Thursday, 30 May 2013

Wednesday May 29th. Engine removal.

After Mondays ordeal of removing the cylinder head and finding several waterways blocked in the head and the block, I decided to take things a stage further and remove the rest of the engine. I figured I had three good reasons for removing the engine anyway.
Firstly, looking at how the engine block sits in the car, it tilts backwards towards the bulkhead so a lot of the silt and crap will no doubt run back towards the rear core plug and the drain plug. So with the engine removed I’ll be able to remove these and hopefully liberate a lot of the dirt.
Secondly, I was also conscious of how much of the caked, burnt solid engine oil dropped into the sump when the head was removed, so with the engine out I will also be able to remove the sump, clean it all out and inspect the oil pump filter while I am at it.
Thirdly, the clutch biting point is lower then I’d prefer on this car and I’ve already got it adjusted as much as I can. So it could possibly need a clutch shortly too.
All these things considered, it made sense to remove it. Gavin was coming round on the way to the CT club meet in Woodham Mortimer, so he kindly agreed to help me guide the engine out of the car while I worked the engine crane. I started removing everything when I got home from work and by the time Gavin had arrived it was almost ready to come out.
Within half hour of Gavin arriving the bonnet had been removed and the engine was out and on the floor next to the car. Good work!

The next move was off to the pub for a couple of pints and a nice meal. Quite a successful evening!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Monday 27th May. Red Shed Dead! Again!

An early morning walk to the shops on this fine morning led me to discovering this parked in a drive two streets away from me.......
Five years ago I had heard that there was a Triumph 2000 parked in an alleyway near my house, but never got round to pursuing it. A knock on the door at a more civilised time got no answer but it did allow me to have a closer look. This was a very, very rotten car that had obviously been parked for some time. I suspect it has been dragged from the alleyway and placed on the drive ready for collection by the scrap man. Pity as it could yield some useful spares……..but not many!
Gavin then arrived and our task today was to have a play with his colour tune contraption and hopefully get the Red Shed running better. However, before we could do that we had to resolve the serious overheating issue that had evolved along with the warmer weather. It wasn’t so evident with the bitter winter we’ve had.  I don’t know what it is about this car, but as soon as you improve one area of it, another decides to hold up any further progress. I think it just doesn’t like me!
 The day before I had removed and flushed out the radiator. I’d also flushed out the heater radiator, made sure that all hoses were unblocked and that water could flow through them, and relocated the heater and inlet manifold hoses so that they were in the exact place that workshop manual says. But it was still getting very hot, very quick.
 Gavin brought another water pump with him, so we removed the water pump housing to inspect that too. We did find a small hole blocked inside the housing, so we cleared that and blasted it out with an airline before refitting. Had that cured it? Had it bugger! We then removed the thermostat altogether just to see if that made any difference. It seemed to (Or so we thought) so we got on with the tuning. We even rigged up a temporary rev counter to assist with monitoring the revs…

But before we had a chance to do much, the damn thing bloody overheated again! (Certain words that I called it at the time have been replaced by the word damn!)
 Gavin by now had to make a move and so with nothing else left to try I decided to remove the cylinder head. I wasn’t convinced it was a head gasket problem as there was no tell tale signs of water in the oil or cream coloured sludge round the filler cap. There did seem to be a circulation problem though, so I needed to inspect the waterways in the block and the head. The head does seem to need a serious clean as the springs and valves are caked in a thousand years worth of dried and burnt oil, so maybe a chemical clean is on the cards.

With the head removed and with gentle probing with a screwdriver, I found one waterway blocked in the engine block and three waterways blocked in the cylinder head. I managed to clear them all and some serious flushing with a high powered hosepipe and an airline did manage to remove a hell of a lot of crap and corrosion. By now, it was 6pm and yet another full day had been spent on this unforgiving heap of red crap and it was time to call it a day. I pushed it gently back into the garage and stopped it in its normal place, but as soon as I turned my back, it developed a mind of its own and rolled itself backwards into the garage wall and smashed the rear spotlight I had fitted only a few days ago! I told you it doesn’t like me!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Saturday 25th May Enfield Pageant of Motoring

To make a change from working on cars all the time I took some time out and took my nephew Connor over to the Enfield Pageant of Motoring. Unusually for a teen he's not  into small hatchbacks with dustbin sized exhausts and rear body panels vibrating from boom boxes in the boot and prefers older cars instead. (Haven't got a clue where he gets it from!)  
In fact he's even considering selling his 'modern' and buying a classic Mini. Good lad! It was a good day out and I met Steve Poulton and Darren Sharp over there too as well as some other old friends from my 'previous life' when I lived in Enfield. Apparently it took Steve over two hours to get home due to a bad crash on the M25. Luckily I had gone a different way after calling in to see Davemate, so I missed it.
Anyway, here's a few pics from the show.
A very rat look Ford Corsair with a 3 litre Essex V6 fitted.

