braking.

I suspected it maybe a brake drum that had worn oval.  On investigation I jacked up that corning of the car and partially applied the handbrake. On rotating the wheel I found that the brake was dragging for part of a revolution and free for part, confirming an issue with the drum.

I ordered a couple of new drums and as luck would have it already had a set of New Old Stock Lockheed Shoes in my parts stash.
New Drums

New Old Stock Brake Shoes from my parts stash

I spent yesterday evening changing out the drums and shoes, after a quick test drive I confirmed that the vibration has gone away. Good news and a fairly quick fix although not cheap, a pair of drums was over £80 with carriage, last time I bought a par it was about 20 quid, however, thinking about it that was over 25 years ago!

posted by Andy Cook 20th April 2017 3:14pm gmt

RBRR report

Round Britain Run Successfully Completed

Feeling good! Team Flying Log successfully completed the Round Britain Reliability Run on Sunday and our Sponsorship total for Guide Dogs is just short of £600. I am going to apply for a Sponsorship match from my employer Vodafone, if granted they will match the first £350 of money raised which will bring the total pretty close to the £1,000 that I gave us as a total.

Report on the Run

The car was prepared and ready to go on the Thursday night, then I got some bad news, Mark was not at all well and had been sick on Thursday evening. Come the morning of the run he still wasn’t well and his wife Sam and little boy Charlie were also going down with the “bug”. There was really no choice but for him to pull out of the team. This left Glynn and myself as a team of two, not ideal but doable, this would mean more driving, less sleep and having to do without a navigator at times when the other was sleeping.

Glynn came down by train and I met him in Reading where we had a slap up brunch breakfast in the local Weatherspoons before driving up to the start at Knebworth. When we arrived the first few cars were already there despite the place only having opened up about 10 minutes before. After our arrival other teams continued to arrive throughout the afternoon, it really was quite a sight with over 130 Triumphs lined up ready for the off.

Glynn and I ready for the Off

The Cars lining up for the Start at Knebworth

As well as Glynn and me as drivers we also had some passengers, 3 cuddly Guide Dogs from the charity which we named Bill, Bill and Bill, in memory of our old American friend Bill Goodwin who passed away last year. Bill regularly came over from the US and drove in the run, he even kept a Triumph in the UK for such events, a real enthusiast and character who is missed. As is Carol Boyland another old friend who was a regular at Club events and as per last time we had one of her teddy’s that Glynn’s wife Anne Marie won in an auction for Macmillan Cancer after her passing. Naturally the bear is now christened Carol Bear and is a regular on our team!

Bill, Bill and Bill, in memory of Bill Goodwin
Carol Bear, in memory of Carol Boyland

Only problem with being among the first cars there, it meant we were amongst the last to set off, however by about 6:15 we were on our way Northwards, reaching the 1st control point at Blythe Services near Doncaster with no dramas or hold ups and arrived a few minutes too early for the control to be open to get our book signed, but this meant we were well on track.
After leaving Blythe and heading Northwards we had an issue with the exhaust, the manifold to downpipe gasket started to blow, However in the interest of time, the fact it was dark and because it would have been too hot to fix we drove on with it getting increasingly louder eventually sounding like a tank!
The route along the A1M had a road closure that evening but we planned a shorter route than the official diversion which worked well along the A167 and through Darlington.
Next control point at Carter Bar, the Scottish Border point on the A68, was reached bang on time.
We then drove down towards Edinburgh managing to negotiate the many speed cameras without getting flashed on this stretch of road. Then it was over the Forth Road Bridge and up to Kinross Services on the M9 for the next Control which we reached at around 1:50 am.
The next stretch from Kinross to Inverness was across the highlands on the A9, this road has about 100 miles of average speed cameras, so the Sat Nav speed camera function on the Tom Tom was used to good effect.
Next control point was Skiach Services North of Inverness reached at around 5am still in darkness.

