Sunday, 7 June 2020

31st May. A run out at last!

With the restrictions eased slightly I finally got a chance to take Gertie2 out for her first test drive since fitting the new camshaft and other bits and pieces. 
The sun was shining and the weather was hot, so a nice drive over to Wallasey Island was planned and good friend Gavin joined me as well.
Due to a lot of engine parts being new, I didn't give the car a thrashing but did get some good mileage on it. (Although I still want to do a bit more before I re-torque the cylinder head and change the oil). It definitely runs a lot better now and also a lot smoother, so I'm pleased with the result of the recent hard work and expense. I just cant wait for the restrictions to be lifted fully so we can all go back to normality and enjoying our car events again. Hopefully we'll still be able to fit some in this year. 

Monday, 4 May 2020

April 2020 - New camshaft for Gertie2

Luckily, before Boris decided to put us all in lockdown, I had planned a trip up to Derby to see Dave Harvey. Whilst on the visit I picked up a new camshaft, new camshaft and crankshaft sprocket, timing chain and a few other goodies.
Over the past month or so and while work has been quiet and also not being allowed out, the camshaft has now been fitted. (Including being dialled in properly) A small issue involving the  head gasket meant the cylinder head had to come off again, but other than that the car is now up and running again and sounding good. 
All we need now is for this awful current situation to end so we can try and get some kind or normality back into our lives. Neither Triumph has been out since this all started and it's amazing how much you miss driving them. Here's hoping that will end soon.....

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

February/March 2020. Cylinder Head Update

A few weeks back, once I had all the parts, the cylinder head and all the new goodies were fitted. Once again helped by Gavin and Dave, the job didn't take long and pretty soon, we were ready for start up. 
Unfortunately, start up didn't go well and we were greeted with a horrendous clacking sound that none of us could figure out where it was coming from. 
We swapped the rocker shaft with an spare one in case it was something to do with the new rockers or rocker shaft that we had fitted, but this made no difference. with a feeling of dismay we shut the garage door (It was now approaching 6pm) and gave it up as a bad job. 
The following Saturday, we started with a compression test and all cylinders turned out to be fine. We tried a few more things, but the more we investigated, the more evident it was that the head was going to have to come back off. 
With the head removed and investigated it was clear that the problem wasn't cylinder head or valve based either. 
Looking down one of the cam follower holes, it was looking like we had some serious wear on one of the lobes on the camshaft. Unfortuately, this being a Mk1, you can only remove the camshaft by removing the engine. (You cant get the camshaft out the front of the car because of the nose cone. You can on a Mk2, because of the bigger front grill)
So, seeing as there was three of us on hand, we removed the engine. 
We then set about removing the camshaft and sure enough, the wear on one of the lobes was excessive to say the least. I think the previous problems with the valve seat recession had masked it, and now that everything was as it should be, was now highlighting the lobe problem. 
So, fast forward a few weeks, I have now purchased a new camshaft and fitted it. I've also purchased a new timing chain, crankshaft cog and spacer and camshaft sprocket. The engine is also back in the car now, but it still needs to have the head and everything else refitted. Hopefully that will be the end of the current problems. 


Saturday, 18 January 2020

December 15th - Continued Efforts with Gertie2

For some time now Gertie's engine that is now fitted in the Blue car has been running hot. Even in minus temperatures and with a 75 degree thermostat in it! 
The sender unit, water pump, radiator and thermostat have all been changed in an attempt to cure the problem, but none had been successful. I even changed the temperature gauge in case I was getting a faulty reading, but no such luck. 
The car also hadn't been running right for some time and had lost its 'smoothness' that no amount of tuning could cure. (Even purchase of a 123 Tune distributor)
In desperation a decision was made to remove the cylinder head and check the head gasket just to see if this was our problem.
So, one cold morning in December, fellow Triumph enthusiasts Dave Harvey, Gavin Leggett and myself ventured into the garage to start removal of the cylinder head. 
It did put up a bit of a fight, but removal of a couple of the head studs finally saw it relinquish its grip on the block and allow us to start our investigations. 
The head gasket itself turned out to be ok with no sign of blowing or leakage. However, inspection of the cylinder head discovered that the ports had become porous in places and that exhaust gases were leaking through into the waterways and boiling the water in the head. We also discovered some serious valve seat recession on the valve seats on cylinder number four. 
Further inspection also found that most of the cam followers will need replacing as well. 
So, after a few weeks or so another head was obtained and Dave Harvey took it to Bates engineering for me where it was cleaned up, skimmed, and new valves and new springs were fitted. The valve seats were found to be in excellent condition, so no further work was required there. 
Other parts I've managed to obtain are a brand new rocker shaft and some brand new rockers, so once the head has been collected from Dave's house in Derby and I've got all of the other bits together. I'll be able to start reassembly and hopefully have a cooler and better running car again. 

Monday, 5 August 2019

August 3rd. Another long day!

