Friday, 30 December 2011

Xmas period! Lots of catching up!

Due to having a fair bit of time off this year, I managed to get a lot of  jobs done on the cars that I'd been putting off for ages. The engine that I dropped into the engineering shop to be inspected is still sitting there untouched (Or even looked at) so it freed me up to get other bits done.
I'll start with the estate. Ever since I've had this car there have been things that have either been missing or not working. I'd kind of got used to just not having them, but recently I decided to finally get them sorted out. The first thing was that after finally getting the interior light working a few weeks ago, I'd now become spoilt and wanted it working when I opened each of the doors too. Four new courtesy light switches were ordered from Mr Witor and once fitted all worked as they should. The load area light was the next to come under attack and once the switch had been cleaned up and the wires reconnected this worked fine as well. (I was on a roll now!)  With the success of this I then tackled the nasty job of fitting a roof mounted radio aerial. I'm not a great lover of wing mounted ones and always manage to snap them off somehow. This was done without managing to tear any of the roof lining which was a relief, although it was quite tricky trying to get the aerial coaxial cable down the inside of the roof strut. It all went well though and I can now finally listen to the radio instead of boring myself to death with the same Cd's all the time!
The next job was something that I, nor anybody else had noticed all the time I have had the car. This was that my side light and indicator units were upside down!  (See pic below)

As you can see, the side lights are at the top and the indicators are at the bottom and it should be the other way round.  This only came to light after reading Mike Weaver's blog and seeing pics of the front of his estate. Once I had taken the lenses off I could clearly see a large LH & RH (left hand and right hand) moulded onto the units, so God knows how the previous owner missed that when he restored the car? Perhaps he just wanted to be different? Anyway, these were swapped back over and the car now looks as it should.  The other jobs that I did were to fit two rear drive shafts complete with brand new wheel bearings and swap the thermostat for a hotter one. My temperature gauge had barely been reading anything since the start of the cold weather and as a result the heater was only luke warm. With the new thermostat fitted, the gauge now reads a quarter and the heater is much improved. In fact, in the past few weeks, the car has gained lovely comfortable seats, an  interior light that comes on when you open the door, and a heater that blows hot, not warm, hot air. Oh what bliss! Life doesn't get much better!

Onto Gertie now, and the first job was to try and sort out the appalling demister situation. Mk1's don't have great heaters at the best of times but the demister on my car is virtually non existent. (Ferny found that out while driving the car when the rain came down in Germany on the 10CR!) I started by removing the heater box and the fan. What I found in the recess in the bulkhead came as a bit a surprise....................... This was half of Scrapman's Oak tree from his garden where Gertie sat for a few years before he decided to sell it. Needless to say, it was having quite a negative effect on the airflow from the fan. With the fan and heater cleaned out and back in place there was definitely an improvement. It's still not great and I will be visiting this area again, but for now its better than it was. As least you can feel some air coming out of the vents now.
Another job I had been putting off was replacing the trailing arm bushes. I don't know why, it wasn't that bad in the end. I guess sometimes, the thought of doing something is worse than actually doing it. As expected the old bushes put up a bit of a fight coming out, but not as much as the new ones going in.
(Gertie minus trailing arm.)

In the end a good dousing of boiling hot water made the rubber bushes squishy enough to 'give' a bit and I managed to persuade them to move into their new home. Hopefully, the car will seem a bit firmer on the back end now.

Once Gertie was all back together, I fitted a set of 15 inch compomotive wheels to her. This is only temporary as I am going to have her TR6 rims shot blasted and repainted. The wheels have started to look a bit grubby over the past few months and some surface rust has started to appear, so a good blast and paint should tidy things up a bit.  

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Friday 23rd December. Time to finish those seats!

Due to our strange Christmas rota at work I was blessed with a rare day off today, so with the weather being a vast improvement on last weeks sub zero temperatures I decided to get the seats finished off on the estate. (It's always easier to do the seats outside of the garage, so I can get the doors fully open) As learnt before when I fitted these Alfa seats to the Mk1, the passenger seat is much easier to do as it has no height adjuster bar to remove. So, an hour or so later the passenger seat was fitted and matched up nicely to the driver side one.

