Friday, June 30, 2006

I think this sums it up

After two days at it this picture tells it all - at the time we were knackered and a bit despondent - this was about 9pm having been at the workshop since about 6 am both days. But don't despare! There is a happy ending, I just haven't written it yet! Posted by Picasa


That was about as far as we could go and it looked good, but could we get the bitch to run properly? I'll Blog the rest of the saga another day - suffice to say that it's true, a lot of trouble can be avoided with the right rubber! Posted by Picasa

Big dial time

A pressure gauge atthe metering unit was invaluable. We'd selected a PRV from the spares I'd brought up, as it happens both my PRVs were dubious so we used a new one - we found out as the pump would deliver 160 psi - we never had a single leak so the pipes are good :-) Posted by Picasa

Dave & Dave

On the left Brummy Dave Walker, previous owner on the right Dave Pearson - Brummy Dave came up for abuse and to see how we were getting on - OK I don't thinks he really wanted the abuse but it comes free for anyone in the workshop. I've promised Dave a drive of the car with the PI on. He sold me the car so he could fund a TR6 and has been on the PI learning curve ever since. Posted by Picasa

5 minute job my arse!

Remember that 5 min job to run a fuel line from boot to metering unit? well the guy who built the car had the bright idea of plating in all the chassis riggers and filling all the holes where the pipes run - no way we could sort this out without major surgery and probably all new brake lines. So the fuel lines now run inside the car, not ideal but better than crossing the chassis outside Posted by Picasa

Pearson in his element

The large tap is actually an airline fitting - it doesn't leak....yet. That reminds me, I must drill another hole in the boot floor and put the tell tale drain out of the pump body to drain outside the car. If the pump seals fail then it will leak petrol, with the drain outside of the car the boot won't fill up with petrol!

So that was the work sorted in the boot, just needed a high pressure fuel line from the PRV to the metering unit - easy, we'll do that later, it's only a 5 minute job - I'll come back to that statement later!

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Boot it!

With the wiring sorted Dave then went about building up a decent pump from the 10 or so I brought up - I need to sort out a cooling coil for it sometime.
I stuck with Lucas, I like the idea of refurbishing them, they are simple in design and can be fiddled with. This one is quite and will pump in excess of 160 psi - that tested our joints as it transpired our PRV was FUBAR! None leaked :-)
The pump's mounted as low as possible in the spare wheel well, I'll be running without a spare I think. I'll just get a can of tyre weld jizz - shame as I had bought a matching Minilite spare (ebay again).
Using a saloon pump cradle Dave bolted up the pump and PRV, deleved into his stock and found a MKI PI pipe to connect them, nice and long to prevent cavitation. The filter was mounted (I'll change it's position to try and get a cover on the spare wheel well) and the whole lot plumbed in in TR5 style - that's with the spill from the PRV routed back into the "spare" union on the filter housing. We used a "T" piece in the original Vitesse fuel line from the tank to accept the spill return from the metering unit (this runs at low pressure so uses the original fuel pipe). All this means we've retained the original single outlet from the standard tank - I think I'm still going to do the twin tanks, just not right now.
The "T" piece we used is a little restrictive so I think I'll change that soon - having said that I haven't noticed any fuel starvation issues. Dave says we should try cutting a hole in the tank and welling a sump/swirl pot into the bottom of the tank to prevent fuel surge. I like that idea, in the meantime I'll keep the tank full! Posted by Picasa

Sitting pretty...

...high up! There's not much clearance so I'm looking for a side entry distributor cap, Standard Vanguard I think - got one?? Posted by Picasa

Maintaining the inertia

The modern inertia cut out switch was an eBay purchase, I would like to keep it Triumph and use a proper one but they were fetching silly money on eBay when I bought this one. In fact the modern ones were so cheap I bought two.
The switch is mounted on the bulkead next to the battery - I have some new terminals to make up for the battery including insulated quick release terminals but that's for another day. Posted by Picasa

Fuel system

So, having decided not to recondition the head I cracked on with stripping off the old fuel system. Out went the facet fuel pump, big filter (there was some crap in that, good job it was a big 'un!) I stripped out the Filter King pressure regulator too. Some of this stuff may just appear on eBay unless someone makes me an offer now :-) Shame really as it's all pretty recent, the fuel pump looks new.
Once this was all stipped out I fitted an inertia cut off for the pump and laid the 30 amp wire to the boot, using the factory colour scheme of white as instructed by Dave! Posted by Picasa

Yet more pipes!