A pair of Anglia estates copying Gertie's cream roof look!
A rare Volkswagen, but I have no idea what model!
Alan Mann coloured Lotus Cortina
An ultra rare Vauxhall PB Cresta estate. Even Google images can't find many of these!
Meeting up with old friends.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Friday 24th May. MOT time. Again

With its MOT due, I really needed to look at Gertie's speedometer problem. (Having a working and accurate speedo was never part of the MOT up until March, but this has now been added to the test.)
The speedo needle does work but I think it really wants to be a windscreen wiper as it tends to act in the same manner.
The problem was highlighted when Davemate and I were on our way back from Holland and Dave asked me what speed I was doing. I don’t think my answer of ‘between 30 and 80mph’ was none too impressive!
I’ll have to find somewhere to get this one repaired as it’s a Mk1 2.5 PI one that reads up to a 140mph. Especially seeing as Gertie is the only car I have that may even be capable of reaching that speed. (Although it will probably have shaken itself to death long before then!)

Anyway, I knew that the actual speedo cable was new, so I inspected the angle drive which was working as it should too. The only thing it can be is a worn head, so I invaded the loft in my quest for another one. I did find another one but it was a Mk1 head but with MK2 2500S digits in it. (Or Mk2 facelift PI?) God knows where that came from, I wasn’t even aware I had it!  (See pic below-and ignore the dirty dashboard!)

Anyway, I fitted it and a  test drive revealed it to be working fine. I took the old head with me and asked the tester if he could put that mileage on the MOT certificate rather than from the head I just fitted. That way it keeps the mileage on the MOT’s correct. Luckily he agreed. Gertie once again sailed through her MOT with no advisories at all so all was good. Incidentally, the difference in mileage between this years MOT and last years was just short of 8000 miles. She clocks up quite a bit for an old bus doesn’t she? I don’t even want to think about converting that into petrol usage and pounds, shillings and pence!
The Red Shed.
I finally got to evict the Red Shed from the garage Thursday night and take it for a test drive. It wasn’t impressive. It runs beautifully while stationary, but it turns out, not under load. The carbs have only been set up as per workshop manual and without the aid of any tuning equipment so this will be the next stage. It’s very sluggish when driven, but responds when you pull the choke out, so I’m guessing it’s running far too lean. It also got very hot again on the test drive, so this needs to be investigated too. I don’t think I’ve changed the thermostat on this car yet, so that will be next.
Before I evicted the car from garage I fitted a rear spot light. (Always handy for reversing up a pitch black driveway after you’ve missed a turning on a night rally-Which seems to be a lot!)
I didn’t want to drill a hole in the bumper, or bootlid so I fitted a longer bolt on the spot light and used one of the bumper iron holes instead. Another job off the list.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

May 11th & 12th. The Welsh Rally.

Saturday morning 4am and my bloody alarm goes off! What have I done to deserve this? Agreeing to co-pilot Darren Sharp on the Club Triumph Welsh rally that’s what. It seemed a good idea at the time!
I got my things together and headed down to Hornchurch to meet Darren. His alarm not going off was the reason for him greeting me at the front door in his underpants and t-shirt. Nice! (Not!)
After a quick cup of coffee we set off for the start location at Ross on Wye services to meet other Triumph peoples for the start of the event. Our chariot for this rally was Darren’s beautiful Mk2 saloon. As usual there were quite a number of different models taking part in this which added to the variety.

