Monday, July 31, 2006

Off to the middle of nowhere

Well I'm off on my holidays with the wife and kids. We're going to the US to
spend 3 weeks in an "RV" - a fifth wheel trailer and a Ford pick-up combo.
I've never driven one before so it could be fun. I'll definitely see at
least one Triumph as I'm visiting my friend Jerry who has a GT6+. If I can
find the WiFi enabled camp grounds I'll post some pictures and progress

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Electrickery update

Well I got a nice quick response from Draper and they say they'll collectthe multimeter and check it out for me, can't say fairer than that really. I'm impressed already, we'll see if it's the meter that's faulty or me!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Amps volts and all that electrickery

Just came to use my nice "new" multimeter and it's gone mad, won't give a proper reading :-( I've had it for a while, bought in a moment of surprising extravagance (it was my birthday I think) a couple of years ago and used probably about twice since then - I never did think it was right but I always thought it was my own stupidity rather than the tool.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Take the tube

So, item 6 on the list of things to do was find some hose to make the plenum chamber connectors. The eBay hose I found was exactly what I needed, a length of 48mm radiator hose - nothing fancy and only a few quid.It arrived so well packaged I didn't recognise it. mind you, I had loads of stuff turn up, it was like Christmas! So today, despite the heat and humidity I decided to have a go at what should be a simple job.
First job was to ensure the mocked up cardboard tubes were right.

Then replace those with pieces of the radiator hose, cut to the same length.

Next, add some Jubille slips to clamp the tubes to the plenum.

And here's the "final" product, I've connected the air bleed and rocker breather to the plenum, not sure if I'll keep it like that. For a start I need some proper vacuum hose for the air bleed. On tickover that draws all the air needed for the engine to run, I don't think it would collapse the hose but you never know.
There's no support bracket under the plenum, as there should be. In the Vitesse the mountings used for the plenum chamber are both occupoed and obscured - occupied by the engine mount and obscured by the exhaust.
The pipework holds it all a little higher and a little further off the throttle bodies so that it now just clears the throttle linkage and the bulkhead.
So most of a job ticked off, now I need a filter or some ducting and standard filter holder.
So the list now looks like this
  1. Buy a fire extinguisher - Done
  2. Tune the end float on the Lucas pump .
  3. Find a way to fit the cooling coil - Just found and bought of eBay a pump, PRV, cradle and cooling coil all fitted together
  4. Plumb in a "helper" pump for the Lucas pump
  5. Tidy up the throttle linkage and fit a stronger return spring - sort of done, need to find a better spring
  6. Make the plenum to throttle body joiners - Done
  7. An air filter
  8. Sort out the tell tale drain from the pump
  9. Re-mount the filter bowl lower
  10. Make a boot floor - piece of MDF or ply or similar - so I can use the boot again
  11. Mount the spare wheel in the boot, on the new boot floor
  12. Change the fuel filter - just in case, get a spare too.
  13. Source a take off for the fuel pressure gauge I've got
  14. Recon a couple of injectors, a spare pump and a spares kit for the car
  15. Select or buy some tools specific to the car
  16. Oh and get some inserts in the cylinder head but that's a whole other can of worms!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The list of things to do gets smaller

In my previous entry Jason's Blog I made a list well you do have to don't you. So Now I'm going to tick them off and at the end of the week make a new list just to keep me going.

No 1 - I've bought an extinguisher (eBay)
No 6 - I found some water pipe the right size and that should be on the way too (eBay again) I suppose I should replace this entry now with "Cut and fit the connector pipes".

The hose and connectors arrived from Tink today, also the new "T" piece. I have some DIY to do on the weekend and some friends coming to stay so it's unlikely I'll get much time at the car but I'll try.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Think plumbing

Well after yesterday's investigations, cut short by the arrival of friends, Pimms and a rather nice meal on the patio, I sorted out a plan of attack.
Despite my advanced state of merriment I had chatted to James Carruthers and sorted out an order for Think Automotive. The idea was that although I have several lengths of seriously over spec Aeroquip TFE braided racing hose, I don't have enough in a single run to do the whole job. So I've gone for a lesser spec Aeroquip "push-on" hose - this stuff has a 1000psi burst pressure, should do the trick :-) With fixtures and fittings added the order is complete and went down the wire last night. I also found a suitable large bore "T" piece for the fuel return, it was on eBay and will be coming to me from Wales.
So all I have to do now is make a hole in the front chassis rigger where the DPO (Dumb Previous Owner) plated the stock hole - no I don't mean Dave Walker, the previous previous owner! Once through the front rigger I'll take the hose up "above" the chassis and along the car, out of harms way and as far away form the exhaust as I can get. I need to figure out how to keep it there, may resort to some cable ties. From there it can enter the boot space via the existing drain hole. I need to source some grommets I think.
Stuff left to do

