Thursday, June 23, 2005

If only I had the space ......

I'd give Dave a grand then spend another getting this one back on the road and upsetting the Corsa driving yoofs around here in this machine Canley Classics - Cars For Sale : Triumph 2.5 PI MkI Saloon
I love those Mk1 jukebox dashboards - it just needs some big wheels and to lose the bumpers ;-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's amazing what you find on the web

A mate of mine sent me this link, be careful when you use it, make sure your boss, mother or children are not within earshot b3ta presents buffys swearing keyboard. Make sure sound is on :-)
My personal favourite key has to be "Z" for the shear randomness!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Under pressure

After my high speed trip back from Gaydon I had noticed some oil leaks from the spark plug side of the engine, it seemed to be coming from the head gasket, not good. However, that side of teh engine doesn't have a reputation for leaking and shouldn't cause a problem. I suspected excessive crank case compression caused by worn rings but this is a "new" engine, probably only 5 thousand miles old. Could it be a blown head gasket?
The only think I'd done to the car that could have influenced this was to fit the catch tank. So I investigated, the catch tank inlet is narrower than the rocker box vent that feeds it, could the step down create a restriction that could allow a build up of pressure? I seriously doubt it but I've gone back to vernting to atmosphere for the rocker cover vent. I didn't want the catch tank to sit there doing nowt so I opened up the vent at fuel pump blanking plate (the pumps now electric and in the boot) and vented that to the catch tank. We'll see if that does anything.
I also did a compression test to see if I could find anything interesting there. I'm never too sure what these readings mean but I'll find out. For now though

  1. 150 psi
  2. 165 psi
  3. 160 psi
  4. 130 psi
  5. 150 psi
  6. 120 psi

That's quite a spread, 10 to 15% is usually said to be acceptable. So I took it out for a blast and of course, it scared me and was great for it! It's one of those things where I think I don't really want to mess with it as it's so damn good BUT it won't get any better by just driving it.

I have all the neccessary to change the gasket but I'm thinking maybe a better copper one should be sourced, rather than the grey one that's on it and that I have "in stock" - I've had issues with those grey gaskets before on the Herald.

Need a job?

If you're a Triumph enthusiast and you're looking for work click here Canley Classics News Blog: Need a job? I can vouch for Dave - he's disorganised, enthusiastic, flatulent, pasionate about Triumphs, good company, dedicated and friendly. If I didn't live 100 miles away (that commute would be a bugger) and I thought I could support the family on the wage, I'd be there now saying "Gis us a job". Maybe one day :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Canley Classics News Blog

Canley Classics News Blog

I thought Dave had been quite for a few days since I saw him last week on my way back from Bolton. He just can't stay still can he!

Monday, June 13, 2005

OK. it's done, I am committed - or should be!

Carl Shakespeare and I are doing the Club Triumph 10 Countries Run in SpetemberClub Triumph's Official Ten Countries Run Website 10 countries in a long weekend, can't wait :-)
We're going to be using Carl's Dolomite Sprint - his daily driver and a car that did last year's Round Britain Run. We're hoping to get a third crew man, a Sports Six Club friend of mine, Colin Wake - not definate yet but he seems keen.
Let the preparations commence!

Credit for photos

I don't know what the law is on this sort of thing and I don't want to fall foul of it so if this is considered publishing these photos I had better giove credit where credit is due! So looking on the back of these prints the only details on the back of some of them are "Colin Taylor", an old address pre-post code and a 4 digit phone number - I'm not sure if Colin is still around but I'll make an attempt to contact him even though these photos are now 30+ years old . The Mk1 covered in mud has Duckhams Photographic Library stamped on the back but no reference, date or contact details so I think trying to trace that one is a non-starter. That's gotta be over 35 years old.

My favourite out of all these photos - Brian Culcheth and Johnson Syer in XJB305H on the Scottish Rally of 1971 - see below for an earlier photo of the car on the same event. I;ve got another picture (on a promo poster) of the car receiving this damage. I think it was done when Culcheth put the car off the road whilst lying third - you can see the spectators pushing on the side of the car. now those door skins are all aluminium and it doesn't take a lot to dent them in the way you see here.

UJB642G wearing the World Cup Rally number 48 - why? First things first, no Mk1 PIs enteredt the WC Rally, in works or provate hands. Secondly, in every entry list I've seen, car 48 wasn't a Triumph it was a Lotus Cortina! So why the number 48?
I think this was just a "dress rehearsal" car for practice and testing - this shot seems to be on military grounds and I know they did an awful lot of testing at the tank grounds in Bagshot.

I can't see the registration on this one but I'm assuming it's UJB642G - see previous photo.

UJB642G - Mk1 PI - this is a sister car to UJB643G that Culcheth drove in the '69 Scottish, breaking a rear axle and coming in 24th overall but still 2nd in class. I can't find any trace of "642" as having a competition history and I suspect it was a practice/developement/spare car but I don't know for sure.