Another mammoth journey this weekend, this time to collect a Triumph Mk3 Spitfire from 'oop north'. The car had been bought by Colin Wake unseen, so it was to be a bit of a  surprise when we got there.
The meeting point for the latest expedition was Latchingdon in Essex where we once again scrounged a trailer off of Mike Helm. 7am was the planned arrival time and this would be the third Saturday on the trot that I'd not been able to have a lie in. 
Mike was already up and about when I arrived, so before long the trailer was hooked up and we were awaiting the arrival of Colin Wake
Keighley in Yorkshire was our destination, but not before a quick diversion to Chellaston in Derby to collect the differential that I had dropped off at Dave Harvey's the week before. The weather was better than the week before and we made good time arriving at Dave's just after 10am. 
After a coffee and a chat, we grabbed the differential and were on our way again continuing north bound up the M1. 
Colin had text Bryce (The guy selling the Spitfire) to give him an eta of 1pm which turned out to be a pretty good guess as we pulled into the yard at bang on 1 o'clock. 
We were greeted by a pile of bits that at one time used to be a car and realised it would take some time to get it all loaded. 
I don't know how long we took getting everything loaded, but I know there was far more stuff than we first realised (3 engines, 2 gearboxes etc) We then headed towards Skipton, but cut across country and ended up going through Otley and past Harewood House before stopping for diesel and food at Ferrybridge services. (We hadn't eaten all day) We then realised it was already 4pm and we still had many miles to cover. 
After a bite to eat and a coffee, we put £40 of diesel in the Land Rover (We weren't going fill it up at a scandalous £1.55 per litre!) and headed south. Our route took us down the A1 and A14 across to Ipswich before taking the A12 to Colchester. ( We stopped at a Tesco superstore near Cambridge to get more diesel)
We arrived at Colin's at around 8.30pm where I dropped the trailer for Colin to offload and return at another date.
After a quick coffee I made tracks back to Leigh on Sea arriving home at 10pm. The old faithful Land Rover had clocked up another 594 miles on this trip and once again, never missed a beat. 
I don't have any further long trips planned at present which is just as well as I'm ready for a break from them. I worked out today that not including going to and from work or other local trips, I've covered 3067 miles since the 15th June!

July 27th. Visit to HarveyTune HQ

Following the trip to Wales it had come become evident that the differential in the Pi wasn't quite right. So, after arranging for repairs and adjustments to be carried out, the offending item was removed from the car and plans were made to drop it off at Dave Harvey's place in Derby where he would then take it to where it was being repaired on Monday
A very rainy Saturday morning saw me leaving Leigh On Sea at 5.30am to head for the M1 and up to Derby. The rain was continuous, although it did manage to ease off by the time I stopped at the Watford Gap services. 
The roads were clear and I made good time up to Derby. Too good actually as I didn't want to arrive at Dave's too early, so stopped for a coffee at Derby services to kill some time. 
On arrival at Dave's more coffee and sausage cobs were on the agenda and soon after Adrian Hadfield arrived to start preparing Dave's car for its impending accident damage repairs. Adrian's work is top class and it's good to watch a real expert at work. 
Before long the rain started again and it now looked like it was here for the duration. Around 2pm I decided to make tracks and head for home. Sure enough, the rain was indeed here for the day and I never turned the wipers off all the way home. The traffic was kind though and I arrived home around 5pm having covered 310 miles round trip. 
The car ran well, although seems to be running hotter than I would prefer. Further investigations will be required. 

Monday, 22 July 2019

Welsh Wales! July 20th & 21st

A weekend away with some good friends in the Welsh countryside was on the agenda for this weekend and I had been looking forward to it for some time. Unfortunately, friend and running mate/co-driver Dave Harvey wasn't available for this one, so I would be travelling alone.
I had prepared and loaded up 'Gertie the 2nd' to take on this trip, but for some reason when it came to leaving early hours Saturday morning, she decided wasn't going! (I had flushed the heater box and cylinder head out the night before and had smothered the electrics with water, so I think that was the reason for her poor behaviour) So I hastily transferred the tools and spares etc into the Pi and later than I wanted to be....finally set off. 
The rain had lashed down the night before and there was some giant sized puddles along the route. I made good progress along the A127, M25, M40 and A40 and only stopped for coffee once I was the other side of Gloucester.
All coffee'd up, I set off again and after another 20 miles was at the meeting point at Jo's diner near Ross On Wye. I haven't been on one of these tours for some time now, so it was really good meeting up with old faces again. It was like we'd only seen each other yesterday and the laughs and jokes were already well in progress.
After a large (but not great) breakfast we set off towards Abergavenny, then headed up to Builth Wells. Unfortunately we managed to get stuck behind a Tesco's artic for about 15 miles that seemed to have a top speed of 20mph! Eventually he turned off and we were then able to have a good drive up towards Rhayader where we turned off to conquer the Edan valley. We found a spot where we had planned to make a brew while enjoying cake and scenery, but the rain had set in and just wouldn't leave us alone. The mist forming over the mountains still gave the scenery good effect though.

With the brew up cancelled we then headed to Tregaron and found a pub...…...which was closed! So we got back in the cars and headed for Lampeter where we parked in the town and enjoyed coffee and cake in a coffee bar. 
Suitably refreshed we then cut across country to Newcastle Emlyn, Cardigan and then our final destination at Fishguard. By now the weather had picked up, the sun was out, and the view from my hotel room was perfectly acceptable! 
A good shower was next on the agenda which was followed by a crafty pint in the beer garden. Not all of us were in the same hotel, so a group text announced that the meeting point for the evening was the Royal Oak in the town followed by a trip to the local Indian restaurant. The food was very good I have to say and considering we'd hardly eaten since breakfast, went down very well.
With my 3.30am start, I was flagging about half ten and called it a night and returned to my room and slept like the dead! 
Sunday morning and a good breakfast of eggs, bacon and hashbrowns was consumed before meeting the rest of the crew in the hotel car park.

The next plan was to head to Newport (Not the one near the Severn Bridge) and have an ice cream on the beach, but a few of us decided to start heading home. (Mainly the guys that had travelled the furthest) My Satnav was  telling me I had a distance of 309 miles to cover, plus I had driven 179 miles just to get to the start. 
So, three of us travelled in convoy until someway down the M4, where we all separated at different points and went our own separate ways. 
The long drive home along the dull M4 was mind numbingly boring, but I made good time and didn't encounter any traffic on the M4, M25, or A127. 
By the time I arrived home I had covered 672 miles and had no issues at all with the Pi. It had been a great weekend, with some brilliant company and plenty of good laughs. Roll on the next one!