After fitting the drivers seat a few weeks back, it became clear that the black leather in the front and the black cloth seats in the back would look a bit odd. (It was was fitted with 2.5S cloth seats when I bought it) So a plea for black vinyl estate seats was entered on the Triumph 2000 register forum and a text message arrived the next day from Lee Godfrey telling me of someone who had some. (Thanks Lee)
The next issue was that the seats were in Leicester. After a few days wait I managed to find deliveries for one of my trucks at work going to Birmingham, Derby, and.......Leicester! (It's handy being a transport manager!) So, the seats were collected by one of my drivers and loaded into my car on in his return.
These were fitted after the passenger seat was finished, but to be honest, the colour match is not as good as the red Alfa seats were on the Mk1. However, the vinyl does match the leather better and the 'lined' pattern matches far better than the cloth patterned ones, so they will stay for the time being.

The car is far more comfortable and definitely more 'driveable' with the new front seats and I would feel a lot more happier about making a long journey with these than the originals. Seeing as this car is also the 'Round Britain Reliability Run' backup car, that's definitely a good thing!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Saturday & Sunday 17th & 18th December.- Engine removal

As a quick update from the last blog, Gertie's starter motor was put in for repair and was indeed confirmed as 'terminal'. The shop concerned started talking of £50 to £60 repair bills, but when I said 'Don't worry then, I can get a brand new one for £47 inc vat. Unless you want to try and source me one  for cheaper of course?' They suddenly found me a new one for £35 plus vat. (Funny that eh?)
The shiny new starter motor was fitted that night after work and Gertie was able to ferry us to the Essex region Christmas Dinner. (Shame the heater isn't as good as the starter motor!)

Saturday the 17th saw me starting the project of removing the engine from the yellow Mk1. This engine has had many pounds thrown at it in the past and is worth spending a bit more money on to make it perfect. It currently has a 'rattle' from what appears to be the top end of the engine. (Possibly cam, followers, or small ends?) Despite the freezing conditions, I did stay in the garage all day and refused to give in until the engine was out. (Ok, I did have my space heater on for a while, but the sound of the constant roar does my head in, so I never have it on for long!)

Sunday morning saw work resume despite the freezing conditions again. (I wonder how much it would cost to get my garage plumbed in to my house central heating?) Stripping of the engine discovered that everything that was on the spec sheet when I bought the car was indeed all present and correct.
TR6 decked block: +60 thou Powermax pistons: Tony Dean RC2 billet cam: Gas flowed and skimmed 219016 triumph 2.5 's' head, Ported and 3 angled valves: Blueprinted oil pump: Lightened and balanced Flywheel.
I also removed the big end caps and the mains caps and found that none of them were down to the copper. (I didn't remove the pistons as I had another impending engagement and was running low on time.) The crank also seems ok (Albeit to my untrained eye) and the cam didn't show any amount of wear either. The oil pump filter was covered in gunk though as you can see below.
As I said though, I am far from an expert in these matters so the engine was loaded into the back of the trust rusty estate car and will be taken to Carlow engineering for further inspection and possible/probable rebuild. I'm still concerned that I haven't yet found any evidence of the 'rattle' noise I've experienced so I'll be asking them to check the small ends while they have the engine.
What good old buses these estate cars are! Everyone should have one of these! :-)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday December 11th. Starter Issues & seat upgrades

 For a few weeks now I've had starting issues with Gertie. The symptom's were similar to me in the mornings. (Sluggish to start, and hard to get going!) I suspected a dying battery, but trying two other batteries today didn't resolve anything. The battery cables were also changed but again this made no difference, so the starter motor was removed and will be taken to a specialist to be checked out this week. With the starter off, I tried the old trick off attaching it direct to a battery via a set of jump leads. The starter spins round ok, but it's hard to tell if it would break down when trying to turn an engine over.

After the success of fitting the Alfa Romeo 156 red leather seats in Gertie for the 10CR, I had been keeping an eye out on ebay for a set in black for the estate. As luck had it I managed to find a set for the bargain price of £41.00! Even better was one of my drivers at work passing virtually next door to the people selling them a few days later, so free collection as well!
So, after messing about with the starter on Gertie, an afternoon of drilling, grinding, filing, welding and swearing began.(the swearing was listen to spurs lose 2-1 to Stoke on the radio!)  I did the drivers seat first, as this needs a bit more modifying due to the height adjustment bar. With this bar in place, the seat would be far too high on the Triumph seat runners, so I cut this out, got the seat to the right height in the car and marked it up, then removed the seat and then welded the side pivot joints to stop them from moving. The seat can still go back and forth on the runners, but no longer has the height adjustment. (which the car never when it left the factory anyway, so it's not a big deal)
With the 'new'seat in place and the original one still on the passenger side, you can see the massive difference between the two. Work on the passenger side will resume when time permits.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Wednesday 7th December. Not much going on!

