Showing posts from 2012

RBRR done

Well that was fun. Nigel and I finished 2000 miles in 48 hours in a car that up until 2 months ago had not been anywhere for at least 2 years and had done very little in the previous 18 or so. As you can see, we worked the car hard, at least the brakes did. It wasn't all easy and there were issues along the way but we completed the course, have a full set of signatures in our road book and more importantly still have the car, our friendship and sanity mostly intact. Having prepared the car I was fairly confident that I had covered the ground needed, there was nothing in there that was suspect, well not much. I was not 100% confident of the radiator, there is a tiny leak somewhere that I have been unable to find. Rad weld is in there and I packed some extra water. Oil consumption seemed a little high, I was worried about that but and had packed a few litres of oil spare.  There rest was all good. However, it didn't start so well, when we packed the spares and kit

The list is down to one page now

I managed to waste most of last night on a "minor" job - the front bumper fit. When the car was painted they removed the front bumper but when it was refitted they neglected to fit the two end bolts so it was only attached by the main two bolts. As far as I could see the holes didn't line up as the main fittings were bolted up tight. Because the sides were not bolted up they were chaffing the new paint, not a huge issue as it is easily touched up and out of sight. I figured if I loosened the main mounts I could get enough slack to get the bolts onto the sides. Wrong! Well to cut a long story short, I had to remove the bumper then found no threads in one side and very bad alignment. A couple of hours fettling and slighting elongating a few holes gave me just enough room to get three bolts out of the four in, I figured if I could just get this last one in then I could wind them all in a bit at a time and it would settle. I ended jacking the bumper up into position and

Mirror mirror......

Every now and again a job comes along where you know what needs to be done, you have the parts, the tools, you even know how to do it but you just can't bring yourself to actually do it! Fitting a pair of door mirrors was that job - all I had to do was mark up and drill 4 holes then screw in the plinths, attach the mirrors and adjust. Easy as falling out of a loft really. Why then did it take me about a month to fanny about doing this? Probably because I had to drill into my nice new yellow paint with a power tool. Holes that would be permanent and obvious if they were in any way wrong. Well yesterday I marched out to the garage and did the job, took me all of 20 mins and that includes getting my lovely wife out to hold the mirror in the right place and check placement. Oh and I must remember not to give her a pencil when she's near the car so then she can't drop it down the door glass opening into the inside of the door! Love you Claudia - grrrrr. So here

Reaching for the fire extinguisher!

That was not a good experience! Having been faffing about with the car today I took it out for a test driver, went OK and everything seemed within normal levels, oil pressure, temperature, etc. fuel was a bit low so I threw a spare fuel can in the boot thinking I could fill up as I will take one on the RBRR and they are much more useful with fuel in them. It was getting a bit chilly so put the heater on, using my newly installed heater cable. Nice warm air came into the cabin and all was well, I trundled around a bit taking the long route to the petrol station and generally enjoying myself. As I approached the petrol station, there was a slight misfire developing, a bit of a pain but not unusual as I had been messing with the injectors, replacing the mismatched ones with some I had just. built. Then the traffic lights changed to red and I stopped. There was an instant waft of what I thought was smoke, pucker factor set to high I pulled over and with fire extinguisher in hand I pulled

Progress at last

It seems like its been a long time coming but I've made progress. The new springs and shocks are all on the car. When working on the rear we found a missing stud holding the hub to the trailing arm and then soon found why, a stripped thread in the trailing arm, a pretty common issue, so I got a Helicoil kit and fitted a UNC insert and new stud, the original stud is UNF both ends and not ideal for alloy so now it's UNC into the Helicoil and original UNF hug side, new stainless nylocs completed the job. Shiny new springs and uprated lever arms, pretty! It feels a lot more sure footed but it does now show up that the wheel barrow handle exhaust hangs pretty low. I will see if I can have a go at raising the pipes a bit. Tim Bancroft came round on the weekend to help me fit the exhaust and suspension, this didn't go too well! The manifold fitted really well but the system seemed to be missing about a foot in length so we had to strip it all off and put it all back to how