The connecting pipes for the plenum chamber are no good, they are too short and the plenum fouls the throttle linkage that Dave managed to sort out for me. It's now a simple throttle linkage and we found that a left hand drive Vitesse throttle cable just about fitted. The choke cable fits fine, needed a little snip to shorten it. I haven't only used a single cable not the usual PI twin cable, at £30+ it's an expensive luxury I can live without for a while. Posted by Picasa

Starting to plumb it in

So, we now needed some injectors - again I had a choice of push in injectors - with machining centres (the pin on the end) and without. We selected a few that looked like they'd never been dismantled and Dave rebuilt them with new "o" rings after cleaning them up.
We managed to find enough injector leads to make up a good set, there were some crap ones in there that had been cut about for some reason - I think these came from my original PI Vitesse project and if so they hadn't been on a car for 15 years plus! Posted by Picasa

More pipes!

These are a pain to fit but once you've got it right you can relax! This is why this is a twin balance pipe set, there are 4 of them :-) Posted by Picasa

What a tool!

It's really critical to get the butterflies synchronised on a PI and to do this you need to start by having all the manifolds lined up together and bolted solidly onto the head. It's only in a place like Canley's that you'll have access to an original factory assemble jig to do this, what a breeze! Posted by Picasa


There were issues with the heater pipe, it didn't seem to matter where I routed it, it was always in the way! In the end I tweaked the pipe from the pump, used a pre-curved section or Herald heater hose and got it just about right - I still ended up with a zip tie pulling it out of the way! It's the silly things that take the time! Posted by Picasa

Which throttle bodies to use?

Back to the engine and the choice of manifolds. I have both early single balance pipe type and the later twin balance pipe type. Now the general concensus is that the early ones are the ones to have but they have thinner throttle spindles that wear quickly, with their single balance pipes they are less likely to suffer from air leaks.The idea would be early bodies machined to accept late spindles but we had neither the time nor the inclinatin to do this and I don't think I'll be bothering, they twin balane pipe ones are fine.
I cleaned them up in the tank, careful not to over clean - the butterflies in a PI need to seat fully, tickover is achieved when air passes through the air bleed valve, not through the butterflies so you really want a tight seal here to be effective - it's very unlike a carb here. You don't adjust tickover with the throttle stops you do it with the air bleed screw. Posted by Picasa

Metering unit fitted

Remembering to fit the banjo bolted injector lines first (you can't get at them once the metering unit is fitted) we fitted the metering unit. I'd I'd timed the car to TDC, this makes timing the metering unit easier and you do need all teh help you can get here as it's a bitch. The metering unit and dizzy sit on an extended pedestal that means you need an extended drive inside. The whole things sits very high. It's OK but I am now looking for a side entry dizzy cap, Standard Vanguard I think - anyone got one?

The metering units I had represented a good spread of what's out there. You can't really tell what you've got until you whip the top off. Dave opted for the earlier one of the three I brought up - this too came off my original project Vitesse and it must have had a MkI system on it as this was a blue spring unit. Dave sorted out the seals and "O" rings - I am doing this on a budget and Dave's not one to waste money so we didn't replace everything - the rubber parts in a metering unit are expensive - diaphragms are £25 to 30 each retail, "O" rings and seals can set you back another £50 plus - you won't get much change from £100 for parts alone.