I haven't really done much on any of the cars lately due to cold weather/general laziness/de-motivation. (delete as applicable) The 2.5 engine I took over to Carlow engineering has turned out to be a no go, so this brought about a decision to remove the fast engine out of the yellow car and put it Gertie and remove the standard 2000 engine from Gertie, put it in the yellow car, then sell it. Its getting too expensive and time consuming to run three cars so I'm going to reduce the fleet down to two. (Gertie the Mk1 saloon and CAC the Mk2 estate)
There is however, a noise on the yellow car engine that needs to be cured before fitting so Andy came round to try and give a second opinion on it. We first suspected tappets and finding two or three of them loose, we were hoping this was the problem.
 However, this didn't seem to quiet it down at all, so now the engine will just be removed and stripped down to be inspected.(Here we go again!) Work will progress on this hopefully over the Christmas period and and providing it doesn't need too much of a rebuild, will be ready for implanting in Gertie by late January or early February. (Hopefully!)

While Andy was attending to the tappets my other friend Dave (See? I do have more than one!) was looking at the interior light in the estate. Four years I've had this car and I've never had it working! Even trying to read a map the other Sunday night was done by holding an illuminated mobile phone over the page! (I know- I really should get a sat nav!)
Anyway, after a bit of fiddling about it was working again. Only for it to pack up again two minutes later! The temperature in the garage had dropped considerably by now, so it was decided to abandon the attempt and go and warm up with a cup of tea! The second attempt will take place on Saturday.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thursday 24th November. Engine disection!

The 2.5PI engine was stripped tonight ready to have the crank polished and the block inspected by Carlow engineering tomorrow. Whilst stripping the engine down I found that the main bearings were worn as well as the big end bearings, so more expense is required.
The good news (well hopefully anyway) is that to my (albeit non expert) eye the crankshaft and the cylinder walls in the block don't look, or feel too bad, so I'm hoping that the bearings required will be the only large expense.

Workbench full of engine internals!

Crankshaft removed and ready for polishing

Tuesday 22nd November- Bleeding the bleedin' clutch!

        A delivery at work today saw the arrival of the Clutch master cylinder kit that I had purchased from eBay on Sunday. So, once home from work the master cylinder was stripped down, cleaned and the new rubber seals and washers were carefully fitted. The master cylinder was then reassembled and fitted in readiness for my mate Andy to arrive and help me bleed the clutch. (Definitely a two man operation!)
      Andy arrived and we got to work straight away, but as usual, it wasn't playing ball. Triumph clutches are notoriously bad for bleeding and can sometimes take some time to get all the air out of the system. About half hour and god knows how many attempts later, we were still nowhere, so we decided to opt for a power bleed with an air powered bleeding tool that I have. This sucks the fluid through the system at high pressure rather than pump it through with normal bleeding. So I switched the compressor on and we decided to go and have a cup of tea and warm up while the compressor built up enough air. 

 Once sufficiently warmed we again continued with the bleeding process. With the high pressure tool being used we were now getting  a firmer pedal but still not enough to even get the car in gear. A few more attempts and it was getting better, but there was still one large air bubble in the clutch hydraulic pipe that just didn't seem to want to budge! In the end we went back to the manual way but this time with me holding onto the steering wheel and pumping the clutch pedal as fast and as hard as I could, so much so that I nearly bent the steering wheel! I was pumping flat out while Andy was shouting from underneath 'yeah, go on! faster, faster, yeah! (God knows what the neighbours thought!!!!!)
Anyway, this seemed to budge the last bit of air and now we had a good pedal and were able to get all gears. I've not had a chance to test drive the car yet, but I have to collect more tyres on Friday (for the Yellow Peril) so I will see how she performs then.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Monday 21st November. Yay! RBRR 2012...........We're in!