  1. Buy a fire extinguisher - better safe than sorry
  2. Tune the end float on the Lucas pump so it draws minimum amps. I'm not sure my multimeter works and I'm a crap auto electrician but I'll have a go.
  3. Find a way to fit the cooling coil, maybe remake the cradle the pump sits in, it's quite tempting to do this in aluminium sheet - we have a good metal stock holders nearby so I may go get some to play with.
  4. Plumb in a "helper" pump for the Lucas pump to positively pressurise the input side. I have a facet solid state pump, I may use that - it seems to allow flow when not running but I'm not sure if it will protest - I suppose I could run it all the time. I've been talking to Kastner about this, more on my conversations with him another time - he's a mine of information. I've also been chatting to another tuner - Gareth Thomas, who is now in Estonia! again, more on that another time.
  5. Tidy up the throttle linkage and fit a stronger more reliable return spring.
  6. Source some suitable pipe to make the plenum to throttle body joiners, I've mocked it up with toilet roll tubes (exactly the right diameter!) and I've sorted out the right length to clear the throttle linkage and yet retain sufficient clearance to close the bonnet! I know I can do it with 450mm of 48mm inside diameter tube, just where to get it from at a suitable price? I may just bite the bullet tonight and order it from for £45 a metre but then again I might mix some resin and paint my toilet roll holders for nowt!
  7. An air filter - the friend who cam round yesterday says he has a ram air cone filter that might fit, I'll have to ping him the measurements. Ultimately some ducting and a filter close to the air flow in the front of the bonnet might be a good idea.
  8. Sort out the tell tale drain from the pump, this needs to be routed outside the car so another hole and grommet in the boot. I'd like to route it away from the exhausts too so there'll need to be some under the boot jiggery pokery there!
  9. Re-mount the filter bowl lower, I think I can do this by turning the brackets upside down and re-bolting. This should make it all sit inside the spare wheel well.
  10. Make a boot floor - piece of MDF or ply or similar - so I can use the boot again
  11. Mount the spare wheel in the boot, on the new boot floor - for local trips and when i don't need the space I'll carry it, for anything else I can leave it at home and substitute a can of tyre jizz.
  12. Change the fuel filter - just in case, get a spare too.
  13. Source a take off for the fuel pressure gauge I've got - ideally fit that under the bonnet. I've also found an adjustable pressure switch that I could use to wire in a low pressure warning light - it's £20 mind you so it's a way down the list.
  14. Recon a couple of injectors, a spare pump and a spares kit for the car - best to carry this stuff.
  15. Select or buy some tools specific to the car - there's a tool kit in the Sixfire that stays in it, the Vitesse has a few odds and sods but it's not very well thought out!
  16. Oh and get some inserts in the cylinder head but that's a whole other can of worms!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The fuel comes out of the PRV at the black straight pipe, which is the same union as teh injector hoses use - 3/8 NPTF maybe?

Here's the union I need to go to on the metering unit - 3/8 BSP

Now the connundrum - I have a long length of this stuff - PTE pipe, covered in stainless braiding - very tough. Looks like it'll take the abuse of being under the car and is long enough for me to plumb everything in I think. I just need to figure out what ends to use. It's not compressable so any kind of external worm drive clip won't work.

So, what really lay beneath all that paint and crap? What you're seeing here is a classic DPO modification. It was done to the car before Brummy Dave got it so we don't know why but here it is. The brake line is sleeved in rubber and passed through the rigger, the fuel line is passed through a plate welded over the rigger - it's the same at each side of each rigger. It's also covered in epoxy and then filler, oh and then some paint!

What?!? Adverts on the Blog!!!???

OK, not the money grabbing net barons insisting on me putting ads on my blog but me doing it voluntarily. It was just an experiment really but I thought I'd see if it generated any money. I'll put all the earnings into my Round Britain Reliability Run sponsorship for me and Andy Cook who are taking my Vitesse around the UK with 99 other idiots in Triumph. It's all for the charity Bliss, the premature baby charity. It's all the more poignant as Craig's son Callum was born premature but is doing very well now.
Anyway - I'll also sort out a Paypal donation button so if anyone wants to drop some cash into the virtual tin they can.

Now with DIY in the bathroom done to Mrs Chinn's quality standard I can now attack the Vitesse and have a proper look at the fuel system.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A bit of Blog magic

Thanks to Craig Gingell I've now got an RSS feed thingy that puts the stuff I'm selling on eBay onto my Blog. He's a whizz at all this interweb stuff and very reasonably priced too :-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Line 'em up!

Purley Tyre Care Specialists
The wife has been complaining about tyre squeal in her Sixfire so I took the opportunity to run over the road to a new tyre place that's opened up. They have spent some serious money on the kit in there, a super 4 wheel laser alignment thingy with pit and ramp all spanking new and shiny.
They couldn't find Triumph in their books had no data for the GT6 but they did manage to find a Spitfire under Rover > Triumph > Spitfire.
the car would barely fit on the new super whizzo ramp and the guy seemed a little reluctant to do the job.
However! A little banter later and they seemed to perk up a bit, I made a call to get the settings of +/- 1/2 deg toe in front and rear, "a hint of negative camber" and forget castor coz you can't adjust it.
Off we went on the super whizzo machinery - what an amazing piece of kit, I mean it showed that the alignment was all over the place and where to correct it etc but it was the way it did it that was impressive. Mind you, for about £30k for the machine it should be impressive.
After a few tickles with a spanner and a run down the road to test it I was happy and paid the money - under £30 inc VAT and cheeky banter. It was all over in about 25 mins and the car feels better for it, doesn't squeel round corners in car parks - well it does a little bu that's inevitable, it's no where near as bad as it was.
The guys there were pleasant, careful and thoughtful - the tyre prices don't look too bad and their selection seemed pretty large - I saw 175/70 x 13s there in abundance.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rubbers, coils and the ultimate protection

