Sunday, May 28, 2017

Blimey, it's been a long time.....

... since I posted anything on my Blog. Apologies, I've been busy! New job, with several new assignments, changed modern cars several times and now working away from home, no time for Triumphs, a great big hole in my leg and some general loss of mojo seem to be the general issues.

So, where are things at the moment? Well firstly the modern 'fleet' - we needed a load lugger to get our youngest back and forth to Uni at Nottingham so we sold the Saab convertible (to Shedtune) and bought a Saab 93 Sport Wagon - an estate to us Brits. Great car, very capable, didn't love it so sold it on as soon as I could and bought another Saab Convertible! 'As soon as I could' was when I was able to change Poppy's classic Mini for a more motorway friendly MINI - I was amazed at how much the classic Mini had risen in value, I almost doubled my money on that car but it was a good 'um.
So I then needed another car to drive to an from a new assignment I have in the West Country, enter a bargain local Saab 95 Aero - 250 bhp of auto comfort, it had everything including seat coolers! It was a bit thirsty or was that my heavy foot, so I decided to change it for a more modern and lighter Saab 93 (I'm guessing you're seeing the trend here). I found one that needed a little love but it was cheap and by the time I negotiated it was even cheaper - and it had the factory supported Hirsch tuning kit on it too (not that the factory is interested anymore!). I spent some time and effort cleaning and mucking out, fifty quid with a dent removal chap (a magician) and some polish and it looks pretty decent. Same power at the old 95 but manual and lighter. The 95 needed selling but then I had a brain wave, I'd 'trade' it for a new clutch and 4 brand new wheels and tyres for the 93 (which had a sticky release bearing that meant it you could induce clutch slip at high speed but not on hill starts - it was weird!) the 18" Hirsch wheels were kerbed and made the car ride very harshly so I wanted to some 17's and my local Saab expert had new ones in boxes - a deal was done and the car looks and drives so much better now, 5000 miles on and I'm glad I made the change.

I think that about catches everyone up on the moderns.

What about the Triumphs? Well there is only one these days, the yellow TR6 which hasn't really seen much action lately. Carl Shakespeare and I went over to France in it a couple of years ago and the overdrive started to fail in a big way on the last day. We limped it home but it really was touch and go - I'm still amazed we got home under our own power. I then stripped it out and it was FUBAR, Carl suggested I get Graham Stretch on the Isle of Wight rebuilt it for me - I've met Graham many times over the last decade or so as he used to organise the IoW Triumph Weekend. Anyway, carrying an overdrive as foot passenger was interesting - we did a couple of trips over to the island for other purposes and managed to avoid conventional couriers.
I put the whole thing back together over the winter and ran around in it but something wasn't quite right, overdrive seemed to stay in. Like an idiot I didn't actually talk to Graham about it (had I don't so he would have set me straight) I sort of lost my mojo with the car and apart from a local car show and a couple of trips locally I just didn't do much with it. I was convinced that I had messed up the inhibitor switches and / or electrics and would need to strip out the interior and H frame to fix it. Frankly, I hate those H frames, never can get them in and out without sweating and swearing for a few days.

So the car languished whilst I took on a project that sees me working away all week, living in a hotel and returning home for the weekend and all that 'household admin' that entails.

Recently a couple of people have been having some work done on their cars by James Cooper who many of you will know from a tasty fast orange Spitfire ate auto tests, a blue Mk1 PI Saloon and a white Spit that's currently on motorbike carbs. Well being 'time poor' I thought I'd see if I could get James to have a crack at the TR and reinstall my mojo. He's had the car at his place and done a general refreshing including amongst other service items, beefing up the suspension with some new front Konis and a change of rear shocks. The car needed a little love for the MOT but nothing major. The revelation was the overdrive, James checked it over and could find nothing amiss - the solenoid wasn't the best but it wasn't the source of the issue, he tested my suspect electrikery and pronounced it OK - he then did what I should have done and phoned Graham who was very helpful. In a nutshell the overdrive needed a little bit of tough love to get it 'run in' and so James gave it the Italian tune up (working the overdrive in and out at high engine speed) and things seem to be much better.

