Monday, May 07, 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend, must be time for a breakdown!

Well that was a crap weekend for Triumph driving :-(

It started badly, 3am Poppy got up and projectile vomited across the bathroom carpet, I spent a happy hour, with Claudia hosing down Poppy and me with the carpet cleaner. Poppy rallied and felt well enough to go so I thought, what the hell and off we went.

The car went fine but there was a strange occasional grating noise from the handbrake area. It got worse on the motorway, especially on the overrun. I thought maybe the handbrake cable was catching on the prop. It was annoying more than anything else. I never did get round to a proper diagnosis but I think it's the U bolt of the exhaust touching the prop, it just needs turning round. It was the least of our worries.

Friday night was fine, good fun with old friends. Saturday morning we went out for breakfast, when I came back to the car it smelt heavily of petrol. I didn't think much of it until we were preparing for the Saturday drive out. The kids were all ready for the off when I thought I would just check under the bonnet. Fuel was dripping out of the metering unit, the diaphragm between the shuttle and the vacuum operated stop had failed. This meant that the excess fuel from the metering unit was not returning through the proper spill pipe but was taking the line of least resistance through the casing :-( Game over!

Or maybe not

We parked up, Carl threw us the keys to his Subaru and we did the run in shame at the back. Talking to Graham, one of the organisers, revealed that he thought he had a spare, result!!

He did and later that day I stripped out the metering unit, replaced the seal and reassembled - it ran again. The shim I had put in at the back of the adjustable stop had come off but when we test drove the car it seemed OK. So buoyed with my success I settled into some serious beer therapy. All was well again.

Or maybe not

Sunday was another drive out so we all loaded up and off we set but whilst waiting for the convoy to move off the engine kept dying. The ultimate embarrassment was when I pulled out in the line of cars leaving the campsite and it died blocking the road. It would not restart so I pushed it to the side and Carl threw me the keys to the Scooby Do again! I actually kicked the Vitesse - I was not a happy bunny.

Another chat with the ever resourceful and encouraging Graham led us to try some adjustment to the metering unit. He went home and got some instructions from the web. We tinkered and it seemed to run better but just as we were patting ourselves on the back, the bloody seal went again! Petrol leaking out of the metering unit. We'd run out of spares and ideas. More beer therapy.

At last something went right, our pub quiz team, "The Non-Starters" won first place and the cash prize.

Monday came and, having still not managed to fix the exhaust clamp, I decided that driving a car that was leaking petrol that would flow past a source of metal on metal sparks was not a good idea. I admitted defeat and called the flatbed. We had an uneventful journey home and the car is now sat in the garage awaiting a sound thrashing.

I'll investigate that exhaust clamp tomorrow maybe and as I've got a new metering unit ordered anyway once that arrives I'll fit it and get busy making the damn thing run properly. If that doesn't clear me out of funds I think I would like to get a proper fuel tank made and then get the damn thing reliable again.

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