A test drive in Gertie last Sunday was going quite well until the overdrive decided to give out. Luckily, I managed to get home before some more of the electrics decided to burn out! In quite spectacular fashion too I hasten to add. At least it had been driven for long enough to get warm and re-do the valve clearances. These should have been set at 18 thou inlet and 20 thou exhaust by the engine builders but had been set at 10 thou all round. I also re-torqued the cylinder head while I had the rocker box cover off.
Tuesday night saw me taking a trip up to Colin's (Scrapman) territory to collect distributor parts and some spare coils.
I was just thinking how well the estate was going and that she could be the back-up car for Scotland when she suddenly died a death! I managed to coast into a lay-by and started investigation. There was no petrol getting to the carbs so I surmised that she was having her usual problem of an air lock in the fuel pump. Normally, all I have to do loosen the fuel line and work the pump manually and this normally clears it. However, no amount of priming was curing it this time. A phone call was made to Colin and he brought out a box of spare petrol pumps. I fitted a replacement on and she fired up straight away. Hopefully my long term fuel issue should now be resolved. It was on my list of jobs to do this weekend too! It could have waited!
(Cac broken down on the A120) :(
Come Sunday morning, investigations began into why the old petrol pump had given out. I expected to find the diaphram in the pump split, which if it was, I couldn't see. But then it wasn't exactly in prime condition either! There wasn't much I could with this and new ones are cheap anyway, so it was duly binned!
The next job on the agenda was to look at the engine electrics and why the car had decided to melt the low tension wire in the distributor and also an ignition coil. For some reason the last place that worked on it (Mentioning no names) had fitted a ballast resistor but left the 12 volt coil in place. I also think this may be why the overdrive packed up as when the car was running the feed for overdrive relay (another wire from the coil) was dropping down to 6 volts. The wiring also wasn't as it should have been and it was probably this that created the issues.
(Melted low tension wire)
Anyhoo, with the ballast resistor removed, the distributor rebuilt and the wiring sorted out Gertie burst into life again. I was still suspicious of the live wire feeding the relay to the overdrive as putting a multi-meter on it showed it to be very hit and miss, so I added a new wire onto the ignition side of the fuse box. It seemed to working fine after this so fingers crossed.
On the Saturday morning I had ventured down to Partridge Green in West Sussex to look at another car. No, not another Triumph, this was something to be used as an everyday car. I tried to do this with the Triumphs but found that it's not just not practical, for various reasons. So the new addition to the fleet is a BMW 520i Touring. It had been looked after and the price was right. Compared to a Triumph it's very, very quiet and I can even hear the person next to me when they say something! It's just a pity that I have to pay road tax on it. I'll have to get used to that again!