The only real issue was that the car had failed to start for James when the MOT was booked and he suspected the fuel pump but didn't have a spare. Now I have 'many' spares so I threw some in the Saab and went over. We traced the fault to a crappy 'scotch lock' wire joiner tucked away behind the passenger side kick panel - now I hate those things with a passion and strip them out every time I see them. How this one evaded my OCD hatred I don't know, suffice to say, it's not there now.

The car now has a fresh MOT, working overdrive and is ready for the next adventure. Once I'm happy it's all sorted and have driven it around a bit I will sell it on this summer and pursue another 'project' that I've had my eye on for a few years - if I can overcome the logistics.

I'll try and update the blog a little more regularly now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bill Goodwin

It's been a while since I updated this blog so it's with a somewhat heavy heart that I'm using it now to report the loss of my friend Bill Goodwin.

Bill passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning whilst on holiday in the UK with his wife and friends. 

Bill was a fellow Triumph enthusiast and Club Triumph member, for several years he'd been coming over to the UK to take part in various events, the Round Britain Run and 10 Countries Run with Club Triumph and the Isle of Wight and Stafford with the TSSC. 

He'd stayed stayed at my place several times and knew the family well. He had met and befriended many of the Triumph crowd and was staying with Peter Wenzel when he passed away. Bill had been recovering from an operation and had intended to do the 10CR, it's poignant that he died as we were celebrating the finish with lots of beer, I'm sure he would of approved.

When I start to feel down about his passing I remember the good times and feel that when the end came, he was in the country he loved, with the friends and family he loved. 

I'm glad to have known him and will miss his misguided love of white wall tyres, bad spelling and hopelessness with technology.

So long Bill.


J  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

OTV, my old Vitesse, spotted at The Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally 18/05/14





To be fair, "spotted" makes it sound like I have been stalking again. What actually happened was the new owner Rob got in touch and we've traded emails. He said he would be there but I wasn't able to go so he sent me this video that he found on YouTube, check at 32.07. Looking fresh - Rob tells me that although the car has lost it's bucket seats and hardtop, it has gained a re-trim, a fresh coat of paint and a brake servo. It's retained the Lucas injection I added and Rob seems really pleased with it, which is nice.




Saturday, May 17, 2014

K&N filters for injection

In amongst the garage gold I've been mining were these beauties



a new set of three K&N filters for Lucas PI inlets.

I honestly can't remember where or when I got them but they are new, have never been fitted and come complete with stainless hose clips to attach them. There are even K&N filter stickers in the boxes.

Although they fit straight onto the inlets, my plan was to make a big air box and use some trunking to feed them with cold air - another good idea never actually executed!

I'm undecided whether to keep them or sell them, the retail price of these is about £40 each, that's £120 a set! If I can get around £75 for the set of three then I'll be happy, might put them on eBay but they are far too nice to let slip through with my other tat so they'll need a decent start price/reserve. If any one is interested, get in touch chinn at ntlworld dot com will get to me.

Anyway, that's enough garage foraging for the day, I have to get cleaned up and presentable for family duties now!

Digging for gold in the garage - Mk1 PI two speed wiper switch anyone?

Every now and again I go into the garage to find something and think, "What the hell is all this stuff?" so I start to think hard about whether I will ever use or need it again. I tend to hoard stuff, buy stuff 'just in case' and when it's a 'bargain', consequently there is a lot of crap in my garage!
This week I have been mostly having a clear out and seeing if I can make some space and a little money (I'm currently between jobs although the next job seems to be taking it's time coming!).
Some of the treasures I have unearthed have gone back into the garage as too precious to sell. Some of them are not alone, in other words I've found I have more than one and some are not treasures at all and are in fact garbage!
Check out eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/chinn2002 if you're interested.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Isle of Wight weekend





Found on YouTube - this is what I was doing on the Bank Holiday weekend.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Off for a long road test....

The car road tested OK and so it's now packed up and ready for a weekend away on the Isle of Wight with my daughter and our only slightly leaky tent.

I'm just off to collect her and we should be on the Portsmouth ferry in a few hours, I'm looking forward to a beer or two now!