Skiach at 5am
Then it was up the Scottish East Coast all the way to John O’Groats for a hearty full Scottish breakfast with the other teams in the Sea View Hotel. By now it was daylight so after Breakfast I checked out our blowing exhaust. It would have been a longish job to change the gasket even though I had a spare in the boot. However as most of the original gasket had been burnt away I tightened up the flange joint metal on metal without a gasket which seemed to do the trick and stop the blowing exhaust. For the rest of the trip I kept re-tightening every couple of control stops which got us around the run with no issue. We left the breakfast stop and headed down to the first and last house for the obligatory signpost photo with the car.

John O'Groats
Then came the most impressive part of the run, down through the centre of the Northern most part of Scotland. Many of the roads up here are single track with passing places (even the A Roads) and apart from the other Triumphs the only other users of the road were the sheep for a good 100 miles!

Along the North of Scotland

In the Wilds, Centre of the North of Scotland

The Flying Log parked up overlooking Loch Naver, North Scotland

The next control stop was a return to Skiach Services, this time in the daylight.

This was followed by another long and picturesque drive along the side of Loch Ness, down through Fort William, Glen Coe and the Trussochs to Stirling.

Near Glen Coe and the Trussochs

At Stirling the Control point is Morrisons Garage, who were a Triumph Dealership back in the day. The Garage has traditionally supported the Round Britain Run over the years and provide the entrants with Scotch Pies and hot drinks.

At Morrisons Garage, Stiring

After Morrissons Garage at Stirling the next stretch was nearly all Motorway, down through Scotland to the Borders and into the Lake District. A Short stretch of the run left the motorway to follow the original route from the first run in 1966 along the A6 in celebration of the 50thanniversary.

Then it was down the M6 and across on the A56 to Chester and down into Wales, with a quick detour off the motorway to avoid a jam where a caravan had turned over on it’s side. Next control was Gledrid Services at Oswestry. We did have a little mishap there when Glynn drove the car into a un seen kerb head on. Fortunately the damage to the subframe and sump from this altercation is pretty minor so didn’t cause an issue.

Gledrid Services
After Gledrid it was down through Wales through some very twisty and challenging roads in total darkness, good job the Flying Log has some uprated headlights! The next control in Wales was a Picnic Area at Sugar Loaf near Landovery, in total darkness. After this it was along the A40 to Monmouth.

The planned route from Monmouth was along the River Wye, a nice road but unfortunately there was a road closure part way along and we had missed the diversion. We used the Sat Nav to find a way around, it was a worrying few miles though as the Sat Nav took us through some very narrow roads that were not much more than a track through the Forest of Dean. Anyway eventually we got through to the Severn Bridge and back into England down to the next control at Westonzoyland airfield in Somerset where a burger van had been commissioned to provide Bacon Rolls and Hot drinks, just what we needed at 3:30 in the morning to keep us going!

We then went on down the M5 and A30 into Devon to the next control near Oakhampton at around 5am.
Then it was on down through Cornwall to Lands End control for another full English Breakfast laid on for the crews.

Lands End
After Lands End we went up to Bude Museum for the next control, then down to Dartmoor for the next control at Badgers Holt , crossing the Picturesque moorland on the way.

Bude Museum
Dart Moor

After Badgers Holt we drove along the South coast and then up to Pimperne near Salisbury. The checkpoint at Pimperne is one of the highlights for the crews as the local car club lays on a fine selection of homemade cakes every year.

Fabulous Selection of Homemade cakes laid on at Pimperne

After Pimperne we were away on the final stretch, Glynn was driving, I was supposed to be navigating but nodded off resulting on Glynn missing the A34 turnoff on the A303. All was not lost though as I used my local knowledge and got Glynn to take the A33 up from Basingstoke, cutting out a lot of miles and getting us back on track.

The M4, M40 and M25 were better than expected on a Sunday evening and we arrived at the Knebworth finish at 18:50, just under 48 ½ hours after leaving.

