Showing posts from March, 2007

The quest for Insurance concluded

With the help of the TSSC I got to the right guy in Footman James and then with a little reminding he came up with a solution. £41.25 and a £300 excess when Joe drives sounded OK to me, well Joe's paying so I hope it sounds OK to him :-) Seems that Footman James' admin isn't really that slick so it's as wise to not accept the first (or second) answer and persevere. I've kept Mike Crewes at the TSSC informed and this should help him tackle these admin glitches with FJ. The scheme is good, the cover wide, the benefits extensive but the admin and the feeling that it's all a bit slap dash is overwhelming. Having said that it is worth persevering with, I couldn't get close enough to the FJ quote for my "normal" business although I did not try everyone. Insurance is one of those grudge purchases that really should be supported by seriously good customer service to win over the customer, FJ have a way to go. I hope they crack it as it can only be a good t

The quest for insurance continues

I took the advice fo a few people who'd emailled me about this and enlisted the help of the Club, the TSSC have a long standing good relationship with Footman James. Well on the advice of the Club I spoke to a guy in Footman James, Trevor Keefe, nice chap, knew what I was driving and actually appreciated what I was saying about it being a TR6 engined Vitesse etc. He explained that they basically issue 2 types of policy, a "mature" driver policy designed for over 25s and a "young" driver policy designed for under 25s - both are ratehr accordingly. In essence as I have the mature policy I cannot add an inder 25 to it, however there is some flexibility as it's purely an administrative barrier that can be sorted. He said that yes Footman James would be able to cover my co-driver, especially as it's only for a week, and that he would undertake to get me a firm price/terms asap. Later today there was a weird exchange of emails and another call from Trevor - su

Rally ho!

Well that was fun! A few guys from Club Triumph popped over to Holland on the weekend to do the Dutch night rally. I co-drove with Tim Bancroft in his car, the Dreadnought aka Lurch aka The Grey Thing - a MkI 2500 PI running on carbs. Several hundred miles covered to get there and back plus some nifty Dutch Tulip navigation, a broken throttle cable fixed in the dark in the middle of nowhere and nursing a fellow crews dodgy dynamo - all in a weekends work really :-) We didn't finish, it didn't matter, the beer at the end was just as good, as was the company! So thanks to all those involved, especially Theo our back seat driver and Roger our battery donor (poor James' Spit needed the juice as it's grumbly dynamo just couldn't take the pace). Special thanks to Tim for inviting me. It was good to meet a few old faces and some new ones too, despite never having used Tulips to navigate with before (I've used them to appologise with) I was getting used to them and quic

The quest for Insurance

I'm on a quest for insurance cover for the Vitesse and Sixfire as I need to find cover that allows the addtion of my 23 year old co-driver on the 10CR. I don't want to split the cars up onto different policies although I will if I have to. The cars are both modified, effectively I have a 2 litre Spitfire and a TR6 engined Vitesse. I don't want a limited mileage policy on the Vitesse as I intend to use it often, the Sixfire doesn't do that many miles a year and could probably stand a limited policy. I want breakdown cover and I want to be able to add in drivers without too much admin and cost. So far Footman James, current insurer through the TSSC - premium's £200 but you need to add membership and valuation fees (per car) so the true cost is nearer £250 BUT they will not add on any drivers under 25. This is by far the best value for money but doesn't help me out of this issue. This includes European breakdown insurance and unlimited mileage. Norwich Union Classi

First drive with a new heart and a look back

For the first time in ages I've seen another Triumph in Reading and it was a Vitesse complete with hardtop like mine :-) I didn't have much time to get the phone and take a picture as I drove by with traffic behind me I couldn't really stop. I was at this point in the Toyota. The test drive however was far more fun, it was only a short test run, just to make sure everything was working. It was really good to get out in the Vitesse again, I could only run up and down my local private road due to the fact that the MOT expired whilst the car was in pieces although I was able to tax it (free of course) before the original MOT expired. So what have I done over the past 5 months? It's probably easier to say that the the engine block, cylinder head casting and gearbox casing have been retained but everything else renewed :-) The blocks been stripped cleaned and honed, the bores were not excellent but acceptable New County +.60 pistons, new rings, gapped and carefully installe

It's still Alive!!!