In no time at all the 10am start was on us and we were away. We started by travelling westwards towards Merthyr Tydfil before heading up to the Brecon Beacons. After that we took the B4520 up to Lower and Upper Chapel and then further north up to Garth. The next road was over a beautiful mountain pass that had some stunning scenery and views

Tregaron was the next main town we ventured through, but after this it was back across the mountains and over to Elan Valley. Again more breath taking views were taken in and this point both of us admitted that we never realised that Wales was so beautiful.
The next part of the drive was taken by Darren and I have to confess to sleeping like the dead between Llangurig and Aberystwyth waking only briefly to the sound of the torrential hail stones that had the entire ‘soft top’ brigade stopping hurriedly to put their roofs up. (Except Martin Randle and Dina who just carried regardless!)  
After a very good night in Aberystwyth we set out for the first stop of the day at the Devils Bridge waterfalls. We did the short tour to look around and very beautiful it was too.

 It had started to rain now which was great pity as the previous day had been pretty good. After Devils bridge we took the mountain pass over Nant y Moch reservoir and out to Tal y Bont.

Machynileth was the next town and then the coast road to Twywn. After this we took the B4405 straight across the middle of Snowdonia national park before heading back down to Penegoes, over another mountain pass to Llanidloes and then our final destination at Newtown in Powys.  
By now it was 2.15pm and we didn’t hang around too long at the finish as were driving home again that night and still had over 200 miles to do. We left around 2.45pm and got back to Darren’s at about 7pm. (Bloody Sunday night M1 traffic!)
It had been a great weekend and Darren’s car hadn’t missed a beat. We had decided to take his one and a bit of a shakedown before we do the ten countries run in it in September. If this run was anything to go by, we shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
Some pics from the weekend.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

May 4th & 5th May. Differential issues x2

Saturday morning saw the continuation of getting the Red Shed running better. A new inlet manifold had arrived during the week so it was time to remove the carbs (yet again!) and get the gasket fitted. This all went swimmingly and by lunchtime the new inlet manifold gasket was on and the carbs were refitted.
While reading through the workshop manual again to see if I'd missed anything, (Something I should do more often!) I suddenly remembered when Gertie went sick just after I first got her. She wouldn't run properly no matter what I did and in the end I put her into Carlow Engineering for Gordon to have a look at. He did a good job of getting it running well and his diagnosis was that the jets needed centralising. I have mentioned this in conversation to various people since, but nobody seemed to know what he meant.
I realised that I now knew what he was saying. When refitting the jets into the Stromberg carburettors you have to drop the needles and pistons in place while slowly tightening the jets up. The needles keep the jets centralised while you are tightening them. You also have to ensure that the piston can still rise and fall while tightening the top of the dash pot cover as sometimes they can cause the piston to jam. (This is what mine did)
Anyway, with the carbs now set up I was over the moon to find that she started beautifully and ran well. (The best I've heard it run actually) The only problem was that the rear carb was leaking petrol yet again! This must have been about the fifth instance of either the front or rear carb leaking.
By now Davemate had arrived and he told me that a number of people on the forum had recently bought fuel pumps off of eBay and found that the pressure was too high, thus causing the carbs to leak. Seeing as my new fuel pump was a recent ebay purchase, we decided to remove it and fit a second hand spare. With this done we instantly cured the carburettor leak! I think I'll swap the pump for an electric pump at a later date.
Seeing as Dave had some more spare time, we then decided to remove the differential as this had been leaking too. I had a new seal in stock so we set about removing it. Sadly that was about as far as we got really as once it was out we discovered that the filler plug had gone in cross threaded and buggered the thread up. (I think I did that actually when I topped it up with oil)
So as it stands at present the car has no diff in while I'm waiting for a tap to arrive so I can re-tap the thread. I found that the breather at the top of the diff was totally blocked as well, so maybe that was the reason that the seal had blown.
(Davemate playing with my undercarriage!) :)
Sunday 5th May.
As if I hadn't had enough of lying on my back removing a diff on Saturday evening, I had to do it all again on Sunday when Gavin brought his MK2 saloon round to change the diff on that. There was nothing wrong with his diff other than it being the wrong ratio. Gavin's car is a 2.5 but had a 3.71 diff instead of the 3.45 that it should have. It wasn't too bad a job actually. I think we had it done in a couple of hours. Gavin took it for a test drive afterwards and was pleased with the result. it no longer screams at the legal speed limit and just seems a lot smoother and quieter to drive. Gavin has done a lot to this car since he's owned it and has improved it dramatically. It was a noisy, rattly, uncomfortable beast when he first bought it, but it's now become the smooth, silky cruiser that Triumph intended.