Tuesday, March 30, 2021


 You can't keep them all, or so Mrs C keeps telling me. 

So, my TR6 needs a new home.

It's a 1970 UK car, with overdrive. Its all up and running well. I've had it for 7 years and its completed a few events and trips, in it over the years including a Round Britain Reliability Run, well I am on the Club Triumph organising team so it seemed necessary to do 2000 miles non stop in the TR. It's been used well and I've taken it to France and various trips with friends around the UK, it's never been home on a flatbed.

When I acquired the car, back in 2012, it had been off the road for many years in dry store. I drove it home from Essex to Berkshire and apart from a little last minute high temperature when I came off the motorway, it was fine. The rise in temp was due to a poor connection to the electric fan. That's all been replaced now with a modern controller and in 2018 a new radiator. Shown below when fitted

Over the years I have replaced the inlets and linkages with refurbished ones from Neil Ferguson, along with a set of injectors and a metering unit just last year. I generally source my refurbished stuff from Neil as he's ex-Lucas and a helpful chap with decent prices. My next project car is Lucas injected too :-) Teaser image below!

Back to the TR6 - I've renewed most of the interior with standard vinyl, black carpets and new sound insulation. I rebuilt the seats underneath with new foam and webbing but using the original covers. I've added some hidden USB for phone charging and sat nav too.

The suspension was a bit of a voyage of discovery, when I first had the car it was prone to wallow and not very comfortable over our bumpy A roads. I replaced springs and shocks for the RBRR but I went a little too low. The car came with a twin tail pipe exhaust system and that hung below the diff so we grounded out far too much. I replaced the exhaust system, including a tubular manifold, with a single pipe system - it's not too loud but gives a nice note. Over successive trips I tuned the suspension ride height with different thickness spring insulation pads. Ultimately I settled on Koni shocks on the front and uprated lever arms on the back, there are thicker pads top and bottom on the springs. That's the set up that's still on the car today and it's a good all round set-up, pliant and not too hard so it stays comfortable at speed and round town.

There have been a few other improvements over the years, the RBRR suggested new halogen lamps and headlight units to improve the night driving experience. 

When the clutch release bearing was getting noisy, I renewed the complete clutch, I consciously went for the TR4 arrangement without the dowel, this is not as quiet as the TR6 arrangement but with a bronze carrier and no dowel it's far more long lasting - you don't get the wear notch that ruins the carrier.

A trip to France in 2017 showed up a failing overdrive, it didn't let us down completely but it was close, I pulled it out and had it rebuilt. That took a little running in but it's good now. A fine crack in the original radiator lead to weird water loss when stood but nothing when used so I put in a new radiator last year. 

The hood is tight and the windows are clear, being tight it is a bit of a workout to fasten but it does mean that it's as waterproof as any Triumph I've owned. It's very good in even the worst weather. There's a tonneau cover that fits too.

The car was restored many years ago, when replacement panels fitted, and its still very good today. It's no concours motor, it's pretty and very useable. There are some cosmetics around the car that could be improved and things to tinker with if you're minded to.

Why am I selling? Well, apart from not being able to keep them all, I have been pursuing a Vitesse for a few years now and just recently I managed to buy it - it needs investment and work and therefore I need to release funds and space.

The TR6 is tax free and MoT exempt, I have service history from my ownership but very little prior to that. I'm hopeless with dates and realise that the above reads like a story but the order is a little wrong so I'll need to refer to the bills for the detailed chronology if any one's really interested!

The advert is here https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1323171 

Free cup of tea with any viewing, free biscuit to the buyer!

Thanks for all the interest! In had to disappoint some viewers as the car sold yesterday and is now with its new owner.

Friday, November 06, 2020

It looks like I've been asleep!

 Well it's been years! since I made a blog post. Sorry about that, been busy - work mainly. Never mind, I haven't been in total hibernation, I've bought another Triumph! Yes, back to a Vitesse, this one's just a bit special and so I'm going tease my reader with just a glimpse.

I'll try and write the story of it's acquisition and why I wanted it plus as I establish all the features I'll post here what's been done (and continues to be done) to it - this is not a standard car :-) Oh, and yes it does have Lucas PI, of course.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

2018 RBRR

Wow, that was a roller coaster!

It's RBRR entry season and once every 2 years Chinn Towers goes mental with paperwork, except this time it didn't. It went mental with web based shenanigans!
We went 'on the line' as they say, gone were the paper forms, envelopes, stamps, cheques - in came the virtual world.
Keith Bennett has been working away and has created a new website with an events area for us organisers to create and administer events.
It's been a long time coming and we did have to burn the midnight oil to get it all working but it's there and survived.
OK so it was not without it's issues but those were mainly due to the fact that the event 'engine' runs on the web site backbone so we couldn't have the event engine without the new site. The new site isn't 100% ready but I wanted to press on with the event engine and well, we did have a few issues. Most of them are due to the new site needing users to sign in and synchronise (sort of ) their old site data with the new site data. If they didn't (or there were issues) then they couldn't make a RBRR entry.
Now this caused a little panic and a some people got their panties in a bunch over it forgetting that we have never (and I mean never) turned away anyone in the first week of entry being open for any (and I mean any) RBRR that Tim and the current team have run. Yes we fill up fast but we do everything we can to help people get on.
Most of our issues are resolved, we have a few residuals with about 14 entrants who still have stuff we need to fix, most of those are with site credentials, a few have payment issues and the rest are ones I am being ultra cautious with - we spotted activity that looked like failed attempts to enter and I've sent email out to those people just to check that they realise they don't have a valid entry (check the list here https://clubtriumph.ltd/menu/17313/view 
There is a thread on the Club Forum that you should read if you have issues http://club.triumph.org.uk/cgi-bin/forum10/Blah.pl?m-1506966563/s-all/  it has several instructions including what to do if your entry is showing as a reserve and what to do if you can't see an "ENTER" button on the entry list.
If you can't get it working do not panic, just get in touch with Tim, Keith or I and we will add you to the snagging list and fix it - you may not get a response straight away, we all have lives but we will get to you eventually.
Please help yourselves first, read the November  Club mag, page 12. Make sure you're respecting the case sensitivity of your user name and password and make sure you are actually a paid up member (you do not have to be a paid up member to read the forum, you do need to be paid up to enter the RBRR) 
For those issues I know about I have put a temporary fix in place and you will see some entries with only a few details, most of them are problem cases. If your is one of those, and you can get into the site, you can amend your own entry and fix those. There is no problem starting over just tell me and I will delete any orphan entries.
For those who show as "In_Payment" it means we haven't got confirmation from our payment service provider that the payment has gone through - that doesn't mean it hasn't, it just means our service provider, Lloyds is a bit tetchy. If you can see that the payment has gone through please let me know. I am in contact with the Treasurer (who has access to the money side of things) and we'll work it out.
Oh and the numbering is shot to hell, please don't worry about this it will change when we get time, I probably need to go through and manually correct them all, we had a bug in the code that counted abandoned entries and allowed duplicates so you can imagine the train wreck that caused!
Finally, this is self service. So, if you have mis-spelt your name, car details or anything else, you need to fix it. We will take these details as correct and it's what will get engraved onto tankards, published in the mag, etc. Please keep it updated with any changes too.

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.


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 :-)