           Got home from work tonight to find that our entry form for the Club Triumph Round Britain Reliability Run 2012 had reached its intended target in deepest darkest Reading!
           We were a bit quicker off the mark this year as well as in the 2010 run we were entry no. 58, where as next year we will be car no.44. At present the chosen weapon of choice for the 2000 mile non-stop in 48 hours dash will be..............The Yellow Peril! (see below)
However, Gertie will be kept in top form as a back up car, so no matter what happens, we will be using a Mk1 saloon. Watch this space!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sunday 20th November. - A bit of everything!

Due to not being able to sleep, I found myself out in the garage at half seven in the morning! (and it was bloody cold!)
             The last time I drove the estate I found I was having to pump the clutch to get it in gear and had a lot trouble driving it home. Assuming it was the slave cylinder I drove it forwards into the garage so I could get to the nearside front of the car. After inspecting the slave cylinder and finding it leak free, I looked inside the car  near the clutch the top of the clutch pedal and found that the firewall and carpet was wet with fluid. So, it was the clutch master cylinder that was leaking, not the slave! The motto here being - 'never assume things' when you ASSUME things you can make an ASS out of U & ME!
            The next issue was that all of the fluid had now leaked out of the car while it had been in the garage since Friday and all of the pressure had gone out of the system leaving me with no clutch at all. So, the garage doors and garden gates were opened in readiness, the choke pulled out of full, the car put in reverse, and then the car was started. The car burst into life and immediately shot backwards where i was able to steer it out of the garage, down the drive onto the street where I quickly switched it off to stop it. The process was then repeated a few more times so I could turn it round and get it back in the garage the right way round so I could work on it. Easy! (not!)
            The offending master cylinder was then removed and put on the bench ready for a clean up and to wait for a seal kit to arrive. (I thought I had one in stock, but that was for a slave as well.)
It was about this time that I retired to my warm house for a breakfast of ham and eggs and a cup of tea to warm up a bit!

       As I could nothing else to the estate, I turned my attention to Yellow. The last time i used it, it managed to blow the oil seal on the oil filter and spit most of its engine oil out all the the floor and chassis. (Good rust prevention if nothing else!) With a new Phram oil filter purchased and the old Wix  one binned this was quite a simple job. With the estate now off of the road, this can be the back-up vehicle for a while.
             Gertie was the next on the list as Dave Jones needed his gearbox cross member back that I borrowed off of him a few months back. I had borrowed it to try and eliminate the vibration issue I have, but it turned out not to be this anyway. This was quickly changed and the part put in my car ready for delivery to his house on Saturday.
        After another warm up indoors, the next item on the agenda was to start stripping the 2.5pi engine I have lined up for Gertie. Stripping the bottom half of the engine revealed that new big end bearings will be required (as suspected) and the crankshaft might get away with a light polish rather than a re-grind.
Further inspections will carry on at another time and parts collected ready for Gertie's heart transplant over Christmas.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thursday 17th November- A change of rubber for Gertie.

For some time I had been considering fitting smaller tyres onto Gertie. When I fitted the TR6 wheels I had some good 205/65 x 15 tyres laying around and decided to fit them on the TR6 rims. These would have probably been fine if the car hadn't have been on lowered suspension, but then, everyone who knows me knows that I don't do standard road height on saloons.
When cornering hard these tyres would catch the front wing lips and bend the metal ridge down. This wasn't too much of an issue until a particularly deep rut on the South coast rally last week when not only did it bend the metal ridge, but it cracked the paint on the front wing as well!

I wasn't happy. What with the suicidal pheasant denting the front panel and this as well, poor old Gertie suffered some damage on this rally.
    Anyway, with this in mind, some smaller 195/60 x 15 tyres were obtained and duly fitted. The 195 tyres have a smaller radius and are also a tad narrower as well, so hopefully they wont catch the wing lips any more. (You can see the height difference in the pic below.)
 While I had the back wheel off on the driver's side I also took the opportunity to whip the brake drum off and replace a wheel stud that had been bothering me for a while too. It was on a second hand driveshaft that I had picked up somewhere. Three of the studs were fine, but one was shorter than the others. When the wheel nut was on the stud didn't even reach the end of it! So this was changed and all was well. There is a Club Triumph North London meet on Monday night, so I may take Gertie down there for a test run. It will also give me a chance to hand in my entry form for next Octobers  Round Britain Reliability Run.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Sunday 13th November - The South Coast Rally