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It's a tight fit

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Softly softly

The metering unit sits under the distributor, unfortunately on a Vitesse the bulkhead is in the way so you need to carefully and delicatly bash the crap out of the bulkhead with a hammer to gain clearance. I also had at it with a hack saw and the resulting delicate dent is very neat - needs some paint though. Posted by Picasa

Extended drive gear

This is what drives the metering unit and dizzy - it's often left in the block on a PI engine when people rob the PI gear off them. Posted by Picasa

Dizzy out

The metering unit sits under the dizzy on a PI - both share a common drive. The "O" ring seal on the shaft of my dizzy had gone brittle, I found that out after the first extended test drive when we say oil pissing out of the pedestal! An easy fix with a new "O" ring. Posted by Picasa

It's a recession

Here's a better view of those caps and collets Posted by Picasa

Off with her head!

Well not quite but at least off with the rocker box and have a look at the valve clearances - Whoops! First issue, rocker gaps all over the place, evidence of some valve seat recession and also some wear in the spring caps - Dave reckons these are some unhardened alloy caps that are renowned for this, he has tehm in stock for anyone who wants them but he doesn't personally like using them. You can see the collets receeding into the caps at varying rates.
Note also Mk1 rocker pedestal and rockers on the edge of their adjustment - probably a product of 2 litre push rods being used.

Tappet clearances were as follows
1 (Exhaust) = 5 thou
2 (Inlet) = 8 thou
3 (Inlet) = 8 thou
4 (Exhaust) = less than 2 thou probably nowt!
5 (Exhaust) = 2 thou
6 (Inlet) = 10 thou
7 (Inlet) = 8 thou
8 (Exhaust) = 5 thou
9 (Exhaust) = 5 thou
10 (Inlet) = 12 thou
11 (Inlet) = 12 thou
12 (Exhaust) = 5 thou

I set them all to "a sloppy 10 thou" as Dave says :-)

We considered whipping the head off and running it down to the machine shop for valve insets to be fitted but after a few phone calls decided against this. I have a Mk2 rocker set, some 2.5 push rods and a couple of spare heads so I'll do it all soon but just no now. The head is in fact nothing too special. Whilst we were doing this Karl Dandridge turned up, he's ex-Canley mechanic and now in business for himself at Karl built the engine for Dave "Brummy" Walker the previous owner. Karl explained that the head was built from a late GT6 head, a "little tickling with the porting stone" was all that was done - you can tell the throats of the ports have been opened up.

Anyway, I knew the head had no valve inserts when I got it, I wasn't that surprised to find valve seat recession, just could have done without it being now :-)
I'd love to try one of Dave's alloy heads on it but I don't think the finances will take it just yet :-( I think roller rockers could help and as this engine gets revved hard I may just invest in a set.

Having now reset the tappets I will monitor them and see how the recession developes - I need to sort it out before the Round Britain I think. Posted by Picasa

One last look

... at the carbs. To be honest I've never had any real complaints about the carbs, they were rebuilt just before I got the car, have been on the rolling road and set up nicely. The throttle linkage was sweet and much better that the one on the Sixfire. My only complaint is fuel consumption, the car struggles into double figures but then it gets used hard.
I'm undecided as to whether to keep them for spares for the Sixfre or dispose of them and their K&N filters. As there's other expenditure coming I think I'll try and get rid. There's also a Malpasso Filter King thingy and a Facet fuel pump to offload. Posted by Picasa

And so it began

5am start for a couple of hours drive up to Canley Classics to see Dave for my injection :-)
Packed car out with the rest of my PI gear (yes I have more!) and some odds and sods I think I'll need. Mainly electrcal connectors wire switches and tools - I'm not a very good auto electrician but I have the right tools - Lucas bullet connectors are great if you have the right connector for the right wire and the right tools to assemble them! They make a neat job too.
Here's teh car at Canley with it's arse in the air ready for me to drop the prop and take it down the famous "Dave Mac Propshafts" for a quick rebuild - less than 24 hours later it was ready with new sliding joint, UJ and balanced, all for a suitable price. Thanks Dave - and I didn't even ask for a discount to mention you in my Blog :-) Posted by Picasa