Showing posts from April, 2008

Broken brakes!

Yes it didn't take long to break the PI but then you do need to lay spanners upon a new car sometime. I took it out for a blat and had one of those funny pedal moments where you think "Hey up, this doesn't feel right" so I drove home carefully without using the brakes much. I parked up and took a look in the fluid reservoir - low. Hmmm, lets have a looksee under the car and there it was, immediately obvious. Brake fluid all over the inside of the front wheel on the driver's side. Damn! One of the Stag calipers was NOS and one was a reconditioned one - they were provided by the previous owner for fitting so their provenance was uncertain. Yup - the NOS one was fine and it was the nice shiny plated new one that had let go. It was hard to see where the fluid was coming from but it was obvious that it was going to have to come out for a looksee. It all looked OK but it obviously wasn't. I tested it as best I could on the bench and then stripped it, separating the

In the pink

a certain well known Triumph Club secretary recently destroyed a perfectly good diff. In the past he had complained to a certain well known builder of Triumph mechanical units about the colour of paint used by said builder - the previous diff having been painted yellow and green. Anyway, said rebuilder asked me to obtain a suitable colour paint for the new unit, so I thought something in keeping with the Club Secretary's standing in the Triumph community - flourescent pink! I do like to help out where I can.

Well that didn't last long

The Vitesse just sold - email, phone call, viewing and deal done in hours - as is with no MOT - what can I say? I am most pleased indeed, I'll be sorry to see it go but at least I'm back in the good books with Mrs C and I can now work on the PI with a clear conscience :-)

I've really gone and done it now.....

The Vitesse is definitely up for sale - Mrs C has explained it to me, no work can commence on the PI until the Vitesse is gone and as her car is out on the drive and both mine are in the garage it's getting rather political - If I take one out I'm sure she'll steal the garage for her Saab! Pisonheads seemed like a good place to start, I'll do Club Triumph next although most will know it's for sale anyway - Pistonheads was easy Triumph : Vitesse Convertible - 2.6 injection and I had a call on it within a hour of it being uploaded! I've got some fettling to do to get an MOT, nothing major - the new steering coupling seems loose but it was a bitch to fit so I'll have another swearing session at that, I think it just needs pinching up but it's one of those cast ones and they seem to be rather substantial! Tunnel cover needs to come off to fix the overdrive inhibitor switch properly, last done in a German car park at 3am - it won't allow overdrive in thi

Tax doesn't have to be taxing!

When I got the PI it had been off the road since about 1977/78. The previous owner had applied for and got a V5 but the taxation class said "NOT LICENSED" although the date of first registration is stated as "27 06 1969 (DECL/D MANUF 1969)". I had taken a chance and driven it home but knew that I needed to get some sort of tax disc in the car despite the fact that it's free. Anyway, I'd written to the DVLA but thought I'd have a got in the Post Office as I'd like to get some miles on the car in the coming weeks to shake it down. Unsurprisingly the Post Office weren't much help and the miserable old fossil behind the counter just said "You can't do that here, take it to the DVLA" well it turned out that there's a Local DVLA office just round the corner from me in Theale. What a great place! Clean and tidy and free from old gits behind the counter, nice modern ticket queue system and chairs to sit in. Nice bubbly young totty behi

A little shopping

I can't resist eBay and it turns up such good stuff just when you need it. 1 item ticked off my "wish" list is a pair of sill finishers, the PI came with none so I'm quite happy. As a bonus they are in Stoke which I pass on my way up to Liverpool every other week - I just happen to be going on Wednesday so I won't have to trust them to the Post Office. I won't be able to fit them as I don't yet have the clips and I think I may get killed if I start working on this car whilst the Vitesse is still here! That needs a few jobs and an MOT but I have the parts and will get some time on it this weekend I hope.

It's home!