No Jim there is no truth in the rumour that the dizzy was sat on the bench the whole time! Although I have just spent 10 mins wondering why it was running so rich until I realised I hadn't reconnected the vacuum pipe to the metering unit So everything's back on in the engine bay now, I've set the timing with a timing light and she ticks over lovely. Filled the garage with fumes so I drove her out, turned round and drove back in so the exhaust doesn't fill the garage with fumes! There were lots of oily finger prints to burn off and the high temp paint on the manifold smoked awfully , I couldn't stay in the garage. It didn't last long and seems OK now - doubtless it'll fall off later! I fitted the new exhaust, I didn't seem to need to buzz off that other mounting, the silencer fits fine in the gap between the two, tail pipe seems to stick out a bit but looks OK. The MOT expired whilst the car was in pieces so I need to get a new one before I can do any

It's Alive!

Yup, she runs! It was my misunderstanding of setting up the timing that was at fault, I knew it was timing, Dave confirmed it was timing but I couldn't figure out how I'd got it wrong. My lack of recent practical experience got in the way oh, and a stubborn refusal to actually read the manual properly :-) Thanks to all those who chipped with comments and ideas - I knew I'd get there but when you're in the garage on your own and it's not going to plan you do get disheartened. Getting enough time at the thing has been a challenge too, it's not easy to do it in 1 or 2 hour segments. So what's left to do? Fit the new exhaust - this is a Mk1 chassis so I need to give it a little gentle teasing with the angle grinder to buzz off the lower mount on the outrigger so I can fit the single back box. Everything else should be OK. I've got to get the engine timed up properly with the timing light, it's back on points at the moment (so I could see what the hell wa


Another frustrating evening spent in the garage and still no fire up although I can now get some nice flames out the inlets and I am a dab hand at taking it all araprt and putting it all back together! I spoke to Dave Pearson's technical support line and, armed with the knowledge I went into the garage for "20 minutes work" to get it running, timing is still the considered cause of the problem. 3 hours later I'm out again and drinking beer. I've had the thing apart again 3 times tonight, swapped the leccy ignition for points and put it all back together thrice. The problem is that the drive shaft seems to be all over the place, if I can get it slotted into the oil pump then the dizzy is all over the place, it doesn't matter where the dizzy is but there are certain orientations that you can't get at the spark plugs of the tacho drive can't be connected! I understand that the dizzy drive gear can be anywhere depending upon where the oil pump happens to b

Start you b*&t£%d!!

Yes, I've started swearing at it an dit still won't start. I sprayed a load of Easy Start in and I still got no hint of firing so I was pretty sure the timing was out. So I checked that No1 was at TDC and that the rotor arm was pointing at No1 - that was fine. The plug leads are all in the right order (I haven't disturbed them from the original working set up). I've always been aware of tales of getting the dizzy 180 degrees out but looking at it and trying to get it in another orientation I couldn't see how you can get it wrong. What I'm not so sure of is could I have got the drive underneath fitted wrongly? I've got fuel, I've got spark, I've got air but are they all in the right place at the right time????

OK, I've tried most things I know - HELP!

She won't start. For anyone who doesn't know this is a fuly rebuilt 2.5 PI engine. All the ancilliaries have gone back on, they were all fine when they came off There's fuel in the tank Fuel pressure is 107 PSI at the metering unit inlet Each injector is spraying a fine mist, no dribbling There's a spark at the king lead from the coil There's a spark at each plug - I've pulled them all out and seen each one sparking. The cold start lever is connected and working fine, pulled all the way out I'm running with no filter or plenum so there's plenty of air Compression seems fine although I have not yet put the gauge on any cylinders The dizzy is about where it was when I removed it Ignition is Aldon/Petronix - what's the easiest way to detect when it opens?? She turns over fine and I occassionally get a "phut" and a "pop" or a "bang" or two but nothing I'd really call "firing". The only thing I can think of is b