Well he's what an original Lucas factory cooling coil looks like, I stopped off at Canley's for a beer on Friday and came away with a complete pump and a coil to practice with - I need to sort out how to mount the pump better - the cage is a tidy way of doing it but it's too tight - maybe make a new one out of alloy? Something to ponder.
I've also been looking at what's in the parts bin for fuel lines - I have some very tough nylon lined, stainless braided hose but I;m a bit stumped by what fittings to use. I really need to find somewhere that stocks these things and go down there with the hose, discuss and sort it on the spot.
As for rooting, I've decided that I need to uncover what's been done to the chassis riggers - have they really been plated over or is it epoxy, Fiberglas or what? It looks like steel but there's so much paint in it who really knows. A bit of investigation with the sand blaster and/or wire brush - hard line or armoured flexi I think the lines still need to go alongside the original fuel lines.
I also need a bigger bore T piece at the tank for the tank feed/return.
Finally, I'm considering re-plumbing in the red top fuel pump to act as a helper pump - I just need to figure out if it will flow enough when turned off - that way it can stand by and only be used when necessary.

Despite opening up this can of worms I'm enjoying the trouble shooting, if only I could get some real time on the car but in the run up to a holiday (August for 3 weeks) it's manic at work and I'll be away most of the time again. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

To cap it all

I managed to find some centre caps - stupidly simple really. Although the wheels aren't branded Minilites they came for the TSSC and were made by KN Wheels Ltd who trade as Minilite. The wheels are all made on the same production line. I'd called them a month ago and they'd promised to send me some caps, they never arrived nor did I get a bill. Anyway on Friday I called them again, spoke to a different guy and got a set of 4 identical caps with badges all delivered today for £17.63.
Why I didn't think to ask for wheel nuts too I don't know as I now have no spares at the moment and seem to regularly knacker them on both cars! And yes I do actually use a torque wrench to do them up not just tighten them to the absolute max :-)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Oh Crap!

Well that was an eventful day! I decided to take my wife and youngest daughter the the Club Triumph National at Hollycombe, about 45 miles away.
The car's not 100% but it needed using to shake down a few things and create a list of must do jobs - yeah right.
First issue, a little stuttering almost like fuel starvation. No matter I can live with that and investigate further, then the heat of the day builds up with the traffic, the car is mis-firing badly, doens't seem to want to rev, almost dies then does actually die. It then refuses to restart.
It was hot today, very hot and although the car never boiled it did creep up the temp guage to the wrong side of normal. The car's never boiled and Dave Walker who had it before me said he'd never had any issues with cooling but it was damn hot today!
So there we were, 5 miles from the CT national when the car died on me, we coasted into the side of the road but it was a bad place to stop. Alfter messing about checking injectors and stuff I decided that I'd check to see if the pump was working properly. It wasn't screaming or obviously doing anything unusual, it's very quiet. I then realised I didn't have a spanner big enough for the union! so I undid the smaller low pressure return pipe from the metering unit - nothing came out. That's not right. I could smell petrol , very strongly - I must have flooded it I thought - whipped the plugs out - dry. More fiddling, try and start it etc. I then decided that I'd call James and see if he could come out and tow me into Hollycombe so the wife and kid could at least stretch their legs and I could sort the car out properly in safety. James agreed and I carried on trying to see if I could start the car. Just as James and Tim turned up I noticed it, the passenger footwell is swimming in what turned out to be petrol - an inch of petrol sloshing around in the footwell with my wife's favourite handbag in the middle of it! Oh shit, this is a serious situation.
OK so in hindsight it was a bad thing to route the fuel pipe through the car and it was equally a bad idea to run with such a temporary solution like that.
Anyway, I bailed the footwell out with some rags, apologies to Claudia for the ruined bag, contents and a fleece that was in the footwell too - it's all pretty ruined :-)
Tim rode shotgun with the fire extinguisher and Claudia and Poppy went with James who then proceeded to tow Tim and I in - note to self, James drives fast!
So we got into Hollycombe and had a proper look - the hose had burst -comprehensively burst! Never fear - Nigel Gair is there with a suitable length of hose to fix it and a spare length just in case. What a great bloke.
We had a fiddle and all seemed fine, the throttle linkage needs a better return spring but otherwise it's OK.
On the journey home I did some "testing" OK well I thought about as it died and decided that the pump was getting hot. A chat with Dave Pearson confirmed that the symptoms were indicative of pump cavitation.
So I need to sort out pump cooling too. Any suggestions?
I also need to sort out a proper high pressure fuel line with unions on - I think it needs to run outside the car - quite how I'm not sure. Maybe armoured flexible hose?