At the finish
After finishing there was a meal laid on for the drivers and time for a quick beer before heading to a nearby hotel for a much needed shower and a few beers in the bar with some of the other teams. Another great Round Britain Run, successfully done, next one will be in 2018 and I’m already looking forward to it.
Here are some Stats for our team
Distance covered from Start to Finish 2137 miles
Average MPG between fill ups before start and after finish 32.29
Best MPG 36 between Skiach and Stirling
Worst MPG 29 between Salisbury and the finish
Amount spent of fuel £375
Most expensive fuel £1.33 per litre at on the A1M at Whetherby and on the A40 between Abagaveny and Monmouth
Cheapest Fuel £1.12 per litre at Wick and Stirling
Time in hours from start to finish approx 48.5 (assumes we got out of the car park at about 6:15)
Approx average speed including stops 44 MPH
Amount raised for Guide Dogs so far £595

The final figure for the amount raised for Guide Dogs will be revealed at the Club’s annual Dinner in March where a giant cheque will be traditionally presented to the Charity. I did notice tonight that the total for the event on Just Giving is over £58,000 so far for this years event, this is bound to rise as more donations come in, I wouldn’t be surprised if it tops £70,000, a significant donation to Guide Dogs. To put it into perspective apparently it costs around £50,000 to train and provide a Guide Dog so there should be one with Club Triumph’s name on it!

posted by Andy Cook 10th October 2016 10:55pm gmt

Successfully Finished

Team Flying Log. Successfully finished 2000 miles in 48 hours Knebworth to John O'Groats to Lands End to Knebworth

posted by Andy Cook 10th October 2016 00:16am gmt

Cornish Coast

Nude control point

posted by Andy Cook 09th October 2016 10:21am gmt

End to End

Reached Lands End

posted by Andy Cook 09th October 2016 07:24am gmt

Butty time

Bacon butties at Westonzoyland airfield at 4am, just what was needed!

posted by Andy Cook 09th October 2016 07:23am gmt

Butty time

Bacon butties at Westonzoyland airfield at 4am, just what was needed!

posted by Andy Cook 09th October 2016 03:59am gmt

3rd Nation of the weekend

Just entered Wales at Wrexham

posted by Andy Cook 08th October 2016 10:03pm gmt

Southward bound

Currently heading south near Wigan on the M6, will be turning right on the M56 and then heading into Wales for the overnight twisty road bit of the run

posted by Andy Cook 08th October 2016 9:17pm gmt

Pie time

Morrisons garage Stirling ex Triumph dealership have laid on scotch pies for all the entrants as usual. Plus they are one of the control stops. Just checked in and will be on our way south back to England soon

posted by Andy Cook 08th October 2016 4:45pm gmt

Up the top and on the way back down

Safely up to John O'Groats, then down through some wonderful scenery in the wilds of North Scotland.

posted by Andy Cook 08th October 2016 11:33am gmt

Past Inverness

Control point at Skiach Services North of Inverness. 

posted by Andy Cook 08th October 2016 11:29am gmt

1st control

Safely arrived at Blythe Services, book signed onwards now in a Scotland direction

posted by Andy Cook 07th October 2016 8:28pm gmt

Nearly time

What a lot of Triumphs entered for the run this year, quite a sight!

posted by Andy Cook 07th October 2016 5:17pm gmt

And the there were 2

A slight set back for team flying log before we even start. Mark has been rather ill overnight with a tummy bug and his wife Sam and little boy Charlie also look to be coming down with the bug.

So looks like we are down to a 2 man team, harder work but 48 hours in a car with a sick bucket isn't going to work. 

I'm wondering if it's possible to meet up with Mark in the West Country on Sunday  so he can drive some of the run back up to Knebworth if he is feeling better, we'll see. 