Big thanks to Carl for his help, the big shame is he won't be on the island as his Dad's been taken into hospital so I'll raise a glass to you both over the weekend :-)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Almost road test time

After yesterday's elation came the back aching job of getting all those bell housing bolts back in and the rest of the ancillaries bolted back up so I could test the refit, well it's almost done now.
I've bolted a seat in and the pedal feels much better, smooth action no crunching or sticking - feels really good. The next step was to start the car and see if I could select gears etc, with it still up in the air on stands I was a little cautious but she started OK and everything felt good, gears selected OK, drive engaged and disengaged OK - all feels good. There is a slight tinkling from the new phosphor bronze release bearing carrier but I can live with that, it's probably going to be inaudible when the tunnel cover, new sound deadening, new knee pads and carpet are all in place.
I've come in to get tidied up for more family duties but later today I will get it down off the stands and go for a little drive. Then it will be full steam ahead with the rest of the new interior and back on course for the Isle of Wight.
Oh and amongst all that I still have to get a job - which I am quite looking forward to! At the moment I have a couple of prospects at the interview stage so I am hopeful.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

.......clunk and it's In!

Yesterday was frustrating but today was much better. I was in the process of seeing if I could round up some assistance when Carl called to say he was on his way. Just like any troublesome child, the TR decided to behave completely different today and with Carl, another jack and some Gypsy standard cursing the box and engine coupled with a clunk and that was that. I'm very releived that part of the work is done, every time I do this it's a monumental pain in the arse and probably my least favourite job.
Thanks for the suggestions that came through here and the forum PMs - I did chamber the splines on the clutch plate a little and used a smear of copper slip on the splines. I think the main thing was to use a long stud on the top of the engine and takegreat care in getting the engine / box lined up.
So, as it sits now it feels good, everything looks right and I'm really pleased with what we've achieved. The list is now much smaller, refit the rest of the mechanical stuff so that the engine and drive train will function then I'll bolt a seat in and take it for a road test.
I need to do some family stuff now but I'll be back at it tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

".....and manouvre into place."

At least that's what the manual says. After 4 hours of heaving and swearing with Carl and a fine array of jacks, pry bars, bits of wood and foul language we are right back where we started. The damn gearbox just won't go in and I am very despondent.
The clutch is aligned, the plate is the right way round, the spines are not damaged and are the right number - the clutch plate goes on the spines. It's a bit tight just like the one that came off it but it slides on OK.
The only thing I can think of is that when we were heaving the box about we managed to knock it out of gear (the gear lever is off) and so when turning the output flange, we were not turning the other end to help it slip in. There is a chance it was never in gear but I'm pretty sure it was as I made a point of doing it - but then again....
After Carl left and I figured out the above, I thought about having another go on my own but I was so hacked off I walked away.
Time for a beer and a rethink.

I saw this and thought it was a worthy cause

Nothing to do with me but I'm all for it so I though I would give it a plug

This appeared in the Club Triumph forum

I am a serving member of the Armed Forces and am at the end of a project restoring a 1970 MG
roadster in aid of H4H and the British Legion. You can see what we have done at http://www.charitybuild.co.uk

We are looking at doing it again with a Triumph, preferably a Spitfire but are open to anything. We have a budget of £500 and will consider anything.
Please do get in touch if you have an old project languishing in a garage somewhere. Please email Jason.sheehan142@mod.uk


So don't get in touch with me, just go direct to the other Jason :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Clutch progress