Well it's been a good few days. I got a lift up to Dave's place on Thursday afternoon and started the tinkering. Dave left me too it but it was good to have him around to help with my stupid questions and hamfisted ways of doing things! The car looks good on those KN Gemini wheels, they fill the arches really well with 195/60 15 Toyo Proxies on. I had some issues with the wheels over the Stag brakes, I hadn't realised just how much bigger the Stage brake drums are. It looked like the lettering on the brake drums was fouling the wheels, so I had at it with the angle grinder and they were better but still not good. The drum and wheel were not in full contact, I needed spacers. Went down to the local factors and picked up some 3mm and 5mm ones, the 5 mm ones were good. Whilst the wheels were off I also too the grinder to the arch flanges - just to be on the safe side. Now with the extra clearance I can get two fag papers in the gap ;-) Just thought I'd pop this one in, n

Latest nail biting developements

Mostly this week I have been doing stuff for the PI. Monday I got the new tyres mounted on the Gemini alloys, they do look nice now. Whilst I was at the tyre fitters, Dave called and left a message (phone was in the car whilst I paid for the tyre fitting) The message went "Listen to this...." followed by some lovely 6 pot noises :-) The PI had refused to start on it's 18 month old petrol and flat battery so I asked Dave to recommission it for me and get an MOT - remember it's not moved for 18 months since it's last MOT! I must take the plastic off the door too On Tuesday I had a meeting in Birmingham so I loaded the wheels and tyres up and left early to drop them off at Canleys. The car was in the workshop still on it's shitty mismatched 40 year old rubber. It's going to look good on those wheels I thought to myself. Today Dave texts me to say it's off for an MOT at 5:15. UPDATE - it passed :-) Tomorrow my parents return from the US and although they

The Isle of Wight Triumph Weekend anyone?

Every year I take a gentle drive down to the Isle of Wight and camp with a load of fellow Triumph enthusiasts from on and off the island. The weekend is something of a fixture in my family calender, both my girls look after me all weekend whilst I enjoy the ale and our little crew of friends forms the usually invincible Quiz Team - OK so I had enjoyed the ale a little too much to know the answer to the tie breaker a few years ago and have never lived it down - who cares how many bottles of champagne are in a Methuselah anyway? It all happens on the first May Bank Holiday weekend, 2 nd to 5 th May and costs are modest, £34 for me and my two kids to camp plus a ferry - Tesco Clubcard points are buying mine this year, it's usually around the £50 to £60 mark There's lots on that weekend, if you prefer a bit more of an active driving weekend, try the Club Triumph Historic Counties Challenge, the HCR . This starts and finished at Canley Classics premises in Fillongley near Nune

Exhumed from storage

Here it is in the cold light of day, sitting on it's shitty wheels and covered in workshop dust There are some useful modifications including power steering and removal of the crap remote servo, fortunately I'm not an originality freak but it is a shame there's no PI steering wheel with it, I'll have to find a suitable alternative There are one or two minor bits missing, like an air filter box, choke cable and some odd fittings that have been lost over the years but overall these are very minor. The car's super clean with new Stag suspension all round, all power coated and polybushed . Brand new Stag brakes and a lovely fresh engine. I'm still figuring out the spec but it seems to be mostly Witor parts including a Witor cam, new rods, +60 pistons, Witor Super Sports exhaust and a stainless Witor manifold. What strikes me about the car is how very ordinary it looks at the moment, just what a difference a set of wheels makes!

Wheels within wheels

Thanks to Colin "I can spot a bargain at 200 miles" Wake I followed up a lead on a set of KN Gemini alloy wheels yesterday and secured 4 good uns and one mullered (kerbed) one from a TR5 owner. He was suspicious of some apparent cracking on the reverse of the spokes of the wheels and had decided to get some new rims. I on the other hand am not so careful so I decided to take a risk and bought them for a £20 over scrap value gamble. I have a metallurgist friend who's seen them and says they don't look like stress crack but the only real way to tell is to cut them up. I could get them tested but the cost is an unknown as yet, I'm waiting to see if it's worth while. The mullered one could get sacrificed but the inference is that even at mates rates the testing could cost more than a new set! The one that got kerbed didn't break but bent so I am inclined to think they are OK. I have one more opinion to solicit and then I think I'll make a decision to use t