Get well soon Mark, Sam and little Charlie

posted by Andy Cook 07th October 2016 08:07am gmt

Ready to Go - Britain here we come

It's the night before the big event, the Flying Log is prepared, cleaned, stickered up, packed and ready to go. 2,000 miles in 48 hours. Leaving from from Knebworth at around 6pm up to John O'Groats for breakfast, down to Lands end via Wales for breakfast the follwing day and back to Knebworth in time for Dinner.

It's sitting a bit low at the back with a full set of tools including a trolley jack and axle stands, lots of spares, oils, coolant, brake fluid and other topping up stuff, a full petrol can and a full tank of fuel.

Ready to go and sitting low!
Snacks have also been bought to keep the drivers sustained throughout the journey, especially through the night in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands and Wales where nothing will be open.

The sponsorship had reached £555 last time I looked so thanks you to our generous sponsors. Fingers crossed I'll get approved for some matched sponsorship from Vodafone under a company scheme that matches up to £350 , not guaranteed but I did manage to obtain it last time I did the event so fingers crossed. With a few last minute sponsors we may even get close to the £1,000!

Now time for some sleep before the off tomorrow.

posted by Andy Cook 06th October 2016 9:50pm gmt

Being fair to the GT6

As the flying log was fitted with a nice little unobtrusive rein 12v socket last week the GT6 was feeling left out. So I've just fitted a similar one in the GT

Even more unobtrusive than the one in the Dolomite, socket under the dash following the angle slope...

posted by Andy Cook 10th September 2016 2:00pm gmt

Getting the "Flying Log" ready for the RBRR

The Round Britain Reliability Run is only a month away now so I've been spending quite a bit of time getting the Flying Log ready for the event.

Firstly there was the small matter of an MOT! The Log failed back in June, there was some imbalance in the brakes and some corrosion around the rear front subframe mounts on the chassis legs. Although known as Chassis legs  it's actually part of the body as the Dolomite doesn't have a separate Chassis.

For the brakes I replaced the shoes and pads and seals on one caliper (The other caliper was replaced recently with a recon unit). For the corrosion I got the MOT centre (Moonface) to do the work, I supplied new polybush subframe mounts.

Repaired Chassis leg with new Polybush subframe mounts.
On the retest there was still an issue with the handbrake. Moonface sorted this out, it transpired that the previous owner had inadvertently swapped over the adjuster threaded ratchets between sides. So they were un-adjusting rather than adjusting the handbrake each time it was applied! I know I didn't do this as I've only ever stripped down one side at a time! Anyway all done now and a fresh MOT was in place at the end of July.

There has been an advisory on the last 3 MOTs of excess play on an inner track rod ball joint. I fixed this now, but had difficulty undoing the retaining nut which is rather large 1 5/16 AF. I bought a second hand spanner on ebay for the job which sorted that though!

I had a Piranha electronic ignition pack up on me a couple of tyears ago and have been sticking with points and condenser since. But for the RBRR I splashed out on an Accuspark electronic ignition system. It was a bargain as they had an offer on with 4 Accuspark triple electrode spark plugs included for £1 more than the cost of the ignition. So I also fitted these.

Accuspark Electronic  Ignition system added.
I will keep the points and condenser in the car as a spare in case of electronic ignition system failure, a lesson learnt from the earlier Pirahna failure!

Other jobs included fitting new front wheel bearings, adjusting the tappets, balancing and tuning the carbs with my Weber syncrometer and colortune, Topping up the gearbox oil and checking the diff oil (didn't need a top up).

I also fitted an uprated Alternator (55A vs the standard 35A) , I'll carry the standard one as a spare.

I fitted a Fire extinguisher as I found one cheap in Lidl for £8.99!

£8.99 Fire Extinguisher fitted, Lidl Bargain!
I fitted a twin 12v Socket under the dash, a pretty unobtrusive unit. I wired it up to only be live with the ignition on and used a natty combined relay and fuse holder unit to ensure that the full current isn't carried through the ignition switch. My "inconsiderate" teenage daughter left her hairdryer at her Mum's house which prevented me neatening off the crimp connectors with heatshrink so for the time being I've used insulating tape to hold some heatshrink in place to be shrunk later!