With little preparation time after the Nachtrit rally the weekend before, it was lucky that Gertie needed nothing doing for this rally. A quick check of oil, water, brake & clutch fluids and a general check over on Saturday (including putting a wire back on the horn that had come off) revealed that all was well and we were ready for Sunday.
The signing on time of 9am near Lewes in Sussex meant a departure time of 7am and we made the cold foggy run down the A127, M25, A21 and down through Tunbridge Wells and onto what should have been the start location at Firle in Sussex. It was a pity therefore that Dave entered the finish location of Ringmer in the sat nav and we ended up there instead! With the route re-entered we continued our journey to the start and met up with some other Club Triumph peoples for breakfast.

Before long the official start time of 10am was on us and we were given our clues and started our plotting. We did quite well for the first half of the rally. We made both of the passage controls within the time limits and collected four out of the five code boards. We also came across a pheasant that no longer wanted to live and adamantly refused to get out of the way of the car. It was too late for me to avoid him and with a loud thud he hit the spotlight on the driver side and pushed it back into the front pane denting it! Stupid bloody thing!
After tea and biscuits at the halfway stage, we were given our next clues which turned out to be a lot harder. On our travels we also managed to get stuck behind a tractor that was trimming a hedge and couldn't get past him for about five minutes. This was bad enough but we then came up to a passage control, went to get our time sheet signed only to be told, 'sorry the PC closed three minutes ago'! Arse!
Never mind, we carried on regardless and by the end of the second and final stage we had collected another four code boards. (If you aren't on the right roads or tracks you wont see these and they will be counted as fails)
At the end of the route, we made our way to the finish location, (where we had already been that morning!) handed in our time sheets and awaited the results. I went out to inspect the car and found that over one of the bumpy sections I had caught the tyre on the wing and bent the wing lip down, which caused the paint to crack as well. Bummer! two lots of damage to repair now!
Back in the pub, the results were announced and we had finished 1st in class and 3rd overall. We were very pleased with that as we didn't think we'd done that well.
 Once again Gertie had performed faultlessly and the drive from Sussex back to Essex was also made with no further issues. Unless anything else comes up suddenly, this was my last rally for 2011, so I can now concentrate of prepping Gertie's new 2.5 engine for next year. What a shame the fun has to stop and the work has to begin! :-(
(Gertie before all the accident damage!)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Saturday 5th November - Off to foreign shores!

      Saturday Morning at 04.40 saw us departing Wickford and heading for the '23rd Nachtrit' (Night run) rally in Holland. Our ferry was booked at 08.15, but neither Amanda or I could sleep (Excited I guess) so we decided to leave earlier and try and get an earlier ferry. We arrived at Dover at around 6.15 and managed to get on the 07.00 crossing. (Although Sea France did extort an extra £5.00 off of us - funny that because our original booking was 08.30, but then they changed it to 08.15 for 'operational reasons' but didn't give me £5.00!!!)
(A very dark Dover at 06.15)

Anyway, the crossing was smooth but grey and our departure from Calais was very wet with more rainy weather that had drenched the south of England all day Friday. (and flooded my garage-again!)

 The rain continued past Dunkerque, Zeebrugge and Ostend, but once past 'The Corridor' and heading south towards Gent it brightened up. By the time were on the Brussels ring road it was quite bright. (Well as bright as Belgium can be anyway!)

 We travelled the 202 miles from Calais to Slenaken without a break and by early afternoon we were in Holland. Whilst on our travels we found a town called St Geertruid which was quite apt seeing we were in 'Gertie' which is short for Gertrude! We thought it was funny anyway!