Two steps forward and one back

Yesterday's spannering went well, I got the new inlets on and connected. I also renewed the fuel filter, a messy job, petrol everywhere! Glad I did as the original was full of crap. I did an oil and filter change, again the old filter was nasty but no worrying flakes of metal, bits of bearing or other such nasties. The new inlets look very nice, here's a shot of the work in progress Spot the new one! I was going well right up to the point where I was running the engine and setting up the new inlets. There was this "phit phit phit" noise that wasn't there before. I wandered round to the other side of the car to see an oil slick developing on the floor! I killed the engine with the fuel cut off inertia switch and immediately saw that the "phit phit" was the oil being pumped out of the oil pressure gauge line that was cracked! I can only think that when I fitted the new oil filter I disturbed it and it cracked. So the fresh oil was by now mostly

Shiny shiny bling bling

Refurbished inlets arrived today from Neil Ferguson. What a helpful chap he is, knowledgeable and customer orientated. So refreshing after dealing with some of the prima donnas encountered over the years. I am very impressed with the quality and attention to detail here. Neil was apologetic for the blacked balance pipes, he had run out of plated ones but was keen to get the set to me as he knew my timetable and checked with me first. I'm not actually that bothered by bling so black is good enough :-) These should improve things no end and if I can find a decently priced tubular manifold I can get a decent exhaust system installed on the car before the RBRR too. I never did get round to the suspension work as it was my youngest's sixteenth birthday and family duties kept me out of the garage. RBRR duties will take up some of this weekend then in off to Milan for a few days, time is ticking away!

It's already been a good day and it's only 10am

Dropped No2 daughter off at school then the wife off at work and went straight down the DVLA local office in Theale. Took a ticket, say and waited in the empty waiting room for a few minutes then approached the window - what happened ten went along the lines of "I'd like to change the status of this car to historic, get a free tax disc and cash in the unused portion of this tax disc I paid for when the car was PLG please" The response? "Certainly Sir" Cha-ching!!! All done, sorted, game over. Within 20 mins I was out of there with a nice new free tax disc, a refund in the system and a new V5 on it's way to me from the duper computer in Swansea. A good mornings work I say. All that remains is for me to say THANK YOU! To Dave Pearson for suggesting that I should check in the first place. To Derek Pollock and Club Triumph for narrowing the dates down To Heritage for confirming the exact date through their £5 single data point enquiry then back to Derek for wri

Let there be light - as long as you hold the wires together with one hand

After last night's hot wiring of the light switch I ordered a new switch ad a couple of other bits from my new best friends, James Paddocks. They seem to be very competitive on price, just watch the VAT calculations on their web site as prices are shown nett until you select a destination for delivery. They also offer "free" postage, just unstick the express option, in practice everything arrives in a couple of days irrespective of what you select. They seem to have most things in stock and the quality is good. I still get stuff from Canleys but as they only do a limited amount of TR stuff I have had to go elsewhere. Anyway, spookily enough, I just clicked the order button for the light switch when the postman knocked at the door and presented me with my previous order! A nice pair of halogen conversion lenses which will at least allow me to see something in the dark, once I have a light switch that is. I intend to fit the HID kit I have had on the shelf for many years bu

A gentleman does not go motoring about in the dark

Despite falling out of the garage loft and having the heater out of the TR to cure the noise of the blower (it's now back! Grrrr) I did manage to get the car the the club meeting in Hook last night despite having no tacho and a few last wires dangling out the dash. It was good to catch up with the regulars (and the irregulars) but when it came time to leave I found that the light switch was behaving a bit weirdly. It felt unusual and although the sidelights came on, the switch wouldn't stay on the headlight setting, it just pinged back to sidelights. The next times switched it there was nothing, no click, no lights. Damn! So a quick rummage in my tool box produced a switch but not the right type, I could get either side lights or front head lights only. Clamping all the wires together worked and I was able to get home to order a new switch, I've been successful in fixing these sort of things in the past but it's clear a spare is worthwhile having. The price of these