Unobtrusive double 12v socket

Combined Relay/Fuse holder unit.
One of my Co-Drivers, Mark Smith, came over to check over the car, always good to have a 2nd pair of eyes. He did find that one of the front brake flexi pipes looks suspect and the other was twisted. I must have twisted it when I removed the caliper to fit the wheel bearing. Anyway I decided to order two new aeroquip hoses which will be fitted when they arrive this week.

Apart from that the rest of the prep will be the last minute top ups, tyre pressures, rainex etc. Not sure whether to change the oil and filter at this stage, it was only changed with fresh Valvoline VR1 and Unipart filter  about 700 miles ago and the oil looks pretty clean. However I do have a filter and some Valvoline VR1 ready in case I do decide on a change.

posted by Andy Cook 05th September 2016 12:18am gmt

Sacrificial clamps!!!

Last time I completed the RBRR in the Dolomite we had a bit of an issue with the exhaust grounding out on the bumpy minor roads of Scotland and Cornwall. It had never been an issue except on the RBRR when the car was loaded up with lots of heavy tools, spares, fluids (Oil, petrol, Water, antifreeze, brake fluid etc) and 3 big blokes.

At the end of the run the rear box which hangs down pretty low on a Dolly 1500 or 1850 had taken quite a beating with a big flat dented on the bottom LH corner and quite a bit of scrape wear from the roads.

Damaged Rear Box after the last RBRR

Not wanting a repeat this year with the risk of the rear box wearing through I decided to put some protection in place.

Initially my thoughts were to make up some kind of skid pan. But then I thought lets just get some giant exhaust clamps big enough to go around the box which is a round profile. The clamps can then be sacrificed to take the wear.

Giant Exhaust Clamp

Sacrificial Clamps in Place

posted by Andy Cook 17th August 2016 8:56pm gmt

A busy few weeks and a set back for the "Flying Log"

The Blog has been a bit quiet lately, that's because I've been too busy actually using the Triumphs.

May Bank Holiday weekend was the Isle of Wight Camping weekend, had my usual pilgrmage over there with the Kids in the Flying Log. As usual a really great weekender.

On the Road in convoy in the "Log", pretty close to that Van!

Triumphs arriving at Black Gang Chine

Triumphs at Areton Barns craft centre

More convoy action, Alice hitches a lift with Alan in his Spitfire

The following weekend was the SEM (South of England Meet) weekend at Leatherhead. I went along to this in the GT6 as I had a kid free weekend. It was the first of the GT6 50th anniversary celebration meets this year as well.

Celebrating 50 years of the GT6

GT6s at SEM

GT6s at SEM
Over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May I visited Crystal Palace for the "Motorsport at the Palace event" Crystal Palace is actually a historic race venue and used to be a Grand Prix circuit back in the day. Once a year there is an annual sprint held there. Lots of various cars taking part from old historic single seaters, through classics to modern day cars such as Imprezza's etc and even a BMR i8.

One competitor well known in TSSC and Club Triumph Circles was John Davies in his Vitesse (known as "Son of Silverback"). There were a few other Triumphs racing too.

In good company in the car park

Nice TR3

This TR4 was competing

TR6 approaching the chicane

John Davies in Son of Silverback leaving the start

John negotiates the Chicane testing the suspension!

TR4 at the Chicane
The following weekend I went to a regular general classic car meet near me for the first time. The Crotch Cooler Classic Car Sunday meet at the Departure Lounge Cafe Alton. A very well turned out meet and I'm sure I'll be back.

Arriving at the Crotch Cooler in the GT6 (Picture courtesy of Chris Knowles)

Tidy TR6

Nice TR4

Very well turned out MK3 Spitfire

Dolly Sprint

A good turn out
Then this weekend it was another of my favourite events, the annual Ace Cafe Triumph Day. Managed to get along to this in the GT6.