By mid-afternoon we had arrived at our hotel which was also the start location at 'The Best Western Hotel, Slenaken'. I have to say it was very plush as well. We then decided to go and fill up with petrol before the event which took us 5 miles away to Gulpen where we found the high street closed off due a beer festival! With the night rally starting in a few hours I decided to keep away from the beer and return to the hotel for an hours nap before the 'signing on' time of 16.00 CET (Central European Time)  
In the signing on hall we were greeted with coffee and fruit pie and given our road book and instructions for the event. The first car would be leaving at 17.00 with one minute intervals between the other cars. We were entry no.42, which meant we would be leaving at 17.42.
We left at that time and gradually made our way through the villages and towns of Gemmenich, Eupen, Moresnet, Baelen, Membach, Champagne, and many others and took in  some fantastic roads through the wilds before crossing back into Bullingen in Belgium for the halfway stop. Amanda and I didn't fancy a big meal at the restaurant so we were typically British and went and found a Pizza and Kebab takeaway. Result!
With our food downed we left Bullingen and covered more villages and towns including Schonberg, Galhausen, Crombach, and Ramersdael. We were obviously zig zagging across borders because by the time we arrived at the finish I had had two texts on my phone saying welcome to Germany and three saying welcome to Belgium! (Didn't get any from Holland though?)
    At around Midnight we returned to the start/finish location and joined the other competitors in the bar. The only other British entrant had already left and retired to his Hotel, but luckily there were other CT members there that could speak good English. A few beers were consumed, but not many as by now, Amanda and I had been on the go for 21 hours and were feeling a bit jaded! So, we bid our farewells and retired to our room.
     After a good nights sleep we demolished our continental breakfast of cheese, meat and bread (My favourite breakfast!) and then set off to meet Amanda's friends who live in Holland. We met them at a lovely hotel not far from ours that had a real friendly and family feel to it. I might even consider booking it for next years event.
The day had started foggy and damp, so with that in mind we left at around 11am and started heading home. It had also turned quite cold but that didn't stop some brave soles playing in their boats on the water!

The drive back through Belgium was quiet and uneventful and erm.......very empty! the pic below was taken at 12pm on Sunday. I wish our bloody motorways were as empty as this!

Once through Belgium we ran back into France to find.....more bloody rain! Oh well, we had set out in the rain, we may as well finish in it too. 
  Despite the fog and the rain we hadn't been held up, so once again were in Calais earlier than our planned sailing. (Quite a bit earlier actually!) We didn't fancy sitting around for two and a half hours waiting for our ferry so Sea France kindly extorted another £5.00 off of us to put us on the 15.00 hrs crossing. the crossing was a bit more bumpier this time but still took the same time, so all was ok. We then drove out of Dover and straight into a traffic jam! We had covered about 700 miles by now and not encountered one hold up, but as soon as we hit British shores everything stops!

Anyway, we had a great time and the rally was really enjoyable. There's another one also in Holland next March which we've already booked and hopefully, we'll be back for this one next year. Gertie performed faultlessly and we didn't even need to open the bonnet let alone the tool box. She does stuggle a bit on the hills when loaded up with spares and tools though, and for this reason I'm preparing a 2.5pi engine for her. I have just one more rally to do this year and then I can start getting her ready for her transplant. I plan to do it over the Christmas break.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tuesday 1st November- A few days to go!

            A chance remark in a pub Sunday night left me wondering if I could get something done on Gertie before this weekends rally in Belgium, Holland and Germany. That remark was...' your car's alright, but it's too Grey. It needs a cream roof to go with the cream wheels'. As soon as it had been said the image popped into my head and wouldn't leave me. So, Monday morning a phone call was made to the guy who painted the Mk2 rally car I had and luckily he had a empty slot on Tuesday morning.
            I have to admit to being somewhat unsure of whether to go ahead or not, as I wasn't sure if the 'two tone' look would work, but in the end I thought 'bugger it, I can always change it back!'
             Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call saying the car was ready and again I felt slightly nervous on the way to collect it. However, as soon as I saw it I was overjoyed. I thought it looked fantastic. It gives it a real 'sixties' look and suits the car perfectly. It also takes away the 'bland greyness' and brightens the car up no end. Roll on the weekend!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tuesday 25th October. Work continues!

Work continued on Gertie tonight with fitting a rear spotlight. The next rally is a night time one and it helps to have bit of assistance with rearward vision! Therefore a spotlight was fitted to the rear bumper and wired in accordingly.

With this done I moved onto the engine bay and refitted the thermostat that I removed at the San Bernadino pass in Switzerland on the 10CR. The engine and radiator have now been flushed out, so I shouldn't have anymore overheating issues. Plus, it's much milder now than it was in early September and we also wont be climbing any mountains on this run. Hopefully refitting the thermostat will also improve the heater in the car as well as these early Triumphs are not great at keeping you warm!
        After these two jobs I moved back onto 'Yellow' again and fitted the remaining refurbed driveshaft. This car now has two brand new rear wheel bearing and new universal joints across the back end. I'm quite looking forward to test driving it now to see how it goes.