Down to earth with a bump but coming up smiling

I had a rather nasty experience last night. I was up in the rafters of my garage looking for a few bits, unsuccessfully. As I came down, and I'm still not entirely sure how, I managed to send the step ladder sideways. That left me with my torso above the rafters and the ladder falling away. That left me to fall to the concrete floor whilst tangling myself up with the ladder. I manage to scrape both arms on the rafters, whack my face on the ladder and land like a sack of spuds in my arse/hip. I lay there for a while wondering if I had broken anything and thinking "this floor is bloody hard and unforgiving!" Fortunately I haven't broken anything but I do look like I have been in a fight and am walking like I've crapped myself! To cap it all, the clips I was looking for we're in a box on the work bench all along, FFS!!! However, this tale of woe ends on a happy note. I contacted Derek at Club. Triumph to see what the production records could tell me about when my

The heaterectomy

Well that was fun, I've spent most of the weekend getting the heater out of the 6, fixed it up so now it doesn't sound like a spanner in a waste disposal! Whilst in there I've also replaced the wiper wheel box fittings so now the wipers don't flop about in the wind although the motor is crap! I've replaced all the coolant hoses now too, including the ones to the heater, whoever designed this must have been on crack. I also fixed the glove box light, before I took it all apart again :-) I took the car in a 200 mile round trip to see my mate Dave at Canley Classics, it was a pretty uneventful trip apart from losing the rev counter. It looks like the cable went dry and snapped, new one ordered. The heater valve cable is snapped too! New one ordered. I managed to reassemble the rev counter so now the oil pressure light isn't rolling around inside it! I've found that there are a few broken duradot fasteners on the hood cover which means it flaps about in th

I don't usually do this but....... Those annoying politicians are at it again. There is a move to prevent modifications to older vehicles and to even outlaw those modifications already made. This is crazy, it potentially makes it illegal to fit seat belts to a car that never had them in the first place or prevent the fitment of modern headlights or stop lights. OK so the idea is to prevent unsafe performance modifications but the regular MOT will pick up inherently unsafe modifications already and we don't need this daft and costly legislation. Bin it and spend the money on fixing the roads! Please read the petition and make your own mind up but if you have an interest in cars it affects you, get involved.


A bit of an impulse buy that's turned out to be a bit better than I thought. I saw a set of updated lowered suspension on eBay that failed to sell so I contacted the seller and made him a low offer, surprisingly he accepted and it all arrived today. I was working on the basis of getting the springs and taking a chance on the shockers, it turned out the springs are new and unfitted, the front spax are old but appear to have covered very little mileage and the rear lever arms look like they were fitted but never saw the road.all this for less than the cost of the springs new. This should improve things a bit as the current set up is a little tired. Now if only I could sort the electrics out and get lights and indicators back!

Sitting pretty

Well what an epic that was, took me the best part of three days to rebuild the seats on the TR. The covers were very good and so they remained, the frames were excellent and the rear webbing was great but the foam and diaphragms were totally shot! New diaphragms and foam were bought from Dave at Canley Classics, although he doesn't publicise it much, he does do a lot of TR stuff. Spray glue and webbing had been bought up front from eBay. I didn't need the webbing and clips so if anyone wants some, shout and you can have it at cost. The biggest problem was that whoever fitted the covers over the old foams had trimmed a bit off here and there making it quite tricky to refit. The end result is so much better than they were, it's the difference between sitting on a sofa and sitting on a stone! Other jobs done include fitting the eBay bargain new sun visors and replacing the coolant hoses. I usually do the hoses on a new car as they are something I have had issues with in th

She's home

After a 100 mile trip back from Essex my 'new' TR6 is home and in my garage. The trip home was uneventful until about 60 miles in when the overdrive dropped out, not the end of the world. Then I noticed that the fuel gauge was dropping so I was a little relieved as I realised it was just an electrical issue. My releif was a little short lived as I realised I had lost windscreen wipers and indicators, not great on the motorway under dark skies! Never mind, my wife following would be my indicators and well, it's the summer, it won't rain! I think I lost brake lights too but let's just ignore that for now. I got the car home and slipped itin the garage just before the heavens opened and it pissed down. Of course ww had actually been away all week so there was a lot of work to be done before I could get out and play. That included flat pack furniture assembly, unpacking and getting some dinner together, oh and falling asleep on the sofa - so tomorrow I'll have

It's painted

Collecting the new toy tomorrow, really looking forward to slipping her top off and jumping in for a bit of fun ;-) Sorry, couldn't resist as I'm watching QI and they've just been talking innuendo and double entendre.