The second batch of photos arrived - this one's interesting as it's a Mk1 and shows clearly the registration and crew names - VBL197H crewed by Andrew Cowan & Brian Coyle. This car appears in Robson's Works Triumph Book but the details in the results table in the back of the book are wrong - Robson says 3 Mk1s entered the RAC Rally of November '69 and that Cowan & Coyle were in VBL195H and won their class. They did win their class but were in VBL197H. Now there are no dates on this photo but as the car only seems to have had one official works outing, the Nov '69 RAC when the car worn car number 1 and it was very snowy, then I;m thinking this was indeed taken on that rally. The text in Robson's book clearly says 195 was Hopkirk's car and so the it's the results table in the back of the book that's screwed.
The story of these Mk1 PI's is that they were one off developement cars for the World Cup Rally of 1970 built out of brand new Mk1 shells as the Mk2 hadn't then been homologated. They were obsolete as soon as they were made but were solely for the purpose of developing the World Cup "Rally Tanks". Cowan won his class in VBL197H and made 11th overall. Not bad for a one off car, straight out of the box!

Hot Herald and the basket of snakes

Last year I got involved in helping out Kas Kastner (US Triumph tuning guru and all round good bloke) in putting together some info for his book. He was after stories of interesting Triumphs from across the pond and my mind quickly turned to Kev Hadfield's racing Herald, amongst others. Kev and I put together some words and pictures of the car, tech specs etc and I bundled it up and sent it off to Kas. The results are now in his book along with numerous other cars from around the world.
One of the pieces of tech info in the book is how Kas managed to get the Spit 1500 engine to hold together under race conditions. The 1500 is notorious for running it's bearings due to low oil pressure at the bearing (not at the gauge!) Kas came up with a crank mod and ultimately an external oil feed system and he stopped losing cranks.
Kev wanted to get some info on this mod as he was losing cranks far too regularly to retain a smile. The book wasn't out and I though Kas wouldn't bee keen to give up his secrets in advance of the publishing date. I was wrong, he was kind enough to let me have an advance copy of the article, some pictures and a bit of extra detail long before the printer saw the book. I passed it onto Kev and he duly sat down with his engine builder, scratched heads and started creating. The crank mods were done, the oil feed plumbing decyphered from a photo of a 6 cylinder layout and what you see below are the results.
Kev reports that he hasn't yet lost a crank and is now doing 40 min races with no detrimental effects. Go Kev and thanks Kas!

Hmm, must get myself a three letter nick name,


The solution to running the No3 bearing on a Triumph 4 cylinder 1500 race engine. Modified from a Kas Kastner original design (as detailled in his book) it's an external direct oil feed. That's what you see on the outside, what's on the inside is a crank specially cross drilled with modified oilways and oil circulation. It's really quite a simple mod in concept but getting there consumed quite a few 1500 cranks!

Basket of snakes, Herald style

Here's the remote oil filter and cooler

Friday, June 10, 2005

Another lucky break

Having emailled the lady who sold me the rally photos to say thanks she replied to say that she had some more and would I like them - oh yes please. They are on the way to me.

Lucky find

I saw a few old rally photos on eBay recently and got in touch with the seller to see what was in the bundle, she told me she had some other photos of Triumphs and so I bought them blind. The following 4 black & white prints were in that bundle - if anyone's got any insights into where and when they were taken, give me a shout!

Paddy Hopkirk's World Cup car, XJB302H showing it's World Cup Rally number 98. I hink this must be a practice/testing shot as the car doesn't have any roof mounted spot lights on it, in fact there's no sign of the mounts for them. Each car had different arrangements for spotlights, it must have been driver preference. Hopkirk's car had them realy far back, almost over the rear quarter lights, very weird. In the original photo you can just about see the mid roof mount for a spare wheel.

Brian Culcheth in his ex-World Cup Rally car at the start of a stage, somewhere. I'm guessing that, as the car is in Team Castrol colours and has the roof vent blocked off and is clean and tidy that this is early on in the Scottish Rally of 1971. The car had been lightened and tuned - as far as I can tell this was the first time it had competed without the roof vent. In the original photo you can see the plate over the vent.
The car only did three events that year - The Welsh, The Scottish and the Cyprus rallies. I've seen pictures of it on the Welsh and it has the roof vent so as the above certainly ain't Cyprus I'm guessing it's the Scottish June 1971 - it looks like June weather too :-) Culcheth achieved 2nd in class and 10th overall on that outing.

XJB305H, Brian Culcheth's World Cup Rally car. In this shot the car is in Team Castrol colours. After the WC the Competions Dept was closed and Culcheth was out of a job, but he scraped together some sponsorship, got hold of his old WC car and formed "Team Castrol" - notice the stripes down the near side of the bonnet, these are the red and green Castrol colours and the badge just above the numberplate is the Castrol GTX logo.

This one has the caption "Roy Fiddler" and the words "Ancient Gorskz Pirate" typed on the back on a label from the Duckhams Photographic Library. No date or other info. Does the bloke with the bucket look like Paddy Hopkirk or what?
I'm intrigued by this shot - I initially though it was an old works car put out to serve it;s remaining days as a rally cross beast - check the bent n/s/f quarter bumper and what looks like broken centre spot light. However, why leave the lights on a rally cross car? But what's that weird "N4" number about? Also, you don't tend to get the front of the car covered in crap on a rally but you would in a close rally cross with other cars in close proximity.
It's got a works colour scheme, that black bonnet and wing top pattern was a bit of a Works trade mark. So when could this have been and which car?
Roy Fiddler drove Works 2000s from '64 to '67.
He used AHP426B, AHP424B, AHP426B and FHP993C and so it isn't really very easy to determine which car or year this is!
Anorak foot note - in 1966 (the year I was born) Roy Fiddler became RAC Rally Champion