Bleeding injection

Just come in for a "comfort break" having been playing bleed the injectors - weirdly I couldn't get real flow at the injectors, seemed also that I wasn't getting any spill back from the metering unit - a quick fiddle about fitting the pressure gauge at the metering unit showed there wasn't a pump problem. I opulled the cold start overfuel lever a bit more and tried again, there we go, a good spray from all injectors! Right, lets go see if we can find a spark - yes there's a spark so now with a rough approximation of where the dizzy should be to get close to a sensible timing I whacked the plugs and injectors back in and gave it a go. It's struggling to go, some lovely popping and the odd loud bang but it's not firing. I've left it with the battery still charging for an hour whilst I have a break, take some pills for the headache the fumes have given me (both garage doors are open) etc. I also need to give the history homework help I promised No 1 d

Need more power!

The damn battery's gone flat, grrrrr - on the plus side the oil pressur eis up and there's fuel getting to the injectors although I think I may just pull them out and bleed them off a bit to make sure they are working 100% - of course I need a charged battery for that. I took the battery off the Sixfire but that's a dinky little thing and didn't really have the guts to power the pump and turn the engine - a PI pump takes some juice to keep going. The boost starter wasn't much good either but I guess I should have topped all these things up days ago really. Never mind, there's always tomorrow :-) Now I need to write my TSSC area news and get ready for the Club Triumph Dinner and apparently I have some history homework to sort out with No1 child - it's all go here!

Will she fire up?

Well this morning's been spend rebuilding the rocker gear and refitting, adjusting the tappets, refitting fan, radiator, alternator and injectors. I've managed to damage the wiper motor connections but I have a spare. The car's filled up with fluids and I've whizzed her round on the starter to get the oil light out but the battery isn't that well charged - I knew I should have put it on charge yesterday - I can use my el cheapo batter booster or pull the battery of the Sixfire if neccessary. Anyhow, it's all ready to go so now I've had my lunch I'm off back out to see if she'll run :-)


New rocker shaft and some other little bits arrived today, I know I've said it before but I think I shoudl get the engine fired up this weekend. Gotta fit in parents evening for the eldest, some more DIY, the Club Triumph Dinner and a hangover though :-)


I'm kicking myself that I never stripped and assessed my stock of rockers before now. Yup, you guessed it, what I have is shagged. This was on the car when I got it - a Mk1 set - I think from a 2000 as they have the short adjusters. The shaft had the unsupported ends with end caps and mills pins (not really sure of those, if they drop out they will do some serious damage in an engine). The rockers have two oil holes, one directly on the top and the other in the familiar position just next to the adjuster. Having stripped it down it's not going back on. The shaft is scored badly and the surface is breaking up in parts. This was the best photo but not the worst wear point. I've seen worse but it is quite bad. It's clean and clear inside though - you can see through it and the oil holes are all unblocked. The rockers are OK, some are a bit worn but nothing awful. I had a spare set of Mk2 gear from my spare 2.5 engine, some of the rockers aren't great but I had a few

I think I've sorted it

Well the clutch pipe modification seems to have stayed sealed - I'm not really 100% sure of it mind you! It seems to have held the fluid for a week and when I press the pedal it all works as it should with no leakage. There was no puddle on the floor so I'm tentatively pronouncing it a success - I have loads of the armoured pipe and may make up other lines in it one day but I'm not keen to trust my workmanship yet - brakes are afterall safety critical, the clutch isn't so much :-) Also visible is my nice new red battery lead, straight to the starter - must test that soon!

Collector again

Here's an underneath view of the collector with it's mashed clamps - they have been beaten flat over the years. I tried unsuccessfully to reshape one pair but there was no way I was going to be able to use them as designed so I gave up.

Getting there - again

Just posting this because I like the picture ;-)

Collector views

One of a couple of pix for Dave Sideways - this is the only "clamp" that is serviceable - I've dropped a stainless nut and bolt in there and it seems to do the job.