Does anyone know if........

There's a PDF version of the Triumph parts book for the TR6 that I could download now? I'll buy one at the next show I go to but I am away from home and need to check some parts, their orientation on the car and their numbers. By way of a quick update, I'll be collecting the "new" TR6 on Thursday having just had the unpleasant experience of paying for road tax :-(. That's the first time I've had to do that on a Triumph, not nice. The car is looking very yellow at the moment fresh out of the paint shop and needing it's external trim refitting but I hope to share some photos soon, unless I can figure out how this iPad app works!

A bit of a clear out

Does anyone need some Mk1 Stag seats to practice rebuilding on? I've had a pair in the shed for as long as I can remember and it's time to move them on or throw them away. Currently on eBay for no reserve at a 99p starting price. I must admit that since eBay changed all their listing categories I am baffled, whilst there's a category for complete interiors and one for seat belts, there is no category for seat! Anyway, they are listed as item number 251114390110 - Please help me out and take them away, then I can fill the space with new crap! More previously enjoyed Triumph parts will be listed as soon as I can get to grips with this new category system!

A mid-life crisis car?

Well not really but it does kind of feel like it seeing as I am no spring chicken anymore. So, 2.5PI saloon sold and I've bought a TR6. I went over to the workshop where it's stored today and did the final deal. I am going to have a few paintwork issues that the car picked up in storage corrected by the resident painter there and then pick it up in a couple of weeks. That'll give me time to get the documents in my name and tax it whilst gathering the parts to rebuild the seats and possibly a light refresh of the interior trim. It's not tax free and it's not Sapphire blue, two of the things I set out to get when I started looking but it was a good price and it is sound. Mimosa yellow has always been a favourite of mine but this is the first yellow car I've owned, I wonder how I will get on living with it? The engine has had some performance work done including a gas flowed head, a full lighten and balance of the rotating parts and the addition of &quo

Time for a change

Well it's happened at last, I have waved goodbye to saloon ownership and am actually "without Triumph" at the moment. I am on the trail of a TR6 that was restored 20 years ago but has done very little since, like the saloon, the TR owner has emigrated - sounds familiar? It a long story how all this came about but in a nutshell I was thinking of selling the saloon and getting a TR6 as I wanted to return to convertible motoring. My wife has never really liked the PI, so much so that I thin she's only been in it once or twice. We had a heart to heart and basically she misses the Gitfire! We're also at that stage where the kids are growing up and out so having 2 seats isn't the show stopper it used to be. So on the Isle of Wight, same as every year, Ashley Mills comes over for a chat and, same as every year, he asks me to give him first refusal if I ever want to sell the saloon. Now I had entered the International Auto Ecosse and the RBRR so zeal was done where

It's been a year but I think it's time to blog again as I have actually done some Triumph related stuff!

The last blog post I did was the day before the 2011 Isle of Wight weekend and here we are again! I won't bore you with everything that's been going on for the last year suffice to say that work took over. My area of operation included Poland, Turkey, France, Italy and Ireland - that meant I saw a lot of airports, taxis, hotels and restaurants/bars - it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. What with Zoe my eldest going off to college, Poppy taking up rowing our best friends moving to California (well we had to go visit!) and a big DIY project of rebuilding the main bathroom in the house there just wasn't the time for Triumphs. Anyway, all that aside, I thought I'd get back in the swing of things and blog about some recent Triumph activity. The PI has been running fine on the odd occasion I have been able to get it out and about. Once a month seems to be the extent of its use these days so last year I decided that I would make some commitments to do a ro