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 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

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

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 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!