Ace Cafe

Marks's lovely MK3 at the Ace

Arty Shot at the Ace

A great historic venue for a car meet.
Saturday wasn't all good though. It was time for the "Flying Log's" MOT and it failed this year. A few issues with brake inbalance and the handbrake should be easily fixed. However there is a bit of tin worm underneath. The "Chassis leg" type box sections where the rear of the front subframe attach are corroded and will need some welding, I'll get Jim down at Moonface to do this bit as I'm not much of a welder....

posted by Andy Cook 12th June 2016 9:40pm gmt

Vibrating Propshaft and replacement woes

My GT6 has had a bit of a vibration that comes in at about 65mph for some time now, not severe but annoying. After investigating a while back I found that the propshaft had some wear in the sliding splined joint which would need a new prop to cure, as the vibration wasn't that bad I've lived with it for a few years now!

However, a couple of weeks ago driving to a local club meet the vibration got much worse and pretty unbearable. I investigated and found I had wear in a propsaft UJ, so I bit the bullet and purchased a brand new propshaft.

Fitting a new prop is fairly straight forward, the only pain is having to remove the dashboard support and gear box tunnel. One bit of poor triumph design is that there is a small extension hatch behind the gearbox tunnel to allow for the overdrive, If this had been made a bit longer so that it encroached on the gerabox cover rear this would make the job much easier as the propshaft flange bolts would be accessible without removing the tunnel. However Triumph weren't that sensible! I think this is my old mechanical designer and production engineering background from the late 70s/ early 80s coming out. I like to think that I always tried to make my designs consider future maintenance!

If Triumph designers had been sensible they would have made this access hole longer going forward to allow access to the propshaft bolts without removal of the tunnel...
Anyway I removed the tunnel to provide better access. dropped the exhaust down and unbolted the prop.

Inspection once removed confirmed a worn out UJ at the front along with the worn sliding joint, this would seem to be the reason behind the vibration.

The new prop supplied by Canley Classics is of a slightly different design to the original, firstly the prop tube is a smaller diameter, secondly the flanges are a different design to the originals, more about this later in the blog!

Old and new props, note the thinner tube on the new one. 
The other point I noted was that the new prop had grease nipples fitted in place. Normally the grease nipple holes have blanking plugs and nipples are only screwed into place during maintenance. However I suspected the prop would have been balanced with the nipples in place and replacing them with plugs may have upset the balance. I checked with Canley Classics and they advised me to fit with the nipples in place.

Original prop with blanking plus in place
New Prop with grease nipples in place.

I then went to fit the new prop. The diff end was bolted up with no issues.

However, the overdrive end had a problem the joint between the overdrive output flange and the propshaft front flange won't quite locate fully home.

I took some careful measurements with my digital caliper and I  determined that there was a clearance issue. The new prop has a different design of flange than the OEM prop. There is a clearance hole in the centre of the new prop flange that measures 28.5mm diameter. The OEM prop had a flange with a much larger diameter bowl shaped recess to provide more clearance.

Old prop flange has a bowl shaped recess for clearance in the centre

New prop flange has a smaller hole for clearance

The overdrive flange has a large castellated nut that sits proud of the overdrive output flange by approx 2.9mm. The nut is 31.4mm across corners and therefore fouls on the clearance hole on the propshaft flange. Taking into account the recess of 1.6 mm , the flanges sit proud by approx 1.3mm.


As a solution to the issue I filed chamfers on the corners of the castellated nut, this provided enough clearance to be able to allow the flanges to fully engage. I've emailed Canleys to advise the issue, they really need their supplier to ensure that new orders are fitted with flanges with larger clearance holes or OEM flanges so they are fit for purpose going forward.

Anyway, prop is now bolted up. I'll spend another evening later in the week rehanging the exhaust and replacing the tunnel, carpet, dash support, radio and trim .

posted by Andy Cook 19th April 2016 11:04pm gmt

Views expressed here are personal are not necessarily endorsed by Club Triumph

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