I managed to get a few hours at the car today and made progress following a trip up to see Dave Pearson for a spot of hands on diagnosis. He confirmed the suspicions, the clutch is past it's best. Basically the cover is possibly not the correct one for the car, the fingers are worn with a notch and the release bearing is knackered. The release bearing carrier is also scrap, the nose piece is OK. I've also had a master class in Triumph clutch arrangements, they really did have a go at every possible configuration, it's like the engineers thought they would try everything once!
Unfortunately Dave doesn't keep TR parts in stock and there really isn'tthat much that's common so after a pint and a lot of chat I had a spirited drive home in the Saab to order up the neccessary. No I must say that James Paddock has seriously impressed me, good prices, stock and everything arrived today, not 48 hours after ordering.
It does surprise me how much variation there is in TR parts prices, on a couple of hundred quids worth there is a 65 quid variation between - and this is stuff that is bought in not made or assembled in house. I suspect the bronze release carrier actually comes from the same supplier as Moss, I think I recognise the parts labelling system :-)
Armed with the neccessary parts, albeit arriving late in the afternoon, I have renewed the clutch complete, renewed the cross shaft bushes with double width ones and put a new oil seal in the gearbox nose. It'll all go together with a new phosphor bronze bearing carrier and a new taper pin which I'll lock wire in place.
Fortunately Carl is coming over on the weekend to help me heave the box back in.
Whilst waiting for parts I also made a start on the new interior, got the rear carpet and vinyl installed, I left the rest out as I am sure to damage it getting the box back in! I've got a vinyl cover for the H frame as mine has been a little hacked about to get a radio in. I think I will try and fill the void with a radio shaped cubby hole, always need somewhere to put your phone!
I've had to fix up the fibre board tunnel piece and handbrake cover, the originals were quite beat up so I used some fibreglass and resin that I had 'in stock'. I also found some black silicon that I though would do the trick, trouble was it was old and I basically had to half destroy the tube to get anything out - so yes,  I have splattered it all over the tunnel!
Finally,  I need to make a knee pad, for some reason the car came with one new one unfitted, it looks pretty easy to make and not worth the 20 quid+ of a bought one, plus I'm tight :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

TR6 Clutch investigation (and interior replacement)

Blimey, it's been a long time since I did anything serious in the garage. Having found myself with some time on my hands - I'm currently looking for paid work again - I decided it was high time I sorted out the TR6 interior.
When I got the car it was the interior that let it down, a bit of a mix of old and repro trim, mostly past it's best, carpets stick directly to the floor and sagging seats.
I did the seats immediately and then gathered the parts to do the rest - new carpets, underlay, a trim kit, H frame cover, clips and fastenings, glue, etc, etc. So it seemed like a "cheap" job as I had all of the big cost items. It was just time - and now I have that.
So I stripped it all out and there it sat earlier this week, looking all empty and then I thought what a pig of a job it would be to have to take it all out again to fix the clutch!
You see I've always had a tricky clutch in the car, not awful but occasionally when warm it gets quite "off/on" the pedal goes "light" as you lift your foot off it then it suddenly engages and you jerk forward.
I found a rather crusty looking master and slave cylinder pair on the car and decided I would start with replacing the hydraulics - felt better but not right. I then thought it was the pedal spindle bush - well that was easier to get out with the interior stripped. On inspection it wasn't great so I replaced that but it wasn't bad enough to cause the issues.
Watching the clutch operation with the gearbox tunnel cover removed didn't show up anything unusual and so it was time to pull the box out.
What a heavy and awkward job but it's out and on the garage floor. Here are some photos of what I found and I'd be interested in any feedback (there's a thread running over on the CT forum http://club.triumph.org.uk/cgi-bin/forum10/Blah.pl?m-1396966649/ should get you there).

OK I'm going to put all these photos up here just in case anyone’s interested. You should be able to click on them and get a bigger version to zoom in on stuff - I hope.

First up, this is what greeted me when I pulled the box out, doesn't look so bad but I've yet to take the cover off and see what the plate is like, I might as well put a new clutch in there unless this one is excellent!


Here’s the notorious cross shaft and release fork assembly – looks OK to me.




It’s a bit grimy in there but no bits of metal or broken parts greeted me so I’m saying this looks OK.


Could this be my problem? The cross shaft is very loose in the casing and I can feel a lot of play. The shaft itself looks OK so it’s the bushes in the gearbox casing – a cheap fix and I’ll take the advice to put a double width set in (or double up the standard ones).

The release bearing and carrier – cast iron type.  It’s got some wear “dents” in it from the fork but no sharp edges or other obvious wear. Is this OK to reuse I wonder?



Fork and taper pin – looks good (I will get a new pin even though this one looks great, not worth the risk for a few quid).


The fork, there is some wear here but I don’t know if it’s bad enough to replace the fork, need some advice here.


Cross shaft – this is the part where the taper pin sits, looks like it’s seen some action and has been apart before but it’ll go back in.



So what does the collective wisdom of the interweb think?

I've come in for a cup of tea and some pondering, the next task is to have a look at the clutch plate then make a list of bits and dig deep. It will have to wait a little bit, I have a job interview tomorrow and that takes priority!










