Roadside shame

The Vitesse let me down :-( I can't believe it, it died on the approach to a roundabout and just refused to start. No cough, splutter or other signs, just died on it's arse.

To put it all into perspective -

I took the car down to the Rolling Road in Amesbury, a great run down, I was late, I spanked it severely. As I got close the overdrive popped in and out, it's a column switch and had been playing up a little, not engaging correctly so it might be that. No drama, I didn't need it for the rollers.

I got to Slark and met Neil Slark, what a nice chap. His brother restores Triumphs, mainly TRs but he has a Stag, Spitfire Mk3 (I think), a TR4a, 5 and 6 in his workshop at the moment. These are all major full restorations. I had a chat with him after the RR session, seems like a genuine chap and the Stag they were doing looked very nice.

Anyway, I digress. Neil put the car on the rollers and did a power run, 130 ish at the flywheel (these rollers can calculate transmission losses - about 11 HP in my case). The car was pinking under load and running a little rich but not bad. He retarded it 5 degrees and she misfired at the top end. A little testing and we got to a place where full power was achievable - 127 HP at 5300 rpm. The torque was impressive - 140 flbs at 3600 rpm - that sort of torque is produced from about 3250 rpm and does start to drop off until about 4250 rpm. A carb balance, checks for wear in the jets and a tinker with the mixture and the car was given thrash up the road - nice.

One thing we did spot was that the dizzy advance vernier was not very positive, it didn't click round as they usually do. In fact it was quite sloppy. Neil marked it for me so that I could tell if it was moving - perhaps that's why I had started to get pinking?

So, bill paid - £80 which I thought was good value. Apologies to Neil for dropping a little oil on his newly painted floor and I was off. No overdrive but that was OK and I headed for home.

The car went well, despite the rain and traffic until it cut out 3 miles from home!

so back to the breakdown - I was in a bit of a vulnerable position but I couldn't do much about that. I tried to see if I could find any obvious faults but it all looked fine. A passing motorist stopped to help, he had a Stag in the garage at home. We played about a both and noticed that the spark was weak but present and the dizzy seemed loose. On closer inspection I saw that the vernier adjusting wheel had moved, Neil's marks were not lined up. In fact the body of the dizzy was loose and I could turn it - the timing must be shot to bits now :-(

I couldn't get the thing to start so the wife came out and we towed it home. I've parked it in the garage and walked away. I have the week off work to play with cars so looks like I have my work cut out.

I just hope the Sixfire passes it's MOT tomorrow!


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