Monday 24th October. Back to the Triumphs!

With the weekend now gone (Saturday was spent working on a Hyundai and Sunday was spent cutting down my tree!) it was time to play 'catch up' with the Triumphs.
With the impending Belgium, Holland and German rally only a fortnight away, a few jobs are required on 'Gertie', my chariot for the event. First on the list was to fit a new radio ariel after some kind soul snapped mine off outside Tesco's the other week. With this done I turned my attention to the nearside front suspension. I've noticed a bit of a small clonking noise lately that's only been there since I swapped the ball joints over. So I removed the second hand one I'd put on and fitted  a brand new one.

With this done I decided to start to return 'Yellow' back to the road as a back up car and refit the refurbed driveshafts that I've recently had done. I got the passenger side done but by that time it was 21.15, so I decided to call it a day and go indoors for a shower and dinner. Work will continue tomorrow!

Saturday 22nd October - A Non-triumph day!

My partner and navigator on my last rally Amanda had recently taken her car, a Hyundai Coupe' into a garage where she had been quoted an extortionate price to have new brakes discs and pads fitted all round. Being the gentleman I am (!) I offered to do the job for her. She had also been given a price of £227.00 for the parts, but after a quick shop around I managed to find all of the same parts for £117.00 including delivery. It just goes to show how much you can save if you spend a bit of time looking!

With the tools at the ready, the job was started and before long I had the fronts done. Amanda had certainly had her money's worth out of the original pads I'll say that for her. You can see from the pics below how little 'meat' the pads had left on them!

With the front brakes finished I started on the rears. This was a bit more tricky due to finding a siezed caliper on the near side. With a bit a persuasion I managed to free it off and get the piston retracted enough to fit the new rear pads in and then put the car back together.
All in all it wasn't a bad job. The car then ferried us successfully to a work colleagues party that night in Southend and also passed it's MOT the following Tuesday! Result!
 (New disc and pad)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday 17th October - A new heart for Gertie!

As in the previous post my Green estate was used in a navigational rally rather than one of the Mk1 saloons. The reason for this was due to the winning bid of a 2.5pi engine on ebay. The engine was in Bourne End in Buckinghamshire and seeing as we were in that county for the rally, it made sense to take the estate and collect it. The engine was loaded into the back of the estate and transported home, and due to the time, was left in the car until Monday night.

With Mondays work out of the way the next task was to remove the engine from the car, set the engine stand up and mount the engine on the engine stand.

The engine was purchased for Gertie. On the recent 10CR run she did well but I did feel that she could have done with more power. I'll be dropping the sump off shortly to inspect the big end bearings and crankshaft and I'm hoping to have the engine ready to go in Gertie over the Christmas break.
         Before this is all done though, Gertie has another trip abroad to make in the form of the 23rd Nachtrit Rally. (Dutch for 'Night run')
This will take us into Belgium, Holland and Germany using 'tulip diagrams'. It starts Saturday evening and runs through to early hours Sunday morning and will be taking place on the weekend of the 5th & 6th November. Watch this space!  

Sunday 16th October. Club Triumph 3 Counties Rally

A freezing cold Sunday morning saw my navigator Amanda and I setting out for Bovingdon services and the start location for the Club Triumph three counties rally. It was Amanda's first attempt at plotting rally routes so we arrived early to try and get a bit more time to work out our course.
The three counties rally is notoriously difficult and we probably should have chosen an easier one for Amanda's first attempt. We eventually worked out our route (or thought we had!) and set across the counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and got to see some beautiful scenery and drive some great roads.

All too soon it was early afternoon and we were heading to the finishing location at the Valiant Trooper in Aldbury, Hertfordshire. We waited with baited breath to find out if we had bettered our dismal last place of the previous year. (Although Amanda wasn't the navigator on that one) The results were announced and we finished third in class. Pretty good in the end, although I did feel that we could have done better.
This was also the first event that my estate has taken part in as well and I have to say, she performed faultlessly. Normally, I would have used one of the saloons for this event, but we used the estate for reasons which will become apparent in the next post!