Friday, November 08, 2013

RBRR entry opens soon, so I'm leaving the country :-)

Well it's that time again, the flurry of activity that surrounds the opening of the RBRR entry list.

As I reported in my last blog posting, this year has been an interesting one for me, I'm on my third job (and second redundancy) but it is all good at Chinn Towers. My new job is starting to pick up, I spent all week in London (the first time I've stayed over night in the city for probably 20 years) next week I have a week in Sweden then I'm home for about 24 hours before I'm off to San Francisco for another week+.

Around that time all you Club Triumph members will get your magazines, I think it leaves the printers on the 14th or 15th so a couple of days later it should drop on your mat. It's then time to get your entries back in the post so I am expecting to come back from the US to a nice pile of paperwork.

I won't be processing anything until the week of 25th so Mrs C will keep the envelopes in order for me and ready for my return.

Please be patient, as soon as I am able I will publish the list through the RBRR Blog plages.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Ticket please!

Well it's been a long time since posting anything here! Apologies but life's been a bit hectic recently - two changes of job and lots of travelling has meant my attention to Triumphs has been pretty lacking.

Anyway, the ticket in the heading is an MOT test ticket, secured today by my every jolly and reasonable MOT man - really good bloke and always helpful, I know MOT testers come in all varieties, from jobsworth right down to pedantic git but occasionally you find a good 'un. Sun Garage on the A4 between Reading and Thatcham.

The Clutch issue has been improved, I replaced all the hydraulics and tidied it all up - there's still a hint of the stickiness in there and I think I might just take the whole pedal box assembly out and have a proper look - I always suspected the pedal bush so will have a look at that. Such a pain in the neck to get at though!

My thoughts about heat were rubbish, the slave is the on the opposite side of the engine to the exhaust!

The brake light switch had disintegrated and so I bought a new one but the modern replacements are far too true to the originals, ie they're flimsy and so I followed a few posts on the TR Reg forum and identified a German part that was both cheaper and more substantial - it's a metal switch made for a Merc or BMW

The eBay listing said

BMW 2 PIN ADJUSTABLE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH, ALSO FITS OLD MERCEDES VANS & CARS AS IN THE PICTURE.I HAVE SOLD QUITE A LOT OF THESE THANKS TO A MENTION ON A TRIUMPH TR 6 FORUM &  WAS TOLD THEY MIGHT FIT THE TR RANGE, SORRY THAT IS ALL I KNOW & WAS ASKED TO LIST IT SO, WE ALSO SELL THE ALUMINIUM FAE SWITCH.FITS E3 E6 E9 E10 E12 E21 E28 & E30OLD SERIES 2 3 5 6 & 7MADE IN GERMANY TO THE HIGHEST OF STANDARDS.OE 61311368786 / 500496
and he was right, it's got two nuts on the threaded body so it's very adjustable enabling me to set it up just right.

The indicators played up on the way back from the MOT and I suspect a bad earth somewhere as with wiggling I can get all the bulbs to work.
That's for another day as I am now full of a summer cold/flu with streaming nose and eyes - so I'll put the car away ready for tomorrow and the Hook meeting.
There I hope to meet "Team Torpedo" from the US who are doing the Ten Countries Run.

Speaking of which, I'll be driving down to South London somewhere to park up in a strangers drive and meet my crew and car for the event.
Yes, the screaming blue 2000 of Nigel Gair will be my home for the rest of the week as we upset foreigners all over continental Europe again.
I feel it's our gift the world, the sight and sound of old cars being driven hard, enjoyed and used.

After that it's back home for a few more days before I start a new job. Having spent 6 months working for Accenture I decided to move on, the job was good, the people very good
but there was something missing. An opportunity arose with a competitor and I pursued it. That meant that the week before last, whilst in Johannesburg I accepted an offer and effectively made myself redundant again for the second time in 6 months. Last week Accenture paid me off - cash in lieu of notice, which was nice. That means I'm technically "unemployed" as I don't start the new job until the 17th Sept - great :-) My new employer is an American company, based in San Francisco - so I'll be back out there again soon. The job will involve more travel - which I like, they pay better - which I like too. I may not have much time with the Triumphs but I'm hoping I can carve a decent slice for messing about in old cars :-)